Recent Posts

Common Plumbing Materials and Their Uses

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

New gray and brown drain pipes There are different types of plastic pipes

Learn About Your Pipes

Most people don't get curious about their plumbing in Robinson Township, PA, until something like supply line damage comes along. If you'd like to be prepared before this happens, you should learn about your pipes. The type you have can tell you a lot about what kind of damage can happen or how long they will last.

Case Study: Plastic

There are a couple types of plastic you will find out there. The first is CPVC, which usually carries a warranty of 5-8 years. It is a rigid plastic prone to supply line leak at the joints and easy to damage, especially in a freeze. They are usually chosen because they are cheap and easy to install. An upgraded plastic option is PEX, with a warranty of 25 years. Some benefits are:

  • Easy to install with fewer fittings
  • Flexible so it can fit in small spaces
  • Durable and corrosion resistant
  • Can withstand temperatures ranging from 30 degrees to 200 degrees


Case Study: Metal

Copper was the industry standard for a long time, especially for exposed piping. It is still respected by most plumbers, and lasts approximately 40 years. Soft copper can be bent to fit in tight places. However, pin hole damage is common to this type of pipe. It is also very expensive. If you have an older home, you may have galvanized iron piping. This type of pipe almost always falls prey to corrosion or rust and supply line damage, and is not recommended anymore.

Case Study: Braided

Stainless steel braided supply lines are rubber tubes covered by a woven steel jacket. They usually come with a life-time warranty. They are extremely durable, and usually only cause a bathroom leak if damaged by harsh chemical cleaning supplies stored nearby. Also known as SS lines, they are very flexible and are corrosion resistant. Aesthetically they are very attractive- the woven metal appears like fabric.
Supply line damage can be repaired, but it may also be a blessing in disguise. A leak could uncover problematic plumbing that should be upgraded to something better. Get to know your pipes to keep your home running smoothly.

A Handful of Low-Cost Fire Alarms Can Easily Save Your Family’s Lives

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Photoelectric fire alarm A photoelectric fire alarm reacts quickly to smoldering fires before they can cause a flashover

If you could spend a few bucks to be virtually certain your family would survive a home fire, would you? Installing a fire alarm in your Neville Township, PA, house wherever it is needed is an incredibly cheap and effective way to accomplish this. There may be no more cost-effective method to mitigate your risk of death than installing the correct number of smoke detectors. These tips help make the most of these simple devices.

You Can’t Go Wrong Installing More Alarms

Strategically place the smoke detectors throughout the house. Experts strongly recommend installing a fire alarm in these locations:

  • Every bedroom
  • Outside every sleeping area
  • Every level of the house

Don’t forget the basement. Go ahead and install one wherever it seems logical. The sooner your family finds out about a fire, the better. A small fire can heat up other materials in a room. Once they reach a critical temperature, an event called flashover happens where the fire spreads to most surfaces instantly. Once this occurs, it’s probably too late to survive the event. In a fire evacuation, every second counts.

Install Both Ionization Alarms and Photoelectric Alarms

A photoelectric fire alarm reacts quickly to smoldering fires before they can cause a flashover. Ionization alarms are better at catching fast-moving fires. With the prices so low, go ahead and get both kinds to ensure protection and reduce fire damage. Also, some detectors now include both types of sensors.

Modern Materials Drastically Reduce Escape Time
Tests run about 30 years ago indicated that people had approximately 20 minutes to escape a home fire. However, these days that number is reduced to three or four minutes thanks to materials that are subject to quick flashover. The best way to deal with this is to use new wirelessly-linked detectors that will set all alarms off throughout the house no matter where the fire is detected.
If you have a fire in Neville Township, PA, make sure to get a professional smoke damage mitigation company to do a proper cleanup. Smoke can leave highly toxic residue behind in every nook and cranny, and it takes expertise to thoroughly remove all traces.

Your Insurance Adjuster Is a Big Fan of Organization

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

flooded yard image with green letters that say "Water damage" Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States

Feel sorry for home adjusters, especially when they come in teams to handle a regional disaster in the Coraopolis, PA area. They work long hours. Claimants are neither happy nor prepared. The list of water damage claims goes on and on. When they finally do sleep, they dream that they will one day visit an insured who is organized and ready to go.

