Is Carpeting Easy To Replace?

One of the things replaced most frequently after a flood and water damage restoration is the carpeting in the affected room(s). Water can deteriorate carpeting and cause mold and mildew growth. While many carpets can be cleaned and restored, some homeowners take the opportunity to get brand-new carpet instead. However, some people don’t realize that carpeting is not always easy to replace.

Steps to Replace Carpeting

A professional water damage restoration company can restore carpeting quickly in many cases; however, when it comes time for replacement, you still need a professional. Carpet replacement is not easy and professional carpet layers can always get the job done quicker, more efficiently, and with fewer errors than someone trying to DIY the job.

Tools you need to replace carpet:

  • Tackless strips
  • Carpeting
  • Carpet scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Knee kicker
  • Hammer
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Utility mask

Steps to replacing carpet include:

  1. Put on dust mask and gloves
  2. Tear our existing carpet and padding
  3. Clean the flooring to ensure no mold or mildew will grow
  4. Install tackless strips
  5. Install padding
  6. Lay the carpeting
  7. Trim excess threads
  8. Vacuum

Many of the steps to replacing the carpet are a process including the way to install tackless strips, padding, and laying the carpet. In some cases, you can reuse the tackless strips from the previous carpeting if there was no damage; however, when it comes to water damage restoration, total replacement is recommended to avoid mold, bacteria, and other contaminants from affecting the new carpet.

Is Carpet Replacement Expensive?

Carpet replacement is often a part of water damage restoration and when included as part of the process to mitigate flooding and other water damage, replacing carpet is often less expensive than if you were to do it on a whim. Most homeowners can expect the average cost of replacement to be around $1,500 depending on the size of the room.

Call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today to find out how we can help you with your water damage restoration needs at 412-376-4645.

Salvaging Furniture After a Flood

Flooding is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a home. When floods occur, there is often structural damage, loss of personal possessions, and more that can happen. Some homeowners worry that when they can return to the home, water damage restoration will be impossible. Some home damage needs much more work than others; however, there are many cases where salvaging furniture and even documents are possible.

Steps to Salvaging Water Damaged Furniture

Before entering a home and beginning any sort of water damage restoration, you must ensure you are taking the proper safety precautions including wearing boots, a dust mask, gloves, and protective clothing. Make sure the power is turned off if there was extensive flooding or standing water still in the home. When you are safe, there are several steps to the furniture restoration process.

  1. Separate what is salvageable from what needs to be thrown away. Make sure to take pictures of everything for your insurance claim. When evaluating saving a piece of furniture you must consider the extent of damage and how much it will cost to restore vs. Buying something new. You might also need to consider sentimental value. Upholstered furniture will be difficult to save and restore if it has been sitting in the water because of bacteria and mold. Wood furniture that has been saturated may warp and be unrepairable.
  2. The furniture you will save needs to be removed from the home if possible and laid under the sun to dry out. If you cannot take the pieces outside, move them into a dry room with fans and ventilation.
  3. Cleaning and sanitizing the furniture after it is dry is especially important. A home solution of ammonia and warm water should kill bacteria. You might need to consider using a mold killer as well. Wipe dry but do not put back into the room until water damage restoration is complete.
  4. Mattress shampooing is possible for beds and sometimes for upholstered furniture such as cushions or pillows. Profession cleaners are the optimal solution for restoring any of your upholstered furniture.

Salvaging your water-damaged furniture can be exceedingly difficult and professional water damage restoration companies always have your back in times of crisis. If you need someone to help you restore your home after a flood or help you salvage furniture, call Service Master of Pittsburgh.

ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh is here to get you through some of the most stressful times of homeownership. Call us for water damage cleanup today at 412-376-4645.

Fire Damage Cleanup | Can You DIY Fire Damage Cleanup?

Many homeowners love the chance to jump into a DIY project; however, there are some projects that really should be left to the professionals. Fire damage cleanup is one of those projects. The aftermath of fire takes days and sometimes even weeks to complete and much of the restoration takes professional knowledge that only carpenters, construction workers, or engineers are trained in.

Many homeowners do not realize how big of a project fire damage cleanup can be. Here are the elements that make up the process:

  • Checking for and sealing structural breaches
  • Water removal
  • Soot removal
  • Repairing walls, ceiling, floors, and foundation
  • Furniture restoration
  • Deodorizing

The longest processes to complete are water and soot removal and repairing the structural elements of the home. These repairs can take weeks to complete depending on the extent of fire damage. These processes are all incredibly detailed and have their own best practices to make sure a complete restoration takes place. There are specific cleaning solutions and tools needed for water and soot removal and while those processes can sometimes be easy to DIY, others are not. Repairing the structural elements of your home such as beams, posts, and framework, replacing the roof or flooring, or needing to fix cracks in the foundation should always be handled by professional contractors and companies that are trained in fire damage cleanup.

