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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Storm Season in Girard, PA

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Have you ever gone on your weather app to check the weather for the week and there is a 20% chance of rain every single day? The little description might read “Slight chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.” One minute it can be 75 and sunny and the next minute there is a torrential downpour of rain.

Unfortunately, pop-up thunderstorms are not uncommon in late July and August, and they can leave you feeling confused and unprepared. Typically, excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Staying informed about the common causes of storm and water damage can provide peace of mind for when that unexpected heavy rainstorm hits Girard, PA.

What are the Common Types of Damage Caused by Storms?

Flooding: During a strong rainstorm, water can penetrate the roof shingles and leak into you home. Nearby lakes, rivers or even streams can overflow and cause flooding that can wreak havoc on your property. Flooding damage can be invasive and cause damage to the materials inside your home or business. Water can rot wood and cause mold growth that will add up to costly repairs.

Burst Pipes: Most people do not examine the condition of the pipes in their home, nor do they know what a worn-out pipe looks like. It may be worth it to hire an expert to evaluate the condition of the pipes in your home. Additionally, active leak detection systems can be valuable as they can detect and stop leaks from happening.  

Sewer Backup: Although nobody wants to experience any kind of water damage, perhaps the most unwanted kind of water damage is sewer backup. Heavy rains can lead to sewer backup that leave your home full of sewage. The smell alone is bad enough, but this problem can affect the foundation of your home.

Any type of water damage can negatively affect the value of your property. Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Water heaters, plumbing, overflowing toilets, bathtubs, and sinks are additional causes of water damage typically seen in homes and businesses.

Regardless of the source, SERVPRO of West Erie County can handle any size disaster. Our highly trained restoration specialists provide 24/7 Emergency Services. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. If you need help, call SERVPRO of West Erie County today! (814) 806-1987

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Residential and Commercial Cleaning in Conneaut Township

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

We offer cleaning services, such as ceiling and wall cleaning, drapes, upholstery, and window washing.

If you take a look around your local Walmart or Target this time of year, there is no doubt about it: it’s back to school time!

As you get your kids ready for back-to school with fresh new pencils and clean lunch boxes, you may also find yourself wanting to get your home ready for back to school. With school, comes sports, dance lessons and homework, and you won’t have as much time to clean your ceilings, walls, or drapes.  

Luckily for you, SERVPRO of West Erie County is at your service! Maybe you’ve seen the large bright green trucks with the large fire and water pictures on them and never thought of SERVPRO as a cleaning company.

Although we are well known for our fire and water mitigation, we also offer cleaning services, such as ceiling and wall cleaning, drapes, upholstery, and window washing.  We provide residential services, as well as commercial cleaning.

Ceiling and wall cleaning should be a part of your regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. But for many homeowners, this is a daunting task and usually put off for years at a time.

Think about it: Your ceilings and walls are exposed to all the dirt and dust particles in the air, pet dander and other contaminants.

It is always a good idea to clean your walls prior to painting them to ensure the primer and paint can adhere to the walls properly.

Drapery and curtains can be aesthetically pleasing and add a warmth feeling to any room while also trapping a surprising number of contaminants.

Maybe you are thinking: how often do my drapes really need to be cleaned? It is recommended to clean your drapery and curtains at least once every two years. Here is a definitive guide of how often you should be cleaning everything in your home.

At some point in time, the accumulation of dirt and dust will make itself known through physical appearance. Regularly cleaning them not only reduces the number of contaminants in your home, but also prolongs the life of the fabric.

Whether it’s windows, carpet, upholstery, drapery, or general cleaning, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County! We specialize in cleaning fabrics and materials using wet or dry-cleaning methods as needed.

Call us today for more information! (814) 806-1987

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Hardwood Flooring Water Restoration in Erie County

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Erie County uses specialized drying equipment and industrial grade dehumidifiers to remove the water as quickly as possible.

Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home and can boost overall value of the home, as well as increasing aesthetic appeal.

Maybe you bought your home with hardwood floors already installed, or maybe you just spent the money to have your carpeting ripped out and new floors put in.

In either case, water damage to hardwood floors can be an overwhelming and daunting task to clean up.

Water damage can occur from innocent children trying to be independent, pet accidents, broken appliances, and severe weather such as storms and heavy rainfall.  So, what can you do when water hits the floors?

Unfortunately, in many cases of water loss incidents or flooding, hardwood flooring can end up being a costly material to remove, and ultimately replace.

When the flooring gets wet, the wood absorbs the water and begins to swell and warp. Even if the water is only on the surface, water can seep in through the cracks and loosen the glue holding the flooring to the ground.

Depending on the type of water, you may want to clean it up yourself or call the technicians at SERVPRO of West Erie County. We use specialized drying equipment and industrial grade dehumidifiers to remove the water and moisture as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It important to remove the water quickly and dry the flooring. The timing could potentially save the hardwood flooring in the long run and prevent mold growth.

The secret to preventing mold and mildew is not just the elimination of water, but dirt as well. Hardwood flooring and carpeting are the same when it comes to mold and mildew; dirt and water mix together and can lead to mold and mildew when left unattended.

Our general contractors can also address other facets of recovery such as, demolition and re-installation of hardwood flooring should the water damage be too extensive to repair, as well as temporary construction solutions like boarding and tarping to prevent further damage

Caring for a hardwood floor after water damage can be a difficult task. Luckily, SERVPRO of West Erie County is here to help with specialized equipment and training. We believe in repairing as opposed to replacing, and we have the experience and expertise to get the job done correctly!

