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Protect your Basement from Winter Storm Damage

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

As fall turns into winter in Mahoning County, we begin to see rains and snowfall which can cause water damage to your basement.

Here are 6 ways you can prepare and protect your basement from water damage caused by rain and melting snow:

  1. Downspouts Cleaned & Pointed Away from the House
    A downspout is a pipe used to carry rainwater from your roof to a drain or to ground level. When downspouts are pointed towards the foundation, water has the capability to seep in. Point downspouts away from your home in a direction that slopes away from the foundation.


  2. Fix Cracks Quickly
    Inspect your foundation yearly and fix cracks quickly. This will prevent water from creeping in through cracks and faults in your foundation - which typically aren't covered by insurance.


  3. Install a Sump Pump 
    A sump pump is used where basement flooding happens regularly. Sump pumps send water away from a house to a place where it is no longer problematic, such as a municipal storm drain or dry well. Sump pumps run on electricity, so it is important to check the pump regularly (especially during storms) to ensure it is running properly.


  4. Proper Storage
    It is important to be proactive in protecting your belongings before a water damage situation occurs. Use plastic storage bins instead of cardboard boxes, and try to keep contents on a shelf rather than storing them on the floor.


  5. Install a Water Alarm
    If you're planning to travel this summer, consider a water alarm for your home. They'll alert you should water levels inside start to rise - which can help save your home from damage.


  6. Check your Insurance Policy
    The best thing you can do to protect your basement and contents is having the right kind of insurance and the right amount. Check with your agent to make sure your home and belongings are covered in the event of a sewer/drain backup, sump pump malfunction or flooding.

Like us on Facebook for more tips and updates on ways to make sure you, too, are Ready for Whatever Happens!

Contact SERVPRO of West Mahoning County (330) 609-8543 for emergency cleanup in your Austintown, Ohio basement.

Smoke, Soot and Fire Damage Cleanup Company in Salem, Ohio

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Mahoning County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today - (330) 609-8543

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Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Prevention Tips Call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County after a fire damage emergency for temporary repairs, cleanup and full reconstruction services 330-609-8543

There are several ways to prevent a fire around the holidays just by eliminating hazards. Keep your holidays merry & bright with these safety tips:

Christmas Trees, Lights and Electrical Safety

  • Inspect lights before plugging in and examine for damage. Throw away any kinked, frayed, worn or severed light strands
  • Never overload a circuit
  • Turn off all lights and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed - consider using a timer to automatically turn off the lights each night
  • Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) where water and electricity can potentially mix. (Your GFCI outlet will have a test and reset button on the front)
  • Water your Christmas tree daily to prevent the tree from drying out and easily catching on fire

Space Heaters, Safety Detectors and Electric Cords

  • Use space heaters carefully and as temporary heating - do not leave space heaters running or plugged in unattended and do not leave them on while going to sleep
  • Test your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors (which should be placed in each bedroom, hallways and each level of the home including the basement)
  • Only use heavy-duty extension cords that are grounded for fire safety. Never run extension cords under rugs or in areas where they can cause a slip, trip or fall.

Candle, Chimney & Fireplace

  • Candles account for two out of every five home fires each year! Never leave the room with a candle lit. Consider using a flameless, battery operated candle
  • Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional every year
  • Keep your fireplace clear and free of debris by cleaning the ashes after each fire

Always have a fire extinguisher handy on each floor and plan for an emergency. Having a plan prepared can prevent injuries and accelerating the process of leading everyone back to safety.

If you experience fire or smoke damage to your Austintown, Ohio home or business this holiday season, call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County 330-609-8543

Mahoning County Winter Storm Safety Checklist

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Mahoning County Winter Storm Safety Checklist Call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County for winter storm water damage and flooding cleanup needs 330-609-8543

Winters in Northeast Ohio can be brutal and pose the risk of a winter storm.

The CDC offers great tips to stay safe during a winter storm:

Heat Your Home Safely

If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remember these safety tips:

  • Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
  • Have your heating system serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater.
  • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use—don’t substitute.
  • Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding. Never cover your space heater.
  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
  • Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.
  • Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.
  • If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
  • Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
  • Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages, or near windows.

Light Your Home Safely

If there is a power failure:

  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended.

Use Generators Safely

Generators should be located at least 20 feet from any window, door or vent -- preferably in a space where rain and snow does not reach them.

  • Never use an electric generator indoors, in the basement, inside the garage, or near open windows or the air intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Plug in appliances to the generator using individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords.
  • Do not use the generator or appliances if they are wet because of the risk of electrocution.
  • Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.

Cook Safely

  • Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors. The fumes are deadly.

Conserve Heat

Some gas-fueled heaters, such as vent-less gas fireplaces, require some ventilation. Otherwise, if you don’t need extra ventilation, keep as much heat as possible inside your home.

  • Avoid unnecessarily opening doors or windows.
  • Close off unneeded rooms.
  • Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
  • Close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.

