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Types of Contaminated Water and How To Fix It

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

A sign that says water categories with a background of blue water Water categories

Types Of Contaminated Water

Any homeowner in Apex, NC, knows that a leaking pipe or flooded basement is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Water and flooring do not mix, and it can cause any number of issues if left unchecked. There are several types of contaminated water and your response to cleanup depends on which is in your home.

1. Category One: Clean Water

If you have to have water in your home, this is the type you want. Category one refers to moisture coming from a clean source of water, like a leaking faucet or supply line. Although you still obviously have to address it, it is not something that will cause immediate health concerns.

2. Category Two: Contaminated Water

This type of water is not completely clean, such as leaks from toilets or washing machines. This does have the potential to be a threat to you or your pets’ health, and it therefore needs to be addressed by a water restoration specialist. If you are confronting this situation, first stop the leakage by shutting off the water. Contact a professional to determine what you need to do and when they will be able to help.

3. Category Three: Sewage or Outside Flood

Category three is the most dangerous type. Sometimes referred to as black water, this is not something you can clean up yourself. There are bacteria and potentially toxic chemicals that can get attached to materials in your home. Professionals will wear the appropriate clothing and breathing gear, as well as use the most effective cleaning tools to make sure your home is fully recovered.
Contaminated water in your home is never expected, but you need to deal with it immediately. If you are lucky and have only category one clean water, you need to make sure it hasn’t had the opportunity to seep into walls and flooring to cause mold growth. If it falls into category two or three, you must contact a professional right away. You’ll then have the peace of mind that your home is safe.

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

When Does Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

A man's hand pointing with a pen to a sheet that says INSURANCE It can be hard to determine if your insurance policy covers damage caused by fungus growth

Black mold cleanup of your Ebensburg, PA, home can be expensive. While you may think your homeowners' insurance will cover the cost of the repairs, that is not the case. There are some exceptions, however.

Covered Perils

The main way to determine whether your insurance will pay for mold cleanup is to look at the source of the fungus growth. If the mold resulted from an emergency covered by your policy, otherwise known as a covered peril, you should be able to file a claim for the cost of the damage. Typical covered perils include:

  • The weight of ice and snow on your roof
  • Fire
  • Frozen pipes
  • Water overflow from sprinklers, air conditioning units, appliances and plumbing

Essentially, any mold growth that results from an accidental and sudden incident will be covered by your policy. However, insurance will not cover the cost of mold removal if the damage was partly the result of your negligence.
Therefore, if you don’t address the fungus growth immediately, your insurer likely will not pay for the repairs. Insurers similarly will not pay for mold caused by a persistently leaky pipe or roof that you fail to address.
A regular homeowners' policy also will not cover mold resulting from flood damage. However, a flood insurance policy should cover the cost of this mold removal, as long as you properly clean and maintain your property after the flood.

Mold Endorsements

Even if your mold damage does not result from a covered peril, you still may be able to get insurance coverage. You can actually buy mold insurance via an endorsement to your regular policy.
However, your insurance provider may limit your mold coverage. The insurer may only pay for certain services or put a cap on how much it will spend.
It can be hard to determine if your insurance policy covers damage caused by fungus growth. If you are not sure, contact a claims adjuster or your local mold remediation company representative.

Be Prepared with Business Interruption Insurance

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

A yellow sign that says "Are you prepared?" If flooding or another disaster happens, being prepared can lessen the burden of large water damage

As a successful business owner in Johnstown, PA, there are many knowns and unknowns that need to be considered. A business plan should not only include the company’s mission and operational strategies. If flooding or another disaster happens, being prepared can lessen the burden of large water damage. Part of the plan should be having business interruption insurance secured.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Do?

While small mishaps can easily be fixed, extensive water damage from a broken pipe or flooding is much more severe. Along with the potential loss of important documents, furniture and the like, this kind of damage can result in the need for restoration services. Those kinds of repairs are typically not a quick fix and could result in have to close down while they are made. Business interruption insurance helps cover costs associated with the damage and operational losses. While all policies are different, they often include:

  • Earnings your company would make under normal operating conditions.
  • Bills that continue even when closed including taxes, rent, loan payments and utilities.
  • Moving expenses for temporary relocation.
  • Even if not working, employees need to be paid. This insurance can assist with payroll.

Plan Ahead to Speed Up the Process

Along with being insured, create a plan to handle disasters. It should also include detailed steps for what to do in an emergency. It is also a good idea to already have some trusted professionals researched so you know who to call for the fastest cleanup. Other things to consider include:

  • Have backup power and other resources in place.
  • Keep copies of important documents off site or in a safe.
  • Maintain an inventory of equipment, including receipts and maintenance schedules if applicable.
  • Ensure building is regularly inspected to minimize costly repairs.

Although flooding can be overwhelming, having a plan of action can help ensure the aftermath is dealt with as smoothly as possible. Making insurance part of the plan is key to recovery.

