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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
No homeowner is surprised that basements run a risk of flooding. They are, after all, below ground at least partially. However, some homeowners are shocked to learn that basement flooding and water damage cleanup can be needed all year round, even during the dry season. Basement flooding is common, especially because many of the common causes of basement flooding are out of human control, but many causes can be prevented.
Most Common Causes for Water Damage Cleanup in the Basement
You probably know that basements can flood when storms or a power failure cause the sump pump to backup or stop working, but some of the other common reasons include
- Failure of the drainage tile
- Improper sealing of the floor and walls
- Improperly installed or damaged downspouts and gutters
- Clogged gutters
- How water tank failure
- Water supply line damage such as broken or clogged pipes
- Improperly sealed basement windows
- Leakage from water in rooms above the basement
- Appliance leaks or damage such as washer overflow, leaking refrigerator or sink, toilet overflow, etc.
- Hurricane, flood, or tropical storm
Steps to Water Damage Cleanup in Greater Pittsburg
If you’ve recently experienced basement flooding and need water damage cleanup, the first thing you need to do is turn off the power. Water and electricity do not mix, and electrocution can be deadly. Next, you’ll want to call a professional restoration crew to assist if the water damage is severe. Professionals are trained in mold mitigation and will ensure that the cleanup process is done correctly from start to finish.
Because water can damage your personal property so quickly, the next thing you will want to do, as long as you have personal protective equipment such as rubber boots, gloves, and goggles, is to start removing everything from the room. Take furniture and other belongings outside if you can where they can dry, or to a room where you can use fans to help dry the items. The cleanup crew will suction out the water, clean or remove the carpet depending on the damage, and perform mold mitigation to ensure that nothing grows after they are gone. The entire cleanup process can take between three and seven days in many cases.
If you need water damage cleanup in your basement, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh at 413-528-6077.
As more states are starting to loosen restrictions and enter more progressive stages of reopening, you might decide that it’s time to bring your employees back to work in the office and increase productivity. One of the most challenging tasks you will have as a business owner is how to ensure your office workers stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of illness in the workplace. There are federal guidelines that lay out social distancing rules and occupancy limits, as well as state and local ordinances and laws you will need to follow. Still, one of the best investments you can make right now is in commercial cleaning services.
What is a Commercial Cleaning?
Commercial cleaning companies specialize in cleaning retail, office, and buildings used for commercial purposes, rather than residential homes. Services included from these companies can include ATP testing, holistic or green product options, mold remediation, deodorization, carpet, and floor cleaning, air duct cleaning, and sick building syndrome services.
Why Is Professional Cleaning Important?
Professional cleaning services not only get your office clean and disinfected before employees return to work, but when added as an ongoing service, these services can reduce the chances of your employees getting sick because of illnesses and viruses in the office. You would be surprised about the number of bacteria that stay stuck in carpet fibers, under desks, and built up in the wax on tile flooring. Professional cleaning companies use deep cleaning methods to extract dirt and grime from your carpets and floor.
These companies also increase the purity of the air and can be beneficial for customers, clients, and employees that have breathing difficulties associated with asthma or allergies. Commercial cleaning companies are also great for cleaning up after special projects such as changing the layout of the work or retail space, remodeling, or after a big event such as the office Christmas party.
If you’re interested in discussing COVID-19 and commercial cleaning, contact ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-528-6077.
Moving into your first home is exciting; however, the transition between renting and ownership means having to take care of your own maintenance. One part of owning a home that most first-time homeowners may not know about at first is the function of a sump pump. However, if you ever need water damage services, you’re likely to become familiar with sump pumps quickly.
Sump pumps are pumps installed in basements or crawlspaces to keep the home from flooding. These pumps need to be in the lowest point of the home and installed inside of a sump pit. Water flowing underground or seeping into the soil during torrential downpours or flooding will be pumped away from the home to prevent water from entering the basement or crawlspace.
Do I Need A Sump Pump?
Sump pumps are required to be in homes due to the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act of 1987. If your home was built before 1987, you should check to ensure there is a sump pump in the basement.
Does the Sump Pump Work Automatically?
Automatic sump pumps do not run continuously; however, homeowners don’t need to do anything to activate them. A float activator arm acts as a pressure sensor to turn on the pump. The mechanism looks similar to what you’ll see inside of your toilet tank. When the float activator is not working correctly, your sump pump can fail and cause basement flooding. Luckily, water damage services are available to help you correct the situation. There are two types of automatic sump pumps—submersible and pedestal. Water damage services can help you decide which is best for your home.
Manual sump pumps are also available and great to be used in case of emergency when your automatic sump pump fails, and you need a backup. Manual sump pumps aren’t as convenient as automatic but work the same way.
Water damage services are ready to assist you when your sump pump fails and your basement floods. Calling the professionals is the best way to ensure that flooding from groundwater is cleaned up the safest way possible.
If you’ve had a sump pump failure, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-314-3832.