Cost of Fire Damage Cleanup

Returning your home to its pre-fire condition will always be costly. There is no way around the cost of renovations and remodeling, repairing structural elements, mold mitigation, and water removal. However, homeowners or renter’s insurance should cover a lot of these expenses. Make sure when you are working with a company that does fire damage restoration, the company is approved to receive payments and reimbursement from your insurance company.

If you have recently suffered from a fire disaster in your home and need help with the cleanup and restoration, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.

Water Damage Removal | Protecting Your Basement from Flooding

Every homeowner knows that one of the most vulnerable parts of their home is the basement. Flooding, leaks, sewer backup, and sump pump failure happens to even the most diligent of homeowners which is why there are water damage removal companies ready to rescue you from your latest disaster. However, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just prevent flooding in your basement? Well luckily, you can! There are several ways to protect your dry basement and belonging to water damage, just follow the tips and tricks below.

  1. Basement Sealant- Sealant is a high-quality waterproof paint that stops moisture from coming into the home from the outside. Sealant rolls or brushes on quickly and is quite easy to use. When the liquid dries it creates a watertight barrier. Five gallons is typically needed for a 500 square footwall.
  2. Strategic Gardens- Many homeowners like to line the perimeter of their home in a beautiful garden and flower beds; however, constant watering of the plants can increase the water seeping into the ground and raise your risk for foundation leaks. Plant bushes and other plants that do not need much water around your foundation and save the pretty blooms for the lawn, around trees, or along a fence line.
  3. Interior Drainage- Sometimes you need more than just a sump pump to avoid having a water damage removal company on speed dial. Interior drainage channels are installed inside the basement walls. You will need a foundation contractor to complete this job, and the price tag is high; however, homes that are in flood zones can often benefit from this solution.
  4. Smart Storage- Keeping your belonging up off the floor if your basement is used for storage is important to reduce their risk of water damage. Shelving and plastic, waterproof storage totes are the best to utilize if your basement is used for storage of your personal belongings and mementos.

Water damage removal is costly and takes several days to complete in the worst cases. Avoid having a total loss by following our tips and tricks for maintaining a dry basement. If you run into trouble and need professional flood damage help, call ServiceMaster today!

Set up an appointment with your ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today by calling 412-314-3832

Water Damage Removal | Home Appliances Likely to Flood Your Home

Every homeowner is terrified of the day they will need water damage removal services. While most people believe this day will come when they experience a natural disaster, there are several common appliances in every home that are known to leak, flood, and cause water damage at some point during their life. If you have any of these appliances in your home, check for leaking or abnormalities often.

  1. Water Heater- Your hot water heater may be out of sight, out of mind, but when corrosion, age, and other factors lead to leaks and holes, you will lose gallons of water and may experience property damage. Hot water heaters should be expected at least once per year for signs of wear and tear and remember to replace every decade. Hot water is nearly guaranteed to fail after the twelve years and can cause thousands of dollars in losses and the need for water damage removal.
  2. Washing Machine- Most washing machine leaks are caused by hose failure and most washing machine owners do not even realize they need to check their hoses monthly for cracks, leaks, and drying out and replace them as needed. Not keeping up on appliance maintenance can result in a water damage removal service that you were not prepared to need.
  3. Refrigerator- The defrost drain being clogged is usually the reason refrigerators leak. Sometimes the drain can freeze over which will cause water to back up and leak. Hoses and waterlines, as well as bad seals, can also cause a lot of water problems.
  4. Dishwasher- This appliance is one of the smaller ones you own, but it can cause one of the biggest messes! Dishwashers that get clogged, have bad valves or hoses, or are not connected properly to the drain can cause a large, soapy puddle to quickly form on your floor or worse. Several gallons of water being lost from your dishwasher can cause quite a bit of water damage.

When your appliances fail, they are often covered by warranty; however, those warranties do not cover water damage removal services. Make sure to check your connections, hoses, and valves to all your appliances at least once per month to increase longevity and prevent flooding.

If you have experienced a major leak or flood at your home, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.

