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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Signs of a Potentially Leaky Shower

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

A shower leaking Shower leak in an Hanover Township, PA home

Follow These 3 Signs If You May Have A Leaking Tub Or Shower

Bathroom leaks can be intimidating to the average homeowner. Uncovering the signs of a bathtub leak early-on can save you money and the hassle of cleanup if replaced upon discovery. Watch for the following three things to see if you may have a leaking tub or shower in your home. If damage is extensive, you may need to hire a Hanover Township, PA, water damage restoration company to manage repairs and cleanup.

1. Uncovering Water Damage

When buying a used home or getting into a bathroom renovation project, in can be helpful to read the signs of a potential shower pan leak. Shower leaks can be deceiving, and may not appear after initial shower use. If you suspect a leak in the pan or tub, watch for water appearing in the following locations:

In a ceiling below a tub
Throughout a crawl space
Wet carpet in neighboring rooms

2. Cracked Caulking

If a shower or bathtub leak is apparent, you will need to get down to the cause of the leak. One of the most commonly found and easily resolved shower leak issues is damaged caulking. Cracked caulking may have a dried-out appearance and flake or peel away easily. To repair cracked caulking on your own, let the area dry completely. Scrape away old, damaged caulking and replace with a strip of fresh caulking. Follow the package directions for curing time to ensure the new seal is fully water-proof.

3. Damaged Pan

To test the integrity of a shower pan, you can start by stoppering the drain and filling the pan with 1-2 inches of water. Allow the water to sit for several hours if necessary. If leaks are discovered, determine what can be done to make repairs. Oftentimes, full pan replacement is necessary. While it may be a more expensive fix, it can reduce significant bathtub leak damage in the future.

Protect Your Facility from Mold Growth

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

If your carpet is subject to water damage, you need to quickly clean it to prevent mold

Take charge of your facility cleanup with prompt and professional mold prevention. From sudden thunderstorms to leaking pipes, there are many ways that facilities in Donora, PA, can harbor mold growth. Prevent further spread of a variety of molds by finding a professional removal service to target these key areas in commercial buildings.

Removing Mold

Once you’ve found mold in one or more of the following areas, it’s essential to contact a professional service for full mold remediation. Here are the basic steps to ensure proper remediation:

  1. Contact a professional
  2. Assess the damage
  3. Containment
  4. Thorough filtration
  5. Complete removal
  6. Restore belongings and home

HVAC Mold Prevention

Your commercial HVAC system is far larger than a residential one, which leaves more areas for mold to grow. Condensation pans for furnaces and air conditioners are designed to dry out but can collect enough moisture to foster mold.

A professional team thoroughly inspects and cleans your HVAC system for signs of mold. Whether it’s forming in your condensation pans, ductwork or collecting on your commercial filters, prompt mold removal is essential for professional air quality for your customers and employees.

Protecting Your Commercial Carpeting

Commercial carpeting receives a high volume of traffic every day. If your carpet is subject to water damage, you need to quickly clean it to prevent mold. Even if the surface of the carpet feels dry, water can settle into your commercial carpet pad and harbor mold.

Professional carpet cleaning solutions and equipment can penetrate the thick, soft layer of commercial carpet and remove any water or dirt buildup deep within your flooring. Other porous materials, such as ceiling tiles, can also be areas of likely mold that should be professionally inspected.

Keeping Your Facilities Safe

Thankfully, mold remediation specialists are always on-call to review your mold situation and offer thorough cleaning and restoration. Don’t let mold growth dampen your commercial air quality. Choose a mold prevention company who is Here to Help.

Eliminating Cigarette Smoke Odor

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Baking soda and vinegar are known for their odor-neutralization properties

Cigarette odor can linger for a surprisingly long time in your Strabane, PA, home or apartment. Because odors are invisible, home deodorization is often frustrating, but knowing a little about the problem before you get started can help you do the job thoroughly and quickly.

What Items Hold Onto Odors?

Odors from cigarette smoke can cling to any surface, but some household objects are more likely to trap odors than others. When trying to get rid of a smoky smell, do not neglect any of the following:

  • Carpet
  • Pillows and bedding
  • Curtains
  • Upholstery
  • Walls and ceilings

What Cleaning Solutions Eliminate Smoke Odor?

Every situation is different, but in many cases, you can clean smoke odors from household surfaces with a mild soap. Baking soda and vinegar are known for their odor-neutralization properties and can safely be used to clean a wide variety of items. “Airing out” the area by opening the windows and doors and running a fan will also help.

What if the Smell Is Still There?

Smoke odor can be very tough to fully eliminate because it seeps into tiny crevices and lingers in porous surfaces. If soap and fresh air have not fully taken care of the smell, you can try an ozone machine. These machines are very effective at home deodorization because they use ozone, and ozone can go anywhere cigarette smoke goes. Ozone has three oxygen atoms, instead of two like regular oxygen that we breathe. The additional atom attaches itself to the smoke particles. This is a chemical reaction, called oxidation, that eliminates the smoke odor. Ozone machines are available in several sizes to deodorize anywhere, from small bathrooms to large open areas.
Removing smoke odor from your home may seem like a daunting task, but with the right equipment it can be done successfully. Additionally, a professional restoration company can help you with every step of your home deodorization project.

How To Get Rid of Bad Odors After a Flood

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding causes water damage in a Cross Creek, PA home

Tips on How to Get Rid of Bad Odors After a Flood

Having excess water in your home in Cross Creek, PA, is never a pleasant experience. In addition to the damage the water alone can do, it can also lead to many problems such as contamination or mold growth that leave behind a terrible smell. Here are some tips on getting rid of the odors and their underlying causes.

Contaminated Water

The foul stench in your home after a heavy storm may be a sign of sewage. There are several ways that sewage can get into your home during a flood:

  • Toilet overflow
  • Sewer backup into shower or bath
  • Sewage in groundwater soaking into foundation

If you think you smell sewer water in your home, don't try to clean it up yourself. Sewer cleanup professionals have the protective gear and the proper equipment to deal with your sewage loss effectively. They can remove contaminated items and materials, disinfect the affected area and replace any ruined materials. An ozone machine or industrial purifier can then be used to freshen the air in your home.

Mold Problems

Unless technicians dry and clean the flooded areas of your home quickly, the musty odor you smell is probably mold. Mold growth can occur within as little as 24 hours after your home has flooded. Mold doesn't just stay on the surface where it lands, so wiping it away doesn't solve the problem. If you want to get rid of fungus, you will need professional mediation. After technicians have gotten rid of the secondary damage from the flood water, they can then address the smell. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter and an activated charcoal prefilter are particularly adept at trapping spores, thus improving air quality and smell.

Flooding not only causes damage but can also leave behind bad odors. Professional remediation can take care of the whole problem, leaving your home clean and ridding the air of any foul smells.

