Recent Posts

Common Causes of Fires in Factoryville

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged home with "Disasters can happen" text and SERVPRO logo Be aware of the common causes of fire damage.

Home Fires can be devastating, but there are steps you can take to prevent home fires. 

Heating

Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%).  

Winter storms

Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.

Generators

Portable Generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools. 

Candles

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Each year between 2012 and 2016, an average of 8,200 home candle fires were reported each year. 

Electrical

Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters.

Stay safe this Fall and Winter season and be aware of the leading causes of fires. We are always here to help in the event of an emergency fire. 

Discovered Mold in Attic in Pittston

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician in white PPE looking at mold on wood If you discover mold in your attic, we can help.

What to do when you discover Mold in your Pittston Home?

When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the problem. 

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, so removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and they 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. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  • Let your nose lead the way. 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.

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 - (570) 714-0090

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.

Wilkes-Barre Business Closed from Water Damage

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Green Commercial Trucks in front of City Building Water Damage to your business? We can help.

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Kingston, Pittston City and Wyoming County will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at 570-714-0090 for fast help.

Steps in Fire Restoration in Avoca

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage? Text with flames on a stovetop behind it We can help restore Fire Damage in Avoca, PA.

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Today 570-714-0090

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call  SERVPRO of Kingston, Pittston City and Wyoming County which is on call 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our team of Professionals with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We will use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. 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.

Preparing for a Hurricane in North East Pennsylvania

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

"Keep your eye on the storm text" with blowing palm tree Stay Safe during Hurricane Season

How to prepare for a hurricane in PA

Hurricanes are among the most powerful severe weather events found in nature. These fearsome storm systems can originate in any ocean – Atlantic, Pacific or Caribbean – and pack a punch of 150-170 mph winds. And when they hit land, they can spawn tornadoes, tropical storms, torrential rain, flooding, landslides and horrific destruction in general. So it's never too early to think about hurricane preparedness – and how you can protect your family, home, property and business. Here are some essential hurricane safety tips to help you prepare for a hurricane.

Long-range hurricane planning

Make sure your home meets or exceeds current model building codes for regions often impacted by hurricanes. You may also want to do the following: 

  • Talk with your family members about what to do in case of a hurricane. Designate an emergency meeting spot and have a plan for your pets.
  • Show adult and teen family members where electrical, gas and water shut-offs are – and how to turn them off. Make sure the proper tools are nearby.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit, flashlights and plenty of batteries.
  • Install impact-resistant windows.
  • Be sure your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock with a bolt at least 1 inch long.
  • Install permanent wood or metal stiffeners on your garage door. Or contact the door manufacturer about temporary supports you can easily attach and remove.
  • Make sure your roof covering and sheathing beneath it can resist high winds.
  • Consider replacing gravel and rock landscaping with mulch or shredded bark, which can be less deadly in high winds.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery. Pay particular attention to weak or dead branches that could fall on your home or your neighbor's home.
  • Decide how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property (above or below sea level) and whether the land is flood-prone. This gives you a better idea of how your property might be affected by a storm surge or tidal flooding.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn hurricane evacuation routes. Figure out ahead of time where to go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

Before a hurricane hits

If conditions are right for a hurricane in your area, this is how you can prepare:

  • Stay tuned to local radio and TV for warnings, safety announcements or instructions.
  • Invest in a portable battery-operated or hand-crank radio.
  • Turn off all utilities, including propane tanks.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows with storm shutters or 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Even duct tape – amazing as it is – doesn’t prevent windows from breaking.
  • If it’s safe, move outdoor furniture and grills inside. They can be deadly flying debris.
  • If emergency officials haven’t directed you to a public shelter, get your family to the basement, a closet, a small room or a hallway away from windows. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
  • Lean a mattress against the wall of the room you're in.
  • Don't open your windows. Keep the wind and rain outside.
  • Hand out flashlights. The hurricane will probably disrupt electrical service.   

