Rain, Rain, Go Away: Minimizing Water Damage from Flooding
Flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Association, is “the most common and costly disaster in the United States.”
At any time of year, flooding is a major threat to homes and businesses. However, the risk of storm damage to properties is magnified during hurricane season. Flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Association, is “the most common and costly disaster in the United States.” For residential and commercial properties, FEMA recommends that homeowners and business owners take three actions in an effort to prevent flood damage: “Know Your Risk”, “Insure Your Property”, and “Reduce Your Risk.” This blog will highlight several of FEMA’s guidelines that can help you protect your property from serious damage as a result from flooding.
Preventative Measures Inside and Outside
Protecting your home or business from flood damage requires planning and calculated action. The outdoor areas of your property, as well as everything indoors, warrant attention. One preventative measure that you can take outside of your home or business is elevating your property’s outdoor utilities and equipment. Outdoor heat pumps and air conditioning units can be subject to serious damage when they fall in the path of a flood. Raising this equipment about 1 foot off of the ground can be pivotal in preventing costly damage. The same can be done indoors with internal utilities, such as your HVAC system. Another beneficial step to take inside of your home or business is placing important documents and valuable objects in water-tight containers. Store these containers in elevated locations in order to further protect them from the irreversible effects of flood damage. The three steps outlined thus far must be taken well in advance of a storm, but there are some preventative measures that you can take with minimal advanced notice. It is helpful to get into the habit of cleaning your property’s gutters regularly so as to prevent debris from accumulating, which blocks rainwater from draining properly. Ineffective draining can lead to more severe storm and water damage during periods of heavy rain that often occur during a flood.
Call SERVPRO for Professional Storm Damage Restoration
Eliminating the possibility for storm or water damage completely during a flood is unreasonable, but having preventative measures in place can be helpful in lessening the severity of any damage sustained. Ready.gov offers a longer list of steps that homeowners and business owners can take in preparing their properties for flooding. Follow these steps, as well as the recommendations provided in this blog, in order to best protect your property. In the event that the unexpected occurs and your property finds itself in need of storm damage restoration services, look no further than SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East. Our seasoned Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration specialists will work with you to ensure that your property is restored to its preloss condition as quickly as possible when you call us at (412) 672-5400. Be sure to check out our website for our professional Water and Storm Damage Tips before help arrives, as well as our specialized services, such as Commercial Storm Damage Restoration and Storm Damage Contents Restoration.
Our Water Damage Restoration Process: What Can You Expect?
With every water damage restoration job, we base our game plan off of our tested and dependable Water Damage Restoration Process.
After a storm, water damage emergencies that occur in residential homes and commercial businesses alike require immediate attention and professional restoration services. When you call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, that is exactly what you will get. With every water damage restoration job, we base our game plan off of our tested and dependable Water Damage Restoration Process, while tailoring our procedures to your property’s specialized needs. Let’s break down each step of our trusted water damage restoration process so that you know what to expect when you call SERVPRO after a storm leaves your property with a water damage emergency.
Our 6-Step Water Restoration Process
What sets our water damage restoration process into motion is your phone call. One of our professionals will gather information about your property’s water damage situation, which helps us prepare appropriately to arrive onsite with the proper equipment for the job.
- Inspection and Water Damage Assessment
In order for our team to work quickly and efficiently, we conduct an assessment of your property prior to the start of work. During this assessment, the contamination level of the water as defined by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification will be determined and we will measure the distance that the water has traveled from its origin. This assessment makes sure that every water damaged area of your property is accounted for and will receive our water damage restoration services.
- Water Removal and Extraction
Next, our professional vacuums and pumps are brought in to remove standing water. It is essential that our team begins extracting water as soon as possible in order to minimize mold and mildew growth.
- Drying and Dehumidification
Often, hard-to-reach water is still present after step 3, so we bring in air movers and dehumidifiers that will ensure that your property is thoroughly dried. Measures of humidity levels and temperature determine exactly how much equipment will be needed in order to complete the drying process. This step also protects against mold and mildew growth that often results from lingering moisture.
