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Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter Smoke alarms save lives.

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Fire Damage Mitigation in Orange County

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Mitigation in Orange County Smoke can travel into many areas of the home or business leaving behind an unpleasant odor.

SERVPRO Uses Deodorization Methods to Rid Your Home or Business of Foul Odors

Sometimes after a fire ignites inside your Orange County home or business, there are more problems that get created than just burnt materials and contents. Smoke created by a blaze often travels to many areas inside the house. Smoke leaves behind soot residues and pungent, burnt odors.

After any severely burnt materials and contents get replaced, all of the soot residues inside the building get cleaned. SERVPRO’S fire damage technicians use specialized chemicals when cleaning that help eliminate foul odors. If unpleasant aromas still exist, then a final deodorization stage takes place.

When deodorizing an area, specific chemicals get used for different situations. Various odors exist based on what materials get burned during the blaze. Some deodorization techniques use chemicals that bond and react with the foul odor particles and neutralize them. Other deodorants mask unpleasant smells with more appealing odors.

To start, we apply deodorants to the air and affected surfaces. Many times deodorization gets accomplished by using hand pumps or electric powered sprayers. In more extreme cases, advanced equipment gets used during the deodorization process.

If our SERVPRO restoration experts believe that spraying chemicals does not complete the job efficiently, then other equipment gets used to create the original environment that caused the burnt odors to exist in the first place. During a fire, combustion causes smoke particles to become microscopic and penetrate many different materials. We use specialized equipment to break down chemicals so that they penetrate materials in the same way that foul odor particles did.

One way to mimic smoke behavior is with a Vaportek system. A Vaportek deodorization system consists of a compound of natural oils sealed by a membrane. The compounds then volatilize into the air and pass through the plastic membrane. Then, air currents distribute the chemicals into the air which react with and neutralize odor molecules upon contact.

Other ways to dispense deodorants into the building in the same way smoke entered, is to use fogging methods. When using a fogging system, deodorizing products get dispensed as finely divided particles in a mist. Depending on the situation we use either a wet fogging or dry fogging system to disperse deodorants into the air.

After an advanced deodorization system gets used inside your home or business, we often use powerful box fans to ventilate the area, so that dense chemicals do not exist in the air. For professional assistance with smoke deodorization call SERVPRO of Orange County any time of the day or night.

Flood Damage Affecting Orange County

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Damage Affecting Orange County Basement flooding is often difficult to work with, having massive damage within a small confined space, SERVPRO Professionals can help.

Orange County Flood Damage

Throughout history, the area in which we live has battled with a reputation of slow moving thunderstorms that cause torrential rains and difficulty with hail storms that cause constant flooding. Heavy downpours leave our drivers stranded on roadways, while several inches of golf ball sized hail cause clogged drains and become major catastrophes that interrupt our daily routines. It's a constant battle that we all face, and it spurs to mind the questions of, "Why aren't we prepared?" and "Who do we call for help?" 


We have many services available to assist with restoring your  property in Orange County when flood damage strikes. You can start by contacting our locally owned and operated office to assess the flood damage on your property as soon as possible. Don't let this typically serious and costly disaster that affects your lives go unattended. Whether you have a single room or an entire building affected by flooding, we can help. We have the personnel and years of experience dealing with floods of all sizes. 

Any area of your home that is in direct contact with flood waters needs a damage assessment and professional inspection performed immediately. Quick and efficient services assist with preventing subsequent damage from developing. SERVPRO technicians understand that different areas of your home are more likely to be affected by flooding than others and should be prepared to defend against future damages. 

Basements commonly take on several inches or even feet of water at a time and water ends up resting in this low-lying area with nowhere else to go. Basement flooding is often difficult to work with, having massive damage within a small confined space, SERVPRO Professionals can help. To prevent costly damage to your belongings stored in your basement, you should consider storing everything a few inches off the ground for protection against flooding. 

SERVPRO uses extreme caution when working in a flooded basement. We have access to both portable and truck mounted water extractors that assist us in removing any remaining water, with water detection devices and air moving equipment that help dry the surrounding area as quickly as possible. Broken glass and other dangerous contaminants get caught up in the flood waters and may cause hazards that you should avoid.

Facts About Flood Damage

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Facts About Flood Damage Flooding is important to take care of quickly.

Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days. 

With only a few inches of water, you can have many hundreds to thousands of dollars’ worth of flood damage in your home or commercial building. A flash flood can often bring a wall of water that is 10 to 15 feet high. New construction in your neighborhood can change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks. Most insurance plans do not include flood damage, and this must be purchased separately, in most cases. 


Some Other Interesting Facts About Flood Damage 

Prevention Tips:

 The average cost of flood damage is around $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of damage and where the water came from, so any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them.

  • An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
  • Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year. 
  • Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base. Ask everyone in the family to stand in the bathroom, after flushing and watching for any tell-tale leaks. 
  • Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly. 
  • If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit. 
  • Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors. 
  • Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out. 
  • Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections. 
  • Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake. 

