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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

3 Ways To Remove Smells From Your Microwave

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

man covering his nose when opening a microwave oven Get rid of smells in your microwave.

Three Ways to Get Rid of Smells in Your Microwave

If you're like most people, you probably use your microwave a lot. They are used by everyone, from those just learning to cook to master chefs. However, with use comes accidents that can leave a nasty smoke smell in your appliance. Fortunately, there are several DIY solutions that you can use to remove this odor from every crevice.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

You probably have these pantry staples in your home in Mount Union, PA create the toughest DIY solution for tackling a lingering smoke smell. To use this method, gather the vinegar, baking soda, and a clean sponge. Let the sponge saturate with vinegar and pour baking soda on it. Heat it inside the appliance for 20 seconds. When it is finished, use the sponge to clean the inside. Wipe this off with a soapy sponge and dry it with a towel.

2. Baking Soda

If you're fresh out of vinegar, you can use plain baking soda. Clean your appliance as normal and place an opened box of this cleaner inside. If you buy the big boxes, you may want to place a generous amount in a bowl and place inside. Let this sit overnight to fight smells.

3. Coffee

Coffee is another pantry staple that can remove your stubborn smoke smell. To use this option, put two tablespoons inside a mug and add water. Heat the solution for two minutes, stopping it if it starts to boil. Let it sit for a minute and repeat. Check the amount of water, add some if it is low, and repeat. Keep repeating the two minutes of heat and one minute of rest. When you have reached 10 minutes of heating, remove the cup. Often, this will remove the smell without any additional effort. If it doesn't, it may be time to call a fire restoration company to have them remove the odor.
This appliance is your kitchen's workhorse. To get inside the tightest spots, like the vent grill, you should use one of these DIY solutions. They can tackle even the worst smells.

Residual Troubles of a Burst Pipe: Understanding Secondary Damage Hazards

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water can lead to mold growth.

Understanding Secondary Damage Hazards

When a pipe breaks, homeowners in Roaring Spring, PA, experience a primary issue. Water sprays out of the pipe, drenching the space. When fluid infiltrates an area, it triggers secondary concerns, some of which are quite hazardous. Black mold can grow, and structures can begin to deteriorate. To avoid these significant headaches, owners should understand how water impacts a location. The following are three possible significant problems.

1. Structural Integrity

Builders designed the house with numerous porous materials. These substances--drywall, wooden beams and carpeting--easily and quickly absorb moisture. Like a sponge, they pick up the high humidity levels, filling their crevices with fluid. Over time, this leads to rot and decay. The following may become noticeable:

  • Warped floorboards
  • Water stains
  • Crumbling paint
  • Corroded metal
  • Foundational cracks

Breaches to the structure mean owners must face extensive repairs to restore safety. A water restoration company should evaluate the premises. Using moisture readers, the experts can determine the extent of saturation and recommend appropriate remediation services.

2. Fungus Contamination

Dampness, especially in dark locations, activates fungal spores which begin to spread at rapid rates. Within 24 to 48 hours, the microbes have made themselves at home, settling inside objects. Black mold moves throughout the space, eating away at organic material. Left to linger, it can even enter the air system, migrating to other rooms. Decontamination procedures should occur immediately, requiring drywall and carpeting tear-outs. Bleach isn't going to reach inside. Content cleaning experts may use sophisticated technology to salvage belongings. Ultimately, though, most of the soaked items need to go.

3. Electrical Haywires

Part of the secondary damage is a concern for the home's wiring. Water and electricity do not mix. As the wetness moves into the walls and crawl spaces, the fluid could interfere with the outlets and overall electrical system. Be cautious about using even the fan. Be plugging or using any source, and have the wiring evaluated for damage.
The busted pipe can create a domino effect, permitting multiple calamities to begin. Black mold and structural harm are both possible. Be aware of the dangers, and be proactive in the cleanup. Efficient and methodical care could avoid these hazards.

How to Ensure the Efficiency of Your Fire Sprinklers

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Library with water damage from sprinklers. This library's sprinkler system extinguished a fire that started on the first floor. SERVPRO helped with the water damage mitigation afterward!

Dealing with a fire in your commercial building is a scary situation, but with the help of fire sprinklers, you can reduce the damage drastically. A fire sprinkler can release 8 to 24 gallons per minute, easily quenching growing fires. It’s important to maintain your fire sprinklers so that they can quickly react to the growing heat. Here are a couple things you can do to make sure that your sprinklers can effectively put out a fire.

Correct Installation

If you are putting in a fire sprinkler, be sure to install everything correctly. Each component must be working for the sprinklers to operate. Common types of sprinkler systems include:

  • Dry Pipe. Pipes are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen.
  • Wet Pipe. This system has water already inside of the pipes to ensure a quick response.
  • Pre-Action. When heat or smoke is detected, the valve is activated to allow water to flow in the piping.

By knowing which sprinkler system you have, you can be aware of the situation in the case of a fire.

Maintain Your System

If there are obstructions in the piping or the main valve is turned off, your fire sprinkler will not turn on. Fire suppression is essential when protecting both the lives of your employees and the assets in your building, so regular maintenance is needed. Laws and codes in Blair or Bedford County, PA often require frequent check-ups to help with insurance policies and public safety.

There are many reasons why keeping your sprinkler system in top shape is vital. This handy system can quench a fire even before the fire department reaches the building, thus minimizing damage. Also, fire sprinkler cleanup is much less severe than fire hose cleanup because not as many gallons of water per minute are used. By inspecting each fire sprinkler often and making sure you and your company are prepared for a disaster, you can reduce fire damage and expenses.

Keeping Break Rooms Safe and Deodorized

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Front of burned home. Fire damage can be overwhelming, but our teams are here to do the heavy lifting for you!

Break rooms are frequently used to supply food, water, and rest to employees. It’s always annoying when an odor lingers from something such as burned popcorn. But on a more serious note, there are many potential fire hazards that can come from the appliances in the room such as the microwave, refrigerator, and toaster. Here are some ways you can keep the workroom safe and deodorized:

Maintain Appliances

Often, workrooms have low-grade appliances that don’t work efficiently. While this can make it hard for employees to prepare food, it can also be a potential fire hazard. To ensure the safety of employees and the building:

  • Plug all appliances into outlets that have overcurrent protection
  • Clean the break room area frequently
  • Install a smoke detector in the room
  • Update your appliances, if needed

Taking these precautions can prevent any damage or harm from occurring. These precautions can also improve the atmosphere and mood of the workroom.

Remove Lingering Odors

It’s never good when you can still smell burned popcorn a week later. Luckily, there are many ways to remove this and other lingering scents. The easiest way is to crack open windows and provide some ventilation. Perhaps your break room’s carpet or ducts need to be cleaned. Smoke cleanup sometimes requires building deodorization, so it’s wise to determine what should be done if an unwanted smell remains. If anything, be sure to clean out the microwave or any appliance that was used recently by using vinegar and a sponge to eliminate stains and smells from inside the appliance.

