Recent Posts

Combining Our Powers for 2nd Quarter 2020's Job of the Quarter

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Debris Chute he swift turnaround time needed for this job made everyone’s help necessary, so we recruited everyone from technicians to Jim Wall, one of our owners.

Selecting the job of the quarter is consistently a tough decision to make. On a daily basis, we are pleased to help customers with a wide array of needs. In the same vein, our team members display their dedication to their work and impressive customer service every day. This raises the question: How do you select just one exceptional job? This quarter, it boiled down to a powerful combination of cooperation and hustle.

Getting the Call

One sunny, Saturday afternoon in June, we received a call about a sizable fire loss at a 375,000 square foot logistics warehouse located in South Central Pennsylvania. The customer’s esteemed retail client required immediate service, as they couldn’t jeopardize overdue shipments, upset customers, or downtime. The customer enlisted the help of Team Wall in order to make it “Like it never even happened.” While we were eager to help, one problem stood in our way. Our after-hours production schedules were consumed with COVID-19 cleanings, leaving us short in resources. As a result, it was unlikely that one office would be able to complete the job to the customer’s desires. However, our labor and resource efficiency is what sets Team Wall apart from the rest and was exactly what we needed to tackle this job.

Combining Our Powers

This may sound cheesy, but do you remember Captain Planet’s catchphrase “our powers combined”? For SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Wall, it’s the real deal. Because we have offices in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Harrisburg, we’re uniquely able to merge our equipment and labor resources and offer our services to customers across a wide range of geographical locations. Our Baltimore and Harrisburg offices joining forces was what made it possible for us to complete the job quickly and produce a final product that made the customer happy “beyond measure.”

Our Management and Production team members from both offices were onsite within just one hour of receiving the customer’s initial call. They immediately strategized a plan for mitigation and got to work extracting water, drying, and cleaning. The large fire loss required a team, 45 members strong, working hard from Saturday evening until Tuesday to keep the busy warehouse operating as usual.

All Hands On Deck

The swift turnaround time needed for this job made everyone’s help necessary, so we recruited everyone from technicians to Jim Wall, one of our owners. Jim can be seen installing a debris shoot up on a scissor lift in the photo above. It goes without saying that this was an all hands on deck kind of job.

Right from our start 12 years ago, the foundation of our business has been excellent customer service and hustle. Today, they are still of the utmost importance to us and we plan to always stand by those principles. We are so grateful to you and your customers for trusting Team Wall’s Disaster Recovery Team when you need it most. We are truly delighted to be “Here to Help” and appreciative of your support.

Employee of the Quarter (Q2 2020)

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

person in front of SERVPRO truck Holly Cope

Each quarter, we recognize one exemplary employee as our “Employee of the Quarter”. With so many incredible employees, you may be wondering: How do we choose the employee of the quarter?

Here at SERVPRO, we ask our employees to strive for our 7 “pillars”, which include: QualityPersistenceConsistencyTeamHustleSolutions, and Accountability. The employee of the quarter not only follows and models all 7 pillars, but also surpasses expectations. Congratulations to Holly Cope!

Holly Cope

Our employee of the quarter is the wonderful Holly Cope! Holly serves as Crew Chief at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East and she is a major contributor to the company’s success. She is always willing to help the team, which is evident in the fact that she’s always the first to volunteer when someone needs coverage for an after-hours shift. In her role as Crew Chief, she is consistent with her job documentation. Holly’s warm, shining personality never fails to comfort customers on their worst days. This quarter, Holly was involved in three storm events. We’re so lucky to have her as a part of our team.

Bathroom Mold: A Growing Concern

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

dark bathroom SERVPRO’s mold remediation specialists will work quickly to get your bathroom back to normal, “Like it never even happened.”

With their ever-present moisture and humidity, it’s easy to see why mold loves bathrooms. Moisture and humidity combine to generate optimal conditions for mold growth. In prime conditions, mold can grow and multiply in less than 24 hours, risking significant damage to the safety of your bathroom. In addition, mold infestations can compromise the health of those living in your home, as mold can trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, taking steps to protect your home’s bathroom against the harmful effects of mold is paramount. Understanding the reasons as to why mold growth occurs in bathrooms is a great first step.

