Recent Posts

Are At-Home Mold Testing Kits Reliable?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The Microbial test kit isolated on white background DIY mold test kits do not provide the value or solutions you need

Are At-Home Mold Testing Kits Reliable?

If you suspect there is mold growing in your Two Lick, PA, residence, you may be tempted by the numerous options for DIY mold tests. However, it's important to know about the fallacies of at-home mold testing kits before spending your money on them. Mold spores live everywhere, and all homes have some degree of fungal growth. To resolve a mold problem, you need to know where it's coming from and remove its source. Hiring an environmental hygienist can help you identify the crucial information:

  • Where is the moisture source that's feeding the mold?
  • Where is the location of mold infestation?
  • What type of mold is growing in your home?
  • What actions can be taken to remediate mold growth?

Why At-Home Mold Tests Are Inaccurate

In short, DIY mold testing will almost always give you an inaccurate result. These mold kits use testing dishes that you set out for some time, usually 24 to 48 hours, to allow mold spores to fall into the dish. The results are not reliable as this testing method creates both false negatives and false positives. In addition, the test does not identify the type of mold or the source of moisture that is feeding the mold. To effectively eradicate mold, you must fix the water leak or humidity issue in addition to cleaning up the mold itself.

Why You Need Professional Assistance

If you find mold in your home, professional testing may be required. A DIY option will not reveal if the mold is toxic or not - nor will it help you resolve the problem. An environmental hygienist can accurately and safely test for mold and develop a plan to treat existing mold and address the source feeding the fungal growth.
If you're considering options for mold testing in your home, save your time and money and turn to the experts. DIY mold test kits do not provide the value or solutions you need.

Can Employees Return to Work During Restoration?

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed on affected area. Concept of water restoration Black water damage in a Black Lick, PA building

Can Employees Return to Work During Restoration?

If black water invades your business in Black Lick, PA, there are a few things that must be done before your employees can return to the building. Since this type of water harbors bacteria, viruses, chemicals, or other debris, it is important not to allow anyone near the water. You do not need to wait for the entire restoration process to be complete as long as a few key tasks are done ahead of time.

1. Black Water Clean Up Floodwater can contain materials that make it unsafe to enter. This can be caused by a contaminated water source, backed-up sewage systems, or water that has been left to sit for more than 24 hours. When you hire a restoration company for flood cleanup, they will usually extract the standing water and then dry the area with special blowers.

2. Demolition Certain structural materials like drywall, flooring, and carpeting may have become so damaged that they must be taken out. All of these items will be replaced at the end of the restoration process. Since there may still be unsanitary conditions during this phase, employees should not be present.

3. Disinfection Even after demolition, there will be certain items that came into contact with the floodwater. This could include subfloors, walls, ceilings, baseboards, or other materials. All of these must be disinfected before it will be safe for your employees to return to work.

4. Resume Operations After disinfection, the rebuild process will begin. Your building may resemble a construction site during this phase, so it is important to check with your restoration company to ensure it is safe for your employees to be onsite. Once you have approval, you can use air filtration devices to help ensure a safe working environment.
After experiencing black water, you want to keep your operations running as smoothly as possible. By enlisting the help of a professional restoration company, you can protect the health of your business and your employees.

Here Are the Best Candle Alternatives

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Reed diffuser A reed diffuser may seem like a downgrade from a real candle

Here Are the Best Candle Alternatives

Candles look pretty, smell delicious and can make you feel all cozy inside. Perhaps that’s why most people have them lurking somewhere in the house. However, these decor pieces are among the leading causes of house fires in Homer City, PA. Firefighters respond to 1 candle fire in the state daily, and the numbers skyrocket in December.
Here are the best candle alternatives

  • Flameless candles
  • Reed diffusers
  • Wax warmers

Electric Candles

Nothing comes close to emulating the candle effect than a flameless candle. The devices feature a battery-powered bulb that produces a flame-like light, complete with flickering and an optional scent. That makes them a much safer alternative to traditional candles. Also, electric candles are cheap and durable, with prices starting from $5.

