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How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

house attic insulation - construction worker installing rock wool in mansard wall Consider adding insulation to your attic.

Winter storms can wreak havoc on your house, so practicing proper winterization and flood prevention techniques is crucial during the colder months. Did you know that most floods are not caused by excess rainwater but rather from a burst pipe resulting from frozen water in the line? Read on to learn how you can prevent storm damage and keep your house damage-free this winter.

How Do Pipes Freeze?

Unlike other liquids, water expands as it freezes. Therefore, if standing water is left in pipes before winter arrives, it will likely freeze and expand as the temperatures outside drop. Pipes that commonly freeze are:

  • Outdoor pipes that are uncovered and vulnerable to the cold.
  • Pipes located in unheated rooms like the attic or garage.
  • Pipelines that extend along the outside of the house where there is no insulation.

How To Prepare for Winter
As winter looms in Gallitzin, PA, be sure to properly winterize your home to avoid the need for storm damage repair. Empty your swimming pool, and blow out all sprinkler water lines. Drain your hoses, and open the spouts of all outdoor hose bibs to allow them to empty. Consider adding insulation to your attic, garage, basement, or any other uninsulated areas that contain pipelines.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes
In the winter, be mindful of keeping garage doors closed to keep the cold air outside. In the bathroom and kitchen, open cabinet doors to keep plumbing fixtures warm. Further, if temperatures approach freezing, allow water to drip from any faucet connected to an outdoor pipeline; you are less likely to experience a frozen pipe if a small amount of water moves through it. Finally, even if you're leaving town, keep your thermostat set to a temperature above 55 degrees F. While your heating bill might be higher, it is still much cheaper than a burst pipe.
Winterizing your home is a relatively easy chore that can save your home from catastrophic damage. Avoid a burst pipe this winter by following these simple and helpful tips.

How Lightning Affects a Home

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky on the background and moon shining through the cloud If a thunderbolt hits your home it can cause a potential house fire.

If you live in Summerhill, PA, you know you will experience a few extreme thunderstorms every year. While most of the thunderbolts just light up the sky, they can hit your home. The worst part of a severe storm is never knowing when or where that bolt may come down. If it hits your home, the power behind it causes instant damage, including a potential house fire.

The Effects of Lightning

The two most common damage it causes is a power surge or lightning fire.

Surges: These are the most common issue that arises. Considering that a bolt may have tens of millions of volts and a standard home uses around 220 volts, your electrical system can’t handle the power. Any items, including appliances, that are plugged in may be damaged. There are surge protectors on the market that can help minimize the damage.
Lighting Fire: A bolt from the sky is extremely hot, even up to 50,000 degrees. No matter how sound your home may be, those kinds of temperatures are bound to cause some damage. In many cases, the fire may start in the attic or upstairs area. Surprisingly, the damage isn’t always immediately noticeable. Since it penetrates the home, flames could be spreading behind walls or other hidden areas.

After a Strike
Even if you don’t see visible signs of trouble, it is imperative to call emergency responders to inspect the home. They will have the tools to detect hidden dangers. Along with ensuring the home is safe, it is important to do the following:

  • Verify circuit breakers, outlets and light switches are functioning properly.
  • Use a resistance tester to ensure the wiring is not damaged.
  • Inspect plumbing fixtures and pipes for leaks.
  • Check that water supply lines don’t have any extra pressure or leaks.

If the strike results in a fire, contact your insurance company and a fire damage and restoration specialist as soon as possible to minimize the damage.
While a lightning fire may seem rare, the odds are higher than many people think. Knowing that it can happen and being prepared for anything is key to easing the unexpected situation.

5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Rain water flowing from metal downspout during a flood. concept of protection against heavy downpours. Make sure downspouts are extended to at least three feet away from your house to avoid flooding in a basement.

Steps To Prevent Water Damage In Your Home

For a new homeowner in East Conemaugh, PA, especially one who has only ever lived in apartments, the maintenance list for your new purchase can seem daunting! As you plan how to manage lawn care, home upgrades, and regular maintenance, make sure that your checklist includes steps for preventing water in your home. Water intrusion can be costly in a number of ways. Here are five things you can do to prevent water damage.

