Recent Posts

Taking Control: A Comprehensive Guide to DIY Mold Cleaning in Your Home

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

mold and drywall damage Practice regular maintenance to sure your home or business is mold free.

Mold is a common household problem that can pose health risks and cause damage to your property if not addressed promptly. While it's essential to hire a professional mold remediation service for extensive mold infestations, minor mold growth in small areas can often be addressed with DIY mold cleaning methods. In this blog, we will explore some tips for DIY mold cleaning to help you effectively and safely tackle mold issues in your home.

Gather the Right Tools and Protective Gear

Before starting any mold cleaning project, make sure you have the right tools and protective gear. This may include items such as a scrub brush, mold cleaner or bleach, water, gloves, goggles, a mask or respirator, and plastic sheeting or tarps to cover surfaces and contain the mold spores.

Identify the Mold Type and Affected Area

Different types of mold may require different cleaning methods. You can often visually identify mold based on its appearance, such as black, green, or fuzzy growth on surfaces. However, it's recommended to have a sample of the mold tested by a professional to determine the exact type of mold and the appropriate cleaning approach. Once you've identified the mold type and located the affected area, isolate it to prevent cross-contamination to other parts of your home.

Dry the Area and Remove Moldy Materials

Mold thrives in damp environments, so it's important to address the source of moisture before attempting to clean mold. Fix any leaks or water issues in the area and allow it to dry completely. Once dry, remove any moldy materials, such as carpets, drywall, or insulation, that cannot be effectively cleaned. Seal the moldy materials in plastic bags before disposing of them properly.

Clean the Area with Mold Cleaner or Bleach

For hard surfaces such as tile, glass, or countertops, you can use a mold cleaner or a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) to clean the mold. Apply the cleaner or bleach solution to the affected area and use a scrub brush to thoroughly clean the moldy surfaces. Avoid mixing bleach with other cleaning chemicals as it can produce toxic fumes.

Dry and Monitor the Area

After cleaning, thoroughly dry the area to prevent mold regrowth. Use fans, dehumidifiers, or open windows to increase airflow and reduce humidity. Monitor the area regularly for any signs of mold regrowth, such as musty odors or discoloration, and take prompt action if mold reappears.

Practice Mold Prevention

To prevent mold from recurring, it's essential to address any sources of moisture, such as leaks, condensation, or high humidity, in your home. Keep your home well-ventilated, use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, and promptly clean up any spills or water damage. Regularly inspect and clean areas prone to mold growth, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics, to prevent mold from taking hold.

DIY mold cleaning can be an effective and cost-saving option for minor mold issues. However, it's important to exercise caution, wear appropriate protective gear, and follow proper cleaning methods to ensure safety and effectiveness. If you have extensive mold growth or are unsure about the type of mold you're dealing with, it's best to consult with a professional mold remediation service. Prevention is key to keeping mold at bay, so make sure to address any sources of moisture and practice regular maintenance to keep your home mold-free.

Fire and Water Damage: The Unbreakable Connection

4/9/2023 (Permalink)

fire damage kitchen When fire damage happens in your home, give SERVPRO a call.

Fire and water damage are two of the most common causes of home damage. Fire damage can be caused by a fire in your home, or it can happen when you use a fire extinguisher on an electrical fire. Water damage can occur when there is flooding in your home, or if you leave something wet in one place for too long and mold develops.

The relationship between these two types of damage is obvious, if there's a fire in your house, it will likely cause some sort of water damage as well--but how exactly does this happen? And what does this mean for homeowners who want to avoid these types of problems altogether?

Effects of Fire Damage

When a fire breaks out, the damage can be extensive. The effects of smoke and soot on your property are just as damaging as the flames themselves. In fact, it's common for people to think that their home has been completely destroyed when they see smoke damage at first glance. Fire suppression systems are designed to prevent this type of damage from occurring by extinguishing fires before they get out of control and cause extensive structural damage or even loss of life.