Reed Diffusers

A reed diffuser may seem like a downgrade from a real candle, but it offers a risk-free way of eliminating odors instead of masking them as candles do. You can make one using bamboo skewers, a vase, ¼ cup of oil and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Put everything in the vessel and find a spot for it. Once you set that up, it should release a constant fragrance for at least 2 months.

Wax Warmers

Wax warmers are nifty candle alternatives that specialize in the fragrance department. You can use a regular candle with these devices, but there are non-wicked alternatives that come in a wide variety of shapes and flavors. Most warmers have an inbuilt timer that lets you limit the amount of wax it melts, and they can even take remote commands.
There you have it, the top 3 candle alternatives available in the market right now. The idea is to reduce the number of open flames in the house, especially if you have young kids and pets. Think of them as ways of mitigating the risk of a house fire.

How To Handle Frozen Pipes

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet Allowing your faucets to drip slightly can keep warm water running through the pipes and thus prevent freezing

A burst pipe in one of your walls can cause a lot of damage. Before you file your insurance claim, it is good to know what you can expect your homeowner's policy to cover. There are also steps you can take to prevent pipes from freezing in the future.

Expense Coverage

The policy that covers your home in Indiana, PA, can pay for most of the repairs you need when frozen pipes damage your house. Focus on four basic expenses when filing your claim:

  • Repair of torn-out walls
  • Drying of carpets
  • Restoration of structure
  • Temporary living costs

In addition to the trouble of having work done on your home, you cannot file an insurance claim for the broken pipe. The cost of repairing the pipe itself is an out-of-pocket expense, so you want to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Damage Prevention

Water damage from frozen pipes isn't inevitable, no matter how cold it gets outside. There are some precautions you can take to protect your pipes. Add insulation to the pipes, particularly if they are near an exterior wall. Allowing your faucets to drip slightly can keep warm water running through the pipes and thus prevent freezing. You can warm your pipes by turning up the thermostat and keeping the house warmer. Remove hoses from outside faucets so that water doesn't get trapped in them. Finally, turn off your water main if you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. That way, if your pipes do freeze, at least there's no water in them to flood your home while you're away.
Any time there is damage to your home, you need to file an insurance claim to report it. This keeps your provider informed and helps you pay for the necessary repairs. The best solution is prevention, though. Taking care of your pipes helps you avoid future issues.

Caring for Your Office After a Flood

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Hallway of a commercial building with air movers placed on the hallway Water restoration in White, PA

If you are the unfortunate victim of a flooded company, you may think that few things are salvageable. While it's true that extensive water damage may destroy some items, experienced flood restoration companies can save many materials in the office. Using industrial-grade equipment and proven techniques, these teams can clean and restore office equipment, building materials, and personal belongings.

Cleaning the Floors

The floors of your building will often bear the brunt of a broken pipe or weather-related damage. Whether you have hardwood, carpet or some other type of surface, cleanup techniques will work hard to remove the water from these materials and make them usable once more. Technicians will do the following:

  • Remove the flooring and set it out to dry.
  • Use dry cleaning methods to remove all water.
  • Thoroughly dry the carpets or other surfaces.
  • Disinfect the flooring to kill any bacteria.

Cleaning Furniture

Crews can also save chairs, sofas and other furniture with similar techniques used for the floors. The team will use potent chemicals to make sure mold and other fungi don't grow on the items.

Cleaning Documents

Paper items such as files, maps, photographs, and books can suffer heavy damage from a flooded company. The cleanup team will carefully dry any wet documents. Using a freeze-drying process, the technicians can make sure the paper doesn't crinkle when it dries.

Cleaning Electronics

Regardless of the type of business, you run in White, PA, you probably rely on computers and servers every day. Flood mitigation companies can dry and salvage electronics such as these, as well as printers, monitors and televisions. It's important to let the pros handle these items, as there is a risk of shock or electrocution. Professionals know how to delicately and effectively handle this equipment.
No matter how badly of a flooded company you're dealing with, there is hope for a full recovery. Professional teams have the experience and tools to care for the contents of your building.