Steps to Take to Flood Proof Your Home

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A breaker panel with a sign on top that says "Cut the power" Turn off all electricity with your breaker panel to avoid getting electrocuted

Steps to Take to Flood Proof Your Home

Flooding is one of the most common weather disasters to take place in the United States. It is wise to be informed when it comes to common flood safety advice that can protect you and your home from water damage and danger.

1. Keep Electrical and Climate Systems Safe

Circuit breakers, switches, and any wiring should be placed at least one foot above the estimated flood level where you live. If you have all of these things sitting above your home’s flood level, you can try to minimize the amount of damage that takes place when a flood does come through. This is one of the most important safety tips to follow to keep you and your home secure.

2. Determine Water Flow

Check out the slope of the ground around your house because this can determine if water is going to be directed away from or toward your home. Watch the water flow during the next rainstorm and see which direction it goes. If the street you live on tends to have standing water after a storm, it is wise to talk to the environmental services department to see if they can make suggestions for flood safety in your area.

3. Keep Outdoor Equipment Secure

Air conditioning units and fuel tanks should be anchored down and elevated above flood level to avoid a dangerous situation. Electrical power units should never sit on the ground because they will be useless once they get wet.

4. Last Minute Tips

There are ways to flood proof the area even if the waters are already coming your way. Be sure to clear out the gutters and drains, so you can get rid of as much water as possible. Move all of your belongings upstairs or above the ground if possible. You should also turn off all electricity with your breaker panel to avoid getting electrocuted.
As you can see, there are so many flood safety tips to keep in mind in Belsano, PA. While you can always contact a professional for water damage repair after the flood, it is a good idea to be prepared beforehand to avoid as much damage as possible.

Steps to Take After a Fire at a Business

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

A big commercial building burned out Fire loss in Belsano, PA

Steps to Take After a Fire at a Business

Fire damage caused by a blaze at a business in Belsano, PA can make for a costly and time-consuming restoration process if the situation is not handled properly and efficiently. Fortunately, there are steps that a business owner can take in order to ensure that the fire mitigation and cleanup process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are three suggestions for steps that a business owner can take after a fire to have the damage repaired quickly.

1. Remove Salvageable Items and Take Photos of the Damage

Returning to a building after a fire may evoke many emotions, including frustration, sadness and a sense of feeling overwhelmed. It is vital to stay focused on the restoration process and keep moving forward. A beneficial first step to take may be to enter the building (if it is safe to do so) and collect salvageable items. While at the property, it will be helpful to take lots of photos of the fire damage to send to an insurance adjuster.

2. Plan to Make Repairs to the Structure

It’s understandable that an individual may feel overwhelmed after a disaster. However, there is always an opportunity for good to come from a situation. Deciding to repair and restore the company may enable a businessperson to feel empowered. Making plans for repairs to be made to the commercial building is a great step to take. Calling professionals who specialize in fire cleanup can help repair the building and restore the destruction to the point that it looks “Like it never even happened.”

3. Communicate with Employees

After a catastrophe at a company, employees may have questions about the future of the business. Communicating with workers and coming up with a plan – such as allowing them to work from home temporarily if possible – may be advantageous.
While fire damage may be difficult for a company owner, taking these steps after a blaze can provide the comfort of knowing that the business will be up and running again as soon as possible.

3 Reasons Why You Need Business Interruption Insurance

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

A sign that says "Causes of business interruption", arrows pointing to different causes Every commercial property owner should carry interruption insurance

3 Reasons To Operate Your Company With Business Interruption Insurance

Your insurance plays an essential role in helping your business to rebuild after a disaster. As a commercial property owner, chances are good that you are familiar with many of the major types of insurance including property insurance, hazard insurance and liability coverage. However, another crucial, and often overlooked, type of coverage is business interruption insurance. Here are three reasons why you will not want to operate your company without it.

1. It Covers Lost Revenue

When dealing with storm damage or flood cleanup, oftentimes a business is forced to shut its doors in order to rebuild. A closed business can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue, posing a serious financial threat to many small organizations. This is where business interruption insurance comes in handy. It temporarily replaces lost income by covering any revenue that your business would have earned during normal operation. This helps the business stay afloat during restoration.

2. It Keeps Payments on Track

It is frustrating to pay out-of-pocket for things you are not getting to use, especially when your company is already struggling to recover after a severe storm. Nonetheless, rent payments, leases, taxes, loans and employee wages must still be paid despite the building closure. Fortunately, interruption insurance coverage can assist with all of these payments until the business is able to re-open.

3. It Helps With Relocation Costs

Always call a certified storm damage restoration specialist to get cleanup started as quickly as possible. While the experts work to rebuild and restore your property to safe condition, you might need to relocate your daily operations for a short time. Interruption insurance helps with moving costs and may even cover rent in your new building.
Talk to your insurance provider about adding business interruption coverage to your insurance package. Remember to keep detailed financial records, as they will likely be used to determine your average costs and revenue. Every commercial property owner in Ebensburg, PA, should carry interruption insurance. It might just be exactly what you need to keep your business on track during the disaster recovery process.

How Do Building Materials React to Water?

