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The Phoenix Buildings Job

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

When we think of hurricanes, what comes to mind are strong, powerful forces of nature. The Scorpions’ 1984 hit rock song utilized the metaphor “Rock You Like A Hurricane” as its title for a reason. It’s left up to chance which cities are hit by hurricanes each year and the recipients of the destruction that hurricanes leave behind often find their lives turned upside-down, uncertain as to how to move forward.

When hurricanes hit, SERVPRO travels across the country to come to the aid of those who have been impacted. During a year in which the hurricane season proved to be too overwhelming for the English alphabet, our team couldn’t seem to find a break. Therefore, it’s fitting that our “Job of the Quarter” for this quarter was a storm job at the Phoenix Buildings in Orange Beach, Alabama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, which made landfall in September. We choose one job each quarter that best reflects the strengths of our team to receive the title of “Job of the Quarter”. Out of the many jobs that we completed this quarter in response to hurricanes, the Phoenix Buildings job specifically deserves the “Job of the Quarter” title because it put three hallmarks of SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Team Wall on display: teamwork between our three offices, our ability to serve as our customers’ “one-stop shop”, and our unbeatable turnaround time.

Hurricane Sally was the first hurricane to make landfall in Alabama since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and it certainly made its presence felt in Orange Beach. When our phones rang with a call from Storm Team Wilson, alerting us of a condo building that had experienced significant water damage from the hurricane, our team immediately made the trip down to Orange Beach. At first, we were only working on one of the multiple Phoenix Buildings, but because we proved ourselves through our work on the first building, we were trusted to complete work on a second building, giving us the opportunity to help even more residents pick up the pieces.

While we were excited by the opportunity to work on both condo buildings, the job was not without its challenges. People were still living in the condos, so our team faced challenges in obtaining access to keys for each condo unit and disrupting our customers’ lives as little as possible. From the top to the bottom of each building, the condos underwent water damage as a result of Hurricane Sally’s driving rain, which entered through sliding glass doors leading to the units’ balconies. After a hurricane that was completely out of anyone’s control and brought such large-scale water damage, our customers needed efficient restoration services to get things back on track as quickly as possible.

Such a speedy restoration required our three offices to act as a united front, coordinating, cooperating, and compiling our combined resources. As a result of this cooperation, we were able to complete work on the two buildings within two weeks when those working on some of the other Phoenix buildings required two weeks to finish just one building. We pride ourselves on being a “one-stop shop” for our customers, which is made possible by our ability to take care of every step of the process, from restoration to rebuild. We save our customers valuable time and money by providing a wide variety of services, from installing drywall to repairing hardwood flooring, eliminating the need for our customers to find other companies to complete the job. SERVPRO can be trusted to handle the entire job, start to finish.

With the 2020 hurricane season behind us, we have some room to breathe, but we’re already beginning preparations for 2021’s hurricane season. We’re hoping that what lies ahead isn’t quite as aggressive as the 2020 hurricane season, but we’re looking forward to many more opportunities, like the Phoenix Buildings job, that will allow us to use our team’s strengths to best help those impacted by uncontrollable storms find much-needed relief. Regardless of the nature of the 2021 hurricane season, we’re excited by the prospect of helping you or your client make it “Like it never even happened,” after any storm, fire, or water event.

Owners Corner: A 1st Quarter Newsletter Excerpt

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

2020 was a year filled with challenges- no question about it. Scanning 2020’s Wikipedia page, which displays each event itemized by both month and day for your convenience, you can take a stroll down memory lane. Even logging into your social media platform of choice, you’ll find memes, vents or rants from friends, videos, and advertisements at your fingertips that make you contemplate whether we’ll ever find the light at the end of the 2020 tunnel.

This year, that sentiment seeped into holiday cards that we received from family and friends. The cards were adorned with everything from notes recapping the year to comical, staged photos and clever taglines. But that all came to a halt on January 2nd, 2020, the day that I opened my last card of the holiday season. 