1. Check Seals
Especially in the basement and near windows and doors, check to make sure that all edges are sealed. Even a slight crack in the caulking can allow water to seep, causing mold damage or structural problems.

2. Inspect the Roof
A leaky roof is a common way that you can end up with water in your home. Look for wet or discolored spots in the attic that indicate the presence of water. If you're unsure as to whether water damage has occurred or is occurring, call a local water damage specialist to complete an assessment.

3. Extend Downspouts
Water that pools around the foundation of your house will compromise the structural integrity of your home. Ensure that the downspouts are not cracked and that they extend at least two feet away from your home to prevent water pooling.

4. Maintain Drains
If a sink is slow to drain, don't ignore it. A clogged pipe can lead to a broken pipe if the clog isn't cleared. The pressure of water building up can compromise your plumbing and lead to big problems.

5. Upgrade Pipes
In an older home, check the status of the pipes. Pipes that are corroded or old can easily crack under pressure or from extreme temperatures. If a pipe does crack, a leak might occur, causing extensive damage in a short amount of time. Pipe cleanup and repair can protect your home.
Preventing water in your home is a simple matter of following a regular home maintenance schedule. Always contact a professional if you're concerned about potential damage to your home.

2 Facts About IICRC Certifications

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

White brick wall with the words WHAT IS THE IICRC IICRC translates to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Why Is This Type Of Certification Important?

If you've ever hired a disaster restoration company, you have probably noticed that certain businesses in Carrolltown, PA, list IICRC certified in their credentials. In fact, there are a lot of them that are certified. All of these businesses seem to be boasting that this type of certification means they are more qualified. If you don't work in the restoration industry, you probably don't understand its significance and why it is important to look for a company with this certification. Keep reading for information about this type of certification.

1. This Organization Is a Leader in the Remediation Industry
IICRC translates to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This is a substantial organization dedicated to improving the quality of work performed in the remediation industry by setting high standards. It was originally founded in the United States in 1972. Since these early years, it has grown to have thousands of certified technicians and businesses worldwide. It sets the standards for various areas within the restoration industry so that technicians may have multiple certifications and provide top-quality work for any disaster.

2. A Certification Ensures You Will Get Better Quality Work
To get an IICRC certification, technicians must undergo rigorous training and prove they meet the high-standards by passing an exam. Whether a technician has a cleaning, restoration, inspection, or mitigation certificate, they can be expected to uphold certain principles and standards set forth by this organization. This means that any customers who look for this type of certification ensure they are getting the highest-quality team available.
Technicians that have been trained and certified by this company provide high-quality work. There are many businesses in numerous locations that offer technicians with these certifications. Choosing one of these businesses ensures that you get a better quality of work for your remediation tasks. Therefore, businesses must look for this certification when choosing a restoration company.

What To Do After Water Damage

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. It is important to find the source of the water and shut it off.

How To Move Foward From Water Damage

Any type of water damage to your commercial building in Cresson, PA, can bring stress and confusion during the restoration process. Whether it is from broken pipes or a natural disaster, sometimes this damage is inevitable. However, knowing what to do in these emergency situations can not only keep yourself and others safe but help your building avoid lasting damages. Follow these five steps to figure out how to move forward and get your building back to its original state.

1. Shut Off the Water Source
When possible, it is important to find the source of the water and shut it off. This may mean turning off the main water source to your building. However, in cases of flooding, this may not be possible.

2. Remove Excess Water
After you have stopped the source, you should begin to remove any excess water. You can use a mop to do this or lay down towels to cover a larger area. If there is too much to handle easily, a water restoration service can help with removal.

3. Remove Furniture
If any pieces of furniture have been affected by water damage, it's important to remove them and get them professionally dry-cleaned as soon as possible to avoid lasting damage. This also includes any upholstery cushions. Any building materials that have been damaged by the water should be dealt with by a professional restoration company.

4. Place Wood Blocks Under Furniture Legs
By placing wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs, you can lessen the amount of damage that the water does to these objects.