According to the IICRC, contamination levels of water can fall into three different categories. If contamination levels are elevated, items impacted by your property’s water damage may require cleaning and sanitizing. Therefore, we focus on cleaning and deodorizing affected surfaces and items in step 5. Depending on the types of surfaces and items impacted by the water damage, our team may implement Dry Cleaning, Wet Cleaning, Immersion Cleaning, Abrasive Cleaning, or another one of our many water clean-up methods.
Step 6 of our water damage restoration process includes the final touches that will transform your home or business back into its condition prior to your water loss. We offer a long list of Building Services for major projects, as well as minor repairs ranging from drywall installation to carpet replacement and everything in between.
Here for You Throughout the Entire Process
From your initial call to the final touch, SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East will have your back until your property is back to normal. In the event that your residential or commercial property experiences water damage, don’t wait another second. Give us a call at (412) 672-5400. You can learn more about our Water Damage Restoration services as well as our specialized Commercial Water Damage Restoration services for commercial properties on our website. Before help arrives, check out our professional Water Damage Tips.
After The Fire: Cleaning Your HVAC Unit
After a fire of any size, our Fire Damage Restoration and Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning services are just what your property needs to recover.
A fire emergency alone is stressful, but the resulting damage to your residential or commercial property can cause even more of a headache. When looking to implement fire damage restoration services, it is important to address damage to structure and personal belongings or contents as well as behind-the-scenes components of your home or business. One such component is your property’s HVAC system, which can exacerbate fire damage if it is not properly cleaned after a fire. Facilitating the flow of air throughout your property, HVAC units can pick up smoke and soot residue from fires and transport it to other locations in your business or home, which increases human health effects. Wondering what SERVPRO can do to help after a fire of any size? Our Fire Damage Restoration and Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning services are just what your property needs to make a full recovery.
When Should HVAC Cleaning Be Implemented?
Fires that are moderate to heavy in terms of severity often produce the highest amounts of smoke and soot residue and therefore, these types of fires frequently require HVAC cleaning. Another factor to consider when determining whether HVAC cleaning is necessary is the proximity of the fire to your property’s HVAC unit. It is beneficial to contact a professional specializing in fire damage and HVAC cleaning who can provide a reliable assessment of your property’s unique damage situation and its subsequent needs. By calling SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, both fire damage restoration experts and HVAC cleaning specialists will work to ensure that your home or business receives the help that it needs.
HVAC Cleaning Reduces Health Effects
While fires cause visible damage to personal belongings and the structures of properties, they can also create invisible dangerous health effects to which people living or working in the affected home or business can be exposed. HVAC cleaning after a fire minimizes these risks and helps protect individuals from serious health effects and reactions to poor air quality.
For Professional HVAC Cleaning, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is here to help in the event that your residential or commercial property endures damage in the wake of a fire. At the first sight of fire damage, call us immediately at (412) 672-5400 for trustworthy fire damage restoration services implementing top-of-the-line equipment. We also offer a variety of specialized Cleaning Services in addition to Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning, including Odor Removal, and Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, which can help make your property’s fire damage “Like it never even happened.” For a comprehensive restoration that checks every box and prevents your property from enduring any additional damage after any fire, look no further than SERVPRO.
Biohazard Cleaning: We Do That Too
Our team wastes no time removing the biohazard while performing our Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration Services.
No matter what kind of emergency your commercial or residential property faces, we have the Cleaning Service that will restore your home or business to normal in no time. Biohazard Cleaning is one of our cleaning services that often garners questions from customers. Our mission in this blog is to help you gain a better understanding of what biohazard cleaning entails, in which circumstances it might need to be utilized, and what sets it apart from the other cleaning services that we offer.
What Is a Biohazard?