What I discovered printed on the back were words that caught me off guard. As I was trudging into 2021, I was extremely thankful to read words so powerful that they inspired a change in my perspective:

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

 ~Excerpt from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

From the curveballs that 2020 threw our way, Jim and I gained valuable lessons concerning the most essential elements of our lives:

  1. Family: It’s hard to keep up with how quickly our kids are growing. However, this year gave us the opportunity to increase the amount of time that we spent with them. Rather than racing our kids to the next sporting event in our separate cars, we were able to slow down and enjoy more time together. When it came time for dinner, we all sat down at the SAME time and at the SAME table. These family dinners became a time for deep conversations with our kids and a time to observe their developing personalities. Void of the distractions that we’d become used to in our everyday lives prior to the pandemic, we were even able to watch as our 12-year-old grew 6 more inches! Despite 2020’s many trials and tribulations, the opportunity for us to be present and make so many family memories was truly a blessing and something that won’t end with 2020.
  2. SERVPRO: The lesson of humility is one that is ongoing, but it took center stage in 2020. We can strategize and plan all we want, but in the grand scheme of things, there will always be circumstances that are out of our power:
  • 1St Quarter 2020: Our business went through a drastic change geographically in October 2019. That winter unfortunately happened to be the warmest winter recorded over the last 125 years. Business screeched to a halt, triggering distress and serious conversations about layoffs. In every sense of the phrase, this situation felt like a punch to the gut. Ultimately, it did do some good, as was a reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around us and our plans. Instead, our plans are always at the mercy of the rest of the world. This was the first, but certainly not the last, instance in which we had to “pivot” this year.
  • 2nd Quarter 2020: Where do I begin? 2nd Quarter saw COVID-19, anxiety, shutdowns, and fear. It also saw our business and team become “essential”. We found our fundamental service lines flipping from restoration to viral pathogen cleaning as we did our duty to “flatten the curve”. Working to keep businesses open, we strived to hinder the economic impacts of extended shutdowns, in order to preserve the peace of mind of our community members. This was an unforgettable period of time for us as entrepreneurs. While we had our fair share of fear as a result of so much uncertainty, the pride that we experienced, knowing that our team was working together, adapting to unfamiliar situations, and demonstrating our synergy, overpowered that fear. Our team truly embodied our tagline, “Here to Help”.
  • 3rd Quarter 2020: The 2020 hurricane season began normally with Arthur, but ended in record-breaking territory with Iota. Travelling across the country, making stops in Florida, Alabama, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Louisiana, our team got back to basics during 3rd Quarter, as we combatted Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, and Sally. Our latest “Job of the Quarter” blog (link to this blog) tells the story of one of our favorite hurricane jobs of the season. Our “One Team” mentality was on display with this project, as well as the strength of both our SERVPRO franchise system and our team. Once again, we learned another lesson in humility this quarter. The old proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”, best articulates our takeaway.
  • 4th Quarter 2020: I heard the lyrics of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” repeating in my head. The temperatures this winter were completely different than those of winter 2019. This winter’s frigid temperatures have also not been tremendously helpful in the curbing of COVID-19. Late October saw a dramatic increase in cases, which caused an increase in the number of COVID-19 cleanings for our team and this quarter, the number of COVID-19 cleanings that we completed surpassed 400. With the virus’ resurgence, our top priority shifted back to doing all we could to help our communities. After a plethora of experience with COVID-19 cleanings in the spring, we were relieved that we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we only had to harness our experience, refine our process, and provide the best quality services for our community.

While the negative aspects of 2020 may stick with us, it is important to recognize that a lot of good came out of this year’s challenges. Celebrate the good because life is too short to dwell on the disappointments.

I think back to the final sentences on that last holiday card I read in 2020, “…it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Could there have been more appropriate words to close out the year? As I fold up these sentences and tuck them into my pocket, I know that I am going to take them to heart in 2021. My wish is that you will, too.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Trish and Jim Wall

We Give Your Contents the Care They Deserve

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

To many, the word “home” means much more than its dictionary definition, which is “one’s place of residence” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Instead, what makes your house your home is the contents and belongings that lie inside. At SERVPRO, we’ve seen countless instances of emergency water events such as leaks and floods significantly damage homes and the cherished contents that they hold. We understand the value that you and your family place in your belongings, which is why our team strives to take the utmost care of your home’s contents after a water damage event, working to restore them rather than replace them.

We also know that every water loss is different and requires a unique plan of action. As a result, we offer multiple different types of contents restoration services that fit a variety of scenarios in order to provide the best protection for your belongings. Continue reading to take a closer look at the ways in which we look after and care for your home’s water-damaged contents.

