Water Damaged Hardwood Floors
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.
Helping make fire damage, "like it never even happened."
No business owner wants to watch years of investment and effort go up in smoke. Still, fire damage in Pittsburgh, PA, is a somewhat common occurrence. If your business has gone through a fire, damage may be more extensive than you think.
Insurance May Not Cover All Damage
As a diligent business owner, you likely have insurance to protect your company from the effects of fires and other hazards. Unfortunately, following a fire, your insurance adjuster may inform you that your policy doesn’t cover certain types of fires. Commonly, fire policies exclude the following events:
- Arson-related fires
- Fires in vacant buildings
A Fire May Touch All Parts of Your Business or Home
Fires can be unbelievably destructive. Once smoke clears and fire crews leave, you may notice damage to all parts of your business. Damaged structures may include office buildings, warehouses, storage facilities and distribution centers. Further, inventory, office supplies, computers and equipment may sustain fire damage as well.
Fire Containment Can Cause Additional Damage
The best way to limit damage during a business fire is to extinguish flames as quickly as possible. Still, fire mitigation often causes additional damage.
Even if your business did not turn into a raging inferno, you may have to deal with the messes water, fire retardant and smoke leave behind. Fortunately, you probably do not have to figure out cleanup on your own. A professional restoration technician from a reputable service likely has the equipment and knowledge to assess damage and recommend a restoration strategy.
While all fires are different, many in Pittsburgh, PA have the potential to cause serious damage to your business or home. As a savvy entrepreneur, you spend a significant amount of time thinking of ways to attract new customers and improve your company’s products or services.
Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration
Thank you to all the first responders out there.
No Disaster Is Small When It Is Yours!
- Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back.
- Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
- Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
- Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more.
- Ceilings and Walls – Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to analyze the extent of the damage to your ceilings, walls and woodwork. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can reduce the cost of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter soot without incurring the expense associated with repainting. When higher concentrations of soot exist, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will clean the area to prepare the surface for smooth painting.
- Carpet & Floor Restoration – After a smoke or fire damage, carpeting and floors will often need a deep and thorough cleaning. Residue from smoke or soot settles and is ground into flooring every time someone walks on it. Whether it is wall-to-wall carpeting or the most expensive tile floor, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the experience, equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect all types of flooring surfaces.
- Ductwork – The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the smoke damage. Depending on the amount of damage, the proper restoration process will be determined to clean and deodorize your HVAC and duct system.
• SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.
Have a Question? Call Us Today!
Storm Facts, Tips and Safety
Lighting myth and fact.
Thunderstorms are defined as storms that produce thunder and lightning. Severe thunderstorms may also produce:
- High winds
- Sleet or snow
It’s important to note that thunderstorms do not always produce moisture. A storm in which you see lightning and hear thunder but never feel a drop of water is known as a “dry” thunderstorm. Thunderstorms that produce hail and tornadoes are known as “supercell” storms. Storms occur either in clusters or lines; therefore, they may present as a single thunderstorm or as multiple thunderstorms hitting one after the other.
Thunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.
Thunderstorms must also be lifted to begin their formation. Some sources of lift include:
More heat on the ground than in the air
Changes in atmospheric conditions near mountains
Weather front changes caused by clashing cold and hot air
Drylines, or when moist and dry air clash
Land or sea breezes
Any of these situations can immediately create a thunderstorm without warning, even in the middle of a clear blue day. In many cases, these storms will also be accompanied by lightning. Most will not come with hail or tornadoes, unless they occur in tornado-prone states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.
Severe Weather Facts & Myths
Tornadoes damage estimate.
Myth: Highway and interstate overpasses are safe shelters against a tornado.
Fact: Overpasses can concentrate the tornado winds, causing them to be significantly stronger. This places the people under them in an even more dangerous situation. In recent years, several people seeking shelter beneath overpasses have been killed or severely injured. Being above ground level during a tornado is dangerous.
Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to explode. Opening the windows will equalize the pressure, saving the building.
Fact: Opening the windows in an attempt to equalize pressure will have no effect. It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage. It is more important for you to move to a safe area away from windows and exterior walls. With a tornado, every second counts, so use your time wisely and take cover.
Myth: Thunderstorms and tornadoes always move from west to east.
Fact: More often than not, thunderstorms move from west to east. Conditions in the atmosphere dictate how and where storms will move, and it can be in any direction. Tornadoes have been known to act erratic and can change directions and speed very quickly. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
Myth: It’s not raining here, and skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.
Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm. If storms are in your area, but skies happen to be clear above you, that certainly does not imply you are safe from lightning. Though these “Bolts from the Blue” are infrequent, lightning strikes 10 to 15 miles away from the storm are not out of the question.
Myth: Since I am inside my house and out of the storm, I am completely safe from lightning.
Fact: Just because you have taken shelter inside, you are not automatically safe. While inside waiting out a storm, avoid using the telephone or electrical appliances and do not take showers or baths. Also stay away from doors and windows. Telephone lines, cords, plumbing, even metal window and door frames are all lightning conductors and pose a threat
Myth: Large and heavy vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are safe to drive through flood waters.
Fact: It is a common belief that the larger the vehicle, the deeper the water it can drive through. Many people do not realize that two feet of water can float most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups. If the water is moving rapidly, vehicles can be swept away.
Myth: Flash floods only occur along flowing streams.
Fun Storm Facts
Tornadoes direction of travel. Source: NOAA.
Are you afraid of storms, or do you embrace them? Whichever side you fall on, we all have some sort of respect for storms. They can cause great damage, paint beautiful pictures across the sky, alter any outdoor plans, and completely turn a day around. Although you’ve probably experienced many thunderstorms in your life, you might not know a whole lot about them. In today’s post, we’re going to share some fun storm facts that you may not have known!