Understanding the Causes of Bathroom Mold Growth

One of the top causes of bathroom mold growth is lacking ventilation. Moisture often lingers after baths and showers, which can lead to mold growth if it isn’t dried quickly. Bath towels, rugs, curtains, and other fabric accessories in the bathroom can be at risk for mold growth if they become due to a bath or shower. Lastly, moisture can accumulate as a result of leaking plumbing, increasing the risk for mold growth.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

While it’s impossible to eliminate moisture completely in your bathroom due to the prevalence of water, there are actions that you can take to protect your bathroom. After a bath or shower, it is beneficial to turn on your fan for at least 30 minutes in order to increase ventilation. Keeping the humidity level inside your home below 45% is also an effective way to make sure that your bathroom doesn’t become too humid. Damp bath towels, rugs, and other fabrics found in your bathroom can facilitate mold growth, so it is helpful to wash them frequently. Leaks stemming from sinks, toilets, or other plumbing contribute to a buildup of water in the bathroom. Check these areas regularly in order to catch a leak before it gets out of hand. To decrease lingering moisture on shower walls, consider using a squeegee after every bath or shower.

What to Do If You Spot Mold Growth

Mold can often go unnoticed due to its habit of thriving in dark, damp, and isolated areas such as in corners or between tiles. If you discover mold growing in your bathroom, it is important to remember the following:

First and foremost, don’t touch the mold. Doing so may trigger allergic reactions and jeopardize your health. Next, refrain from attempting to clean or dry out the mold yourself. While these actions may seem effective, they may actually set the mold spores in motion, sending them to other areas of the bathroom and worsening the problem. Lastly, even though a mold problem can be unnerving, remember to stay calm. SERVPRO has your back with our 24-hour emergency service. Call us today at (412) 672-5400 to schedule your mold inspection and damage assessment. SERVPRO’s mold remediation specialists will work quickly to get your bathroom back to normal, “Like it never even happened.” To learn more about our mold remediation services, visit https://www.SERVPROmetropittsburgheast.com/mold-remediation.

Flash Floods: Know Your Risk

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Large Flooded Landscape In order to protect your home, it is of the utmost importance that you know the risk of flash flooding in your area.

In just minutes, summer rain showers can become dangerous. In flash floods, water builds rapidly, pathing a path of destruction in its wake, demolishing bridges, buildings, and homes. While it can occur at any time during the year, flash flooding is common during the summer due to the higher humidity and slower jet stream. In the United States, flooding is the second deadliest weather-related event and claims an average of 81 lives per year according to NOAA. In comparison with general flooding, flash flooding can be more dangerous, as it contains the same intense force of flood water, but develops and moves quickly. In order to protect your home from the dangers of flash flooding, it is highly beneficial to understand its origins.

Causes of Flash Flooding

The jet stream, which greatly affects weather patterns throughout the year, slows during the summer season. Subsequently, summer storms have a tendency to linger over one area for a long time, which leads to a large amount of rain falling over one area. This heavy rainfall can increase the likelihood of a flash flood developing. Overall, flash flooding requires two conditions, long duration and high intensity of rainfall. These conditions are met in several storm scenarios, such as severe storms (hurricanes or tropical storms) and slow-moving thunderstorms. Another element that affects flash flooding is topography, or the physical features of an area. The risk of flash flooding is higher in areas located in close proximity to rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. Though it may come as a surprise, urban areas are also prone to flooding and flash floods due to the prominence of concrete and subsequent lack of soil into which rainwater can be absorbed.

Know Your Risk

Oftentimes, early warning cannot be given when it comes to flash floods because they develop so quickly. The lack of sufficient warning can increase the chances of your home undergoing water damage or even structural damage as a result of flash flooding. In order to protect your home, it is of the utmost importance that you know the risk of flash flooding in your area. Be sure to stay alert when storms are in the forecast and put together an emergency flood kit if you live in an area that is at an increased risk. However, if a flash flood catches you by surprise and wreaks havoc on your home, know that SERVPRO has you covered.

