Recent Posts

What is a Sump Pump and How Does it Work?

5/24/2023 (Permalink)

Water flowing out of a sump pump into nearby body of water A sump pump automatically directs excess water to a designated discharge area, such as a creek, pond, lake, or neighborhood drain.

You may have heard from your neighbors, friends, family, or coworkers about how their sump pump saved their home during a thunderstorm, but not have a clue as to what they’re talking about! So…what is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a kind of pump typically located in a basement or crawl space that removes excess or accumulated water to a place where it can be safely drained away, outside. The water may enter from drain backups, rainwater, or flooding. The device is equipped with valves that sense rising water levels and automatically pump out any excess water to a designated discharge area, such as a creek, pond, lake, or neighborhood drain.

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Having a sump pump can be somewhat of a lifesaver in times of heavy rain and storms in your area. Living in and around Cincinnati, this may be a good idea due to the heavy rain and snow we get throughout the year. This can be especially helpful if your property is on a flood-prone plot, you’ve experienced water problems in the past, or if your basement is finished.

Here are some of the advantages of installing one in your property:

  • Prevent and defend your home from flooding
  • Reduce mold, mildew, and fungus growth
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Keep the basement or crawl space drier
  • Meet a requirement for homeowners insurance coverage of basement flooding

Sump Pump Failure

Sump pumps are not a perfect preventative or protective solution to your home or business. Sump pumps do have a chance of malfunctioning, or failing, should discharge lines become clogged or frozen. The most common mechanical failure is a stuck or faulty switch, or the motor may become burnt out.

If a sump pump fails in your home causing a water backup, your homeowner’s insurance will more likely cover any damage costs due to the water damage.

As always, should your Cincinnati home or business need water damage restoration, you know who to call: SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati, the disaster recovery PROs. We work directly with property owners and insurance companies for a smooth claims process. Our crews are ready 24/7 for emergency restoration services.

Sunny With a Chance of...Thunder?

5/10/2023 (Permalink)

Palm trees in a thunderstorm The National Lightning Safety Institute says, “If you can see it, flee it; If you can hear it, clear it.”

We’re all growing excited as summer fun grows closer. The kids are getting out of school, maybe you’ve got a trip coming up, and you’re already planning the family cookouts and upcoming holidays-- life is pretty good.

The season is filled with sunshine and good times, and what most of us keep on the back burner or don’t think even about when we imagine summer is the threat of severe weather and thunderstorms.

Extreme weather can strike at any time, and it’s important to be prepared in such instances, even when times seem sunny-side-up. Here are some tips, reminders, and refreshers for Summer Storm Safety:

Being Prepared is Being Smart, and Being Smart is Being Safe


  • If a storm hits while you’re swimming in a pool or ocean, lying on the beach, or playing at a water park, remember the 30/30 rule: Go inside or seek shelter if you cannot count to 30 between seeing a lightning strike and hearing a thunderclap, and don’t go back out until 30 minutes have passed since the last thunderclap.
  • You may be able to swim in an inside pool during a thunderstorm if it does not connect to an outside pool.
  • Pool owners: don’t drain or cover your pool. Covers can become flying hazards. Keeping the pool full keeps it heavy and less apt to move. Clear away toys, umbrellas, furniture, and other items that can be damaged or cause damage in the event of a storm.


  • Have alternatives for shelter. A tent will keep you dry from rainfall but serves no protection against lightning. If you can, get in your vehicle or campsite resident building. Your tent should be a last resort.
  • Know the terrain. Thunderstorms in mountainous areas are the most dangerous due to higher elevations. Desert terrains with box and slot canyons can also be very dangerous.
  • Choose your campground wisely. If you’re looking to make camp with protection from potential severe weather in mind, try to avoid these spaces: open areas where you may be vulnerable to a direct strike, near isolated trees where you may be vulnerable to side flashes, bodies of water, high or exposed terrain.
  • Invest in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio. This is especially helpful should the weather turn in your sleep, as the device sound an alarm if there is severe weather nearby.

The National Lightning Safety Institute says, “If you can see it, flee it; If you can hear it, clear it.”


  • In any season, it’s important to have a storm prep plan in place. Even on vacation! A checklist of items to keep on hand or in your vehicle include bottled water, flashlights, first aid kit, nonperishables, whistle (or item that can be a signal for help).
  • Before going away, depending on the duration of your stay, it can be a good idea to check on your home’s insurance policy in case of storm or non-storm related property damage and update where necessary.
  • Prior to leaving your hotel or room, be sure to check your location’s weather daily and plan your activities accordingly! It’s better to be safe than sorry.