Learn Where You Stand and What You Need to Do

You may already know everything there is to know about how your policy covers your home for water damage, but that’s not enough. You need to have a good understanding of the insurance claim process and your responsibilities in it. Here are a few questions you should ask your agent or company in your initial call:

  • What is the deadline for filing claims?
  • Can temporary repairs to secure the home proceed?
  • When can permanent repairs begin?
  • What do you need for documentation?
  • Will your insurance pay for you to relocate temporarily?

Hopefully, your insurer doesn’t expect you let the water damage continue to grow while you wait for a home adjuster. If they allow you to begin before the adjuster shows up, make sure that you understand the rules.

Be That Insured That Adjusters Dream About

Your adjuster needs copies of everything you can collect. If you can provide these items in an organized fashion, your adjuster will be ecstatic:

  • Bills
  • Receipts
  • Digital photos
  • Inspection reports
  • Written bids

Also, the adjuster must have the opportunity to examine big-ticket items destined for the dump, if possible. However, bear in mind that no adjuster wants to inspect a damaged freezer full of food three weeks after the event. Dispose of the contents.

The Home Adjuster Approved Your Claim, and You May Begin Permanent Repairs

When it comes to repairs, it’s always best to choose a company that works well with insurance companies. You will find such a team of water damage restoration experts nearby and ready to begin.

The Trouble With Home Mold Testing Kits

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Three sample tubes Mold testing kits

The Trouble With Home Mold Testing Kits

If you have seen signs or are concerned about mold in your home in Robinson Township, PA, you may be tempted to purchase a home mold testing kit. However, these kits have some caveats you should be aware of.

Techniques

There are many options for DIY mold testing out there, and the majority of them require precise methods to yield results that would mean anything. Only if you know what you are looking for and where it is likely to be found will a test kit be useful to you. These kits have many limitations:

  • Some can only test a small, specific area at a time.
  • Some only indicate the presence of mold, not which type.
  • Others can only detect certain types of mold in certain types of areas.
  • Still others require you to send the testers to a lab in order to know what they found, sometimes requiring an additional fee.

Results

Mold is everywhere. It is natural for spores to be floating through the air in your home and outside. There are also hundreds of types of mold, some less desirable than others. So, how are you supposed to discern whether or not the mold found in your home is within expected levels or not? How are you supposed to know which type of mold you should watch out for? A mold kit will not be able to tell you that.

Alternatives

Unless you know what you are doing, it is recommended to hire professional mold testing services if you are concerned with mold in your home. They have better equipment, can test more areas of your house and can interpret the results for you. Going this route will ensure that your mold testing will be accurate and timely. Mold is no joke, so it is best to treat it seriously.
Mold testing can be more complicated than it seems- that's why it is best to leave in the hands of specialists. If you do purchase a home testing kit, be sure to do some research first.

6 Essential Steps for Sewer Cleanup

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage spill on a business floor A sewage spill in your business in Edgeworth, PA, requires unique cleaning procedures

Steps for Sewer Cleanup

Whether due to a flooded toilet or a backed-up sewer line, a sewage spill in your business in Edgeworth, PA, requires unique cleaning procedures to ensure the building is properly sanitized. Additionally, special equipment, gear, and precautionary actions are needed to avoid harm to the individuals cleaning the harmful toxins and bacteria. For this reason, it is important to always hire a water and sewer cleanup company to deal with this situation. Here are the steps that the specialist will take when cleaning the area.

Preparation and Inspection

The specialist will begin by preparing the area and inspecting it to assess the extent of the damage. The preparation process will include completely evacuating the area and putting on the necessary gear including coveralls, rubber boots, rubber gloves, and eye protection.

Removal of Water and Sewage

Next, the specialist will use pumps and vacuums to remove all standing water and sewer backup from the area. This prevents even more damage from occurring.

Removal of Contaminated Surfaces

After the water is removed, the specialist will continue with sewer cleanup by removing flooring, walls, and other surfaces that have been contaminated. Items that can be restored will be separated for later cleaning.

Professional Drying

Once all damaged surfaces and items are removed, dehumidifiers, air movers, and other professional equipment are used to dry the area. This can take several hours or even days to finish.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

The specialist will then thoroughly clean and sanitize all salvageable items and areas. In addition to removing harmful bacteria, this process might include mold removal and deodorization.

