Recent Posts

Why IICRC Certifications Are Important

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

People in a meeting LOGO of IICRC Technicians that have been trained and certified by the IICRC provide high-quality work.

The Value of IICRC Certifications

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

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

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

6 Simple Steps to Use a Fire Extinguisher

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

PASS method fire extinguisher If your extinguisher class matches the fire's cause, use the P.A.S.S. method.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher in Six Easy Steps

A fire extinguisher puts out flames quickly and efficiently. But many people don't know how to use this essential safety tool. If a fire occurs in your Hollidaysburg, PA, residence, follow these simple steps to successfully snuff it out with an extinguisher.

1. Sound the Alarm
Activate the fire alarm and call the fire department before you do anything else. Immediately exit the building and wait for professional firefighters to arrive if the fire damage or danger is too extensive. If it's safe for you to stay and extinguish the flames, first verify you will not be cut off from your escape route while you work.

2. Assess the Cause
Every extinguisher is labeled with a class based on the type of fire it can eliminate. Class A covers basic combustibles such as wood, rubber, or plastic. Class B covers flammable liquids. Class C ends electrical equipment and wiring fires. Multipurpose extinguishers cover A through C fires. Class K extinguishers are specifically designed to help with oil combustion common in a kitchen fire.
If your extinguisher class matches the fire's cause, use the P.A.S.S. method explained below. Otherwise, evacuate the site immediately.

3. Pull the Pin
Pull the pin located at the top of the extinguisher.

4. Aim the Fire Extinguisher Low
Direct the extinguisher's discharge nozzle at the base of the fire. Avoid touching the nozzle of CO2 extinguishers to prevent skin damage from dry ice.

5. Squeeze the Handle
Grasp the extinguisher handle to expel the fire retardant.

6. Sweep From Side to Side
Sweep the nozzle back and forth, remaining focused on the base of the fire, until the flames are completely out. Monitor the area to ensure the fire doesn't reignite. If the fire starts again, repeat steps three through six. After the emergency is resolved, a  fire restoration company can help clean and restore your residence.
A fire extinguisher easily and effectively put out fires. By following the steps outlined above, you can put out a fire before it becomes a serious hazard.

How Keeping Electronic Files Makes Insurance Agents More Efficient

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. Electronic files make insurance agents more efficient.

How Keeping Electronic Files Makes Insurance Agents More Efficient

Digital document management has made filing an insurance claim for commercial restoration services more efficient for insurance companies, clients and cleanup experts in Huntingdon, PA. All parties benefit from the increased access and communication channels afforded by keeping files online. More than a simple convenience, because insurance companies have digitized the claims process, agents can be more effective when interacting with clients and vendors.

Stay Organized
For an insurance agent, being able to work onsite and online simultaneously helps them stay organized. Agents can use their laptops and phones to:

  • Take and upload photos
  • Type detailed notes
  • Enter clients’ concerns
  • Record vendor recommendations and estimates

The restoration professionals from SERVPRO will also provide pictures of essential items and a thorough list of damaged property. An agent then sends all of that data into a digital file, allowing them to access and retrieve information with the touch of a button. Furthermore, digital files eliminate the need for keeping track of hard copies of photographs and loose papers.

Communicate with Clients and Vendors
Every organization involved reaps the advantages of using electronic files. The most striking difference from sending traditional paper files is how insurance companies, clients and restoration professionals communicate and sign documents. No longer must they print, copy and mail documents to each other. Instead, agents can email and eSign documents. So, sending electronic documents saves paper, but more importantly, this way of doing business saves the time and money spent on postage and waiting for standard mail delivery.

Make Payments and Reimbursements for an Insurance Claim
Beyond staying organized and corresponding, insurance companies can electronically make and record payments to clients and restoration experts. Keeping track of the financial transactions during the restoration process is vital because costs accumulate, and the tangle of who pays who can get complicated.
Technology has revolutionized how insurance companies store and transfer information. The result is that filing and managing an insurance claim is more user-friendly.

