Recent Posts

Proactive Cleaning Services

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Here To Help Photo Anytime, Anytown, Anyway.

In light of the recent epidemic, many businesses have been asked to close their doors. However, because of the nature of our work, we're still open, we're still on call, we're still here to help.
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East has a number of services to help all sorts of businesses in their time of need to catapult them back to their feet when it's time to re-open their store.
We are currently offering Viral Cleaning, also known as Proactive Cleaning, to ensure that your location is up to code and clean in the event of a viral outbreak in your building. By using Electrostatic Fogging, we can provide less expensive per square foot cost, more comprehensive coverage, and provide certified documentation that your facility has been cleaned by a trained IICRC certified company as opposed to traditional disinfectant and sanitizing services. In addition, the product we use is free of allergens and is so safe that it has been approved for human consumption.

If you are interested in this service, please contact us using the button above or, if you are so inclined, call us for more information. We're here to help, we're here to get our nation back on its feet, we're here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Three Ways to Prevent Wind Damage Due to Spring Storms

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

Booming thunder and howling winds that rattle your home are characteristics of severe storms, which are becoming more prevalent as we turn the corner into spring. Strong wind, in particular, can cause damage to homes by breaking shingles and sending tree branches flying.  Wind strength varies from storm to storm, ranging from calm wind with speeds below 1 mph to hurricane-force when the strength exceeds 73 mph. FEMA states that doors, roofs, windows, and garages are the most vulnerable areas of the home. If any of these four areas become damaged during a storm, the structure of your home may also be negatively impacted, which may require major repairs. To make sure that your home is protected from wind damage before a severe storm even appears in the forecast this spring, consider the following three tips:

Maintain Landscape and Trees

   Strong winds can wreak havoc on the area surrounding your home, resulting in fallen trees and broken tree branches, which can prove to be dangerous to your home if the trees are located close to your home. Be sure not to over-water trees because doing so can weaken the root systems of trees, decreasing their ability to withstand the overwhelming force of strong winds. Finally, be mindful of outdoor objects and equipment, such as outdoor furniture, grills, or sports equipment, as these objects can be moved or manipulated by strong winds, which can risk damage to your home. During storms with strong wind, keep such items either stored in a safe structure, such as a shed, or anchored to the ground if they must remain outside.

Inspect the Roof

   Damage to our roofs often goes unnoticed unless it creates a major problem because we cannot see it Therefore, it is important for roofs to be surveyed at least twice per year, during the summer and winter, in order to identify any damage and make sure that it is repaired. When surveying the roof, be on the lookout for loose or missing shingles and water damage in the attic. Hiring a roofing professional may be beneficial in this sense, as he or she may be able to spot hidden damage due to their experience, which could save your roof from devastation in the event of a storm occurring with strong wind. When it comes time to replace your roof shingles, consider choosing weather-resistant shingles that would be able to further protect your roof from wind damage.

Reinforce Windows and Doors

During storms with strong wind, different types of debris, such as tree branches or other outdoor objects, can pound against your home’s windows and doors. In combination with the power of strong wind gusts, these objects can inflict serious damage on vulnerable areas of your home, including doors and windows. To limit the extent of the damage to these areas, install storm shutters as a protective barrier between debris and the window or door. Storm shutters can either be purchased or makeshift storm shutters can be created with plywood. Garage doors are also a vulnerable area of the home during strong wind, so it may also be beneficial to purchase a garage door bracing kit in order to protect your garage door during severe wind and weather.

Proactive Cleaning Services

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Team In PPE SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team ready to move into a contaminated assisted living facility.

“The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic at a press conference on Wednesday leading to a cascade of new actions and measures taken around the world to combat the virus.” 

What once felt like a distant inkling of a possibility, is now feeling all too real and hitting close to home. Towson University, Loyola, Morgan State University, a few public schools in Prince George’s County, and many more are all taking precautionary measures and closing due to suspected exposure to COVID-19. After school activities, field trips, conventions, and public sporting events have been canceled. Grocery store shelves are empty and everyone is left wondering… what more?

It’s a time of uncertainty, and in those times, we take comfort in knowing something is being done to help. SERVPRO has a few key messages and “Here to Help” is the most important. Now more than ever, SERVPRO is out on the streets helping to curb the recently declared pandemic and minimize its effects.