However, even if you have an effective fire suppression system in place at your business or home, there will still be some residual effects from any fire that occurs on site and those effects can vary greatly depending on how long it took for firefighters to arrive on scene (or whether anyone was injured).

Effects of Water Damage

Water damage is a serious issue that can cause significant damage to your home. When water floods your home, it can cause mold growth and destroy property and belongings. If you have ever had to deal with this type of situation before, then you know how much work it takes to get everything back in order again.

Although flooding is one form of water damage that homeowners are most familiar with, there are other ways that water can infiltrate your home as well.

Causes of Leaks

Leaks from plumbing pipes or appliances (such as dishwashers) Roof leaks caused by storms or other weather events. Water seeping into cracks in foundations caused by settling over time

Fire and water damage go hand-in-hand. When a fire breaks out, it can cause extensive damage to your home or business. Not only will you have to replace any items that were destroyed by flames, but you may also need to repair structural damage caused by the fire itself.

The combination of these two disasters can lead to much higher repair costs than either one would have caused on its own. This is because there are certain steps that must be taken when repairing after both types of disasters.

Preventing Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common causes of fire, and it's important to be aware of this when you're dealing with fire damage in your home.

Here are some tips for preventing water damage. Check for leaks around windows and doors, as well as any plumbing fixtures like sinks or toilets. If you find a leak, make sure it's fixed right away before it can cause more damage over time.

Use waterproofing products on walls that are prone to moisture (such as basements), especially if they're made out of wood or other flammable materials. These products will seal off cracks so that no water gets through them in the first place!

Consider installing sump pumps near your basement floor drains so that if there ever is an overflow from these drains due to flooding rains outside your home--or even just heavy rainstorms--the sump pumps will kick into action immediately and pump out all excess water before it has time get into any other parts of your house where things could catch fire easily like old furniture pieces lying around inside closets upstairs rooms upstairs bedrooms.

Causes of water in the crawl space

3/12/2023 (Permalink)

flooded basement When your crawlspace suffers from a water loss, give the professionals a call today.

If you're having a problem with water in your crawl space, the first thing you need to do is identify the source of the moisture. The most common causes of moisture problems in a crawl space are water leaks.

Cause of Loss

Water leaks are the most common cause of crawlspace water damage. Water leaks can come from the home's foundation walls and slab, or from condensation on cold surfaces. Rising dampness due to excessive soil permeability, also know as high level of porosity in the soil. Any combination of these factors can be responsible for moisture problems in your crawlspace. It's best to have a professional do an inspection with an infrared camera so they can pinpoint where exactly there's an issue with your home's drainage system and how it was caused.

Identify the source

The first step in dealing with a moisture problem in your crawl space is identifying the source of the moisture. If you have an infrared camera, use it to locate where water is leaking into or out of your home through walls and floors. Repair or replace damaged areas as necessary, but if you can't find a specific point of entry for water leakage (or if there are too many sources), it may be worth considering crawl space encapsulation. Crawl spaces are notorious for having poor air circulation and high humidity levels, both conditions that make for ideal breeding grounds for mold spores and other harmful contaminants.

Crawl space encapsulation involves sealing up all openings between rooms within a house so that only one room has access to the outdoors, our basement. This means removing windows from basements so they don't leak into other parts of homes, installing double doors between basements/attics/roofs, sealing up cracks around pipes going into these rooms.

A high level of porosity in the soil.

A high level of porosity in the soil means that it can absorb and hold water. Soil porosity is affected by the size and shape of soil particles, as well as their distribution within the soil. The amount of organic matter present also plays a role in determining how much moisture will be held by the soil.

Excessive soil permeability is a common problem in crawl spaces because these areas tend to have large amounts of loam or clay that contain many fine pores which allow for rapid drainage through capillary action (the movement of liquid through narrow spaces).