Restoration and Reconstruction

Last, the specialist will work on restoring your business through reconstruction and replacement. This can include installing new walls and floors, replacing furniture, and repainting surfaces.
All of these six steps of the sewer cleanup process are necessary for safely restoring your building and resuming business as normal. Calling an experienced water restoration company is the best place to start.

How a Storm Can Lead To Sewer Backup

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A city drain overflowing by flooded waters A city drain overflowing by flooded waters

Ways a Storm Can Lead To Sewer Backup

It's not uncommon after a large storm in Carnot, PA, to find out your home has a flooded basement. But how does this actually happen? There are a few ways a large storm can lead to sewer backup. Here are three of the most common.

1. Poor Drainage Around the Home’s Foundation

In many cases flooding in the basement can be caused by poor drainage around the home's foundation. This is caused when drainage spout or landscaping sloped so that water can flow towards, and pool against, the home. Water can then get into the basement through cracks in the foundation. Fortunately, a local restoration service can help with any clean up measures, and recommend mitigation steps for the future including the installation of a sump pump. You may also want to consider ensuring that drain spouts and landscaping slope away from the home.

2. Sewer System Overflow Backing

In many cases storm-water ends up in the sewer system. Whether this is from pipes designed to funnel water away from the home, storm grates in the city street, or drainage ditches, the system can fill to the point of overflowing and begin to back up into the home. This is one way you may find you have a flooded basement.

3. City Storm Drain Overflow

Many older homes in urban areas have pipes designed to funnel storm-water away from the property and into the city storm system. During times of heavy rain storm this system can become overburdened and the water can start backing up through these pipes into the home.
In many cases a flooded basement can be caused by overflow from a sewage system, a storm drain system, or even poor drainage around the house. If you experience these problems it's best to call a professional for an assessment and any recommended solutions. With proper mitigation steps you can help prevent these problems in the future.

Combating Fungus: Controlling Mold Growth in Your Home

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Vent system on roof top of a house - Proper ventilation Airflow will keep humidity out and avoid mold growth

Controlling Mold Growth in Your Home

While mold damage can occur relatively quickly, most structural harm will come from prolonged instances of moisture buildup. Therefore, to prevent and control the level of mold development in your home, it may be necessary to perform regular inspections as well as install and maintain proper preventative measures.

1. Controlling Humidity

Mold and mildew growth are tied directly to moisture. One of the most advantageous times of the year for this type of fungus is in the warmer summer months when humidity is high. Therefore, as an extra layer of protection, you may want to install dehumidifiers around your home, especially in your basement and possibly attic where moisture levels are typically highest.

2. Ventilating High Moisture Areas

Extensive mold damage can be prevented in areas like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms by using proper ventilation. You can install ceiling fans and even ductwork that vents to the outside to minimize the amount of remnant moisture in these areas.

3. Sealing Your Home

A lot of mold growth occurs around windows, doors and even rooflines. You can inspect these areas, looking for signs of sealant wear and tear. If you come across areas of yellowing or cracked caulk lines, it is in your best interest to replace the caulk before dampness infiltrates your framing and home interior. 

4. Inspecting and Resolving Home Repair Issues

While surface inspections are easy enough, it can be beneficial to have annual inspections of your home to ensure that there are no hidden problems. You can call a mold remediation specialist in the Neville Township, PA, area to have your home assessed for possible damage. Many of these companies will offer a free assessment of your property and even provide you with a preventative plan.

Mold damage can be a costly problem that seems to come from nowhere but being vigilant about moisture control can minimize those risks. Installing dehumidifiers and ventilation systems can eliminate most environmental moisture problems. Also, scheduling regular inspections can help pinpoint issues before significant repairs are needed.

What To Do if Your Roof Has Been Damaged in a Fire

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damaged after fire Roof damaged after fire in Oakdale, PA

If Your Roof Has Been Damaged, The Following Steps Should Be Taken

Sometimes a fire can be contained quickly, and the effects can be minimized. Other times, it can result in severe damage to your Oakdale, PA, building. This can include broken windows as well as missing walls and roofing. When this happens, it is important to have fire cleanup and repairs done as quickly as possible to reduce potential secondary damage. If your roof has been damaged, the following steps should be taken.