We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Give us a call! (814) 806 1987

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Differentiating Qualities of a Top Restoration Company

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Erie County is dedicated to providing quality service, a timely response, and doing business with integrity.

Some household inconveniences such as a leaky faucet, dirty blinds, and minor repairs can be handled with a little DIY expertise and a basic set of tools.

But what happens when you face bigger issues such as a flooded basement, smoke damage, or a black mold infestation. You may be better suited to call your local restoration company.

Before you decide who to call, and who to employ, you are probably going to do a Google search. You need to consider the fact that the workers you hire will be in your home and business.

Additionally, just because a company may look qualified to do the work on the internet, it doesn’t mean the workers actually possess the credentials and training.

It is easier than you may want to believe to falsify information with advertisements and propaganda. Do your homework before allowing contractors into your home or business.

Is the website credible and valid? Everyone has heard the horror stories of the email internet scam where someone misrepresented themselves and made false promises for their own personal gain. One of the quickest ways to determine if a website is credible is to find out if they have informative links on their website. Most respectable restoration companies will provide the following services:

Water Restoration

Fire Restoration

Storm Damage

Commercial Restoration

Cleaning Services

Once clicking on the link, it should take you to a web page with information about the services provided and how to attain more information. Additionally, you can check out their Facebook, Yelp and Google Reviews.

Read Customer Reviews and Testimonials Most reputable companies probably have a place on their website where you can read customer testimonials. Think about it: You probably wouldn’t buy a car or a new electronic device before reading the reviews on it first. Reading other customer reports can be very helpful in deciding the right restoration company for you.

SERVPRO of West Erie County is dedicated to providing quality service, a timely response, and doing business with integrity. The employees at SERVPRO of West Erie County live and work in the community and take pride in helping their local friends and neighbors in emergency situations.

If you need any cleaning or restoration services, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County. (814) 806 1987

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What to Do When the Power Goes Out in Springfield, PA

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Candles, matches, flashlights, and battery-operated radios are great essentials to have on-hand.

You can lose power for a variety of reasons and often without any warning. Your first thought probably is: “I know I have a flashlight around here somewhere. If only I could find it in the dark!”

Once your power goes out, the first step is to determine the cause. It may be your own breaker or a power outage caused by a storm.

To check, you need to locate your electrical panel and see if one of the switches is turned off. You may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker and all you need to do is turn it back on and power should be restored.

If not, you can always check out your neighbors to see if their house is fully lit. Power is usually lost in a localized area. If you do not have power, it is likely that your neighbors are also without power.

Communicating during a power outage is important to keep everyone as safe as possible.

You can call your utility company and report the loss of power, but be aware many other customers will likely be reporting the same issue and it will be difficult to get through. They are probably already aware of the problem and working to fix it as fast as they can.

Always keep a battery-operated radio on-hand, as well as extra batteries to keep up with the latest news and weather reports. Candles, matches, and flashlights are also important to provide light. 

Be conscious of your phone battery, as you will not be able to charge it using an electrical outlet when it runs out of battery.

In an emergency, you can always use your car to listen to the radio and charge your phone. Make sure your car is in an open area or open the garage door before running it for a period of time. Carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal in an enclosed space.

To protect your appliances, it is best to turn them off. This way, when the power does return, the surge of electrical energy will not damage your computer or television. Additionally, if you were using a stove burner or iron, it can be easy to forget it when the power comes back on.

If the outage is likely to last a prolonged period of time, it is best to stay comfortable and hydrated. Especially in the summer months, your house will likely heat up quickly due to the lack of air conditioning or fans. Stay as cool and safe as possible at all times!

When the power goes out, it can lead to a variety of headaches for homeowners. If you need help with storm or water restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call us at (814) 806 1987

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Potential Fire Hazards in your West Erie Home

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Don't over-extend your electrical outlets by trying to plug in too many appliances at once.

Fire hazards can be present in the most inconspicuous of places and put you and your property at risk.

You can reduce the risk of fire by becoming aware of the types of fire hazards and follow fire safety recommendations for your home and business.

Electrical Hazards: Today, everyone is obsessed with charging their iPhone or iPad and plugging in their light fixtures and space heaters or fans.

Electrical outlets and extension cords are a common cause of electrical fires in the home and office. Do not over-extend your electrical outlets by trying to plug in too many appliances at once. Any appliance or electronic item that is not working properly is a fire hazard.

When using a space heater, check on them periodically ensure they are not overheating and place them away from any flammable materials.

When installing light bulbs into new light fixtures, make sure to read the light bulb wattage recommendations. If the wattage exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendation, you are at a higher risk for an electrical fire.

Flammable Materials Inside Your Home: Household clutter, burning cigarettes, live Christmas trees, cooking over an open flame with loose-fitting clothing and a match in the hands of a child, are all fire hazards.

When household clutter like paper, boxes, and old clothing are stored with flammable liquids such as gasoline and paint thinners, the fire will burn hotter and faster.

Flammable Liquids: Paints, stains, paint thinners, cleaning fluids, gasoline, oil, and aerosols are all examples of hazardous combustible liquids that may be present in your home or garage.

Do not throw oil-soaked materials in the dryer-even after they have been washed. Always store gasoline in an outside building away from the home and never use it to start a barbecue.

Hidden Fire Hazards: Dryers, heating pads, electric blankets, and light fixtures are all fire hazards that may not be apparent to the average person.

Always clean out your lint traps and keep the vents clean. Do not store your light fixtures stacked on top of one another or stored too close to another light source. Be aware of falling asleep on heating pads or electrical blankets, as they can easily overheat.

