Recent Posts

4 Methods for Preventing Mold After a Residential Flood

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. While professional aid is the best way to inhibit mold growth, following these helpful methods for preventing the onset of mold growth.

Once a major flood has occurred in your Ebensburg, PA, home, seeing the residual damage can be a devastating experience. However, it’s important to stay calm and realize that not only is help available to restore your home if mold removal is necessary, but there are steps to take in saving your belongings from mold growth altogether. Here are four methods for preventing mold from overtaking your home, allowing you and your family to return to a state of normalcy.

1. Contact a professional mold remediation crew. One of the most important steps to ensuring your home stays mold-free and safe to live in is calling on the help of experienced professionals who are trained to handle the situation. This can help guarantee that you and your loved ones are granted peace of mind once the entire flooding event is behind you.

2. While you’re waiting for expert guidance, you can help the situation by removing as much flood water as possible. Using basic tools like mops and buckets can get the restoration process started, as well as removing any other dirt and debris that you can handle in a safe manner.

3. If the fire department has cleared your home for electrical use, put to work any drying appliances you have available. Preventing mold growth requires drying out your home as quickly as possible, so using tools like fans, dehumidifiers or heaters can play a vital role in keeping mold from spreading too quickly throughout the residence.

4. Remove saturated items like cardboard boxes or upholstered furnishings. Any porous materials can become susceptible to the growth of mold, so clearing your home of these items is necessary. If non-porous items can be saved, take them outside and clean them before bringing them back indoors.

While professional aid is the best way to inhibit mold growth in your Ebensburg home, following these helpful methods for preventing the onset of mold after flooding can be incredibly helpful in keeping your residence clean and livable.

Commercial Toilet Overflow and What To Do About It

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Man on the phone with a bucket catching leaking water from ceiling above. Although toilet overflow is never wanted, you can easily solve the problem with a screwdriver and wrench.

With everything that’s already going on in your business in Ebensburg the last thing you probably want to think about is a toilet that won’t stop flushing. A toilet overflow can lead to water damage and broken utilities, but you can stop the worst damage by acting fast. Learn how to stop a toilet from continual flushing and learn how to deal with the damage.

Stop The Flushing
The first thing you’ll want to do is to stop the water from spilling out of the bowl as quickly as possible. There are a few reasons why the fixture is overflowing. The most common causes of toilet floods include the following:
• Malfunctioning tank
• Dirty gasket
• Faulty flapper


For most commercial toilets, toilet overflow is usually caused by a flushometer. If this is the case for you, you can quickly and efficiently fix the problem. Here are the basic steps:


1. Find the screwdriver slot on the flushometer and rotate it to shut off the water
2. Use a wrench to unscrew the flushometer lid
3. Clean the gasket and clean out the weep hole
4. Replace the gasket if needed
The gasket can build up a lot of sediment and block the toilet from flushing properly. Once it is cleaned, things should go back to normal.

The Aftermath
Once you have stopped the toilet from spilling, you can focus on the aftermath. Try to clean up as much water as possible with a mop or towels. Be sure to sanitize everything as well. Once you have done this, you can consider calling a water damage professional to help you restore anything that was damaged. If the toilet water penetrated any carpet or wood, be sure to get it fixed quickly to prevent mold.


Although toilet overflow is never wanted, you can easily solve the problem with a screwdriver and wrench. You can also be proactive by cleaning out the gasket regularly to prevent any potential issues.

3 Tips on Cleaning Your Business After Water Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

3 SERVPRO trucks outside business. As you clean your business, make sure you work with professionals who can help you safely make fixes.

Water damage in Ebensburg, PA, is a common cause of destruction to many businesses every year, and a flooded company can be difficult to clean. It costs time, money, and energy to restore a business, but there are several steps you can take to make cleaning your business after water damage a less stressful, easier process.

Air Out the Space

When cleaning your business, it’s important to try to dry out as much as possible as quickly as possible. If it will not cause any further damage, opening windows can help increase the airflow in your business and will help items inside dry out more quickly. If the ceilings have not been affected by water, you can also use fans to help everything inside your building dry quickly. Clothing, however, should be removed and taken to dry cleaning.

Don’t Wait To Cleanup

As overwhelming as you may be with your flooded company, it’s important to start cleaning your business as soon as it is safe. Waiting to clean your business when it’s safe to enter can result in more damage occurring. Keep an eye out for hazards such as broken pipes and other items that may have become damaged as you start the cleanup process. The sooner cleanup begins, the sooner you can reopen your business.

