Recent Posts

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.

Overheating

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.

Why is Your Water Heater Making Noises?

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater Your water heater is an essential appliance

Why is Your Water Heater Making Noises?

From time to time, you may hear odd noises coming from parts of your house. Various appliances, the HVAC system and other items could be among the culprits. At first, you may shrug off these sounds, but it's a good idea to investigate and get to the bottom of the source and the cause. If your water heater is to blame, there are a few things you can do to get it running properly. Prompt attention will also help you avoid issues such as leaks or explosions.

Popping or Rumbling

An efficient water heater will run quietly, so if you begin to hear these unusual sounds, it's time for some maintenance. When sediment builds up in your heater, it will drop to the bottom of the appliance. Water heats underneath it and begins to boil, which creates the popping noise you hear. If you ignore this issue, your heater can erode and begin to leak.

The Solution

A water heater flush should stop the popping sound. This is a simple process. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the water heater and turn off the cold water supply.
  • Connect a hose to the drain valve and put the other end in a place where you can safely drain water.
  • Open the drain valve and let the water come out.
  • Run the water until it is clean.
  • Turn the water heater back on.

Calling in the Pros

A professional plumber in Hanover Township, PA, can help you perform this task if you'd prefer. If you ignore these noises, and your heater fails, you could face water damage in your home. Leaks and failing heaters can ruin floors and walls. You could even spot mold growth. When these issues occur, make sure you get in touch with a professional water damage mitigation specialist.
Your water heater is an essential appliance. If you hear popping or rumbling noises, don't shrug them off. Get help flushing out the sediment.

What To Do If Your Building Is Damaged During a Flood

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded carpet Flooded carpet after a storm in Cross Creek, PA

Steps You Should Take to Restore Your Building

After a severe storm in Cross Creek, PA, flood water may have caused some damage to your building. If this is the case, you should take care of it as quickly as possible to prevent it from getting worse. The following are some steps you should take to restore your building.

1. Remove Water From the Building

One of the first things that should be done is to remove any excess water from the building. If it is allowed to sit and the area is not thoroughly dried, mold growth can occur. This fungus grows easily in moist environments and can affect everything from furniture to walls to carpeting.

2. Replace Damaged Materials

If the flood water absorbs into building materials, like insulation or drywall, this will often need to be replaced. If you have carpeting with padding underneath, the padding will need to be replaced as well. The actual carpeting, however, can sometimes be salvaged if it is thoroughly cleaned. Wood may sometimes need to be replaced as well if it was in contact with water for an extended period and has begun to warp.

3. Clean or Replace Affected Belongings

Because of the high levels of contamination this type of water carries, it can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly clean items that have been affected, particularly if they have signs of mold growth. If you have upholstered furniture in your building, this may need replacing. Items with less severe damage may sometimes be salvaged more easily.

4. Remove Lingering Odors

Water from flooding and sewage loss carry high levels of contamination, and the bacteria and waste can cause unpleasant odors to remain in the building. Along with cleaning surfaces and belongings, you can use an air filter to remove these odors and have your building smelling fresh again.
To get the best results, cleanup should be done by a professional water damage remediation company. They have the necessary training, experience and equipment to remove mold growth, sanitize your building and restore it to its previous condition.

Protect Your Fire Insurance Claim By Using Board Up and Tarp Services

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Windows and doors of a building board up with plywood Boarding up your property reduces the chances of wildlife entering the premise

Protect Your Fire Insurance Claim By Using Board Up and Tarp Services

Strabane, PA, fire restoration companies often offer board up and tarp services as part of fire cleanup packages. The reason they offer such services is that mitigation is a significant part of passing the necessary insurance claims process and receiving the funding for the restoration project. With the use of appropriate mitigation practices, you, the property owner, can rest assured that your facility is protected against at least three potential problems.

  • Weather
  • Wildlife
  • Vagrants

Weather

For businesses that suffer extensive fire damage, roof repair is likely, mainly since rescue efforts may involve venting of the roofline. Therefore, once the fire is extinguished, your building is susceptible to weather damage from the increased exposure to the elements. Mitigation companies will use tarps to cover large holes in horizontal structures, reducing the risk of further water damage.

Wildlife

In addition to tarps, fire recovery companies will use plywood boards to seal any holes in the vertical structure, covering windows and doors that were damaged in the blaze. Boarding up your property reduces the chances of wildlife entering the premise, making fire cleanup simpler in the process because there will be no need to involve other services, like animal control. Your building will be completely sealed from most natural elements and wildlife intruders.

Vagrants

Last, board up services may reduce the risk of vagrants and vandals. However, depending on the area of your building, a mitigation expert may recommend the use of surveillance and fencing. In certain situations, they may even suggest posting security guards along the perimeter of the property to reduce your liability risk in the event of an accident.
While fire cleanup is necessary after a blaze, you cannot afford to overlook the importance of mitigation practices, especially as it relates to insurance claims. If your commercial property has experienced a fire, then reach out to a fire mitigation expert for board up and tarp service options.

