Water Damage Cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh | What You Should Know About Flood Waters and Carpet

When you are dealing with a flooded home, one of the main concerns you will have will be what can be saved from your belongings, flooring, and carpets. Professionals who handle water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh have many tips and tricks they can use to restore your carpets so they can be saved instead of needing replaced. This will save you time and money on your restoration process, but there are many factors that will go into the determination.

How Will Flooding Affect the Carpet?

There are three distinct categories of flooding and each will impact your carpet differently.

Category 1 flooding comes from clean water that is not mixed with any contaminants. When a pipe bursts or rainwater comes in through a leaky roof and soaks the carpeting, if it has been saturated for less than 48 hours, the carpeting can usually be saved through drying, cleaning, and sanitizing.

Category 2 flood water is also called greywater and is water that is contaminated and can make you sick if consumed or if it touches your body. Examples of category two flooding includes overflowing washing machines or dishwashers, toilet backups and overflows without waste, aquariums that shatter, or failed sump pumps. When you need water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh for category 2 flooding, you will need to have the padding replaced, but the carpet can typically be salvaged.

Category 3 flooding is blackwater and extremely dangerous. Sewage, flooding from bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, or seawater, hurricane or storm water, or anything else with dangerous pathogens. Water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh for category 3 flood incidents calls for carpet replacement.

No matter what kind of flood waters you are dealing with, there are other factors that need to be considered before determining if the carpet can be saved including how saturated it is and how long the water has been sitting. The best way to make sure you can salvage your carpets is to call a company that does water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh such as ServiceMaster within hours of the flooding.

Call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh for all your water damage cleanup needs at 412-960-1653 or visit us on Facebook.

Water Damage Cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh | Why Do Basement Foundations Crack?

When homeowners see cracks in the basement it is always cause for concern. Cracks can indicate a significant structural problem with your home that needs to be addressed right away. Luckily, cracks don’t always mean you’ll have to undergo a major construction project. Often, there are simple DIY fixes that can go a long way to keeping your basement dry and avoiding water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh. The best way to avoiding these structural issues however is to know what causes them.

  1. Poor Drainage- Having inadequate drainage around your home is the most common reason your basement will start to have cracks. Drainage involves more than just a good gutter system, however. Your yard needs to be properly graded and your irrigation systems need to be on a timer. If your drainage is poor, you will be making frequent calls for water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.
  2. Concrete Shrinkage- After the basement floor is poured and the concrete dries, slight shrinkage will occur that can lead to small, hairline fractures in the flooring. These cracks can appear for up to one year after pouring the basement and are not a major cause for concern. Homeowners can seal the cracks to avoid leaks of water or radon gas.
  3. Concrete Settling- The floor slab can crack as it settles and the less supported section can sink, causing the surface to become uneven. These cracks will need to be leveled and stabilized by a professional. You’ll need to fix this issue immediately to avoid water seepage into your basement and having to handle water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent a basement flood. Cracks can appear spontaneously, especially if the weather has been disastrous. Check your basement frequently during times of heavy rain to ensure there are no sudden risks of flooding that will leave you needing water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburgh.

If you didn’t catch the basement crack in time and your basement is flooded, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh to handle the water damage cleanup at 412-528-6077. You can also visit us on Facebook.

 

Water Damage Restoration | Who is Responsible for Sewage Cleanup?

When homeowners encounter a sewage backup in their homes the situation should always considered an emergency that must have professional remediation. A company that does water damage restoration will always need to be one of the first phone calls you make when you have a sewage mess in your home because the waste is hazardous and can pose major health risks. Luckily, these cleanup companies can get your home safe for moving back in quickly.

Who is Responsible for Sewage Cleanup?

Depending on the cause of the sewer backup in your home, the city may be partially or fully responsible for fixing the sewage damage. However, the in-home water damage restoration usually lands on the homeowners. Sometimes your insurance company will cover these costs so make them your first call.

Steps to Sewage Cleanup

Water damage restoration companies will all complete similar steps to completing your sewage cleanup, but the process will also depend on the extent of damage.

  1. Removal of Black Water- The sewage cleanup companies will start with removing the black water (sewage) from the home. Water damage restoration professionals have commercial suction machines that can drain the waste from the home in a safe and sanitary manner.
  2. Drying Out- After all water is gone from the property the walls and floors will need to be completely dried out. Commercial fans and dehumidifiers will speed up the process along with open windows.
  3. Deep Cleaning and Sanitizing- After the room is dried, deep cleaning and sanitizing will need to happen including carpet cleaning, walls disinfection, and cleaning of furniture and personal belongings. Mold and mildew remediation as well as deodorizing will also happen during this step.

