Recent Posts

The SERVPRO Difference: Seeing you Through the Fire

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

home with flames coming through the roof and heavy smoke damage SERVPRO of West Mahoning County is always here to help when fire, smoke, or soot damage to your property or your belongings.

One of the most difficult things about being in the Insurance and restoration business is seeing the devastation a fire has on our customers.  It happened to me this past month when I got a call about a fire.  As always, I set up a time to see the property so I could put together a game plan on how to help the family out. This fire happened to be at a church, but the church only sustained smoke damage from the home that caught fire next to it.  The home, a parsonage, was owned by the church and the place where the pastor lived.

I met with some of the church leaders and looked at the smoke damage inside. Through a window upstairs, I could see what used to be the house. Here I am looking down on this house and I can see straight into the basement.  The fire had engulfed the entire home and it was a complete loss. 

On the brighter side, the pastor and his wife escaped without harm and the family dog was also safe.

While I was there, the pastor entered the church.  He had been trying to go through the house to see if any of their possessions were salvageable.  He proceeded to tell me that he found one wedding photo, his wedding ring and 4 jackets belonging to his wife.  He mentioned that someone from the church was going to wash them to see if they could be saved.  Knowing the technology and machinery we have for dealing with smoke damaged garments, I offered to take them back and clean them. I picked the jackets up and put them in a bag for the drive back. Let me tell you, these were heavily damaged from smoke to the point that my vehicle was engulfed with the smell.

The next day we unbagged the coats and prepared them for cleaning. Knowing these were the only personal belongings that were saved I was really hoping we could clean them.  We put them in our state-of-the-art Esporta machine, designed for this type of cleaning. We washed them twice and I was very happy with the outcome. To finish the process of removing the smell, we put them into our ozone room and treated them for smoke odor.  After the ozone treatment, the jackets looked and smelled, “Like it never even happened.”

We packed the jackets up the following day and drove back to the church. When the pastor popped in to see the progress in the church he asked about the jackets. He had asked me about the jackets every time I saw him because his wife really liked them. With some excitement, I said I had them with me and he could check them out.  As he uncovered them, I could see him smile.  He took a deep inhale smelling the jackets, and happily said: “You did it, they don’t smell like smoke anymore.”

It’s moments like these that make this job rewarding. The small things that we have the capability to do to make someone happy during a time of hardship make it all worth the while.

SERVPRO of West Mahoning County is always here to help when fire, smoke, or soot damage your property or your belongings. Our crew is trained with a unique set of skills to handle your situation thoroughly and sensitively.

If your property even incurs any damage, give us a call at 330-609-8543.

Preventing House Fires in Southern Trumbull County | National Burn Awareness Week

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

graphic explaining Burn Awareness Week 2020 The American Burn Association has recognized February 2-8, 2020 as “Burn Awareness Week” with this year’s theme being Contact Burns

The American Burn Association has recognized February 2-8, 2020 as “Burn Awareness Week” with this year’s theme being Contact Burns.

According to a National Fire Protection Association report issued in October of 2019, just over one-quarter (27%) of reported fires in the US are home fires. While four out of every five and just under three-quarters (73%) of injuries reported had home fires at the root of the incident.

There are five main causes to all home fires and fire casualties: cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials. Over the five-year period of 2013-2017, fires caused an annual average of 2,620 deaths, and 11,220 civilian injuries with $6.9 billion in property damage.

Fire prevention is the single most important aspect of educating people on fire and safety. Fire prevention can be categorized into two main categories: Home and Commercial. 

Residential

  • Smoking Indoors – Smoking is a large fire hazard, with several deaths per year being traced back to people lighting a cigarette near a source of gas and or falling asleep with one in their hands.
  • Cooking – in 2016, cooking was responsible for 6.6% of all house fire deaths. When preparing food, it is never smart to leave the stove unattended.
  • Maintain Appliances and Electrical Wiring – When moving to a new place be sure to have your wiring checked by a professional. Faulty wiring and electrical malfunction resulted in 9.6% of fatal building fires.

Commercial

  • Supervise and Clean Work Areas – to thoroughly prevent fires, adequate supervision can be required. Any minor mistake can result in a fire especially with no supervision. The work space also needs to be cleaned sufficiently to prevent an accumulation of combustible materials.
  • Workplace Machinery – To fully protect your workplace, machinery that is in constant use needs to be checked and maintained often. Failure to do so, puts the machine at risk of malfunctioning leading to fire and employee injury.
  • Proper Fire Training – Employees in specific industries should be required to complete a fire prevention course. Making this practice a yearly requirement can be very beneficial in the prevention of commercial fires.

