Recent Posts

5 Ways SERVPRO’s Claims Inventory System Can Help Your Business

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Claim Document . Electronic mail. Working with SERVPRO’s electronic claims system can help with your insurance claim in several ways

SERVPRO’s Electronic Claims System Can Help in the Restoration Process

When you make an insurance claim for your Carnot, PA, business after it suffers a disaster, your insurance agent may recommend working with a local SERVPRO for restoration. One of the reasons for choosing this service is the use of their electronic inventory system. There are several ways the use of this system can help the restoration process.

1. Keeping Lists

In many cases, a claim requires a list of damaged items for review. This database can store these lists and allow your restoration team to update them as they assess the damage.

2. Storing Photographs

Photographs of the damage may also be required for the restoration. This database can also store these so that they remain with the relevant damage list.

3. Remote Access

Another benefit of using this system to help with your insurance claim is the fact that it offers remote access. This allows you or your agent to stay up to date with the restoration without having to play phone tag or visit the job site.

4. Electronic Database

One of the benefits of an electronic database is that all the information can be stored in one place without having to compile tons of paper documents. It also reduces the risk that relevant paper documentation may be lost or damaged.

5. Progress Reports

Another aspect of the electronic database is that it can keep track of progress reports. This means that as aspects of the restoration is completed, the workers can update the progress file, allowing you know know what’s been accomplished.

Working with SERVPRO’s electronic claims system can help with your insurance claim in several ways. This system can keep track of lists and photographs, as well as store progress reports. It also offers remote access allowing you to know what's going on from any location where you can lot in. In addition, the electronic database helps prevent the loss of paperwork.

Is Your Company Covered for a Mold Claim?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold infestation in a corner of a wall Mold damage in Moon, PA

Is Your Company Covered for a Mold Claim?

The right amount of general liability insurance for your company protects you from life's unexpected moments. One of these surprises could be the presence of mold in one or more corners of your property. What exactly, though, will your insurance cover for a mold outbreak? Mold insurance claims are often downright confusing, so it is always a good idea to have a detailed discussion with your agent at least once a year. Policies and coverage can change without warning, so it is best not to assume you have robust coverage for a mold claim in Moon, PA.

Beware of Exclusions

Mold exclusions in policies began showing up in the 1990s in response to some hefty awards handed out to policy holders. It is actually called a "fungus exclusion" and puts limits on the following mold insurance claims:

  • loss or damage caused by mold
  • loss or damage caused by dry rot or bacteria
  • Loss or damage caused by mold spores, toxins, smells and by-products of fungi

Property owners can still collect on a mold claim through a few exceptions to the fungus exclusion. A term known as Limited Fungus Coverage applies to the cleanup and repair of damage caused by a mold outbreak. In short, reasonable expenses for mold remediation are allowed in these cases.

Watch Out for Policy Changes

In addition to speaking with your insurance agent, ask about the availability to pay higher premiums for more robust coverage. In all cases of mold growth, call in a mold mitigation team that will arrive Faster to any size disaster. A mold outbreak moves quickly, spreading through the HVAC system and other pathways. A rapid and professional response cuts down on costs. You can limit your mold insurance claims with prompt action, and keep expenses and damages below the $15,000 normally approved for damages. This limit for damages is an annual limit and includes expenses associated with mold mitigation.

Common Pipe Noises and How To Address Them

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water leak out from piping system make ceiling damaged Water leaking from a plumbing system in Morgan, PA

Common Pipe Noises and How To Address Them

A noisy pipe is not just an inconvenience. It could also be evidence that something is wrong with your plumbing system.
If the problem is not addressed, it could lead to a pipe break that causes major damage to your Morgan, PA, home. Some common pipe noises are:

  • Banging
  • Hammering
  • Whistling

These sounds each signal a potential issue within your plumbing system. Below is a discussion of the causes of these noises and how to address them.

