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How to Create a Fire Escape Plan For Your Office

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Escape Plan with red pen Be sure that you have a fire escape plan and practice it often

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan For Your Office

In the event of a fire, it is important that everyone in your Union Township, PA, building is able to make it out safely. Creating a fire escape plan is one way to help ensure this. The following steps can help.

1. Locate All Exits
You should find any possible locations for getting out of the building. This will include the main entrances as well as fire escapes. On lower floors, windows may also be a safe option.
2. Create Multiple Alternate Routes
Depending on where the fire is located, you may not be able to get to an exit using the path you would usually take. Make sure that you know at least two ways to get to each exit.
3. Posts Maps in Each Room
During an emergency, you may find it difficult to determine the best way to get where you need to go. Posting maps of the building in each room and hallway can help. This can also be helpful for guests who do not know the layout of the building.
4. Designate a Meetup Spot
Even if everyone follows the fire escape plan perfectly, you may not end up in the same place once you’re outside. Pick an area where everyone will go once they have exited the building. This will make it easier to determine who may still be inside.
5. Practice Regularly
The best way to make sure that everyone will know what to do if a fire occurs is to practice your emergency escape plan regularly. This should be done at least every six months and should be as realistic as possible.
It is important to have a good fire escape plan and to make sure everyone is safe during a fire. Afterward, however, you may need to focus on the state of your building. If there is fire or smoke damage, you should hire a fire damage remediation company to take care of it. They can perform cleanup and repairs to both the structure of the building and the objects inside.

Sewage Loss Is a Very Major – and Very Smelly – Event

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding caused by the carelessness of those who forget to turn off the faucet, the water overflows and floods the room. Sewage loss in Burgettstown, PA

The single most crucial technology for modern civilization is plumbing. Electricity and computers are also important, but without running water and proper sanitation, any area with a large population would be a festering, unhealthy mess. When sewer water escapes its normal confines in Burgettstown, PA, it can cause disease, mold growth and serious damage to a building – and removing the horrid odor often requires professional help.

Sewer Problems Can Be Sudden and Severe

There are a few potential causes of sewer water overflow, also called exfiltration. These include

  • Blocked sewer lines
  • Shifting foundations and soil
  • Malfunctioning pumping stations
  • Flood and storm water infiltration

Of these, flood water may be the most common cause. A flood overwhelms both greywater and black water systems, giving neither a chance to take up any of the excess water. Floods are insidious, finding ways into otherwise secure areas, causing hidden mold growth, structural weakness and potentially disease outbreaks.

Septic Water Can Leave Behind Extremely Stubborn Odors

Once certain building materials, such as drywall and untreated wood framing, have been exposed to sewer water, they are typically permanently damaged and must be replaced. Other items, such as throw rugs and wood furniture, can often be cleaned.
If the sewage loss didn’t reach the plaster or walls, you may be able to remove the odors with a mix of one teaspoon baking soda plus one teaspoon white vinegar per pint of water. Spray the affected areas, wait around 10 minutes then wipe clean.
If a carpet or rug was impacted, wash it, let it dry out, then sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Leave it overnight and vacuum up the residue. Also, leave a bowl of white vinegar in each room; this is often great for absorbing odors.
However, once the sewage gets into the walls, it will probably require a professional storm cleanup company to inspect how deep the damage is, locate hidden areas and use specialized equipment, including commercial HEPA air scrubbers, to deodorize your home. They can inhibit further mold growth, identify what can be saved and decide what must be replaced. In many cases, insurance will cover most or all of the damage.

Will Insurance Cover Mold Growth?

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Broken wall, mold found inside the wall Does your insurance company cover mold damage?

Purchasing insurance may seem like a gamble to some people. You pay a premium but might never see the benefit. Of course, if a need arises, and you have to file a claim, you're grateful to have the coverage. If you discover fungus growth in your home, check with your policy to see whether you get can the help you need. Depending on how the mold grew, your policy may take effect.

