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SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Unusual Flooding Situations to Avoid

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Wherever Water Flows the Damage Can Go

 You may think of water damage that is bad enough to require intervention only comes from hurricanes or thunderstorms, but many times water damage can come from busted pipes or an overflowing sink, tub or toilet. While the flooding may not result in the same large amount of water, it starts on the inside of the home so there are different circumstances to consider. If your home sustains water damage from the inside, it is just as important that you call a professional water removal company. There are nuances to internal water damage that are starkly different from water damage as the result of a flood.

One case in which an inner water damage event could occur is if you have a busted water pipe under the sinks. Even the best laid plumbing plans can result in a pipe busting. Now, you may think of a frozen pipe busting in the cold of winter, but that’s not likely. Not to say that it couldn’t happen, but it is not likely. Most leaks are going to be caused by a simply jar or movement of the drain pipe. Older homes are more likely to sustain this type of water damage, although new houses are often not worn in enough for the contractor to be aware of a loose joint.

Here are a few steps you can take if your house gets flooded by faulty pluming.

  • Open windows in the house to vent moist air out. Put as many fans as you can around the wet spot to accelerate the drying process.
  • Remove pools and puddles of water with a wet/dry vacuum. The more water you remove with this method, the less there will be that needs to dissipate naturally. For hard-to-reach places, mop the water up and send it down the drain.
  • Turn on one or several dehumidifiers to remove the water from the house. Dehumidifiers work best in enclosed areas, so close windows when they are in use. If the water is confined to a certain area, such as a bedroom or bathroom, place the dehumidifier inside and close the door. Remember to empty the water tank on a regular basis.
  • Use your HVAC system as a giant dehumidifier. Cool the house down with the air conditioner. The air conditioner is made to remove humidity from the air, so by cooling the house down, it is also sucking the moisture out of the air. When the house has cooled, turn the heat on until it reaches 80 degrees. Warm air evaporates and holds more moisture than cool air so by doing this, you are saturating the air with moisture. Once 80 degrees has been reached, turn the air conditioner back on to remove the saturated air from the house. Repeat this process until the house has dried.

To avoid damage to your home, furniture or valuable items, you must take some steps to ensure that you don’t return home from grocery shopping one day and find your living room covered in water. You also don’t want to ignore inner water damage. You may think that simple bleach will kill mold if it grows, but that is a myth. Bleach does not kill black mold. If the water was on the surface long enough, the evaporation can penetrate the walls and ceiling. Even if it was a thin layer of water, mold can grow, and it can grow quickly.

You will want to consistently check the drainage pipes under the sinks to ensure they are tight and connected. This helps you to feel safer when you leave your house, knowing that the pipes are tight. Another way to ensure you don’t have leaks is to systematically check the toilet to make sure it flushes correctly. I know this sounds cliché, but you never know. It would be safer if you check out everything often. Sometimes a small child can throw something into the toilet and it will clog, then they will flush and run away like bandits.

If you try everything and take the steps above, and still feel that the damage may be deeper than you know, like under the floor boards or in the walls, call a water damage professional immediately. It’s so important to stress to you that mold is the bandit you want to avoid. Water that interacts with air indoors, can cause toxic, dangerous mold spores to form. Be smart and be safe.

Restore don’t Replace

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

How to Save Your Heirlooms and Beloved Memories

When your home has been damaged by water, often your belongings can be restored without the need to be replaced. You may have very valuable items, even photos, that are in need of restoration that you may have the urge to toss out and replace. It is a very emotional time when people are separated from the fondest memories they hold, including photos of loved ones, antiques and relics from travel. The attachment can be very intense, and water damage may feel devastating.

With the proper planned strategy, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of having to replace your belongings. Taking the appropriate measures to protect your valuables is the key to restoring not replacing them if your home is damaged by water or fire. Sometimes smoke damage can make valuable items look like there is no hope but there is. There are many ways that clothing, furniture and even photos can be restored without being replaced.