Fire Up the Barbecue: Gas Grill Safety

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Open topped grill with food ize that gas grills are a prominent fire hazard. It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according

The month of June is famous for backyard barbecues and cookouts. The grill is a staple for
these events and often, they are gas grills, which are usually powered by propane tanks or
cylinders. While grilling should be fun and enjoyable, it is important to recognize that gas grills are a prominent fire hazard. It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. By understanding
how to safely go about each step in the grilling process, you can minimize the risk of a fire
igniting while keeping your summer cookouts enjoyable and safe.


Using a Propane Cylinder Safely

It is important to check your propane cylinder for damage, such as rust or dents, prior to use. If
you find that the propane cylinder is damaged, refrain from using that particular cylinder.
Additionally, make sure that the propane cylinder is not overfilled before firing up the grill.
Maintaining a distance of at least 10 ft between the propane cylinder and any combustible items
is crucial at all times. It is also extremely unsafe for children to be within close proximity to the
propane cylinder while it is in use. When not in use, propane cylinders should never be stored
inside. Instead, they should be kept in an outdoor location with sufficient ventilation in an upright
position. However, they should not be kept beside or underneath the gas grill.


Gas Grill Safety

Before any kind of cookout, be sure to check your grill for gas leaks. In order to do this, spray a
soapy water solution on the grill fitting and turn on the gas. Bubbles forming on that line
indicates a leak. Another important step is to check the hose that runs from the propane cylinder to the grill for any holes, which may leak gas. Also, be sure to remove any blockages that you find in the grill, which can range from bugs to old food grease, before you use the grill. Make
certain that the grill is located on a level surface in a ventilated outdoor space and don’t leave
the grill unattended while grilling. At any point while grilling you begin to smell gas, evacuate the
area and call the fire department from a safe distance. In the event of an emergency, it may be
beneficial to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Once you’re finished grilling and the food is smelling wonderful, don’t forget to completely close the valve of the propane cylinder and turn off the grill’s burner controls. Before placing a cover over the grill, make sure that it has thoroughly cooled down.


In the Event of a Fire…

Adhering to safe grilling practices can reduce the chances of the ignition of an unwanted fire,
but regardless of how careful you are, accidents cannot be completely voided. If your home has experienced fire damage due to a gas grill mishap, be sure to call SERVPRO. From fire damage to smoke and soot damage, our team of skilled fire damage specialists will speedily remediate the damage so that you can continue to enjoy your sizzling summer barbecues and cookouts
this June.

Understanding HVAC Hazards

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Air Conditioning Unit Are you in the know?

As the warm summer season approaches, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, better known as HVAC systems, will be working overtime to keep businesses cool. When HVAC systems are used frequently, they can become serious fire hazards. When we think of causes of commercial fires, complications with cooking equipment and electrical circuits or careless mistakes are usually the first to come to mind. Even though fires due to HVAC complications are not overly common, the damage that they impose can be disastrous. Therefore, in order to best protect your commercial business from experiencing devastating fire damage due to a malfunctioning HVAC system, business owners must gain an understanding of the most common fire hazards associated with HVAC systems.


Three Common Hazards
A leaking fuel line is one common HVAC fire hazard. Flammable fuels, such as gas, petroleum, and oil, which reside inside of HVAC units, can leak out of the unit if the fuel line experiences damage. These fuels can ignite easily after leaking from the unit, which can result in a fire. In order to protect your commercial business from this type of fire, make sure that your HVAC system experiences regular maintenance. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to notice a leaking fuel line, so it is crucial that your HVAC system’s condition is assessed on a regular basis in order to avoid a fire due to a leaking fuel line.
Another common hazard of HVAC systems is poor electrical connections in an HVAC unit. Electrical connections within HVAC systems tend to loosen over time, which can result in exposed or burnt wires. These wires can facilitate the ignition of a fire. Fires of this nature usually smell like burning plastic because the faulty electrical connection causes plastic coatings on wiring to melt. If a smell similar to that of burning plastic is emanating from your business’ HVAC system, this is most likely a sign that your HVAC unit has experienced damage to electrical connections.
Lastly, when your commercial business’ HVAC unit is surrounded by clutter, whether it be storage boxes and crates, cleaning supplies, or other types of equipment, your HVAC system can be at risk for damage and the ignition of a fire that can easily spread to other areas of the building. Because HVAC units often find their home in storage areas or closets, they can become surrounded by clutter. If an HVAC unit becomes damaged and a fire ignites, the unit’s proximity to other objects, especially those that are flammable such as cardboard boxes and paper products, increase the likelihood of those objects catching fire as well, making for a much larger fire that can spread to other areas of your business’ building and result in significant, widespread fire damage.

