Recent Commercial Posts

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.

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.

Fix the Aftereffects of Bursting Pipes in 5 Simple Steps

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on white flooring Water damage cleanup in Gallitzin, PA.

In 5 Easy Steps, Resolve the Consequences of Bursting Pipes

Bursting pipes can cause flooding and damage in your Gallitzin, PA, business. If the water isn't swiftly dealt with, problems such as mold and structural deterioration can arise. Follow these simple steps to begin the cleanup process and prevent further damage.

1. Cut Off Electricity and Water
Cut off all water to the problem area. If you don't have access to water control, immediately contact the person who does. You should also shut off electricity to water-affected areas. But don't touch or approach electrical equipment already exposed to water, as it may produce an electric shock.

2. Hire Professional Help for Bursting Pipes
Contact commercial building restoration experts to initiate water removal and prevent secondary damage such as mold. The restoration team will assess the damage and form a plan to help restore your business to its pre-flood condition. Hiring a professional plumbing service to fix broken pipe issues is also recommended rather than attempting to fix them yourself.

3. Avoid Unsafe Areas
Broken pipes may cause flooding and water-logged ceilings or floors. Do not enter these areas, as they may collapse and cause injury. 

4. Protect Furniture and Appliances
Protect furniture legs from water-damaged flooring by placing wooden blocks or aluminum foil beneath them. Electronics and water-sensitive objects such as paintings should be stored in a dry place away from flooded areas.

5. Remove the Water
Removal of water damage is best left to professionals. Enlist the services of water mitigation experts to help safely and efficiently return your business to its pre-damaged condition using pumps and other specialized equipment. While you wait for experts to arrive, use towels or mops instead of vacuums to remove water from floors. Electronics, especially those connected to an outlet, are more likely to deliver an electric shock when exposed to water. 
Flooding from busted pipes may cause structural damage, odors, and even mold if not quickly resolved. Follow these guidelines to start confidently resolving the aftereffects of bursting pipes.

How To Get Your Building Ready for Spring

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Rain gutter and downspout Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear.

How to Prepare Your Building for Spring

Winter can put a lot of stress on your commercial building in East Conemaugh, PA, so you may be relieved when temperatures start to warm up. That doesn't mean it's time to let your guard down, though. A spring thaw often leads to flooding, which can cause a whole different set of concerns. Make sure your building is ready.

Drainage Cleanup
Melting ice needs a place to go. The key is directing it away from your building so that it doesn't pool at the base and seep into the foundation. Make sure all drainage pathways are clear:

  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Landscape drains
  • Trenches

Roof Inspection 
Try to schedule a roof inspection as early in the season as possible. Ice and other elements from harsh winter storms can damage the surface, causing weak spots that you may not know about until flooding from runoff causes a leak. A professional roofer can identify these areas before they become a problem. 

Frozen Pipe Search
One of the most frequent reasons that business owners have to call water damage restoration experts is to deal with the mess left behind by a busted pipe. Even if you don't notice telltale signs of a water loss such as a slow trickle of water or a surge in your utility bills, call a plumber to inspect your system and make sure everything is in good working order before the first spring flood.

Sprinkler Maintenance
Your outdoor sprinkler system is especially susceptible to damage during a hard freeze. Even if you were diligent to flush it before winter, ice may have formed on the outside of the apparatus. Before you set your watering schedule for spring, check every sprinkler as well as the pipes that supply them for cracks or other flaws. 
Flooding is a natural phenomenon at the end of winter. If you know how to anticipate potential problems, you can better prepare your building for the spring thaw.

3 Things You Need To Know To Create an Office Fire Escape Plan

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors on evacuation plans Every office needs to have a fire escape plan.

Office Fire Escape Plan

An office fire in Portage, PA, can be overwhelming to prepare for, particularly if you don't know where to start. Every office needs to have a fire escape plan to ensure everyone’s safety in the building. The best tool in any emergency is preparedness. Here's how you can start.

1. Prepare for Anything
The first step is to consider different scenarios in which you may need to enact your fire escape plan. By creating multiple escape options, you ensure that safety stays at the forefront of employees’ minds. The emergency evacuation plan needs to include:

  • Assigned roles for staff
  • Clearly designated escape routes
  • Reporting methods
  • Emergency contact list
  • Shutdown procedures

These five items will provide flexibility while your leaders maintain control over the situation. 