Avoid Using Electrical Items

Though you may be tempted to try and see if various appliances still work, using electrical items that may have been damaged by water can be incredibly dangerous. Avoid the temptation to test out any appliances you may have and instead focus on safely moving other items. Make sure you also don’t use any sort of electrical items to try and clean up the area, as outlets in your business may be damaged.

As you clean your business, make sure you work with professionals who can help you safely make fixes. Although cleaning a flooded company may seem impossible, if you are mindful of working quickly and safely, you can quickly open your business’s doors again.

5 Reasons There Could Be Water in Your Crawl Space

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

two vehicles of specialists in restore and remediation of water damage If you see standing water in the crawl space, call SERVPRO, we can help you.

5 Possible Causes of Water in Your Crawl Space

The area beneath your home is a remote space that homeowners seldom think about, let alone visit. It isn’t the basement; it’s the crawl space. It's often dark, dirty, and almost always filled with the unknown creepy crawlies of the world. When water invades the crawl space of your property in Ebensburg, PA, it can quickly become a mold-filled problem that needs addressing before it can affect the structure of your house. Here are five reasons you may have a wet crawl space.

1. Hose and irrigation over-watering. It is easy to open the irrigation gate or turn on a hose and forget about the water running into the yard. Human-error-caused flooding is more common than people like to admit.

2. Landscaping errors. Do-it-yourself landscapers often make the mistake of creating a level flowerbed or grassy yard. Poorly sloped or level yards invite any excess water to seep under your home through the foundation and enter the crawl space.

3. Ill-fitted downspouts and gutters. Gutters can become filled with debris, develop cracks, and break at joints. The downspouts can also become twisted or knocked out of place. Water can then trickle down the outside of your home and create a wet crawl space.

4. Subterranean waters. Broken city lines or underground water seepage can also cause standing water to form under the house. Torrential rains are also often known to raise ground water levels and fill the crawl space.

5. Leaking water lines. Water runs to the lowest possible point in a home when there is a leak. A broken or leaking pipe can quickly find a crack in the flooring or wall and flood your crawl space.

If you see standing water in the crawl space, call a cleanup and restoration team in Ebensburg, PA. Don’t wait to see if the water disappears. Mold can grow rapidly in standing water and attach itself to the wood or cement of your foundation. As specialists, a cleanup crew can address the wet crawl space issue and discuss possible solutions to prevent future problems.

How To Keep Your Sump Pump Happy

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. A sump pump working in good condition.

How To Take Care Of Your Sump Pump

While you know it's important to periodically test your fire extinguisher, replace your smoke detector batteries and winterize your HVAC system, a vital part of home safety maintenance may slip past your radar. Have you thought about your sump pump lately? Taking care of a pump might seem intimidating, but a few easy steps can help keep your pump in good operating condition.

1. Examine your pump. If you haven't performed pump maintenance for a while, start by walking around the pump area. An offensive odor can signal the presence of bacteria in the basin trap. To eliminate the smell, try using a mixture of two parts bleach to 10 parts water. Pour this solution into the basin and repeat until the odor is gone.

2. Clear the basin. Check whether your pump is clean and does not contain foreign objects. Scoop out items such as gravel, toys, pet hair, or other debris from the basin. It also helps to remove any water, dirt, or random objects on the floor surrounding the pump area.

3. Run a performance test. Switch the sump pump on to see if it pulls water out of the pit area. The pit can be dry during normal operation. In this case, fill the drain with water before the test. To check performance, it may be worthwhile to calendar a monthly reminder. If heavy rains or flood conditions are predicted, you may want to test your pump as soon as possible.

4. Schedule an inspection. An annual examination by a professional inspection service can help ensure your pump is sound and working smoothly. An expert can detect issues before they become major problems.

A well-maintained sump pump is a valuable front-line defense against water damage to your home in Ebensburg, PA. By performing a few simple steps, you can strengthen your home's umbrella of protection. It's a good thing to do for a rainy day!

Established Standards for Mold Remediation

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

White pipe, cracked drywall with black mold growth Mold growing on wet walls.

Mold Remediation Standards Have Been Set

Decisions regarding who should handle mold clean-up and how to complete necessary mold remediation in East Conemaugh, PA, depend on several factors. These include:

  • The size of the mold problem
  • The type of mold present
  • Responsibility for the property
  • The source of the mold

Another important factor is knowledge of OSHA and EPA standards for handling mold in commercial buildings.