Speed is the key to protecting those things that you love but protecting them before something terrible happens is even more important. There are many ways that you can prevent your beloved artifacts from being exposed to the brunt of damage. If you run your own business, it’s also important that you take special care to protect and back up your business files somewhere away from any damage.

How can your furniture be restored after a small fire when they were exposed to smoke damage?

Since most furniture is wood it can easily soak in soot and odors from the smoke. It’s intoxicating to be around. Because furniture can be so unique, each type of furniture may require a unique cleansing and restoration protocol.

For example, on a finished piece of wood there is a layer of flammable varnish. Most furniture will have this protective coating. Sometimes a simply cleaning agent can remove the soot, but the odor is a different story. Some furniture never looses the smell. But, if your valuable heirloom belonged to an ancestor or holds a special meaning to you, the smell can be tolerated in exchange for the item staying with you.

Unfinished wood is a bit different and is more likely to sustain damage by smoke and soon. It’s not well protected at all and its vulnerable porous make-up will allow it to just soak in the odor and soot. The inside of drawers is usually unfinished wood, for example. If you have this type of furniture, just know that this may be the case where you need to replace the piece with something new.

A good restoration specialist will come to your assistance quickly to give you an honest estimate of what it will take to get your furniture back to the state it was before the damage occurred, as if it never even happened. So, before you go out and start to file insurance claims for your valuables, turn to a professional restoration team to get in there and get your belongings saved for you.

Water Damage after Hurricane Sandy

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare for Weather Damage Before It Happens

HOW WOULD YOUR PROPERTY WEATHER A HURRICANE? You see it on the news. The flooded streets and people being rescued from their homes. Like rushing rivers flowing through towns and cities, the water of a hurricane knows no mercy. Quickly rising waters will destroy the contents of a residential home and business quickly, but the damage is often not assessed until the waters subside. For example, Hurricane Sandy (unofficially referred to as Superstorm Sandy) was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Inflicting nearly $70 billion (2012 USD) in damage, it was the second-costliest hurricane on record in the United States.

Water damage seeps into the porous structures of the contents of a home, and nothing is immune to what will come next. But what if the damage is not as intense as from a hurricane? What about a leaky pipe or minor water damage to flooring or furniture? The damage incurred can be minimal or it can be total. As a homeowner, you owe it to yourself and to our precious belongings, to remediate mold and think about what you would do if this should happen – even before the time comes to need water damage services.

Many homeowners simply don’t want to plan for water damage to their homes, because they do not feel it will happen. In Pennsylvania, there have not been many named hurricanes or tropical storms, but recently, in the last 6 months, the floods in Maryland, not related to a tropical storm, did the same water damage as a hurricane. In May 2018, devastating flood waters ravaged Ellicott City, Maryland an area that had just recently gotten its feet after similar floods two years ago.  This town was torn to shreds after just recovering from torrential rains from 2 years prior. Maryland is also not on the hurricane map, yet the water damage may never be fully cleaned.

How do you prepare now for the potential of water damage?

The truth is that you never know when this type of disaster is going to strike, but no home and no area is immune to the potential. To mitigate this situation years before it may or may not happen, have a plan in place and a “What If” checklist. Here are 5 Tips to Planning for Water Damage Due to Flooding.

  1. First, take stock of your heirlooms and valuables. Put all photos of ancestors into a water proof box and make digital copies of them for preservation. This will save you a lifetime of heartache by ensuring family moments are always protected.
  2. Secondly, make your “What we will do if our house is flooded” preparedness list. What can you move to the top floor even before a flood such as with a storm? What can you cover with a tarp?
  3. Follow up with your insurance company with foolproof plan for mold-remediation in the event your home sustains flooding in Butler County, PA. What does it cover? What does it not cover? Fill in the insurance gaps related to flooding and insurance. This will save you so much time if flooding happens in your home.
  4. Re-Enforce the floor structure of your home so it will take longer for any water to get inside. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that the water will recede, and the water damage of your home will be decreased.
  5. Prepared to act quickly when the water recedes, and you have access to your belongings by calling a water damage specialist that can be there quickly. While a water damage specialist cannot replace your belongings, a water damage specialist can restore most belongings as if the damage never happened.