The hardest hit facility to date, is in Kirkland, Washington at an assisted living facility. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is currently working to sanitize, disinfect, and clean this building from top to bottom using advanced cleaning and application methods. SERVPRO performs all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.

It's important to understand that with this level of Bioremediation, cleaning methods need to be more advanced and efficient than simply wiping down hard surfaces with disinfectant. Safety comes first, and our teams adhere to OSHA and CDC guidelines with the use PPE and protective masks. We utilize fogging methods to disinfect more thoroughly. The hospital-grade disinfectant, SERVPROxide, is emitted from the fogger and its particles aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects. This application will ensure an even coating of all surfaces including walls, doors, floors and ceilings.  We then follow our initial fogging with a wiping of all surfaces, followed by another round of fogging. This is an intense and thorough method of disinfection and should be the standard when dealing with a virus threat of this magnitude.

Our team is prepared to help with Preventative or Post-Contamination cleaning in order to prevent business, school, and event disruption. We are defining “Proactive” as cleaning that takes place when there has been no person suspected of being exposed to COVID-19. This will be a lesser scope of work because there has not been a confirmed case.

If there was exposure in your facility to someone suspected of either positively testing for COVID-19 or being exposed to someone showing symptoms, we consider this “Post-Contamination” cleaning. The scope of work and safety precautions needed will increase in this situation.

 Eliminating exposure to this virus is the most important step we can take to diminish the spread of it throughout our country. To learn more about how to protect your business, employees, and building, please reach out to our team.

Contractor Connections - Golden Hammer Award

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Contractor Connections Plaque Carrie Jackson is our Office Manager at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County. She accepted the award on our behalf.

We were graciously awarded Contractor Connection's Golden Hammer Award for Top Performance in the restoration industry for the year of 2018.

This award is given to those who exceed expectations in a number of different metrics such as Customer Service, Job Performance, Response Time, Estimate Turnaround, and Cleanliness to name a few. We would like to thank Contractor Connections for acknowledging SERVPRO Team Wall's hard work and dedication over the last year!

Contractor Connection is a national leader for home renovation and repair. They work with a  network of high-quality contractors (such as ourselves) in order to match clients with the best possible fit for their renovation and repair needs.  All contractors allowed access to be included in their network must undergo a background check, insurance, and licensing check, and must have outstanding credentials before being accepted into the network. SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is proud to be a network member for our outstanding Fire Restoration and Water Damage Restoration services.
 

Contractor Connections - Golden Hammer Award

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Contractor Connections Plaque Carrie Jackson is our Office Manager here at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County. She accepted the award on our behalf.

We were graciously awarded Contractor Connection's Golden Hammer Award for Top Performance in the restoration industry for the year of 2018.

This award is given to those who exceed expectations in a number of different metrics such as Customer Service, Job Performance, Response Time, Estimate Turnaround, and Cleanliness to name a few. We would like to thank Contractor Connections for acknowledging SERVPRO Team Wall's hard work and dedication over the last year!

Contractor Connection is a national leader for home renovation and repair. They work with a  network of high-quality contractors (such as ourselves) in order to match clients with the best possible fit for their renovation and repair needs.  All contractors allowed access to be included in their network must undergo a background check, insurance, and licensing check, and must have outstanding credentials before being accepted into the network. SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County is proud to be a network member for our outstanding Fire Restoration and Water Damage Restoration services.

Burst Pipes 101

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Burst submerged pipe After a burst pipe creates water damage in your business, call on SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, we keep businesses running.

As we transition from February to March, spring is just around the corner. Spring brings warmer temperatures, but cold temperatures will linger for a while longer. With fluctuating temperatures, the risk of pipes bursting increases, as water within the pipes expands and contracts in response to different temperatures, resulting to increased pressure within the pipes, which can cause pipes to rupture and burst. The water damage that commonly results from burst pipes can have devastating effects on commercial businesses. Therefore, in order to best protect their commercial businesses, it is necessary for business owners to understand the ways in which burst pipes can be avoided, as well as how to effectively react in the event that pipes burst.

