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My Basement Flooded — Now What?

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Flooded basement in Johnstown, PA

My Basement Flooded — Now What?

All homeowners in Johnstown, PA should be prepared to deal with a water emergency such as a basement flood. Homeowners' insurance coverage may pay for repairs, and you can work with a water cleanup and restoration service. However, draining a flooded basement can be a do-it-yourself job if the proper steps are taken.

1. Turn Off the Electricity to Your Home Never enter a flooded area if the electricity is on. If your electrical box is inaccessible due to standing water, you will need to call an electrician.

2. Turn Off the Source of the Water

If a pipe or sewer line has burst, shut off the water main to your home. If the basement flood is caused by a storm, wait until the rainfall has stopped before you begin removing the water.

3. Connect the Pump to a Hose

You will need a submersible pump to efficiently remove large amounts of standing water from your home. Drain the water out and away from your home by connecting the pump to a garden hose.

4. Connect the Pump to a Power Source

With the electricity to your home turned off, a generator can be used to power the pump. Running a heavy-duty extension cord between a neighbor’s home and yours is another option for powering the pump.

5. Remove the Water

Once powered, the pump will draw the water out of the flooded basement. As the water level subsides, you may need to reposition the hose to make sure you remove all the water or use a wet/dry vac to squeegee the remaining water off the floor.
Water damage is one of the most common problems a homeowner may face, so all homeowners should be prepared to quickly address such an emergency. Knowing the steps to limit the damage a basement flood can cause will help preserve one of your most important investments — your home.

How to Protect Your Building During and After a Fire

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor Have a fire evacuation plan ready

Here Are Some Things You Should Include In Your Safety Plan

As a business owner, you need to be ready to keep your employees and customers safe. This means creating an effective fire protocol that prevents looting and lets you hire a professional remediation company as soon as possible. While you may never have to use this plan, it is better to have one in place.

During a Fire Evacuation Plan
You can do several things during a fire that limit fire damage and encourage everyone's safety. These include adding clauses, such as:

  • Don't rush to exit the building
  • Use the stairs
  • Close all doors behind you
  • Listen to any announcements broadcasted over loudspeakers
  • If you are unable to escape, hide in a sealed room and call the fire department
  • Once you leave the building, remain nearby but do not reenter

Communicate Your Plan
Once you have written your plan, have it approved by the fire code official in Ebensburg, PA. Then, post your proposed evacuation routes throughout your building. Make sure to have at least one copy near every stairwell and elevator entrance. Make sure that every employee has read a copy of your plan. It is wise to discuss your fire safety plan in a meeting once a year. This keeps your employees informed and ready to take action.

Your Role as an Owner Immediately After a Fire
Ensure you get contact information for someone in the fire department after a fire has been put out. Check on your employees to make sure they are okay. See if any of them know how it started. Then, contact the insurance company. Also, contact a restoration company to get the fire damage fixed as soon as possible.
If you are a business owner, you need to have a plan in place, so you and your employees know what to do during and after a fire. This can help you minimize the fire damage to your building and immediately start the fire cleanup process.

How To Protect Your Home From Winter Storms

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Keep your gutters clean

These Simple Steps Can Help Protect Your Home From Damage

It's no secret that a winter storm can wreak havoc on your home, but a few simple steps can help you protect your home from damage.

Have Supplies on Hand
When a winter storm hits, it's not always safe to go buy the things you need. That's why it's best to keep an eye on the forecast and make sure you have all the supplies you require before a storm occurs. You will need:

  • Food
  • Drinking water
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Generator or firewood
  • Warm clothing and blankets

Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks, such as extra space around doors, allow warm air to escape from your home. This will make it harder to heat your home, increasing energy costs. Seals can be applied to doors, windows, and other areas to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Keep Trees Trimmed
Cold temperatures and the weight of snow and ice can cause tree branches to fall. Trimming branches that could fall onto your house or vehicles can help prevent roof damage, car damage, and injury. It is also a good idea to cut off any loose or dying branches before a storm regardless of location.

