Recent Posts

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.

Filing an Insurance Claim for Residential Water Damage

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Filing an insurance claim can help you financially after a home flood

Filing an Insurance Claim for Residential Water Damage

Water damage to your East Conemaugh, PA, home can be a major hassle. Your insurance company can be a huge help during this time, but filing an insurance claim is not always as straightforward as it seems.

Deciding To File a Claim

There are many factors that affect whether or not you should file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance after a home flood. One of the biggest concerns people have when filing a claim is the potential for a rate hike. Every insurance company is different, but the following factors often affect homeowner’s insurance rates:

  • Type of claims filed
  • Number of claims filed
  • Local weather patterns

In many cases, it is impossible to know beforehand if a claim will result in a rate increase or the insurance company choosing not to renew your coverage. However, your insurance agent may know how the company usually responds to water damage claims. You can also review your insurance policy for details on the relationship between claims and rate hikes.

Filing a Claim

If you do choose to file an insurance claim, it is important to document the damage before beginning any cleanup. Take detailed photos or video evidence. Make a list of all items that cannot be salvaged. Ideally, you will have a home inventory to provide your insurance agent. A home inventory is a list of all the items in your home, their purchase price and purchase date. Home inventories generally include photographs or a video walk-through of the home. Be sure to include receipts for big ticket items such as appliances and electronics. Create your home inventory when you move in, and update it whenever you make a major purchase. Keep the inventory in a safe or cloud storage. Additionally, you will want to keep any receipts for all flood-related expenditures you incur, including for repairs and temporary relocation. Your insurance company may reimburse you for them.
Filing an insurance claim can help you financially after a home flood. However, for help restoring your home to pre-flood condition, you may wish to hire an experienced restoration company.

Why Does Mold Love Bread – and Is Moldy Bread Safe to Eat?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bread Mold growth on bread

Why Does Mold Love Bread?

Looking at something covered with mold triggers a massive wave of disgust in most people. This is a natural feeling, probably built into human beings to help prevent them from eating or handling harmful substances. Bread mold seems to be about the most common moldy food encountered, and many of the preservatives in bread are specifically there to prevent fungus growth.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus, which plays a critical role in the world. Unlike plants, they have no way to photosynthesize light into energy, so they feed off plants and animals instead. Fungi are essential for the world to function, with benefits such as

Decomposing dead plants and animals.
Allowing the creation of foods, including bread and some cheese.
Antibiotics, including penicillin.

They are probably the most important decomposers in the natural environment, and without fungi, the world would be covered by millions of years of dead plants and animals.
It makes mold sound dreadful, but there are millions of mold spores right in your immediate area. Many molds are beneficial to humans, and some are used in a variety of industries. Fungi like bread mold, however, are not beneficial.

Why Is Bread Mold So Common?

Bread is like the ideal buffet for mold. It has all the right basic foodstuffs that mold needs to flourish. Warm areas tend to encourage mold growth, but even bread put in the refrigerator will eventually get moldy. Fridge mold should be cleaned with a light bleach and water mix.
You should avoid eating moldy bread. However, if you consume a little, don’t panic! The chances are very high that ingesting a tiny amount of mold will have literally no impact on your health. If you are allergic to mold, that could be an issue, but otherwise just discard the uneaten portion and regretfully mourn your now useless sandwich.
If you have a fungus growth problem in Carrolltown, PA, that goes well beyond bread mold, call a professional mold remediation company to inspect, locate the problem and clean it up before it spreads.

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Someone with both hands holding a lighted candle Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

If you ever suspect that there might be leaking gas in your home in Cresson, PA, taking immediate action is the only way to avoid an unfortunate gas fire from starting, which can damage your home and require fire damage cleanup services. While natural gas is odorless on its own, mercaptan is added to produce a smell similar to rotten eggs. If you detect this scent or hear a distinct hissing noise inside your home, your main goal should be to escape the area and call for help. A gas explosion can happen quickly if certain precautions aren’t taken, so make sure to refrain from any of the following actions:

Do Not Turn On Any Lights or Appliances

While your first instinct might be to turn on the light if you hear a hissing noise at night, never flip the switch. Similarly, don’t turn on any other appliance for whatever reason. Even a flashlight can create a spark, so focus on escaping safely if it is too dark to find the source of the leak.

Do Not Light a Candle

Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire. A candle should never be used to mask a sulfur-like odor, and don’t use one as a light source at night.

Do Not Open the Garage Door

When exiting your house, use the front or back door instead of the garage. If you are trying to air out your home, you can open windows and doors instead.

Do Not Use Your Phone or Other Electronic Device

Wait to call for help until you are outside of your home. Using your phone or other electronic devices can result in a gas fire.
Even if you’re not sure if there is actually a natural gas leak in your home, you should always take your suspicions seriously. Avoid any actions that can cause a spark and focus on finding your way to safety.

What To Do About Flood-Damaged Walls

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged interior wall in an old house Flooding affects walls in a Portage, PA home

What To Do About Flood-Damaged Walls

Flooding to your Portage, PA, home can be a serious problem, especially behind walls where the damage is not fully visible. In some cases the drywall can be salvaged, but in others it must be removed.

Dangers of Wet Walls

Soaked walls pose a variety of problems. If they are not dried or replaced, the following may occur:

  • mold growth
  • decreased R-value of insulation
  • loss of structural integrity

The drywall itself may become weak and moldy if left wet. Insulation may lose its ability to retain heat (its R-value) and harbor contamination. In these cases, it is necessary to replace the wall.

