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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Does SERVPRO Provide Water Restoration to Commercial Companies in Syracuse?

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Equipment and technicians Our certified technicians come prepared with state of the art equipment your property needs after a water incident occurs.

SERVPRO’s Fast Response Reduces Secondary Water Damage for Companies in Syracuse.

Primary water damage in a commercial building in Syracuse can be devastating to any business. The water must be removed and a general cleanup completed. All finished and unfinished goods must be checked for damage and the appropriate action taken. The business may have to shut down while water cleanup is completed. There is also a danger from secondary water damage if action is not taken immediately.

SERVPRO provides water restoration to commercial companies in Syracuse and surrounding areas. We respond in less than four hours. 24/7. We understand how important it is to mobilize and be on-site to begin water cleanup and prevent secondary damage from high humidity and moisture to contents not directly exposed to water in the building.

In high humidity situations, typically found during a water event, the moisture in the air flows to dry areas and contents. Porous substances such as packaging and fabrics easily absorb moisture and may be damaged in the process. SERVPRO deploys water extractors, air movers, and dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels as fast as possible to avoid secondary damage. We can also provide advice about further protecting exposed materials.

Call SERVPRO for:



  • Water clean up
  • Water damage restoration
  • Emergency services water damage remediation

Call SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for water restoration companies in Syracuse and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call (315) 446-8776.

Mold is Discovered in a Syracuse Home – Who Can Help?

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

mold in bathroom Mold will spread like wildfire within 24 to 48 hours. SERVPRO is trained and experience with mold remediation services for your property.

SERVPRO technicians are mold remediation specialists in Syracuse who know just what to do

Most people worry when they find black mold in their home, but mold comes in many colors, and one is not more dangerous than the other. All types of mold can develop quickly once the mold spores find moisture and attach to a food source. Porous materials such as wood, fabric, and drywall are favorites for mold, but mold can spread on just about anything.

We Specialize in Black Mold Damage Repairs

Mold can damage your Syracuse home. It can spread over the walls, behind cabinets, and onto anything you own. Nothing is safe from it. Mold can also cause health effects. Mold remediation in your Syracuse home can remove the mold, and we can often restore your home to preloss condition. Basement mold removal and attic mold removal are two services we are asked to provide regularly. Bathroom mold removal is another one. Wherever the mold is in your home, we:

  • Set up a containment area
  • Use air scrubbers and vacuums with HEPA filters
  • Clean surfaces and content using various techniques
  • Disinfect impacted surfaces
  • Restore damaged structural elements and content whenever possible
  • Properly dispose of unsalvageable materials

Our goal is to leave your home, “Like it never even happened.” For mold remediation in Syracuse, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 today. 

Fire Restoration Secrets from a Local Fayetteville Expert

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged home Fire and smoke remediation is no easy task. SERVPRO has the know-how and experience with all types of disasters.

SERVPRO deals with fire damage in Fayetteville by combing efficient cleaning methods with scientific elements

Structure fires can be devastating. Immediate mitigation is necessary to protect the home from further damage. The entire process can be lengthy and requires thorough and diligent intervention. To reach a satisfactory result, we use scientific elements combined with cleaning elements and the right equipment.

Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Cleanup

We have skilled cleaning technicians who take a house fire cleanup seriously. When we arrive to fire damage in Fayetteville, we provide any emergency services needed. This could include board-up services, dealing with any safety issues, and setting up work areas. When addressing the removal of residues and soil from the contents and surfaces in your home, there are four processes that work together to achieve restoration. Each one is vital to the process:

  • Agitation
  • Chemical action
  • Temperature
  • Time

We do a scope of the home that allows us to determine the course of action needed. Each situation is unique, and the right type of agitation is important, as are the other three components. Our services include:

  • Fire damage restoration
  • Smoke remediation
  • Cleaning fire damaged homes
  • Returning to preloss condition

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 for professional fire damage services. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Kitchen Fires Can Close Syracuse Restaurants

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

cooking in the kitchen SERVPRO has IICRC certified technicians for any size fire restoration service needed for your commercial building. We have the manpower and equipment.

SERVPRO provides commercial fire restoration services and helps Syracuse eateries get back to serving their customers

Syracuse, NY, is a city that has seen much traffic over the years due to its role as a crossroad for more than two centuries. It started with its connection to the Erie Canal and then as a fundamental point on the railway network. Now Interstates 81 and 90 intersect in the city. The city sees a lot of air traffic as well because it is home to the largest airport in the area. With all the traffic and busyness that takes place, there are many attractions residents and visitors alike can enjoy.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Zoos are great fun for all ages, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The Zoo Summer Camp is back and gearing up for plenty of warm weather adventure. There are some new arrivals this year for visitors to enjoy. They include:

  •   Several young Chilean flamingos
  •   Zeya – a female amur tiger
  •   Tellaro – a giant pacific octopus
  •   Iniko – a baby patas monkey 
  •   Four markhor females
  •   Snow leopard cub

You do have to make a reservation to enjoy the zoo as there are still size limitations. 

Erie Canal Museum

This museum allows you to experience a unique time in history. Housed in the 1850 Natural Register Weighlock Building, it tells the amazing story of the Erie Canal. The building itself is an artifact as the last existing structure of its kind. Visitors can board a full-size replica of a canal boat, enjoy a puppet show, and experience a time in history that had a major impact on transportation in the US.

Notable People Born or Raised in Syracuse

The list of those born or raised in Syracuse or the Greater Syracuse area is quite extensive. From actors to sports figures and everything in between, Syracuse has been home to people such as Charles F. Bannock, inventor of the Bannock Device. Other notable people include:

  •   Frederick C. Bower – inventor, businessman – introduced the telephone to Syracuse
  •   Eric Carle – children’s author
  •   Tom Cruise – actor
  •   Walter Farley – author
  •   Richard Gere – actor
  •   Dorsey Levens – NFL player
  •   Clifford Luyk – basketball player
  •   L. Frank Baum – author Wizard of OZ

President Joe Biden attended Syracuse University College of Law and graduated in 1968. 

Great Places to Eat in Syracuse

It is always fun to explore a city’s restaurants, and Syracuse has a lot to explore. The diversity of eateries is wonderful. Why not give your tastebuds a treat at these fantastic restaurants?

  •   Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub
  •   Julie’s Diner
  •   Otro Cinco
  •   Sumera Restaurant
  •   Angott’s Family Restaurant
  •   Thai Love NY
  •   San Miguel Mexican Restaurant

As warm weather approaches, get out and enjoy some of the exciting things to see and do in Syracuse. 

SERVPRO Provides Fire Restoration Services to Syracuse Businesses

Commercial fires are often kitchen fires and can close a restaurant down for days. This means a loss of revenue and a potential loss of customers. You need to get up and running fast, and SERVPRO can help with fire damage restoration services designed to meet your needs. Our IICRC certified technicians provide:

  •   Water and fire damage restorations
  •   Smoke remediation
  •   Removal of unsalvageable content
  •   Cleaning and restoration of structural elements
  •   Cleaning and restoration of fixtures and content
  •   Deodorization 

Businesses with fire and smoke damage know they can count on SERVPRO to mitigate the damage. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 for commercial fire damage cleanup and restoration.

A Burst Pipe Leads to Water Damage in a Fayetteville Home – What Happens Next?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

water damaged carpet. Burst pipes cause damage to the flooring in the surrounding area. Call SERVPRO and let their techs do the dirty work for you.

Water damage restoration in Fayetteville is what SERVPRO does best.

Burst pipes can lead to basement flooding, ceiling leaks, and other problems. The amount of water that can pour into your home in a short amount of time is crazy. If the living room area is impacted, it can mean water-damaged bookcases, carpets, and furniture.

Can My New Carpet Be Saved?

If you have a water intrusion that leads to needing water damage restoration in Fayetteville, the good news is with fast mitigation, we can often save your carpet. Water extraction is the initial priority. We typically use these methods to restore carpets to preloss condition:

•     Deluxe Precondition & Rinse – this works nicely on moderate to heavily soiled carpets. A cleaning product is applied to the rug, remains on for up to 15 minutes. An extraction wand is used with water or a rinsing solution.

•    Rotary Jet Extraction – This is similar to the Deluxe method, but an RX-20 device is used. This device agitates the carpet and compresses the fibers to extract the moisture.

•    Showcase Method – This is an excellent choice as the carpet gets cleaned twice. A special cleaner and rinsing agent get used to improve the PH levels. This makes the carpet easier to clean.

Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 for water damage remediation. We can restore your carpet and home to preloss condition.

Mold Remediation in a Syracuse Daycare

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

black mold Mold will spread like wildfire within 24 to 48 hours. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified for the mold remediation services you need.

SERVPRO provides mold removal services that gets your daycare in Syracuse back on track

Parents depend on daycares to provide quality care for their children. Mold, even in a basement, can cause downtime and loss of clients. This means a dent in your revenue. 

Mold Specialists Can Provide Remediation 

Businesses in Syracuse count on mold removal that is fast and efficient. Something as minor as a water leak can cause mold to develop on walls, cabinets, and large play equipment you have stored in the basement.  SERVPRO can remove black mold and clean items such as slides, riding toys, and jungle gyms that are metal or plastic. Black mold damage repairs include:

  • Using HEPA vacuums and filters for dry items
  • If there is soil buildup, damp wiping takes place
  • Sanitizing with antimicrobial and antifungal agents
  • Proper removal and disposal of items not salvageable

If you are dealing with mold damage, it is essential to get professional assistance. If left alone, mold can rapidly spread throughout the daycare, impacting structural elements and the facility's content.

Mold Inspections, Remediation, and Removal

Let the experts at SERVPRO of Onondaga County deal with any mold and mildew you may have. We are IICRC certified and restore your daycare professionally and safely. Contact us at (315) 446-8776.

Storms in Syracuse Can Cause Food Damage to Homes

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

snow storm damaged home. Snowstorm remediation for your home is a job for a professional team. SERVPRO is the team needed for your needs.

SERVPRO provides emergency services water damage services that can put your home back in order

Syracuse, NY, is a crossroad to many places and has been since its early days. It connected folks as part of the Erie Canal and then later as part of a railroad network. Today I-81 and I-90 intersect in Syracuse, and that, combined with a major airport, makes it one busy city. The area's history goes back to the 1600s when French Jesuit priests began to work with the Indians. There are lots of reasons to visit the city and take in the many sites. 

East Syracuse Free Library

The libraries in NY are opening up, and many are offering browsing times by appointment. Curbside pickup is another option. You can enjoy e-books, tutoring, and plenty of new books. This is just one of the branches of the Syracuse library system. 

History Highlights

Syracuse is rich in history, and you can visit many of the landmarks and historical places. Some of the historical highlights include:

• 1600s – Onondaga Nation, Jesuit priest, soldiers, and coureurs des bois start the mission Sainte Marie de Gannentaha on Onondaga Lake. 

• During the Revolutionary War, most of the Iroquois tribes sided with the British. Only two tribes fought for the patriots.

• Commercial salt production took place from the 1700s to the early 1900s.

• February 4, 1820 – The town gets its name and a post office.

• Franklin Automobile Company is established. First air-cooled engine anywhere.

• 1841 – New York State Fair takes place. 

Music Lover's Paradise

For those who enjoy the performing arts, and especially music, Syracuse has two outdoor festivals each year. The Jazz in the Square and the Syracuse Jazz Festival has hosted many well-known names, including:

• Smokey Robinson

• Chuck Mangione

• Aretha Franklin

• Joshua Redman

• Jimmy Sturr & Orchestra

• Kenny Goumulka

Other musical venues include the Syracuse Symphonia, the Clinton String Quartet, The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, and The Society for New Music. All of these offer performances throughout the year. 

Enjoy a Good Meal

Restaurants are opening up as well, and many provide take-out and curbside pickup. The food options are fantastic. You can enjoy cultural dishes or down-home cooking. Here are some of the places that are serving up delicious meals:

• Apizza Regionale

• Texas de Brazil

• Café Kubal

• Eva's European Sweets

• Pastabilities

• Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant

• Dark Horse Tavern

All of that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to activities and places to eat. There are beautiful parks in the city that encourage residents to walk, jog, play basketball, and enjoy the sunshine. It is a lovely city.

SERVPRO Provides Flood Damage Removal Services to Syracuse Homes

Spring brings with it melting snow, storms, and heavy rains that can cause flash flooding. This can lead to heavily contaminated water pouring into your home. To prepare for the possibility of floods, homeowners should:

• Ensure gutters and storm drains are free of debris

• Keep valuables on upper levels if you are prone to basement flooding

• Place essential documents in waterproof containers

• Keep emergency kits on hand

If your home gets flooded, we provide water damage restoration. Flood restoration includes:

• Water extraction

• Removal of unsalvageable items

• Disinfecting and sanitizing

• Controlled Demolition

• Flood Cuts

If you need basement flooding cleanup, call the water damage restoration pros. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 today.

Why are Smoke Residues Difficult to Remove?

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged home Smoke and soot residue are extremely difficult to remove. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified for the fire restoration service needed.

Smoke Can Come in Different Forms and Require Different Methods to Remove from your Syracuse Home. 

Smoke residues are often multi-faceted. A single fire can release thousands of chemicals, odors, and toxins into the home environment. The resulting smoke depends on the type of materials that combust, which can differ significantly in residues' form and composition. 

We offer expert fire damage restoration for Syracuse residents to help them return their homes to a preloss condition after a house fire. We pre-test meticulously to ensure that our cleaning approach matches the smoke residue types caused by a fire. Residues could be protein-based, dry soot, or wet smoke. Our system is tailored to the requirements of your home. 

Expert Fire Damage Restoration Technicians at SERVPRO Can Help

  • It is essential to reduce foot traffic in an area that has become damaged by fire to prevent causing permanent damages.
  • Opening windows and allowing ventilation can help to release odors from the indoor environment. 
  • Always perform light-vacuuming of smoke residues before applying water or cleaning products to the area.

Soot and smoke residues can differ significantly in their composition and the cleaning method necessary to remove them. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for fire damage restoration at (315) 277-6767.

What is the Correct Method for Removing Water from a Property?

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

water damaged home Water extraction should be left to the professionals. SERVPROs team has you covered. Their techs are ready 24/7 365 days a year.

SERVPRO Uses Industrial Pumps and Extractors for Efficient Water Removal in Syracuse Homes.

Large amounts of water can enter a property due to faulty appliances or pipe leaks and bursts. Standing water can quickly migrate underneath floorboards or into wall cavities. The correct method of removing water is to conduct an appropriate analysis of the home and track water migration. An expert water removal service can protect your Syracuse home from unnecessary secondary damages.

SERVPRO technicians can track water migration, working outward from the source using modern water detection equipment.

By conducting a full assessment of the property first, we can help reduce expensive secondary damages like mold growth due to incomplete drying. 

  • Molds, bacteria, and viruses can thrive in wet-humid environments, which frequently occur due to incomplete water removal.
  • Water cavity damage can be expensive and requires specialist equipment such as injectidry systems to dry the cavity properly. 
  • By adapting air-moving equipment using flex-hose, our technicians can access and dry restrictive spaces such as underneath floorboards or in crawlspaces.

Correct drying methods can help to reduce secondary losses after water intrusion. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for water removal experts at (315) 277-6767.

Can Floods Damage a Home's Foundations?

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

storm damaged home When floods occur, you need the help of a professional outfit. SERVPRO has you covered from start to finish in flood mitigation services.

SERVPRO Technicians Can Protect the Integrity of your Home's Structure After Flooding

Syracuse is an important economic and educational center within the state of New York. The city is home to 145,252 residents and is part of a broader metropolitan area with a population numbering 662,577 people. As the fifth-largest city in New York State, Syracuse has a long history in both the formation of the United States and in its trade history. The Erie Canal was a vital shipping and export center for the East Coast to transport goods and raw materials into and out of America. Syracuse's town was first named and incorporated in 1820 due to the saltwater lake Onondaga, which showed resemblance to the Sicilian city of the same name. The early economy relied heavily on the salt industry, which later transformed into the steel and manufacturing industries. Twenty-first century Syracuse is well-known for its leading educational and medical economies.

Syracuse has several attractions that bring in tourism from the surrounding east coast cities. Clinton Square in the heart of the downtown district features excellent cultural curiosities of the region, including The Landmark Theater. The area is also home to the New York State Fair, one of the oldest running festivals in the US. Over 13 days, visitors are treated to over 500 performances, with daily shows taking place at the State Fair Boulevard. Syracuse's local history is lovingly recorded at the Erie Canal Museum, which covers the native tribes, earliest settlers into the area. It tracks the growth of Syracuse through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Central New York Regional Market sits on Lake Onondaga's shores with hundreds of vendors selling fresh local produce, bakery items, and sundries. The market takes place on Park St. on weekends attracting both visitors and residents.
  • The NBT Bank Stadium is a Minor League Baseball ground that is the home of the Syracuse Mets. Despite being a minor-league arena, its 11,071 fans' facilities are similar to a major league ballpark with ample parking, food trucks, and corporate facilities.
  • Destiny USA is a prime tourist attraction that blends luxury retail stores with dining areas and entertainment. Unlike other shopping malls, Destiny features a rotating roster of retail stores in some sections to ensure a diverse selection of goods throughout the year.

SERVPRO Can Help Secure your Syracuse Home Against Flood Damage

When floodwaters enter a property, they can exert a significant pound-for-pound pressure against wall joints, floors, and ceilings. Our technicians can conduct a detailed scoping of the property to ensure that waterlogging, electrical hazards, or damaged fittings do not lead to a structural collapse. By mitigating these losses urgently, we can help prevent permanent damages occurring in your home.

  • Technicians can examine inner joints and outer ground movement on your property to assess the likelihood of structural collapse.
  • Waterlogging can make subfloors and ceilings weak. Using water extractors, we can quickly remove excess pressure on the structure of your home.
  • Our technicians can provide temporary power or restore power to your home following a flood-related power outage.

Floods can cause excessive damage without proper mitigation. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for flood damage at (315) 277-6476.

Air Quality Control in Fire-Damaged Syracuse Homes

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

fire roaring Fire damage is no DIY project. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified for any size fire damage.

Regulating air quality to provide a safe work environment is vital to keep technicians safe. 

When a fire develops in a Syracuse home, it can quickly spread throughout the property to impact multiple rooms and levels of the house. While our SERVPRO team works to respond rapidly to these emergencies, safety is always a primary concern after a fire takes place. Not only can structural weakening be a concern, but also circulating soot particles and other hazards that could make the environment unsafe without appropriate personal protective equipment.

Steps to Improve Air Quality for Syracuse Homes

Because restoration can be threatening without first taking care of carcinogenic presences in the home, fire damage in Syracuse properties requires preliminary emergency services before restoration. Air quality control involves multiple tools and strategies but often hinges most on these few instruments:

  • Air scrubbers
  • Hydroxyl generators
  • Negative air chambers

Creating a safe environment for our technicians ensures that mitigation and restoration work can be as efficient as possible. Give our SERVPRO of East Onondaga County team a call today at (315) 446-8776.

Efficient Water Restoration for Syracuse Homes

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

water damage Water restoration starts with knowledge and experience. Call SERVPRO they have the man power and experience for any size disaster.

Restoring water disasters involves a fast and reliable response from professionals. 

With thousands of people who depend on our SERVPRO team's fast response throughout Syracuse, we are continually contending with threats like water disasters. So many sources can cause leaks and flooding within your home, making it critical to address these conditions as soon as possible. Disasters like these can get out of control quickly without mitigation and thorough restoration activities.

Efficient Options for Water Mitigation 

Often the recovery process hinges most significantly on the mitigation steps taken by water restoration companies in Syracuse. Usually, this process is led by water removal efforts. While standing water can be incredibly threatening to the property, instruments like submersible pumps and wet vacuums can often overcome these threats. Trapped moisture is another concern, which usually requires other specialty tools to address. Some of these include:

  • Weighted extractors
  • Carpet wands
  • Drying mats

Water disasters can get out of control fast, so trust in our SERVPRO of East Onondaga County to help. We are available 24/7 at (315) 446-8776.

Protecting Syracuse's Art and Culture from Flood Damage

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

flood damaged home and furniture. When a storm comes through and floods follow, you need the help of professionals. Call SERVPRO and their trained technicians.

Rising waters can destroy unique artwork and exhibits when mitigation does not begin quickly.

As a college town, Syracuse has a lot to offer for people of all ages. It is the fifth most populated city in New York, making it a popular destination for travelers who might not enjoy New York City's never-ending bustle. Arts and culture are considerable offerings for the city, primarily because of its thousands of students brought into the city every year in a constant cycle. The municipality continues to grow and evolve with these generations and trends. With the culture and heritage of many backgrounds represented in both the local communities and near the university, it is only fitting that so many museums in galleries thrive in the city.

Museums and Galleries Running in Syracuse 

  • Everson Museum of Art – This is one of Syracuse's art structures featuring many of the prominent creations dating back to the 18th century. The Everson has one of the most extensive pottery collections in the country and collections of paintings, photography, video, sculptures, and drawings by American artists.
  •  Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology – In total, the structure features 35,000 square feet of exhibits, including the only domed IMAX theater in the state of New York. There are permanent installations to the facility, including a Life Science division, an Innovation Station, and a Science Playhouse.
  • The Warehouse Gallery – This gallery exists within The Warehouse facility on West Fayette Street. It is considered part of the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers in the city and features many accomplished artists' works in different media. The premise of this gallery is to promote an understanding of the role that the arts can play and navigating turbulent or critical issues happening in the world around us. 
  • Erie Canal Museum – This is one of the only museums dedicated to preserving the history and stories surrounding the Erie Canal and how it has influenced Syracuse.Multiple exhibits and artifacts can help to put visitors in influential segments of history involving this critical waterway.

Protecting Your Home After Rapidly Developing Flood Conditions 

Flood damage in Syracuse properties occurs on multiple occasions throughout each year. With so many creeks and streams that intertwine through the city's neighborhoods and its surrounding areas, the community has seen multiple devastating natural disasters. How quickly restorers can begin mitigation efforts dictates the ultimate damage that your home or business experiences after a flood.

Before cleanup and decontamination can begin where bacterial threats might exist from invading water, extraction must occur. Several water removal tools can quickly manage standing water and even remove debris and solids circulating in the pool. Trash pumps and truck-mount extractors can have the most direct impact on quickly removing surface water concerns.

With how rapidly flooding can occur, our SERVPRO of East Onondaga County team stays diligently prepared to help. We have technicians available 24/7 at (315) 446-8776.

Explore Exhibits at the Great New York Sportsman’s Expo Near Fayetteville

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

town hall building with brown roof A leaky pipe to storm, we are the team to handle the disaster. Call SERVPRO for the water restoration services needed for the job.

Join Other Residents of Fayetteville and the Surrounding Areas in the Great New York Sportsman’s Expo

Fayetteville residents can visit the nearby Syracuse to enjoy the Great New York Sportsman’s Expo. The event takes place from January 29 to 31, 2021. It is a weekend of exhibits that showcase the latest products in travel, products, and entertainment for fishermen, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Attendees can explore the shows which feature the latest products in:

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Outfitters
  • Outdoors
  • Camping

The expo also includes national dock dogs, a custom trout pond, pop up 3d archery shoot, seminars, and trophy bucks, among other things. The hours are Friday 12 noon to 7 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 7 PM, and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM. The sportsman’s expo is the premier sports expo in Central New York.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County is glad to welcome you to the Great New York Sportsman’s Expo. If there is water damage in your property, act fast to prevent secondary damage from occurring. Call our restorers at (315) 446-8776 to perform water damage mitigation in your Fayetteville residence.

Come Learn How to Prepare Rice Balls from Scratch at Syracuse

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Vince's store front Water damage can be a hassle especially if its a big mess. Call the professionals at SERVPRO for the help needed.

Join Other Residents of Syracuse with a Passion for Cooking and Learn Various Culinary Skills   

If you love cooking and trying new recipes, Vince's Gourmet Imports is ready to teach you how to whip up Italian arancini like a professional chef. This tasty meal is made up of risotto filled with Parmesan, Peas, and Prosciutto. The delicious cooking class takes place on 13th January 2021 at Vince's Gourmet Imports, South Main Street 440 in North Syracuse, NY. Attendees can learn how to make:

  • Regional Italian dishes
  • Pasta
  • Delicious sauces

After the classes, you can comfortably bring a taste of Italy to your dinner table. In each cooking class, attendees can expect to enjoy:

  • 10 percent discount for in-store purchases
  • A dish to take home 
  • Recipes for each prepared dish 

Guests can bring adult beverages to class. Masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants are available for attendees. 

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County humbly welcomes you to Vince's Gourmet Imports to learn how to prepare various delicacies. If you are dealing with mold damage in your Syracuse property, our certified and experienced restorers can help. Talk to us today at (315) 446-8776. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

Efficient Restoration for Syracuse Homes with Flood Damage

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Rosamond Gifford Zoo logo Flood damage will need the help of a professional. Call SERVPRO for the water mitigation services needed to restore your home to preloss condition.

SERVPRO Performs Storm Flood Damage Restoration in Syracuse to Make it “Like it never even happened.”

Syracuse is the third-largest city in upstate New York and the fifth-largest city in New York. Often people use Syracuse as the punchline of weather-related jokes. Snow is a part of the lifestyle of central New York, considering that the inhabitants get over 120 inches of it every year. The residents have learned snow removal methods, and the snow doesn’t bother them anymore. Nonetheless, Syracuse has many things to offer besides slushy weather and snowdrifts.

The city is more cost-effective to reside in compared to other major metropolitan areas in the United States. Therefore, many retirees and people with families prefer to live there. Young professionals also like to live in the region because there is much to do and the low cost of living. 

A larger number of people who grow up in Syracuse remain and raise their children in the area. The city is a comfortable place to reside, and the metropolitan area continues enjoying improvements, including the considerable cleanup of Onondaga Lake. 

Most people like residing in Syracuse because they can conveniently get to desirable suburbs such as Baldwinsville, Liverpool, and Manlius within less than twenty minutes. Weekends are fun for visitors and residents. You can visit various places such as the Saratoga Race Course situated in Saratoga Springs in New York City. You can also drive for three hours and get to the Buffalo Bills game. The best wine is also served here since Syracuse is located in the prime wine-drinking territory.

Activities to enjoy in Syracuse, NY.

If you have a family and kids, the place has different kid-friendly events, including the Rosamond Gifford Zoo located at Burnet Park. Although this zoo is small, it is highly populated and is home to various animals, including tigers, lions, reindeer, a herd of Asian elephants, penguins, sand cats, fossas, peacocks, and flamingos, among others. This place also serves fast, delicious foods, and souvenir shops are also available. Adults can enjoy meals in the classic restaurants and wine in the drinking territory. The other places you can visit and enjoy various outdoor activities include: 

Erie Canal Trail: This is a historic waterway’s route. Some of the activities you can engage in here include walking, jogging, and walking.

