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Preventing disaster from falling trees and limbs

June 15, 2017 by  
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Falling trees and tree limbs can cause major damage to your home.  Saturated ground, high winds and other perils caused by nature are out of our control.  There are, however, things you can do to help avoid the dangers of falling trees and limbs from damaging your home.tree falls on house

The following is a checklist of some basic preventative measures you can take:

  • Inspect your trees carefully several times each year and in all seasons.
  • Avoid planting brittle species where falling limbs could damage your property.
    Some examples:
    Silver Maple
    Lombardy Poplar
    Box Elder
    Willows
  • Prune trees when they are young, and regularly thereafter.
  • Use correct pruning methods, always making the pruning cut outside the branch collar.
  • Don’t allow trees to be topped!
  • Always plant the right tree in the right place. For example, avoid planting large-growing trees under power lines, or too close to your house, and make sure the species selected matches the soil and other site characteristics.
  • Water deeply during dry periods.
  • Consider cabling or bracing weak branches in older trees of high value.
  • Do not plant trees with narrowly-forked stems.

Mellon Certified Restoration has 35 years of experience in restoring damage due to falling trees and limbs.  We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and ready to respond to your emergency needs.  Contact one of our offices in Harrisburg, Williamsport, Scranton, Allentown, Exton, Huntindon Valley, Yeadon, and the Philadelphia Metro area for help.  See our contact us page for more info.

Mellon Certified Restoration is celebrating its 35th anniversary!

June 5, 2017 by  
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Mellon Certified Restoration 35 YearsAs Jim Mellon reflects on the last 35 years, this is what he had to say, “I would like to thank our staff for a job “Well Done”!

Over the years I have had so many hard working individuals working for me that have made Mellon Certified Restoration such a success. Without them we wouldn’t be celebrating our 35th Anniversary. What a ride it has been and where did 35 years go?”

History of Mellon Certified Restoration
As the company’s president and owner, Jim Mellon’s interest in restoration began in 1982. As a general contractor and a Delaware County area firefighter, he personally experienced a major property fire loss and quickly discovered that specialized skills, equipment and education were required to correctly restore his property. That was the spark that ignited a new direction! Pardon the pun!

Beginning in 1988, with some new found knowledge and skills, Jim Mellon General Contracting, Inc.’s core business was gradually moving from general contracting work to the more defined, restoration of peril damaged property niche. In 1992, the company officially became known as Mellon Certified Restoration.

Recognizing that there was still much to understand and learn about insurance related restoration, Jim joined ASCR (now RIA) in 1994. He went on to fulfill the rigorous educational requirements of the National Institute of Disaster Restoration (NIDR), earning the prestigious Certified Restorer (CR) designation in 1995.

In 1996, the company adopted a new logo and coined the slogan “We Bring Order to Chaos” to reflect what truly is the mission of the fire & water restoration company.

In 2000, the company acquired one of its larger competitors in the restoration business, adding five additional office locations in Pennsylvania which overnight, nearly doubled its volume of business and increased the employee base by 100%.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in business in 2012, the company also established its 7th full service Branch in Williamsport, PA.

The future never looked brighter! To meet the growing needs of its clients and customers, the company has progressed from 1 office – 1 employee – 1 vehicle with very basic equipment to 7 locations – over 100 employees – 80 vehicles and a large inventory of specialized, state-of-the-art equipment.

Always looking forward, Mellon Certified Restoration pledges to continue its involvement with local civic and industry associations and to build upon its great reputation for “bringing order to chaos” to commercial & residential property owners.

Jim Mellon's first MCR truck in 1982

Jim Mellon’s first MCR truck in 1982

Mellon Certified Restoration trucks

A few of the current fleet of Mellon Certified Restoration trucks

Soot and Smoke Contents Cleaning

May 15, 2017 by  
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Soot damage from fire

Soot from fire can leave behind oily residue that is difficult to clean and deodorize.