Not all Fires Blaze – Some Hide

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Preventing Total Loss of Property or Life

There are millions of house and business fires every year. When a fire breaks out, it is simply a matter of time before the fire consumes the entire property. However, if your home or business is exposed to a fire, there are steps to take to ensure that anything that can be saved – is saved. While you first may think of fire damage as an all-consuming event that results in a pile of ashes, there are many types of fire damage from small to massive. Knowing the depth of each type of fire damage can give you guidance on how to deal with the damage to your home or office.

If you experience a fire, or have ever been in a fire, you know the smell; burning, ashy and sickening.

“When my house burned in the early 1980’s I was just a small girl. I can remember the smell of smoke the next day even though my things were not actually enflamed. The smell can be recalled at anytime because it was so horrible.” – Carla

Even though a fire starts in one place, the smoke can penetrate all places and spaces. However, let’s say you are smelling something burning but have no idea what you are looking for. The best way to ease the worry is to do a walkaround inside of your house and try to get as close to the smell as possible. Also, put your hand on the walls everywhere to see if you feel a hot spot. If you feel a hot spot and you smell smoke, you may have an electrical fire getting ready to start. This is the time to call 911. If you get a trained smoke analyst to your property before the fire starts, you may be able to prevent the fire.

Fires are not to be played with or taken lightly. The forest fires of 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina consumed over 1000 acres of National Forest while consuming hotels, lodges and vacation cabins on its path. The authorities delayed evacuation because they thought the timeline of the fires would be later on. In reality, the wind took a mighty shift and started to accelerate the blaze. Consumer businesses and residential properties alike suffered both fire and water damage. Smoke from the mountain fires was seen in the air as far as 300 miles South of the actual blaze.

To be sure you are safe, always be alert to what you smell, hear and feel. These preventative measures could save your life and your property. If your home or office sustains any fire or water damage, you need to quickly call an expert in fire and water damage to help you save what you can, but your life is the most important thing to save in case of a fire.

Removing Water From Your Commercial Property

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding The Solution to Standing Water From Flooding

It’s all around you. It can nourish your body, fill your swimming pools… and cause thousands of dollars in damage. Water.

Whether it’s flash flooding – like what we’re seeing now in parts of Texas - from a storm, a water leak, roof leak or otherwise, Commercial Water Damage can be devastating. You have to deal with things like mold, damage to electronics, furniture just to get the list started. That’s why it’s so important that the water is removed as soon after the incident as possible.

Commercial Water Removal is just one of the many water damage restoration services we offer here at SERVPRO of Butler County, PA. Our goal is to extract the water quickly to prevent damage from mold and secondary water damage. We use professional equipment to minimize drying time, so you can get back to business as quickly as possible.

Here’s how it works:

  • If extensive restoration is needed, you’ll need to arrange for your business to be temporarily moved out. We offer move-out services to commercial properties as well as homes.
  • In emergencies (I.e. right after the flooding/standing water is noticed) we’ll send a team to remove as much water as possible with submersed pumps and high-power wet/dry vacuums and other specialized equipment designed for removing as much water as quickly as possible.
  • We’ll inspect the carpet and carpet pad to determine whether it should be removed to prevent further damage to the subfloor. (If you have a concrete floor, this shouldn’t be much of an issue.)

Equipment Used In Commercial Water Removal

  • Moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
  • Infrared cameras may be used to find “hidden” water behind walls and ceilings.
  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps are used for continuous pumping of high-level water.
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

A Few Things You Need To Know About Water Damage

  1. Water can dissolve almost anything. It’s know to some as the Universal Solvent.
  2. In less than 3 hours, a sheet of drywall sitting in ½ inch of water can wick up to 6 inches of water.
  3. It only takes 48 hours at max for mold to grow in a moist, untreated environment.
  4. A small puddle of water around your water heater could indicate a bigger leak coming soon. It’s best to get it serviced immediately if you begin to notice standing water.