Whether the problem is burned popcorn or unreliable appliances, you can improve the safety and smell of your break room in Blair or Bedford County, PA by following these tips. Be sure to keep the appliances in good shape and maintain the smoke detector so that you can be aware if a problem occurs. By taking care of your break room, you and your employees can safely continue to enjoy break time.

Reasons To Have Professional Smoke Odor Removal

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage in residential home. Fires can release harmful chemicals into the air. It is always a good idea to seek professional help with fire restoration!

When a fire breaks out in a commercial building, it only takes a couple minutes for the soot and smoke to settle into fabrics and other materials. This can leave behind a pungent odor, necessitating immediate smoke cleaning. It will not be enough to simply spray an air freshener around the area. The smoke odor can potentially make a property in Blair or Bedford County, PA uninhabitable, so do not delay this treatment.

1. Professionals Know How to Safely Remove Odor

If you attempt to remove the odor yourself, then you may inadvertently breathe in soot. It can get into your respiratory system and cause various breathing problems. Other potential health hazards include:

• Cancer
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Asthma

2. Professionals Bring in Better Ventilation

You can help the ventilation process by bringing any box fans you already have into the affected room to air it out. You should also open up all the windows to help smoke cleaning. However, even with all this, you still need smoke damage professionals

3. Professionals Prevent Discoloration

You do not even want to attempt removing soot on your own. You need professionals to come in to make sure the soot is gone or else the soot is going to begin changing the color of your furniture and fabrics.

4. Professionals Prevent the Need for New Furniture

Prolonged soot exposure will make certain items completely unusable. It only takes a couple weeks for the soot to imbed itself in upholstery, and at that point, your only option will be to throw away the furniture. This can force you to spend a lot more money than you were anticipating.

Once the fire is put out in your building, your immediate thoughts should turn to remediation. Hiring smoke cleaning experts is the only way to ensure your belongings are safe, and there is a good chance your insurance can help you pay for it.

How To Prevent Mold in the Breakroom Fridge

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded utility room. This utility room flooded, introducing the risk of mold. Our air movement technology helps mitigate that risk!

Most people, at one point or another, will experience the horror of opening up the refrigerator only to discover the presence of fridge mold. The unmistakable mold smell along with seeing various items covered in blue or green mold requires immediately disinfecting the fridge. There are plenty of documented cases of this, but in your office in Blair or Bedford County, PA everyone should actively work to prevent mold growth in the first place.

1. Clean the Fridge Weekly

Someone who works at the building should be in charge of inspecting the refrigerator often. It is recommended to clean it at the end of the day on Friday. Mold is most likely to grow when food is left in the fridge over the weekend. Inform employees of the policy not to leave anything in the fridge after lunchtime on Friday or else it will be thrown out.

2. Do Not Store Certain Foods in the Fridge

Many people mistakenly believe they can put certain food items in the fridge to keep them fresh. However, many items are prone to developing fridge mold sooner if placed in such temperatures. Food to keep out of the office fridge include:

• Bread
• Pumpkin
• Tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Cereal

Mold develops when there is sufficient bacteria and moisture. When items, such as cereal, grains and breads, are placed in the fridge, they are exposed to more moisture than they should receive.

3. Put Baking Soda in the Fridge

Baking soda will not remove mold entirely, but it does help keep the fridge smelling fresh. You should open a box of baking soda and place it on a shelf where it will not tip over. You need to replace this box once every three months.

With a few easy steps, you will not have to worry about fridge mold in your office. This makes the office more habitable and decreases the chances of someone eating something that has been contaminated.

Why You Should Not Use Bleach for Mold Cleanup

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Boiler room with water damage. This boiler room took on severe water damage. SERVPRO remediated the damage and stabilized the air moisture levels to prevent mold growth!

Did you just spot mold in your building and are now wondering how to get rid of it? The thought of reaching for bleach to clean up mold has probably already crossed your mind, as this is something a lot of people do. However, here are three reasons why using a bleaching spray is not an effective method for fungus cleanup.

1. It Can Contribute to Mold Growth

While this may sound weird, it is true. Porous surfaces absorb the water that the cleaning agent contains, which in turn, contributes to mold growth. Hence, instead of helping you with the fungus cleanup, it makes your mold problem even worse. It is counterproductive.

2. It Is Simply Not Effective

A bleaching agent is not effective because it can only remove the mold that is sitting on the surface. All it does is remove the color, which leads you to believe that the mold is gone. The real problem here is the root system that the chlorine of the cleaning agent can’t possibly remove. It gives you a false sense of security.

3. It Is Highly Toxic and Harmful

The chlorine in bleach can damage particular materials, such as wood. If used on wood, it breaks down the fibers of the wood and weakens it, which can then lead to structural issues with your building. Even metal doesn’t react friendly to chlorine, as it is known to cause corrosion. It creates even more problems.

As you can see, bleach can only treat the symptoms and is not an effective method to clean up mold. Your problem sits much deeper, and treating the symptoms alone doesn’t solve your issue. You have to treat the cause and the roots to get rid of the mold for good. For fungus cleanup, it is highly recommended to reach out to a mold remediation professional in Blair or Bedford County, PA who knows how to kill the mold and keep it from coming back.

Tips for Using Candles Safely at Home

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Burnt kitchen Fire cleanup in a Roaring Spring, PA kitchen.

Home Safety Tips for Using Candles

Each year, thousands of fires occur due to the careless use of candles, causing costly damage and injury. If your Roaring Spring, PA, home is damaged by a candle fire, you could end up spending thousands of dollars for fire restoration and smoke cleanup. You can make sure this doesn't happen by following the handy tips outlined below.

1. Place Candles Securely

Place the candle on a surface where there's no clutter. The surface should be sturdy enough that the candle won't tip over. The candle should have at least 12 inches of space around it and kept away from any possibly flammable items. Holders should be inspected to make sure the base is stable and that it is the correct size for the candle.

2. Always Be Watchful

One of the best ways to prevent a candle fire is to never leave the room where a candle is burning without coming back periodically to check on it. Also, keep an eye on the airflow around the burning candle. If the flame is continually shifting back and forth, move the container to an area where the air isn't moving.

3. Keep Candles Out of Reach

Always keep candles well away from children or pets. If possible, put them up on a high table or shelf to make sure they can't be easily knocked over by little hands or paws. When storing candles and matches, it's advisable to keep them in a childproof cabinet or drawer.

4. Practice Safety Precautions

Pull your hair out of the way when lighting a candle and be aware of any loose clothing you have on. Never burn a candle to lower than about an inch; otherwise, extinguish it and throw it out. Don't burn candles in your bedroom: it's very easy to fall asleep, greatly increasing your risk of fire. If someone in your home is using an oxygen tank, don't burn candles at all.

Nobody wants to face the results of a candle fire in their home. Happily, by using the common-sense tips outlined above, you can easily keep this from happening.