Mellon Certified Restoration uses proven methods to eliminate soot, smoke odor and fire residue from your personal contents. Detailed cleaning with appropriate detergents and techniques provide amazing results. Whenever possible we try to utilize “green” cleaning products to protect the homeowner and our environment. We have successfully cleaned items that were originally thought to be ruined.

During a fire, smoke can permeate every everywhere. It can flow around plumbing systems, travel from one floor to another, and drift through air ducts where the odor becomes trapped.

Soot is oily and can easily stain carpets, draperies and other fabrics. Everything becomes covered in soot, and the odor can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If not properly removed by a professional, soot and smoke odor will keep coming back.

Our ability to pack out contents, clean them, and store them under one roof makes our contents cleaning a value asset in getting you back to pre-disaster condition. Our inventory control program tracks each item and makes locating your valuables during storage possible.

Mellon Certified Restoration also offers electronics cleaning for fire damaged contents. We have the ability to clean televisions, stereos, computers and other items of this nature.

How to Prevent Water Damage from your HVAC Unit

May 15, 2017 by  
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Clean or replace your HVAC filters regularly.
When dirt and contaminants build up on your filters, particulate matter can start to build up on the evaporator coil. This material can then enter the A/C’s drain system, contributing to clogs.

Check your condensate drain.
As well as looking out for clogs, check to make sure that the main drain line and emergency drain line are properly connected and installed. The pipe can be knocked out of alignment; check to see that it’s oriented the right way. Installing a safety tee can help — this device cuts power to your A/C if the drain isn’t working properly.

Flush the drain twice a year.
Twice yearly, flush out the drain line to get rid of clogs. Some systems use pressurized water; others use compressed air. If you have a maintenance agreement the service technician will flush the line with pressure on his maintenance checkups.

Flush the drain with an algae killer.
Once a month, flush out your drain line with an algaecide. You can buy commercial prepared mixtures, although simple household materials work very effectively. A quarter-cup of vinegar poured down the drain line will disrupt the algal growth that forms many clogs.

Have your system serviced yearly.
An annual service performed by a properly licensed HVAC expert will in many cases catch blocked drains before they become an issue, as well as identifying other problems. Sometimes the cause of a blocked drain can be found elsewhere in the system.

What should you do if you see water leaking into your home?
Call Mellon Certified Restoration! Our Certified Technicians will quickly respond with specialized equipment to minimize the damage by removing the water and starting the drying process.  All of our full service branches are managed and staffed 24/7.

To see a list of our local branch addresses and phone numbers for all of Mellon Certified Restoration locations, click here

MCR Makes the Grade!

April 25, 2014 by  
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Mellon Certified Restoration Returns Students to School in Just Three Days!

When C.G. Johnson Elementary fell victim to a broken water pipe in the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 8th over half of the school was damaged by water. As a previous customer, the Dubois Area School District was already familiar with our experience in getting our commercial customers back to business faster. Or in this case, getting students back to learning faster! Superintendent Mark Heckman says, “Having experienced MCR’s professionalism and knowledge at another large water loss in the school district, I knew they were the right company to call.”

Despite being an hour outside of the typical service area for our Harrisburg Branch, our crews were able to arrive just a few hours after the pipe broke.  Setting to work immediately we began demolition and deployed our large loss mobile desiccant dehumidifier, space dehumidifiers and ample supply of fans strategically throughout the 24,000 square feet affected by water damage. In just three days we successfully dried and inventoried contents in approximately half of the rooms inside the school including numerous classrooms, storage areas, server room, special needs area, restrooms, lounges, and hallways. Working through the weekend to restore the school to safe operations we were able to return students to class just three school days after the initial loss.

