Recent Posts

Fix the Aftereffects of Bursting Pipes in 5 Simple Steps

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on white flooring Water damage cleanup in Gallitzin, PA.

In 5 Easy Steps, Resolve the Consequences of Bursting Pipes

Bursting pipes can cause flooding and damage in your Gallitzin, PA, business. If the water isn't swiftly dealt with, problems such as mold and structural deterioration can arise. Follow these simple steps to begin the cleanup process and prevent further damage.

1. Cut Off Electricity and Water
Cut off all water to the problem area. If you don't have access to water control, immediately contact the person who does. You should also shut off electricity to water-affected areas. But don't touch or approach electrical equipment already exposed to water, as it may produce an electric shock.

2. Hire Professional Help for Bursting Pipes
Contact commercial building restoration experts to initiate water removal and prevent secondary damage such as mold. The restoration team will assess the damage and form a plan to help restore your business to its pre-flood condition. Hiring a professional plumbing service to fix broken pipe issues is also recommended rather than attempting to fix them yourself.

3. Avoid Unsafe Areas
Broken pipes may cause flooding and water-logged ceilings or floors. Do not enter these areas, as they may collapse and cause injury. 

4. Protect Furniture and Appliances
Protect furniture legs from water-damaged flooring by placing wooden blocks or aluminum foil beneath them. Electronics and water-sensitive objects such as paintings should be stored in a dry place away from flooded areas.

5. Remove the Water
Removal of water damage is best left to professionals. Enlist the services of water mitigation experts to help safely and efficiently return your business to its pre-damaged condition using pumps and other specialized equipment. While you wait for experts to arrive, use towels or mops instead of vacuums to remove water from floors. Electronics, especially those connected to an outlet, are more likely to deliver an electric shock when exposed to water. 
Flooding from busted pipes may cause structural damage, odors, and even mold if not quickly resolved. Follow these guidelines to start confidently resolving the aftereffects of bursting pipes.

What Is Involved With Roof Damage Mitigation?

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on roof of a house Mitigation repairs may include: tarping over the area of the roof.

After a severe storm in Summerhill, PA, there is a good chance your home has sustained roof damage. When that rain and wind damage has created areas of exposure on your roof, it leaves an opening for additional damage to happen, such as mold growth. If that happens, there is a good chance that those needed repairs won’t be covered by your insurance provider.

What Does Roof Mitigation Look Like?

After filing a claim, your insurance company will likely require you to take temporary measures to mitigate damage. These mitigation repairs may include:

  • Covering cracked or broken skylights and windows with plastic.
  • Tarping over the area of the roof that is leaking.
  • Placing a tarp over any siding that is loose or missing.
  • Removing a downed branch and tarping over the damaged area.

The sooner these temporary repairs are done, the chances improve that additional damage will be avoided. If it is not possible to make these repairs yourself, certified water and mold damage companies often include tarp services.

Roof Damage Prevention
While maximizing your claim may be the most obvious reason to take mitigation measures, protecting your home is the ultimate benefit. From more bad weather to critters, any exposed areas open the door to additional damage. When that happens, it means paying out of pocket for repairs. Although you may not be able to avoid bad weather, there are ways to minimize damage to your roof. These include:

  • Check the attic for signs of leaks
  • Keep gutters clean
  • Remove any debris on the roof
  • Replace of patch missing shingles
  • Trim trees nearby the home
  • Get a roof inspection

When there is roof damage, it opens the door for secondary damage to happen. To avoid that and maximize your claim, take fast action to mitigate the risk and maximize your claim.

How To Get Your Building Ready for Spring

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Rain gutter and downspout Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear.

How to Prepare Your Building for Spring

Winter can put a lot of stress on your commercial building in East Conemaugh, PA, so you may be relieved when temperatures start to warm up. That doesn't mean it's time to let your guard down, though. A spring thaw often leads to flooding, which can cause a whole different set of concerns. Make sure your building is ready.

Drainage Cleanup
Melting ice needs a place to go. The key is directing it away from your building so that it doesn't pool at the base and seep into the foundation. Make sure all drainage pathways are clear:

  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Landscape drains
  • Trenches

Roof Inspection 
Try to schedule a roof inspection as early in the season as possible. Ice and other elements from harsh winter storms can damage the surface, causing weak spots that you may not know about until flooding from runoff causes a leak. A professional roofer can identify these areas before they become a problem. 