After a hurricane has passed

If you and your family were forced to leave your home – or if it has been severely damaged from the hurricane – wait for authorities to give the all-clear to re-enter. Then:

  • Look for flooding in the wake of a hurricane. Rising water can produce dangerous conditions hours or even days later.
  • Check for structural damage before going inside.
  • If dark, use a flashlight – not matches, a candle or a lighter. An open flame could ignite leaking gas.
  • Listen for reports to see when drinking water is safe.
  • If there is water damage, consider hiring a professional water damage cleaning service like SERVPRO.
  • Use your cell phone or camera to take pictures of the damage that can be used to document your insurance claim.
  • Once you’ve gathered necessary documents and evidence of your claim, contact your insurance company or agent.

Why Choose SERVPRO - See what our Customers say!

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Thumbs up with Testimonial text Nothing makes us happier than hearing how happy we make you!

Typically when you are calling SERVPRO of Kingston, Pittston City and Wyoming County, you are already experiencing a stressful situation. Water, Fire and Mold damage are not simple things for home or business owners to deal with. Our goal is to make an already difficult situation as stress free as possible. Our technicians will treat your home, business and belongings with care to ensure you are happy with the restoration process from start to finish. 

Below is a testimonial from a recent customer after completing services at his family home:

"One of, if not the best, contractors we have ever had the pleasure of working with. We found ourselves in a bad situation after a basement contractor didn’t properly contain their mess and were left with a house FULL of toxic cement dust which made it uninhabitable. I cannot convey how bad the mess was, it was everywhere – in cabinets, closets, on every wall and ceiling, even in the coffee maker! We genuinely were not sure the house could ever be fully cleaned to its previous condition.

After calling and speaking with John at SERVPRO – Clint quickly came out to conduct an incredibly detailed estimate. John and Clint were incredibly helpful while working with both us and the basement contractor to make our home safe and clean again.

Clint showed up with his crew and over the course of 2 days, using 2 large vans full of equipment including air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, a myriad of cleaning solutions, brushes, mops, etc proceeded to vacuum every single surface. Linens and window treatments were bagged and labeled as to their room location and then every surface was hand washed with appropriate cleaners. Wood surfaces were cleaned with a special wood oil soap and trust me – their attention to detail in using the right methods and products made a huge difference in the end result.

An example - our home has a large cathedral area with exposed beams and a lot of wood grain. Clint was able to fully clean the 2 story vaulted ceiling and beams, even detailing the fan (2 stories up) which had been caked with cement dust. In the kitchen, every piece of cookware, glassware, etc in the kitchen was properly cleaned.

We have been more impressed by Clint and his crew than we could possibly describe. Not only were they incredibly professional and respectful in their cleaning methods and treatment of our belongings, but they were perfect gentlemen and wonderfully nice people.

Having strangers come into your home and go through literally EVERY belonging in it, can be stressful – but Clint and his crew turned a tough situation with months of anxiety and stress, into a wonderful experience and brought our situation to very happy resolution.

To John, Clint and his crew – we cannot thank you enough for restoring our home to its former glory (and level of cleanliness!). To anyone looking for a serious cleaning service – look no further. This company is the tops!" - Matt S. in Benton, PA

Our business satisfaction is based on how satisfied our customers are. Please check out some other feedback we've received from our customers here. When choosing a restoration company, choose one that emphasizes customer satisfaction! 

Create your Emergency Plan with SERVPRO

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo with "Emergency Ready Profile" text under it Take advantage of the free SERVPRO ERP.

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

Since beginning work on local emergency profiles, our franchise has completed close to 100 ERP's at local schools, hospitals, libraries, county buildings, theaters, hotels, restaurants, small businesses, warehouses, apartment buildings, college campuses, senior living centers and more. We want to assist you in creating your free emergency plan to keep you, your building and those in it safe. Call us to learn more or schedule your free ERP - 570-714-0090. 