5 Steps for Cleaning After a Toilet Overflow

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Clear the clog

Here are 5 Steps for Cleaning After a Toilet Overflow

A toilet overflow can turn a normal day into a panic-driven frenzy of not knowing what to do first: search for the water shut off valve or run for the mop. It’s laborious, time-consuming and unpleasant, to say the least, especially in the case of a sewer backup. Here are five steps for cleaning after a toilet flood:

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

In some cases, more water can run into the toilet bowl. Turning off the water supply valve is recommended.


2. Clear the Clog

A plunger should do the job fairly easily. However, if there’s no water in the bowl it won’t work. In this instance or for a more serious obstruction, you may need an auger. Sometimes even the auger won’t clear the blockage. It may sound counterintuitive, but another option is to pour hot water into the bowl. Strong chemicals made specifically for toilet clogs may work, but these should be a last resort; harsh chemicals can damage plumbing.

3. Remove Standing Water

After you stop a toilet from overflowing, it’s important to remove all standing water. There are several options for removing the water depending on water depth. A wet/dry vacuum can be a lifesaver, safely saving time and therefore minimizing damage.

4. Sanitize Everything

A toilet overflow is likely caused by a sewage backup. Sewage contains human waste that can turn your floor into a cesspool, so it’s important to sanitize everything. People often think of only cleaning the floor, but germs can spread to mats, cabinets, furniture, appliances—anything that is in contact with the floor.

5. Hire Professionals

Water will seep into the tiniest of crevices, trapping bacteria. After you’ve removed the contaminated water, debris and odors are likely to linger. Cleaning and remediation experts should be called, as professional equipment may be required for a thorough cleaning.
As a business owner in Union Township, PA, you’ll find that returning your restroom to a sanitary condition after a toilet overflow involves a meticulous cleaning. You’ll feel confident knowing that there’s a restoration company that’s Here to Help.

Benefits of Using a Roof Tarp After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Why Tarp Services May Be Useful Following a Fire

In the event of a building fire in Hanover Township, PA, there may be significant damage to the roof in particular. The flames themselves may have caused roof damage, and holes may have been cut into the roof to aid in firefighting efforts. After the flames have been extinguished and fire cleanup begins, it may be helpful to place a tarp over the roof to protect the area while waiting for repairs. Below are several reasons why tarp services may be useful following a fire.

1. Protect From the Elements

Placing a tarp over the roof may keep the elements out of the building. Rain, snow, wind and sunlight can add to the destruction of the building that has already occurred from the fire. A well-placed roof tarp may be able to withstand sun, wind and precipitation and may protect the property from further damage until repairs can be made.

2. Deter Animals

With uncovered holes in the roof, animals such as birds, squirrels or insects may attempt to enter the building. If left unchecked, these critters may begin to live inside the property. Pests can cause numerous problems, including additional property damage and leaving a mess behind. Placing a tarp on the roof during fire cleanup efforts can help prevent pests from entering and making their home inside the building.

3. Keep Debris Out

Gaping holes in the roof may allow debris such as leaves and twigs to fall inside. Debris may also be swept inside from the wind. Covering roof holes with a tarp may prevent an additional mess inside the building from debris.

While awaiting roof repair following a fire, it may be a good idea to cover the roof with a tarp while fire cleanup efforts are occurring. You may consider hiring commercial building restoration services to assist with tarp placement, as a properly placed and secured tarp may prevent the problems mentioned above. It can take time for repairs to be completed, and it may be wise to cover roof holes in the meantime.

Heavy Winds

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Is your home or business ready for heavy winds?

Heavy winds can damage literally hundreds of trees and create dangerous conditions.

Additionally, heavy winds can cause power outages.

Prepare BEFORE Heavy Winds strikes

  • Being proactive, and having a first aid kit--with fresh, non-expired products--both in your home and vehicles,
  • Walking your property during fair weather days, looking for ill and diseased trees,
  • Hanging or cracked branches which are extremely large and heavy.

If you note any of these things, seek out estimates to address and solve these problem trees BEFORE heavy, inclement weather arrives.

Also, consider how you and your family would function if you lost power due to heavy winds.

  • Do you have candles and flash lights with working batteries, and an extra sets of batteries?  
  • Blankets, and dry or pre-packaged food supplies for 2 or 3 days?
  • Don't forget water--assume one gallon per day for each person and animal.

If your home or business has experienced storm damage after heavy rains and winds please contact SERVPRO of North Washington County to clean up and restore. 

A Step by Step Guide on What to Expect With a Toilet Replacement

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a leaking toilet in Donora, PA, you may be worried about possible water damage

A Step by Step Guide on What to Expect With a Toilet Replacement

If you have a leaking toilet in Donora, PA, you may be worried about possible water damage. A professional can look over the leak to learn where and how extensive the damage is. When repairing your toilet here are a few steps you can expect to see the professional perform.

1. Turn Off the Water

The first step to toilet repair is to turn off the water to the area. Depending on the toilet type the professional performing your repairs may simply be able to turn off the water supply line directly to the toilet.

2. Drain the Water

After the water is off it's important to drain away any water left in the toilet. This can be done by holding down the flash lever until the tank is empty. Any remaining water can be mopped up with a sponge. Doing so will help prevent further water damage.

3. Disconnect the Water Supply Line

Once your leaking toilet has been drained, the professional performing your repairs can disconnect the water supply line. This should consist of loosening the compression nut and removing the closet bolts.

4. Remove the Toilet

Once the unit has been disconnected, the toilet can be removed. Doing so can allow a water damage restoration service to see where and how extensive any water damage caused by the leak is. Any repairs necessary should be conducted now.

5. Replace Needed Parts

With the old toilet removed any parts necessary can now be replaced. If you have an older unit you may want to replace the toilet entirely. Talk to the professional overseeing your repairs about any water damaged places, the cause of the leak, and any recommendations they may have to help prevent such problems in the future.
If you believe you have a leaking toilet there are few steps you can expect the repair process to contain. The water should be turned off and drained before the toilet is removed. After which the unit itself or any broken parts can be replaced. If you have any water damage or questions about the process, a professional may be able to help.

4 Steps to Take Before a Storm

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

If you are expecting a storm in North Washington County, and want to protect your home and family, there are several steps that you should follow. Flood water can cause quite a bit of damage and can compromise your safety, so keep these tips in mind during bad weather.

Have a Safety Plan

One of the most important things to do before a storm is to create a plan. You should know what you will do if the power goes out or, if the storm is severe, what you will do in the case of a flooded building. Consider all possibilities and be prepared.

Check Doors and Windows

To protect your home from water damage, you should make sure all of your doors and windows are properly sealed. A loose or broken seal can allow water to get inside, and even a small amount can cause problems. It is a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your home to prevent this.

Inspect the Outside of the House

If you have cracks in the exterior of your house, moisture can build up inside of the walls and damage the structure of the building. It can also contribute to the growth of mold. This fungus spreads quickly in dark, moist environments and can cause both discoloration and a musty odor.

Create an Emergency Kit

Depending on the type and severity of the storm, the contents of your emergency kit may vary. Some useful items to include are flashlights, radios, batteries, canned foods, and bottled water. Flood water can cause contamination, so you shouldn’t consume anything it touches.