Becoming aware and knowledgeable about the different types of fire hazards is a great way to prevent fires and fire damage.

If you are need of fire restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We pride ourselves on “Being faster to any disaster.” The professionals at SERVPRO of West Erie County are trained in fire damage and restoration and are available 24 hours a day!

Call us if you need our help! (814) 806 1987

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ESPORTA Wash System Can Restore Your Possessions

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

The Esporta Wash System is designed to clean over 90% of soft contents damaged by fire, soot, smoke, trauma and much more.

SERVPRO of West Erie County is a well-respected restoration company because of their highly-trained professionals, and advanced equipment.

One of the most impressive pieces of equipment is the Esporta washing machine. The average washing machine holds 12-16 pounds of laundry. In comparison, the Esporta washing machine can accommodate up to 100 pounds of laundry in one load. It is designed to clean over 90% of soft contents damaged by fire, soot, smoke, trauma and much more.

It can clean anything from sports uniforms and clothing, bedding, curtains and linens, stuffed animals, and shoes. It can even clean roller blades, helmets, ski boots and ceramic dolls.

Instead of using the traditional agitator style of cleaning, the Esporta utilizes hydraulic action. This revolutionary cleaning process guarantees the safest cleaning and restoration in the industry.

The traditional agitator style of washing causes items to tumble and roll around in your washer as they get cleaned. This is why you would never dream of washing ceramic dolls or your prized football helmet in there. In the Esporta, your possessions are safe and so clean you could eat off them. It’s been lab tested and scientifically proven!

When fire, water, soot or smoke damage the contents of your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Erie County! SERVPRO of West Erie County is always available and can clean and restore the contents in your home to like new condition. Call us today! (814) 806 1987

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SERVPRO of West Erie County Sponsors Community Events

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Family and friends gather to watch the nation’s largest and best monster trucks jump and fly through the air on a giant outdoor course.

SERVPRO of West Erie County recently sponsored the All-Star Monster Truck Tour at Lake Erie Speedway.  It is Erie’s biggest monster truck event! Family and friends gather to watch the nation’s largest and best monster trucks jump and fly through the air on a giant outdoor course.

There were two shows, each lasting almost two hours each. The All-Star Monster Trucks battle for the best trick, full-throttle race, and participate in a freestyle no-rules competition.

Plus, the best drivers in the region, such as Lindsey Rettew, compete in a course filled with tight turns and dirt jumps.  Additionally, guests are invited to take a ride in a 10,000-pound monster truck before and after the show.

SERVPRO of West Erie County takes pride in their community and enjoys participating in and sponsoring local events. Our employees live and work in Erie County and support the area businesses.

It’s our job to provide emergency services for our friends and families in West Erie County. When you need restoration or cleaning services, we’re nearby and ready to help. We want to do our part to keep the community safe, clean, and thriving.

Call us today at (814) 806 1987 if you need any restoration or cleaning services.

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Summer Storm Safety for Erie Residents

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Late July through early August is peak season for summer weather and temperatures. Unfortunately, this also means thunderstorm season.

As we reach the end of July and early August, it’s the peak season for summer weather and temperatures. As much as summer is about barbecues, family vacations, and sunshine, it is also the season of thunderstorms.

We usually welcome summer storms for a much-needed change in temperature and cool breeze. Although they are typically harmless, there are still some summer storm safety tips to be aware of for your family, home, and business.

Lightning: Lightening results in 55-60 deaths and about 300 injuries each year.

If you are ever outside and hear a buzzing sound or you have a feeling of “tingly hair,” lightening is near. To reduce the risk of being hit by lightning, crouch down on the balls of your feet and keep your head down and ears covered. This will help protect you, but do not rely on this method to stay safe. Find shelter as soon as the sensation passes.

It’s a wide-spread myth that cars will keep you safe from lightning due to the rubber tires. Click here to find out what actually happens to your car when lightning strikes.

Prepare Ahead of Time: Stock up on essentials for your home in the case a severe storm hits without warning. Here is checklist of a few items you might want to have in your emergency kit:

  • Non-perishable food: Think crackers, peanut butter, canned food or pasta. Make sure to have a hand-held can opener in case the power goes out!
  • Bottled Water
  • Flashlights and batteries in case the ones in the flashlight run out.
  • First Aid Kit
  • A backup copy of important documents: In today’s world, it is very easy to keep an electronic copy of all your important documents on your phone or laptop. If not, make sure to keep a copy in a waterproof container.
  • Devise a storm safety plan: Make sure your children know what to do and where to go in the case of severe weather. Designate a safe meeting place in the home such as the basement or bathroom.

Exterior Maintenance: To minimize damage done to your home or property, keep on top of yard maintenance. Trim trees and large shrubbery around your home.

Secure loose items in your yard that could potentially be picked up and thrown across your yard such as trashcans, trampolines, pool floats, or furniture cushions.  

Braving the Storm:  In the northeast region, it is not uncommon to log onto social media and see pictures or videos of people chasing the storm. For your safety, do not try to do this! Additionally, try to safe away from windows or glass doors and avoid taking a shower or bath.

After the Storm: Do not try to drive through flooded areas as you can have no way of predicting how deep the water may get. Stay up to date on the latest weather information through weather radio or local television stations.

If you find yourself in need of help from flooding, water damage, or roof damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We will arrive as quickly as possible and begin to assist you. If you have any questions or need help, call (814) 806 1987

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Dryer Vent Cleaning in Girard, PA

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Erie County specializes in air duct and dryer vent cleaning!

Pulling freshly dried towels out of the dryer usually fills the air with a pleasant, clean smelling scent.

