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3 Ways Secondary Damage Can Affect Your Home After a Flood

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Ways Secondary Damage Can Affect Your Home After a Flood Water Loss after a Flood in Scarsdale

The aftereffects of a flood at your Scarsdale, NY, home can be devastating. Estimating repair costs, sorting through damaged items and gathering data for a flood insurance claim are just a few things you might be dealing with. However, even as you try to handle the aftermath, water damage could be creating issues that you may not notice until days later. From black mold to warping and discoloration of your home's surfaces, secondary damage can exacerbate your flooding woes.

1. Mold growth

After a flood, the high humidity in the area can cause rapid mold growth on walls and other surfaces. Black mold is especially common after flooding, and if you encounter this issue, it is wise to call in a storm cleanup and restoration company to remove it. This can prevent the spores from spreading to other areas, where it may take hold out of sight.

2. Warping

Once flood waters recede, items with porous surfaces, such as wood, can retain moisture and warp. This damage may not occur right away, but over time, you may notice the effects in hardwood floors and wooden furniture. Your countertops may also suffer discoloration if they were constructed with a porous material, such as polished concrete.

3. Musty or Wet Odors

Secondary damage, such as unpleasant odors left behind from dirty water, may not be noticeable until days or weeks after a flood. These odors can linger in furniture, carpeting or even in your home's interior walls, where insulation may be wet and rotting. Restoration technicians have specialized equipment that can help them locate the source of these wet or musty odors and eliminate them.

The immediate effects of a flood in your Scarsdale, NY, home can be difficult to deal with. However, problems that may crop up days or weeks afterward, such as black mold and wood rot, can be equally hard to handle, and being aware of them may help you be more vigilant about their presence once flood waters recede.

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Cold-Weather Storm Damage

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Cold-Weather Storm Damage Commercial Storm Loss

When you think of storm damage, your mind may automatically make the leap to flood waters and lightning strikes. However, storm damage takes many forms depending on the season. During winter in Scarsdale, NY, ice and snow team up to present a whole new type of damage, but with the same results: damage to your business that you’ll have to clean up. The most common wintertime culprits are:

• Frozen pipes
• A burst pipe
• Standing water

While each of these issues has its own level of severity, none of them are good for business for your commercial property, and all of them should be handled by a professional.

Frozen Pipes

The average frozen pipe can be dangerous to your business’s well-being, but it can also be simple to handle if caught in time. The problem occurs when you experience freezing temperatures while your pipes have water in them. The water in the pipes freeze, obstructing liquid water from passing through. If you’re getting little or no water out of your pipes during cold weather, leave the faucet on at a trickle to help thaw the ice in your pipes.

Burst Pipes

A burst pipe is arguably the worst issue you could face when it comes to winter storm damage. If a frozen pipe is left unchecked for too long, the ice will expand and is likely to crack the surrounding pipe. This leads to a large amount of water damage in most cases and requires the assistance of both a plumber and cleanup crew to remedy.

Standing Water

This threat can be a result of either a burst pipe or snow and ice melt leaking through poor-quality weather stripping on your exterior doors. In any case, standing water may contain bacteria and promotes mold growth even in chilly weather, so it’s best to call in professional cleaning services if you find any puddles around your business building.

Your goal is to keep your business safe and functional throughout the seasons. Identifying and handling each of these winter storm threats should be at the top of your list in the colder months.

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Remediation or Cleanup: How to Handle Mold in Your Business

2/24/2018 (Permalink)

If your business has a flood or other humidity problem, you may understandably worry about black mold. You may lookup restoration businesses and find that some call their services “mold cleanup,” while others refer to it as “mold remediation.” These are not just different terms for the same thing. To understand how they differ and which is best, you need to know a few critical facts about mold:

• It is almost everywhere all the time.
• It can be dangerous when it spreads and grows.
• Moisture and humidity cause this dangerous growth.

With these essential mold facts in mind, you can take a look at what cleanup and remediation services offer and make an educated decision.

