Recent Posts

Get Rid of Persistent Mold Growth

8/1/2022 (Permalink)

Don’t let trouble mold spots get you down. Mold growth can continue to occur in the same areas, leaving your business looking outdated and affecting the air quality for your customers and employees. Discover how to conquer those trouble spots and restore your business.

How Does Mold Grow?

First, it’s important to determine what is causing your persistent mold to continue to grow. Here are a few common features that promote the growth of mold:

If all these signs point to mold, invest in a commercial mold remediation company who understands how to get rid of trouble spots and prevent further mold. A specialist can help you identify the type of mold and choose the correct route to completely remove the discolored areas.

Removing Mold

The first step in mold removal is to contain the mold growth. A small spot can quickly spread throughout your commercial building, particularly if it’s in or near your HVAC system. Proper air filtration and mold removal techniques allows you to enjoy a clean, professional look and feel to your commercial property.

Protecting Humid Areas

One of the most likely areas of persistent mold is an area containing high humidity. Humid environments are the most likely to spread mold, so discuss with a mold remediation company where your likely areas of humidity are and how to prevent them from continuing to harbor mold spores.

Contact a Professional Today

Discover how a mold removal specialist can remove persistent mold spots “Like it never even happened.” From large areas of water damage to a damp corner of a storage closet, no mold growth can hide from a thorough inspection and removal process by a trained team of specialists. Keep track of likely areas of persistent mold and be sure to choose a professional cleaner who is experienced in commercial remediation

5 Keys to Prevent a Sewer Backup

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

While not all sewer backups are preventable, many of them are. To limit your chances of facing a backup there are easy precautions that can be taken. These following steps are among the most effective:

Install a Floor Drain Plug 

These one-way plugs are installed below floor drain gates and protect against overloaded sewer systems from backing up into the house. This is a relatively inexpensive solution, though there are drawbacks. The essential float mechanism must be free of debris to operate properly.

Invest in a Backwater Valve

This solution requires the services of a registered plumber and is somewhat expensive. It is installed at the exit point of your building or in the underground pipe known as the sewer lateral line. It prevents a backup from entering your home.

Schedule Sewer Cleaning

If you have a septic system, make sure your tank is emptied on a regular basis. This is routine maintenance and will go a long way towards avoiding sewage in your basement.

Landscape Your Exterior Property

Storm damage can be caused by heavy rains that result in water coming into your basement, either through cracks in the foundation or faulty windows. By making sure the lawn slopes away from your home, allowing water to drain away, you reduce the chances of finding water in your home.

Put in a Standpipe

This simple, inexpensive measure is nothing more than putting in a pipe above your floor drain and attaching a watertight seal to the bottom. When dirty water backups it will go into the pipe and not all over your flooring. This method is only effective if the flooding does not reach higher than the length of the standpipe.

A sewer backup into your home will always require a storm cleanup team to address the situation safely and quickly. Look for a company that has the training and certifications to deal with contaminated water. SERVPRO of West Hills, North Washington County, and South Park/West Mifflin has all these qualifications. Give us a call for a free estimate at 412-299-5520!

How To Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire, having a reliable plan in place that everyone in your business is a part of is crucial. Be sure to communicate the plan explicitly and have all your employees practice it to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of a real fire. To help you get started, here are some essential components of an effective fire escape plan for your business.

Assign Responsibilities

To establish order in your business in the event of a fire, there needs to be a clear list of responsibilities that must be taken care of. Some of the fundamental roles that you should assign to your employees include:

  • Chief supervisor
  • Assistant supervisor
  • Floor monitor
  • Route guide

The supervisors can help alert the other employees and call the fire department, and the floor monitor and route guide can make sure everyone is out of the building. Giving these roles to the employees you believe are the best fit can keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Establish Routes

A critical requirement of a good fire escape plan is mapping out clearly defined evacuation routes throughout your building. Make sure that your employees are aware of all the exits in the building so they can turn to the closest one in the event of a fire. It is also a good idea to designate an area outdoors where everyone can meet after evacuating, as this can help confirm that everyone is out of the building.

Inspect Fire Equipment

Your emergency escape plan will be futile if your fire equipment is not functioning properly. Check all the emergency tools in your building and confirm that they are up to date. Be sure to cover everything, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and fire doors. Having effective equipment can alert everyone promptly and help to facilitate your evacuation plan.

A fire escape plan is important, but a real incident can leave you with devastating damage. A fire restoration professional can help your business be up and running again “Like it never even happened.”

The Trouble with Home Mold Testing Kits

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

If you have seen signs or are concerned about mold in your home, you may be tempted to purchase a home mold testing kit. However, these kits have some caveats you should be aware of.


