Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How Professional Cleanup Teams Help After Severe Disasters

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Professional extracting water with vacuum The right equipment and tools to thoroughly clean up and restore the area

If the unthinkable happens, and you find your building inundated with water, fire, smoke or mold damage, you may feel overwhelmed. It can seem like a hopeless situation to see your workplace in ruins after a major storm or another type of disaster. Cleaning up and restoring the office can be a daunting task. However, when you hire the right professionals, you can count on the expert to do good work and make the building safe for your business once again. For the most extensive disaster recovery needs, you can count on a professional cleanup and restoration company.

The Advantages of Hiring the Pros

No one would expect you to handle disaster cleanup by yourself. An experienced team of specialists can provide the expertise you need to help after storm damage or other emergencies. Professionals can offer the following benefits:

  • A quick response
  • The right equipment and tools to thoroughly clean up and restore the area
  • Fast, efficient work
  • Good communication with you and the insurance company

No Job Is too Large

The best cleanup companies can tap into a large network of resources to take care of your needs. Even for widespread storm response, you can get back on your feet quickly. Local franchises can rely on the assistance of the corporate office to provide additional equipment and technicians if necessary.

As Good as New

The technicians will begin by inspecting the affected areas. This will help the team formulate a disaster recovery plan. The specialists clean up water, soot, ash, and mold. Next, the company will repair damaged items such as building materials, furniture, documents, and electronics. After tearing out and replacing ruined parts of the building, crew members will sanitize your Eastchester, NY, office to make sure it is a safe environment once more.
Disaster recovery can be difficult for you as a business owner. You can be comforted to know that capable professionals are available to do excellent work.

Tips for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

sprinkler head, The device provides protection against fire in a room Perform maintenance to your fire sprinkler

Tips for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance

If a fire breaks out in your Tuckahoe, NY, business, you want to ensure you are prepared. Along with having an established fire plan and extinguishers, if your business has a fire sprinkler system, you may think you are good to go. Although fire suppression systems are designed for optimal performance, that can only happen if regular inspections are done throughout the year.

Monthly

While wet and dry systems may have different components, ensuring they work properly is essential. Since a fire can happen anytime, doing a quick check each month on the following can provide extra peace of mind. Although you may not be an expert at fire sprinkler cleanup, checking the valves monthly is important. Valves should be:

  • In the proper open or closed position and sealed or locked.
  • Free of leaks and damage.
  • Properly labeled and accessible.

It is also important to ensure the alarm valves are not leaking and that gauges are functioning properly.

Quarterly

Along with the monthly fire sprinkler inspection items, the following should be looked at quarterly:

  • Check alarms for damage.
  • Test water flow alarm.
  • Check fire department connections for damage.
  • Verify pressure and relief valves are open, free of leaks and maintain proper.

Annual

While the above can be done in-house, it’s best to get a professional to thoroughly check the system each year. They will conduct a more in-depth inspection that will include the monthly and quarterly checklist items as well as sprinkler heads, pipes and fittings, and interior valves. They will also perform a water flow test.

False Alarm

While this isn’t a frequent problem, if the system is set off and there is no fire, immediately schedule an inspection. This could turn into an ongoing problem that will require a water damage restoration service or, worse, not work when it should.
No one wants to deal with a fire. In the chance that one happens, diligent maintenance of your fire sprinkler system can reduce the damage and get your business back to operating normally.

How To Control Mold Growth in Your Home

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling and bathroom wall removed due to mold growth Mold damage on bathroom in Secor Gardens, NY

How To Control Mold Growth in Your Home

If your home suffers water damage, you do not only have to worry about your belongings getting wet. You may also have to deal with increased mold growth in your Secor Gardens, NY, house. In fact, mold can build up even where there is just a small amount of humidity or condensation.
That is because mold exists everywhere in the environment, and it can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold from outside can enter your home through open windows and doors. It can also attach to backpacks and clothing.
Mold especially thrives in moist areas, which is why it commonly appears when a home sustains water damage via a leaky pipe or roof. It can also grow on various materials in your house, including:

  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Insulation
  • Fabric
  • Upholstery
  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Paper

Controlling Mold

While you cannot completely eliminate the fungus from your home, there are mold prevention strategies you can follow to limit the spread of the spores. Since mold thrives in moist conditions, you should keep the humidity as low as possible. A dehumidifier or air conditioning unit can help with this.
Any items damaged by leaks or floods should be dried immediately before the mold starts to grow. Wet items that can't be dried quickly, such as upholstery and carpets, should be removed or replaced. Finally, be sure to properly ventilate moist areas of your home, specifically the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom.