Mold Cleanup

You may notice that some services in Fleetwood, New York, promise to clean up your mold problem. What this means is that the business can wipe off any black mold they find. However, this does not solve the problem altogether. Since mold can spread even after the cleanup crew leaves, this can be insufficient.

Worse yet, the promise of mold removal is outright misleading. Remember that mold can be anywhere at any time. It’s only when there is a humidity level above 45 percent that this fungus can spread and become a problem. If a crew promises to get rid of all mold in your home, they may be deliberately misleading you, or they may not be real professionals.

Mold Remediation

If you come across a business in Fleetwood, New York, that promises to remediate your mold problem, you may have found a real professional. This process should involve bringing the humidity levels down in the building, checking for visible black mold even above the flood line, cleaning all visible mold, and more. Sometimes, your professional cleanup crew may recommend a flood cut, in which they remove that drywall at least six inches above the flood line.

Visit for more information on Mold Remediation. 

Creating a Fire Escape Plan

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

A fire escape plan for your office is vital. You do not want to wait until emergency strikes before you realize the necessity. It is not only important to have an emergency escape plan but to also practice it.


• Decide what disaster you need to plan for
• Prepare basic plans for each disaster
• Assign responsibilities to specific staff members
• Train staff

Disasters and Plans

Some areas are more prone to specific disasters than others. If your business is located near the coast where hurricanes are often an issue, you should have an emergency escape plan in place. If you live in a state that is prone to earthquakes, make a plan. All businesses need to have a fire escape plan among other possible disasters.

Although there may be overlap, devise a strategy for each type of disaster. It should include at what point you send employees home and at what point it is safer to stay put. Consult a professional in Bronxville, New York, if necessary.

You should designate an evacuation route and have a specific meeting spot after the evacuation. Fire escape plans should be posted throughout the building along with any other pertinent evacuation material.

Assign Responsibilities

In order to make sure each stage is implemented correctly and that everyone stays safe, it is important to specifically assign responsibilities. These individuals know what they are supposed to do and you know things are taken care of.


Drills are vital. Many people need to go through the motions for a better understanding of what is expected. Regular practice drills ensure that plans are engrained in employees’ minds. If a fire does break out, the fire escape plan is implemented without a thought. Staff will learn what to do through repetition. Drills should be conducted at least once every couple of months.

Emergency evacuation plans are important. Take the time to write up strategies, assign responsibilities and practice.

Visit for more information on commercial fire. 

Spring Cleaning Before Selling a Home

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Spring Cleaning Before Selling a Home Spring Cleaning a home for sale is really smart for your sellers! We cleaned our own, but our sending our crews to homes and businesses for sale!

Homes should be in TOP SHOW CONDITION & ready for primetime, to sell  more quickly in Bronxville, NY 10708 ~ in the northern suburbs.

This is just a fact: A clean and fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced with a listing that is more difficult to show, or smell quite frankly. 

In restoration, we get called in for odors dating back four or more decades -- like the 1960s.  They can be old cigarette smells that are buried in the walls, ceilings and duct system, in homes with central air. Duct cleaning is always a great start.

Also, we get pet odor and cleanup calls for everything from multiple cats and floor or carpet stains and smells, to squirrels and other critters removed from an attic or crawl space.  Always an adventure. 

Veteran realtors may encourage their clients to keep their homes in top condition for important reasons – or at least get the home ready for photographers and an Open House or two. The reasons may be:

  • Increased market value
  • Shortened list to sale conversion times
  • Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quicker sales

Pass more Home Inspections
Your sellers may have trouble spots to address before you list or a buyer schedules a home inspection.  Clients may choose to handle these issues themselves, to avoid filing an insurance claim for an old water damage.  Leaks and water can lead to mold growth in days, weeks or months.
Mold growth from a leak months or years ago may not be covered by their policy and can affect the home’s CLUE report. 