Upon removing the towels or load of laundry, it can be easy to forget the simple task of emptying the lint tray. It may seem like an innocent, mundane step to forget, but it is an important step to preventing fire damage.

Did you know that dryer fires are one of the leading causes of fire in a home? Each year, failure to clean out clogged dryer vents and lint traps results in thousands of fires.

When homeowners neglect this task, lint can eventually pass through the duct and become trapped inside. It often sticks to the interior of the duct because it is still slightly damp, and over time, it slowly builds up.

Continued use of your dryer with intermittent removal of lint from the trap can lead to a fire.

Dryer fires can also affect the clothing inside the dryer. Fabrics such as nylon and polyester can produce harmful gases when they combust.

Many people store their washer and dryer in their basement. If that is the case, the fire can affect the ground level floor of your home. 

If you’re feeling brave, watch this video to see how you can clean out your dryer vent and duct!

Too messy, or simply don’t have the time? SERVPRO of West Erie County specializes in air duct and dryer vent cleaning!

The technicians at SERVPRO of West Erie County hold IICRC certificates, including Fire and Smoke Restoration (FSRT). We continually maintain and check our tools and equipment to ensure they remain in working order.

Call us today (814) 806 1987 and we’ll help you through any situation! We want your family to be as safe as possible!

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SERVPRO of West Erie County Removes Smoke Odor

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO cleans the space with green chemicals and specialized cleaning technology.

Have you ever sat around a campfire and then forgotten to wash your sweatshirt until a week or two later? You pull it out of the laundry and can still smell the campfire smoke on it? The smell of smoke is strong and can linger on materials for a long time.

Now imagine that smell on a larger scale…cleaning up after a fire in your home or business can be a daunting task. Smoke rises, which can cause odors to linger in your home or attic long after the fire has been put out. But the good news is, the team at SERVPRO of West Erie County is experienced and ready to help at a moment’s notice.

How will SERVPRO of West Erie County remove the smoke odor?

  1. First, they will remove any smoke infected insulation and materials. Most attics have a large amount of insulation in the walls. The insulation makes the smoke smell stronger and keeps it lingering around because it traps the smell.
  2. Then, they will clean the space with SERVPRO’s green chemicals and specialized cleaning technology.
  3. Lastly, they will spray any wooden structures or beams with a specialized spray. The spray is a sealant that will lock in any remaining fire containments so they will not spread the smell any longer.
  4. Additionally, any other restorable contents will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This can include anything from electronics, kitchen items, art, bedding and wood furniture.

Visit our website for tips on what to do before help arrives, what to do after a fire, and what not to do.  Or browse our brochure to read more about the restoration process. SERVPRO of West Erie County is professionally trained in restoring fire damage and removing smoke odor. Call SERVPRO of West Erie County today! (814) 806-1987

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Is Your Business Prepared to Handle a Disaster?

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Following a disaster, as many as 50% of businesses never reopen. A number of businesses that do survive, had a disaster preparedness plan in place

As a business owner, are you prepared for an unexpected disaster? Do you have a contingency plan for how you might remodel or replace the contents of your business should something happen?

Following a disaster, as many as 50% of businesses never reopen. A number of businesses that do survive, had a disaster preparedness plan in place. No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan for a disaster. Having a plan in place can offer peace of mind.

What is an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) and how can it help you and your business? Take a minute and think about when most disasters occur: do you have two hours to prepare for them? Or is it usually at four o’ clock in the morning when your pipe decides to burst?

SERVPRO can create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business that will minimize interruption to your business by having an immediate plan of action. Knowledge of what to expect and what to do is critical for timely mitigation and minimizing the water and/or fire damage to your business.

Here are some of the advantages and benefits of developing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) with SERVPRO:

  • The service is provided to you at no cost! A SERVPRO worker will work with you to create the best plan of action.
  • It is a valuable use of your time. It does not take long to create the plan, but will save you a great deal of time should the plan ever be needed.
  • Provides a detailed, concise plan of action in case of emergency, as well as a guide of what to do in the following hours and days.
  • Supplies you and the SERVPRO team with important facility details such as shut-off valve locations for water, electric, and gas, and priority contact information.
  • It establishes SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

Once completed, the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will be available to you on your smartphone or tablet. Additionally, a paper copy will be provided to you to keep readily available in your business.

Contact SERVPRO of West Erie County to make an appointment today! (814) 806 -1987. SERVPRO is here to help you be “Ready for whatever happens.”

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Tackle Storms and Severe Weather with Technology

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pokémon Go…the number of social media apps and ways to stay connected are endless. Although catching Pokémon and going live on Facebook are fun ways to stay entertained, technology can help keep you safe during a storm!

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others.  Below are some common technology tips, as well as some new ones you may want to check out!

  • Follow the news and stay informed! You can download free apps onto your phone or tablet such as The Weather Channel or Erie News Now to stay up to date with the newest information! Additionally, you can alert first responders to an emergency situation through Twitter. Subscribe through an organization’s alert page such as FEMA.
  • Store an extra copy of important information online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox make it even easier to store important information such as insurance policies, medical records, identification documents, and even information about pets living in the home. This ensures information will be accessible to you should your home or business flood or catch fire. Your phone goes with you everywhere you go!
  • Let family know you’re safe through The American Red Cross app or website. It can give family members peace of mind to know you are safe. You can also check-in on Facebook.
  • Always keep a back-up charger in your car! You never know when you may need to charge your phone and keeping a back-up charger in your car guarantees you will never be left with a dead phone.
  • Create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The Emergency Ready Profile will be created for you by a SERVPRO worker free of charge. It will provide important facility details such as valve shut-off locations for water, electric, and gas and priority contact information. It will be available to you on your smartphone or tablet any time, day or night.