Contents Restoration

Here at SERVPRO, we provide 7 types of contents restoration services in order to ensure that we have a service that will fit your needs, depending on the nature of the water damage that your home’s contents have sustained. Depending on the volume of residue, we may use dry cleaning or wet cleaning if the residue is light or moderate to heavy, respectively. In the event that the damaged contents cannot be restored with wet cleaning, spray and wipe or foam cleaning may be utilized. Foam cleaning is often appropriate for fabric items. Immersion cleaning or abrasive cleaning may also be a good option, depending on the type of items affected.

Move-Out and Pack-Out

When the amount of water damage to your home’s contents is significant, our move-out and pack-out services may be useful, as they help prevent your belongings from undergoing any further damage during the process of restoration. After the job has been completed, we also provide move-in day services, but these may vary depending on your insurance.

Electronic Cleanup

From T.V. sets to computers and DVD players, your electronic devices can become hazardous if they come into contact with water. If your home has experienced water damage, it is crucial that you stay away from your electronic devices and refrain from using them until they have been properly inspected because the combination of electricity and electronics can be deadly. Our team is experienced in caring for water-damaged electronics and we work carefully to properly clean the exterior of each device in an effort to prevent damage to their interiors. Finally, following our cleaning, a trustworthy electronics technician will inspect the device or devices in order to make sure that they are safe for use.

Document and Photograph Drying

Photos and documents often hold our most cherished memories, so it is critical that they receive the best care in the event that they come into contact with even the smallest drop of water. Our team will take every action to completely and thoroughly dry photos and documents. It’s not always possible to restore documents and photos to their pre-water loss condition, as water damage can sometimes be irreversible, but we are committed to preventing them from enduring further water damage. We offer 5 different drying services, vacuum thermal drying, vacuum freeze drying, freezer drying, dehumidifier, and air drying, so that we are able to dry any type of water-damaged contents. In this way, we strive to be able to provide drying services for as many of your belongings as possible.

Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS)

Because every water emergency is stressful, whether it’s a small leak or an overwhelming flood, SERVPRO’s Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) is here to help. By compiling a detailed list of your home’s contents, complete with photographs and barcoding, you can keep track of your belongings. Included in the inventory is each item’s preloss value in addition to details describing any damage that they have sustained. The CCIS is a tool that will aid in relieving stress and restoring your peace of mind in a time in which you need it most.

Need More Information?

In the event that your home endures water damage and your contents are affected, don’t hesitate. Pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East at (412) 672-5400 today to schedule a consultation and click here to find answers to any questions that you may have about the ways in which we care for your water-damaged belongings. Beyond caring for your belongings, we also offer many other types of water damage restoration services, which you can learn more about here. Here at SERVPRO, we understand the threat that water damage poses to your valued belongings. Remember that SERVPRO is only a call away and always ready to get to work caring for your home’s contents, making it “Like it never even happened.”

What is Sodablasting and Why is it Useful?

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

It is imperative for SERVPRO technicians to remain informed about technological advancesand techniques that can be used in the restoration industry. This is why SERVPRO is one of the leading water and fire mitigation businesses. Soda-blasting is one of our more case-specificcleaning methods and it couldbe just the service you were looking for when performing both minor and major restoration.

So What Is Soda-Blasting?
Sodablasting is a procedure that uses sodium bicarbonate to deeply clean surfaces as an abrasive material, similar to a power washer. Used generally on concrete walls and wood floors, soda blasting enables our technicians to clean the surfaces in question without excessively harming or damaging it. Contrary to ice-blasting, soda-blasts aim to keep the object it's being applied to, mostly intact. This is unbelievably useful for work on historic objects, beams and plastic and wooden material of all kinds, as the structural integrity of the object being cleaned is never seriously stressed.

Over the year 2020, it was important particularly in the case of a log cabin in HowardCounty Maryland, where this technique was used throughout almost the entire building after a large fire which singed about 80% of the interior walls and ceilings. We believe that this is one of the finest methods for cleaning wooden surfaces that are harmed by fire or mold since it thoroughly cleanses the surfaces and does not significantly harm the structural integrity of the wood.

Why Choose Us?
You want a teamwho investigates the problem and figure out what happened to prevent the situation from happening again. ,Within the first hour, our technicians can diagnose and identify the problem at hand and diagnose a solution tailored specifically to the situation. We consider that rarely is there aone-size-fits-all solution and every situation is special, so our crews must be as well-informed as to make the right choice for YOU.

