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The Art and Science Behind Drying

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water restoration tools and supplies We have the tools and equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more!

Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying?

Psychrometrics is the fancy word for the process of drying. It is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition.

While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, the professionals at SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties are trained in the science of drying. They follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.

A wet structure can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

That is where knowledge of psychrometrics can help to dry building materials faster and more thoroughly according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

If your home or business suffers water damage, our team at SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties will:

  1. Inspect the structure to detect every component that is wet and assess how far the moisture has traveled to help prevent secondary damage and mold.
  2. We use powerful pumps and vacuums to remove most of the water.
  3. Vaporize the remaining moisture as quickly as possible.
  4. Remove vaporized air as quickly as possible.

The certified technicians at SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties have the tools and equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.

SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The professionals at SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Call us at (814) 636 6760

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Waterford, PA Garage Cleaning in One Day

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

image of a clean and organized looking garage after it has been cleaned Cleaning your garage almost always takes about a full day. But with these simple tips, you’ll get it done quickly and efficiently!

Cleaning your garage might be on your to-do list during quarantine but the task can seem daunting. Instead of putting it off another day, follow these tips to knock this off your list in a day. 

  • Start early in the morning on a weekend or whenever you have more free time. Separate the items you want to keep and items you feel you can part ways with. These items you no longer need can be donated, sold or thrown away. Use your best judgment!
  • If it’s a nice day out, place everything you want to keep in the driveway or away from the garage itself. That way, you can start with the floors and walls and have a clear space to work! 
  • You could hire a power washer or do this part yourself. However, the key is to lift the stains out of the concrete instead of scrubbing. Oil, rust and paint are the toughest stains to get out. You’ll need a trisodium phosphate (TSP substitute) mixed with water and any absorbent material to make a smooth paste. The cleaner will soak into the concrete and break up the oil stain. Then it will dry like a paste and you scrape it off and sweep it away after! This could take a few tries for complete removal if the stain is older. 
  • For paint or rust stains, you will want special solutions too. Call us at SERVPRO for advice on what products to buy that are safe and effective. 
  • Once the floors are cleaned, you can rinse off dusty or dirty items and get to organizing. Consider buying clear or fun colored storage containers to place like items together. Kids toys and balls can go in one bin. Gardening and lawn items can go in another.
  • Use nails and hooks on the wall to hang wire shelves, hoses, rakes, brooms and other items to save space. The wall is your friend and utilizing that space will allow more walkway room between you and your cars as well. 

Once some of these steps are taken, you’ll find your garage seems bigger than it used to be and your items will be more easily accessible for you and your family. 

If you need help finding the right products, or need power washing, SERVPRO of East Erie and Warren Counties is ready to help! 

We can advise to on the best products to clean the stains you are trying to remove, and come to your house to do the power washing for you. 

Give us a call today! (814) 636 6760

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ERPs & Why Your Business Needs One

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Female SERVPRO employee talking with male business owner in front of shut-off valve during an ERP Let our SERVPRO team provide your business with a free ERP that contains all of your facility's critical information in case disaster strikes.

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile, also known as an ERP, provides critical information about your facility that is needed to begin mitigation and recovery services following a disaster. This includes the locations of shut-off valves, priority areas, property overview, insurance details, and priority contact information.

Having an ERP in place minimizes business interruption because it provides the necessary information for immediate action. Knowing what do to and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation which, in turn, can save you thousands of dollars in reduced secondary damage.

SERVPRO® offers ERPs at no cost, and the assessment will be quick yet thorough. Our goal is to provide a concise readiness plan that will give you peace of mind should an emergency situation occur. Let’s face it - disaster can strike at any time.

For more information about obtaining an ERP for your Erie business, please contact us at (814) 646-6760 or visit our website.

New Cleaning Requirements for PA Businesses

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

blue stock image of empty office building with SERVPRO shield image in the middle We are Here to Help® during this difficult time. Contact us to become a SERVPRO® Sanitized Facility.

As COVID-19 continues to impact all of our local businesses, the state of Pennsylvania has new requirements for facilities that are 50,000 square feet or larger. This includes:

  • Factories
  • Warehouses
  • Grocery Stores
  • Office Buildings
  • Hotels
  • Government Facilities
  • Airports

In addition to maintaining usual cleaning procedures, building owners must also ensure that high-touch surface areas such as doorknobs, light switches, tables, countertops, bathroom fixtures, and keyboards are routinely cleaned and disinfected.

SERVPRO® of East Erie & Warren Counties understands that this may be a large undertaking for businesses at this time, so we are Here to Help®. We are an IICRC Certified Firm and take great pride in serving our communities during this difficult time.