Being prepared for a storm can offer peace of mind. Technology is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay informed about the weather and what is happening in your community. You have access to multiple sources of information and ways to communicate in the palm of your hand.  

Should you need emergency services during or after a storm, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806 – 1987

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Sump Pump Failure and How SERVPRO Can Help in Erie County

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

The key to preventing sump pump failure is preventative maintenance and upkeep.

The sump pump is an appliance in your home that you may not give much thought to until you need it. When a heavy storm hits unexpectedly, the last thing you need is for your sump pump to fail.

The key to preventing sump pump failure is preventative maintenance and upkeep. This ensures you won’t be stuck with a wet, musty basement.

Since your sump pump relies on the electricity from your house, power outages are the most common cause of sump pump failures. This is likely to occur during the spring and summer storm season. There are two solutions to this problem.

  1. Purchase a back-up generator. The Top 10 selling back-up generators are a great place to start. The back-up generator will keep power running to your sump pump when the power to your house is lost.                   
  2. The less costly alternative is to purchase a back-up battery that will keep your sump pump operating when there is a power outage. A battery can cost anywhere between $275 and $500 to purchase and install. While this may seem like an unappealing amount of money to spend for a back-up plan, it is the best way to prevent basement flooding.

Maintenance is key to preventing sump pump failure. If you have not heard your sump pump running recently, you can easily test it by pouring five gallons of water into it. Once the sump pump reaches its maximum level, the pump should turn on by itself and begin draining the water.

More sump pump maintenance tips are available here.

If you find yourself needing help or assistance with basement flooding or sump pump failure, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We can provide immediate help and minimize any further damage to your home and basement.  Call today! (814) 806 -1987

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The Difference between LGR and Conventional Dehumidifiers

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Our professional-grade equipment helps with the toughest of jobs and produces amazing results for our clients.

As a water mitigation company, SERVPRO of West Erie County uses professional-grade equipment to help with the toughest of jobs and produce amazing results for our clients. Having a powerful dehumidifier is a very important tool to have. But what type of dehumidifier do our customers actually need?

That decision usually comes down to two types; Low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) and Conventional dehumidifiers. Of these two, LGRs are more efficient. They incorporate an extra step in the cooling process which leads to lower air temps in the moisture-filled space.

LGR dehumidifiers use three different types of precooling systems:

  1. Heat Pipe System – this system collects hot air, cools it, then heats and evaporates it once more. This process is repeated over and over with the aim of removing moisture from the air.
  2. Thermal Siphon System – this system uses a stacked hot and cold coil to perform the same type of repeated cycle as the heat pipe system.
  3. Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger – this system uses air to transfer heat rather than liquid refrigerants.

Conventional dehumidifiers condense water vapor by passing air over refrigerated coils. They also contain a heat pipe that prevents frost from forming. When compared to LGR dehumidifiers, Conventional models are not as efficient at removing moisture and drying environments with large volumes of water.

At SERVPRO of West Erie County, we take pride in having state of the art equipment and technology that help our professionals do their jobs and  deliver the greatest results. If you are experiencing water damage, call SERVPRO Of West Erie County at (814) 806-1987.

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Mold in Your Home Series - The Bathroom (Part 1)

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold around bathtub caulking.

Mold is a fungus that sprout microscopic spores. What causes mold to grow in your home?  It needs the right conditions. 

  1. Mold spores need to be present in order to grow.
  2. Mold needs a food source like wood or cotton or drywall.
  3. Mold needs warmth. It doesn’t grow in freezing temperatures.
  4. It needs oxygen, which is in the air.
  5. It likes darkness and can’t grow under ultraviolet lights.
  6. And, it loves moisture, humidity, dampness.

Mold loves humidity. When it’s rainy outside and the humidity is high, mold can start to grow and can grow quickly. This is why, when you experience water damage, SERVPRO wants to start remediating your damage immediately to help avoid growth in your home.  If you live in an area with high humidity, which can be an issue for Erie, PA residents because we live near a body of water, then mold can be a recurring problem.  Erie residents need to keep the conditions that contribute to mold growth under control.

Our series will start with the Bathroom.

The bathroom is a very moist room due to showers, baths and toilets. If not properly ventilated, it is a perfect place for mold growth.

Where to check for mold in the bathroom.

  1. Check shampoo bottles, wash cloths and loofahs.
  2. Check tile, showers, sinks and toilets
  3. Under the sink where supplies are stored
  4. Check shower curtains, toothbrush caddies.
  5. Around faucets and shower heads.
  6. And, bathroom rugs

Bathrooms are rooms that have an environment perfect for mold growth. Tips to fight against mold in the bathroom.

  1. Wash items often such as towels, wash cloths, shower curtains and rugs.
  2. Replace loofahs and toothbrushes regularly.
  3. Use a ventilation fan while showering and make sure it is vented properly.
  4. A dehumidifier or air conditioner keeps humidity down.
  5. Keep all surfaces (showers, sinks, toilets, tile, floors) clean and dry.
  6. Check for leaky faucets and toilets.

If you still find yourself in need of mold remediation, call SERVPRO of West Erie County at 814-806-1987.

Why Choose SERVPRO for Biohazard Cleanup

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO of West Erie County technicians are trained to dispose of contaminated content properly

In the world of restoration, fire and water damage can be very overwhelming to a property owner. However, property damage resulting from a suicide or an unattended death poses great risk to the policyholder and adjuster.

