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Flooding from heavy summer storms

July 24, 2017 by  
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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  
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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.

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.”

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”!

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