Thanks to our quick action the school’s vital functions were restored quickly, but physical education activities in the gymnasium would need to be temporarily suspended while the gym floor received continued work. Thanks to our expert tenting of the wet hardwood gym floor we were able to minimize drying required and maximize our ability to save the gym floor.  Needing just a final sanding and refinishing we were able to spare the insurance company the costs and time involved in replacing the hardwood. The elementary school’s Principal Edward Dombroski, was very grateful for our quick response and dedication to the project. “Thanks to Mellon Certified Restoration we were able to minimize the disruption to the students’ education. They even went the extra mile for us and our insurance company to restore the gym floor rather than replace it. Mellon knows what’s important to a school and is definitely the right choice for our emergency service needs.”

MCR Cares!

March 17, 2014 by  
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 Mellon Certified Restoration Steps Up to Help Out!

After 25 years of providing meals for thousands of hungry members of the community at Channels Food Rescue, the cooking equipment, storage, and prep areas vital to operations were ready for a facelift. Finding it difficult to find a contractor willing to just provide an estimate, Mellon Certified Restoration stepped up to deliver much more than just an estimate!

In existence since June 1989, Channels Food Rescue provides and delivers meals to thousands of families in our community. This alone makes them worthy of accolades, but combined with their six other community programs including a culinary training certificate program for low income persons and a food delivery program that delivers over one million pounds of donated food each year this organization is truly making strong strides toward their goal of alleviating hunger in Central Pennsylvania. Upon meeting with Channels Food Rescue our Regional Manager Ryan Straley was thoroughly impressed with the impact this organization was having on the community. Scott Kelly, Director of Operations says, “Our volunteers, students, and staff work tirelessly to feed local families and ensure all excess food available is utilized by someone in need. Our facilities showed the wear and tear of that dedication and we needed to find an organization willing to be a partner in restoring our equipment to look brand new again.”

Moved by their dedication, Ryan met with the Harrisburg Branch Manager Matt Vincent to discuss the possibility of performing the work at no cost. Recognizing an incredible local organization in need, the pair set to work coordinating the materials, tools and manpower we would need to complete the job.  Reaching out to our many local connections Mellon’s long time partners, United Rentals and Valspar Paint offered to donate a heated power washer, commercial grade paint, and epoxy flooring. Armed with materials to get the job done Greg Motter, a Property Loss Specialist, took up the cause to rally the manpower. Securing volunteers from our Harrisburg branch including Brent Lesperance (Production Manager), Adrienne Lageman (Claims Coordinator), several of our field staff and friends at Covenant Motorcycle Ministries we had ready a small army of eager volunteers! Power washing the commercial cooking equipment, cleaning the stainless steel food preparation area and scouring the kitchen floors took two very full days. We returned the following week to install the epoxy floor and present a sparkling, completed project to a very grateful Channels Food Rescue staff.

Executive Director Vicki DiSylvester expressed the value of their partnership with Mellon Certified Restoration, “Mellon Certified Restoration’s involvement in our organization will provide an impact in this community far beyond the walls of our kitchen. The transformation of the kitchen truly reinvigorated our students and staff with a renewed dedication to accomplishing our mission of alleviating hunger in Central PA. As our partners they have proven themselves to be the excellent stewards of the community they are known to be. We are very grateful for the compassion and generosity of the company, their vendors, and most of all their employees.”

 

 

 

Back to School!

February 18, 2014 by  
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Mellon Certified Restoration ‘‘Restores Order to Chaos’ Before First Bell!

On April 17, 2013 Penn Wood High School was secured for the evening following the conclusion of extracurricular activities that day. Approaching the end of the year, its 600 student body, teachers, and staff were focused on graduation, the prom, and life beyond the familiar walls of the school. In the early morning hours the next day, an individual with destruction on their mind pried open the back door of the school. The still unidentified culprit purposely set fire to two areas – a math classroom and the lobby of the building. Successful in their mission to cause chaos, both areas were completely destroyed by the fires and the ensuing smoke damage devastated both floors of the high school. Dirtying two floors of contents, closing 17 classrooms, all administrative offices, the five main hallways, and the auditorium the damage caused the school year to grind to a halt. Working quickly, the school district was able to make temporary arrangements at a sister campus so the school year could be completed. Shortened days, additional bus routes, and alternative room arrangements made for a much disrupted end of year. Without a feasible backup plan for the following school year, the restoration needed to be completed in time for the first day of school. Just four months to go and with no “Plan B” our team immediately set to work!

