Recent Posts

Different Types of Smoke

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that there are actually different types of smoke which can cause damage to your home and contents during a fire? When we access the damage caused by fire and smoke, we take into account the cause of the fire and the type of smoke damage. This way, we make sure that the proper cleaning supplies and techniques are used to clean the fire and smoke damage. Just like there are different methods you would use to get a stain out of your favorite shirt based on what kind of stain it is, we use different cleaning methods based on what kind of smoke caused the damage to your home and contents.

Wet Smoke is occurs when plastic and rubber burn. The fire most likely burned at a lower temperature than other types of fire and leaves a very strong, pungent odor. Wet smoke leaves a sticky residue. There are often smoke webs in the corners that can be difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke often occurs when paper and wood burn. These materials burn quickly and at very high temperatures. The smoke rises and can cause a lot of damage to the ceilings and even higher levels that were not directly affected by the fire itself. 

Protein Fire Residue occurs from evaporation of material rather than an actual fire. This type of smoke can be hard to see, but causes a discoloration or paints and varnishes. Protein fire residue has a very strong odor which can be hard to get rid of.

Fuel Oil Soot often happens when a furnace has a “puff back”. This is caused when a furnace malfunctions and the HVAC system throws smoke throughout the home by way of the duct system. The furnace will need to be replaced or repaired before cleaning can begin to ensure that the problem does not occur again. A duct cleaning will also need to be performed so that left over soot in the ducts doesn’t get thrown around the affected areas again. 

No need to worry about figuring out what type of smoke damage you have, our SERVPRO team will assess the type of smoke that has affected your property and decide what cleaning methods will be the best.

What Causes Mold to Grow?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

What causes mold growth? - - Gmail

Did you ever wonder what causes mold to grow? Why sometimes you might see mold in places that have not experienced water damage or water penetration? 

Mold is found everywhere, in the air, on surfaces inside and outside. There are many, many different types of mold. Mold can grow on any substance where moisture is found. 

Mold reproduces by tiny microscopic spores. That is why when we perform mitigation in an area that has preexisting mold, we do not place air movers. The air movers will push the spores around, waking them up and causing them to reproduce at an increased rate. Instead, we like to keep the conditions as still as possible and try not to disturb the mold until we can remediate the mold. We also use air scrubbers to scrub the air clean of any spores that may get thrown into the air. This will stop the mold spores from being able to reproduce. 

There are three main requirements for mold growth: 

  • Moisture- When mold spores land on moist surfaces, they begin to reproduce. Typically mold found inside grows in an area that may have experienced a water damage. If flooring and walls are not properly dried, mold growth can begin. Indoor plumbing can have leaks that are disguised by the surrounding structural materials. This kind of mold damage is often unexpected because the leak went on undiscovered for so long. 

Flooring that is over crawl spaces that do not have vapor barriers can be prone to mold growth as the water condensates seeping into the floor. The underside of the flooring may be wet, but the floor may not be noticeably wet from the perspective that we walk on it. 

Mold is often found initially by sight of smell. Mold can go undetected for a long time as it can grow behind wall paper or paneling, under carpeting and padding, on the back of drywall, etc. 

  • Food for the spores- Food sources for mold in buildings include dust and dander, cellulose-based materials such as wood, cardboard and paper. 
  • Warmth- Mold typically does not grow in colder temperatures. Mold grows best between 77-86 degrees. However, mold can grow when temperatures are between 32-95 degrees. 

Should you have any questions about mold, please do not hesitate to call our office at 315-457-3432. Our office staff are trained on mold remediation techniques and can help you get started on solving a mold problem you may be having.

Damaged Contents

9/30/2017 (Permalink)

When we think of storm and water damage, we often think of structure damage. Did you know that SERVPRO offers content restoration for your affected contents as well? Your contents can be your most valuable and meaningful belongings. We wouldn't want you to have to throw away damaged contents because the water damage they may have endured leads to mold damage and staining. 

Our technicians are specially trained to restore contents damaged by mold, water and smoke. Our technicians start by spot cleaning items to determine what cleaning techniques will work best based on the materials the item is made of and the type of damaged the item sustained. 

The types of cleaning we offer are: 

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

If your home or office requires extensive restoration, a pack out may be required. In this case, the SERVPRO team would inventory and pack out all contents and move them to our office. There, the team would clean all contents and store them in our climate controlled containers until you are ready to have your contents brought back. 

