Recent Water Damage Posts

How to Prevent a Sub Pump Failure

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Sump pumps, drainage systems often employed in the basements of commercial buildings, protect buildings from the harmful effects of flooding and water damage 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.

Causes

Infrequent Maintenance

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.

Old Age

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.

Power Outage

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.

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.

3 Common Sources of Water Damage in the Kitchen

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water Faucet The sink is probably the first kitchen appliance that comes to mind when you think of water usage.

No area of the home is completely immune to water damage; it can occur anywhere. The kitchen is particularly at risk for water damage due to the amount of water required for everyday tasks such as washing dishes and preparing meals. Because water damage can have devastating consequences, it is beneficial to understand which areas of the kitchen are at the greatest risk for leaks. Keep reading to gain more information about 3 areas of the kitchen that most frequently experience leaks that could lead to water damage.

  • The Refrigerator and Ice Maker

During the summer, a cold, refreshing glass of water makes all the difference on a hot day. The refrigerator and ice maker make this possible by producing ice, but ice makers seem to frequently generate leaks. From improper installation to parts becoming damaged or worn-out, ice makers can leak for a handful of reasons. Puddles of water on the floor beneath the fridge and ice maker are usually good indicators that there is a leak. To prevent water damage, be on the lookout for water on the floor and make sure that the refrigerator and ice maker undergo regular maintenance and inspection.

  • The Dishwasher

We load and unload our dishwashers in order to clean silverware, plates, and cups on a daily basis, sometimes even multiple times a day. The amount of water required to carry out this task is tremendous and combined with the fact that the dishwasher is used so frequently, dishwashers pose a significant threat to the kitchen. Dishwashers can create water damage by leaking or flooding as a result of using the wrong type of detergent, a bent or broken dishwasher door latch, or the dishwasher overfilling with water. Watch out for puddles of water underneath the dishwasher, as it may be the sign of a leak.

  • The Sink

The sink is probably the first kitchen appliance that comes to mind when you think of water usage. We use the kitchen sink to fill up a cup of water, wash our hands, and wash dishes, among many other tasks. Water damage can occur when parts of the sink become corroded or when the drain or faucet leaks. About every 6 months, it is beneficial to take a look at the pipes beneath the sink and check for leaks as well as damaged sink parts in order to prevent water damage coming from the sink.

Because of the often costly and devastating effects of water damage, such as structural damage and mold and mildew growth, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid water damage. However, if you do experience water damage in your kitchen, don’t worry. SERVPRO and our team of water damage specialists are here for you. We will arrive on the scene quickly with our advanced drying equipment and techniques in order to make your kitchen water damage “Like it never even happened,” and bring your kitchen back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East today at (412) 672-5400 and for more information about our water damage services, click here.

Water Damage After a Toilet Overflow? Here's What To Do

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet After assessing the situation, it is important to take action right away.

It’s safe to say that a toilet overflow is the last thing that anyone wants in their home. With an overflow comes a mess to clean up and a risk for water damage. The bathroom floor and other nearby surfaces are not the only areas that can experience damage from a toilet overflow, as leaking water may seep down into the ceiling below. In order to protect your home from the unpleasant and potentially devastating effects of a toilet overflow, it is important to learn about what causes toilets to overflow and what to do if a toilet overflows in your home.

What Causes a Toilet Overflow?

There’s no one, specific reason why toilets overflow. Instead, overflows can arise from a variety of complications. However, three instances that commonly cause toilet overflows include a blocked vent pipe, a clogged drain, and sewage complications.

Each time a toilet is flush, external air is needed, which is transported in via the vent pipe. An overflow can occur if the vent pipe becomes blocked, which hinders the toilet’s ability to flush properly. Unfortunately, a blocked vent pipe isn’t a quick fix and the help of an expert plumber will most likely be needed.

Another catalyst of toilet overflows is a clogged drain. When the toilet drain is clogged, water and waste cannot flush correctly, which increases the risk of an overflow. The good news is that this issue can usually be solved by plunging the toilet yourself.

Lastly, two different complications involving sewage systems, a clogged sewer line and a full septic tank, can cause your toilet to overflow. A sewer line can be blocked by debris, tree roots, and sanitary materials. When this happens, your home can be at risk for not just a toilet overflow, but for additional serious damage as well, which can require professional help. Some homes use septic tanks, which collect waste and release excess water into the ground. When a septic tank is full, water cannot be released and moves back up into your home, which has the potential of resulting in an overflow. This is why it is beneficial to have tanks emptied and replaced on a regular basis.