How to Avoid Mold Issues in Your Facility

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Air movement machines. SERVPRO uses a variety of equipment to stabilize air moisture levels and prevent mold growth after storm or water damage!

Mold is a common issue in commercial buildings. Mold spores are a natural occurrence, and the only thing you can do is try to prevent mold growth in your structure in Bedford or Blair County, PA. Here are three things that you can do to avoid mold problems.

1. Keep the Building Clean

Mold needs food and moisture to survive, which is why you need to maintain a clean and dry environment. Vacuum once a week with a HEPA vacuum. However, how often you need to vacuum depends on how much and what kind of traffic your building sees. Thorough carpet cleaning should be performed at least once a year but more often if your building is highly trafficked. In addition to carpet cleaning, mats at doors for wiping feet should be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance

Fix a leaky plumbing system or leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible to prevent excessive moisture and mold growth. Any condensation or wet spots need to be dried immediately as mold can grow within 24 hours. Have HVAC systems inspected regularly to detect mold or any potential for mold growth early. Part of this maintenance should also be the cleaning of air ducts. Mold can live off of the dust that collects in them and travel to other areas of the building. This is also why carpet cleaning is so important: carpets collect lots of dust.

3. Maintain a Hostile Environment

What this means is that you have to create an environment in which mold doesn’t have a chance to grow. Use a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity level at bay, preferably below 60 percent. An ideal level would be between 30 and 50 percent. Any rooms in your building that are prone to high levels of moisture should be vented properly. Increased ventilation is also important when the outside air is cold and dry.

Because mold spores are part of our environment, it’s important to take these steps to prevent mold problems. Should you ever encounter issues with mold, a mold remediation professional can help you to successfully rid your building of mold.

3 Ways SERVPRO Makes Filing an Insurance Claim Easier

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Sheetrock removed from a wall due to water damage, drying equipment placed on the floor Water damage specialist in Hollidaysburg, PA.

Why SERVPRO Is a Top Choice

When a client’s Hollidaysburg, PA  home has been damaged, you want to get the insurance claims process finished as quickly and easily as possible. Your client will likely be stressed and upset, so making the process as painless as possible can be helpful. Using a damage repair company with quality claim services is a good place to start. Here are a few reasons why SERVPRO is a top choice.

1. They Respond Quickly so You Can Get Started and Finished Sooner

Filing an insurance claim can be a lengthy process, so it is always better to start sooner rather than later. Because this company provides 24-hour service, you can get started right away. They can be on the site within just a few hours after you have contacted them about the damage. This quick emergency response can save a lot of time as you don’t have to wait around while damage continues to worsen.

2. They Inspect the Home and Assess Damage

Once they have arrived on the site, SERVPRO will do a thorough inspection of the home to determine the extent of the damage. They can help you and your client figure out what needs to be replaced and what can be repaired or restored. Once they have assessed the damage, it will be easier for you and your client to settle on an amount for the insurance claim.

3. Their Claims Information Center Helps Manage Information

When working on an insurance claim, you may have a lot of information to sift through. The Claims Information Center can make things easier. These claim services allow you to digitally manage the necessary information, so it is always available.
When you need a damage restoration company with claim services to help you get through the process quickly, this one is a great choice. They can provide everything you need to get the claim filed for your client.

Fix That Leaky Roof and Get Back to Business

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Man holding a bucket, while ceiling is leaking. A roof leak in Huntingdon, PA.

Get That Leaky Roof Fixed and Get Back to Work

No one wants to be faced with a roof leak that can disrupt business, slow productivity, and, if not handled quickly, cause considerable damage to equipment and property. If you are a business owner in Huntingdon, PA, however, this possibility should be something you are prepared to address. Problems may arise from simple wear and tear or missing shingles, but leaks could also come as a result of excessive storm conditions such as heavy rains or high winds.

Protecting What Matters Most

No matter the cause of the leak, certain safety precautions should be taken in assessing a damaged roof and repairing the problem. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

• Address the leak quickly. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. Your ability to find and quickly but safely repair the site can have a direct impact on eliminating any further harm to the building or those within it.

• Be aware that there could be more damage or danger at the sight of the roof leak than you may be able to tell at first glance. Advise all personnel to move away from where the leak seems to be to ensure their safety.

• It is best not to survey water damage from atop the roof itself. Especially in more extreme situations, there may be damage to the structure that makes it unable to hold the additional weight of any kind. Inspect what you can from below. If there is any question as to the stability of the structure, or even in the case of missing shingles, you may want to contact a water damage repair professional.

• Once you have found the exact location of the damage, cover it to ensure that it stays dry until the repairs can be made. If a repair company has been called in, it should manage this task for you – freeing your mind of any potentially heightened risks.

Whether large or small, a roof leak in Huntingdon, PA, has the potential to throw any operation off course. However, by following these guidelines, you will better ensure that everyone stays safe and that you will be able to return to full production in no time.

What Exactly Is Mold?

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growing on inside of wall. This wall took on serious mold damage. SERVPRO remediates any kind of mold problem!

Everyone is aware of the dangers of mold, but do you know precisely what mold is and why it is dangerous? By understanding what mold is, you will have a better understanding of why it is so important to have professionals in Bedford County, PA handle mold cleanup. Additionally, you will know why black mold is so extremely dangerous.

Different Types of Mold

Mold comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common varieties you will find in a commercial building include:

  • Aspergillus
  • Stachybotrys
  • Cladosporium
  • Serpula lacrymans

Mold is a type of fungus that typically results in discoloration, bad odors and a fuzzy appearance. To the naked eye, mold may appear dusty. The reason for this is that any kind of mold releases spores that enter the atmosphere. This is why you should avoid being in a room that has a significant moisture problem. Humans can breathe in the spores, and those spores can circulate throughout the rest of the building through the ventilation system.

Dangers of Mold Growth

If you are not careful, then fungus can quickly turn into black mold. The main different between these two variations is the type of spores they release. All types of mold produce toxins, but only more severe mold can product mycotoxins. These are organic compounds that are released directly into the surrounding atmosphere. As far as eliminating this mold, the solution will be the same as any other. Additionally, it is important to remember that while this variety is the only type that can produce mycotoxins, it does not necessarily mean it will automatically produce them once it has grown.

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding mold. If you have any questions whatsoever, then do not hesitate to get in touch with a professional black mold cleanup crew near you. You can have your commercial building inspected regularly to ensure mold never grows.

3 Tips for Preventing Mold Growth in a Rental Property

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water on floor. Storms can cause sever flooding, which can lead to mold growth. SERVPRO addresses the entire extent of the damage!

Whether you own a rental home or apartment complex in Bedford County, PA, you need to ensure your tenants have a safe environment. This means a house that is free of any water damage or mold growth. You, as the landlord, need to be proactive about mold prevention. It actually works in your best interest to prevent mold because you will save money and increase the chances of the tenants wanting to renew the lease.

