Recent Posts

Rapid Response is CRUCIAL

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vans loaded with equipment-ready to help! Call the cleanup team that is faster to any size disaster.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings. Rapid response and timely mitigation can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. 

Your local SERVPRO franchise professionals understand that returning to normal is your primary concern. SERVPRO response teams are trained in caring for both you and your property. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO franchise professionals can help you get your home or business back up and running quickly and help protect your property and belongings. 

If your home or business suffers a fire damage, contact your local SERVPRO franchise professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help!

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the ductwork in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your home. 

A routine part of your local SERVPRO franchise professional's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO franchise professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork. 

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO franchise professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends it be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO franchise professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

SERVPRO'S DUCT CLEANING SYSTEM:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • An optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt. 

To schedule an appointment, contact us today at 814-946-0119, or SERVPRO8464am@gmail.com

Fire Safety Means Accident Prevention

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters extinguishing a house fire. Take the necessary steps for prevention!

House fires can be extremely devastating. The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are as many as 400,000 house fires every year in the United States. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your home, and your loved ones, from the danger of fire. It’s important to educate everyone in the home about fire safety, particularly if you live in a dry, hot area, and make sure they are all aware of an emergency plan: how to escape, where to meet and how to stay safe while doing it. Always keep matches, lighters and flammable objects away from children and teach them about the dangers of “playing” with such items. Talking about fire safety is crucial to prevention.

Thomas Walker is the founder of Home Safety Hub, a platform dedicated to finding resources and educational materials to help keep people safe. Below are a few of the best tips he shared on how to keep your home flame-free.

1. Check your heating

Any type of heating within the home needs to be checked regularly, whether it’s a gas-fueled furnace or a kerosene heater. Fireplaces should be cleaned often, including the chimney. Electric floor heaters should have cords in perfect condition and should be kept away from curtains and thick carpeting. Never leave a kerosene heater or gas lamp going during the night.

2. It’s electric

Don’t neglect electrical outlets or allow them to become overloaded. If your home is older than ten years, it’s a good idea to have the electric wiring checked by a professional. Never place cords or surge protectors under rugs or furniture.

3. Sound the alarm

Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every six months to ensure the batteries are in good working order. Make sure there is an alarm in every bedroom and in the kitchen and any garage space, along with fire extinguishers.

4. Cooking consciously

Never leave stovetop items unattended, especially if you have a gas range with an open flame. Turn the handles of pots and pans away from the walkway so that they can’t be accidentally knocked off the stove. Keep the stove clean at all times and de-grease often.

5. Have a plan

It’s crucial to have a plan on what to do in case of emergency and share it with your family, making sure everyone knows the safest way to escape in the event of a fire, where to meet if the family is separated, and who to call. When it comes to family members with disabilities, the plan is going to have to take these disabilities into account. It may change depending on what the disability is.

Be sure to read through The National Fire Protection Association’s guide to escape plans for people with disabilities, which offers tips covering the five general categories of disabilities (mobility, visual, hearing, speech and cognitive) as well as what it describes as the “four elements of evacuation information that occupants need,” which include notification, way finding, use of the way and assistance.

Remember that fire safety begins at home. Teaching your family about the best ways to protect themselves from fire will not only give you peace of mind, but it may come in handy someday as well. In addition to saving lives, it can save a lot of headaches. Even a fire that claims no casualties can leave quite a mess to clean up.

You Start It... We'll Help You Finish It

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Structural integrity, materials, labor, safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines - the list goes on and on when building a commercial facility. The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors open on time.

SERVPRO professionals can help you meet your deadlines by providing thorough post-construction services in a timely manner. These services include:

1. Post Construction Cleaning

Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it's time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate. SERVPRO professionals can provide the debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design.

2. Dehumidification and Drying

During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. If you think one of your projects may have a moisture issue, rely on SERVPRO professionals to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.

3. Final Cleaning

You want the facility to look its best when the doors open. SERVPRO professionals provide cleaning services to give the building that extra shine. Services include:

  • Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep . and finish
  • Ceiling, walls and fixture cleaning
  • Deodorization
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Debris Removal (if necessary)
  • Window Cleaning

SERVPRO helps ensure your finished projects always look their best. Rely on your SERVPRO professionals to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible. 

When Water Damage Strikes

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

A moisture meter being used to detect moisture content. A moisture meter is used to measure the percentage of water in a given substance.

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of receiving a loss notification, a SERVPRO professional will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

1. Inspection

SERVPRO professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning the work.

2. Emergency Services

SERVPRO professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal property and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step. 

3. Monitoring

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated with you.

4. Restoration Services

SERVPRO professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets and clean affected areas of your property and contents. A final walk-through of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to its preloss condition. 

Emergency Water Damage Tips

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO professional using equipment to dry up water in a customer's kitchen. For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the SERVPRO of Altoona professionals.

1. Shut off the water source, if possible, or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source.

2. Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.

3. Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

4. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

5. Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.

6. Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

7. Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water! This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.

8. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. Call 814-946-0119 to get the team that's faster to any size disaster. We're a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities, after the ravaging effects of water or fire. 

What to Do Until Help Arrives (Water Damage)

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professionals loading equipment into the van. Help is on the way!

Water Damage From Clean Water

DO: 

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying. 
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON'T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Water Damage From Contaminated Water

DO:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON'T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medial evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold Weather Killer

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide poisoning can't be seen, smelled or heard, but it can be stopped! Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. 

The symptoms of CO poisoning include dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, shortness or breath, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness.

An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year. 
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris. 
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home. 

For Homeowners, Putting Out a Fire Can Be Worse Than the Fire Itself

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professionals removing a couch from a fire-damaged living room to start the restoration process. We're here to help.

A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. 

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. So after the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let us help you restore it. With the industry-approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting-edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer's peace of mind, as well. Our professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible. 

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 814-946-0119. 

What to Do Until Help Arrives (Fire & Smoke Damage)

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO professional loading equipment into the van. Help is on the way!

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. 

DO: 

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.