There are many options for DIY mold testing out there, but most of them require precise methods to yield results that may not mean anything. Only if you know what you are looking for will a test kit be useful to you. These kits have many limitations:

  • Some can only test a small, specific area at a time
  • Some only indicate the presence of mold, not the type
  • Others can only detect certain types of molds in certain types of areas
  • Some require additional fees to send out for lab results


Mold is everywhere. It is natural for mold spores to be floating through the air in your home and outside. There are hundreds of thousands of types of molds, some less desirable than others. How are you supposed to discern whether the mold found in your home is within expected levels or not? How are you supposed to know which type of mold you should watch out for? A mold kit will not be able to tell you that.


Unless you know what you are doing, it is recommended to hire professional mold testing services if you are concerned with mold in your home. They have better equipment, can test more areas of your house, and can interpret the results for you. Going this route will ensure that your mold testing will be accurate and timely. Mold is no joke, so it is best to treat it seriously.

Mold testing is best to be left in the hands of professionals, like SERVPRO. If you do purchase a home testing kit, be sure to do some research first.

Why the Cause of a Flood Matters

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flood damage and storm damage both can result in serious problems for your business. Although storms can cause flooding, the two are considered separate categories for insurance purposes. It is important to know the difference so that you can make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your business before a disaster occurs.


Flooding is generally defined as water damage that occurs over at least two acres or that affects two or more separate properties. Floods are caused by many natural phenomena, including the following:

  • Surface water buildup
  • Tidal or inland water overflow
  • Erosion near bodies of water
  • Mudflow

Even when the above instances are caused by a storm, most insurance companies consider them to be flood damage rather than storm damage and will not cover the damage if you do not have a separate flood policy.


If a storm damages your business with hail or wind and that results in water damage, many insurance companies would consider that to be storm damage because the initial event was separate from the water damage. In other words, the initial event occurred before and resulted in the water damage. Tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, and other types of storms can all cause this sort of damage. Some insurance companies have a separate deductible for hurricanes and other tropical storms, so make sure you are familiar with the specifics of your policy.

Other Causes

Sometimes flooding is not caused by Mother Nature. Problems with appliances and plumbing can also cause your property to flood. Most of these situations generally would be covered by your property insurance, but always make sure you know the details of your policy before an emergency occurs.

Regardless of the causes of flood damage to your business, a professional restoration service can help you get your business back in pre-flood condition quickly and safely.

Regular Maintenance To Your Commercial Roof

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Your roof is probably the most important exterior element of your business. Every day, it defends your building against damage from weather elements including wind, rain, sleet, and extreme heat and cold. That’s why regular maintenance to prevent potentially catastrophic issues such as a roof leak is so important. By keeping a few basic upkeep guidelines in mind, you can extend the life of your commercial roof and ensure your business is shielded from natural threats.

1. Conduct a visual inspection. Many major roof problems can be identified by simply examining the condition of the roofing material. Any excessive standing water due to rain, snow, or melting ice can cause leaks that will rot wood and rust steel. A “bubbling” effect where roofing materials begin to separate from the base is a possible sign of trapped moisture that may also lead to major leaking. Gaps in the strips of metal around a roof’s perimeter can weaken its structural integrity and increase the potential for wind damage.

2. Schedule regular maintenance. Twice yearly upkeep in the fall and spring is essential in keeping your commercial roof in peak condition. Start by clearing the entire area of any debris including leaves, dirt, and gravel that can hold moisture and generate a roof leak. Clean all gutters and downspouts thoroughly to ensure proper damage during precipitation heavy weather events. Seal any gaps in rooftop vents that can allow water to enter and cause flooding.

3. Know when to contact a professional. While maintaining your own commercial roof can be very effective, extensive issues will require the services of a qualified roofing restoration professional. Major moisture damage, significant material loss due to heavy winds, and destruction due to a major weather event like hail are all problems that should be handled by a professional.

While maintaining your commercial roof will require an investment of time and money, it’s one of the most important steps you can take to prevent major issues such as a roof leak that will threaten your business.

Most Common Causes of House Fires

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

You hear stories on the news about fires starting in homes all the time. You may have even seen a home fire firsthand in your neighborhood. The results of these incidents are tragic and costly. Although some accidents can occur despite your best efforts at prevention, knowing the most frequent fire causes in the home can help you prepare effectively and reduce your risk of facing this emergency.


Smoking is one of the biggest causes of fires in homes. If you or any other people that live with you smoke, follow these important guidelines:        

  • Smoke Outside
  • Always put out a cigarette in an ashtray
  • Keep ashtrays up high and out of reach of children and pets


When it comes to a home fire, the kitchen is frequently the starting point. When you prepare meals on the stove, always stay in the kitchen while the burners are on. Keep flammable objects well away from the range. Do not forget to turn off the burners and the oven when you are finished cooking.


People love candles for the ambiance they can create. Scented candles are also popular. Unfortunately, these can be dangerous and lead to necessary fire cleaning from a professional disaster restoration team. Never leave a candle burning while you are away from home. Do not let the candle burn down too far before replacing it. In addition, keep candles out of reach of younger members of your household and stay mindful of nearby objects that could catch fire.