Biohazard cleaning targets biohazards, which are biological agents that are “a hazard to humans or the environment,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. These agents can come in a variety of forms, from bodily fluids and animal waste to microbiological waste. Considering the health risks that accompany biohazards, our team wastes no time removing the biohazard while performing our Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration Services. At the same time, we make certain that the job is completed carefully, reducing any health risks to those who live in or work at the property.
Examples of Biohazard Cleaning Scenarios
Some of the first things that might come to mind when considering biohazard situations may be extreme scenarios such as crime scene cleanup, tear glass cleanup, or chemical spills. The reality is, these events are extremely uncommon for most residential and commercial properties. Homes and businesses are much more prone to sewage backups and small accident cleanup scenarios. However, our team of biohazard cleaning professionals are prepared for every kind of biohazard cleaning scenario, equipped with the appropriate skills and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”
In Need of Biohazard Cleanup Services? Call SERVPRO
We understand that empathy is of the utmost importance when dealing with biohazard situations, as they can often be emotional and distressing. When you call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East after any biohazard emergency, you can be sure that a team of both experienced and empathetic biohazard cleaning professionals will arrive, prepared to restore your property as quickly as possible while following industry safety guidelines. Call us at any time of day at (412) 672-5400 for our 24-Hour Emergency Service, which guarantees that we will arrive onsite as soon as possible, quickly getting you the help that you need. Lastly, there are several additional steps that you can take to minimize health risks before help arrives, which you can find outlined in our Biohazard Emergency Tips.
Top Tips for Hurricane Season Preparedness
It is critical that homeowners and business owners take the steps necessary to effectively prepare their properties for whatever comes their way.
Even though we are nearing the fall season, we are only about halfway through hurricane season. In the Atlantic region, the 2021 hurricane season began on June 1st and does not reach its end until November 30th. Every year, preparing homes and businesses for hurricane season is not an easy feat, as it is impossible to predict the full scope of storm severity and damage before they make landfall. Last year’s hurricane season brought storm after devastating storm. This year, NOAA has forecasted yet another strong hurricane season. While the organization has communicated that the 2021 hurricane season will not be as severe as 2020, they have stated that there is a 60% chance that this year’s season will out-perform the average hurricane season. Therefore, it is critical that homeowners and business owners take the steps necessary to effectively prepare their properties for whatever comes their way. In this blog, we will share hurricane season preparation tips that can help minimize water damage from storms.
Hurricane Season Preparation Tips
Create a Hurricane Emergency Kit
When preparing homes and businesses for hurricane season, assembling emergency kits can be helpful. Consider adding necessities such as food and water, as well as other beneficial tools including maps, portable cell phone chargers, flashlights, and other items listed on Ready.gov. Another helpful tip is to create multiple emergency kits and place them in several different places, which may include your home, workplace, or car, so that there is a greater chance that you’ll have the supplies that you will need regardless of where you are when the hurricane makes landfall.
Utilize Resources from FEMA
The internet can be a useful tool when it comes to gathering information. Be sure to check out FEMA (the United States’ Federal Emergency Management System)’s online hurricane planning resources. Included in FEMA’s list of resources is the FEMA Mobile App, which you can access at any time on your mobile device. Providing you with important, real-time updates, such as notifications from the National Weather Service, information concerning open space in nearby disaster recovery centers, and a wide range of hurricane safety tips, the app will provide your residential or commercial business with another layer of protection.
Experience Water Damage This Hurricane Season? You Know Who To Call
Forecasters predict hurricanes as best they can using technology, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact degree of damage that hurricanes will cause before they make landfall. No matter what happens, however, SERVPRO is ready to help you recover from hurricane and storm damage of all varieties. With years of experience, training, and expertise, our specialists offer superior Storm Damage Restoration Services. In the event that your property experiences storm damage this hurricane season, call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East immediately at (412) 672-5400. No matter the size of your emergency, SERVPRO has the tools and resources that can help, as SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is a part of SERVPRO’s cross-country network of franchises that form the Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team, which grants us access to resources across the country. More information about other storm damage restoration services that we offer, including Commercial Storm Damage Restoration, and additional storm damage resources like our Water & Storm Damage Tips, can be found on our website.