Prevention

   Protecting your commercial business with an insurance plan that covers water damage resulting from burst pipes is of the utmost importance, given that cleanup services are often costly. In terms of preventative measures, business owners can wrap pipes that are located outside or in unheated places in insulated sleeves. These insulated sleeves can keep pipes warm in cold temperatures, preventing them from freezing. If pipes do freeze, however, it may be beneficial to run water through the pipes in order to prevent them from rupturing. In order to catch leaking pipes before they burst, inspect pipes for small leaks on a regular basis.

If Pipes Burst…

In order to limit the amount of damage inflicted upon your business, be sure to turn off water, heating, and electricity systems immediately upon noticing burst pipes. Important items, such as physical documents and inventory, should be moved to a safe, dry place where they will not be exposed to water damage. In order to spot water damage, look for physical signs, which include discoloration or stains, musty smells, and mold or mildew growth. You can facilitate drying by opening doors and windows in your building, which will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. You can trust SERVPRO to work quickly and efficiently in order to remedy water damage caused by burst pipes in your commercial business, so as to avoid any major workplace interruptions.

Home Cooking Fire Safety

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Man surrounded by boxes Always abide by safe cooking practices.

Many people cook on regular, day-to-day basis in their homes. However, did you know that cooking accounts for the majority of household fires? While abstaining from cooking would effectively prevent such fires, that solution is simply unreasonable due to the importance of cooking in our daily lives. However, abiding by safe cooking practices can decrease the chances of an undesired fire igniting while cooking, thus saving your home from potential unwanted fire damage.

Before Cooking

Preparing the cooking space holds an incredible amount of importance in preventing an unwanted cooking fire. Make sure that any flammable items, such as paper towels, oven mitts, or wooden objects, are a safe distance from the cooking area. Because grease, oil, and food debris accumulate on cooking surfaces, including stove tops and the interiors of ovens, and such residue can easily ignite, it is crucial that cooking surfaces are cleaned prior to cooking. Not unlike cooking surfaces, pots and pans should also be cleaned before cooking, as grease and oil can build up on the insides and outsides, which can ignite while cooking.

While Cooking

Clearing the cooking space of flammable objects and wiping down cooking equipment are great preventative measures to take before cooking, but even so, many things can go wrong if you leave the kitchen unattended. Fires can start while food is cooking and if no one is present, the fire could grow quickly and become hazardous, as there would be no one present to smother the fire as soon as one ignites. Make sure to turn off the stove if you plan on leaving the kitchen while cooking in order to decrease this risk. In the event that you are cooking an item that must be roasted or baked for several hours, it would be unreasonable to attend to it the entire time that it is cooking. In this case, use a timer to make sure that you are checking on the cooking process regularly.

While taking preventative measures such as wiping down cooking equipment and never leaving items unattended while they are cooking lessen the chances of an unwanted fire igniting while cooking, emergencies can still occur. Having functional smoke alarms installed in your home and making sure that a fire extinguisher is always kept in your kitchen are two ways to protect your home in the event that a dangerous fire ignites while cooking. If a small fire ignites, it may be safe to smother it yourself, but if the fire grows quickly and becomes out of control, assistance may be needed. In this case, escape the house safely, make sure all other occupants have exited, and call 911. Once the fire has been put out safely, remember to call SERVPRO in order to make sure that any damage caused to your home by the fire is sufficiently repaired.

Preventing Basement Floods Due to Snowmelt

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Stone Wall SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is always ready to tackle a new water loss in order to protect your property from further damage.

During rainy seasons, we often brace ourselves for basement flooding. However, did you know that basements can flood at any time of the year if moisture is present in the ground? Regardless of whether your basement has never flooded before or has flooded many times, all basements have the potential to flood, as they are commonly located below ground level. When moisture is present in the ground surrounding the basement, water can seep through basement walls. This moisture can result from rain, but during the winter season, the snow, ice, and other frozen precipitation that accumulates during snowstorms heavily saturate the ground upon melting, which increases the likelihood of basement flooding. This winter and spring season, protect your basement from flooding due to snowmelt by considering the following tips:

Remove Snow

Snow or ice that accumulate close to the perimeter of the home after significant snowfall can increase the likelihood of snowmelt seeping into basement walls after being absorbed into the ground. In order to decrease the chance of your basement flooding due to this occurrence, it is important to shovel a five-foot barrier between the snow and your basement. In addition, snow on roofs and overhangs should also be removed, as it can also accumulate around the perimeter of the home, which can contribute to basement flooding upon melting.

