Recent Posts

Why you Need a Sump Pump

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever had water in your basement or crawl space? Some basements and crawl spaces may get water inside of them after a heavy rain, quick thaw, or a long rainy season. Installing a sump pump in these areas can help keep these spaces dry and stop your property and contents from sustaining water damage. You can choose to install a sump pump yourself of have a plumber come and put it in for you. Sump pumps can be purchased from your local hardware store and usually require approximately a 2 foot by 18 inch hole to set in. Water flows into the hole and immediately gets pumped out through a pipe that leads away from your home.

When you have the sump pump installed, somethings you should consider is:

  • How will the sump pump run if the power goes out? Generally the sump pump is plugged in, and therefore would not work if there was no power going to the home. Storms often trigger the power to turn off, so an alternate power source is important. You could keep a generator handy to hook up if the power were to go out. Another option would be to have a back up battery that would automatically turn on if the power went out. The battery would need to be able to withstand long periods of inactivity.
  • What if my sump pump stops working? We often recommend to homeowners to have a back up sump pump handy and ready for use should yours stop working. It can take a lot of time to get a plumber out to the house to have them fix the sump pump, in this case, you would want to be able to hook up an alternate sump pump in the mean time to stop the sump pump pit to overflow causing water damage to your home.

Dryer Maintenance

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

There are many things in the home that should be checked on a regular basis to stop possible damage to your home. Have you ever checked your dryer vent to see if it is plugged? A plugged dryer vent could stop your dryer from running sufficiently and could possibly cause a house fire.

Dryers that are centrally located in the home are the most at risk of plugging up because the duct system is longer than ones that are located on an exterior wall of the home and vent directly to the outside.

Reasons for a dryer plugging up are:

  • Excess lint build up. Over time, lint builds up in the dryer ducting and can cause a blockage. It’s important to unhook the ducting 1-2 times a year and thoroughly clean it out from any lint or debris that may be blocking it. If possible, you can simply use a vacuum and vacuum out the dryer ducting. However, if your dryer ducting is longer and is ducted through different areas you may need to have someone do this for you. Call our office and we’ll schedule an appointment to have your dryer ducts out for you! We have special equipment that can thoroughly clean all of the dryer ducts.
  • Nesting pets. The dryer ducts can be a warm place for animals to borrow into. Animals may bring debris into the ducts to crate a home for themselves causing possibilities for fire damage. Checking that the ducts are not plugged will help ensure that this does not occur. 
  • Stuck exhaust hood flappers. From time to time, check the exhaust hood flap to ensure that it is not stuck.

Water Damage Inspection Checklist

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

When a water damage occurs, the water may travel to places in your home you didn’t even think of. It’s important to consider all of the possible places the water may have traveled to thoroughly understand where the affected areas may be. Make notes during your inspection so that you can relay your concerns to the remediation company and your insurance company.

  • Exterior damage- damage to the exterior of your home from water can cause structural damage which may affect the integrity of the home. Make sure to check the foundation, windows, doors, porches, decks, sidewalks, landscaping, fence and slope of your property. 
  • Interior damage- when water damage occurs inside your home, it can cause damage to your contents and the components that make up the building of your home. It’s important to check the flooring, walls, attic, basement, stairs, inside of cabinets, windows and doors.
  • Roof damage- when water intrudes through the roof of your home it can also cause damage to your attic/crawl space and any insulation that may have been in the way of the water coming in. Additionally, the soffits, fascia, gutters, downspouts and shingles should be inspected. This will help you determine if they need to be fixed or replaced. It will also help you determine if further water damage may occur if left alone.
  • Electrical system- if water affects your electrical system, you could be at risk of having a fire start, a short, or parts of your wiring system no longer working. Additionally, check your water heater, air conditioner, furnace, appliances, light fixtures and wall outlets. If necessary, bring in an electrician for their professional opinion.
  • Plumbing system- excess water can cause damage to your plumbing. This can cause backups causing further water damage. It’s important to check your pipes, faucets, sewer lines and septic systems.

No Job Is Too Large

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

When your commercial property undergoes a devastating loss, you should feel confident contacting SERVPRO for help! We know the importance of getting your business up and running again as soon as possible. We understand that your business needs to be running in order to thrive. That’s why we will do everything possible to make that happen. 

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of the best, highly trained people in restoration. We have special large loss training and highly experienced people leading this department. Our large losses are handled directly by a commercial operations manager to ensure we are working efficiently and seamlessly to help your business.

If needed, our SERVPRO will bring in other highly trained franchises to help with manpower and to provide additional equipment. 

Our SERVPRO has provided large loss commercial property restorations for schools, universities, the hospitality industry, property managers, municipalities, etc. Our specific franchise has over 20 years of large loss work. We have provided services from damage due to flooding, fires, hurricanes, blizzards and more!

We are available to help you out 24/7, 365 days a year. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for help or with any questions you may have.

Concrobium Mold Stain Remover

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a large list of specialty branded products to clean a variety of different surfaces and materials. We do not sell these products to homeowners or commercial property owners, for the majority or our branded products, they are made for our employee use only. One of the products we have to remediate mold is our Concrobium® Mold Stain Remover. This product is an innovative mold stain remover designed to quickly and easily remove mold stains. Our concrobium physically separates mold from the surface to fully remediate the affected area. After the concrobium is sprayed on the affected area, we will allow the area to dry. Once dry, we will complete a thorough HEPA vacuuming to clean up any residual mold.