Frozen Pipe Search
One of the most frequent reasons that business owners have to call water damage restoration experts is to deal with the mess left behind by a busted pipe. Even if you don't notice telltale signs of a water loss such as a slow trickle of water or a surge in your utility bills, call a plumber to inspect your system and make sure everything is in good working order before the first spring flood.

Sprinkler Maintenance
Your outdoor sprinkler system is especially susceptible to damage during a hard freeze. Even if you were diligent to flush it before winter, ice may have formed on the outside of the apparatus. Before you set your watering schedule for spring, check every sprinkler as well as the pipes that supply them for cracks or other flaws. 
Flooding is a natural phenomenon at the end of winter. If you know how to anticipate potential problems, you can better prepare your building for the spring thaw.

Getting Ready for Your Insurance Adjuster's Visit After Water Damage

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment (air movers and dehumidifiers) Drying equipment running in a Cresson, PA home.

Water Damage In Your Home- What To Do?

You've experienced water damage in your Cresson, PA, home. Now, what do you do? After ensuring everyone is safe, it's time to call your insurance company.

What Your Home Insurance Policy Covers
Your agent will review your policy and determine if the damage is covered. Generally, your standard home insurance policy covers water damage from a peril causing sudden, immediate damage, such as:

  • Burst water pipe
  • Water heater leak
  • Roof leak from a storm

It will not cover damage from flooding or poorly maintained plumbing.

Preparing for the Home Adjuster Visit
Your policy has a specified amount of time for you to file an insurance claim. Once you open a claim, your adjuster visits your residence to assess the damage. It's a good idea to prepare for the visit so that it will be productive and efficient.
First, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. You can hire a contractor to make these fixes or do them yourself. Save your receipts so that you can turn them in as expenses. Your insurance can help you pay for professional water damage restoration.
Remember that because the money you spend on temporary repairs counts toward the amount of your total settlement, you don't want to overspend.
Collect as much information as you can about your damaged belongings:

  • A description of the items
  • Dates of purchase
  • What it will cost to repair or replace the items

Give the information to the home adjuster and any receipts you have.
Find structural damage that you can show the adjuster. You may have damage to walls, floors or ceilings. Your electrical system may also need repairs. If you already have contractor bids, give copies to the adjuster.
Keep copies of all paperwork for yourself: receipts, bids, insurance information, etc.
Water damage is no fun, but preparing for a visit from your home adjuster can help you get through the claims process quickly and easily.

3 Things You Need To Know To Create an Office Fire Escape Plan

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors on evacuation plans Every office needs to have a fire escape plan.

Office Fire Escape Plan

An office fire in Portage, PA, can be overwhelming to prepare for, particularly if you don't know where to start. Every office needs to have a fire escape plan to ensure everyone’s safety in the building. The best tool in any emergency is preparedness. Here's how you can start.

1. Prepare for Anything
The first step is to consider different scenarios in which you may need to enact your fire escape plan. By creating multiple escape options, you ensure that safety stays at the forefront of employees’ minds. The emergency evacuation plan needs to include:

  • Assigned roles for staff
  • Clearly designated escape routes
  • Reporting methods
  • Emergency contact list
  • Shutdown procedures

These five items will provide flexibility while your leaders maintain control over the situation. 

2. Define Roles in Your Fire Escape Plan
In an emergency, people are at risk of not knowing how to respond and making small mistakes that can be deadly. Clarity is vital in any emergency escape plan, so it's important to pick leaders ahead of time. The staff needs to know whose orders to follow to avoid confusion. Check that everyone has a list of roles, contact information for the Portage, PA, emergency department and locations of where to gather safely after evacuating.
Depending on the type of business, roles for shutdown procedures should also be included. Note who is responsible for checking that any machines are off, safety protocols are followed and no further risks are created.

3. Plan The Aftermath
After employees evacuate, they need to know where to gather and how to manage cleanup after the fact. When creating an evacuation plan, you need to plan for what happens next. Write a check-in list to guarantee that everyone is accounted for and claims are filed for emergency cleanup services. With a comprehensive plan, your team can stay focused and not panic.
A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring staff safety in a commercial building.