The highly trained and licensed experts at SERVPRO of Southern Trumbull County understand how important your home/business is to you. While in the hustle and bustle of life, a fire and a preventable one at that can really be a burden.

We pride ourselves in being faster to any size disaster! Our experts will help guide you through a crisis like this and eventually make it “Like it never even happened.”  

For more information call 330-392-6355

How Water Damage Can Lead to Mold in Your Mahoning County Home

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

mold on the tile ceiling of a bathroom Mold damage specialist in Canfield, Ohio

What is Water Damage?

When thinking about what water damage is, you may think of a pipe bursting or your basement flooding. These examples of major water damage can be problematic; however, minor water damage can be just as serious. Maybe a pipe under the sink has a very slow leak, or there is condensation on furnace ducts. While you have probably considered getting something like this fixed, it is easy to put of repairing.

What can Unaddressed Water Damage Lead To?

Even if you put a bucket under the leak, water damage can quickly lead to a mold problem. Mold begins as spores present in the air. They are invisible to the naked eye and are virtually everywhere. In order to thrive, mold spores need a water supply. This can be any moist environment; however, certain conditions make a place more susceptible to mold growth.

Mold is likely to flourish if it has an oxygen supply, lack of sunlight, an optimal temperature, and moisture.  Even if mold freezes, it will only make the colony dormant and will not completely kill the mold. Mold can also survive in temperatures well above what humans can tolerate.

How Long Until a Mold Problem Begins?

Unfortunately, mold does not take much time to grow when it has optimal conditions. Within 24 - 48 hours of being exposed to moisture, a mold colony can begin. It is likely that if you have come across a water problem in your home, mold has already begun to grow. The mold colony will not be visible until anywhere from 18 – 21 days and has a greater chance of spreading to other areas as more time passes.

What Does This Mean for Your Property?

Any amount of water damage can have a serious effect on the value of your property. Additionally, water damage that goes untreated could ruin drywall, ceilings, furniture, and other household items. The only way to prevent mold growth is to remove all the water and completely dry the affected area. If you want to ensure that your water damage doesn’t turn into a disaster, it is best to have a professional take preventative measures for mold growth.

Why Choose SERVPRO?  

Here at SERVPRO, our team of highly trained professionals want to ensure your property is drying properly. Your SERVPRO Franchise Professional is IICRC certified, which is the most prestigious certification in this industry. With a true understanding of the science behind the drying process and our state-of-the-art equipment, we will get your home or business back to normal, making damage from water or mold, “Like it never even happened.”

If you have any questions or need help with water damage, big or small, give us a call. Our SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are always here to help at 330-609-8543

Carpet Cleaning Professionals in Trumbull County, Ohio

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

before and after of a manilla carpet, left side has a stain. Right side is clear When you find yourself in need of a professional carpet cleaning company, look no further.

Why spend money on professional carpet cleaning when I can vacuum myself?

Having your carpets cleaned is very important for the upkeep and appearance of your investment. There are different ways to care for your carpet and making sure you choose the right one is more important than you may think. Although vacuuming is safe and recommended sometimes the vacuum alone, is just not enough. When this is the case, it may be time to have your carpets professionally cleaned. If this sounds like your home or business, you may want to consider a few questions before scheduling a carpet cleaning service.

  1. How do I know when I need my carpets cleaned by a professional?
  2. What do I need to have done to make my carpets look, smell and feel clean again?
  3. What things should I try out and what are some things I should steer away from?

SERVPRO is HERE TO HELP.

Good carpet maintenance begins with a regular vacuum but may require additional work. If you're wondering exactly when you should have your carpets professionally cleaned, there are a few things to look for.

  • Do you have allergies? Pollen, dust, bed bugs, dust mites, and other particles get trapped in the carpet and can agitate your allergies.
  • Having trouble getting rid of those pesky stains? You may have stains on your carpets that you have tried getting out with no avail.
  • Do you have children or pets? If you have children, you may know the struggle of spills and dirt being tracked into your home on your carpets. If you have a pet that is indoor/outdoor than you may also know the common things that come along with owning an animal; such as dirt and mud inside your home, pet dander, drool and maybe an occasionally “accident.”
  • Do you want easier maintenance? It is recommended by carpet manufacturers to have your carpets cleaned 1 to 2 times a year. Having this done will help minimize the time and effort in your daily routine for your carpets.