We recognize the value of rebuilding and operating your company as soon as possible after exposure to fires, smoke and water. You can be confident thatSERVPRO and the clean-up service specialists for a clean person who will go above and beyond to make your needs heard.

An Overview of Our Fire Restoration Process

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire ignites in a home or business, SERVPRO is prepared to help make the fire “Like it never even happened,” by employing our 7-step fire restoration process. We’ve seen firsthand the effects that fires can have on properties as well as the lives of the people who live or work in them. It is of the utmost importance to us that we help our customers pick up the pieces and return to business as usual as soon as possible. Fires can be accompanied by distress and chaos, but by calling SERVPRO and trusting our thorough, 7-step method for restoring fire damage, you can relax. To learn more about each step of our fire restoration process, keep reading. It begins with your phone call.

  1. Emergency Contact

All it takes is one phone call to begin fire damage restoration services for your home or business. Make SERVPRO your first call after the fire has been extinguished so that we can design a plan of action tailored to your property’s specific needs. With this information in mind, we will make sure that we arrive on the site quickly, outfitted with the resources and equipment suitable for your home or business.

  1. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Upon arrival, our experienced fire damage team will examine your property in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the scope of the damage. When our team of fire damage experts arrives on the scene, they will survey the extent of the property’s fire damage. Depending on the scope of the fire, smoke, and soot loss, we will craft the most effective restoration plan for your home or business.

  1. Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Services

As a result of a fire, roofs, windows, and doors can undergo damage, which can compromise other areas of the property, leaving them susceptible to additional damage. Therefore, our team will place boards and tarps over exposed areas in order to further protect your home or business.

  1. Water Removal and Drying

Water damage can be the product of the process of extinguishing the fire with water. If your property has experienced this type of water damage, our team will make sure to thoroughly remove all of the water present. First, we will tackle standing water. Then, we will use dehumidifiers and air movers to get rid of the remaining water. Both of these actions will guarantee that your home or business will be thoroughly dried.

  1. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

After a fire, there is often smoke and soot residue present on various surfaces, such as ceilings and walls. This step in our fire restoration process involves removing all traces of smoke and soot, which we accomplish with our specialized equipment.

  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing

Following the removal of smoke and soot, our focus is cleaning and sanitizing objects that have survived the fire. For every item that we can salvage, we will use our wide array of cleaning techniques to clean, sanitize, and disinfect them. We will also utilize our fogging equipment and industrial scrubbers to get rid of odors. Above all, we aim to provide your home or business with an exceptional clean.

  1. Restoration

The culminating step in our fire restoration process is completing any repair work necessary to restore your home or business to its condition before the fire. This work can range from minor repairs to major repairs. Minor repairs often entail anything from installing new carpet to replacing drywall or giving a room a fresh coat of paint. As for major repairs, we may rebuild or restore particular rooms or areas of the home or business that have been significantly damaged. In the end, we will have your property looking as good as new.

In Need of Fire Damage Restoration? We’re Only a Call Away

After a devastating fire, you need a team that you can trust to quickly and efficiently restore your home or business for a speedy return to normalcy. Remember that SERVPRO is ready to help and only one, quick call away. A fire can be stressful, regardless of whether it occurs in your home or your business. Our 7-step fire restoration process will ensure that every aspect of restoring your property is followed through completely. You can learn more about our fire restoration services by clicking here. If your home or business has experienced a fire, be sure to call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East today at (412) 672-5400.

Are You Familiar With These Hidden Residential Fire Hazards?

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Residential fires, according to the National Fire Protection Agency, account for 27% of all fires. The residential fire hazards that first come to mind are likely the stove and electrical wiring, objects that involve an open flame or electricity. However, there are several fire hazards in the home that often go unnoticed. Here are 3 hidden, residential fire hazards that are important to recognize in order to protect your home:

  • Glassware

Remember the classic science experiment of starting a fire using a magnifying glass? While it is a rare occurrence, other types of glassware in the home, including vases and drinking glasses, can start a fire. All that’s needed for a fire to ignite is a focused ray of light to pass through a piece of glassware and focus on a nearby flammable object. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep glassware away from windows.