How to Clean Up

Your reaction upon first seeing a toilet overflow in your bathroom may be “oh no!” or “ugh why?”, but immediately after assessing the situation, it is important to take action right away. First, turn off the water and make sure that the overflow has stopped. The next highest priority should be to quickly clean up all standing water by using a wet vacuum, mop, or towels. If water is left sitting on a surface, your bathroom will be at risk for water damage and mold growth. Next, dry out the area to the best of your ability using a high-powered fan or opening windows. This will also help to prevent mold growth and water damage. Finally, be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the bathroom.

We’re Water Damage Specialists

Water damage due to a toilet overflow can be minimized if you catch it right away, stop it quickly, and know how to properly clean up. However, it is possible that they may occur when no one is home, causing water from the overflow to damage surfaces. Remember that here at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, we are water damage specialists. Our experienced team will work quickly to get your bathroom back in shape, making it “like it never even happened.” Learn more about our water damage services by clicking here.

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 health effects on the 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.

Prevent Water Damage to Carpets

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

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

Preventing Water Damage To Carpets

How Can Carpets Be Damaged by Water?

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

Warning Signs

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

Why You Should Act Quickly

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

Precautions to Take

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

Job of the Quarter (Q4 2019)

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Man in flooded hallway Flooding as low as this can still cause major damage to the walls surrounding it if not properly dealt with.

Baltimore was established in 1729, 47 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's an old city, in terms of the "new world."

Major advances in construction, engineering, and innovation have occurred in the last 291 years since the founding of the city. Sadly, the sewage system in Baltimore City has not made the necessary changes to get it to modern-day standards. An essay in www.cleanwateraction.org sums it up best:

“Baltimore City’s sewage system was designed with dozens of Sanitary Sewer Overflow Structures: intentional release valves that allowed sewage to overflow into streams, rather than streets or people’s basements. Although this was a best practice in the early 1900’s, using streams as open sewer pipes is a significant public health and environmental threat…”

“In 2002, Baltimore City finalized a Consent Decree… outlining how it would end the chronic sewage overflows into local streams that were fouling the Inner Harbor…”

“Between 2002 and 2016, Baltimore City completed half the work that was described in the Consent Decree - but backups of sewage into homes in Baltimore grew from a minor problem to a major hazard” According to an investigation by the Baltimore Sun, in 2004, the Department of Public Works responded to 622 sewage backups and by 2015, that number had hit nearly 5000.

 “When we closed those other 60 overflows that increased the number of basement backups that we saw in the city. Again, because the sewage has to go somewhere.” ~Department of Public Work’s General Counsel

At SERVPRO Metro Pittsburgh East, we see sewage backups quite regularly throughout the city and counties. At the beginning of November, we were honored to help multiple homeowners recover from a large sewage backup affecting the basements in all eight of their attached town row homes. We have decided to choose this job as our "Quarter Job" not only because of our speedy response to the completion timeline but also because it is a great example of our full-service capabilities.

The call came to our office early on Friday afternoon, and we had crews on-site within 30 minutes to start the sewage extraction from the basements of the row home. Because drywall wicks water as quickly as 1 inch per hour and sewage are classified as Category 3 water loss (water containing unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness), it was necessary to cut drywall and remove 2' insulation to allow proper drying and sanitation. All contents in the basement affected by the sewage have been removed and disposed of. Even with a few appliances. We are proud to be the "one-stop solution shop" for all our customers ' problems. We have managed to replace the appliances for these homeowners and have continued to provide even more timely solutions.

Many people don't realize that SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East not only mitigates your disaster, but we're going to put it all back together. "Like it never even happened," remember? That's exactly what we've done for the 8 row home basements affected by this mass sewage backup. Our mitigation teams finished and our rebuilding team moved in, replaced all the contaminated insulation, installed fresh drywall, and repainted the entire basement. Our team laid new carpets, tile floors, installed new kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and tiled backsplashes in the kitchen. New doors and trim work were installed and painted and appliances were installed. All these times 8 homeowners and completed in a matter of 35 days.

Our team members have certainly signed up for a dirty, messy and labor-intensive job. But the pride they take in making people's lives come back together quickly and efficiently could not be greater. This is what we all love to do at Team Wall's SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team... we love being your "One Stop Solution Shop!"