In Closing

The longer water stands, to the more damage will be done to your business. Don’t wait. If your business has been subject to water damage from flooding, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. No one likes a mold-infested business with saggy floors. Our team can get you and your business back on your feet in no time.

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Tips To Treat Water Damage

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Let's face it. Water damage can cost you thousands. Water floods in from storms or water line breaks, then before you know it, you're house is swimming in 6 inches (or more) of the wet stuff. 

Your valuables; electronics, furniture, cash, appliances etc. are all inflicted with some form of damage.

Luckily, it's not the end of the world. You can restore your home (and your life) after water damage. 

Here are a few basic tips we came up with to help you out:

  1. Find the Source: if you don't know where the water is coming from, find out as soon as possible. Is it a leaky roof? Maybe a busted drainage pipe from your washer? Perhaps even a broken water main? Take the time to inspect these things. 
  2. Try to Stop The Flow: Once you find the source of the water in your home or business, find a way to make it stop. Repair pipes, replace water heaters if they're the culprit. 
  3. Contact a Professional: Next, you want to get a professional out there to help you determine the extent of the water damage, and what the next best course of action is for remediation. 
  4. Contact Your Insurance Company: Finally, you want to avoid as many out-of-pocket costs as possible. Your home or business insurance may cover the cost of the damage. Get in touch with them, and file a claim to get you started.
  5. Take Preventive Measures: Once your home has been restored from the damage, you should take more preventive measures to keep the same thing from happening again. (Prevention IS the best medicine in this case.)

While water damage can be devastating we here at SERVPRO of Southern Butler County are here to help you get back on your feet. 

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Reports: Professional and Efficient Water Damage Restoration Services from SERVPRO of Southern Butler County

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is nothing to play with. Experts warn that neglecting to deal with the damage soon after it happens can increase the chances of a nasty mold outbreak, and all of the negative health effects that come with it. The prospect of water damage restoration is daunting, we get it. That’s why the team here at SERVPRO of Southern Butler County is here to get your home or business back in working order in no time.

Experts will go through a series of processes to make the restoration process go smoothly. Two of the most important ones are:

  1. First, we will evaluate the home/business to determine the extent of the damage done. This will give our technicians a clear picture of what to expect in terms of actual restoration, final payout figures and whether the job can be covered by the home/business owner’s insurance.
  2. Next, the source of the damage must be prepared. This is one of the most important parts of the whole restoration process, because it prevents the whole nightmare from occurring all over again.

Different Categories of Water Damage

You may not know this, but there is actually a way to categorize water damage into 3 distinct categories. How are these categories determined? It’s actually quite simple. Water damage is categorized by the level of contamination in the water.

Water from clean sources – like the pipes from your kitchen sink – are much easier to restore than something much worse, like sewage or septic line breaks. Eww.

Category 1: This refers to damage caused by water from the fresh running water pipes in your house, such as those that deliver water to your sinks, tubs, washing machines and other plumbing fixtures.

Category 2: When damage occurs from dishwashers, toilets with urine only, dishwashers, washing machine and any other drainage pipe that contains contaminants.

Category 3: This is where things start getting gross. Damage in this category comes from totally unsanitary sources, such as sewage, septic lines, a toilet with fecal matter, floodwaters from rivers, streams and many other sources. This is the highest category of water damage.

Even water that comes from a clean source can mix with contaminants from either of the other two categories along the way, and this can change the classification of the damage.

Water damage will almost never contain itself to the area where the leak started. Make sense, right? Water flows freely and will continue to travel until it’s stopped by something like a wall. Then, if the leak is great enough, even further… It can damage furniture, drapery, appliances and other valuable belongings throughout the home or business. Some items unfortunately will have to be thrown away, as water can cause permanent damage to electronics – like your home or office computer – as well as create a higher risk of mold in things like furniture, drapery etc. Luckily, other items can be dried, cleaned and decontaminated and you’ll be good to go.