Remediation of Wet Walls

Fortunately, if the flooding is from a clean water source, such as a pipe break, the drywall can be dried and does not have to be replaced. Special equipment, such as commercial-grade dehumidifiers, will be necessary for this task. However, if the drywall is not dry within 24-48 hours, it will probably need to be replaced because mold has likely begun to grow and the water has had time to permanently damage the wall.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to decontaminate drywall or fully dry insulation, so if insulation is affected or the water is dirty, a flood cut is necessary. A flood cut is the removal of drywall and insulation after water damage has occurred. It is necessary to tear out the material above the water line, usually 12 to 18 inches above, due to the fact that moisture wicks upward. A moisture meter can detect exactly how far up the water has traveled.
If flooding affects your walls, you may feel overwhelmed trying to determine if the wall can be salvaged, trying to act quickly, etc. Fortunately, a certified restoration company can help you with every step of the flood remediation process and get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How To Pump Out a Flooded Basement

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump Pumping water out of a basement

You can find yourself in the clutches of a basement flood in Johnstown, PA, for a multitude of reasons. The weather, a ruptured water line or an appliance malfunction could easily be the culprit. So what can you do about it?

Stop the Flooding

Before you can begin to think about removing the water, you have to make sure that it isn't still flowing into your flooded basement. If it is a plumbing issue, you can turn the shut-off valve on the main water line to stop it. If the weather is to blame, you will have to wait it out. You will need to wait until there is no more standing water in your yard. You should also turn off the electricity, to avoid any danger of an electric shock.

Begin Pumping

You can rent or buy a submersible pump from local hardware or construction rental store. You will need an extension cord so that the pump can be plugged in to a generator high and away from the basement flood. Some tips to get started:

  • Make sure to hang the cord in such a way that it doesn't touch the water.
  • A hose will be attached to the top, be sure to position it away from the house, ideally into a storm drain or sewer.
  • Use a nylon rope to lower it into the water.

Drying Out

If there's still a small amount of water after pumping, you can use a wet vacuum to suck out the rest. All porous materials will need to be thrown away, as they carry the risk of growing mold, including drywall and carpeting- you'll want to avoid mold damage as it can get quite costly, even with insurance coverage. You should ventilate the area well and run a dehumidifier to dry out the rest.
There are companies that can do the pumping for you, but if your home was part of a larger flooding event they may not be able to get to you for awhile. Luckily, you can do it yourself with a little bit of guidance.

How To Mitigate Storm Damage to Your Business

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Man collecting water in bucket from ceiling Leaking ceiling in a Cresson, PA building

Storms are a common cause of destruction to businesses in Cresson, PA. Though many business owners focus on insurance policies that can often help cover damage, such as a roof leak or cracked shingles, it's also often useful for business owners to consider ways to mitigate the damage to their properties.

What Are Common Types of Damage That Occur From Storms?

There are a variety of ways a storm can impact a commercial property, but some areas are more prone to damage than others. Destruction from a storm often includes:

  • Missing shingles
  • Leaky roofs
  • Interior mold damage
  • Broken windows
  • Flooding in the interior and exterior of the building
  • Broken shutters

Can You Prevent a Storm From Harming Your Business?

Knowing how your business may be affected by a storm can make it easier for you to appropriately prepare for an approaching storm. If you are concerned about a roof leak or an otherwise damaged roof, it can be wise to have a roof inspection before a storm occurs. Removing any loose items, such as trash, dead limbs or furniture that isn't cemented into the ground, can also help to decrease the chance of storm damage.

What Mitigation Methods Can You Use After a Storm?

Though taking steps to prevent damage is often wise, it's not always possible to prevent the destruction of your business. If your business is affected by a storm, there are several steps you can take to prevent further damage. Covering your roof with a tarp if there are missing shingles or leaks can help to keep water out of your building. Boarding up your building can also help to prevent theft and can help to prevent further devastation. If your business was affected by a storm, it's frequently useful to contact emergency restoration services soon after the storm has passed

Whether your business has a roof leak or damaged windows, mitigation is often an important aspect of preparing for and reacting to a storm. For business owners, it can be useful to know what damage storms frequently cause to businesses, how to prevent destruction from a storm and how to mitigate damage after it occurs.

What To Expect During a Fire Cleanup

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

White door with glass in the middle Post fire cleanup in Johnstown,PA

Fire Cleanup

If your Johnstown, PA, home has experienced fire or smoke damage you may be wondering the best way to get everything restored. Fortunately, a fire restoration service may be able to help. Here are the three steps you may see these professionals perform during a fire cleanup.

1. Inspection

The first step you may see your local fire damage restoration service take is to thoroughly inspect the damaged area. This allows them to locate any fire, smoke and soot damage that may be present, as well as formulate a plan for the restoration process. Once they know where the damage is located, what type, and how much is present, they can begin taking steps to help prevent any further loss.

2. Prevention

After the area is assessed, you may see your restoration company began covering over areas of smoke damage with tarps or boards. This step helps prevent additional damage by preventing weather, animals, or other humans from accessing the area until appropriate repairs can be made. Your restoration service may also take the opportunity to recommend upgrades to your home that may help mitigate potential issues in the future.

3. Restoration

Once the inspection and any necessary damage prevention measures have been taken, the restoration service can begin any smoke cleaning necessary before the repair process. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, repairs can begin. It may take a little time depending on the extent of the damage, but your home can be restored back to its original condition.
When a fire restoration service begins work on smoke damage in your home, you may see them start with inspecting the property and damage type so that they can correctly formulate a plan. The next step will often be to take steps to prevent further damage until repairs can be made. After everything is prepared the restoration process can begin, and your home can be restored to look as it did before the fire