Winter Mold Growth Prevention

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Understanding Mold itself is the best way to understand how to prevent it.

Since mold is usually a problem we tend to think about during the warm, humid months, it may be a surprise to many to learn that mold can still be prevalent during the winter months. A humid atmosphere can be created when cold air outside clashes with warm temperatures inside, creating the perfect conditions for mold growth. Mold can have a number of detrimental effects on your home and those who live in it. These can range from allergies to damage to your home’s foundational structure. In order to keep your home safe from mold during the winter months, it is important to understand the most effective methods of preventing mold growth.

What Can You Do?

Mold growth prevention during the winter follows many of the same guidelines as preventing mold growth during the summer, such the use of fans and dehumidifiers. During the winter, however, the need to keep an eye on doors, windows, and their surrounding areas, is more important. Moisture can compile in these areas when water leaks or cold air creates condensation, which facilitates mold growth when met with indoor heat. Clean these wet surfaces immediately in order to prevent mold from growing. It is also beneficial to monitor flooring near doors, as moist surfaces can also be created when wet shoes enter your home, after walking through rain or snow. Finally, during the winter, ice and snow tend to pile up on roofs, which can sometimes leak through. In order to prevent mold from growing in attics in the event that water or snow leaks through the roof, keep air circulating, which can be achieved by utilizing a fan.

Water Stain on Your Ceiling? Here’s What You Should Know

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on Ceiling Don't hesitate. If you see something, say something.

An unwanted yellow ring or streak of discolored substance is undoubtedly one of the worst
discoveries to make when glancing up at the ceiling in passing. The visible markings of a water
leak, these stains indicate water damage in your ceiling, which can not be expunged with a new
coat of paint or averting your eyes from the stain. Ignorance will only cause the problem to grow,
facilitating the growth of mold and mildew. Therefore, it is crucial that the damaged area of the
ceiling is quickly remedied. However, before taking action, it may be beneficial to understand
the common causes of ceiling water stains.
Common Causes
With a solid understanding of the common causes of these stains, the root of your ceiling’s stain
can be determined, which can help identify the best course of action to take. Ceiling water stains
are primarily formed from three scenarios: clogged gutters, caulking issues, and leaky pipes. If a
heavy rainstorm has recently occurred, clogged gutters may be the cause of your ceiling’s water
stain. When gutters overflow, rain water can seep into your home and stain ceilings. If the ceiling
stain appears soon after a shower or bath was taken in your home, the stain may be due to a
caulking issue. Old caulking is prone to cracking and deteriorating, which can lead to leaks when
water escapes a shower or bathtub. Finally, water can leak from pipes that run throughout your
home. If a dishwasher, bathtub, refrigerator, or even an air conditioner are situated directly above
the stain on the next floor up, your ceiling stain may have been caused by leaky pipes. Take a
moment to recall the last time someone took a shower or bath, last week’s heavy rainstorm, and
the last time you ran the dishwasher. Your leak may have been connected to one of those
situations. Taking Action vs Calling a Professional

Drilling into your ceiling in order to verify the source of the leak can be a daunting task for many
homeowners. If you have any hesitation, calling a professional may be the right call. With the
tools, knowledge, and experience, a professional can remediate the water stain quickly and
effectively.

Faster to your Metro Pittsburgh East Water Damage Event

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East provides fire and water damage restoration service in Metro Pittsburgh East.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Metro Pittsburgh East provides emergency cleaning and restoration services.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us at 412-672-5400

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.

  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.

  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.

  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

  • Paint begins to blister.

  • Wood flooring swells and warps.

  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Metro Pittsburgh East Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

This Metro Pittsburgh East home’s basement unfortunately flooded.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Metro Pittsburgh East basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe

  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

  • Storm sewer backup

  • Sanitary sewer backup

  • Foundation drainage failure

  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – 412-672-5400

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24-hours/7 days per week

  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help, 412-672-5400

Emergency Water Damage Service

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East provides fire and water damage restoration service in Metro Pittsburgh East.

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is available for water emergencies, large or small. 

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today at 
412-672-5400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Types of Contaminated Water Damage

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage example.

Category 1: "Clean Water"

It is from a clean source such as a leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

Example:

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line. If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3.


Category 2: "Gray Water"

It is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. 

Examples include:

  • Washing machine overflow.

  • Toilet overflow with some urine, but not feces.