Infrared Camera

The best way to identify and correct a moisture problem is by using an infrared camera to locate its source. Infrared cameras detect the minute changes in temperature that occur when water is present, making it possible to find hidden sources of moisture without having to dig up the entire crawlspace. This can save time and money, since you won't need to hire a contractor for large excavation jobs if there's only one area with high levels of moisture (like when there are pipes running through the floor).

If you think you may have a moisture problem in your crawlspace, it's important to get it checked out by a professional. The best way to do this is by using an infrared camera. This device can identify the source of moisture in your home, so that you can take the appropriate steps towards fixing it and preventing future issues from occurring.

Insurance and Water Damage

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

insurance Is your water damage covered by insurance?

Water damage is a common occurrence that can occur at any time. When water gets into your home or business, it can cause everything from mild cosmetic damage to expensive structural damage. Your insurance policy may cover some types of water damage, but there are many types of water-related incidents that aren't covered by standard policies. Knowing the difference between what's covered and what isn't can help you prepare for any eventuality.

What’s Covered?

If you have suffered from any type of water damage, whether it's from floods, burst pipes or frozen pipes, you may be eligible for coverage under your homeowners insurance policy. Flood waters and storm damage can affect your entire house. 

Sewer backup is also a common problem coming from a clogged drain or a cracked pipe. Water can collect in your house basement without proper drainage. If sewage backs up into your home, you need to call a plumber immediately. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover sewer backups caused by septic system failure or backed-up municipal sewers.

Some water damage falls into an insurance "gray area."

Some water damage falls into an insurance "gray area." While your policy may cover some types of water damage after an accident, it may not cover damage caused by lack of maintenance in your home or apartment. For example, if you forget to clean out your gutters in the fall, your roof and eaves may not be able to withstand the burden of snow and ice during the winter. This could cause water damage — but it's not accidental, and so it would not be covered by your insurance policy.

That being said, don't worry too much about these kinds of things! Insurance companies have plenty of experience dealing with claims like these--you'll probably get plenty of help navigating them from them when they come up!

Having home or business serviced by professionals that are certified both in remediation (restoration industry standard) and reconstruction will help ensure complete coverage from floor to ceiling as well as outside grounds or lot. 

SERVPRO in Ebensburg is locally owned and operated and IICRC certified for water damage restoration and building construction & restoration. Being certified is important because it ensures you're working with professionals who are trained in the most up-to-date methods and techniques. You can also rest assured that your property will be restored to its preloss condition, which means that if you want to sell your home or business at some point in the future, you'll have peace of mind knowing it will look just as good as it did before water damage happened. IICRC certification isn't just about making sure customers get high quality workmanship, it's also about protecting their investment by ensuring they receive full coverage under their insurance policy. As a result, when choosing a restoration company for any type of water damage clean up job - whether residential or commercial - make sure they're certified by asking them directly!

If you are looking for a water damage restoration company, SERVPRO of Ebensburg is here to help. We have been providing quality service to our community and we have the knowledge and experience needed to make sure your property is restored back to normal as quickly as possible. For more information, give us a call today!

A Serious Problem: A Leaky Roof

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

Wet stain on a ceiling. If you suspect that your roof is leaking or has developed a leak, give us a call today!

A roof leak is when water enters your home through the roof. While it may not sound serious, a roof leak can lead to mold and other potential hazards. Roof leaks are commonly caused by damaged and missing shingles, missing or worn-out flashings, and improperly flashing windows or skylights. Regardless of the reason for the roof leak, the leak can lead to mold, which can be problematic for the structure of the home.

How to Tell If Your Roof Is Leaking

To determine if your roof is leaking, here are some things to look for:

  • Discoloration of the ceiling and/or walls. This can be caused by water that has run down a wall or dripped on a surface.
  • Damp spots on ceilings or walls. If you are able to locate damp spots, use an absorbent cloth to dab up any remaining moisture from these areas.
  • Water stains on ceilings and/or walls (indicates prolonged wetness). If you see water stains, look for additional signs of leakage such as discoloration in those areas. Water stains may also indicate mold growth behind drywall where it's difficult to access without damaging interior surfaces such as drywall and flooring.

