Our journey continues


Our Journey to Performance Excellence, which we call the Expedition, is ongoing.

The primary focus of the Expedition is on accountability, process (development, deployment and evaluation), continuous improvement, and ongoing organizational and personal learning. The expected outcome is that we will be able to deliver reliable excellence for our customers. We will develop a culture of excellence where everyone understands that good is not good enough.We will excel in all that we do. As leaders we constantly remind our people that excellence is “every, every, every”; that excellence is a way of being and thinking. It requires a collective choice to go beyond the ordinary, to strive rather than settle. This is no easy task in an industry prone to excuses for the myriad of things outside our control. Nevertheless, we know there is a better way. We know that we can and will do more and better for our customers.

This past week we held our Q2-Q3 planning meetings with our Six Disciplines coach. As we reviewed results for our Vital Few Objectives, we took note of the vast improvement we’ve made since we set out on our journey. I thought to myself that we are truly in the midst of a transformation. I then remembered a message I saw on the wall in one of the classrooms at Oakland Catholic where my daughters attend high school.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words,  Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

If our destiny is to deliver reliable excellence for the benefit of our people, customers and the community (which is our mission), then it has to begin with the belief that attaining excellence is both possible and desirable.

Once we establish that belief, excellence will become part of our collective thoughts, our words, our actions, our habits, our values and, ultimately, OUR destiny.

Our journey continues…..

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Article by Joe Massaro III, President

Six Facts about Water Damage


When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bath tub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Some relevant conversions:
 14 cubic feet of air weighs 1 lb.
 1 gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs.
 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot.
 1 cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 lbs.

No need to remember all of this scientific stuff, at Massaro Restoration Services we put our expert knowledge to work in getting you quickly back to normal after a water loss disaster.


Article by Franco Tavella, Business Development Executive

Water loss mitigation is a science


Mitigating damage caused by water leaks, spills, rain penetration, or flooding is not simply sucking up and fan drying the offending water. Anyone who only relies on these means to remove unwanted water from structures or contents is simply not doing it right.

Water extraction is an evolved science that encompasses a professional assessment of the water damage and the creation of a plan of action for recovery. The professionals in this industry are Certified Water Damage Restoration Technicians (WRT) or Certified Mold Technicians (CMT). They utilize established equations and properties of materials, psychrometry (the study of gas-vapor mixtures), an understanding of mold and microbial activity, and water restoration equipment technology to determine the set of industry accepted mitigation protocols to use.

The use of equations, properties of materials, and psychometrics is needed because water behaves differently depending on its state (liquid, gas, or solid), temperature, the type of material it has penetrated (wood, dry wall, ceramic, concrete, cloth, etc.), and the environmental conditions (relative humidity & temperature). Once all of these parameters are known, calculations are made to determine the most efficient extraction rate possible without causing additional damage.

Mold and microbial growth is possible in the presence of water so it’s vital that the offending water be extracted as soon as possible. Although everyone has seen mold in the past, in many cases mold is not visible. Determining the presence of non-visible mold requires a Certified Mold Technician to take swab samples of the affected material and send the samples to a certified lab for analysis.

There is a wide range of water restoration equipment available to perform water extraction. Suffice to say that it is important to have the right equipment selected for the particular water restoration job at hand.

As you can see, it’s impossible to describe water restoration science in a short blog (or in laymen’s terms for that matter). My goal was to try to impress upon you that there is a lot of knowledge that goes into professional water restoration. The good news is that we, at Massaro Restoration, have this knowledge so you can feel at ease that the job will be completed at the highest levels of excellence as possible.

Tavella_FrancoArticle by Franco Tavella, Business Development Executive



How to Survive a Sharknado in the Burgh.


Last week cable and the internet blessed us with the second coming of Sharknado. And it’s no surprise that the folks at Massaro Restoration were carried away by the hype. The first 10 minutes of our Friday’s marketing meeting was spent discussing this pressing matter. It eventually devolved into us describing our fantasies of Sharknados coming to Pittsburgh.

Look, I don’t need to apologize for a moment of twisted daydreaming. We are a disaster restoration company, and mythical storms are great for business. We have kids in college and mouths to feed, so even an F-2 sized-Shark-twister would put food on the table (not counting the endless supply of shark meat). Speaking of shark meat falling from heaven, for some odd reason when I think of a Sharknado in Pittsburgh, I just imagine there would be lot of pierogi debris. Honestly Sharknado in the Burgh sounds delicious, but I digress.

At Massaro Restoration, we’re very outcome focused, and it wouldn’t have been an effective meeting without concluding by distributing individual action plans. Me, being the super-important, entry level graphics guy, I was tasked with illustrating some type of Sharknado-emergency-escape-death-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth-plan. So you’re welcome.