Monitor Body Temperature

Infants

Infants less than one year old should never sleep in a cold room because they lose body heat more easily than adults. Follow these tips to keep your baby safe and warm during the extreme cold:

  • Remove any pillows or other soft bedding. These can present a risk of smothering and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Dress infants in warmer clothing such as footed pajamas, one-piece wearable blankets, or sleep sacks.
  • Try to maintain a warm indoor temperature. If not, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere.
  • In an emergency, you can keep an infant warm using your own body heat. If you must sleep, take precautions to prevent rolling on the baby.
Older Adults

Older adults often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. If you are over 65 years of age:

  • Check the temperature in your home often during extremely cold weather.
  • Check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure their homes are adequately heated.

Keep a Water Supply

Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold freezing temperatures are expected:

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.

If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Instead, thaw them slowly by directing the warm air from an electric hair dryer onto the pipes.

If you cannot thaw your pipes, or the pipes are ruptured, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor’s home. As an emergency measure, if no other water is available, snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most microorganisms or parasites that may be present but won’t remove chemical pollutants sometimes found in snow.

Eat and Drink Wisely

Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages because they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm, sweet beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, ask your doctor.

If you experience a power outage during a winter storm and encounter water or fire damage as a result, call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County for immediate cleanup & restoration response! 330-609-8543

Ice Dam Water Damage

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Dam Water Damage Call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County at the first sign of water damage 330-609-8543

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a accumulation of ice in a gutter or on the edge of the roof that forces water against the grade of the roof and into a home or business.

Ice dams can also form around skylights, vents or valleys in the roof.

Ice dams form when heat from inside the structure rises through the ceiling and warms the roof. Snow falls on the heated parts of the roof and melts. The melted snow then flows down the roof until it reaches the part of the roof that is lower than 32°F. The water freezes and begins to form an ice dam.

As more snow melts and refreezes, the ice dam can grow larger and pools behind the large wall of ice.

Over time the water works its way through the shingles or other roofing materials and flows through the roof decking down through the ceiling, interior walls and other parts of the structure.

If left unresolved, the water damage can lead to microbial growth.

If you notice an ice dam and water intrusion to your home or business this winter, call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County 330-609-8543

Our highly-trained cleanup & restoration professionals have the experience and resources available to help make ice dam damage "Like it never even happened."

Mold Cleanup Company in Salem Ohio

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Confusion and misunderstanding surround the topic of mold and mold remediation. Some restoration businesses even make claims to remove all mold from a building. This is a fallacy. Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems. Consider these facts about mold in your Salem, Ohio home:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

For a mold assessment in Ashtabula, Ohio, call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County today at 330-609-8543

Mold Cleanup Company in Canfield Ohio

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold has the potential to cause health effects and can spread through your property in as little as 48 hours. SERVPRO of West Mahoning County understands mold and mold growth and has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (330) 609-8543

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  1. Mold Containment

Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

  1. Air Filtration

Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

  1. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

  1. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

Have Mold Related Questions? Call Us Today – (330) 609-8543

Power Outage Refrigerator Odor Cleanup in Canfield Ohio

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Was There a Power Outage? 

Power outages are common during a storm, which means the electricity to a freezer and refrigerator is most likely temporarily powered down and not keeping the food cold. It can be difficult to determine whether a power outage occurred if you were not present during the storm.

How to Determine 

One away to determine whether the food in your freezer needs thrown out is by using a quarter.

Freeze a cup of water before evacuating your home and put a quarter on top of the frozen water.

If the quarter is sunk to the bottom of the cup a-fter the storm, you should dispose all food stored in the freezer.

The quarter sinking to the bottom means the food in the freezer has defrosted and it should be thrown out. This is a great method to determine if your food went bad.

If you return to spoiled food, call SERVPRO of West Mahoning County for cleanup and deodorization services 330-609-8543. We have the resources, training and equipment to identify and eliminate foul freezer and refrigerator odors from spoiled food.

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Commercial Water Damage Cleanup

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

When your commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

SERVPRO of West Mahoning County offers immediate response

  • We have a strong team of trained professionals on-call 24/7 to quickly respond to your water damage situation.

  • After speaking with our on-call crew chief, SERVPRO of West Mahoning County professionals will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

  • A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.

  • SERVPRO of West Mahoning County will begin moisture testing, working from the source outward.

  • Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your insurance adjuster or property manager. We will keep a detailed job profile for your records as well as the insurance company (if applicable).

Cleaning & Restoration Services

  • We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property and belongings are taken care of right the first time.

Final Walk-Through

  • After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with your to help ensure your satisfaction.

If your commercial building needs emergency cleanup, call the company insurance professionals have trusted for more than 50 years, SERVPRO of West Mahoning County 330-609-8543

Mold Problem Cleanup in Canfield Ohio

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 

We have the right resources and certified technicians to identify what procedures need to be taken for a mold service. Our crew performs their service with highly advanced equipment to eliminate the problem. To avoid mold from appearing, it is imperative to immediately call for professional service after a water damage. Our company specializes in water and mold damage restoration and they have the experience to quickly restore your property, “Like it never even happened.”

Why Do You Need Us?

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. We are a 24-Hour Emergency Service and faster to any size disaster. Our company has the tools and equipment to detect moisture and identify the source.

We are a locally owned and operated company, providing highly trained mold remediation technicians with IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)certifications.

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