Experienced a Fire?
If your commercial business has experienced a fire loss and water damage from fire cleanup efforts, be sure to call SERVPRO. SERVPRO’s trained fire and water damage restoration specialists will work hard to quickly get your commercial business back up and running.

Spring Mold Prevention

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Spring Cleaning Graphic If not handled correctly mold can reappear, or even spread.

As we enter April, we’re seeing the first signs of spring. With spring comes more pleasant weather, influencing us to open up our homes’ windows and doors to let in warm, fresh air. Doing so brings humidity and moisture into the home, thus increasing the risk for mold growth. Mold can grow anywhere that moisture is present on a wide variety of surfaces, including wood, carpet, and insulation. Mold needs to be remediated quickly in order to limit the spread and reduce its negative effects on the health on people living within the home. Mold is capable of growing at any time of year, but the increased threat of mold growth during the spring raises the question: How can mold growth be prevented during the spring?
One of the most important methods of preventing mold growth during the spring is to keep air circulating so that warm air and moisture will not become trapped in certain areas of the home. This can be achieved through the use of fans and dehumidifiers. Indoor humidity levels should not exceed 45%. Look for areas in the home where mold could thrive if moisture becomes present, including cold and dark areas. In order to decrease the risk of mold growth in these areas, it may be beneficial to bring in natural or artificial light, as well as warmth.
It is also helpful to keep an eye on windows after it rains. Rain is common in the springtime and moisture from rain water can spur mold growth around windows and windowsills. If moisture is present on windows, dry the surface as soon as possible. During the spring, temperatures differ indoors and outdoors, so condensation can build on surfaces such as windows and doors. In order to prevent mold growth on areas with condensation, it is crucial to thoroughly dry the surfaces as soon as possible.
In the event that mold grows on a surface in your home, make sure to scrub the surface diligently with detergent and water. After the area has been cleaned sufficiently, it is important that the surface be thoroughly dried in order to lessen the risk of further mold growth. On occasion, mold growth can get out of hand and require large-scale mold removal. If you have a major mold infestation in your home, call SERVPRO to inspect, assess, and quickly remediate your mold infestation.

Wha do Waffles Have to do With FEMA?

4/6/2020 (Permalink)

A storm roared through the East Coast many years ago, in 2004. FEMA went to work, doing what they could to assess the damage and to help the disaster-stricken communities. Around the same time, out of this slew of hurricanes would grow an informal measure which would confuse civilians for years to come. The Waffle House Index. What is The Waffle House List exactly? What does delicious fluffy syrup-ey goodness have to do with Emergency Management?     
Well, a researcher working for FEMA at the time found that by examining the actual operating state of Waffle Houses in the affected area one could potentially measure how serious a natural disaster was to the communities in the surrounding areas. When the store is open, green light, if the store is running on a small menu, yellow light, and if the store is shut down entirely, red light. Those were the key measurements.   Although the theory may have seemed strange, it turned out that FEMA could get a fairly good idea of the extent of the situation in a certain area. It began as a sort of joke until FEMA administrator Craig Fugate coined the word in May 2011 (https:/n.pr/2JznNEc).
Now, with the current epidemic, The Waffle House Index is being put to the test again but now on a nationwide scale. If we can take anything from this story, its that being able to support your community in its time of need is the most important thing one can do. Whether that's staying inside at all times, or gearing up and going out to help the good of mankind. Good risk management is one thing, but understanding how to prepare for any size disaster, and being able to hold the foundation of our communities because of our preparedness is a trait that we hold pride on as well. SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team-Team Wall, chooses to be that foundation for our community every day we put our boots on the ground. We are here to help. We are here to commit. We are here to serve.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, why not start at the Wikipedia page? If you're feeling so kind, they are in need of donations in order to stay running. All donations are appreciated. 

Proactive Cleaning Services

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Here To Help Photo Anytime, Anytown, Anyway.

In light of the recent pandemic, 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.