Our technicians at SERVPRO of West Erie County are ready to respond during your time of need. We are highly trained in bioremediation and truly understand the science behind the decontamination process. 

In every biohazard crime scene there are always health risks. The process to recovery begins with restoring the surroundings so that there is once again a refuge to come home to at the end of the day and find peace.

Our biohazard technicians at SERVPRO must follow mandated employee safety regulations and decontamination procedures to ensure safety for all. These regulations that are in accordance with federal, state, and/or local regulations and are in compliance with OSHA, EPA and the State Environmental Agency.

The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations as well. Our SERVPRO of West Erie County technicians are trained to dispose contaminated content properly and are also trained in the proper use of cleaning agents. It is important to report, test, and communicate to the adjuster and policyholder why some content is being removed, disposed, and or cleaned with proper equipment.

Our biohazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO of West Erie County are trained to be compassionate and sensitive during a crime scene investigation and during a traumatic loss of a loved one. We will work with you and your insurance company so that work can begin immediately. 

Call SERVPRO of West Erie County for all your restoration and cleaning needs at (814) 806-1987 and stay connected with us on Facebook.

ERIE Supports Those In Need With Smoke Detectors

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

The amount of time a person has to escape a fire is down to less than 5 minutes

“They don’t make’em like they use to” is a saying that rings true for a lot of things. In terms of fire safety, it applies as well. Dating back as far as the 1960’s, a person had up to 20 minutes to escape a house when fire broke out because of the slower burning materials used in home construction.

Today, because home construction incorporates of a lot of plastics and vinyl, the amount of time a person has to escape a fire is down to less than 5 minutes. So, it stands to reason that the importance of having a smoke alarm that can activate within seconds of a fire starting becomes of the utmost importance.

Over the past decade, the Erie Bureau of Fire Prevention & Investigation supplied city homeowners who needed smoke alarms with free ones through a federal grant. The grant covered 8,000 alarms back in 2013.

After a similar grant was approved in 2017, the city purchased another 4,000 smoke detectors for distribution to city homeowners in need.  A portion of those were distributed to those with hearing impairments. Hearing-impaired detectors include strobe lights as alerts or vibrating sensors that could be placed under a mattress or a pillow.

These distributions have been a part of an Erie Bureau of Fire project in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health. The project, called “Protect the Place You Call Home,” began in 2006 as a way of identifying city residences without alarms. At the time the project started, about half of the houses visited by city firefighters didn’t have alarms, didn’t have enough alarms or had alarms that didn’t work. The Erie Bureau of Fire has given out about 22,000 smoke alarms since 2006.

Free smoke detectors are available in Erie and the surrounding areas through the American Red Cross of Northwestern Pennsylvania. If you are in need of an alarm, please call the Red Cross at (814) 240-7667 and provide your name, phone number and address. A volunteer crew will be sent to assess your home and provide and install alarms.

For fire, smoke or soot damage restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806-1987. We provide 24-hour emergency services and can help to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Happy Easter!!

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

A Very Special Easter by SteelehouseMedia.com

It’s Time for Easter in Erie, PA

From the Owner’s desk of SERVPRO of West Erie County

Happy Easter to Everyone in Girard, Fairview, Millcreek, Harborcreek, Edinboro, Summit, Springfield, Washington, Cranesville, McKean, Erie and any other city I haven’t mention in Erie County.

On occasion, I would like to share with you something that has impacted me or touched me.  The link below will take you to a short video that tells the Easter Story from a child’s perspective.  Every year, at Easter, I remember this video and feel the need to watch it because it makes me smile.  I then desire to share it with someone else. This year, I would like to share with the people of Erie, Pennsylvania. Take notice to what is eaten during the last supper, and the gesture used when talking about something crazy, and even the use of cell phones to spread the word. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Easter!!  Enjoy the holiday with family and friends.


Electrical Wiring and Old Houses

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Knob and Tube Wiring

We think of the wiring in our home as the arteries of power that feeds everything electrical in the household. Do you wonder if parts of it can become damaged or deteriorate over time? Can it present a serious fire or shock hazard? Any of these questions can be answered by an experienced professional. Only an experienced professional can answer to the condition of your old wiring and if your power panel can handle the electrical load of your home.

There are a few things to keep in mind to help with the beginning assessment of old wiring.

  1. Identify old wiring: Knob and Tube is the oldest type of wiring and we have seen this in some of the older homes we have serviced in Erie, PA. These systems date back to pre1940. Knob and Tube may lack grounding that is needed for safety. You can keep Knob and Tube wiring according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) but you must follow local codes when adding to or changing.
  1. Knob and Tube becomes dangerous when the wiring insulation wears away. There can be a problem when alterations weren’t performed properly and to code. And, there can also be issues with covering it with building insulation.  All these can be potential fire hazards.

If you have concerns about your wiring, contact a professional electrician.  If you have a fire, contact the professional fire restoration specialists, SERVPRO of West Erie County.

How Erie Became to Be!

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

The Erie Stone on Parade St.

In 1795, Andrew Ellicott and General William Irvine were commissioned by the State of Pennsylvania to layout the town of Erie. PA.  At the foot of Parade St. is a stone known as the “Erie Stone”, which is the starting point to laying out the town. This information can be read on the “Erie Stone”; it is inscribed there. The town was laid out in three sections, each one mile square extending from the bay south to Twelfth Street. Each section of land had a center which was to be reserved for public use, such as a park. Central Park and Perry Square were the first public areas.