  • Laptops

The whirring sound of the fan kicking in, the surface of your desk becoming warm. These are the signs that your laptop is working hard and overheating. When your laptop is overheating, be sure to keep it on a hard surface instead of on a blanket, sofa, or any type of fabric, as they are flammable and could increase the risk of a fire starting.

  • Loose Outlets

Faulty electrical wiring usually comes to mind as a hazard when we think of causes of fires in the home, but it is beneficial to consider electrical outlets to be equally dangerous. If you’ve ever tried to plug a cord into an outlet and watched it immediately fall out, you’ve experienced the effects of loose blades inside of an electrical outlet. An electrical outlet’s blades naturally loosen over time and when they become too loose, they can conduct enormous heat, risking a fire. 

Residential fires, igniting and spreading quickly, can pose a serious threat to the safety of those living in your home and risk devastating fire damage. In order to protect your home from a dangerous fire, practice caution and keep hidden fire hazards in the back of your mind.

If a fire ignites in your home, leaving fire damage in its path, don’t hesitate. Call SERVPRO today. You can trust our fire damage experts and our fire, smoke, and soot restoration services to restore damaged areas of your home and make it “Like it never even happened.” Check out our Fire Damage Brochure and learn more about our fire damage restoration services here.

Chris's Interview Debrief

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

If you watched our latest Employee Highlight episode about Chris Hoeltke, you may know that Hoeltke is the kind of man who seeks adventure and newness, while valuing reliability and family. For this employee highlight episode, which you can find on our Facebook page, Chris Hoeltke caught us up on his life and work.

Besides running the warehouse at SERVPRO: Hunt Valley & Harford County, Chris has several passions. His love for fixing and repairing things stems from working on cars with his father as a child. Furthermore, his love for boats has been further proven by the sixteen he has owned in his lifetime.

Throughout our interview with Hoeltke, he filled us in on his job history. He explained he never stays at a job long. Often, he shows a pattern of working at any given job for five years or so, working his way to the top, then moving on.

“I get bored,” he explained. When Chris finds that a job no longer offers challenges, he finds it hard to feel the same excitement everyday.  He says this is why working as the Warehouse Coordinator for SERVPRO has been the ideal job. Chris never knows what to expect when he walks into the warehouse doors. It could be that equipment needs fixing, an out-of-state storm job may need his expertise, or a nearby job might need his guidance. Either way, whatever the jobs of the day are, Chris is happy to do them since they’re always different from yesterday.

During our interview with Chris, we also talked about his recent trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Back in late August, the town of Lake Charles was hit with Hurricane Laura. Unfortunately, shortly after, the town was hit once again with Hurricane Delta. Hearing of back-to-back destruction, SERVPRO: Team Wall’s Disaster Recovery Team traveled south to help businesses and families in need. Chris was part of this team. 

 “I was happy ‘cause I got to see my family,” Hoeltke stated. 

Before leaving for Lake Charles, Hoeltke had already spoken with Jim Wall, owner of SERVPRO Team Wall, about his family in that area.

“[Jim] let me go down a day early so I could spend a day in New Orleans… I got to see my parents who I hadn’t seen in 15-18 years.” 

Hoeltke was overjoyed by the visit to see his family. He talked of his mom’s home cooking, his newest nieces and nephews, and the way everyone got to catch up on the last decade and a half.

In all, we greatly appreciate the work Chris has done for SERVPRO. Thank you, Chris, for being such a valuable and friendly team member.

Asbestos Abatement - We Do That

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Asbestos is a term that carries a lot of weight to it. You may already have seen commercials about it before, urging the public to check for asbestos within their homes due to the serious health risks linked with long and consistent exposure to the materials. Mesothelioma is the primary concern. It is characterized as a tumor of the tissues that line your lungs, stomach, and heart. It really is a serious concern and it’s important to know how to go about checking for asbestos.

Production of asbestos originally began in the early 20th century as a popular building material. It can be found in all sorts of things, to gaskets, roofing sealants, wall panels, ceiling panels, and more. It was well used in all sorts of things because of its natural fire retardant, sound absorbent, and insulative properties. Until the 1980’s asbestos could be found in just about every household until it was found that prolonged exposure could cause serious health risks.

It was found that when asbestos particles found their way into our bodies, they would get lodged in major organs, clogging them up and occasionally forming very harmful tumors. These tiny fibers could get stuck inside these organs forever, irritating healthy cells until health issues such as mesothelioma developed.

