Old Building Smell? Let SERVPRO ® Freshen The Air
Many of the older buildings in the Pittsburgh area have a distinct smell. People may say that they smell musty or old material. One way to freshen up the place is to have some deodorization done by SERVPRO ®.
We use state of the art equipment to clean the air within your building. Depending on the odor we have a few techniques that we could use.
- Thermal fogging is technique which helps penetrate deeply into building materials.
- An ozone machine is used to help add a fresh smell to odors that seem to linger such as smoke.
- Old fashioned deep cleaning of walls should not be overlooked.
- Carpet cleaning, using hot water extraction to remove deep and hard to remove soils.
- Adding to any of the above methods is that of heating, ventilation and air conditioning cleaning (HVAC).
- Getting the air ducts clean will definitely freshen any building, no matter the age.
What To Do Before Help Arrives?
When your home or business suffers from a storm, it is critical to know the difference between different levels of contaminated water. There are 3 classes of water: clean, gray and black.
Clean water is water from a broken pipe, water from a hot water heater, or sink. The time frame for a clean water damage is gray water.
Here is a list of precautions to take to protect your personal belongings from a clean source water damage until help arrives. Or contact a qualified professional to the following:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional.
- Turn off the circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electric shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow a more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
When you have water damage, do not leave your property to chance.
Water Leaks Can Cause Mold
About Mold Growth
A leaky faucet in your home can be very annoying, but it has the potential to be much more than an annoyance. The moisture caused by leaks can make your home into the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold spores are known to cause allergic reactions and exacerbate respiratory problems. Mold can grow rapidly if you fail to notice a leak shortly after it starts, especially in humid climates. Knowing the risks that mold presents and quickly fixing your water leaks can help to protect your home from mold growth and protect your health as well.
Mold growth will begin in areas of your home that are wet. The mold spores will land on moist surfaces and then start to germinate. The materials on which mold can grow include:
• Painted surfaces
How Mold Can Affect Your Health
Most types of mold are harmless but can cause problems for individuals with allergies. They can cause symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose or breathing problems. A few types of mold are indeed very toxic, whether or not you have allergies.
Indications of Mold Growth Due To Water Leaks
If you see black and white spots in the area of the leak, this is a sign that you have mold. Kitchens and basements are some of the areas in your home where there is a high risk of mold growth as these areas are prone to leaks. It is therefore, important that you properly maintain your plumbing fixtures.
Preventing Mold Growth After Fixing Leaks
If you discover a water leak, have it fixed as soon as possible to minimize the potential for mold growth. After the leak has been fixed, use a mild detergent to wash the area and then allow it to dry completely. After it has dried, thoroughly wipe the area with bleach to kill any spores present. Boric acid also effective at killing mold spores could be used as a substitute for bleach. Be sure to keep your kids and pets out of the area while handling chemicals. It is always recommended to have a professional do the work.
Get Professional Assistance
If there is a part of your home that is prone to water leaks, contact someone with experience, which includes a plumber. If there are hidden problems that are causing leaks to recur, you may not be able to find them yourself. A licensed plumber who is experienced at finding and fixing leaks will be better able to find and fix the issues. Your plumber will also be able to advise you on how to maintain your plumbing to prevent water leaks and mold growth in the future.
Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
How Our Professional Services Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Property
Thank you to our firefighters.
When materials burn they release carbon in the form of smoke.
The Use Of Sand Blasting, Water Pressure, And Air Pressure In Removing Fire Damage
When materials burn they release carbon in the form of smoke. As smoke comes into contact with a surface, it deposits parts of that carbon in the form of residue on that surface. These residues typically account for the lion's share of cleaning duties when restoring property after a small kitchen or living room fire. Although these types of fire are usually easily contained the smoke, which travels into open oxygen pockets, can spread far and wide. However, smoke residues contain more than just carbon, which is why professional cleaning services are a wise choice in the aftermath of soot or smoke harm.
A trained technician should be able to recognize the different types of fire and property owners can benefit from this expertise.
At SERVPRO we have a range of different cleaning methods and techniques to tackle all damages. Synthetic materials, for example, can release carcinogens when burned. Likewise, differing temperatures, airflows and fabrics require a tailored cleaning response.
On arrival at your property, a SERVPRO technician can conduct a pre-test. This involves testing different areas of the property for the type of damage.
Wet-smoke, caused by burning synthetics, is particularly susceptible to wet cleaning methods. Dry smoke, on the other hand, may benefit from dry cleaning to avoid spreading smoke around and inadvertently causing further damages.
In fire fighting efforts, there is a high chance that water is used which can set soot and make it tricky to clean. One technique that can be used to tackle soot is water pressure and air pressure. These advanced techniques help to dislodge soot from the surface, which can then be washed away. If there is significant structural damage, we could use sandblasting to rapidly smooth the affected area and remove charring or ingrained soot.
As part of a franchise with access to national resources, SERVPRO can afford to train our technicians to the highest level. With expertise in odor control, certified by the IICRC, and industrial fogging equipment, we can help to remove the unpleasant burning odors that may remain long after a property is restored.
Are You Prepared?
Is your business prepared in case a disaster or emergency situation should occur? Disasters and resulting business interruptions can devastate companies; in fact, as many as 50% of businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. With the proper planning and proactive restoration, you can better prepare to survive a disaster should one occur.
