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Commercial Fires and Water Damage

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fires and Water Damage

After a fire at your business, there's liable to be a significant amount of water damage in addition to the fire damage. It's likely that automatic sprinklers have gone off, and that at least one fire hose was used to extinguish the flames. There may be saturated drywall and carpeting, which can lead to a mold problem if not addressed promptly. 

This situation requires the skills of a professional restoration company. They can take care of the damage by:

  • Making a thorough inspection
  • Extracting the water
  • Drying and dehumidifying
  • Disinfecting and cleaning
  • Repairing damage and completing restoration

Damage Inspection and Assessment

The restoration company first makes a careful inspection, assessing the water and fire damage and looking for any possible hidden problems, such as water behind walls. From their assessment they can determine which specialized equipment and techniques are best suited to the task.

Water Removal

As quickly as possible, the technicians begin the process of water extraction. This minimizes the chance of more damage from secondary sources such as mold. Any excess water is removed, using heavy-duty pumps and vacuums.

Drying and Dehumidification

At this point, the restoration team focuses on removing any moisture or humidity that remains. This is done through the use of professional-strength dehumidifiers and air movers. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

After everything is thoroughly dried, the remaining items and surfaces are treated to remove any threat from microbes or mold, using a variety of specialized methods. Any lingering odors are dealt with by using air scrubbers and foggers.

Damage Repair and Restoration

As soon as all moisture has been completely extracted and any threat from pathogens has been eliminated, the repair and restoration work can start. Depending on the extent of the damage, this might involve simple tasks like replacing carpets and painting, or more complex work like rebuilding entire rooms.

If you've had fire damage at your business, you're most likely going to have to deal with water damage as well. Hiring a restoration company can ensure that both problems are dealt with quickly, safely and efficiently.

Why is everyone talking about mold?

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

How to prevent water damage in your home

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and the very core that holds your house together.

You’ve heard about core strength for your body. Well, water damage hits at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew.

Here are three easy things to do to that will give you piece of mind the next time heavy storms hit.

#1. Ensure Good Drainage

Why it matters: Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter your home. 

How to do it:

  • Clean your gutters routinely. A clogged gutter will send cascades of water down the side of your house, damaging your siding and foundation.
  • Ensure your downspouts direct water 5 to 10 feet away from your house.
  • Make sure your yard is sloped at least 6 inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation. That slope keeps water from getting down right next to your foundation, where it could cause walls to lean, crack the masonry, and create leaks. (For crawl spaces, keeping water away makes sure excess water doesn’t pool underneath your floor, making for damp conditions that encourage mold, rot, and insects.)
  • But don’t let the soil get too dry, either. Long dry spells let the soil around your house dry out and shrink. A big rain may make the soil expand, putting pressure on your foundation walls. In a drought, run a soaker hose at least 6 inches from the foundation and 3 inches under the soil to keep the soil from contracting and expanding.

Maintenance cost: Very little. Cleaning gutters can be a no-cost DIY job, or you can hire a pro for $50 to $250, depending on the size and height of your home. To get the soil slope you need, you might have to buy some additional topsoil.

Worst case if you put it off: Your foundation could settle, cracking your basement walls. The cost to stabilize, repair, and seal deteriorated foundation walls is a whopping $15,000 to $40,000.

#2. Test Your Sump Pump Regularly

Why it matters: Sump pumps come to life during storms. That’s not when you want to realize yours isn’t working properly. You should check it at least once a year, and ideally perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.

How to test your sump pump:

  1. Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch for the “float” (similar to the float in your toilet) to rise, which should turn on the pump. Then watch to make sure the water level falls.
  2. Test your backup pump the same way, but unplug the main pump first.
  3. If you don’t have a backup pump — or a generator — and are on municipal water, get one that runs on water pressure. If you’re on well water, your only option is the battery kind.

Maintenance cost: Testing is free; a water-powered backup sump pump, including installation, costs $150 to $350; a new battery for a battery-operated sump starts around $200.