There are at least 8 other markers within walking distance of the “Erie Stone” marker. American Fort, Erie Heritage, Erie Area Native Americans, Fort Presque Isle, Fort de la Presqu’ile, French Fort de la Presqu’ile – 1753, Russian Town, and Hero of Gettysburg. Go to the Historical Marker Database link below for more information.


SERVPRO of West Erie County is proud to be part of the Erie Community.

What Affects the Cost of Water Damage Restoration

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

It’s a very stressful situation when water damage occurs at your house.  You immediately want professional help that will clean and restore your surroundings.  But, there are also concerns of whether you have insurance coverage? Will your policy cover the cost? If the policy doesn’t cover the damage, what will it cost you? 

How do we determine the cost of water mitigation?

According to IICRC (The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) http://www.IICRC.org/what-affects-water-damage-restoration-cost-a-192.html

The extent of the destruction will be the most determining factor when calculating price. Most companies bill by the square foot, so professionals should be hired right away to keep the problem from spreading and becoming more expensive.

Another major part of the cost is the type of water that caused the damage. The dirtiness of the water is classified by Categories.

Category 1 – is the cleanest type.  Examples are rain water and clean tap water.

Category 2 - sources contain some chemical or biological agents that can pose a health risk if they come in contact with a person. This usually includes discharge from appliances like washing machines.

Category 3 - sources pose an extreme health risk and normally include active biological agents that can cause serious illness. Sewage and ground flooding produce Category 3 threats.

Companies will charge more when dealing with Category 2 and 3 than Category 1 sources because additional cleaning with specialized chemicals will be required as well as protective equipment and gear.

The location of the destruction will also dictate price to an extent, as some materials are easier to replace than others. Replacing baseboards is relatively easy and inexpensive. Replacing drywall is more expensive and time consuming. Changing out carpet is even more expensive and requires additional time.

Not performing the cleanup properly can affect the cost too.

While some people may choose a water damage restoration company by cost alone, a homeowner must make sure they are dealing with certified professionals. If the house is not cleaned out thoroughly, lingering moisture will cause major problems down the road that will be even more expensive to fix. For these reasons, a homeowner should only select a reputable company with a strong training background and one certified in this area of restoration.

We recommend that you choose us, SERVPRO of West Erie County.

Pricing a Water Damage Restoration Job

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

You probably wonder how we determine the cost of a water damage job.  We discussed in a previous blog that there are various factors affecting the cost of cleaning up after water damage such as the category or dirtiness of the water, the size of the area affected, and the different components affected such as walls, floors, ceilings and contents.

Knowing all this, how do we determine a price?

We, SERVPRO of West Erie County, use various tools to make pricing standard and acceptable to insurance industry standards. We use customary rates.

We want our customers to know how these prices are derived so that they can feel that they are getting treated fairly.

There are three factors to pricing fairly. 

  1. We use a tool called “Xactimate”. Xactimate is an estimating software of national influence that features a price list with standard and customary prices. According to the Xactimate web page, Xactimate is the industry's most powerful and comprehensive solution for property claims estimation. It is the number one choice for restoration professionals, thanks to its accuracy and flexibility throughout all stages of the repair process.

We draw your rooms in the software according to square footage. We then, attach line items that are task-oriented pertaining to your damage. 

  1. We adhere to industry standards that are established by a standards-setting authority. The most prominent of these organizations is called the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC has set standards that say how many air movers and dehumidifiers should be placed on a water damage job. This is based on cubic footage, square footage, and linear footage.
  1. The third tool is a SERVPRO developed tool called DryBook™. DryBook™ has the IICRC rules coded into the software. The application tells us how many air movers to place in your room and how many dehumidifiers are allowed based on the size of the room according to acceptable standards.

So, with information from the above three areas, we have tools and guidelines that tell us how to accurately handle and price the water damage job specifically for your home.

In closing, we want to let you know that our pricing isn’t based on who you are, where you live or if we are in need of business. It’s based on rules and guidelines. We want to be fair and consistent with our customers.  We want to focus on doing the best job for you, at the fairest price.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Coverage

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Scenario 1: Your basement pipes froze and burst. You don’t realize it for a couple of weeks. Now there is inches of water on your basement floor with mold starting to grow.

Scenario 2: Broken shingles on your 50-year-old roof is allowing water to leak into the attic. Water is saturating the wood and insulation which is leading to mold in the attic.

Scenario 3: You don’t think much about the mold forming in your shower until one day you notice how unpleasant it looks and you’re concerned whether it may be causing health risks.

Do any of the above scenarios sound familiar? Or, have they happened to you? Do you think your insurance policy would cover these scenarios?

Most the time, these scenarios are not covered by the insurer. Home insurance policies usually don’t cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity. Also, Insurance companies typically don’t pay for maintenance issues that insurers think a homeowner should have prevented such as properly ventilating a bathroom or maintaining lower humidity in a basement. The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by a flood. Thus, if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home policy.

Let’s discuss what options there are if you are unsure of your policy coverages for disaster preparedness.

How do I know what my homeowner’s insurance policy covers?

A homeowner’s insurance ‘usually’ does not cover the following:

  • Mold
  • Sewer Backup
  • Floods
  • Sinkholes
  • Earthquakes

A homeowner’s insurance ‘usually’ does cover the following:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Vandalism
  • Damage Caused by vehicles
  • Theft
  • Falling Objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Frozen Pipes

These are accidental and sudden incidents. Insurance companies typically cover this type of damage. Non-weather-related water damage is one of the most common home insurance claim and one of the most expensive!

