Recent Posts

How to Identify and Get Rid of Mold in Crawlspaces

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Having mold invade your crawlspace is a perilous scenario

When your home in Ebensburg, PA, experiences flooding, there is every chance mold will soon develop. Should this become the case for you, prevent it from spreading by speedily eliminating every bit of invasive fungi.

Identifying Crawlspace Mold

Mold may exist in the hollow area underneath your home’s ground and first floor if:

  • Insulation becomes missing or starts sagging.
  • Water stains surrounding baseboards appear.
  • Wood becomes discolored.
  • You detect increased animal activity.
  • Cool air is coming through your flooring.
  • Your house rests on an elevated water table.

Mold commonly breeds in these narrow spaces because such locations possess ideal conditions for growth – oxygen, darkness, moisture and warm temperatures. Use a mold remediation expert to eradicate the issue as quickly as possible before mold damage escalates and transforms into a far more serious problem.

Eliminating Crawlspace Mold Using Soda Blasting
One method for ridding your residence of this nuisance is soda blasting. Through the use of sodium bicarbonate particles, this high-pressure abrasive spray is ideal for accessing the myriad nooks and crannies that mold so easily infests. Perfect for use on wooden structures, it’s approximately four times faster than scraping and scrubbing.
Once the affected area has been treated, the final stage is vacuuming and wiping down all relevant areas, assuring every hazardous spore has been thoroughly removed. If you are environmentally conscious, you will love soda blasting, as it does not use any chemicals. As an added bonus, it also deodorizes while it cleans.
Alternatively, dry ice and surface blasting are worth investigating. Encapsulation is another tantalizing option, as it permanently prevents the headache from ever returning. Take care, however, that the right vapor barrier is used.
Having mold invade your crawlspace is a perilous scenario. There are multiple ways to handle the dilemma, but soda blasting is one of the best. Whatever you choose, consult a professional before making such a critical selection.

Cleaning Up an Overflowing Toilet

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet An overflowing toilet is a disastrous sanitary issue that can potentially cause massive amounts of damage

Follow The Steps Below If You Have An Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is a disastrous sanitary issue that can potentially cause massive amounts of damage. Preventing the sewer damage from reaching other areas of your house is key to keeping damage at a minimum. Quickly follow the steps below if your home in Johnstown, PA, has an overflowing toilet.

1. Stop the Overflow.
Lift the lid from the back of the flooded toilet and press down on the rubber valve to close the tank. Then lift the float to stop more water from entering the toilet bowl. Turn the valve at the back of the toilet clockwise to completely shut off the water supply.

2. Mop Up the Spill.
Quickly mop up the standing water on the bathroom floor to prevent liquid sewer damage. Once you finish, wring the mop out into an empty bucket.

3. Unclog the Toilet.
Try using a plunger to dislodge the clog first. If this doesn't work, you can opt to use a closet auger instead. To do this, insert the auger so the curve of its tip faces the same direction as the drain. Crank the auger as far as you physically can in both directions to dislodge the clog. Carefully pull the auger out before switching back to a plunger. If these steps aren't successful, call a plumber.

4. Discard the Toilet Waste.
If, and only if, you were successful in Step 3, pour the contents of the mop bucket back into the toilet and flush. Use hot water to rinse and clean the mop and the bucket.

5. Sanitize the Area.
Create a cleaning solution using a gallon of hot water, and 1 cup of bleach. Use this solution to scrub and sanitize any area that came into contact with the toilet water. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin during this process.
Sewer damage caused from toilet overflow can wreck havoc on your residential bathroom. After you finish cleaning the bathroom, you need to contact either a sewage company or water remediation professionals to help resolve the damage.

If the Water Damage Is Done, Why Hurry?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

wet wooden floor, drying equipment placed in area Water damage in Ebensburg, PA

If you have a pipe burst in your business, you no doubt see the damage water can do. However, you may wonder why everyone says you have to hurry to clean it up. After all, the damage has been done, right? Maybe not. You don’t want to deal with mold cleanup, too.

Here are a Few Ways Floods Can Harm Your Building Even After the Water Stops Rising:

  • Black mold
  • Structural damage
  • Foul odor

How does hurrying to call for professional restoration services help? These explanations may help you understand the process.

