Recent General Posts

Women in Restoration Interview with Owner Katie Dobson

3/18/2024 (Permalink)

Why did you get into SERVPRO ownership?

I was introduced to SERVPRO while dating my now-husband (Andrew Dobson) and working for my now-father-in-law (Jimmy Dobson). Over the years, I got to experience each area of the business and discovered I truly enjoyed it. After Andy and I got married, we decided this was an incredible investment and ultimately got into ownership. With the help of our incredible team, my husband Andrew, father-in-law Jimmy, and I have had the opportunity to grow our business to an MMO that spans across Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Our goal is to provide the best career opportunities with the best compensation packages. We believe in changing families for the better and leaving a legacy for our own family. This business has been a key contributor in helping us work toward accomplishing those goals.

Why were you drawn to a male-dominated industry?

I was drawn to this industry simply out of opportunity, and I stayed in this industry because of a different kind of opportunity. It has become a passion of mine to help others – help clients restore their homes, businesses, and belongings or help employees build or restore their personal lives. The opportunities to change lives in this industry while adding value to our employees are so valuable to me. There are many important roles for women in SERVPRO, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a female leader in our business.

What’s the biggest piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

One of the best pieces of advice comes from my husband, Andrew. He has taught me to focus on excellence rather than perfection and work to get a little better each day. We in the SERVPRO system are a very ambitious, performance-driven group! It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison or pushing for perfection. If your goal is perfection, you will be let down time and again. Setting the bar for excellence will ultimately guide you to success in any area of your life, professional or personal.

What is one of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your business?

A few years ago, we experienced a turnover in our upper management team. We had identified managerial teammates who were no longer willing to align with our company vision. With that unalignment was an incredibly toxic culture that was permeating down to those under their leadership. This was an example that sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. It was very difficult emotionally and absolutely exhausting. However, in turning over those employees, we quickly realized that was one of our biggest blessings in business. It really allowed us to revamp many of our processes and take our business to the next level. I learned a lot about myself during that time and got to strengthen my confidence, experience, and resilience in leadership.

Who is a woman that inspires you and why?

My mom raised me as a single mother for most of my young childhood. I remember my mom working incredibly long days, often picking me up from a caregiver’s home late in the evening when I had already fallen asleep. I also remember a warm, tidy home, lots of playtime, and countless happy memories. Reflecting on my mom’s perseverance fuels my own sense of determination and perseverance in business and motherhood with my two young children. My mom showed me true strength, that love knows no bounds, and a mother’s sacrifice is immeasurable. As a woman, you don’t have to choose. It is possible to achieve personal and professional success!

My 5-year-old daughter, Quinn, is also an inspiration. Watching her watch me totally motivates me to show her through my actions how to be a strong, humble, kind, generous, fun, and hardworking woman!

How can women develop their leadership skills more?

Leadership is a continuous journey of growth and development that does not depend on a title. Women can develop their skills through intentional effort and practice. A key to leadership strength training comes from awareness of self and surroundings. It’s important to be intentional about adding value to those around you – as well as yourself! Other ways to develop leadership skills include setting clear goals, seeking mentorship from other experienced women, building a strong network, practicing effective communication skills, and cultivating resilience.

What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself?

Prayer/worship, mindfulness, and gratitude are the most important ways I try to keep myself grounded. Maintaining a relationship with God at the forefront of my heart and mind ultimately gives me the strength I need to conquer opportunities and challenges. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude keeps me levelheaded and positive.

Finding balance is a constant practice for me, but I continue to try to recognize my imbalances and work on them to take care of myself! Staying self-aware is a big part of that, as well as giving yourself grace!

I started journaling this year, and I love it! There really is something therapeutic about releasing the thoughts and experiences from my head down onto paper. Prioritizing other healthy habits like adequate sleep, clean eating, and exercise is always important… but, for me, enjoying McDonald’s fries is, too!