Green Lakes State Park- this park is usually opened from dawn to dusk. It features two glacial lakes. It offers kayak rentals, and you can opt to swim during the hot summers. The park is surrounded by upland forest. Other than swimming, other activities include golfing at the 18-hole golf course, camping at the available campsites, trailing at the nature trails. It also features 15 miles of cross-country snowshoeing and ski trails.

Onondaga Lake Park- This is a waterside park that offers four vehicle-free trails. It also features a skate park, Dog Park, playground, the Salt Museum, marina, and a boat launch. You can enjoy archery or riding bikes. There is no entrance fee.

Beaver Lake Nature Center: It contains 14 km of winding trails that can be used all around the year. The nature center has more than eight hundred varieties of plants and over 200 bird species. It also features a glacial lake that lies on a 200-acre piece of land. 

In general, Syracuse has something for everyone. The city is good for camping during the summer. One can also enjoy skiing during winter in different areas such as the Toggenburg Mountain. If you love skating, you can do so at the ice skating rink at Clinton square. You can also join those who spend most of their time cheering at the Carrier Dome. The other city activities include enjoying music in various theaters such as the landmark theater, the Red House, and the Syracuse stage. You can also enjoy various sports and festivals at different times of the year.

Rankings

According to the analysis performed by the 150 U.S News Metro, on the best places to live in depending on the job market, quality of life, individual’s desire to live there and the value of life, This city was ranked at position 75 of the best places to live in, position 121 as the best places for retirees and position 4 of the best areas to reside in New York. 

Since the cost of living in Syracuse is low, the city’s population is high. With many different places to visit and activities to enjoy, this place receives a lot of visitors. However, a flooding incident after a storm can ruin the experience of both the residents and visitors. 

How SERVPRO performs storm flood damage restoration in Syracuse

Severe weather can result in expensive storm flood damage. When the storm ends and the water subsides, it is time to hire professionals who can perform storm flood damage restoration in your Syracuse home effectively. Regardless of the severity of the destruction, the mitigation experts from SERVPRO can perform repairs to restore your property to its preloss state.

Our restoration experts are well-trained and use state of the art equipment and techniques. We can help you determine the full extent of the destruction and complete restoration services following best practices and industry standards. We offer comprehensive flood restoration solutions, which include: 

Emergency services: You can reach us at any time of the day or night. When a storm comes through and ruins your home, we are ready to help. 

Water extraction: We will use advanced water extraction equipment such as submersible and self-priming trash pumps to remove the floodwater from your property. The equipment extracts standing water fast to help speed up the drying process. 

Drying: We use efficient drying equipment, including centrifugal air movers and dehumidifiers, to eliminate moisture from home. 

Cleaning and deodorization: Our team can deep clean your home using antimicrobial products to ensure a healthy and safe living space. We also use deodorizing products such as instant odor counteractant pellets to eliminate odors. 

Our team can work tirelessly to restore your property. Our technicians have expertise in delivering comprehensive restoration support. 

No one should have to face hazards when dealing with storm flood damage. SERVPRO of East Onondaga County guarantees affordable and fast service that meets the unique needs of any situation. Call us at (315) 446-8776 to connect with our certified, professional restorers. 

Syracuse Folks Can Learn to Draw

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

a person drawing a character on a comic strip SERVPRO is looking forward to the virtual drawing workshops!

This Beginner’s Intro to Drawing Workshop is Virtual - All Syracuse Residents Need to Do is Register

This online art class is the perfect chance for you to learn drawing basics. It is all done from the comfort of your home. All you do is register, and you can connect and join in some creative fun. It is a foundational drawing class that:

  • Is a one-on-one experience from an expert art instructor
  • Teaches essential drawing techniques
  • It is relaxing and allows you to de-stress
  • Learn about shade, cross-hatching, line, tone, and more

It is a ZOOM class, and your material list is available beforehand so you can prepare. It is a 90-minute session on December 14, 2020. It is a 1 ½ hour class, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM. Classes are limited so register early. There are several price levels – you decide on what your pay. Call 212-932-8484 for more information.

SERVPRO Provides Fire Damage Removal in Syracuse

If your home experiences any type of fire, SERVPRO of East Onondaga County offers fire damage removal services that will have your home looking, “Like it never even happened.” That is the goal we always strive for and do our best to reach. Contact us at (315) 446-8776.

Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish the Musical – A Streaming Event for Fayetteville

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

white sign stating "dear Santa" It will be exciting to see the community enjoying holiday stories!

Fayetteville Residents Will Enjoy the Christmas Story of Eleanor, A Rag Doll

Eleanor lives at the North Pole and loves all her friends there, including Santa and Mrs. Claus and the elves. But she is longing for something more – a home of her own and a best friend. Eleanor decides to send a letter to Santa, sharing her dream with him and asking him to grant her wish.

Your entire family will love this holiday classic. It streams right into your home from Broadway Utica. So, gather the family around, prepare the popcorn and hot chocolate, and prepare to be delighted. Details you need include:

  • Showtime is Saturday, December 5, 2020. 
  • When you order your ticket, use promo code BTLUTI20. 
  •  Once you purchase your ticket, you have 48 hours to watch.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County provides water damage restoration to Fayetteville and the surrounding areas. We understand how seemingly small water intrusions can cause water damage. If let go, moisture can cause secondary damage, such as mold. Let us provide the proper water extraction and mitigation to restore your home to preloss condition. Contact us at (315) 446-8776.

Businesses In Syracuse With Mold Can Count on SERVPRO

11/28/2020 (Permalink)

mold growing on a wall near an outlet Spotted a mold infestation in your office? Contact our certified team to determine the cause and remediate.

Mold Damage Can Close a Syracuse Business but SERVPRO Can Provide Mold Removal Services

Syracuse, NY roots go back to the 1600s when French missionaries arrived in the area seeking to work with local Indian tribes. The Onondaga Nation was part of the Iroquois Confederacy, and they invited the missionaries to come. Jesuit priests, coureurs des bois, and a group of soldiers then proceeded to plant a mission on the shore of Onondaga Lake. It was known as Sainte Marie among the Iroquois.

Trading Begins in the Area

Onondaga Lake is named after the historical site but was once known as Salt Lake due to the salty bring springs the Jesuit priests discovered. The Iroquois and French fur traders were establishing trade routes throughout New York. English and Dutch colonists were also involved in the trade. The English had a base in Albany and claimed the area as their own.

American Revolutionary War & the Iroquois

When the War of Independence hit America, the Iroquois, which were never centralized, split into different groups with divided loyalties.  Much of them would support the British, but two of the tribes supported the patriots.

Settlers Move-In

After the American Revolution, settlers began moving into western and central New York from the eastern portion. Settlers also began arriving from New England. Thus, began a series of land sales and treaties with the Native Americans in the area.

Commercial Salt Production

With the above came the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation and commercial salt production. Salt production began in the 1700s and would be a profitable venue into the 1900s.  Tully, NY was home to halite salt beds, and that brine would flow along the shores of Onondaga Lake. This was the salty brine of Indian legend. The city developed so quickly because of the industry salt production brought to the area it would become known as “The Salt City.”

No Name – No Post Office

The area that is now Syracuse was originally a group of small villages and towns without a name. With no name, there could be no post office. Joshua Forman liked the name Corinth, but when the application for a post office was submitted in 1820, that name was already in use in New York. John Wilkinson, who applied, had read a description of Syracuse, Sicily, and found it similar to where he lived. Salt and freshwater flowing together in springs was the poetic comparison, and so he proposed the name to townsmen, and it was made official.

Solvay Process Company

In 1884, on the southwestern shore of Onondaga Lake, the Solvay Process Company was built. This little village would be named Solvay to honor Ernest Solvay, the inventor.  In 1861 he came up with the process to make soda ash. He would use the brine wells and limestone in the production of the soda ash. His process significantly improved the process that was currently in place. Allied Signal owned a large chemical industry complex for which the Syracuse Solvay plant was the incubator. Sadly, this led to Onodaga Lake becoming one of the top polluted lakes in the country.

An Industry Declines – Others Thrive

After the Civil War, the salt industry went downhill. At the same time, other manufacturing industries begin to thrive. Between the years of the late 1800s into the 1900s, the area would see the following established:

  • Franklin Automobile Company
  • Century Motor Vehicle Company
  • Smith Corona Company
  • Craftsman Workshops
  • Gustav Stickley’s Handmade Furniture Empire 

Medicine & Education Comes to the Syracuse

In 1834, the Geneva Medical College was founded, and today is known as Upstate Medical University. Syracuse University was built in 1870 and was coeducational, which was rare during that time. While the ratio of men to women was pretty much, even women were the majority in The College of Fine Arts while men predominated the College of Law and the College of Medicine.

More Industrial Expansion Comes with World War II

The main expansion of industry that came with World War II included:

  • Fasteners
  • Custom machining
  • Specialty Steel

When the war was over, General Motors and Chrysler both had major operations here. Other industries in the area were Crouse-Hinds, Carrier Corporation, and General Electric.

Industry Begins to Decline

As industry restructured across America in the 1970s, it started to have problems in Syracuse as well. Small businesses struggled to stay afloat, and many failed. Unemployment rose, and several major industries moved their operations outside of New York. The population declined in the 1950s but has remained stable since that time.

Crossroads Then & Now

Today Syracuse is a thriving city with over 145,000 people in residence. It is home to several convention sites, and for the last two centuries, the city has been a crossroad for travelers. It once connected the Erie canal and the various branches and then the railroads of the day. Today it is still a primary connection for Interstates 81 and 90.

SERVPRO is Proud to Provide Commercial Mold Damage Mitigation

When a business ends up with a mold problem, especially an eatery, it can meet downtown. This means a loss of revenue for the business in the short term and potential loss of customers in the long run. SERVPRO can provide mold removal to Syracuse businesses that is efficient and fast. We do everything we can, including working with your insurance and schedule, to prevent your company from staying closed longer than necessary. Our technicians are experts at:

  • Mold containment
  • Mold removal
  • Addressing the source of the moisture
  • Restoring impacted structural elements
  • Cleaning content
  • Proper disposal of material not salvageable
  • Sanitizing and the use of antimicrobials
  • Following federal and local protocols
  • Deodorizing if needed

We can trace the source of the problem, locate hidden mold or moisture, and clean your facility. Our training includes:

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician

If your business needs commercial mold damage assistance, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776.

It’s Time to Celebrate the Holidays in Syracuse

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

"Gingerbread gallery" If your gingerbread house was left soggy after storm flood damage, Call the experts at SERVPRO right away at (315) 446-8776.

The 35th Annual Gingerbread Gallery at The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse is Open for Business.

Syracuse residents have probably visited The Erie Canal Museum at some point in their lives. However, their Gingerbread Gallery is one-of-a-kind. The Museum is dedicated to preserving the Weighlock Building, which helps tell the Erie Canal story and what it was to live in a canal town. A pivotal part of our nation’s history, visitors can board a replica of a canal boat while understanding the structure’s importance. Starting on November 20th, the organization will celebrate one of the oldest traditions in the city: the Gingerbread Gallery. For the 35th year, the sweet aroma of ginger will greet visitors upon arrival at the Museum. Some fun facts about the event are below-

  • It begins on November 20th and ends January 10th, 2021
  • All entries are made locally by professional and amateur bakers
  • Timed tickets will first become available on November 13th

The Erie Canal reminds us of how important it is to protect our homes and businesses from flood damage. In Syracuse, SERVPRO of East Onondaga County is ready to help when disaster strikes. A call to (315) 446-8776 gives you the access to experts you need when flood water enters your home. We will do everything we can to leave your home, “Like it never even happened.”

Syracuse Craft Beer Event

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

A colorful city view. SERVPRO of East Onondaga County supports our local business especially when food is involved.

Syracuse Kasai Ramen Restaurant Hosting Dinner and Craft Beer Event

Kasai Ramen Restaurant is hosting a dinner and craft beer event on Nov 25th. They are featuring craft beer from Other Half Brewing Company and coupling with a five-course dinner. The restaurant is closing for the evening, and reservations are required. While social distancing rules will be followed, groups who wish to sit with each other should reserve in advance and purchase tickets.

This dinner-craft beer event features the following:

  • Five-course dinner
  • Featuring craft beers from the Other Half Brewing Company
  • Craft beer pairing with each course
  • Reservations required
  • Groups welcome, social distancing rules apply

The restaurant expects the evening will sell out quickly. Other Half Brewing features over 864 beers, including IPA’s, Imperial IPA’s, Imperial Stout’s, and Lagers. Kasai Ramen serves excellent Japanese food and is located in the downtown area of Syracuse in Armory Square.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County provides fire damage restoration services to Syracuse residential, business customers, and the surrounding area. Call (315) 446-8776. We are available 24/7 to help with all fire damage restoration needs.

What is the Best Way of Dealing with Water Odors?

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

A man holding his nose making a funny face. Odors left over from water damage can be rough to deal with. SERVPRO can keep those odors away.

Water Restoration Companies Here in Syracuse Can Help you Overcome Unpleasant Odors From Water Damage. SERVPRO Has Odor Control Technicians (OCT) on Hand. 

What causes odor after water intrusion?

Odors can come from multiple sources in your Syracuse home. Sometimes these odors may be the result of pre-existing soiling or debris that is dislodged by water intrusion. At other times, water odors can directly result from water intrusion by bringing in microbial organisms or other contaminants. Finally, high humidity levels in the home can increase our perception of odors. At SERVPRO, our work goes beyond drying and cleaning a structure to ensure that your family returns to its preloss condition. A significant factor in making your home feel normal again is identifying and tackling unpleasant odors. Our odor control technicians (OCT) have a multi-faceted, thorough approach to dealing with unpleasant odors following a water emergency. 

How do professional technicians combat smells?

Good water restoration companies understand how to identify sources of odor in your Syracuse home. There could be multiple sources producing unpleasant odors, but the first step is to deal with those that are the most obvious. Noticeable odor-causing elements could be the presence of raw sewage, dirt, trash, pet waste, or molds. Getting rid of these causes can help to increase the effectiveness of odor control. We are trained to clean or dispose of waste appropriately and responsibly. Our technicians follow local and federal guidelines to protect waterways and eliminate potentially dangerous substances in the correct waste facilities. 

What are the initial steps for mitigating moisture odors?

  • Identify and dispose of odors' source using double-sealed waste bags and a potent disinfectant to eliminate any residual substances.
  • Use multiple deodorization methods in a property to ensure that all odor sources are contained and under control.
  • Thoroughly dry wet materials and wait for the structure to return to its normal condition before declaring the odor's successful removal.

Can unpleasant smells return to a home after water restoration?

Sometimes water restoration involves removing or resurfacing materials. These issues can occur when there is extensive exposure to moisture, and water begins to absorb into or otherwise deteriorate materials in your contents or structure. Water intrusion commonly causes damages like carpet delamination, varnish discoloration, watermarks, and yellowing of paintwork. Our restoration technicians may strip and refinish floors, repaint walls, or perform chemical treatment of affected areas to tackle these issues. The chemicals used in these processes commonly have a strong odor, which can mask any residual odors that water damage causes. Once these more potent odors pass, the presence of a lighter but still unpleasant odor may remain. SERVPRO works to enlist multiple deodorization processes to combat odor sources that may not be immediately noticeable during restoration. 

What are the useful methods of deodorization in a wet property?

  • Providing ventilation, air exchange, and air filtration using venting box fans or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter fitted air-scrubbers.
  • Treating potential odorous surfaces and contents using direct spraying of deodorants or injecting into upholstery and other furnishings.
  • Fumigating the property can help use wet and dry ultra-low volume (ULV) foggers and ozone generators to break down, pair, or alter odorous particles.

What are the areas of the home most affected by water intrusion?

Most homeowners' central points of concern are experiencing a water intrusion event center around carpets, upholstery, hard surface flooring, walls, and ceilings. These areas typically take on large amounts of water, with most materials being porous or semi-porous. The porosity of the material is a critical factor in odor absorption. Soft furnishing likely absorbs unpleasant odors more readily than non-porous materials like metal or glass. Generally, tackling bad smells in these materials relies on fogging or misting the appropriate areas. Removable fittings like carpets are usually treated on both sides of the surface using an environmental protection agency (EPA) registered disinfectant. SERVPRO technicians can mop hard surface flooring using disinfectant before applying a deodorant through a hand or pressure sprayer. Any other areas of the home with significant odors can be treated using powerful scent repelling pellets.

What is the purpose of water deodorization in residential properties?

  • To return the home to a sanitary state by using EPA-registered disinfectants and deodorant chemicals.
  • Our services use all necessary products, including biocides, solvents, as well as pressure washing or immersion cleaning for resilient materials.
  • Most odor problems are a result of incomplete drying. Our services monitor your home regularly to safeguard it against these issues. 

Odor can be an unfortunate by-product of a water intrusion emergency. For assistance, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 277-6702.

Is it Safe to Enter a Burned Syracuse Building for Restoration?

10/18/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged home A safe worksite can often improve the efficiency of restoration and ensure workers remain safe from harm.

Fire Damage Technicians in Syracuse Can Help you Recover your Home. Contact SERVPRO Twenty-Four-Hours a Day for Assistance.

What dangers are present in a burnt structure?
All fire recovery worksites have dangers that need addressing before it is safe to restore your Syracuse home. We take these hazards seriously to provide temporary safety for any workers on the site and long-term protection of your home after fire loss recovery. Safety practices are useful to prevent workers, or residents, from experiencing illness or injury when on the site. Micro soots, structural deficiencies, and electrics can all be potential hazards for anybody entering a fire-damaged site. SERVPRO can minimize risk in the property while still performing the effective and efficient restoration.

How do restorers improve safety at a fire loss site?
    •    Crew chiefs can discuss with you, the homeowner, the security of the loss site, and methods of access.
    •    A thorough safety evaluation to discover any potential hazards that are present within the loss site.
    •    Organizing the work site appropriately to minimize exposure to harm for both workers and restoration technicians

Are there national regulations for fire safety?
The presence of fire damage in your Syracuse home presents many potential hazards. We follow The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance when performing work in a damaged structure. By establishing a safe site comprehensively, we can speed up the efficiency of turning your home back to its preloss condition. OSHA guidance insists that we provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for all workers that enter the loss site.

Is PPE essential to maintain?
    •    PPE should be cleaned after each usage to minimize potential harm to the wearer
    •    Using splash goggles and chemical resistant gloves when mixing powerful cleaning agents and smoke residue removers.
    •    Avoid sharing equipment between workers for the duration of the restoration procedure.

A safe worksite can often improve the efficiency of restoration and ensure workers remain safe from harm. Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 now.

Should Furniture Be Discarded After a Flood?

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded living room with couch and plants Our water damage experts are trained in a wide variety of restoration needs, even upholstery and fabric cleaning and odor control. Call us today.

SERVPRO Attempts to Restore Moisture-Damaged Furniture in Syracuse.

After a spring flood in Syracuse, you may assume that you need to dispose of your impacted furniture before moving on to replacing carpet and drywall. However, restoration may be possible depending on the severity of the damage and your furniture materials. For instance, particleboard tends to warp because it soaks up water while the laminated surfaces act as a vapor barrier. This combination causes uneven water retention that leads to extensive warping.

What is the Stain Removal Process?

SERVPRO Removes Stains Before Drying Your Furnishings

Removing stains from your upholstery in your flood-damaged home in Syracuse is critical for restoration. It may seem counterintuitive to perform stain-removal before drying the furniture, but if you dry the upholstery first, you may set the stain, making it more difficult to remove. Our Technicians treat the upholstery with SERVPRO's specially formulated Stain Remover before moving on to dry the furniture.

What are Some Moisture Effects on Upholstered Furnishings?

  • Swelling: Wood frames in couches and chairs may sustain damage in the flood, causing them to swell and even crack. This gives the appearance of the furniture swelling up to a larger size.
  • Water Spotting: Some fabric may show water sporadically. To deal with this, technicians often wet the entirety of the surface before cleaning.
  • Color Bleeding: When wet, upholstery colors may bleed, mainly if there are metal button backings.

What Are Some of the Steps Toward Furniture Restoration?

  • Extract water from furniture using an extraction wand.
  • Tent cushions to facilitate quicker drying.
  • Lift wet furniture off of soaked carpet (wood or dense foam blocks) to mitigate further damage for both the furniture and carpet.

For 24/7 assistance after a flood, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Water Damage Restoration Syracuse

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO for Syracuse Water Damage Restoration

Call SERVPRO of East Onondaga County (315) 446-8776.

With a metropolitan area of more than 660,000 people, Syracuse has become the fifth most populated city in New York. With its proximity to Lake Ontario, it has grown steadily over the centuries to become nearly as large as the nearby port city of Rochester, the third-largest city in the state, accessible by the connecting I-90 in a mere hour and twenty minutes. Because of the humid continental climates, moist air becomes a continuous threat to structures through mold development or water damages. Rain and snow are interchangeable in their potential for damaging area homes and businesses, especially with lake effect storms rolling in off Lake Ontario and Nor' easter storms typical of the winter. The possibilities of blizzards are consistent as well, though Onondaga County has not seen truly crippling snowfall since the infamous blizzard in 1993, which heaped 43 inches over two days.

Syracuse Emergency Water Removal, Cleaning, and Restoration

  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Extraction and Drying 
  • Water Cleanup
  • 24/7 Availability (315) 446-8776
  • Mold Remediation, Inspections, and Cleaning
  • Fire and Smoke Damage Cleaning and Restoration
  • Commercial Cleaning and Restoration Solutions 
  • Storm Damage Recovery

Restoring Syracuse Homes and Businesses After Water Damage

While there are nearly 150,000 residents within the city limits, Syracuse is best known for the University. The campus is home to an estimated 23,000 students every semester, which has led to a boost in the local retail and dining developments around University Hill and Westcott neighborhoods. These areas are within a short distance of the campus and feature a long list of bars, restaurants, retail stores, and specialty shops. When Nor' easters and other water damage incidents impact large structures like the Carrier Dome, where the Orange play various sports, you can get immediate service from large loss restoration technicians by calling our SERVPRO team (315) 446-8776.

Polar vortexes are another threat that can lead to burst pipes in large commercial structures throughout the city like Le Moyne College and SUNY Upstate Medical University near Syracuse University's main campus. Despite the cold temperatures through a portion of the winter season, mild spring and summer weather make for favorable conditions in upstate New York.

A focus on the arts has allowed Syracuse to become more than just a home for the Orange. With cultural and historical centers like the Erie Canal Museum and the Everson Museum of Art, people can see and experience the region's changing landscapes and varying artistic muses evolving from one year to the next. Live productions and performances can also be caught at the Syracuse Stage proving grounds, where many current Broadway productions first tested themselves. These are landmarks of the city, but equally susceptible to a burst pipe or other water damage situations that require immediate attention and mitigation.

Emergency Water Damage Scenarios

  • Burst pipes after freezing
  • Heavy snowfall roof damage
  • Flooding from ice jams 
  • Sewage and draining issues
  • Overflowing toilets and appliances
  • Post-fire extinguishment flooding
  • Broken plumbing 

Why Choose SERVPRO of East Onondaga County?

Fast and Reliable

With a local team of professionals, we can often reach damaged sites within hours.

Trained and Reputable

Our experienced technicians have extensive training and coursework to obtain their Water Restoration (WRT) and Applied Structural Drying (ASD) accreditations through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC.)

State-of-the-Art Equipment

We can track the movement and presence of moisture and deploy multiple units for extraction, drying, and restoration of the compromised property.

Questions? We are here to help you. Call SERVPRO of East Onondaga County (315) 446-8776.

Also of Interest - Syracuse Water Cleanup      Restoration Company Syracuse, NY

What Does Water Clean Up in A Home Involve?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water in a living room. Let SERVPRO take over your water damage clean up in Syracuse.

SERVPRO Sends Fully Kitted Crews to Perform Water Clean-Up in Affected Syracuse Properties, Guaranteeing a Positive Outcome

Water cleanup may sound like a straightforward procedure only involving stagnant water extraction and drying of wet items in an affected property. However, that is rarely the case since cleanup can involve other difficult tasks depending on the water source and other issues caused by the water loss incident. SERVPRO provides the resources needed to conveniently restore Syracuse properties to their preloss state after any incident that leaves water in unwanted areas of the property.

How does the source influence the water cleanup process in a Syracuse home?

The origin of the water affecting your property can present several challenges depending on factors like:

  • Location of the leak within the property
  • The condition of the spilled water
  • The volume of water involved

The water released into your Syracuse house can originate from any section of the property, such as within the ceiling and walls or in open areas such as around sinks or baths. An elevated source can spread moisture over a vast area because of gravitational flow. On the other hand, a leak originating within an enclosed space complicates the cleanup process by necessitating demolition. If the water is released in a trickle, discovery is likely to take time, allowing secondary issues like mold and other forms of material deterioration to develop. Our SERVPRO technicians can simplify restoration under these conditions since we have advanced equipment and the training to tackle them.

Why does the condition of the water affect cleanup?

Leaks or other intrusions can release water with different levels of soiling. For easier identification of the water condition, or what to expect during the cleanup, spilled water can be categorized in three ways:

  • Clean water
  • Greywater 
  • Blackwater

The categorization helps identify the level of soiling or contamination and thus the cleanup steps needed. Water leaks from plumbing lines or appliances are mostly clean or greywater cases since there are no contaminants involved. Regular cleanup procedures are therefore sufficient. However, since microbial processes occur when water sits in a property over extended periods, the greywater can turn into black water, necessitating decontamination processes. Our SERVPRO technicians can help prevent such adverse outcomes since we respond fast when notified of the incident and expedite the cleanup processes using state of the art equipment.

What needs clean up first?

The course of action taken when cleaning a house differs depending on factors like:

  • The sections of the property affected by the water
  • The vulnerability to moisture damage of materials involved  
  • The property size

When an incident affects one room or a limited section of the property, decision-making is easier since the volume of the water involved is minimal. The affected materials and type of soiling are also likely to be uniform. For instance, the floor might be carpeted, tiled, or wooden in the entire area, so you do not have to worry about what to prioritize. In such cases, a straightforward approach, such as removing standing water, drying the wet materials, and applying antimicrobial products on surfaces, is sufficient. 

If the spilled water spreads all over the house, you have to prioritize some actions or areas to limit the damage levels by the time cleanup is over. Our SERVPRO technicians can help with this by inspecting your property to establish priority areas. For instance, if the standing water affects different rooms with different types of flooring such as carpets, wood, concrete, or tiles, we prioritize extraction from wood or carpet floors before checking the concrete or tiled areas. Water can cause delamination in carpets or buckling in hardwood floorboards. Since such problems are irreversible, removing water from such surfaces during cleanup should be given priority.

