Recent Posts

Mold remediation-What is it?

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

People often ask the question, what is mold remediation? Those who do not work in the mold industry may not know what mold remediation is or the procedures needed to properly get rid of mold.

It is first important to know that mold spores exist naturally just about everywhere. If you have an industrial hygienist come to your property to complete mold testing, they will test the air outside and in different areas inside your property. When the hygienist performs testing, they are looking to see what the spore count is in certain areas and what types of mold are present. Based on the testing, it can be determined what exactly needs to be done in order to remediate the mold in your home or business.

When performing remediation, it is important to follow proper procedures. First, you want to make sure the underlying problem causing the mold growth has been stopped. If your property has a moisture problem, you can remove the areas of mold that are currently present. However, the mold will continue to grow and further remediation will be necessary.

The affected area should be contained. Often to contain an affected area we set up a plastic containment barrier specially created to keep mold spores from exiting the affected area. Containment barriers should be set up around any openings in the room such as closets, hallways and doorways that lead to unaffected areas. Vents should be covered so that the spores to not get into your duct system.

Proper air filtration is necessary. SERVPRO uses air scrubbers to filter the spores out of the air while work is being completed. This step is important because while contaminated materials are being removed or cleaned, mold spores are being thrown into the air. The air scrubbers draw air in from the nearby surroundings and pass it through filters to remove contaminants.

What type of materials the mold is growing on determines the methods taken to remediate the mold. Some of the methods used for remediation are:

  • Removal of the material
  • Dry ice blasting
  • Mold stain remover
  • Mechanical steel grinding

Should you have any questions regarding mold, please call our office at 315-457-3432.

Exterior Services

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Did you think SERVPRO only performs mitigation and restoration inside of residential and commercial properties? We also do work on the exterior of properties when affected by water, fire or other mayhem.

The picture below is a commercial building that experienced smoke damage when a car parked on the street next to the building caught fire. The building was covered from top to bottom with soot. We used one of SERVPRO’s newest products, a water-less masonry cleaner to clean the soot off of the outside of the building. This square area was a test patch that we did to ensure the product would work to the customer’s liking. The owner of the building was extremely happy with the results of the restoration we were able to perform.

Our SERVPRO can pressure wash vinyl siding that has been affected by smoke damage to make it look fresh and new.

Another exterior service we provide is board-ups and roof tarping. We have an emergency crew available 24/7 if you experience a broken door or window that needs to be boarded up while waiting for a repair. If you have a leaky roof, we can tarp the roof until repairs can be made to stop further damage inside of the home.

Defense Against Mold Growth

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

It is important to start mitigation as soon as a water damage happens to avoid mold growth. Mold can start to become visible in as little as 24-48 hours depending on the conditions. Many times, water damages are not found immediately which makes it vital to respond to water damage as soon as it is found. Mold can be harmful to you and your loved ones, as well as, the building structure. Somethings you can do to fight mold growth: 

  • Keep the humidity between 30-60 percent
  • Provide proper drainage away from the building structure
  • Inspect plumbing and appliances regularly
  • Keep gutters and drains free from debris
  • Inspect windows, doorways, roofs and other areas where water may enter
  • Don't leave it, respond to all water intrusions immediately
  • Call us if you experience water damage!

Celebrate Summer Safely

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Summer in Central New York is the time to enjoy the great outdoors! It is however, important to keep safety in mind. Please consider the following tips in order to enjoy being outdoors with friends and family in a safe way to keep you and your loved ones safe all summer long!

  • When using charcoal grills, only use start fluids designed for BBQ grills. DO NOT add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight. You want to avoid having a gas leak which may cause a fire to ignite outside of the grilling area. Applying soapy water to the hose will easily help identify any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up any camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area.
  • Clear any vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire.
  • Extinguish the fire before leaving the site or going to sleep.
  • Store liquid fire starters away from the tent area and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

Steps to Take After Fire Damage

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be understandably overwhelming. Here are the first steps to take after a fire.