Cleaning Mold

If you do sustain a small amount of mold damage, you can try to address the issue yourself by using bleach or a disinfectant. Be sure to wear goggles and non-porous gloves to keep yourself safe during the mold cleanup. For more severe contaminations, especially those that result from major water damage, you are better off calling mold remediation specialists.
This black mold cleanup can be a long and complicated process. That is why you should take steps to control mold growth in your home.

3 Things Homeowners Should Understand About Ultrasonic Cleaning

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

an ultrasonic cleaning machine Ultrasonic cleaning is an effective method of cleaning that is commonly used when restoring mold-damaged items.

If your home in Tuckahoe, NY sustains mold damage, the effects on your items can be distressing, particularly if you don't know how your belongings will be restored. 

1. What Is an Ultrasonic Cleaner?


An ultrasonic cleaner is a special device that uses ultrasonic sound waves to clean items that are often submerged in a mixture of water, detergent and a softener. These sound waves cause a myriad of small bubbles in the solution, which help to loosen and remove mold, dust, dirt and rust. Then, the items soak in the solution for a short period of time. This piece of equipment can clean ceramics, items made of metal and more.

2. What Are the Benefits of This Cleaner?


Ultrasonic cleaning is an incredibly thorough method of cleaning various items. Since an ultrasonic cleaner can easily access hard to reach areas that could be difficult to clean by hand, you are more likely to receive your items back in a short period of time. While traditional methods of cleaning may involve the use of chemicals that could damage or degrade certain items, ultrasonic cleaners gently sanitize items. This cleanser is also useful because it can clean a wide variety of items that have sustained mold damage, as well as items that are simply dirty.

3. How Can You Access an Ultrasonic Cleaner?


Although an ultrasonic cleaner is an excellent tool used in content cleaning, purchasing a cleaner isn't always ideal. High-quality ultrasonic cleaners can be costly and also require regular maintenance. These factors may deter some homeowners from purchasing an ultrasonic cleaner, especially if they won't need the cleaner on a regular basis. Rather than purchasing a cleaner, many people whose items have been affected by mold damage find it useful to contact mold remediation specialists who use ultrasonic cleaners.

After your belongings have been affected by mold, it's often helpful to know how they will be cleaned. Knowing that ultrasonic cleaning will effectively and gently clean many of your belongings can bring you peace of mind. Visit https://www.SERVPROscarsdalemountvernon.com/ for more information!

The Cost of Mold Removal

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

Two specialists inside of a house removing damaged materials by mold to begin with a remediation process Mold remediation specialists in Bronxville, NY

The Cost of Mold Removal

There are many reasons you want to avoid mold damage in your home. Obviously, you don’t want your Bronxville, NY, house and belongings covered in mold. You also don’t want to have to deal with expensive mold removal.
Mold cleanup includes three steps, each of which has its own costs. They are:

  • Mold inspections
  • Air sampling
  • Remediation

Mold Inspections

If you suspect that your house has mold, you should first hire an inspector to determine the extent of the problem. An inspection from a qualified professional should cost between $200 and $600.

Air Sampling

Visible mold does not always require air sampling. However, if the inspector can't find where the mold is, he may take an air sample and send it to a lab for testing. This step in the mold removal process can cost an additional $30 to $150 per sample.

Remediation

Once the lab test determines that the mold is present, you can start the mold remediation process. You may be able to handle minor mold cleanup on your own. However, more extensive damage may require a visit from an emergency restoration services company.
The cost of black mold removal can vary based on the size and extent of the mold infestation. Removing mold from crawlspaces should cost between $500 and $4,000. Structural damage, however, may cost between $10,000 and $30,000 to repair.

What About Insurance?

Your insurer will provide financial assistance if the mold results from an emergency that is covered by your policy. Flood insurance can also help when mold grows following a storm. However, if the mold was caused by a persistent moisture problem or delayed maintenance to your home, you may have to pay for the black mold cleanup out of pocket.
Mold damage can be expensive, and it may not be covered by your insurance. To avoid spending money on mold removal, you should keep your home as dry as possible and address any leaks immediately.