"As a woman, you don’t have to choose. It is possible to achieve personal and professional success!" - Katie Dobson (owner)

Proper Disposal of Fats, Oils, & Grease

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

Properly Dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease

Properly disposing of fats, oils, and grease is important to avoid clogging sewers and having them back up into yards and streets. Be a good neighbor in your New Middletown city and properly dispose of butters, sauces, dressings, and other oil based products that can clog sewers.



Pouring oils and grease down the drain cause sewer pipes to clog which leads to an overflow in neighborhoods and can run into nearby drinking water such as rivers and streams. These oils and grease back up in sewers creating globs that get stuck to the walls and cause the sewage backups that create health problems.  


Proper Disposal & Alternatives

  • Pour oils and grease into covered containers and then throw away
  • Throw food scraps in garbage
  • Reuse most oils for cooking and baking
  • Reuse bacon grease


Happy Cooking! Follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips!

Give us a call anytime at (330)536-7477

How to Make Your House Smell Like the Holidays

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

Greetings fellow readers

I am here to help your homes smell festive and delightful. I personally enjoy a more natural smelling house instead of store bought fragrances containing chemicals.

Listed below are different pot recipes to enhance the smell of your home naturally:

Fill a pot with water and simmer for all of these recipes.

Sparkling Winter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary


  • 3 sprigs evergreen or handful pine needles
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 2 pieces orange rind
  • 2 lemons, sliced

Christmas Dream

  • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cloves, whole or ground

Winter Fresh

  • 1 cup dried lavender
  • 1/4 cup dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried peppermint or spearmint

These recipes are great for removing unwanted odors in your Lowellville home. The recipes will keep the house smelling fresh for the holidays. 

Giveaway Event!

10/19/2016 (Permalink)

This month we are giving YOU a chance to win a free lunch for your office! Like us on Facebook now through 11/01/16 and you can be entered in a drawing to win. 

Stay connected with us on social media for more tips, updates, giveaways and promotions. You can also connect with us on InstagramTwitter and Google+; each social media platform includes information about our services and a wide range of tips, SERVPRO updates and giveaways.

We are locally owned with a main objective of providing services to our communities and making damage "Like it never even happened." We provide fire, water cleanup in Youngstown, Struthers, Lowellville, Campbell, Poland, New Middletown..Learn more about us on our social media pages!


9/23/2016 (Permalink)

  1. Drain gasoline and oil from your lawn mower and weed eater. This will prevent some of the chemicals in gasoline from destroying the plastic in rubber parts in the fuel system.
  2. Rake and mulch your yard to prevent the grass from suffocating.
  3. Pressure wash your deck to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  4. Clean your chimney! A neglected chimney can result in uncontrolled fires that could spread into your home.
  5. Another way to prevent a fire is by cleaning the lint trap that is in your dryer. The heat from the dryer could set fire to the lint in the exhaust tube.
  6. Fall is the best time to prepare for winter! Make sure to keep these three things available in your home:
  • Rock Salt
  • Shovels
  • Anti-freeze

Visit the SERVPRO of East Mahoning County website for more life hacks! We proudly serve our local communities:

  • Youngstown
  • Campbell
  • Struthers
  • Poland
  • Lowellville
  • New Middletown

How to Have a Great Night Without Worrying About Stains!

9/23/2016 (Permalink)


Solution: GRAB THE WHITE WINE. No, but seriously grab the white wine!! The white wine will neutralize the color of the red wine on your shirt.


Solution: … just change it, you ruined your night.

JK!! Just run to your laundry room to grab some dryer sheets and start rubbing in a circular motion. This will absorb the deodorant stain.

Problem: Your heels/flats SMELL.

Solution: Put baking soda into a small breathable baggie and let it sit in your choice of footwear.

Problem: The makeup that you intended for your face only… also made a visit to your clothes.