Clean Gutters
Having blockage in your gutters can cause ice dams. These dams can prevent water from exiting your gutter normally and can push it under the roof, which can cause leaks and roof damage.

React Quickly
If your home incurs any damage, it is best to call an emergency restoration service immediately. You may hesitate to call if a blizzard is still ongoing, but not addressing the damage leaves your home vulnerable to additional damage.
A winter storm can be dangerous and cause damage to your home, but you can keep yourself and your house safer by having supplies on hand, sealing air leaks, trimming tree branches, cleaning gutters and reacting quickly.

Identifying and Remediating Mold

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Plywood with mold Mold can be found anywhere

Take The Right Steps To Remediate Mold

Mold is found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. While most species of mold don’t present a problem, it will multiply if given the ideal environment of moisture and oxygen. Fortunately, there are mold remediation specialists available to take care of any mold situation. If you suspect that your Vinco, PA, business has black mold, it’s important to take the right steps to remediate the problem.

Most people have heard horror stories of mold. Regrettably, sensational news stories only impair the goal of helping people understand mold. Here are some basic facts about mold:

  • Mold spores are common inside and outside
  • Mold grows in places with high moisture
  • Mold enters buildings through windows, vents, and HVAC systems
  • Mold may produce a musty odor

Additionally, there are thousands of species of mold in a variety of colors. Thus, it is often difficult for individuals to tell if they have a mold problem. To prevent mold infestations, business owners should regularly inspect their property. Check around windows, heating and air conditioning systems, roofs, basements, and pipes. To identify what specific type of mold is in your building, such as black mold, you will need the help of an Indoor Environmental Specialist.

The first step in remediation is finding the source of moisture. A leaky roof, faulty plumbing, flooding, and high humidity are common causes of moisture. A mold remediation specialist will inspect the building and assess the damage. Next, the specialist will contain the mold using advanced procedures and tools. Once the mold spores are contained, air filtration equipment is used to capture the spores and eliminate mold colonies. The final step in remediation is cleaning and restoration.
Business owners should be aware of the signs of black mold in order to prevent major problems. If you see or smell any signs of mold, get professional help for proper mold cleanup.

3 Possible Consequences of Hidden Water Leaks

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on a corner wall The incursion of unchecked water also promotes the growth of mold and mildew

Keep An Eye Out For Any Sign Of It

While a sudden tide of water sweeping through a building and its negative impact on said structure is quite noticeable, not all sources of water damage are so easily detectable. Broken pipes in walls with thin cracks or leaky fittings that just barely allow trickles of water to escape gradually, for example, may go unnoticed for quite some time. By the time they have been discovered, the resulting consequences and the water cleanup required may be quite extensive, requiring a professional cleanup and restoration service in Belsano, PA, to deal with.

1. Building Damage
Moisture can cause water damage and compromise the structural integrity of the commercial property. Examples of harm it may cause to buildings include:

  • Peeled paint
  • Stained wallpaper and walls
  • Rotten and weakened wood
  • Rusted/corroded metal

It may also affect contents like inventory.

2. Mold, Mildew, and Pest Invasion
The incursion of unchecked water also promotes the growth of mold and mildew, both of which thrive in wet environments. Mold and mildew also eat away at construction materials as they spread, causing further structural deterioration. They are also unappealing to clients and customers when they spread from out of sight locations to more visible ones, possibly costing some establishments business. The erosion of wood from the wetness also invites pests to burrow into the softened ceiling and walls.

3. Increased Utility Expenses
There is also often a spike in utility bills associated with undiscovered leaks. The cost of water goes up as liquid drips unnoticed from broken pipes. The price of heating and air conditioning may also see a rise in cases where insulation has been damaged, causing HVAC systems to have to work harder. Higher humidity in the air also correlates to more strain on air conditioning units.
Water damage is not the only less than pleasant repercussion that may arise from a hidden leak. Neither are the ones listed here all that may occur. There are many less than positive likelihoods that may happen because of unfound leaks, so it is important to keep an eye out for any sign of one.