How to Prevent Mold Growing in Your Rental Home

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

a green dehumidifier A dehumidifier helps to dry out the air

Mold Prevention

Whether you own your home or are renting, it’s important to stay on top of mold prevention in your West Mount Vernon, NY, home. While mold can be cleaned up, it is often a challenging repair process and only grows exponentially more so if you don’t take the right preventative actions as soon as a problem is discovered. If you think you may have water damage you should seek to address the issue as quickly as possible.

1. Find the Source

Fixing any wet spots in your home won’t help you in the long run if you don’t tackle the cause. If you’ve discovered a wet spot, then there is either a leak, flood or spill to blame, and it’s important that you determine which it is so that you can begin solving the problem. Let your landlord know that you have discovered a wet spot, and if you are able to identify the cause, tell them what it is as well. The more you share, the better the chances are of your landlord finding the right professional to help.

2. Dry Wet Spots

The key to mold prevention is robbing the mold of the environment that allows for mold growth. That means that if you discover any wet spots, you should attempt to dry them thoroughly as soon as possible. By drying out the area affected by the leaking or flooding, you minimize the risk of mold growth.

3. Dehumidify Your Rooms

If you have a room in your home where there is regularly dampness building up on surfaces, it may be that the humidity in your home is too high. A dehumidifier helps to dry out the air and make it less likely that condensation forms and creates a potential home for mold.

4. Keep the Heat on Low

Mold also benefits from cool spaces, so it can be helpful to keep your heat running for mold prevention. It is not necessary to be blasting your heat at max levels, but keeping the room from getting too cool will lower the chances of mold development.

Mold or Mildew: How To Tell Which Is Which

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

the edge of a window seal with black spots on it Mildew growth likes to show up in a lot of the same places that mold might inhabit

Mold or Mildew?

There is a common misconception that mildew and mold damage are the same. However, these terms should not be used interchangeably. Mildew, while still a fungus, is mold's gentler fungal cousin, easier to be rid of and less dangerous when exposed to it. While only professional tests should be used to determine which fungus you may be dealing with, there are some notable differences:

1. Location

Mildew growth likes to show up in a lot of the same places that mold might inhabit. For instance, you may find either one in the bathroom, basement, garage, attic or any other warm, humid areas. Mold spores, however, attach themselves deep inside of porous surfaces and then colonize in as little as 48 hours.

2. Color

Mold grows in gradients of color, from black to yellow to green. Mildew, however, is typically found in shades of gray or white.

3. Odor and Appearance

Mold growth is identified by its dank odor as well as its 3-dimensional appearance on surfaces. It is fluffy and chalky. On the other hand, mildew will appear as a powdery substance or a stain, depending on the location.

4. Removal

Unlike mildew, mold damage is difficult to remove, more resilient to available commercial cleaners and should only be treated by professionals. Since mildew mainly develops on surfaces, it is easier to clean and eliminate. Many commercial cleaners can be purchased in most big box stores that should do an excellent job of removing the mildew problem.

If you fear that you have a mold problem, then call a mold remediation specialist in the Bronxville, NY, area to have your home tested. Professional tests are one of the most reliable ways to identify the fungal problem in your home.

While there may be similarities in mildew and mold damage, they are very different, requiring different tools and cleaners to eliminate colonies. Therefore, it is best to have your home tested by a professional to determine the nature of the fungus.

How Can Damaged Documents Be Restored?

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the expertise and equipment to restore documents

Three Professional Document Restoration Methods

Commercial property owners with water-damaged documents should rely on a full-service damage mitigation and restoration firm in West Mount Vernon, NY. SERVPRO specialists have the expertise and equipment to restore documents and other delicate contents and materials. Find out more about three professional document restoration methods.

1. Dry the Documents

Extracting excess moisture is the first priority for restoring documents. Different measures may be necessary depending on whether documents have been exposed to water originating from a pipe burst, leak, flood or storm. Documents may be blotted and air dried in an area with low humidity levels. A dehumidifier can draw moisture out of paper and prevent mold growth. Document drying experts may also perform vacuum freeze-drying to vaporize moisture.

2. Remove Dirt and Debris

Document restoration professionals may remove debris from damaged documents using specialized equipment. Delicate vacuum attachments and other treatments can be used to clean these materials without causing further damage. Depending on the cause of damage, original documents may or may not be salvageable. It may be preferable to make a copy or obtain a new original.