How To Handle Broken or Frozen Pipes

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a room and flood cuts were performed to drywall Water damage specialists in Morrisons Cove, PA.

How to Deal with Frozen or Broken Pipes

Your commercial building in Morrisons Cove, PA, depends on reliable plumbing to function properly. Water damage from a frozen pipe, however, can lead to serious secondary issues if not dealt with quickly. Here are the steps you need to take as soon as you know you have a problem.

Stop the Damage
Broken pipes continue to release all the water that flows to them into your walls or cabinets. To stop damage in its tracks, take the appropriate measures to resolve the issue that's causing it:

  • Shut off the building's water main.
  • Call the plumber to repair the pipes.
  • Remove vulnerable items or documents out of the path of the water.
  • Get rid of standing water.

Call for Water Cleanup
Even after the pipe is fixed, there is still work to be done. Any drywall, insulation, flooring or ceiling tiles that were drenched will need to be repaired or replaced. Water damage restoration specialists can arrive at your building within hours of the event to assess the problem. Then they formulate a game plan for mitigating whatever water issues you have.

Prevent Future Damage
Once you have put your business on hold for mitigation, you probably never want to go through that again. You can increase your chances of preventing future damage by keeping pipes warm so that they don't freeze. Add insulation tape to them, especially if they are located along an external wall. Keep the temperature in your building no lower than 55 degrees, even at night when it's empty. Open cabinets that contain the pipes when the building shuts down for the evening so that warm air can reach them more easily.
Not all water damage is preventable, but fast attention and quick cleanup can get your building back to normal in a timely manner. As soon as you know you have damage, call for the help you need.

5 Landscaping Strategies To Prevent Your Home From Flooding

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Rain garden. Rain falling over orange flowers Plant a rain garden.

Ways To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Outside flooding due to a severe rain storm can damage your Saxton, PA, home. However, you can protect your home from water damage with the following landscaping solutions.

1. Plant a Rain Garden
Rain gardens are eco-friendly, low-maintenance drainage solutions containing native plant species with deep roots that do not require frequent watering. These gardens collect and retain runoff from impervious surfaces, including

  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • Roofs
  • Sidewalks

Strategically placing rain gardens approximately 10 feet from your home creates a barrier protecting your home from flooding.

2. Lay Heavy Mulch
An absorbent layer of mulch over the soil surrounding your home traps rainwater before it can reach your home. Mulch consisting of heavy wood chips will not wash away, and underlying soil erosion is preventable when you divert rain spouts away from your foundation with extenders.

3. Maintain Healthy Grass for Natural Rain Drainage
Healthy grass absorbs large volumes of water and can efficiently prevent outside flooding. Applying fertilizer can strengthen grass root systems and increase their absorbency. Fertilizer also reduces bare patches on your lawn, causing the soil to become impervious to water and promoting flooding.

4. Level Your Yard
Rainwater traveling along the ground that slopes toward your home can quickly accumulate near the foundation before the soil can absorb it. Although plantings along the slope can slow the water's flow, leveling the ground is a better flood prevention strategy.

5. Build a Retaining Wall
Retaining walls can add beauty to your landscape and eliminate flooding by supporting the soil and preventing erosion. They can also accommodate drainage pipes that direct water into the ground away from your home.
Your landscape can play a vital role in protecting your home's exterior and interior from water damage. However, when outside flooding becomes a problem inside your home, a flood mitigation service in Saxton, PA, can clean your space and offer helpful advice about preventing future floods.

3 Important Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. An electronic claims process reduces the chance of inaccuracies and delayed payments.