Being prepared can help keep both your family and your home safe. However, if you do experience damage from a storm or flood water, a water damage remediation specialist can help get your home back to its previous condition. They can perform remediation, make repairs and restore damaged belongings.

3 Reasons Wildfires Could Lead to More Floods

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

There are a lot of natural disasters that can affect the North Washington County area. From floods to wildfires, you never know what's going to strike. Did you know that after a wildfire your area could actually be at a higher risk for flooding? The National Flood Insurance Program can help you better understand your risk of flooding. Check out these three reasons you could see more flooding after a wildfire from the FEMA NFIP.

No More Vegetation

One major component of wildfire damage is burned vegetation. Plants actually help take in water. When the vegetation is burnt away, the ground is now expected to soak up all of the rain that falls in the area. When the water no longer has anywhere to go, you may need a storm damage restoration professional.

New Terrain

The fires can even cause the terrain in your area to change. What was once solid ground can become weaker thanks to the new charred and barren features. You may notice that the top soil is swept away in heavy rains, which can mean that any flooding that does take place includes rocks and other potentially damaging debris. Because of the increased damage potential of floods after a wildfire, the FEMA NFIP suggests you update your flood insurance after any wild burnings.

Less Absorption

Not only does the decrease in vegetation lead to less water absorption, but so does the new soil. Fires can turn healthy top soil into ash. The burned ground actually acts a lot like pavement in that it does not let the rain water into the ground. With this increased run off, you may notice more standing water in your area even after light rains. Flooding damage then becomes more of a risk for your home because the water has nowhere else to go.

Wildfires don't always lead to flooding, but according to the FEMA NFIP, they could increase your future risk of floods. Because it takes a while for an environment to bounce back after fires, you could have an increased risk of flooding for at least five years.

Securing Your Building Post-Fire

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

Is your North Washington County, commercial property suffering after a fire? If you are planning on seeking help from a local fire damage restoration company, you are already on the right track. But you also need to keep your building safe in the meantime. Follow these three steps to make sure looting does not affect your business in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

Identify and Secure Open Spaces

Survey your building very carefully when beginning your fire cleanup efforts. Ensure that all windows, doors and other open spaces are securely locked. Next, make sure that you purchase some sturdy boards that will be sufficiently protective for the type of opening that you are securing. The length of time you expect the boards to be in place should also influence what type of covering you buy.

Research Further Options

While waiting to repair fire damage to your building, you may want to invest in some fencing for added security. This really depends on whether or not you feel that your building is in an area prone to heavy looting, as well as the amount of time you expect your business to be shut down for.

Consider Advanced Security Options

If you feel that your company’s geographical area is highly unsafe or expect you will be closed for a very long time, security services or a high-tech alarm may be the way to go. These options allow your building to be secured when you are not physically available to keep a close watch.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Fire damage is stressful enough without worrying about highly customizable security options. You need to focus on fixing any destruction first and foremost, so if you think complicated security measures are out of the question logistically or financially, stick with basic, reliable boards that will keep your North Washington County business protected not only from criminal activity, but also the unpredictable natural elements.

How To Identify Black Mold in Your Home

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Stachybotyrs chartarum is one of the most common types of mold found inside people’s home.

Stachybotrys chartarum, better known as black mold, is type of mold that often causes alarm when found in homes during a mold inspection. Finding any type of mold in your home in Strabane, PA, requires immediate action. With the help of a mold remediation specialist, you can control any type of mold you find in your home and repair the damage it has caused. Use this guide to learn how you can identify stachybotrys chartarum.

Different Types of Mold

If you have discovered house mold, there are over 100,000 species of mold that it can be. These species vary in color and appearance and have a variety of causes and effects on both the human body and your home. The most common types of mold found during a mold inspection include:

  • Alternaria
  • Aureobasidium
  • Asperigillus
  • Stachbotrys chartarum
  • Chaetomium
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Trichoderma

The Truth About Black Mold

Stachybotyrs chartarum is one of the most common types of mold found inside people’s home. While you might assume that this species of mold is black due to its nickname, this mold is not always black. Often, this mold will be dark green in color. It is also important to note that there are many other types of mold that are black in color, including Cladosporium. The best way to identify stachybotyrs in your home by having a mold test done during a mold inspection.

This type of mold requires a lot of moisture to survive. It is most commonly found in areas dealing with severe water damage, leaks, flooding, and excessive humidity where constant moisture if present. It grows on materials like paper, dust, fiberboard, lint, and gypsum board which have a low nitrogen and high cellulose content.

It can be hard to identify black mold on your own, so you’ll need to have a mold test performed for a more accurate identification. However, all types of mold are problematic and can be dealt with by a remediation specialist.

Electric Shock Drowning

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Pool Safety

Don't let summer fun turn to tragedy. Electric shock drownings are a hidden danger in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, and around boats, marinas, and launch ramps.

Electric shock drowning (ESD) can occur when faulty wiring sends an electrical current into the water. The current then passes through the body, causing paralysis, and results in drowning.

Life saving measures such as ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection and all grounding and bonding systems are functioning properly.

Pool Safety

Just a reminder that with such a rainy summer season in Hanover Township, PA this year, keep your eye on the sky for incoming storm events and rain. Thunder and lightening are best seen from inside the house, not inside the pool or hot tub.  Error on the side of caution, and get out of the water.

Removing Cigarette Smoke from Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Contact a smoke remediation specialist in the Cross Creek, PA, area

How do You Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor?

While the health concerns of smoking are well-known and documented, people often forget about the damage cigarette smoke can do to your home. Discolored walls, stains on the ceiling and burn marks in the carpeting are only a few of the issues. However, one of the most significant complaints is likely about the lingering smell of cigarettes. While there are some home deodorization products available in the stores, most of these products are odor cover-ups and nothing more. Therefore, how do you get rid of the odor altogether? If you’re not ready to call in a professional service, there are a few things you can try.

1. HVAC System Cleaning

It is true that the thorough cleaning of your HVAC system likely requires a professional, but there are a few things you can do on your own. First, you can replace the filters. Then, you can look into vent filters. There are also scented HVAC filters that will help cover any persistent odor.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

One home deodorization method that is pretty popular is using a vinegar and water mixture on nonporous items and baking soda on porous items. Both are supposed to be left to dry or absorb for a while, but then can be wiped or vacuumed up. While these methods have worked for several people, some do not find them that effective.

3. Coffee Sachet

A coffee sachet is basically a sac filled with coffee grounds. The grounds of the coffee are supposed to be odor absorbent and can, therefore, be used to absorb the cigarette odor in your home.

4. Professional Cleaning

If the home solutions are not working, you can contact a smoke remediation specialist in the Cross Creek, PA, area. These professionals have experience in deodorization and will likely be able to get your home back to smelling normal.

While there are some DIY home deodorization methods, they do not always prove to be effective against every odor. Therefore, if you or your loved ones are heavy smokers, then you may be better off with a professional cleaning service.