  • Dishwasher overflow.

May contain bacteria and viruses and can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.



Category 3: "Black Water"

It is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death, if ingested because of chemicals and microbes. Any contact should be avoided. 

Examples include:

  • Flooding from rivers or streams from sewer backup.

  • Water from beyond the toilet trap.

  • Water from the toilet bowl with feces.

  • Standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long-term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. 

If You See Signs of Water Damage, Call Us

Recovering From Water and Fire

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded home due to a fire is a devastating event for any homeowner or business-owner. It has the ability to ruin many of your possessions in addition to your property itself. Due to the fact that water damage can quickly become permanent if not addressed as soon as possible, if you do suffer flood damage to your home, it is important that you call the professionals at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East to help restore the home or business. We recommend having the professionals take care of your property. However, there are some things that you can do before they arrive. Here are some things you can do immediately after to start the restoration process.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Regardless of how bad water damage has hit your home, it has likely done some significant damage to some of your possessions and to the structure of your home. After you recognize the damage, you should call your insurance agent. Most water damage is covered by insurance policies, however you will want to contact them to make sure since there could be exclusions.

Proper Protection

Regardless of how well you think you can clean up, you should call the professionals at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh to ensure that as much of your property is salvaged as possible. If you decide to start the cleanup process before they arrive, it is important that you are properly attired. Wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and boots when dealing with flood water to ensure your safety.  The below tips will help you remain safe.

Check Before Entering Home or Business

Before you re-enter your home or business after flood damage, check for any structural damage that may have occurred. Severe flooding or water damage has the ability to compromise the integrity of the structure. If you enter the home without closely inspecting what you are walking into, the building could potentially collapse, trapping you inside. Once you have entered the home, you should be very careful about where you are walking, especially if you are moving from carpeting onto a hard surface.

Document Evidence

Once you have entered the home, document the evidence of damage that has been done by taking photos of it. If there are any questions, particularly by your insurance company about the validity of your claim, you will have evidence to show them.

While you document the damage, save any items that you can. Some items, such as porous materials, may have been damaged beyond repair. When the SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East crew arrives to restore the home or business, they will save as many items as possible. But if there are items that have not been damaged, you can take them out to avoid any further potential damage.

Take Inventory

While you are examining the damage that has occurred in your home or business, make a list of the damage or lost items in the home. Make sure to include the date they were purchased and their value with any receipts you may have. Inventory of your possessions before the flood will be helpful. If any of your possessions must be disposed of, which some may, make sure you have photographs of the items.

Turn Off Power

After the flood damage occurs, turn off all power, especially to the affected rooms. Also refrain from using any electrical appliances as you could electrocute yourself if you are standing in water. Keep the power to the home off until an electrician can come and thoroughly inspect the system to ensure it is safe to turn back on again.

Prevent Mold

Mold thrives in environments where moisture is present which makes flooded parts of a house ideal for mold growth. The existence of mold in a home can be hazardous so it is important to prevent the mold from growing if at all possible. Removing any wet contents from the home as soon as possible will help to prevent such mold growth around the home.

Water Damaged Hardwood Floors

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Example of water damage.

If a water leak occurs at your residence, some of your building materials can get wet and be difficult to dry. The goal to any water damage project is to return moisture levels to preloss conditions as quickly as possible. Some items in your home are simpler to dry than others. Porous materials such as carpet get wet quicker, but they are easier to dry out than non-porous materials like wood or concrete. If things like your wood floors receive water damage, it could take more than just air mover blower fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the materials.  

Our SERVPRO technicians always use the industry's most advanced technology when mitigating any loss at your property. We also know that fast service is essential to reducing the severity of problems during water damage situations. Located locally, we can respond promptly. Our team is highly trained, and we have experience in dealing with many types of scenarios. When we arrive at your home or office, we first make sure the building is safe for all occupants, then we use specialized instruments to take humidity, temperature, and moisture level readings.  

If we think that your hardwood floors may be affected, we use our wood moisture sensors to determine the moisture level of the materials. 

Quickly drying out hardwood floors from water damage can prevent the wood from cupping and warping. If the flooring has a high moisture content, then we may use specialized equipment to help speed up the drying process to prevent buckling and fungal growth. To do this, we often use drying mats to push air deep into the wood flooring materials. The mats help concentrate and spread out the air so that it focuses evenly into the wet wood.  