When it is cold outside, you love the comfort your furnace can provide. However, faulty units can be a firestarter. Have a professional inspect your furnace and heating system at least once a year. Do not put off maintenance or replacements.

Avoid a home fire and its devastating consequences. Be mindful of these causes so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Five Factors That Affect the Cost of Mold Removal

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

The cost of professional mold removal services for your home can become quite costly if not taken care of quickly and correctly. Here are five factors that will affect the overall price:

  1. Size of the Mold Problem

While you might be able to save money by tackling very small problems on your own, you will need the help of a mold remediation specialist for larger problems. Generally, the more widespread the problem is, the higher the cost

  1. Expense of Added Mold Testing

If you want a better idea of the levels of mold in your home and what species of mold is present, you can request a mold test at an added expense. A specialist should be able to address any type of mold growth that is found, including performing black mold removal.

  1. Location of the Mold

If the mold in your home is easy to access, such as on the surfaced of the wall or floor, you can expect to pay less for mold removal. However, if the mold is dwelling deep inside your walls or somewhere else that is hard to access, such as an attic or crawl space, the price will increase.

  1. Source of the Problem

What caused the mold to grow in the first place? If your mold problem was caused by a large underlying issue, such as a leaking roof or foundation issue, you will also need to consider the cost of addressing this issue.

  1. Cost of Required Restoration

If mold gets into the structure of your home, infects your carpet, or damages your belongings, the remediation specialist will complete the mold cleanup process and then fix any damage that has been caused. From replacing your carpet to completely rebuilding walls, these costs will certainly build up.

Dealing with mold removal can be costly, but it is a necessary process. As you prepare to call in a mold remediation specialist, estimate what you can expect to pay by considering these five factors.

3 Steps to Restore Your Business After a Sewage Backup

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

There are many different types of floods your business might endure, but few are more damaging than those that originate from a sewer. Black water, raw sewage and other contaminated contents can ruin building materials, stored contents, and office equipment. If you are currently dealing with this situation or want to be prepared for the future, you may want to become familiar with the steps a professional flood restoration company might take to restore your property.

  1. Mitigation

When professional flood damage technicians arrive, they will inspect the flooded areas and take whatever steps they can do to keep the sewer backup from spreading. For example, they will likely evacuate the rooms or the entire building so they can safely assess the situation before sealing off rooms or using portable sump pumps to drain away water that still might be flowing from contaminated sources.

  1. Building Material Inspection

Some building materials, such as drywall and insulation, are porous and can absorb sewage water. As such, an important part of the sewer cleanup process for your technicians is to inspect floors, ceilings and carpeting once the flood water is cleared to gauge the level of damage and which might need tearing out and replacing. Your flood specialists may perform flood cuts, which involves removing a section of a wall a few inches above the water line to know how seriously the interior and the components it contains might have been damaged.

  1. Restoration and Odor Removal

Sewage odor from a flooded toilet can linger long after the water has been drained away. Experienced technicians from a flood damage and mitigation service can give you several options for removing any unpleasant smells, from replacing floors and sections of drywall to ozone machines that cleanse the air and leave no trace of sewage behind.

When a sewer flood affects your business, the results can be devastating. However, understanding the process a professional sewer cleanup service may take to restore your building can help you feel confident about the results.

Why Does Mold Grow on Food?

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Food is one of the most common places that mold can be found. Most people have seen mold on bread or food stored in the refrigerator for too long. The most common types of bread mold include cladosporium, penicillium, and rhizopus stolonifera.

Spores Are Everywhere

Mold Spores are present in air, soil, and water. As a result, food items are likely to be exposed to spores throughout the food supply chain:

  • Growing
  • Processing
  • Shipping
  • Sale
  • Storage

Exposure to spores usually does not immediately cause fungus growth. Spores only settle and multiply in a suitable environment.

Moisture and Nutriment

Practically every type of food is a dense source of nutriment. Moisture and a food source are the two requirements for mold growth. The starches in bread break down into sugars, which sustain bread mold. Limited air circulation during storage at room temperature or in a refrigerator is also favorable for fungi.

Delaying Mold Growth

It is all but impossible to prevent mold from growing on food eventually. Delay growth by taking the following food safety measures:

  • Cover cooked food as soon as possible
  • Promptly refrigerate food
  • Make sure containers and surfaces are clean
  • Maintain low humidity levels

Even if fridge mold starts growing on one item, containment and cleanliness can limit cross-contamination. Throw away food as soon as mold growth becomes apparent. Some preserved foods contain mold that is safe to eat.

Mold grows on food for the same reasons that people eat food. Bread and other items are sources of sustenance. Bread mold usually does not indicate a major problem. If homeowners smell a musty odor or see signs of mold growth on building materials or contents, they should schedule a consultation with mold remediation specialists.