  • Take alternate routes to avoid the overflow from the Mon Warf to the “Parkway Bathtub” both in-bound and out-bound. Those are surely to be shark filled waters.
  • If you find yourself at the Strip District you will notice more flying pierogi and bobble head debris than usual, wear appropriate headgear to protect against concussions.
  • And wait until next month to buy, “I survived the Pittsburgh Sharknado” tee shirts. The prices are outrageous right now.
  • The most horrifying thing of all will be on Route 28. Bottle necked, stand still traffic, flying dust and debris, people screaming for their lives, total chaos, confusion, and gnashing of teeth. Imagine that, but now add a Sharknado.
  • If you are at a Pirates game when a Sharknado hits, chanting, “Cue-to!” will not fix the situation. It will only cause Sharknado to drop more sharks from the sky. In fact if you find yourself at any Pittsburgh sporting event, do not boo the Sharknado just because Sharknado used to play for us but his contract expired, and he decided to sign with another team. This is a tornado-full-of-sharks and it has feelings just like any other tornado-full-of-sharks.
  • If you find yourself in the Southside on a Friday or Saturday night between 1:00 and 2:00 am, THERE IS NO HOPE. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about any Sharknados touching down. Even Sharknado is afraid of the Southside after the bars close.
  • Finally, after Sharknado subsides and we are eating delicious shark sandwiches for weeks, you’ll undoubtedly have shark damage. Currently Massaro Restoration is the leading shark-property-damage-restoration-professionals in Pittsburgh. Shark damage is a specific service we provide in addition to our main focuses of Fire, Hazmat, Mold, Smoke, Water, and Wind.

Call us for shark emergencies and other property disasters at our 24/7 Emergency Response Hotline 412-599-0023.

Christ_Mike(Resume)Mike Christ, Marketing Design Specialist






There is no greater Priority.


Odds are, most commercial property owners, property managers, and tenants don’t have an emergency preparedness plan available for use in the event of a site emergency or disaster. The reasons for this can vary quite a bit: “I don’t have enough time; it’s not high on my priority list; where do I start; how do I put it together; I can’t afford one”, etc.

The reality is … the availability of a well-defined emergency preparedness plan should be assigned a high priority and not viewed as a “nice to have” option. There are many advantages to having an emergency plan in place, including providing critical time savings during an actual emergency, avoidance of potential legal claims as a result of not having an emergency plan, costs savings from minimizing the emergency, and most importantly the elimination and/or reduction of injuries and death.

An effective emergency preparedness plan should have the following attributes:

  1. Quick and easy multi-user access over the Internet or via strategically placed hardcopy paper versions. It should be relatively simple to use and understand. An emergency plan that is too difficult to interpret during an emergency is nearly useless.
  2. It should include a list of all contacts, their responsibilities, and phone numbers.
  3. Site blueprints and marked locations (gathering/safe areas, evacuation routes, fire extinguishers, etc.).
  4. Flexibility to respond to different types of emergencies listing the procedures specific to the particular emergency.

Our team at Massaro Restoration has created an easy to use, free online template for property/site managers to use in order to create a custom emergency preparedness plan specific to their needs. The plan is called “Priority Extreme”. It is located on the Massaro Restoration website and is accessed by clicking on the Priority Extreme tab. After which you will enter your username and password and begin to build your emergency preparedness plan….all free of charge.

If you need help navigating the site, please do not hesitate to call for assistance. We are happy to help you through the program, call 412.599.0023.

We hope you never have an emergency but in the event that you do, we’ll be there to assist in any needs that you encounter. We are at your service!

043014_0173 copyBrian Reuss, Director, Massaro Restoration Services, LLC





Customer Appreciation Day Pirate Video

All of us at Massaro Restoration would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our valued customers who attended our first Massaro Restoration Customer Appreciation Day at PNC Park. We hope that everyone enjoyed the event (and the 12 inning Pirate win over the Reds) as much as we did. Please remember…We’re always are at your service.

Tavella_FrancoFranco Tavella, Project Manager





Hospitals and Construction can Coexist.


Have you ever had your house remodeled? Or spent time on a construction site? Or simply rearranged furniture in a room? Probably so, and you probably remember how dirty and dusty you and the area became. Now imagine these activities in a hospital setting where your loved one is recovering from a surgery or illness.

It’s not hard to imagine that without proper dust and dirt containment precautions, patients can easily be exposed to microbe carrying dust and dirt (yes, microbes use dust particles as flying-carpets as their primary means to get around). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one out of 25 hospital patients have an infection related to in-hospital care. By simple hand washing and other basic procedures by the hospital staff and visitors, 95% of these infections can be prevented. The remaining 5% of the infections are caused by environmental conditions such as maintenance and construction activities. Hospitals and other medical facilities have realized the need to develop formalized procedures and patient risk classifications to reduce construction/maintenance related infections. These procedures and patient risk classifications have evolved into an industry certification called ICRA (Infection Control Risk Infection).