Roof Leaks and Mold

Mold can cause structural damage to your roof. This means that mold is eating away at the wood and other material in your roof, causing it to rot. Mold can also cause a roof leak. If you find mold growing around where water collects on your roof, there's a very good chance that this is what caused the leak in the first place. Molds are also notorious for being able to eat through tar paper and shingles as well as some other types of materials used for roofs; if you see any type of discoloration or peeling on these surfaces then there's probably mold underneath those areas too!

Preventing Mold

Keep your roof clean. It's a good idea to have someone conduct an inspection of your roof every year, especially if it's made of a material that can easily become moldy (like wood). Make sure there aren't any leaks in the attic or other areas of the home. If you find one, get it fixed right away! 

Clean out gutters and downspouts regularly so that water flows freely from them. This will help prevent water from pooling on the roof and leading to mold growth.

If possible, insulate your attic to keep moisture levels low inside of it. If you live in an area with high humidity during certain times of year—like summer—you may want to consider using a dehumidifier while sleeping or spending time indoors during these months as well; this will help keep air circulating freely throughout your home instead of trapping moisture inside walls where it might cause problems later down the road!

Talk to an expert about your roof's overall condition.

The best way to figure out if you have a mold problem on your roof is to have an expert inspect it. Make sure that you hire someone who can take samples of the mold and evaluate them for potential health risks. If there are any signs that the mold could be toxic, call in professionals who specialize in cleaning up contaminated buildings, like SERVPRO of Ebensburg, as soon as possible.

While leaks in your Ebensburg home can be a source of stress, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to deal with them alone. Our expert team is here to help! If you suspect that your roof is leaking or has developed a leak, give us a call today!

What is IICRC?

11/30/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC certification badge SERVPRO of Ebensburg is proud to be an IICRC Certified Firm!

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC is an organization dedicated to protecting the environment, homes and businesses through professional restoration services. The IICRC has certified individual technicians and firms who meet industry standards of knowledge and skill. Firms and technicians are required to maintain the IICRC's stringent qualifications to retain certification with ongoing education. These programs are designed to educate and improve the restoration industry every year. 

IICRC is a professional certification body.

The IICRC has been around for 50 years, and the organization's goals are to protect the public from injuries caused by water damage, mold remediation, and other building related issues. The IICRC provides training and education to its members. It also offers certification for members who successfully complete certain levels of training in their field as well as for those who have reached a certain level of experience in their field.

The Institute certifies individual technicians and firms that have met industry standards of knowledge and skill through continued education to keep their training up-to-date.

IICRC promotes education and improving techniques.

IICRC certification is the gold standard of commercial cleaning and restoration industry professionals. These programs are designed to educate technical professionals regarding new technologies and improve techniques regarding communication with customers, insurers, and other professionals. Having an IICRC certified firm also increases employee retention rates, deters litigation through education and promotes market credibility.

IICRC certification is a mark of quality that you can count on. If you’re looking for a safe and reliable company to handle your water damage restoration needs, look no further than SERVPRO of Ebensburg. Our team is proudly IICRC certified to ensure thorough and safe restoration services. We are here to safely support and restore our Ebensburg community.

What Are the Three Different Kinds of Contaminated Water?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking dishwasher A spill from the dishwasher could be considered Category 2

What Are the Three Types of Contaminated Water?

An emergency water damage event can be devastating to the home or business and sometimes it’s not possible to avoid it. If you have a flood, it’s important to know who to call and when.

It’s important to know the difference between the three types of water contamination. If you don’t, you could end up with a bigger problem than you expected.

There are three types of water contamination: biological, chemical, and radioactive contamination.

Each type requires different steps for treatment and cleanup so it is important to know how to recognize each one if you find yourself working in an area where contaminated water may be present.