1. Address Leaks Before Renting a Property Out

When you are between tenants in a property, you want to give the building a thorough inspection. During this examination, you should keep an eye out for any areas that are prone to leaking. This includes holes in the roof that could cause mold development in the attic. You also need to ensure the pipes are still in good working order. This kind of inspection should take place at least once annually.

2. Be Wary of Carpets

As the property owner, part of your mold prevention may require you to tear out carpets and replace them with hardwood. Even spilling a glass of water on a carpet can lead to mold growth. Even if only one area of the carpet has mold, the entire thing will need to be torn out, which can be costly.

3. Address Any Mold Immediately

It is unsafe for your tenants to be in a building with mold. Your tenants may even refuse to pay rent until the issue is handled. Therefore, you want to stay in the loop, and if your tenants tell you about a problem, then you need to take care of it immediately.

Mold prevention is much easier to handle than removal. In the event you do find mold in your rental property, you need to hire a professional crew right away so that your tenants will be happy and safe.

Effective Cleanup Ideas After a Fire

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Employee cleaning soot off of affected wall. This home suffered a fire that left soot all over the walls even in rooms not directly affected by the fire. SERVPRO remediates the entire problem!

Any homeowner would shudder at the thought of a fire starting in his or her home. This is a nightmare scenario that could cause extensive damage, not to mention costly repair, cleaning and recovery. In large fires, if you didn’t have effective content storage to keep out the flames and smoke, you’ll likely have to deal with ruined clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and a host of other things. Fortunately, dry-cleaning services in Blair or Bedford County, PA can often help restore your items. There are also other content cleaning methods to get your items back to a usable state.

1. Professional carpet cleaning can help salvage your flooring.

Your carpets can bear a huge brunt of a house fire. It’s not just the flames that can destroy flooring; smoke and water damage can also make carpets unsalvageable. However, there are experienced, reputable carpet-cleaning companies that have the tools and skills to remove the odors and even restore your carpets. Make sure you include carpet and floor cleaning in your content cleaning efforts following a fire.

2. Dry-cleaning can save your clothes.

Smoke damage can wreak havoc with your wardrobe, but all hope is not lost. Choosing a top dry-cleaner will help ensure that awful smoke smell is gone from your clothes. A regular cycle in the washer won’t do. Make sure you take a trip to the cleaners.

3. Professional ultrasonic care can help with non-porous items.

For those items damaged that weren’t protected in content storage, professional cleanup and restoration companies are your best source. They can handle all your cleanup needs. The pros will use ultrasonic tools and methods to tackle even the most challenging items. They can even clean smoke-damaged materials and items.

Turn to the professionals to help with your dry-cleaning and content cleaning after a fire. They can help restore all the items not protected by content storage.

How To Deal With Mold Until a Professional Can Remove It

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growing on wall. SERVPRO can remediate any mold growth, like the one on this wall!

In just 24 hours, mold can develop within your commercial building in Bedford County, PA. You need to address this right away before black mold starts to grow, which is much more dangerous. You should leave mold cleanup to the professionals, but it may take a couple hours for someone to come out. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to prevent the mold from escalating further.

1. Shut Off the Building’s HVAC System

You may see mold on drywall and assume it is localized. However, that patch actually releases various spores into the atmosphere, and they can spread to various parts of the building through the air conditioning system. However, it is still good to air out the affected room, and you can open up windows to promote circulation. Additionally, you can also bring fans into the room to promote adequate airflow.

2. Keep People Out of the Room

Whether there is black mold in the basement or a bathroom, you want to put up caution signs informing people to stay out until a professional comes. It is dangerous to be in a room with a significant moisture problem, and you do not want to put your employees in harm’s way.

3. Do Not Apply Bleach to the Mold

You may think you will be helping the mold cleanup crew by applying bleach to the affected area beforehand. For starters, bleach is not as effective at removing mold as most people think. In fact, there are some circumstances where bleach will actually exacerbate the problem. Bleach is also toxic, and you need to be wary of breathing in any fumes.

The best thing you can do when there is black mold in your building is to stay out of its way until a professional crew comes around. Mold is considered an emergency, so you probably will not have to wait long.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/29/2022 (Permalink)

A man with a fire extinguisher putting out fire from an oven. A fire extinguisher is a common tool to help put out fires.

Knowing How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

You see them in office buildings, restaurants, schools, stores and just about every type of building you visit in Breezewood, PA. You may even have one in your workplace. A fire extinguisher is a common tool to help put out fires. They’re handy for the common person to use before the fire gets too large and out of control. If you know how to use an extinguisher, you can act when needed and help avoid major fire damage in a kitchen fire or other similar incidents. If you’ve never been trained to operate this important device, know is the time to learn. If you can remember PASS, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is easy.

1. Pull. The first thing you want to do when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire is stand at the appropriate distance. Most extinguishers have a range of 6 to 20 feet, so make sure you know how far the one you have will reach. Next, you pull the pin in the extinguisher. Once you do this, you can move to the next step.

2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Some people think the best way to attack a kitchen fire or fire somewhere else in your home or building is to spray at the top of the flames. This won’t be effective, however. You must go for the base if you hope to smother it.

3. Squeeze the trigger. To avoid major fire damage in your house or whatever building you’re located in Breezewood, PA, you need to act quickly. In step three, simply squeeze the trigger firmly. This will release the agent inside the extinguisher and help put out the fire.

4. Go in a sweeping motion. Don’t move the device up and down. Instead, go from side to side until you have successfully put out the fire.

When you know how to use a fire extinguisher to put out a kitchen fire or other type, you can avoid major fire damage. You’ll also have the confidence to act without delay.

Is It Black Mold? 3 Ways To Know

1/29/2022 (Permalink)

Man wearing protective gear and respiratory mask while doing a mold inspection. If you think you have found mold in your home you should schedule a mold inspection.

How To Identify Black Mold

Black mold are two words that no homeowner wants to hear. If you think this pesky problem is cropping up in your Claysburg, PA, home, a mold inspection is the best way to be sure. Until you can schedule one, however, here are a few quick tips to answer mold is what you’re dealing with.

Identification

All mold is comprised of microscopic organisms found indoors and outdoors. It spreads easily and comes in various colors including:

  • White
  • Pink
  • Gray
  • Orange

Black mold is the one that is best publicized and the one that homeowners most want to recognize and eradicate, fast.

Location

Molds of all kinds love damp, dark areas. That means attics, crawl spaces, areas under sinks and anywhere drips, leaks or condensation can create pooling water are perfect breeding grounds. In homes, bathrooms are another common mold area. If you spot something dark and fuzzy in any of these areas, schedule a mold inspection.

Color

Black-colored mold isn’t always just black. In fact, this type of mold often presents as a dark, greenish black and sometimes even has a grey tinge to it. While things like common dirt can take on this appearance, black mold also tends to be a bit slimy. If you see something matching this description, it might be black house mold.