After determining whether a professional carpet cleaning is right for you, your next decision is choosing the right company. Different companies offer different methods of carpet cleaning. These methods could be

  • Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)
  • Absorbent Compound (Dry Cleaning)
  • Bonnet Cleaning
  • Carpet Shampooing
  • Encapsulation

Water extraction is the recommended and most effective method to deep clean.

If you have questions about what methods are best for your carpet you can call your carpet manufacturer and they can tell you based on the type of carpet, what process is most recommended. Most carpet manufacturers will recommend that you use a Hot Water Extraction (Steam Clean). It is also good to ask if any processes will void the warranty on your carpets. Some manufacturers may even tell you that there is a list of non-approved carpet cleaning methods such as:

  • Dry Foam
  • Rotary Brush
  • Bonnet
  • Dry powders

When looking for your cleaning service provider, be sure to ask the right questions to ensure the best results for your investment. Here at SERVPRO, we offer the manufacturer recommended STEAM CLEAN for your carpets.

So when you find yourself in need of a professional carpet cleaning company, look no further. We have state of the art equipment and highly trained professionals that are eager to serve you provide the best customer service around.

Give us a call at 330-609-8543 to schedule your next professional cleaning today - we're always here to help!

How Closing Your Bedroom Door Could Save Your Life

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

bedroom door with geometric wall pattern in the background Do you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed?

To sleep with your door open or closed? As simple as the question seems, the choice could be life changing. Although many people aren’t sure what the best option is, what you choose can seriously impact you and your family’s safety if there were a fire.

How a Fire Grows

Every 24 seconds a fire department in the US responds to a fire. A closed door may be one of the best pieces of firefighting equipment you own. The reasoning behind this is: for a fire to grow, it needs oxygen. If all doors are closed in the house, the amount of oxygen is limited, and the fire is less likely to spread.

Why This is so Important Today

On top of this, preventative measures are even more crucial today because most furniture is made from synthetic material, which is extremely flammable. Most modern homes have an open floor plan which also contributes to the quick spread of house fires. It was estimated that 40 years ago, individuals had about 17 minutes to safely escape their house if there were a fire. Today, it is estimated that people only have about 3 minutes to escape. This is due to how fast spreading fire growth is. 

Benefits of a Closed Door

According to a ten-year study conducted by the Underwriter Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, only 29% of Americans sleep with their door closed. This is both shocking and troubling to these researchers, because they know how much a closed door can affect the outcome of a house fire. Not only do closed doors limit the amount of oxygen a fire has, it also provides a physical barrier. This barrier protects the room and those in the room from the extremely high temperatures of a fire and the smoke it produces. To see a real life demonstration of how crucial a closed bedroom door is when it comes to fire safety, check out the campaign video: “Close Before You Doze” by the Underwriter Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute.

Some ways to prevent a fire in your home include:

  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year
  • Turn off and unplug hot hair tools
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove top
  • Avoid smoking indoors
  • Always blow out candles
  • Clean the lint out of the dryer tray after every load of laundry
  • Make a fire plan that includes escape routes

SERVPRO is always here to help, 24/7. If fire damage or smoke damage becomes a problem in your Mahoning County home call us and we'll make it, "Like it never even happened."

Winter is Coming: Property Edition

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

text stating "Winter water cleanup and restoration" with green snowflakes in the background and a servpro logo SERVPRO of West Mahoning County understands the dangers and importance of handling damage during a winter storm warning.

Christmas is upon us and with Christmas comes winter. With winter, comes winter storm warnings.

SERVPRO of West Mahoning county cares about our community and we want families to stay safe during a winter storms. Since disasters strike at any time, we are here to help 24/7/365 with any damage caused by winter storms such as pipe-breaks, ice dams and sewer and drain back-ups. 

How You Can Prepare

There are always precautions that families can take during a winter storm.  One of the first, is knowing the difference between a winter storm watch and winter storm warning. 