How SERVPRO Will Help You With the Claims Process

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Electronic insurance claim The SERVPRO team understands how claim services work

If an emergency arises in your building, your first thought should be about the safety of everyone at work. Once you know everyone is out of harm's way, your attention will probably turn to mitigating the disaster. You purchased commercial property insurance for this very reason. Now, it's time to rely on claims services and start the rebuilding process. You, your insurance agent and a professional disaster restoration company will work hand in hand to help you return everything in your office to normal as soon as possible.

Characteristics of the Right Cleanup Team

When it comes to rebuilding your workplace, there may be many emergency response companies to choose from in South Bend, PA. Choose carefully and look for these traits:

  • A proven track record of helping companies like yours
  • An experienced, skilled team of technicians
  • Effective techniques and processes
  • Industrial-strength tools and equipment
  • Good customer service

Going the Extra Mile

It shouldn't take you long to see that SERVPRO will meet your cleanup and relief needs. Not only does the company have all of these important qualities, but representatives will also help you file an insurance claim. Technicians will take pictures of the damage, including areas and materials that were affected. You can use these to provide to your insurance agent. The cleanup team will also keep the insurance company updated on the restoration process and additional damage that should be a part of the claim.

Nice to Have a Partner

You can't move forward until you have the peace of mind that your insurance coverage will take effect. Fortunately, the SERVPRO team understands how claim services work. Together, you can even submit all important information electronically. Your insurance company may not start the claims process until cleanup has begun. The right restoration team will get to work as soon as the day you call for help.
You depend on claim services to help you recover from a disaster in the workplace. The emergency cleanup team should be your ally during this process.

Safety Should Be a Priority During Mold Removal

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Finger of a woman turning off an air conditioning Turn off the HVAC system and fans to keep the spores from spreading

Safety Should Be a Priority During Mold Removal

If mold is discovered in your commercial building in Loop, PA, it is important to have a good plan. You will want to take care of the problem quickly, while watching out for the safety of employees and customers. The following safety precautions for mold removal should be initiated right from the start:

  • Make sure employees stay away from affected areas
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans to keep the spores from spreading
  • Make sure employees don't touch the mold
  • Pay special attention to those who are older and who may have compromised immune systems
  • Contact an experienced mold mitigation franchise ASAP

Trained professionals in your building will get the cleanup process moving quickly. They will also make safety recommendations for the entire building.

Mold Containment

This is a vital step in the process and it comes right after an inspection and damage assessment. It stops the mold from spreading, therefore keeping employees safe throughout your building. Advanced mold removal techniques such as negative air chambers and physical barriers keep the mold in place and give technicians time to remove black mold and other types of fungi and mildew. Attention is also given to airflow so fans and the heating and cooling system are monitored and may be turned off. The next step is the use of sophisticated air filtration systems to capture floating mold spores.

Content Cleaning and Restoration

A high level of mold growth can spread to carpeting, ceiling tiles, furniture, and even clothing. It's important to clean these materials and sanitize them. The proper measures can rid materials of mold and take away the musty odor that is often present.
The final step of the process is restoration, which addresses any part of the building that may need extensive repairs. This could be as simple as some painting, or it could involve drywall repair or new carpeting. Once mold removal is complete, your employees can breathe easily again.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood If you think your flood water in Indiana, PA is Category 3, call a restoration crew immediately

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

All flood water can cause problems for your business in Indiana, PA but these floods aren’t always the same. That’s why industry professionals use categorization systems to classify floods. There are three main categories, each with a nickname:

  • Category One: Clear or White Water
  • Category Two: Grey Water
  • Category Three: Black Water

As you can infer, Category Three water is the last type you want in your business. What makes a flood fit into this classification? Here is what you need to know about black water.

What Is Black Water?

Category Three water is liquid that has touched human feces. Just by contacting this waste, the water becomes grossly unsanitary. This is the main factor that sets this water apart from the other categories.

Is It Unsafe?

Because Category Three water was exposed to feces, it is unsafe for humans to contact. The water likely contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. Wading into this flood water without proper protection can cause bodily harm.

This is one of the many reasons you should never attempt to restore black water damage yourself. Without special equipment and expertise, you cannot fully protect yourself.