Practicing Fire Safety With Lithium Batteries
It is important to understand that lithium is a powerful substance that can create fire hazards in certain circumstances.
Lithium might ring a bell as one of the elements included on the periodic table or maybe even as the title of a classic Nirvana song. In terms of electricity, lithium tackles multiple different roles, including the power source for lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries alike. The two different types of lithium batteries differ in their cell type and abilities to recharge, but they both allow electronic devices to run on portable energy. As a result, many of the electronic devices that we use on a daily basis employ lithium batteries. All the while, it is important to understand that lithium is a powerful substance that can create fire hazards in certain circumstances. Keep reading in order to learn more about the steps that you can take to prevent fire damage caused by lithium batteries in your residential or commercial building.
Why Are Lithium Batteries Such a Concern?
While risks accompany lithium batteries, they are still safe for everyday use. Unless they short-circuit or overheat to a certain degree, both of which are rare occurrences, lithium batteries can be used safely on a regular basis. However, overheating and overcharging can both cause electronic devices to release a significant amount of heat, increasing the risk of fire. You may have seen recent news stories about cell phones and hoverboards going up in flames on hot days, but these circumstances are extraordinarily rare. As a matter of fact, the United States Postal Service categorizes lithium batteries as Class 9 hazards, a category consisting of miscellaneous hazardous materials that are only dangerous in transit situations.
Preventing Lithium Battery Fires This Summer
In our everyday lives, lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries play important roles by powering devices of all kinds, from electric toothbrushes to cell phones and laptops. During the summer season, the risk of fires resulting from overheating increases under the scorching summer sun. You can protect your residential or commercial property from an unwanted lithium battery fire this summer by adhering to fire safety procedures. One preventative measure is making sure that electronic devices are not left lying idle in hot environments such as hot cars or under the sun for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, it is a good idea to avoid charging electronic devices in hot environments. Charging your devices can be made safer by avoiding overcharging and utilizing a high-quality charger. It may also be helpful to purchase a strong case for your device that will effectively protect its battery from potential damage.
Have You Experienced Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO
Even if preventative measures are put in place, it is still possible for the unimaginable to happen. That’s why SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is “Ready For Whatever Happens” and always standing by in the event that an emergency occurs. Whether it’s a lithium battery or a different catalyst that causes a fire to ignite and cause damage to your property, SERVPRO can help. As a leading name in the fire damage restoration industry, we offer top-of-the-line Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Services and Fire Damage Restoration Services for residential properties. For immediate services and the best chance of preventing any further fire damage, call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East right away at (412) 672-5400. You can learn more about our Fire Restoration Process and other fire-related services, such as how we care for your fire damaged belongings by visiting our website. Trust SERVPRO and our 24-Hour Emergency Services to help you restore your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition in the event of a fire.
Convention Reflections: The Owner’s Corner
The gears were turning as we traveled home, thinking of ways to encourage Team Wall’s growth and success.
The blog that follows is an excerpt from an article featured in our most recent newsletter:
We hear the tagline “Independently Owned and Operated” almost every day, but does anyone really have a good understanding of all that it entails?
When we think about businesses that we interact with on an everyday basis, such as the UPS Store, 7-Eleven, McDonalds, and even SERVPRO, many of them are franchised and independently owned and operated. Even though individuals manage the everyday ins and outs of the business, they receive guidance and support from their corporate team, founders, and central board.
Data shows that a new franchise, on any given business day, is opened every 8 minutes. It has also been found that individuals who open franchises have a success rate that is three times higher than that of small business owners. Having a business plan already outlined is certainly beneficial for franchise businesses, but it is not a guarantee for success. Franchise business owners must also be entrepreneurially-minded, gain the loyalty of customers, and cultivate a team that possesses constant hustle.