Protecting yourself from a thunderstorm when you are outside

3/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Protecting yourself from a thunderstorm when you are outside Thunderstorms can strike unexpectedly. Be Prepared.

Finding yourself outside during a thunderstorm can be extremely scary.  While the safest thing you could do to protect yourself from being struck by lightening is to find shelter, sometimes shelter is too far away.  

Before going on any outdoor adventure, know the daily forecast and the weather patterns of the place you are going to visit.  If there is a high chance of thunderstorms for the day, opt to stay inside and plan your trip for another time.

According to the National Weather Service, there are still several ways you can protect yourself if you are outside during a thunderstorm and cannot find shelter.

  1. Plan ahead.

  2. Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.

  3. Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects.  If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.  

  4. If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.  

  5. If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area.  Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lightning.  

  6. Stay away from water and wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles.  Water and metal do not attract electricity but they are excellent conductors of electricity.  The current from a lightning flash will easily travel long distances.   

Snow could cause flooding

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Snow could cause flooding Excessive amount of snow fall.

This winter we have not had a crazy amount of snow but there was many days of a couple inch snow falls that add up. Outside it may look clear and the grass looks dry. Underneath the ground may lie the issue of high water tables pushing water into your home or business. 

Even though snow may be beautiful, it can be harmful to your home in many ways. Most times in the New York, flooding (water intrusion from the outside) is not covered under your insurance policy unless you buy flood insurance. At this point, the homeowner or business owner would be responsible for the clean up. 

Now the clean up could be as simple as extracting the water from concrete and placing drying equipment. The clean up could be complex when it is a finished basement with sheetrock walls and carpeted flooring. 

During the winter months when there is extensive water in the ground and the flood tables are high, check your basements regularly and be prepared for anything. 

SERVPRO is always here to help with any questions you may have during the process of flood water cleanup.

Water Damage Restoration in Sullivan & S. Ulster County

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Restoration in Sullivan & S. Ulster County What Is Under The Carpet?

It is critical to deal with water damage as soon as it occurs, to prevent long-term issues. Waiting to deal with water damage could mean that the damage is irreversible. When objects become waterlogged and are left to sit, they can develop foul smells, and even become infested with mold. Working with our professional team, residents and business owners will be assured that your property is cleaned and restored quickly.

Types of Water Damage SERVPRO of Sullivan & So. Ulster Counties Treats

There are several types of watering and water damage that we can remove and restore; these include:

  • Water damage from storms or weather
  • Water damage from water pipes bursting
  • Sewer line backup and water getting into homes or commercial properties
  • Appliance leaks and malfunctions
  • Water damage from firefighting efforts
  • Toilet leaks, bathtubs, and more.

We specialize in cleaning up homes and commercial spaces that have experienced water damage. Regardless of the kind of water damage your home or business space has undergone, contact SERVPRO to discuss how we can help you restore your property quickly and safely.

Our Clean-up Process

Call our water damage and restoration team today, and we’ll send a highly trained restoration technician to your home or commercial property to assess the damage and provide a plan for the clean up and restoration. Our technicians and professional team will:

  • Remove the water from the property or damaged areas of your property.
  • Begin the drying and dehumidification process. We use state-of-the-art industrial drying machines that enable us to quickly and easily clear your home or office of unwanted and potentially dangerous water.
  • Work to save as much of the original materials and surfaces as possible. Sometimes, though, it is essential to remove severely damaged surfaces, such as drywall, and flooring to reduce the risk of mold and odor developing.
  • Clean and sanitize your property and begin restoring your home or office space so that you can't even tell there was water.

Our Water Damage Restoration Technicians are Highly Trained

We are the best water damage and restoration experts in the Sullivan & S. Ulster County area. We'll send a highly skilled and professional trained water damage restoration expert to your home or commercial property within hours of your call. Upon inspection and assessment, our experts will be able to provide you with real solutions to restore your property to its pre-flood state. We know dealing with water damage can be difficult, and our technicians will make the process easier and get you back to functioning order as soon as possible.

Mold

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Understanding Mold

When it comes to mold, all homes and businesses are susceptible. Typically, it colonizes when an unsuspecting water source forms, often in the way of a leaky roof, burst plumbing, or other. Since it can take as little as 48 hours to spread and create allergens and other harmful agents that can cause health problems, you want the problem handled fast and efficiently. 

Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and may be accompanied by a variety of poor health symptoms. If you are noticing signs that your home or business has a mold issue, call in the professionals to inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Understanding Mold

The microscopic spores that mold is made up of can be found almost everywhere indoors and outdoors. Despite what some companies advertise, it is impossible to remove all mold completely from a home or business. To understand this better, take into consideration the following facts about mold: 

  • Mold is made up of microscopic spores that float in the air. This allows them to enter your home via windows, doors, AC/heating systems, or on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

What is Black Mold?

