Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

2 Facts About IICRC Certifications

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

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

Why Is This Type Of Certification Important?

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

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

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

Identifying and Remediating Mold

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Plywood with mold Mold can be found anywhere

Take The Right Steps To Remediate Mold

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

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

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

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

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

Tips to Minimize Mold Spreading

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in walls Mold damage in Gallitzin, PA

Tips to Minimize Mold Spreading

After the water a pipe burst or other massive water infiltration in your Gallitzin, PA, home, it means much more than water damage. In less than two days, mold spores can turn into a massive mold infestation. Once that happens, the chances for black mold to relocate to unaffected areas increases. The first step is to call a mold damage and remediation specialist that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. While waiting for help to arrive, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

Stop the Spread
At the first signs of an outbreak, stopping it in its tracks is essential. Below are a few steps to take.

Since spores become airborne to find new locations to build a colony, ensure your HVAC system is turned off.
Locate the source of the moisture problem. If it is a pipe burst or leak, turn off the water and contact a plumber to have it repaired.
Along with moisture, black mold loves high humidity. Keep humidity levels in the home under 60%. If the air outside is less humid, open the windows. Otherwise, use a dehumidifier and frequently empty it.
Belongings that have been affected should be carefully removed and sealed in plastic bags.

Cleanup Expectations
Once help arrives, the length of the mold cleanup process will depend on the extent of the damage. A certified mold professional will first inspect for visible and hidden damage and assess the extent of it. They will create a personalized plan of attack to eradicate the problem. During the remediation process, the affected areas will be contained to prevent the damage from spreading. They will use industrial tools to clean surfaces as well as air filtration equipment to remove airborne spores. After removal and remediation, they will begin any restoration needed to get your home back to normal.
Black mold can quickly spread, so taking immediate action is essential to protecting your home. Along with calling an expert for help, the above steps may help minimize the damage.

How to Identify and Get Rid of Mold in Crawlspaces

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Having mold invade your crawlspace is a perilous scenario

When your home in Ebensburg, PA, experiences flooding, there is every chance mold will soon develop. Should this become the case for you, prevent it from spreading by speedily eliminating every bit of invasive fungi.

Identifying Crawlspace Mold

Mold may exist in the hollow area underneath your home’s ground and first floor if:

  • Insulation becomes missing or starts sagging.
  • Water stains surrounding baseboards appear.
  • Wood becomes discolored.
  • You detect increased animal activity.
  • Cool air is coming through your flooring.
  • Your house rests on an elevated water table.

Mold commonly breeds in these narrow spaces because such locations possess ideal conditions for growth – oxygen, darkness, moisture and warm temperatures. Use a mold remediation expert to eradicate the issue as quickly as possible before mold damage escalates and transforms into a far more serious problem.

Eliminating Crawlspace Mold Using Soda Blasting
One method for ridding your residence of this nuisance is soda blasting. Through the use of sodium bicarbonate particles, this high-pressure abrasive spray is ideal for accessing the myriad nooks and crannies that mold so easily infests. Perfect for use on wooden structures, it’s approximately four times faster than scraping and scrubbing.
Once the affected area has been treated, the final stage is vacuuming and wiping down all relevant areas, assuring every hazardous spore has been thoroughly removed. If you are environmentally conscious, you will love soda blasting, as it does not use any chemicals. As an added bonus, it also deodorizes while it cleans.
Alternatively, dry ice and surface blasting are worth investigating. Encapsulation is another tantalizing option, as it permanently prevents the headache from ever returning. Take care, however, that the right vapor barrier is used.
Having mold invade your crawlspace is a perilous scenario. There are multiple ways to handle the dilemma, but soda blasting is one of the best. Whatever you choose, consult a professional before making such a critical selection.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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! 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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