Understanding the Mold Remediation Process
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
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:
- Faulty wiring
- Overheated cookware
- Lamps and other light fixtures
- 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.
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.
Keep Your Business Going When Disasters Interrupt
It's important to have a plan to keep your business going when a disaster strikes.
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.
3 Landscaping Tips That Protect Your Home From Flooding
Direct rain spouts to lower ground
3 Landscaping Tips That Protect Your Home From Flooding
Your landscaping can either protect your Summerhill, PA, home from outside flooding or divert that water into your foundation and basement. Maybe you haven't had trouble yet or maybe you live in a dry climate where it doesn't rain often. However, it only takes one severe rain storm to damage your home. A poorly designed yard could eventually lead to trouble and not just for your own home.
Stormwater runoff is one of the main contributors to water resource pollution.
Rainwater that runs off your property may carry fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals into the street, other yards, and municipal water systems.
A solid downpour could cause soil erosion, carrying part of your yard into the neighbors' properties.
Fortunately, there are some landscaping tips that protect your home from storm damage and excess drainage.
Direct Rain Spouts to Lower Ground
Keep excess water from a heavy rain storm from collecting against the foundation of your home by diverting the downspout to lower ground. You could also direct the path of rain drainage to a garden that absorbs a lot of water.
Plant a Rain Garden
Plan this 50 to 100 square-foot garden so the middle of the garden handles a lot of water and the edges drain quickly. Choose native plants that don't require much water between storms with plants that tolerate wet soil in the center. As water seeps into the garden, whether it's next to the driveway or the foundation of the home, it should pool in the center and slowly become absorbed by the soil beneath.
Replace Lightweight Mulch
Outside flooding often lifts up the lightweight pieces of chips used in popular mulch. When those bits of wood float away, they clog up drains and lead to more flooding.
Water damage remediation experts do a great job, but it's generally better if you can avoid an emergency situation in the basement. Use these tips to protect your home and the rest of the neighborhood from outdoor flooding.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance and Do You Need It?
What is business interruption insurance?
As a business owner, you are forced to weigh the pros and cons of every possible expense before you make an investment. One expense you may question is interruption insurance. Do you need it, or will it end up costing you more than you will save?
The Basics of Business Interruption Coverage
You already have commercial property coverage, so why would you need interruption coverage? Good question. Commercial property coverage insures against damage to your building and its contents due to a covered loss, such as a fire. Depending on your policy, this type of coverage may cover increased expenses that result from fire damage as well as the loss of income. However, what happens if your business is forced to close for an extended period of time while fire restoration is underway, or if your business suffers additional losses after you reopen? That's where interruption insurance comes in. This type of coverage covers the following:
- Loss caused by the slowdown or suspension of your business operations
- Losses accrued during the restoration period
- Losses sustained after resuming operations and that are a result of the fire damage
Business interruption coverage also covers payroll costs during the restoration period. This ensures you can retain your employees while your business is closed. It also covers the cost of taxes, business loan repayments and relocation expenses.
What Interruption Coverage Does Not Cover
Though interruption coverage can be extremely helpful in the event of a loss, it does not cover everything. For instance, it does not cover the cost of utilities that continue to run despite the fact that your business is closed. To ensure you don't get charged with electricity, water, gas or any other utilities while your doors are closed, call your utility companies to have them shut them off.
This type of coverage also does not cover direct property damage. That is what commercial property coverage is for. If the damage is the result of an earthquake or flood, your earthquake or flood policy should cover the cost of damages.
To learn more about what interruption insurance does and does not cover, contact your East Conemaugh, PA, fire restoration team. In addition to providing you with more information, it can help you find appropriate coverage.
4 Steps for Repairing Water Damage From a Flooded Toilet
An overflowing toilet can become a much larger issue
Sometimes, an overflowing toilet is simply an annoyance, but it can become a much larger issue. In cases of sewer damage, your toilets may backup regularly and cause a lot of damage to the surrounding area. If you have bathrooms on the upper floors of your Carrolltown, PA, building, it may even cause problems in the areas underneath. In this case, the following steps should be followed.
1. Remove Damaged Materials
If water from a flooded toilet has found its way to the ceiling below, then you will likely need to remove some of the materials from this area. If there are any portions of the flooring and ceiling that cannot be salvaged, take these out before proceeding.
2. Allow the Area to Dry
To prevent further damage, the area should be allowed to dry thoroughly before taking the next step. Mold is common in most places and can grow easily in moist environments. Because of this, it is important not to allow excess water to remain for extended periods of time.
3. Clean and Sanitize
Because water overflow caused by sewer damage is likely contaminated, you should be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize any areas that have been affected. Once this has been done, you can move on to the final step.
4. Perform Needed Repairs
It is a good idea to hire a sewage company to perform any necessary repairs to the plumbing to prevent this problem from reoccurring. You will also need to have the floor and ceiling fixed as well. This will include repairing the structure of the building as well as any aesthetic work, such as repainting and replacing tiles.
While it may be tempting to attempt these repairs and try to fix the sewer damage on your own, you could end up creating bigger problems for yourself. An emergency restoration company can provide workers with the necessary experience to get the job done well in a timely manner.
Immediate Steps To Take After a Flood
Turn off your water main so that no more water is flooding your home
Immediate Steps To Take After a Flood
Flooding in your home in Cresson, PA, can happen as the result of a number of issues. A pipe may break. A toilet may overflow. When your house is flooded, there are also a number of things you can do to minimize the damage. Completing the following checklist can help you get your home back to normal faster.
Shut Off Power
Turn off the electricity to any area where there is standing water in home. This is particularly necessary if any of the following conditions exist:
- Water is near outlets
- Appliances are flooded
- Electronics are submerged
Even after you turn off the power, do not enter water that may have come into contact with electricity. Err on the side of safety.