3. Prevent Mold Growth

Mold growth starts when spores land on a surface that supplies moisture and nutriment. Cellulose in paper is a primary food source for fungus. For this reason, it is important to quickly dry documents. Documents that have been exposed to contaminated water may need to be copied or replaced in order to reduce mold risks.

These document restoration methods are necessary to eliminate moisture and debris and allow for a document to be restored or dried to the point where photocopying is possible. Experts will factor in the cause of water damage and the condition of materials to determine the best document drying methods. SERVPRO handles damage mitigation and provides specialized restoration services to lower costs and make it possible for claims to be processed more quickly.

What to Know About Water Categories

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water categories include: white, grey and black water

Types of Water Categories

If there's a chance you may face flooding in your local Fleetwood, NY, area, it's important to understand what counts as contaminated water. In many cases water is separated into three separate categories. The type of category the flood-damaged falls into may determine the clean-up processes used. These three categories include

1. White Water

Any clean source of water is considered to belong in the white category. This usually includes drinking water, or water from a supply line to a sink, appliance or shower. In most cases when flooding occurs with a white water source, clean up usually involves drying the area thoroughly and any general repairs.

2. Grey Water

Water in the grey category is usually considered to be a step above contaminated water. This water has been used for general purposes such as cleaning, but does not contain any biological components such as you might find in the sewer. When dealing with grey water you may want to wear appropriate safety gear to avoid skin irritation, but cleanup is fairly straightforward.

3. Black Water

In the event your home is flooded with black water it is best to contact water damage professional to perform any cleanup and sanitation needs. Because this type of water is considered to be contaminated, often from sewer material, appropriate safety and sanitation steps will need to be taken. Your local water restoration professional should have the tools and cleaners necessary to do the job.

When dealing with flood cleanup it's important to know whether the flood water falls into the black, grey or white water category. Anything in the black category is considered to be contaminated water and should be handled carefully. Grey water has been used but does not pose a danger. White water is often considered to have come from a clean source. If you have any question your local water damage professional may be able to help.

How a Top Restoration Company Helps You Through the Insurance Claims Process

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Home damaged by a storm in Elmsmere, NY

Even moderate water damage at your Elmsmere, NY, home can result in costly repairs and restoration. This is why you have insurance. However, if you want the claims process to go quickly and smoothly, it’s important that you have the right storm restoration team on your side. The best companies are fast, helpful, and thorough. Not only does this give you peace of mind that they’ll do the job right, but it also means your insurance coverage will kick in more quickly.

Why the Right Restoration Team is Critical

When bad weather hits and you need storm response to help clean up water from your home, can’t you call just anyone? Your best bet is to call the most qualified, skilled company around. This gets the insurance process into high gear as well. The best restoration teams can do the following:

  • Respond to the job and complete it quickly.
  • Tackle floods of any size.
  • They have the knowledge and ability.
  • They have the equipment.

Fast, Efficient Response

When you’ve got flood damage at home, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to clean it up and restore the affected areas, the more extensive the problems will be, and the bigger hassle it will be to work with the insurance. The best flood restoration teams can arrive on scene in a speedy manner and will finish the work as scheduled.

No Size too Large

Storm restoration professionals have the experience you want on your side. The best companies have seen and done it all when it comes to cleaning up after floods and restoring home. Every crew member has received extensive training.

Skills and Tools

With the training and experience comes an impressive skill set. These companies know what it takes to handle your cleanup needs, which will then make it easier to initiate and complete the claims process. You won’t find the highly specialized cleanup equipment on your own either.

Fast storm restoration works hand in hand with a quick insurance claims process. Choose a highly regarded restoration company when you have a flood at home.

Bathtub Sewage Backup: Five Cleanup Steps

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage water damage in Bronxville,NY

5 Steps to Handle a Drain Backup Situation

Nothing is quite as unpleasant or as frustrating as a sewer backup in your bathtub. You may feel helpless if this ever occurs, so prepare yourself in advance by learning about the following five steps you can take to handle a drain backup situation.

1. Turn off Power

If you think it is possible that flooding could cause electrical hazards, turn off power and stay away from the building. Take note that other systems could also pose safety risks if sewage floods your bathroom.