Stop Molding

When water rises in your business, it creates a uniquely humid area. This humidity helps mold spores all over the building grow. Within 24 to 48 hours, mold can become visible. However, getting started on the restoration process as soon as possible can help pull the moisture from the area and stop mold in its tracks.

Keep Structures Safe

The longer the water sits, the more it can damage your business’s walls and floors. As the water stays in place, it seeps through the walls and makes them softer. With enough time, this can make your building unsafe to be in altogether. Furthermore, the more soaked everything in the room where the pipe burst becomes, the harder it is to rid the area of mold.

Prevent the Smell

Mold is the main reason why you need to call a professional restoration crew. As you probably know, mold smells awful. Naturally, this isn’t good for business. Instead of waiting for that odor to fill the building, stop it before it starts. A restoration company can send an odor control specialist to help.

When it comes to flooding in your business, there’s no sense in waiting. A pipe burst can be a big enough problem without mold, structural problems, and a foul odor on top of it. Call a professional team in Ebensburg, PA to help.

4 Tips for Removing Microwave Smells

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave in service centre It is possible to remove the smoke smell from burnt food

Tips To Help You With a Smelly Disaster

Some microwave smells, such as burnt popcorn, are so offensive workplaces have banned employees from microwaving certain foods. However, it is possible to remove the smoke smell from burnt food and other offensive odors from your oven. Try these three tips next time you have a smelly disaster.

1. White Vinegar
Put a cup of water and four tablespoons of white vinegar in a microwave-safe container and boil the water. Once the mixture is steaming, leave it in the oven for five minutes. When the five minutes are up, wipe down the appliance with a damp rag or paper towel and then clean with soap and water.

2. Baking Soda
Combine five teaspoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water. Use a rag or sponge to scrub this mixture onto the surfaces of your microwave. The abrasiveness of the baking soda can help remove dried-on food, while the odor-fighting properties also remove the smoke smell or other odors.

3. Replace the Bad Odors With Good Ones
Mixing a couple of tablespoons of a substance, such as coffee grounds, vanilla extract or cloves, with water and then boiling that water in your appliance can remove bad odors and replace them with good ones. Wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel afterward to remove any excess moisture.

4. Avoid Bad Odors
The most effective way to avoid bad odors in your microwave is to avoid the behaviors that often lead to them. Do not leave your popcorn or other easily burnt food unattended. Wipe up spills promptly. Use a cover to prevent food from splattering. Do not put metal in the science oven and keep the vent grill clean.
The best way to avoid the smoke smell from burnt food is to not burn your food, but accidents happen. If these tips do not eliminate the odors from your home, consider hiring a professional smoke cleanup company in Belsano, PA, to assist you.

Ceiling Stains Indicate a Bigger Problem

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on ceiling tile Ceiling damaged by mold

Five Main Areas To Inspect For Mold

If ceiling tile mold makes an appearance in your Summerhill, PA, business, it is almost guaranteed that you have some type of water damage, as well as a potential roof problem. As time goes by and it isn’t corrected, you will likely need a mold remediation and restoration expert to get the building back to what it once was. While tile discoloration means a water issue, finding the source isn’t always easy. Below are five main areas to inspect.

1. Roof Vents or Skylights
Even if there aren’t skylights, many roofing systems include air and plumbing vents. Since they are not part of the actual roof, where they are secured can become a problem area for water. If that is the culprit, there should be visible staining around it.

2. HVAC Systems
Along with the potential for parts of the system located on the roof, there could be water leaking from the actual unit or within the duct system. Improper installation around the HVAC unit

3. Pipes
Tile mold doesn’t always mean a roof issue. The walls and ceiling hide the plumbing pipes. Extreme temperatures or aging pipes can start to leak, slowly causing hidden water issues.

4. Roof Flashing
Areas of the roof are joined together by pieces of metal known as flashings. Their main function is to guard against water seeping through the roof. If they are damaged, aging or not properly installed, the vulnerable areas they are protecting may quickly turn into problem areas. It may also lead to staining on walls.

5. Roof Membrane
A commercial roof typically has a membrane that functions as a waterproof layer. Any damage deters from its ability to properly do its job. Older roofs may face this issue more frequently, especially if it is more than 15 years old.
Spotting tile mold alone is unpleasant. It’s important to remember that lurking behind that stain is a much bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

Can Wet Documents Be Dried?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Many wet documents can be dried with specialized methods

Can Wet Documents Be Dried?