4 Tips for Commercial Roof Maintenance

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Always be sure to clean your gutters

Use the Following Tips for Proper Roof Upkeep

The roof is an important part of your Hanover Township, PA, building, but it might not be something that you often think about. Keeping your roof in good condition is an easy way to protect your building, as roof damage can contribute to problems in other areas.

1. Waterproof Your Roof

Water can cause a lot of damage to your building, from mold growth to warping walls. One way to prevent this is to seal your roof against water. This will make it less likely for your roof to be damaged during a storm or severe weather and will protect against leaks that might otherwise affect the floors underneath.

2. Have Regular Inspections

Proper maintenance requires inspections. This should be done at least a couple times each year to catch any roof damage before it becomes severe. If you see any cracks or broken areas, you should have these addressed immediately. It might be a good idea to hire a commercial building restoration service to conduct these inspections and perform any needed repairs.

3. Keep Your Roof Clean

One of the easiest ways to prevent damage and the need for a roof rebuild is to simply keep the area clean. If there are heavy rains, having debris on the roof can prevent the water from properly draining. This can result in pooling which can cause leaks and a weakened building structure. Always be sure to clean any drains and gutters as well.

4. Maintain the Area Around the Roof

The surrounding area can be just as important as the building itself. Severe storms with high winds can result in trees falling onto the roof and can also cause debris build-up. Trimming any nearby trees and keeping the area clean can help prevent this roof damage from occurring.

From wind damage to heavy rains, there are many factors that can contribute to damage of your roof. Keep it well-maintained to limit problems and prevent the rest of your building from being affected.

Can SERVPRO help with any size commercial loss?

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Washington County is able to help with any size mold, fire or water damage project. Their team of qualified individuals are the fastest and most trained professionals in the restoration industry. Many of their team members are IICRC certified and can handle any type of loss from start to finish.

No matter the size of the job, SERVPRO of North Washington County is ready to respond and get your facility back to pre loss condition. Timing is extremely important, to make sure that the damages are mitigated and do not continue to expand.

SERVPRO of North Washington County has the manpower and equipment to get the job done correctly the first time. Each step of the way, our team carefully documents and takes plenty of photos. Once the job is complete, they provide all records to you. This can be valuable for your insurance company if any questions come up in the future.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help!

How do I clean up water damage from a toilet at work?

4/28/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever dealt with a nasty toilet overflow? If you have you know it can be a stinky mess. Luckily the team at SERVPRO of North Washington County is here to help to get the problem cleaned up and things in your business back to normal.

SERVPRO of North Washington County will first look at what is needed to get all of the water removed. It is important to make sure that the toilet is not still leaking and causing more damage. Once the source is fixed, SERVPRO of North Washington County can finish taking out all of the water and begin the drying process. Each day the building will need to be monitored to track the drying process. Once it is dry, SERVPRO of North Washington County will remove all of the equipment and help with any repairs that might be needed.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out at anytime. Our team is always here to help, 24 hours a day. Let us know how we can be there to help you.

What is the best way to remove sewage damage in my business?

4/28/2019 (Permalink)

If you have experienced sewage in your business, you know it can cause a massive headache for your operations. SERVPRO of North Washington County is the best answer for getting the sewage removed and the property clean back to pre loss condition.

Once on site they will make sure to secure the property so there is no cross contamination. This can make the job worse if individuals are tracking and moving the sewage to different places.

SERVPRO of North Washington County will then start to extract all of the sewage water and start the cleaning process. SERVPRO of North Washington County utilizes professional cleaning products that are used for cleaning sewage and other dirty types of water. After the structure has been clean, SERVPRO of North Washington County will make sure that the facility is dry and ready for any repairs to get it back to pre loss condition.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. SERVPRO of North Washington County is always here to help.

Water Damage in Your North Washington County Home

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

If your hot water heater leaks, give SERVPRO a call before it turns into major water damage. Even the smallest leak can turn into a flood in no time. 

If you come home to standing water in your utility room, give SERVPRO of North Washington County a call. The difference between a $500 water loss and a $4000 water loss can be as little as a few hours. Time is of the essence. 

SERVPRO of North Washington County is available 24/7, 365 days a year including weekends and all holidays. We also have teams on call to assist with water damage emergencies at all times. 

If you want more information on the water damage restoration process, click here

If you want to check out some water damage tips, click here

SERVPRO of North Washington County can help from start to finish on any commercial job

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Washington County can help from start to finish on any commercial job

If you own a commercial business, you know how stressful a large fire or water loss can be. SERVPRO of North Washington County is here to help if you have any issues in your place of business and can help you from start to finish.

It is important that after a loss, you get emergency services in place right away. This can be many things from removing water, to setting temporary fencing around the property. Once the set up is in place, SERVPRO of North Washington County can begin with the scope of services they need to get the job done.

Each job is uniquely different, so it is critical that you allow SERVPRO of North Washington County to assess the job and make sure that they can develop a detailed scope of service for your business. Following these scopes can get your business ready to be open as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about what SERVPRO of North Washington County can do for your business, do not hesitate to reach out at anytime. We are always here to help!

Who is the best disaster restoration company in Washington County?

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Who is the best restoration company in Washington County. It is no secret the team at SERVPRO of North Washington County is the premier choice when it comes to disaster restoration. They have the resources and manpower to handle any size commercial loss in the local area.

SERVPRO of North Washington County takes great pride in making sure that every job is completed the correct way the first time. Our technicians and managers are extremely thorough from start to finish. They are sure to take plenty of photos and well defined notes on every project. Once the job is complete they provide all records to you. This can be important if you need them for your insurance company. SERVPRO of North Washington County wants to make sure that you have everything you need.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of North Washington County at anytime day or night. They are always here to help. You are welcome to call anytime, 24 hours a day.

Black Water: 3 Tips for Cleanup and Remediation

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO, highly trained specialists for black water cleanup.

How to Handle Black Water Cleanup

When flooding impacts your Hanover Township, PA, home, there is much to consider in terms of cleanup efforts. Assessing water damage, draining away standing water and salvaging household items will all likely be among your concerns; however, not all types of flood waters are the same, and those that come from outdoor and sewer sources are usually highly contaminated. If you are facing the cleanup of such water, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to prevent additional damage to your home and belongings.

1. Learn What Category Types Mean

Before you attempt to restore your home after flooding, it is important to understand what different water grades mean. For example, Category 1 comes from sanitary sources, such as from a broken kitchen pipe. Category 2 might include laundry detergent or other types of cleaning residue. Category 3, or black water, comes from storm and sewer flooding and may contain caustic chemicals, raw sewage and other contaminants. If this type of flooding is responsible for any water damage in your home, it is wise to avoid cleaning it up on your own.

2. Seal Affected Areas if Possible

You can mitigate category 3 water problems by sealing off affected rooms if it is safe to enter your home after flooding occurs. Shut any doors to prevent water from leaking into other areas and stuff their bases with towels. Avoid trying to drain any of the water yourself, as you may come into contact with harmful contaminants.

