4 Tips for Cleaning Furniture After a Flood
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
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
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.
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
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:
- 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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/.
Take Care of Flood Damage With a Flood Cut
Flooding can cause major problems in basements and other areas of the home. When excess water is not taken care of immediately, in as little as 24 hours, you may be dealing with mold contamination and structural damage. Depending on flood severity, one of the best ways to prevent mold growth from a recent storm or sewage backup in Indiana, PA, is to ask a restoration company to do a flood cut.
When Is a Flood Cut Necessary?
Whether a flood cut is needed or not depends on the extent of the damage and what type of flooding has occurred. Here are three types of water explained to help you decide when it’s time to call a restoration company.
• Potable Water: Generally clean; from sink faucets, shower heads, broken toilet tanks, snowmelt or rain. This water is often the least damaging when taken care of quickly.
• Gray Water: Slightly health-hazardous; contains chemicals from washing machines, dishwashers, shower and sink drains. This type of damage may be more serious and require a flood cut.
• Black Water: Very hazardous; includes dishwasher water and sewage. This water contains various bacteria and diseases that should be avoided. More serious action such as a flood cut will likely be needed to protect the health of household members.
What Is a Flood Cut?
Building materials are very porous, allowing water to seep into the walls, soak through drywall, and leach into insulation (if present). A flood cut involves cutting and tearing out the drywall of any walls affected in a flood, at least 12 inches above the flood line, to ensure complete damage repair.
It’s even more imperative with insulated walls to tear out and replace these materials, because once insulation becomes wet, its insulating ability decreases dramatically. If the wall isn’t insulated, less invasive techniques are available that can dry everything out just fine.
Regardless of the type of flooding your home experienced, it’s often best to have a professional inspect and make recommendations to decide whether a flood cut will be needed. In no time your home can be free of damage and contamination and back to normal!
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com.
Best Ways To Extinguish a Grease Fire
The kitchen can be an ideal place to mingle with family and friends. Here, you can cook your favorite dishes and enjoy your creations. The kitchen is also a common place in the home where fires start. One of the most notorious types of fire is the grease fire. This unique challenge can quickly get out of hand and spread. If you don’t know how to properly put it out, you could in for some terrible consequences.
Cover it Up.
If you’re frying or grilling something tasty, but the grease ignites some flames, you need to act quickly before the fire finds its way to other parts of the kitchen and your Indiana, PA, home. Your first steps are critical.
• Grab a nearby metal lid and place it over the top of the flames.
• Use a cookie sheet to cover the area where the fire started.
• Leave the lid or cookie sheet in place until it is cool.
Do not use Water.
As a child, you learned water can quickly put out fires. However, this isn’t the case with grease fires. In fact, this can cause the fire to spread. If you have a grease fire, never use water.
Try Baking Soda.
Hopefully, you’ll have some baking soda in the cabinets of your kitchen. If covering the fire isn’t working, or if the fire has gotten too large, try pouring a generous amount of baking soda on the flames. This should smother it and extinguish the flames. This will make your fire cleanup a little messy, but it will save you extensive damage and heartache. It’s important to not use similar materials such as flour or baking powder.
No one wants to see a grease fire at home. The good news is that if you know how to act promptly by using these strategies, you can put an end to the fire before it causes major problems.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com.
Mold 101: What You Need To Know
The last thing you want to find in your Indiana, PA, business is a patch of fuzzy gray mold growing on the wall, in the fridge or between the pages of a book. It can be unsettling, and you surely have questions. Before you panic and reach for the bleach, make sure you know exactly what you’re up against with this helpful list of frequently asked questions regarding mold growth.
1. What is mold, and what causes it?
Mold is a type of fungus, meaning it is a living organism. It releases spores, which can affect air quality in indoor spaces. Also, mold feeds on whatever it grows on: food, wood, paper, and other porous surfaces. If you find mold in your building, it means that the air is too moist. High humidity and water damage can cause mold if not dealt with properly.
2. How do you get rid of it?
The most important factor in removing mold from your building is moisture control. You can use detergent and water to clean mold from most surfaces, but this alone will not stop mold growth. The root of the problem lies in the levels of humidity in your home. To prevent regrowth, address the moisture problem.
3. How do you prevent mold?
The key to mold prevention is moisture control. Use dehumidifiers if you notice your home is feeling humid, and routinely open the windows to improve circulation. Never paint over mold, as the fungus may keep growing under the paint. After experiencing water damage, remove moisture from the space immediately. Thoroughly dry all affected surfaces within 48 hours of the incident, and consult with mold remediation professionals if you have any concerns.
Remember: the absolute most important step in keeping mold out of your Indiana, PA, building is keeping the humidity under control. It thrives in damp environments, so whether you are currently dealing with an outbreak or simply hoping to prevent mold growth down the line, make moisture control your top priority.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROindianacounty.com.