Three Key Advantages of Using an Electronic Claims Service

If your business in Duncansville, PA, experiences a disaster, you will have your hands full. While your primary focus will be on the health of your employees and the restoration of your facility, you will also have to deal with other important issues. Filing a timely and accurate insurance claim should not be overlooked, and getting help from experienced professionals is a valuable resource at this time. Working with SERVPRO, a preferred vendor for many insurance companies in the U.S. gives you access to an electronic claims service that provides important benefits.

1. Clear Documentation
Your insurance agent will appreciate a clear accounting of damages to items as well as costs for restoration services. This will be sent in a digital format, making it easy to access, and the carrier will also have the benefit of digital photos that help speed up claims. This process works for all of the services a commercial damage restoration company deals with, including fire, water, storm and mold damages.

2. Insurance Claim Payment
The insurance process should result in a payment for all covered expenses related to a disaster. You want this to come quickly, in time for your company to pay bills and keep the company operating. A slow response will cause anxiety and it could even delay critical repairs and your company's return to normal operations. An electronic claims process reduces the chance of inaccuracies and delayed payments.

3. Greater Satisfaction
In the aftermath of a disaster, a lot can go wrong. That's why dealing with professionals who have an established process for dealing with insurance companies and restoring a damaged facility is so important. Waiting for the settlement of an insurance claim or dealing with inferior work reduces your satisfaction. A restoration franchise that is experienced in the insurance process is a good way to maximize your satisfaction with disaster cleanup.

3 Methods for Removing Smoke Odor

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are often used by professionals for smoke cleaning.

Three Methods of Odor Elimination

If your Claysburg, PA, business suffers a fire, there will also be smoke damage. The associated odor can be very difficult to remove, but a fire restoration service has the necessary tools to do so. The following are three of the most common methods of odor elimination. These techniques can be used together or separately to restore your business to its pre-fire condition.

1. Air Filters
Air filters are an ideal method of smoke cleaning due to their simplicity. The machine draws in air, filters out the smoke particles and expels clean air. HEPA and carbon filters are great for this purpose. The length of time the machine needs to run and the frequency of filter change depending on the machine’s size and the amount of smoke particulates in the area. This method of odor elimination is also called air scrubbing.

2. Ozone Machines
Ozone machines are often used by professionals for smoke cleaning. The air we breathe has two oxygen molecules. Ozone, on the other hand, is composed of three oxygen molecules. The additional molecule bonds with smoke particles. This chemical reaction creates a new gaseous substance that does not have a discernible odor.

3. Thermal Foggers
The thermal fogging method of smoke cleaning works well for stubborn residual odors. During the fire, many surfaces expand due to the increased temperature. When the fire was extinguished, the surfaces cooled and contracted, allowing the smoke odor to become trapped. Thermal foggers reheat the area, allowing the deodorizing molecules to penetrate the trapped particles. The deodorizer is released as a mist so that it works in the air as well as on surfaces.
Eliminating lingering unpleasant odors can be one of the trickiest aspects of any restoration project. Fortunately, there are a variety of approaches that can be taken. A certified restoration service has the knowledge and experience to help you select the right one for your commercial property.

5 Ways To Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with glove cleaning a dirty gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Water Damage Prevention in Your Home

No matter what caused water in the home, whether a burst pipe or heavy rains, water will quickly begin causing damage. Although nothing is 100% certain, taking some simple actions can further prevent water damage.

1. Inspect Your Roof, Gutters and Downspouts for Damage or Blockages
You should check your roof, gutters and downspouts at least twice a year and after significant storms. Look for roof damage like missing or loose shingles. Also, look at the caulking and flashing around roof penetrations (e.g., vents, drains, chimneys). Inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage or blockages, and clean the gutters regularly.

2. Improve Your Yard's Drainage
If you're experiencing water seeping into your Breezewood, PA, home after heavy rains, you may need to improve your landscaping. Your yard may have improper drainage or be graded toward your home.