The use of drying mats is just one example of the technologically advanced tools of the trade our SERVPRO crew can bring to the table. If your hardwood floors ever get wet, contact SERVPRO. 

Metro Pittsburgh East Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

This Metro Pittsburgh East home’s basement unfortunately flooded.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Metro Pittsburgh East basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe

  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

  • Storm sewer backup

  • Sanitary sewer backup

  • Foundation drainage failure

  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – 412-672-5400

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24-hours/7 days per week

  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help, 412-672-5400

Faster to your Metro Pittsburgh East Water Damage Event

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service in Metro Pittsburgh East.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Metro Pittsburgh East provides emergency cleaning and restoration services.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us – 412-672-5400

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.

  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.

  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.

  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

  • Paint begins to blister.

  • Wood flooring swells and warps.

  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Metro Pittsburgh East Emergency Water Damage Service

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East provides fire and water damage restoration service in Metro Pittsburgh East.

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is available for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – 
412-672-5400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Three Types of Contaminated Water Damage

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage example.

Category 1: "Clean Water"

It is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

Examples include:

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line

  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3


Category 2: "Gray Water"

It is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. 

Examples include:

  • Washing machine overflow

  • Toilet overflow with some urine, but not feces

  • Dishwasher overflow

May contain bacteria and viruses and can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.



Category 3: "Black Water"

It is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death, if ingested because of chemicals and microbes. Any contact should be avoided. 

Examples include:

  • Flooding from rivers or streams from sewer backup

  • Water from beyond the toilet trap

  • Water from the toilet bowl with feces

  • Standing water that has begun to support microbial growth

Cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long-term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. 

If You See Signs of Water Damage, Call Us

Mold In A Home Or Business?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

While mold can happen anywhere, it seems most attracted to residential buildings. Finding black mold in your home can be a nightmare of mold cleanup and remediation, but you can prevent it by understanding the common causes that lead to infestations.

It’s All About the Water

Mold growth can almost always be traced back to one source: a moisture problem. Black mold thrives on organic matter, but it requires moisture to truly grow out of control and proliferate. Common sources of moisture that lead to mold outbreaks include the following:

• Broken and leaking pipes

• Roof and window leaks

• Standing water left behind by bathtub, shower, and toilet splashing or overflow

• Water trapped beneath linoleum and tile

• Standing water left behind by floods

• Excess humidity and condensation in the air

How Can I Fix Mold in My Home?

Avoid a mold infestation in the first place by keeping your home dry and free of leaks or other moisture sources. 

• Check the integrity of your roofing and window seals and have them repaired as needed. 

• If you’ve recently suffered flooding, quickly dispose of any sodden materials and dry out any remaining water, even if you may have to pull up carpeting and floorboards. 

• Have a plumber in to check your pipes and keep them in good health. 

• Check your appliances, particularly refrigerators and air conditioners, to ensure they aren’t leaking or having problems with condensation. 

• If you live in a high-humidity environment, invest in a dehumidifier and run it as necessary to bring down the moisture levels in the air inside your home.

If you’ve already seen outbreaks of black mold, you may need to retain the services of a mold remediation specialist. These technicians can help you identify sources of mold that aren’t readily apparent on initial inspection and recommend appropriate cleanup and prevention actions.

When it Rains, it Pours

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

A flooded home is a devastating event for any homeowner. It has the ability to ruin many of your possessions in addition to your property itself. Due to the fact that water damage can quickly become permanent if not addressed as soon as possible, if you do suffer flood damage to your home, it’s important that you call the professionals at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East to help restore the home. However, there are some things that you can do before they arrive. Here are some things you can do immediately after a flood to start the restoration process.  

Call Your Insurance Agent

Regardless of how bad a flood has hit your home, it’s likely done some significant damage to some of your possessions and to the structure of your home. Soon after you recognize the damage, you should call your insurance agent. Most water damage in the home is covered by homeowner’s insurance policies but you’ll want to contact them to make sure as there could be exclusions.

Check Before Entering Home

Before you re-enter your home after flood damage, check for any structural damage that may have occurred. Severe flooding or water damage has the ability to compromise the integrity of the structure. If you enter the home without closely inspecting what you’re walking into, the building could potentially collapse, trapping you inside. Once you’ve entered the home, you should be very careful about where you’re walking, especially if you’re moving from carpeting onto a hard surface.  