2. Leave Your Bathroom

Vacate the bathroom where the bathtub backup occurred and do not return until the issue is controlled and water damage restoration has taken place. Make sure to keep pets out of the room as well.

3. Turn Off Running Water

If you can, turn off the water at the source of the sewer backup. Do not flush toilets, as this could cause further flood-related issues.

4. Start Cleanup Process

If it seems safe to do so, start assessing the damage once the flood is controlled. Wet items can sit outside in the sun, and you can open windows to freshen the air indoors. If you notice significant mold, do not run your air conditioning unit, as the fungi could spread because of the air flow.

5. Call in Help

If there is a significant amount of contamination in your house or you notice a large amount of mold present, it may be time to seek professional help. This is also the case if the sewage issue is bigger than you thought it would be or dangers resulting from the flooding seem likely.

A sewer backup may not an event that any Bronxville, NY, homeowner wants to deal with, probably including yourself. However unpleasant such an emergency might be, it may be better to be prepared for an emergency than to end up in the situation with no clue about how to proceed. Remember to follow the tips above with caution, as you and your loved ones are more important than your home and belongings.

Taking Care of Electronics After a Fire

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Contact a professional company for cleaning up company devices after fire in Eastchester,NY

An electrical fire in Eastchester, NY, can as be devastating as any other type of fire. Especially to a business. It can leave you scrambling to finish restoration so everything can be put back into operation, and filing the claim with insurance can be a large task all on its own. Fortunately cleaning up any damaged electronics doesn’t have to be as much of a setback as many may think.

Types of Fire Damage to Electronics

There are a number of ways smoke can cause damage to your electronics making computer cleanup necessary.

  • The acidic nature of soot can cause electronic degradation over time if not correctly cleaned
  • Soot may leave behind a black film which can coat the electrical contacts used by circuit boards, and slow the machine or cause malfunctions
  • The black film left by soot may also cause insulation problems and lead to issues with overheating
  • Soot carries a magnetic charge which may lead to short circuits

Things You Can Do on Your Own

Trying to repair electronics after an electrical fire on your own could potentially lead to more damage. However, there are a few things you can do while you wait for a professional assessment. In many cases a computer memory or hard drive can be removed in order to transfer the data to an undamaged device. If your business keeps documents on a server, the IT professional can have any needed files downloaded.

Steps a Professional May Take

After you’ve removed the hard drives from the damaged computers, you can call a smoke damage restoration professional to access and repair the remaining parts of the electronics. Not only will a professional have the tools and resources necessary to repair the damaged devices, but repair often costs less than full replacement.

When cleaning up company devices after an electrical fire it’s important to contact a professional. While you can remove memory or hard drives and transfer the data, a professional will have the knowledge and tools needed to restore the electronics back to working condition.

The 3 Most Common Places To Find Mold

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold damage on a wall in Elmsmere,NY

Mold Growth In a Commercial Structure

Mold requires moisture and nutriment to grow. High humidity levels, leaks, or other sources of excessive moisture can result in a mold problem. Here are three common places for mold growth in a commercial structure.

1. Behind Walls

Water damage that results from any type of leak, whether caused by a pipe leak or burst or a leaky roof, can cause mold to start growing within cavity walls. Moisture can also come from condensation or a poorly sealed building envelope. Building owners, facilities managers, or occupants may notice a moldy odor without seeing signs of visible mold. Do not attempt to open the wall, as this may cause exposure to microbial volatile organic compounds, spores, or even mycotoxin.

2. In the Carpet

Carpets collect dirt, dust, and debris that provide an ample food source for mold. Flooding, leaks or spills can soak through the carpet to the carpet pad and underlayment. High humidity can also promote an environment that is prone to mold growth. Increase air flow, raise room temperature, or rely on dehumidifiers and fans to lower moisture levels. In the event of a flood or water damage, a wet vac can be used to extract water within the first 48 hours. If water stands for longer, discard the carpet.

3. Throughout the HVAC System

A number of HVAC components rely on moisture to provide cooling. Be sure to regularly inspect condensate pans, ductwork, and terminal units. Owners or managers may want to hire professionals or have the system modified with access doors so that it is easier for to check for mold.

Mold may also develop in any location where water is usually present, such as bathrooms or near a water heater. Building owners or facilities managers should contact a commercial mold remediation company as soon as they suspect mold growth is occurring in structures in Elmsmere,NY.