What To Do:

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if there is any language or endorsements for claims concerning mold, sewer, flood, etc.  Some insurers require special add ons to cover mold, sewer backup, floods, etc. The insurance company may also place limits on the coverage which means limiting how much the insurer will pay for a related claim. Call your insurance agent to review the coverage you have and discuss the limit/coverage you desire. The least expensive insurance policy is not always the best.  You may be giving up coverage you think you automatically have with a homeowner’s policy.

                Last but not least, if you experience a loss that you know will be covered and need to file a claim then always remember SERVPRO of West Erie County is just one call away! Our professional technicians will get your lives back in order and your home restored the right way, "Like it never even happened."

Benefect® Antimicrobial Agent

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold. The thought of mold, fungus, or any other unwanted organisms that can wreak havoc on both your mental and physical health in one’s home can be extremely alarming. However, for some the thought of using harsh chemicals is just as equally alarming, so what is one to do?

Fear no more! SERVPRO of West Erie County would like to introduce you to Benefect®, the world’s only authentically botanical disinfectant! Harnessing the power of the essential oil from the thyme plant as its active ingredient, Benefect® and its line of products kills 99.999% of specific bacteria, viruses, and fungi. By only using ingredients that are either F.D.A (Food and Drug Administration) approved as Food Additives or on the United States G.R.A.S. (Generally Recognized as Safe) list Benefect® enables SERVPRO to bring a health conscience alternative to your mitigation needs. Whether it be mold, water damage, or even biohazard, Benefect® can be used to safely mitigate your home or commercial property during a catastrophic event.

Here at SERVPRO of West Erie County PA we favor using Benefect® for the following:

  • Commercial and Residential Kitchen Cleaning
  • Public and Private School Cleaning
  • Community Centers
  • Day Care and Nursery
  • Residences with an emphasis on organic living
  • And many other buildings and facilities where the use of harsh chemicals is prohibited

With any questions about the uses of these amazing products please contact us at SERVPRO of West Erie County Pennsylvania for all you’re cleaning and mitigation needs.

(Source: www.benefect.com)

Spring Cleaning

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Spring cleaning

As spring fever hits us all, it is time to say goodbye to that dirt and those germs and get your home in shape for the spring! We want you to take advantage of these spring cleaning tips to make your home as fresh as possible. 


-dust crown molding and baseboards

-wash window blinds

-polish wood furniture

-clean air vents

-change air/furnace filter

-replace batteries in smoke detector

-remove rugs to shake out, then vacuum, then clean under them

-touch up paint

-wash table linens

-clean shower curtain and liner

-polish faucets

-clean dryer vent

-clean inside washing machine

-empty washing machine drain pump

-clean out garage

We hope these are useful to you and aid in you getting your home in shape to have a great spring! 

Presque Isle : Bucket List

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

presque isle beaches

As the weather in Erie County is starting warm up, Presque Isle is definitely an attraction that everyone should get to. It is very large and has many things to do there, visitors will have a great time and certainly not be bored.

Things To Do

Spend time on the beaches- The 11 miles of beaches is what makes Presque Isle the magnet for locals and tourists from all over the region.

Eat a hot dog at Sara’s

Check out the kites-On the western end of the park you will find Sunset Point situated between Beaches 9 and 10.

Take a loop on the Multi-purpose Trail-The paved trail starts right when you enter the park and continues around the entire perimeter of the park, ending just about where you started, 13.5 miles later.

Listen to the music-For six weeks in June and July, Beach 1 is transformed every Wednesday night into a free, open-air concert venue.

Check out the North Pier

Hunt for beach glass- If you enjoy looking for the needle in a haystack, you will likely enjoy the hunt for beach glass.

Explore the lagoons-Bring your canoe, kayak or other boat down and explore the many lagoons of Presque Isle.

Tour the Presque Isle Lighthouse-Located near Beach 8, the Presque Isle Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse on Lake Erie’s shore.

Enjoy a sunrise or sunset- We would put a Lake Erie sunrise or sunset up against any in the tropics and feel like we had a good chance of winning.

National Burn Awareness Week

2/7/2017 (Permalink)

National Burn Awareness Week is February 5th through the 11th.

For homeowners, putting out a fire can be worse than the fire itself. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives

- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.

- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.

- Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.

- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

- Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.

- Do not clean any electrical equipment.

- Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may  set smoke odor.

 For more information, The American Burn Association (ABA) offers many different prevention resources.

Emergency Ready Profile

2/7/2017 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, for the month of February, our theme is "Ready". Any type of disaster can be devastating for a company. However, in the midst of a disaster having an Emergency Ready Profile can help you and your company be "ready" and limit the damage as much as possible. 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.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

- A no cost assessment of your facility.

- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

History of SERVPRO

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

Ted and Doris Isaacson started SERVPRO Industries in 1967, originally as a painting business out of Sacramento, California. With experience in cleaning and restoration they changed the company into a franchisor of cleanup and restoration. The first franchise was bought in 1969, since then SERVPRO has continued to grow. 

They then relocated their corporate headquarters to Gallatin, Tennessee in 1988; placing itself within 600 miles of 50% of the United States. SERVPRO sold it's 1,000th franchise in 2000. In 2015, The Tennessean listed SERVPRO as one of the top workplaces in the state. Today SERVPRO has over 1,700 franchises across the United States and Canada. 

With a proud history, a successful present, and a bright future SERVPRO will continue toward becoming the leading cleaning and restoration company in the world. 

Water Damage Tips

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

"Like it Never Even Happened"

What To Do After Flooding

-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
-Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
-Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
-Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
-Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
-Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
-Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
-Gather loose items from floors.

What Not To Do After Flooding

-Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
-Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
-Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
-Don't use television or other household appliances.
-Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.


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