A certain husband and wife team took a leap of faith in May 2009, during a difficult recession in our country, by opening a license franchise. This was the birth of SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team – Team Wall. At the time, questions of “What If?” and the idea of failure never crossed our minds, as we were young, first-time business owners. We were lucky to have successful paths forged by existing SERVPRO franchises to follow. The process of getting to where we are today was remarkable, but it was not without remarkably hard work.
Here we are 12 years later, with Team Wall owning and operating, through 3 separate metro markets, a total of 12 franchise licenses. We wouldn’t be where we are without the blueprint provided for us back in 2009 when we were just getting started, but now, as “Multi-Market Owners” just beginning our new journey, we are excited to pave our own path.
Multi-Market Ownership takes place when individual franchise owners operate several license franchises. This business model has been in use for years and examples, such as Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and Anytime Fitness, can be found almost anywhere in the world. In the food industry, for example, some multi-market franchise owners sometimes hold close to 300 licences. Within SERVPRO Industries’ service sector, it is a great privilege for Team Wall to be able to take part in the exploration of multi-market ownership alongside 20 fellow SERVPRO franchises.
Our journey as Multi-Market Operators, which began during the fourth quarter of 2019, did not necessarily begin as planned. We dove into uncharted territory on the brink of the warmest winter in 100 years and a pandemic, which both threw us for a loop. Gee whiz! In hindsight, that portion of our journey is not one that we would particularly care to relive. Nevertheless, our hardship caused the week of July 20th, 2021, when we gathered for the 52nd Annual SERVPRO Convention, to be a true celebration. For the first time in over 2 years, we had the opportunity to see so many members of our SERVPRO family in-person instead of through a computer screen.
Among our many takeaways from the convention were powerful inspiration, fellowship, and guidance. We headed back home having gained invaluable lessons in everything from marketing strategies and technology to key accounts and new relationships. Ultimately, we were excited by the prospect of utilizing all of this new information to maximize the services that we can offer our customers.
At convention, we had the opportunity to bounce ideas off of our peers, discuss both the triumphs and challenges of the past year, and network. In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
The collective enthusiasm of everyone at convention was infectious and, as a result, the gears were turning in our heads as we traveled back home, thinking of ways to encourage Team Wall’s growth and success. Being Multi-Market Operators within SERVPRO is a privilege for us and we can’t wait to work our hardest to take full advantage of the opportunity that we have been given.
None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of our remarkable customers and we are forever grateful. The steadfast enthusiasm and dedication of our team members are equally humbling. Thank you for your support throughout the years and we cannot wait to see what the future of Team Wall will bring.
With wholehearted thanks and profound gratitude,
Jim and Trish Wall
How To Prevent A Sump Pump Failure
Sump pumps protect buildings from the harmful effects of flooding and water damage from storms.
Sump pumps, drainage systems often employed in the basements of commercial buildings, protect buildings from the harmful effects of flooding and water damage from storms by pumping water out of the basement. The failure of a building’s sump pump can be catastrophic, threatening the safety of a commercial building’s important documents, objects, and furniture. Your commercial business can take actions to prevent your building from suffering a sump pump failure by understanding various reasons as to why sump pumps might fail in the first place.
Your risk of a sump pump failure is heightened when your unit isn’t undergoing maintenance on a regular basis. Make sure to regularly check that your sump pump’s vents are working properly and consider running a vinegar solution through the unit for cleaning in order to keep things running smoothly.
It is also important to think about the age of your sump pump. Because sump pumps endure their fair share of wear and tear over the years, it is not uncommon for sump pumps to fail after 7-10 years. You can prevent a disastrous failure by keeping a closer eye on your sump pump as it nears this age range and consider replacing the unit if it begins to malfunction.
Sump pumps are also at a greater risk for failure during hurricane season and the summer months due to turbulent summer storms. Storms can serve as a double-whammy for sump pumps, as they often bring large amounts of rain and occasionally, power outages. Without electricity, sump pumps will not be able to complete their job of pumping rainwater away from the building. Hooking your business’ sump pump up to a backup generator can help your sump pump continue to run smoothly and avoid a failure during a storm.