Typical Causes of Mold Growth

Mold thrives under humid, wet conditions. If there is a leak or other type of water damage in your Donora, PA, home, the chances increase of finding fungus growth. Here are some specific ways in which mold will develop and spread:

  • When there is a broken or burst pipe
  • When you fail to clean up after a flood.
  • When there is poor ventilation in a humid environment such as a bathroom or laundry room

What Insurance Will Cover

Your homeowner's policy has mold coverage under certain situations. If peril causes the mold, the insurance company should pay your claim. For example, if mold starts to grow because of a sudden, unexpected incident, your policy will be effective. A burst pipe or defective part in an appliance could leave a significant amount of water on the floor. Mold growth due to an act of vandalism also warrants an insurance claim.

What Insurance Won't Cover

You may need to purchase supplemental mold insurance to pay for mold damage when you failed to do proper maintenance and upkeep. Your policy will deny your claim if you ignore making repairs or put off replacing old systems and parts. Your agent will expect you to be a responsible homeowner. In these examples, you will be on your own to hire a professional mold remediation specialist to remove the mold.
Review your policy today and become familiar with what the insurance will and won't pay for. Be prepared to guard against fungus growth.

Why Does Black Mold Thrive in Showers?

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom fan Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

A shower provides the perfect combination of conditions for black mold and other varieties of fungus to thrive. Find out why shower mold is a common problem and how to discourage mold growth in a bathroom.

Showers Are Moist

Mold requires moisture in order to grow. If water is left to linger in a shower or bathroom after bathing, colonies of fungus may form. There are several ways to lower moisture levels:

  • Use a ventilation fan rated for the size of the bathroom
  • Use a squeegee to remove water from shower walls or doors
  • Ensure that grout lines are sealed to prevent leaks

These measures can reduce a major factor in mold growth. It is also important to keep bathrooms clean.

Organic Material Is Available

Fungi require food in order to multiply. This nutriment comes in the form of any type of organic material. In addition to maintaining low moisture levels when a shower is not in use, there are several shower mold prevention measures homeowners should take:

  • Regularly clean and scrub bathroom surfaces
  • Deep clean tile grout one or two times a month
  • Use an anti-mildew product or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water

Consistent bathroom maintenance combined with drying measures and proper ventilation can prevent mold from becoming a problem. Any one of these factors may reduce the likelihood of fungal growth, but all of these methods should be combined to banish bathroom mold.

The presence of moisture and food sources allow for the growth of shower mold. A homeowner who wants to prevent black mold or other types of fungus should take measures to promote drying and keep a shower and bathroom clean. If a shower leak results in a persistent moldy smell, this may indicate the presence of hidden mold. Contact a water damage restoration and mold remediation service in Strabane, PA.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Storm

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency kit supplies: water bottle, matches, rope, flashlight, blanket Get emerggency supplies

Tips for Creating and Enacting This Plan

Business owners know the importance of preparing for the unexpected. That includes storms and other weather emergencies. To ensure that your company and building are ready for a flood, tornado or hurricane, you need to develop a disaster preparedness plan. Below are some tips for creating and enacting this plan.

1. Get Emergency Supplies
During a disaster, you first must think about the safety of your employees. They all need clean air, fresh water, warmth and food to survive. Some workers may have essential medications, as well.
Ideally, your company's emergency kit should include both a weather radio and a battery-powered commercial radio. Be sure to include extra batteries for the radios along with a flashlight and a First Aid kit. Other essentials include pliers or wrenches, garbage bags and moist towelettes for personal sanitation and a whistle that workers can use to signal for help. Encourage your employees to also keep their own portable kits with any personal items they might need.

2. Plan for Potential Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place
Your disaster preparedness strategy should plan for a possible evacuation. Create a map of the property that marks the emergency route and building exits. You should also designate an employee meeting place outside the facility.
If a tornado or hurricane is coming, your employees might need to take shelter within your building. You should determine a safe area where they can gather. Ideally this should be on the lowest floor of the property and away from any doors, outside walls or windows.

3. Protect Your Assets
Any business preparedness plan should also consider how a storm could affect property and equipment. Secure any necessary assets to the walls and take any electric items off the floor. Update your insurance coverage and store contact information for your local emergency restoration company.
With a proper disaster preparedness strategy, your Hanover Township, PA, business can survive a major storm. By planning for the worst in advance, you can protect your property and employees.

