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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Ceiling Stains Indicate a Bigger Problem

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on ceiling tile Ceiling damaged by mold

Five Main Areas To Inspect For Mold

If ceiling tile mold makes an appearance in your Summerhill, PA, business, it is almost guaranteed that you have some type of water damage, as well as a potential roof problem. As time goes by and it isn’t corrected, you will likely need a mold remediation and restoration expert to get the building back to what it once was. While tile discoloration means a water issue, finding the source isn’t always easy. Below are five main areas to inspect.

1. Roof Vents or Skylights
Even if there aren’t skylights, many roofing systems include air and plumbing vents. Since they are not part of the actual roof, where they are secured can become a problem area for water. If that is the culprit, there should be visible staining around it.

2. HVAC Systems
Along with the potential for parts of the system located on the roof, there could be water leaking from the actual unit or within the duct system. Improper installation around the HVAC unit

3. Pipes
Tile mold doesn’t always mean a roof issue. The walls and ceiling hide the plumbing pipes. Extreme temperatures or aging pipes can start to leak, slowly causing hidden water issues.

4. Roof Flashing
Areas of the roof are joined together by pieces of metal known as flashings. Their main function is to guard against water seeping through the roof. If they are damaged, aging or not properly installed, the vulnerable areas they are protecting may quickly turn into problem areas. It may also lead to staining on walls.

5. Roof Membrane
A commercial roof typically has a membrane that functions as a waterproof layer. Any damage deters from its ability to properly do its job. Older roofs may face this issue more frequently, especially if it is more than 15 years old.
Spotting tile mold alone is unpleasant. It’s important to remember that lurking behind that stain is a much bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

Can Wet Documents Be Dried?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Many wet documents can be dried with specialized methods

Can Wet Documents Be Dried?

Many wet documents can be dried with specialized methods, such as vacuum freeze-drying, that restore the prior condition of these materials. Depending on the rarity of documents, books, manuscripts or photographs, you may want to clean and disinfect original items. In other cases, records may be salvaged in the form of paper copies or digitized versions.

Mitigate Document Damage
Documents with less damage tend to be better candidates for restoration. Taking the following mitigation measures may improve the outcome of document drying:

  • Contain the spread of water
  • Move documents to dry location
  • Maintain a temperature below 65 degrees
  • Fahrenheit
  • Keep humidity levels lower than 40%

All of these measures may reduce the damage documents sustain due to water. Sustaining a low temperature and moisture level discourages mold growth on paper.

Rely On Expert Restoration
Content restoration professionals have access to advanced solutions for drying wet documents, such as vacuum freeze-drying. Through a sublimation process, liquid moisture is converted to solid ice and extracted in the form of gas or water vapor. Restoration companies also offer advanced disinfection services, such as gamma irradiation for killing microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses on documents damaged by flooding.

Consider a Digitization Strategy
If the damaged materials are important or valuable, you may want to consider the benefits of digitization. Ease of access and a stable digital form that is easier to back up in multiple locations may be more reliable than a rare physical copy. Otherwise, you may want to look for ways to protect collections from exposure to damage.
Business owners should factor in the rarity or value of original documents or print artifacts when considering drying and restoration. In many cases, physical duplication or digitization may be more effective solutions for storing and accessing records or volumes. When you need to restore wet documents, contact content restoration experts in Gallitzin, PA.

Is Your Business Storm-Ready?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wearing safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial Invest in regular building inspections to identify deficiencies that can turn into mega-problems

Weather-watching is a year-round task for business owners in Vinco, PA, where the probability of a commercially-crippling winter storm is always top-of-mind. As the growing impact of extreme weather systems increasingly puts property at risk, the threat of storm damage looms large no matter where your business operates. From Montana to Mississippi, whether a blizzard or a hurricane, preparation is key. Here are a few tips to storm-proof your business:

Get Storm-Ready

It's not if, but when disastrous weather conditions may cause a sudden business interruption, closure, or damage requiring restoration and recovery services. Prevention is cheaper than restoration, so it's smart to be aware of your building's condition. Deferred maintenance is not an option. Roofers, plumbers, HVAC and sprinkler system technicians, and other professionals can be your first line of defense against storm damage.

Invest in regular building inspections to identify deficiencies that can turn into mega-problems in the face of high-destruction wind, rain, ice and snow.
Consider water damage insurance and business interruption insurance for protection and peace of mind.
If you are in a flood zone, make sure you are connected to an effective flood warning system. Forewarned is forearmed.

Take Action

Roofs are vulnerable to heavy rains and snow. Repair roof leaks and more serious defects that can lead to ceiling damage, or worse, a catastrophic roof collapse.
Fix improperly sealed or damaged windows, skylights and doors.
Take care of plumbing issues (old pipes or deteriorated supply lines) to lower the chance of a storm-driven pipe break and flooding.
Clean gutters to prevent water overflow and leakage.
Batten down outdoor items.
Cut back tree limbs around your building to avoid broken windows from airborne "tree missiles."
Install surge protectors or portable generators to ensure data safety.

A winter storm or summer hurricane can wreck havoc on the best run business. Press your advantage today by storm-proofing your business for tomorrow.

Keep Your Business Going When Disasters Interrupt

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

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.

What Can Be Saved After a Flood?

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic bins on floor, water damage in basement. Many content damaged by water Storm flooding in East Conemaugh, PA

What Can And Can't Be Salvaged After a Flood?

When a flood hits your East Conemaugh, PA, home, it means much more than just extracting the water and getting the house dried out. It also means content cleaning, which can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Determining what can and can’t be salvaged isn’t always clear.

Sorting Textiles
If the unexpected water was from a pipe burst, the cleanup process is much simpler because the water is considered clean. If it came from outside the home, there is likely a chance there is black water, which is potentially full of harmful contaminants. For the latter, before entering the home and going through belongings, protective equipment should be worn, including gloves, face masks, pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Unfortunately, some belongings will have to be tossed, such as:

  • Visibly discolored items that can’t be restored.
  • Items saturated with potential sewage water.
  • Anything that has come in contact with toxic chemicals or fiberglass insulation.

The good news is that a surprisingly large number of your belongings can be salvaged. Anything that can be washed, sanitized, and dried may likely be saved. This even includes artwork, furniture, photos, and clothing.

Confident Cleanup
When it comes to content cleaning and dealing with water damage, the best bet is to leave it all in the hands of trusted storm damage and restoration specialist. Not only will they have the tools and expertise to restore your home, but they also have the latest tools and techniques to clean items that may seem like a lost cause. Whether it requires dry, wet, foam, abrasive or immersion cleaning, your precious belongings are carefully sorted, packed away to avoid further contamination, and delicately restored to normal.
After the floodwaters go down, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, and like everything is ruined. With the right team on your side with content cleaning expertise, much more can be safely salvaged that what might initially be expected.

Do Your Houseplants Look Powdery? It Might Be Mildew.

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew will only affect living flora

Important Facts To Know About Mildew

In Carrolltown, PA, many of us are spending more time inside lately. Houseplants have become a popular way to bring an organic, calming feel to interiors. If your indoor jungle ever becomes lackluster (and you see a white powdery substance on the leaves), it might be suffering from plant mildew. Here are some important facts to know about mildew, mold, and when to call in extra help.

1. Mildew and mold are different. These terms are often confused or used interchangeably, but the organisms behave in distinct ways. Mildew is a parasite found only on living plants and causes a disease in the plant. Mold grows on non-living surfaces. Luckily, the mildew growth on your fiddle-leaf fig won’t spread to places like the walls or floor. Getting rid of it is usually a simple process.

2. Mildews can be plant-specific. However, the conditions that foster any mildew are similar, often occurring in humid and damp areas. To curb any plant mildew, prune out the affected portion of each plant, up to 25%. If any remains, pick up a mildew removal spray targeted specifically to the type of plant you have. For instance, mildew sprays for houseplants may differ from those for vegetable or flower gardens. Do not use a product aimed at household mold removal on plants—it will kill the plant.

3. Mildew thrives in moisture. Monitoring the humidity levels in your home is a simple way to prevent mildew on plants and mold damage to your house. This becomes especially important if you live in a humid or tropical climate. If this is the case, improving air circulation with a fan or open window can help. You may even consider investing in an in-home dehumidifier that can regulate the moisture levels depending on the weather.
If you’re ever in doubt about distinguishing mold growth from mildew, observe the surface that’s being affected. Plant mildew will only affect living flora. If you notice mold on walls, floors, or other building materials, it’s best to call a mold remediation specialist.

When Did You Last Think About Your Fire Escape Plan?

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door How many emergency exits are there in your building?

How To Craft An Escape Plan

How many times throughout your day do you consider your disaster planning? Do you run through your fire prevention efforts and exit strategies? A contingency plan can be a useful tool in the event of a disaster, but if you fail to practice or review it, is it really a help? Having a fire restoration company in Cresson, PA, on standby is only part of the preventive strategy, it is also necessary to know how to craft an escape plan and ensure your staff and facility stay safe during a fire.

Count the exits
Eliminate obstacles
Inspect preventative systems
Get real about practice

Count the Exits
How many emergency exits are there in your building? How many exits out of each room? The minimum number of exits suggested for an evacuation plan is two for every room. People need to have multiple ways of getting to safety from their workspace. In offices, a door and a window are enough, but make sure that employees have tools needed for a safe escape.

Eliminate Obstacles
As part of the contingency plan and escape, it is crucial to keep hallways free and clear. Also, avoid placing shelving and storage in front of windows or doorways. When a fire happens, the smoke makes it nearly impossible to see. Obstacles only slow down a person's escape.

Inspect Preventative Systems
Annual and semi-annual inspections of preventative systems can help reassure you and your staff of the safety of the building. Sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers are some of the best defenses against fire, and keeping these tools functional should be a priority among business owners.

Get Real About Practice
Too many companies have escape plans, but they fail to practice. Having maps and exit signs are not enough to ensure the safety of employees. Practice regularly throughout the year.
A business contingency plan is about preparing for the worst-case. If you need help designing a plan, then contact a disaster professional for advice.

Eradicate Mold in Commercial Property for Good

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth after water loss in wood Mold growth after a water loss in Portage, PA

Improper commercial mold remediation not only leaves potential harmful effects, but it also means a long-term problem for Portage, PA, businesses that can become quite costly to fix and result in a business interruption loss. Contacting a certified and highly trained mold remediation and removal company is the key to stopping mold growth in its tracks.

Professional Process

At the first signs of mold, quick action should be taken since mold can begin to spread within 48 hours. If growth continues, along with cleanup, mold restoration processes will be needed. After contacting a professional, the following steps will be taken to ensure a business remains mold-free.

Inspection and Assessment: A trained mold professional will conduct a thorough inspection using the latest technology to detect hidden mold and water damage.
Containment: Various containment procedures are used during cleanup to keep spores from spreading to non-contaminated areas, such as a negative air chamber and physical barriers.
Air Filtration: Specialized filtration equipment is used to capture microscopic spores and clean the air.
Removal of Infested Items: While some porous materials may need to be disposed of, mold can be removed from many surfaces with high-grade antifungal and antimicrobial treatments.
Content Cleaning: Even if the mold is gone, a smell can linger. An array of cleaning methods are used to deodorize and sanitize furniture, curtains, equipment, and other items.
Restoration: The amount of work needed will depend on the severity of the mold infestation. It is likely that portions of drywall and other building materials will need to be replaced.

Trusted Leader
When it comes to commercial mold remediation, a business is putting more than the cleanup in a professional’s hands. SERVPRO knows how detrimental it is for businesses to be mold-free and reduce costs from damage. With a team of trained and certified specialists in microbial remediation, water damage restoration, applied structural drying, odor control, and upholstery and fabric cleaning technician, you can have confidence that the problem is in the right hands.
While hopefully, the need for commercial mold remediation doesn’t arise, if it does, count on a local team that can make it “Like it never even happened.”

How To Recover After a Pipe Break

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Open faucet running water Open faucets to relieve the pressure that's built up within your pipes

Take These Steps To Lessen The Extent of The Problem

Whether you're a first-time homeowner or a seasoned pro, dealing with bursting pipes can be overwhelming. If you find broken pipes in your home, don't panic. Take these steps to lessen the extent of the problem:

  • Turn off your water main and open faucets to relieve the pressure that's built up within your pipes.
  • Open windows and doors to allow air circulation.
  • Call cleanup and mitigation experts as soon as possible.
  • Take steps to avoid future pipe breaks.

Mitigating Water Damage
When you discover leaks within your home, it's crucial to fix broken pipes as soon as possible. Water seeping into your home can lead to structural damage and mold if it's not addressed. Should you find a leak that has been going unnoticed for some time, you will need to call water damage remediation experts. Professionals in the industry have the tools and training required to find the source of your issue and to fully sanitize your home. In addition to replacing broken pipes, trained professionals can remediate mold damage as well as identify problems that may exist within your home's walls or floors.

Stopping Future Issues
Taking steps to stop future bursts is an important part of dealing with broken pipes. Though some pipe breaks can happen unexpectedly, many are caused by improper insulation. Be sure to keep your pipes, especially those that are prone to freezing, at proper temperatures. You can avoid bursting pipes by adding pipe sleeves or heat tape. If you don't have these supplies, you can insulate your pipes with newspapers or other materials to add a buffer from freezing temperatures. Allow warm air to circulate around indoor pipes by opening cabinets and keeping your thermostat above 32 degrees, even if the house is empty.
If you are facing the problems that come with bursting pipes, don't hesitate to call for help. Time is of the essence, and a team of experts can get your Ebensburg, PA, home back in shape as soon as possible.

Smoke Alarm 101

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke detector mounted on roof in apartment A smoke alarm can be an important tool for informing you of danger before a fire gets out of hand

Smoke Alarm 101

While a fire damage restoration service can help make repairs after a fire occurs, many professionals recommend using fire alarms so that you can be informed of a fire in time to evacuate and call the fire department. When installing a smoke alarm in your Johnstown, PA, home there are a few things you should know.

1. Different Types of Alarms

There are several different types of alarm you can consider when taking fire safety precautions in your home. A heat alarm goes off when the room temperature reaches a specific degree. Ionization and photoelectric detector both react to smoke, although an ionization detector triggers when an electric current is interrupted and a photoelectric detector senses smoke with a beam of light. You may also be able to find combination detectors as well.

2. Where To Place Alarms

It’s recommended to place a smoke alarm inside and outside each bedroom. The bedroom alarm should be placed closer to the door so that it will go off if any smoke leaks through. The alarm outside the bedroom can be placed so that it centers between several rooms so that everyone can hear it’s warning. You should also place an alarm in the kitchen, and in any workshop areas that use power equipment.

3. How Many Alarms to Have

Many professionals recommend having at least one smoke detector per floor in your home. There should also be one alarm per bedroom. You can also count an alarm for each additional location you believe to be important. The total of these added together will be the number of alarms that should be in your residence.

A smoke alarm can be an important tool for informing you of danger before a fire gets out of hand. Remember there are several types of alarms and choose the best fit for your home. It’s recommended to place one alarm per floor, and one alarm in each bedroom. Remember, if a fire does occur, a restoration service can help.

Dryer Fire Safety

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryers can be found in over 8.1 million home in the United States, but did you know they are responsible for over 2,900 home fires that have resulted in millions of dollars in property loss.

The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires are from the users failure to properly clean them. Over time the dryer vent fills up with lint that sneaks into the filters that will begin to restrict airflow causing heat to build up and sometimes ignite.

There is no such thing as a small fire. Regardless of the size of the event, a fire in one room can damage belongings and surfaces throughout your home and cause odors that may last for years if not properly cared for. Before you risk doing further damage to your home by attempting to cleanup the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals!

SERVPRO of Ebensburg can help with Fire Damage 

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 8(814) 472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

Water Damage Restoration Process

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Process

Water damage to your Vinco, PA, business can be a major problem. Fortunately, if you act quickly you can prevent further damage. The following steps outline the cleanup process.

1. Document the damage. Because mold growth can begin in as few as 24 hours, it is important to begin water cleanup as soon as possible. It may not be feasible to wait for an insurance adjuster to visit your property, so it is important to document the water damage. Take detailed photo and video evidence. When you talk to your insurance agent, be sure to ask if there are any specific instructions regarding documentation.

2. Remove standing water. To prevent mold growth and structural damage, it is important to remove the water as quickly as possible. There are specialized pumps and vacuum cleaners available to help with this task. You can also use buckets to scoop out the water.

3. Dry out remaining water. After all the standing water has been removed, there will still be moisture within porous surfaces that can cause further damage. You can use fans and dehumidifiers to speed the drying process. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can open windows and doors to increase airflow.

4. Clean affected areas. There may be bacteria, dirt or other contaminants in the water, so it is important to thoroughly clean all surfaces that came into contact with the water. The type of water, whether from broken pipes, roof leaks or other sources, and the surface being cleaned will determine the best cleaner.

5. Repair and replace. All items that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown out. You may wish to have a professional restorer look at valuable electronics and antiques to determine whether or not they can be salvaged.
Dealing with water damage can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced restoration service can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

3 Tips for Ridding Air Ducts of Mold

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

3 Tips for Ridding Air Ducts of Mold

Black mold can grow anywhere there is excess water and something for it to feed on. If you have mold on the walls or carpeting of your building in Belsano, PA, you are likely to see it during your regular inspection tours. Mold in your air ducts can be a little harder to detect, though. Here are three tips for finding and getting rid of mold growth in your HVAC system.

1. Locate the Problem
Unlike other fungus infestations, mold in your ducts may not be immediately apparent. There are a few signs that should grab your attention:

  • Mold patches on vents
  • Stale air throughout the building
  • Musty odor

To find out the actual scope of the problem, you need to have your building tested by a certified environmental hygienists. They can tell you not only where the mold problem is located but also what kind of mold you're dealing with.

2. Call the Specialists
Once you know you have black mold in your HVAC system, you need to hire mold remediation specialists. These professionals are qualified to clean ducts and get rid of the mold growth for good. They have the equipment and training necessary to do a thorough job and help you identify the problem that led to the mold issue in the first place.