Issues like running dyes, stains, mold, or bad odor development can ruin the outcome of the cleaning exercise. Taking steps that minimize the chances of such issues developing is crucial.  In most cases, working fast, moving colorfast materials away from areas with vulnerable items should help prevent those problems. Our SERVPRO technicians help in different ways, including testing the affected materials and providing resources such as hand carts for moving heavy furniture items. We also incorporate finishing processes such as deodorization into the cleanup. For instance, we mix water based deodorizers with the cleaning solutions to ensure any odors are replaced with a sweet scent. 

In general, the cleanup of a house after a water spill takes more than just applying products and agitating surfaces. Proper planning is necessary to ensure smooth operations also to prevent secondary problems that develop due to delays.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County can clean up your property after an incident, "Like it never even happened." Call us at any time at (315) 446-8776.

Can a Firm's HR Records Be Protected From Mold Damage?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Files SERVPRO is here to help protect your important files from mold damage.

Local Business Owners Concerned About Mold Damage To Documents.



Keeping records is part of daily life for Syracuse entrepreneurs. Human Resources (HR) are essential to any firm, and each department must keep comprehensive records. HR records include:

  • Employee information such as date of employment and contact details
  • Formal contracts and job descriptions
  • Records of pay and bonuses
  • Sickness and absence records

Many Syracuse companies avoid mold damage by using electronic files. However, some businesses also have physical documents, especially for older files. Those physical papers need protection.

Can mold damage HR papers?

Yes, mold can undoubtedly damage HR papers. Mold is a naturally-growing fungus that can propagate anywhere that is dark and warm enough and provides moisture and a food source. Paper is one of the food sources that mold loves to munch on. As firms often keep older records in the dark cupboards or basements, they might be ripe for mold damage.

How can I protect my firm’s HR records?

The most important thing you can do is make the switch to electronic records if you have not already. Make sure you have backups of electronic documents, too – Cloud storage is helpful.

For remaining paper records, you might:

  • Install dehumidifiers in storage areas to cut down moisture
  • Store documents in watertight boxes so water cannot enter
  • Keep files away from potentially moldy areas such as dark corners 

What can SERVPRO do to help?

SERVPRO teams include trained mold remediation experts, who can remediate mold and reduce the risk of it coming back.

We will assess the situation in your office building, and let you know the steps we plan to take to fix the mold problem. In many cases, we start by setting up containment around the affected area. We use plastic sheeting to seal the spot off, cover all vents, and switch off the HVAC to stop the spores from escaping.

For very mild cases, gentle brushing and decontamination are enough to save records. In more advanced cases, we can consider vacuum freeze-drying to halt the damage and restore the documents.

Our teams also monitor moisture levels and dry the storage area to make it harder for mold to regrow.

For help protecting your business documents from mold damage, call SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776.

Are There Significant Hazards My Family and I Might Encounter After a Fire Damages Our Syracuse Home?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Charred Remains of Kitchen Destroyed by Fire Safety is a priority as SERVPRO of East Onondaga County assesses, plans, and implements fire damage strategies in homes.

SERVPRO Always Assesses for Hazards and Implements Controls to Keep Syracuse Residents Safe During Fire Damage Mitigation and Remediation

A fire in your Syracuse home is not merely an inconvenience or a challenge to your cleaning expertise. The airborne and settled residues left after the combustion of a broad range of building materials and contents can pose health concerns. Heat and flames, plus the chemicals and water used to beat them back, can damage structures severely, weakening supports and exposing your family, you, and workers to many dangers.

What Kinds of Hazards Are Present After a Household Fire?
    •    Overhead hazards that might result in a collapse created by
    •    Partial or complete burn through
    •    Collection of firefighting water in ceilings and wall cavities
    •    Electric shock hazards due to pooled water and wet wires, cords, and outlets
    •    Slip, trip, and fall hazards because of wet or flooded floors and submerged debris
    •    Exposure to hazardous materials such as chemical, asbestos, or lead that, although perhaps previously encapsulated, was disturbed by the fire damage, water pressure, or mitigation and remediation efforts
    •    Airborne smoke residues, including toxic gasses released during combustion

How Do Professional Fire Damage Recovery Crews Control the Hazards?
SERVPRO evaluates the types and severity of fire damage hazards present in your home during our initial assessment. We approach each fire individually and adapt our controls and procedures during the project as necessary if new issues surface. To keep your family safe and our workers protected, we might:

    •    Shut off the power until electrical shock issues resolve
    •    Prioritize water removal
    •    Recommend a temporary evacuation of occupants, always working with your and your insurance company
    •    Contain the fire site and work areas with heavy plastic sheeting, adding air scrubbing technology to trap contaminants in HEPA filters before exhausting to the outside
    •    Employ personal protective equipment (PPE)

Use our master of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training to match appropriate and efficient cleaning products, tools, and methodology to remove toxic and corrosive residues from the surfaces and contents of your home

Safety is a priority as SERVPRO of East Onondaga County assesses, plans, and implements fire damage strategies in homes. Call (315) 446-8776 before the firefighters wind up their duties so we can be onsite fast and ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”

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What All Can SERVPRO Do After Disasters Strike Syracuse Structures?

8/30/2020 (Permalink)

living room interior While you might not know what kind of restoration service your home could require, you can be assured that our team can help.

Many have come to depend on the fast and experienced response of our restoration professionals in an emergency between our large commercial structures and thousands of homes.

With both the university and countless other properties throughout Syracuse, we have become a trusted name for reliable responses when disasters strike. Along with two other sister franchises both under the operation of our owner Tim Skov, we have a unified approach to handling both large loss situations and conditions where many properties become damaged simultaneously. Because there is such a wide variety of potential disasters that could impact area properties, we have skilled technicians in all restoration niches, including water, fire, storm, flood, and mold remediation. We even have trained technicians for cleaning up biohazardous threats.

Commercial

Our restoration professionals can stay busy with the recovery of commercial properties between all of the buildings and structures on Syracuse University’s campus and surrounding areas. When you combine the sprawling district with the thousands of other businesses and companies relying on our fast and confident response for disasters, preparedness for emergencies is an area where we must put considerable focus.

What Immediate Actions Can Our Restorers Take to Recover the Property?
The protection of your property is vital when our team first arrives. With situations like flooding or even fire loss events, your Syracuse business could suffer more significant damages because of structural weaknesses and vulnerabilities that exist. Our in-house contractors can work alongside restoration technicians to provide immediate emergency services that can reduce the secondary effects likely to follow unchecked structural openings. Some of these include:

    •    Board-up
    •    Tarping
    •    Temporary Fencing
    •    Extraction
    •    Controlled Demolition

How Can My Business Get Thoroughly Clean?
Thoroughly cleaning your property is a more pressing concern and need than ever before. Syracuse homes and businesses have seen how quickly situations like the global COVID-19 pandemic swept through New York, so it is necessary to take the appropriate measures to clean surfaces and shared spaces. Our defensive cleaning program called Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is our most comprehensive effort to provide this higher level of deep cleaning.

Storm

Over the past several decades, Syracuse has fallen victim to dominant torrential rainfall, hurricane-level storms, and heavy snowfall that damage structures under its weight. All of these conditions can impact the area at different times of the year, keeping our professionals in need of a fast response once we are notified of potential emergencies.

Why Do Structural Concerns Need to Get Repaired First?
It is often vital for our contractors to work even before our mitigation specialists start their process. Water extraction and other restoration approaches can be ineffective without first addressing structural concerns for the Syracuse property. When our contractors arrive alongside restoration technicians, we can begin emergency services designed exclusively to seal up openings in the structure and reduce the overall loss to the building.

Can Flooding Get Removed?
Flooding is an unfortunate side effect of nearly every storm loss situation. When structural vulnerabilities exist, water penetration is often not far behind for your Syracuse home or business. Removing standing water can reduce the saturation and migration of flooding throughout the property. Some of the practical tools that we use for extraction include:

    •    Wet Vacuums
    •    Submersible Pumps
    •    Air Movers
    •    Dehumidifiers

Fire

One of the most effective ways to address fire loss incidents in Syracuse homes and businesses involves assessing the damage and migration of the effects. Job scoping is a vital phase of determining the extent of the damage and the severity of structural deterioration in your home after fire losses. This phase also helps our technicians evaluate your personal belongings to see what can be salvaged, what has already become too damaged, and what can benefit from offsite recovery efforts.

Are Soot Residues Challenging to Remove?
Smoke residues can be present on many surfaces throughout your Syracuse home. Because there are many potential sources and types of these smoke residues, there is no one set solution to remove these coatings from materials and contents. For example, wet smoke residues are thicker and more challenging to remove than dry smoke. Some of the effective strategies that we have for eliminating soot concerns include:

    •    Surface Cleaning
    •    Abrasive and Agitative Cleaning Approaches
    •    Soda Blasting
    •    Controlled Demolition

What Tools Eliminate Lingering Odors?
The odors left behind after a fire can be overwhelming in specific areas of your Syracuse property. Where fires burn the longest are often points where odors can be the strongest. We have multiple tools that can address these harsh scents circulating in the environment and embedded into porous materials and content throughout the house. We have effective solutions for neutralizing odors from thermal fogging to hydroxyl and ozone generators.

Water

There is often a 48-hour window that restorers utilize beginning with the understood starting point of water loss incidents. This window of time is usually a countdown when certain materials exposed to water loss and surface moisture concerns become unsalvageable. It is beneficial for Syracuse homeowners to react fast to water loss emergencies to ensure that our professionals can reach your home and began mitigation efforts as quickly as possible.

What Are Effective Water Removal Solutions?
Extraction is a vital effort because standing water can be such a threat to your home. When your Syracuse structure battles pooling water in specific areas, there are multiple tools that we can use to address these concerns. Water removal can be much more efficient through the deployment of machines and attachments such as:

    •    Weighted Extractors
    •    Wet Vacuums
    •    Carpet Wands
    •    Submersible Pumps

What Areas Require Focused Drying Attention?
Some areas are more challenging to dry than others in your Syracuse home. While air movers in dehumidifiers can be useful for many surface concerns, and even water damaged contents, specialty equipment is often required to impact moisture pockets beyond the surface. Tools like our floor mat drying system and positive pressure systems can both be vital in this effort.

While you might not know what kind of restoration service your home could require, you can be assured that our SERVPRO of East Onondaga County team can help. Give us a call anytime at (315) 446-8776.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syracuse,_New_York

Should My Syracuse Business Have Flood Insurance?

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Living room and Dining Room Flooded If you have flood damage from a storm inside your business, call on us at SERVPRO of East Onondaga County.

Insurance Gives You Peace of Mind with Flood Damage, and SERVPRO is Available to Handle All the Cleanup in Syracuse

Any natural disaster, especially flooding, can be quite a hit to any business in the Syracuse area. It is vital that you take time weigh all your options when it comes to insurance coverage to ensure you have the cushion that you need whenever such a disaster strikes. No matter the fallout, SERVPRO is available with fast response times and proven methods to get your business back up and running again. In many instances, a commercial space may be able to remain open while working carefully to mitigate the loss.

How Does SERVPRO Handle Flooding?

We have a proven restoration process, which allows us to get to work quickly to handle your flood damage in Syracuse. Once you call us, we have our Green Fleet onsite and ready to work in as little as four hours. Our processes involve the use of industrial-grade equipment and a broad range of cleaning products registered with the EPA. Some of the tools and equipment used most often on flood-related projects include:

    •    Powerful pumps with the capability of transporting water up and out of the lowest levels of your property
    •    Trash pumps with self-priming capacity, able to handle solid waste one ¼ inch and under
    •    Submersible pumps that can handle anywhere from 100 up to 18k gallons of water removal per hour
    •    Weighted extractors, or rovers that help remove moisture from carpets
    •    Light wand extractors, which handle tough to reach areas that come with space restrictions

What About Mold in My Business?

When it comes to insurance coverage, you will need to check your policy to determine what is covered. Mold infestation is generally only included when it develops as a direct result of your flood damage. In any case, utilize the tools and proper methods to clean up the mold, followed by sanitization and deodorization.

If you have flood damage from a storm inside your business, call on us at SERVPRO of East Onondaga County. You can contact us 24/7 for emergency service by calling (315) 446-8776.

Can I Remove Fire and Smoke Damage From Textiles in Syracuse?

8/16/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage on the inside kitchen of a house Fires can create odors in your home that are hard to get out. Call SERVPRO for fire damage remediation.

SERVPRO Technicians Routinely Remove Smoke and Fire Damage from Furnishings for Residents of Syracuse.

What qualifications should I look at for content restoration?

Restoring the contents of your Syracuse home requires careful planning and expert attention to detail. Our roster of technicians hold qualifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certifications- a nationally recognized, independent awarding body. We act responsibly to identify different types of smoke and odor issues in furnishings before performing the necessary steps to return them to a preloss condition. Soft furnishings can be tricky to restore due to their diverse material composition. Using pH tests and pre-testing, we can ensure that your contents do not suffer from dye bleeding, shrinkage, or fiber wear during the restorative process.

How do I remove smoky odors from soft furnishings?

Soft furnishings tend to be porous in nature, which can lead them to absorb fire damage in your Syracuse home. Soots and soils may affect the surface level of materials, while high-pressure fires can lead to odor penetration beneath the surface of the fabric. SERVPRO can deploy air-filtration devices to remove potentially odor-causing soot particles from the area and apply liquid deodorants directly onto furnishings. Standard timings for odor dispersal can vary, but usually, we expect odors to depart at the two-week mark. Using a masking agent, SERVPRO technicians can reduce the impact of unpleasant odors until they disperse naturally and become no longer noticeable.

What equipment do I need to remove fire odors?

  • Misters and ultra-low volume thermal foggers can help to penetrate fabrics or crevices with an odor-neutralizing solvent
  • Odor pellets in problem locations can mask odors temporarily until they dissipate
  • Air filtration using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can restore indoor air quality and remove the odor-causing particles

If you need content restoration after a recent fire, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776.

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How Does Extraction Happen for Large Loss Incidents?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Syracuse University tower building Large Loss Commercial Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Syracuse Is Provided by SERVPRO--Get Educated on Whom to Call for Help!

Syracuse has many considerable commercial properties, including many buildings for the university, where substantial water disasters could occur.

With hundreds of structures on the University property alone, our commercial response for disasters in Syracuse is valuable. Thousands of students and faculty depend on our professionals' experience for water loss incidents, which can be among the most common callout for our restoration professionals throughout the year. This includes times like winter break when cold snaps can impact structures throughout the campus and burst pipes.

How Do Large Loss Events Get Managed?

Burst pipes require immediate water restoration in Syracuse properties because the situation could quickly get out of control. Standing water becomes a primary concern in these emergencies, and with how fast movement can occur, our involvement as a large loss recovery team can be vital in these circumstances. Along with other franchisees in the area, we can join forces with other SERVPRO teams to combine:

  • Resources
  • Personnel
  • Equipment
  • Experience

Are There Industrial Grade Electric Submersible Pumps?

Beyond the repairs that your structure will need that our in-house contractors can provide, extractors are among the first pieces of equipment used in the management of water flooding conditions. With widespread concerns, industrial grade electric submersible pumps can be ideal. These heavy-duty options can often provide a discharge of up to 265 feet, allowing one unit to be a versatile choice in large loss water removal. Hoses for these units can be upwards of twelve inches, allowing these powerful extractors to move substantial water volumes of 6000 gallons per minute maximum.

From burst pipes to other substantial water floodings concern that could impact campus properties, our fast-responding technicians can help. You can count on our SERVPRO of East Onondaga County team to provide experience and efficient extraction devices to make water loss incidents "Like it never even happened." Call us today at (315) 446-8776.

I Am Overwhelmed -- How Do I Find the Best Water Restoration Companies in Syracuse?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician consulting with customer Each vehicle in our Green Fleet is stocked with equipment to dry your home quickly. Call us today!

Consider the Training, Location, Experience, and Equipment Inventory -- SERVPRO Checks All the Boxes to Lead Among Water Restoration Companies in Syracuse.

A water emergency makes no appointment, causing sudden and unexpected confusion and mess that stops your day to day life in Syracuse life in its tracks. Unless you previously experienced a water loss, the many consequences of the aftermath are hard to absorb. Fortunately, if you sign on with a reputable and reliable recovery firm fast, the panic and chaos dissipate quickly. The task you face in finding and hiring such a water restorer is daunting. Here are some tips to help you hire a company that meets your needs.

What Is the Number One Characteristic of a High-Quality Water Damage Recovery Firm?

Sorting through the water restoration companies in Syracuse, unfortunately, must occur in haste. The most critical concern is to verify the type and extent of training the company you consider hiring pursued and continues for both its management and technicians. The industry standard is the rigorous coursework and hands-on training provided by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Implementation of the knowledge and theories gained during the training and continuing educational opportunities ensures the water restoration delivered bases its approach on research and proven results. 

Is It Important for Water Restoration Companies to Be Local?

It is not unusual for traveling water damage restoration salespeople to canvass neighborhoods, inquiring if help is needed, especially after a storm or a neighborhood disaster like a water main break. You might feel almost lucky to have someone come to the door, feeling like they are saving you from making phone calls and sending emails that can go unanswered. Before you sign a contract, think local. It can be a significant mistake to jump at the chance to hire an itinerant water restoration company:

  • You typically are talking to a member of their salesforce, not a trained and experienced inspector or restorer, so an accurate assessment of the damage is not made immediately
  • You cannot be sure the company has the required local and state licenses and certifications to do the job
  • You will not be able to check references of the company in your accustomed way by talking with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family
  • The company without a local presence cannot complete needed inspections and assessments ahead of time
  • The company’s work crews are likely to arrive without an individualized plan for your space, just a cookie-cutter approach they use at every venue
  • If you have questions or concerns during the job it is hard to locate a person with the power to intervene -- headquarters might be hundreds of miles away if you can even be sure there is a central office
  • After the job completes it can be impossible to connect with the company if work is shoddy or additional issues crop up 

Does Hands-On Experience Matter When Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Company?

SERVPRO is an IICRC-certified local company, committed to the community in which we live and work as well as each customer who honors us with their confidence. With those two boxes checked, we also offer years of experience in the industry, each job we take on supported by the projects we completed before arriving at the most recent crisis. The skill and confidence we have gained previously benefit our current and future customers.  

What Equipment Do Highly-Qualified Water Damage Restoration Companies Rely Upon?

Expect a competent water damage recovery company to arrive with an array of equipment in their service vehicles, ready to start emergency services without delay as soon as the project manager completes a safety and damage assessment. At a minimum we drive to your site with the following water damage-focused equipment:

  • Moisture detection and measurement devices
  • Some submersible gas-fueled pumps for water deeper than two inches
  • Truck-mounted extractors
  • Onboard generator to power extractors and access to a holding tank
  • Portable extractors with backpack or rolling tanks
  • Wand extensions and squeegees to assist with extraction
  • EPA-Registered cleaners and disinfectants
  • 1.6 mil polyethylene and conduit or other framing materials for containment areas
  • Negative pressure air scrubbing equipment
  • Floor mats and other accessories for an Injectidry-type system
  • Air movers
  • Heaters
  • Dehumidifiers
  • General tools, personal protective equipment, and more 

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County provides our customers with the best protocols and results, placing us among the most reliable and capable water restoration companies based in our community. Call (315) 446-8776 for prompt and professional assistance from our IICRC-trained, highly-qualified, and well-outfitted team.

What Is The Easiest Way To Clean The Ceiling After Fire Damage In My Syracuse Apartment?

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged walls and ceiling Syracuse your fire damage needs SERVPRO’s tools and reliability.

SERVPRO Provides Resources that Match the Cleaning Challenge Making It Easier to Restore Your Soiled Ceiling

Cleaning the ceiling can present many challenges, especially considering most smoke residues settle on its surface when there is a fire in your property. SERVPRO technicians have several resources that can help ease the cleaning of the ceiling in your Syracuse property.

What complicates ceiling cleaning after fire damage in Syracuse homes?

  • The unusual position
  • Delicate materials
  • Ceiling fixtures

The location of the ceiling leads to awkward posture when cleaning, which can complicate the process or even lead to injuries. Our SERVPRO technicians in Syracuse use various accessories to simplify the process. For instance, we have different types of ladders, which help ensure proximity to the soiled areas. Alternatively, we can attach extension poles to regularly brush or cleaning sponge holders, for telescopic access to the ceiling when standing on the floor and at a less tiring angle.

Do ceiling materials affect the cleaning process?

Houses have various types of ceiling constructions, including:

Apart from the conventional ceiling, the other types add some level of difficulty to the cleaning process because of the design or the materials used to make them. For instance, if you have a suspended or drop ceiling, it is made of lightweight acoustic materials. Regular cleaning can damage it by over-wetting the panels. Our SERVPRO technicians use specialized cleaning methods such as Peroxide Active Cleaning, which eliminates overwetting.

We also overcome problems associated with different designs. For instance, the waffle-like coffered design or the multiple levels of the tray ceiling create crests and basins, which make it harder to remove residues. Our technicians have access to different resources, including chemical sponges and compressed air equipment, to help reach the residues conveniently. 

With the right support, it is easier to remove soiling from a ceiling after fire damage. Call SERVPRO of East Onondaga County at (315) 446-8776 to help. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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Who Can Help Me Fast with Water Removal in My Syracuse Laundromat?

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

rows of washers in a laundromat Syracuse Businesses Rely on SERVPRO for Water Extraction and Keeping the Doors Open for Business

The Community Depends on Your Company--SERVPRO Has Scalable Resources to Conquer the Challenge of Commercial Water Damage Syracuse 

When a supply line or water heater breaks down in your Syracuse laundromat, your entire customer service area and backrooms can fill with water. You need a fast and professional response to limit the downtime for the neighborhood to access your essential washing and drying equipment. Safety is a concern because of the enhanced conductivity caused by excess water. It places your customers, employees, and our crew at risk of electric shock as well as posing separate slip, trip, and fall potential.

How Efficiently Can We Remove the Water?

While the crew chief inspects your commercial building, our Syracuse Water Damage Restoration Technicians (WRT) begin staging water removal and drying equipment. Fully-stocked service vehicles brought the team to your door, so not a moment is wasted. Once the chief gives the go-ahead, our crew:

  • Positions submersible pumps for water deeper than two inches
  • Lines up and then operates truck-mounted extractors to evacuate the bulk of water remaining after pumping
  • Begins collecting data on hidden water and measuring moisture levels in building materials
  • Employs portable extractors to access water in confined spaces

Is the Job Done When All Standing Water Is Gone?

SERVPRO knows aggressive extraction is the key to successful water damage resolution, but our Applied Structural Drying (ASD)-trained technicians also must reduce lingerie moisture in structural components to normal levels. We determine drying goals and equipment configurations using the moisture measurements collected during extraction. Our team uses its mastery of psychrometry, the science of drying, to manipulate the balance of air movement, temperature, and dehumidification toward efficacious drying.

Experienced and highly-qualified managers and technicians plus state-of-the-art equipment form the foundation of SERVPRO of East Onondaga County’s successful approach to commercial water damage resolution. The resources needed to solve your business loss are available 24/7 at (315) 446-8776.

Choose Storm Damage Experts for Your Business

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

After a devastating storm, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga as soon as possible. Our job is to repair your home to its pre-disaster condition.

After a big storm, you probably want to get back to business as soon as possible. But you also may be out some money if you had to close for the storm, or if the bad weather reduced your number of customers. So you may not feel inclined to pay extra money for professional storm damage remediation for your business or facility.

However, expert remediation after storm damage can provide a multitude of benefits. Discover some reasons why you should choose a storm damage expert after such an event, whether your business is large or small.

  1. Avoid Nasty Surprises From Compounded Damage

If water gets into your building (say through an open window or roof leak), the damage could continue to worsen even after you have cleaned it up. If you dry up the visible water, you could still have water under the floor or inside the walls, damaging the structure of your building and even creating a humid environment.

Hiring professional remediators can avoid this issue. For one thing, professional remediators have the expertise to know where to look for hidden damage. For another, they have equipment such as large fans and dehumidifiers to help remove any excess moisture in the air that could lead to damage.

  1. Get Back to Business Fast

Although professional remediators cost more, they are also fast and efficient at what they do. This means that if you choose an expert rather than, say, a general contractor or handyman, you could clean up your storm damage on a tighter schedule, allowing you to reopen your facility for business as usual.

  1. Clean Up Not Only Surfaces but Also Air

Although the ideal is to clean up any water damage from a storm within 24 to 48 hours, the truth is that you may not even spot the damage right away. For instance, the storm could happen on the weekend, or you may have evacuated before the storm. In this scenario, your facility could already have contaminated air when you start the cleanup process.

Storm damage, especially water damage, can contaminate your indoor air in a variety of ways. For example, water damage raises the humidity in the air. This humidity can lead to increased off-gassing of chemicals or spikes in airborne allergens and germs.

Professional remediators have plenty of equipment on hand for scrubbing contaminants out of the air as well as cleaning up the surfaces in your building. Moisture meters, dehumidifiers, and air cleaning machines can rapidly restore your indoor air quality to normal.

  1. Don't Miss Hidden Damage

If you have considered professional storm damage remediation, you probably have at least some storm damage sitting out in the open, such as a shattered window. However, this obvious damage can come along with some hidden damage, which you may need an expert to find and identify.

For instance, smaller leaks may go unnoticed until they have caused considerable damage. A professional storm damage remediation expert can help assess the condition of your roof and siding to see if any less-obvious leaks or damaged spots are hidden there.

As you can see, hiring a storm damage expert is the best way to get peace of mind, clean up your storm damage quickly and thoroughly, and get back to business as usual.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga is a highly experienced remediation company that offers water damage, fire damage, and storm damage cleanup. For more information on the storm damage services SERVPRO of East Onondaga can provide, get in touch today to discuss your specific storm damage situation. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with your restoration needs.

Protect Your Commercial Property From Water Damage

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you are dealing with any water damage, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga. We have the experienced and resources to handle any size disaster.

As the owner of a commercial business, you have a lot on your plate. Your responsibilities are even greater though if you are responsible for the upkeep of the building that you operate out of. A commercial building can have a lot going on, with plumbing and drainage systems that are much more complex than what you have at home.

Suddenly sustaining water damage is every business owner's worst nightmare. You could suffer damage not just to your building but to your inventory, materials or supplies within it. If you want to minimize the chances of this happening, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Get a Tax-Deductible Pump

A sewer or flood backup pump can help remove water from your property as it arrives and hopefully before any significant damage is done. Some cities and towns even offer tax rebates or other beneficial programs to businesses like yours who work to keep their property flood free. 

But even if you won't be getting a rebate or deductible out of the job, installing a backup pump is still a good idea. The money you put towards it now could pay off by saving you thousands of dollars in the event that something does go wrong.

Get Every Employee on Board with the Shutdown Plan

You are just going about your day as normal when suddenly, it happens. A pipe bursts or backs up and overflows, and suddenly there is water pouring in where it should not be. After you get over the initial shock, your first priority should be to get to the shut off valves. But a commercial building can have shut off valves in multiple locations.

Make sure as many employees as possible are aware of the location of each shut off valve to use in an emergency. You can’t prevent all damage at this point, but you can limit the damage by thinking quickly and acting fast.

