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3 Steps To Help Prevent Outdoor Flooding

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Steps To Help Prevent Outdoor Flooding Landscaping can prevent outside your Homer City, PA home flooding issues

Landscaping Tips To Prevent Flooding

Dealing with flooding due to a rain storm in Homer City, PA, can be a nightmare for homeowners. The excess water can cause outside flooding issues, and if left unchecked, this can lead to flooding issues in your home. Cleanup costs can rise quickly, and depending on the level of flooding, put you out of your home while storm damage restoration services are repairing the damage. Thankfully, there are several landscaping tips you can use to prevent flooding in the future.

1. Find Problem Spots

Finding the areas of flooding is an important first step. After a rain storm, go outside and look around your house. The nearer puddles are to your house, the more likely it is that water will get into your home. Identifying these areas will help you determine the best course of action for preventing flooding.

2. Use Mulch

Mulch is common in landscaping — and not just for its visual appeal. It also has the benefit of absorbing water in the event of outside flooding. There are different materials used to make mulch, and it’s important to be sure you are getting one that absorbs water well, such as mulch made from wood. Wood mulch tends to be heavier, which helps with rain drainage. There are several types of wood mulch, including chips, bark, and nuggets.

3. Install a French Drain System

A French drain can be especially beneficial for preventing flooding outdoors during rainy seasons. The name may make it sound intimidating and complicated, but it’s simpler than you might think. It is essentially a trench with a pipe in it that diverts water away from your home. You can install it yourself, or have it professionally put in.

Landscaping can be a smart way to prevent outside flooding issues. After surveying the areas of flooding around your home and in your yard, consider using a heavier mulch and having a French drain system installed. These can help absorb and divert the water away from your home, so you don’t have to stress about the headache of flooding anymore.

5 Things To Include in Your Home’s Emergency Fire Plan

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Things To Include in Your Home’s Emergency Fire Plan It's important to have a fire escape plan in your Black Lick,PA home

One step for home safety that many experts in Black Lick, PA, recommend is to have a fire escape plan. This can help keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of a fire. Here are some steps you may want to consider including in your plan.

1. Regular Maintenance of Detectors

It’s important to check the batteries in your smoke detectors and the pressure levels in your fire extinguishers regularly. Functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers can help you find and potentially put out a fire before it becomes disastrous.

2. Know Where the Exits Are

One important part of any emergency escape plan is knowing where your exits are. Locating the closest exit can help you get your loved ones safely out of the home in the event of a fire.

3. Have a Safe Place to Meet

Another thing you may want to include in your fire escape plan is a safe meeting point. This can allow your family to find each other in the event they get separated, and it can allow you to account for every individual in your home.

4. Know the Emergency Numbers

You may also want to include knowledge of emergency numbers and medical information in your emergency escape plan. For example, knowing your doctor’s name and if there are any allergies can help emergency personnel provide proper treatment after the fire.

5. Plan for What to do After the Fire

After a fire, a plan for repairs and the restoration of the home will probably need to be made. A fire damage professional may be able to help.

It’s important to have a fire escape plan and to make sure everyone in your home knows what it is. Know where your home’s exits are, where fire extinguishers are placed, and where the safe meeting point is. It’s also a good idea to know the emergency numbers for Black Lick, PA, and your medical information, as well as planning for what to do afterward.

4 Storm Preparedness Tips for a Property Manager

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Storm Preparedness Tips for a Property Manager Take steps to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters in Homer City,PA

Property managers in Homer City,PA, are often responsible for more than just the care and maintenance of the building. They typically locate tenants, secure financing of units or offices, screen potential clients, and do the never-ending paperwork associated with taxes. But beyond the scope of everyday disputes, office repairs, and rent collections, a property manager may also work toward storm preparedness with the following four tips.

1. Be Prepared

Being prepared is often about more than knowing how to shutter windows and formulating an evacuation plan. It can mean having a meeting room, emergency rules, a list of contacts, and extra supplies. For example, if 20 people are safe and secure within the building during a storm, what bathroom facilities will they use if the water isn’t working? Where will they sleep if the storm rages over night? Who is in charge during the crises? Being prepared can help alleviate possible tensions.

