Recent Posts

What To Do When You Smell Mold But Do Not See It

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

In many situations, a building owner will notice a distinct mold smell but not actually see it. This fungus smell is a serious issue in a commercial building because it prevents people from doing their jobs effectively. However, it is also entirely possible that the musty odor is coming from something else other than mold. The only way you can get any kind of peace of mind is if you hire a professional team in Pottsville, PA, to come out to inspect the entire property.


1. Contact a Professional Remediation Company


The last thing you want to do is tear your building apart trying to find the mold on your own. Mold can grow in some precarious places, such as the basement and attic. It may be dangerous for you to try to access these areas on your own, so instead, have a professional who knows what precautions to take to inspect the mold smell.


2. Use an At-Home Mold Testing Kit


There are mold testing devices you can acquire on your own when you notice a significant mildew smell. These kits are relatively inexpensive, so they are worth it as a preliminary measure to see if you have mold at all. They may tell you there is mold in the building, but they will not indicate where it is located.


3. Act Fast


Whether you want to test for mold on your own or hire professionals for the task, you need to do it quickly. It is very easy for your nose to become acclimated to various scents, and over time, you may not even register the pungent odor.

Mold can grow in crawl spaces, insulation and basements, so it is extremely likely that if mold ever grows in your building, it will be out of sight. Take care of a mold smell before it leads to greater complications.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com.

3 Expected Damages After a Fire

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can strike at any time and for a multitude of reasons. Kitchen accidents and electrical fires are two of the most common fires that business owners suffer from. Do you know what to do in case of fire damage? Some owners aren’t even sure what damages they may face after a fire. Here are the three most common issues faced after a fire.


1. Fire Damage


The most obvious damage done to your business will be from the fire itself. No matter how the fire started, odds are you are going to have some damage from the flames. This could be scorched walls, furniture or destroyed belongings. While you may see visible signs of fire damage, it’s best to leave a closer look to the professionals. In some cases, unseen issues such as damaged wiring may be at work.


2. Smoke Damage


With the flames comes smoke. Smoke not only leaves an odor, but it can spread soot throughout your home. In addition to having to clean your belongings and purify your air, you may also have to check to make sure your electronics still work. Smoke and soot can end up in the internal components and cause electronic devices to overheat.


2. Water Damage


When it comes to fire, many business owners don’t think about water damage. If professionals put out your fire, then odds are you’re going to have some water damage. Keep in mind that a fire hose uses a lot of water to put out flames. This water can settle into carpets, drywall and other belongings.

Restoration efforts cannot begin until you know the type of damage that you’re dealing with and the extent of it. When it comes to a building fire, you will usually have a combination of all three when the flames are put out at your Pottsville, PA business.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com.

Your Annual Furnace Maintenance Checklist

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever tried to turn your furnace on in the winter and felt a jolt of panic when it wouldn’t work properly? This type of situation can be both inconvenient and dangerous, depending on how cold the temperature is in Pottsville, PA, when furnace problems strike. Malfunctioning furnaces can also pose a fire risk. If your furnace does catch on fire, you’ll need to hire fire cleaning and smoke cleaning professionals to repair the damage.

Fortunately, regular maintenance can prevent most unexpected furnace problems so you have heat when you need it the most. Here are a few of the top items that should be included in your annual furnace maintenance checklist.


1. Clean All Moving Parts


The moving parts in your furnace tend to stir up air and collect dust over time. As dust collects, it can become a fire hazard and could require you to hire fire cleaning services. Keep moving parts operating efficiently by regularly cleaning the motor housing, all belts and pulleys and the blower assembly. You’ll need to remove the front panel to access some of these parts.


2. Lubricate Oil Ports


Not all furnaces have oil ports, but if yours does, it should be lubricated every year. Simply apply two to three drops of a non-detergent motor oil (10-weight) directly to each port. Be careful not to apply too much oil.


3. Inspect All Belts


If your furnace has a blower, it also has belts that can become worn out, frayed or damaged over time. If you notice any wear and tear, replace the belts with new ones as needed.


4. Hire Professionals


Anytime you are uncomfortable maintaining your own furnace, you can hire professionals to do it for you. If you’ve already experienced some damage due to fire or smoke from your furnace, fire restoration experts can take care of your fire cleaning needs. They have the specialized tools and experience necessary to get the job done right.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com.

What Makes Flood Water So Dangerous?

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

It is a common misconception that restoration after a flood is just a matter of getting the water out of the home and drying things out. The reality is that flood water is far different than having a burst pipe sending clean water into your home. The potential water damage from black water is messy, smelly and dangerous. It isn’t just threatening to your home and belongings. Here are a few of the contaminants that you need to be concerned about.