  • Make sure the local fire department has given the okay to go inside the residence.
  • Call your insurance company so they can start a claim and initiate paperwork. If you are a tenant contact your landlord.
  • Call loved ones to let them know you are okay and inform anyone who wasn’t home what happened.
  • Secure the residence to prevent theft by locking doors and covering windows or holes. If you need help, give us a call! We offer board up services to secure the property. 
  • Get a copy of the fire report by contacting your local fire department.
  • If the residence is uninhabitable, contact a friend or relative in the area to see if you can stay with them or the American Red Cross for assistance.
  • Notify your employer, friends, family, post office, children’s schools, delivery services such as newspapers, utilities, telecom services and the police all of your current move.
  • Consider the cleanup requirements. Does all of your contents need to be cleaned? Does every rooms need to be cleaned? Was the affected area contained to certain rooms in the home?
  • Talk to your insurance company about what your policy covers before having a cleanup and restoration company come on site.
  • If counseling is needed, especially for small children, don’t be afraid to seek help.

How to Save Your Furniture After a Water Damage

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Having water damage can be very frustrating and exhausting. We often hear from customers that they have tried to move all of their contents from an affected area, mop up the standing water, and fix the source of the water damage themselves during all hours! We spend our hard earned money on things that make our houses a comfortable and enjoyable environment. The last thing we want is to lose expensive or sentimental pieces of furniture.

There are a few things you can do in order to save your furniture from being ruined in a water damage situation:

-Assess what items have been affected by the water.

-Take pictures to document the water damage and specific pictures of items that have been damaged due to the water.

-Move any furniture out of the affected area that can be moved. The less time the furniture can be sitting in the water, the better. If you cannot move the furniture, try to put something underneath it that gets it up out of the water. For example, you could use wood blocks or aluminum foil.

-If you have wood furniture that has been affected by the water, make sure you put it somewhere it can air dry. Keep the furniture out of direct sunlight as direct sun exposure could cause the wood to crack or warp.

-Apply mayonnaise to any furniture that is lightly water damaged. Apply a thin layer of the mayonnaise and let it sit on the water damaged area for 1-2 hours. Use a damp cloth to remove the mayo from the area. This should remove the water damaged areas.

Black Mold

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of North Onondaga County, we often get calls from customers with questions or concerns regarding black mold. People worry about how harmful black mold is to their health, how to get rid of it, and how to stop the mold from coming back. In this blog post we will try to create a quick reference on the subject of black mold.

The scientific name for black mold is Stachybotrys Chartarum or Stachybotrys Atra. Black mold usually grows in moist areas with poor circulation. Mold often produces a strong odor. There are many types of mold which have a similar appearance to black mold. An industrial hygienist would be able to identify whether or not the mold you have in your home is black mold or another type.

Mold affects everyone differently. The American Industrial Hygiene Association advise that pregnant women, infants and children, the elderly and the immunocompromised, those with allergies, asthma or respiratory conditions are at risk to more severe side effects than others. 

If you suspect that black mold is in your home there are a few steps needed to correctly get rid of the mold and keep it from coming back. First, you need to figure out where the mold is in your home. You may need to call an Industrial Hygienist to complete an assessment of your home. The hygienist will complete a moisture intrusion assessment, air and surface sampling and relative humidity testing. This investigation will determine what kind, how much and where the mold is present in your home. From knowing these items, you will be able to figure out what is causing the mold to grow and what area of your home mold remediation is necessary. It is important to fix the problem that is causing the mold to grow. For example, if there is a leaky pipe dripping into an area causing mold to grow, the pipe should be fixed before mold remediation takes place. Next, you will need to remediate the mold. By disrupting the materials that mold is growing on, you can easily spread mold spores into the air multiplying the spores rather than reducing them. It is important to contact a company who specializes in mold remediation to get mold levels back to normal. At SERVPRO of North Onondaga County our technicians have are highly trained mold remediation specialists. Our technicians have Applied Microbial Remediation Certifications and have completed the New York State Mold Abatement Worker Course.

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

With the increasing amount of technology, we are often able to predict storms before they happen. However, natural disaster can happen without much warning. Though, it is important to be prepared and understand what it takes to be prepared. It is often joked about that the only job that you won’t get fired for being wrong is being a weatherman. Whether we believe the storm will affect us directly or not, we need to trust the possibility that if a storm is predicted to hit a specific area and prepare of the worst.

How should you prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster?