What Does It Look Like?

How can you know if your flood is black water? This water may not be completely black. Any water that has a brown color could be Category Three. That’s why it’s important to play it safe and call the professionals.

That being said, black water does typically come from a few places: floods from rain, toilet overflow, and basement floods. Toilet overflow may seem obvious, but many people are surprised that rainwater becomes contaminated. As it falls, rainwater is fine. However, as it soaks the ground and floods businesses, it often carries sewage with it.

If you think your flood water in Indiana, PA is Category 3, call a restoration crew immediately. This dangerous water cleanup should not be treated as a DIY opportunity.

3 Ways Business Interruption Insurance Can Help After a Fire

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

A man with an apron at the door of a restaurant We can keep your business operating

3 Ways Business Interruption Insurance Can Help After a Fire

A large fire or even a smaller fire that destroys critical equipment or inventory can seriously impact business operations and result in lost profits. Business interruption insurance is designed to replace profits lost during the time a business either cannot operate at all, or operates in a reduced capacity, as the result of damage which occurs due to a covered cause of loss. Three ways this coverage can assist you during the fire restoration process are replacing lost profits, keeping your business running and retaining employees.

1. Replace Lost Profits

The primary function of this coverage is to replace the profits your business would have made had the fire not occurred. Lost profits are estimated by comparing your profits during the recovery period after a fire to your profits in previous periods.

2. Keep Your Business Operating

Business interruption insurance can include coverage for costs related to keeping your business operating while the property that was damaged by the fire is being repaired or replaced. Expenses that may be covered include the cost to rent a temporary location, costs of moving your operation to that temporary location, the cost of training employees to operate new equipment purchased to replace equipment destroyed by fire, and miscellaneous other "extra expenses."

3. Retain Your Employees

Most employees cannot afford to go very long without a paycheck. If your business is unable to make payroll while operations are shut down after a fire, your employees may be forced to seek employment elsewhere. Insurance can provide coverage for employee wages while your business is not operating due to a fire.
Commercial property insurance can help you repair your property and get your business operational again. Business interruption insurance can help keep your business from going out of business while those repairs are being made. Exact coverages vary by policy, so you may want to consult with an insurance professional in Iselin, PA, to select the right coverages for your business.

Are Tenants Responsible for Flood Damage?

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Living room with sofa and other furniture after flooding Flooded apartment in Canoe Ridge, PA

Consider the Following When Leasing a Space

If you are a business owner in Canoe Ridge, PA, leasing a property, you may have a few concerns about how to handle storm damage. Who is really responsible when flooding occurs? While the landlord may have some obligation for structural damage, the proprietor should still have renter's insurance to assist with repairs. Consider the following three things when leasing a space.

1. What Should Your Property Owner Do?

Because you don't own the structure, you should contact the management company as soon as you notice leaks or a flooded area. You pay rent for the place; therefore, the bones of the company belong to someone else. That means insurance coverage or the landlord should help with roofing, wiring, carpeting, and plumbing. Look at your rental agreement for clarification. Meanwhile, if you have individual insurance, report it as well.

2. Do You Need Your Own Policy?

Renter's insurance is usually acquired to compensate for personal property. For example, while the walls and ceiling are not yours, the fixtures, tables, and merchandise are. They are of value and would not be covered under the landlord's contract. You could file under your own policy to receive compensation. This is something to review annually with an agent, asking about limits and deductibles. You may also wish to ask about business interruption deals. This would give you funding to relocate or pay for loss of revenue should you need to close for reconstruction.

3. How Is the Shop Handled?

After contact is made, you may need to work with both agencies to handle insurance coverage. Be prepared to show photos of your establishment prior to the trouble. In addition, snap pictures of anything the moisture touched. You'll want checks cut for replacement items. Hire a water remediation company to review the scene, providing an itemized list of needed improvements. They should discard anything that is water-logged, dry out the area and sanitize the store. Then, they'll patch any areas, getting it back up and running.
While your landlord has duties, it may not be enough. Renter's insurance gives you a bit of extra income to replace your own valuables.