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Water in Bathroom in Kingston

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

technician extracting water from concrete floor We can help following water damage to your bathroom.

Close to everything in the bathroom uses water, so it's no surprise that around 75% of household water use takes place there. All that water is meant to be confined to specific places, though: in the sink, in the tub/shower, in the toilet. Beyond these fixtures, a bathroom is just another room. Apart from the sealant around those fixtures, and waterproofing materials in the floor/walls of a shower, there's not a whole lot else to stop rogue water from doing damage. Except you!

It's the vigilance of the homeowner that keeps mold and rot at bay. Knowing the signs of water damage, where it's most likely to occur, and how it happens is just as important as a properly-installed shower pan. A keen eye, paired with the information below, can help you avoid the water damage repair and mold remediation.

Helpful Tips:

  • Leaks can be deceitful: just because evidence of a leak appears in a certain spot doesn't mean the leak originates there. Take time to track down the source before planning out or attempting a repair.
  • Discoloration on walls or floors? Musty smell? Are any areas softer than others? These could point to a leak, mold, or bacteria. If you have access underneath/behind the suspicious area, you may be able to address it. Otherwise, you're best off calling a professional.
  • If drywall has become warped or bubbly, it's gotten wet. Poke a hole to allow any moisture a way out. If the drywall isn't saturated and feels nearly dry, you may be okay. If it's soft, it should be replaced. If the source of the water isn't obvious, there may be a leak in the wall.
  • Regularly test the shut off valves on fixtures, and replace as necessary. Keep an eye out for any wetness or staining around them that could indicate a leak. These valves are hugely important: should a fixture overflow, they're the quickest way to shut the water off. If you have flexible supply lines connected to them, make sure they're tightly secured to both valve and fixture.
  • If your bathroom doesn't have an exhaust fan, it needs one. While you can get away with a good window, nothing beats a properly-installed bathroom vent fan in taking moisture (and odors) out.
  • Always check around your shower after taking one. Curtains can get torn and seals on doors can deteriorate, allowing water to escape, collect, sit, or find its way to cracks and openings elsewhere.
  • A good bath mat goes a long way!
  • Drain the tub as soon as you're done with it: standing water can find its way into all sorts of hairline cracks and spaces in compromised drains.
  • Cracked, broken, or missing tiles allow water to seep in behind walls and under floors - repair or replace them immediately! The same goes with decaying or cracked grout. 
  • Shower pans can crack or be punctured, potentially leading to serious damage. Test your shower pan annually to catch any leaks before they have a chance to destroy your subfloor.
  • Toilets will leak, but most of the time it's a "contained" leak between the tank and the bowl - something that definitely needs to be fixed, but probably won't ruin anything else in the room. If the floor around the toilet is wet, has any give at all/is spongy, or you notice significant staining around the base, there's a problem. If you don't have experience with toilets, call a plumber - there could be a problem with the tank-to-bowl connection, the floor flange, or the gasket. Note: The wax ring under a toilet only seals air and gases from entering through the closet flange connection. It is not designed to seal against water.
  • If your toilet does not appear to be leaking, be sure that the base is sufficiently sealed with silicone caulk or a similar product. This keeps water and other liquids from making their way underneath. Keep an open gap at the rear so that any future leaks can make themselves known, otherwise that water will be completely sealed in (and you won't know until it's too late!)
  • Keep in mind that the toilet is usually the lowest point in a bathroom, and it's not uncommon for water to collect there from other sources. For instance: a small leak from a supply line could travel along pipes to the floor, remaining unnoticeable until enough of it accumulates where gravity directs it: the base of the toilet. Assuming there's a leak in or around the toilet, unnecessary repairs could be made while the real problem keeps dripping away.
  • Regularly check inside and under vanities, where leaks from supply lines and poorly-caulked sinks can be hidden.
  • Also check sinks for cracked or deteriorating caulking, and repair as needed. Keep the faucet and the area around the sink dry (don't let water collect and sit).
  • If you're going on vacation, or just leaving the house for the weekend, it's a good idea to shut off the water supply to the entire house. A burst pipe or similar emergency when no one's home can be catastrophic.