Odor

This type of mold is known for its musty odor that is similar to the sharp, pungent odor of mildew. In many cases, you may not see black house mold, but the smell through your home can be a sign that it is present.

Black house mold is not something to play with. Left alone, it can spread and become an expensive problem to solve. If you think you have it, schedule a mold inspection and connect with a mold remediator to rid your house of the fungus.

Cleaning Sewage in a Home

1/29/2022 (Permalink)

water leaking from under a door. Sewer backup in a home in Duncansville, PA.

Sewer Cleanup Process

Sewer cleanup in Duncansville, PA, is certainly not a pleasant experience, but when a sewer backup happens, be sure to take care of it right away. Whether it occurs as the result of a flooded toilet or another issue, leaving the sewage in place can result in significant damage to the home.

Taking Steps To Clean and Disinfect

The first step in the process is ensuring safety, so you should wear the right protective gear and ensure that the gas and electricity to the area you have to clean are shut off. Next, use the following steps to make sure that the area is sufficiently cleaned and sanitized:

  • Drain all flood waters from the area.
  • Remove all items that can be picked up and carried out of the space.
  • Mix a low-suds detergent with warm water and completely scrub all surfaces.
  • Use plain warm water to rinse thoroughly every area that you just cleaned.
  • Sanitize the surfaces using bleach or a similar product.
  •  Use fans and open windows to air out the space and alleviate the humidity.

Preventing Future Sewage Backup

After you go through the sewer cleanup process, you probably understand this is surely something that you never want to have to tackle again. To help avoid it in the future, you should take the right preventative measures. The first step to this process is knowing what the possible causes are, which include tree roots causing blockages to the sewer lines, water in your basement deteriorating the elements that protect your home’s lines, and the sanitary main becoming blocked.

With this information about sewer cleanup and the prevention of future problems, you can better get the task completed and start working on the steps for restoring your home. Keep in mind that the faster you tackle the problem, the less damage that may occur.

Water Leaks Can Cost You Thousands

12/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water leakage from a bathroom due to blockage of the pipe Toilet leaking

Most Common Sources of Leakage

Most likely, as a business owner in Martinsburg, PA, you're always looking for ways to save money and increase the bottom line. Sometimes, costs are hidden in ways that you haven't even thought about. For instance, did you know that a water leak or a hidden pipe break could be costing you thousands of dollars a year? Take a look below at the most common sources of leakage or breakage to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

1. Toilet Leaks

One leaking toilet can waste up to 73,000 gallons of water in a year. That translates to a lot of money! If you have several toilets in your office space, you could have an even bigger money drain. This can easily be avoided by replacing worn-out gaskets and flanges.

2. Faucets

A small drip from a leaky faucet could cause you to lose up to 20 gallons a day. Multiply this by the number of taps in your building, and you could be looking at a great deal of wasted money. In many cases, just changing out a washer can stop the water leak.

3. Exterior Spigots

A leaking spigot is a potential source of leaks that's easy to forget. A spigot that's leaking can not only waste money but could cause damage to the building's foundation.

4. Leaky Water Heaters

It's possible for a water heater to leak for months without anyone noticing. In addition to simply wasting water, this kind of leak could cause damage to floors and walls, as well as water damage from mold or mildew.

5. Broken Pipes

A broken pipe is a problem that's not always easy to detect. It's a good idea to have a water mitigation professional check your building once a year to look for hidden problems like this.

A water leak can cost you lots of money if left unchecked. But by following the tips outlined above, you can prevent damage and water loss before it happens.

Fire Alarms: The ABCs of Smoke Detection

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light A fire alarm is a life-saving tool.

Most Frequently Asked Smoke Alarm Questions

The fact is a fire alarm can save lives and every home should have more than one. That’s right houses are supposed to have more than one alarm. In order to better prepare yourself for a potential emergency, it is essential to know the answers to the most frequently asked smoke alarm questions.

1. How many smoke alarms do you need?

While people tend to concern themselves over the possibility of fire and smoke damage, they should be more concerned with the number of alarms in their homes. You should have a signal in every bedroom and outside of every bedroom. You should also have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home. Keep in mind that this is the minimum and that you may want to have more.

2. How often should you replace the batteries?

The general rule is that you should replace fire alarm batteries at least once a year. Granted, the instructions may state that the batteries have a longer shelf life, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. When should you replace the smoke detector?

In order to provide the greatest defense against fire damage, you should replace your smoke detectors every 8 to 10 years. Obviously, this is dependent on the type of alarm and any guarantees. To keep track of the timeline, you can write the date of purchase on the alarm and even record it in a calendar app with a reminder to replace it.

4. What type of smoke detector should you use?

While you can reach out to the fire department or a fire restoration company in the Everett, PA, area to learn about the specific types of fire detectors, each can be put into two categories: ionized and photoelectric. Each one provides different strengths and weaknesses depending on the kind of fire and smoke, which is why you should have a mix of detectors in your home.

A fire alarm is a life-saving tool. Be sure to install them in your home today, for the safety of you and your loved ones.

4 Steps to Prepare For an Adjuster’s Visit

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Clear standing water in a bedroom Water damage in Mount Union, PA.

4 Steps to Prepare For an Adjuster’s Visit

The process of filing an insurance claim should proceed smoothly if a policyholder prepares for a visit from an insurance adjuster. A home adjuster will need information about building materials, contents, and structural damage. Here are four steps to help homeowners prepare for an adjuster's visit.

1. Gather Information

Assemble as much information as possible about contents and building materials that have sustained damage. It can be helpful to obtain an expert opinion regarding which items or materials can be cleaned or repaired and which will need to be replaced. Helpful information includes descriptions of items, approximate dates of purchase, and the estimated cost of repair or replacement.

2. Find Signs of Damage

A home adjuster will probably also want to see signs of damage. A policyholder should make a list of damage to show an adjuster. Homeowners may also want to take photographs or record video footage to submit to the insurer or keep for their records.

3. Obtain Bids

Homeowners may be able to expedite the process of filing a claim by obtaining estimates from contractors and specialists that perform mitigation and restoration. The more itemized these bids are, the more likely it is that the claim will be approved and processed in a timely manner.

4. Make Copies

Make at least one extra copy of any documentation submitted to an insurer. Keep copies of all the paperwork the insurer provides. Policyholders should also keep a record of the names and phone numbers of adjusters you talk to in the process of filing proof of loss.

These measures will help homeowners prepare for a visit by a home adjuster, and should increase the likelihood that an insurance claim will be processed in a timely manner. If you require the services of a residential damage mitigation and restoration company, look for a company trusted by insurers in Mount Union, PA.

3 Types of Damage Caused by Fire

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire in Roaring Spring, PA.

Fire Damage Comes in Three Forms

After your commercial building in Roaring Spring, PA, is affected by a fire, you may expect to take on a fire cleanup. What you might not realize is that this process has to tackle other types of damage as well, which could make a smoke and water cleanup necessary too. Your commercial fire restoration team can help you make sense of the three different kinds of damage caused during a fire.