Solution: Apply some of the shaving cream that was destined for your legs onto the stained area. Let this sit for 10 minutes so the stain will dissolve in the shaving cream and you can wipe it carefully with a light colored cloth. Complete the process by washing it off with cold water.

Visit the SERVPRO of East Mahoning County website for more life hacks! We proudly serve our local communities:

  • Youngstown
  • Campbell
  • Struthers
  • Poland
  • Lowellville
  • New Middletown

Tips to Survive the Dark

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

Candle Crayons

Break the point off the candle and use the paper label as a wick. Light the paper label at the end of the crayon; the crayon should last about thirty minutes.

Crisco Candles

If you need a long lasting candle substitution, then using Crisco is the answer. This alternative will last for thirty days! Open a can of Crisco all vegetable shortening and insert a wick substitution, such as a mop strand or even a shred of a cotton t-shirt.

Gum Lighter

If you do not have a way to light these candle substitutions because there is no form of electricity or a lighter available, you can create a small fire with gum wrapper and a battery. Use the foil wrapper and a AA battery to create a flame. Tear the wrapper and let the foil touch the positive and negative battery terminals so the wrapper can catch fire.

Turn Your Grill into Nonstick

9/2/2016 (Permalink)

During the summer holidays most people host outdoor events such as cookouts and parties which require a grill. The most unappealing part of grilling is cleaning the spots after. Occasions like the fourth of July and Labor Day will keep a host engaged throughout the event and are incapable of becoming occupied with cleaning when there are guest and multiple activities taking place. There is a solution to avoiding sticky spots of food residue and it requires an onion! The onion should be cut in half in order to rub the cut side on a heated grill grate. This method will turn your grill grate into a non-stick appliance and reduce the amount of cleaning after your grilling experience. The procedure is cost efficient and effective which will leave your grilling experience less time consuming.

When to Schedule Your Cleaning

8/31/2016 (Permalink)

There objects and appliances that need to be cleaned monthly for a fresh and hygienic atmosphere. Staying consistent with a cleaning schedule will prevent allergies and sickness that may occur from bacteria and germs. Appliances such as washers, ovens, and microwaves only have to be cleaned once a month unless extreme food spills take place. Cabinets should be cleaned because they collect dust and become visible after a month. There are certain items in your home that only have to be taken care of seasonally. This seasonal process can be done in the spring. This is the time to search through your cabinets and look for expired food to prevent molding from occurring. Comforter and duvets should also be washed along with windows, blinds, and curtains. Washing all of those items will create a fresh room that does not contain dust or germs.  

Daily Routines

8/31/2016 (Permalink)

Everyone needs a set schedule for cleaning, there are certain objects that should be cleaned daily and some that should be cleaned once a month. It is detrimental to your health and well being to keep your environment fresh and clean to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading diseases. Wiping down your counters everyday can minimize the spreading of bacteria that may grow in your kitchen. As the kitchen being the environment where food is prepared, it should be clean at all times to avoid filth from entering your food. Emptying the trash should be a daily routine even though it is not full. There are many germs that lie in your garbage and it needs to be taken care of to avoid viruses from occurring. Adding these simple tips to your daily routine can make a positive difference in your home.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

7/22/2016 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for your fire & water cleanup & restoration needs! 330-536-7477

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

One Hour

Within one hour from notice of loss, SERVPRO of East Mahoning County will contact you to arrange for service. You'll know help is on the way!

Four Hours:

Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of East Mahoning County professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

Detailed Explanation:

A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.


SERVPRO of East Mahoning County will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of damage outward.

Eight Hours:

Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your insurance adjuster or property manager.

Cleaning & Restoration:

We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property and belongings are taken care of right the first time.

Final Walk-Through:

After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with your to help ensure your satisfaction.

For Immediate Service in Youngstown, Call SERVPRO

5/3/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Mahoning County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Youngstown, Ohio. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 - 330-536-7477

Residential Services

Whether your Youngstown home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services here:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Northeast Ohio commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services here:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration