Recent Posts

Wind Damage

7/12/2024 (Permalink)

High winds can damage your home As high wind speed moves through the community, they can carry debris from homes and buildings, which can contribute to the widespread destruction of properties. It is for this reason that it is essential to put in place preventive measures to prevent high winds from incurring damages on your property. Read on to learn more about how much wind your home can withstand and ways to strengthen your home from high winds. 

How Much Wind Can Your Home Withstand?   Even though all properties are truly unique in their own way, they all have relatively similar structural features that help them sway with the high winds. As storms have increased in severity in recent years, many building codes have been updated to ensure that properties of all sizes and classifications can withstand strong high winds, thereby decreasing the costs associated with storm damages.  

According to the NOAA, hurricanes start at 74mph which are then classified by specific categories (1-5). For wind speeds weaker than 74 mph, you can still note these characteristics: 

  • 19mph: the swaying of small trees.  
  • 25mph: one cannot use the umbrella, and whistling of wires and branches can be heard. 
  • 32mph: difficulty when walking through the wind and swaying of the whole trees.  
  • 39mph: branches begin to break from trees, and vehicles veer on the road.   
  • 47mph: small structural damage.   
  • 55mph: wind begins to uproot trees, more structural damages.  
  • 64mph and up; most structural damage. As you can see, it’s not until wind speeds top 47 mph that structural damage is likely to occur. 

Ways to Strengthen Your Home From High Winds   If you want to rest easier when high winds blow through your neighborhood, then start with investing in modifications to your home that help reduce damage from heavy winds, such as pressure-rated windows. If you get the right pressure-rated windows, your property could be able to withstand wind gusts of up to 150 mph (Category 4 hurricane). Any doors that are leading to the outside should also be secured with three hinges and should be anchored to the door frame with a deadbolt.  

Turning your home into a wind fortress may be extreme if you aren’t regularly forced to deal with strong winds. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take simple preventative measures to mitigate potential damage from the occasional heavy gusts. 

Restoring Your Home Following High Wind Damage   Following a high wind severe storm has rolled through, assess your property from top to bottom to determine if any damages have occurred. No matter when you end up sustaining high wind damage to your property, you can trust SERVPRO of Fayette County to restore your property back to its pre-storm condition. Call us today at 724-628-3022 to request a consultation!

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Helping Daycares

6/6/2024 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Fayette County, we know it’s important to make sure your commercial property reaches a high standard when it comes to a clean and safe environment for your clients, employees, etc.

Quite often, we help daycares in the surrounding areas reach these standards. It’s very important to ensure your smallest customers are safe and healthy at all times, especially since they are more susceptible to common issues such as mold as well as bacteria pests such as rodents can leave behind, for instance. Maybe you own or manage a daycare. Maybe you are considering starting your own daycare, or maybe you are a parent considering which daycare to enroll your child in. In this blog, we will provide you with a checklist of what a daycare must include to provide the safest environment possible. Please note this list focuses on a few security measures, emergency safety measures, as well as cleanliness measures. There are many other factors involved with regard to a daycare facility. They can be investigated in more detail on the web. Here are a few!  

Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers must be present and in excellent, working condition Windows in every classroom to provide fresh air and an emergency exit  Clean sleeping area, play areas, and toys (including carpets and upholstery, which can easily become soiled at daycares!) Take a look at what we have to offer for that issue All cleaning supplies must be locked away Electrical outlets must be covered  Strict hygiene procedures (important when changing diapers)  Any necessary safety and cleanliness certifications (state and/or county, depending on local laws) 

Regular health and cleanliness inspections  We can help you prepare for the inspection you’re anticipating. Documented emergency evacuation plans 

Mold-free  Any expired food the center provided must be discarded Professional pest removal is needed if you suspect or know there are pests in the building. Mouse traps present a danger, especially to small hands that like to get into everything! Pests can carry diseases, bite children, and leave trails of bacteria behind Fire drills are necessary in preparing for a smoother evacuation in an unfortunate event when an actual fire might take place 

Similar to drills for potential earthquakes or storms, especially if the region is prone to these acts of nature. Locking gates at the top and bottom of any stairs  Exterior locking doors We have worked around Fayette County and beyond to ensure local daycares are clean and safe places! Whether involved with mold remediation, restoring flood damages, or performing a general cleaning, we make it a priority to keep the children in our community safe and healthy!  If you have any needs regarding your daycare center or any other questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call today! Our telephone number is 724-628-3022.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Seasonal Storms

5/2/2024 (Permalink)

Here in Fayette County, we are no strangers to the seasonal storms that affect our area.  Whether it be hurricanes, flooding, snowstorms, or freezes it is important to be prepared for whatever may come. 

Part of being prepared is knowing what to do when the storm has passed.  If you find yourself being affected by a storm event in the area, call SERVPRO of Fayette County immediately.  Time is of the essence in these types of situations, so it is important to act as quickly as possible so we can start making your storm damage, "Like it never even happened."

How You Can Start Preparing Now:

  • Know Our Area's Risk 
  • Heavy rainfall, high winds, flooding, snowstorms and freezes are weather related things our area needs to be aware and cautious of.  
  • Stock Up on The Necessities It is not uncommon for these larger storms to lead to power outages. 
  • Make sure you are stocked up on water, food, batteries for flashlights, and anything else you may need to feel more comfortable during a power outage. 
  • Keeping your cell phones fully charged as the storm nears is also smart; being able to contact family, friends, and first responders is always important!
  • Stay Informed Keep an eye on our local news and weather alerts, for information regarding the storm. 
  • Staying alert for flash flood warnings and strong wind advisories can help keep you and your family safe throughout the storm.
  • Have a Backup Plan If your home is in an area prone to flash flooding, have a backup plan! 
  • Call relatives and friends and make a plan to visit a home in a safer location during the storm! For more information on emergency preparedness, visit ready.gov

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols 

724-628-3022

We have Commercial Services!

4/5/2024 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Fayette County, we offer many commercial services. From working in office buildings and restaurants, to government agencies and malls, we solve problems anywhere from water damage to mold damage and beyond.   

We realize it’s important to keep your commercial property in the best repair possible. Your building, both on the outside and inside, is oftentimes the face of the company. Below, we have listed a few of the most common issues commercial properties face. You may want to take note of these issues and check your building for them. If you do come across any of these problems, it’s important to get them fixed immediately as holding off can increase the problem (and cost). 

Check for the following (or you may need to hire a professional to investigate for some of these): Leaks: From roofs, to gutters, to serious moisture buildup, water leaks can cause an assortment of problems including mold growth and rotting Asbestos: If your building is older than 20 years, you should have it inspected for asbestos, which if present, can cause detrimental effects on one’s health    

Cracking: Could possibly be a sign of an underlying problem in the building’s structure

Fire and safety regulations: Make sure your building and property meet all standards regarding the current safety and fire requirements

Infestation of bugs or rodents: Yikes! No one feels comfortable working in a building knowing it’s home to an abundance of rodents. It also doesn’t look pleasant to visitors or clients when ants or gnats are buzzing around or see a few rodent droppings. Additionally, pests can damage the wiring of a building.

High energy costs: Keeping your commercial building in good repair can help keep your energy consumption at a manageable level. Also consider installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Consider creating energy and water-saving campaigns throughout your building. Make colorful posters and have prizes for whichever floor most actively participates, for example. 

Electrical faults: Dead outlets, melting wires, and faulty circuits can cause fires. A trusted electrician should be called to check out the situation immediately.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

How Fires Can Happen

3/8/2024 (Permalink)

Mistakes can happen while cooking, and that’s why being prepared is key. You can protect your home from a kitchen fire, especially young children living in the home, by teaching about kitchen fire safety. Putting safety plans into place is always a great idea. If you can extinguish the fire before it gets out-of-hand, that would be best to limit the amount of damage in your home. Be prepared to think quickly and determine if the fire can be put out without risk of injury or endangering any of your family members. Always put safety first. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in home fires. Not to mention, smoke causes just as much damage to the home as the fire itself. There is a five second rule of thumb that firefighters use. They say that if you cannot extinguish a fire within five seconds then dial 9-1-1 and get out of the house. Make it a priority to review at least once a year what to do in case there is a fire in your home so your family members know exactly what to do. After the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for and safe, you can always count on your friendly neighborhood experts at SERVPRO of Fayette County to help you put your home back together.  Here is a list of things to have established in a place of home when it comes to fire safety. These items are ultimately for your safety, and the safety of your family members and family. 

Kitchen Appliances Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. A fire can start from:  

  • food left unsupervised on a stove or in an oven or microwave  
  • grease spills 
  • a dish towel too close to a burner 
  • a toaster or toaster oven flare-up 
  • a coffee pot accidentally left on 

Tips for using the stove:  Always supervise kids while cooking.  Turn all pot handles in so they can't be knocked over. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing that could catch fire around the stove. 

Cigarettes According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of fire deaths in the United States and Canada, killing about 1,000 people per year. Most fires start when ashes or butts fall into couches and chairs.  If you smoke: 

  • Be especially careful around upholstered furniture. 
  • Never smoke in bed. 
  • Make sure cigarettes are completely out before you toss them into the trash. 