Stachybotrys chart arum is the type of mold most often referred to as black, or toxic, mold. There has been a lot in the news recently warning about the dangers of black mold that have been alarming and confusing.

Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure.

Why Choose the SERVPRO Professionals of Orange County? 

Our professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact them. A fast response lessens the damage and consequently reduces the overall costs of mold removal.

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration. It is the cornerstone of our business. Our team has the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation, using advanced Mold Remediation Techniques and equipment for successful mold removal.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in Orange County, NY

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in Orange County, NY Restaurant kitchen fire

If you have a commercial building in that has been damaged by fire, it can be hard to know what to do once the fire has been put out. Not only will the premises be damaged by the fire, but the property may also have suffered water damage from the firefighting team and or sprinkler systems efforts to stop the fire. Other damage to your property may include:

  • Discoloration of surfaces
  • Corrosion (particularly of porous material)
  • Soot damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Structural weakness or damage

Can I clean the property myself?

Firstly if you must enter the premises ensure that you know it is safe to enter but do not be tempted to try and start cleaning the property yourself. Not only could this be hazardous to you, without specialist equipment and materials you could end up causing more damage which can add to the restoration costs further down the line. If at all possible try to limit the amount of movement within the premises to ensure the minimum amount of soot and ash being entrenched in soft furnishings and carpets which may render them unsalvageable.

The best thing to do is to call our specially trained team who will ask you a few questions to ascertain the extent of your damage and find the best solution to restore your fire-damaged premises. We will then send our expert team of fire damage restorers out to inspect the fire damage and carry out an in-depth assessment. From this, we will decide the best plan of action to restore your premises.

What do Commercial Fire Damage Restoration companies do?

Whether your business is in Orange, Sullivan or So. Ulster Counties, fire damage is devastating and can cause extensive damage to windows, walls, and roofs. This means that it is imperative that your property is properly protected from the elements while the work is taking place.  SERVPRO will make sure that all openings to the outside are boarded and covered up as well as covering any holes in the roof of your premises.

If your premises is also water damaged, the SERVPRO of Orange County will use their specialized equipment to remove all water and moisture from your property using a combination of pumps and dehumidifying units to rid the premises of water before secondary water damage causes further issues.

Once we are sure that there is an acceptable moisture level in the property.  SERVPRO of Orange County will get to work removing the damage to the surfaces of the property removing all soot and smoke damage. Once this is completed, we can then clean and sanitize all recoverable items to pre-fire damaged conditions where possible using both wet and dry-cleaning methods and give advice where an item is beyond repair. During this process SERVPRO of Orange County will use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to remove any lingering odors caused by the fire. If we can save and restore an item, we will, which will save you paying for costly replacements.

Finally, we will start the full restoration process of your commercial premises involving minor repair, which can include replacing damaged drywall, painting and replacing carpet or flooring and also major repair works such as repairing damaged walls and roofs.

Five things you need to know about water damage

2/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Five things you need to know about water damage Secondary home where homeowners did not know a pipe broke causing more pipes to break downstairs.

You've seen the signs - a soft spot in the wall here, a strange splotch of color there. Signs of water damage can pop up at any time in your home and they're not something you want to ignore. Water damage can lead to foundation damage and subsidence, but can also pose a health concern to the people in your home, too. This type of damage can be serious business, oftentimes. With that in mind, let's take a look at five things you need to know when dealing with water damage in your house.

You're not always going to see it - You've made it through the worst of it and several inches of water have drained out of your home. After a few days of airing and drying out, you feel as if your house is almost back to normal. Chances are, however, it's not. Signs of such damage are not always apparent- mold, rot, decay, and structural damage can be happening below the surface, without you even being aware of it. Even visual signs of mold may not be present.

It's not just about property damage - To put it plainly, water damage can be a health risk. Once mold is airborne it can damage the respiratory system of anyone in a house, but especially children and the elderly. Taking care of damage from water in your home is not just about keeping up your property- it's about preserving the health of your family and loved ones, too.

You want to catch it early - Water damage spreads, and what was once a small spot of damage can quickly escalate into a much larger issue. If you suspect that there has been damage from water to your home, even on a small scale, it might be best to get a damage survey done by a professional who can quickly assess your problem and take steps to reverse damage as early in its progress as possible.

The source won't always be obvious - Short of having an all-out flood in your home, there are still several "smaller" events that can cause water damage to your home, including faulty pipes, cracks in the foundation, and even the lightest rain.

It takes professionals to fix it - Fixing water damage in your home is not a DIY project. Due to some of the severe after-effects of water damage, including health risks, it's always best to have the professionals take on your water damage repair. A restoration expert can survey the damage and give you an estimate of the work and cost you're looking at, allowing you to get a thorough picture of what you need to do to get your home safe and sound once again.