3. Test the Results
After the cleanup process is complete, it's a good idea to have your building tested again. This validates that the mold growth is gone. Keep the test for your records just in case your insurance company requires proof of cleanup.
Just because you can't see black mold, that doesn't mean it's not there. Mold growth in your air ducts can drastically affect the air quality of your whole building, so it's important to address it as soon as you know it's a problem. With proper testing and mitigation, you can return your building to its former mold-free state.

Eliminating Odors After a Flood

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet, extracting water with vacuum Water damage in a Gallitzin, PA home

When your Gallitzin, PA, home is your castle, you still don’t want it to smell like an old, musty castle from the middle ages. Unfortunately, any type of water damage can quickly become a stinky and potentially harmful problem. Whether the issue is caused by floodwater, a burst pipe or leaky roof, it can quickly lead to mold growth. If flooding was the culprit, there is a good chance there was sewage loss, which means cleanup requires extra attention.

The Cleanup Process

While excessive water is an obvious problem, sometimes the smell can seemingly come from nowhere. If previous water damage was not properly repaired, it can mean long-term issues. At the first hint of water where it shouldn’t be or lingering odors, below are steps involved in correcting the problem.

Find the Source: If the issue isn’t readily visible, inspect areas prone to mold growth such as basements, bathrooms, attics, and around the plumbing.
Fix the Problem: Once the source is found, determine the reason behind the problem, which could include sewage backup, foundation cracks, broken pipes, or weather-related moisture.
Remove Affected Items: Any rugs, furniture, papers, towels and other porous items that have been saturated should be removed from the area to dry out. Depending on the source, some belongings may not be salvageable.
Repair Surrounding Damage: Regardless of the source, once there is odor, materials around the source have likely been infected with mold. This may include tearing out drywall, carpet, baseboards, and carpeting.
Eradicate the Mold: If it is a new problem and the mold is just beginning to form, it can be easy to clean and disinfect it. If it has spread, it is best to call a water damage and mold remediation expert to ensure it is properly taken care of.

Trusted Professionals
Minor water damage can often be easily cleaned up. It’s important to remember that if it isn’t done properly and quickly, the damage can spread. If odors begin to permeate your home, call a mold and water professional to help find the source and fix the problem. They have advanced tools to get your house back to normal and eradicate mold growth for good.

Why Having Business Interruption Insurance is a Good Idea

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption Having business interruption is a good idea

While no one ever wants to deal with fire damage at their office or business, advance preparation is necessary. In the event of a fire, your office space in Summerhill, PA will experience some level of fire damage as well as smoke and water damage that requires the expertise of a fire restoration services provider to handle. There are probably existing policies in place that cover damage to the structure and the contents therein. This means that the office building and damaged are covered, but what about the loss of income due to the fire and/or as your office is restored? You need an interruption insurance policy to cover the loss of income as part of a disaster recovery plan.

The Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance or business income insurance, in this case, covers lost income due to the fire, either as a result of the event itself and/or during the restoration process. Such a policy usually covers:

This is the income that your company would’ve earned based on previous monthly financial statements.
Fixed costs. This includes any costs or expenses that you’re still incurring.
Temporary relocation. Your policy may include the expenses associated with moving to and conducting operations in a temporary location.
Training costs and commissions. Your business interruption coverage may include the costs of providing training to operate replacement machinery or equipment.
Miscellaneous expenses. This is reimbursement for costs beyond fixed costs that allow you to operate as your property is being restored.
Civil Authority Ingress / Egress Mandates. This covers loss of income due to government-mandated closures, which may include curfews and street closures that impact your operations.

Other Considerations
Give careful consideration to the needs of your operations following a disaster. Your coverage may not include all of the benefits listed above, which requires purchasing additional interruption insurance. Pay close attention to the beginning and end dates of coverage. The business interruption period usually covers the start of the disaster event until the day that your office is restored to pre-fire conditions. Also, look into contingent coverage that also covers damages to supplier or clientele that interrupts the way you conduct business.

How To Prevent Roof Damage

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Roof damage after storm in East Conemaugh, PA

4 Ways To Keep Your Roof In Good Condition

Roof damage can be a major problem for your East Conemaugh, PA, business. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize potential damage. The following are four ways you can keep your roof in good condition.

1. Perform routine maintenance. Annual inspections can help you catch minor issues before they become big problems. Check for damaged shingles and loose flashing. If you have any other items on your roof, such as satellite dishes, chimneys, etc., make sure they are properly secured and in good condition. Keep the roof clean of debris. Heavy items on the roof can cause stress and lead to structural damage. Clean gutters at least twice a year. If you are uncomfortable getting on your roof, hire a contractor to do the upkeep for you.

2. Protect HVAC equipment. Some rooftop HVAC equipment is designed to withstand hail and strong winds. If your system is not sufficiently sturdy, you will need to install guards, shields or some other protective barrier around it to protect it from hail damage and other inclement weather.

3. Check for roof damage after storms. After severe storms, go up to the roof and check for the same issues that you look for in the yearly inspection: missing shingles, loose flashing, etc. If you noticed a leak coming from the roof during the storm, now is the time to locate and fix it. If you find any problems, tarp over the roof until you can have it repaired to avoid further damage.

4. Monitor nearby trees. If large branches are sufficiently close to your roof, it is a good idea to have them removed. A professional can help you determine if this is necessary.
If your business incurs roof damage during a storm, you may need help from a roofing contractor. Additionally, you can hire a certified restoration company to help with secondary damage, such as water damage from a leak.

Does Mold Removal Require an Expert?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in combating mold in an apartment Mold removal in Carrolltown, PA

A surprising number of homeowners in Carrolltown, PA, have been reporting black mold growth in recent years. It seems like it would be embarrassing, but believe it or not, mold spores are everywhere; studies show that between 1,000 and 10,000 fungal spores are in a typical cubic meter of air – even indoors.
The problem doesn’t come from a lack of cleanliness, but from water damage or a moisture problem. Homes are made from materials that are often loaded with cellulose – a feast for mold. All it takes for drywall or wood studs to grow mold is excess humidity or a water leak.

Can Mold Grow on All Surfaces?

Mildew is different from a fungus that can grow on almost any surface and is usually white. Mold is rarely if ever white, especially indoors. Most typically, it is found in shades of:
• Black • Blue • Red• Greenish-yellow
Black mold requires a significantly porous material to absorb water, along with nutrients found in cellulose, to form a colony. It actually starts growing below the surface, and mold cleanup can be difficult or even impossible without removing the moisture source, scrubbing the indoor air and replacing the affected items.

Do You Need an Expert to Remove Mold?

Most mold is harmless, and if it is just a small spot, the source is immediately obvious and easily fixed, chances are you won’t need professional help.
However, black mold won’t grow on building materials without unusual moisture levels. If you can’t identify the source, such as a leaking roof or pipe, you need a professional mold inspector to follow the moisture and determine the cause. This requires specialized equipment, such as a moisture meter, infrared camera, and hygro-thermometer.
A licensed mold cleanup company also has high-tech mold testing kits unavailable to the public. While home testing kits will virtually always show a problem (since, as mentioned mold is everywhere), the professional kits can help determine if your home really does have a mold problem. If necessary, they can then remove the source of moisture and begin mold remediation.

How Property Owners and Tenants Deal with Water Damage

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renter's insurance can protect both parties

Property owners who rent their homes and complexes to Cresson, PA, residents are aware that they are responsible for protecting their tenants from all types of potential disasters, such as storms, flooding and the resulting water damage. However, the difference in what is covered can get obscured. Landlords and inhabitants must distinguish coverage distribution and use resources like renter's insurance to protect both parties.

Responsibilities of Property Owners

Owners and property managers have the primary duty to create a hospitable, safe environment for their tenants. They are supposed to contact plumbers and water damage repair specialists if the destruction is caused by structural issues. They are also responsible for covering damaged structures.

  • Damaged and broken pipes
  • Building's wiring
  • Affected floors
  • Attached appliances

Landlords can benefit from speedy emergency response. It keeps their property in strong shape and builds strong relationships with their renters.

Responsibilities of Tenants

The landlord's insurance coverage does not apply to everything in the rental unit. Tenants are also responsible for covering the damage done to their individual possessions. Property owners are only responsible for covering structural damage that can compromise the rest of the building. Tenants are also liable if their neglect or improper actions damage the building and their own content. Renter's insurance helps the policyholders cover their own property independently from the rental unit.

Best Solutions for Both Parties

While both property owners and tenants can cover different items after a natural disaster or water incident, they can both mitigate damage and coverage expenses. Landlords can respond and repair the affected areas in a timely manner, as well as require personal property protection for new tenants. The inhabitants can prevent negligent behaviors that lead to water damage. They can also report incidents fast to prevent escalation and lessen their liability.
Storm and flooding damage create great expenses for both the tenants and the property owner. Education and clarification between both parties can resolve conflicts and lead to tools like renter's insurance that ensure everyone covers what they are liable for.

How To Pick a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of a house When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act

Ask Yourself Three Questions During the Purchase

As soon as you see smoke, call 911 and evacuate your family. If possible, grab your fire extinguisher, and smother the flames, buying your loved ones those few extra lifesaving minutes. The device can help minimize the flames, allowing everyone to make an escape. The fire crew can handle the rest, and a fire restoration company in Portage, PA, can take care of the damage. Do your part. When you stock your home with an extinguisher, ask yourself three questions during the purchase.

1. Can You Lift It?

When a home fire starts, you won't have too much time to act. Flames spread within minutes; therefore, you must move swiftly throughout the house with it in your hand. For example, extinguishers are sold by the weight, sitting on shelves in 2, 5 and 10 pounds. In times of distress, you will carry them and hold them upright. So, consider if you would be able to pick it up and move it without anyone's assistance. You should be able to hold it on your own for several minutes.

2. What Does It Put Out?

Read the label on the fire extinguisher. Letters should be on it, indicating what type of blaze it can handle. The letter A means the object could put out fires starting from paper and wood. B means it has chemicals to manage sparks from oils such as kitchen conflagrations. Finally, the letter C indicates the device douses electrical fires. Several units smother all three, making them versatile for your needs.

3. How Long Will It Last?

Your device is an essential part of your fire preparedness plan. You'll want to make sure that it is functioning and ready to use. Over time, though, they can lose pressure. You'll need to check on it. Metal valves can be refilled, but plastic ones may need to be replaced.
When you go to the store for a fire extinguisher, look over the labels carefully. Can you use it easily? Would it last? Is it functional for your demands? Select the one that is best for your concerns.

Unfixed Water Intrusions can Lead to Larger Problems

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Several green mold spores Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth.

Excess Moisture can Lead to a More Expensive Problem Quicker than you Think. 

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.

If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for: 

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you! 

How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Covers of insulation for pipes Insulate your pipes

Having a pipe burst in your house is one of the worst maintenance disasters you could deal with. Frozen pipes can crack and cause flooding and serious damage to the structure of your home in Johnstown, PA. To avoid this devastating scenario, there are some easy tips you can follow.

Tips to Keep Pipes From Freezing

Insulate the Pipes - Pipes that are exposed to the air are much more apt to freeze so make sure all pipes in the attic and crawl space are protected with insulation.
Use Heating Devices - If you live in an especially cold climate, heat cables or heat tape can keep your pipes safe from freezing. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing them.
Seal Leaks - Any pipes that can be exposed to cold air should be checked periodically for leaks. Leaks can also be found in dryer vents and the area surrounding electrical wires. Using caulk or insulation around the leaks will protect the area.
Detach garden hoses - Before winter arrives, disconnect outside hoses to eliminate any possibility of freezing pipes near the house.
Keep Thermostat Constant - Keeping the temperature constant in your house will reduce the chance of having frozen pipes.

Protecting Your House When on Vacation
One of the most common times to have a pipe freeze is when you are on vacation. The worst part is that if a pipe bursts while you are gone, it may be several days before the problem is detected. There are some helpful suggestions to keep in mind before you travel in the winter months.

Keep the thermostat set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Have a neighbor check the house every day or so to make sure it is warm and that there is no water damage.
Turn the water system off while you are gone.
Keep open any cabinet doors that are under sinks so that pipes stay warm.

Following a few, quick and simple rules can protect your house from frozen pipes.

What to Do After the Water Retreats

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers drying floor Drying equipment in Ebensburg, PA

What Do You Do Now?

A water disaster can be devastating to your commercial property. It can quickly create a big mess and water damage can be extensive. After the water and panic have subsided, what do you do now? What can be salvaged? After the standing water cleanup has been completed, you should:

1. Dry Thoroughly

It’s important to dry everything in the affected area as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You can use fans, open windows and doors, turn your heating system up and use space heaters and dehumidifiers. Make sure that every surface is dried completely in order to prevent issues like mold or other secondary damage.

2. Inspect for Mold

Mold can start growing approximately 24 hours after the water has been introduced. It can get out of control fast once it starts growing. Make sure that you check all areas for mold. It can even grow in tiny crevices and behind drywall.

3. Discard Unsalvageable Material

Porous materials that can’t be cleaned and completely dried within 24 hours will probably have to be discarded. Porous items range from drywall to carpet to wooden furniture. Some of these materials will be irreparable due to warping, water staining or other water damage. Mold will start growing quickly and, along with moisture, can eventually cause structural damage (e.g., water soaks through the carpet and padding down to the sub-floor). So, removing all remaining moisture is critical.

4. Disinfect Thoroughly

Once unsalvageable material has been removed and everything is dry, you’ll want to make sure that the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This is especially true for incidents involving black water (bacteria-contaminated water, such as that from sewage). Borax is an ideal cleaning option for porous surfaces.
If your commercial building sustains water damage from broken pipes or another type of disaster in Ebensburg, PA, call restoration experts. They’ll get it back in its preloss condition as soon as possible.

Speedy Recovery After the Storm

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mini van, and truck box heading out to an emergency SERVPRO prides itself on a number of things, including storm response time

While most insurance claims from storm or water damage may be relatively minor, when Mother Nature unleashes her ultimate fury in Belsano, PA, significant loss can happen. Especially when it comes to flood damage, time is of the essence after the storm is over to ensure storm restoration can happen instead of storm damage replacement.

24/7 Assistance

SERVPRO prides itself on a number of things, including storm response time. Once an insurance claim is made and a call comes through, adjusters and their clients can expect a fast response, no matter the time of day.

  • A local franchise will respond to the claim in about an hour.
  • Typically, a trusted restoration specialist will be onsite within four hours.
  • After the assessment, a detailed estimate will be electronically sent with two hours.

For catastrophic situations, SERVPRO has a Commercial Large Loss Division with elite specialists qualified to handle the worst disasters. Strategically located throughout the country, when a major event happens, they will be on their way to work with local franchise professionals and community safety officers to help restore things back to normal.

Stormy Recovery

Along with a quick response, our team of storm restoration specialists is trained and certified to handle any type of disaster. From wildfires to high wind damage and flooding from heavy rains, our emergency services can help minimize further damage from happening and keep costs down. In extreme conditions, we have a network of professionals that can help manage large losses and coordinate additional labor needed to ensure recovery happens as fast as possible. When it comes to claims, we work closely with insurance agents and adjusters, providing detailed documentation every step of the way to ensure a smooth restoration that gets clients back on track and stays within a policy’s guidelines.
Major weather events can turn storm restoration into an exceptionally complex situation. Keeping the client’s safety and needs first, count on professionals to quickly assist with cleanup, restoration, and claim services.

What Can You Expect From the Mold Removal Process?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold in the corner of room wall. Preparation for mold removal. Black mold removal in Vinco, PA

A mold problem in your Vinco, PA, commercial building can create a severe business interruption and cause you to lose a significant amount of revenue. As the owner, you may be wondering what mold remediation entails and how long it will take for your commercial building to be restored so that you can return to business. Here is everything you need to know about the mold removal process and how long it typically takes to complete.

How Do Professionals Remediate a Mold Problem?

When mold remediation specialists arrive on your commercial property, they follow a series of steps that allows them to control black mold growth in your building. The typical mold remediation process involves the following stages:

  • Assessment of mold damage
  • Containment procedures to prevent spreading of mold
  • Use of specialized filtration equipment
  • Disposal of mold-infested materials
  • Deodorization and cleaning of belongings
  • Necessary repairs (may range from minor fixes to reconstruction)

The specific methods or repairs that specialists perform typically vary based on the needs of your business. By inspecting your building and determining the level of mold damage, professionals can begin the mold removal process accordingly.

How Long Does Mold Remediation Take?

The duration of the mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold present, the degree of harm caused by mold and the location of mold in your building. Generally speaking, the process of removing mold can take one to five days, although it may take longer in some cases. The process is complete when your building is properly restored from mold damage.
When you discover that your Vinco, PA, business has a mold problem, it’s crucial to call mold remediation experts for a mold removal as soon as possible. Based on what your unique situation calls for, these professionals can help to remove any traces of mold in your building and bring your business back to its normal state.

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Property Insurance

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone signing a paper on a desk. Use commercial insurance to protect any manufacturing equipment or inventory

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Property Insurance

If you own a massive building or acres of property in Gallitzin, PA, you may be wondering if commercial insurance is worth the cost. While this type of insurance can be expensive, it can also help pay for the repairs after one of the following emergencies:

  • Theft
  • Natural disaster
  • Fire

You may even be able to deduct the cost of your insurance premiums on your tax returns. This gives you an additional incentive to purchase coverage.

What Is Protected

You can purchase commercial property insurance for a variety of items on your premises. Obviously, you can insure the actual building that houses your company headquarters. You can also insure any equipment within the office, including phones and computers. The electronics and physical structure will be covered by insurance even if you rent them.
You can additionally use commercial insurance to protect any manufacturing equipment or inventory. It even covers fencing, essential documents, landscaping, satellite dishes and signs. The money you get from the policy can go toward the costs of repairs or restoration and cleanup services.