We work with you for 100% of this process letting you make decisions and offering solutions to possible problems along the way. Pack outs, storage, and pack backs are often covered by insurance. We work with your adjuster to ensure they understand any type of necessary cleaning and pack out.

Hurricane Cleanup

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Hurricane Cleanup - - Gmail

On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread devastation throughout Texas and Louisiana. The area was affected by flooding and destruction from the Category 4 hurricane. Houston's total rainfall during this storm exceeded 50 inches of rainwater. 

SERVPRO mobilized Disaster Recovery Teams from around the country to help the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Over 400 teams initially deployed fully equipped with equipment and supplies to perform mitigation and restoration. 

Then on September 10th, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the southwest of Florida. Flooding and wind damage affected Florida and Georgia. Many people lost power, gas and water. Again, SERVPRO dispatched additional Disaster Recovery Teams to help clean up the affected areas and help families affected by the storm. 

After Hurricane Irma landed on the Florida coast, our SERVPRO sent one of our operations managers, Matthew Balch to go down and assist with the clean up. Our thoughts are with those affected by these disastrous storms. We hope that the families affected can recover quickly and get back on their feet. SERVPRO Industries is working as hard and quickly as possible to make sure things run smoothly so that we can help as many people as possible.

Our SERVPRO sent a team down to Florida to help out with the Hurricane cleanup. We are currently helping perform mitigation and restoration in a country club. Our crews are working as quickly as possible so that the country club get get up and running again.

Maintaining Your Electric System

8/5/2017 (Permalink)

Each year many fires break out in homes and commercial buildings due to a failure in the electrical system. While not every electrical fire can be prevented, there are precautions which can be taken to lessen this risk. 

Electrical fires can be caused by:

  • Broken wires
  • Wire insulation drying out
  • Loose switches or receptacles
  • Overheating caused by dirt an oil

Allstate Insurance company recommends that you have your electrical system checked by a licensed electrician every four years. Having an electrician assess the electrical system will ensure that your home or building is up to code and that any issues are addressed. If you see an appliance that has a broken wire, fix the wire immediately or replace the appliance. While replacement may be costly, it will reduce the chance of a fire. Tighten any switch or plug that appears loose. It is important that switches and plugs are secure. Remember not to overload outlets. If necessary use an electrical adapter with surge protection.

Studies show that faulty wiring is the number 1 cause of electrical fires. Watch for warning signs of faulty wiring:

  • Flickering lights
  • Breakers that always trip
  • Fuses that blow
  • A burning smell when appliances are plugged in
  • Outlets/switches that spark when plugging in or unplugging an appliance
  • Discoloration around outlets

Remember that prevention is the key to safety! Electrical fires spread quickly and can be life threatening and costly. Call your local electrician if you have specific questions or concerns about something in a home of building that you own. Working with electrical work can be very dangerous and it is important to hire an experienced technician to complete any necessary electrical work. 

Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

7/8/2017 (Permalink)

Flood watch vs flood warning - - Gmail

We have been hearing on the news a lot lately that there is a "flood watch" or a "flood warning" in effect. It is important to understand the lingo so that we can be prepared for what is ahead of us. Since the beginning of this year, we have gotten record high rain falls. Many areas of New York State have flooded or had possible flood warnings issued. Knowing what to prepare for can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

A flood watch simply means: be aware. The conditions in your area are right for flooding to occur. 

Steps you should take are: 

Listen to your TV and /or radio to get the latest updates and emergency instructions. Download an app to alert you of possible warnings or instructions to follow if conditions worsen.

Know where to go should you need to seek higher ground.

Check your emergency kit to make sure your ready for anything! Or create one if you don't currently have one. Search the internet for suggestions of what should be included in your emergency kit!

Prepare your house for flooding by moving outdoor furniture inside and moving items to somewhere it won't be damaged should flooding occur in your home. 

Disconnect electrical appliances.

A flood warning means: take action! Flooding is either already underway or will be shortly. 

Steps you should take are:

Immediately move to higher ground. 

Evacuate if instructed. Don't risk putting yourself or others in danger.

Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas. Remember, 6 inches of water can knock you down and 1 ft of water can move your vehicle.