3. Examine Your Plumbing for a Broken Pipe
Clogs or cracks in water lines and hoses can eventually develop into a deluge of water in the home. Check under bathroom and kitchen sinks and around toilets to ensure there's no moisture in these areas. If you find a leak, call for pipe cleanup and repair immediately. If you have standing water, you may need water damage restoration professionals to mitigate loss and mold growth.

4. Check Your Water Pressure
Regularly review the water pressure in your home to ensure it isn't putting a strain on your plumbing. You can buy a low-cost gauge at a home improvement store to inspect it yourself.

5. Maintain Your Appliances
Any appliance that uses water can spring a leak, including dishwashers, clothes washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners. Regularly check the water supply lines for each appliance. If you see rust, cracking or bulging, or moisture along the lines, you should replace them as soon as possible.
Discovering standing water in the home can be anxiety-provoking, to say the least. Much of the risk can be prevented by doing simple inspections and maintenance a few times a year.

These 5 Signs Mean You Should Change the Supply Lines in Your Bathroom

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet might be a sign of supply line damage

These 5 Signs Indicate That Your Bathroom Supply Lines Should Be Replaced

Supply line damage from old or corroded water pipes not only costs you money but can also incur costly repair bills. If you see any of the following signs, change the supply lines in your bathroom right away.

1. A High Water Bill
When you have a supply line leak, that water is running whether you're using it or not. It's going into the soil around your home, causing damage to the street and sidewalks near your property. Contact restoration specialists to repair the damage and return your Martinsburg, PA, residence to normal.

2. The Type of Pipe
Water pipes have different warranties depending on their materials. Steel braided pipes have a lifetime guarantee. Plastic pipes, on the other hand, only have a lifetime of between five to eight years, depending on the material from which they're made. They're more prone to supply line damage than other types of pipe.

3. Low Water Pressure
If your toilet is taking longer to fill than it used to or there isn't as much water coming out of your sink's faucet, that too could be a sign that your supply lines need to be replaced.

4. A Toilet or Bathroom Leak
If you keep finding a puddle of water on the floor near your toilet, that could also be a sign of supply line damage. Replace those lines to avoid further waste and deterioration.

5. Noisy Pipes
If you hear the sound of running water, even when your faucets are shut off, your lines are likely impaired. Damaged lines will also make other noises like bangs or whistling sounds.
Damaged water pipes can cost you money in wasted water and repairs, but with the help of professionals, your lines can be replaced and your home will not only be good as new, but even better.

4 Sand Bag Alternatives That Will Protect Your Property From Flood Damage

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood Sandbags can be harder to remove.

Alternatives to Sandbags

For decades, business owners have used sandbags to limit flood damage to their properties. After all, they are easy to find and cheap to purchase.
Yet there are downsides to sandbags, as well. For starters, they can be quite heavy. A single sandbag may weigh around 29 pounds. Even if you are able to get the sandbags in place, they can be even harder to remove. That is because they are considered hazardous materials and cannot just be emptied into any Everett, PA, landfill.
Luckily, there are other ways to block floodwater and limit your need for cleanup and restoration services after a storm. Here are some alternatives to sandbags.

1. Plastic Poly Tubes

These long tubes can be filled with dirt or sand to make them higher. They can thus easily block the water from getting past a door. However, as with sandbags, they can be quite difficult to move into place.

2. Garbage Bags

For an inexpensive approach, try filling garbage bags with sand or dirt to create your own sandbag. This can take some time to do, so these bags are best for floods for which you can prepare well in advance. Still, making your own sandbags is cost-effective and should let you put more money back into your business.

3. Transportable Fences

These fences create a barrier that surrounds your premises and blocks water from entering. You can position them where you want, and setting them up does not require too much effort.

4. Flood Dams

You can even fight water with water by purchasing inflatable flood dams. Simply fill up these dams with water and place them around the perimeter of your property. This process is fairly quick and thus works well when you and your employees need to evacuate in a hurry.
When a flood is heading for your building, you do not need to use a sandbag to protect your property. The above alternatives could be just as effective.