After the sewage cleanup is completed the homeowners can move freely about their homes or move back in. However, they should continue to watch for signs of mold or mildew and contact the water damage restoration company again immediately if they notice anything.

If you need water damage restoration, you can call us at (412) 528-6077, visit us online at ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh or visit us on Facebook.

Water Damage Cleanup | Always Allow Maximum Drying Out Time

Water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg takes several steps to complete sufficiently and none of the steps should be skipped over. However, the most vital step to never skimp on is the drying out process. Making sure all the water, moisture, and humidity is gone from the walls, floors, and carpeting is the best way to prevent mold and mildew; however, many homeowners are not sure what the correct drying process is or how long they should expect to wait for the process to be completed. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to ensuring proper technique in drying.

What to Do to Dry Out A Room

There are several steps to the drying process when you are doing water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg. The drying out process happens after all water is removed out of the room. Most professionals use large, commercial water removal machines that suction out the water.

  • Empty the room of all furniture and possessions.
  • Open all the windows if weather permits.
  • Tear out carpet if carpet needs replaced.
  • Commercial cleaning of carpets if not tearing the carpet out.
  • Set up large commercial drying fans or box fans and point to the carpet or flooring, as well as the walls. You will need to use more than one and be prepared to rotate them if needed.
  • Set up a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air.
  • Replace carpet after the room is dry.

The drying time can take multiple days to complete. The longest part of the process is leaving the fans and dehumidifier on to remove the excess moisture from the room. Depending on how much water was in the room and the type of flooding that occurred, the drying process can take 1-5 days.

Water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg is always completed faster when done by professionals who have the commercial grade equipment needed for proper water cleanup.

Call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh for All Your Professional Cleanup Needs at 412-424-6755 or visit us on Facebook.

Water Damage Cleanup – Why Is There Always Water in My Basement

Few people feel good about needing water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg, especially when the damage is in the basement. Flooding and standing water in your basement can be caused by many things and all of them can be difficult for homeowners to deal with on their own. If you are seeing water or moisture in your basement on a regular basis, you may have a much bigger problem than you realize.

Reasons for Basement Flooding

Basement flooding is something nearly every homeowner will deal with but the companies that do water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg will always have your back.

There are three reasons why your basement might have constant leaking or flooding issues:

Hydrostatic Pressure is basement flooding caused by oversaturation of ground water in the soil that causes the water table to rise. Pressures rises under the home and the water seeps into the basement.

Lateral Pressure is when looser soil around your home is saturated with water which causes the soil to expand. The pressure against the foundation of the home causes cracks and damage which then allows water to seep through.

Window Well Leakage refers to leaks that come in due to the window wells filling with rain or water and drainage problems. Water will seep through any cracks or gaps, wear down seals, and cause damage to windows and water damage cleanup in Greater Pittsburg to be needed.

Places You are Most Likely to Have Leaks in Your Basement

There are a few places where you are most likely to find water leaking into your basement.

  • Cracks in the floor
  • Cove joints
  • Basement walls
  • Mortar joints
  • Windows

Many homeowners believe the reason their basement if flooding is because their sump pump failed; however, the real cause of the flooding is one of those listed above. A sump pump is meant to remedy those issues but can sometimes fail.

When there is water in your basement, the time it takes to cleanup professionally may be something you are not prepared or equipped to handle. Let a professional water damage cleanup company take care of the mess for you!

If you need help with water cleanup, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today at 412-424-6755, or find us on facebook.

Protecting Hardwood Floors from Water Damage

Hardwood floors are elegant, charming, warm, and expensive. When you take the proper care of your hardwood floors, they can last decades or longer. However, when a natural disaster strikes, flood damage can ruin hardwood floors quick. Water damage removal should happen as soon as possible after a flood if you want to fully salvage your floors. There are a few preventative measures you can take that will extend the time you have to clean up before your floors are a total loss. 