1. Mitigate the Damage

The first thing that you should do is mitigate to prevent the damage from worsening. If parts of your roof are missing, you can contact a professional to have tarp services done. This will help keep debris from falling into the building through any holes in the roof. It will also prevent water damage in the event of a storm. In severe cases, using thin wooden boards in place of the tarp might be a better option.

2. Clean and Sanitize the Area

Before repairs on the roof can begin, fire cleanup will need to be done in the area. Because smoke and soot can create long-lasting odors, this should be entirely removed from affected roofing along with any debris. If the fire department put the flames out with a hose, there may be some moisture trapped here as well. Make sure that the area is thoroughly dried and cleaned to prevent the growth of mold.

3. Make Repairs

Once the fire cleanup has been completed, repair work can begin. Any boards or shingles that have been damaged should be removed and replaced. The repairs process will include work on the appearance of the roof as well as its structure so that you will likely not be able to tell that a fire has taken place at all.
Roof repair after a fire is an important step in returning your building to its previous condition. To get the best results, call a professional cleanup and restoration service to do the work for you.

Why the Cause of a Flood Matters

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Soaking wet carpet after storm damage Soaking wet carpet after storm damage

It Is Important To Know The Difference Between Storm and Flood Damage

Flood damage and storm damage both can result in serious problems for your Morgan, PA, business. Although storms can cause flooding, the two are considered separate categories for insurance purposes. It is important to know the difference so that you can make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your business before a disaster occurs.

Floods

Flooding is generally defined as water damage that occurs over at least two acres or that affects two or more separate properties. Floods are caused by many natural phenomena, including the following:

  • Surface water buildup
  • Tidal or inland water overflow
  • Erosion near bodies of water
  • Mudflow

Even when the above instances are caused by a storm, most insurance companies consider them to be flood damage rather than storm damage and will not cover the damage if you do not have a separate flood policy.

Storms

If a storm damages your business with hail or wind and that results in water damage, many insurance companies would consider that to be storm damage because the initial event was separate from the water damage. In other words, the initial event occurred before and resulted in the water damage. Tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons and other types of storms can all cause this sort of damage. Some insurance companies have a separate deductible for hurricanes and other tropical storms, so make sure you are familiar with the specifics of your policy.

Other Causes

Sometimes flooding is not caused by Mother Nature. Problems with appliances and plumbing can also cause your property to flood. Most of these situations generally would be covered by your property insurance, but always make sure you know the details of your policy before an emergency occurs.
Regardless of the causes of flood damage to your Morgan, PA, business, a professional restoration service can help you get your business back in pre-flood condition quickly and safely.

Replacing a Faulty Toilet

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Replacing a leaking toilet Leaking toilet in a Moon, PA home

Day-to-day life can be busy and hectic. When your home is your castle, the last thing you want is a leaking toilet to turn into more than just a leak. It doesn’t take time for a simple drip to turn into extensive water damage that can lead to mold and other issues. While sometimes a simple repair can fix the problem, replacing an old toilet may be the best choice for peace of mind.

Is It Time to Replace My Toilet?

When small issues only occasionally arise, a toilet repair may be all that is needed. If the signs keep flowing, it’s best to not ignore them. Signs for a replacement may include:

  • Clogging is consistent or randomly happens when it shouldn’t
  • Visible cracks in the bowl or tank
    Repairs are needed frequently or more than one is needed
  • Toilet was installed prior to 2000
  • Noticeable wobbling or loose fixtures
  • Excessive mineral buildup

Be Prepared Before Replacing

Before starting the process, it’s important to be prepared. When buying a new toilet, measurements are everything. The rough-in for your existing toilet needs to be verified before purchasing. While most pipes are 12 inches from the wall, some models are closer or farther. Once you have a your new toilet, be sure to have the tools necessary for the replacement.

Replacement Steps

When your finally ready for installation, the process includes the following steps:

  • Remove old toilet and clean the flange
  • Snugly position and affix closet bolts against flange
  • Install new wax ring on flange
  • Position new toilet over flange, aligned with closet bolts
  • Use washer and nuts to secure toilet
  • Ensure replacement is level and stable before attaching supply line
  • Check fill line is met and caulk if needed

Although a leaking toilet and replacement may be relatively easy fixes, some people don’t have the time or know-how to tackle the project. Luckily, there are many trusted professionals in Moon, PA that can help.