In the restoration and mitigation industry, exposure to asbestos is a very real threat our production team can be faced with as we go about our tasks job. Breaking down drywall, opening up air vents, taking apart plumbing, and then rebuilding it all. If not properly tested for, we aren’t doing our due diligence to keep us, the employees, or you the property owner, safe. Safety is always a top priority especially in our business, and our job first and foremost is to make sure our customers are safe and secure from the initial call to years after a job is completed. This is why we give you the information because knowledge and understanding is the first defense against any mishap.

Common Building Materials Containing Asbestos

As follows, but not limited to:

  • Resilient Floor Tiles (specifically vinyl sheet flooring and other adhesive tiles
  • Soundproofing or decorative material (i.e. popcorn ceilings)
  • Patching and joint compound for walls and ceilings
  • Textured paints
  • Asbestos cement roofing, shingles, and siding

Our team performs asbestos testing as commonplace practice before we start any demolition job as it is important to the safety of all involved. We utilize a third party Industrial Hygienist (WHO?) to perform testing on samples and compile a protocol for abatement (a term commonly used to describe the lessening of something) in the case of positive results.

In the past, we subcontracted with external Asbestos Abatement services needed to third party providers. However, since 2018, our internal teams have completed the training, testing, and certification processes required to perform Asbestos Abatement in house so that we can get onto the demo stage faster and enrich our teams with better knowledge in the process.


In late 2020, we (Team Wall) completed an Asbestos Abatement at a large scale senior living facility in West Virginia. A kitchen fire had escalated into the attic space of a four unit townhome, two of the four units suffered extensive fire damage and were in desperate need of a quick demo and mitigation so that we could get to the rebuild stage and get those poor tenants back into their homes as soon as possible. Luckily, because of our certifications, we were able to get this done faster due to our ability to conduct this in house, where as other companies might take extra days or even weeks to get the O.K. to start demolition.

It’s a good thing we did too. When the asbestos test came back we found that the mastic underneath the tiles as well as the joint compounds used in the initial construction of the house came up positive for asbestos. Being trained, our team got to work in completing a full scale asbestos abatement in order to decontaminate the units and begin demoing’  with the end goal of replacing the whole unit with all new materials in mind.

At the time of writing this, our team received clearance a week ago and are now finishing up reconstruction services, whereas some other companies might now only have been on the demolition proves. On the exterior, we replaced windows, siding, and the whole roof. On the interior, we installed all new duct work, electrical wiring, plumbing insulation, all new kitchen cabinetry, countertops, appliances, drywall, flooring, trim, and finished it off with a fresh coat of paint, through ALL the units affected. Truly, we are a one stop shop.

Yep, we did that too.

SERVPRO is unfortunately though of as solely a water and fire mitigation company. People think, we go in, wipe some soot off of a wall and leave, but, as you can see, we are so much more than that and our services stretch far and wide. If your property has been affected, seemingly by anything, give us a call. If you need a team that can truly “be-all do-all”, you’re in the right place, and you’re in safe hands.

Disaster Recovery Team – Team Wall

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Whenever there's a reason to dress up at work, SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East likes to really let it all out. It's not rare to see those of us here with devil horns or witch hats on as early as October 1. We don't fool around when there's any excuse for us to act a little "extra". Many of us here are currently decking our houses with massive lighting, animatronic corpses, fog machines, microphones, you name it, all in the spirit of the holiday. What does all of this need? Loads of energy and that kind of power, gone unchecked can cause massive power surges or even fires. If you're not careful, "Halloween Nightmares" could become an all too real thing, unlike the plastic animatronics and fake monsters. So, how do we prevent this?

  • Ditch the Harvest Crops

A common theme that many people can have when setting up their haunted houses is making it look a bit like a farmhouse. It's not uncommon to see dried out corn stalks, hay bales, or even just piles of wood sat out in front of people's houses. Generally speaking, leaving these things out around open flames or machines liable to cause fires, is not the greatest idea. 

  • Switch to Switches

Along with the previous statement. Who doesn't love a good jack-o-lantern. We sure do. Something to keep in mind is that most times, people will use open flames in jack-o-lanterns or in luminaries and this can be another huge fire hazard if you're not careful. We suggest switching these over to LED lights. They're reusable, safer, and come in a whole wide range of colors.