Understand that when you work with your local SERVPRO of Southern Butler County, your home or business won’t be restored overnight (usually). We go through a very thorough process to make sure that everything is clean, dry, decontaminated and ready to go back to business as usual. We finish the job by bringing in equipment to:

  • Dry your subfloors
  • Scrub surfaces
  • Dry the home/business

Doing things this way both gets your home or business in the shape it needs to be, and prevents further damage to your property.

Some equipment, like dehumidifiers may be left on the premises for a few days to let them do their work. We keep a close eye on the drying process to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Mold inhibitors will often be used after the bulk of the restoration is finished, to keep you from having any issues with mold sneaking in later on down the line.

Finally, your home can be deodorized to get that stagnant water smell out.

Let us help you get back to business.

Contact us now at 724-473-0745

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Provides Commercial Restoration Services

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is known for helping homeowners get back on their feet after damage caused to their home by water, fire and Mother Nature’s storms. But we’re much more than that. We offer a full range of maintenance and restoration services for Commercial Business as well.

Working with us will ensure you have a clean, safe workplace for you and your employees. Your customers will be impressed, and your employees will come into work with a higher level of confidence in your company / business.

Here are some other reasons why our Commercial Services are the key to success for your business.

  • Preventative Maintenance: No matter the nature of your business, one thing is certain. All buildings are made up of parts that degrade and eventually fall apart. For example, an almost unnoticeable leak can start in the men’s restroom, and before you know it, your bathroom is flooded. When you work with us, we’ll help you get a step ahead of the curve by making sure problems are taken care of before they’re problems.
  • Improved Visual Appearance: SERVPRO of Southern Butler County offers services to keep your business looking sharp and clean for your customers and employees. When you hire us to maintain the appearance of your business, we will make sure it stays looking good as (or better than) new.
  • Simplified Management: When you have tons of contractors and services providers sending you bills left and right for different services, it can be hard to keep up. When you work with SERVPRO of Southern Butler County, we bring everything under one roof. We offer fire, water and electrical services along with many others. This helps to simplify your book keeping so you can get back to what matters most: running your business.

To sum it all up, we help your business runs smoothly and efficiently.

Learn More about our Commercial Services by contacting us today at 724-473-0745

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Helps Flooded Basement in Cranberry PA

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Helps Flooded Basement in Cranberry PA This flooded basement and customer possessions were soaked but we were able to remove the water and get the basement completely dry !

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County helps restore A flooded basement can flood at any time, although most flooding occurs during heavy rainfall.  Since basements are the lowest level of the building and built primarily underground, they are especially prone to damage.

This home in Cranberry PA was unfortunately flooded during a recent rain storm.  Even though their yard had adequate drainage, the amount of water that fell during the storm overwhelmed their french drain system.

When we received the call, we were onsite within an hour to inspect the damage and begin the water extraction process.  In less than 4 days, we were able to dry not only the home structure, but even some of the items that were wet.  

If water damage is not handled properly it can cause damage to the home's structural components as well as other health risks such as respiratory problems due to mold.  

When disaster strikes your home or business, you can count on the PROS at SERVPRO to take care of all of your needs.  We will also work directly with your insurance company to ensure that the job is completed 100% to everyone's satisfaction.  

If you have questions or need help, call us today at 724-473-0745.  

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Reports: Dangers of Fire Extinguisher Dust and Propellant

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Reports: Dangers of Fire Extinguisher Dust and Propellant In this photo you can see just how much fire extinguisher dust and propellant remain to be professionally cleaned!

SERVPRO of Southern Butler County Reports:

So, you had a small kitchen fire or a small fire in a room in your home that you put out using a fire extinguisher.   Now, not only does your home smell like the smoke and soot from the fire, but you see a thin white layer of fire extinguisher dust everywhere and your nose and throat burn....

What do you do?  If the answer is call SERVPRO of Southern Butler PA then you are correct!

Call 724-473-0745 and we will immediately dispatch a first responder to your home or business!