1. Fire: When flames engulf your building, they can cause a charring effect on your walls, ceiling, roof, furnishings, flooring and other belongings. Fire can turn your once well-furnished office space into piles of ashes. Typically, a fire cleanup includes a lot of rebuilding and replacing as well as the initial cleaning.

2. Water: Water is used to put out a fire. Many business owners hope the water can quench the flames before they turn belongings into ash. When water is sprayed on a fire by firefighters and sprinkler systems, it can cause a lot of water damage on almost every surface. Part of water cleanup is drying out the waterlogged belongings to ensure mold doesn't start to grow in the space.

3. Smoke: Smoke is a byproduct of fire. The damage caused by smoke depends on the fuel that fed the fire. Burning synthetic materials may result in smoke with higher acidity, which can create a harder smoke cleanup process. Smoke often stains ceilings, floors, drapes, and windows, but it can also damage electronics and other belongings. Removing the layer of soot and deodorizing the space are often the major components of this type of cleanup.

Some of the damage caused during a fire may not be a direct result of the flames themselves, but they still need to be addressed during the fire cleanup procedure. If smoke or water cleanup is skipped, your building may have hidden problems in the future.

How to Stay Safe During Summer Barbeques

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

Grilled meat with vegetables Stay safe around your grill and prevent any fire.

Summer Barbeques: How to Stay Safe

When the season for barbecuing in Bedford, PA, comes about and many ideas for family fun and entertainment start to unfold, knowing your home is secure from any potential grill fire dangers is crucial to keeping your peace of mind. Here’s how to stay safe during your many summer bbq festivities by taking precautions with your home grill and avoiding a bbq fire.

? Keep the grill a good distance from your home, leaving at least ten feet of space. Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, keeping your bbq a safe distance from the home is a necessary precaution. This includes placing it out in the open air and away from any garages, carports, or porches and out from under any structural overhangs to prevent any out-of-control flames from spreading or bbq smoke damage.

? If you’re using a gas grill, check for gas leaks regularly. Do a preventative check on your hoses and connections to ensure they’re properly aligned and functional.

? Leave a fire extinguisher nearby. While every household should have a fire extinguisher handy for any type of cooking fire, keeping one near the grill (and knowing how to properly use it) is key to making safety a priority during any grill fire mishaps.

? Frequently clean the bbq grill top. Any fat or grease build-up over time can be a major source of flare-ups, so quickly wiping down the grill after each use and cleaning the area consistently is very important.

? Never leave your grill unattended or allow children or pets to hover around the area. Stay present and alert while food is cooking and keep children away from the bbq in case any flames rise up or a bbq fire erupts unexpectedly.

Since the warmer seasons in Bedford, PA, call for outdoor activities and barbecued meals, it’s important to take precautions ahead of time to ensure a grill fire doesn’t interrupt the enjoyment. Follow these tips to stay safe around your grill and prevent any fire or bbq smoke damage to your property.

How Do You Stop the Spread of Mold During Remediation

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a wall Mold contamination in a Hollidaysburg, PA.

How To Prevent Mold From Spreading

As a homeowner in Hollidaysburg, PA, you know that mold can be a big problem for your house. It doesn't take much for this fungus to spread to other rooms. In fact, mold can spread in a variety of ways:

  • On your clothing
  • Through the air
  • Through water
  • On animals

Because so many factors could lead to more mold contamination, you need to start the cleanup process as soon as possible. Residential mold removal teams can quickly assess your situation and create a plan that will keep the mold in a designated area until it is take care of.

Containment

To stop mold contamination, the professionals have to set up a containment unit. This can mean different things for different jobs. In some cases, it simply means closing windows and doors to discourage air flow and trap the spores. In other cases, it means setting up a negative air pressure system to ensure no air flows out of the room. Part of containment is limiting who can have access to the moldy parts of the home. You and your family may be asked to stay out of certain areas until the professionals have properly cleaned and removed the mold.

Filtration

Filtration often goes hand-in-hand with containment, but it is an important part of stopping the spread of mold. Because spores are so small, they can easily slip through barriers. If your team uses HEPA air filters, however, you have a better chance of keeping the spores in one place.

Removal

Another way to stop contamination is to remove all pieces of furniture, flooring and building materials that are affected by fungus growth. You may be able to clean and return some belongings, but others will have to simply be discarded. Ridding the area of mold-contaminated objects can help reduce your chances of spreading the fungus to other parts of your home.

Mold contamination can affect large portions of your Hollidaysburg, PA, home. With the proper containment plans, you may be able to stop the spread of the fungus.

How To Prevent Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Building

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. You can prevent many plumbing problems from affecting your business in Huntingdon, PA, if you take careful precautions.

Plumbing problems are common in commercial buildings. With so many customers and employees going in and out, bathrooms and sinks are used repeatedly. Frequent use of plumbing systems can lead to problems such as the following:


• Clogs
• Broken fixtures
• Leaks


A broken pipe or damaged water main can lead to huge amounts of water leakage. If you are currently dealing with water damage, call a professional to help you start the restoration process. If you’d like to avoid serious issues from happening easily in your commercial building, here are a few proactive tips that can keep your building safe from water damage.

Keep an Eye Out for Clogs

Unless you’re talking about the wooden footwear, clogs are annoying. They can be even more irritating when they occur in your building’s bathrooms. Employees and customers alike lose access to toilets, sinks, and showers. While this can lead to bad business or conflict within the company, clogs can lead to more serious issues. Water pressure can rise to dangerous levels when the plumbing system is blocked.

One way to avoid clogs is to clean the bathrooms regularly. This can help remove potential obstructions. Another great way to avoid clogs is to put up signs that remind customers and employees what they can flush down the toilet. However, if clogs are still recurrent it might be a bigger problem within the pipes themselves.

Check Your Water Temperature

Depending on the business, you might count on the temperature of your water to always accurate. Either way, it’s always a good idea to check your water heater when temperatures start fluctuating or if you are struggling to get hot water. This often means that your water heater is broken or leaking.

To avoid water damage and other serious issues, don’t ignore the signs. You can also check on your water heater regularly to help you identify any possible difficulties. Check the outside of the heater for any external damage and then flush out the tank. You can also check the anode rod and heater vent for any problems.

You can prevent many plumbing problems from affecting your business in Huntingdon, PA, if you take careful precautions. Look for any indications and act quickly to avoid dealing with damage.

3 Common Ways That Powerful Storms Can Damage Your Solar Panels

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged roof. Once a major storm passes through Bedford County every home in the neighborhood can show you its destructive power.

Once a major storm passes through Bedford County every home in the neighborhood can show you its destructive power. However, if you’re curious about buying solar panels for your residence, knowing what kind of significant roof damage or panel destruction can be caused by brutal storms is of the utmost importance. Here are three general causes of solar panel damage, often inflicted by the intensity of Mother Nature’s outbursts.