2. Run Scenarios

Knowing how to respond to an emergency is for everyone. The front desk, the maintenance crew, and the cleaning staff can be included in bi-annual emergency drills for storm preparedness. Inform the tenants about the scenarios and invite them, their families, or building employees to join in. After running the drills, there may be holes or weaknesses in the plan that can be corrected before an actual storm strikes.

3. Have a Checklist

The building staff can rely on a list of emergency phone numbers, important contacts, and evacuation plans if they know the checklist has been created and who has been designated to be in charge. Sheltering a group of individuals can be difficult without rules, medical supplies, and food. To be thorough, include as much information as possible on the check list.

4. Watch the Weather

As the storm season approaches, check the weather frequently to watch for severe weather warnings. This can offer staff and clients as much time as possible for evacuation.

Storm preparedness can help during the worst-case scenario, but it can also give peace of mind. During a storm, property management is often about much more than a building; it frequently involves knowing how to keep structures, employees, and tenants safe. If you can’t avoid water damage, contact a water restoration expert for help.

4 Tips for Cleaning Furniture After a Flood

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Finding water in your home in Indiana, PA, can leave you wondering what to do next. No matter the source of the flooding, you may want to figure out a way to get your house back to normal. Working with a residential water remediation team can help you repair your space. This crew of professionals can even help you clean your waterlogged furniture. Keep these tips in mind as you go through the restoration process.

1. Let it dry out.

You're likely eager to get your life back to normal after dealing with flooding in your home. However, you cannot generally speed through the restoration process. Your furniture has to completely dry out before you can start repairing it. If you skip this step, you may encourage the growth of mold. Removing the furniture from your house can facilitate drying. Taking pieces apart can also help speed up the drying time.

2. Try to remove contaminants.

If the source of the water in your home came from a broken pipe, you might not have to worry about much bacteria or mold spores in the water. However, if the water source was a sewage backup or river overflow, your furniture may have soaked up a few contaminants. Using a cleaning solvent to disinfect the items may be necessary.

3. Use the best cleaning method.

While solvents and other cleaners may work well for some pieces of furniture, others may have to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is often needed for upholstered furniture that has non-colorfast or delicate fabric.

4. Replace broken parts.

Some parts of your furnishings may have been soaking in water for an extended period of time. This can wear out parts. Rather than keeping damaged pieces, consider replacing broken or warped items whenever possible.

Not all of your furniture will be able to survive standing water in your home. Knowing how to repair water-damaged furniture can help you feel more confident throughout the remediation process.

So, Your Building Is Flooded: How to Begin the Pre-Cleanup Process

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial So, Your Building Is Flooded: How to Begin the Pre-Cleanup Process Water loss on a museum due to a pipe break in Homer City, PA

A broken pipe that leads to a flooded company can leave a property owner confused about their next steps, and, depending on the type of flood water, whether sewage or clean water, a business owner may wonder if it’s even safe for them to enter the building. Assuming that the building is safe to enter, there are a few things that a property owner should keep in mind before even beginning the cleanup process.

1. Make a Claim

Depending on the level of damage, a business owner may want to make a claim, and if a claim is necessary, it should be done before any of the following pre-cleanup work. Most insurance companies may expect the business owner to abide by specific mitigation practices.

2. Turn off Electrical and Gas Systems

After making an insurance claim and before entering the building, the property owner may want to turn off all electrical and gas systems to ensure that there is no risk of electrocution or carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Remove Carpets and Furniture

After all necessary safety precautions have been taken, it is possible to enter the once flooded company and remove any damaged carpets, furniture, or other porous items and see if dry cleaning or another professional cleaning service can salvage them.

4. Open Walls

While it can be difficult for a business owner to inflict more damage on their building, it can be necessary to open walls and expose any potentially wet insulation. Wet insulation that remains hidden behind walls can lead to mold growth. If an owner is uncomfortable with cutting into their walls, they can check the Homer City, PA, area for restoration specialists.

While this list does not even begin to cover the cleanup process necessary after a flooded company, it does provide a valuable starting point for any business owner who is confused about the process and only wants to know how to begin.