3 Reasons Your Toilet Leaks When You Flush It

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet wax ring Replace your cracked wax ring with a plastic one to avoid a future bathroom leak.

Why Does a Toilet Leak When I Flush It?

A leaking toilet is a nuisance. While you might hope to ignore it and hope to repair it at a later date, the longer you let the toilet leak, the more potential you have for immense damage to the bathroom flooring in your Johnstown, PA, home. Here are three reasons your toilet could be leaking when you flush it.

1. Leaking Toilet Flange
The toilet flange is a pipe fitting that secures your toilet to the floor and keeps your seal in place. One common sign of a problem with the flange is that your toilet rocks too much, regardless of how much you tighten the bolts. The type of replacement flange you need will depend on your toilet and what type of flooring you have. You want to choose a flange that allows your toilet to sit flush with the floor.

2. Cracked Wax Ring
Wax rings are designed to last for many years, but they can easily deteriorate and start to crack. Many water damage mitigation specialists recommend replacing your cracked wax ring with a plastic one to avoid a future bathroom leak. The plastic seal lasts much longer than a wax one and isn't as susceptible to cracking.
When you remove the old wax ring, ensure that you completely clean the bottom of the toilet and scrape all traces of wax off of the toilet flange. You want a clean area to ensure nothing interferes with the seal.

3. Loose Tank Bolts
Over time, it's common for the bolts holding the toilet to the floor to wiggle themselves loose. When this happens, the gasket seal isn't as strong as it could be, which can be the cause of your leaking toilet. Verify that the bolts on your toilet have washers on them. While tightening the bolts, have someone else push down on the toilet to ensure you get a tight, secure seal.
Dealing with a toilet leak is an annoyance, but with a few minor fixes, you will find your bathroom back in good working condition in no time.

What Is a Board Up Service and Do I Need One?

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Windows and doors of a home boarded up Secure your home with a board-up service after a fire.

Is It Necessary to Hire a Board Up Service?

When your home has sustained fire damage in Ebensburg, PA, your first priority is to get your family settled in a safe place, not worry about your damaged home since it will be a while until everything can be repaired. Despite the challenges you're likely facing as you recover from this disaster, properly securing your home is important. One of the first things that will be recommended by a fire damage restoration company is an emergency board-up service. This service is an important part of your home restoration for several reasons.

1. Insurance

Most likely, your insurance company will require that your home is properly sealed between the occurrence of the damage and when the repairs are done. Insurance pays for what is originally quoted, and if more damage is done, you'll have to pay more.

2. Liability

If your home isn't properly secured by a board-up service, anyone who enters your home and gets injured could press charges.

3. Damage

Further damage from weather, animals, or humans makes an already difficult situation worse. Securing your home prevents most additional damage.

4. Property Loss

An open home is an open invitation to people who want what you have. While you may think there isn't much left, anything from appliances to pipes to your HVAC system can be stolen for profit, leaving you to foot the bill.

5. Professionalism

When you trust a company to do the board-up service for you, you can be confident that it will be done correctly. DIY may sound simple, but in addition to being a two-person job, you can cause more damage by improperly placing boards or your efforts simply aren't effective because you're not using the right materials.
Securing your home with a board-up service after a fire is not only recommended by most insurance companies, but you can have peace of mind knowing that your home will be protected until the restoration is complete.

3 Safety Tips During a Thunderstorm

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

woman watching tv Staying informed on the weather forecast.

Tips During a Thunderstorm

Any type of severe weather may pose a threat to your commercial business in Belsano, PA. Especially during a rain storm or thunderstorm, dangers like severe winds and flooding can be a cause for concern. If you own a business, it’s important to know the proper safety techniques during a storm to reduce the possibility of damage and keep yourself and your employees safe.

1. Stay Informed

Staying informed on the weather forecast and possible thunderstorm watches and warnings can be a great way to prevent any damage. Check the forecast daily and check the precipitation percentages. If there is a chance of a storm, stay up to date on the storm’s severity. It’s also important to know the difference between a watch, which means that weather conditions that may cause severe weather are expected, and a warning, which means severe weather has already been spotted by meteorologists. You can tell when a storm is coming if you see puffy cumulus clouds, darkening skies or changes in wind direction.