Should you find yourself dealing with water damage in your bathroom, SERVPRO of Kingston, Pittston City and Wyoming County is here to help.

Source: Plumber Source 

Hydrating our Heroes

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Two individuals with SERVPRO water in front of red fire truck Thank You, Local Heroes!

It has been one hot Summer in NEPA! That is why we have dedicated the week of July 27th to "Hydrate our Heroes." 

On Wednesday, a few of our team members took time to deliver water bottles to local Fire/Police/EMS Stations. We appreciate everything they do for our community, and we want to keep them safe and hydrated all Summer long.

Below are the Stations we had an opportunity to deliver to:

 Wilkes Barre Township Fire Department 

Edwardsville Borough Police Department, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania 

Edwardsville Fire Department 

City of Pittston Bureau of Fire

Mold in Wyoming County Basement

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

mold growing on light blue wall Humidity Causing Mold in Basement

Mold in Basement 

Mold, mildew, and moisture problems are especially prevalent in states with hot, humid summers, such as PA.

High heat (between 77 and 87 degrees), humidity (between 62 and 93 percent), and a food source (organic material) create the ideal environment for mold and mildew to thrive. That’s why June-August promote mold growth more than any other months. Warm temperatures and high humidity set the stage for mold and mildew.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

1. Keep Healthy Humidity Levels

Mold and mildew thrive in a humid environment, so it is important to keep your humidity levels down. In areas that are prone to excessive moisture, make sure you ventilate. When using the kitchen, bathroom or basement, turn on the vent fans. If there are no vent fans in these rooms, have them repaired or installed by an electrician. Also, consider having plug-in dehumidifiers.

Attics fans can also help manage moisture and provide ventilation in the home. 

You can also take measures to control the humidity levels in your home with your HVAC system, which may or may not have a humidification system built in. Regardless, running the air conditioner will help dry and circulate the air. A closed up home in the summer without air conditioning and little air movement will create the humid, warm and dark conditions necessary for mold growth.

2. Fresh Air

Open windows help increase the ventilation in your home – and are a good way to lower indoor carbon dioxide levels. If your home has been closed up for several months, carbon dioxide can build up, especially in rooms where people spend the most time. Fresh air will also help dry out damp, musty areas and reduce odors and stuffiness. Every day, open up a window or two for 5-15 minutes to provide some free, natural ventilation to your home.

3. Use Green Cleaning Products

Cleaning products with an overwhelming odor are ironically the biggest sources of (VOCs) in the home. This is especially true of artificial pine and lemon products. When using these cleaners to rid areas of mold and other pollutants, you are essentially trading one contaminant for another. When dealing with mold, give SERVPRO of Kingston, Pittston City and Wyoming County a call and we can help mitigate the problem. 

4. Dry Wet Areas

Although you should avoid toxic cleaners, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly clean the surfaces in your home. Getting into the habit of cleaning and drying the surfaces in your bathroom and other moist areas is a great way to keep your home clean and free of mold and mildew.

Mold can’t grow and thrive without moisture, so it’s important to dry wet areas in your home immediately. A leaky pipe, a damp basement and even a spill on your carpet needs to be dried thoroughly and as quickly as possible (within 24 hours). Also make sure you don’t leave wet clothing or bath towels out for too long. It is very difficult to completely clean material that has been compromised by mold.

Fix any plumbing leaks or water issues to remove the sources of moisture in your home. 

5. Keep Indoor Plants

Introducing some houseplants into your home is a great way to improve your indoor air quality. 

During these hot Summer months, take measures to prevent Mold in your basement. We are always here to help remediate mold should you find it in your home.