Worst case if you put it off: Your basement could flood, ruining everything in it, including drywall and carpeting. (Did you know your regular insurance doesn’t cover flooding?) Plus you run the risk of mold and mildew — which can also be a very expensive problem.

#3. Check for Water Leaks and Fix Them.

Why it matters: Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, rot, and even termites and carpenter ants (they like chewing soggy wood, since it’s soft). Yet if you fix a leak soon after it starts, there may be no long-term damage at all.  

How to check for leaks:

  • Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips.
  • At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.

Maintenance cost: Negligible for a simple fix, such as a new washer. A visit from a plumber might set you back $250; a roof repair, a few hundred dollars to $1,000.

Worst case if you put it off: Drips ruin the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and run down into the floor sheathing and joists underneath, so you need a structural repair, plus new cabinets and new kitchen flooring. Or the roof rots, so you need a new roof and repairs to rooms directly beneath.

If you do these three things and still have persistent water problems, such as water getting into your basement or an area of your yard keeps washing out, the solution is a bit more complicated in the form of a French drain.

Facts About Mold

5/23/2019 (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.

Facts About Mold

5/23/2019 (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.

Air Duct Cleaning Benefits

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Air Duct Cleaning Benefits

Is it worth having your air ducts clean?  Getting the ventilation systems inspected should be a high priority on your to-do list. In most cases, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system have been operating for some time without attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your business or home. 

   Clean air ducts benefits: 

  • Eliminates offensive odors
  • Reduces potential mold growth
  • Remediates bacteria, fungi and mold
  • Restore peak energy efficiency
  • Lowers indoor air pollution

A routine part of the SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County service is keeping the airducts clean.

Spring is Storm Season in the Western New York Area

5/19/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is Storm Season in the Western New York Area

In the past few months the area has been hit with severe weather and storms. The following are the most common storms we see in our area. If you have damage to your home or business from these devastating storms, call SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County (716) 694-7776 and we will make it “Like it never even happened”.

Hail Storms

  • Many residents living in area have already experienced hailstorms and witnessed the damage hail can cause to homes, automobiles, businesses and other property. When a hailstorm hits, it does the greatest amount of damage to the exterior of your home or property. Common types of damage caused by hail are: roof damage, siding damage, shingle damage, window damage and automobile damage.

Thunderstorms

  • Thunderstorms can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. The biggest contributors to damaged property are likely hail and wind, which can cause many types of exterior property damage

Tornadoes

  • Isolated tornadoes can happen in the Western New York area

Lightning

  • You may be surprised to learn that lightning is a major cause of storm damage in many areas around the country. The National Lightning Safety Institute estimates the cost of lightning damage in the $5 to $6 billion dollar per year range. Lightning that hits trees and the ground is a common cause of wildfires, structure fires, property damage and power outages. 

Floods

  • Floods are typically the result of heavy rain and water that rises faster than storm drains can handle. Flash floods driven by quick, violent bursts of rain can flood homes, basements and businesses, causing serious damage to both interiors and exteriors. Flooding is a very dangerous storm phenomenon that results in numerous deaths and extensive property damage each year.

For more information on the services that SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County provides regarding storm damage cleanup for your commercial or residential structure, please visit or call:

or call us today at (716) 694-7776

Secondary Water Damage

5/19/2019 (Permalink)

If you've had a burst pipe, toilets backing up, or other flooding problems in your business, a call to the plumber is only the beginning of clearing up the mess. Significant damage may occur due to the water and excess moisture. It's important for this to be cleaned up as soon as possible. Failure to do this can lead to secondary damage, which can include hidden structural problems and black mold. These can be extremely expensive to eliminate.

What is Secondary Damage?

In a nutshell, secondary water damage is any damage that's not caused directly by the flooding incident. This damage can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Vinyl and other types of flooring pulling up from the floor
  • Finish damage and buckling of wooden floors
  • Mold growth, such as trichoderma and stachybotrys chartarum (black mold)
  • Sagging and cracking sheetrock or drywall

This secondary damage occurs when the primary damage is not addressed properly, or the damage isn't found for a long while. Lingering high humidity may also be a culprit; if proper dehumidification techniques aren't used, moisture can remain to cause big problems.