About 1,800 thunderstorms are happening around the world at any given moment.
Lightning kills more people than tornadoes every year.
A severe storm “watch” means that a serious storm has the potential to develop but has not developed yet. However, a severe storm “warning” means that a storm has developed and been sighted.
About 10% of storms are classified as “severe”.
If you’re ever heard the term the “four horsemen” of thunderstorms, it’s referring to
wind/tornadoes, hail, floods, and lightning.
Thunderstorm clouds grow to heights of above 20,000 feet!
A “derecho” is a type of severe storm that lasts a long time, covers a great distance, and involves serious wind.
Wind speeds can be up to 120 mph in thunderstorms, even without a tornado.
A massive hailstorm in Munich, Germany, in 1984 caused over $1 billion worth of damage.
In 1933, huge hailstones were reported to have fallen around a city in Massachusetts, containing fresh, frozen ducks inside.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Smoke Alarms
Help prevent death.
As temperatures drop you may feel the need to fire up your furnace, this could possibly lead to the chirping of a Carbon Monoxide Alarm. Some new smoke alarms have the Carbon Monoxide capability. What do you do if that happens?
1. Let’s Start With What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless poison gas that can be fatal when inhaled.
It is sometimes called the "silent killer."
CO inhibits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen.
CO can be produced when burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil or wood.
CO is the product of incomplete combustion. If you have fire, you have CO.
2. Where Does Carbon Monoxide (CO) Come From?
Any fuel-burning appliance that is malfunctioning or improperly installed.
Furnaces, gas range/stove, gas clothes dryer, water heater, portable fuel-burning space heaters, fireplaces, generators and wood burning stoves.
Vehicles, generators and other combustion engines running in an attached garage.
Blocked chimney or flue.
Cracked or loose furnace exchanger.
Back drafting and changes in air pressure.
Operating a grill in an enclosed space.
3. What are Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Symptoms?
Initial symptoms are similar to the flu without a fever and can include dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue/weakness and disorientation/confusion.
4. What are The Effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Exposure?
- Common Mild Exposure - Slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, flu-like symptoms.
Common Medium Exposure - Throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate.
Common Extreme Exposure - Convulsions, unconsciousness, brain damage, heart and lung failure, followed by death.
If you experience even mild CO poisoning symptoms, immediately consult a physician!
5. Are There Any Steps I Can Take to Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning?
Properly equip your home with carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in sleeping areas. The only safe way to detect CO in your home is with a CO alarm.
Every year have the heating system, vents, chimney and flue inspected by a qualified technician.
Regularly examine vents and chimneys for improper connections, visible rust and stains.
Install and operate appliances according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Only purchase appliances that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Never use a gas range/stove to heat the home.
Never leave your car idling in a closed garage or use fuel-powered appliances or tools in enclosed, attached areas such as garages or porches. Carbon monoxide can seep into your home through vents and doors.
6. Do I Need a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm? Where Should It Be Installed?
Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm.
If the home has only one carbon monoxide alarm, it should be installed in the main bedroom or in the hallway outside of the sleeping area.
An alarm should be installed on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.
Place the alarm at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
Make sure nothing is covering or obstructing the unit.
Do not place the unit in dead air spaces or next to a window or door.
Test the carbon monoxide alarm once a week by pressing the test/reset button.
Monthly, unplug the unit and vacuum with a soft-brush attachment or wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove accumulated dust.
7. Should My Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Have A Digital Display? What Does The Peak Level Function Do?
• A digital display allows you to see if CO is present and respond before it becomes a dangerous situation.
• Peak Level Memory stores the highest recorded reading prior to being reset. This feature enables you to know if there was a reading while you were away from home, and also can help emergency responders determine the best treatment.
8. Whom Should I Call If My Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Goes Off?
If anyone is experiencing symptoms, you need to get everyone into fresh air and call 911 from a neighbor's home. If no one is experiencing symptoms, you should call the fire department or a qualified technician from a neighbor's home to have the problem inspected. If you are unable to leave the home to call for help, open the doors and windows, and turn off all possible sources while you are waiting for assistance to arrive. Under no circumstance should an alarm be ignored!
Winter Heating Hazards
Fireworks cause nearly 20,000 home fires each year. Source: NFPA.org.
Winter is the same anywhere you go, lower temperatures and shorter days. Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to make our homes cozy. Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?
Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
Test smoke alarms monthly.
Common Causes of Fires
Helping make fire damage, "like it never even happened."
The top 5 most common causes of house fires and safety tips:
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items or in a child’s room.
- Make sure candles fit securely into candleholders so they do not tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they cannot be seen.
- Do not smoke in bed, when you are tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
- Do not overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job. Inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Do not leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
- Clean the lint screen frequently and do not run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there are not any leaks in the lines.
- Check the vent of the dryer, outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics: TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
The overall ideas are thanks to the National Fire Protection Association.
National Preparedness Month and Fire Prevention Week
This house fire required the staff to demo the inside of the house. Burned out lumber was replaced and cleaned. The structure was painted and rebuilt.
It is unfortunate that different types of disasters and emergencies happen in communities across the country, but there are key steps that every household can take to better prepare for them. If you do nothing else this month, take time to create a disaster plan including an emergency escape plan.
Make a clear plan of what to do in an emergency and in case of an evacuation. Identify clear roles for everyone in the house.
Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can happen at home, work and school.
Make a list of all the important things you may forget when in an emergency.
Have a disaster kit assembled for everyone in the house.
Have an out of the area emergency contact person noted.
Practice evacuating your home twice a year, especially if you have kids or pets. This makes it a routine and can make a real emergency situation less stressful.
The Red Cross provides one of many helpful apps for phones and tablets to help with emergencies.