After a Storm

  • Even after a storm has settled, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that still linger: Stay away from downed power lines; Never drive through a flooded roadway; Keep clear of areas badly affected as there is risk of falling debris.
  • Only leave your house/resort/hotel once it’s officially OK to do so!

Stay Safe, Stay Smart, and Have Fun This Summer!

Your Local Disaster Recovery PROs

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO office parking lot with rainbow overhead Your local SERVPRO is Here to Help.

SERVPRO initially started as a small, family-owned painting company more than 50 years ago and has grown into the #1 choice in the cleaning and restoration industry with over 2,000 franchise locations across North America.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

With so many independent locations, you can rest assured that there is a SERVPRO just a phone call away for emergency disaster recovery needs, should you ever need it. All franchises are locally owned and operated, with people who actively live in your neighborhood.

Award-Winning Leaders

SERVPRO receives regular recognition for excellence in a variety of fields, including the 2021 Entrepreneur Award, recognized as the #1 franchise in the category and #1 in the Restoration Services Category since 2003.

Residential and Commercial Services

We proudly serve home and business owners with quality expertise in the restoration industry by working efficiently with insurance companies and individuals for a speedy recovery process. There is no job too small or big – SERVPRO is Here to Help!

Provided Services

Professional cleaning, crime scene clean-up, vehicle deodorization, mold remediation, water mitigation, contents cleaning, roof tarp-ups, fire restoration, you name it! SERVPRO specializes in many areas of restoration and cleaning. Your local franchise is ready 24/7 for emergencies.

Got a situation you’re not sure about? Just give us a call at 513-541-3200. SERVPRO is ready for whatever happens.

Fire Safety Tips and Reminders for Spring

4/7/2023 (Permalink)

Diverse family having a cookout, smiling at each other Practicing these safety precautions will ensure your spring cookouts end with s'mores, not fire damage.

Many of us associate home fire protection with colder seasons as they are the months of space heaters, fireplaces, candles, and holiday lights. However, approaching warmer temperatures still warrants for fire safety practices and awareness of potential fire hazards. As we transition to lighter layers of clothing, backyard cookouts, and sunshine, here are some fire safety tips to be reminded of:

Grill Fire Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that just under 9,000 house fires are caused by outdoor grilling annually. It is very important to keep proper maintenance of your grill, and you should ensure that each part of the grill is thoroughly checked before and during use to prevent unwanted danger.

This includes checking the propane tank, hose, and all connecting joints are assembled properly and frequently cleaned. Something to note is to only use charcoal lighter fluid on charcoal – NEVER gasoline, diesel fuel, or other flammable liquids to start a fire. Once a fire is lit, anyone with a container of lighter fluid should not be near the grill, no matter what. Keep grills located 10ft away from homes or tents, and away from overhanging trees.

Outdoor Fire Pit Safety

Like grills, fire pits are an enjoyable part of warmer seasons, but can pose a danger if proper precautions are ignored. Again, NEVER use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a fire. There are many safe and recommended fire starters available to you! Always keep your eyes on children and pets near fire pits and have a water bucket or fire extinguisher at hand. Avoid tossing highly flammable materials such as pinecones, needles, and plastic into the pit. Keeping the pit area safe ensures that s’mores night goes smoothly!

Keep Your Home Debris-Free

With wildfires burning across the U.S. each year, there are prevention tactics people living in at-risk areas can do to minimize or eliminate the effects:

  • Dispose of and/or move branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings
  • Move trash, woodpiles, construction material ~30 feet away from properties
  • Remove dead vegetation and other flammable materials that are closer than ~5 feet of properties
  • Clean your gutters and under deck of leaves, pine needles, and other flammable materials

Appliance Safety

As warmer weather approaches, we may be inclined to use fans and other indoor appliances to keep cool and maintain the home as usual. Below are some key reminders for indoor appliance fire safety:

  • Major appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. NEVER use an extension cord with a major appliance
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use. If the cord is cracked, damaged, or loose, replace the appliance
  • Do not overload outlets and power strips. Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched such as under a carpet or rug

Tests and Checks

It’s important to frequently check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors function properly, and to change the batteries when needed. It is also important to check your fire extinguisher. Windows should be checked to ensure they open and close properly. Keep chemicals and paints stored properly. Recycle and get rid of old newspapers, magazines, junk mail, and other materials that just pile up. Keep stairs and landings clear for safe emergency evacuations if needed.

Insurance Review

It is advised to check your homeowner's insurance policy once a year, and update your coverage needs where applicable. Reviewing your coverage in the event of a house fire will help you be more prepared and ease a little additional distress to your situation.