The need and benefit of having a detailed emergency action plan is crucial. A well-developed plan can help mitigate the effects of disasters and help you return to business quickly, saving time, unnecessary frustration and money. Those few minutes and hours immediately following a loss can be significant in determining the amount of time the property will be non-functional. Fast response can mean the difference between restoration and cleaning, versus costly replacement from prolonged exposure and secondary damage.
Developing a solid working contingency plan and networking with reputable vendors to assist you in your time of need are essential in your recovery efforts. Having a reliable company to respond immediately and begin emergency procedures is a critical part of any contingency plan. As part of a franchise, SERVPRO ® of Metro Pittsburgh East has access to over 10,000 quality teammates with thousands of pieces of commercial equipment and service vehicles that can typically respond to a crisis within hours.
SERVPRO ® of Metro Pittsburgh East can provide you an example emergency preparedness plan to help minimize interruption, overall costs and tenant inconvenience.
Minimize Flood Damage by Preparing Your Building
Weather in Pennsylvania can change in an instant, and it only takes a small shift in a storm’s track to bring torrential downpours that could lead to devastating flooding. If you are a business owner, a flood can represent a serious threat to your company’s operations. While there is not a lot you can do to stop major floods from hurricanes and other natural disasters, here are some steps you can take to lessen the impact of storm and flood damage.
Build Barriers to Slow Water Incursion
Water is a powerful force, and it is virtually impossible to keep it at bay, but you can align barriers in the path to slow it down. You can start this process long before the onset of flooding by building a levee, berm or flood control wall if local building codes permit. Have a professional assess your lower floors to see if you should apply sealants to walls or relocate utility boxes. When the rain starts falling, you could enlist help to place sandbags in strategic areas around the structure:
- Across doorways, right up against the door.
- In front of garage doors.
- Around showers and floor drains to prevent incursion of water.
When building sandbag walls, make certain you do not completely surround your building, and use a plastic tarp as a base for extra waterproofing.
Clean Storm Drains and Gutters
In many cases, flood damage happens during normal storms because the building owner did not keep up on maintenance. Gutters, storm drains and other devices are designed to channel water away from the building, which is why it is important to clean them regularly to ensure they are free of debris that could cause a backup.
Minimize Losses, Being Prepared
Why risk significant disruptions to your operations when you could cut down on storm damage by taking some preparatory steps? Should you experience flooding despite your efforts, be sure to contact an experienced remediation company to get you back up and running as soon as possible.
Air Duct Cleaning
There are many reasons why your home could use air duct cleaning.
Dust levels in homes increase due to dirty air ducts, this is one of the many ways that particulates can enter your home. Other ways are through cooking, cleaning, smoking or just moving around. There has not been concrete evidence that household dust can pose different health risks but there are other things to be on the look out for that can be potentially dangerous.
How to tell if you need to have your air ducts cleaned out:
- There is substantial visible mold growth on ducts.
- Ducts are infected with vermin (rodents or insects).
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust/debris.
You may just want to consider air duct cleaning simply because it is logical that the air ducts will get dirty over time and occasionally need to be cleaned.
Whether or not you decide to have your ducts cleaned, preventing dirt from entering the system is the most effective way to prevent any contamination from entering your home or business.
For Service in Metro Pittsburgh East, Call SERVPRO
Metro Pittsburgh East Residents: We provide thorough service!
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East provides emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Metro Pittsburgh East. We can respond to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us – 412-672-5400
Whether your Metro Pittsburgh East home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Metro Pittsburgh East commercial property. When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Understanding Industry Terms
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is always "Here to Help". We know that jargon can be confusing so we usually try to break it down as easy as we can out in the field, but we know that our customers like to stay informed. Here are some common terms used in the field with their definition so you can understand better what is happening in your home or business.
Anti-Microbials: A substance, mechanism, or condition that inhibits the growth or existence of an organism.
Fire Damage Recovery: The process of restoring and recovering property and belongings after a fire. The objectives include minimizing existing damage, damage mitigation, structure stabilization, soot & odor removal and reconstruction.
Fungi: The unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic/ DNA organisms embracing a large group of microflora including: molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, rusts and smuts.
HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
HEPA Filter: High efficiency particulate air filter, a specialized filter capable of removing 99.7% of particles.
Masking Agents: Designed to prevent or remove heightened awareness to odors by providing a fragrance, which is stronger and more pleasant to smell while the source of the odor is being eliminated.
Smoke Damage Removal: Neutralizing or removing smoke odors that linger after fires.
Smoke Particles: Smoke is composed of gases / sometimes aerosols, and airborne solids. Dry wood, natural fibers and paper all produce small non-smearing material. Plastic, foam, and rubber (polymers) produce large easily smeared residues.
Importance of Mold Testing
When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation.
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling may be unnecessary. However at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East we find it important to do the mold testing before and after the remediation process.
We do surface sampling to make sure the affected area has been cleaned and remediated properly. We also have the mold tested to see what kind of mold was growing. We do this because there are more dangerous strains of mold than others.
If you’ve already seen outbreaks of mold, you may need to retain the services of a mold remediation specialist. These technicians can help you identify sources of mold that aren’t readily apparent on initial inspection and recommend appropriate cleanup and prevention actions.