The school wisely took advantage of our full suite of restoration capabilities, we began by taking a detailed inventory of the contents inside the building. Our crews cataloged items in all the affected areas right down to the contents of each folder inside the filing cabinets. After giving everything a thorough cleaning we created an onsite inventory system to house all of the cleaned contents. Set up in two shifts we could work continuously throughout the day while limiting the amount of overtime required. Overall, by developing creative solutions throughout the project we were able to save more than 1.4 million dollars in the cost of the restoration.

Having been at the school essentially round the clock for four months, we truly became part of the Penn Wood High School family. The strong bond we’ve formed can be seen in the way our staff is greeted by students, faculty, and administrators. During a school assembly to review the restoration process we were able to show the students exactly how the transformation had taken place. As the photos were displayed of the blackened hallways and scorched memorabilia items it was obvious they were unaware of the extent to which the school was damaged. Those before photos (see below) were met with shock and outrage and the after photos rewarded with rowdy cheers and applause. Highlighting our team’s efforts was especially satisfying because of how close to “home” this loss actually was. More than just physically located near our corporate office there were also many of our own employees, including Jim Mellon, who had graduated from the school.

Motivated to make a difference in the community that had been a part of the lives of so many of his own employees, Mr. Mellon decided to continue to build on Mellon Certified Restoration’s commitment to education and certification. At the school assembly, the announcement was made that a Mellon Certified Restoration scholarship would be set up as part of an endowment fund at the school that would award a $1,000 scholarship each year to a college bound graduating senior. With the building fully restored and an investment made in their futures, students were ready to get “back to school”!

Restoration Specialists Honored!

March 27, 2013 by  
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Mellon Certified Restoration Honored As

Successful Small Business in Pennsylvania!

“Strong work ethic. Dedication. Loyalty.” These are just a few of the heartfelt words that Jim Mellon, President of Mellon Certified Restoration, named as defining charac teristics of the staff that helped to develop his flagship one-office venture into the flourishing seven Pennsylvania locations it has become. Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley acknowledged this success by touring and speaking at the headquarters of Mellon Certified Restoration. Lt. Governor Cawley led the state’s disaster recovery taskforce in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

  During his visit, the Lt. Governor was given a personal tour of the Philadelphia Metro branch’s fully stocked warehouse, specialty services vehicles, and state of the art restoration equipment. The Lt. Governor took special interest in our custom designed Mobile Ultra Sonic Cleaning Lab & Equipment (MUSCLE) which utilizes Ultra Sonic cleaning technologies to reduce breakage during the cleaning process. This can be very efficient in losses involving large quantities of salvageable contents.

   Lt. Governor Cawley stated during his speech, “we wanted to empower a risk taker, an entrepreneur, a guy like Jim Mellon to do whatever it is he does best.” Citing his own personal experience with property damage he added, “I know it takes a special kind of person to do what you folks do. You must be doing it well to have been in business for over 30 years.” This special appearance by the Lt. Governor was attended by local community leaders, media, and company employees. Jim Mellon wrapped up a proud day in Mellon Certified Restoration’s history stating, “Our success is based on showing our customers that we care. This philosophy has been essential to our success over the last 31 years.”

See a video of the tour on our website under “News” or on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/melloncr!