How to Prevent Secondary Damage

If you are able to enter the building, you can take some immediate steps to help contain the damage. Ventilate the area as well as possible with AC in the summer, or by opening windows and turning on the heat during the winter. Remove as much water as possible by mopping and moving saturated rugs outside or to another dry area. Remove any items such as furniture, electronics, and documents as well.

The only way to be certain that you won't have to deal with secondary damage is to call a professional water damage restoration company right away. They will immediately do an inspection to assess the extent of the damage, then use specialized equipment to make sure everything is completely dried and disinfected to prevent any spread of harmful pathogens such as bacteria or black mold. They will also be able to make any necessary structural repairs and get your building back to its former condition. Armed with the information outlined above and the help of a professional restoration service, you can make sure that secondary damage is avoided.

Water Damage

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

When rain damages your home, the SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to remediate the damage

When several inches of rain fall over a couple of days, the ground around your Western New York home becomes supersaturated. Water caught inches or even feet below the surface must find release, often into your lower levels, slab foundation, or crawl spaces beneath your home. A professional response to the water flooding into your home is essential. 

The quantity of rainwater falling during recent storms overwhelming the ability of homeowners to remediate. During the flooding event, your home’s structural components and stored personal possessions are at risk for irreversible damage. Our water loss crews assess the scenario swiftly and put their IICRC training and experience on the line to remove the flood water and dry out both building materials and your home’s contents. 

Our SERVPRO vehicles arrive with high-efficiency pumps and water extractors as well as the highly qualified technicians to operate them on board. If your home’s electricity is unavailable temporarily in the aftermath of the storm, our equipment uses truck-mounted power generators to remove the water. Any delay in response to the flooding poses a range of threats to your home and belongings, including microbial growth and progressive deterioration of building materials and the ruin of documents, pictures, books, household goods, furnishings, carpeting, clothing, and more. 

Practical and best restoration industry practices often recommend the pack out of items at risk of further harm from the flooding. We train our SERVPRO employees to inventory, stow, and transport your precious possessions with care and respect. At our production center, our team evaluates the extent of damage done by the flood waters and employs proven restoration strategies to return saturated items to preloss condition. 

As the packed-out articles receive needed attention, SERVPRO employees address the damage at your home. They complete the flood water removal by matching equipment and techniques to achieve applied structural drying. Our crews strike a balance among the elements of air movement, heat, and dehumidification. We work to release water from structural components into a vapor that we then condense, collect, and evacuate. 

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County has the skilled crews and state of the art equipment to turn around your flood damage problems wholly and efficiently. Give us a call at (716) 694-7776 as soon as possible after the flood waters invade. We stand ready 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Post Construction Services

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Post-Construction Cleaning Services

Along with our restoration , SERVPRO of ENC provides a variety of cleaning services. One of the cleaning services we provide is Post-Construction Cleanup.

After restoring and rebuilding your property, there is still more work to be done. It is important to get your property clean and ready to use. Let SERVPRO of ENC get your property clean and ready to go!

Both interior and exterior cleaning is needed after rebuild and construction services. When cleaning, the following areas are usually dusted and cleaned:

Interior Cleanup

  1. Walls (removing dust, dirt, scuff marks, and smudges)
  2. Ceilings and light fixtures/fans
  3. All trim (including baseboards and door and window frames)
  4. Door faces, sides, and tops
  5. Floors
  6. Ducts, vents, and baseboard heaters
  7. Windows (including tracks and frames)
  8. Cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, and countertops
  9. All trash and plastic coverings removed

Exterior Cleaning

  • Exterior windows and doors
  • Entry doorways
  • Driveway and paved surfaces swept and power washed
  • Exterior lights dusted
  • All trash on property (including lumber and debris) removed

If your property is in need of Post-Construction Cleaning, give SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County a call : 694-7776 . No matter the size, we are Here To Help.