Storm Proofing Your House | Water Damage Service

Many homeowners are dismayed to find out that thunderstorms and severe weather can cause water damage services to be needed. Even homeowners that do not live in a flood zone or right in the eye of the hurricane zone, need to be prepared for the damage that severe storms cause. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks to storm-proofing your house that we can share with you to help you be ready for the next bout of terrible weather that comes your way.

  1. Window and Door Seals- One of the best ways to avoid needing water damage services is to seal your windows and doors before storm season begins. Seals that are old or broken will not stop rain from getting into your home and can even let flies, gnats, and spiders into your home.
  2. Roof Maintenance- Every year before storms begin you should have a roof inspection completed to check for loose or missing shingles, leaks, and damage from pest infestations. Shingles that are cracked need to be sealed or replaced and adding a waterproofing seal with help stop roof leaks from happening during severe weather and beyond to extend the life of your roof. If hurricane weather is expected, you should install roof straps.
  3. Seal Any Holes- Check where the HVAC system attaches to the outside of the home, crawlspace entrances, chimney’s, dryer vents, and other holes that lead from inside to outside your home and make sure they are sealed. Caulking is an effective way to achieve a seal.
  4. Clean Up the Yard- One of the worst things that can happen is yard furniture such as your patio table or a chair getting picked up in high winds and thrown right through your window or walls. When you know severe weather is happening in your area, remove all patio and yard furniture and ornaments and stow them away for safety. Trampolines and pool cover should also be secured.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare for storms and severe weather you are going to experience flooding and need water damage services to help with the cleanup. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage services of your choice, and then contact the ServiceMaster nearest you.

Customers in the Greater Pittsburgh area can contact ServiceMaster at 412-314-3832.

Water Damage Cleanup | Tips for Cleaning Up After a House Fire 

A house fire is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fire can be devasting and destroy an entire house leaving it unsalvageable, but sometimes, fires are small, and the damage is confined to a small space. When the fire department must come out to put the fire out, homeowners will have more to think about than only the fire damage. They’re going to need water damage cleanup as well.

No matter how big or small the fire is, however, one thing that homeowners must keep in mind is that the cleanup process cannot begin until authorities give the go-ahead to reenter the property. The homeowners will probably also need to call their homeowner’s insurance agent before they begin taking out any trash or beginning water damage cleanup. The insurance agency will most likely offer to send out an inspector for your claim quickly to take photos and assess the total loss.

Other tips for cleaning up after a house fire include:

  • Consider a dumpster delivery service. If your fire was a large one, you might have large furniture structural trash such as drywall, lots of clothing and linens, and other household goods that were burned, smoke damaged, or water damaged.
  • Personal Protective Equipment should always be worn, especially if you are doing water damage cleanup. Rubber boots and gloves, waders, and eye covers should be worn if there is substantial standing water. Always make sure the power remains turned off to the home as well while you are taking care of water damage to avoid electrocution.
  • Use tri-sodium phosphate cleaner to spot clean belongings with soot damage. You can also use TSP to clean walls, floors, cabinets, and some furniture. Mix with water and use a sponge to wipe surfaces down. TSP removes soot and smoke odor.
  • Hire a water damage cleanup professional when the damage is extensive. Often, firefighting ends up with an entirely saturated home and the best way to mitigate mold and mildew, remove soot, and complete a cleanout is to hire the professionals.

A house fire is one of the biggest disasters a homeowner can face but you don’t have to face the cleanup alone. Call a professional restoration company to help ensure your house is good as new once again.

If you’ve recently suffered a house fire call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.

 

Commercial Cleaning | Taking Commercial Cleaning to the Next Level with Spotlight Cleaning

Most cleaning companies offer commercial services such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, waxing, and taking out the garbage and wiping down surfaces. However, there are still many cleaning projects that businesses need, and employees don’t have the time or ability to complete during open hours. When you hire a commercial cleaning company to take care of your floor and basic cleaning services, you need to ask about these add on services for spotlight cleaning that will have your business shining from floor to ceiling and impressing your customers.

  1. High-Traffic Carpet Maintenance-There are certain areas of your office or business that get more wear and tear from foot traffic than others. Professional carpet maintenance ensures that the carpets stay uniform and clean no matter how many times they are walked across.
  2. Paneling, Trim, Doors-Have you ever checked the trim or paneling for dust? You might be surprised how much dirt and grime can build up around the perimeter of your office. Doors are the most touched surface in your business and can end up stained and dirty very quickly, especially if they are solid wood or painted rather than glass.
  3. Ceilings and Light Fixtures:Light tends to attract dust and if your business is a warehouse or has incredibly high ceilings, cleaning light fixtures might be dangerous for your employees. Let the professionals with the proper safety equipment handle cleaning your ceilings and light fixtures.
  4. Entry Areas, Break Rooms, Public Areas-There are many places that aren’t usually included in commercial cleaning on the salesfloor such as locker or break rooms, entry areas or vestibules, and public areas such as lactation rooms or waiting rooms. Booking a specialized cleaning service for these areas is a great way to ensure they are staying clean and sanitary.
  5. Hard Surface Flooring Cleaning-Go beyond mopping and sweeping and order a strip and wax to keep your hard surface floors shining, new looking, and free from grime and staining. Stripping and waxing can also remove streaks and stains from moving furniture or gondolas.