  • Keep An Eye on Your Costume

Another common problem is wardrobe malfunctions. Long draping sashes, Flowing Dresses, Acrylic hair pieces, bits of string, all of these things can get caught over an open flame, or stuck in some sort of machinery and cause some serious issues.

  • Always Check Your Equipment

We all might have that one person, maybe it's you, who decides to pull out some sort of heavy power tools or farm equipment and drop them in the front lawn. Always make sure to check your equipment before starting it up. Gas caps, saw blades, fuel lines, extension cords, make sure to practice proper safety if you decide to mess with heavy machinery on Halloween night.

  • Test Your Outlets

Especially those that are set outside exposed to the elements. We here at SERVPRO know a lot about "daisy-chaining" heavy loads of power and how to do it safely, it's part of the job, but it can get messy fast. Always make sure how much power you're putting in, and how much the outlet can take before you plug anything in, especially if your house looks like a death metal album cover.

Accident prevention is the key to making smart, calculated decisions that could cost you in the long run. We always strive to provide customers with solutions to everyday problems in hopes that they will never need our services again. We know how hard house fires can be for families and we will always be here to get people back on their feet in their time of need. If all else fails, remember, you can always call on your local SERVPRO for assistance.

Job of the Quarter (Q4 2020)

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

PrimeCare Medical Rebuild

It’s no secret that 2020 has thrown us many wide-ranging, strange challenges. In order to thrive this year, we’ve learned that embracing a “let’s figure it out” attitude by seeking alternatives and adapting to the curveballs that have been thrown at us is key. In fact, this kind of attitude isn’t just helpful in the face of unpredictability, but at any point in time.

We have “7 Pillars” that we value at Team Wall: Solutions, Hustle, Persistence, Team, Accountability, Consistency, and Quality. Every day, our team is expected to embody these 7 Pillars. They’re more than just buzzwords. They’re the very aspects of our customer service that set us apart.

What we look for when choosing the “Job of the Quarter” is an example of all 7 Pillars at work. This quarter, it was our work at PrimeCare Medical without question. In addition to displaying our 7 Pillars, this job also debunked a stereotype that SERVPRO “doesn’t do rebuild work”, which simply isn’t true. Here at SERVPRO, we handle everything, from the beginning of the job to the very end.

Our phone rang just after 3 AM with a request for emergency water mitigation services at a Harrisburg office building that had undergone a sprinkler head malfunction. As a result, the building had suffered water damage to its structure and a water discharge that affected over 2 dozen offices on the second floor. Our team arrived onsite and began work by 4:20 AM that same morning. We mean it when we say that our response time is second to none.

We met with the building’s ownership later that morning and finalized a plan to execute the rebuild as soon as we finished our mitigation and demo process. While that may sound like a quick conversation, a large portion was spent discussing the subject of “Rebuild” because the ownership wasn’t aware that SERVPRO carried out reconstruction work. Because of this, they were hesitant to put this job into our hands, but our lead time was what secured the job. We are able to begin reconstruction work just one day after the completion of mitigation services. When using several vendors, that turnaround time is difficult to match, especially in commercial work when as we all know, time is of the essence.

Our team finished the water mitigation and demo process for the contents and structure of the building throughout the following 3 ½ weeks with our trademark hustle. All the while, we were busy planning behind the scenes for the reconstruction work on the affected areas. We promised the ownership a 60-day turnaround time. In order to execute the job on time, we knew that planning and preparation would be critical.

We succeeded and fulfilled the customer’s requests, leaving the customer so pleased that they gave us additional repair work to put the finishing touches on the building’s restoration and rebuild operation. We committed to completing this additional repair work within 30 days in order to get the company back in their building as soon as possible.

Every job is unique, which is why we make it a point to communicate with our customers on a regular basis, ensuring that our work is meeting their specific needs. Throughout this job, we were in regular contact with the customer as well as key stakeholders, updating them on our progress.

After any disaster, SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall aims to be your “one-stop-shop”. Over the years, our Reconstruction department has grown into a strong, talented team that lives up to that famous SERVPRO motto, “Like it never even happened.” The opportunity to help companies such as PrimeCare Medical is something for which we are grateful every day and we look forward to future opportunities to do the same for you and your customers.