3. Call in a Professional Water Removal Service

Cleaning up category 3 water is a job best left to professionals who have the equipment and experience to handle it. A storm damage and flooding restoration service can bring in machinery such as trash and sumps pumps and ozone units to drain away the water and clean the air of any offensive odors that may remain.

When black water damage affects your Hanover Township, PA, home, understanding how to handle it safely can be vital to the process. While you might be able to perform some mitigation on your own, it is best to call a professional for drainage and restoration efforts.

Board up After Fire Damage

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can leave you out of house and home for days on end while the restoration is being completed. 

SERVPRO of North Washington County can perform board up services in order to secure your home from looters and wildlife. 

After your house is secure, SERVPRO will begin a pack out and get together all of your damaged belongings and take them back to our cleaning facility in order to remove smoke smell and soot.

Give us a call as soon as firefighters leave so we can start the restoration process. After we are done with your home it will look "Like it never even happened."

If you want to learn more about the fire damage restoration process,  click here

If you want to check out some fire damage tips, click here.

Secondary Mold After Water Damage

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

This is a frank discussion about proper attic and roof ventilation in order to prevent the onset of mold issues and shingle warranties in your properties. All modern construction should be code inspected to ensure that the proper ventilation was done at the time of construction, but, sadly, often doesn't due to inspections missing these critical observations. Older homes should be evaluated to ensure that proper ventilation is in place and working sufficiently, and the ventilation system(s) should be upgraded whenever there is going to be a probability of having new roof installations.  Remember too, to pay attention to the chimney.  Flashing can become loose over time, and there may be less obvious leaks related to the chimney.  Mold must eat, and it feeds on moisture.

Water Damaged Valuables After a Fire

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

WATER and FIRE LOSS: When these type of disasters occur, contents in your home can be adversely effected. You can certainly look to rely on the contents coverage on your homeowners policy, but more than likely, you'll find yourself disappointed to learn that there are special sublimits for certain categories of valuables, including but not limited to jewelry, fine art, silverware, and other collectibles. A separate valuable articles rider/endorsement can adequately protect these items.  Additionally, consider taking time out of your busy week to either video and/or photograph rooms and valuable items.  Remember to print out photos, and secure them in an alternate location in the event of a water or fire loss (like a safety deposit box, or your Mother's home).

Emergency Family and Pet Preparedness

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

In the blink of an eye, our lives can change.  None of us want to experience loss due to fire, water, or storm events.  However, it is important to be prepared, and always think about safety first.  Family members should have an agreed upon meeting spot if they would have to exit the home in the event of a sudden emergency.  Also, an escape ladder should be positioned near a window inside the home.  Often, families have pets, and let us not forget the furry ones of our family.  Is there a "get away bag" near an exit with a few cans of food for the furry ones, some water, and one or two of their favorite toys, and some of their medications packed.  Also, are there friends or family that would take the pets in if you and your family were to be displaced as a result of a fire, water, or storm event loss at your place of living.

3 Questions To Ask Your Water Damage Service About Commercial Content Cleaning

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Answers To Common Concerns You May Have When It Comes To Content Cleaning. 

Water damage can be devastating to your Cross Creek, PA, business, and facing the aftermath of a flooded company space is likely to raise a lot of questions for you as its owner. How will you handle soaked inventory? Is there any avenue for salvaging office equipment? Fortunately, working with a flood damage and restoration service can help you answer a few common concerns you may have when it comes to content cleaning.

1. Can Water Condition Affect Cleaning Needs?

The type of flooding your building experiences can affect the method of cleaning your items might need. For example, if the source of the flood came from a sink’s broken pipe on a second-floor restroom and water leaked through the ceiling to damage items on the first floor, most will likely be salvageable because the moisture came from a sanitary source. Content damaged by other types of floods, such as those that originated from a sewer backup, usually requires deep cleaning.

2. Can Paper Documents Be Restored?

A flooded company usually means damaged records and other important documents. This can be especially common in basement flooding, where such items are commonly archived. Your content cleaning service has several means for preserving and restoring paper items, such as freeze-drying and disinfecting methods. Photos, x-rays and reference materials, such as company handbooks, can also be restored via these processes.

3. Can Clothing Inventory Be Salvaged?

If you own a retail clothing company and your inventory has been soaked by flooding, you may be concerned about the possible financial loss this can cause. Ask your flood damage and mitigation service about your options for salvaging these items, such as dry cleaning and sanitation processes.

It can be difficult to handle the aftermath of a flooded company space in Cross Creek, PA, especially when multiple items are damaged. However, knowing which questions to ask your professional restoration service may help you realize that much of your building’s content can be salvaged, no matter how the flood occurred.

Severe Water Damage After a Storm

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

We cannot forecast the number of major storm events, but when storm damage happens, please keep it green with SERVPRO WEST HILLS. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Assoc. reported that in 2016, flooding alone resulted in an estimated collective $99 billion dollars in loss. Also, remember to review your homeowner's insurance policy to be certain that the policy covers sewer back up.  Many homeowners insurance policies DO NOT cover this.  You may add $5,000 or $10,000 worth of sewer back up coverage, by adding an ENDORSEMENT to the existing homeowners insurance policy, if the coverage is currently not available on your existing policy.  SERVPRO WEST HILLS is here to help when storm events result in disaster for your home or business. Give us a call anytime if you have any questions.

How Long Does Mold Removal Usually Take?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO understands mold and mold growth and has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.

A building owner or facilities manager may want to estimate a timeframe for remediation after the mold is discovered at a structure in Hanover Township, PA. Most mold removal procedures take less than a week. The extent and severity of contamination may add steps to the remediation process. Once removal is underway, the amount of mold present will determine the duration of the removal process.

Testing

Remediation starts with mold testing. An indoor environmental professional can determine whether mold growth is ongoing and identify the species. In total, this process may take several days.

  • Testing can take a few hours.
  • Processing results may take a few days.
  • Review results as soon as possible.

An IEP may recommend remediation measures. Limited or full containment and personal protective equipment may be necessary.

Containment

The extent of contamination and the type of mold removal involved will determine whether containment is necessary. Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Infestations less than 10 square feet may not require containment.
  • Infestations between 10 and 100 square feet could require limited containment.
  • Infestations larger than 100 square feet or involving toxigenic species may require full containment.

Containment can take several hours to set up. Limited containment calls for a single layer of polyethylene sheeting with a slit entry covered by a flap. Full containment for major mold problems or black mold requires double layers of sheeting with a decontamination chamber or airlock.

Removal

Removal can commence once containment methods and equipment are set up. Minor contamination may be removed over several days. Moderate contamination may require anywhere from three days to a week, while major contamination may take up to a week or longer.

Building owners should account for testing and containment when estimating a timeframe for mold removal. It may take anywhere from one to two weeks for remediation specialists to remove mold from a structure in Hanover Township, PA.

Finding the Right Restoration Company for Your Clients

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

When a major storm hits Strabane,PA contact SERVPRO for storm restoration services

Three Reasons to Choose SERVPRO as Your Preferred Vendor

When a major storm hits Strabane, PA, many of your clients' businesses will likely be affected. The storm restoration company you recommend for repairs needs to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. There are three reasons to choose SERVPRO as your preferred vendor.