Get Insulated

Plumbing in some commercial buildings will be exposed. If the piping for your plumbing or your manufacturing process is out in the open, this could leave it more vulnerable to freezing, especially if part of your commercial building is not heated in the winter.

If you want to reduce the chances of a pipe bursting and flooding your building due to the frigid cold, pipe insulation can help. Contact a local professional and get every exposed pipe on your property properly insulated.

Get the Number of a 24/7 Emergency Service Before You Need It

Something went wrong and now there's water where there should be none. You can't undo what's already happened, but you can work to get your property restored before further damage occurs. Research the number of a local water damage restoration company now before you need it.

For best results, find a company that offers a 24/7 emergency service. You don't want to let standing water linger over the weekend or a holiday because your chosen contractor is not available. A 24/7 emergency water damage service will leap into action quickly and put you back on the path towards re-opening your business before too much revenue is lost.

No one ever expects water damage to occur, but you can reduce the negative effects by planning for a worst case scenario in advance. Educate your employees on where the shut down valves are located, install a backup pump system if it will help, and reach out to a local water damage professional now to start a relationship before you actually need them.

SERVPRO of East Onondaga provides water damage repair and other disaster restoration services. Contact us today to get help fast.

Electrical Damage After Flooding

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you experience any damage after a storm, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga. Our goal is to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Flood water comes from just about anywhere: outside your home, inside your home, and even directly from the ground. When your home is exposed to floodwater, it experiences major damage fast, including to the electrical system inside your home.

Water and electricity do not mix, and a wet system can cause major injury or even death. If you want to better protect your family and home after a flood, check out these three common types of electrical damages.

  1. Appliances

Some appliances may be salvageable after a flood. The first step, however, is to wait until the water has receded and the power is off to the entire home. Then you can begin drying the appliance. However, you should not use it until after it has been inspected by a professional who can determine if the water damage created a risk of fire or electrocution.

When it comes to a refrigerator, the effort necessary to salvage the fridge may be too much work. Not only do you have to ensure the electrical components are intact, but contaminants may also be inside the fridge's water dispenser and/or ice maker. This will need to be cleaned, and the filter will need to be replaced, especially if your area is under a boil alert due to contaminated water from the flood..

Another problem with appliances like refrigerators is insulation. Fridges use insulation to help keep the items inside naturally colder without using so much energy. If this insulation gets exposed to water, it will soak up a lot and take a long time to dry, increasing the risk of mold and future electrical damage or shocks.

  1. Electrical System

Most of your home's electrical system is inside the walls. If water gets inside the walls, it can damage wires and other electrical components. This increases the risk of a fire because even a small spark can ignite the wall's insulation, giving the fire lots of fuel to spread. Damage to wires can also cause electrocution.

For this reason, you need to ensure your entire electrical system is off before you go inside your home, especially before you walk into any standing water. Standing water alone can be dangerous because of the bacteria and viruses it may contain, but even if you've turned off the power to the room, standing in the water puts you at risk of shock if other wires are live.

To protect yourself from potential electrical shock, your local utility company will have to come and physically remove your electrical meter from the socket, which fully removes you from the power grid. Only then will your home be completely void of electricity, but you'll still need a professional to examine the system.

  1. Outlets

Outlets are often positioned near the floor, which increases the risk of water damage during flooding. Any outlet that gets wet can begin to corrode. You may think the outlet is working fine, but behind the scenes, rust is spreading, causing the outlet to slowly lose power, making it obsolete.

Similarly, trying to use a wet outlet puts you at a high risk of electrocution, especially if the house is still wet and has standing water.

When in doubt, if an outlet may have been exposed to flood water, you should consider having it replaced. Luckily, you won't break the bank doing so because outlets are often an affordable purchase. Plus, the work involved is minimal, so you won't have to pay a fortune in labor costs. Last, many newer outlets are better, safer, and more energy-efficient.

If your home was exposed to flood water, it may have a lot of underlying damage that can put you and your family at risk for major injury or accidental death. If you would like to know more about repairing your home after a flood, contact us at SERVPRO of East Onondaga today.

How to Spot and Repair Storm Damage

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

If you experience any damage or are in need repairs down after a storm, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County.

A large storm can wreak havoc on your home. Roof damage and other exterior issues can lead to water damage inside, such as attic leaks or mold problems. Whether you are dealing with high winds, hail, or ice, you can mitigate storm damages by identifying and addressing problem areas as soon after the storm as possible.

Roof and Gutters

The roof is designed to protect your home, so it often takes the brunt of any damage that is caused during a storm. Gutter and drainage systems are also prone to storm damage, which can be a huge problem since these systems are necessary for routing away water during storms.

What to Look For

The most obvious signs of roof problems are missing or damaged shingles. Large branches or pieces of debris on the roof could also indicate damage. You can typically spot these from the ground or the top of a ladder — you don’t actually need to get on the roof. Hail damage is less obvious. You may find roofing granules in the gutters, or you may notice sampling or shiny spots on the shingles.

Gutter damage is another issue. Walk the perimeter of your home and survey all the gutters to make sure they are still firmly attached and not sagging or otherwise damaged. Look for debris blocking gutters or downspouts, particularly if the storm produced high winds.

Restoration Tips

Prompt repair of any damage will prevent water from getting into your home and causing more extensive problems. Damaged shingles can be replaced, although it may be more cost effective to have entire roof replacement if your roof is reaching the end of its expected service life or if it has hail damage.

Gutters can also be repaired, with replacement usually only necessary if the guttering has holes in it. If the gutters were torn from the eaves, you may also need to repair damaged soffits or fascia boards.

Siding and Windows

Hail and wind cause most siding and window damage. Hail can break windows or put holes in vinyl siding. Metal siding isn't immune to damages, either, as hail can dent it badly. Wind may force water up and under siding or through poorly sealed windows. The water that gets in can lead to rot and mold problems.

What to Look For

Siding damage is often obvious, as you will see the hole, crack, or loose siding. Water may be under the siding if you notice any gaps at the siding seams. Another sign of water underneath the siding is the appearance of mildew or algae stains that appear to be leaking from beneath a siding panel.

Window damage is usually obvious if you perform an inspection right after the storm when things are still damp. Look for water inside the house around the window. If you have wooden frames or sills, probe them gently to see if the wood feels soft. If you can insert an awl more than 1/8 inch into the wood, rot may already be setting in.

Restoration Tips

You may be able to patch or replace a length of vinyl or metal siding if you can find a color match, otherwise full replacement may be necessary. Gaps and holes, in both siding and around windows, can be repaired with caulk and sealants.

Wood rot that has affected window frames or siding can't usually be repaired, so replacement will be necessary. In some cases you can have only the damaged areas cut out and replaced, which lowers your repair costs.

Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for more information on what to do if your home experiences storm damage3

Spots to Find Hidden Fire Damage

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County knows exactly what steps to follow a fire. Give us a call and we will guide you through the process.

The Top Spots to Find Hidden Fire Damage in Your Home

Charred chairs and burnt bedroom sets are visible signs of fire damage. But some of the aftermath may remain hidden from view long after you think the cleanup is over. Take a look at the top spots for hidden fire damage and what you can do about them.

Air Ducts

Your home's HVAC system pulls air from the house into the heater or air conditioner and through the ducts. Whether you have the heat or AC on, your system forcibly pushes the recycled air around your home. If the fire damage extends into your ductwork or the furnace/air conditioner pulled smoke in during the blaze, the ventilation system could have soot in it.

What happens to leftover soot that's hidden in your home's ducts? When you turn the HVAC system on again it can carry the soot throughout your home. Along with coating your walls, floors, and furniture with a fresh layer of debris, soot can cause or aggravate respiratory issues — especially in young children or anyone with a breathing or cardiac condition.

If you suspect soot in your ducts, discuss this potential hidden problem with a qualified fire damage restoration professional. The expert can evaluate your home's damage and recommend a treatment plan to eliminate this issue.

Wall Spaces

Fire damage on the walls is obvious. But it can also penetrate the outermost layer and cause problems under the surface. An electrical fire that started inside of a wall can char wires, burn wooden studs, and seriously damage the interior structure of your home. Along with this type of damage, the fire fighters may have cut holes in the walls during the extinguishing process.

Damage inside of walls can pose a serious safety risk. Charred wires can lead to additional electrical issues (and possibly another fire) and burn-damaged studs or wood can cause structural problems.

If the extinguishing process results in water damage to the interior of the walls, the studs/frame and other components could rot or grow mold. You'll need a professional fire restoration service to inspect and repair the walls before you take the next step.

Attic Areas

Do you use your attic space? If you rarely to never go into your attic, you may forget to check the area for post-fire damage. While soot in the attic or smoke damage isn't plainly visible, you shouldn't ignore it.

Even though your attic is unused or storage-only space, it can still sustain serious damage — even if the flames don't come near the top floor area. Smoke from the fire will rise and eventually make its way to the attic. This traps potentially toxic gases in the area that, over time, can cause respiratory or heart disease. Whether you use this area or not, the health risks make restoration necessary.

The restoration contractor should inspect your attic from damage and create a treatment plan that includes a complete cleaning.

Carpet Padding

The carpets are singed and soaked. But again, the visible damage isn't the only problem you may have to deal with. It's possible the fire damaged the padding under carpet. If the fire itself didn't burn the padding, the extinguishing process may have left a damp mess behind. Moisture trapped under the carpet's surface can result in mold growth or cause problems, such as wood rot, with the subfloor.

A fire damage and restoration contractor can remove the top layer of flooring and check what's underneath. If the padding is damaged, moldy, or unusable, you'll need to remove and replace it. When the contractor removes the padding, they can clean the floor underneath and remove leftover debris, moisture, or mold.

Do you have fire damage? Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga for more information.

Do You Have Hidden Water Damage?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

If you are dealing with any water damage, contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga County. We have the experienced to take care of any restoration needs.

Small leaks can have huge repercussions, especially if the leak goes unnoticed for a while. For this reason, homeowners need to know the signs of hidden water damage and what they can do if it has occurred.

Common Sources of Hidden Damage

The first step to addressing hidden water damage is to locate where it has occurred.

Roof Leaks

The roof is often the culprit of water damage. Often, water that gets in through the roof drips into the attic, where insulation absorbs the moisture at first. Water damage can accumulate for weeks or months before it is severe enough to drip through to the rooms below.

Inspect your roof regularly for leaks, especially if you have noticed issues like missing or damaged shingles. Go into the attic during a rainstorm, or have someone spray the roof with a hose while you perform the inspection.

Shine a flashlight through the dark attic and look for the glisten of water. You may also be able to spot wet insulation or water damaged joists. The musty odor of mildew or mold may also indicate a leak.

Plumbing Issues

Not all plumbing leaks are obvious. Sometimes leaks happen where drain pipes and water supply lines run through a wall, which keeps the leak hidden from view until the damage becomes severe. Water supply leaks can be more obvious than drain leaks, because you will likely notice increase in your water bill or usage amounts with supply leaks.

Other symptoms of a hidden leak may include water pressure loss or the sound of running water in your walls when the tap is turned off. Walls or flooring near pipes and drains may begin to warp or feel soft. Sometimes mold spots appear on a wall or the paint begins to bubble.

External Factors

Foundation, basement, and wall leaks are also common. These leaks can be caused by storms or from drainage issues around your home. Wind and rain pressure from a storm, for example, can drive water underneath damage siding or through poorly sealed windows. Water runoff, particularly from misaligned gutters or downspouts, can accumulate near the house and seep through foundation and basement walls.

Basements, in particular, are prone to water damage. High water tables and flooding are the most common issues. A moldy or damp odor indicates that water is getting in somewhere. You may also notice visible mold or rotten wall boards or wood.  

Damage Restoration Methods

Fortunately, most water damage can be addressed and repaired. Once you fix the cause, you can begin restoration.

Cleaning Advice

Mold and mildew are the main concerns with water damage. You can usually clean mold up by first drying out the affected area and then cleaning it thoroughly with a bleach solution. Wear a mask and eye protection, as mold can be an irritant for some people. The most challenging aspect of cleanup is accessing everywhere that is affected, such as inside carpet padding or the backside of walls.

Restoration Possibilities

Many items in your home can be restored once cleanup is complete. These items include hard flooring, some furniture, and your counters and walls. Hard surface can be wiped cleaned. Stains that can't be removed can be painted over.

If wall board damage is minimal, a fresh layer of drywall compound followed by primer and paint can save the wall. Even wood can be saved from minimal water damage, although it may need to be sanded and stained.

Replacement Needs

Carpets and upholstered furniture are the most difficult items to save after extensive water damage. If you catch the damage early and dry out the textiles quickly, you may be able to avoid damage. Otherwise, mold and mildew can grow deep in carpet padding or inside upholstery. If professional cleaning doesn't remove stains and odor, you’ll likely need to replace these items.

Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga to learn more about your options after water damage.

All About Mold Infestation After a Water Disaster | SERVPRO of East Onondaga

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

After a water disaster, the time starts ticking to prevent mold from taking hold on your property.

All About Mold Infestation After a Water Disaster

The cause of mold is well-known — an excess of moisture. Well, unfortunately, after a water disaster such as a flood or hurricane, you'll have a lot of excess moisture in your home or business. Even after you've gotten rid of the water itself, the moisture will have likely seeped into the crevices. And that's where you can get mold.

The disaster doesn't have to be huge for your property to be in danger. If you've seen any signs of excess moisture from a bad rainstorm or a water line break, you might have a mold infestation in your future. Find out about the negative effects of mold and what to do about potential infestation.

Mold Damage to Your Property

If your property went through a water disaster big or small, you should expect to have hidden mold. Water from flooding can get into the corners of your home, affecting areas between walls and inside vents, which means that you need to be concerned with more than just what you can see.

Even if you can't see the mold, you might be able to smell it. Mold has a distinct musty odor. If left alone, this odor will sink into permeable surfaces, such as fabrics and drywall, even if the surface itself never got wet.

The more obvious sign of mold on your property is the visual damage it creates. Mold ranges in color from white to black, with gray, brown, yellow, and green mold making an appearance. When you see mold on impermeable surfaces, such as glass or metal, it might not cause as much damage.

However, mold will stain permeable surfaces. Mold stains can be difficult to remove completely, especially if the mold is left to grow for long periods, so have it removed by a professional as soon as you encounter it.

Mold Prevention Directly After a Water Disaster

After a water disaster, you have a small window to prevent mold from taking hold on your property. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give the timeframe of 24 to 48 hours. Your main objective is to dry out your property to prevent the mold infestation. You should open all your doors and windows and use fans to dry out the rooms. Make sure the fans are blowing outside, not inside.

Unfortunately, you'll need to get rid of all porous items that got wet and couldn’t be addressed during the 48 hour window. This list will likely include carpets and rugs, but clothing, furniture, and textiles are probably on the list, too. You can clean any non-porous items with a solution of bleach and water.

Unless your water disaster was small — like a washer overflow — you'll probably need professional help to prevent or clean up mold from your property.

Mold Removal After a Water Disaster

Restoration experts will take a comprehensive approach to restoring your property after a water disaster to prevent a mold infestation. For instance, they may inspect your appliances and advise you to discard them. Appliances can harbor mold spores.

Some bigger steps they'll take include removing and replacing damaged wall board. These types of porous surfaces often wick up moisture higher than the water line, so they may have a big project. Wooden trim that got wet will also have to be replaced. They'll probably also examine your duct system for signs of moisture or mold.

You have a lot of problems to overcome after a water disaster. Don't let a mold infestation become one of them. SERVPRO of East Onondaga professionals can get your property dried out and mold free quickly. Visit our website to learn more.

Water Damage? Consider Applied Structural Drying | SERVPRO of East Onondaga

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Onondaga County offers structural drying. Applied structural drying was created to provide rapid drying. If you experience any storm/w

Storm-Related Water Damage? Consider Applied Structural Drying

Severe storms threaten homes throughout the country each year. A severe storm can take a serious toll on the structural stability of your home. One of the most dangerous elements associated with severe weather is water. Excessive amounts of rain can lead to flooding.

The removal of standing water left behind by a storm inside your home is critical to preventing lasting damage. Skilled storm restoration specialists can employ a process known as applied structural drying to help you eliminate moisture from your home quickly and efficiently.

Applied structural drying utilizes data monitoring in coordination with high-tech equipment and manual water removal to get results. 

Rapid Drying

One of the important principles on which applied structural drying was created is a rapid drying process. This is essentially the process by which restoration specialists get water out of your home as quickly as possible.

A number of different methods are utilized in coordination with one another to help reduce the amount of time required to clear water after a storm. Vacuum squeegees can be utilized to pull water from carpets and hardwood floors. A pump can be used to eliminate standing water in a basement, and a structural cavity drying system can be employed to reach water in your home's building envelope.

Using each of these approaches together helps to reduce drying time and allows remediation specialists to focus on restoring your home to its pre-storm condition.

Humidity Reduction

Most storm restoration companies will offer services designed to dry out a flooded home following a severe storm. Only companies offering applied structural drying can offer you the added bonus of humidity reduction.

It's not just the standing water in your home that can cause serious damage following a flood. The moisture released by this water into the air inside your home can contribute to secondary water damage in areas of your home that weren't touched by flood waters.

Axial fans and centrifugal air movers are used in the applied structural drying process to ensure high humidity doesn't become a hindrance while restoring your storm-damaged home.

Ongoing Monitoring

Since the major selling point of applied structural drying is its data-driven approach, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that ongoing monitoring occurs once water has been removed from your home when an applied structural drying process is being utilized. Technicians will use high-tech equipment to engage in psychometry.

Psychometry is the process by which sensitive instruments record data pertaining to the environmental conditions within your home. Some equipment commonly used in ongoing monitoring includes a thermo-hygrometer to monitor relative humidity levels, water sensors to detect moisture levels in various areas throughout your home, and borescopes to gain visual contact on hard-to-reach structural voids where water may enter.

You will be able to receive real-time updates on the status of your storm restoration project as a result of the data-driven methodology associated with applied structural drying. Technicians can use this data to adjust their approach to your restoration project. New equipment can be introduced into or eliminated from the equation to help achieve the desired results.

Ongoing monitoring helps reduce drying time and improve efficiency, which usually results in more affordable restoration services for your home.

Storm damage is nothing to take lightly. You need to ensure that you are taking immediate action to address any water that may have flooded into your home during a recent storm. Work with a company that offers applied structural drying. This technique will help you achieve the greatest results while minimizing repair costs and lasting damage.

Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga to discuss your options if flood waters have affected your home.

Best Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Home | SERVPRO of East Onondaga

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm can alert you to smoke and fire in the house. If you experience any damage from a fire contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga Count.

Is there anything that a homeowner fears more than a fire breaking out in their house? A fire cannot only do significant damage to your home, but it can also endanger the lives of you and your family. Because of the harm that fires cause, homeowners should take all reasonable steps to prevent a fire from starting. Here are some top tips to keep in mind.

Use Smoke Alarms Effectively

Smoke alarms alert you to smoke and fire in the house quickly, which gives you time to get your family to safety. A smoke alarm also lets you call the fire department sooner to put out the fire as soon as possible, which can limit the amount of damage to your home. 

If you have a newer home, regulations require that these houses have alarms in every level of the house as well as in and outside of each sleeping area. If you have an older home, make sure you have smoke alarms on each level and outside of each sleeping area or bedroom at the very least.

Naturally, you want to make certain that your smoke alarms are working properly in case an accident happens. Use the test button in your alarms once a month to ensure that everything is in order. If you have alarms that require batteries, replace the batteries every six months.

Practice Good Kitchen Safety

Research shows that most house fires start in the kitchen. Practice good kitchen safety to reduce the chances of a fire breaking out in this area. For example, avoid leaving any flammable material, such as dish cloths or towels, near the stove or oven. Clean the oven and stove top regularly to keep any debris from catching fire.

Do not leave the kitchen when a hot cooking surface, such as a griddle or stove, is in use. When you need to leave the area for any reason, always remove the pot from the stove and turn off the griddle. Another good idea is to keep all pot handles turned toward the stove and do not let them hang over the edge.

Keep a Close Eye on Electrical Cords

Another frequent cause of house fires is electrical cords that are not in good repair. Inspect all of your electrical cords on a regular basis and replace any cords that are frayed or appear damaged. If you use an extension cord, do it only temporarily. Using extension cords long-term is dangerous because they can fail quickly.

Maintain Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace and chimney, keep them well-maintained as fires can easily start in this location if you are not careful. Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned regularly to remove soot and creosote.  Place a mesh screen in front of the fireplace so that no sparks land on any nearby carpeting or rugs. Never leave any wood fire unattended.

If you have a gas fireplace, ensure that you have two separate ways to turn off the gas in case of an emergency. 

Have Fire Extinguishers on Hand

A fire extinguisher can prevent a small fire from getting out of hand, so it's a good idea to keep an extinguisher near any area prone to fires, like the kitchen or fireplace. Review the operating instructions of the extinguishers with members of your family so that everyone understands how to operate them if the necessity arises.

Unfortunately, even if you take all reasonable precautions to prevent a fire, one can still break out due to some unforeseen event. If this happens to you, the best course of action is to have the fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of East Onondaga County help you get your house back to its original state. Contact us for more information. 

SERVPRO Cares

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Our team takes pride in our community! We care about the people in our community and want to help out in any way that we can. 

Our owner, John Halko, has a huge heart and makes sure to take time to donate to causes that he believes in. John is a long time supporter of the Rescue Mission. In addition to monetary donations, our team has participated in coat drives and donated furniture to support those in need through the Rescue Mission.

We currently hold a Jean Day on Fridays that those in the office are able to participate in. Office employees are able to wear jeans to work on Fridays as long as they donate $2. Currently, the money is being saved to buy toys to be donated to Toys for Tots. Additionally, we are collecting bottles and cans to go towards buying toys for the cause. Last year we were able to donate many toys thanks to our staff. 

If you would like to donate money or toys to the cause, please feel free to drop off at our office. We hope to fill a truck with as many toys as possible to make Christmas grand for children in the area who don't have much. 

Fire Damage Can be Detrimental to Your Home

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can cause a great deal of damage to both the structure of your home and your belongings. After you experience a fire in your home, know that we are so happy to hear that you and your loved ones are safe! 

It is important to clean up from fire damage quickly and efficiently. Smoke and soot can be very hard to clean by yourself. Many cleaning products will not touch smoke and soot damage, or they will push it around spreading it. SERVPRO has created cleaning products to clean different types of smoke and soot from a variety of different types of materials. Throughout the years, our SERVPRO headquarters has worked with experts creating products to clean up after fire damage. We know that you have items in your home that are very near and dear to your heart that would be devastating to loose. Our job is to ensure that these items are cleaned properly. 

When you call us, we can give you tips on what to do to make sure that items are not damaged further until we can get out to the house to perform a proper cleaning. Best of all, we work with insurance companies so that you are not burdened with the cost of cleaning your home from top to bottom!

HVAC Cleaning Experience

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever had a bad smell coming from the vents in your home? Did you know that dust, dander and debris can build up in your ducts over time causing allergies, respiratory problems, and other possible health problems? 

Having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis makes it possible to avoid having breathing and other health problems caused by your HVAC. Our technician, Lew who leads all of our duct cleanings has been working with us for over 13 years. He has experience working with many different types of HVAC units and ducting. He has the duct cleaning down to a science. Lew is able to answer any questions you may have regarding the duct cleaning and can walk you through the whole process before he begins. This way, you know exactly what to expect.

Call to schedule your duct cleaning today before you suffer all winter long breathing in the dust and toxins that have gotten into your duct work!

Locally Owned and Operated

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

When you're looking for a company to clean up after water, fire or mold damage you can be sure that SERVPRO will be a reliable company for you! 

We are independently owned and operated. John Halko has owned SERVPRO of East Onondaga County for over 25 years. He grew up in the area, started a business and raised a family in the area. John understands how important your home and business are to you! That's why our SERVPRO will take care of you in your time of disaster. 

John also takes pride in working with other local companies to ensure that everything needed to complete the job is done. We work with local dry cleaners, industrial hygienists, dumpster and storage companies, abatement and contractors. 

We will work with you and make you feel comfortable along the way. Our managers have been with our company for over 12 years and are dedicated to getting you back into your home and business as quickly as possible. 

Sewage Backup

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Have you experienced a sewage back up in your home or business? Sewage backups can be very dangerous, as the water can contain viruses, bacteria and other contaminants that have potential to cause illnesses. This is why we do not recommend that you clean up a sewage backup yourself. Let your local SERVPRO professionals clean it up for you! We have specialized training and cleaning products to ensure that the affected area is cleaned properly.

When we come out to assess damage, we first consider whether a water damage is a category 1, 2 or 3. From there, we determine the proper way to clean the area.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

We'll be there for you! If you experience a sewage backup, give us a call day or night. We have technicians available 24/7 to clean up the water damage quickly and efficiently! 

Why SERVPRO

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

When looking at companies who can provide you with water mitigation, mold remediation and fire restoration services you might ask yourself, why SERVPRO?

Let me tell you somethings about SERVPRO:

1. SERVPRO has been around since 1967 when Ted and Doris Isaacson founded the company which started as a painting business. Today, more than 1,700 SERVPRO franchises exist nationwide. Therefore, SERVPRO has proved to be an outstanding company. SERVPRO is actually one of the top 10 franchises today.

2. Our SERVPRO started over 25 years ago. Our owner started a SERVPRO franchise, with no other employees, one vehicle and just a couple pieces of equipment. Since then, we now operate with about 20 employees, multiple types of vehicles, a wide range of equipment for all types of work in our field. We have been successful, which has allowed us to grow.

3. All of our technicians are trained and specialists in the work that they do. 

4. We work with your insurance company to make sure you are covered for the work that we complete. If your insurance company does not cover a service we recommend, we will let you know the price before the work is done.

5. We work quickly to ensure that your home is back to normal ASAP.

6. We appreciate your feedback! We would like to know if your happy with our services. We also are interested in knowing if your unhappy with our services. We want to make it right, and fix anything that may have gone wrong.

Do's and Don'ts After Flooding

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

We understand that flooding can be a very emotional and stressful time. Your home has water in rooms where there shouldn't be water, your contents have been damaged, sometimes even ruined by the water. And now, you have to take time out of your busy life to try to make things right again in your home.

We will come out to you as soon as possible. We are usually able to get out to you the same day you call, but in case it is a busy time, below are some do's and don'ts for things you can do to help.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Hurricane Florence

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Florence began affecting the east coast on September 14th, and has caused a great deal of damage. Even after the hurricane hit, waters continued to rise throughout the Carolina's, Virginia and parts of Maryland. Many people were displaced and homes were ruined. SERVPRO dispatched our Storm teams into the areas to begin flood cleanup. 

SERVPRO has its own meteorologist, Lela Davis, who works at our corporate branch. Her job is to keep our corporate office updated on the forecast so that storm teams can be ready for dispatch in areas that is predicted to have storms. This way, we're one step a head of the weather.