 

  • Sealants- Protect your hardwood floors with a wax sealant to make them water resistant. Sealants can also stop humidity moisture from creating an environment for mold and mildew growth on your hardwood floors. Your floors will also be protected from minor scratches and spills. 
  • Plumbing Inspection- When you are installing new hardwood floors, get a plumbing inspection first, especially if your home is aged. The last thing you want is a huge pipe break that will flood your home and have you calling a professional water damage restoration company before you are finished with the remodel. 
  • Rugs- Although placing rugs will not keep your hardwood floors completely safe from destruction of a flood, they can minimize damages caused by appliance leaks or a small pipe leak. Rugs can soak up the water so the wood below is not saturated. Put rugs in front of the dishwasher, sink, laundry machine, and refrigerator. 
  • Cleaning- When cleaning hardwood floors, ensure no pools of water are left on the floor after mopping. You should also never soak a mop head, use only damp materials on hardwood. Also take care to use products specifically for hardwood cleaning. 

 

There is never any guarantee to be able to protect your flooring in times of a natural disaster or a flooding accident. However, most homeowners will benefit by contacting a water removal company for accidents big or small to properly clean and preserve your floors. 

ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh is here to help you with all of your water damage restoration needs. Call us today at 412-376-4645.

What Equipment is Needed to Remove Flood Water?

Flood waters in your home is the last catastrophe anyone wants to deal with but property owners living around the Allegheny River, risk the dangers of flooding. Some people like to be prepared and have the equipment needed to remove flood waters on hand to try to DIY their disaster cleanup; while others rely on professional water damage restoration company to get the job done right. 

Some of the equipment needed to remove water from your home can be found at any hardware or home store such as shop vacuums, pumps, and dehumidifiers. However water damage restoration companies have access to industrial grade equipment that makes the job go faster and more efficiently. 

Common Industrial Tools for Flood Water Extraction

When it comes to the hazardous conditions that flood waters cause, you want the professional water removal companies handling the disaster cleanup. Some of the tools these companies have at their disposal include

  • Light wands/ carpet wands
  • Deep extraction tools
  • Trash pumps
  • Submersible pumps
  • High-pressure pumps
  • Extraction units
  • Personal protection equipment
  • Industrial grade cleaning products and chemicals
  • Mold remediation chemicals
  • Commercial carpet cleaners
  • Industrial box fans

While some of this equipment can be purchased through janitorial supply stores or commercial sales, the cost will often outweigh what you would spend on professional water removal companies. Relying on a team of people who cleanup flood damage and complete disaster restoration will cost less and take less time than trying to DIY a disaster as large as flooding. 

Cost of Professional Water Removal Services 

Professional water removal services will range in price from a few hundred to few thousand dollars depending on the extent of damage and services needed to fully remediate the property. Luckily, homeowner’s insurance and flood protection add-ons can sometimes help cover these costs. You might also have home warranties or appliance warranties that can be applied to water cleanup if the flooding was a result of sump pump or appliance failure. 

ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburg is here to help you with all of your water cleanup needs. Call us today at 412-376-4645.

Top Tips for Cleaning Up a Water Disaster

Water disasters come in many sizes—from a small appliance leak, to a flood that can damage the structure of your home. All sized water disasters need to be cleaned up as soon as possible. The bigger disasters, such as flooding or accidents resulting in standing water, need a professional.  In order to prevent damage to your home or business, you need a professional water damage restoration company in Greater Pittsburgh. For the smaller water accidents, there are several tips you can employ at home to clean up.

 

  • Wet/Dry Vacuum- A shop vacuum or wet/dry vacuum is vital for cleaning up water disasters at home. There are many varied sizes and the size you need will depend on how much water is standing. These vacuums are made to suction water. Do not use your regular household vacuum to try to remove water from carpets. 
  • Dehumidifiers- Most homeowners have fans, but what companies that perform water disaster restoration know is that it is the dehumidifiers that are vital to drying out the room. Dehumidifiers pull moisture lingering in the air and as it evaporates from the walls, floors, and furniture to stop mold and mildew from growing. 
  • Always Turn off Power- When your home is flooded, the power needs to be completely cut off to the home to avoid electrocution risks. If the water disaster is contained to one room or is only enough to saturate the carpet, you can turn off the breaker to only that room. 
  • Always Wear PPE- Wearing Personal Protective Equipment is especially important when cleaning up water disasters. Gloves, rubber boots, protective eyewear and sometimes even a full body suit are necessary for cleaning up hazardous waste like flood waters or sewage backup. 

 

Water damage restoration can take a day to complete or sometimes weeks depending on the extent of damage. The number one tip any homeowner can take advantage of when dealing with flooding is to call a professional water cleanup company such as ServiceMaster. 

ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh is here to help you with all your water cleanup needs. Call us today at 412-376-4645.

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.