This product is safe to be used on most hard, non-porous or semi-porous surfaces. These surfaces include wood, composite wood, concrete, masonry, drywall, grout, fiberglass, tile, plastic laminate and metal. Concrobium Mold Stain Remover was made to remove cosmetic mold stains from surfaces. 

If this product sounds like it would be helpful to remove mold stains in your home or property, please feel free to call our office. We can send out an estimator to look at the affected area and provide a detailed estimate on the cost of removal and the amount of time the project would take. From there, you can move forward to schedule to have our team provide remediation for you.

Avoiding Mold in Your Bathroom

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Bathrooms are one of the most common areas of the home where mold occurs. Steamy showers with bad ventilation and possible leaks from the toilet, shower, tub or sink are the most common reasons for mold in the bathroom. However, you can prevent mold from occurring by watching out for these things:

  • cracked or missing caulk- when caulk is cracked or missing, it allows water to get behind the wall or under flooring. When water pools and gets trapped, mold could begin to grow. You can prevent this from happening by recalling around the bathtub, sink or toilet. 
  • Bad or no ventilation- some bathrooms lack an exhaust fan allowing the steam from a hot shower to properly exit the bathroom. Without an exhaust fan, the steam causes the walls and flooring to dampen which could cause mold growth. Other times, the exhaust fan is not hooked up correctly or is for show rather than actually venting to the outside. A properly installed exhaust fan vents to the outside the remove the steam from the air. 
  • Broken seals- when seals around toilets or pipes break, they cause leaks that you likely can’t see because the leaks occur behind walls or under flooring. 

Sometimes these leaks are are only found when flooring and walls are opened up and exposed. 

Spring Fire Safety Tips

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Spring Forward Safety Tips!

We recently moved our clocks forward an hour to get ready for spring and prepare for the warmer weather coming our way soon. This is the time of year we begin spring cleaning our homes, preparing to spend more time outside, doing repairs and refreshing our lives. This is also a great time to check things in our homes like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

SMOKE ALARMS
According to the National Fire Protection Association Association, 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms. Now is a great time to test your smoke alarm to make sure it still works and replace batteries if necessary. If your smoke detector begins making a chirping noise, that is a sign that you need to immediately replace it. The NFPA recommends having a smoke alarm in every bedroom and on each level of your home.

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can have harmful affects on people and animals. CO alarms should be installed outside in a central location outside of bedrooms and on each levels of the home. Some smoke detectors are also CO detectors. Use the same rules for CO detectors as you use for smoke alarms, check that they are working and check their batteries.

FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN
Now is also a great time to review your family emergency plan with the people who stay in your home. It’s good to remind everyone of the plan and make sure everyone is on board. Should any changes be necessary to the plan, now is a good time to discuss that as well.

EMERGENCY KIT
Because we never know when disaster may strike, it’s important to have an emergency kit in your home and car. During your spring cleaning, check to see if any supplies need to be restocked or replaced in your emergency kits.

Tree Damage

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

In the recent snow storm, a lot of trees and tree limbs fell. We saw pictures of trees falling in people's yards, on fences, and on people's homes. Trees can cause a great deal of damage, especially those that fall on houses. This can cause damage to roofs, exterior walls and windows.

Here are some tips for what to watch out for before the storm:

-Keep an eye on cracks in tree trunks and large limbs

-Watch out for hollowed, aged and decaying trees, trees that lean to one side

-Branches leaning over the roof or close to the house

-Any trees or branches that are close to or hover over utility lines

All of these things are cause for potential dangers to your home and property. Do you know someone who performs tree removal services? Getting contact information for someone who performs tree removal services is great to have on hand for emergency situations.

Before a storm hits, it's always good to remove dead, diseased or damaged tree limbs. Prune branches close to the house and near utility lines.

In addition to paying attention to the trees, you should also check gutters and remove any debris you might find to prevent a water back up in your gutters. Having a water back up, could cause damage to your ceilings bringing the storm inside your home.

After the storm has passed, be sure to re-evaluate your property. Take precautions and remove any trees or branches that appear damaged. If necessary, call a professional to help.

  

Covering Up Mold

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Over the years, we have talked to many home and business owners about mold. We have talked to people who have tried to get rid of the mold on their own and then decided that they need our help. You should know, we’re here for you! We’re here to answer your questions and remove the mold from your home safely and effectively.

We have talked to home owners who have sprayed mold, scrubbed the surface mold, painted over it with paint or Kilz. All of these techniques have ended with the same story, “the mold came back”.

The mold comes back because in these circumstances, your simply covering up the mold or removing what can be seen on the surface. These methods are not actually removing the mold completely from the materials where the mold has invaded.

Materials in your home that mold grows on can be very porous, therefore, even though you cant’t see if anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist under the surface. Likewise, painting over the mold or spraying the mold covers it up for a limited time before the mold continues to grow and penetrates the new surface. Completely removing the mold will remove potential toxins from spreading and affecting the air you breathe.

When SERVPRO gets a call to remediate mold, we ensure that the job is done properly. We start out by containing the area where the mold exists. We HEPA vacuum all areas around where the mold exists. The HEPA vacuum is able to trap the smallest particles of mold. Following this step, we would continue with remediation specific to the affected materials where the mold exists. The whole time that remediation is occurring we run air scrubbers to continue to filter the spores out of the air.

Facts About Smoke and Soot

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  
Smoke and soot facts:
* Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
* Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
* The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga, and Oswego Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
* Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
* Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
* Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage??Call Us Today – (315-457-3432)