Does My Rental Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold Does your rental insurance cover mold damage? Give your Agent a call and ask them about mold coverage.

If you experience flooding in the home or apartment you are renting, a renter's insurance policy can be helpful in recovering costs for your damaged items. If mold removal does not lead to full repair, you should contact your insurance company to see about compensation or full replacement of your belongings.

Determining Cause

In order to receive compensation from your rental insurance company, you will need to prove how the mold damage was caused. Most commonly, rental policies cover mold caused by internal flooding. Internal flooding includes sitting water resulting from some of the following circumstances:

  • Dripping pipe
  • Leaky air conditioning unit
  • Pipe burst
  • Toilet overflow

Personal Property

As a renter, you are not likely to have a full homeowners insurance policy. Because you don't own the property, your policy doesn't need to cover structural concerns like roofing. Instead, a rental insurance policy will provide coverage only for your personal belongings within the space. Personal property can be anything from clothing to furniture. If these items become ruined in a flood beyond your control, your insurance policy may be helpful in recovering the costs associated with replacing damaged goods.

Landlord Responsibility

If mold damage is caused by circumstances of landlord neglect, your renters insurance policy may not provide coverage. Instead, your insurance company may suggest turning to the landlord for reimbursement. While you may seek compensation from your landlord, many rental contracts include written clauses to excuse the landlord from responsibility for damage of any personal property. If your rental insurance does not cover mold remediation, you may have a difficult time demanding compensation from the landlord responsible.
As you await compensation from your renters insurance policy, be sure to have any water or mold cleanup needs addressed right away. A black mold cleanup crew in Union Township, PA, can remove existing mold and prevent the spreading of further damage to the rest of your home and belongings.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Dryer Lint Free

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. Remove the lint screen and clean it

You might not be too surprised to experience a small grease fire on your stovetop or other minor, manageable blaze. One of the most unfortunate and avoidable home disasters, however, is a lint fire in your clothes dryer. You can avert this fire damage at your home in Burgettstown, PA, by performing routine maintenance on your dryer.

5 Steps to a Safer Dryer

Once you realize how important it is to clean and maintain your dryer filters on a regular basis, you need to learn how to go about it. Here are the five most important steps for keeping your dryer safe from a lint fire.

Remove the lint screen. Tap the screen over a garbage bin or gently pull the lint off. If the lint sticks to the screen, rinse it with a sprayer. Dry thoroughly before reinserting it in the dryer.
Vacuum the upper vent. Use a narrow tipped nozzle to vacuum out the vent where the lint filter is inserted. Periodically remove the residual lint trapped inside this vent.
Clean the dryer exhaust. Unplug the dryer and remove the clamp that holds the expandable exhaust hose to the dryer. Use a cleaning rod to reach deep into the hose and remove lint buildup. Finish the cleanup by using the wand on your vacuum.
Check the exterior vent. Go outside and remove the cover from the exterior dryer vent. Clean off any lint buildup and replace the cover.
Tend to the back of the dryer. Make sure the dryer is unplugged and remove the panel from the back. Using a shop vacuum, clean out all of the vents and any other areas where you find lint. Replace the back panel before plugging the dryer back in.

If a blaze does break out. you may need assistance with fire damage cleanup. Call a professional fire and water damage restoration company in Burgettstown, PA, to help with fire cleanup and smoke odor removal caused by the lint fire. Better yet, keep your filters clean and reduce your risk of a dryer fire.

5 Reasons Sewage Could End Up in Your Basement

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Donora, PA

Common Causes Of Finding Black Water in Your Basement

People might have nightmares about intruders breaking in at night, or bears chasing them, or clowns, but for many homeowners having a flooded basement is one scary situation. This is especially true if the water is contaminated or contains sewage. The reasons for finding black water in your basement in Donora, PA, are many, but here are some of the most common causes.

A Flood. Floods are among the most common disasters that a homeowner could face. When water rushes in from the outside, there is no telling what it could contain. Chemicals, dirt, oil and sewage are often present in flood water. Because of this, a professional disaster mitigation company should be called in for safety and for cleanup.

Plumbing Problems. Everything from a bathtub backing up to a toilet overflow can bring unwelcome dirty water into the home and result in a flooded basement.

A Clogged Sewer Line. Your municipal sewer line can get clogged or damaged from tree roots, enabling an unpleasant back up of sewage into your home.

Melting Snow and Runoff. When a large amount of snow melts quickly, often accompanied by warm rains, this extra water can leak into basements. This is more likely if your home's landscaping slopes toward your basement, or if cracks in the foundation exist.

A Neglected Septic System. If your home is served by a septic system instead of a municipal wastewater system, make sure it is pumped out periodically. Otherwise, this could result in sewage backing up into your home.

The presence of contaminated water, also known as black water, should be treated with care. The water could be harmful to humans and pets and should be avoided. The best practice is to call in a company that is trained and experienced in dealing with a flooded basement. The company will safely clean up the mess and restore your home "Like it never even happened."