Banging and Hammering

Banging or hammering occurs when there is a sudden stop in the flow of water. Momentum causes the water to slam against the sides of the pipes. This can damage the joints and connections, which can lead to a pipe burst.
To combat this issue, start by inspecting the pipes for any signs of vibration or looseness. If your pipes bang against the wood while vibrating, you can install a rubber pad between the wood and the pipe to reduce the noise.
You can also try installing an air chamber, also called an anti hammer device. There are several different types, all of which fill up with air that absorbs the sudden increase in water pressure. This, in turn, reduces the risk of a pipe break.

Whistling

Your pipes may make a whistling noise when water flows quickly through an obstructed area. This can occur when a faucet is running.
To determine where the noise is coming from, turn a faucet on and see if you hear the whistling. If you don’t, turn that faucet off and move on to the next one. Once you have found the source of the whistling, you can take that faucet apart and replace the brass screw and the washer.
By performing the above maintenance tips in your home, you can avoid a burst pipe. If you do find yourself dealing with a pipe break, however, try calling water repair specialists. They not only fix a broken pipe, but they also can assist with the cleanup process.

How to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

A room cleaned after storm water and mold Mold after storm damage in Moon, PA

How to Prevent Mold from Spreading

If you’ve had a storm in Moon, PA, and your building was damaged, you should act quickly to keep your business from being affected further. Mold growth can occur quickly, sometimes overnight, when water is not removed. To prevent this fungus from spreading, take the following steps.

1. Start Mitigation Quickly

One of the first things that you should do is to contact a professional service to begin work on mitigation. This stage takes place before restoration and is done to keep damage from spreading or getting worse. Standing water will be removed, and the area will be cleaned.

2. Dry Everything Thoroughly

Because mold growth happens in areas with excessive moisture, just removing the water is not enough to keep it from spreading. Opening windows and doors can help the air circulate and speed up the process. A dehumidifier can also be used.

3. Replace Damaged Materials

Due to the high levels of bacteria, sewage and other contaminants such as mold spores found in flood water, it is difficult to clean materials that have absorbed it. Insulation, drywall and padding beneath carpeting will more than likely need to be replaced.

4. Have Belongings Cleaned

The building is not the only thing that can be affected by mold after a flood. Furniture, curtains and other items made with porous materials can easily grow the fungus as well. If the damage is not too severe, you may be able to have items cleaned in a washing machine or by dry cleaning. For others, a professional service may be able to salvage them with more advanced machines.
Mold growth can occur very quickly, so you should begin work to have water damage removed right away. A cleanup and restoration company will be able to get the job done quickly and thoroughly. They can remove excess water from the building, inspect for mold and other damage, and make repairs to return your building to its previous condition.

Three Steps to a Fire Escape Plan

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Drill Alarm Words Having fire drills can help you practice for the real thing

Three Steps to a Fire Escape Plan

Have you ever considered what to do in case of a fire at your workplace? When it comes to escaping a fire, having an emergency escape plan is necessary. Coming up with a fire escape plan is relatively simple, and it can help everyone escape from a fire more quickly.

Post Escape Routes

During a fire, there is a good chance that one or more escape routes will be blocked. Because of this, you should have multiple ways for people to escape in case of a fire. If you are above the ground floor, avoid using the elevator. You never know where the fire has spread to, and you don't want to wind up on a floor that is engulfed in flames. In addition, it can be dangerous because:

  • The elevator's power supply could be cut off during your ride.
  • This means that you can get stuck between floors.
  • It may be impossible to escape.

Always stick to the stairs during a fire.

Have Drills

Having fire drills can help you practice for the real thing. This can help you work out potential issues in your fire escape plan and cut down the amount of time it takes you to evacuate the building. Aim to have one drill each month or one seasonally, at least. Regular drills can keep the escape plan fresh in everyone's minds.

Consider People With Special Needs

Anyone in the building who has a special need may need an alternate plan or someone to help them evacuate. Figuring this out ahead of time can prevent confusion and can help ensure no one gets left behind.
Putting together a fire escape plan in Carnot, PA, is one of the best ways to make sure everyone gets out safely in case of a fire. While the fire repair specialists can get your workplace back in good shape, you will be able to rest peacefully, knowing that you helped get all of your fellow coworkers out to safety.

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.