Protecting Your Home: Selecting Storm Shutters for Your Windows

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Protecting Your Home: Selecting Storm Shutters for Your Windows SERVPRO can repair any damage after a storm in Indiana, PA

During the storm season in Indiana, PA, most homeowners will have to deal with high winds. While there are many ways to protect your home during this time of year, one of the most practical solutions is the addition of storm shutters, some requiring professional installation. Below is a list of the most popular ways to shield your home from strong winds, from the most affordable to the most expensive.

1. Plywood

While plywood is not the most attractive option and is not something you want to leave on your house year-round, it does offer a significant amount of protection at around one dollar per square foot.

2. Storm Panels

Storm panels are another nonpermanent addition to your home and are hung on a steel channel that is attached to your home. These panels cost under $15 each, making them an affordable addition to your storm preparation efforts.

3. Accordion Style

One permanent option is to install accordion shutters, which cost around $25 per square foot. These polycarbonate or metal window coverings are mounted on the outside of your windows and are equipped with a locking arm that you put in place when they are drawn to protect from high winds.

4. Roll Down Style

Another permanent option is rolling window covers, which cost around $30 per square foot. Mounted along tracks on either side of the window, these protective window coverings use mechanical triggers as opposed to hand cranks to deploy.

5. Colonial Style

A more attractive and permanent solution, colonial window coverings cost about $500 per window. Found in multiple styles, these coverings can be made in a variety of materials and textures to match the design of your home.

6. Bahama Style

Another attractive and permanent solution is the Bahama style window coverings, which resemble awnings when open, and cost around $1000 per. This protective option is an excellent addition to your home because it offers protection during storm season and shade the rest of the year.

Whatever style of protective window covering you choose during the storm/hurricane season, it is a good idea to protect your windows from high winds.

The Facts About Black Mold

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Facts About Black Mold Mold removal from your home or business in Indiana, PA

Any homeowner certainly knows about mold and the effects it can have. You may have even dealt with this issue before. Mold comes in many forms, but the most concerning is black mold. It’s critical that you take this substance seriously and that you know how to decrease the chances of it finding its way into your Indiana, PA, home.

What Is It? The Basics

Scientifically speaking, black mold is called Stachybotrys chartarum. As it feeds on materials in your home such as drywall, carpet and insulation, it releases spores that can then spread throughout your home. As its name suggests, this type of mold is dark black, unlike other molds, which are green or gray.

Where Does it Thrive?

It’s vital that you understand where this unwanted guest typically lives. There are certain environments where you can typically find it in abundance. Some of these include the following:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Other areas of your home where it might be damp
  • Other areas of your home that have higher humidity

How to get rid of It

At the very least, mold isn’t pleasant to look at or to see on your walls or floor. Mold cleanup doesn’t necessarily require specialized expertise, though you could call a professional mold cleaner to handle this situation. You can also use a mixture of household items such as dish soap, baking soda and water, or bleach and water to get rid of it.

Worst-Case Scenarios

In the most severe instances, you’ll need to enlist the help of a mold remediation company. These professionals will ensure that your home is mold free. They’ll do this by using high-powered cleaning agents and disinfectant chemicals. It might even be necessary for the company to tear out and replace your carpet and drywall.

If you spot black mold or another type of mold in your home, don’t delay. Call a professional immediately to ensure you can eradicate this pest today.

Flood Planning for Businesses

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Planning for Businesses When a storm hits in Indiana, PA, sometimes flooding is unavoidable.

Blowing winds and flooding are expected in Indiana, PA, where your business is located. What actions do you take to avoid flood damage before and during the storm? What steps do you take afterwards?

Before a Flood

Sometimes, flooding can occur with little to no warning. Be prepared ahead of time so you can take action quickly when a flood is imminent:

• Review your commercial property insurance information. Often, flood damage is not covered unless separate flood insurance is added to the policy.
• Prepare a flood plan for your business. Include important contact information and procedures to keep staff safe. Record plans to secure the property and protect the contents.
• Train your staff on flood plan and evacuation procedures. Review regularly and update the plan as needed.

During a Flood

Act fast to avoid significant flood damage in a storm. Follow your flood plan to ensure the safety of your employees. Do the following to protect the contents of your business:

• Move important contents above ground level, either to an upper level of the building or to a different location. This includes furniture, electrical equipment and files.
• Use sandbags and plastic sheeting to block flood waters around doors and windows. Use wood to board up openings.