Biological Contamination is caused when there are living organisms in a body of water or liquid (like milk or juice). These can include bacteria, viruses, parasites like worms and amoebas which make people sick if they get into their bodies through food or drink that contains them; therefore this type can occur anywhere that humans live near water sources such as lakes and rivers but it's most common at large-scale events where thousands upon thousands of people attend without proper sanitation facilities nearby like bathrooms/toilets etcetera - because then they have no choice but use whatever source they have available nearby instead - which often leads

Category 1 - Clean Water

Unsanitary water sources known as Category 1 (clean water) would be from a clean supply line, such as your sink or bathtub. This is called category 1 water. It is safe to use for cleaning and washing, but it is not recommended for drinking due to the lack of purification treatment.

Category 2 - Gray Water

Category 2 (contaminated) is gray water. Gray water can be discharged due to a dishwasher, washing machine flood, or even an overflowing toilet that only contains urine.

Gray water is not safe to use for drinking or cooking because it may contain some dangerous chemicals or components:

  • Fecal coliform bacteria and other organisms from human waste
  • Chemical pollutants used in laundry detergents, household cleaners, and personal care products such as shampoo and soap

Category 3 - Black Water

Black water requires special attention because it often contains harmful bacteria and pathogens. It's called black water because it is not clean, and it should never be ingested. If you've found yourself in a situation where your home or business is flooded with this kind of water, you need to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Ebensburg immediately and avoid the area. 

If you find your Ebensburg, PA home or business flooded with any kind of water — you need professionals on the job to take care of the mess and restore your home or business to its original, preloss condition. SERVPRO of Ebensburg is here to help make that process as easy and painless as possible. Give us a call!

What Can Expect After a Partial Loss?

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

Walls and wooden structure damaged by fire. Our technicians are trained in fire and water damage restoration.

Everything You Need to Know About Partial Losses

A partial loss can be confusing and can take more time than a total loss. However, it is also an opportunity for improvement and positive change for your business. You may want to consider updating your insurance coverage or security system as a result of this experience.

A partial loss can seem like more work than a total loss, but SERVPRO of Ebensburg can help. We have the resources and expertise to take care of your home or business after a fire. Here are some common questions we hear from our customers:

What has to be cleaned up?

  • Structural damage: The structure may be damaged by fire and smoke, which can cause the walls to bow, the roof to sag or collapse, and even the foundation to crack.
  • Cleanup: If this is a partial loss, you will need to remove all contents from your home so they can be cleaned, deodorized, and stored until it’s safe for them to come back inside. Some items may be salvageable while others might not.
  • Carpets: A carpet that has been drenched with water (and possibly exposed to smoke) will need replacement if it was an expensive one or if its color or pattern is important. You may want to consider replacing all of your carpets after a fire—even those that were not damaged—for reasons of appearance and safety; they really don't look good when they've been soaked with water!

What happens to the contents of my home or business? 

All contents will be inventoried and moved to a safe place to be cleaned, deodorized, and stored until the structure is ready for them. Once the fire has been extinguished, your property manager or adjuster will walk through with you to see what can be saved. They'll take photos of any damage so you can review it later. If there's any question about whether something was damaged by the fire or whether it's been stolen, an inspection report from an expert should clear things up for you.

Can I clean my carpets? 

Carpeting can be cleaned or replaced. If you have a partial loss, your carpet will likely have to be cleaned and deodorized as a result of smoke damage. You’ll want to hire a professional to do this. If the damage is too severe for cleaning alone, however, carpets may need to be removed entirely and replaced with new ones.

Carpets should also be dried using fans and/or dehumidifiers after they've been cleaned. The moisture in wet carpets can cause mold growth if left untreated—and once mold sets in on your property—it's extremely difficult (if not impossible) to get rid of completely!

What about the electrical outlets in my home?

Electrical outlets and light switches often sustain damage in fires, so replacing these items is a good idea for safety purposes. However, it's also important to note that this job can be very time-consuming.

The wiring in your house may have been damaged by water or smoke as well as heat. If this is the case, installing new wiring will be necessary to restore power to your home—and it will be even more time-consuming than simply replacing electrical outlets and light switches!