Our storm teams make it possible for local franchises to reach more people in an area hit by storm and devastation. They will bring trailers of equipment with them, and as much crew as possible. Our focus is to help those in need and get homeowners back in their homes, businesses up and running quickly.  

Beaver Lake Golden Harvest Festival

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Come see us at the 41st Beaver Lake Golden Harvest Festival September 8th-9th from 10AM-6PM. They have some great activities planned!

There is free parking available on-site, and free shuttles from the River Mall and Tops parking lot in Baldwinsville.

At this event there will be hands on activities, horse drawn hayrides, canoeing, fresh doughnuts, live animals, games, face painting, lots of food to choose from, local artists, crafters and live music. Wylie Fox Farm from Cato, NY will be there with fresh produce!

The cost is $5 for adults and $1 for children (6-17 yrs old)

Check out their website for more information: http://www.onondagacountyparks.com/parks/beaver-lake-nature-center/golden-harvest-festival/

Make sure you stop and say hello if you see us there!

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 a Fire

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.

Preventing Leaky Pipes

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Stress on pipes can result in leaks which can be expensive to fix, replace and, not to mention, could cause extensive water damage to your home, business and personal items if they burst. Here are some ways to decrease the amount of stress and pressure on your pipes.

High water pressure can feel nice in the shower and it may seem like the dishes are getting done faster but, this can put an unnecessary amount of strain on your plumbing. You can get a hose bib gauge at your local hardware store to test the pressure. Attach it to an outside spigot and open the valve. Normal pressure is between 40-85 PSI so if you pressure measures above this, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. You can also install a low flow shower head in your bathroom to help reduce pressure there.

Hard water is another obstacle as far as pipes are concerned. Hard water is water with a higher than normal amount of mineral content such as calcium or magnesium present. These minerals can build up inside your pipes which restricts flow and in turn, increases the pressure. Deposits can also corrode joints and fittings over time. If you see a white substance on our faucet heads, you more than likely have hard water. If you are unsure or want more proof, ask your local municipality to view the water quality report they are required to have through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The only way to effectively soften the water in your home or business is by having a plumber install a water softener.

Wrap your pipes. If you have exterior piping and plan on going out of town in the winter months, take precautions to prevent coming home to a disaster. Wrap your pipes in electrical heat tape or a pipe sleeve which you can purchase at your local hardware store to prevent them from freezing. Remember, if the water is not constantly moving and the cold water pipes touch the exterior of the building when the temperature gets below freezing, your pipes will most likely freeze!

Set the spigot valve. If you have a pipe running through cement to your outside spigot valve, it’s always a good idea to install a frost-free hose bib which allows you to shut off water to the inside of the home preventing freezing.

These are all relatively simple and in expensive ways to protect your pipes that in the end could save you thousands of dollars! 

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 East 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 East 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!

A Storm Can Bring a Great Deal of Destruction

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

The flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 was the worst flood in American history. At the height of its power, the flood affected an area approximately 27,000 square miles affecting the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas with Arkansas being hit the hardest. At one point the flooded area was 50 miles wide, a 100 miles long and 30 feet deep. 500 people were killed, 600,000 were left homeless and there were 350 million dollars in damages – approximately 5 billion dollars today.

How did it happen?

Heavy rains came down in late 1926 and kept falling from the sky well into 1927. The tributaries of the Mississippi started to become burdened and the levees overflowed. The single greatest weak point in the levee system was at Mounds, Mississippi but authorities assured residents that the levee would hold. Slaves were made to pile sandbags on top of the levee but once one leak started, the water flow continued to increase. The levee started to shake and eventually collapsed with water flowing more than double the volume of Niagara Falls. The Mounds Landing levee break was significant in that after its collapse, the entire levee system along the river broke. Mounds Landing is known as the most severe levee break in the history on the United States to this day.

Changes

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 brought about many changes to the region and the entire country. Racial tensions soared high and many African Americans migrated north resulting in what is now known as the Great Migration. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928 the world’s longest system of levees were built. In 1941 Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Yazoo Backwater Project which utilizes levees, connecting channels, drainage structures and pumps to prevent flooding in the Mississippi Delta. The Great Flood of 1927 will always be remembered and continues to affect our country, its geography, its people, culture and our landscape to this very day. 

Tips for Making an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Having a water damage is never something expected. Coming home to a house filled with water can be a traumatic experience. It can be hard to think about the appropriate steps to take to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to limit secondary damage and keep the out of pocket cost to a minimum. Below are some tips to help make filing an insurance claim easier.

Something to Know:

Every insurance policy is different. Therefore, what will be covered may only be determined by reading your policy or calling your insurance agent/insurance company to have them determine coverage. 

Knowledge is Power:

Be sure you know who your insurance company is and how to contact them. You may want to list the phone number for your insurance company on your refrigerator for easy access. You could also add your insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number to your cell phone to have ready at all times. You never know when this information is going to be important. 

Stay Calm:

This experience can be upsetting. It's important to stay calm when you are talking to your insurance company so they can ask all the essential questions to set up your claim and get the ball rolling. 

Take Pictures:

Document the situation every step of the way to help your insurance company understand the full extent of the damage. Take pictures of every room that sustained damage, structural materials affected and personal items. These pictures will help your adjuster understand the full picture of what happened and what will be involved in restoring your house and the contents affected.

Ask Questions:

Resolving the water damage issue can be very confusing. Feel free to ask as many questions as you can think of to your insurance company so that you understand what will happen next every step of the way. It's important to know what your roles are and what your insurance company will be doing for you.

Use a company with IICRC Certified Technicians:

While there are many companies that may be willing to help you clean up from your water damage, it is important to utilize a company that has technicians who have been trained to properly perform mitigation. SERVPRO prides itself on the fact that our technicians are IICRC certified. Our technicians go through on-the-job training and complete IICRC training so that we can keep up with the latest techniques and technologies to dry your home out quickly to eliminate further damage. Education and training is very important to satisfying our customers. http://www.IICRC.org/education-certification/ 

Mold vs. Bacteria

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

While mold and bacteria are often grouped together, they are actually two very different organisms. Both occur naturally in nature but certain types of molds and bacteria may be harmful to humans.

Size. Molds are typically a lot larger than bacteria and possess hyphae or long, multi-celled filaments. Bacteria are generally smaller and more numerous in size but less complex.

Cellular structure. Molds are fungi and bacteria are not. Fungi are considered eukaryotes which means their DNA is enclosed in a nucleus (often referred to as a proper or well-defined nucleus) which is separated from their cytoplasm. The nucleus of a bacteria cell is not separated from their cytoplasm making them prokaryotes. What makes fungi cells complex are all the structures within their cell that bacteria cells do no possess.

Growth. There are two types of fungi which are important to consider when talking about growth; filamentous and yeasts. Fungal yeast reproduce by budding and filamentous fungi reproduce by branching or elongation. Bacteria on the other hand, regenerate by binary fission which means each parent cell divides into two smaller cells, typically of similar sizes.

Food and nutrition. Bacteria are autotrophic in that they have the ability to produce their own food via light or chemical energy and they are heterotrophic as well meaning, they can take in energy from other organisms for food if need be. Fungi are a type of heterotroph called saprophytes which get their energy from dead organic matter.  This is why fungi are often found in soil or on surfaces that are in the process of decay.

Fungi and bacteria often come with a negative stigma but don’t forget about all the good they do! They release and create nutrients to provide energy for our ecosystem, are used in the fermentation of chemicals, the production of food and even in our bodies to make certain vitamins. Remember, not all molds and bacteria are created equally. While different, they are necessary to our ecosystems and way of life. 

Mold Precautions

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Professionals handle water damages everyday and know the prompt action required to prevent mold. Our Operations Manager has been with us for over 11 years and specializes in mold remediation. The following are common things to look for:

  • Ongoing moisture problems which may be present. It's possible that a pipe has had a slow leak for sometime that has gone undetected.
  • Watch for visible mold. Remember that not all mold will be visible to the eye.
  • Strong musty odors
  • Evidence for past moisture problems, look for water stains.
  • Excessive humidity
All of these conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect for mold growth and water damage. If you have any questions regarding mold, please feel free to call our office and speak to someone. We can help point you in the correct direction of what steps you should take, we can send someone out to take a look at the possible mold and guide you.

Types of Fire Damage

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

 

Not all fires are the same. They are caused by and thrive on different elements so, as a result, classes of fires came about. Classifications of fires are needed to determine how to extinguish them properly. You wouldn’t want to re-ignite or spread a fire by using the wrong type of extinguisher. Determining what class a fire is, is detrimental to using the proper equipment to extinguish it.

Class A involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, plastics, cloth, trash and items that leave ash as a residue.

Class B fires are fueled by flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, propane, butane, paint and oil. Class B does not however include cooking oils or grease.

Class C are energized electrical fires which involve engines, transformers and appliances.

Class D fires are caused by combustible metals such as potassium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, and aluminum.

Class K fires are fueled by cooking oils, animal fat or grease. These normally occur in commercial kitchens.  

In one of our previous blogs, you can read about the different types of extinguishers and which ones should be used for each specific class of fire. 

Thunder Damage Safety

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These causalities are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.

1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.

2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.

3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.

4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.

5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.

6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.

Preventing Leaky Pipes

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Stress on pipes can result in leaks which can be expensive to fix, replace and, not to mention, could cause extensive water damage to your home, business and personal items if they burst. Here are some ways to decrease the amount of stress and pressure on your pipes.

High water pressure can feel nice in the shower and it may seem like the dishes are getting done faster but, this can put an unnecessary amount of strain on your plumbing. You can get a hose bib gauge at your local hardware store to test the pressure. Attach it to an outside spigot and open the valve. Normal pressure is between 40-85 PSI so if you pressure measures above this, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. You can also install a low flow shower head in your bathroom to help reduce pressure there.

Hard water is another obstacle as far as pipes are concerned. Hard water is water with a higher than normal amount of mineral content such as calcium or magnesium present. These minerals can build up inside your pipes which restricts flow and in turn, increases the pressure. Deposits can also corrode joints and fittings over time. If you see a white substance on our faucet heads, you more than likely have hard water. If you are unsure or want more proof, ask your local municipality to view the water quality report they are required to have through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The only way to effectively soften the water in your home or business is by having a plumber install a water softener.

Wrap your pipes. If you have exterior piping and plan on going out of town in the winter months, take precautions to prevent coming home to a disaster. Wrap your pipes in electrical heat tape or a pipe sleeve which you can purchase at your local hardware store to prevent them from freezing. Remember, if the water is not constantly moving and the cold water pipes touch the exterior of the building when the temperature gets below freezing, your pipes will most likely freeze!

Set the spigot valve. If you have a pipe running through cement to your outside spigot valve, it’s always a good idea to install a frost-free hose bib which allows you to shut off water to the inside of the home preventing freezing.

These are all relatively simple and in expensive ways to protect your pipes that in the end could save you thousands of dollars! 

IICRC

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are a non-profit organization that sets the standards for the cleaning, installation, inspection and restoration industry for more than 25 countries. They offer classes, training and certification. 

The IICRC was formed in 1972 by Ed York and was originally intended to be the standard for carpet and upholstery cleaning. Quickly, the organization grew to include water, fire and smoke damage, cleanup and repair, as well as wood, stone and tile cleaning and repair.

How Are the Certifications and Classes Determined?

IICRC’s Shareholders vote to nominate candidates to sit on a Board of Directors which is comprised of 15 industry professionals. The Board only meets four times of year so within the Board, there is an Executive Committee. The Committee is selected once a year at the fall meeting. The Board, along with the Committee, determines the direction of the organization while still following the ethics and guidelines set in place by IICRC. The Board determines what classes and certifications are necessary throughout the industry. The IICRC does not own schools or hire instructors but rather approves them to teach classes according to the organizations standards.

For more information on the IICRC, you can visit the website here: http://www.IICRC.org/ 

Make A Wish Charity Golf Tournament

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

We are preparing for our 15th annual Make a Wish charity golf tournament which will be held on June 12, 2018 at the Pompey Club. This is a great charity event which raises money for children with a critical illness can have a wish granted. In previous years we have been able to raise enough money to grant a child a wish, which completely warms our hearts!

In order to participate in the tournament, players should email John at John@SERVPRO5941.com or call our office at 315-457-3432 to register their team. Players should then send in a check made to the Make a Wish Foundation. The cost is $100 per player. We will play 18 holes of golf. Our sponsors have helped us, so that with your donation you will receieve any drinks that you would like throughout the day, breakfast, lunch and a steak dinner. 

Skins, mulligans and a 50/50 raffle will be offered.

If you would like to donate raffle prizes to the tournament, you can email John Halko to let him know. You can bring them in to our office, arrange for us to pick up the donations or bring them with you to the tourament. Any monitary donations will be donated directly to the Make a Wish Foundation of CNY.

Please contact our office directly if you have any additionl questions. Our office phone number is 315-457-3432. We look forward to seeing you there!

May is National Building Safety Month

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

This is the 38th year of celebrating Building Safety Month! This initiative of the International Code Council. This is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals and the public on creating a safe, resilient, affordable and energy efficient homes and buildings. Please feel free to check out the ICC website to get more information.

It is important to understand how codes and code officials improve and protect places we live and work. 

Some important disaster Safety and Mitigation tips highlighted are:

  • the importance of having code approved and tested shutters that provide protection from windbourne debris if you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area
  • building or retrofitting to create a tornado safe room in your home following ICC/NSSA 500 standards
  • removing dead grass, leaves, twigs, etc from areas within 30 feet from buildings in areas that are prone to wildfires
  • refraining from driving through flood waters due to not knowing what may be underneath the water or the true depth of the water

Please consider continuing to the ICC website for more information on building safety. It is important to make sure that your not putting yourself, your family, friends, co-workers, employees or tenants in danger by not following the proper codes.

May is National Building Safety Month

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

This is the 38th year of celebrating Building Safety Month! This initiative of the International Code Council. This is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals and the public on creating a safe, resilient, affordable and energy efficient homes and buildings. Please feel free to check out the ICC website to get more information.

It is important to understand how codes and code officials improve and protect places we live and work. 

Some important disaster Safety and Mitigation tips highlighted are:

  • the importance of having code approved and tested shutters that provide protection from windbourne debris if you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area
  • building or retrofitting to create a tornado safe room in your home following ICC/NSSA 500 standards
  • removing dead grass, leaves, twigs, etc from areas within 30 feet from buildings in areas that are prone to wildfires
  • refraining from driving through flood waters due to not knowing what may be underneath the water or the true depth of the water

Please consider continuing to the ICC website for more information on building safety. It is important to make sure that your not putting yourself, your family, friends, co-workers, employees or tenants in danger by not following the proper codes.

Preparing for a Thunderstorm

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

During this time of year, we may experience a lot of rain, which can leads to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. 

Protect your electronics. Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protectors to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for power outages. Have battery operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disgarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines. Don'tgo near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Go inside when you hear thunder. If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightening is also occurring. Lightening can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter. There are many different nature elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is in the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement, or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes.

Keep an emergency kit ready. Conisder putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio and a first aid kit.

Downspout Extensions

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

When heavy rain occurs, water can likely end up getting inside your home causing expensive damage. When water pools around the foundation from the roof or gutters it can leak through the basement walls. One thing that you can do in order to avoid water damage from heavy rain is to install downspout extensions. These extensions will force water away from the foundation from the home. They are simple to install and there are a variety of different types to choose from. 

You can look at your local hardware store to see what your options are. Some extensions look the same as the downspout, but add length making it so the water flows further from your home. There are also cement extensions which stay in place a little better than the plastic or aluminum extensions. 

Additionally, it is important to check your downspouts to ensure that they aren’t blocked by leaves, or debris. If the downspouts become blocked, water may intrude under your roof causing water damage to your ceiling.

Laminate Flooring Water Damage

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Laminate flooring comes in many different looks and can be a great choice when replacing flooring. However, water damage to laminate flooring can cause have many potential problems. If possible, avoid putting laminate flooring down in rooms that are could potentially have water damage. Use caution when installing laminate flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements. 

Water can cause laminate flooring to detach and break down. Water can cause laminate flooring to permanently buckle, in which case replacing would be necessary. Many times when we see water damage to laminate flooring, we would recommend removing it in order to avoid mold growth and to allow the subflooring to completely dry in a timely manner.

When laminate flooring is placed in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, some of the appliances in those rooms can slowly leak water which seeps underneath the laminate. This leakage can go unnoticed until buckling or mold develop. Basements can accumulate water during heavy rain storms, leaky pipes or when sump pumps fail damaging your beautiful flooring. 

Placing a vapor barrier down can eliminate some of the damage. Being conscious of any leaks or damaged ocurring to your flooring is important. It is easier to clean up from water damage immediately when it occurs rather than letting it set, therefore, deteriorating the structure of your home. 

Why Does Mold Form in Different Colors

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

After extensive research on the subject of the different colors of mold, this topic appears to be enigmatic. Scientists have come up with several different reasons why mold comes in such an array colors but can’t seem to nail down one over the other. There is a good chance a number of things are influencing the color of any give mold.

Colors of mold for example, vary regionally. The colors in the Pacific Northwest tend to be more green and blue whereas oranges appear more often in the Amazon. Some molds secrete pigment known as melanin that can act as a barrier to protect them against other rival molds. Other studies indicate that the color of this particular fungi comes from its food source, genus, conditions under which it grows and it’s age. While all of these things do contribute in some way, shape or form, mycologists (scientists that study mold) still haven’t been able to pinpoint one single reason why this mysterious fungi comes in all colors of the rainbow to this day! 

Celebrating 25 Years in Business!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Today, May 1st, we are celebrating 25 years in business! John Halko started his first SERVPRO Franchise with one truck, one employee and one dream. His dream was to build a successful company helping people affected by disaster. Today, John’s dream has become a reality. He has over 20 employees, multiple types of vehicles that allows the ability to service those affected by damage to both residential homes and large commercial properties. In 2012, John bought his first office for the company. The new location offers on-site storage for contents that need to be moved away from our customer’s properties for remediation and mitigation can be performed. We now also have room to park our vehicles inside the building extending the life of our vehicles, a clean room to clean contents on-site, a conference room for training and to loan out to those in need of a professional space. Our Operations Managers, Jeremy Wolfe and Matthew Balch, have been with our company for 11+ years individually and have helped us grow and become more versatile as a company. Their training has allowed us to service customers in a variety of different ways. If you see John this week, don’t forget to congratulate him on his achievements! Of course, we also want to reach out to our customers and colleagues to thank them for all of their continued support throughout the years. We could never be the company we are today without the help and support of our community.

Heavy Rain and Flooding Safety Tips

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

This spring we have been having a wide range of different types of weather. This has been both challenging to ourselves as people and to our homes, businesses and landscaping. We thought it would be important to share some safety tips with you regarding heavy rains and flooding. 

  1. Check your Roof-Look for current damage and areas that look vulnerable to leaks. Repair these as soon as possible. If need be, call a roofer to perform the inspection and the repairs. 
  2. Trim Foliage-Plants and trees with overgrown branches can pose a danger to your household in harsh winds and rain.
  3. Waterproof Windows-Check the edges of your window sills to see if they need a waterproof sealer or rubber on the edges.
  4. Clear out Gutters-It is important that these are clear in case of heavy rain to prevent any possible flooding. You should check your gutters a couple times throughout the year as the wind tends to carry leaves and debris into the gutters blocking the water from flowing freely. 

Remember, it is very important to keep an eye on these things, because a small leak can cause a lot of damage. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office so that we can help!

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.

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, we 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)

We Can Help!

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Do you own a business or commercial property? If so, we know your likely very busy running the business and taking care of the many tasks that goes along with the property. Therefore, you don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When your business needs cleaning beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call your local SERVPRO franchise to perform a deep cleaning to spruce up the place! 

We have specialty products to remove strong odors, and to remove tough stains that otherwise ruin carpets and flooring. When you call our office, we’ll come out to do an estimate for pricing. If there are tough stains that you would like to have removed, we will perform a test cleaning in a small area to ensure the stain will come out. 

Our technicians come be scheduled outside of your normal business hours so that we are not causing a distraction from your employees ability to work or hindering your customer’s ability to enjoy your space.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained to do the job right for you! We have over 100 exclusive cleaning products, so we can clean a variety of different types of materials and spaces.

In addition to our regular cleaning services, we also clean:

  • Air ducts
  • Biohazard 
  • Carpet and upholstery 
  • Ceilings, flooring and walls
  • Odor removal
  • Sewage
  • Water and fire damage
  • Trauma and crime scene
  • Vandalism 

Rental Property Cleaning

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Do you own rental property? Have your previous tenants left an unsightly mess after they have moved out? Perhaps they left a large amount of garbage and debris, dirty floors and walls or left a strong smelling odor that would make it impossible to rent again as is.That can be an overwhelming experience! But don’t worry, we’re here to help get your rental property clean, fresh smelling and ready for the next tenants to move in.

Give SERVPRO a call and we’ll send out an estimator that will thoroughly explain the type of cleaning needed and how we would get your rental property cleaned and sanitized. Our estimators have seen all sorts of damage caused by previous tenants and have a good understanding of what chemicals and cleaning techniques would be needed. They also can estimate the time needed to perform the necessary tasks. This will provide you with an estimated cost and timeline for the cleaning project.

We’ll then schedule a crew to complete the cleaning for you.

Some of the tasks our technicians could do for you to get your rental property ready to rent again:
Clean floors, ceilings and walls
Clean carpeting and upholstery
Thermal fogging- to remove any unwanted odors
Duct cleaning
Debris removal
Cleaning kitchens and bathrooms

If you should find any other tasks not listed, please feel free to call our office and check with any other things you may come across that may need cleaning.

Your Belongings After a Fire

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

When you experience a fire in your home, the fire damage affects not only the structure of your house, but also your belongings. SERVPRO is here to help! SERVPRO understands your furniture, clothing, keepsakes and belongings are very important to you. We know that some of these items are essential to making a house a home.

After experiencing a fire, it is common to feel overwhelmed. We are here to make this awful situation better for you. SERVPRO offers a Contents Claim Inventory Service, this provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. Our technicians go room to room documenting your contents by creating a list and taking digital photos. This way, the lists and photos can easily be sent to you and your insurance company. Once the list is created, a preload value of contents can be created. This will help produce a detailed and accurate report to settle your insurance claim quickly and accurately.

When necessary, SERVPRO can complete move-outs and pack-outs for you! If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to the damage from the fire, we can organize an efficient move-out of contents from the affected area. Move-outs allow for a quicker rebuild/remodeling and protects contents from damage during the remodel. While the rebuild/remodeling happens, your items can be inventoried and cleaned at our office. Should the remodeling take extra time, we can store your items until the project is finished.

When the restoration project is completed, we will move everything back into your home and help you get settled.

Choosing a Mold Remediation Company You Can Trust

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, we get a lot of calls from people who are concerned about mold in their homes and businesses. Mold is something that causes a lot of worry as it should. Mold has the potential to cause many different kinds of health issues and can also cause a lot of structural damage. Please know that we're always happy to take your calls and emails to answer any questions that you have about mold.  

If you're considering completing the mold remediation yourself, please know that there are many risks involved. It's important to choose a remediation company that has the proper equipment and knowledge to fully get rid of the mold. If mold remediation is not completed properly, you risk spreading the mold spores and affecting previously unaffected areas.

Things you should consider when choosing a mold remediation company are:

-Does the company understand mold and the potential hazards involved?
It's important that mold remediation is completely properly so that spores are not spread and all of the affected materials are removed and/or cleaned. At SERVPRO, our technicians have completed mold classes and have experienced on the job training.

-Do they recommend mold testing?
New York State requires that mold testing is completed before remediation can begin for most mold remediation work. Therefore, if a company is not completing mold testing they breaking the law. Mold testing allows the remediation specialists to identify the type of mold present which would determine exactly how the remediation is performed. Testing also identifies exactly where the mold is, as mold is not always identifiable to the human eye.

-Does the company keep records of what they are doing, daily notes, pictures of before, during and after?
This is important incase you ever need to go back and ask questions. Documentation is also helpful for insurance companies and if you ever want to sell your property you have specific details of what was done.

-Is the contaminated area properly contained?
This is important to stop the spores from spreading to unaffected areas.

-Is the remediation company insured?
Every SERVPRO franchise is required to be properly insured by our corporate office. Therefore, every SERVPRO is insured in order to be in business. We will gladly send any documentation needed to show what we are insured for.

-Do the technicians where protective gear?
All of our technicians understand the importance of wearing personal protective equipment to keep them safe while on the job.

-Does the remediation company discard the moldy materials?
Any company that completes mold remediation should properly bag the waste materials and remove them from your property so that you and your property are not exposed to the hazardous materials.

If there are any questions that you have, please feel free to call (315-457-3432 or email (SERVPRO5941@SERVPRO5941.com) us. We'll be happy to help!

Facts About Mold

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

When you have a water damage in your home, if not properly mitigated, you are at risk of mold becoming a problem. Today, I'm going to tell you some facts about mold:

  • Mold is a type of fungus.
    • One of the most common type of mold is known as mildew.
    • There are hundreds of different types of mold.
  • Mold can live indoors or outdoors and grows best in damp, warm, and humid environments.
  • Even though bathrooms and basements are typically moist areas prone to the growth of molds, any moist area in the household may harbor mold.
    • Having a properly installed fan in the bathroom can help reduce the moist content in the room. 
    • Running a dehumidifier in your basement, especially during the humid months, can help prevent mold from growing.
  • Some people experience allergic reactions or have negative health side effects when exposed to mold. The likely hood of this depends on the type of mold growing and the person.
  • Controlling the moisture content in your home is the best way to prevent mold.
  • Mold is not always able to be seen by the human eye.
    • This is why we highly recommend having mold testing completed by an industrial hygienist.

What To Do When Your Pipes Freeze

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Imagine this... you wake up on a cold winter morning, stumble to the bathroom, turn on the sink to splash your face with some water but only a very small trickle of water coming from your pipes. Confused? You call a plumber, and they tell you that most likely you have a frozen pipe. Eek! What do you do now?

Try to locate the section of pipe that is frozen. Using a blow dryer or heat gun blow hot air at the frozen section of pipe. If possible, you could place a space heater near the pipe to begin the thawing. It is important not to use a torch or open flame to attempt to thaw the pipe. Also, don’t place the space heater too close- remember the 3 ft rule! 

Inspect the pipe for any cracks that may occur when the water causes the pipe to expand. Slowly begin the run water and check for any leaks. If you notice water leaking from the pipe, you should turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. Contact a professional plumber to come fix the pipe. 

Don’t forget, we’re available 24/7 to clean up any water damage that may have occurred. It’s important to clean up any water damage quickly and efficiently to prevent further damage from occurring.

