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A Few Facts About Floodwater

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood Water from a storm is considered Category 3 water.

Things You Need To Know About Floodwater

Storm season in Black Lick, PA, can wreak havoc on your home. One of the most common problems that occur is water damage from floodwater. Homeowners often are tempted to clean up this type of mess themselves, but that is a mistake. Contact with the water should be avoided. To protect yourself and your family, there are some things you need to know about floodwater.

Contamination Category

Water from a storm is considered Category 3 water, which is highly contaminated. Removing it and repairing its damage requires professional help from water remediation specialists. Storm water can pick up contaminants from multiple sources:

  • Backed up sewer system
  • Agricultural or industrial runoff
  • Toxic waste site overflow
  • Oil or gasoline from driveways or streets

You never know where the water flooding your home has been. It's better to be on the safe side and avoid contact with it.

Contamination Levels

One of the first things that remediation experts are going to do when they come to your home is to determine the extent of the water damage. To do this, they discern the level of the Category 3 water. At Level 1, the water comes from an interior source. The amount of water is miniscule and hasn't soaked into anything yet. The damage caused at this level is relatively easy to fix. At Level 2, the water also comes from an interior overflow, but it affects a much larger area and may show signs of seeping into floors or walls. During a flood, however, the water comes from an outside source and causes quite a bit of damage. These factors make it Level 3 water. Not only must the water be removed, the area must also be disinfected before contractors can begin to make repairs.

Category 3 water damage necessitates drying, cleaning and repairing. If your home has been flooded by storm overflow, it is important to have the problem assessed and remedied by certified experts.

How Is Water Damage Classified?

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers in a kitchen floor Air movers in a kitchen after a water loss.

The Categories Of Water Damage

Restoration professionals classify water damage into three categories. The category corresponds to the degree of contamination. Category One water damage has the least contamination and requires the simplest cleanup process, even though damage from a pipe break can be extensive. Areas exposed to contaminated water must be disinfected. Learn more about the categories of water damage.

Category One

Category One water is not contaminated. This water originates from a supply line and has several distinctive qualities:

  • Clean
  • Treated
  • May burst or spray

This category of water damage may involve large amounts of clean water. It is important to shut off the water supply and contact a plumber as soon as possible. Gather water and take immediate action to remove all standing water, as Category One water can degrade into contaminated water in as little as 48 hours.

Category Two

Category Two water is sometimes referred to as gray water. This category includes water from appliances, baths, or showers. This water may contain chemicals or microbes, but does not contain solid waste. It is still necessary to disinfect areas exposed to Category Two water.

Category Three

Category Three water is also known as black water. This water is highly contaminated and either contains solid waste or originates from outdoor flooding. There are a few common causes of incidents involving this category of water:

  • Sewer backups
  • Flooded toilets
  • Heavy rain
  • Rising bodies of water

It is a good idea to wear personal protective equipment while cleaning up Category Three water. It is also necessary to thoroughly disinfect any area exposed to this water.

These are the three categories of water damage used by experts. A homeowner may clean and dry minor leaks, but larger incidents or contaminated water may require the expertise of a residential cleanup and restoration firm in Homer City, PA. Professionals can properly treat primary damage and prevent additional damage.

The Importance of Regular Sprinkler Maintenance

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

watering lawn with sprinklers A sprinkler system helps keep your landscaping looking beautiful.

Commercial Sprinkler Maintenance

Beautiful landscaping helps attract people to your business in Indiana, PA, and regular irrigation maintenance is crucial to its upkeep. In order to avoid sprinkler flooding and other complications that may arise from a poorly maintained system, you need a yearly checkup, but don’t stop there. A solid maintenance plan starts before you turn on the sprinklers.

Yearly Appraisal

Every year, you need to conduct an audit of your sprinkler system. There are several objectives this check is designed to meet:

  • Correcting inefficiencies to conserve water
  • Finding strategies to minimize evaporation and lower water bill
  • Maximizing general effectiveness of the irrigation system

An audit in early spring helps you locate problems, such as leaks or crushed pipes, that may have happened during the winter months. No matter when you perform your yearly checkup, though, it is an important habit to establish.