1. Quick Response Time

The key to limiting damage after a storm is assessing and starting the cleanup process as soon as possible. The faster the storm response team in charge of the remediation can get there, the better. Quick assessment gives you the information you need to start processing claims. Speedy restoration can keep water damage from spreading or turning into mold damage. A 24-hour service line is the first step in making fast response a reality.

2. Corporate Resources

Both locally and corporately owned storm restoration businesses have their benefits. Local technicians are familiar with the area, and corporations have greater resources. When you can suggest a team that has both a local franchise with the backing of a national company, you get the best of both worlds. When a storm rages in Strabane, PA, the company can mobilize to make sure the local centers have all the equipment and support they need to serve the area.

3. Expert Service

When looking for a preferred vendor to recommend to your clients, you likely have some qualifications in mind. Flood damage remediation technicians should have specialized training to handle the water damage and sanitation process that is required after a flood. You may look for service providers who are certified, indicating that both their skills and experience meet national standards of excellence. A streamlined online documentation system can ensure that you have the latest updates on your clients' cases. All of these features in one partner help you serve your clients better.

When a natural disaster occurs in your clients' area, you need storm restoration services you can count on. A company that responds quickly with experience, expertise and the backing of a reliable corporation should be the one you call.

When Should You Make a Water Damage Claim?

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

A small timeframe of 24-28 hours is all mold needs to start to grow

Homeowners may be unsure of what to do after discovering water damage. Whether your home has been flooded by bursting pipes or you see signs of a leak, it is important to act quickly.

Within Minutes

Policyholders should take a few steps to prepare to make a claim. Start by getting a clearer sense of your coverage and the extent of the damage:

  • Check policy terms and limits
  • Document damage in photos or videos
  • Contact a mitigation service

Standard homeowners policies may cover bursting pipes or leaks if you can prove that negligence did not play a part in causing the incident. Even if a policy does not cover the cost to fix a broken pipe, coverage may be available for the resulting damage.

Within 24 Hours

Mold can start to form within just 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should rely on mitigation professionals to extract standing water and residual moisture. An expert opinion and estimate can help a homeowner decide whether to make a claim or pay out of pocket to avoid a rate increase. Some insurance companies require agents to report any incidents mentioned by policyholders, regardless of whether they end up making a claim.

Within Several Days

If you make a claim, you should provide the necessary documents and materials. Insurers may require several pieces of information:

  • Documentation of damage
  • An estimate for mitigation and restoration costs
  • Proof of loss

A representative may schedule an on-site visit for an adjuster to inspect the damage. A claim can be settled once these requirements are met.

It is important to take timely steps toward mitigation after water damage at a residence in Cross Creek, PA. This is particularly the case when extensive damage is caused by bursting pipes. Schedule a consultation with a damage mitigation and restoration service and obtain an estimate as soon as possible to determine how to proceed.

The Most Common Types of House Mold

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys Ata, also known as black mold

5 Common Types of Mold Growth

Many species of mold flourish inside of houses, particularly after water damage. Find out more about five common types of mold growth.

1. Alternaria

Alternaria grows in damp areas. Most species have a fuzzy appearance and may be black, brown or gray in color depending on conditions and the point in the growth cycle.

2. Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a very common type of house mold, as spores tend to be more concentrated in indoor air than outdoor air. This genus favors materials containing cellulose or plant fibers. It is not uncommon to find Aspergillus growing on paper, textiles, insulation or wood exposed to high humidity. Species grow in many different colors, such as brown, black, gray, green, white or yellow.

3. Black Mold

The scientific name of black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. This species is not always black and may be green early in its growth cycle. Stachybotrys chartarum produces mycotoxins and is known to be one of the most dangerous types of mold. Water damage often precedes black mold growth.

4. Cladosporium

Cladosporium tends to grow on damp building materials or textiles. This genus stands out for its ability to flourish in cooler temperatures compared to other types of mold. Cladosporium is usually black or dark green in color.

5. Penicillium

Penicillum is set apart by its blue or green color and pungent odor. This type of mold flourishes in porous materials exposed to water and is a common cause of produce spoilage. There are about 200 species of penicillum, and some are known to produce mycotoxins.

These are five of the most common genera or types of mold found in houses and other structures. Homeowners may be able to clean up a minor infestation, but it can be difficult to determine the full extent of mold growth. For the best results, contact a mold remediation company in Hanover Township, PA.

How Does SERVPRO Support Insurance Claims?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is certified with fire, water and mold damage

SERVPRO is a damage mitigation and restoration company with franchises across the country. Only locations that meet the requirements of a Participation Agreement can receive insurance client referrals. Find out more about the claim services Preferred Vendors may provide.

Certification and Participation Agreement

Whenever an insured homeowner or insurance company representative calls to report damage, their information is only forwarded to a franchise that meets Participation Agreement requirements. Each location must agree to operate in accordance with rigorous guidelines:

  • Business insurance coverage
  • Employee background checks
  • Proper job documentation

This agreement includes 21 points in total. Franchise owners and employees are also encouraged to achieve and maintain Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Insurers prefer to work with IICRC-certified vendors.

Electronic Resources

SERVPRO also maintains a Claims Information Center to make it easier for insurance representatives to access estimates and data. Agents and adjusters can use electronic claim services to view:

  • Estimates
  • Collected data on losses
  • Company comparisons

This service supports communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers. The availability of information can make it easier to process and settle claims.

Fast Response Times

Insurers are more likely to cover a claim if immediate action is taken to mitigate damage. A fast response time can make an insurer more likely to cover work done by a damage remediation company. Seek call response times within an hour, on-site visits scheduled within four hours and a verbal briefing within eight hours. Insurers may also want to compare average emergency response times and job file costs.

All of these factors set SERVPRO apart as a Preferred Vendor. An insurance agent or homeowner should not hesitate to contact the company in the event of any type of damage at a residence in Union Township, PA. An estimate will be made available to insurers, and other claim services will support timely processing and successful settlement.

3 Types of Home Damage To Look for After a Hail Storm

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hail storm in Burgettstown, PA

3 Areas to Inspect After a Hail Storm

Severe weather can happen in any season in  Burgettstown, PA, and without warning, you may find yourself in the middle of a violent hail storm. Once the storm is over, you will want to give your home a thorough inspection for hail damage. Some damage may simply be cosmetic, but there could be heavier damage that will lead to greater concerns. These are the three areas you should inspect after a hail storm:

1. Windows and Doors

Large pieces of hail can reach speeds of up to 100 mph, and broken windows can easily happen. Be sure to inspect glass doors for cracks or holes. Depending on the severity of the rain, water seepage could have occurred, causing greater damage to the interior of the house. Carefully check for any water damage to the window frames or drywall.

2. Siding and Exterior

Hail can dent aluminum siding and even cause shredding and splitting. It is important to look for dents, holes or chipping on the exterior of the house. Hail can also peel away paint, exposing the wood underneath to the elements.