What Is Considered

The cost of commercial property insurance depends on a variety of factors. First, the insurer considers the location of your building. Offices in certain geographic areas may be more prone to water damage from hurricanes or similar natural disasters. Properties in regions with a higher risk of wildfires may face increased premiums, as well.
The insurance provider may also look at the steps you have taken to limit the fire damage to the property. For instance, the insurer will want to know if you have a working sprinkler and alarm system.
Insurers will additionally study the fire rating of a building. Properties with doors, walls and floors made of fire-resistant materials may get discounts on their insurance rate.
Commercial insurance provides coverage for both your office building and the equipment inside of it. Without an adequate policy, you might have to pay for the cost of smoke damage yourself.

What Factors Determine the Degree of Hail Damage?

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Marked hail damage on the roof of an insured party. Marked hail damage in a Summerhill, PA roof

What Factors Determine the Degree of Hail Damage?

A hailstorm is one weather event that usually occurs out of the blue and is over quickly. It’s dangerous to be outside during a hailstorm, so you can’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Your property can sustain severe damage in a just matter of minutes—sometimes less. Roof damage is one of the most common effects of hail since it’s usually the first thing to come in contact with weather. It’s important to be as proactive as possible when it comes to hail. So, what factors contribute to the amount of damage incurred during a hailstorm?

1. Building Materials

The amount of damage from hail depends on the age and weakness of the roof. All types of building materials react differently to the impact of hailstones. Asphalt shingles, aluminum siding and gutters can receive dents and dings. Vinyl siding and wood shake roofing can crack from hail hitting it. Under the right conditions, a roof can actually be penetrated by hail.

2. Barriers

Trees, awnings, other buildings or landscaping can create barriers between the falling hailstones and the building. Overhanging tree branches can do damage during an ice storm, but they can actually slow hail as it falls, minimizing the amount of roof damage.

3. Wind Speed

Wind can have a significant effect on the amount of hail damage incurred. After all, winds are one of the major factors in the formation of hail; repeated updrafts send water droplets into the freezing atmosphere, freezing into bigger and bigger stones, which eventually fall to the ground.

4. Hailstone Size, Density and Shape

Hail can be anywhere from pea-size to grapefruit-size. Atmospheric conditions determine the size and density of the hailstones. The hailstone’s jagged shape makes it more damaging than it would be it if were a smooth ball of ice.
Hailstorms can be very unpredictable. So, preparing ahead is superior to trying to react once it begins. Being proactive can potentially save your building from roof damage. If your Summerhill, PA, building sustains storm damage, be sure to call on storm cleanup experts.

Filing an Insurance Claim for Residential Water Damage

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Filing an insurance claim can help you financially after a home flood

Filing an Insurance Claim for Residential Water Damage

Water damage to your East Conemaugh, PA, home can be a major hassle. Your insurance company can be a huge help during this time, but filing an insurance claim is not always as straightforward as it seems.

Deciding To File a Claim

There are many factors that affect whether or not you should file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance after a home flood. One of the biggest concerns people have when filing a claim is the potential for a rate hike. Every insurance company is different, but the following factors often affect homeowner’s insurance rates:

  • Type of claims filed
  • Number of claims filed
  • Local weather patterns

In many cases, it is impossible to know beforehand if a claim will result in a rate increase or the insurance company choosing not to renew your coverage. However, your insurance agent may know how the company usually responds to water damage claims. You can also review your insurance policy for details on the relationship between claims and rate hikes.

Filing a Claim

If you do choose to file an insurance claim, it is important to document the damage before beginning any cleanup. Take detailed photos or video evidence. Make a list of all items that cannot be salvaged. Ideally, you will have a home inventory to provide your insurance agent. A home inventory is a list of all the items in your home, their purchase price and purchase date. Home inventories generally include photographs or a video walk-through of the home. Be sure to include receipts for big ticket items such as appliances and electronics. Create your home inventory when you move in, and update it whenever you make a major purchase. Keep the inventory in a safe or cloud storage. Additionally, you will want to keep any receipts for all flood-related expenditures you incur, including for repairs and temporary relocation. Your insurance company may reimburse you for them.
Filing an insurance claim can help you financially after a home flood. However, for help restoring your home to pre-flood condition, you may wish to hire an experienced restoration company.

Why Does Mold Love Bread – and Is Moldy Bread Safe to Eat?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bread Mold growth on bread

Why Does Mold Love Bread?

Looking at something covered with mold triggers a massive wave of disgust in most people. This is a natural feeling, probably built into human beings to help prevent them from eating or handling harmful substances. Bread mold seems to be about the most common moldy food encountered, and many of the preservatives in bread are specifically there to prevent fungus growth.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus, which plays a critical role in the world. Unlike plants, they have no way to photosynthesize light into energy, so they feed off plants and animals instead. Fungi are essential for the world to function, with benefits such as


Decomposing dead plants and animals.
Allowing the creation of foods, including bread and some cheese.
Antibiotics, including penicillin.


They are probably the most important decomposers in the natural environment, and without fungi, the world would be covered by millions of years of dead plants and animals.
It makes mold sound dreadful, but there are millions of mold spores right in your immediate area. Many molds are beneficial to humans, and some are used in a variety of industries. Fungi like bread mold, however, are not beneficial.

Why Is Bread Mold So Common?

Bread is like the ideal buffet for mold. It has all the right basic foodstuffs that mold needs to flourish. Warm areas tend to encourage mold growth, but even bread put in the refrigerator will eventually get moldy. Fridge mold should be cleaned with a light bleach and water mix.
You should avoid eating moldy bread. However, if you consume a little, don’t panic! The chances are very high that ingesting a tiny amount of mold will have literally no impact on your health. If you are allergic to mold, that could be an issue, but otherwise just discard the uneaten portion and regretfully mourn your now useless sandwich.
If you have a fungus growth problem in Carrolltown, PA, that goes well beyond bread mold, call a professional mold remediation company to inspect, locate the problem and clean it up before it spreads.

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Someone with both hands holding a lighted candle Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire

4 Things You Should Never Do If You Smell Natural Gas

If you ever suspect that there might be leaking gas in your home in Cresson, PA, taking immediate action is the only way to avoid an unfortunate gas fire from starting, which can damage your home and require fire damage cleanup services. While natural gas is odorless on its own, mercaptan is added to produce a smell similar to rotten eggs. If you detect this scent or hear a distinct hissing noise inside your home, your main goal should be to escape the area and call for help. A gas explosion can happen quickly if certain precautions aren’t taken, so make sure to refrain from any of the following actions:

Do Not Turn On Any Lights or Appliances

While your first instinct might be to turn on the light if you hear a hissing noise at night, never flip the switch. Similarly, don’t turn on any other appliance for whatever reason. Even a flashlight can create a spark, so focus on escaping safely if it is too dark to find the source of the leak.

Do Not Light a Candle

Lighting an open flame near natural gas is a quick way to start a gas fire. A candle should never be used to mask a sulfur-like odor, and don’t use one as a light source at night.

Do Not Open the Garage Door

When exiting your house, use the front or back door instead of the garage. If you are trying to air out your home, you can open windows and doors instead.

Do Not Use Your Phone or Other Electronic Device

Wait to call for help until you are outside of your home. Using your phone or other electronic devices can result in a gas fire.
Even if you’re not sure if there is actually a natural gas leak in your home, you should always take your suspicions seriously. Avoid any actions that can cause a spark and focus on finding your way to safety.

What To Do About Flood-Damaged Walls

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged interior wall in an old house Flooding affects walls in a Portage, PA home

What To Do About Flood-Damaged Walls

Flooding to your Portage, PA, home can be a serious problem, especially behind walls where the damage is not fully visible. In some cases the drywall can be salvaged, but in others it must be removed.

Dangers of Wet Walls

Soaked walls pose a variety of problems. If they are not dried or replaced, the following may occur:

  • mold growth
  • decreased R-value of insulation
  • loss of structural integrity

The drywall itself may become weak and moldy if left wet. Insulation may lose its ability to retain heat (its R-value) and harbor contamination. In these cases, it is necessary to replace the wall.

Remediation of Wet Walls

Fortunately, if the flooding is from a clean water source, such as a pipe break, the drywall can be dried and does not have to be replaced. Special equipment, such as commercial-grade dehumidifiers, will be necessary for this task. However, if the drywall is not dry within 24-48 hours, it will probably need to be replaced because mold has likely begun to grow and the water has had time to permanently damage the wall.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to decontaminate drywall or fully dry insulation, so if insulation is affected or the water is dirty, a flood cut is necessary. A flood cut is the removal of drywall and insulation after water damage has occurred. It is necessary to tear out the material above the water line, usually 12 to 18 inches above, due to the fact that moisture wicks upward. A moisture meter can detect exactly how far up the water has traveled.
If flooding affects your walls, you may feel overwhelmed trying to determine if the wall can be salvaged, trying to act quickly, etc. Fortunately, a certified restoration company can help you with every step of the flood remediation process and get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How To Pump Out a Flooded Basement

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump Pumping water out of a basement

You can find yourself in the clutches of a basement flood in Johnstown, PA, for a multitude of reasons. The weather, a ruptured water line or an appliance malfunction could easily be the culprit. So what can you do about it?

Stop the Flooding

Before you can begin to think about removing the water, you have to make sure that it isn't still flowing into your flooded basement. If it is a plumbing issue, you can turn the shut-off valve on the main water line to stop it. If the weather is to blame, you will have to wait it out. You will need to wait until there is no more standing water in your yard. You should also turn off the electricity, to avoid any danger of an electric shock.

Begin Pumping

You can rent or buy a submersible pump from local hardware or construction rental store. You will need an extension cord so that the pump can be plugged in to a generator high and away from the basement flood. Some tips to get started:

  • Make sure to hang the cord in such a way that it doesn't touch the water.
  • A hose will be attached to the top, be sure to position it away from the house, ideally into a storm drain or sewer.
  • Use a nylon rope to lower it into the water.

Drying Out

If there's still a small amount of water after pumping, you can use a wet vacuum to suck out the rest. All porous materials will need to be thrown away, as they carry the risk of growing mold, including drywall and carpeting- you'll want to avoid mold damage as it can get quite costly, even with insurance coverage. You should ventilate the area well and run a dehumidifier to dry out the rest.
There are companies that can do the pumping for you, but if your home was part of a larger flooding event they may not be able to get to you for awhile. Luckily, you can do it yourself with a little bit of guidance.

How To Mitigate Storm Damage to Your Business

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Man collecting water in bucket from ceiling Leaking ceiling in a Cresson, PA building

Storms are a common cause of destruction to businesses in Cresson, PA. Though many business owners focus on insurance policies that can often help cover damage, such as a roof leak or cracked shingles, it's also often useful for business owners to consider ways to mitigate the damage to their properties.

What Are Common Types of Damage That Occur From Storms?

There are a variety of ways a storm can impact a commercial property, but some areas are more prone to damage than others. Destruction from a storm often includes:

  • Missing shingles
  • Leaky roofs
  • Interior mold damage
  • Broken windows
  • Flooding in the interior and exterior of the building
  • Broken shutters
     

Can You Prevent a Storm From Harming Your Business?

Knowing how your business may be affected by a storm can make it easier for you to appropriately prepare for an approaching storm. If you are concerned about a roof leak or an otherwise damaged roof, it can be wise to have a roof inspection before a storm occurs. Removing any loose items, such as trash, dead limbs or furniture that isn't cemented into the ground, can also help to decrease the chance of storm damage.

What Mitigation Methods Can You Use After a Storm?

Though taking steps to prevent damage is often wise, it's not always possible to prevent the destruction of your business. If your business is affected by a storm, there are several steps you can take to prevent further damage. Covering your roof with a tarp if there are missing shingles or leaks can help to keep water out of your building. Boarding up your building can also help to prevent theft and can help to prevent further devastation. If your business was affected by a storm, it's frequently useful to contact emergency restoration services soon after the storm has passed

Whether your business has a roof leak or damaged windows, mitigation is often an important aspect of preparing for and reacting to a storm. For business owners, it can be useful to know what damage storms frequently cause to businesses, how to prevent destruction from a storm and how to mitigate damage after it occurs.

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 growing on window sill 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.

3 Landscaping Tips That Protect Your Home From Flooding

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

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?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

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

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

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

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Call Insurance

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

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

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.

3. Remediation

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

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

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?

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Flooding

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.

Roof 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.

Lightning Strikes

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.

3 Facts About Post-Flooding Mold and How To Prevent Its Spread

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO always ready to assist your need in storm damage and flood restoration.

Facts On How To Prevent Mold Growth After A Flood 

Many problems can crop up after a flood in your Carrolltown, PA, home. Foul smells, stagnant water and debris may all plague your property; however, few issues can be as troublesome as mold growth. Fungi can form as soon as a day after the flood, especially when humidity levels in your home are high. If you are battling mold after water damage, there are a few facts to keep in mind when it comes to finding growths and preventing their spread.

1. Mold Does Not Need Sunlight To Grow

Unlike many other organisms, mold does not depend on sunlight to thrive. Instead, it seeks out moist, humid areas where spores attach and begin to eat. After a flood, building materials like wood and drywall attract spores or absorb them during the flood. It can grow out of sight, inside walls and under cabinetry, where you may not notice it until you smell the odor fungi releases as it eats. After a flood, it is a good idea to have your home inspected for mold.

2. Mold Is Different Than Mildew

While both mold and mildew have a great deal in common, they are not exactly alike. Mildew tends to grow on the surface of building materials and household items, but it can generally be wiped away with a cloth and household cleanser. Mold, however, grows roots once the spores attach and cannot be easily cleaned away. Using bleach is not effective either, as fungi is not bacteria and the water content in most cleaning products may only encourage further mold growth.

3. Some Molds Require Professional Removal

Standing water and high humidity can cause severe fungi growth, including invasive black mold. Because this is a type of fungus that can be difficult to clean, you may consider calling in a storm damage and flood restoration service for assistance. Mold specialists have the experience and tools necessary to eliminate this issue and ensure it does return.

Flooding often causes sudden mold growth, which can affect your Carrolltown, PA, home. Knowing how to target and remove damaging fungi can be an important step in the restoration of your property.

3 Services a Water Damage Company Can Offer Your Business After a Multi-Level Toilet

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

A flood cleanup and restoration company can help you recover from sewer damage in your commercial building

3 Services a Water Damage Company Can Offer Your Business After a Multi-Level Toilet 

Few types of floods can be as damaging to your Ebensburg, PA, commercial building as a sewer flood. Black water and other sewage contents may erupt from a backed-up sewer or after a violent storm that causes local drains to back up. However, when sewer damage affects more than one floor of your building, the results can be even more serious. A water damage and cleanup company may be able to offer you a variety of services in this type of situation, no matter the severity of the flood.

1. Faster Connection To Local Sewage Services

A professional flood damage service may be able to connect directly with your local sewage company so that workers there can be made aware of the problem. Service people may even be dispatched to your building so that sewer lines and shutoff valves can be located and utilized. Once flood sources are closed off, further mitigation can begin.

2. Sewer Water Drainage

Once your building is evacuated, flood technicians will probably bring in a variety of machinery to drain away contaminated water. Portable sump and trash pumps will likely be used to drain away any raw sewage within the water, such as in the case of a flooded toilet. If floors and ceilings have been noticeably weakened by the flooding, these areas may be sealed off until tear-out proceedings can begin.

3. Removal of Damaged Building Materials

Multi-level sewer damage can severely cripple a building if restoration is not performed properly. A certified sewer flood and repair company has the know-how and resources to tear out soaked flooring and ceiling material, as well as drywall and soaked insulation, so that it can be properly replaced. Replacing these items on each floor can help ensure employee and customer safety and remove lingering odors sewer water can cause.

Sewer damage can devastate your Ebensburg, PA, commercial building. Connecting with an expert flood cleanup and restoration service can help you recover faster when this occurs and help you feel confident about the future of your business.

3 Mold Prevention Tips for Your Business

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

The key to mold control is moisture control.

Water damage is an unfortunate accomplice of floods, fires and significant plumbing failures. Left untreated, it can lead to a catastrophic outbreak of black mold. Hidden plumbing leaks and storm damage are worse. They can go undetected for long periods. By the time someone reports the problem, the water and mold damage can be extensive.

Institute a Mold Action Plan

The secret to dealing with a mold or a moisture problem is to address it quickly and thoroughly. Consider the following three-step proactive approach.

1. Perform routine water damage and mold inspections. Don’t depend on someone noticing and reporting a water or mold problem. Divide your business into zones and set up an inspection schedule. Train your maintenance personnel to perform the inspections. The first round of zone inspections should happen quickly. This will identify the initial water and mold problems. Future cycles will identify newer problems.

2. Adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward every moisture problem and black mold outbreak. No leak is too insignificant to repair. No mold colony is too small to remove. The longer you wait, the more difficult and costly these problems become. If the moisture and mold are already out of control, get help. Bring in professionally-trained water and mold remediation experts. You will find them in the Belsano, PA, area. They are ready to eliminate your moisture problems and perform the mold cleanup.

3. Make your business less hospitable to mold. The primary key to avoiding mold is moisture control. Plumbing leaks, standing water and humid air are all invitations for mold growth. Modern buildings are air-tight by design. Humidity can reach unacceptable levels. Businesses that make extensive use of water may have an unavoidable humidity problem. In all cases, the goal should be to keep humidity below 50 percent. Better ventilation or a high-performance HVAC system can help.

Stick to the Action Plan

Water damage can be devastating to a business. Black mold can be disastrous. It’s better to deal with these issues proactively than it is to wait and struggle with them later.

5 Steps To Take in the First Three Hours After a Kitchen Flood

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen flood in a Gallitzin, PA home.

5 Steps To Take in the First Three Hours After a Kitchen Flood

Stepping into your kitchen to find a water covered floor can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Knowing what steps to take as soon as you find the water pouring out from under the sink can help you mitigate the damage to your home. Here are five steps to take in the first three hours after a kitchen flooding occurs.

1. Remove Water

After you turn the water valve off, sop up the water with towels, collect the water with buckets, or sweep the water out the door with a broom. Mold can begin to grow from having unwanted water in your home in as soon as 24 hours, so it is essential to remove the water yourself or call a water mitigation team.

2. Sort Items

Anything that was on the floor, and is now wet, needs to be sorted. For example, pet food should be thrown away, but the pet’s bowl can be cleaned and saved. So, make a pile of items to discard and another pile for items you are going to keep.