After performing our sanitization and disinfection services, we will provide the business with a Certificate of Completion showing that the facility meets CDC recommendations. Business owners will also receive a SERVPRO® Sanitized Facility window cling that can be displayed to let others know that proper proactive steps have been taken to keep the business, staff, and clients safe.

Should you need help sanitizing your facility, please give us a call at (814) 636-6760. You can also visit us online or on Facebook to learn more.

Helping with Flooding During a Global Pandemic

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

image of severe flood with water completely covering the street with the top of a car visible “When you’re a customer focused company, you treat every community as if it were your own. We are always “Hero-Ready” here at SERVPRO®

During the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the U.S., some of our SERVPRO® team members were dispatched to Columbus, OH to assist with major flooding in the area. When not enough restoration companies could handle all of the damage in Franklin County, SERVPRO® was there to help.

We talked with one of our Project Managers Shawn Pelo about his experience working in a new community during these unprecedented times. Shawn spent one week in Columbus where each morning the teams would briefly meet to go over all the active jobs and decide where to begin in the mitigation, monitor or clean up process. Pelo said the walkthrough of the job, though it was often time-consuming, was crucial to prepare the scope of work for each mitigation crew. “ At the end of the day, which can be 12-14 hours after it began, we sit back down, go over the new jobs that were signed, prep them on the board for the next morning to schedule the mitigation to begin,” Pelo said. 

The process was rewarding for Pelo and his team to be able to serve in a new community in such a time of need, especially when families are quarantined at home. 

“When you’re a customer focused company, you treat every community as if it were your own. We are always “Hero-Ready” here at SERVPRO® and the people of Franklin County needed heroes. Due to the magnitude of the storms and flooding, some people had to wait for over a week with saturated building materials to be removed,” Pelo said. “Imagine what wet carpet smells like after that length of time? They were very pleased to see us!”

Pelo added that the biggest challenge was getting service to the people as quickly as possible. He said they did their best using simple communication techniques. The teams met each morning and again in the evening with a concise agenda so everyone was up to speed and reminded of the important tasks to tackle the next day. “The expectations were set for each crew and individual on what their role was or what success looks like. Although we are always geared for the fastball, we keep our weight back for the times when life likes to throw that curve,” Pelo stated. 

The selflessness displayed by Pelo’s SERVPRO team made the strenuous experience much easier to handle. “Our team is always ready to put the needs of others before our own. Some nights we weren’t even able to have a regular meal before the clock strikes midnight,” he said. “Tensions can run high at times when you're in this business, but the bonds that are made from those experiences, we will remember forever.”

Making Quarantine Fun: Spring Cleaning in Erie, PA

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

image of cleaning products in basket like: sponges, spray bottles, wipes, gloves, and more Clean the window sills, doorknobs and kitchen cabinet handles where hands often touch

When the gyms, theaters, restaurants and bars are closed across the country, it seems many of us have little to do or few excuses not to start spring cleaning early. We have compiled some ways to make quarantine less daunting and more productive.

Remember: just because we have to sacrifice some things we love temporarily doesn’t mean we can’t make cleaning fun in the meantime. 

For starters: have your kids time their tasks. See how long it takes them to fully organize the kitchen junk drawer. Make a contest out of it. Winner gets to pick out their favorite treat, ice cream or pick the family movie you watch together  later. 

  • Clean the window sills, doorknobs and kitchen cabinet handles where hands often touch. 
  • Dust the baseboards you’ve been ignoring through the winter months.
  • Speaking of winter, fold and store your winter clothes to make more room in your closet and drawers for your spring/ summer wardrobe.
  • If you’d like to channel your inner Marie Kondo, get rid of clothing items you haven’t worn in 6 months or articles of clothing that don’t bring you joy. These clothing items can be donated to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or brought to any Plato’s Closet. 
  • If you are able to find any Clorox spray or bleach at your local grocery store, clean the dirty shower curtain liner in your shower or tub. 
  • Clean your ceiling fan and blades. 

Other deep cleaning can be done as well if you’re up for the challenge. You can clean out your fridge, inside and out. You can also do this with the dishwasher and even deep clean the oven and stove top. 

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

image explaining the acronym "PASS" in more detail Thinking clearly during an emergency can be difficult. The acronym PASS is used to remember the steps to use a fire extinguisher

Chances are, you pass a fire extinguisher every day, whether it’s in your home or workplace. Have you ever considered if you know how to use it? According to FEMA, most Americans don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher. While having a fire extinguisher readily available is important, it is not enough. In the case of a fire, your safety and your family’s safety could depend on if you know how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

What to Do

If you encounter a fire, ask yourself these questions before attempting to put it out:

  1. Are you taller than the fire?

Extinguishers are designed to put out fires in their early stages. If the fire is taller than you, it is best to evacuate the building and call 911.