3. Roofing and Structure Covering

Roof damage is the No. 1 type of damage from a hail storm. A metal roof may appear to only have dents and dings, but it could also have damage to the seams, which will cause leaking. Shingled roofs should be thoroughly inspected because their damage is not easily seen. Keep an eye out for “bruising,” or dark spots on an asphalt shingle where it is missing its granule finish. Wood shingles may have splits. Shingles that have sustained significant damage and all missing shingles should be replaced.

Once you've identified roof damage or other destruction from a storm, or if you want assistance in doing so, your local storm damage restoration company can help. The professionals can give you added advice and help you maintain your peace of mind after Mother Nature makes a house call.

How To Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Donora, PA is a terrifying experience

A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting Out a Grease Fire in Your Home

For many homeowners, one of the greatest joys you can have is cooking homemade meals. However, that joy can quickly change to fear when facing a fire. Regardless of your experience in the kitchen, a fire can happen to anyone at any time. As a result, everyone needs to be familiar with the process of extinguishing one. The following is a step-by-step guide to putting out a grease fire in your home:

1. Eliminate the heat source. The first step you need to take is removing the heat source by turning your burner off or unplugging the stove. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control. Be sure to wear oven mitts to avoid burns.

2. Smother the flames. The best method for eliminating a stovetop or oven fire is to smother it by putting a lid over the pan. This quickly cuts off the oxygen supply. Make sure to use a lid that is not made of glass, as the intense heat can cause it to shatter. Another option is to use baking soda and pour a generous quantity on the fire. If you own a fire extinguisher, you can use this as a third option. Never use water on a grease fire, as oil and water do not mix, and this can cause an explosion.

3. Call 911. If the above steps do not eliminate the fire, or if it spreads, call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone in the residence. Do not stay and continue to attempt to put out the fire; your life is much more important.

Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Donora, PA, is a terrifying experience. By arming yourself with the knowledge of how to properly handle one before it starts, you can get it under control and prevent too much damage from occurring. Afterward, fire restoration services can help you with fire cleanup and assess any damage.

5 Steps You Should Include in Your Office Fire Escape Plan

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Be sure to have a fire escape plan in your Hanover Township, PA building and practice it

5 Steps You Should Include in Your Office Fire Escape Plan

Fires can be a serious hazard for any business in Hanover Township, PA. In the event of a blaze, a well-crafted fire escape plan can be a lifesaver. Although specific details may vary, incorporating five key steps can help you develop efficient procedures to safeguard the wellbeing of everyone inside your office.

1. Post Emergency Exit Signs

A key component of any emergency escape plan is a viable exit route. You should post emergency exit signs near stairwells and external doors to help everyone quickly locate exits in their vicinity.

2. Designate Multiple Escape Routes

During a fire, flames may bar some paths. Because of this possibility, your staff should recognize multiple escape routes.

Attempting to use an elevator during an inferno can be extremely dangerous. Because of this, you should exclude them from your fire escape plan.

3. Establish Meetup Spot

Once you evacuate the building, it’s important to regroup and account for everyone. To help facilitate this process, you should establish a designated meetup spot a safe distance away from the burning building and instruct everyone to report to their supervisors at that location.

4. Communicate and Practice Procedures

Proper communication may be one of the most vital components of any emergency escape plan. Your staff should understand how to report a blaze as well as established evacuation procedures. To help ensure your staff is prepared for a fire, you should provide training, conduct routine drills and adjust the plan as necessary.

5. Devise Entrapment Procedures

Although evacuating is the goal, your employees should also understand what to do if a fire blocks their exit and traps them inside the building. Examples of recommended procedures include closing the nearest door, opening windows, waving brightly-colored cloth or flashlights and calling emergency personnel to report their location.

In the event of a blaze, minimizing fire damage and ensuring the safety of your staff may be your biggest concerns. Although it may not safeguard your building, an efficient, well-executed fire escape plan can help your staff safely evacuate the premise.

Why Does Black Mold Thrive in Showers?

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Hoarding Help

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hoarding--it was a term which began with folks known to have their savings by them, probably hidden inside their flock-beds; in the contemporary day, hoarding in a living or work space is a pattern characterized by excessive acquisition of and/or an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home, or an office area.  You may have made a New Year's resolution to clear out and clean out.  It takes time. Some conditions that may be present in a hoarding situation: Beds that cannot be slept in; Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation; Tables, chairs, or sofas that cannot be used for dining or sitting; Unsanitary bathrooms; Tubs, showers, and sinks filled with items and can no longer be used for washing or bathing; Their clutter and mess is at a point where it can cause illness, distress, and impairment.  Also, if pets are present, they may have caused significant damage to floors and carpeting because they have been having accidents inside.  We do rebuild--We are also capable of laying flooring, carpeting and much, much more.  We are here to help, and estimates are complimentary.  Make one of those New Year's Resolutions become a reality--give us a call for help.  SERVPRO WEST HILLS 412-660-5457

Holiday Cooking

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Unattended cooking is the main cause of home fires.  When cooking during the holiday season, you may be distracted by guests or cooking in ways that are out of your normal cooking routine.  Don't leave the kitchen without turning off the heat, and remember to keep flammable items such as pot holders, wooden utensils, and food packaging off the stovetop.  When using the oven, set a timer to remind yourself it's in use.  You might want to consider keeping a lid nearby when you are cooking on top of the stove.  You can use that lid to smother a grease fire.  For a flame up in the oven, turn off the heat and leave the oven door closed until the fire goes out.  Never use water to put out a grease fire.  Keeping a box of baking soda nearby will help put down a grease fire.  And last, but certainly not least, if the fire is big--everyone get out of the building, close the door to contain the flames.

Winter Season Fire Risks

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

There are 25,000 house fires annually due to overly soiled chimneys.  When was your chimney last swept.  Some folks have more than one fire place--get them all swept.  Please consider taking your cellular phone charger out of the outlet when it is not charging your mobile phone--ever notice how hot that charger gets?  If you enjoy supplementing winter time warmth with electric blankets and space heaters, consider their age, and examine all cords at the beginning of the season, and always remember to turn off and/or unplug these items when not in use, and especially when you are leaving the house--even if it be for just a 20 minute journey up the street to the convenience store.

Fall Check For Increased Pollutants & Risk Load

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Pollutants can be around the home, or actually stored within the home, and may increase the probability of fire, or other risk events.  Think about items being stored in and around the home, and check with local municipalities for correct disposal methods.  Some examples of items we keep, and may forget about for many, many years: oil, grease, and toxic chemicals; pesticides and lawn and garden treatments; viruses and bacteria can materialize from forgotten pet waste, and failing septic systems; heavy metals from roof shingles, and other sources.  Fall, like Spring, is a great time--before the days get really short, to clean the gutters, walk the property and look for ill or dying trees, test the furnace and the smoke detector batteries, and removed items which may have been stored much too long.