Top 3 Causes of Home Fires and How To Prevent Them

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Kitchen fire in Union Township, PA

Here Are The Top Residential Fires

Most people believe that house fires are rare catastrophes that could never happen to them. Unfortunately, the reality is that a simple mistake or oversight could cause a fire to break out in your Union Township, PA, home. The good news is that the most common causes of a home fire can be easily prevented through proper care and attention. Here are the top residential fire causes and what you can do to keep them from happening in your own home.

1. Cooking Fires
As you might expect, cooking-related fires are one of the leading causes of house fires. Fires that start in the kitchen are typically a result of the following:

  • Frying with oil
  • Using faulty appliances
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • Placing flammable items near an open flame
  • Using an excessively high cooking temperature
  • Leaving food unattended on the stove or in the oven

To stop these emergencies from taking place, make sure to always keep an eye on your food and use your stove and oven appropriately.

2. Electrical Fires
Another major cause of a home fire is a faulty electrical system. Defective outlets, appliances, light fixtures, and wiring often lead to electrical fires in residential settings. To keep your home safe from an electrical fire, make sure your wiring is up to date, and be sure to use extension cords and space heaters responsibly. Never place a cord, or an appliance, too close to a flammable object or combustible surface.

3. Washing Machines and Dryers
Washing machines and dryers prompt many homeowners to call for fire cleaning. By remembering to clean your dryer’s lint trap on a regular basis, you can dramatically reduce the risk of having a dryer fire in your home. Additionally, check that your washing machine has no faulty wiring or poor cable insulation.
You can help prevent fires in your home by following a few simple precautions. Remember to call emergency restoration services to help restore your living space from a home fire in the event that anything goes wrong.

4 Signs That You Have Damaged Pipes

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Floor removed in a home, drying equipment. Concept water restoration Water damage restoration in a Burgettstown, PA home

Four Signs That You Have Damaged Or Broken Pipes

A broken or damaged pipe in your Burgettstown, PA, home can lead to a number of serious problems. It’s crucial to identify a pipe break as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring. However, it isn’t always easy to tell whether your pipes are damaged. Here are the top four signs that you have broken or damaged pipes in your home.

1. Low Water Pressure

One of the main indications of pipe damage is poor water pressure. Be sure to check the water flow from your faucets and showerheads to determine whether anything is wrong. If the stream of water appears weaker than normal, it may be a result of a leak or broken pipe.

2. Unpleasant Odors

A pipe break can also cause unpleasant odors to invade your living space. If you’re bothered by a strong smell of sewage wafting through your home, it likely means that there is a clogged pipe or a pipe burst somewhere in the house. Be sure to contact a professional to fix broken pipes immediately.

3. Strange Sounds

When your pipes are damaged, they will begin to emit strange noises. These sounds typically come in the form of hissing, rumbling or banging. If you hear these noises even when the water isn’t running, it means you have broken pipes that require professional attention.

4. High Water Bills

If you have any doubts about your pipes being damaged, you may change your mind once you see your water bill. Bills that are much higher than usual are a result of some form of damage to your pipes, whether you have a leak or a pipe burst. It’s crucial to call for help as soon as possible to identify the source of pipe damage.
Damaged pipes can lead to property damage and other issues. Whether you have a pipe break or a clog, don’t hesitate to call water damage restoration experts to bring your home back to its normal state.

What Causes Fire Sprinklers To Accidentally Go Off?

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Sprinkler systems can accidentally activate

While Hollywood would have you think that all it takes is a single lighter, pulling a fire alarm, or a little bit of smoke to set off fire sprinklers, but in reality, these sprinklers are often only triggered when air in the room reaches a specific temperature, which is normally set to higher than 150 degrees. However, there are some situations where sprinkler systems are accidentally discharged, leading to flooding and water damage.

Accidental Damage or Vandalism

If someone accidentally or purposely hits or damages a fire sprinkler, it can potentially cause it to go off. Most sprinkler systems are filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when exposed to the designated temperature and causes a glass trigger to break. It is possible to hit the sprinkler head hard enough to break this glass and activate the sprinkler. While this can happen accidentally if a tall item hits the sprinkler or a contractor or painter is working close to the device, there have been some cases where people purposefully triggered the system and caused flooding.