Document Evidence

Once you have entered the home, document the evidence of that damage that has been done by taking photos of it. If there are any questions, particularly by your insurance company about the validity of your claim, you’ll have evidence to show them. While you document the damage, save any items that you can. Some items, such as porous materials, may have been damaged beyond repair. When the SERVPRO crew arrives to restore the home, they’ll save as many items as possible. But if there are items that have not been damaged, you can take them out to avoid any further potential damage.  

Take Inventory

While you’re examining the damage that has occurred in your home, make a list of the damage or lost items in the home. Make sure to include the date they were purchased and their value with any receipts you may have. Store that list with any inventory of your possessions that you may have taken before the flood. If any of your possessions must be disposed of, which some may, make sure you have photographs of the items.  

Turn Off Power

After the flood damage occurs, turn off all power, especially to the affected rooms. Also refrain from using any electrical appliances as you could electrocute yourself if you’re standing in water. Keep the power to the home off until an electrician can come and thoroughly inspect the system to ensure it’s safe to turn back on again.  

Prevent Mold

Mold thrives in environments where moisture is present which makes flooded parts of a house ideal for mold growth. The existence of mold in a home can be hazardous so it’s important to prevent the mold from growing if at all possible. Removing any wet contents from the home as soon as possible will help to prevent such mold growth around the home.  

Proper Protection

Regardless of how well you think you can clean up after a flood, you should call the professionals at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East to ensure that as much of your property is salvaged as possible. But if you do decide to start the cleanup process before they arrive, it’s important that you are properly attired. Wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and boots when dealing with flood water to ensure your safety. 

If you suffer flood damage in your home, you should contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East to clean up. But if you want to get the process started prior to their arrival, these tips will help you remain safe.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

Your Pittsburgh Region Disaster Recovery Team Is Here to Help!

Water damage events at commercial properties present their own unique challenges, and can be very stressful. Our staff understands the importance of getting your commercial property up and running as fast as possible.

When we arrive at your property we bring 10 years of experience with commercial property damage with us. We have the necessary resources to handle any job, large or small. Our trained professionals work quickly to assess the situation, isolate the damaged area, and start work immediately. Time is always of the essence to minimize damage, and to resume operations as soon as possible. Your local SERVPRO has access to large loss teams specifically trained and ready to go in event of a large loss.

If your commercial property experiences a water damage event call us so we can put our experience and resources to work for you.

Understanding Industry Terms

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East is always "Here to Help". We know that sometimes some of our jargon can be confusing so we usually try to break it down as easy as we can out in the field, but we know that our customers like to stay informed. Here are some common terms used in the field with their definition so you can understand better what is happening in your home or business. 

Anti-Microbials: A substance, mechanism, or condition that inhibits the growth or existence of an organism. 

Fire Damage Recovery: The process of restoring and recovering property and belongings after a fire. The objectives include minimizing existing damage, damage mitigation, structure stabilization, soot & odor removal and reconstruction. 

Fungi: The unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic organisms embracing a large group of microflora including molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms, rusts and smuts. 

HVAC: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

HEPA Filter: High efficiency particulate air filter, a specialized filter capable of removing 99.7% of particles. 

Masking Agents: Designed to prevent or remove heightened awareness to odors by providing a fragrance, which is stronger and more pleasant to smell while the source of the odor is being eliminated. 

Smoke Damage Removal: Neutralizing or removing smoke odors that linger after fires.

Smoke Particles: Smoke is composed of gases, aerosols, and airborne solids. Dry wood, natural fibers and paper all produce small non-smearing material. Plastic, foam, and rubber (polymers) produce large easily smeared residues. 

Things to Remember when Winterizing or Vacationing

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

There are many things to remember to clean or put away when it comes to winterizing your cabin or cottage but we want to focus on the importance of taking care of the water system before leaving.

Follow this checklist when closing up so you don't come back next season to a bad water damaged mess.

Make sure the water is draining properly, residual water can make the pipes freeze in the winter causing them to break.

Drain the water heater:

  • Turn off the electricity to the water heater
  • Close the cold water intake valve
  • Attach a hose to a water heater drain valve
  • Run the hose outside or into a bucket
  • Open a hot water tab
  • Open the drain valve and let out all the water remaining
  • Remove the drain hose and place a cup under the valve to catch the remaining drips
  • Close the drain valve once the hot water stops
  • Close the hot water tap

Here's Why Professional Water Removal Is More Effective Than DIY Methods

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Save Money and Aggravation, Call SERVPRO for Water Damage Problems

After a water emergency that floods a home or business, the last thing that most people want to deal with is a bill for cleaning up the damage. This is what leads many homeowners to attempt water extraction on their own instead of calling a professional. 
 