  • A winter storm watch according to the National Weather Service (NWS) means conditions are favorable for a winter storm event that could be a threat to life or property.     
  • A winter storm warning according to the National Weather Service (NWS) means heavy snow of 6” in 12 hours or 8” in 24 hours, or sleet of ½” or more. According to the National weather Service.

Knowing what is coming will help you be better prepare during a winter storm. 

Tips to keep your home safe and secure during a winter storm:

  1. Make sure you have an alternative heat source. This could be wood for a fireplace. To really prepared having a small generator to hook up is great.
  2. Make sure you have alternative lighting. One option is plenty of batteries and flashlights.
  3. Keep portable chargers for you cell phones handy
  4. Have a designated meeting place for family to gather to make sure everyone is accounted for once the storm passes 
  5. Have extra blankets and covers on hand
  6. Have a list of emergency services at a central area to call if needed. This includes police, fire EMS and of course SERVPRO who has techs on call every hour of every day.

These are just a few helpful tips to keep you prepared during a winter storm warning.  As with everything, knowledge is key. The more you know the better prepared you will be.

SERVPRO of West Mahoning County understands the dangers and importance of handling damage during a winter storm warning.  So, if you experience damage call SERVPRO at 330-609-8543

Water Remediation Specialists near Mahoning County

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

woman holding door with water spilling out of the sides If the time comes you do have a water, fire, mold or even a Hazmat loss, call SERVPRO, so we can make it “Like it never even happened."

This past summer has been one of unprecedented rain fall. It feels as if, here in North East Ohio, the days of a relaxing, steady, “water the lawn” type of rain, is a thing of the past. The spring and summer of 2019 provided us with record rain fall that seemed to be accompanied by high winds, torrential rains and flooding that are traditionally more typical for areas subject to hurricanes and tropical storms.

So, what does that mean for the surrounding areas and communities?

For us here at SERVPRO, it meant being extremely busy.

As for residents, it has meant many homeowners, including myself, waking up to flooded basements, trudging through nasty, smelly water and inventorying all the items lost due to unexpected water intrusion. Water damage to your property is truly, a horrible experience! As in any horrible experience, there are things that we can learn and in doing so, become better prepared.

One common, reoccurring theme that we at SERVPRO heard, was that numerous homeowners, had lived in their homes for thirty plus years and had never had any water intrusion in their homes. The problem with never experiencing the disaster, is that we are lulled into a false sense of security. The very common “It won’t happen to me” mentality. This is a dangerous and costly mind set to have and the point of this blog. 

A large amount of our customers were, unfortunately, faced with the knowledge that they did not have the type of insurance coverage they needed, or the coverage they did have, was not adequate to fully cover the water damages their property incurred.

Having said that, SERVPRO would like to share some tips and strategies learned both personally and professionally in result of loss from water and sewage intrusion.

  1. Check your property insurance coverage. Do you have coverage for a water loss? “Back up” coverage and “Sump Pump failure” are two of the most common types of coverage. Check with your agent and make certain that one or both (depending on your situation) are included on your policy.
  2. Conduct a personal inventory of your basement. What kind of basement do you have, finished or unfinished? If your basement is finished, and you have a limit of $5000.00, YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH COVERAGE! Many times, especially in a sewage loss, all building materials and contents must be disposed of. This means carpets, baseboards, drywall, paneling, laminate flooring, furniture, electronics, etc., are all disposed of if exposed to black water. In the event of water damage: SERVPRO would arrive at your home, remove previously mentioned items, clean, sanitize and dry the structure. But now, all those items need replaced and depending on the severity of the loss (there usually is not enough left to do so). Again, inventory!! The more you have in your basement, the more coverage you need. Let’s say you have rainwater, not sewage, and it’s a foot deep. The furnace, washer, dryer, hot water heater, can all be destroyed. The expense of replacing these items alone, will surpass $5000. So, even if your basement is unfinished, the costs of a water loss can add up quickly!

To re-cap, call your insurance agent, make an appointment and prior to visiting his or her office, do an inventory of items in your home. Ask questions, regarding your coverage, the amount of said coverage and how it compares to what you would need to replace in the event you suffer a loss.

Most importantly, remember, if the time comes you do have a water, fire, mold or even a Hazmat loss, call SERVPRO, so we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why do Ice Dams form on Gutters? Protecting your Mahoning County property: WINTER edition

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

roof with icicles hanging from the top we are available 24/7 to make all you winter water disasters, “Like it never even happened.”