3. Protect Furniture

Your floors will quickly soak up the flooding water, so it is important to protect your furniture from the soggy floors. One way is to place your items on blocks, while another is to place a foil or plastic barrier between the furniture and the floor.

4. Begin Ventilation

Once the water is gone, turn on fans or dehumidifiers to remove the residual moisture from the air. If it is summer in Gallitzin, PA, an air conditioner can help ventilate as well.

5. Relocate Heirlooms

If you have precious keepsakes or heirlooms in the flooded area, consider relocating them away from the moisture packed air in the kitchen. The dampness can encourage mold and mildew growth.

After the flooding water has been dealt with, you can probably begin to worry about the minor kitchen repair associated with floodwater. It may also be a good idea to contact your insurance company and let them know you have a mitigation team to help you document the chaos.

Information You Can Expect From an Electronic Claims Service

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding damage in a commercial building in Vinco, PA

Information You Can Expect From an Electronic Claims Service

Any time your clients’ businesses are damaged by storms, fire or flooding, you can expect them to file an insurance claim. If the company that does the repair work has an electronic record system, you have a wealth of information available to verify the information you are given. The Claims Information Center goes beyond offering a list of services and costs. Here is a list of the types of data you can expect from an electronic claims service.

1. Type of Damage

When you access a file on the CIC, you can see exactly what the local SERVPRO team finds when it conducts the damage assessment. Knowing the type of damage in your client’s building in Vinco, PA, can help you determine the extent to which the policy covers the repairs.

2. Cause of Damage

To further help you discern whether the client’s insurance claim can be approved, you need to know what caused the damage to the property. Some policies cover fire and water damage but not flood damage from a storm. Having the information readily available makes processing the claim easier.

3. Cost of Repairs

When an insurance agent logs in to the CIC, the case file should contain an itemized list of damages and labor, complete with each item’s cost. Rather than have to wait for a hard copy of the report, you can see what restoration is likely to cost at any point in the process.

4. Comparison of Companies

SERVPRO wants you to know that you are getting excellent service. The electronic records system lets you compare the response time and service of its certified mitigation experts on both a regional and national scale.

Processing an insurance claim for the damage to your client’s commercial property becomes much simpler when you have access to an electronic claims service. You can get all the information you need to serve your client efficiently.

Your One-Stop Shop

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

This kitchen was rebuilt after it suffered water damage from a leaking pipe. SERVPRO of Ebensburg was there every step of the way.

Experiencing Any Kind of Loss in Your Home or Business Can be Very Stressful.

No one wants their lives to be flipped upside down due to a water or fire loss. Many customers dread the thought of having to deal with another contractor to get their lives back together after a fire or water loss. SERVPRO of Ebensburg provides a One-Stop-Shop to help homeowners feel less stressed.

SERVPRO of Ebensburg understands there is a lot of stress that can come along with any kind of loss in your home. It is our goal to help minimize the interruption to your life and make everything "Like it never even happened."

•SERVPRO of Ebensburg specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties.

•SERVPRO of Ebensburg can lower your stress by limiting the amount of contractors you have to deal with.

•SERVPRO of Ebensburg also specializes in the reconstruction of your property after a fire or water loss.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response.

Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

What Causes Mold To Spread?

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies

Mold spores are always present in the air. The most effective way to avoid spreading mold is to ensure that conditions are not favorable for growth. Non-professional attempts to locate and remove mold are some of the most common reasons why mold spreads. Find out how spores travel and how to stop mold from spreading throughout a residence in Summerhill, PA.

Spores Travel Through Air

Spores travel easily through air. Mold growth starts when spores land on a surface that supplies moisture and nutrients. A homeowner should consider several factors to limit the spread of mold:

  • Mold can grow in and spread through an HVAC system
  • Mold spores often enter a home from outside
  • Dry mold spores from old growth are very likely to spread through air

Mold will have a harder time growing in an inhospitable environment. Quickly mitigate and restore water damage and maintain relative indoor humidity levels between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Spores Can Attach to Contents or Pets

Mold can also spread throughout a home on items or inhabitants. Spores can attach to a variety of carriers:

  • Clothing
  • Contents
  • Pets

Contaminated clothes may be a factor in spreading mold. Pets also carry spores on their fur. Relocating a moldy item is another way that spores spread to other areas.

Colonies Flourish Where Moisture Is Present

Mold multiplies when moisture and food sources are present. If a leak occurs, mold may quickly spread throughout the affected area. Homeowners should take quick action to mitigate water damage and prevent the growth of any type of fungi, including black mold.

All of these factors can cause mold to spread throughout a home in Summerhill, PA. Homeowners should arrange for professional mold remediation rather than attempting to locate or remove colonies to avoid spreading mold. Exposing hidden mold can release spores and spread mold rather than eliminating the problem.

What To Know About the Claims Inventory System

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to keeping track of an insurance claim in East Conemaugh, PA, there can be a lot of details to remember. When your client is looking at water, fire, mold, or storm damage to their property, the restoration process can be complicated. Fortunately, the professional restoration service known as SERVPRO has a claims inventory system that can help. Here’s what you may want to know.

What the System Tracks

A claims inventory system is designed to keep track of various types of data. These include

  • Claims organized by loss type
  • Claims organized by damage type
  • Individual file reviews
  • Both regional and national company comparisons
  • Job file costs
  • Response times

Much of the data can also be organized by location, meaning that you can look up information by whether it falls under a regional, state or national category. In many cases, data can also be located by county.

How the System Works

As the team collects the information needed for the insurance claim, they upload it to their corporate database. This information typically includes both the original estimate and any updates to the information that may need to be made. As an insurance provider, you can then access this information through the management dashboard.

How It Can Benefit You

The dashboard allows the insurance agent to quickly access the facts they need to complete a claim. The ability to log in to the dashboard can help save time that might otherwise have been spent making phone calls, searching through paperwork, or seeking the right contact. This tool can also allow you to quickly look over the information needed to help answer any questions your client may have about their claim.

When processing an insurance claim, using the claims inventory system provided by SERVPRO may help. The restoration team collects the information needed for the claim and then uploads it to the database. This allows you to easily access the data needed to process your client's claim.

Dealing with a Furnace Puff Back

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs in the upstairs stairway due to a furnace puff back in the basement.

Dealing with a Furnace Puff Back

Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? 
It doesn't get much worse than finally giving into turning on your furnace for the next few months and having it blow a whole bunch of soot back out through your entire home. 

What is a Puff Back? 
The term "Puff Back" refers to the sudden explosion of soot into your home or business caused by a malfunction in the heating system. This soot is usually a sticky, greasy, grimy mess that can present a sever health hazard. All of those minuscule, oil based particles embed themselves in your curtains, carpets, and clothing while contaminating the air with known carcinogens. 

How Can I Know if I had a Puff Back?
Puff Backs are characterized by the oily black soot left behind, often appearing like spider webs. The soot and other debris from the explosion can easily be carried throughout your home by the exhaust and heating systems meaning that every room in your home has the potential to be damaged.   

You might be tempted to try and clean up this mess by yourself, but running a vacuum over the soot only grinds it deeper and creates stains that will never come out. Wiping the soot from walls and ceilings creates a place where paint will no longer stick, and unless the soot is quickly and professionally removed, it can cause corrosion of metal on doorknobs, faucets, and even electronic equipment in the home. Because every inch of the home is affected, a puff back is an overwhelming job to clean properly. 

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you! 

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Dispatched to Virginia Beach

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Thousands of people along the east coast had to deal with flash flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew hit the United States affecting states up the east coast from Florida to Virginia. With winds maxing out at 107 M.P.H, just short of 10 foot surges, and some areas getting over 7 inches of rain an hour, Matthew brought wide spread flash flooding and record river flooding as it worked its way north. 

SERVPRO of Ebensburg's Storm Team was just one of the many Storm Teams across the country to get the call to help those affected by Matthew. Our Team was sent to Raleigh, North Carolina , and then came back north to Virginia Beach, Virginia to help those that were dealing with sever flooding and power outages due to the hurricane.  

Now that water levels are receding, our team members are working long hard days in an attempt to help the residents of Virginia Beach get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible! 

Steps To Expect With Storm Damage Restoration

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on damaged area

Steps of A Storm Restoration Process

Repairing extensive water damage is far more intensive than simply removing standing water and allowing the room to dry. That is why it is critical to hire a professional team to ensure every step of the storm restoration process is carried out precisely. You may not have the tools at your disposal to tear out damaged materials and dry porous items, so leave this work to the experts in Ebensburg, PA. 

1. Extraction

Before anything else can be done, the team needs to remove all water from the premises. Any furniture or other items will be removed too so that the proper equipment can be moved in. 

2. Removal

Once all the standing water is gone, the team can eliminate any wet materials. This typically involves cutting away the drywall. A professional will create a flood cut about 12 inches above the flood line. This step is even more essential if there is insulation located behind the wall that could have absorbed some of the moisture. A professional tear out helps remove any mold that could have developed. 

3. Drying

You can assist in the ventilation process by opening up all windows and setting up fans to help dry the room. The team may bring in a heavy-duty industrial fan to expedite the process. During the dry down, the team will also look at all items affected by the flood to see what can be salvaged and what will need to be tossed. Your team in Ebensburg, PA will do everything possible to save all valuables, but there may be little hope for certain items. 

4. Restoration

The team can then install new drywall and insulation to make the room look as good as new. Make sure to ask about getting materials installed that are waterproofed and will remain resilient in case another flood occurs in the future. With the right materials, you may be able to avoid another tear out later. 

Visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com for more information on storm damage.

Flood Damage and Preparation

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Basement storm flooding in Ebensburg, PA

Preparing For Flooding In Ebensburg, PA

This article explains how a flood preparation ensures the home is safe, and everyone in the house will recover from the storm. There are several techniques that may be used, and homeowners must be ready in the event of an emergency.

1: Planning For A Water Loss

There are several different reasons a water loss may occur in homes around the Ebensburg, PA area, and they often are related to saturation of the ground in a storm. There are several lawns in the area that will not hold any water, and the water will flow directly into the basement or begin a flash flood. Mitigation of water damage includes digging trenches in the yard to help water flow away from the house, waterproofing the basement and installing a sum pump that will drain the lowest level of the house.

2: Clearing Out Water Damage

Water may reach several parts of the home as the carpentry and drywall is broken down. Standing water will cause many issues that are difficult to compete with, and the mitigation firm must be allowed time to complete their work. They will remove all the water from the home, and they will keep the house completely clean once it has been drained.

Three Ways to Continue Working During a Power Outage

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Power outage in Carrolltown, PA

Few Ways to Continue Working While The Power is Out In Your Office

If your Carrolltown, PA business experiences a power outage, it can be difficult to keep your business running as usual. However, there are some options that you have if your building loses power. Here are a few ways that you can continue to work while the power is out in your office.

1. Invest In an Alternate Power Source

One of the most common solutions if your business loses power is to use a portable generator. This can help you continue working until the power comes back on. It might also be a good idea to have a UPS, or uninterruptible power source, connected to your computers. The battery power in the UPS will give you time to shut down the computers properly and make sure that all of your important data is saved.

2. Use Wi-Fi to Access the Internet

Most phone services today offer a data plan so you can use the internet anywhere. This can come in especially handy if there is a power outage. Depending on your data plan and phone, you might be able to use your phone as a hot spot to provide internet to several devices. If this is not an option, there are many public spaces in which you can access wi-fi for free.

3. Consider Working From Home

If it is possible for you or your employees to work from home, this might be the best solution. If your homes have power while your work place does not, it may be easier and more convenient to temporarily bring your work home with you. Relocating to a library or café for the duration of the outage is another option.
Having a power outage in your building does not mean that all of your work needs to be put on hold. You might just need to find another source of power. If the outage is accompanied by other damage to your building, you can hire emergency restoration services to do any needed repairs.

How Long Do Smoke Alarm Batteries Last?

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners should replace the detector unit every 10 years

A smoke alarm will only function if a power source is available. The batteries in alarms that are not hardwired, and the backup battery power in systems that are, should be switched out on a regular basis. It is advisable to be proactive and not to wait for a smoke detector to start beeping before changing the batteries. Find out more about the average operating life of different types of alarm batteries.

Alarms With Replaceable Batteries

Smoke alarms that rely on replaceable batteries may require various types. There are five common types of alkaline batteries:

  • Nine-volt or PP3
  • AAA
  • AA
  • C
  • D

Most smoke detectors with replaceable batteries use nine-volt or PP3 batteries. Make sure that you have spare batteries for any detector. Homeowners should replace the detector unit every 10 years.

Alarms With Non-Replaceable Batteries

Some newer smoke alarm models run on a lithium battery that has a 10-year operating life. Batteries in these detectors cannot be replaced. It will be necessary to purchase and install a new detector at the end of this period. Old detectors should be deactivated according to the instructions for each model prior to proper disposal.

Backup Batteries

Some building codes require homeowners to have hardwired smoke detection systems. A battery backup can ensure that these smoke alarms will continue to function even if the power goes out. These batteries should be replaced at least once a year.

Whether an alarm relies on replaceable alkaline batteries, a non-replaceable lithium battery, or is hardwired with a backup battery pack, it is important to replace batteries at least once a year. If a smoke alarm starts beeping before this time, go ahead and replace the battery. If a fire breaks out and damages or destroys building materials and contents at a residence in Cresson, PA, homeowners should schedule a consultation with a fire damage restoration company.

3 Things You Should Know About Mold Damaged Paintings

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

3 Things You Should Know About Mold Damaged Paintings

If you have a painting in your home in Portage, PA that has been affected by mold, you may be unsure whether or not the mold can be removed. However, knowing about the mold cleaning process of paintings can help you prepare for the process of restoration.

1. Paintings Can Be Restored

Seeing a painting that you value covered in mold can be devastating. However, it is often possible for paintings to be restored. Factors that can determine whether or not a painting can be restored may include: the age of the painting, the amount of mold on the painting and the materials used in the making of the original painting. Although paintings can be restored, it’s generally advisable to leave the restoration process to the experts.

2. A Quick Response Is Important

When a painting becomes damaged by mold, it’s often best to react quickly in order to prevent more damage from occurring. Though moving the painting by yourself may cause mold spores to move, it can be useful to eliminate any sources of water that are making it easier for the mold to grow. Less mold present on a painting often makes the mold cleaning process much easier.

3. Remediation Can Be Time-Consuming

Even if a painting has what appears to be a small amount of mold on it, the process of remediation can take a great deal of time. In order to fully restore the painting, professionals must use various treatments to ensure that the painting is not damaged. Once mold has been removed, professionals must then work to correct any parts of the painting that were damaged, and the process of making the painting look as if it has never been damaged is complex.

Mold cleaning can often be an important step to restore a painting, though responding quickly to prevent further mold damage and having patience with the process is often helpful. If paintings and other items in your home have been affected by mold, consider contacting mold remediation experts.

Don’t Ignore a Toilet Overflow

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Ebensburg, we can handle all aspects of cleanup and restoration

Sewer damage in your home is just repulsive to think about, but it is best to think about it before it happens so you are prepared to clean it up the right way. Here are some things you should know so you can handle an overflowing toilet in your home in Johnstown, PA.

Not Your Average Flood

When you have sewer damage overflow, it’s not your average flood water: it is “black water.” That means it contains biological hazards, like bacteria or viruses. This means extra precaution is needed in the cleanup of a flooded toilet:

  • Skin should be protected from exposure by wearing gloves and boots.

  • Cleanup will require the use of antimicrobials and disinfectants.

  • Some materials may not be cleanable and need replaced.

When it comes to cleanup, you need to keep safety in mind because this is a black water flood.

Mold Growth

Proper cleanup must also consider the prevention of mold growth. A toilet overflow always comes at a bad time, and you may be tempted to go on to work with a plan to deal with the damage later. Delays in cleanup could cause problematic secondary damage, like mold growth. In just 48 hours, mold can start to grow. That may sound like enough time to go to work and come back, but then your materials would be so saturated with black water that it may take much longer to remove and dry everything. Once mold colonies start forming, it’s really hard to get them under control.

Professional Help

Who should you call for help? Don’t look for a sewage company to help because you need a full disaster mitigation specialist that can handle all aspects of cleanup and restoration. You want someone that is knowledgeable about black water cleanup including proper safety practices and prevention of secondary damage.

Summary

When you have a toilet overflow in your home, you want to prepare yourself for the additional complications associated with that type of problem. Professional sewage cleanup and water mitigation will ensure your home is restored to the condition it was in before the sewer damage.

3 Steps of the Fire Cleanup Process

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Soot residue in a Ebensburg, PA building

Fire Cleanup Process

A fire in your commercial property in Ebensburg, PA, can cause multiple kinds of damage to almost every part of the affected area. It is not uncommon for a building that has burned to have just as much water damage as smoke damage. You also may need to have soot removed, and there is likely to be an unpleasant odor throughout the space. It’s smart, therefore, to hire fire restoration specialists who are trained and certified to handle all the steps of the fire cleanup process.

1. Fire Damage Remediation

The first part of the smoke cleaning process usually starts with the structural damage caused not only by the fire but also by the water used to put it out. Experts may need to employ several techniques to fix your building:

  • Extract standing water
  • Remove damaged items, including walls, insulation, flooring and ceiling tiles
  • Clean and dry the whole area
  • Replace parts of the structure that were destroyed
  • Match new parts to existing frame to restore the proper aesthetic

Once the smoke damage to the structure has been remedied, technicians can move on to ridding your property of soot.

2. Soot Removal

After a fire, every square inch of the space where it occurred is probably covered in a layer of soot. The tricky thing about these carbon flakes is that they are highly transferable, so experts must be careful to keep the area closed off. Safety gear is necessary during soot damage remediation so that it doesn’t come into contact with skin, hair and lungs.

3. Odor Elimination

Smoke can be pervasive. It can get into tiny cracks and crevices, so the odor tends to linger. An ozone machine that releases molecules that bond with and neutralize smoke particles may be used. Another popular technique is thermal fogging. This process works by heating up a deodorizing chemical and disseminating it in the same basic way the fire spread the smoke. Both methods can help get rid of smoke odor.