Sump Pump Failure? Call SERVPRO
Sump pump failures can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that SERVPRO and our team of commercial water damage experts have your back. We are experienced in sump pump failures and will tailor our water damage restoration services to your business’ specific needs. For more information about our commercial water damage services, click here. To schedule your consultation, call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East today at (412) 672-5400 today.
Employee Appreciation: A Cornerstone of Our Company
Employees enjoy barbeque at our annual office picnic.
One of our SERVPRO team’s core values is employee appreciation. As Vince Lombardi, a legendary football coach, once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work.” We believe that our company’s success depends upon the individual commitment of each of our employees to our collective goals. As a result, we place emphasis on celebrating individual team members. A few of our favorite employee appreciation activities will be highlighted in this blog.
Barbeques and crab feasts with friends are summertime favorites, which is why we hold an annual office-wide barbeque every summer. Our employees’ daily work can be incredibly stressful, so the barbeque aims to relieve stress and create a relaxing atmosphere for our employees.
Department outings provide a great opportunity for team building outside of the office. Various teams within SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall enjoy department outings throughout the year. This summer, Big Truck Farm Brewery was the destination for our Sales and Marketing team outing. The afternoon was filled with great conversation, archery, and team bonding.
The “Wall of Praise”
We also give our employees the opportunity to shout out their coworkers through our “Wall of Praise.” A play on our owners’ last name, “The Wall of Praise” consists of a custom-made decal on the wall of our main conference room. Employees can write positive messages about their fellow team members on sticky notes to add to the wall. Several of these notes are pulled each quarter and shared with everyone at our quarterly meeting. We are proud of the wall’s positive impact on employee recognition and its role in building support amongst our team members throughout Team Wall.
Employee Highlights and Awards
Employee awards are presented at our quarterly meetings, which bring together our entire team. Various awards, including tenure awards, specific Sales and Marketing team awards, and the “Employee of the Quarter” award, are presented in front of the whole team. The quarterly meeting therefore provides the largest audience possible for employee recognition, which prevents our team members’ hard work from going unnoticed. The recipient of the “Employee of the Quarter” award is also highlighted in a dedicated article featured in our quarterly newsletter and on our blog, as well as on our social media accounts, sharing their success with an even wider audience.
Trust Our Team
One of SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall’s “7 Pillars” is “Team,” which emphasizes teamwork and cooperation. All the while, the individual commitment and drive of our employees are integral to our overall success as a company. When you pick up your phone and call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East at (412) 672-5400, you will be working with a closely-connected, united team to restore your residential or commercial property.
Employee of the Quarter: Brandon Decker
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East would like to highlight our Job File Coordinator, Brandon Decker, who has been recognized as our office’s “Employee o
This quarter, SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East would like to highlight our Job File Coordinator, Brandon Decker, who has been recognized as our office’s “Employee of the Quarter.” He has been with SERVPRO for 5 years, but he officially joined our team in Metro Pittsburgh East on March 1st of this year. He has experience working in many different roles within our company, as he has worked as an office manager, crew chief, marketing representative, and more during his time with SERVPRO.
Impressive Knowledge and Exemplary Characteristics
At our office, Brandon is a team player as our Job File Coordinator. Thanks to his experience in many different realms of SERVPRO, he is always ready and willing to help out his team members in any way possible, regardless of whether they are a crew chief or a member of the office or rebuild staff. Brandon also embodies our “7 Pillars” through his undeniable hustle that remains consistent even when his schedule is busy. He has even traveled to a job site to deliver equipment to crews when we were short-staffed. Since he joined our team in March, he has been a wealth of knowledge and a tremendous help to the office. Another one of Brandon’s talents is technology, as he possesses impressive tech skills that benefit the efficiency of our office.
An Essential Member of Our Team
Even though Brandon was only recently hired, he is already an integral member of our Metro Pittsburgh East team. He is incredibly observant, taking in all that he can in order to continue growing in his position with his new SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East family. Thank you, Brandon, for all that you do. We are so thankful that you are here!