This is their Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) and is a database that records any reported loss and damage information.  
Here’s more info to search on your browser...on CLUE: at

Prior to listing a property, the following steps can be taken to reduce the potential for moisture buildup or mold growth. If a home or listing has a storm or water damage, timely response is the key to preventing further damage and problems within days of the event – act fast, within the first 24 to 48 hours.

Here are some good first steps to addressing these issues your seller (hopefully) get's their house or condo/coop ready for primetime and buyers appointments: 

  • Correct any water leaks or standing water
  • Plug in a dehumidifier in the affected area, to reduce moisture and prevent mold
  • Remove standing water under cooling coils, boilers that leak, or air handling units
  • Properly maintain humidifiers, if used during the winter or in baby’s room
  • Replace wet or visibly “moldy” and stained insulation materials
  • Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work.
  • Install a ventilation system and/or vent the basement, attic or wet area on cool, clear days for an hour or two.

At local Westchester businesses like ours, realtors can get help with and offer their sellers a number of helpful services. These may help revive your sellers’ homes and your listings -- that are found in top show condition.  Some ideas to offer sellers, as needed, are: **Carpet, upholstery, drapery and window blind cleaning (we also clean windows, while most maid services no longer.

Restoration companies include the following services, so we can help you help your sellers get a buyer!

  • Ceiling, wall and harwood / hard floor cleaning
  • Deodorization & odor control
  • Duct & HVAC Cleaning
  • Mold & Mildew Mitigation & REmediation
  • Asbestos Abatement & containment
  • Lead Paint / repainting issues - We are NYS certified, as of January 1, 2016 

Good luck rock star agents!, in what we hope is a hot Spring Realtor market in Scarsdale, Eastchester / Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Fleetwood and beyond...for you!

Is Your Restoration Company for Fire & Water Cleanup or Mold Removal an IICRC firm?

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Like many qualified restoration companies, our SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon is an IICRC firm – that’s the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

This organization was created in New York state originally and it is the national organization that sets our standards in the restoration industry.  They also provide training and certifications to restoration companies like our SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, in the Fire & Water Cleanup business.   Also, only IICRC Certified Firms like ours have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force for decades, in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field:

Manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon 

SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon helps business and homeowners from the White Plains line through Five Corners and down to the Mount Vernon / Bronx city borders & beyond.  We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage and flood event.

Our staff is background checked and are highly trained in property damage restoration, as an IICRC Certified Firm.  We believe in continuous training:  from our initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certifications, you can rest assured that our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet our whole SERVPRO of Scarsdale team:  

Here are all of our certifications and completed training data, in order to help you with your home or business.

Speaking with an Insurance Company

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

If a person wants affordable restoration from flood damage, it makes all the difference to notify the insurance company.

An insurance agent will open a claim and begin the process of collecting on flood damage. One of the first steps taken with water damage mitigation involves stopping further damage from happening. Flood damage mitigation starts with an emergency visit to the main water valve shutoff. The insurance company may also guide a person on a good water cleanup company. Nevertheless, the person doesn't have to call the flood damage mitigation company they recommended, and he can choose whoever he wants for property restoration.

Not All Water Cleanup Covered under Insurance

Before a person ever buys a policy on water in home, he should first review the policy. This goes the same for if he owns a business and has water in business. The vast majority of policies will cover restoration from after a terrible storm or a malfunctioning washing machine, but gradual leaks for water in home or water in business will not be covered.

Drying Water in Home

Whether people have water in home or water in business, one of the best policies even before calling a water cleanup company involves drying the water. To do this, turn on a fan and bring in some fans to blow on the water and help with drying. Always exercise caution around water and electrical outlets: Water and electricity do not mix. While drying near an electric outlet, people may be better off leaving it alone and calling in a professional water cleanup company.

Real mitigation can be summed up in two words: future prevention. If a person has water in business from a leaky roof, it does little good to repair the damage inside if he failed to fix the shingles on the roof first. The restoration process involves repairing the flood damage after identifying the cause and eliminating it. Water cleanup can stress a person out, but when they take these steps, it lowers the risk and makes it more tolerable.