Smoke damage often requires professional restoration. Experts can make your building look like it never even happened.

How To Detect Roof Damage

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Cracks on roof in an Ebensburg, PA residence

Adverse weather or high winds can result in roof damage. A damaged roof puts an entire residence at risk for leaks, water damage, and even mold. Take the following measures to detect damage as soon as it occurs.

Inspect the Shingles

Missing or dislodged shingles are one of the most evident signs of damage. Depending on the overall condition of a roof, shingles can be replaced to reduce the likelihood of a leak. If you take a closer look, you may also notice more subtle signs of damage, such as:

  • Breakage
  • Bruising
  • Curling
  • Loss of granulation

Notify a roofer about any indications of damage. A professional can determine the right approach to roof repair.

Look For Signs of Stress

High winds may start to loosen and peel off roofing materials. Roof damage can quickly spread and become extensive. A roof does not wear evenly. Wind tends to put stress on certain areas, including the:

  • Corners
  • Edges
  • Outer perimeter

In cold climates, wear around the eaves may indicate that ice damming is occurring. A poorly ventilated and insulated roof with uneven surface temperatures can cause snow to melt and refreeze around the edges of the roof, preventing proper drainage. Over time, pooling water can undermine roofing materials and cause water damage that requires cleanup and restoration.

Check For Signs of Impact

If a fallen tree limb or flying debris has damaged a roof, you may be able to see signs of impact. These may include:

  • Cracks
  • Missing shingles
  • Punctures
  • Splits

Adverse weather and wind tend to cause damage to a roof over time unless an impact from heavy debris occurs. Contact a roofer as soon as you hear or see signs of a sudden impact.

It is important to regularly check for signs of roof damage. If you do not feel safe doing so yourself, contact a roofer in Ebensburg, PA.

How To Extinguish a Fire

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Evacuation can keep you safe

Four Steps to Put Out a Household or Kitchen Fire

A fire extinguisher can limit the amount of damage caused by a minor fire. This safety equipment is not difficult to use, but it is important to use it properly. Follow these four steps to put out a household or kitchen fire.

1. Identify a Safe Evacuation Path

Do not attempt to extinguish a fire until you have a safe path for evacuation. Avoid letting the fire get between you and the exit. If there is not a safe path, you should immediately pursue another escape route.

2. Use the Right Fire Extinguisher

There are five classes of extinguishers that contain different substances. These include:

  • Class A for ordinary combustibles
  • Class B for flammable liquid or gas fuel
  • Class C for electrical fires
  • Class D for combustible metal
  • Class K for liquid cooking materials

Multi-class extinguishers are suitable for more than one type of fire. These extinguishers will be labeled with more than one class, such as A-B-C.

3. Do the P.A.S.S. Technique

There are four steps to the P.A.S.S. technique. These steps are as follows:

  • P: Pull the pin and break the tamper seal
  • A: Aim the nozzle, horn, or hose at the base of the fire
  • S: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing substance
  • S: Sweep from side to side near the base of the fire

Continue until the fire appears to be out. Then, watch the area for signs of re-ignition. If an extinguisher becomes empty and a fire is still burning, you should evacuate immediately.

4. Evacuate If Necessary

If you cannot extinguish a fire, evacuating can keep you safe. If the fire appears to be out, you can wait outside for the fire department to arrive to ensure that there is no further risk.

These four steps will enable you to use a fire extinguisher to put out an incipient fire at a residence in Johnstown, PA. If a fire is more severe, you should evacuate. Once the fire is out, you can contact a fire damage restoration company.

3 Useful Tips To Prepare for a Spring Thaw

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your gutters clear and in working condition in your Portage,PA building

Winter in Portage, PA, can present challenges on its own, but when packed snow, ice and a possible frozen pipe thaw in the wake of warmer temperatures, the ensuing water flow can cause significant property damage. Fortunately, knowledgeability and precautionary action can help to mitigate the difficulties of spring thaw flooding.

Taking Preventative Measures

It is important to acknowledge that while floods during spring can be virtually unavoidable, taking steps to prepare can help tremendously to protect your business and valuables. Such preventative measures include the following:

  • Have the building assessed for damage by a professional restoration service.
  • Install a sewer backflow valve or water pump, as well as a water alarm, in the basement level of the building.
  • Transfer valuables from lower floors to a higher level prior to spring thaw warnings.
  • Keep all flood drains, window wells, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris and in working condition.

Understanding Your Insurance Coverage

Always be informed and updated on all insurance policies pertaining to your business, especially those relating to water damage. Many companies will only cover the damage caused by a spring flood under a flooding insurance policy. It is also wise to ensure that backed-up sewer coverage is included in the policy, as such protection is often unavailable without paying certain premiums.

Securing Your Valuables

One of the most effective methods to protect valuables is to keep them out of harm’s way; consider relocating high-priority items to a secure, waterproof location, as well as removing assets from lower building levels during spring thaw advisories. Be sure to keep vital records, important documents and a list of all assets stored with said valuables, and take inventory on a regular basis to keep your records up to date.

Though spring thawing is an inevitable part of the season, keeping your business protected from water damage and flooding is simple and easy with the right preventative measures. Having a plan in place and being prepared can bring you security and peace of mind this upcoming season.

Why Does Mold Smell?

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold after water loss in Portage,PA

If you're a property owner in Portage,PA, the upkeep of your building is a constant concern. Besides making sure the plumbing is in top shape and the roof is free of leaks, you also want to be certain that the structure is free of mold and the mycotoxins it produces. One of the key indicators of the presence of mold is the smell. The musty odor is unmistakable, and can let you know right away that you've got a problem. But why does mold smell?

Chemical Compounds

You might think that the odor of mold is produced by the airborne spores the fungus uses to reproduce, but that's not the case. Actually, the odors are causes by various chemical components that are released as the mold grows and consumes nutrients. These substances are called Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, or MVOCs. These compounds don't contain the dangerous mycotoxins, although some of them are known to be toxic in large quantities. The list of MVOCs includes:

  • 1-butanol - an odor of alcohol fermentation
  • 2-hexanone - a smell like acetone
  • 1-octen-3-ol - a moldy, green or meaty odor
  • Geosmin - an earthy scent
  • Borneol - smells like camphor
  • 3-octanone - an odor like nuts or herbs

Smells as Growth Indicators

When the mold is dry and has stopped growing, this is usually the time for it to release spores, and no MVOCs will be produced. MVOCs are usually detected only when the mold is active. This is a good indicator that there is a constant source of moisture for the mold to grow in, and you might have a problem.

If you detect a mold problem in your building, it's a good idea to get in touch with a professional mold remediation specialist right away. They can test the mold to see what type it is and if any mycotoxins are present. Once they assess the problem and isolate the sources, they can completely eradicate the mold, making sure your property is safe and free from further damage.

How To Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can help minimize fire damage in your Ebensburg,PA business

Tips of Selecting and Operating a Portable Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a common sight in public buildings and offices. A portable extinguisher can save lives and reduce property damage in the case of fires contained to small areas, such as a wastebasket, equipment closet, or garbage can. While fire inspectors and fire safety professionals in Ebensburg, PA, can be helpful resources in fire safety planning, here are a few basic tips you can use when selecting and operating a portable extinguisher.

  1. Choose the right extinguisher. Portable extinguishers are designed for specific applications. For example, a dry chemical extinguisher is for electrical fires, while a CO2 extinguisher is best suited for flammable liquids, such as grease in a kitchen or break room fire. The type of fire extinguisher needed will depend on the flammable materials present in the environment where it will be located.
  2. Locate extinguishers in key areas. Keep extinguishers close to where fires are most likely to occur. Take into consideration the workplace or building layout when deciding where to place an extinguisher.

  3. When using an extinguisher, remember PASS:
    • Pull the safety pin in the handle.
    • Aim at the base or source of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever.
    • Sweep back and forth.

  4. When in doubt, just get out. If a fire appears too big to tackle, the room is filled with smoke, or someone is injured, the average person should not attempt to extinguish a fire. He or she should get safely out of the building and help others escape.

A fire extinguisher can help minimize fire damage, but it is only part of a sound fire safety plan. Functioning smoke detectors and an escape route are other important components to have in place before a fire occurs. It is important to remember getting to safety is always the top priority in any fire. Structural fire and water damage can always be addressed, but lives cannot be replaced.

What Is Roof Damage Mitigation?

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Roof damage in Portage, PA

If your precious home’s roof has ever suffered from destruction related to a severe storm in Portage, PA, or you are trying to prepare for such an event, you may have wondered what roof damage mitigation is and how it could benefit you and your house. Here’s an overview of what this service is and what it entails.

Mitigation Definition

Mitigation for wind damage to a home’s roof involves finding a temporary but effective solution to the situation until more permanent remediation and repairs are possible. This is a very important process to help protect your home and its integrity, and is usually best completed by residential storm damage restoration specialists who typically understand what your home needs to stay secure after damage.

Steps Involved

There are a few steps that are involved when a remediation technician comes to help you with your roof damage concerns. The professionals’ duties typically include the following:

  1. Inspection of the damaged property
  2. Boarding and tarping of the damaged areas to mitigate the issue
  3. Creating a more thorough restoration plan or suggesting other solutions

In some cases, quick mitigation fixes are all a roof will need. However, some situations may require that a trained technician find a more permanent option for remediation or suggest a different way to get assistance if the situation is more complex.

How to Prepare

Facing a Portage, PA, storm is enough to make any homeowner anxious, but realizing that roof damage could also occur makes the situation seem that much more alarming. The best thing you can do if you are preparing for an expected or theoretical future storm is to try to use your best judgment instead of listening to your emotions, and also to understand your remediation options as outlined above. Preparation helps you to take better control of your home’s future if an emergency should ever come its way.

3 Things to Throw Away After a Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Recovering from a home fire is a long, frustrating process, sometimes compounded by the loss of cherished belongings. When you face the destruction of the furnishings and content of your Portage, PA, home, it can be hard to say good-bye to belongings that don't seem to have been affected. However, there are some items that you need to throw away, even if they don't look like they've damaged by fire or smoke.

1. Food

Obviously, you'll toss out any cereals and breads that were on the counter. Of course, you'll throw away anything in open containers and foods there were stored in cardboard or thin plastic bags. It may surprise you to learn, however, that even your canned foods should be tossed out. This is because the high heat of the fire will activate the growth of bacteria, even when food is sealed in glass jars and cans from the store.

The contents of your fridge may be safe, even if the power has gone out, but remember that it's safer to throw out questionable foods than to suffer through physical sickness. Anything that smells smoky or odd, has visible soot, or doesn't feel cold should be disposed of.

2. Medicine

The last thing you need after a fire is to be left without your necessary medications. However, these items can be affected by fire damage. If there's warping, charring, or signs of soot, throw it out. It's better to contact your doctor for refills than to become sick or suffer other side effects.

3. Cosmetics

You may think that heat could affect cosmetics to the point that they are harmful to your health. However, the same temperatures that affect your food and medications could affect the chemicals in cosmetics to the point that they are no longer usable.

Ultimately, it's best to throw away any belongings that have suffered fire damage. This is particularly true for food, medicine, and cosmetics. Don't put yourself at risk. Ask professionals from the fire department or a fire restoration company if you aren't sure if something is safe to keep.

Maintaining Building Exteriors To Reduce Storm Damage

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Blocked gutters can cause damage in your commercial building in Johnstown,PA

Rain, wind, hail – if you have a business in Johnstown, PA, it can be severely damaged by strong storms. Performing exterior maintenance on your building can help reduce storm damage. It is important to keep your building maintained in order to minimize the time and money spent on repairs after a severe storm.

Early Indications of Wear

Many problems with building exteriors can be identified while in the early stages and can be repaired before becoming a costly burden, especially after a storm. For example, rust stains may indicate a leak in the gutters or windows. The easiest places to start a building inspection are the areas that are the most vulnerable:

  • Windows – Check the caulking around the exterior for cracks or gaps.
  • Doors – Check that the doors close tightly and there are no gaps.
  • Walls and siding – Check for hairline cracks in siding or even slight gaps in brick-and-mortar exteriors.
  • Gutters – Poorly-fitting or blocked gutters can cause water to pool and drain down the side of your building, causing damage to the exterior.

Without proper exterior maintenance, problems with any of the above can be exacerbated during a strong storm and damage to the interior of the building, as well as the exterior, may result.

Prevention Is Key

The easiest way to save time and money is to keep your building maintained and perform a building inspection on a regular basis. A few simple things to do include the following:

  • Re-caulk windows to keep them water- and wind-proof.
  • Install weather-stripping around windows and doors to help plug gaps.
  • Thoroughly clean all gutters and ensure that they are free from cracks or holes.

Making large repairs to a building exterior after a storm is often much more difficult than doing preventive maintenance and making small repairs as the need arises.

What To Do

If you need to repair your building after a severe storm, be sure to call a professional crew in Johnstown, PA. While routine exterior maintenance can help reduce costs, if there is a need for a major repair, you will need an experienced team to get you back in business.

How To Know When Your Water Heater Might Fail

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Check your water heater in Ebensburg,PA to avoid water damage

As a homeowner, you want to prevent as much damage to your Ebensburg, PA, house as possible. Keeping an eye on your appliances can help you avoid unnecessary flooding. A leaking water heater, for example, can cause a lot of damage to your home. If you knew your heater might start leaking before it happened, you could potentially stop the flooding from taking place. A residential water team may be able to help you inspect your water heater and other appliances for signs of impending failure.

1. You hear strange noises.

Some noises coming from your water heater are normal, but too much banging, whistling or rumbling could be a sign that you have a broken water heater. Built up sediment, for example, can cause the heating coils to bang and shake each time they heat up. Eventually, this can cause breaks in the elements or sides of the heater.

2. You see rusty water.

If you notice rusty water whenever you run a hot bath or try to wash the dishes, it could be a major sign of a failed water heater. The rust could mean your heating unit is rusting away from the inside. However, in some cases rusty water could simply mean you have rusty pipes. Before replacing your appliance, drain some water to make sure the rust is coming from the water heater itself.
3. You see standing water. A sure sign of a leaking water heater is seeing water coming out of the unit. If you don't see the active leak but still see standing water, you should do some investigation to figure out where the flood is coming from. In some cases, a water heater may only leak while the water inside is hot because the heat expands the fractures of the metal.

A leaking water heater can leave you with little warm water and serious water damage. Catching the problem early can help reduce the problems caused by the failed equipment.

Commercial Property Recovery After Water Damage

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover on a water loss in a Johnstown, PA museum

Water damage caused by broken pipes can lead to a complete business shut down because of the water cleanup. It can be difficult after this type of disaster to see any hope, but with a little elbow grease and a lot of luck, the damage may not be as bad as it seems. Before you begin the potentially long and grueling process, you may want to familiarize yourself with the following steps:

1. Stay Safe

The first thing you should do before entering a flooded area is cut the power because, even if it looks like the power is off, there is the possibility of electrical currents still flowing through submerged appliances and outlets.

2. Pump and Wet Vac

After you have ensured your safety, it is time to begin the process of moving the water from the interior of your building to the exterior. Instead of dealing with the low-tech option of buckets and assembly lines, you may find it more beneficial to rent a few pumps and wet vacs to speed up the process. As you had to turn the power off, you can use generators and extension cords to power up.

3. Salvage What You Can

Once you have removed all the water, you can begin salvaging items that have not been affected by the water damage. Keep in mind that porous items hold water and may pose a mold or mildew risk.

4. Ventilate and Dry

After the water removal and salvaging work is complete, you can open all windows and doors to help ventilate and dry the building. You can rent air movers and dehumidifiers to help with the drying process, once again utilizing generators to power these tools.

5. Scrub Away

Once the building is dry, you can scrub and disinfect the entire area. It may be beneficial to search the Johnstown, PA, area for restoration companies, as they have the expertise and equipment necessary to speed up the process.

Water damage is difficult for a business owner, but if you follow the five steps above and seek any additional help you may need, the process may just make you a stronger leader.

How You Can Use Landscaping to Protect Your Home

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Basement storm flooding in Indiana, PA

The threat of outside flooding during a rain storm can be a severe risk in Indiana, PA, and it can stem from the lack of proper rain drainage. There are several ways to divert rainfall utilizing landscaping that is both practical and affordable. The list below gives you five ideas.

1. Reconfigure the Downspouts

One of the most cost-effective ways to prevent the buildup of excess water is to reconfigure your downspouts. Downspout diverters help to move the rainwater away from your home, preferably to a lower surface. This solution is cost-effective while also minimally changing the exterior of your home.

2. Add Driveway Drainage

If you have a driveway that slants towards your home, it can cause flooding during significant downpours. An excellent solution to avoid this is to add a driveway drainage system. Unfortunately, you will likely need to rely on a professional to install the system, which means the cost will vary based on the scope of work.

3. Plant Rain Gardens

A rain garden is an excellent way to prevent outside flooding. While it does little to divert water, the garden often hoards water, and it will do this most effectively if you choose plants with the highest water soil tolerance. Most homeowners prefer to build rain gardens that are around 100 square foot, but any size can help.

4. Use Dense Mulch

Similar to rain gardens, dense mulch allows water to build up in a highly absorbent area. Additionally, the use of heavier mulch can prevent it from floating away and causing blockages in exterior drains.

5. Dig Swale Ditches

One of the more expensive options is to dig a ditch, commonly referred to as a trench or a swale. While many homes do have naturally occurring swales, it is possible to excavate a trench to redirect and divert water.

While outside flooding is a significant concern for many homeowners, there are many potential solutions to help ease that concern that are both cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing. Choose your favorite.

Can I Prevent Mold From Returning To My Home?

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growing on wet walls from flood waters in a Ebensburg, PA home

As a homeowner in Ebensburg, PA, you have a lot to worry about as you try to maintain a clean, safe, comfortable place to live. Despite your best efforts, it’s sometimes impossible to prevent all issues from causing damage to your house. Black mold is no exception. This invader can creep into your walls, floors or other areas without you even knowing it. However, you can take measures to minimize the likelihood of it spreading in your house.