Many wet documents can be dried with specialized methods, such as vacuum freeze-drying, that restore the prior condition of these materials. Depending on the rarity of documents, books, manuscripts or photographs, you may want to clean and disinfect original items. In other cases, records may be salvaged in the form of paper copies or digitized versions.

Mitigate Document Damage
Documents with less damage tend to be better candidates for restoration. Taking the following mitigation measures may improve the outcome of document drying:

  • Contain the spread of water
  • Move documents to dry location
  • Maintain a temperature below 65 degrees
  • Fahrenheit
  • Keep humidity levels lower than 40%

All of these measures may reduce the damage documents sustain due to water. Sustaining a low temperature and moisture level discourages mold growth on paper.

Rely On Expert Restoration
Content restoration professionals have access to advanced solutions for drying wet documents, such as vacuum freeze-drying. Through a sublimation process, liquid moisture is converted to solid ice and extracted in the form of gas or water vapor. Restoration companies also offer advanced disinfection services, such as gamma irradiation for killing microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses on documents damaged by flooding.

Consider a Digitization Strategy
If the damaged materials are important or valuable, you may want to consider the benefits of digitization. Ease of access and a stable digital form that is easier to back up in multiple locations may be more reliable than a rare physical copy. Otherwise, you may want to look for ways to protect collections from exposure to damage.
Business owners should factor in the rarity or value of original documents or print artifacts when considering drying and restoration. In many cases, physical duplication or digitization may be more effective solutions for storing and accessing records or volumes. When you need to restore wet documents, contact content restoration experts in Gallitzin, PA.

Is Your Business Storm-Ready?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wearing safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial Invest in regular building inspections to identify deficiencies that can turn into mega-problems

Weather-watching is a year-round task for business owners in Vinco, PA, where the probability of a commercially-crippling winter storm is always top-of-mind. As the growing impact of extreme weather systems increasingly puts property at risk, the threat of storm damage looms large no matter where your business operates. From Montana to Mississippi, whether a blizzard or a hurricane, preparation is key. Here are a few tips to storm-proof your business:

Get Storm-Ready

It's not if, but when disastrous weather conditions may cause a sudden business interruption, closure, or damage requiring restoration and recovery services. Prevention is cheaper than restoration, so it's smart to be aware of your building's condition. Deferred maintenance is not an option. Roofers, plumbers, HVAC and sprinkler system technicians, and other professionals can be your first line of defense against storm damage.

Invest in regular building inspections to identify deficiencies that can turn into mega-problems in the face of high-destruction wind, rain, ice and snow.
Consider water damage insurance and business interruption insurance for protection and peace of mind.
If you are in a flood zone, make sure you are connected to an effective flood warning system. Forewarned is forearmed.

Take Action

Roofs are vulnerable to heavy rains and snow. Repair roof leaks and more serious defects that can lead to ceiling damage, or worse, a catastrophic roof collapse.
Fix improperly sealed or damaged windows, skylights and doors.
Take care of plumbing issues (old pipes or deteriorated supply lines) to lower the chance of a storm-driven pipe break and flooding.
Clean gutters to prevent water overflow and leakage.
Batten down outdoor items.
Cut back tree limbs around your building to avoid broken windows from airborne "tree missiles."
Install surge protectors or portable generators to ensure data safety.

A winter storm or summer hurricane can wreck havoc on the best run business. Press your advantage today by storm-proofing your business for tomorrow.

Keep Your Business Going When Disasters Interrupt

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

When you’re trying to run a successful business in Ebensburg, PA, you can’t always afford the downtime brought by unexpected emergency situations such as flooding, storm damage and fire. That’s why having a continuity plan is extremely important for developing businesses of all shapes and sizes.

A Continuity Plan Can Keep Your Business Going

A good plan should include a few key points:

  • A thorough analysis on how downtime and damages will impact your business
  • A number of strategies concerning recovery and restoration
  • Concrete development of the chosen recovery plans
  • Testing and exercises that keep the plan effective

Analyzing Your Business

During your initial analysis, there are a few key points you should zero in on to get the most out of this first step. Your critical business functions are what you should focus on the most closely. Is there anything within the scope of your business that the whole company simply can’t operate without? Consider elements such as vital data, employees, furniture, or office space. Regardless of what, exactly, your most crucial assets are, finding ways to save these parts of your business should be the primary goal of your entire continuity plan. Looking up resources for analyzing and creating a plan of this nature can be extremely useful if you’ve never made one before.