Matches and Lighters Playing with matches is still the leading cause of fire-related deaths and injuries for kids younger than 5 years.  

  • Always keep matches and lighters out of children's reach. 
  • Store flammable materials such as gasoline, kerosene, and cleaning supplies outside of your home and away from kids.

It's good to practice fire safety with your family. There are also steps you can take to protect your home and prevent fires in your home.

If you’ve experienced fire damage or water damage, SERVPRO of Fayette County is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in fire remediation, and our 24⁄7 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Do You Have a Leaky Ceiling?

2/23/2024 (Permalink)

Leaky Ceilings can be disastrous to your home or business. They can also be detrimental to your time, and money because it is often hard to determine the cause of the leak. All you know is the ceiling is dripping, but you don’t yet know why.

Therefore, finding the cause of the leak can delay the repair process, but it can also add to the expense of the repairs because the longer it takes to find the leak the more damage it will cause. So the first thing you should do is either call the experts at SERVPRO, or, if you are going to tackle the problem yourself, at least eliminate all the obvious non-causes so that you can start to pin-point the problem. When trying to determine the cause of a leaky ceiling, consider whether the leak occurs only in inclement weather, or if it occurs non-stop.

If the leak only occurs when it is raining or snowing outside it’s a safe bet that the roof could be the source of the leak.

On the other hand, if the leak occurs regardless of the weather conditions outside then the leak is most likely caused by a plumbing line inside the house or structure. 

Another thing that can help you pin-point the source of the problem is to consider the water itself. Does it appear to be clear and fresh? If so, that could indicate to you that the water is coming from the water supply line. On the other hand, if water is coming from the roof you could see that dirt and other substances from the roof are being dragged along with it, and it would stain the ceiling.  

If you have determined that the leak is possibly from the roof, and you want to fix it yourself you should start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions, and have all required safety gear needed for a roof inspection. 

If you have eliminated the roof as the source of the leak then it is going to take an inspection of the pipes in your home or building to solve the problem. Of course, not all people are prepared for home improvements and repairs, especially when it comes to major repairs.  

If you have a leaky ceiling, or any kind of water damage to your home or business. For more information visit our water damage services page. We’re faster to any size disaster.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Can I Turn off Water Damage Drying Equipment at Night?

1/26/2024 (Permalink)

Can I Turn off Water Damage Drying Equipment at Night? 

Any water restoration professional will tell you the same thing: The most important element of mitigating damages is the initial and ongoing drying process. As moisture seeps into every crevice, it becomes a menace. Not only does it promote the growth of bacteria and mold, but it can quickly destroy surfaces and materials. Consequently, the faster the water specialist can bring down the humidity, the more rapidly the water leaves the premises. To promote proper drying, water restoration experts use high-powered equipment. Each piece of equipment is a specific tool designed to make your home or office healthier, safer, more sanitary and ready for full recovery. However, many people wonder if it's okay to turn off noisy or humming equipment at night. The short answer is "no," and the reasons are below.

1. Turning off the Water Damage Drying Equipment Allows Humidity to Rise Water damage drying fans and other equipment provide a constant air flow throughout an air-tight space. If you open a window, you negate the machines' ability to work. You also allow moisture from the outside to enter the building. At the same time, even if you keep windows shut and merely turn off the equipment for a few hours, you enable the moisture to seep into new spaces. In other words, you make the potential for damage worse.

2. Feeling the Walls Isn't a Good Indicator of Moisture Did you touch the walls to see if they were wet? You might think they're dry far before they really are. Fingers and hands aren't good indicators of moisture levels, especially if water is trapped behind surfaces, which it usually is. Even if you think that your walls or floors are bone-dry, you are likely mistaken. Water damage drying equipment is used to completely remove water from all areas, including those you can't see or feel.

3. It Will Cost You More in the Long Run to Turn off the Machines Worried that the cost to run the water damage equipment is sending your utility bills sky high? Actually, it could be much costlier to keep turning them off. After all, the longer they are off at night, the longer they have to be in your residence or commercial building. Besides, if your water restoration process is being covered by insurance, you may be able to negotiate for a percentage of your electricity bills to be covered. Talk to your water restoration specialist and/or your insurance carrier about this possibility.

4. You Can't Get a Good Result From a Poor Product Your goal is to restore your house or office to like-new condition, but that's not going to happen if you haven't allowed the fans to do their work. The only way to ensure a great outcome is to leave the equipment alone. 