Mold Is Unavoidable

It may not sound pleasant, but everywhere you go, there is at least a trace of mold. No matter how clean and sterile you keep the environment around you, this substance will find its way to you. Here are some facts about mold and its pervasive nature:

  • Mold spores are microscopic and float in the air.
  • Mold may enter your home from the outside via windows or doors.
  • Mold can find its way into your house on anyone or anything that comes inside.
  • Mold grows quickly when it is exposed to water.
  • Mold thrives in humid environments.

Professionals Are the Answer

Though mold is everywhere, there are steps you can take to clean it up when you see it in your home. While you can use some household items to combat it, it’s best to call a trained professional who knows how to get rid of black mold. The pros use the best techniques and have powerful tools for mold cleanup.

Remediation is the Key

You may not be able to keep mold out for good, but a skilled technician can employ industry-standard mold remediation techniques to increase your chances of being mold free. The professionals will remove and replace any areas of your home that have visible signs of mold damage.

You don’t want to take a black mold and any other form of this culprit lightly. Be aware of conditions that invite mold. Then, call a reputable professional to remove it.

Got a Fire? Put it out Quickly With a Fire Extinguisher

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher today.

It’s never pleasant to have a fire you in your workplace. Even small incidents can cause damage and disrupt your business. Fortunately, if you catch a fire before it has a chance to grow and spread, you can put it out with a fire extinguisher. The problem is, many people don’t know how to use this valuable tool. Make sure you and everyone in your company can operate one. It could save you money and a lot of grief.

When to use One

A fire extinguisher can be a remarkably effective measure again fires in your building. If you act fast, you can put out a blaze in a matter of seconds. While firefighters will handle large fires in your facility, an extinguisher is an ideal defense against some of the following:

• Kitchen fire
• Fire in a garbage can
• Electrical fire

If you spot any of these, don’t wait for a second to act. When you know how to use an extinguisher, you can have peace of mind and confidence.

How to use One

It’s easy to remember the PASS method when it comes to putting out a fire with an extinguisher. The faster you put it to use, the less likely you’ll have to contend with fire damage. First, pull the pin from the handle at the top of the device. Next, aim the hose at the base of the fire. You then squeeze the handle with one hand while firmly holding the hose with the other. Lastly, in a sweeping motion, spray the chemical or foam on the flames.

Why use One

While an extinguisher won’t douse large fires in your Ebensburg, PA, office building, this tool can mitigate damage and even save lives. It can control a fire before it starts to spread to other areas.

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher today. Teach your staff how to use one as well so you can eliminate the threats of a major disaster. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/.

Roof Maintenance Tips for Commercial Property Owners

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

By inspecting and maintaining your roof, you can identify problems and keep it clear of debris.

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 Ebensburg, 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 protects 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. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/.

Pro Tips on What To Avoid After a Flood

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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 flood waters. 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 Ebensburg, 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. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/.

How To Remove Water From a Flooded Basement

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump is often a home’s first line of defense against flooding during the heavy rainfalls that hit Ebensburg, PA, every year. Sometimes, however, the equipment fails to channel the water outside, and the basement fills with a foot or two of water. Here are steps for removing excess water once the storm passes.


1. Ensure the House Is Safe. 


Before beginning any cleanup and restoration work, make sure the house is safe. The combination of electricity and water can be very dangerous. Water causes surfaces to be slippery, and when there is extreme flooding, it may be difficult to see the ground and identify potentially harmful objects in the water.


2. Pump the Water Out.


If the sump pump is not working and there is a large amount of water in the basement, a more powerful pump is needed. The nature of the debris in the storm water, if the basement is finished or unfinished, and the contents stored in the basement will influence which type of equipment is best. A semi-trash pump can be used to extract water that is only slightly contaminated, with small amount of sand or dirt, for example. A trash pump can extract larger debris, such as pebbles or twigs, along with the water. There are portable and truck-mounted versions of these devices, but a truck mount provides more power, which can help clear out the basement quicker.


3. Dry the Basement and Its Contents.


This may be the hardest part, drying the basement and its contents. Once the water is completely extracted, additional measures will likely be needed to remove lingering humidity to prevent mold growth.

As with all storm damage, flooded basements can seem overwhelming. With the right equipment, a flood restoration specialist can assist in all steps of saving a family’s home and belongings from water damage, including water removal, drying, cleaning, sanitation and restoration.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

How To Avoid Fires From Cooking

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the one in which you may spend more of your active time than anywhere else. This is where you gather, entertain, eat and, of course, cook. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common areas in the home where fires start. Often, destructive fires start because of unsafe cooking practices. It’s important to follow some best practices and tips to keep fires away.


Stay Nearby.


Whether you’re standing at the stove or using an electric skillet, it’s important to not leave any cooking food unattended. Unmonitored cooking can lead to extensive fire damage.

• Stay in the kitchen whether you’re grilling, frying or broiling your meal.
• If you have to leave for any reason, turn the stove or other appliance off.
• If possible, have someone at your Ebensburg, PA, home watch your food while you step away.


Use a Timer.


It’s easy to throw something in the oven and forget about it, especially if you leave the kitchen and go into another room or outside. Setting a timer will help reduce the risk of a fire starting in the oven and spreading to other areas.


Clean, Clean, Clean.


Not only will cleaning up grease and other materials help your kitchen look nicer, but this will reduce the risk of a grease fire. As soon as you’ve finished preparing and cooking your meal, wipe down the surfaces of your stove.


Watch Your Clothes.


You may not think of your attire as being important when it comes to fire prevention tips. However, if you’re not careful, loose and dangling clothing could touch a burner or come into contact with grease. This could injure you and could even spread flames in your kitchen.

These simple fire prevention tips could help save you and your loved ones from catastrophe. Be conscientious as you cook and entertain so you can avoid the terrible consequences of a house fire.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

The Basics of Mold Remediation

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

If you have noticed black mold in your business in Ebensburg, PA, you need to act quickly and begin mold remediation as soon as possible. If left untreated, mold can spread quickly through a building. You may want to hire experienced professionals to do the job to ensure that all of the mold is removed properly. It is important to make sure that every step of the remediation process is followed to prevent the mold from reappearing.


The Mold Remediation Process.


The experts should follow these basic steps:

• Inspect the property to determine where the black mold is and how severe the damage is
• Contain the mold to prevent it from spreading anywhere else
• Filter the air with specialized equipment to capture tiny mold spores in the air
• Use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to remove mold and prevent regrowth
• Dispose of mold-infested materials
• Clean and sanitize items such as furniture, carpet, and decorative items
• Restore any building materials that were damaged or removed during the mold removal process


Preventing Black Mold in the Future.


Once the mold cleanup is complete and your building is back in shape, there may still be work to do. Unless you eliminate the problem that caused the mold in the first place, you run the risk of mold growing right back where it was. If your mold professionals identified the cause of the mold, you’ll want to deal with it as quickly as possible. Potential causes of mold include leaky roofs, windows, and pipes, flooding, and high humidity levels. Speak to your mold professionals to determine the best plan of action for you and your business.

Mold cleanup can be a time-consuming and expensive process. The key to minimizing damage is fast action. Take the time to make sure mold is removed correctly and you will save time in the future instead of dealing with it on a regular basis.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Stay Safe: Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

There are few amenities as easy to take for granted as clean water, but also few amenities more damaging to be without. From maintaining hydration to hygiene, access to clean water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, access to clean water is not universal and many are exposed to contaminated water. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three tiers:

1. Clean water
2. Water that is contaminated
3. Sewer and outside flood water

It is important to understand these classifications in order to properly assess the safety of a water source.


Category 1 – Clean, Safe Water.


The highest classification is reserved for water from sources that pose no significant health risk. When using water from this category, it is important to ensure that the water has not become contaminated from an outside source elsewhere in the supply line, such as traveling through unclean pipes or being stored in a dirty receptacle.


Category 2 – Contaminated Water.


Water that carries potential risks is classified as category 2. Due to exposure to high levels of microorganisms, category 2 water should be avoided as it can lead to irritation or illness. Although ingestion of category 2 water is an obvious risk, it is also inadvisable to come in contact with this water as well, such as using it for cleaning, as the pollutants contained within it may not require ingestion to cause illness.


Category 3 – Septic and Outdoor Water.


The most polluted water is classified as category 3, and it carries extremely high levels of potentially harmful elements. The most common form of contamination leading to this classification is backed up toilet water, known as black water; however, septic water can also be caused by the introduction of unclean outside water sources into the supply line.

Exposure to contaminated water is a hazard, and cleaning it up is something that should not be put off to a later date once it’s identified. When unsafe water is discovered, it is important to contact a restoration professional in Ebensburg, PA, promptly. The professional can assess the contamination, identify the source of the pollution, and clean up the problem to once again restore access to healthy water.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Investigating Your Malfunctioning Sprinkler System

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

The irrigation system on your commercial property in Ebensburg, PA, is probably a pretty simple system. Most systems work in a similar way. A signal is sent to the control valves, the valves open to send water to the water line and this prompts the sprinklers to emerge and distribute the water. When something goes wrong at any point, however, the particular reason for it could be one of many, and ignoring it could cause flood damage that has to be remediated by certified specialists. Here are three common irrigation problems and their potential causes.


1. Faulty Sprinkler Head.


The most obvious reason for this problem is a broken sprinkler head, especially if you just have one that’s not working. Inspect it for damage and replace it if necessary. If the sprinkler shows no sign of damage, it may just be dirty. Remove it, rinse it out in a bucket of clean water and replace it.


2. One or More Malfunctioning Zones.


If one or more zones of your irrigation system isn’t working, your problem is most likely electrical. The zone may not be getting the voltage it needs to operate. You can test the voltage with a multimeter. If it’s not getting enough, the controller may need to be replaced. If the voltage seems fine, check the fuses and valves to make sure they aren’t defective. Test the outlet that powers the controller by plugging in another appliance to see if it works.


3. Low Water Pressure.


When your irrigation problems manifest as low pressure, the easiest remedy is to turn on backflow valves. Other issues that may cause a pressure problem are leaks and blockages. Once you locate the leak, you can fix your pressure issue by simply repairing the leak. If your problem is a damaged, blocked or crushed pipe, you must replace the affected portion to improve water pressure.

Identifying the source of the problem is the first step to fixing it. Problems with your irrigation system are usually relatively easy to fix, and it’s important to fix them so you don’t have bigger problems later.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

The Flood Cut

6/16/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it is a sudden, saturating downpour or steady rain from a suspended weather front, flooding is one of Mother Nature’s most devastating natural disasters. This is especially true for the business owner, as a flood can both ruin property upon impact and leave lasting effects, including moisture contamination of equipment and supplies and to the building structure. When the water restoration contractor must tear out the drywall from a structure’s walls because of flood damage, he or she may perform what is called a flood cut.


When It Is Necessary.


After flooding, unless the water damage is from clean water, a flood cut is often required. These situations include the following:

• There is insulation inside of the damaged wall.
• The water contains harmful pathogens or bacteria.
• The tainted water from a backed-up sewer line has contacted the wall.
• The wall has been wet for several days.


How It Is Done.


A flood cut is made at least 12 inches above the flood line. Though contractors can vary in how they approach this process, here are the basic steps:

• Measure – Though the drywall will clearly display how high the floodwater reached, the cut line should be made 12 inches above the flood line to ensure all water and damaged material are removed and to completely and properly restore walls.
• Lay tarps – This can conveniently catch all debris to help keep your area safe and clean.
• Cut the line – A cut should be made along the line using a sharp utility knife or other professional tool.
• Remove the drywall – Professionals in Ebensburg, PA, should remove the baseboard trim and electrical outlet plates. Then, drywall is pulled away from the studs until dry insulation is reached.

When flooding damages walls, a flood cut is often made. It can help ensure the removal of all damaged material to avoid future moisture problems within the walls. It can also help restore the wall’s – and your business’s – appearance.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Business Survival After a Fire

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

The fire department has left. The fire is out, but fire, water and smoke damage remain. Now it is time to resurrect the business from the ashes. This is where traditional fire insurance comes into play. It will help with the cost of fire restoration and, in time, the company can resume normal operations. Until then, however, there are still bills to pay. This is where interruption insurance enters the picture.


Financial Impact: Direct


A business that is partially shut down has less revenue. A business completely shut down has none. A shutdown impacts customers and stockholders, but at least they won’t be looking for payments from the business. For the landlord, utility companies and government, it’s a different story. Regardless of the situation, business owners still have to pay the following:

• Rent
• Utilities
• Taxes

In addition, other vendors may also come to collect. An interruption insurance policy can help the business deal with these problems and minimize the financial impact of the fire.


Financial Impact: Indirect


A business interruption can result in several other one-time expenses that don't directly impact revenue but affect profitability. Insurance can help with this as well. For example, if the operation can be temporarily moved to another location, the cost of relocating both ways could be covered. If employees need to be retrained to use new equipment, that could be covered. Even lost profits or some portion of lost revenue could be covered. A good interruption insurance policy can be the difference between a successful recovery and a dismal failure.


The Real Job


With the insurer handling the financial aspects of the fire, the business can focus on fire restoration. It is in everyone’s best interest that this gets done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, the business needs a qualified and capable restoration expert from Ebensburg, PA, on the job. Soon, the business will be up and running again, better than ever.

Can You Rely on Home Mold Testing Kits?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

For the average do-it-yourselfer, it’s easy to want to rely on home mold testing kits when you first see the signs of black, fuzzy crud on the walls or floors of your Ebensburg, PA, home. But can you really rely on the results of a home mold kit? What do you do when it always tells you that you have mold but doesn’t give accurate enough responses to tell you where?


DIY Mold Kits Aren’t Reliable


It may hurt to find this out after already paying for an off-the-shelf kit, but DIY mold kits aren’t reliable indicators of mold in the home – and they may even lead you astray. There are a few reasons why home mold testing kits aren’t always accurate:

• Mold is always in the air around you as spores that have not yet developed into the full-blown fungus
• Home mold kits are incapable of distinguishing between spores and actual mold infestations and will always return a false positive
• This false positive means you are unable to narrow down which areas of your home have mold because every area will test positive

This means if you do have mold, you may end up missing it because the kit is giving you false results – but if you don’t have mold, you may end up panicked trying to find it when the kit’s results are too broad to be useful.


So How Can I Tell If I Have Mold?


Other than the obvious visible signs of mold in your home, the best way to detect hidden mold is by working with an environmental hygienist. Environmental hygienists specialize in mold testing, detection, and remediation, and they use specialized equipment far more sensitive than any home kit. This equipment can be essential in identifying hidden mold and taking steps to eliminate it from your home. Environmental hygienists can also educate you on the type of mold you’re dealing with and what you can watch for to prevent future outbreaks.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Are Candles the Right Choice for Your Home?

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

A candle can make your home in Ebensburg, PA, feel extra home sweet home. There is something about the flame and fragrance; nostalgia, maybe? Despite its beauty, a candle flame is a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a candle fire accounted for 2 percent of reported residential fires (averaged over five years). Placement of candles also makes a difference; just over a third of candle fires began in bedrooms. Rather than worrying if you extinguished your candle, your family can rest easy by looking into candle alternatives.


Candles Alternatives


Thanks to innovative thinkers, candle lovers have many safe options that look and even smell like real candles, without the candle fire hazard. It is also important to ensure your family has flameless options available for power outages.


For Beauty and Scent


• There is a variety of flameless candles, such as LED Flameless wax pillar candles. There are myriad scents, shapes and sizes available. Some even have timers.
• Try using electric warmers for candles, oil or wax.
• Himalayan salt lamps do not produce any scent, but they can give any room a beautiful ambiance. Then you can use air fresheners or plug-ins for smell.
• Treat yourself to a little aromatherapy by using an essential oil diffuser.


When the Lights Go Out


• There is nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned flashlights or buy some with LED bulbs that last longer than regular ones.
• Camping lanterns are battery operated, and many can hang and use LED bulbs.
• Book lights are small, but many can clip to objects and are flexible.

If you use candles, ensure your family has smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and an escape plan. A candle fire (or any fire) can cause significant smoke damage. Also, know that due to the nature of soot, it can sometimes be impossible to remove from surfaces. If your family has the unfortunate experience of a fire, call a professional who knows how to handle the smoke cleanup. If you decide to use the flameless route, then happy hunting for the best safe options for your family.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Breakroom Blues: 3 Things You Should Know About Refrigerator Mold

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Anyone who’s worked in an office with a refrigerator in the breakroom has likely seen enough scary fridge mold to last a lifetime. Nearly everyone loves to bring food from home, but few want to deal with the leftovers. Mix in some spills and dirty container exteriors, and you get a Ebensburg, PA, science experiment worthy of competition.


1. Good Mold, Bad Mold


Penicillin, often called the miracle drug that saved the world, came from mold. Those veins in blue cheese are the glorious work of mold. Hard salami wouldn’t have its unique taste without that delicate layer of white mold on its exterior.

However, that’s not what’s growing in your office fridge. Invisible mold spores float in the air, and when they latch onto moist food, they germinate and become that fuzzy, often colorful mass you see on old food. Sometimes you’ll notice a mold smell before it becomes visible.


2. Preventive Measures


Funny notes and scolding tirades probably won’t solve your fridge mold problem. The most effective way avoid mold is to make sure the fridge is empty at the end of every day. Inform everyone that everything left in the fridge will be thrown away at the end of the day, no exceptions for birthday cake, your mom’s special goulash, or expensive steak from last night’s romantic dinner.

However, a rule that harsh may result in retaliation and more severe problems than mold. Try negotiating a three-day rule with the same stipulations. To be fair, you can rotate the task among everyone so no one gets singled out as a killjoy.


3. Easy Maintenance


Even if the aforementioned rules are followed, the fridge will still probably get dirty. Disinfecting fridge walls and shelves on a weekly basis helps fend off odors. Disinfective cleaning sheets are handy, but a cloth or sponge and a disinfectant cleaner can accomplish similar results. Just be sure to use a fresh cloth or sponge for every cleaning.