Getting Salt Stains out of Carpeting

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is here! So is freezing temperatures, ice and snow. It’s important to make sure that your business’s parking lots and sidewalks are safe for your employees and customers to walk on to get in and out of your building. Putting down rock salt is a very common way to make sure your sidewalks and parking lots are safe. However, rock salt can leave lasting stains on your carpet. 

Our SERVPRO professional technicians have been trained to clean rock salt stains out of carpet. Our SERVPRO Corporate has created special carpet cleaning solutions to get rid of these stains better than any store bought cleaner. Call our office today to schedule a carpet cleaning so your carpets stay looking their best! The sooner we clean the rock salt stains out of your carpet, the better chance you’ll have to remove the stains. 

During this time of year, we recommend having the carpets vacuumed and cleaned more often to keep the rock salt stains from sticking around. 

Do You Head South for the Winter?

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Before heading south for the winter, you should definitely check out these important preventative measures to protect your home!

  • Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees. There are new thermostats that are considered “smart thermostats” so that you can control the temperature of your home from your phone from anywhere. The Nest https://nest.com/thermostats/ the thermostat that we use in our home and is so easy to use and manage. 

At SERVPRO we have talked to many homeowners who live in the south for winter and have had their heating system fail while they’re away. This leads to frozen pipes that can be undiscovered for long periods of time. Not knowing that your heating system has failed and pipes breaking while your away can lead to water and mold damage that affects large areas of the home.

  • Winterize your pipes. Shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all faucets and flushing the toilets. You may also consider replacing the water traps and drains with a nontoxic antifreeze. Don’t think this is something you want to do yourself? Plumbers will come winterize your home for you.

Let Us Introduce Our Contractor!

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

This year, we gained a valuable asset to our company. We hired a contractor to join our team! Let's take a moment to get to know our contractor, Mark Ruzekowicz!

"I have been doing construction for approximately 20 years spending almost all that time in residential/commercial remodeling and new construction. I am quite proficient in all aspects of this work. I started learning the trades when I was a wee lad from my father and other family members who are also trades folk. Over the years I have worked as a subcontractor for a handful of phenomenal carpenters that helped me expand and refine my abilities. I am elated to join the SERVPRO family and am looking forward to the opportunity to augment the existing team here and provide the best customer service I can when taking the damage to a home or business and making it like it never even happened."

We're so happy to have Mark on our team!

Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing this Winter

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

During New York winters, our homes can take a beating from the freezing cold weather. It’s important to prepare your home before the winter weather hits. Failing to prep your home for winter, may result in a costly disaster later. Freezing cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze which causes the pipes to expand and crack or burs which leads to water damage.

Where the pipes in and around your home are, could mean that they are more likely to freeze than others. 

Pipes that are outside your home are the most likely to freeze as they are directly exposed to the cold weather. For these pipes, it’s best to turn off the water to these pipes and drain the pipes. This will ensure that no water can freeze inside allowing for possible cracks to form. 

Pipes located along exterior walls of the home or in areas of the home that are not heated are the next pipes likely to freeze. Consider whether or not areas of your home such as attics, basements, crawl spaces, garages or unused rooms have pipes in and around them. Because these pipes may be important to be left on throughout winter, it is important to insulate them. Special insulation for the pipes can be found at your local hardware store. Thermostatically controlled heat tape will turn on at certain minimum temperatures. This tape keeps the pipes slightly heated to ensure that freezing does not occur.

If you have had pipes that are inside of walls freeze, consider adding insulation in those walls. It’s possible that there is not enough insulation installed as would be recommended in our climate.

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? - adamandbrit@gmail.com - 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)

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 - 

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)

Picture from Syracuse.com

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.

Plumbing Checklist

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Plumbing problems cause a lot of the water damages that we hear about. It is important to ensure that the plumbing in your home is working properly and have any problem areas fixed.

You should check for:

  • Signs of leakage. Ex. Water/puddle marks
  • Corrosion
  • Signs of bad pipe connections
  • Water pressure. Low water pressure may be caused by a water line problem or sediment build up.
  • Any exposed pipes, ceilings and walls that may have pipes in them. If you see water stains or smell a musty odor.

Know where your water supply line valves are. It is important to be able to turn the water off to certain areas or turn off the water completely to your home. In an emergency situation you could completely shut off the water to your home until a skilled plumber can come fix the leak.

Electrical Safety

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that May is Electrical Safety Month? We would like to give you some electrical safety tips which could help you avoid fire in your home! Between 2007and 2011, 48% of home fires caused by electrical failures were because of distribution errors. This means that the electric usage in the home was at an unsafe level, causing fires to start due to overloading the system.

Items in your home that you should check the wattage of to ensure they are not being overloaded are:

-Bulb wattage- ensure that you are using the correct wattage in lamps and fixtures

- Cords- replace any frayed, cracked or damaged cords as soon as possible

-Extension Cords and Power Strips- Do not over load! Only plug in one high-wattage appliance per power strip

-Outlets- if the outlet feels warm, this is a signal that the wiring is unsafe and should be checked out by a professional

-Appliances- Unplug any unused appliance

-Fuse Box-Make sure the fuses are the correct size for the circuit

-Circuit Breaker Box- Occasionally turn the circuit breakers off and on to make ensure they are in good working condition.

 

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact an electrician to check out the electrical situation in your home. They are happy to come out and inspect your home for any improvements that can be made. It is important to make sure your house’s electrical system is up to code for the safety of you and your family.

Getting Rid of Mold

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

When customers call to set up an appointment for mold remediation, we start by scheduling one of our certified technicians or managers to go out to assess the situation. Our assessor goes out to do a visual assessment and creates an action plan. They are considering both the structural and content items that need mold removal.

Structural items may include (but are not limited to):

walls
ceilings
flooring
trim or molding
doors or windows
framing and studs
cabinets or vanities
bathtub or shower enclosures
insulation
concrete

Some of these materials would be removed completely during remediation. Other materials may be sanded, or dry ice blasted to remove a thin layer of the material to remediate the mold. Materials like ceramic tile, can usually be wiped clean of mold.

Content items may include (but are not limited to):

clothing
curtains or blinds
appliances or electronics
bedding
mattresses and furniture
dishes
knickknacks

During the remediation process, some items can be cleaned using our SERVPRO branded products. However, some items need to be discarded because of their material. If a material is too fibrous, we would not be able to guarantee that the mold was completely removed. We would recommend the item be thrown out to eliminate that item from contaminating the other structural material or content items. For example, mattresses and upholstered furniture would be recommended to be discarded. These items are cleaned topically and have cushion that would not be cleaned thoroughly enough to ensure the mold spores are no longer present.

Syracuse Breaks 100 Year Old Rainfall Record

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Have you noticed the Syracuse area experiencing a large amount of rainfall this year? We have had a record setting amount of rain to date! 0.69 inches fell on May 5th as of 3PM alone.

To the west of us, Buffalo received more than 6 inches of rain in April. As of May 5th, Buffalo had already received 3 inches of rain this month! 3 inches of rain is the typical amount of rain Buffalo normally receives in an entire month.

Many of the local lakes, streams, rivers and canal ways are flooding. Over the weekend, events surrounding the Syracuse Creekwalk were canceled and the Creekwalk has been closed for some time due to high water levels. Parts of the Creekwalk are flooded making it unsafe for people to use that area. Lake Ontario water levels are nearing 2 feet above average and are expected to continue rising.

In Oswego County, a beaver dam burst causing water to pour all over State Route 183. Also in Oswego County, a swamp along Lakeshore Road flooded causing the town to close the road completely.

Onondaga Lake Park, had massive flooding throughout the park. High waters in the park caused some of the park benches to be taken into the lake as water levels began to shrink.

Remember, it is important to watch for flood warnings in your area. There are safety precautions that should be taken for health and safety reasons. Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded waters, because you do not know what is underneath the water that could harm you. If you must travel, find detours that lead around the flooded waters.

Have you had flooding in your area?

Preparing for Common Spring Storms

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

It’s finally spring time in upstate New York! AND it finally FEELS like spring! We can’t be happier to break out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors!

However, with spring time comes some unpredictable weather patterns. Something’s we can expect along with the beautiful sunshine are; heavy rain, high winds, and hail. Have you experienced any of these so far? I can attest to seeing heavy rain and high winds! I have also seen warnings to hail in the area.

It is important to be prepared for any weather that might come our way.

Heavy Rain

Before heavy rain comes your way, make sure to check your gutters and down-spouts to ensure they are facing the correct direction and that they are free of any debris that could stop water from flowing through properly. Failing to do this may cause water do back up in the spouts and cause water damage to your roof and ceiling. If your spouts are not facing away from the house, you could have water intruding the foundation of your home causing water damage to your basement or ground level.

High Winds

If you have trees surrounding your home, high winds may cause tree limbs to fall and infringe your roof or side of the house. You may want to trim back any branches that could land on your home causing damage. You should also move inside or tightly secure any outside furniture or decoration that could be blown over or blown away by heavy winds.

Hail

Hail can come in many different sizes. I have seen some hail that is the size of golf balls. This one can be tough to protect your home and belongings from, but make sure anything that can be moved out of harm’s way is. Consider covering anything that cannot be moved from the outside elements to protect it.

We hope you have a happy and safe spring time!

Roof Tarping

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that your local SERVPRO offers roof tarping? That’s right, our SERVPRO offers emergency service tarping. When you call our office, day or night seven days a week someone will be there to answer your call and we will come out to start work as soon as possible. Because you never know when you’re going to need this type of service and you never plan for it!

 As we approach the heavy rain season, some homeowners may discover that their roof needs repair. You may also find that your skylight is not air tight and is allowing rain to come into your home causing further damage.

For scheduling, financial or weather related reasoning, you may not be able to have the roof or skylight immediately repaired to stop the water from trickling in. However, it is important to prevent water from getting into your home. As a result, tarping is necessary. Our skilled technicians will identify the damaged section of the roof, checking for damaged tiles and check the interior of the home for leaks. We can then tarp the damaged area of the roof to stop water from entering the home. Any water damage that has occurred inside the home can be mitigated by our technicians to stop further damage in your home.

This way, when you are ready and the weather allows, you can have a roofing contractor come and either fix or replace your roof.

Preventing Basement Flooding

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers! The spring time can be a very moist season in CNY. This week for example, has a large amount of rain predicted in the forecast. Forecasters have even issued a flash flooding storm watch lasting several days.

All of this rain may have you thinking about ways you can prevent basement flooding this spring. Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement area, a flooded basement can be very stressful.

Take the following steps to prevent a flooded basement:

  • Keep gutters and downspouts free from any debris. Clear out any leaves, gravel or anything else that may have formed a blockade in your gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure downspouts face away from your home. If the ground around your downspout has a slant, make sure that when the downspout empties the water is not going to flow back towards your home.
  • Fill cracks in the foundation with an epoxy.
  • Check your sump pump. Make sure the area is cleared from debris and that your pump is in good working order. You may want to have a back up sump pump or an alternative electrical source for the sump pump incase the power goes out.
  • Examine sewer systems and septic tanks.
  • Install window wells on any windows that lead to a lower level. Check the window to make sure it is water tight.
  • Check over your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you have the correct coverage. We often find that homeowners do not have a sump pump rider on their policy; therefore there is no coverage when a sump pump fails.

 

It is important to take the right precautions. Completing these steps will not be full proof to preventing water damage. However, it will minimize the risks.

We are Commercial Drying Specialists

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO Franchise has taken the IICRC Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS) class and has obtained special certifications to complete water mitigation in commercial buildings. Drying out a commercial building can be much different than performing a dry out service for a residential home. The materials a commercial building and residential home is built of can be completely different. The buildings are also used for different purposes.

The CDS course is a five day class and covers commercial, industrial, institutional and complex residential structures. The class teaches students to become skilled at performing damage inspections and evaluations. The class covers workflow management, process administration and technical methods of effective and timely drying of commercial, industrial, institutional and complex residential water damaged structures, systems and furniture.

Commercial drying projects often have additional potential hazards and safety risks than residential water mitigation projects. According to the IICRC, potential hazards include but are not limited to higher voltages, confined spaces, energized machinery, hazardous chemicals, heavy equipment and forklifts. In addition to this information, it is important that state and local laws for safety and contractor s are still followed.

If you are in need of having mitigation performed on a commercial or industrial building, make sure you utilize a company that has the knowledge to perform the services properly and effectively.

What Causes Mold in a Home

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

When customers call us wanting to get rid of the mold in their home, we often ask them what caused the mold to be there. This is an important question, because if the cause of the mold growth is not fixed, then mold will return after the mold remediation is completed.

There are many different reasons that could cause mold to grow. By failing to get to the root of the problem, mold will most definitely come back.

There are many different types of mold. Mold is essentially all around us. It is indoors, outdoors, settled on materials and in the air. Mold can transfer from place to place by spores wafting around in the air or being transferred via clothing or other items. Mold growth thrives in moist damp areas.

In order to stop mold growth in your home, it is important to follow these recommendations:

  • Keep doors and windows closed during times when the mold count outside is high.
  • Make sure your windows, doors and roofs are not allowing moisture into the home. These are places in the home that often allow water into the home causing mold problems.
  • Make sure your basement is properly sealed and ground water is not settling inside of your home.
  • Ensure that your home is exhausting and ventilated appropriately. Often people find that their bathroom exhaust fan is not ventilating properly and the moisture is getting stuck in the attic space causing mold to grow. Likewise, a dryer vent may be exhausting into a crawlspace rather than all the way to an outside area.
  • Check your pipes and drains to ensure that water is not leaking from these areas.

If you have an area of your home that gets a lot of moisture that cannot be fixed correctly or may be too costly, consider putting a dehumidifier in that area to draw extra moisture out of the air. You may want to consult with someone with knowledge about different types of dehumidifiers do see what kind would best work in the space you are drying to dehumidify.

If you should have more questions on this topic, please feel free to call our office at 315-457-3432 and ask to speak to someone who can further assist you. We would be happy to help!

Concrobium Mold Stain Remover

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

Mold staining can remain on surfaces affected by mold even after the mold has been removed. Concrobium Mold Stain Remover is one of the products that we often use on mold projects for stain removal. This product is designed to effectively eliminate mold staining. This stain remover removed the toughest mold staining and separates mold from the surface for remediation. Once the concrobium has been applied, we let it dry and begin HEPA vacuuming and wiping affected surfaces. Using this solution, stops the need for materials to be physically removed if it is not necessary not possible for the material to be removed.

This solution is safe for use in homes, hospitals, schools, commercial and industrial buildings. The stain remover works on hard, non-porous or semi-porous surfaces such as wood and composite wood, concrete, masonry, drywall, grout, fiberglass, tile, plastic, laminate, metal and fabric.

The Concrobium Mold Stain Remover has a slight odor which will dissipate within a couple hours of usage. Due to the odor, it is important that this product is used in a well ventilated area.

Should you have questions as to whether or not this product could be used on a project you have, feel free to call our office at 315-457-3432 and speak to someone about our Concrobium Mold Stain Remover.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

The flooring in commercial buildings generally get more traffic than residential carpeting. Therefore, the carpeting in commercial buildings need more care and attention. Carpets can get dingy due to how much they are walked on. Carpets also get traffic patterns worn in to them as a result of people walking in the same areas

Even the highest quality carpets can show soiling over time. We offer a variety of different types of carpet cleaning. The different cleaning methods include:

Bonnet Cleaning- a less aggressive method for short piled carpets.

Hot Water Extraction- A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.

Deluxe Precondition and Rinse- helps restore deeply soiled carpets.

Showcase Premier Cleaning- the most thorough cleaning method in the industry.

Dry Cleaning- for when color-fastness is an issue.

When scheduling a carpet cleaning for a commercial property, we will send a marketing representative out to measure the area, establish expectations for the carpet cleanings, and determine the type of carpet cleaning which is best for your carpeting.

We offer monthly, semi-annual, annual scheduling. We also will schedule cleanings on an as-needed basis. Feel free to give us a call today to meet with a marketing representative about having your carpets cleaned!

Emergency Ready Profile

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

11/18/2016

Approximately 50% of businesses affected by fire and water never reopen. The majority of businesses that do reopen after a catastrophe had a preparedness plan set up prior to their disaster. Is your business ready for whatever may happen?

 Did you know that your local SERVPRO can create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP serves as an immediate reference of important information regarding the business, building and chain of command as far as who would be our contact and who would approve emergency services. By creating an ERP, we are able to help to minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.

What can you expect from an Emergency Ready Profile?

  • There is no cost to the business for having an ERP created for your business.
  • A brief Profile Document that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency. Having an ERP created will not take a great deal of your time.
  • Getting the restoration started quickly will minimize the time your business is interrupted due to disaster.
  • Establish a relationship with your local SERVPRO Franchise. You will then have a direct contact when an event does arise rather than needing to research what company provides the services you need.
  • Identify a chain of command for authorizing work to begin. This way, it is pre-established who needs to be called in order to get work approved.
  • You will be prepared with facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Your business will be “Ready for whatever happens.”

If you’re interested in having an Emergency Ready Profile created for your business, call our office today 315-457-3432.

Thanksgiving Safety

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment? Follow these tips to ensure that you can enjoy the holidays with family and friends eating delicious food and thinking about what you’re most thankful for!

  1. Pay attention! Don’t get distracted by having too much going on at once. Keep a close eye on everything you have cooking and never leave the kitchen unattended.
  2. Don’t cook while intoxicated. Although the holidays are a time to relax and let loose, make sure you do not have too much to drink while cooking/baking.
  3. Keep a lid handy to smother the flames. Fires can start very quickly. Make sure you’re prepared any event that may erupt.
  4. Do NOT pour water on a grease fire. Water may be your first thought to put on any fire, but for a grease fire it will not help. If possible, you can cover the grease fire to attempt to remove oxygen from the flame. Pouring baking soda on the flames will also help deprive the flames of oxygen and put out the fire.
  5. Consider purchasing a smart stove which will extinguish fires or turn off automatically by itself. It is amazing what technology has been developed! There are many different types of smart stoves which have many different functions. Some of which you can connect remotely to your cooktop and oven to control the settings remotely.
  6. Keep flammable items away from the stove top. This may seem obvious, but when you are trying to make 3 things at once, it can be easy to set something down on or near the cooktop that shouldn’t be there.
  7. If you do have any type of fire while cooking, make sure to call your local fire department. After a material has been on fire the objects stay very hot for a long time. Sometimes the fire can restart. The fire department can ensure that the items are cool enough that the fire won’t restart.

We hope you remember these tips all year long! Hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your friends and family!

Most Reported Causes of Fire

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association lists the frequency of reported fires by causes on their website. The following are the most frequently reported fires:

Appliances and Consumer Electronics- This list includes but is not limited to cooking equipment, heating equipment, washers and dryers, air conditioners and fans.

Child Play- Approximately 44,500 fires are started each year by children playing with matches, lighters and other fire starting materials not even knowing the dangers this type of play can cause.

Candles- Placing candles in places where they can easily catch fire and leaving them unattended.

Chemicals and Gases- Storing gases improperly and spontaneous combustion.

Holidays- Christmas trees, holiday lights and decorations.

Weather and Outside Elements- Such as lightening, brush, grass and trees.

Smoking Materials- Cigarettes and other smoking supplies.

It is important to take notice that many of the commonly reported causes of fires are preventable to some amount. It is important to take caution when utilizing anything that could have potential to start a fire. Some of the actions seem harmless, such as going to take a shower while baking in the oven. However, fires often start when we least expect it. It is better to be safe than sorry. For more information about fire visit: http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics

Severe Thunderstorm Preparedness Tips

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 and is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. The Red Cross provides disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, training and certification in CPR, lifeguarding and first aid. The Global Red Cross Network can be found in 187 countries throughout the world. SERVPRO began a partnership with the America Red Cross in 2013 and became a Disaster Responder partner in 2016. The Disaster Responder program provides those in need with support, comfort and assistance in times or disaster. Disaster Responders help communities prepare for disasters before they even happen!

Some safety tips the Red Cross recommends in order to prepare for severe thunderstorms are:

  • Listen to the local news via television or the radio for emergency updates.
  • Put off participation in outdoor activities if thunderstorms are predicted.
  • Pay attention to the weather around you. Watch for signs of a storm such as darkening skies, high winds, and lightening. Lightening can happen even without rain.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued get to a safe location. Find shelter or get in a vehicle with the windows closed.
  • Do not use electronics such as telephones, computers, televisions, etc.
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or partake in activities that use running water.
  • If you’re driving, pull safely off the road and use your flashers.
  • Do not touch metal surfaces that can conduct electricity.
  • Stay out of pools, or bodies or water.

For more information on being prepared for storms, go to redcross.org.

Removing Odors From Smoke Damage

2/28/2017 (Permalink)

Ozone Generator

After a fire, you may have a strong residual smoke odor even after a full cleaning has been performed. Smoke odors can penetrate materials and get in hard to reach crevasses. In order to completely remove smoke odor we have an Ozone Generator that is used to oxidize odor. In addition to smoke odor, this Ozone Generator can be used to eliminate odors from pets, mildew, organic pollutants and more without the use of chemicals.

This Ozone Generator does not leave any residual film. All people and animals should vacate the area while the ozone machine is being used in. We seal the room to prevent dissipation to areas that do not need deodorization.

We recommend customers having their contents and structure ozoned following fire restoration to ensure all odors are removed.

Recently a fire broke out at a local business, Salt City Billiards, during the very early morning. (http://cnycentral.com/news/local/early-morning-fire-at-salt-city-billiards-in-north-syracuse) Many of the customers who play pool at this location had their pool cues and cases stored on-site at Salt City Billiards. The pool cues and cases can be very expensive and absorbed a good amount of smoke odor. We told the customers that they could bring their pool cues and cases to our office and we would put them in our ozone room free of charge to remove the odor.

Keep your Property Safe from Potential Snow and Ice Flooding

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

As we continue to get waves of large amounts of snow and then warmer weather that melts the snow, we need to protect our homes and businesses from water damage.

As we get lots of snow throughout the winter, there are a few ways we are susceptible to experiencing water damage. When the roof has a lot of snow, it can leak water from the roof into the home. Ice backups can occur if the home is not properly insulated allowing water to penetrate the ceiling and walls. When there are cracks in the foundation, melting snow can allow water to seep into the building.

It’s important to pay close attention to the forecast and know what types of weather to expect. However, in order to avoid winter weather from affecting your home there are something’s you can do to prepare:

  • Seal any cracks in the foundation. It is natural for cracks in the foundation to appear. It’s important to keep on top of them and seal any that you notice.
  • Install a back-flow valve. A back-flow valve would prevent a sewer back up to occur during flooding.
  • Install a sump pump. Many people have sump pumps installed in their homes to stop water from rising to higher levels of the home. A sump pump automatically drains any water that intrudes your home. If you already have a sump pump, check it often to ensure it is not blocked and is working properly. If yours uses batteries, make sure the batteries are not old and have backups on hand.
  • Do not store valuable items in places they can be ruined if water damage does occur. Store your valuables on shelving; consider placing stored items on pallets where possible. Keep your items in plastic storage totes to protect them.
  • Remove snow from around your home. You can eliminate the snow from around your home to help keep water out. If there is less melting snow around your home, there is less of a chance the water will flow into your home.
  • Keep sewage drains and downspouts clear.
  • Use a snow rake to remove snow from your roof and stop ice build up.

Mold Remediation Contractor License

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

This is a copy of our Mold Remediation Contractor License

Beginning January 2016, the New York State Department of Labor activated a new Mold Program. Any business performing mold remediation needed to obtain the training and licensing required and adhere to the minimum work standards in order to be in compliance with the law.

The reason for the required training is to protect consumers. By requiring contractors to receive proper training prior to obtaining licensing to perform mold assessment, remediation and abatement services they are ensuring that the technicians doing the work understand the correct ways to perform the job. Contractors are not legally allowed to perform mold assessments, remediation, or abatement without having the proper licensing.

In order for our company to stay incompliance with the new law, all of our technicians and managers have had to complete Mold Remediation Technician and Mold Remediation Supervisor training from a New York State Department of Labor approved trainer. The courses involved 24 hours of training which we were able to obtain locally.

Because of the new mold program, we cannot send any technicians on-site to a mold project without having this license. Before scheduling mold remediation in your home or office, make sure to thoroughly check out the company you’re hiring to ensure they have the proper certifications to perform the work.

Water Damage Alarm

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

What if we told you there was something you could hook up in your home that would alert you when water penetrated an area of your home you didn’t want it to?

Worried about your dishwasher leaking? Concerned about your water heater being old and water seeping out of it? Nervous about having your sump pump fail? Having an alarm that would sound if water infiltrated an area that it was not suppose to be could be helpful in many different spaces in a home or business. If there is an area of your home that has had previous water damages that you may be worried about happening again this water damage alarm could make you feel more comfortable.

If there is a space in your home that you don’t go often, this alarm would notify you of any water damage that occurs. Often, people have areas of their homes they don’t go into on a daily basis. For example, many people don’t or can’t go into their basement every day. Water damages occur in these areas and sit for long periods of time without being noticed. In the mean time, secondary damage occurs. Mold grows, contents get ruined and the already expensive damage becomes a lot more expensive than if it was discovered at the time of loss.

While browsing Amazon.com I found that many of the water damage alarms cost anywhere from $12-$50. When you think about the cost it may save you in the long run, it’s well worth the money! Consider purchasing one (or a few) of these alarms in your home to alert you of a water damage.

Exterior Services

2/7/2017 (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.

Should You Have a Mold Inspection Before Purchasing a Home?

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

The spring time is often when the real estate market gets busy. Are you in the market for a new home? Are you worried about existing problems you may find after moving in? Will you have your new home inspected before purchase?

You may want to also consider having a mold inspection before buying a home. Mold can be found behind walls under flooring materials, hidden by furniture and wall coverings and in out of sight locations such as crawl spaces and attics. Therefore, you may not see the mold before buying the home. Mold remediation can be very a costly process.

It has become popular to make homes as energy efficient as possible. The advantage to an energy efficient home is that the utility bill is much lower. Everyone can appreciate that! The disadvantage is that mold flourishes in a sealed environment. Water gets trapped and doesn’t evaporate as quickly. This diminishes the indoor air quality.

Do not think that because you are buying a new or newer home, that mold does not exist in that home. Lack of proper ventilation, construction errors and the time of year the home was built could be a factor as to whether or not mold exists.

A home inspector may be able to find visible mold in the home. However, it is likely that they are not a mold expert. Mold cannot always be seen, therefore, sometimes it is necessary to take air samples and submit them for testing to truly know if there is mold in the home or not. An indoor environmental quality consultant would be able to perform this type of testing for you.

What is Mold Remediation

1/26/2017 (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.

How to Save your Furniture after a Water Damage

1/24/2017 (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.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home or business? Did you know that many insurance companies offer a discount for having a fire extinguisher in your home? For a mere $20-$50 you could save money on your homeowners insurance and have a life and property saving tool in your home.