Precautions You Should Take During Flooding

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Precautions You Should Take During Flooding Picture from

There are certain precautions that should be taken when flooding occurs in order to stay safe. Please consider following these steps to be safe in flooded areas:

Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded areas. You don't know what may be in the water below. It is better to use precaution and not go into the water than to risk drowning, getting hit with a sharp object, fall into an unseen hole or be taken by the fast current. Remember that only 6 inches of water can knock down an adult, less for a child.
When evacuations are necessary, list to local officials and get out while you can. This will save yourself and rescue crews from being put into dangerous situations. 
When flash flooding is possible, move to higher ground. It is better to be safe than sorry. It is easier to move to higher ground before the flooding occurs than to get trapped and not be able to get out. Flash floods are the number 1 cause of weather related deaths in the US according to FEMA.
Avoid driving through flooded areas. One foot of water is enough to move a vehicle and leave you unable to control the vehicle's destination. 
Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These ares can quickly flood.
If you have notice of possible flooding, but sand bags around your house in areas that might allow water intrusion. You cannot stop all water intrusions, but this step might save your home from possible water damage.

Large Loss Services

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties has the capabilities to provide water mitigation, mold restoration and fire restoration for your commercial building quickly and efficiently? Our SERVPRO franchise has approximately 20 employees that will mobilize quickly when you need our services.

Should your commercial building experience a large loss, we can quickly activate more SERVPRO trained teammates from other SERVPRO franchises to help us get your building back in order so that you don’t lose revenue. SERVPRO has mobilization teams that travel across the country as needed to support recovery after large storm or disaster events. These teams are familiar with handling the work that goes into a large loss project and are trained to work as efficiently as possible. In the 24 years our franchise has been in business we have brought the mobilization teams in to help a handful of times. Each time, we have had successful outcomes.

Timely mitigation is the key to controlling damage, downtime and recovery costs. Our crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year. SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties is dedicated to providing detailed and consistent communication to make our customers aware of job status and progress toward completion.

Fireworks Safety

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Who doesn’t love fireworks in the summer time? While it is so much fun to enjoy fireworks light up the night sky, it is important to be safe! Please read these safety tips to ensure you have a fun, safe night!

Safety Tips:

-Check to make sure that fireworks are legal in your area before buying and using them.

-Read instructions for proper use of the fireworks thoroughly before use.

-Do not allow young children to play with fireworks unsupervised.

-Do not hover directly over the fireworks at any time when lighting the fuse.

-Do not attempt to re-light fireworks that didn’t ignite on the first try.

-Keep water easily accessible in case of a fire or other accident.

-Do not point fireworks toward another person.

-Do not consume alcohol when using fireworks.

Facts about Fireworks:

-Sparklers are 15X’s hotter than boiling water.

- Approximately 200 people go to the ER everyday from June 17th-July17th with injuries related to fireworks.

-People ages 25-44 make up 40% of injuries reported from fireworks.

- There are 2X’s as many fires on July 4th than reported any other day of the year.

Have fun, but remember to be safe!

Water Intrusion

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Intrusion

Have you ever had water leak into your home through your roof? If so, you understand the ways a roof leak can cause damage in your home. If you haven’t experienced a roof leak- you’re lucky!

It is important to understand the condition of your roof. Knowing that roof maintenance will be needed and what types of maintenance will be required can be helpful! Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly, it helps to know in advance so that you can prepare.

If water starts leaking into your home it can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.

Damaged shingles is one of the most common sources of roof leaks. Having damaged or missing shingles, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Missing or damaged shingles will allow a lower layer of the roof to be exposed to nature’s elements and can allow water to seep through the uncovered spaces.

Nails that have backed out due to extreme weather should be hammered back in securely. When the nails are raised or fall out, allows water to seep in.

Flashing that is improperly installed or have been damaged allows water to enter through gaps. Have them inspected to ensure they are properly installed and are well maintained.

Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof. This would cause water to possibly intruder into your home through the underside of the roof. If you notice water stains around the perimeters of your home, water maybe backing up into your home from your gutters. Also, gutters that are not pitched properly don’t allow the water to flow the correct direction to the downspouts causing the same damage as a clogged gutter.

Skylights often have leaks if they are not installed properly or have seals that are worn and cracked. Water can seep into the home from the skylight causing damage.

Sometimes water damage from a roof leak goes undiscovered for a long time because of the insulation in the attic or crawl space. It takes a lot of water to seep into the home, soaking the insulation before it reaches the ceiling and walls. In some cases mold forms before water intrusion from the roof is noticed.

If you think your roof needs attention, call a roofer to have them inspect your roof. They can tell you what kind of shape your roof is in, inform you of any repairs that are necessary and give you a quote for the repairs.