If fridge mold is the worst thing happening in your workplace, you should consider yourself lucky. Chances are there are more serious situations brewing in other offices in Ebensburg, PA.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

3 Steps To Take When Water Unexpectedly Rains Down Inside Your Building

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

At some point in your life, you've probably had a fire drill. Perhaps as a kid in school, you looked at those spindly silver sprinklers and wondered: What if they came on right now? When the fire sprinklers accidentally go off, the flooding that results can be quite damaging. The following three steps help minimize the water damage should this scenario happen to you.


1. Stop the Water


If the sprinklers come on accidentally, the first step is turning off the main water valve. Doing so can stop the flow of water from the main line to the building. It is helpful to become familiar with where the valve is before an emergency. If you can quickly stop the flow of water, you may minimize the water damage.


2. Check Your Insurance Policy


You probably have insurance. Depending on your coverage, your insurance may pay restoration and replacement costs of damages caused by flooding. Contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage. An adjuster may coordinate directly with a restoration company in Ebensburg, PA, to get the claim processed.


3. Call in the Experts


A restoration company can be an excellent resource for post-flood cleanup. Experts are typically well-versed in the different types of water intrusion events that occur. An accidental fire sprinkler deployment is a "clean water damage" event, which means the water was not from a contaminated source. The good news is it is a Category 1 cleanup and is considered the easiest water damage to remediate. A professional at a restoration company can assess your damage and give you an estimated cost and timeframe for repair. They can also give you some tips to help mitigate any future incidents.

Once the water has been cleaned up, and your office life has gone back to normal, take some time to jot down a plan should anything like this happen again. Get your sprinklers tested more frequently. Have your insurance policy handy and know what it covers. Take the restoration company's advice on those mitigation ideas. You can't always prevent flooding, but you can prepare for it.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Key Steps To Prevent Mold After Flooding

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Home flooding is all too common in Ebensburg, PA. Luckily, there are ways you can prepare yourself for these situations. Mold growth is a common source of property damage from excess water exposure. Knowing how it forms as well as what steps you should take in a situation in which it can propagate can help you prevent serious damage to your residence.


Causes of Mold Growth


Mold is everywhere. Microspores can travel through the air and are easily transported by you, your family members and animals. If these spores are allowed to settle in water, they can populate a colony very quickly. This is why it’s often critical to take care of any water damage as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the mold has to establish a colony.


Who To Contact


If your home or space floods, take action as soon as possible. Your first step should be to contact a water damage specialist. These trained professionals typically have the technology and the know-how to help minimize the amount of damage done to your space and can correctly perform mold removal if necessary.


What You Should Do While Waiting for Help


While it may be best to leave most of the job to the professionals, there is a number of steps you can take while waiting for help to arrive:

• If possible, try to mitigate damage by extracting some of the water from the affected area.
• Remove colored items such as magazines, books or rugs from the flooded location. This can prevent further damage to these objects and keep them from leaking colors into your floors.
• Turn on the air conditioner, not the heater. An air conditioner can increase airflow and help dry out the area, while heating can increase proliferation of the mold.
• Avoid any electronics that have been exposed to the flooded area, such as televisions. Wet surfaces can be more electrically conductive, and dangerous currents from these devices could travel along the wet surface to you.
• Contact your homeowners insurance carrier to see what repairs and/or cleanup your policy covers.

Mold has the potential to cause serious damage to your real estate. By understanding how it grows and what to do when you’re in a situation that puts you at risk for mold growth, you can reduce damage and get back to using these spaces.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Vandalism at Local Ball Field

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning up the Adams Township Ball Field After it was Vandalized.

Vandals broke into a second ball park in Cambria County, this time at the Adams Township Little League Clubhouse causing approximately $3,500 in damages. The roof, the concession stand and the ball park equipment were extensively damaged.

"They broke tables and chairs inside our clubhouse, wrote vulgarity on the whitboard, left some drug references on the white board, then broke into our concession stand, smashed the locks off, (and) discharged the fire extinguisher."

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Team Members volunteered their time to remove all hazardous materials and cleaned up the toxic dust that was left from the fire extinguishers being set off. We wanted to make sure that it was completely safe to reopen everything in time for this years ball season to begin.

Vandalism can lead to significant water and mold damage if not properly addressed. SERVPRO of Ebensburg made sure that all the damage caused by the break in was addressed to help prevent any further damage at the clubhouse.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

Air Duct Cleaning for your Commercial Building

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Air duct cleaning can be an ideal option for your Ebensburg, PA building when it is dealing with these mold problems. Even if you do not have a bad odor coming from your ductwork vents, it might still be a good idea to get on a routine schedule of getting the ductwork cleaned by a professional company if it has not been done in quite a while. This is also advised for individuals who have recently purchased an older building and would like to keep it in good working condition and reduce mold spore count.

While there are many things you can do, as a facility manager or building owner, to ensure that your building is running to the best of its ability, there are certain things you may forget about that need to be done. One of these things is improving the air quality within your facility by cleaning the ductwork of dust and mold spores. This is a project that you will find to be incredibly difficult to do on your own, so it is often a good idea to contact a local company that does this for a living. This guarantees that the work will be done efficiently and quickly so that you can get back to work.

Visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com/

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

According to the US Fire Administration an estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms. 

  • more than 1/3 (38%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present. 
  • 3 out of 5 home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. 
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. 
  • Half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am when most people are asleep. 
  • Home fire death rates in homes with working smoke alarms have decreased by 51%

The American Red Cross and its partners have launched an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years with the Home Fire Campaign. The American Red Cross goes door to door to install working smoke alarms in homes that do not have them and praticing fire drills with families so they will know what to do incase of a fire.

Members of SERVPRO of Ebensburg teamed up with the American Red Cross of Southwestern PA, and countless other volunteers, to canvas areas of Dale and Johnstown Pennsylvania offering to install smoke detectors and help residents develop a home fire escape plan. 300 free smoke alarms were installed in the 387 homes that were visited. 

Managing a Water Loss in Portage or Ebensburg, PA

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you are living in Portage or Ebensburg, PA and recently suffered water damage or flooding, drying out your property and properly renovating it can quickly become overwhelming on your own. Working together with specialists who are available in the area is one of the quickest ways to remedy water in business properties, water damage in homes, or flood damage in any area you own. 

Why Hire Professionals?

Professionals help to bring the right tools to any situation, regardless of the severity of the damage a flood or even rainwater may have caused in your business property or even in your own home. Utilizing water-friendly shop vacs and proper cleaning products is always necessary regardless of the depth of water you have in a confined space. Because not all floods in homes or businesses are from outside rainwater, it is essential for professionals to wear proper attire due to the risk of sewage water causing the flood from beneath the property.

If you are struggling with a sewage issue in your home or place of business, professionals help not only to rid the water from the location, but also to ensure you are not exposed further to harmful bacteria.

Managing Fire Damage in Ebensburg, PA

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Perhaps nothing is as stressful and sad as fire loss and fire damage.

Not only do you lose your home, but all your belongings and likely many items that cannot be replaced such as photos, keepsakes and other memories. Soot and smoke can do irrevocable damage that many don't realize. A recent victim of fire loss reported that although the fire only destroyed on portion of her home, the soot and smoke smell permeated all her furnishings to the point that it needed to be restored.

Fortunately, by knowing what to do in the event of a fire in business, or fire in home in Ebensburg, PA, mitigation will be less of a headache when you're dealing with a fire damage home.

Visit SERVPRO of Ebensbug for more information.

Tips After Flood Damage

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Consider these tips to prepare yourself and your family in the event of a flood tragedy.

1. Notify Your Insurance Company

Once everyone is safe and settled the first step is to call your insurer. You'll simply need to describe to them the events to the best of your knowledge and give details on the flood damage in your Ebensburg home.

2. Set Up Emergency Repairs

While it's not advised, you attempt to fix anything on your own that doesn't need fixing, if you can limit the damage by attempting to dry soaked items or by throwing away those beyond help to prevent mold growth that will help. If services from a disaster restoration team in Ebensburg are necessary, then make the arrangements. Insurance will likely cover it.

3. Check Your Coverage

A flood in home or flood in business is overwhelming but it's important to keep abreast of the costs associated with each service and make sure they are covered under your policy.

4. Meet with an Adjuster 

You'll find that you have total control over compensation. When presented with a signed letter of satisfaction by any contractors, be sure you're satisfied with the work and there's a maximum cost of work shown within the paperwork. By following these steps you'll ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

3 Tips on Keeping Mold Out of Your Bathroom

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

A common issue most homeowners in Ebensburg, PA, experience is occasional mold growth. Because water creates the perfect setting for a fungi frenzy, bathrooms are a typical problem spot in the home. Even a small amount of water damage can pave the way for trouble down the road. Although mold is often inevitable, there are effective ways homeowners can tackle a mold issue that just doesn't want to back down. Check out the three steps below for some pointers.


1. Use a Fan


This step may seem an obvious one, but the key to minimizing chances of mold growth is to maintain dryness. Without moisture, mold may be less likely to grow and spread. Using a bathroom fan that can efficiently reduce moisture in the air is just one trick to keeping the area mold-free.


2. Seal the Leaks


If a mold problem becomes incessant and difficult to address, you may be having a problem with a hidden leak somewhere in the house. Since water damage can be sneaky, ensure there are no spots where moisture has become trapped. Leaky roofs and a history of flooded basements are two common culprits.


3. Clean Regularly


Cleaning the bathroom during your free time may not be the most thrilling activity, but by developing a regular cleaning routine, you can practice one of the best forms of mold prevention. Using proper cleaning supplies that cut mold and mildew are ideal – many of these have ingredients specifically made to break down the grime that may lead to mold growth. Make sure to also use your bathroom vent while cleaning.

There are many preventative steps one can take when combating mold, but by following the aforementioned tips, you can get a grip on the issue and say goodbye to mold's home sweet home. When the effects of water damage and other issues seem too tough for one set of hands, calling the mold professionals is another option you can choose from to get your home spick and span and clear of mold.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

Why Your Water Heater Is Making Noise

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Your water heater may have started as a strange popping sound and eventually progressed to popping plus an ominous rumble. What does it mean when your water heater starts making mysterious noises? While loose elements and heat traps can account for some of the sounds you may hear, the most likely explanation is that you have sediment build-up inside your tank and it’s time to call a professional in Ebensburg, PA, to flush them out. Ignoring sediment build-up can lead to serious problems, such as:

• Decreased energy efficiency
• Sediment coming out of faucets
• Decreased water pressure
• Burst water pipes
• Water heater failure

Many manufacturers recommend getting a water heater flush every year, but how often it actually needs to be done depends on the water in your region.


What Causes the Noise?


When sediments collect around the element, they can trap water below them. When the water is heated, it makes a popping or crackling noise as it bubbles up through the sediments. As more sediment collects, it can get mixed around by the water flow inside your tank, causing a rumbling sound. If you notice these or other unusual sounds, especially when you haven’t noticed them before, it’s an indication that your tank needs to be serviced.


Where Does Sediment Come From?


Most sediment build-up is a result of minerals found in the water supply. If you have hard water, lime deposits build up in your tank over time, creating a sediment layer on the bottom that interferes with heating the water inside the tank. In some areas, the municipal water supply carries sediment in it, and these can also build up in your tank.

If you’re not sure what water quality is like in Ebensburg, PA, it’s better to err on the side of caution and have your water heater flushed annually to avoid the damage sediment build-up can cause.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com.

How To Prevent Mold From Spreading

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold Remediation

When mold has grown in your commercial building, you need to hire professionals in Vinco, PA, to handle the mold cleanup. Mold spores can go through a building’s HVAC system and end up in other parts of the building. It is for this reason that a professional crew will always inspect every last area of the property to ensure no mold contamination took place.

1. Steps You Can Take on Your Own

You need to be extremely cautious when getting around mold on your own. However, you can take steps to remediate the damage by removing items from the room when you realize mold is present. You should shut off all HVAC systems leading into the space. Without any air flow, the spores will have a more difficult time spreading.

2. Steps a Professional Team Will Take

Fortunately, a professional mold cleanup team has more effective devices to prevent cross contamination. They can create a decontamination chamber to prevent spores from getting into other rooms. This requires the team to typically install a thin plastic sheet around the room. They will also create another room lined with plastic sheets where the team can clean off their tools and supplies. That way they will not accidentally bring spores into other areas.

The team will also create a negative air space in the vicinity. This is a condition where more air enters the room than air leaving the space. There are various other techniques in place, and the best one for your building ultimately depends on the size of the affected area.

Always leave mold cleanup to the professionals. Mold releases various spores you do not want to risk breathing in. Professionals know how to remain safe when working around fungi, so as soon as you notice a problem in your commercial building, do not hesitate to contact a mold removal company near you.

Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Fire Extinguisher

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Most commercial owners have a fire extinguisher around.

In fact, most will have more than one in several areas to be safe. The garage, fireplace and kitchen are the most common areas to keep an extinguisher in case of a fire emergency. Even if you own one, you may not know how to use one. Here are the dos and don’ts that fire restoration services want you to know.

1. Do Not Keep a Broken Extinguisher

Always make sure that your extinguisher is up to date. Check for any cracks to the base or hose. You can also lift it up to see if it’s heavy. It should be full of the extinguishing agent and, hence, heavy to the touch. Lastly, a pressure gauge should tell you if the extinguisher is at an operable range.

2. Do Read the Instructions

Keep in mind that every fire extinguisher should have directions printed on it. It should explain the proper way to pull the safety pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep from side to side to put out the blaze. In a hurry, remember those steps. However, if you have time, you should always read the instructions.

3. Do Not Continue if Fire Grows

In the chance that the fire continues to spread, it’s vital that you know when to stop. The longer you wait as the flames spread through your business, the less chance you have of being able to escape unscathed. You don’t want your route to be cut off by a kitchen fire.

When it comes to using your fire extinguisher, you have to know what you’re doing. Having an extinguisher handy can help you avoid severe fire damage in your Portage, PA. As long as you use it properly, you can feel a little safer.

Concerns About Smoke Damage to Electronics

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

No one living in Cresson, PA, wants to think about their home catching on fire.

In the worst-case scenario, fires can completely destroy your home and everything inside. Even small, minor fires can result in significant fire cleanup and damage to precious items. One thing homeowners have to worry about is smoke damage to electronics. It’s important to be aware of this potential and know how to handle the problem if it occurs in your home.

  1. Smoke residue can harm your equipment. You spend a lot of money on your electronics, and you use them frequently throughout each day. If there’s a fire in your home, even the smoke can render your electronics useless if you’re not careful. Inside smoke are acids that are known to corrode metal surfaces. It’s vital to have a specialist carefully remove the residue as quickly as possible. If the residue stays on the surfaces too long, it will ruin your devices.
  2. A specialist can look at your electronics and determine the amount of damage. Part of your fire cleanup efforts should include a restoration specialist examining your electronics. Only a qualified expert should attempt to remove the residue. The quicker someone can address this situation, the better chance you have to save your devices and avoid replacing them or losing precious data.
  3. No electronics are immune to the damage. Smoke knows no bounds when it comes to ruining your equipment. A restoration specialist will carefully examine all of your electronics in your home, including televisions, desktops, laptops, stereos, DVD players and anything else that may have been exposed to the smoke.

Fires of any size or seriousness can cause major problems to your home and to your valuables inside. You need a fire cleanup expert to assess the smoke damage to your electronics. When you get a specially trained professional on the case, you have a greater chance of salvaging your electronics in Cresson, PA.

Keep Your Vacation Flood Free

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

So, you’re ready for your next vacation. You have the trip booked and your itinerary ready, but there’s still one thing you need to do: Make sure that a broken pipe doesn’t ruin your holiday. If your home floods while you’re gone, the damage can be extensive. Here is how to keep your home dry.

1. Repair Pipes

Are your pipes in working order? Even if you think that maintenance of your pipes is up-to-date, it’s always smart to make sure. Don’t slack on pipe repair. While you’re on vacation, you need to have peace of mind that your pipes aren’t at risk of bursting while you’re away from your Johnstown, PA home. Investing in water pipe repair in advance can save you the headache.

2. Turn the Water Off

If you’re worried about flooding from a broken pipe while you’re away, you can also take an easy step that most vacationers should: Turn off your water entirely. This will save you from having to return home to a flooded residence.

3. Check Supply Lines

Your next order of business should be to check the supply lines. Water pipe repair may fix a lot of your problems, but if the supply lines are ruptured or malfunctioning, then you may have a flood on your hands. Make sure that the lines are properly installed and not leaking.

4. Test Sump Pump

Your sump pump helps keep water out of your basement. Often, this is ground water that could leave you with a flooded downstairs. Before you leave on your trip, make sure that the sump pump is still in working order. You can do this by filling it up and making sure that it ejects properly.

No one wants to deal with water damage. If your home is flooded while you are away, you won’t be able to get a restoration specialist in quickly. This is why it’s important to prevent flooding by taking water pipe repair seriously, shutting off the water, checking your supply lines, and testing your sump pump. Visit http://www.SERVPROebensburg.com for more information on water damage.

Wood Furnace Fire, Clymer PA

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Source of The Fire

As temperatures grow colder, residents and businesses begin firing up heat sources to keep their buildings warm.  Unfortunately this sometimes leads to unwanted disasters.  If a furnace isn't properly maintained they can lead to furnace puff backs or worse, fires.  Fires like the one pictured can easily happen and usually when you least expect it.  This recent fire occurred in Clymer PA in Indiana County.  You can see the wood furnace pictured below.  The home is restore-able but it is not just the structure that can become affected.  Odors from various burning materials still linger in the homes after fires, requiring the removal of the odor causing sources, deodorizing and the extensive cleaning.  Personal items may need to be cleaned as well depending on the extent of damage.  A lot of work is needed to restore a home to preloss condition.  It is always easier to prevent the problem by making sure you have your furnace inspected and maintained by a heating professional.  But in the event something would ever go wrong, always call SERVPRO to help!         