  1. Is the extinguisher pressurized?

There is a gauge on the fire extinguisher with a needle that shows you the extinguisher’s pressure. If the needle is in the green area, it is properly pressurized. If it’s not in the green, the extinguisher is not properly pressurized, and will not be able to put out the fire. In this case, get to a safe place and call 911.

Remember: PASS

Thinking clearly during an emergency can be difficult. The acronym PASS is used to remember the steps to use a fire extinguisher.

            Pull the pin out

            Aim the nozzle low, toward the base of                 the fire

            Squeeze the trigger to release the agent

            Sweep the nozzle side to side until the                 fire is out. Keep aiming at the base of                   the fire.  

*After the fire is out don’t turn your back. Continue to watch the fire to ensure it doesn’t reignite.

If you experience a residential or commercial fire, SERVPRO of East Erie County is always here to help. We specialize in fire restoration, and will restore your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Don’t hesitate to call us at (716) 656-7131.

What are Those Brown Spots on my Ceiling?

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

image of ceiling of a residential room with severe water pooling causing yellow-ish stains It only takes 48 hours for a mold infestation to begin and start to damage to the structure of your home

Have you noticed weird, brown stains on your ceilings or walls? The stain may not be large enough to cause major concern, but it definitely sparks your curiosity. How did it get there? When did it start and how long has it been there? The presence of a brown or wet spot can have serious implications on your ceiling. But before you spend too much time worrying about it, your best option is to call your local water restoration company.

One of the main causes of ceiling stains is water pooling. This effect is usually seen in bathrooms where there is plenty of water and humidity. When your ceiling paint turns a weird brown or yellow color, it’s a sign of water pooling in your ceiling. These colors are the surfactants in the paint. They are usually brown and oily. When mixed with water, the colors rise up to the surface and you notice the brown spots.

There may be a burst or leaking pipe in your ceiling that is causing the water damage. Water does not need to be pouring down from your ceiling to indicate something is wrong. If water sits in your ceiling or anywhere in your home, it can cause serious and costly damage. It only takes 48 hours for a mold infestation to begin and start to damage to the structure of your home.

If you notice a brown or wet stain on your ceiling, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. The longer it sits and grows in size, the more damage it could be causing to your home. Call SERVPRO® of East Erie & Warren Counties today! We are more than happy to come inspect your home and provide any water or mold restoration services. (814) 636-6760

Water Damage? Act Fast to Prevent Mold Growth

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

mold growing on brick basement wall It doesn't take long for mold to spread after you experience water damage in your home. In fact, it can happen in as little as 24-48 hours.

Recent storms and heavy rainfall left many homeowners with flooded basements and other types of water damage throughout their homes. Luckily, our SERVPRO® teams were Here to Help®.

According to FEMA, “if your home has water damage due to any of the following, mildew and mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure.

  • flooding
  • sewage back-up from flooding in the area
  • plumbing or roof leaks
  • damp basement or crawl space
  • overflows from sinks or bathtub
  • high humidity steam cooking, dryer vents, humidifiers 

Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture and effectively deal with the mold problem.”

As experts in mold remediation, SERVPRO® uses advanced equipment to detect and stop the source of water feeding the mold. Our typical process looks like this:

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  2. Mold Containment
  3. Air Filtration
  4. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  5. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  6. Restoration

Mold can also cause health effects and cause further damage to your property and belongings. This is why it’s so important to take immediate action and call SERVPRO® of East Erie and Warren Counties for all of your water damage and mold remediation needs.

Contact us today at 814-646-6760 or visit us online for more information.

Fireproofing Your Home After a Residential Fire

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Image of SERVPRO® technician walking homeowner around her home while fireproofing the home If the fire damage to your home was minimal, consider new furnishings, decor and plants that resist fire

Cleaning up after a residential fire can be a strenuous and emotional process. It requires time, energy, money and grieving. But in the aftermath of the fire, it is important to not just repair your home, clean up and patch up the damage but you should also build in fire resistant features to help prevent future damage. 

Doing this can give you and your family peace of mind that this disaster is unlikely to happen again.

The Red Cross recommends installing hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with back up batteries on each level of your residence. These should also be placed outside and inside the bedrooms. If each alarm is wired together, one sounding off will sound off the others. 

If the fire damage to your home was minimal, consider new furnishings, decor and plants that resist fire. If the damage requires a full or partial rebuild of the home, the new building materials used should be fire resistant. 

You can contact us at SERVPRO® of East Erie & Warren Counties by calling (814) 636-6760 or visit our Facebook page. We can help with drywall and insulation replacement, help you wash your walls, leather goods and other items around the homes that need special attention after a fire.