-Prepare to be without electricity for several days. Here is a list of very basic items you should have on hand:

>You should have a couple flashlights with extra batteries. Candles and matches.

>Food that will not spoil and does not need to be heated to be eaten or kept cold.

>Plenty of bottled water. Some sources say as much as 1 gallon of water per person per day.

>Blankets and clothing stored in a plastic container that won’t get wet if flooding should occur.

>First aid kit.

>At least a week’s worth of any prescription medication and any over the counter medication you may take.

>Toiletries such as paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, tooth paste and tooth brushes, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer.

Remember that stores and gas stations can get overwhelmingly busy when everyone is trying to prepare for a storm. Be patient and understanding during this time. It is easy to become anxious as no one truly knows what will happen in the days or hours to come.

-Watch the news and stay current on what is happening. In some areas evacuations may be necessary. It is important to know what is going on and what safety measures are being recommended.

-Create a family communication plan. In case you get separated from your loved ones, make sure you have a plan of how you would get back in touch with them. Often we hear on the news that family members were evacuated separately from one another. If this were to happen, you would want to have a plan to get back in touch with your loved ones so that you know quicker that they are alright.

-Be flexible with your plans. Circumstances may change in a moment’s notice and it is important that we remain flexible in our plans. The area you’re in may not be expecting initially to get hit with the eye of the storm. However, this can change very quickly and officials may decide to evacuate your area. You need to be prepared to do so with very little time so that you and your family can get to a safe zone.

Grilling Safety Tips

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is finally here and we all know what that means…. grilling time! Who doesn’t love a nice steak or veggies cooked on the grill while basking in the sun? It’s easy to forget that while grills are a great way to cook food in the summer, there are some hazards that go along with them. Here are some tips to remember for safe grilling. 

  • Use your grill outside and away from low roofs. This will not only prevent toxins from lingering in your home but will also prevent potential fires.
  •  Place the grill on a flat surface away from anything that may catch fire such as trees, shrubs, fences and hedges.
  • Do not grill with loose clothing or dangling bits that can catch fire or are flammable.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. It’s also a good idea to have a small squirt bottle fill with cold water nearby to douse any minor flames.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.
  • Smoke and char contain chemicals that have been linked to health problems including cancer. Do not stand over the barbeque and inhale the smoke if at all possible. While char stripes may look good on your steak, char has been known to contain cancer causing toxins. Cook the meat to your liking and then remove it from the grill before too much char builds up.
  • Bristles from wire brushes have been known to get stuck on the grill and then people’s food which enters the digestive system causing abdominal pain. Use a different kind of nylon or plastic brush to clean your grill to ensure no one digests these harmful bristles. If you already use a wire cleaning brush or plan to continue using one, just make sure you check your grill before cooking to clean any bristles off.

Follow these simple safety tips for a fun and safe grilling season!                              

Fireworks Safety

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

When most people think of summer, particularly the Fourth of July, fireworks come to mind. While it’s best to just let the pros take care of bright light displays, we realize that many people often ignite their own fireworks. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while lighting off your own fireworks.

  • Never let young children handle fireworks.
  • Ensure older children are supervised closely by an adult when using sparklers and remind them to keep the sparkler away from their body, clothing, hair and others.
  • Store fireworks in a cool damp place until usage.
  • Do not use or buy illegal fireworks. These typically have names such as M-80, M-100, quarter pounder or blockbuster. Illegal fireworks account for the majority of accidents cause by fireworks in the first place.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Read the labels on all fireworks before igniting so you are aware of safety precautions and performance of each.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your hand or pocket as they could ignite due to friction.
  • Never light fireworks in a metal or glass container.
  • Wear protective goggles when lighting fireworks off or if you happen to be near the ignite site.
  • Always have a bucket of water nearby and a hose just in case.
  • Never reignite a dud. Wait twenty minutes and if it still hasn’t gone off, place it in a bucket full of water away from people, structures and flammables for several hours.
  • Never point a firework at someone, even in jest.
  • Ignite fireworks outdoors in an open space away from people, homes, brush and other flammable substances.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water for several hours before throwing them away.
  • Do not pick up firework debris until several hours after the display as many of pieces may still be hot and can cause burns.

Please keep these Safety tips in mind when setting off fireworks this season!