Regular Maintenance

Before you turn on your water sprinklers, you need irrigation maintenance to ensure that everything is working as it should. You shouldn’t wait until you get your utility bill or have to call water restoration specialists to clean up after a flood to discover a problem. If you check your sprinkler heads regularly, you are more likely to notice cracks or other damage and replace them before they oversoak your lawn. You can also make small adjustments to sprinkler heads that have been jostled by pets, people or inclement weather so that they work properly. Maintaining your sprinkler system on a regular basis means finding problems quickly so you can fix them before they turn into costly repairs.

The sprinkler system on your commercial property in Indiana, PA, helps keep your landscaping looking beautiful, but if problems go unchecked, they could cost you a lot of money in bills and repairs. Don’t wait for your yearly audit to correct them. You can avoid high water bills and sprinkler flooding with consistent irrigation maintenance.

Fire Damage Restoration: The Process

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage. Severe fire loss in a kitchen Fire damage in Homer City, PA.

The Process of Fire Damage Restoration

After a fire, there are a lot of steps that are taken to get you safe and back in your home. Most of this process is handled quickly, from emergency service response to initial insurance phone calls. While fire restoration is the primary goal, and you have likely called on an emergency restoration company in the Homer City, PA, area to assist you, it is worth it to slow down and understand the process.

1. Inspection and Assessment

After fire crews respond to your residence and put out the fire, you can immediately call an emergency restoration company to come out and perform an inspection and assessment of your property. During this initial visit, a team will look over your property for structural, fire, water, and smoke damage, and once finished, they will provide you with an estimate of the work to be completed.

2. Boarding Up and Tarping

In addition to fire restoration, these companies will offer to board up and tarp your home, preventing any vandalism, theft and liability issues with your insurer. Most homeowner’s policies mandate some level of mitigation after a disaster to avoid further damage to your property.

3. Water Removal and Cleanout

Damage cleaning begins after you and your chosen restoration service have agreed on terms and signed contracts. During this process, the service will remove all excess water, thoroughly dry the property, clean away any soot and residue, and remove debris and rubbish, clearing the path for restoration to begin.

4. Restoration

Restoration is the stage where you will begin to see your property come back to life. Structural issues will be corrected. Ceilings will be resealed. Floors will be cleaned, sanded, stained and polished. Then, once walls and floors are back to the way they were, everything will receive a fresh coat of paint before being returned to you.

Fire restoration is the light at the end of the tunnel for those who have suffered a fire disaster. Restoration is when their house becomes home again.

3 Ways To Prevent Water Damage While On Vacation

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Water leakage in a door frame Water damage from a pipe leak.

Three Preventative Measures Before Leaving a Home

A broken pipe, appliance leak, or flooding can cause water damage while you are away from home. If this occurs, it may be some time before you can schedule water pipe repair. A few simple steps can limit the extent of damage to a residence in Indiana, PA. Take these three preventative measures before leaving home.

1. Check For Leaks

Inspect pipes, water hoses connected to major appliances, and the water heater for any visible signs of leaks. Keep an eye out for condensation, cracks, or rust. Make sure that no shingles on the roof are damaged or out of place.

2. Shut Off Water Valves

The easiest way to limit the extent of damage due to a broken pipe or appliance malfunction is to turn off the water supply. Shut off the main and then drain pipes by running water and flushing toilets. You can also turn off the water supply valves on appliances. This may prevent the need for water pipe repair immediately upon your return.

3. Test the Sump Pump

Fill the sump pit with water to make sure the pump drains. Check the power source and clear debris out of the intake screen, pit, discharge pipe, and vent hole. You may also want to install a battery-powered backup to prevent pump failure and avoid a flooded basement in the event of a power outage.

Homeowners may also want to clear gutters, insulate exposed pipes, and leave cabinets containing plumbing open to allow air to circulate. Maintain an interior temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep pipes from freezing. It is a good idea to have someone you trust check in on your home. If your residence sustains water damage while you are away, schedule water pipe repair and a consultation with a water damage restoration company as soon as you return to Indiana, PA.

