Restoring Property Damaged By
FIRE spacer WATER spacer SMOKE spacer WIND & Other Perils Since 1982
Emergency Services
24/7/365
Fire Water Smoke Wind

How to avoid a house fire

August 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

avoid house firesSome things are common sense, like not leaving burning candles unattended and keeping a fire extinguisher on hand.  There are, however, a few other things you can do to help prevent having a fire in your home.  At Mellon Certified Restoration, we’ve compiled some tips to help increase your odds of avoiding a house fire.

  1.  Have your furnace, heat pump, etc. serviced regularly by a professional.   If you have a wood stove or fireplace, be sure to have your chimney cleaned before each season. Clean around your furnace, stove, etc. and keep dust and other flammable items away from them.
  2. Clean your clothes dryer lint trap after every use. A clogged filter and lint trap will restricts airflow and causes heat build up in the vents.  This forces lint build up on the heating coils, which could ignite.  It’s also not a good idea to let your dryer run when you aren’t home.  In the event there was a problem, you would have no chance at containing it before it spreads.
  3. Keep firewood, piles of leaves and trash away from the home. If a grass fire starts nearby, these items next to your home could easily become kindling. Never dump hot ashes inside or near your home; keep them in a metal container well away from your house and garage.
  4. Avoid using extension cords or power strips when possible.  These can quickly overload an electrical circuit and cause a fire. Replace old, damaged or frayed appliance cords, and never force a three-pronged plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  5. Keep cooking oil and other flammable objects away from your cooking stove. When cooking with oil, never walk away from the stove. In the event of a grease fire, turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan to suffocate the flames, or pour baking soda on the fire. Never pour water on a grease fire or try to carry the pan outside; water splatters the grease and will make the fire bigger.
  6. If you smoke, be sure to properly extinguish your cigarettes, cigars, etc. Smoking materials that are not properly extinguished can smolder for days before igniting into a fire. Never discard smoking materials in the trash can until you are certain they have long since been extinguished.  Avoid putting smoking materials out on the ground or in plant pots.

Hopefully just being cautious and avoiding some of these common causes of house fires will be enough to spare you the tragedy of watching your home burn down.  Obviously, in the event of a house fire, call 911 immediately.  Be smart, stay safe!

Flooding from heavy summer storms

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

Wether you believe global climate change has anything to do with it or not, the fact is – if you live in Pennsylvania right now, you’ve experienced a stormy summer so far in 2017. It seems like a pattern of high heat index and humidity causing torrential downpours almost daily.
These downpours often bring heavy rain totals and flooding of all kinds. Flash floods, saturated ground flooding, high creeks and streams, etc.flooding from heavy rain

Unfortunately, flood claims on your homeowners insurance can leave you holding the bag, depending on the type of flood and coverage you have. Mellon Certified Restoration has spent over 35 years dealing with floods of all types and severities. If you have insurance coverage we will work with them as well as yourself to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. If your insurance doesn’t cover your flooding issue, we will work with you just the same and make sure your home is well taken care of.

All too often we receive calls from homeowners who attempted to clean up the flooding themselves and found out the hard way that it wasn’t a good idea. Water has a way of finding itself into the small cracks and crevasses, under flooring, behind walls, etc. When missed or left untreated, this can lead to a host of bigger problems like mold, rotting wood, peeling and bubbling paint, etc. It’s preventing issues like these that we do best. The things you don’t see! We have the equipment you don’t have, or often don’t know you need to fully resolve the water damage issues that stem from flooding.

In a nutshell, if you find yourself in a situation with water coming into your home, you should strongly consider calling a professional to take a look. It may very well save you a fortune down the road.

Mellon Certified Restoration is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with locations throughout Pennsylvania. Our Certified Technicians will quickly respond with specialized equipment to minimize the damage by removing the water and starting the cleanup and drying process.

How do I detect Black Mold and What if I find it?