If you’re an owner of a business, you may have some questions about what to expect after a partial loss. This happens when only a portion of your building is damaged in comparison to the total loss. While this can seem like more work than a total loss, SERVPRO of Ebensburg can help!

The best way to restore your home after a partial loss is to call SERVPRO of Ebensburg. We can help you with all stages of the restoration process, including clean-up, deodorization, and repairs. Our technicians are trained in fire and water damage restoration so they know exactly what they are doing when they arrive on the scene.

The 4 Leading Causes of Home Fires

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Interior a house burned House fire in Ebensburg, PA

The Top Four Home Fire Causes

Fire statistics in the U.S. paint a picture of a disturbingly common problem. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire breaks out somewhere in the nation every 24 seconds. While progress has been made over the years, a home fire still happens frequently. Most of the fires are preventable with common-sense precautions. The leading causes of a fire show people often make unwise choices in their homes.

1. Cooking Fires - When it comes to fire causes in homes, this is among the most common fires. In addition to causing about 550 deaths a year, these fires account for about $1 billion in property damage. This type of home fire spikes around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
2. Candle Fires - While candles can be soothing, they can also be dangerous. About 21 candle fires are reported every day in the U.S. December and January are the peak months for this fire type. They cause a higher amount of property damage than many other fires.
3. Home Grill Fires - This type of fire accounts for about 10,600 home fires each year. Though home grill fires do not cause a lot of deaths, they still cause a lot of damage to home structures.
4. Electrical Fires - This type of fire is caused when electrical systems malfunction. They are most common in old weather months. Electrical fires are often caused by arcing, and they result in many deaths and significant property damage every year.
A home fire is a devastating event for many families. To help people cope with the aftermath of a fire, a local fire remediation franchise in Ebensburg, PA, is often the best resource to aid in recovery. The technicians are experts in fire cleaning, and they can deal with both the effects of structural damage as well as smoke damage. The technicians can also offer excellent advice on fire precautions and avoiding a fire in the first place.

3 Possible Consequences of Hidden Water Leaks

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on a wall The incursion of unchecked water also promotes the growth of mold and mildew

Keep An Eye Out For Any Sign Of It

While a sudden tide of water sweeping through a building and its negative impact on said structure is quite noticeable, not all sources of water damage are so easily detectable. Broken pipes in walls with thin cracks or leaky fittings that just barely allow trickles of water to escape gradually, for example, may go unnoticed for quite some time. By the time they have been discovered, the resulting consequences and the water cleanup required may be quite extensive, requiring a professional cleanup and restoration service in Belsano, PA, to deal with.

1. Building Damage
Moisture can cause water damage and compromise the structural integrity of the commercial property. Examples of harm it may cause to buildings include:

  • Peeled paint
  • Stained wallpaper and walls
  • Rotten and weakened wood
  • Rusted/corroded metal

It may also affect contents like inventory.

2. Mold, Mildew, and Pest Invasion
The incursion of unchecked water also promotes the growth of mold and mildew, both of which thrive in wet environments. Mold and mildew also eat away at construction materials as they spread, causing further structural deterioration. They are also unappealing to clients and customers when they spread from out of sight locations to more visible ones, possibly costing some establishments business. The erosion of wood from the wetness also invites pests to burrow into the softened ceiling and walls.

3. Increased Utility Expenses
There is also often a spike in utility bills associated with undiscovered leaks. The cost of water goes up as liquid drips unnoticed from broken pipes. The price of heating and air conditioning may also see a rise in cases where insulation has been damaged, causing HVAC systems to have to work harder. Higher humidity in the air also correlates to more strain on air conditioning units.
Water damage is not the only less than pleasant repercussion that may arise from a hidden leak. Neither are the ones listed here all that may occur. There are many less than positive likelihoods that may happen because of unfound leaks, so it is important to keep an eye out for any sign of one.