5. Be Mindful of Ceiling Fixtures
In the event that your building's ceiling has been damaged by water, be sure to not turn any ceiling fixtures on.
Water damage to your commercial building can be complicated and costly. Using these tips can help you deal with the damage quickly and make the water cleanup process easier.

7 Steps for Preventing Mold in Your Facility

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Dust out from Air Duct Check the duct work

7 Steps for Preventing Mold in Your Facility

If you have a commercial property in Portage, PA, mold prevention should be one of your biggest concerns during humid months. Regardless of what kind of business you run, any type of facility is susceptible to mold growth. To reduce your chances of needing the help of mold remediation experts, follow these seven steps.

1. Look at the HVAC Drain Pains
Take a peek at the HVAC drain pans. If dirt accumulates, it can block drainage. This can cause duct interiors to become wet, creating ideal conditions for mold growth.

2. Check the Duct Work
One the subject of ducts, do not forget to examine them as well. Make sure the area has good airflow to prevent unwanted moisture.

3. Do Not Forget Terminal Units
Do not walk away from the HVAC system yet. There is one more thing to check: The terminal units. Clean and inspect these once a year to help with mold prevention.

4. Take Note of the Carpet
It may surprise you, but carpet can be another home for this unwanted building invader. Whenever something spills onto the surface, liquids can become trapped, and the dampness can attract mold. Always use a fan to dry carpets out.

5. Check the Ceiling Tiles
Ceiling tiles can harbor water for more than one reason. Because pipes often run along the top of a property, pipe bursts are a common problem that result in water damage. As you have probably figured out by this fifth item, mold is a friend to wet places.

6. Remember the Walls
Just as water often finds its way into the top of a business, it can also enter the walls. Minimize problems with wall spaces by responding quickly to any leaks.

7. Consider Other Places
Even if you may not think about electrical equipment or paper as being places to find mold, these less common areas are still worth checking. Moisture can enter into bizarre places, and it does not forget about stacks of files or inside the crevices of office machinery.
When it comes to mold prevention, there are several steps you can take to protect your facility. Here are seven of them.

My Basement Flooded — Now What?

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Flooded basement in Johnstown, PA

My Basement Flooded — Now What?

All homeowners in Johnstown, PA should be prepared to deal with a water emergency such as a basement flood. Homeowners' insurance coverage may pay for repairs, and you can work with a water cleanup and restoration service. However, draining a flooded basement can be a do-it-yourself job if the proper steps are taken.

1. Turn Off the Electricity to Your Home Never enter a flooded area if the electricity is on. If your electrical box is inaccessible due to standing water, you will need to call an electrician.

2. Turn Off the Source of the Water

If a pipe or sewer line has burst, shut off the water main to your home. If the basement flood is caused by a storm, wait until the rainfall has stopped before you begin removing the water.

3. Connect the Pump to a Hose

You will need a submersible pump to efficiently remove large amounts of standing water from your home. Drain the water out and away from your home by connecting the pump to a garden hose.

4. Connect the Pump to a Power Source

With the electricity to your home turned off, a generator can be used to power the pump. Running a heavy-duty extension cord between a neighbor’s home and yours is another option for powering the pump.

5. Remove the Water

Once powered, the pump will draw the water out of the flooded basement. As the water level subsides, you may need to reposition the hose to make sure you remove all the water or use a wet/dry vac to squeegee the remaining water off the floor.
Water damage is one of the most common problems a homeowner may face, so all homeowners should be prepared to quickly address such an emergency. Knowing the steps to limit the damage a basement flood can cause will help preserve one of your most important investments — your home.

How to Protect Your Building During and After a Fire

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor Have a fire evacuation plan ready

Here Are Some Things You Should Include In Your Safety Plan

As a business owner, you need to be ready to keep your employees and customers safe. This means creating an effective fire protocol that prevents looting and lets you hire a professional remediation company as soon as possible. While you may never have to use this plan, it is better to have one in place.