If you're in need of water removal in the Pittsburgh area, you may be tempted to save money by trying to get rid of the excess water on your own. However, going this route typically has more consequences than benefits and will result in greater losses of time, money, and your possessions in the long run. Here's why calling SERVPRO for professional water removal is a smart move. 
 
Professional water extraction works extremely well. While some homeowners resort to opening windows and doors, turning on ceiling fans, and blotting towels around the house, SERVPRO has powerful equipment that ensures efficient and thorough water removal. We're also often able to restore documents, books, furnishings, and electronic devices affected by water damage, plus we'll get your home's humidity back to an appropriate level. 
 
Many water emergencies are hazardous. 
If your house has been flooded with gray or black water, such as that from a natural disaster, backed up sewer line, or a leaky toilet, expert attention to the problem is best. These types of water are risky for untrained persons to handle because it involves disease causing waste and debris. This is the type of material that can't simply be put out with the week's garbage and needs proper and safe disposal.  We're knowledgeable about how to get rid of contaminated waste during water extraction, so there are no lingering health risks to your family or pets. 
 
It's important to consider mold and mildew. 
One reason that so many homeowners who attempt DIY water removal eventually end up calling a pro is unseen damage caused by mold and mildew. While your flooring and possessions may look and feel dry, without proper water extraction and controlling humidity mold and mildew will thrive, cause off odors, and ruin your home's structure along with your possessions and furniture. SERVPRO technicians are skilled at protecting against the growth of mold and mildew and have effective strategies to combat it. 
 
At SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, we know how important it is to get your home back in order as quickly as possible. We'll help you mitigate the costs of any water emergency by restoring your possessions and preventing future damage to your home. For more information about our water removal services or to receive a quote, call us at (412) 672-5400 and say you saw our blog! 

Flood Damage From Failing Washing Machine Hoses In Your Pittsburgh Home

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Failing Washing Machine Hoses Cause Flood Damage

Most homeowners protect their homes against things such as storms, fire, and burglary, but water damage from malfunctioning or leaking home appliances often gets overlooked, especially when it comes to washing machines.

It seems unlikely, but flood damage from a washing machine is one of the top five causes of home insurance claims. More than half of these claims is from supply hoses which have burst or leaked, so make sure your Jacksonville home is prepared for such an event. Have the number of a reputable flood damage restoration company handy at all times, like SERVPRO, who is experienced in all kinds of flood damage.

Most washing machine hoses fail eventually over time, even when they have been installed properly. They can cause leaks or even catastrophic flooding when they burst. Failure can be due to several things such as installation error, age, poor design and poor quality materials. Most of these hoses are made of reinforced polymer or rubber. The materials lose resiliency as they age, making them susceptible to leaks, cracks, and bursting.

Inspect Regularly 
Many times, fittings and hoses that connect your washing machine to the water source are visible and easy to inspect each time you use the machine. If they are not visible, figure out how to gain access to them so you can inspect them once per month. Look at both the cold and hot water lines. Failures happen near the connection where the hose usually bends. Keep an eye out for:

Signs Of Imminent Failure 
Obvious evidence of imminent failure or deterioration should be looked for, such as bulges, blisters, unraveling, cracks, kinks, discoloration, or crimps, especially close to the connections and turns in the hose.

Leaks 
Look for drops, moisture, rust, leaks on, in, or around the connections or hoses or in a catch pan, or discoloration. Look at the connects to ensure they are properly tightened. Even a small leak can lead to imminent failure.

Right Positioning 
Ensure the washing machine is located four inches at least from the connections, so the hose is not kinked or bent. Make sure the machine is balanced properly, so it is not “walking” when in use, which puts added stress on connections and hoses.

Lastly, aging or damaged hoses should be replaced right away, and make sure that the hoses are properly installed. Knowing where the shut-off valve is as well is important if a hose does fail. Then get in touch in SERVPRO right away so they can help you clean up the flood damage and dry out your home.

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh is always standing by, since flooding emergencies can happen at any time. Contact SERVPRO today at (412) 672-5400, and their technicians will come quickly to help you get your home back to normal.