ICRA defines a Construction Risk Assessment for hospital work, which is addressed proactively within a construction bid or prior to the beginning of the job (through the use of the Infection Control Construction Permit). Patient risks and the types of construction activities are evaluated to determine the severity condition of the potentially affected patients verses the scope of the construction activities to be performed. The patient risk groups and types of construction activities are categorized within the ICRA matrix, which was developed to give a healthcare and construction professional an objective means by which to determine, amongst other construction byproducts (noise, vibration, etc.), the degree of dust/dirt containment needed to protect the patients. Once this is known, the task of setting up the appropriate containment system is straightforward and patients are left to recover, unexposed and safe.

All of Massaro Corporation’s superintendents, project managers, and project engineers are either ICRA 8-hour or 24-hour certified. Now, we are pleased to announce that everyone on the Massaro Restoration Services team has earned ICRA Certification as well.

Tavella_FrancoArticle by Franco Tavella, Project Manager





 Massaro Restoration Services is a unique business that requires the right subcontractors for the job 24/7.

One of our most trusted subcontractors is family owned and operated Air Duct Maintenance, Inc., established in 1996 by Kevin and Debbie L’Herbier.

Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. is a certified member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and has certified Air System Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff.

“We are specialists in duct cleaning,” says Kevin. “Our goal is to help people breathe clean air in their homes and businesses.”

With thoroughly vetted employees who undergo criminal background checks, drug screening, and physicals, Air Duct Maintenance is a subcontractor who understands the importance of confidence and trust when letting someone in their home or business.

That is exactly why they are called upon time after time to respond to the needs of our commercial and residential customers to sanitize and deodorize duct work following losses from fire, smoke and water. We also count on them to follow the protocol required for specialty cleaning projects, such as mold remediation.

Professionally cleaned and sanitized ductwork can reduce contaminants such as mold, fungi, pollen, bacteria, and dust particles known to trigger allergies, asthma and other health problems.Fleet

By reducing the contaminants in the ductwork, you are allowing the air that circulates throughout your home or business to be cleaner, and therefore, healthier.

All of us at Massaro Restoration want to thank Kevin and Debbie for their years of service and commitment to providing outstanding customer service and reliability.

Click on Air Duct Maintenance, inc. to learn more and schedule an appointment today to have your air ducts cleaned today.


‘Tis the Season’ to Shop and Be Aware

Santa Claus

As the season of giving draws closer, people are putting together their shopping lists and making more purchases in stores and online with credit cards.

An NBCNEWS article says identity theft is more common during the holiday season as people are busy making purchases and running errands with less rest that they forget to focus on protecting their identity. People are more distracted and more vulnerable to scams.

Steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft include:

  • Have security software installed on mobile devices and computers.
  • Guard your social security number.
  • Monitor your credit report, bank and credit card statements.
  • Use a shredder on documents containing personal information before placing in the trash.
  • Remove your name from marketing lists.
  • Keep duplicate records on your wallet contents in a secure location.
  • Know to whom you are speaking. Do not give personal information unless 100% certain you know the person and/or business they represent.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when making credit card purchases and entering passwords and pins at atm’s and stores.
  • Mail payments from a safe location. Private home mailboxes are not considered to be very secure.
  • Destroy any electronic recording device prior to disposal.
  • Be aware of bogus shipping emails as clicking on them could load malware on your machine or take you to a phishing website.
  • Check out new merchants with the Better Business Bureau.

During this busy holiday season make sure to put your safety first…in this case, the safety of your finances and identity. If your credit cards or wallet have been stolen, contact the three reporting agencies below immediately.

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111

TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800

Experian: 1-888-397-3742

Safety Director Crystal Schafer
Article by Crystal Schafer, Safety Director




Saving Money on Your Heating and Air Bills


Many of our customers have had a variety of problems with the highest part of their house and also the most infrequently visited-their attic.

The bottom line is that inadequate roof ventilation can lead to many concerns including premature shingle failure, attic mold, and higher utility costs.

One of the first things to do is figure out the size of your attic space. Generally speaking you need 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space.

Once you know the amount of ventilation needed you can achieve this by a combination of different types of installations including vent-a-ridge (at the peak), soffit venting, baffles, and roof vents including power vents.

Common mistakes that people make include installing the vents in the wrong locations, covering up soffit vents with insulation, and over ventilating. Another common mistake (a huge contributor to mold problems) is ventilating bathroom fans into the attic-they must go through the roof.

If you buy a power roof vent they typically come with a thermostat that will turn on/off based on temperature setting. Recommended temperature settings range from 90-110 degrees. What most people don’t realize is that these units should also have a humidistat (helpful if you live in an area with higher humidity levels) for moisture control. Humidistats are sold by the manufacturer for an additional cost and should be set around 75-80%.

Remember, properly ventilated attics will lead to cooler attic temperatures in the summer extending the life of your air conditioner since it will work less to cool your home. This will add extended life to your air conditioner and roof shingles.

Article by Brian Reuss, Director






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