During a Fire Evacuation Plan
You can do several things during a fire that limit fire damage and encourage everyone's safety. These include adding clauses, such as:

  • Don't rush to exit the building
  • Use the stairs
  • Close all doors behind you
  • Listen to any announcements broadcasted over loudspeakers
  • If you are unable to escape, hide in a sealed room and call the fire department
  • Once you leave the building, remain nearby but do not reenter

Communicate Your Plan
Once you have written your plan, have it approved by the fire code official in Ebensburg, PA. Then, post your proposed evacuation routes throughout your building. Make sure to have at least one copy near every stairwell and elevator entrance. Make sure that every employee has read a copy of your plan. It is wise to discuss your fire safety plan in a meeting once a year. This keeps your employees informed and ready to take action.

Your Role as an Owner Immediately After a Fire
Ensure you get contact information for someone in the fire department after a fire has been put out. Check on your employees to make sure they are okay. See if any of them know how it started. Then, contact the insurance company. Also, contact a restoration company to get the fire damage fixed as soon as possible.
If you are a business owner, you need to have a plan in place, so you and your employees know what to do during and after a fire. This can help you minimize the fire damage to your building and immediately start the fire cleanup process.

How To Protect Your Home From Winter Storms

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Keep your gutters clean

These Simple Steps Can Help Protect Your Home From Damage

It's no secret that a winter storm can wreak havoc on your home, but a few simple steps can help you protect your home from damage.

Have Supplies on Hand
When a winter storm hits, it's not always safe to go buy the things you need. That's why it's best to keep an eye on the forecast and make sure you have all the supplies you require before a storm occurs. You will need:

  • Food
  • Drinking water
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Generator or firewood
  • Warm clothing and blankets

Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks, such as extra space around doors, allow warm air to escape from your home. This will make it harder to heat your home, increasing energy costs. Seals can be applied to doors, windows, and other areas to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Keep Trees Trimmed
Cold temperatures and the weight of snow and ice can cause tree branches to fall. Trimming branches that could fall onto your house or vehicles can help prevent roof damage, car damage, and injury. It is also a good idea to cut off any loose or dying branches before a storm regardless of location.

Clean Gutters
Having blockage in your gutters can cause ice dams. These dams can prevent water from exiting your gutter normally and can push it under the roof, which can cause leaks and roof damage.

React Quickly
If your home incurs any damage, it is best to call an emergency restoration service immediately. You may hesitate to call if a blizzard is still ongoing, but not addressing the damage leaves your home vulnerable to additional damage.
A winter storm can be dangerous and cause damage to your home, but you can keep yourself and your house safer by having supplies on hand, sealing air leaks, trimming tree branches, cleaning gutters and reacting quickly.

Identifying and Remediating Mold

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Plywood with mold Mold can be found anywhere

Take The Right Steps To Remediate Mold

Mold is found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. While most species of mold don’t present a problem, it will multiply if given the ideal environment of moisture and oxygen. Fortunately, there are mold remediation specialists available to take care of any mold situation. If you suspect that your Vinco, PA, business has black mold, it’s important to take the right steps to remediate the problem.

Most people have heard horror stories of mold. Regrettably, sensational news stories only impair the goal of helping people understand mold. Here are some basic facts about mold:

  • Mold spores are common inside and outside
  • Mold grows in places with high moisture
  • Mold enters buildings through windows, vents, and HVAC systems
  • Mold may produce a musty odor

Additionally, there are thousands of species of mold in a variety of colors. Thus, it is often difficult for individuals to tell if they have a mold problem. To prevent mold infestations, business owners should regularly inspect their property. Check around windows, heating and air conditioning systems, roofs, basements, and pipes. To identify what specific type of mold is in your building, such as black mold, you will need the help of an Indoor Environmental Specialist.

The first step in remediation is finding the source of moisture. A leaky roof, faulty plumbing, flooding, and high humidity are common causes of moisture. A mold remediation specialist will inspect the building and assess the damage. Next, the specialist will contain the mold using advanced procedures and tools. Once the mold spores are contained, air filtration equipment is used to capture the spores and eliminate mold colonies. The final step in remediation is cleaning and restoration.
Business owners should be aware of the signs of black mold in order to prevent major problems. If you see or smell any signs of mold, get professional help for proper mold cleanup.