If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, it is important to understand how to properly use it. After reading this article read the instructions on your extinguisher and become familiar with where everything is located on it. Make sure to share the information with everyone in your home so they too can be prepared.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends remembering the word PASS in order to properly operate your extinguisher.

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Make sure you store your fire extinguisher in a safe and easily assessable area. Check the date on your extinguisher and make certain it is not expired. Put in your calendar to check the expiration date yearly.

Before purchasing a fire extinguisher, visit NFPA.org to understand which type of extinguisher is right for your property.

Syracuse Crunch/Local Firefighter Night

1/13/2017 (Permalink)

As a way to give back to those in the community that helps everyone in a time of need, SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties hosts a Syracuse Crunch/Local Firefighters Night at a Syracuse Crunch hockey game. Our owner, John Halko has been supporting the Syracuse Crunch/Local Firefighter night for 9 years. This tradition started in 2009 when John wanted to show appreciation to local fire fighters and their families for the hard work they put in to our community. They make themselves available to the community and our families to protect us and help in times of need.

We send out flyers, post on social media and visit each of the local fire stations in the area to let fire fighters know that we are offering 150 free tickets to the Syracuse Crunch game. This year’s Syracuse Crunch/Fire Fighter night will be held on Friday, January 20th at 7:00PM against the Binghamton Senators at the War Memorial Arena. Local firefighters can contact our office by email at Sales@SERVPRO5941.com or by calling our office at 315-457-3432 to request tickets for themselves and their families. Tickets will be delivered to each fire station before the event. Firefighters can pick up their requested tickets at their fire station.

During the hockey game, we usually toss t-shirts or hats as an extra token of appreciation. We are looking forward to this year’s event! If you know someone who is a local fire fighter in the CNY area, please give them the information so they can get their free tickets! Please note that tickets are limited.

Restoring Your Commercial Property after A Water Damage Event

1/6/2017 (Permalink)

Here to help 24/7!

Flooding and water damage events in Onondaga and Oswego Counties commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties

SERVPRO of North and East Onondaga and Oswego Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification for the Following:

Water Damage Restoration

Fire & Smoke Restoration

Applied Structural Drying

Applied Microbial Remediation

Commercial Drying Specialist

Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Do you ever worry that your sprinkler system may malfunction and water will start leaking from your sprinkler system unnecessarily? Have you ever had water damage due to your sprinkler system? We have provided mitigation many times for companies that have sprinkler systems that malfunction. Many times, the system fails in the middle of the night when no one is around to turn off the water. By the time someone gets to the shut off valve, a large amount of water has already been dispersed throughout the building. Sprinkler systems can be very helpful in putting out fires and saving a building, but they need to be properly maintained to stop damage from occurring outside of having a fire.

In many cases, doing sprinkler maintenance can be very easy. However, remember that in some cases you may need to call in the company that installed the system to do maintenance on the sprinkler system or have another company brought in.

You should check and make sure that any pipe that is in an area that gets very cold is properly insulated. For example, if the pipes to the sprinkler system are in an attic space or outside wall that does not get heated.

Your sprinkler system should have a flow test valve that you can discharge water through the pipes to the outside. This will test the pipes that they are in good working order. Be aware that by running the water to the flow test valve, your fire alarm may go off. Make sure to contact your alarm company to let them know that you will be performing a test so that they do not call the fire department and dispatch an emergency crew.

Ensure that sprinkler heads and cover plates do not get painted over. Check that boxes, shelving units or other contents are not placed in the way of the sprinkler heads.

Should you have a water damage due to a fire sprinkler system malfunctioning, give our office a call day or night and we’ll clean up the water and dry out any structure or contents that have been affected.

Some insurance companies offer a discount for having a fire sprinkler system installed. Check with your insurance company today to see if discounts are available to you!

What if Your Pipes Freeze

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

As we continue to have freezing weather, we must be aware that the pipes in our homes and businesses could freeze at any time. Last week, I talked about how to keep your pipes from freezing. However, we must be prepared if they do freeze.

Some ways you can tell if your pipes have frozen are…

--If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out.

--If you can see visible frost on the pipes.

When you have discovered that your pipes have frozen, you should immediately turn off the main water valve. It is important for everyone in the home to know where they shut-off valves are in your home. Once the water has been shut off, you should begin to thaw the pipes.

Ways you can do to thaw frozen pipes are…

--Wrap hot clothes or heating pads around the frozen pipes. Leave the cloth on the pipes until they have cooled, if needed repeat this step.

--Put a space heater near the frozen pipes. Ensure that the space heater does not directly touch the pipes.

--Use a blow dryer to thaw the pipes.

--DO NOT use any type of open flame to thaw the pipes, this can damage your pipes and is a fire hazard.

Once the pipes are thawed, you will want to turn the water back on to the home. It is important to inspect your pipes and ensure that the pipes did not burst. Remember, as water freezes it expands. Some pipes cannot hold up to the expanded water and crack or break. A pipe can have a very small crack in it which will slowly leak water and can cause a great deal of damage.

If you find that a pipe has cracked or burst, you will want to turn the water off to that area. Call your local plumber to have them fix or replace the broken pipe before turning the water back on. Should you have any water damage, be sure to call your local SERVPRO. We’ll be sure to get there quickly to start mitigation.

How to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing!

12/15/2016 (Permalink)

As we begin getting below freezing temperatures we need make sure we are following the steps to keep our pipes from freezing. Remember, when water freezes it expands which will cause a pipe to crack. When the pipe thaws water will leak from the pipe. A small pipe can allow up to 250 gallons of water to leak out over the course of one day. Larger pipes will allow more water to spew out. This amount of water can cause a hefty amount of damage to your home or business.

There are some steps we should take to keep pipes from freezing…

First of all, all outside hoses and pipes should be drained and unhooked. These hoses should be properly stored away for the winter.

Make sure to keep garage doors shut. You may want to purchase a window and door insulator kit   (http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-84-in-x-112-in-Indoor-Patio-Door-Window-Insulator-Kit-2144-EP/100143375). This will help keep your home warmer and better insulated from doors and windows which may leak air.

Seal any openings in your home where cold air may get in. You may want to get an expandable calk to help seal any openings.

Properly insulate pipes in attics and crawl spaces. These are areas that are usually unheated, and therefore have the most likelihood of having frozen pipes. Check what grade of insulation is recommended for your area. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=diy.diy_attic_insulation

When your area is experiencing freezing temperatures, make sure to leave cabinet doors open that lead to pipes. This way, the cabinets are exposed to the same about of heat as the rest of your home. Turn your faucets on so that they slowly drip water. This will keep water flowing through the pipes. You will be able to tell if the pipes stop dripping, there is probably ice blocking the pipe.

Leave the heat set to one temperature. This will surely cost you money to leave your heat at one temperature rather than turning the heat down at night or when you’re not home. However, it will stop areas of the home with plumbing from getting too cold and allowing pipes to freeze.

Preparing for a Winter Storm

12/9/2016 (Permalink)

Now that it is winter in Central New York, we must remember how to prepare for a winter storm. All winter long we get warnings of impending snow. Whether we enjoy the winter season or not, we must be ready at any time for a large amount of snow fall, ice storms, or well below freezing weather.

As for any type of impending storm it is suggested to have enough food and water for everyone who lives in the home to last at least three days. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 gallons. The food should be food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. It is also suggested that you have a radio that runs on batteries so you can get updates on what is happening even if the power goes out. Additionally, extra batteries, flashlights and candles should be on hand. If you have a fire place, ensure that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected and that you have wood available. A fireplace, kerosene heaters can be used as alternative heat sources.

There are specific things that can be done right before a winter storm hits. You should fill your gas tank to ensure you have enough gas should you get stuck while traveling. Put blankets and additional winter gear in your car. If possible, you should avoid driving during a winter storm. This will lessen the traffic on the roads and the chance of getting stuck or in an accident.

Check your shovels and snow rakes and put them somewhere that is easily assessable. It is important to keep a shoveled path into your home. Should an emergency arise where emergency responders need to come to the home, it’s important for them to have easy access. Spraying your shovel with WD-40 will stop the snow from sticking to your shovel.

 Make sure your cell phones and other electronics are charged and ready for use.

During the storm, should temperatures dip below freezing you should turn all faucets in your home on so they are slowly dripping. This will help keep pipes from freezing, which could save you in the long run from having to clean up water damage. Leaving the cabinet doors open will help your pipes stay warmer. Wrapping towels or newspaper around your pipes to help insulate them should you lose the ability to heat your home.

Why It's Important to Roof Rake Snow in the Winter

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Have you ever had large amounts of snow built up on your roof? Ever notice how large icicles can build up after the snow has melted a little and then re-froze? Having large amounts of snow and ice buildup can be damaging to your home.

  • The heavy snow can cause your roof to collapse.
  • When the snow starts to melt and then freezes again, ice can build up on the roof. Ice can be damaging to gutters and downspouts.
  • Ice dams can form causing water damage in your home.

Roof rakes can be purchased at most hardware stores. They look like a thin, wide shovel and have an extension pole so that you can stand on the ground to remove the snow from your roof. It can be extremely dangerous to try to get up on the roof covered in snow or to stand on a ladder to remove the snow. The roof rake allows you to stand on the ground and remove the snow.

If ice damming should happen to your home, the affected area of the roof will need to be completely cleaned off in order for mitigation to begin. Otherwise, the snow will continue to leak in through the roof and the drying of materials will not be able to start. Having the roof completely cleaned off can be a very difficult task and often a roofer is needed.

What's the First Step After a Fire?

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

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



  • Ask the firefighters or proper authorities on the scene if it is safe 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, there are numerous companies that offer these services.

  • 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. Is this a small fire or a large project you will have to hire a company for?

  • 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.

New York State Mold Laws 2016

7/9/2016 (Permalink)

As of January 1, 2016, New York State has taken the steps to ensure proper mold cleanup and restoration through a new set of laws. These laws are very similar to those regarding asbestos.

Training: Contractors are now required by the State to obtain training prior to being licensed to perform mold assessments, remediation and abatement services.

Licensing: Contractors are not allowed to advertise or perform any mold service to the public without proper licensing. The only exception to this law is if they are performing work on their own home or business.

Minimum Work Standards: The new mold laws establish he minimum standards needed throughout the industry to perform mold assessment, remediation and abatement activities by licensed professionals.

There are three levels of certification concerning mold: contractor, supervisor and assessor. To ensure there are no fraudulent activities surrounding the mold industry, the state has mandated that the same company that performs the actual work of remediation and abatement may not be the same company that assesses if that work is needed.

For any further questions concerning the new mold laws; we encourage you to view the Department of Labor’s website or contact New York State.

Firework Safety

6/29/2016 (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.

Fireworks are illegal in many states so make sure you check your state and local laws before lighting up the skies. Happy Fourth of July!

Thunderstorm Safety Tips

6/6/2016 (Permalink)

Lightning.

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These causalities are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.


1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.


2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.


3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.


4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.


5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.


6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.

Grilling Safety Tips

5/23/2016 (Permalink)

Grill.

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!



  1.  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.

  2.   Place the grill on a flat surface away from anything that may catch fire such as trees, shrubs, fences and hedges.

  3.  Do not grill with loose clothing or dangling bits that can catch fire or are flammable.

  4. 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.

  5. Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.

  6. Do not leave the grill unattended.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!       

Songs About the Great Flood of 1927

5/18/2016 (Permalink)

The Great Flood of 1927.

The Great Flood of 1927 of the Mississippi River not only changed the landscape of the region, the people and government regulations but their culture as well. Many musicians were inspired to express their feelings at the time of the disaster and others continue to do so through conveying those emotions which they so closely associate with those in peril at the time of the flood. Below are some of the most well-known songs about the flooding in 1927.  I have collected primarily songs from the blues genre although you will find some other styles mixed in. Some of these songs and artists have stories and information to share outside of the songs themselves and others simply leave the music to do all of the talking. I encourage you to listen to the songs by clicking on the title, the emotions behind them and add any other songs about the flooding of 1927 that are not mentioned in the comment section below.

Memphis “Minnie” McCoy and Kansas Joe McCoy – When the Levee Breaks

This is probably the most famous song that came about from the Great Flood of 1927. Many African Americans were forced to work, often at gunpoint, on the levees as the river waters rose during the flood for the Mississippi in 1927. At this point in time, many blacks worked on plantations in the Deep South and rented homes from the plantation owners. When the flood came, they had nowhere to go and were forced to move North to find better jobs. This song rose to fame when rock band Led Zeppelin covered it and released it in 1970.

Bessie Smith - Back Water Blues

                This particular song is written about the very early stages of the flood of 1927 which actually started all the way in Tennessee on Christmas Day of 1926. This blues and jazz standard is about the Cumberland River which flows through Nashville and contributed to the overall flooding in 1927.

Barbecue Bob – Mississippi Heavy Water Blues

Charley Lincoln - Mississippi Low-Levee Blues

                Barbecue Bob wrote “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues” about the flood of 1927 and years later his brother, Charley Lincoln (also known as Laughing Charlie) wrote the sequel “Mississippi Low-Levee Blues.”

Charley Patton- High Water Everywhere Pt 1 and 2 – Bob Dylan Covered

                It is believed that Patton was referring to Greenville, Mississippi in this song where African Americans were held after the flood and not allowed to leave by the landowners for fear that they wouldn’t not return to the Deep South and work the plantations. “High Water Everywhere” is debatably one of Patton’s best works and often hailed as his magnum opus.

Terence Blanchard- Ghost of 1927

                While this song is obviously inspired by the flood of 1927 it was actually written circa 2006-2007 for film director Spike Lee’s four hour award winning HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. What resulted was Blanchard’s album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) compromised of songs about the flooding of the Mississippi region throughout the years. This album won a Grammy in 2008 for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” and the song “Levees” was nominated for “Best Jazz Instrument Solo.”

Randy Newman – Louisiana 1927

Aaron Neville - Louisiana 1927

                Newman wrote this lamenting song in the perspective of an anonymous resident of the Saint Bernard and Plaquemines parishes recounting the aftermath of the flood. He describes the callous response from the government, the sheer volume of water and the scope of disaster. After Katrina hit, Aaron Neville of The Neville Brothers performed his own version of the song and revived “Louisiana 1927” in way that it not only became the theme song after Katrina but is now considered a Louisiana folk song, staple and standard.

Zachary Richard – Big River

                This song is off Richard’s 20th album Le Fou which was strongly influenced by his roots in Louisiana as is all of his music but more specifically, the BP Oil Spill. This album is hailed as his best and Richard splits his time between Scott, Louisiana and Canada where he is most well-known.

Other songs about the Flood of 1927:

Blind Lemon Jefferson – “Rising High Water Blues”

Lonnie Johnson – “Broken Levee Blues”

Eric Bibb – “Flood Water”

Jed Hopkins and Sarah A Westcott – “The Mississippi Flood Song “

Joe Hoover – “Mississippi Flood Song”

Big Bill Broonzy – “Big Bill Blues,”  “Southern Flood Blues,” and his cover of “Back Water Blues

The New Lost City Ramblers – “Mighty Mississippi” (originally written by Kelly Harrell)

Al Craver  (Vernon Dalhart) - “The Mississippi Flood”

Arthur Fields - “Terrible Mississippi Flood”

Norfolk Jubilee Quartet - “The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago”

Bartmon Montet and Joswell Dupuis - “L’Eau Haute” (High Water Waltz)

The Most Devastating Fire in U.S. History

5/10/2016 (Permalink)

Forest fire.

The Great Peshtigo Fire


The Peshtigo fire was the most devastating fire in U.S. History to date killing more than 1,500 people and decimating 1.2 million acres in Wisconsin and upper Michigan. Little is known about the tragic fire of Peshtigo on October 8th of 1871 for two reasons: one; the Chicago fire eclipsed the Peshtigo in the news headlines and two; all of the town’s records were burned in the fire.


The direct cause of the fire is unknown but there is speculation that several contributing factors were at play. The slash and burn method was commonly used during this time period in the area to clear land for farming and railroads. The wood that was cut remained off to the side of the farmlands and railroads where it was left to dry up and created perfect kindling for the fire. It had been a hot, dry year and many of the water resources in the area had been dried up or were at dangerously low levels. No one knows for sure how the fire ignited but with the above mentioned factors combined, it is generally believe that strong winds blew and the smallest spark ignited the kindling all around the area. The intense wind and dry climate created a fire tornado which swept the affected area, even jumping across the Peshtigo River.  The fire burned through 16 towns and the city of Peshtigo was gone in an hour.


There are theories that a comet or meteorite may have hit the Earth on October 8th, 1871 causing both the Peshtigo Fire and the Chicago fire but most scientific research says otherwise.  One other far-fetched tale is that of a cow tipping over a lantern to start the fire. A more realistic assumption is that the railroad workers caused a spark which ignited the brush or a spark flew from a train passing through igniting the brush around the tracks. We may never know the true cause of this horrific fire. The only safe haven during the catastrophe was the Peshtigo River. Today there is a museum and research center in downtown Peshtigo to remember the fire, the damage it caused and those who lost their lives in it. 

The History Behind the Make a Wish Golf Tournament

5/2/2016 (Permalink)

Make a Wish

Owner of SERVPRO NE Onondaga and Oswego Counties John Halko, knew when he got into the business that he would always give back to the community, specifically children. Halko came from nothing and knew if given the opportunity, he wanted to give back to those in need. The idea of a golf tournament came about when other SERVPRO’s recommended it as a great way to bring people together in the business world. Chosen on a recommendation from Nationwide agent Vinny Hollopeter 14 years ago, The Pompey Club proved to be the perfect setting for the event. At first, each year money was raised for a different organization. One year it was the Canteen in the North Syracuse School District, the next Hospice to remember a friend and of course Make a Wish. One year, Halko hit a road block with an organization he was trying to work with so after feeling a bit discouraged, he decided that from then on they would donate to Make a Wish every year because “they appreciate what little we can give them.”

Make a Wish is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with terminal diseases. Halko recalls when wishes were $5,000 and now one wish is approximately $10,000. The goal every year is to grant at least one wish. He plans to achieve his goal with participants in the tournament who donate $100.00 to play golf and receive a free lunch and steak dinner, sponsorships, 50/50 raffles, mulligans, skins and of course, donations. When asked what he considers his most successful year with the tournament he replied; “Every year we can give Make a Wish something. It doesn’t matter how much.”

Make a Wish Fundraiser at Uno's

4/28/2016 (Permalink)

Uno's Make a Wish Fundraiser.

SERVPRO is partnering up Uno's Pizzeria in Fayetteville! If you purchase a meal or drinks next Thursday May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) and either mention SERVPRO/Make a Wish or print the coupon in the photo, 20% of your bill will automatically go to Make a Wish foundation of Central New York! 

Spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers! One wish is now up to $10,000 so we are trying to acheive at least that amount by our golf tournament in the beginning of June to make one child's wish come true. 

For more information, call our office at 315-457-3432 or email holly@SERVPRO5941.com 

The Most Destructive Flood in American History

4/25/2016 (Permalink)

Mississippi Flood of 1927.

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

The flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 was the worst flood in American history. At the height of its power, the flood affected an area approximately 27,000 square miles affecting the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas with Arkansas being hit the hardest. At one point the flooded area was 50 miles wide, a 100 miles long and 30 feet deep. 500 people were killed, 600,000 were left homeless and there were 350 million dollars in damages – approximately 5 billion dollars today.

How did it happen?

Heavy rains came down in late 1926 and kept falling from the sky well into 1927. The tributaries of the Mississippi started to become burdened and the levees overflowed. The single greatest weak point in the levee system was at Mounds, Mississippi but authorities assured residents that the levee would hold. Slaves were made to pile sandbags on top of the levee but once one leak started, the water flow continued to increase. The levee started to shake and eventually collapsed with water flowing more than double the volume of Niagara Falls. The Mounds Landing levee break was significant in that after its collapse, the entire levee system along the river broke. Mounds Landing is known as the most severe levee break in the history on the United States to this day.

Changes

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 brought about many changes to the region and the entire country. Racial tensions soared high and many African Americans migrated north resulting in what is now known as the Great Migration. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928 the world’s longest system of levees were built. In 1941 Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Yazoo Backwater Project which utilizes levees, connecting channels, drainage structures and pumps to prevent flooding in the Mississippi Delta. The Great Flood of 1927 will always be remembered and continues to affect our country, its geography, its people, culture and our landscape to this very day. 

Spring Cleaning You Forgot

4/18/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning supplies.

It’s easy to remember to go through the house and vacuum, dust and polish but what about the deep dark corners of our lives that always seem to be forgotten? No excuses this year! Here is a list of the most forgotten places we all need to go through, organize and clean out.

1)      Wallet and Purse. Go through and make sure there are no expired coupons you no longer need or that library card you never use and throw them out. Ladies, do you have a bunch of stuff in the bottom of your purse that isn’t necessary? Ease that weight on your shoulder and clean it out! If it’s not something you use every day or every week, chances are, you don’t need that item to be in there.

2)      Car. Cleaning the inside of your car can be tedious but you’ll feel much better driving around in a clean car afterwards. Throw out any broken sunglasses, trash or things that just don’t belong in the car and put them in their proper place in the house. This means going through your console, glove compartment and the trunk. If you are going to keep spare change in the car, get a plastic bag to put it in and place it in an easy to reach place for tolls. Go through your trunk, retire your winter gear and prepare an emergency bag to keep in your trunk full of things like warm socks, water, granola bars, a blanket and a lighter just to be safe. Don’t forget the side pockets! After all this is done, go over the upholstery with a vacuum, armor all the dash and clean the windows. This is also a good time to schedule a day when you can switch your winter tires to summer.

3)      Junk Drawer. We all have at least one junk drawer in the house. Clean it out and get rid of those odds and ends you always said you would fix but never do and things you just don’t need anymore. Use plastic trays and small bins to organize what’s left. It’s probably still a junk drawer but at least it’s an organized one now.

4)      Medicine Cabinet. Go through and check the expiration dates. Throw anything out that can’t be used and write a list of things you need to replace to get at the store. Organize by bottle size or by use.

5)      File cabinet. Shred anything that’s more than 6 years old and you don’t really need. Pay stubs, electric bills etc. Take this time to make sure everything is properly labeled and put it in its rightful place. This will make it easier to file things away right after you open them rather than stack a big pile somewhere to “someday” take care of.

6)      Last but not least, the garage and the shed. Throw out any broken tools, duplicates and rusty equipment. Test the lawn mower out, gas and oil it up. Get rid of any pool toys with holes in them. Get a fresh propane tank for the grill and clean the inside of it out. Summer will be here before you know it and the more you prepare now, the more you can enjoy it when it gets here!

Happy cleaning! 

What is a Levee?

4/11/2016 (Permalink)

Levee on Mississippi River.

Levees are natural or artificial embankments made to regulate water flow, prevent flooding, overflowing or to keep certain areas of land dry. People have been attempting to control rivers, oceans and seas for thousands of years through the use of levees.

Natural levees are made of sediment pushed to the side of river banks causing the sides to be significantly higher than the river bed. Manmade embankments are often made of soil, sand and rocks but can also be made of wood, plastic and in some severe cases, concrete. On top, a flat surface is typically left on which sandbags may be piled even higher if needed.

Levees usually run parallel to the course of a river or flood plain to divert the water flow in as natural a manner as possible. If there are any spaces between levees on the same riverbank, the levee becomes useless. This may seem like common sense but it was an issue when the first levees were built by individuals who owned property along riverbanks and not government organizations.  

7 Ways to Maintain Your Septic System

4/4/2016 (Permalink)

Septic System.

It is important to maintain your septic system for the health of your family, your community and for monetary reasons as well. Your septic system is an integral part of your household and the importance of it may not be fully realized until there is a problem. To prevent problems and major life inconveniences involving your septic system, there are a few simple procedures and rules to follow for its maintenance.


1)      Regularly inspect your septic system. Get in touch with an On-Site System Maintainer to regularly inspect your system routine maintenance can save you a lot money in the long run.


2)      Locate your septic system, take a picture of where it is in your yard and put it in a file. This will save a lot of time and aggravation later when you have to get your system pumped. You can also have risers installed to make the pumping and monitoring of your system easier and less time consuming.


3)      Pump your system. Different systems call for different lengths of time between pumping and cleaning out your system. Typically your system should be pumped every 3-5 years. If there are a lot of people in your home or you use a lot of water, you may want to consider pumping your soon. Household amenities like garbage disposals, hot tubs and whirlpools can wreak havoc on your system so if these are present, shoot for every 2-3 years. It’s best to consult our septic system handbook, look it up online, or get the opinion of a professional for a more exact length of time between pumps.


4)      Be water conscience. Fixing leaky faucets and running toilets immediately can prevent strain on your system. If these are not taken care of in a timely manner, your septic tank could overflow contaminating your yard, groundwater and the community in which you live. It’s also important to think before you flush! Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. To prolong the life of your septic system avoid flushing items such as tampons, disposable diapers, cat litter, q-tips, condoms and anything other than toilet paper down the toilet and drain.


5)      Proper landscaping can play a large part in the longevity of your septic system as well. Do not plant and shrubs or trees on top of your septic system. Their roots can grow and cause cracks in the system which can cost a lot of money down the road to replace. Never build anything above your system or pour a slab of concrete. It’s safest to just plan grass above the system and the drainfield to let it breathe and work properly.


6)      Direct water from roof and land drains away from drainfield.


7)      Add some yeast to keep the bacteria alive that breaks down solid waste. Flush a ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet the first time and ¼ cup every 4 month after that.


Your septic system is an integral part of your household so do you part to take care of it for the health of your family, your community and your wallet! 

The Difference Between Mold and Bacteria

3/28/2016 (Permalink)

While mold and bacteria are often grouped together, they are actually two very different organisms. Both occur naturally in nature but certain types of molds and bacteria may be harmful to humans.

Size. Molds are typically a lot larger than bacteria and possess hyphae or long, multi-celled filaments. Bacteria are generally smaller and more numerous in size but less complex.

Cellular structure. Molds are fungi and bacteria are not. Fungi are considered eukaryotes which means their DNA is enclosed in a nucleus (often referred to as a proper or well-defined nucleus) which is separated from their cytoplasm. The nucleus of a bacteria cell is not separated from their cytoplasm making them prokaryotes. What makes fungi cells complex are all the structures within their cell that bacteria cells do no possess.

Growth. There are two types of fungi which are important to consider when talking about growth; filamentous and yeasts. Fungal yeast reproduce by budding and filamentous fungi reproduce by branching or elongation. Bacteria on the other hand, regenerate by binary fission which means each parent cell divides into two smaller cells, typically of similar sizes.

Food and nutrition. Bacteria are autotrophic in that they have the ability to produce their own food via light or chemical energy and they are heterotrophic as well meaning, they can take in energy from other organisms for food if need be. Fungi are a type of heterotroph called saprophytes which get their energy from dead organic matter.  This is why fungi are often found in soil or on surfaces that are in the process of decay.