As the leaves fall and the seasons change, it becomes clearer… winter is closing in.  Living in a northern climate we can always expect to experience winter storms that can really pile up the snow.  When the snow builds up your roof, you can start to see icicles hanging down, a clear indication that you have an ice dam starting.

What’s an ice dam? 

Ice dams are the result of snow melting on the roof and running down to the eave of your home. Once this water makes it to the edge of the roof it freezes.  As the water keeps melting under the snow, it keeps building ice up and slowly creates a dam of ice. Our roofs are designed to shed water, not to have standing water on them. Once the ice dam has built up large enough to stop the melting snow water from shedding off the roof, the water will start to find a way to migrate through the shingles. Then the water will begin to penetrate the roof causing the water to leak into your home. Typically, it will show up in the corner of the wall and ceiling, at the top of windows and doors or at the bottom of the wall making the flooring wet.

Why do ice dams happen?

Ice dams are the result of heat escaping from the home into the attic.  As the attic warms up, it heats the roof decking and starts to melt the snow. The water runs under the snowpack and freezes once it makes it to the overhang. 

How can you prevent ice dams?

Having adequate insulation and proper ventilation in your attic can greatly minimize ice damming on your home.

Once you have an active ice dam, damages will start.  Wet insulation, bubbling paint and possibly drywall sagging.  With the water in the ceiling and walls, it is important to have the wet areas mitigated. 

If you see the signs of ice damming and have water intrusion in your home, be sure that you call SERVPRO – we are available 24/7 to make all you winter water disasters, “Like it never even happened.”  

Holiday Fire Safety Tips for Mahoning County property owners

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

candle with christmas decor surrounding the flame If your property does incur any fire damage or soot damage, we are here to help 24/7.

The holidays are always a great time to unwind, enjoy good food and spend time with your family. Whether your family goes all out or has a small celebration, they need property to do it in. This holiday season SERVPRO of West Mahoning County is here to help you protect your property with cooking and decorating fire safety tips.

Holiday Cooking Tips

  1. Watch out for fire starters – keep all flammable material away from the stove or deep fryer
  2. Never leave food unattended – any food frying, boiling, or grilling should be watched closely
  3. Use a timer – this can help you keep track of what cooking and when to turn the oven off

Holiday Decorating Tips

  1. Pay attention to light – be sure to hang indoor lights, indoors only (outdoor lights, outdoors only)
  2. Turn off all lights and decorations while you are sleeping or away from the home
  3. Position your tree safely – trees should be at least 3 feet away from fireplaces and other possible heat sources

This season and every season, be sure to practice fire safety regularly to maintain your property and peace of mind. If your property does incur any fire damage or soot damage, we are here to help 24/7. Give us a call at 330-609-8543

Happy Holidays from SERVPRO!

Pipe Break Prevention for your Mahoning County property

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

up close shot of a pipe with icicles hanging from the bottom  We are proud to serve you and make your winter storm damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Winter is coming!! Is your home or commercial property ready for freezing temperatures? SERVPRO of West Mahoning County wants to help you get ready for whatever may happen this winter!

When water freezes, it expands. This could mean trouble for the pipes in your building. Think about what happens when you forget about a can of soda. What was intended to be a quick chill can easily turn into an explosion! And what a mess that is.

Now, think about the pipes in your house similarly, but on a larger scale. When the water in a pipe freezes, it expands. If it expands enough, it will burst, and serious damage can follow.

Here are some ways you can protect your home or commercial property from freezing temperatures this winter:

  1. Remove garden hoses and store them inside. Close the valves supplying the outdoor hose bibs and leave the bibs open allowing water to drain.  Leaving it open allows any remaining water to expand without causing the pipe to break.
  2. Inspect areas without heat where pipes run. Areas like garages, attics, and basements and under cabinets are areas to focus.
  3. When away from the house for an extended period during the winter, be careful how much you lower your heat. A lower temperature may save you money on the heating bill, but there could be disaster if a cold spell hit the valley. 
  4. Let your faucet drip. This can help prevent a pipe from bursting.
  5. Know where your water shut-off valve is located. In the event of a burst, you want to know how to respond quickly.

Our crews are available 24/7, 365 for your emergency property needs when it comes to fire, water, or mold – we are here to help!

We have state of the art equipment and highly trained technicians that are proud to serve you and make your winter storm damage, “Like it never even happened.”