2. Promote Employee Safety

It’s important to be sure that your employees know what to do during a severe rain storm. Keep policies and procedures for severe weather accessible and make sure everyone knows basic safety tips, such as staying away from windows and refraining from using electric equipment. If possible, refrain from plumbing fixtures that can conduct electricity.

3. Secure Your Building

Before a storm, be sure your building is secured by removing any dead branches or other potential hazards during high winds. It’s also important to make sure any fixtures outside are either taken indoors or put in a place where they will not blow away and cause injury and damage. Make sure all windows and doors are securely shut or locked or they may blow away during the storm.
Rain storms can quickly become severe, so it’s important to be prepared. You can try to avoid damages to your commercial buildings by following these safety tips.

Mold: What It Is, and How To Eradicate It

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

black mold growth on wet wall Mold growing on wet walls.

How Mold Grows and Spreads

Fungi are everywhere. When it takes the form of black mold in your Vinco, PA, property, it is an unwelcome guest that may easily run rampant if not immediately addressed. No matter how well you maintain your property, even a small moisture problem may lead to an infestation. These pesky microorganisms only need a few simple ingredients to flourish: moisture, warmth and food. Once they have those, a potentially endless life cycle begins.

Life Cycle

Whether it is black mold or mildew, there are four main phases of the life cycle.

Hypha Cell: This tiny thread-like cell starts feedings on organic material, such as drywall and wood, via releasing enzymes. After absorbing enough nutrients, it grows into a mycelium and forms hyphae clusters.

Spore Formation: Some of the hyphae cells start to develop spores on the ends. The spores will only grow if the conditions are right, including enough oxygen, light and nutrients.

Spore Dispersal: Once formed, they become airborne in search of a new place to start the growth process. Although minute, they are hardy and may even stay dormant for years.

Spore Germination: Once at a new location, the spores wait for the perfect environment to begin the process again.

Proper Cleanup
Since spores are always present, ensuring they don’t flourish means staying on top of water damage and other moisture problems. If not caught soon enough, the mold cleanup process is often daunting and requires high-tech tools and techniques to completely eradicate. A quick wipe-down with commercial products may clean the surface, but they won’t kill fungi. In some cases, the water in cleaners may benefit their growth. When faced with this type of damage, it is often best to contact a mold remediation and restoration specialist. Along with having the right gear, the right company will be certified in cleaning and restoring your property.
Black mold is always lingering, but it doesn’t have to turn into a big problem. Understanding how it grows and spreads makes it easier to develop a prevention plan.

Avoid These 3 Causes of Sewage Backup

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Sink clogged Pipes can get clogged when solid substances are thrown into sinks.

Three Possible Causes Of Sewage Backup

If you are a homeowner in Gallitzin, PA, whose house has suffered damage from a backed-up sewer, one of the biggest impact areas will likely be your basement. A flooded basement can be inconvenient and expensive to deal with, so putting in measures to prevent such an occurrence is highly advisable. Here are three possible causes of sewage backup to keep in mind.

1. Sewage Overflow

Sewage systems are designed to have a maximum water-holding capacity. Thus, when there is a heavy downpour and the amount of water coming in exceeds the capacity of a sewer, there is a high likelihood of flooding even though the system may be in perfect working condition.

2. Old Sewage Systems

The average age of many public sewage systems in the U.S. is 30 years. As a result, many of them are more susceptible to damage now than in the past. This means that if your home in Gallitzin, PA, is connected to any such public system, there is a bigger risk of suffering a flooded basement. Similarly, if you live in an older home, your plumbing may be nearing the end of its life span. Replacing old pipes and valves before they deteriorate can prevent a backup of sewage.

3. Blocked Pipes and Drains

When foreign materials get into drains and pipes, it can result in water backing up and, ultimately, flooding. Pipes can get clogged when solid substances are thrown into sinks, flushed down toilets or washed into drains from the outside. To keep your pipes and drains clear, be sure to get rid of oil and grease properly. You should also take care not to use toilets and sinks to dispose of items that do not easily degrade.

A flooded basement can cause a lot of anxiety and discomfort to a homeowner. If you find yourself surrounded by unwanted water, consider consulting a reputable water damage restoration company to help.