1. Water damage due to insufficient sealants can force panels to fail. Given that panel seals aren’t vastly different from those of window panes, having outdated or cracking seals that allow water to seep through can create the beginnings of substantial panel damage. Degradation and short-circuiting can begin to appear as a result of this wet intrusion. Therefore, resealing panels on a regular basis is a crucial part of being a panel owner.

2. Intense hail storms can lead to faulty or destroyed panel faces. The onslaught of destructive hail on solar panels can wreak havoc on the surface of the glass, or simply break the panel altogether. If a powerful hail storm is expected, taking precautions by covering panels can help. However, unexpected hail storms can leave a panel owner frustrated, as there are not many options for preventing hail damage.

3. Falling debris can not only create significant roof damage but damage to panels, as well. If a strong storm passes through your town, any resulting debris such as broken tree branches, falling rocks or mud, etc. can become a serious hazard to panel glass. Even the simplest leaves and twigs can create micro-scratches on the panel surface. A good rule of thumb is to keep the solar glass in open areas and out from under large trees, if possible.

When you live in a place like Bedford County owning solar panels can be a great investment. However, panel damage due to intense storms is always a possibility. Therefore, these three common causes of panel destruction should often be considered before making a final decision for your home.

Emergency Tips for Dealing with Mold

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of mold growth. If you discover black mold in your home, there's not much you can do about it except call the experts.

If your home in Bedford, PA, has experienced water damage, it is also in danger of developing a black mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours after water damage from a flood or leak occurs. It also spreads very easily. While waiting for mold remediation specialists to arrive and begin the mold cleanup process, you can do your part to prevent the spread of mold growth before they arrive by completing two tasks.

Water Cutoff

Mold loves excess moisture, so it makes sense that the easiest way to prevent the spread of mold is by denying it the moisture it needs to thrive. There are several ways to do this:

• Turning the water shutoff valve that serves the area where mold is present
• Drying surfaces to which the mold is most likely to spread
• Setting up a dehumidifier in unaffected parts of your home to give mold nowhere to go

If you have a moisture problem, you are likely to have a black mold problem. By controlling moisture, you can often prevent the spread of mold.

HVAC Cutoff

It may seem counterintuitive to shut off airflow when you are trying to dry out surfaces and prevent mold from spreading, but don't forget that there are mold spores in the air. As long as the air conditioner or heater is running, those mold spores have a free ride to anywhere in your home. If the excess moisture that allowed mold to grow in one area makes the rest of your home more humid, mold may start to grow in other places. Shutting down airflow curbs the travel of the mold spores that would cause this new growth.

If you discover black mold in your home, there's not much you can do about it except call the experts. While you are waiting for them, however, you can take measures to prevent it from spreading.

Three Ways Landscaping Can Be Used To Prevent Home Flooding

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

A house having outside flooding. A flooded home in Bedford, PA.

Landscaping Can Help Prevent Flooding In Your Home In Three Ways

Flooding can be one of the costliest forms of damage that can happen to a home in Bedford, PA. While a homeowner can work to prevent other forms of water damage with regular maintenance and inspection of plumbing and HVAC systems, outside flooding, which can be just as costly as internal damage, can be prevented in other ways. Here are three types of landscaping that can help prevent this type of flooding.

1. Artificial Means of Drainage

There are two different ways that a homeowner can use constructed means to drain excess water. One option is diverted rainspouts. These useful instruments divert the excess from outside flooding away from walls and down inclines. Secondly, a homeowner can use a specially constructed driveway to allow for greater rain drainage. Both options can also add little aesthetic touches to a home.

2. Low-Maintenance Options

If a homeowner is on a budget in terms of time, there are other great options to explore. Heavy mulch in the flower beds around the home can absorb a great deal of excess water. Another possibility is adding swales around the property. Swales are depressions that are usually found around the borders. After a heavy rain storm, the water should drain into the depression rather than stagnating on top of the grass.

3. Beautiful Long-Term Additions

If a homeowner has a green thumb or is willing to invest more for long-term additions, these options may be of interest. Adding on a green roof – what is essentially a lawn on top of the home – can help soak up the excess water after heavy rain. On top of this, it can be a beautiful feature. Another option is creating a rain garden out of native plant life. By placing the “thirstiest” plants in the middle of a declined space, the water has an easier time filtering into the soil.

All of these options are great ways a homeowner can work from the outside to prevent water damage. However, it’s always a good idea to seek out professional help if more information is needed about how to prevent damage due to outside flooding.

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on wall Mold contamination.

The quick, and accurate, answer to repeated mold growth is water trouble. Knowing this, however, doesn't always help you prevent further growth and contamination, especially after repeated growth in the area. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself; mold is well-known for cropping up again in the same spot. This is especially true when you've had water damage on your Roaring Spring, PA, property.

The Reasons for the Return

Certain properties of mold can help you understand why it keeps coming back:

• Most molds aren't harmful. These organisms exist everywhere, inside and outside. Most of the time, molds aren't dangerous and are often helpful. However, certain types, such as black mold, can be unsightly and costly.

• Molds are fungi. They reproduce by spreading spores. To facilitate colony growth and the spread of spores, thread-like hyphae (branching filaments of mold) release enzymes and spores. If a hypha is detached from the rest of the colony, it can begin to take root and establish a new colony on a new surface.

• Mold is microscopic. This means it can get into places that you may not think possible. It also makes it very hard for you to clean mold completely with a spray solution and scrubbing. For example, you probably can't access both sides of the drywall, but when there's high humidity, this is an ideal location for mold growth.

• Mold grows quickly. Whether spores are carried into an area through the ductwork or hyphae have broken off and transferred to a new surface, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for a new colony to take hold.

Prevention and Remediation

The best route for water damage restoration is to work with a professional and prevent water damage. Inspect your property for any leaking pipes or faucets, install a dehumidifier, and keep the property well-ventilated. Any fabrics that get wet often, such as towels, washrags, and coats, should be hung where they can dry completely.

When you don't know what else to try, contact a professional. These Roaring Spring, PA, experts can handle problems in inaccessible areas, locate areas of moisture you couldn't find, and provide education for further prevention of mold

How To Clean a Dryer Exhaust Hose

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

exhaust hose in dryer vent Properly clean the dryer exhaust hose at your home to keep your dryer running effectively and prevent a lint fire.

Cleaning A Dryer Exhaust Hose

You are doing laundry at your home in Morrisons Cove, PA and suddenly smell a burning odor. Panic spreads as you realize the smell is coming from your dryer. A lint fire is the last thing you may expect, but it can happen. Even though you clean the lint filter before each load as recommended, sometimes that is not enough to prevent a dryer fire. If you notice a decrease in the efficiency of your dryer, clean out the exhaust hose and vent by following the steps below.

1. Cut the power. Unplug the dryer cord from the outlet. This allows you to easily and safely move the dryer around for cleaning.

