Recent Posts

Most Common Causes of House Fires

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Lonely young man smoking outside at house balcony Smoke outside

Avoid a Home Fire and Its Devastating Consequences

You hear stories on the news about fires starting in homes. You may have seen a home fire firsthand in your neighborhood. The results of these incidents are tragic and costly. Although some accidents can occur despite your best efforts at prevention, knowing the most frequent fire causes in the home can help you prepare effectively and reduce your risk of facing this emergency.

Smoking

Not only is smoking cigarettes hazardous to your health, but this habit is one of the biggest causes of blazes in Oakdale, PA, homes. If you or any other people that live with you smoke, follow these important guidelines:

  • Smoke outside.
  • Always put out a cigarette in an ashtray.
  • Keep ashtrays up high and out of reach of children and pets.

Cooking

When it comes to a home fire, the kitchen is frequently the starting point. When you prepare meals on the stove, always stay in the kitchen while the burners are on. Keep flammable objects well away from the range. Don't forget to turn off burners and the oven when you are finished cooking.

Candles

People love candles for the ambiance they can create. Scented candles are also popular. Unfortunately, these can be dangerous and lead to necessary fire cleaning from a professional disaster restoration team. Never leave a candle burning while you are away from home. Don't let the candle burn down too far before replacing it. In addition, keep candles out of reach of younger members of your household and stay mindful of nearby objects that could catch fire.

Furnace

When it's cold outside, you love the comfort your furnace can provide. However, faulty units can be a fire-starter. Have a professional inspect your furnace and heating system at least once a year. Do not put off maintenance or replacements.
Avoid a home fire and its devastating consequences. Be mindful of these causes so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

What To Know About Testing Your Home for Mold

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Scientist show molds in agar culture. Mold testing

Three Main Types of Mold Tests

Have you noticed a fungus growing in your Morgan, PA, home? If so, you need to determine if it is mildew or something more serious, such as mold. You can do this by performing a mold assessment.
Mold can contaminate your house in a short amount of time. Black mold, in particular, can cause extensive damage. While mold cleanup is possible, you first need to test your home to determine the extent of the problem. There are three main types of mold tests.

  1. Air testing checks for spores within the air of your home
  2. Surface testing analyzes mold samples from household surfaces
  3. Bulk testing examines larger materials in your home for possible mold contamination

When To Test for Mold

You should perform one of these tests if you smell a musky odor in your home. A mold assessment can confirm the presence of the fungus and tell you where the contamination is located. You may also want to test for mold if your house recently suffered a water leak or flood damage.
Tests can also help you identify the species of mold in your home. After all, knowing what type of spores you are dealing with will make the mold remediation process easier.

How To Test for Mold

If you want to test your house for mold, you should contact environmental hygienists or certified mold specialists. They can safely locate the mold damage and accurately analyze the findings.
However, you can also purchase mold testing kits in a store. The kits will tell you how to collect mold samples and send the spores to a lab.
For best results, you should perform air, surface and bulk testing. The tests should take place at different times and in different areas of your home.
Of course, performing a mold assessment is just the first step. If tests reveal that there is excess mold in your home, black mold cleanup specialists can remediate the situation. You should then perform another test to ensure the problem is under control.

5 Keys To Prevent a Sewer Backup

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer cleaning Sewer cleaning in Noblestown, PA

5 Keys To Prevent a Sewer Backup

While not all sewer backups are preventable, many of them are. To limit your chances of facing a backup in Noblestown, PA, a number of fairly easy precautions can be taken. These following steps are among the most effective:

Install a Floor Drain Plug. These one-way plugs are installed below floor drain gates and protect against overloaded sewer systems from backing up into the house. This is a relatively inexpensive solution, though there are drawbacks: the essential float mechanism must be free of debris to operate properly.

Invest in a Backwater Valve. This solution requires the services of a registered plumber and is somewhat expensive. It is installed at the exit point of your building or in the underground pipe known as the sewer lateral line. It prevents a backup from entering your home.

Schedule Sewer Cleaning. If you have a septic system, make sure your tank is emptied on a regular basis. This is routine maintenance and will go a long way towards avoiding sewage in your basement.

Landscape Your Exterior Property. Storm damage can be caused by heavy rains that result in water coming into your basement, either through cracks in the foundation or faulty windows. By making sure the lawn slopes away from your home, allowing water to drain away, you reduce the chances of finding water in your home.

Put in a Standpipe. This simple, inexpensive measure is nothing more than putting in a pipe above your floor drain and attaching a watertight seal to the bottom. When dirty water backups it will go into the pipe and not all over your flooring. This method is only effective if the flooding doesn't reach higher than the length of the standpipe.

A sewer backup into your home will always require a storm cleanup team from Noblestown, PA, to safely and quickly address the situation. Look for a company that has the training and certifications to deal with contaminated water.

4 Reasons To Have Your Business Professionally Cleaned After a Flood

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

A wall with mold Are you noticing a musty odor in your business? Call SERVPRO for a mold inspection today!

4 Reasons To Have Your Business Professionally Cleaned After a Flood

If your business in Fayetteville, PA, has recently experienced flooding due to a storm, pipe burst, or other cause, you might feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what steps to take next. The restoration process following a flood is often very extensive and may require the use of special equipment, especially if any mold growth has occurred. For this reason, you should always seek the aid of a flood and storm cleanup company. Here are important ways these professionals can help.

1. Eliminate Foul Smells

After a flood, you might notice several different types of tainted odors in your building. Common odors include a musty or dirty stench caused by mold, the smell of sewage, or strong scents left behind by chemicals that have made their way into the flood water. A cleanup company can help by removing the source of the odor and using professional equipment to purify the air.

2. Prevent Further Mold Growth

Improper cleanup after a flood can result in mold, which thrives on excess moisture. A professional crew can help remove mold that has already started to grow and prevent any spores from spreading.

3. Protect Against Harmful Contaminants

Depending on the source of the flood water, your building might come into contact with harmful contaminants. If the flood came from somewhere outside of the building, such as an overflowing river, or resulted due to sewage loss, you need to call in the professionals immediately.

4. Preserve Important Items and Belongings

A flood can cause damage to important items such as work documents, expensive equipment, or personal belongings. By working with a flood cleanup company, you may be able to restore many of these items.
From pesky mold growth to foul odors, there are many ways flooding can affect your business. Make the cleanup process as easy as possible by getting in contact with a professional cleanup company right away.

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.