Fungi and bacteria often come with a negative stigma but don’t forget about all the good they do! They release and create nutrients to provide energy for our ecosystem, are used in the fermentation of chemicals, the production of food and even in our bodies to make certain vitamins. Remember, not all molds and bacteria are created equally. While different, they are necessary to our ecosystems and way of life. 

Spring Cleaning List

3/22/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning supplies.

Spring Cleaning List

It’s that time of the year again when we all decide to go crazy and deep clean our homes like our moms taught us to! Here is a list of things to clean so you don’t forget any nook or cranny in your spring cleaning adventure. Here’s to a happy, clean home!

General Cleaning for all rooms:

-Dust your light fixtures

-Blinds

-Baseboards

-Trim around doors and windows

-Wash the curtains

-Wash blankets and pillow covers

-Dust knick knacks

-Clean light switches and cover plates

-Clean doorknobs and cupboard handles

-Move things and dust/sweep/vacuum behind them

-Dust vents

-Dust banisters and wipe with damp cloth

-Dust picture frames and wall hangings

-Window sills

-Mirrors

-Wash/beat out rugs

-Wash the walls

-Clean and wash pet beds and toys

-Clean kids toys

Bathroom:

-Clean around and behind toilet

-Clean inside of toilet bowl

-Mirrors

-Around the sink

-Clean bathtub and shower walls

-Throw out anything that hasn’t been used in a year

-Replace shower liner

-Clean showerhead and fixtures

-Wash bathmats

-Wash brushes and makeup brushes

-Replace toothbrushes

-Go through first aid supplies; throw out expired prescriptions and medicine and make an inventory of items you need to restock up on

Kitchen:

-Clean inside and outside of all appliances such as microwave, toaster, coffee pot, Keurig, etc

-Clean stove, dishwasher and oven

-Wipe down walls

-Throw out expired food

-Wipe down all surfaces in refrigerator and freezer

-Wipe down outside of fridge and vacuum coils

-Clean grease from stove hood

-Wash cabinets inside and out, wipe down backsplash and walls

-Clean out and organize plastic wear and make sure there are lids to match appropriate containers

-Get rid of old, rusty pans you don’t use and any appliances you haven’t used in over a year

-Dust any décor on counters, window sills and walls

-Wipe down counters and in and around the sink

-Wash or vacuum floor depending on type of surface

Bedrooms:

-Wash all sheets, comforters, duvet covers, pillowcases, pillows and curtains

-Throw out any clothing that has a stain, a hole or that you haven’t worn in a year

-Dust ceiling fan and light fixtures

-Clean under and behind beds, dressers and furniture

-Clean winter wear and pack for storage

-Bring out summer clothes, wash if necessary and throw out or donate anything that you won’t wear

-Go through jewelry box and donate or throw out anything that is broken, mismatched and you don’t wear anymore

-Go through bedside table throwing out items you don’t need and reorganizing

Living Room:

-Vacuum in between couch and chair cushions, behind and underneath couch and chairs

-Wax, dust and polish all furniture and fixtures

-Clean out fireplace

-Dust electronics

Office:

-Dust all electronics and blow out the dust

-Reorganize drawers and throw out/donate anything you don’t need or use anymore

-Go through computer, ipods, etc and organize folders, documents and pictures. At the end of this, back everything up on an external hard drive

-Perform computer maintenance

-Shred old/unnecessary documents

Garage:

-Clean out all tools and donate/throw away anything that is broken or that you have a duplicate of

-Organize tools and outdoor equipment

-Bring out summer sport equipment and store winter equipment

-Wash bikes off, fill up tires and oil gears

-Wash cars and clean out interiors

-Sweep out floor and power wash

House Exterior:

-Power wash siding and decking

-Empty out gutters

-Dust light fixtures for cobwebs

-Sweep leaves off deck and porch areas, sidewalks and driveways

-Stain and seal deck/porch if necessary

-Re mulch garden and plant new flowers and plants if desired

-Inspect exterior for damage and cracks

-Spray pest control around house

-Have pool serviced

-Clean out and organize shed

-Inspect all pool toys. Throw out ones with holes and clean those you plan to keep


Outdoor Equipment:

-“Summerize” and put away all snowblowers, shovels, plows, snowmobiles, etc.

-Prep lawn mower for use

-Test hoses for leaks

-Inspect grill, clean out and check propane tank

-Wash, clean and wipe down outdoor furniture

-clean AC unit of leaves and debris

Utilities:

-Replace A/C filter

-Clean ducts

-Start dehumidifier

-Check basement and damp areas for mold and mildew

-Check and replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

-Check fire extinguisher

-Inspect water heater

-Clean out dryer exhaust vent

-Clean all vents and fans

Happy cleaning!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

3/7/2016 (Permalink)

Bed bugs are a pretty popular news subject as of late. While these little creatures can be annoying to get rid of, the important thing to know is that they aren’t actually that harmful to your health. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases and their bites are itchy but not painful.

If you are worried about these pests invading your home or hitching a ride into your space, there are a few simple precautions you can take to prevent them from entering your home.

Bed bugs are most common in crowded sleeping quarters or places where there is high turnover such as hotels. Before unpacking when on a trip, inspect the hotel bed, especially the corners by the headboards and near the seams for the bugs themselves and little brown trails. If you see evidence of either the bugs or the trails they leave behind, notify the hotel staff immediately and ask for another room far from the infested one. Even if you don’t spot any signs of the critters, place your suitcase on a suitcase holder, on a hard surface such as a table or, hang your clothes in the closet. Bed bugs like warmth, such as upholstery so, it’s best to avoid putting your clothes on the bed, chair or carpeting.

After returning from a trip, if you suspect you may have been exposed to bed bugs, wash all of your clothes from the suitcase in warm water. If you have any delicates, bring them to the dry cleaners or toss them in the dryer under a light cycle. The heat will kill the bed bugs and their eggs. Vacuum your suitcase and store it in the garage or outside in a closed up plastic garbage bag with no-pest strips for two weeks. This will kill all the adults and their eggs.

Inspect places where pets sleep. Animals often carry parasites with them unknowingly.

Vacuum regularly and empty the canister into the garbage. Make sure you take the garbage out immediately if you do in fact suspect you have bed bugs.

Last but not least, keeping a clean, tidy and uncluttered house can save you a lot of time and money by drastically decreasing your chance of bed bugs in the first place. Vacuum, wash your sheets and avoid clutter, especially in the bedroom; and you should be fine.

If you are worried about bed bugs, you can buy encasements for your bed and box spring as well as climb-up monitors for your bed posts which prevent bed bugs from climbing up and trap them climbing down should you already have some. Pesticide use isn’t highly recommended on bed bugs for several reasons; 1) you would have spray around where you and your family sleep and 2) bed bugs are resilient and immune to many pesticides. If you do find yourself with a pest problem, keep in mind that more often than not, these critters are easily taken care of. It is very rare you would have to wash your entire closet or throw away your furniture.

Hopefully you never have to deal with bed bugs but if you do, these tips should help you clean up the problem quickly and allow you to be proactive.

Ways to Keep Dust Down in Your Home

2/29/2016 (Permalink)

Dust.

Dust is made up of a lot of unsavory characters; dead skin cells, fabric fibers, dust mites, animal dander, dirt, hair, pollen, mold spores and a bunch of other unknown components depending on where you live, work and play. Dust is not only a visible nuisance but can also cause health problems such as allergies. Below are some of the top ways to keep dust down in your home and increase your quality of living.

Vacuum. The more you stay on top of vacuuming, the less dust you will have in your home! Vacuum at least once a week, if not more to cut down on the amount of dust floating around. Remember to vacuum upholstery such as couches and curtains that hold onto dust particles as well. Be sure to empty the canister, replace the bag or better yet, get a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to trap tiny particles.

Dusting. A simple dusting can go a long way. Microfiber cloths work best but if you don’t have one handy, run any cloth under a bit of water to use. Microfiber and damp cloths capture and collect dust instead of just spreading it around your house like a dry cloth would.

Declutter. The more things you have to collect dust, the more dust you will have! We all have knick- knacks of some sort but try to minimize them or keep them covered in a glass case if possible. Books can be pushed to the front of the bookshelf to minimize dust collection there as well.

Air filters. Change your air filters in your heating and air-conditioning system once a month to cut down and catch dust particles before they spread throughout the home. Try a pleated or paper filter that carries an electrostatic charge which attracts dust.

Closets. One of the biggest components of dust is fabric fiber shed by your clothing. Keep your closets clean and organized by using clear plastic bins. This way, you can easily see what is in them and you’ll be able to move them around to dust. Store seasonal clothes in plastic bins and garbage bags to prevent their fibers from shedding when they aren’t in use. Another good rule to follow is keeping your closet floor clean. Too often we have items on the closet floor that never get moved and therefore, never get cleaned and hold dust. Would you vacuum the floor more if there was nothing in your way? Probably.

Bedding is another big culprit of dust and dust mites. Change and wash your bedding once a week and don’t forget about those pillows either! Pillows can be taken to the dry cleaners, hand washed or, if you have a new dryer, check for a setting meant for pillows and bedding specifically.

Cut back on carpeting. Hardwoods and tiles don’t collect dust like carpets do. Even if you vacuum regularly, dust can get deep down in the carpet fibers and stay suck there irritating you and your family. If you have rugs, make sure you take them outside and beat them. Beating rugs often loosens up trapped particles that a vacuum can’t get to.

Doormats help trap dirt before it gets throughout the house. Invest in a bristle top mat outside the door and another mat right inside the door as well. Don’t forget to vacuum and beat the dirt out of the mats once a week for best results.

Pet care. Grooming and washing pets regularly can cut back on dead skin cells, hair and dander throughout the house. Using a cover for your cat’s litter box can also help significantly.

Filter the air in the house while you clean by turning your thermostat to “fan on.” This filters the air even when the heating and air conditioning system aren’t on. Just make sure you turn the fan off after about 15 minutes as they are not meant to run all the time.

Using all of these tips combined or even a few at a time, the amount of dust in your house should decrease and provide you with cleaner, fresher air quality. Keep the dust down and breathe deeply!

Tips to Keep Your Carpet Looking Brand New

2/22/2016 (Permalink)

Carpet.

Carpets can be one of the most difficult things to preserve and keep that clean, brand spanking new look because we walk and put weight on them every day. Regardless of how much we abuse them, there are some precautions you can take to keep your carpets in top shape.

Regular vacuuming is key to preserving your carpets. When dirt and dust get pushed into carpets, they bend, twist and sometimes break the fibers if they aren’t removed. This is what results in that dull dirty look you may see in some spots if you don’t regularly vacuum you carpets. Try to vacuum twice a week in heavy traffic areas and hit the baseboards and any crevices with a brush once a week.

Area rugs and runners can also help keep your carpets clean, especially in high traffic areas. This will minimize soiling and crushing plus cut down on the amount of time you spend vacuuming.

Professional carpet cleaning can breathe new life into old carpets. Routine maintenance is key. Carpets should be professionally steamed cleaned about every 6-12 months to up their life expectancy.  

Cut snags. Snags should be cut immediately with scissors to prevent further damage. Do not vacuum over snags as they may get stuck in the clean and unravel more of the carpet.

Rake dents. Those dents under your couch or other furniture can easily be taken care of. Use a wet rag to saturate the spot where the dent it and gently rake your fingers back and forth. Make sure to do this gently to prevent breakage in the fibers.

Removing stains when they first happen can prevent a lot of frustration later on. Common liquid stains can generally be removed by blotting and dabbing the stain with water at first and then applying a type of carpet stain remover solution. You can always try white apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, shaving cream and grease cutting dish soap lying around the house if you don’t have any chemicals handy.

Last but not least, be more attentive to the types of carpets you are purchasing in the first place! They make carpets with stain repellant which make it had for dirt and stains to stick to the fibers. You can also buy darker carpets with patterns so when stains do show up, it’s much harder to pick them out.

Follow these tips and your carpets should remain brighter and cleaner for longer.  

Classes of Fires

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

Which class does this cooking fire fall into?

Not all fires are the same. They are caused by and thrive on different elements so, as a result, classes of fires came about. Classifications of fires are needed to determine how to extinguish them properly. You wouldn’t want to re-ignite or spread a fire by using the wrong type of extinguisher. Determining what class a fire is, is detrimental to using the proper equipment to extinguish it.

Class A involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, plastics, cloth, trash and items that leave ash as a residue.

Class B fires are fueled by flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, propane, butane, paint and oil. Class B does not however include cooking oils or grease.

Class C are energized electrical fires which involve engines, transformers and appliances.

Class D fires are caused by combustible metals such as potassium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, and aluminum.

Class K fires are fueled by cooking oils, animal fat or grease. These normally occur in commercial kitchens.

In one of our previous blogs, you can read about the different types of extinguishers and which ones should be used for each specific class of fire. 

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

2/8/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguishers.

In order to understand why different fire extinguishers exist, first one needs to understand how a fire exists in general. Using the wrong extinguisher can even cause fires to re-ignite or spread in some cases.

The fire triangle is a model used to illustrate how fires start. The triangle includes 3 elements: oxygen, heat and fuel. Without these three elements, a fire cannot exist. Fire extinguishers are made to take away one or more of the three elements to cease the fire. Since there are different types of fuel involved in different fires, there are a variety of fire extinguishers one can use based on the source of the fire.

Dry Chemical is the most common fire extinguisher used today as it is effective on all types of fires and is most likely the one you have in your home or at your place of business. This type of extinguisher interrupts the chemical reaction by creating a barrier between the fuel source and the oxygen. This can be used on Class A, B and C fires.

Dry Powder extinguishers are similar to dry chemical in that they separate the fuel from the oxygen or remove the heat element of the fire. They are only used for combustible metal fires (Class D) and are ineffective on all other types of fires.

Clean Agent or Halogenated extinguishers use halon agents and halocarbon agents to interrupt the chemical reaction of the fire. Clean agent is mainly used for Class B and C however, it can be used on Class A as well. There are concerns regarding contamination when these are used which brings us to the next type of extinguisher…

Water Mist extinguishers are a newer development and extinguish the fire by taking away the heat component. These are much safer than clean agent extinguishers as no halocarbon is involved and are primarily for Class C but may be used on Class A fires as well.

Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical interrupt the chemical reaction of the three components in the fire triangle and create a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen components when used on Class A fires. This extinguisher is also effective on Class B and C fires.

Wet Chemical extinguishers are unique in that they remove the heat component and prevent re-ignition by creating a barrier. These extinguishers are used for Class K fires which typically involve deep fryers and commercial cooking operations but may also be used for Class A fires in commercial kitchens as well.

Water and Foam extinguishers not only take away the heat element but the foam separates the oxygen from the other elements. These are used in Class A fires only and should never be used in Class B or C. If used in a B or C classified fire, there is a risk of spreading and not extinguishing the fire.

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers remove the oxygen first and secondly, remove the heat with cold discharge. They can be used on Class B and C fires but aren’t normally effective on Class A fires.

Fire extinguishers exist for your safety but if used improperly, may cause more damage. Make sure you know what kind of fire extinguisher you have and what types of emergencies it should and should not be used for. 

How to Prevent Leaky Pipes

2/1/2016 (Permalink)

Leaky pipe.

Stress on pipes can result in leaks which can be expensive to fix, replace and, not to mention, could cause extensive water damage to your home, business and personal items if they burst. Here are some ways to decrease the amount of stress and pressure on your pipes.

High water pressure can feel nice in the shower and it may seem like the dishes are getting done faster but, this can put an unnecessary amount of strain on your plumbing. You can get a hose bib gauge at your local hardware store to test the pressure. Attach it to an outside spigot and open the valve. Normal pressure is between 40-85 PSI so if you pressure measures above this, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. You can also install a low flow shower head in your bathroom to help reduce pressure there.

Hard water is another obstacle as far as pipes are concerned. Hard water is water with a higher than normal amount of mineral content such as calcium or magnesium present. These minerals can build up inside your pipes which restricts flow and in turn, increases the pressure. Deposits can also corrode joints and fittings over time. If you see a white substance on our faucet heads, you more than likely have hard water. If you are unsure or want more proof, ask your local municipality to view the water quality report they are required to have through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The only way to effectively soften the water in your home or business is by having a plumber install a water softener.

Wrap your pipes. If you have exterior piping and plan on going out of town in the winter months, take precautions to prevent coming home to a disaster. Wrap your pipes in electrical heat tape or a pipe sleeve which you can purchase at your local hardware store to prevent them from freezing. Remember, if the water is not constantly moving and the cold water pipes touch the exterior of the building when the temperature gets below freezing, your pipes will most likely freeze!

Set the spigot valve. If you have a pipe running through cement to your outside spigot valve, it’s always a good idea to install a frost-free hose bib which allows you to shut off water to the inside of the home preventing freezing.

These are all relatively simple and in expensive ways to protect your pipes that in the end could save you thousands of dollars! 

Why Does Mold Come in Different Colors?

1/25/2016 (Permalink)

Moldy orange.

After extensive research on the subject of the different colors of mold, this topic appears to be enigmatic. Scientists have come up with several different reasons why mold comes in such an array colors but can’t seem to nail down one over the other. There is a good chance a number of things are influencing the color of any give mold.

Colors of mold for example, vary regionally. The colors in the Pacific Northwest tend to be more green and blue whereas oranges appear more often in the Amazon. Some molds secrete pigment known as melanin that can act as a barrier to protect them against other rival molds. Other studies indicate that the color of this particular fungi comes from its food source, genus, conditions under which it grows and it’s age. While all of these things do contribute in some way, shape or form, mycologists (scientists that study mold) still haven’t been able to pinpoint one single reason why this mysterious fungi comes in all colors of the rainbow to this day! 

What is the IICRC

1/18/2016 (Permalink)

IICRC logo.

The IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are a non-profit organization that sets the standards for the cleaning, installation, inspection and restoration industry for more than 25 countries. They offer classes, training and certification.


The IICRC was formed in 1972 by Ed York and was originally intended to be the standard for carpet and upholstery cleaning. Quickly, the organization grew to include water, fire and smoke damage, cleanup and repair, as well as wood, stone and tile cleaning and repair.


How Are the Certifications and Classes Determined?


IICRC’s Shareholders vote to nominate candidates to sit on a Board of Directors which is comprised of 15 industry professionals. The Board only meets four times of year so within the Board, there is an Executive Committee. The Committee is selected once a year at the fall meeting. The Board, along with the Committee, determines the direction of the organization while still following the ethics and guidelines set in place by IICRC. The Board determines what classes and certifications are necessary throughout the industry. The IICRC does not own schools or hire instructors but rather approves them to teach classes according to the organizations standards. 


For more information on the IICRC, you can visit their website here: http://www.IICRC.org/

Different Types of Water Damage

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage is split up into three different types of categories and four different types of classes according to the Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) which sets the industry standards for the water damage restoration and repair industry.

The following categories describe the type of water involved:

Category 1: This is water from a clean source such as faucets, toilets, tanks, drinking fountains, etc.

Category 2: Liquid in this category is sometimes called grey water. The level of contaminants in grey water may cause illness if ingested and comes from sources such as dishwasher or washing machines, sink drains and toilet overflows with some urine but no fecal matter.

Category 3: This is the most unsanitary classification as it could cause severe illness or even death if ingested. Liquid in this category is also known as black water and comes from sewer backup, flooding from rivers, streams, toilet overflow with fecal matter and stagnant liquid that has begun to grow bacteria.

The classes below describe the level of destruction.

Class 1: Only one area of the room was affected, little or no wet carpet, and water has only touched materials with a low permeance rate such as plywood or concrete. Evaporation rate is slow in this class and damage is the easiest to deal with.

Class 2: In this class, the evaporation rate is fast and water has affected the entire room, going up the wall at least a foot leaving a lot of moisture in materials.

Class 3: Liquid may have come from above and the ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated and have the fastest evaporation rate.

Class 4: Specialty drying situations are placed in this class when there is enough water to completely saturate materials with very low permeance such as hardwood, brick or stone.

These categories and classes are used by the restoration industry to determine what type of plan and process should be used in each water damage situation.  Ask your restoration company beforehand if their technicians are IICRC certified to ensure the highest quality and standards in the cleanup process of your home or business.

Top Causes of Home Fires

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires are the leading cause of all fire deaths in the United States. For the most part, home fires are easily preventable.

Here are the top causes of home fires.

1.Cooking equipment. This may seem like a no brainer but believe it or not, cooking equipment is the leading cause of all home fires. Do not leave the stove or oven unattended while cooking. If you do need to leave the room, even for a second, make sure there are no flammable items such as dish rags,cookbooks, grease, curtains or paper products near your appliances. It’s always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well, just in case.

2. Heating, the second most common cause of home fires. Most fires involving heaters are caused by portable space heaters. They may be nice and convenient but blankets, lint and other flammables can easily get caught in them. If you have to use a space heater, make sure there are no loose materials that could easily burn around it.

3. Smoking. Cigarette’s and their ashes can easily catch on curtains, bedding and clothing which can quickly result in an out of control fire. Many fires caused by smoking happen in the bedroom when someone falls asleep with a cigarette in their hand. If you must smoke, do so outside your home for the safety of everyone involved.

4. Electrical fires can happen for a variety of reasons. Here are the top four:

  • Never remove the grounding plug on an appliance. Three pronged plugs exists on appliances that need extra power to operate. Get an electrician to install the proper outlet if you find this a problem in your home.
  •  Lamps and light fixtures. You should never install a bulb with wattage that is too high for a particular appliance. This will cause the bulb to overheat and in turn, catch the lampshade or other flammables nearby on fire. Another thing to avoid is covering your lamp shade or fixture with a cloth or paper. While it may look nice, it’s not worth the potential fire you may cause.
  •  Faulty cords and outdated appliances. Never use a cord that is worn or frayed. For this reason, you should also avoid running cords under rugs where they could become worn and go unnoticed for a long amount of time.
  •  Last but not least, outdated wiring. If your home is more than twenty years old, you may want to have a licensed electrician take a look at the wiring system. While replacing the system can get costly, it is nothing compared to a life or the belongings you could lose if the old wiring causes a fire.

Take the time to look around your house and ensure the safety of your friends and family by checking these common fire causes. Do you have a fire extinguisher? A working smoke alarm? How about a carbon monoxide detector? While it may seem tedious to check these items and think ahead, you will be able to sleep more soundly at night knowing you did.

Holiday Hazards

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

The holidays are a cheerful and exciting time but if you don’t take certain precautions, they can result in tragedies for you and your family. Follow these simple tips to keep everything joyful and bright!

Christmas Tree Hazards

Be sure when picking out a tree, you pick one that is full of lots of green needles. Brown needles indicate the tree is too dry and dry trees are more likely to catch on fire. Another good test is to see if the branches snap easily. A healthy tree’s branches will bend and be tough to break.

When you put your tree up, be sure to water it every day to keep it from drying out. When the needles start falling off at a rapid rate or start to turn brown, it’s probably time to get rid of the tree.

For all of you artificial tree people out there, check to make sure the tree you have or the one you are buying is labeled fire resistant or flame retardant.

Holiday Lights

Before using lights indoor or outdoors, check the label to make sure you are using them in the right location. There will be an indictor on the packing and the cord itself telling you if it is safe for indoor or outdoor use.

Whether the lights are brand new or old and faithful strands, check for frayed wires and shortages. If there are any, throw these strands out. For broken light bulbs, unplug the light strand and replace the bulb with one of the proper wattage for that strand.

When placing lights on the tree, as mentioned in the previous section, if the tree is watered enough there shouldn’t be any problems.

Never overload your circuit! If you need to use more than two plugs in an outlet, use a surge protector instead of many different extension cords.

Candles

Many people use candles during the holidays to create ambience. Just make sure candles are several feet away from any flammables. Never leave a candle burning when you leave your home; you never know what could happen while you are gone.

Cooking

If you are like most people, you probably do a little more cooking than usual around the holidays. It never hurts to review simple cooking safety tips. Do not leave the oven or stove unattended. Make sure you clear any flammable materials away from heat sources such as pot holders and curtains. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink in case of an emergency. Last but not least, make sure you don’t have any loose hanging clothing on while you are cooking.

Stay safe this holiday season and happy holidays!

How To Prevent Window Drafts

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

Drafts not only cause chills but can put a dent in your bank account as well. Here are some simple quick and easy tips to seal up windows in your home to save you money and keep you warm on those brisk nights.

1) Caulk. You can find caulk and a caulking gun at any hardware store, in your dad’s garage, or the neighbor down the street. Look around the window for cracks and crevices and fill them in. Try not to use too much caulk to prevent clumps. You can also smooth it out by wetting your finger and slowly moving it on top of the caulk line.

2) Self stick weather sealing is another great way to start. Measure and cut the foam stripping to fit the top, bottom and sides of the window where it meets the stop (or the frame for those of us less construction term inclined). Peel off the backing and press the strip into place between the window and the molding. When the window is closed, everything should seal up nicely!

3) Window film. While this may be tedious, you have to admit, it works. Window film kits can be bought at hardware stores or your big box stores such as Walmart as well. The film comes on a big roll (think saran wrap), so you will need to stretch it out on the floor. Then measure your windows, including the casing (framing) and cut the film to size. I like to cut the film a little larger than my windows because, well, mistakes happen. Place the tape where you would like the outer edge of the film to sit. Then use a hair dryer on medium to high heat around the edges to seal everything tightly.

4) Curtains. Hang curtains to keep the heat in and the cold out. Insulated curtains work best but any curtains are better than none. Blankets, while not as pretty, can also be used for the same desired effect.

It’s starting to get chilly out there so take care of your home, your family, and your wallets! Happy sealing my friends.

How Not To Deep Fry a Turkey

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

Ever thought of deep frying your turkey for Thanksgiving? Deep frying is quickly becoming to the go to method as far as turkey cooking goes. There are some right and wrong ways to deep fry a turkey so let’s go over the big mistake many amateur deep fryers will make this Thanksgiving.

Thaw out your turkey! And by this, we mean, all the way! As most of you know, water and oil don’t mix. If you place a frozen turkey in a pot of boiling oil, you will get an explosion. The water in and on the turkey will quickly evaporate and has no where to go but up and out. When the water from in the turkey which is in the hot oil goes up and out of the pot, so does the oil in the form of a BIG explosion. Not only could you ruin Thanksgiving dinner but you could injure yourself, others and your house.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey the Right Way:

1.When deep frying a turkey, take care to thaw the turkey out all the way through.

2.When you get ready to set up your deep frying station, do so outside. This way, in the event that something does happen, there are less materials around to get damaged.

3. Since you will be setting up the deep fryer outside, moving it away from the house or any structures is also a smart idea.

4.Make sure the oil isn’t hotter than necessary. Only fill the pot 3/4 of the way full and heat the oil to 350° F.

It’s a good idea to wear protective flame retardant gloves and make sure someone keeps an eye on the turkey at all times.

Now here’s a funny video of how NOT to deep fry a turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

https://youtu.be/IP3qh6Qym40

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