Fix Cracks in Foundation

Water can enter basements and cause flooding if there are cracks present in the basement’s walls or foundation. Water damage to objects such as nearby furniture, walls, and carpets often results from this, in addition to mold growth. The only way to decrease the risk of such damage is to repair cracks in order to prevent water from seeping into the basement. Filling cracks with epoxy can serve as a temporary solution, but professional assistance is usually needed for long-term repair. Basement walls and foundations that are free from cracks will significantly decrease the chances of your basement suffering from flooding as a result of snowmelt.

If Your Basement Floods…

Although one can take every preventative measure possible, there is always the possibility of an unexpected disaster. If your basement floods as a result of snowmelt, water must be immediately removed in order to minimize water damage, which can be achieved through the use of a wet vacuum and dehumidifiers. However, if the flood damage is overwhelming, professional assistance may be required. Calling SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East ensures that your basement will be restored quickly and thoroughly after flooding due to snowmelt, minimizing any further water damage that may result from the flooding.

Flooding In Iowa

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Be wary of all storms. Keep up to date with your local weather and call SERVPRO if you suspect your building might be at risk to set up an ERP.

Flooding in Iowa

13 inches of rain hit Burlington, Iowa by storm this May over a 2 day period, leaving the city flooded and in need of remediation. In addition to the rain, large hail, high winds, and tornadoes hammered the area, which resulted in flooding that swept through the city as well as the flooding of nearby rivers, such as the Missouri River. During February of this year, a remarkable 25 inches of snow blanketed Des Moines, Iowa. The melting of all that snow left the ground completely saturated with liquid, unable to hold any more water. Therefore, the 13 inches of rain spread across the ground just as it would across a cement or tile floor, flooding highways, roads, and homes in its path. SERVPRO received around 30 job files and three crews were sent to Iowa to restore what was damaged in the flood.

Flooding can result in the contamination and damage of drywall, support beams, and even the foundation of homes. The damage to homes ranged anywhere from wet finished basements of 500 square ft to 3,000 square ft to wet flooring, walls, and content. Mold is most likely to grow in the initial 24 hours of the flooding, which calls for swift action from restoration crews.

The most satisfying component of restoring flooded homes was the crews’ ability to help flood victims bounce back in addition to the gratifying feeling that emerged as a result of helping those affected by the floods.

Prevent Water Damage to Carpets

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning A Carpet To be able to correctly react you must have the knowledge to act.

Preventing Water Damage To Carpets

How Can Carpets Be Damaged by Water?

Water damage to carpets is most commonly the result of plumbing issues such as leaky pipes and weather effects such as flooding or leaking after the buildup of water in areas that store water during storms such as attics or basements.

Warning Signs

Discoloration of the carpet is a visible sign of water damage. However, water damage can impact carpet without visible indicators. For example, another common sign of water damage is a putrid, musty odor that will not vanish after cleaning. Illness of those living in the house as well as amplified allergy symptoms may also signify the presence of water damage to carpets in a home.

Why You Should Act Quickly

Mold and mildew will grow in the damaged carpet the longer it remains untreated. In this case, the carpet will need to be completely removed, as mold and mildew cannot be destroyed through simple cleaning. The carpet padding and subfloor underneath the carpet can also be damaged if the area is not hastily cleaned. Finally, mold and mildew can cause detrimental effects to the health of those living in the home, as they can infiltrate the home’s ventilation system.

Precautions to Take

Any moisture in the carpet will need to be removed using a wet water vacuum. Surrounding furniture should also be checked to ensure that they have not also been contaminated. To prevent further mold growth, it may also be beneficial to scrub other carpets and walls in the room that was affected. Dry out the room and create better ventilation by opening windows and utilizing fans or a dehumidifier. To treat a specific area, sprinkle baking soda on top of the area and vacuum. Steam-cleaning the area will also help to destroy dead mold spores. When in doubt, call SERVPRO to guarantee a thorough and sufficient elimination of water damage in your carpet.