The 4 Leading Causes of Home Fires

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom destroyed by fire House fire in Ebensburg, PA

The 4 Leading Causes of Home Fires

Fire statistics in the U.S. paint a picture of a disturbingly common problem. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire breaks out somewhere in the nation every 24 seconds. While progress has been made over the years, a home fire still happens frequently. Most of the fires are preventable with common-sense precautions. The leading causes of a fire show people often make unwise choices in their homes.

1. Cooking Fires - When it comes to fire causes in homes, this is among the most common fires. In addition to causing about 550 deaths a year, these fires account for about $1 billion in property damage. This type of home fire spikes around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. Candle Fires - While candles can be soothing, they can also be dangerous. About 21 candle fires are reported every day in the U.S. December and January are the peak months for this fire type. They cause a higher amount of property damage than many other fires.
3. Home Grill Fires - This type of fire accounts for about 10,600 home fires each year. Though home grill fires do not cause a lot of deaths, they still cause a lot of damage to home structures.
4. Electrical Fires - This type of fire is caused when electrical systems malfunction. They are most common in old weather months. Electrical fires are often caused by arcing, and they result in many deaths and significant property damage every year.
A home fire is a devastating event for many families. To help people cope with the aftermath of a fire, a local fire remediation franchise in Ebensburg, PA, is often the best resource to aid in recovery. The technicians are experts in fire cleaning, and they can deal with both the effects of structural damage as well as smoke damage. The technicians can also offer excellent advice on fire precautions and avoiding a fire in the first place.

Tips to Minimize Mold Spreading

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in walls Mold damage in Gallitzin, PA

Tips to Minimize Mold Spreading

After the water a pipe burst or other massive water infiltration in your Gallitzin, PA, home, it means much more than water damage. In less than two days, mold spores can turn into a massive mold infestation. Once that happens, the chances for black mold to relocate to unaffected areas increases. The first step is to call a mold damage and remediation specialist that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. While waiting for help to arrive, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

Stop the Spread
At the first signs of an outbreak, stopping it in its tracks is essential. Below are a few steps to take.

Since spores become airborne to find new locations to build a colony, ensure your HVAC system is turned off.
Locate the source of the moisture problem. If it is a pipe burst or leak, turn off the water and contact a plumber to have it repaired.
Along with moisture, black mold loves high humidity. Keep humidity levels in the home under 60%. If the air outside is less humid, open the windows. Otherwise, use a dehumidifier and frequently empty it.
Belongings that have been affected should be carefully removed and sealed in plastic bags.

Cleanup Expectations
Once help arrives, the length of the mold cleanup process will depend on the extent of the damage. A certified mold professional will first inspect for visible and hidden damage and assess the extent of it. They will create a personalized plan of attack to eradicate the problem. During the remediation process, the affected areas will be contained to prevent the damage from spreading. They will use industrial tools to clean surfaces as well as air filtration equipment to remove airborne spores. After removal and remediation, they will begin any restoration needed to get your home back to normal.
Black mold can quickly spread, so taking immediate action is essential to protecting your home. Along with calling an expert for help, the above steps may help minimize the damage.

3 Steps To Take After a Water Heater Leak

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater Water heater leak

Three Steps To Deal With A Leaking Water Heater

Water heaters process as much as 50 gallons of water per day. The size of the appliance determines how much water is stored in the tank. If a tank is faulty or rusts, it may leak water in the area surrounding a heater. Homeowners should take these three steps to deal with a leaking water heater at a household in Ebensburg, PA .

1. Limit the Spread of Water
A water heater may have a 50-gallon or larger tank, which can cause significant water damage. Damming up water can limit the spread of damage, as can using a mop and buckets, a wet vac or other household extraction equipment. Once the tank is empty, the appliance can be repaired or replaced.

2. Empty the Tank
To drain a water heater tank, a homeowner should shut off the supply of water and either electricity or gas to the appliance as soon as possible. Water in a broken water heater tank can stay hot for hours, so damage restoration experts recommend waiting overnight before draining it. Connect a hose to the drain valve and open a hot water tap to release pressure. Allow water to drain out of the leaking water heater.

