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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Steps to Take

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

If you find yourself in need of our services for a water emergency, here are some steps to take:

1.  Inspection & Water Assessment - we will carefully inspect your property's water damage determining the type of water damage and the areas affected.

2.  Water Removal / Water Extraction - Gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process.  We will start this as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.

3.  Drying & Dehumidification - After the bulk of the water has been removed, we use specialized equipment to target the water that's harder to access including air movers & dehumidifiers.

4.  Cleaning & Sanitizing - Items like furniture, clothing and personal items can also be damaged.  We can clean restorable items as well as sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers & fogging equipment.

5.  Restoration - The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition.  This can be a minor or major project depending on the damage incurred.

CE Class Information

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Several CE Classes are offered at our location throughout the year.  Here are two of the courses provided with a brief description of "What You Will Learn":

ETHICS - The premise for this ethics course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried or otherwise disengaged.  

Each and every day we are faced with decisions that could cause harm to others or ourselves.  Facing ethical decisions can be very difficult, especially when we make decisions that may seems correct at first, but we later find out were not so great.  As part of this course we will become involved in group activities that will help reinforce what has been learned, as well as the ability to better deal with ethical decision-making in our own lives.

RESTORATIVE DRYING FOR WATER DAMAGE - This course has been designed to provide a better understanding of the restorative drying process that takes place after a water damage loss occurs.

Key elements of this class include:  (1).  How water damage impacts the insurance industry; (2).  Understanding water damage; (3).  Inspection Services & Emergency Servies; (4).  Monitoring the drying process; (5).  Psychrometrics (the science of drying); and (6).  Water restoration services.

What is the IICRC?

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource.  It serves as an independent,  nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards of ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.

The IICRC offers certifications in several categories of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration.  As well, there are Journeyman certifications available to those individuals advanced levels of recognition which are achieved by having several certifications in select categories and a minimum of three to five years of experience in the cleaning/restoration industry.

Here at SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont our technicians are IICRC certified and continue their education and certification throughout their employment.  As new certifications become available through the IICRC, steps are taken to ensure that our technicians are certified in the latest techniques and services.

Biohazard Cleanup & Restoration

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Cleanup Services

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.  A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.  SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont have highly trained technicians that can safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

The decontamination process of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional.  SERVPRO  of Somerset County & Westmont provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazardous situations including but not limited to:  sewage backups, crime scene residues, suicide/death accidents, blood cleanup, hoarding scenes, animal waste/remains and meth lab cleanup.

Biohazard emergencies don't always happen during the regular work week.  That's why SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your call.  You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

What is a Puff Back?

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

Some pictures of past "Puff Backs"

Furnace 'puff backs' occur most often in the winter.  A puff back is a misfiring of your furnace that can send soot throughout your home, covering furniture, cabinets, walls, linens and everything in between.  The consequences can be severe but SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont can work closely with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home.

A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car.  The explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system throughout your home.

The soot is not just a powder-like substance, but is black and sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to start a claim, which will usually cover your home and contents affected by the puff back.

Here are some helpful tips on what you should do, should a puff back occur in your home:  (1).  Assess the situation and the amount of damage that was done.  (2). Wash all affected clothing and fabrics in the house - some may require professional cleaning.  (3).  Throw away all exposed foods. (4). Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning furnace.  (5). Call SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont to take care of the cleaning of the soot and chemicals.

SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont will work closely with you, your insurance agency and your adjuster to ensure that the job is done as quickly as possible to get you back to your normal, daily routine.

Snowfall Forecast

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

Provided by Pennsylvania Weather Action

Pennsylvania Weather Action has recently released it's Snowfall Outlook map for November, 2016 - April, 2017.

Totals in our local area are expected to be between 128"-152" for Somerset County, 122"-140" for Cambria County and 46"-58" for Bedford County.

With the snow, also comes the cold temperatures which can lead to busted pipes, leaking roofs & leaking basement foundations.

We here at SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call!

Getting Ready for Colder Temperatures

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

With winter approaching, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures.  Most steps that are taken are inexpensive, and take little time, but can help avoid property damage.  Following are a few tips to consider before winter arrives: (1). Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic. (2). Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature to the "warm" setting. (3). Replace your furnace filter. (4). Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home. (5). Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean. (6). Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets. (7). Remove any window unit air conditioners. (8). Close off rooms that aren't used and shut the vents.

Fire Prevention Month

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

Somerset Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Prevention week is celebrated October 9th-15th.  Although October is Fire Prevention Month, here are some tips that can help with fire prevention safety year round:  (1).  Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home; (2).  Test smoke alarm batteries every month & change them AT LEAST once a year; (3).   Practice finding your way out of the house with  your eyes closed, crawling or staying low & feeling your way out of the house; (4).  Remember to escape first, then notify the fire department.