Avoid Costly Claims: Reduce Your Risk of Water Damage

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Isolation ducts and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house Insulate your pipe to keep them from freezing.

Reduce Your Risk of Water Damage

Each year, companies in the Homer City, PA, area are forced to file a business claim due to water damage that, in many cases, could have been avoided. Damage can come from a number of sources, such as a pipe break, flooding due to storms, sewer backup or a broken water heater.

An average claim can run into tens of thousands of dollars, and depending upon the type of insurance, secondary damage due to mold or mildew may not even be covered. In addition, your insurance rates could increase after filing a large business claim.

Happily, there are steps you can take to help avoid this. Here are some tips:

1. Protect Pipes

Accessible or exposed pipes should be insulated to keep them from freezing. Frozen pipes can easily burst. Most hardware stores will be able to supply the correct material for insulation.

2. Keep the Building Temperature Stable

Even when the business is closed, you should always maintain a stable temperature inside the building. Keep the thermostats set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Keep Drainage Clear

Always be sure that water can drain away from the building. Keep downspouts and gutters free from debris, and make sure that any drainage areas are uncluttered.

4. Seal Leaks

Inspect foundations and exterior areas to make sure they're free of gaps or cracks. If found, seal them to prevent water seepage.

5. Protect Valuable Assets

Any items such as electrical equipment should be kept raised above floor level to protect them from flooding. Any valuables that aren't waterproof should be kept in a safe place that will protect them from harm.

6. Consult with an Expert

You might want to also consult with a professional water remediation company. They can inspect your building to see if there are any hidden or overlooked problems, and offer more advice on damage prevention.

No one wants to have to file a business claim when a flood or broken pipe damages their building. Following the tips outlined above can save you a lot of trouble by preventing the harm before it has a chance to happen.

Smoke Damage From a Fire Next Door

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire Soot and smoke can be damaging to your property.

Smoke Damage Caused by a Fire Next Door

When a business next door experiences a fire, it can have consequences for your building too. Smoke damage can leave an oily, black residue on your walls and ceiling, discolor your furniture and carpets and leave a lingering odor. You may not realize it, but most fire insurance covers smoke and soot damage caused by neighboring fires. Hiring a fire remediation company in Cresson, PA, to handle the smoke cleaning for you is the safest, quickest and most effective way to return your property to its pre-fire condition. Follow these steps to file a claim.

1. Contact Your Fire Insurance Provider

Don’t wait to contact your provider. Get in touch with them immediately after the fire and verify the correct procedure and necessary materials to file a claim.

2. Get Contact Information for the Property Owner

If you don’t already have it, get contact information for the property owner whose building burned. Your insurance provider will want to talk to them and see a copy of the police report.

3. Take Pictures of the Damage

Your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to assess the damage, however, they will also want physical evidence of the smoke damage. Take photographs or video footage of the affected areas to include with your claim.

4. Make a List of Damaged Items

Make an inventory of everything affected. If you have the original receipts showing what you paid for these items, this can be helpful if they need to be replaced.

5. Contact a Fire Remediation Company

Soot and smoke from a fire can be toxic to your health as well as damaging to your property. A professional fire remediation company in Cresson, PA, has specialized equipment and knowledge to clean up smoke damage safely, quickly and efficiently. As soon as you call them they can come to assess the damage, develop a remediation plan and quote you the cost for your insurance claim.

Restore Your Electronics Post Fire With These Tips

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire Kitchen fire in Black Lick, PA.

Smoke Damage Tips

Whether your home was recently subject to a small kitchen fire or a large house fire, there is a good chance that some or all of your electronics have been affected. Your electronics are equipped with little fans that keep them cool while they’re operating. Unfortunately, they also tend to suck in little dust and dirt particles. While dust and dirt buildup is standard for electronics, soot and smoke is not. Furthermore, whereas small amounts of dust and dirt are harmless, small amounts of soot and smoke can wreak havoc. For this reason, it is essential that cleaning your electronics is part of your fire cleanup routine. Here are some smoke damage tips you can use to save your electronics post-fire:

• Shut down your equipment and disconnect all cables.
• Open your electronics and allow them to dry.
• Don appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, to prevent inhaling soot yourself.
• Ground yourself to the computer with professional grounding equipment.
• “Sweep out” all the dust with a can of compressed air. You may find it handy to have a toothbrush or small paintbrush on hand for this step.
• Clean delicate components with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
• Allow all components time to dry, then reassemble.