MCR Hurricane Sandy Response

November 21, 2012 by  
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Despite an increased workload in our Pennsylvania based offices our President Jim Mellon and our Corporate Emergency Service Director Chris Maluchnik (WRT, FST, HST, ASD, CDS, CMP, OSHA Authorized Construction Safety Trainer) were on-site providing emergency services to a number of homes in Sea Isle City, just a short 48 hours after Hurricane Sandy assaulted the state of New Jersey. From there, word quickly spread to homeowners in Ocean City, Wildwood and beyond that a well known, licensed contractor was here to help! As calls continued to come in, Jim and Chris mobilized over 50 crew and management team members to the New Jersey shore. As you can see by the map below, we are now restoring homes and businesses all over the coastline of New Jersey – 70 miles between the Northern and Southern most clients.

MCR's Response to Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey

As early responders to the shore, we also had to contend with power and water supply issues. Using every available resource from our seven branch offices and our close relationship with our vendors we were able to establish the necessary resources to begin working immediately. Our crews and managers worked 12 hours each day for three weeks straight to complete water damage restoration on over 80 different properties.  The class 3 water damage that was present in New Jersey required us to demolition drywall, remove sodden insulation, and tear out subflooring. Sadly with the amount of water, debris, and possible contaminants brought onshore by Sandy, most personal items and furniture were beyond salvaging.

“The news coverage and pictures do not even come close to conveying what actually seeing this kind of devastation is like,” says Matt Dishner Business Development Representative for Mellon. “Historic, family owned homes passed down from generation to generation with original hardwood floors and architectural features have been crumbled. Everyone who we’ve met has said they don’t ever remember having a storm this bad.”

Pictures below show you some of the all too common views at the Jersey Shore the last few weeks. In just three short weeks our self-sacrificing crews have accomplished an amazing amount of work. “Neighbors helping neighbors, family and friends rallying together to help one another – it’s the spirit of humanity that helps you wake up and go to work each day. Knowing that the spirit of the community is rallying together to help one another is one of the biggest motivating factors in our profession,” says Doug Morrow, Business Development Manager for Mellon Certified Restoration.

 Thank you to everyone who put their own comfort aside and their personal lives on hold to help our clients in New Jersey start anew. In a few months we’ll be able to proudly share pictures of homes, businesses, and communities that you’ve caringly, professionally helped to rebuild!

To Our Friends & Neighbors

October 27, 2012 by  
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As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast we are hoping that you have already taken the appropriate measures to prepare for this storm. If not, it’s imperative that you consult the government provided resources available to you at www.ready.gov/hurricanes  and at www.redcross.org. Preparing for a storm can seem an overwhelming task, but it is essential to have at least the basic items covered to minimize the impact of the storm on your family, home and possessions. Here are a few basic suggestions:

  • Have at least 3 days supply of non-perishable food, water, and shelter.
  • Put together a disaster supplies kit. This could include items such as a first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, and whistle. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an excellent basic list with additional ideas to consider based on your individual circumstances- http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit
  • Assemble all your important documents like insurance policies, identification, and bank account records into a waterproof, portable container.
  • Keep a hard copy list of contact information for local agencies. This could include the local emergency management office, Red Cross, Utilities, Public Safety Fire/Rescue, and of course your home insurance agent. Keeping the contact information in a secure location will allow you to get assistance quickly when seconds count.

Mellon Certified Restoration has gone through our own Emergency Preparedness checklist to ensure that we can continue to provide support to our communities through the Hurricane. For example, each of our seven offices has taken a re-inventory of supplies and equipment so that we can best allocate our resources during the storm. Our managers have opened lines of communication with our vendors and have rallied our teams for the coming call to action. Please know that the certified professionals at Mellon are available to you 24 /7 / 365 for Emergency Services should flooding, water damage, or wind damage affect your home during Hurricane Sandy. If we can be of service to you during the storm, please do not hesitate to contact your local office.

Philadelphia Metro – 610-622-5860

Exton – 610-363-6397

Lehigh Valley – 610-837-8860

Harrisburg – 717-232-1551

Scranton – 570-342-8822

Huntingdon Valley – 215-357-6000

Williamsport – 570-323-6600