Standards of the CDC, EPA, and NIOSH

One example of these mold standards is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. On the website, each recommendation for clean-up and remediation is accompanied by the appropriate standard reference (e.g. 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.134.) These are standards administered through the EPA.

Standards of the IICRC

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a good resource for those responsible for ensuring that established mold standards have been followed. The IICRC standards provide a common language used across the industry and ensure consistency in cleanup and remediation of mold contamination and the treatment of black mold. IICRC is a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and an accredited developer of standards.

Some of the relevant standards for mold in commercial settings include:

  • BSR/IICRC S400: Standard Professional Cleaning, Maintenance and Restoration of the Commercial Built Environment
  • ANSI/IICRC S500: Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
  • ANSI/IICRC S520: Standard and IICRC R520 Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
  • BSR/IICRC S550: Standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration on Commercial Structures

In addition to these standards, IICRC also provides a couple of field guides for the safety and health of disaster restoration professionals. These guides are supplements to the existing standards and certification requirements.

Comply With Standards for Safety

Whether you're a mold restoration/remediation professional or an East Conemaugh, PA, commercial property owner, you should be aware of these standards and take steps to ensure that any remediation efforts are in compliance with mold standards.

How To Choose a Smoke Detector

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Photoelectric smoke detector The most important factor in choosing a smoke detector is that it works for your lifestyle in your home.

What to Look for in a Smoke Detector

As a homeowner in Belsano, PA you understand the importance of having a smoke alarm in the house. Smoke detectors, however, are not one-size-fits-all. How do you know which kind to buy? Consider the factors below when shopping for this life-saving device.

What Are the Types of Smoke Alarms?

There are three main types of alarms geared for residential settings. All sound an alarm when smoke is present, but the process by which smoke is detected differs by type:

  • Photoelectric alarms contain a small light. When particles of smoke pass through the light, they trigger an alarm.
  • Ionization alarms are triggered by smoke disrupting an electric current within the device. It is the least expensive of the three but also has the highest frequency of false alarms.
  • Dual-sensor alarms combine the benefits of photoelectric and ionization into one smoke detector system. These alarms are the most sensitive and costly of the trio because two technologies are involved.

What Features Are Most Important?

The most important factor in choosing a smoke detector is that it works for your lifestyle in your home. There are several criteria to consider when deciding which is best for you:

  • The size of your house impacts your decision. Consider the cost for the number of detectors needed as well as your ability to hear the alarm sound from anywhere in your home.
  • The amount of time spent on maintenance depends on the power supply to the detector, the method of monthly testing and the ease of cleaning.
  • Think about any special criteria that fit your needs, such as an added visual component if your hearing is impaired. Also check for the UL label that signifies certain standards have been met.

When you think about fire safety for your home in Belsano, PA having a smoke alarm is often the first thought that comes to mind. Consider the above factors when finding a detector that best suits the needs of your home. Even when prepared, disaster can still strike. If you experience a fire in your home, stay calm, evacuate and call 911. After the flames are out, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist.

Pro Tips on What To Avoid After a Flood

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet An overflowing toilet can cause major damage to your home.

What To Avoid After a Flood

A broken pipe is often a homeowner’s worst nightmare. In an attempt to clean up the water and prevent property damage, many people actually end up doing more harm than good. Here are four important tips from the pros on what to avoid doing after there has been water in the home.

1. Using Electrical Appliances or Devices in the Flooded Area

Be sure to unplug televisions and other electronic devices that could have been damaged in the flood or that are near floodwaters. Even seemingly harmless electronics can pose a major safety risk when exposed to water. For example, you should not even use your virtual voice assistant to call for help.

2. Ignoring a Little Water

A broken pipe does not always mean instant flooding. It is important to pay attention to small amounts of water and quickly address the problem before you have major water damage.

3. Assuming the Flood Is Isolated to One Area

An overflowing toilet can quickly move beyond the confines of the bathroom. Canvasing the surrounding rooms is not only smart but also vital to avoiding unnecessary flooding. Assessing the issue is especially important if there is a basement or lower level under the flooded area.

4. Delaying Salvage and Cleanup

Although a call to a restoration company should be a top priority, you do not need to wait to salvage as much as you can from the affected area. Make sure to remove items that could continue to damage your carpet or flooring, and do not forget to document the flood for insurance purposes.

