Our journey continues

WeAreOne

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…..


Massaro_JoeUSE thisONe_croped

Article by Joe Massaro III, President

jamiii@massarocg.com

Six Facts about Water Damage

water-damaged-ceiling-1151517-1280x850

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.


Tavella_Franco

Article by Franco Tavella, Business Development Executive
ftavella@massarorestoration.com

What is a negative air environment and why is it important?

MRS containment area

Performing disaster restoration work, as in other construction activities, can create a good bit of debris including dust and odor.

A containment area that creates a slight vacuum pressure within the containment may need to be constructed in order to prevent dust and other airborne particulates from escaping into other areas of the structure. The industry calls this creating a “negative air environment”. The goal of a negative air environment is to have air rush into the containment (as opposed to air rushing out of the containment) whenever a door is opened or other containment breach occurs (leaks, etc.). The action of air rushing into the containment effectively prevents dust and other particulates from escaping the containment area. Note that the need for an effective negative air environment is especially acute in medical (immunosuppressed patient & sterilization concerns) and other “clean” facilities.

A negative air containment system is first built by creating an enclosed “near air tight” space using existing walls, ceilings, and plastic sheeting where needed. Specialized air scrubbers equipped with HEPA filtration systems are then installed to exhaust the containment air to the outdoors or into an exhaust system within the building.
To ensure that a vacuum is present within the containment area, a device called a manometer is typically used. Its function is to indicate the presence of a vacuum in the containment. For many medical and other clean environments the amount of vacuum pressure (typically expressed in inches of water column) must be continuously measured, maintained (above a defined minimum value), recorded over time, and monitored with visual and audible alarms if the vacuum drops below the minimum value defined by the facility.

Massaro Restoration, an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) certified response team, utilizes digital differential pressure monitoring manometers that continuously display the vacuum pressure readings, record them over time, and will activate visual & auditory alarms if the vacuum pressure drops below the established minimum value.


Tavella_Franco

Article by Franco Tavella, Business Development Executive
ftavella@massarorestoration.com

Delivering thanksgiving

Heritage Valley Initiative_thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the act of giving thanks.” This year, we have many reasons to give thanks, but one of them is for the vital services that Heritage Community Initiatives provides to our neighbors.

For four decades, Heritage Community Initiatives has been providing a variety of programs to those within Allegheny County who are faced with socio-economic challenges. These programs include education, transportation, and life enhancing initiatives with the mission to “enable individuals and organizations to improve health, education, economic strength, and social vitality in their communities.”

Last year, Heritage was able to supply more than 2,000 pounds of food and nearly 1,000 other items including clothing, hats/mittens, books, toys, and more to the families during the holidays. This year, they provided 130 full Thanksgiving meals to families. For the past two years, our team has been fortunate enough to make a donation and volunteer with Heritage by transporting meals for their annual Family Thanksgiving. Heritage provides full Thanksgiving meals to the families of those enrolled in its education programs. During the busy holiday season it can be easy to forget about serving others, and this initiative is a great way to give back!

There are lots of ways you can get involved with Heritage Community Initiatives such as volunteering, donations of needed items (nonperishable food items, children’s gifts, etc.), or through monetary donations. If you are interested in getting involved with Heritage, please visit their website: http://www.heritageserves.org.


mcgee

 

Article by Jennifer McGee, Marketing Coordinator

jmcgee@massarocg.com

 

 

Water loss mitigation is a science

water-drops3

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

ftavella@massarorestoration.com

 

 

How to Survive a Sharknado in the Burgh.

SharknadoPittsburgh

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.

SHARKNADO-EMERGENCY-ESCAPE-DEATH-BY-THE-SKIN-OF-YOUR-TEETH-PLAN:

  • 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

mchist@massarocorporation.com

 

 

 

 

 

SUBCONTRACTOR SPOTLIGHT: Air Duct Maintenance, Inc.

AirDuct

 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.

 

Where Life Changes for Kids and Families

Banner

As the holiday season approaches, many people are in the giving spirit. People open their hearts for generosity and feel a sense of satisfaction helping others.The staff at Auberle, located on Hartman Street in McKeesport, open their hearts to the community year round.

 

In 1952 Auberle opened its doors. The faith-based Catholic agency’s mission is “to help troubled children and families heal themselves”. Auberle offers a plethora of services for children, youth, adults and families including foster care services, in-home crisis intervention, shelter services and transitional living. The goal is to invest in children to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. They also believe strong families build strong children and serve over 3,000 at-risk children and families each year. Serving in seven southwestern PA counties, 60% of the clients are receiving services in the home, school or local community.

Recently, Auberle has partnered with employers to give at-risk youth on the job training. This partnership has been titled Auberle’s Employment Institute and enables youth to develop skills such as work ethic, timeliness and accepting criticism. By gaining real experience, the at-risk youth is able to lessen skill gaps and have higher opportunity for employment in the future.

Auberle recognized as Agency of the Year in the United States by the Alliance for Children and Families. Auberle has also received the Wishart Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management by the Forbes Fund.

Massaro Restoration Services, LLC is honored to be able to work with such a noble organization.


Hinchberger_AndreaAndrea Soltis, Business Development Representative
asoltis@massarorestoration.com