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

You want to look first in places where water flows, such as near pipes and sinks, or places where you know there’s been leaks or flood water in the past. Check spots where moisture accumulates such as surfaces with condensation, humid areas or any other places where you often see moisture collect. Rooms that are routinely wet, like the bathroom, laundry and kitchen are common locations for mold.

You also need to look for signs of water damage. Water damaged areas usually show signs such as warping or bulging.  Stained, cracked or peeling paint are also signs to look for. Small dots can be a clue there’s more collecting nearby.black mold on wall surface

Drywall and air ducts are also common places for mold to grow.

If you do find mold make sure not to disturb it. Large  colonies should not be removed without properly sealing off the room first and following best practice removal methods.  You will need to seek professional help for proper remediation.  Attempting to remove it on your own can create more problems, risking the health and well being of those living in the affected area.

Professional inspectors are generally a good idea because they can locate hidden mold in the home. The tips we’ve provided can help with finding visible mold, but they are often an indicator that more is probably growing. If you think you have identified an area where hidden mold is potentially growing you will need a full inspection to properly look into the area.

This kind of inspection usually involves removing surfaces to look behind them for hidden spots, like drilling a hole in the wall to insert a borescope to look in the wall cavity.

This is where it’s necessary to hire a professional inspector to find the hidden mold with minimal damage to your home.

If you attempt to do such an inspection yourself, be sure to wear protective equipment. This is because there is a good chance you could trigger the release of large amounts of spores into the air in the process.

A thorough inspection for hidden mold also includes lifting carpet to check underneath, looking behind paneling, looking behind ceiling tiles, looking under wallpaper, looking inside air ducts and moving furniture or insulation to check behind.

Your house could have hidden mold if you’ve had flooding or leaks. Leaks in pipes which run behind walls are an especially common cause. Another sign is if you can smell mold or you have allergic symptoms but you can’t see any actual growth.

In summary, if you visibly see signs of mold in your home, you may want to consider contacting a professional to inspect it.  Black mold remediation is best handled by experienced professionals.  Mellon Certified Restoration has over 35 years experience in these remediation services that go beyond the typical specialties required by most property damage jobs.

A few tips to avoid a flooded basement

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

Every house is potentially at risk of a flood.  Even if you live on the top of a hill, water from heavy rainfall or melting snow can make it’s way in, resulting in a flooded basement. Fortunately there are things you can do to reduce the chance of this happening to you.

There are a handful of things that contribute to a flooded basement. Below are a list of the most common:

Flooded basement

  •  Ground water can seep into your home due to poor drainage:
      • Cracks in your home’s foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors.
      • Improper grading or drainage
      • Failure in your foundation drain
      • Failure with your sump pump
      • Clogged downspouts backing up
  • From a sewer backup:
      • Waste water from the sewer system or a combination of waste water and stormwater from the combined sewer system back up into the the floor drain, toilets, sinks, showers or laundry room located in the basement.
      • Blocked connection between your home and the main sewer line, sometimes caused by stormwater backup.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of a flooded basement.

On the outside of your home:

  • Seal any cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows, foundations and window wells.
  • Clean downspouts of leaves and debris.
  • Make sure your spouts are draining properly at least 6 feet from your foundation walls.
  • Make sure the grading around your house slopes away from your foundation.
  • Add more plants, shrubs, etc. to help absorb rainwater and melted snow.
  • Keep any storm water grates clear.
  • Ensure drainage ditches between properties are clear of obstructions.

On the inside the home:

  • Make sure all plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition. Homeowners are responsible for the plumbing from the property line to inside the home.
  • Know the location and condition of your sewer lateral (the pipe that connects the plumbing in your home to the main line on the street).
  • If you have a backwater valve or sump pump, be sure to maintain them properly, and what is needed to keep them operational during power outages.
  • Fix cracks, blockages or other condition problems.
  • Avoiding creating clogs
  • Do not flush down the toilet items such as dental floss, personal care products (including “flushable” wipes), condoms, tampons, or anything which can cause blockages.
  • Don’t pour any oils, or grease down the drain.

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 cleanup and 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

Mellon Certified Restoration is celebrating its 35th anniversary!

June 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

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