Why is there a wet spot on my ceiling?

1/16/2023 (Permalink)

Letting a water spot go untreated may lead to further damage such as mold growth or higher maintenance costs.

Water spots on your ceiling are caused by excess moisture that has seeped through the above drywall, and has sat there long enough to leave a mark.

And what creates this excess moisture? A common source is condensation, but water spots can also form due to roof leaks, plumbing leaks, or hard water. Condensation can form around air vents or ducts when cool air from your AC unit comes in contact with the hotter air in your home, or vice versa with your heater unit in colder temperatures. Roof leaks can be caused by heavy rain or snow. Plumbing leaks can be caused by many factors, usually a broken or clogged pipe. Heavy accumulation of chalky deposits around faucets due to hard water can eat away pipe cavities over time, leading to drips and water spots.

There are many possible causes of water spots around your home and on your ceiling, here’s what to do if that happens:

Taking care of water spots

Water spots are best taken care of the sooner the better. Letting a water spot go untreated may lead to further damage such as mold growth or higher maintenance costs. Do not ignore water spots! Simply painting over the damaged area will only be a temporary cosmetic fix and will not lead to long term resolve such as replacing a broken pipe, upgrading insulation, installing a water softening system, etc.

Once the issue at hand is addressed and you’re looking for a Do-IT-Yourself (DIY) remedy to hide the stain, apply a mild cleaning solution bleach solvent (one part bleach and 3 parts warm water), apply a base coat of stain-blocking primer, and a thin layer of ceiling paint. If the issue needs more than a quick fix, call SERVPRO.

Getting rid of water stains can be time consuming without professional help, especially if there is mold growth present or more serious underlying issues. SERVPRO of Northwest & Northeast Cincinnati can inspect and test the area for mold, and suggest best actions to be taken to remediate the issue. We are your one stop shop for water damage restoration and reconstruction! If you notice a water spot on your ceiling, call us today to set up your FREE estimate: 513-541-3200.

We’re Here to Help.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

12/16/2022 (Permalink)

If you’re worried about flood damage, make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. In fact, according to FEMA, floods are the nation's most costly and frequent natural disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that over a 20-year period, about two out of three American homeowners will experience at least one flood event costing them $1,000 or more. While homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding (with some exceptions), you may be able to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

What To Do If Your Home Floods

When you’re faced with the prospect of dealing with flood damage, the first thing you should do is call your insurance company. Your homeowner's policy may cover some or all of this damage, but it’s important to know what rules apply.

If you don’t have flood insurance, then there are a few other things to consider: You might not be covered by your homeowner's policy if you live in an area prone to flooding, such as near rivers or streams that overflow their banks during heavy rains.  If this is the case for you, then unless there is another form of coverage (such as earthquake insurance), damage from flooding can fall on your shoulders alone and cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket!

If you do have flood insurance in place through NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), then here's what happens when a flood hits: Your home will most likely be covered up to its limit amount listed on your FEMA policy; however, if any repairs exceed that amount then they'll need approval before being made by FEMA itself (and maybe even require an inspection).

Consider Flood Insurance

Your homeowner's insurance policy probably won't cover flood damage, so consider getting flood insurance for your home.

Flood insurance is a separate policy that can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and many private insurers. It covers losses from water damage due to floods, which are typically caused after heavy rainfall or snowmelt when rivers rise above their banks and overflow onto land.

Flood policies differ from standard homeowners' insurance in three important ways: they're not required by mortgage lenders, they typically offer more coverage than basic policies, and they usually carry higher premiums than other types of homeowner's coverage.

Avoiding Financial Disaster

In addition to providing coverage for the building and its contents, a standard homeowners insurance policy provides liability coverage in case you or your family members are injured by someone else.

Homeowner's insurance generally does not cover damage caused by floods. However, if you live in a flood-prone area or have been advised by your local government agency to purchase extra protection, you may be able to purchase separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can also buy flood insurance from private insurers who sell policies through the NFIP. It is important that you understand exactly what types of losses are covered under both programs before purchasing any type of supplemental flood protection policy

Mold Removal Isn’t Covered

A mold problem is a common issue after a flood. Mold can be very dangerous, and it can also ruin your property by destroying its walls, floors, and other surfaces. Unfortunately, many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover mold removal costs.

If you’re worried about flood damage, make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover flood damage, consider getting a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for your home. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, flooding can happen anywhere and at any time—and sometimes even outside of a high-risk season.