2. Define Roles in Your Fire Escape Plan
In an emergency, people are at risk of not knowing how to respond and making small mistakes that can be deadly. Clarity is vital in any emergency escape plan, so it's important to pick leaders ahead of time. The staff needs to know whose orders to follow to avoid confusion. Check that everyone has a list of roles, contact information for the Portage, PA, emergency department and locations of where to gather safely after evacuating.
Depending on the type of business, roles for shutdown procedures should also be included. Note who is responsible for checking that any machines are off, safety protocols are followed and no further risks are created.

3. Plan The Aftermath
After employees evacuate, they need to know where to gather and how to manage cleanup after the fact. When creating an evacuation plan, you need to plan for what happens next. Write a check-in list to guarantee that everyone is accounted for and claims are filed for emergency cleanup services. With a comprehensive plan, your team can stay focused and not panic.
A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring staff safety in a commercial building.

Mold: What It Is, and How To Eradicate It

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

black mold growth on wet wall Mold growing on wet walls.

How Mold Grows and Spreads

Fungi are everywhere. When it takes the form of black mold in your Vinco, PA, property, it is an unwelcome guest that may easily run rampant if not immediately addressed. No matter how well you maintain your property, even a small moisture problem may lead to an infestation. These pesky microorganisms only need a few simple ingredients to flourish: moisture, warmth and food. Once they have those, a potentially endless life cycle begins.

Life Cycle

Whether it is black mold or mildew, there are four main phases of the life cycle.

Hypha Cell: This tiny thread-like cell starts feedings on organic material, such as drywall and wood, via releasing enzymes. After absorbing enough nutrients, it grows into a mycelium and forms hyphae clusters.

Spore Formation: Some of the hyphae cells start to develop spores on the ends. The spores will only grow if the conditions are right, including enough oxygen, light and nutrients.

Spore Dispersal: Once formed, they become airborne in search of a new place to start the growth process. Although minute, they are hardy and may even stay dormant for years.

Spore Germination: Once at a new location, the spores wait for the perfect environment to begin the process again.

Proper Cleanup
Since spores are always present, ensuring they don’t flourish means staying on top of water damage and other moisture problems. If not caught soon enough, the mold cleanup process is often daunting and requires high-tech tools and techniques to completely eradicate. A quick wipe-down with commercial products may clean the surface, but they won’t kill fungi. In some cases, the water in cleaners may benefit their growth. When faced with this type of damage, it is often best to contact a mold remediation and restoration specialist. Along with having the right gear, the right company will be certified in cleaning and restoring your property.
Black mold is always lingering, but it doesn’t have to turn into a big problem. Understanding how it grows and spreads makes it easier to develop a prevention plan.

Operating a Business in a Flood Zone: Understanding City Flood Barriers

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

water dam One of the most common tools to stop flooding is dams.

Operating a Business in a Flood Zone

Before opening a business in a high flood zone area, it is wise to investigate the tools and methods a city uses for flood prevention, preventing high water levels from potentially enveloping your business. While not every town uses every tool, it is still beneficial to know.

1. Dams

One of the most common tools to stop flooding is dams. Dams are large structures that help to restrict underground streams and water. These barriers are among the most popular means of flooding control because they can also be used to divert water for drinking, irrigation, industry and navigation.

2. Sluices

A sluice gate is often used to prevent high water levels. Essentially, these gates help to regulate the flow of water, and in essence, control the output to minimize the risk of flooding. The gate is kept closed when water levels are fair and opened when the water pressure is too great.

3. Locks

Water locks are used to control water levels within canals. A lock consists of a channel with two gates. Behind one gate is a higher water level than the other, allowing the water level within the channel to be manipulated.

4. Dikes

A dike is another type of barrier. However, unlike a dam, a dike is made of earth and stone and acts as more of a natural barrier between land and water. Dikes became popular in the Netherlands and eventually gained popularity in the states.

While it is nice to know what kind of flood prevention a city takes, it is more important that you have adequate insurance coverage for your business and an emergency response plan through a disaster restoration specialist in the Portage, PA, area. Being prepared is not only up to your city.

Most cities situated in a flood zone go to great lengths to protect their citizens from high water levels. If you decide to operate out of a flood zone, then you should be aware of these measures while also ensuring your own interests by purchasing flood insurance and making a plan for potential disaster.