1. Soil

At first appearance, you might not think of soil as being dangerous. After all, you have plenty of it in your yard. However, soil contains fertilizers and other chemicals from lawn care and other activities. These may be rated safe for outdoor use, but they aren’t so safe when they are in your home and absorbed by your belongings. It is also challenging to get soil and its hidden contaminants removed, which is why a professional water damage restoration team is needed to deal with the black water from a flood.

2. Microorganisms

There can be high levels of microorganisms in that water as well, in part because overloaded sewer lines back up and introduce fecal matter to the slurry. The longer the water sits in your home, the more these contaminants can grow and become even more of a problem.

3. Other Materials

Water can pick up any number of dangerous materials during its path into your home, including sharp materials such as metal and glass. A nasty scratch from a large piece can become infected because of the other contaminants in the water. But it isn’t only large chunks that pose a danger, as just a small crystal of glass entering into the bloodstream can be deadly.

While you are right to be concerned about water damage when black water enters your home during a flood, don’t forget about the hidden dangers involved. Seek professional help to restore your Pottsville, PA home safely.
Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on storm damage.

How To Identify the 3 Types of Flood Water

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re dealing with flooding in Pottsville, PA you may be eager to start the clean up process as soon as possible. It can be helpful to understand the three classifications of water so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with from the start.

1. Clean Water

Clean water is any water that comes from a source you could safely drink. While it can still cause a lot of damage if it floods into your home, it may not be as difficult to clean up as the other types of water.

These are common sources of clean water:

• Snow Melt
• Rain
• Sinks
• Showers

It is important to remember that even though the water may initially be from a clean supply line, it can quickly become contaminated after prolonged contact with unclean surfaces. It can be best to hire a damage restoration company to help you clean up water, no matter what type it is.

2. Contaminated Water

Contaminated water is sometimes referred to as gray water. This water can con contain harmful microorganisms and substances that are dangerous if ingested. Gray water is usually the result of clean water becoming contaminated. It is not safe for drinking and should be cleaned up as quickly as possible.

3. Black Water

Black water is the most contaminated type of water. It usually comes from extreme outside flooding or sewage leaks. If it gets into your home, serious measures may have to be taken to decontaminate and disinfect the items it comes into contact with. Porous items, carpet, and drywall may have to be replaced after black water flooding.

Flooding can create a serious mess, but its effects can usually be reversed. A damage restoration company should be able to help you handle flooding from any of the three types of water. If contaminated water has entered your home, these professionals can help you with the deep cleaning procedures required to handle it.
Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on water damage.

When To Call a Restoration Company

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

After a broken pipe floods your home, flood restoration services are imperative. If you want to save your belongings, you need professionals who know what they are doing, what to look for and how to salvage as much as possible. If you are having trouble deciding whether you should call a restoration company, the answer is usually that you should. Here are a few of the things that they can do for you.

1. Uncover Items That Need To Be Cleaned

A sewer cleanup company or restoration service can extract the water from your home and remove damaged materials. Once this is complete, you will have a better view of the items you need to clean. Floods are a mess. They can be difficult to navigate. Without someone to help, you may wonder how to begin, what to throw away and what to keep. During a pipe burst cleanup, you might not have those answers, but a professional will.

2. Throw Out Items That Cannot Be Cleaned

You will not be able to save all of your damaged items during a pipe burst cleanup. Carpets, stuffed animals, paper products and bedding are among the items that you have to throw away. Once you clear out the trash, you can focus on what is left.

3. Clean Items That Are Left

You do not have to clean your belongings alone. Your restoration company will have the right tools to do a thorough cleanup. These experts may even have cleaning solutions that will help to clean any mold or mildew caused by the flood. Keep in mind that a cleanup company has access to equipment that most people do not.

At the end of the day, a pipe burst cleanup can feel like a long process. Fortunately, there are people who can help. If you have a flood in Pottsville, PA it is never too early to call for help.
Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on commercial water damage.

Does Insurance Usually Cover Mold?

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Does Insurance Usually Cover Mold?

Mold and fungus growth is not often covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy in Pottsville, PA. If a home has a history of mold issues, mold coverage may be impossible to get. Part of the reason mold insurance is so rare is because of the level of damage this spore can do to a home. Not only can it be destructive, but it is also costly to remove. If you notice any signs of mold, it’s best to work with mold removal experts as soon as possible to help mitigate the damage done to your house.