Mold Growth After Water Loss, Johnstown PA

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Begins To Grow

When water is introduced into a structure and the humidity is over 50%, there is potential for mold to grow.  If the water if not removed quickly or the problem is not taken care of, there will be more issues present then just water.  Unfortunately, the issue can not always be taken care of as soon as the water begins to enter the structure.  In some cases, a water loss can occur while a building owner is not present.  The longer the water and moisture is present, the longer the mold has time to grow and become an issue.  The picture shown is example of what can happen when a water loss happens and is not taken care of immediately.  The white wall has begun to show mold growth.  Although our SERVPRO can perform mold remediation, more steps are needed to be taken to now remove water and moisture as well mold.  this is why it is important to be smart, don't let water issues persist, and call SERVPRO!    

Hardwood Floors Damaged During Water Loss, Johnstown PA

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Warped Hardwood Floors From Water Damage

When a water loss occurs, many structural and finishing work of the home or building can become damaged.  Usually the floor become saturated one way or another.  Depending on the type of flooring, it may or may not be affected by the water.  Hardwood floor is unfortunately a flooring that does not deal well with large amounts of water.  Hardwood floor is almost always finished so that it is protected against small spills and normal foot traffic.  When large amounts of water are introduced and are not dried quickly, it absorbs into the wood.  Before solid hardwood flooring is installed in a home it is kiln dried and machined flat.  When the wood becomes wet, it bends back to the shape of when it had moisture.  When too much water is soaked into the floor and not extracted, it almost will never go back to the original shape when dry.  Sometimes flooring can be dried and saved, unfortunately like the floor in the picture, it could not be saved and had to be removed.      

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Continues Mold Testing at a New Price

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

Our Mold Testing Fee is $150.00 and includes 2 air samples.

SERVPRO of Ebensburg is able to perform mold inspections. This saves our customers time and money.  The price for a Mold Test is now $150.00 and includes two air samples.

Having mold testing done by a third party can be a lengthy process. We understand you have a busy life and we don't need to be taking up any more time than we need to. Now we can do our assessment of your property and the mold testing all in the same appointment. You will even have your mold reports back within 2-3 business days! There is no need to use an additional third party or pay for any additional costly air quality tests.

  • Full service environmental analytical specializing in mold analysis.
  • Fastest turn around time and lowest price in the industry.
  • Mycologist on staff
  • Accredited Indoor Environmental Hygienist (IEH). 
  • Used by mold inspectors, home buyers/sellers, real estate agents. 
     

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Celebrates 5 Years

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Ben and Jeff pose with their "5 Year" Anniversary Cake

5 Years is definitely something to celebrate, and that is exactly what SERVPRO of Ebensburg did.  Owners Ben Weaver and Jeff Kuncelman were definitely surprised when they entered into The Pour on Center in Ebensburg PA and were greeted by all their employees, family, and friends. 

"From the bottom of our hearts we would like to extend the most sincere Thank You to our wonderful employees who took it upon themselves to throw us a Surprise Party to celebrate our First 5 Successful years in Business.

Without each and everyone of you, none of this would be possible. You all play a critical role in our successful and I hope you know how much your are valued and appreciated."

Thank You,
Ben & Jeff

Helping after Hurricane Harvey

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Streets of neighborhoods lined with debris from damaged homes.

The Houston Texas area suffered one of the worst hurricane disasters to occur in American history, Hurricane Harvey.  Immediately after the storm hit, SERVPRO began planning to send help to the devastated area.  Storm teams from across the country began mobilizing franchises.  Our franchise was one of the few to make the important decision to leave home and lend our assistance to Texas.  We sent a crew of 6 employees on a 20 plus hour drive.  While in Texas, our team completed nearly 10 jobs in a 3 week span.  Homes were affected by high Bayou flood waters, some homes nearly seeing 6 feet of water.  Due to the bacteria in the water, and the high humidity of Texas, mold development was a major issue.  Luckily, our crew was able to remove material, clean, and dry out the affected homes.  The event is something our SERVPRO will not soon forget, but we are grateful and proud that we had the opportunity to lend our assistance to Texas and families affected by the disaster.         

Let The Professionals Help!

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Leaving a water issue go WILL lead to a future mold issues if not addressed!!!  Most of the times when people turn their backs on properly drying even smaller water leaks, they develop mold.  This, in turn, leads to even more work and expense that could have easily been avoided.  Not to mention, there are possible health risks involved.  Excessive exposure to certain types of mold may present concerns to the well being of the individuals in that environment. Our trained and qualified team can test and mitigate the molds that arise. 

If you have had a past water event and are not sure if it dried properly or suspect mold look for these signs.

Presence of visible mold

Strong musty oders

Evidence of past moisture problems (i.e. water stains)

Excessive humidity

Don't forget to call the professionals to mitigate the problem!  Testing and removal needs to be done properly so the mold doesn't just get spread throughout your home or office.

A Clean Home Can Sell Faster

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

A fair priced home on the market can be sold faster if you avoid some simple things.  Odors and visible staining can lessen a prospective buyer's interest in a home.  This could be the deciding factor on which property is chosen for purchase.  In must cases a buyer wants a home to be "move in ready" when they complete the closing.  So, Here are a couple tips that may help get a listing sold instead of sitting on the market!

If it has forced hot air and HVAC, get a duct cleaning done.  this will reduce allergens, pet dander, and reduce offensive odors.  Also, it can be used as a selling point as it improves the operating condition and efficiency of the system

Have the carpets scrubbed.  Carpet cleaning, especially a process like our "Showcase Premier Cleaning", can remove unsightly stains and odors being emitted from the carpet.  

Get the walls, ceilings, and hard flooring cleaned and deodorized.  This will brighten up and make everything more visually appealing.  The fresh clean smell also gives people a feeling of comfort and relaxation.

Give us a call and let us help you sell your home! 

Attic Fire Damage in Altoona

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Photo of where the fire started

Fires can occur in any place of a building.  Unfortunately sometimes it occurs in the attic.  This turned into a particularly large job for many reasons.  One reason is that when the fire started, fire crews had to put out the flames using water.  When this happened, water went from the top of the attic, all the way down to the second and first floors.  The job then became a water and fire job.  Unfortunately when the water sat in the drywall and plaster of the structure, it started to grow mold.  Since mold was then present, containment and air scrubbers were needed to keep the unaffected rooms free of mold spores.  The affected areas of the structure were torn down to the studs and cleaned.  Any room with smoke or soot damage were also cleaned using the correct SERVPRO chemicals.  The affected rooms were rebuilt and finished.      

Modular Home Fire Loss Content Cleaning

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Front view of the modular home

Fire damage can happen in any building that has utilities such as electrical.  This was a fire lose that occurred in a modular home in Cambria County.  The home was full of content when the loss happened.  At SERVPRO, we can not only clean and restore a home depending on the damage, but we can also clean the contents in the home.  When the fire happened, forced air was on, therefore leading to soot and smoke being blown all over the home and personal items.  All content was removed to be cleaned and placed in a room with an ozone machine.  This removed residue, but also any smoke odors that were absorbed by the items.  Our team successfully restored all the items in the home.  Sometimes personal items are just as important as the home itself.    

Ebensburg United Methodist Church Cleaning

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles are parked outside of the church as the cleaning begins.

Our SERVPRO was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to clean The Ebensburg United Methodist Church.  The Methodist Church has been a great organization in the Ebensburg community for a number of years.  We performed a hot water extraction cleaning on the rooms in the lower level.  In the upper sanctuary, we did a top down deep clean.  We cleaned everything from the ceilings and lights, down to the windows, pews, and carpets.  The carpet cleaning went extremely well, bringing back a wonderful color that has been dulled from being heavily soiled.  The amount of dirt in the carpet shows how much the church has been used by it's members, which is a good thing.  Jobs where we can bring back the carpet just by cleaning it and not having to replace it is really what our company is about.    

SERVPRO of Ebensburg and Indiana County Offers Custom Carpentry

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Wide array of samples we offer from Beaulieu, Mohawk, Masterbrand, Diamond, and Aristocrat

As a SERVPRO we have offered reconstruction as part of our services after a water damage or fire loss.  Since growing, we now offer a new type of service.  Now with reconstruction, we offer our own cabinet, carpet, tile, and flooring lines.  This means that as a SERVPRO, we are now a "one stop shop".  After a disaster, we can restore the damage, and if needed offer the extra products without ever having to go to an outside source.  This is easier for the customer because it is faster and we are already familiar with the job and can continue moving along with the restoration without any issues.  Even if you have not suffered a loss but are still interested in our carpentry services, we can provide samples and free estimates to fit your needs.  

Indiana Storm Event

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

A washed out bridge in Shelocta PA in Indiana County caused by overflowing rivers.

The past couple weeks have been very busy at our SERVPRO.  On June 29th, the Indiana PA area unfortunately suffered from very heavy rains causing flash flooding.  Homes were affected by either sewer drain backups or large amounts of water entering from nearby creeks or streams.  Our crews worked late into the night to begin restoring the damage caused by the storm.  It was important to clean up and dry out as many affected areas as quickly as possibly so that mold would not develop.  Over 30+ jobs were taken care of by our whole team.  We are very proud of what we accomplished in such little time in order to help the Indiana community during such a devastating storm disaster!  No matter what time, we are ready to help!   

SERVPRO maintains Ebensburg Gardens

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Beautiful picture of the gardens in Ebensburg PA.

In Ebensburg a garden was built to help provide beauty to the town as part of a "Gardens in 20 Counties" project directed by the
Western PA Conservancy.  The gardens have been maintained by groups such as the Cambria County Co. Conservation and Recreation, the PA-DCNR Growing Greener, and The Ebensburg Rotary Club.  SERVPRO of Ebensburg is always happy to lend a helping hand to the Rotary Club to maintain the beautiful garden for the community to enjoy.  Recently with the nice turn of weather, SERVPRO helped lay down some fresh mulch before upcoming events such as, Wheels and Wings, Downtown Shut Down, and Ebensburg Homecoming.  SERVPRO of Ebensburg understands the importance of local community involvement and loves working with local groups and town to better Cambria County.    

SERVPRO of Ebensburg participates in Laurel Highlands Heart Chase

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Team "Emergency Ready Heroes" pose for a selfie as one of the required event challenges.

Every year the American Heart Association holds The Laurel Highlands HeartChase to raise money for cardiovascular diseases and other heart related complications.  

The Laurel Highlands HeartChase is a scavenger hunt meets minute to win it where teams must collect keywords all over town and perform challenges to gain points.  Whoever has the most points wins!  Teams are encouraged to raise money by receiving donations under their respected team.

SERVPRO of Ebensburg and Indiana County has been participating in the event for the past 3 years.  This year the team participated as the "Emergency Ready Heroes".  We are proud to be able to participate in events such as this.  It is good for the community and it is for a good cause.

The event was held in Ebensburg PA.  Over $43,586.64 was raised for the American Heart Association.

Spring Cleaning is Here Again!

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Carpet Cleaning in Action!

Winter has finally left and the weather is becoming sunnier and warmer, and that means spring cleaning!  

Winter weather leaves nasty grime from mud, salt, gravel, and dirt in your home and all through your carpet and flooring.  SERVPRO offers some of the best cleaning methods from standard cleaning for lighter soiling to deeper cleaning, ensuring that no job is too big or too small!

In addition to dirty carpeting and flooring, air ducts also become filled with dirt, dust, and pollen from the blooming flowers causing a dirty home and agitated allergies.  Luckily we also clean duct systems.  We use a method of forced air to agitate all the nasty particles as we vacuum all the debris at the same time.

Unfortunately warmer weather and rain causes damp areas, leading to the perfect home for mold!  Once again SERVPRO has you covered!  We perform our own in house mold testing for $125 (includes one air sample, $40 per additional samples).  If mold is present we can clean the mold and prevent further spreading using anti-microbial cleaners.

When it comes to cleaning, nothing is too small or large.  Call SERVPRO of Ebensburg today at 814-472-0800 to schedule a free estimate and prepare your home for the Summer!              

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Continues to Grow Mitigation Division

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

New Carpeting being installed in the office

SERVPRO of Ebensburg has been in business for nearly 5 years.  Through the years we strive to provide the best possible service to our customers each and every time.  Because of our customers, our business has continued to grow.  Due to recent growth, our franchise has been undergoing changes. 

We have expanded our original building to now include a new conference room and an additional office.  The conference room will be used for meetings, classes, and events on water damage.  The new office has been built to accommodate Sales and Marketing Representatives so that they can continue to help grow the company in the best setting possible.  In addition to expansion, the original building also has been given minor improvements.  Some of these improvements have included new carpeting, new cabinets for storage, and a custom front desk.  The cabinets and carpeting are from a new contracting line that will now be available to customers who have sustained a large water or fire loss.  

We also have grown our business by adding two new team members to our franchise, Production Technician Shawn Sloppy and Sales and Marketing Representative Alexander Wess.  We welcome them as they help to continue growing SERVPRO of Ebensburg!   

Getting into the Spirit

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Who You Gonna Call??? SERVPRO of course!

It's that time again, what every kid in Johnstown waits for all year, the 2016 Ameriserv Johnstown Halloween Parade! 

The 48th Annual Halloween Parade is filled with fun floats, scary costumes, haunted high school bands, and any other Halloween theme you can think of. It's estimated around thirty thousand people line the half mile parade route in downtown Johnstown to watch the 140 or more participating sponsors. It's a great way to spend an evening with your family for sure! 

SERVPRO of Ebensburg was there once again to hand out candy to all of the kids and some kids at heart for the night. We also showed off 3 of our company vehicles and some of our equipment in the process. We are happy to help out our community to put on events such as this for years to come.  

SERVPRO participates in the 2016 Red Cross Golf Outing

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Members of Team SERVPRO warming up for the 2016 Red Cross Golf Outing

Each year the American Red Cross of the PA Mountains Chapter holds a golf outing to help raise money for the local area, and SERVPRO of Ebensburg was there to participate once again! Together, all the teams and businesses managed to raise over $900 to help support our local American Red Cross. 

The American Red Cross of the Pennsylvania Mountains is part of the 28-county American Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania which serves over 560,000 people in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Huntingdon, Jefferson and Somerset Counties under the leadership of Ken Geary. 

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing volunteers and the generosity of donors. We at SERVPRO of Ebensburg are proud sponsors of our local American Red Cross. 

To donate to your local Red Cross you can

  • visit Red Cross website
  • call 814-262-3170
  • mail checks/stop by 250 Jari Drive Johnstown, Pa 15904

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Now Offers Mold Testing

9/9/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ebensburg is now able to do our own mold testing!

SERVPRO of Ebensburg is now able to do our own mold testing saving our customers time and money in the process. 

Having mold testing done by a third party can be a lengthy process. We understand you have a busy life and we don't need to be taking up any more time than we need to. Now we can do our assessment of your property and the mold testing all in the same appointment. You will even have your mold reports back within 2-3 business days! There is no need to use an additional third party or pay for any additional costly air quality tests.

  • Full service environmental analytical specializing in mold analysis.
  • Fastest turn around time and lowest price in the industry.
  • Mycologist on staff
  • Accredited Indoor Environmental Hygienist (IEH). 
  • Used by mold inspectors, home buyers/sellers, real estate agents. 
     

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ebensburg has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding to any size disaster with 24-hour emergency response. Contact us today, at 814-472-0800, to see what SERVPRO of Ebensburg can do to help you!

2015 Johnstown Halloween Parade

11/9/2015 (Permalink)

Who You Gonna Call?

SERVPRO of Ebensburg and Indiana County participated in this years Johnstown Halloween Parade on Tuesday October 27. 

New Building Underway

8/21/2015 (Permalink)

Construction Underway

Due to the amount of business we have been handling, SERVPRO of Ebensburg is expanding their building space! We are adding approximately 4,000 square feet to allow for more vehicles and equipment for us to service more customers at a time.

SERVPRO of Ebensburg is now on Twitter

5/13/2015 (Permalink)

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for all our news and update @SERV_Ebensburg

Vapor Blitz II

4/15/2015 (Permalink)

Vapor Blitz II Steam Cleaner

The Vapor Blitz II uses electricity to super heated water in a confined chamber which produces a unique steam that has the ability to clean and sanitize on a microscopic level. Used for residential and light commercial settings. Ideal for mold and mildew remediation, soot and fire damage, deep cleaning tile and grout, and so much more.

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Participates in 2015 Winter Plunge

1/30/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ebensburg participated in this years Winter Plunge that Penn State Altoona hosted at Canoe Creek State Park on January 24, 2015. Due to the inclimate weather conditions the actual plunge had to be canceled and is currently being rescheduled. However, SERVPRO of Ebensburg's 5 brave team members managed to raise $288.

The Penn State Altoona Winter Plunge raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Each year in the U.S. there are approximately 13,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer. About one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. In 1998, about 2500 died of cancer, thus making cancer the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in America.

New Facebook Page

12/30/2014 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ebensburg has a brand new Facebook page. Make sure to LIKE our new page so you don't miss out on any news and helpful information!

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Helps Local Family Back into Their Home After Fire

11/25/2014 (Permalink)

Crews working hard to clean the smoke damaged kitchen

Saturday, November 15, 2014 - SERVPRO of Ebensburg and a few volunteers helped a local family in Nanty Glo, PA after a fire in their basement caused extensive smoke damage in their home back on October 22. 

Crews began cleaning the home at 8am and worked for hours cleaning the home of any harmful toxins left from the fire. Thanks to the help of our staff and the heart-of-gold volunteers that came to help, the family will safely be able to move back into their home by Thanksgiving! 

SERVPRO of Ebensburg Raises Hundreds for ALS

10/10/2014 (Permalink)

Making ALS Like It Never Even Happened!

We, at SERVPRO of Ebensburg, would like to thank everyone who helped us raise awareness for ALS. Thanks to all of your likes and shares, we were able to raise $884. Our donation will be sent to the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of ALS that helps those living with the disease closer to home.  Also a huge thanks to Jeff Kuncelman and Stephanie Mandichak for being such good sports about having buckets of ice water dumped on their head.  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that approximately 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with each year. Sadly right now people who are diagnosed with ALS are only given 2-5 years to live. Hopefully, with all your help, SERVPRO can help make ALS"Like It Never Even Happened." SERVPRO of Ebensburg ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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