Testing Your Strategy

No strategy should be considered final until it’s tested and those involved have undergone training to prepare them to implement the plan when necessary. This period of time should be used to identify any pitfalls with your plan, so you can remedy them and proceed with confidence that you’ll be able to rely on your strategy while you’re dealing with building damages and obstacles.

Whether you’re doing something as simple as backing up data to the cloud or as complex as completely shifting production to another facility, you need to know that your continuity plan will actually be there and be functional in the event that disaster strikes in Ebensburg, PA. In the end, forming a plan may not be easy, but it’s the key to keeping your business’s doors open while dealing with unexpected emergencies in your normal routine.

What Can Be Saved After a Flood?

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic bins on floor, water damage in basement. Many content damaged by water Storm flooding in East Conemaugh, PA

What Can And Can't Be Salvaged After a Flood?

When a flood hits your East Conemaugh, PA, home, it means much more than just extracting the water and getting the house dried out. It also means content cleaning, which can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Determining what can and can’t be salvaged isn’t always clear.

Sorting Textiles
If the unexpected water was from a pipe burst, the cleanup process is much simpler because the water is considered clean. If it came from outside the home, there is likely a chance there is black water, which is potentially full of harmful contaminants. For the latter, before entering the home and going through belongings, protective equipment should be worn, including gloves, face masks, pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Unfortunately, some belongings will have to be tossed, such as:

  • Visibly discolored items that can’t be restored.
  • Items saturated with potential sewage water.
  • Anything that has come in contact with toxic chemicals or fiberglass insulation.

The good news is that a surprisingly large number of your belongings can be salvaged. Anything that can be washed, sanitized, and dried may likely be saved. This even includes artwork, furniture, photos, and clothing.

Confident Cleanup
When it comes to content cleaning and dealing with water damage, the best bet is to leave it all in the hands of trusted storm damage and restoration specialist. Not only will they have the tools and expertise to restore your home, but they also have the latest tools and techniques to clean items that may seem like a lost cause. Whether it requires dry, wet, foam, abrasive or immersion cleaning, your precious belongings are carefully sorted, packed away to avoid further contamination, and delicately restored to normal.
After the floodwaters go down, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, and like everything is ruined. With the right team on your side with content cleaning expertise, much more can be safely salvaged that what might initially be expected.

Do Your Houseplants Look Powdery? It Might Be Mildew.

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew will only affect living flora

Important Facts To Know About Mildew

In Carrolltown, PA, many of us are spending more time inside lately. Houseplants have become a popular way to bring an organic, calming feel to interiors. If your indoor jungle ever becomes lackluster (and you see a white powdery substance on the leaves), it might be suffering from plant mildew. Here are some important facts to know about mildew, mold, and when to call in extra help.

1. Mildew and mold are different. These terms are often confused or used interchangeably, but the organisms behave in distinct ways. Mildew is a parasite found only on living plants and causes a disease in the plant. Mold grows on non-living surfaces. Luckily, the mildew growth on your fiddle-leaf fig won’t spread to places like the walls or floor. Getting rid of it is usually a simple process.

2. Mildews can be plant-specific. However, the conditions that foster any mildew are similar, often occurring in humid and damp areas. To curb any plant mildew, prune out the affected portion of each plant, up to 25%. If any remains, pick up a mildew removal spray targeted specifically to the type of plant you have. For instance, mildew sprays for houseplants may differ from those for vegetable or flower gardens. Do not use a product aimed at household mold removal on plants—it will kill the plant.

3. Mildew thrives in moisture. Monitoring the humidity levels in your home is a simple way to prevent mildew on plants and mold damage to your house. This becomes especially important if you live in a humid or tropical climate. If this is the case, improving air circulation with a fan or open window can help. You may even consider investing in an in-home dehumidifier that can regulate the moisture levels depending on the weather.
If you’re ever in doubt about distinguishing mold growth from mildew, observe the surface that’s being affected. Plant mildew will only affect living flora. If you notice mold on walls, floors, or other building materials, it’s best to call a mold remediation specialist.