Yes, it can be hard to be patient, but the experts know best. Trust their decision, and be sure to contact SERVPRO of Fayette County for water damage projects.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Four Ways To Reduce Christmas Tree Mold

12/8/2023 (Permalink)

4 Ways To Reduce Christmas Tree Mold Levels

Live Christmas trees may bring more than the fresh pine scent of the holiday season into homes. With most trees cut in advance of the holidays and stored in a moist environment for fresh keeping, this makes them a likely mold source. Here are a few tips to help you cut the Christmas mold level in your home, without giving up the fresh tree:

Limit The Time You Leave Your Tree Up: The longer the tree is inside of your home, the higher the mold level may be. If those in your household are prone to mold allergies, but don’t want to give up the fresh Christmas tree, consider putting the tree up on Christmas Eve and taking it down on New Year’s Day. Try to keep a live tree in your home between 4-7 days at maximum.

Wash Your Tree: Before bringing the freshly cut tree inside of your home, wash it first using the garden hose. Set the nozzle to a hard-spray level to get into all of those little nooks and crannies of the trunk. Then, wipe the trunk thoroughly with a solution of warm water and bleach (1 part bleach to 20 parts water). Let it dry in the sun before bringing it inside of your home.

Use an Air Purifier: Run an air purifier in the same room as the fresh tree. Cleaner air is key during the holidays, and helps to reduce your mold exposure and lessen the effects of your tree allergies.

Go Fake: The best way to avoid the mold infestation is to buy an artificial tree. Unless you store your artificial tree inside of a sealed plastic bag, it will still need a good shaking outside when it’s brought out of storage each year to relieve it of dust. Also, store all of your Christmas ornaments and decorations in plastic containers (instead of cardboard ones) to keep the dust off of them.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022 

Unpleasant Smells After A Fire

11/10/2023 (Permalink)

Do you know that nasty sting you feel in your nose when walking by a building that has recently burned down? It's unpleasant & hazardous. The odor is sulfur mixed with smoke. It's called Acrid.

What’s the best way to get rid of it?

Smoke contains the residue of all the burned materials and it can be Caustic. Special equipment is used to completely clean the air. 

Ozone Machines & Air Scrubbers 

Ozone Machines destroy the Molecules, Bacteria, and Spores that cause unpleasant smells.

Air Scrubbers clean the air by repeatedly moving it through HEPA filters which help reduce the smell.

What else is involved?

Other necessary steps involve:

(1) Clean all the hard surfaces

(2) Wash or treat clothes, drapes, carpets, and upholstery. A fire doesn’t always destroy a building, smoke, however, can ruin everything it contacts.

Make sure you do all that’s needed to “clear the air.” SERVPRO® of Fayette County is here to help with all your fire damage needs. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year to help you get back to normal.

Call us at 724-628-3022.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

Fire Prevention

9/1/2023 (Permalink)

Your home is your sanctuary. A place where your family spends time together and makes memories. That’s why it is so scary imagining your home getting damaged by an unfortunate fire. Although you can’t control everything that happens in your home, there are some necessary tips you can follow to prevent a possible house fire. Follow these tips below.

  1. Regularly test your smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms by pressing the button located on the smoke alarm, if it produces a weak beeping noise, it is time to replace the batteries.
  2. Check your heating sources. Heating sources that aren’t working properly could potentially trigger a fire. Have them checked annually.
  3. Maintain a clean oven and stove. Food particles left behind can get too hot on the burner or in the oven causing a potential fire. Make sure nothing is left too close to the stove that could catch fire.
  4. Never leave your kitchen. Don’t leave your kitchen while cooking. It only takes a few seconds for a fire to break out. If you have to step out of the room, turn the burners off.
  5. Check your dryer. Make sure to clean out your lint trap after every load of laundry. The build up of lint can cause a fire. Have your dryer inspected by a professional yearly.
  6. Inspect your cords. Before plugging something in, inspect the cord to make sure it is not frayed or being chewed. Replace the cords as soon as possible if you notice that the wires have been damaged. Avoid running cords under a rug or between the wall and your furniture, it can get too hot causing a fire.
  7. Store flammable products properly. Store common household cleaners and cosmetic items in a cool area. If they are exposed to high heat, they can combust.
  8. Use caution with candles. Put candles out before you leave the room or go to sleep and make sure to keep them far away from blankets or any other objects that could catch fire. Place candles on an even surface to prevent them from being knocked over. Also keep them away from pets.
  9. Use caution with your fireplace. Make sure there is a door between the flames and your flooring, you don’t want any sparks to escape. Allow enough time for the ashes to cool down before throwing them away.
  10. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. When a fire breaks out, your best line of defense is a fire extinguisher. Make sure every family member knows how to use it properly in case of a fire

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022