3. Arrange for Repair or Replacement
A failed water heater or an appliance with a rusted tank may need to be replaced. Appliance experts and plumbers can recommend a new water heater for a household-based on occupancy and water usage. It may also be possible to fix some problems that cause leaks.
Water released by a water heater tends to be clean. Still, it is important to eliminate the source of a leak before drying the area. Mold may form around a leaking water heater, particularly if the area does not experience heavy traffic. Fixing a leaky water heater may require contacting appliance repair or plumbing specialists in Ebensburg, PA.

Is Black Water a Serious Concern? 3 Things Business Owners Should Know About This Contamination

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

flooding car in basement carpark Flood damage in East Conemaugh, PA

Is Black Water A Serious Concern?

Flood assessment begins by evaluating the extent of water damage as well as the type of moisture exposure. Water is classified into three categories: clean, gray and black. All three can harm property and require immediate action. The final classification particularly requires monitoring and thorough cleanup. Commercial property owners in East Conemaugh, PA, should work with a water restoration company to understand the trouble and effectively fix the issues.

1. Where Does It Come From?
Several sources fall into the black water group. External bodies of water such as oceans, rivers and streams meet the criteria. As water rises, it brings with it organisms and chemicals from outside. The business could be filled with pesticides, bacteria, fungus and living animals. Another source is the sewer. If a pipe breaks or backs up, the dirty water spills into the establishment, filling it with feces, urine and microbes. These exposures are cause for concern and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

2. Are Common Commercial Cleaners Effective?
Many people believe that water damage can be tended to without professional care. This belief, though, is in error. Fluid easily and quickly absorbs into porous materials, seeping behind walls and under the floor. Bleach and other chemicals cannot always reach the depth of the exposure, creating a false sense of cleaning. Using an approach such as that only prolongs in-depth sanitation.

3. What Does Remediation Entail?
Mitigation occurs first. These efforts reduce complications as well as organism levels. The flood's contamination is lowered by extracting excessively drenched items. A flood cut is made within the walls, removing soaked drywall. Carpets, and sometimes tile, are torn out as well. This prevents dampness from lingering in the ground or within the structure. The room must be aired out, so dehumidifiers run around the clock.
Don't underestimate water damage. It is a serious matter that cannot wait; thus, proprietors should seek the assistance of professionals who can appropriately guide them through the restoration project.

Rebuild Right with a Mitigation Professional

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Commercial fire damage in Cresson, PA

Rebuild Right with a Mitigation Professional

If your property in Cresson, PA, has fire damage, getting back up and running as quickly as possible is vital. After calling your insurance provider and visiting with an insurance adjuster, figuring out just how to return to normal can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to take on the complex and time-consuming process, a fire mitigation and restoration company may be your best bet.

Services for All Damage
Although the initial source of the damage may be fire, there is often secondary damage from the water used to suppress the flames. If not properly and quickly addressed, it may result in water damage or mold growth. There are also odors left behind from the smoke. By choosing a certified professional to help, you can count on:

  • Local service providers that provide 24/7 services and can arrive fast to mitigate further damage.
  • A thorough inspection and assessment completed quickly.
  • Mitigation for fire, water and mold damage completed by certified professionals who adhere to industry standards.
  • Advanced cleaning and deodorizing methods to restore items and eradicate lingering odors.
  • Proper and efficient replacement or rebuilding of structural components, such as drywall and carpeting.

Claim Process Assistance
A fire damage claim doesn’t happen overnight. Once the process has started, working with a mitigation company can help ease the burden of figuring out what happens next. Along with providing a fast response time and pretesting to restore as much as possible instead of replacing, the right company will have a solid relationship with insurance companies. Taking the extra step to maintain an itemized loss inventory and electronic access to the claim, which includes a detailed listing of every aspect of the project, makes the process go more smoothly.
Dealing with fire damage often means much more than making a few quick fixes. The restoration process can be overwhelming, so count on help that makes it “Like it never even happened.”