When you experience a flood in your Cincinnati, OH home or business, give SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati a call! 

What Do I Do If My Basement Floods?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

If you have a flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati.

What to Do When Your Basement Floods

When your basement floods, it can be a serious problem. It can damage your belongings, cause mold to grow, and create a breeding ground for rodents and other pests. But luckily there are some steps you can take to make sure the water doesn’t get too deep or stay in your basement for a long time.

Find the Source

First, it's important to find the source of your problem. This is an easy task if you can easily identify where the water is coming from. But sometimes, your basement will flood without any obvious cause.

When this happens, it's time to do some detective work and figure out what caused the water to appear in your basement:

  • Check that there aren't any leaks or drips from other parts of your house or yard. You may have noticed that a leaky pipe or broken sprinkler head has been causing damage for weeks now and just didn't know about it!
  • Check all of your sump pump systems and make sure they're working properly; if not, fix them immediately so you won't have any more problems later on down the road (like when winter comes).
  • If there are no apparent causes for why this happened (like faulty plumbing), then something must be wrong with either how much rain fell overnight/weekend/etc., how much snow melted during this same period too...and so forth!

Turn Off your Electricity

Turn off the main breaker at the service panel, or if you cannot see the meter box, turn off all individual circuit breakers one by one until no lights are on in your basement. If you are unable to find any kind of power switch for the main breaker or individual breakers, call an electrician to help with this step.

Once electricity is off and your appliances have been removed from wet areas, it's safe to begin cleaning up your basement.

Clear Out As Many Things As Possible

If the water is rising, don't risk leaving your valuables behind. As soon as you spot a leak, clear out appliances or collectibles immediately if they're in harm's way. You can also take pictures of what’s there before you pack them up and store them elsewhere. 

If you have to leave your home because of flooding, make sure to bring along important documents (like insurance papers) and photos with you so that they're not lost in the chaos. Once everything has been moved away from danger, don't forget to take any pets with you!

Check with Your Insurance Company

The first thing you should do if you know your basement is flooding is to make sure that everyone in the house is safe. Once everyone has been accounted for and the immediate danger has passed, the next step would be to assess the damage. If it’s not too severe, then there are ways for you to fix it yourself – but only if there isn’t any water leaking into other rooms or causing mold growth.

If there's no way around hiring a professional contractor (for example, if there is water seeping into other parts of your home), it might be worth contacting one sooner rather than later so they can help prevent further damage from occurring while they do their job. Either way, make sure that everyone who works in this area has proper safety equipment and that nobody's at risk of falling through any weakened floors or stairs into an unsafe space below them!

If you do find yourself with a flooded basement, it’s important to remember these steps to get you through this tough time. A basement is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home, so take steps now to make sure you don’t have to deal with this problem in the future, if possible. And if disaster does strike? Don’t panic—remember our tips for dealing with flooding and follow them closely! 

The best piece of advice we have for a flooded basement is to call SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati. We will be there to restore your Cincinnati home quickly. 

How Do I Create an Office Fire Escape Plan?

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

Practice with everyone involved your fire escape plan.

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan

A fire escape plan is a key component of any office's emergency preparedness plan. This should be a part of every company's overall emergency management program, which includes evacuation plans for the building and property in case of natural disasters or other emergencies. A fire escape plan can help you evacuate your employees quickly when there is no time to waste.

Identify and Mark All Exits

Identify all possible exits, including windows. Know where you are, who is with you, and how to get out in an emergency. If there is a fire alarm system in your building, make sure everyone knows what to do if it sounds (for example: "For the evacuation signal, direct all personnel within hearing range to immediately evacuate the building through designated exit routes"). You should also have a plan for getting out if the fire starts in an area where there are no designated exits (for example: "If smoke or heat conditions preclude exiting through normal exit routes—such as stairwells—provide another means").

Designate A Meeting Place

In the event of an emergency and you need to evacuate your building, it's important to plan ahead. You'll want a safe place for everyone who is working in the building to meet once they've been evacuated. This can be a nearby landmark or tree, street corner, intersection—or even another spot on the same block as your workplace if that's more convenient.

It's best if everyone knows where they are meeting before they leave their desks. Make sure everyone has access to this information so they can share it with others who may not have seen it yet (such as people walking up from downstairs).

Practice, Practice, Practice

At the end of the day, your office fire escape plan is useless if it's never put into action. You have to practice with everyone involved and make sure they know their role in the plan.

The Plan Should be Easily Accessible

Make sure your plan is clearly posted throughout the office so everyone can easily review it. The best way to do this is to hang up a copy in each common area where you will be working.