Stop Water Flow
Shutting off the water is the next thing you should do. Repairs may have to wait until a plumber or technician arrives, but you can stop the problem at the source. Turn off your water main so that no more water is flooding your home.
Your insurance provider needs to know about the problem as soon as it happens. This allows the company to send an adjuster out so that work on your claim can begin. If you delay your call too long, the company may give you less than you need for bathroom or kitchen repair, or it may reject your claim altogether.
Call Restoration Specialists
Your next call should be to water restoration experts. Within hours, they can be at your home to start the remediation process. Not only does your quick response help them fix the problem sooner, it can also keep more damage from happening. The sooner repairs are underway, the less likely it is you will have secondary damage.
How much damage flooding causes to your home depends in large part to how quickly you respond to the emergency. By shutting off power and water and calling professionals who can help, you are on your way to restoration.
Understanding Mold Spread and How To Stop It
Basement mold growth
Understanding Mold Spread and How To Stop It
Black mold, the dreaded phrase that makes nearly every homeowner jump out of their boots when they see a spec of could-be mold, is likely not what you are dealing with. Fortunately, toxic mold is not as common as many people think. However, that does not mean that you should be any less concerned about the presence and spreading mold problem that the tiny spec suggests. Mold is destructive and if left to colonize it can condemn a home. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how mold develops, what leads to its spread and growth and how to eliminate it.
1. Mold Development
Mold spores are microscopic organisms that are always around you, and while they will often never amount to anything you need to worry about, under the right conditions they can colonize in your home. Once spores find an adequate living environment, they gather and reproduce, essentially colonizing in 1 to 14 days. They thrive in moist, warm and dark environments, meaning that basements, attics and even wall cavities are prime locations for colonization.
2. Air Circulation
While spreading mold does require air circulation to find new locations throughout your home, it does not have to move on strong air currents. For instance, the stack effect is when mold spores rise on the warm air currents from the lower levels of your home to the upper levels.
If you have or are suspicious of a possible mold colony in your home, then contact a mold remediation specialist in the Portage, PA, area. These professionals will assess your property and tests suspicious substances to determine the level of infestation you are dealing with and develop a plan for removal.
Mold is a concern for many homeowners, and it is a problem that can lead to significant damage if left unchecked. Therefore, to prevent spreading mold, you should contact a professional at the first sign of a problem and have it removed.
Home Fire Q and A
Do you keep lit candles near a sofa in your living room?
The National Fire Protection Association shares this statistic: Somewhere within the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 20 seconds. Sadly, the incidence of residential fires and related deaths have increased substantially since the 1970s. To better understand the home fire situation, it's important to ask and answer several questions.
What Are the Leading Causes Of Residential Fires
Over the past several years, the NFPA has analyzed fire data to understand this dangerous upward trend. The studies conclude that the predominant causes of residential fires in the United States include the following:
- Electrical failures and malfunctions
- Smoking in the home
- Backyard grilling
- Cooking in the home
- Christmas trees and holiday décor
- Upholstery near candles, matches, or lighters
- Dryers and washing machines
There are other fire causes, such as children playing with matches and fireworks, that get a lot of attention, but they don’t top the charts when it comes to the numbers of fires they cause. Fire cleaning and prevention begins with recognizing the leading causes of fire.
What Can You Do To Prevent a Fire in Your Home?
The first step is to recognize the common causes of a home fire. Have you noticed the sound of static when flipping a light switch? Do you keep lit candles near a sofa in your living room? How hot do holiday lights get when you leave them on? As you recognize the potential for fires in your home, you can take steps to prevent them. An effective way to recognize the leading causes of fire in Johnstown, PA, is to contact professionals who handle fire prevention or a fire damage cleanup company.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Even if you actively keep your dryer free of lint and routinely repair electrical failures, there may still be a chance for a fire in your home. Protect yourself and your family with smoke detectors and similar tools. The more you know about home fire situations, the better prepared you'll be to avoid them.
Could Thunderstorms Threaten Your Business?
A thunderstorm may bring hail or wind, both of which can cause roof damage.
Several Types of Damage That May Result From a Rain Storm or Thunderstorm
You may not think that thunderstorms pose as much of a threat to commercial buildings as hurricanes or tornadoes do, but high winds, heavy rain and hail can all cause significant damage to properties in Ebensburg, PA. Here are several types of damage that may result from a rain storm or thunderstorm.
Flash flooding is a major storm damage risk. An intense storm may cause a large quantity of rain to fall in a short amount of time. There are several ways in which heavy rain may result in damage:
- Overwhelming drainage system capacity
- Backing up municipal sewer mains
- Accumulating water around a building foundation
These are only a few potential causes of water or sewage-related damage due to storms. Hail, high winds, and lightning may cause further damage.
A thunderstorm may bring hail or wind, both of which can cause roof damage. Hail may bruise roofing materials, whereas wind can tear off materials entirely. Both types of damage can result in leaks that damage building materials such as insulation or drywall, which will need to be torn out and replaced. After damage occurs, even a mild rain storm can cause conditions to worsen.
It is important to maintain the condition of a lightning rod or any other lightning protection system to reduce the risk of fire or electrocution. This includes a variety of regular inspections:
- Visual inspections at least once a year
- In-depth inspections every three to five years
- Inspection after roofing work
A lightning protection system should carry currents directly into the ground. This can prevent branching and reduce the risk of electrocution, fire, a power surge or a shock wave.
These types of damage are more likely to occur during a rain storm in Ebensburg, PA. If your property sustains storm or water damage, you should contact a service that specializes in mitigation and restoration.