Recovering from a flood in your Cresson, PA home is hard, and you will have plenty to do without worrying about whether you’re handling the cleanup correctly. The next time you find yourself in a losing battle with a broken pipe, keep these helpful tips in mind and you will be one step closer to getting your life back.

Roof Maintenance Tips for Commercial Property Owners

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damaged, broken and missing shingles. By inspecting and maintaining your roof, you can identify problems and keep it clear of debris.

Commercial Roof Inspection and Maintenance

Some things are out of mind when they're out of sight. You may not give much thought to the roof of your commercial building in Carrolltown, PA, but the state of your roof can have drastic effects on the state of your building as a whole. If you have a roof leak, for example, your building could sustain structural damage over time from the water that seeps into it. Regular inspection and maintenance of your roof protect your whole building.

Inspections

It is advisable to have set times during the year to inspect your roof. It is also important to inspect it after every major storm to see if it sustained any hail, rain, or wind damage. There are several key problems to look for during inspections:

  • Missing or damaged shingles
  • Dents in metal roof or gutters
  • Signs of previous leaks
  • Debris in gutters
  • Gaps in rooftop vents or equipment

A sure sign of a roof leak is excess moisture in the attic or water stains on the ceiling. If you or trusted professionals are performing regular inspections, however, you may be able to avoid these problems in the first place.

Maintenance

After each inspection, the first thing you do is repair any problems that you found. Replace broken or cracked shingles, seal up cracks in vents and make sure the flashing over the joints is intact. Part of your frequent roof maintenance, particularly during storm season, is to make sure that your gutters are cleaned on a consistent basis. Trim trees and bushes so that errant branches are less likely to break off during a storm and get blown onto the roof. The better your roof is maintained, the less likely you will need to hire water remediation specialists to clean up after the problems a faulty roof can cause.

By inspecting and maintaining your roof, you can identify problems and keep it clear of debris. A little bit of attention goes a long way to preventing a major roof leak.

Volunteerism - Supporting our Community

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Hydration Set-up The Calm Before The Storms

We were fortunate enough to be the official water sponsor of a 50k race, that is 31 miles for all of the folks who haven't yet converted to the metric system, which if I'm not mistaken has been in the works for the past 245 years.  I'm not sure if any of you participate in races, but a 50k is brutal and the torrential downpours didn't do anything to help the runners. 

Humidity along with soaked clothing and water logged shoes does wonders for morale when you are spending an entire day running, or attempting to run.  To add insult to injury, the course was on the Ghost Town Trail, PA's 2020 Trail of the Year, which includes a steady 2% incline for the entire race.  

At 5:30am we were set up at four (4) hydration stations.  We had volunteers working the stations who also checked off the participants as they passed through each checkpoint.  I was set up at the finish line, handing out water to each participant as they completed the event.

I was amazed at the number of participants.  We had 314 racers and 148 of them traveled from multiple states to go head-to-head with this 50k course.  (Spoiler alert, the course destroyed many an ego.)  Even the first finisher, who clocked in at 4 hours and 11 minutes was humbled by this course.  He finished strong and at the same time he looked as if he had taken one too many head shots from the heavyweight champ of the world.  He was the human version of a Weeble... as he wobbled, but he didn't fall down.  

It was a blessing to be able to support our community for the entirety of the race.  Our water was a hit and all but a few finishers took the time to thank us.  Those who didn't were obviously delirious from the race.  I figure that nearly 300 racers finished over a 13 hour period which gave me a lot of time, hours in fact, spent talking with the finishers, anxious family members, the other race sponsors and the race organizers.  I met many folks who have used SERVPRO, some who had recommended our services and others who had many questions about what we actually do for a living.  I offered answers as short as "we provide fire/water restoration, mold remediation and cleaning services" to full blown discussions on how we tackle certain types of losses, big and small.  I made many new contacts, both commercial and residential, and I also made new friends, mostly with the members and volunteers of the race organizer, the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Association (CCCRA).  I also spent time with local ambulance associations, as their services were required for a few unfortunate participants throughout the race.  

The long and short of it is that with the proper planning and preparation of the station locations and the water distribution, everyone was properly hydrated.  I had a chance to meet to a group of highly motivated community members that I likely never would have met if we weren't supporting our community.  

Lessons learned... 20 ounce bottles of water were too much for water runners to carry, the more volunteers the better and if you plan for the worst, you will probably have a wildly successful experience, while supporting your community!