Rainfall forecast in Somerset County & Westmont

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

With the current forecast calling for significant rainfall throughout the area over the next few days, homeowners may become a victim of water damage to their home.  The first thing that you will want to do is shut-off any power to the affected area.  There are several steps that will need to be followed to ensure that all damage is handled correctly and effectively.  You will want to first remove all standing water from the affected area and ensure that the area is dried completely.  The area will then need to be completely disinfected in order to ensure that no mold growth occurs in the future.  

Please note, that in some circumstances your homeowner's insurance policy may contain coverage to help in the recovery and repair of the damage.  This is also a good time to call SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont to come in and help with the extraction of the water, as well as the disinfection of the affected area.

Emergency Response Over the Holidays

2/6/2014 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is in the business of Disaster Restoration; unfortunately however, most emergencies and disasters do not occur Monday through Friday, 8-5. That is why SERVPRO of Somerset is a 24/7 emergency responder--even over weekends and holidays--and like most years, the 2013 holiday season proved to be a very busy one for us.

On December 23rd we received and responded to three calls, and on Christmas Eve another homeowner called in, in a panic. The latter had six inches of water in her basement from a sump pump failure, and when her plumber referred her to SERVPRO of Somerset, she took his advice and called us right away. We took in a crew of five for heavy extraction of water from the carpets, and were able to set up some drying equipment to to run over the holidays.

Christmas Day we responded to yet another holiday disaster: a hot water tank leak at local Four Season's Resort, Hidden Valley.  Our speedy response on Christmas saved about 800 square feet of wood floor from being ruined. Had we waited until the next day to respond, the floor would have buckled beyond repair

On to the next holiday--New Years. On New Years Day we responded to two house fires. Thanks to a recommednation from the insurance agent, we were on-site of the first fire within an hour of the incident. We were able to clean up a good bit of the mess, deodorize and set up airscrubbers so that the family could stay in the house. The second call was a chimney fire, which we were also able to scope that day and have a crew out early the next morning.

If anything is to be taken away from these examples, it's that the professionals at SERVPRO of Somerset take our jobs very seriously! 24/7 means after hours, weekends & even holidays. It is our commitment to our customers, agents & adjusters that we will be there for them when needed, NO EXCUSES!! If a disaster strikes your home during a holiday--or ever!--remember to call in the experts at SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont! 814-445-5800

Servpro of Somerset Cleans up Northern Cambria Schools

9/13/2013 (Permalink)

Northern Cambria Elementary/Middle School being cleaned up by the professionals at Servpro of Somerset County & Westmont

Heavy storming in Northern Cambria, lead to the many instances of local flooding—including the entire elementary and middle school facilities. Most of the town was underwater Labor Day night, as emergency officials estimate 4-5 inches of rain came down in less than an hour. On Tuesday, many people were cleaning out their basements and washing mud from their homes and driveways as school officials did the same in many classrooms. It took a lot of work for it all to be cleaned up and sanitized and required the district to cancel classes for the elementary and middle schools for the remainder of the week. Knowing it was time to call in the professionals, Northern Cambria School District called in Servpro, and Servpro of Somerset County & Westmont—the regions Large Loss Team—was dispatched to begin work immediately.

“I would expect our damages to exceed $200,000 before it's all said and done," said Rodney Green, interim superintendent for the Northern Cambria School District. Green said he came to work Monday night to find half the elementary and middle school flooded. "Water was standing in the hallways. We also had water in the cafeteria and we had water in the gym," said Green. "Our administrative suite, attached to the middle school, was completely flooded also." The once mulch-covered playground was a muddy mess and about 15 classrooms were soaked. The water entered the building after it flooded over a hillside behind the school, and directly into the administrative wing of the building.                          

On Tuesday dozens Servpro professionals got to work, moving furniture, sopping up water and conducting mold tests. "There will be a lot of restoration, water extraction and carpeting extraction," said Green. "A lot of things are going to happen in the next 48-72 hours." And right he was! After working over the holiday weekend to get the school back in order, Servpro was finished cleaning and drying the structure by Monday September 9th.
Remember! No job is too large for the pros at Servpro of Somerset!

SERVPRO of Somerset Attends PAMIC Event: The 106th Mid-Atlantic Mutual Advantage Convention

8/5/2013 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Somersets Mobile Command Trailer at a PAMIC event in Spring 2013

The 106th Mid-Atlantic Mutual Advantage Convention is being held at the Hershy Lodge in Hershey, PA August 4-6, 2013. SERVPRO's across Pennsylvania have joined together to be represented at this event as the nation's premier Disaster Restoration Company!

The Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (PAMIC) is a trade association that was originally formed for mutual insurance companies, writing property and casualty lines of insurance, domiciled or authorized to do business in Pennsylvania. Formed in 1907 by several mutual companies who voluntarily united for common purposes. Today it is comprised of over 60 companies, mostly mutual and some stock, located in Pennsylvania and surrounding states encompassing Maryland, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, and Virginia.

PAMIC also has an associate membership base composed of groups that support the insurance industry. These associate members include, but are not limited to, re-insurers, law firms, independent adjusters and information systems services. PAMIC currently has over 100 associate members.