Lack of Maintenance

Both mechanical damage to the sprinkler’s operating mechanism and corrosion of the system’s part have been known to cause accidental activation. The best way to prevent this from happening is by ensuring a fire professional checks your sprinklers every few years and that problems are addressed right away.


Since the sprinklers are triggered by high temperatures, there is the potential for the system to go off if it is installed near a heater or skylight. There are high-temperature rated sprinklers that can only activate with hotter air, such as 200 or 300 degrees.
While not common, sprinkler systems can accidentally activate and require the need for water damage cleanup and restoration services in Donora, PA, to address any flooding. However, these sprinklers are more likely to save lives and prevent damage by stopping a fire from spreading.

3 Ways Pretesting May Help With Your Restoration

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke on the glass modern building Fire loss in Strabane, PA

3 Ways Pretesting May Help With Your Restoration

If your business in Strabane, PA, has experience fire damage you may see your restoration service perform some pretesting on the damaged surfaces. There are a number of reasons a local restoration service, like SERVPRO, may pretest as the process can help with cleaning and repairs.

1. Detecting Damage

A restoration crew recommended by your insurance agent may start out with this process as not all damage may be visible to the naked eye. The testing procedure involves using a chemical pad to gently wipe the surface of any area where they believe unseen damage may have occurred. The pad will then react with any smoke or soot residue letting the professional know if the area in question needs specific treatment.

2. Shortening Restoration Time

Another advantage of pretesting before repairs begin is that it can shorten the restoration time. The testing process can help the repair team sort items by damage severity, and also help them identify items that don’t need cleaning at all. Being able to organize efforts this way can lead to a more efficient cleaning process which may take less time overall.

3. Cutting Restoration Costs

One of the highlights of this service is that it can also help cut some costs of your insurance claim. Knowing which items require cleaning and which don’t can mean that time and resources are spent where they are needed and not in unnecessary places. Savings from the more efficient cleaning process can be passed on to your business.
As the process of pretesting can help with the restoration after fire damage, it’s not unusual to see your SERVPRO team perform this task. The process can help them determine which items have been damaged and require cleaning when soot isn’t visible. Doing so can help shorten the time it takes for repairs to be conducted, as well as help cut some possible costs.

3 Cleaning Tactics That Prevent Mold Spore Buildup

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Male technician cleaning industrial air conditioner indoors Cleaning air ducts

How Specific Strategies Can Stop Mold Problems in Your Business

Mold spores are everywhere, and if your commercial facility provides the right conditions, they can build up, grow and develop into full-blown mold contamination. However, frequent and thorough procedures such as carpet cleaning can stop the creation of these habitats and prevent mold inside the location in the first place. Continue reading and learn more about how specific strategies can stop mold problems in your Cross Creek, PA, business.

Installing Doormats

Even though mold can grow anywhere and needs the bare minimum to do so, elements outside your property can accelerate the process. Incoming customers and employees can bring all sorts of contaminants inside.

  • Water
  • Dirt and rocks
  • Mud
  • Grass
  • More spores

These components can provide either the nutrients or water necessary for mold to develop inside the building. By placing doormats near every single entrance, you can severely reduce the amount of these intruding materials, also decreasing the probability of mold inside the property.

Cleaning Carpets

Carpet can be an elegant flooring solution, but its porous properties cause it to trap both mold spores and the organic materials they thrive on. The best way to remove these materials is through frequent carpet cleaning and maintenance. Equip your custodians with the latest cleaning technology, including vacuums that utilize HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which can trap most kinds of particles, including mold.

Cleaning Air Ducts

One of the fastest ways mold can spread throughout a location is via air. The building's air ducts can provide a dark, secluded location where mold can easily grow. They can also transport the spores throughout the area, creating mass contamination. The most effective method in preventing mold situations like these involves hiring professionals to regularly clean the system and prevent buildup.
While commercial remediation specialists can help you in many mold cases, some of them can be prevented by simple duct or carpet cleaning. Conduct preventative cleaning to keep the business clean and safe for your employees and customers.