After a Flood

Once the flood waters have settled and your staff is safe, take stock of the storm damage. To avoid secondary problems, immediately make plans for cleanup and repair:

• Contact your commercial property insurance agent.
• Arrange for a water restoration company to assess the storm damage and begin the repair process.

When a storm hits in Indiana, PA, sometimes flooding is unavoidable. By planning ahead, you can keep your employees safe, and reduce the risk of damage to your commercial property and its contents. Knowing the steps to take after a flood are just as important so you can return your business to pre-flood condition as soon as possible.  For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com/.

Cleaning Up Damage After a Commercial Fire

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Cleaning Up Damage After a Commercial Fire Recovering from a fire in your Indiana, PA, business can be devastating.

Recovering from a fire in your Indiana, PA, business can be devastating, and getting everything back to the way it was can be an arduous task. Before a professional restoration company can get your company back to normal, an extensive clean-up process must take place to ensure that anything that can be saved is removed, and any smoke damage or water damage is mitigated.

Smoke Cleanup

In order to know what tools to use, the restoration company has to first identify what's caused the smoke damage or soot damage. Types include:

• Soot from Fuel Oil – puffbacks from oil-burning furnaces
• Protein Residue – mostly invisible, acrid odor, damage to varnish and paint
• Dry residue – powdery smoke from wood or paper
• Wet residue – sticky and strong-smelling smoke from synthetics or plastic
• Miscellaneous – includes residue from extinguishers and powder from fingerprinting

Once the types of damage are identified, various types of advanced methods are employed for smoke cleaning. Ozone treatments are used to get rid of odors, take out smoke particles and act as a disinfectant. These are most effective with smoke residue from proteins and other organics. To get into cracks and crevices where smoke has penetrated, a thermal fogger will be used. The cloud emitted from the fogger is able to neutralize any particles of smoke it comes into contact with.

Water Cleanup

After a fire, there may be extensive damage due to water caused by fire hoses, or burst pipes and water heaters. This must also be taken care of before any restoration can begin. Steps are taken to make sure any water sources are sealed off and all areas are completely dried and free of mold or mildew.

Truck-mounted and portable extractors are commonly employed to remove water and clean carpets and upholstery, using vacuum systems, pumps, heaters and chemical cleaning solutions. Air-moving equipment and dehumidifiers are also used to decrease drying time by moving water-saturated air out and increasing evaporation.

Together, these techniques and equipment ensure that any smoke damage or water damage to your place of business is eliminated before the process of structural repair can take place. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com/.

Preparing for a Home Adjuster’s Visit

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Having to deal with a disaster in Indiana, PA, can feel intimidating. On top of that, you have to feel organized and prepared enough to answer all the questions of a home adjuster when you contact your insurance company. Even if you have little to no experience dealing with insurance claims, there are some key steps you can take to prepare yourself before you file a claim.

Keep Good Records

Documentation is key for filing an insurance claim — the more descriptive you are, the better. Things to note in your documentation are:

• What item(s) are damaged
• How much it would cost you to repair/replace damaged items
• When you bought damaged items

Preparation is important to help the visit from the home adjuster go smoothly; it can also speed up your claims process. It's a good idea to have a list written out of the damaged items, with receipts if possible. If you are working with damaged items, it can be helpful to take pictures or record video of the damage to help substantiate your claim. If your property or items were destroyed, try your best to recall what information you can when receipts aren't available.

Make a List of Structural Damage

In addition to your records for any damaged items, you should make another list of structural damage you would like to show the adjuster, such as missing shingles or cracks in the wall or foundation. Are there any signs of electrical damage? Often, insurance will pay for the inspection of electrical and structural damage to the house or other property, such as an inground pool, shed, or garage. When obtaining bids from contractors for the damage, be sure that they are itemized bids that include materials and labor.

Whether you're dealing with property damage, structural damage, or both, the most important thing to remember is: document, document, document. Write down the names and contact information of everyone you speak to, including your water restoration professionals. Make a copy for yourself of whatever you submit to the home adjuster for your claim — even lists and receipts. This will help you feel more prepared and your claim process faster. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com/.