Make sure the plan is easy to understand, and that it doesn't have any confusing or unclear language in it. If someone looks at your fire escape plan and doesn't immediately understand what they're seeing, then it won't help them when an emergency happens.

Make sure the plan is accessible to everyone—not just those who are familiar with reading plans. You want every employee who works in your office building (and even visitors) to be able to easily find the fire escape routes on their own if something happens inside that needs immediate evacuation outside onto one of these routes.

Every Second Counts

Creating a fire escape plan is an essential part of every office, but it's not enough to just have a plan in place. You need to make sure your employees are familiar with the plan and can act swiftly if they ever need to get out in an emergency.

Fire escapes should be clearly marked, whether by signs or other means so that everyone knows where they lead and what lies beyond them. You'll also want to keep your fire escape plans posted on common areas for easy access and visibility for all staff members. The plan should be easy for everyone in the office—including non-English speakers—to understand, including any special instructions for those who may have mobility issues or disabilities that affect their ability to exit quickly (elderly or disabled individuals).

We hope that you’ll be prepared for the worst-case scenario if it ever happens to you! 

We also hope that this guide helps you develop a plan of action so that when disaster strikes at your workplace or home, everyone can get out safely. When fire does strike your business, give SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati a call! We are happy to help you get your Cincinnati workplace back to normal. 

How Coordination Helps the Insurance Claims Process

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati to the rescue.

What Role Does Coordination Play in the Insurance Claims Process?

When a company experiences a disaster, whether it comes in the form of a powerful storm or a damaging fire, many parties must work together for efficient results. If this doesn't happen, the recovery and cleanup can take longer, cost more and lead to unintended consequences. The insurance process is especially susceptible to these concerns, which is why the insurance adjuster benefits from coordination from all parties. These parties include the restoration services company in Finneytown, OH, and the commercial client.

An Efficient Insurance Claim Process
Professionals seek to provide the best services for their clients, especially during difficult times. An insurance adjuster is no exception. These insurance employees prefer to work with a restoration franchise that shares this commitment. They know that working together benefits their client in numerous ways:

  • A fast and efficient restoration
  • A cleanup that follows IICRC standards
  • Lower claims costs
  • A low loss ratio
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • A restore versus replace mentality

All of this leads to the commercial client getting better service and receiving prompt payment for covered damages and repairs. A proven process and adherence to clear and timely communication are fundamental to success.
Working with one contractor helps simplify the process and comes with important benefits. As a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers in the U.S., SERVPRO has experience in all aspects of disaster mitigation and insurance settlements.

A Proven Restoration Protocol
The aftermath of any disaster presents many unique challenges for a restoration company. With the right training, a reliance on following industry standards and quality equipment, an experienced company is the best bet for a speedy and trouble-free recovery. In this manner, damages can be repaired and a business can resume operations without unnecessary delays.
Both the insurance adjuster and the restoration company are vital to disaster recovery. When these two parties work together, the process saves time and money for all stakeholders.

What You Should Know About Shutters and Storms

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Rolling panels can be easily opened and closed and are durable and come in a variety of styles

High winds that come with storms can cause damage to the exterior of your home in Glendale, OH. Learning more about various types of available shutters can help you decide what panels are right for your home.

What Are Common Types of Panels?

There are a variety of panels that can be installed on the outside of homes. The most common types of panels include, but are not limited to:

  • Plywood
  • Colonial
  • Rolling
  • Accordion
  • Storm panel

What Are the Differences Between the Panels?

Each type of shutter has its own benefits and disadvantages and knowing the differences between the different panels can be useful. The most common types of panels include various differences, such as:

• Plywood is the most inexpensive option but is normally temporary and not a long-term solution
• Colonial panels are one of the most costly options, though these panels can complement the appearance of a home
• Rolling panels can be easily opened and closed and are durable and come in a variety of styles
• Accordion need to be manually opened and closed, though they are relatively inexpensive
• Storm shutters are made to withstand high winds and heavy rains, but they are not meant for daily use

How Do You Know Which One Is Right for Your Home?

Choosing a shutter that will suit your home can be important, especially since an ineffective shutter could leave your home vulnerable to damage that may require the assistance of storm damage professionals to fix. Determining what you would like to spend on the panels can help you narrow down your choices. Once you have a price point, it can also be helpful to decide how you want the panels to function. Finally, you can make sure the panel matches the aesthetic of your home.

The right shutter can help to protect your home from high winds and heavy rains. You can better prepare for a storm by knowing the most common types of panels, the differences between them and how to choose the right shutter.