Commercial cleaning is one of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your business’s structural elements such as flooring and walls. These services also ensure a safe, sanitary, and healthy environment for not only your employees but customers and clients as well.

If you’re ready to schedule a spotlight service in Pittsburgh, call ServiceMaster at 412-376-4645.

Mold Removal Company | How to Design a Mold Resistant Home

Homeowners who have ever dealt with a flood know that their worst enemy is mold. In fact, homeowners are often doing everything they can to make their homes mold-resistant if they live in coastal communities, flood zones, or have dealt with basement flooding from storm runoff. One of the best times to design a mold-resistant home is when you are remodeling or building new; however, a mold removal company can help homeowners with some of these upgrades if they ever do suffer a mold infestation.

  1. Mold Resistant Building Materials- There are building materials that are made specifically to be mold-resistant, and others that don’t take mold resistance into consideration at all when being manufactured. Some building materials are also naturally resistant to mold such as stone or tile. Make sure to ask your mold removal company about mold-resistant drywall.
  2. Seal Concrete Floors-Concrete subflooring needs to be coated with a waterproof crystalline sealant to create a moisture barrier between the slab and any flooring you install on top of the slab.
  3. Insulate Pipes-If the temperatures get below freezing during winter months, you need to make sure your pipes are insulated to protect against cracking or bursting. Even the tiniest leaks can cause moisture to promote mold growth.
  4. Filtered HVAC-Your HVAC system can be equipped with a filter or air purifier that catches mold spores in the air, so they aren’t circulated around your home. This is one of the first upgrades a mold removal company might recommend if a mold infestation has already occurred.
  5. Dehumidifiers-Most central air systems pull humidity out of the air; however, if a home is prone to moisture or humidity (look for condensation on the walls or windows) a dehumidifier can be installed to help pull any additional moisture from the air. Small, transportable ones are affordable and perfect for small homes.

If you ever notice or suspect mold growth in your home, call a mold removal company as soon as possible to set up a mitigation consultation. Mold can pose serious health threats to humans and animals you care about and must be removed immediately.

Call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh to learn more about mold removal today at 412-376-4645.

 

Water Damage Cleanup | Best Flood Resistant Flooring

When you live in a flood zone such as a coastal community or city where there is frequent rain or a high water table, there are special considerations you should take when choosing flooring for your home. Water damage cleanup companies tear out carpet more than any other flooring during flooding because it is prone to mold and mildew after being saturated in water. Laminate flooring is also prone to peeling, curling, or warping after it’s been saturated. Replacing your flooring can be the most labor-intensive and expensive parts of water damage cleanup. If you buy a home where flooding has occurred, you should consider replacing the flooring with these top flood-resistant materials.

Tile-Tile flooring is adhered to the concrete slab using mortar when the home is in a coastal, humid, or floor prone climate. Avoid using mastic adhesive as it is not water-resistant. The tile material is impervious and resistant to mold and mildew. Porcelain grade tiles are the highest-rated for durability and density. Tile is also extremely easy to work with during water damage cleanup if a flood does happen.

Treated Concrete- Concrete floors that have been treated refer to a coating that is applied such as epoxy or stain. Epoxy is common for garages and basements because it is oil and solvent resistant. Concrete floors are not typically found inside homes; however, if you choose not to install flooring and have just the concrete subflooring, a stain can help add color and dimension.

Rubber Flooring- This nonpermanent flooring is great to use in basements in flood prone areas. Rubber flooring comes in large rollout mats and is water and mold resistant. Rubber flooring can be adhered to the concrete floor using double sided carpet tape and if water damage cleanup is ever needed due to flooding, the flooring can be rolled up and carried out easily to get cleaned and dry.

If you don’t know which flooring type is best for your home, make sure to talk to your restoration team about their recommendations for flood-resistant flooring. They can let you know the most durable types available in your area.

If you need to talk to a professional about a water damage cleanout in your home, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.