Reach Out to Your Fire Cleanup Team for Advice

You should not attempt to clean your electronics on your own if you do not feel confident in doing so. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up damaging delicate components and ruining your equipment for good. A Black Lick, PA, fire restoration team can refer you to an electronics specialist and/or advise you on the equipment you need to clean your equipment safely and effectively.

Dealing with fire and smoke damage can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be bank-breaking. Save your electronics with the fire cleanup tips above to reduce the overall cost of damage.

Combatting Mold: The Best Purifiers for Mold Reduction

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Air filter for HVAC system - filtration concept If you are concerned about airborne mold, a purifier is a good investment.

Combatting Mold

No matter how clean an environment is, mold spores are in the air. Your home in Homer City, PA, is no exception. You can, however, use an air filtration system to help minimize the amount of mold in the air and help keep it from settling and growing. When you are choosing an air purifier, you want to make sure that it can trap mold without multiplying it. For this, you probably need a High-Efficiency Particle Air filter.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters have a few advantages over other filters on the market:

  • They pick up smaller airborne particles, such as mold spores.
  • They deny mold the moist environment it needs to survive.
  • They remove 30 to 40 percent more particles from the air than other filters do.

When spores enter the HEPA filter, they tend to dry out and die from lack of moisture. If you use an activated carbon filter in your air filtration device, you can even eliminate most of the musty odor caused by excessive mold in the air.

Top Purifiers

The best purifiers, of course, are the ones used by mold remediation specialists. Those machines are probably too expensive to be practical for an in-home model. A good air purifier for your home can cost anywhere from $200 to $1500 and above. Fortunately, some of the ones with the highest ratings fall toward the lower end of the price range:

  • Oransi Max - $479
  • BlueAir 450E - $629
  • OV200 Air Purifier - $329

Most of the purifiers use both a pre-filter and a HEPA filter. They can run all day and all night, giving you cleaner air around the clock. If you live in a particularly damp environment, it is a good idea to add an antimicrobial filter to the system as well.

If you are concerned about airborne mold, a purifier is a good investment. No matter what your air filtration needs may be, a top-rated purifier with a HEPA filter is your best bet.

How To Prepare Your Building for Spring Floods

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts and removed tile flooring. Being proactive can help you keep your commercial building safe from flooding.

Spring is a time for new beginnings, but it’s also time for a spring flood or two. With the sun coming out and the snow melting in Indiana, PA, your business might be at risk. To avoid the worst water damage and flooding, here are four things you can do to prepare for the season.

1. Check Your Drains

With the extra inflow of water, your drains need to be fully functional. Rain gutters, downspouts, and roof drain divert the water from vulnerable parts of your building. If a gutter or downspout isn’t fully functional, it can lead to liquid that enters the building and causes a lot of water damage. You might want to check for any blockage or potential obstructions near your storm drains.

2. Create a Flood Plan

Even if you protect your roof from potential water damage and flooding, your building might still be exposed. A great way to deal with these types of disasters is to create a plan that you, your employees, and customers can follow if needed. Locate any safe nearby locations that everyone can travel to.

3. Move Your Valuables

If a flood does occur, it will most likely affect your lower floors the most. You can move electronics, important files, and other equipment on a higher floor to prevent damage. If you are concerned with losing important data, backup files and put them in a secure location.

4. Maintain Your Pipes

With fluctuating temperatures outside, you might deal with a frozen pipe or two. These pipes can burst and lead to serious water damage, but by keeping the building at a decent temperature and thawing out pipes when the problem arises, you can prevent the worse damage.

Being proactive can help you keep your commercial building safe from flooding. By being aware of spring thaw and preparing your structure for the worst, you can minimize damage and continue business throughout the year.