Understanding The Three Categories of Water

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh if you need services in your home!

Available 24/7 

412-825-5480

SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh is an IICRC certified firm.

When Water Damage Happens, Call SERVPRO for Service

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

Tis the Season for Frozen Pipes in the Pittsburgh area!

If you are grappling with the aftermath of residential water damage, you want the problems resolved as quickly as possible. Keep handy the name and number of a local cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO. Our job is to provide state-of-the-art service to our customers that are in need of expert water damage restoration. And we do so with rates that won't break your budget. 

What You Can Expect From a Water Damage Restoration Service...
When you contact us to assess the character of your problem, we will respond by sending a team of friendly, knowledgeable service technicians and leaders to your home. We will make a full inspection and assessment of your property, making sure to note where all of the damage and future potential trouble spots lie. We find the source of the water intrusion, if not visible, for repair. We must identify the water to determine if it is contaminated (such as Black Water from a sewage backup or groundwater intrusion), to use a correct and safe extraction method. Once we have completed this initial diagnosis, we provide you with a full estimate of the cost involved.  We will even help you with the insurance claims process.

How We Deal With Water Damage
Once water damage has taken its toll, engage the path to a solution as soon as possible. This means hiring a professional cleanup and restoration service to drain all of the unwanted water out of the building. We have truck-mounted pumps and portable extractors to quickly dispatch water. Our Applied Structural Drying Technicians (ASD) can dry out your home with the additional aid of air movers and dehumidifiers, both desiccant and refrigerant. Our trained WRT-Water Damage Restoration Technicians, adhere to the cleaning standards of the IICRC. We ensure, by testing with moisture meters, infrared cameras, and hygrometers, that the affected areas are dry. 

Contact Your Local Residential Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh is here to be your one-stop water damage cleanup and restoration authority. For all fire, mold, and water issue, we are fully equipped and qualified to address and solve them quickly. We are locally owned and operated and can be contacted at any time of the day or night at (412) 672- 5400.

A Day in the Life of a Crew Member

6/8/2016 (Permalink)

#HEREtoHELP

The day always starts with freshly brewed, strong, black coffee. Once work orders are received from the Production Manager, we make sure our vehicle is fully stocked in order to respond to any type of disaster (mold, sewage, water, fire, deep cleaning, air ducts, etc.). Keep in mind that proper preparation is key to prevent poor performance!

Even if going out on an assigned job, SERVPRO is 24-7-365, therefore, it is possible that a new loss comes in at some point during the day and crews need to respond. In this case, shifting and adjusting of crews, and accommodating all clients takes motion.

Once arrived at a new loss, we make sure we check every area and every material to make sure a home or business is well inspected. Often individuals do not realize all the areas that have been effected in situations like water loss. For example, someone may have seen water drip onto their kitchen floor but may have not seen the water inside their top cabinets (the entire ceiling is a wet mess)!

Crew Chiefs lead the introduction with clients on-site. We meet the customer and discuss how the loss happened, when it happened, and what they have done to date about the crisis/issue. Next, we talk about this person’s insurance coverage to see if they have made a claim and talked to an insurance representative.

As long as all the proper resources have been included in communications and a claim number issued, SERVPRO now works with the insurance company. Conversations go back and forth to determine the best possible way to repair damages so that the customer usually only has to pay for their deductible.

Next we are drawing/sketching the loss area to measure so we can calculate the type of equipment and how much equipment is needed to begin work. In a water loss, crews would then begin to remove any excess water and set-up drying equipment (air movers, dehumidifiers, drying mats).

Estimators now enter the picture because they are viewing the loss sketches on SERVPRO’s online software. They create a computer drawing and make sure we are meeting and complying with all the standards for that specific insurance company.

Crew Chiefs plan to monitor the loss site daily until drying is complete at a water loss; or they make sure a house/business is completely cleaned and all checklist items are complete.  

Safety practices and procedures include the power and outlets to a home/business are not compromised. Crews also check drywall and plaster to make sure no materials can fall or break loose. Protective gear also is worn when appropriate for demolitions, biohazards, and cleaning such as sewage jobs.

At the end of a shift, it is general practice to refuel items, clean vehicles of debris, and restock vehicle materials and products for the next shift.

We return to our warehouse to touch base with the production manager, general manager, estimation and marketing divisions so everyone is on the same page about progress on jobs, and where the next call is taking us in the Metro Pittsburgh region.