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Early Warning Signs of Mold Growth

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Even before you see an actual mold growth in your home, there are some warning signs that can alert you to the possibility of this type of infestation.

This includes mold growth behind wall.

Flooding or some other type of water-related issue in your home may set the stage for a mold problem, including black mold. In addition, the presence of mildew and fungus may be indicative of a mold issue. Indeed, a mold mitigation service will examine a residence for the presence of mildew and fungus as part of its inspection to ascertain the nature and extent of a mold problem. As an aside, you need to take prompt action to combat mildew and fungus when these types of growths are found in your home.

Visit for more information on mold.

?Proactive Response to Mold Growth?

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

When you discover mold growth, including mold growth behind wall, you should contact a mold damage and remediation professional with all deliberate speed. You lessen the potential for mold damage, and lessen the possibility of other mold-related problems, but getting a restoration company to your residence promptly.

There are mold restoration company options that provide rapid response services.

They can be at your residence, of place of business if the issue is commercial mold damage, in a very short amount of time. This type of restoration company can provide you an accurate evaluation of the problem, together with an estimate for mold removal, mitigation, and remediation services.

The Importance of Comprehensive Mold Damage, Removal, and Mitigation Services

You cannot underestimate the value of engaging a restoration company that provides comprehensive mold damage, removal, and mitigation services in the aftermath of residential or commercial mold damage. When seeking assistance from a mold removal expert, you are best served with a professional that tends to all aspects of remediation. This includes not only elimination of mold, but also deodorization and addressing issues like dry rot and smelly odor.

The reality is that associated issues like deodorization, smelly odor, and dry rot are vital to fully restore a residence. The failure to address issues like deodorization, smelly odor, and dry rot can impact the livability of your home. In addition, the lack of attention to deodorization, smelly odor, and dry rot can decrease the value of your residence.
Visit for more information on mold.

Fire Damage Restoration for Commercial Buildings

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

It is only natural to jump right in and start with the clean-up exercise. It is a noble thought but one that can have serious ramifications. If ever you fall victim to a commercial fire damage, do not attempt any cleanup efforts. Call in a professional fire restoration firm and let them handle the job.

In a commercial damage predicament, there are several losses you may incur.

The losses result from:

· Damage to assets as a result of electrical fires.

· Destruction of property as a direct consequence of soot damage and smoke damage.

· Water damage from the fire sprinkler systems installed in the building and from the use of the fire hoses in the building.

· Property loss from the fire suppression efforts. This is inclusive of the work by the firefighters and their fire trucks.

· Any damage or loss to items in the utility room with fire combating tools.

All these form the basis of the work to be done by the fire restoration company. Upon assessing the extent of the commercial fire damage, the fire restoration team decides on the ideal actions to restore the business premises to its original state. In cases where there was extensive smoke damage, soot damage or fire damage, especially in cases of electrical fires, more work is needed.

Ideally, fire restoration activities border around the following.

· Clean Up Efforts

This involves draining water released from the fire suppression efforts. Fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, and broken water pipes from the water sources from within the building. Water from the fire trucks contributes to the damage from the outside.

· Repairs Or Replacements

The extent of soot damage, smoke damage, as well as the fire damage on the building, inform the decision to repair or reconstruct surfaces.

Company Responsibilities in Commercial Fire Damage Situations

· The company should install fire suppression systems. This includes having a utility room with fire combating tools. The company should install a fire alarm, fire hose and a fire sprinkler system. The systems are ideal for dealing with electrical fires.

· Displaying emergency contacts of firefighters, paramedics, companies with fire trucks and that of the local police around the business premises.

· Conducting regular quality assurance assessments on all fire hoses, extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, and the equipment in the utility room with fire combating gadgets.

Contact the professional fire restoration teams if you fall victim of a fire damage, soot damage or smoke damage.

Visit for more information on fire damage.