Depends on the Damage Source

Some policies cover mold caused by certain water sources. For example, sudden catastrophes, such as burst pipes or sewer backups, are more likely to be covered than lingering maintenance issues. Your mold coverage likely will not include the following sources of water damage:

Continuous faucet leaks
Drainage problems in yard
Condensation buildup
Flood waters

Because coverage can depend on how the mold was caused, it’s important you investigate the source. This will help you figure out if the damage and cleanup is covered by your insurance policy.

Review Your Policy Regularly

Insurance policies can change as the years go by. Many providers choose to reword their coverage for fungus growth because this problem can spread so quickly in homes and lead to huge claims. In order to best understand your policy, you need to review it annually.

Look for a Change in Policy

You may be able to revise your coverage to get protection from the damage mold and fungus growth can do to your home. Some insurance providers may have a mold cap, which would limit the amount of mold coverage or the items the coverage pays for. Other providers may allow you to pay a higher premium for limited coverage related to mold. You should talk with your insurance provider in Pottsville, PA to learn more. Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on mold.

Effectively Using Your Fire Extinguisher

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Effectively Using Your Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a must for every home in Pottsville, PA but you may be concerned about using yours if you’re inexperienced. Luckily, whether it’s fighting a kitchen fire or stopping fire damage in its tracks, this equipment is designed for rapid deployment regardless of the user’s experience level. To familiarize yourself ahead of time, remember these four steps for using an extinguisher effectively.

1. Determine Appropriateness

Different fires, such as grease fires, require different extinguishers, so it’s important to know what yours is – and isn’t – approved for in advance.

While your items can be salvaged with professional restoration services, the same cannot be said for loved ones, so it’s best to evacuate if there’s any doubt. Using the wrong kind of equipment can potentially exacerbate the fire or create additional dangers.

2. Gain Safe Ground

If you’re confident you have the right type of extinguisher, place at least six feet between you and the nearest flames. If there are others in the house, make sure they’re conscious and instruct them to contact emergency services once they’re outside.

3. Remove Safety Pin

Every fire extinguisher uses a small pin to prevent unintentional discharge. Hook your finger inside the pin’s opening and pull it free in one fluid motion. If you’re in a commercial property, there may also be a zip tie, but these are designed to easily break and should snap with a normal level of force.

4. Squeeze and Sweep

Locate the root of the flames, often the stove top in a kitchen fire, while aiming the nozzle. Steady the extinguisher with one hand on the lower lever and the other on the hose, squeezing the handle to disperse the contents while making slow sweeping motions with the hose until the flames are smothered.

Practice and Share

Now that you’re better equipped to use your fire extinguisher, consider practicing by deploying it outside and passing on your knowledge to other members of the household. The more people in your home who can use an extinguisher effectively, the better your chances of staunching a kitchen fire before it grows into significant fire damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on fire damage.

4 Essential Storm Preparation Tips

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

4 Essential Storm Preparation Tips

Part of running a successful business involves preparing for difficult events. Severe storms and natural disasters can lead to flooding in your Pottsville, PA business, causing water damage and possibly even suspending normal operations. Although there is no way to guarantee your business’ safety from flood water, there are several ways to prepare for a storm. Here are essential tips that can reduce the risk of a flooded building affecting your business.

1. Protect the Building

There are several ways you can protect your business’ physical property:

Installing shutters or storm windows and doors
Maintaining the roof properly
Anchoring heavy furniture, such as shelves and filing cabinets, to the walls
Placing sandbags in areas prone to flooding
Securing HVAC equipment in raised areas to prevent water damage

2. Back Up Your Data

Along with protecting your company’s Pottsville building from flood water, it’s also vital to secure your data and intellectual property. Make sure to back up all your company’s documents regularly, preferably to an off-site location. Prioritize your contact list in order of importance and make sure to save essential information in multiple locations. Seal physical copies of essential documents in waterproof containers. Develop a plan to continue operations from a temporary location if necessary.

3. Create an Emergency Kit

In the event a flood occurs while you and your employees are in your building, make sure you have the supplies to keep everyone safe. Your emergency kit should include items such as these:

Battery-operated radio
Supply of clean water
Non-perishable food
Flashlights and batteries
First Aid Kits
Blankets and cots

4. Make a List of Contact Information

If you’re dealing with a flooded building, it’s helpful to have essential contact information in one place. Make a list of the local hospital’s phone number, the FEMA hotline, and your insurance agent. Complete your list with the number of a local emergency restoration company so you can get started on cleanup and repairs right away if your building is damaged by flood water. Visit http://www.SERVPROpottsville.com for more information on storm damage.

Winter is right around the corner be prepared!

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Tips for Preparing your Home for Winter Weather:

    • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes. 
    • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of the home. 
    • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shutoff valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
    • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shutoff. 
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.