2. Detach the hose. The exhaust hose, an accordion shaped tube, connects from the back of the dryer to the wall. Depending on your dryer, either squeeze or unscrew a bolt to loosen the circular clamp. Remove the hose from both the wall and the dryer.

3. Empty the lint. Use a long brush or vacuum attachment to remove the accumulated lint from the detached exhaust hose. This step is key to preventing a lint fire.

4. Use a cleaning rod. Carefully insert the brush on the cleaning rod into the wall vent, rotating as you go. Remove, clean the brush and repeat until the lint is clear.

5. Attach the hose. Reattach the exhaust hose to the dryer and wall. Tighten the clamp, plug the dryer in and ensure there is no escaping air before pushing the dryer back against the wall.

6. Check the vent. The outside vent is typically a square vent with a screen. Remove the screen and take out any accumulated lint. Use a vacuum or brush to clean remaining lint and reattach the screen.

Properly clean the dryer exhaust hose at your home in Morrisons Cove, PA to keep your dryer running effectively and prevent a lint fire. If a fire occurs, immediately call 911 and exit the house. After the fire is contained, contact your insurance company and a fire restoration specialist to assess the fire damage and return your home to pre-fire condition.

Why a Basement Floods and What You Should Do About It

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flooded basement in Huntingdon, PA.

What Should You Do If Your Basement Floods?

Typically, the best way to deal with flooding in your basement in Huntingdon, PA, is prevention. By understanding the usual causes of water retention in the lower floors of your home, you can take the necessary maintenance steps to ensure that your property stays dry for years to come.

1. Location and Climate Factors

A primary cause of excess water is above-average rainfall. Choosing to reside in a coastal area, for example, can increase the risk of a basement flood. Even in dryer climates, laying your home’s foundation on a low-lying or sloped part of the property can cause water to pool under walls and seep through the outer layers of the building.

2. Basement Drainage

Should your home sit near or on the water table, a basement drainage system and sump pump will likely be necessary to prevent excess dampness in the flooring. If the pump system breaks down due to electrical or plumbing problems, contact a qualified professional who can perform wiring or pipe repair. A powered mechanism for removing water from the basement after flooding is the most robust method for the prevention of property damage.

3. Sources of Leakage

Sometimes the biggest issues facing the homeowner lie in the ingress of water. Cracked walls or insufficient sealants and waterproof coatings can allow water that would otherwise drain away to enter the basement. Improperly positioned or damaged gutters and downspouts can divert water toward the house rather than into the yard. Gutters can also become clogged with leaves or other material, causing them to overflow. Gaps in roofing tiles or shingles can also cause undesirable water redirection, especially in periods of extreme rain or snow melt. Controlling the water volume before it reaches the basement is often the best preventative measure.

Following the above checklist of troubleshooting tips will usually stop the problem before it begins. Should you experience unavoidable flooding and require basement cleanup and decontamination, contact a company that specializes in that process to avoid potential health hazards.

Stay Safe: Understanding the Categories of Water Contamination

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

There are few amenities as easy to take for granted as clean water, but also few amenities more damaging to be without. From maintaining hydration to hygiene, access to clean water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, access to clean water is not universal and many are exposed to contaminated water. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three tiers:

1. Clean water
2. Water that is contaminated
3. Sewer and outside flood water

It is important to understand these classifications in order to properly assess the safety of a water source.


Category 1 – Clean, Safe Water.


The highest classification is reserved for water from sources that pose no significant health risk. When using water from this category, it is important to ensure that the water has not become contaminated from an outside source elsewhere in the supply line, such as traveling through unclean pipes or being stored in a dirty receptacle.


Category 2 – Contaminated Water.


Water that carries potential risks is classified as category 2. Due to exposure to high levels of microorganisms, category 2 water should be avoided as it can lead to irritation or illness. Although ingestion of category 2 water is an obvious risk, it is also inadvisable to come in contact with this water as well, such as using it for cleaning, as the pollutants contained within it may not require ingestion to cause illness.


Category 3 – Septic and Outdoor Water.


The most polluted water is classified as category 3, and it carries extremely high levels of potentially harmful elements. The most common form of contamination leading to this classification is backed up toilet water, known as black water; however, septic water can also be caused by the introduction of unclean outside water sources into the supply line.

Exposure to contaminated water is a hazard, and cleaning it up is something that should not be put off to a later date once it’s identified. When unsafe water is discovered, it is important to contact a restoration professional in Ebensburg, PA, promptly. The professional can assess the contamination, identify the source of the pollution, and clean up the problem to once again restore access to healthy water.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROsouthernblairbedford.com.

Volunteerism - Supporting our Community

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Hydration Set-up Ready, set, go

We were fortunate enough to be the official water sponsor of a 50k race, that is 31 miles for all of the folks who haven't yet converted to the metric system, which if I'm not mistaken has been in the works for the past 245 years.  I'm not sure if any of you participate in races, but a 50k is brutal and the torrential downpours didn't do anything to help the runners. 

Humidity along with soaked clothing and water logged shoes does wonders for morale when you are spending an entire day running, or attempting to run.  To add insult to injury, the course was on the Ghost Town Trail, PA's 2020 Trail of the Year, which includes a steady 2% incline for the entire race.  

At 5:30am we were set up at four (4) hydration stations.  We had volunteers working the stations who also checked off the participants as they passed through each checkpoint.  I was set up at the finish line, handing out water to each participant as they completed the event.

I was amazed at the number of participants.  We had 314 racers and 148 of them traveled from multiple states to go head-to-head with this 50k course.  (Spoiler alert, the course destroyed many an ego.)  Even the first finisher, who clocked in at 4 hours and 11 minutes was humbled by this course.  He finished strong and at the same time he looked as if he had taken one too many head shots from the heavyweight champ of the world.  He was the human version of a Weeble... as he wobbled, but he didn't fall down.  

It was a blessing to be able to support our community for the entirety of the race.  Our water was a hit and all but a few finishers took the time to thank us.  Those who didn't were obviously delirious from the race.  I figure that nearly 300 racers finished over a 13 hour period which gave me a lot of time, hours in fact, spent talking with the finishers, anxious family members, the other race sponsors and the race organizers.  I met many folks who have used SERVPRO, some who had recommended our services and others who had many questions about what we actually do for a living.  I offered answers as short as "we provide fire/water restoration, mold remediation and cleaning services" to full blown discussions on how we tackle certain types of losses, big and small.  I made many new contacts, both commercial and residential, and I also made new friends, mostly with the members and volunteers of the race organizer, the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Association (CCCRA).  I also spent time with local ambulance associations, as their services were required for a few unfortunate participants throughout the race.  

The long and short of it is that with the proper planning and preparation of the station locations and the water distribution, everyone was properly hydrated.  I had a chance to meet to a group of highly motivated community members that I likely never would have met if we weren't supporting our community.  

Lessons learned... 20 ounce bottles of water were too much for water runners to carry, the more volunteers the better and if you plan for the worst, you will probably have a wildly successful experience, while supporting your community!

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