Back To School

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Welcome to September! School is back in session, and there is a shift of patterns of behavior in the household.  Safety awareness is always important.  Now, the kids may be plugging in flat irons and forget to turn them off.  Some may be back onto the morning coffee, and leave the coffee pot powered on all day when they leave the house.  Additionally, you may want to consider pulling out the cell phone charger from the wall when you are not charging the cell phone.  Did you ever happen to feel how hot it gets plugged into the wall when it is not charging a cell phone?  Also, please check smoke detector batteries, and have at least one extra set of batteries in the home--ready to go, so there is no "down time" without batteries in the smoke detector.  Please have a family plan for emergency exit, and consider a minimum of two exits.  Have all persons in the household agree to a designated meeting spot outside the home in advance.

Evacuation Plan

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Summer brings longer days, and opportunities to share fun family activities together like boating, swimming, fireworks, the zoo, vacationing, and much, much more.  It's challenging to focus on ideas which would demand an evacuation plan from your home or business.  These are things that we definitely don't want to think about, especially when there's so much opportunity for summer fun.  However, disaster can strike at any single unexpected moment, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Take about 10 or 15 minutes to have a family meeting, and discuss logical plans to escape the building, and please absolutely agree on a meeting locale outside the home--so often, family members will re-enter a burning home, searching for a family member who may already be out, and they don't know it.  This sort of unplanned event would become all you can think about:  the unplanned expense, finding a reliable contractor, plus the inconvenience to you and your family.  We are always here to help. Estimates are free.

Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is bigger than us. Our professionals use advanced water detection equipment to locate the source of the problem and remediate (remove/take away) any mold or water damage.  It's important to note that mold--just like us--needs fed.  Areas with moisture, darkness, and no ventilation are ideal to feed mold, and help it grow and thrive.  Remember to find the food source for the mold.  You don't want to remove the mold, only to have it return yet again due to a hidden leaking pipe, ground water seeping into the building, absence of a French drain or sump pump, leaking roof, or a cracked foundation--these examples come from a very long list of ways mold can be fed.  The source of their food (the moisture) must be solved and removed in order to ensure that the mold will not return.

Kitchen Fires

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

From 2011-2015, USA fire departments responded to an estimated average of 170,200 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment.  Forty-seven (47 %) percent of reported homes structure fires were caused by cooking.  Never leave pots and pans unattended on the stove--don't forget to turn the oven off after the baking is completed; double check yourself.  Don't believe that running up the street to the convenience store for 5 minutes and leaving flames on, yet low, on the stove, is safe--it's not.  For instance, boiling water on the stove, and then going off to check the laundry.  The laundry is finished, and you become distracted, wanting to fold the clothes while they are still hot out of the dryer.  In an effort to save time later, and complete the task, you continue on to another area of the home, to put all the folded clothes away.  How much time has passed?  How high was that flame on the stove?  How much water was in the pot?  It could be long enough to evaporate all the water in the pot, and the flame continues on without the benefit of water in the pot.  Most fires are not total losses, and most fires are kitchen fires, however, no one wants to have a fire experience in their lives.

Spring Showers

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

We hope Spring brings you more flowers and less showers, but if you experience water damage in your home or auto, we are here to help with solutions.  When it becomes warmer, and we park outside, we may forget to close those windows, and then there is a massive, heavy over night rain storm.  Our vehicle becomes water saturated.  Then you may begin to have an itchy nose, and smell that mold smell. Next, you vacuum, and put the little scent tree on your rearview mirror--but oh, that smell.  The same situation of leaving that open window in the house, and then, oh, that smell! We live in such a damp geographical region, thankful for our abundant drinking water source, but--mold is everywhere, and our mold estimates are free. 

Spring Cleaning

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

With all the cold weather, it is hard to conceptualize that spring is here.  Purging the home and garage twice a year helps eliminate headaches down the road.  Plan for sections, or rooms, and work in phases, so it won't be overwhelming time consuming. Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again. 
Do one room, or just one area at a time. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will inspire to do more. When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot. Don't forget to scrub the shower stall.  Make small repairs. If you're not handy, hire someone. Invest in good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin and nails. 
Dust before vacuuming or cleaning the floor--floor work kicks up the dust.  Household rags are invaluable for jobs requiring a damp cloth – natural fibres work best.  Buy mops with a squeeze mechanism (great for vinyl, linoleum or ceramic tile floors) and a decent-size heavy-duty pail. Use a Swiffer for light dusting, or your favorite broom or vacuum attachment to clean hardwood floors. Then damp-mop with a mild cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap. 

When Pipes Freeze

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

When temperatures drop and stay below 32 degrees for a full three days, it is highly likely that pipes can freeze.  The following thaw that comes along after the freeze is when the pipes are likely to burst, and the result is not only a broken pipe, but water damage.  Water damage to floors, carpets, dry wall and plaster, personal property, and appliances.  The damage list can--sadly--go on and on.  Remember, during the frigid, wintery season that you do NOT drop the thermostat below 58 degrees when you go out, and if the building is much older, a light drip, drip in both cold and hot spigots in all locations in the home.  Make sure you know where your water main shut off is in your home. Also, does it turn easily?  If no, a little spritz of WD-40 on the valve to help it move easily in the event there is an issue where the water main must be shut off, you won't be struggling with an uncooperative valve in an emergency.

Ductwork Cleaning And Filter Changes

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Not only are we known for fire, water, mold, crime scene clean up, graffiti removal, and fast efficient post-fire board ups, we do a variety of residential and commercial and construction cleaning.  During this season of relatively mild winter temperatures, not only should we remember to ensure that our smoke detector batteries are working on a monthly basis, but what about furnace filters and furnace ductwork in your living space? 

Ask yourself some of these questions:  When was my house built?  Have the ducts ever been cleaned?  How long has it been since the ductwork has been cleaned, or the furnace filter changed? Can you remember?  If you, or members of your family, are having signs and symptoms of allergy-like symptoms:  coughing, sneezing and headaches, from the respiratory tract--which typically appears as a result of a disturbance of the respiratory tract--it's time to drill down to get to the root of the cause. 

Additionally, during winter months, windows and doors are shut, and sometimes windows are actually sealed up, making it important to regularly vacuum and dust regularly.  Otherwise, air circulated is NOT ventilated and can contain very high levels of dust.

Hoarding

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Where does all the stuff come from?  And more importantly, how can we--as individuals and families--manage all the stuff? SERVPRO of NORTH WASHINGTON COUNTY helps individuals and families when the stuff gets totally out of control.  We assist on HOARDER clean outs. Estimates are free.  Even now, with some many communications being electronic in nature, there is still a mountain of paper and things out in our Universe.  Some tools to help manage, or prevent, the build up of stuff in our homes and worlds may be getting a home shredder and using it every single day in conjunction with the US mail delivery.  Also, remembering to send out boxes and magazines with bi-weekly recycle pick ups can help diminish the pile up of paper.  No recycle pick up? Magazines and periodicals can be donated to hair salons, etc. Blocking out an hour of time a week, to go through things: clothes, shoes, knickknacks, papers and other items, and being realistic about whether they are needed or used, and then unneeded items can be donated to charity, or perhaps friends or family may enjoy receiving the items. 

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