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

A white pipe system, attached to a blue wall. Pipe system is broken causing water and mold damage to floor Broken pipes in Johnstown, PA

How Do Building Materials React to Water?

When your home in Johnstown, PA, is flooded, different building materials often have unique reactions to water. Many homeowners are concerned about swelling wood, mold growth or other damage building materials may sustain, and it can be useful for homeowners to know how certain materials may react to water.

1. Authentic Wood

Hardwood is a common building material that is often affected by water damage. Authentic wood, as opposed to laminate or plywood, is often used on floors and in furniture. Fortunately, hardwood is often able to be recovered and restored after water damage has occurred. If hardwood in your home has sustained water damage, it can be helpful to contact water damage restoration experts who can help to restore items made with real wood.

2. Plywood and Lamanite

Unlike authentic hardwood, plywood and laminate generally do not react well to water. When water comes in contact with plywood, which is often used for subfloors, swelling wood often occurs. In some cases, it is possible to dry off plywood if only a small amount of water has come in contact with it, but in most situations, plywood is no longer usable after water damage. Likewise, laminate, often used on floors, can rarely be recovered after it has been impacted by flooding.

3. Metal Items

If metal items, such as pipes, ornaments, screws or hinges, come in contact with water, they will often rust. Even if water is removed from the area, high levels of humidity can still cause metal items to rust. However, if water is removed from the immediate area, if your home remains dry and if levels of humidity are controlled, then you can often prevent metal items from rusting. If only small amounts of rust are present on metal items, it's often possible to remove the rust.

Whether the flood in your home was caused by a broken supply line or a damaged appliance, understanding how different items react to water can be helpful. If you know that hardwood and metal may survive water damage but that swelling wood may occur with plywood, you can focus on a water pipe repair, mitigation and other elements of restoration.

Understanding the Mold Remediation Process

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on window

The presence of mold in your business can be both costly and dangerous. When not treated quickly and properly, black mold can extend beyond its point of origin and spread throughout the entire building, damaging property and furniture. As soon you suspect the presence of mold in your business, swift action must be taken to minimize the damage.

Self-Assessment of the Presence of Mold

Mold is all around us because it gathers and thrives in moisture. When it enters the building, it attaches itself to a variety of surfaces such as wood, carpeting, paper, and other fabrics. If you suspect black mold is affecting your business, consider the following warning signs:

  • Mold will begin to grow in areas that have been exposed to moisture, such as windows and doors, so look for signs of discoloring in these areas.
  • If flooding has recently occurred, pay special attention to the affected areas.
  • Remember that mold is not always visible, as it often begins growing inside the affected area rather than outside.
  • Mold has a distinctive smell, so use your nose to sniff out potential areas of growth.

Hiring a Mold Inspection Team

The only way to know for sure if you have a mold problem is to consult a mold remediation specialist. An expert located in and around the Vinco, PA, area will come to your building and give a thorough inspection. If black mold has been discovered in your commercial business, experts will work to contain and clean the area.

Remediating Your Mold Problem

As mold is a living organism, it must first be contained before the mold cleanup process can begin. Mold must also be removed from the air to prevent further spread of living spores. Once the situation is under control, specialists will clean all affected areas to minimize damage and prevent further growth in the future. It is imperative to take mold problems seriously by working quickly with specialists to ensure damage to your commercial property is minimized.

Preventing House Fires

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Space heater are a frequent cause of house fire

Although a home fire in Gallitzin, PA, is a scary thought, being prepared can ease your mind and may help you prevent serious damage.

Common Fire Causes

There are many ways a fire can start in your home, but being aware of the most common culprits can keep you and your family safe. Here are ten frequent causes of house fires:

  • Heaters
  • Cigarettes
  • Faulty wiring
  • Overheated cookware
  • Candles
  • Grills
  • Lamps and other light fixtures
  • Children
  • Flammable liquids
  • Christmas trees

Take extra care with the above and anything else that might start a home fire. Check power cords, light fixtures, furnaces and other fire hazards frequently. Never leave matches or lighters where children can play with them. Do not leave stoves and grills unattended. Make sure all cigarettes and candles are thoroughly extinguished. Properly store flammable liquids. Do not leave Christmas tree lights on when no one is home or awake. Although many fires are beyond your control, some can be prevented with a little extra caution.

Additional Precautions

Unfortunately, even the most conscientious homeowner may still experience a fire. Therefore, it is important to have the proper items on hand to take care of small fires before they spread. Make sure you have a smoke detector in every bedroom and at least one on each level of your house, and check their batteries once a month. Additionally, you should invest in a few fire extinguishers for your home. At the very minimum, you will need one in the kitchen. If you are building a new home, you may want to look into getting a sprinkler system as it is less expensive to install one while building a home than to retrofit a home later. The sooner a fire is extinguished, the safer your family will be and the less extensive fire cleaning you will need.
By taking proper precautions, many fires can be extinguished early or prevented altogether. However, if you are the victim of a home fire, you may want to enlist a team of experienced restoration professionals to help you get your home back to pre-fire condition.