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2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a fact of life, it can be found everywhere. Mold requires several conditions before it can grow. According to Ecolife, “Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores: the spores are invisible to the naked eye and are able to float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when spores land on moist surfaces and find food. “Food” means virtually any organic substance, such as wood, paper, carpet, human food, and insulation.” If you discover a mold issue in your home, you have a moisture problem.

Check your home for the following possible issues:

  • Roof leaks – Keep your roof in good repair and check your attic several times a year for moisture.
  • Humidity – Hot humid summer day and rainy weather both can cause mold issues.
  • Poor ventilation – Enclosed spaces in your home can be areas of poor ventilation. Make sure these areas have proper ventilation.
  • Plumbing problems – Common plumbing problems that go unnoticed can also cause mold. Pipe leaks, toilet seals, ice maker hoses, etc. Check these areas often and correct any problems immediately.
  • Flooding - If your home is affected by heavy rains, call a professional to properly dry the affected area.
  • Foundation Problem – The soil around your home should always be sloped away from your home to prevent water from entering your basement.

If you have a mold issue or have questions regarding mold in your home call SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County and we can send a professional estimator to assist.

Mold Misconceptions

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to mold, there are many misconceptions that leave homeowners confused and misinformed. Just by mentioning the word “mold” causes people to panic. Although mold can be a very serious problem and should always be taken seriously, it is critical to have all the correct facts, so you can make knowledgeable decisions when necessary.

“Bleach kills mold”
Bleach is able to kill certain types of mold on nonporous surfaces, but it is uncertain on whether or not it can kill all types of mold on every surface. Most of the retail products out there only discolor the mold and are not suggested for porous surfaces for example, drywall, carpet, ceiling tiles and wood.

“Mold is only found in homes with water damage”
It is true that mold generally forms in any areas that have problems of water seepage or flooding but unfortunately all homes could potentially wind up with having a mold problem. Molds and mildews are present both indoors and outdoors, and when mold spores land on a surface that contains moisture, that mold can begin to grow.

“You don’t have to remove mold if you kill it”
Even if you are able to kill the mold, there are allergens that live in mold that are still active. These allergens can even become airborne even if the mold is dead. Mold can also go dormant until conditions in the environment are optimal for regrowth. To protect yourself and your home, it is necessary to remove the affected area and remove the items that contain mold. You need to be cautious not to spread the mold spores to unaffected areas. Professionals, like us, are properly trained to handle mold allergens without further contaminating your home.

“A small amount of mold is nothing to worry about”
A small amount of visible mold in your home may just be the tip of the iceberg. Chances are it has been growing for some time now and requires a certified mold inspector to further inspect the situation.

“Mold Remediation is easy to do on your own”
That is not always the case. When it comes to small areas of mold, it can be handled easily. But when the problem becomes pervasive, it is best to call the professionals. SERVPRO is always “Here To Help!”

Water Damage Emergency Tips

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Water Damage Emergency Tips

What you can do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 
Call 716-694-7776.

We are here to properly mitigate and dry out both residential and commercial properties

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.

Frigid Temps on the way

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

With temperatures in the single digit this week in WNY,  home owners should be alert to the dangers of freezing pipes. As most people know, when water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause pipes in your home or business to crack and burst. According to State Farm insurance, A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold. The pipes most at risk in your home are located in unheated areas, such as garages, attics, and basements. Pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk as well. You can prevent your pipes from freezing by following some simple tips.

Tips to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

For outside areas, remove hoses from outdoor water faucets, and cover exterior faucets. If your home has a water shut-off valve, turn off the water supply to outside faucets. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in your garage. For the interior of your home, be sure that your home has proper insulation- especially in basements, attics and crawl spaces. Keep your home warm and open kitchen & bathroom cabinets. This will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Turn faucets on and let your water run in extremely cold temperatures. Even a slow trickle can help prevent pipes from freezing.

Winter Storm Warning

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

...WINTER STORM WATCH all of Erie County (including metro Buffalo), Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, 1:00 am Friday until 7:00 am Saturday...

...Buffalo area creeks will run high this afternoon.  We continue to monitor Cayuga, and Buffalo creeks where some ice jams have been observed, but so far the jams have been breaking and or water if flowing underneath...

Expect just some scattered snow showers this afternoon, and as the breeze picks up, be prepared for a brisk wind chill by late.

The temperature continues to dip tonight which will trigger some lake effect snow.  An increasing wind will result in some blowing, drifting snow, and a bitterly cold wind chill.  Tonight's lake snow will impact downtown, the eastern, immediate southern suburbs of Buffalo, and possibly the northtowns for a period. Accumulations should be in the 2-4" range.

Friday, the lake snow band will start out from downtown south and eastward, then shift south through the immediate southern suburbs further southward across southern Erie, Wyoming, and northern

sections of the Southern Tier.  These areas will be the focus for much of the snow Friday, with 4-7" of snow possible.  A few scattered snow showers are expected elsewhere.  As colder air deepens Friday night, the lake snow may intensify for a  period across ski country.

A weakening single band as it drifts northward toward the metro Saturday morning.  When all is said and done, most areas will receive some fresh snowfall over the next several days.  More widespread light to moderate snow Sunday will be accompanied by a brisk wind. 

Aside from a quiet Monday, next week will be very wintry.  Another more widespread system will spread snow into the area via a more potent storm Tuesday.  Extreme cold is likely beginning toward 1/30.   This outbreak may rival the polar vortex blast during February 2014.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Turning Cooler, Spotty Snow Showers for the afternoon, Lots of Clouds, Temperatures falling, Brisk Wind Chill later, High: 25-29, Wind: W 10-18

THURSDAY NIGHT: Colder, Localized Lake Effect Snow band develops near the metro overnight, 2-4" possible, Bitter Wind Chill, some Blowing, Drifting Snow, Low: 14-20, Wind: W/SW 10-20 G30

FRIDAY: Very Cold, Localized Lake Effect Snow south of Buffalo. 4-7" across the Ski Country, a few Scattered Snow Showers elsewhere, High: 21, Wind: W 15-30 G40, Low: 7.

SATURDAY: Very Cold, Weakening Lake Snow Showers drift northward toward the metro before ending for the afternoon, High: 20, Low: 15.

SUNDAY: Widespread Light to Moderate Snowfall, High: 22, Low: 12

MONDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Widespread Snow Develops by later at Night, High: 25 Low: 24

TUESDAY: Widespread Accumulating Snow, Windy, High: 28, Low: 10

WEDNESDAY: Very Cold, Scattered Snow Showers, Localized Lake Snow possible, High: 11, Low: -6

Frigid Temps

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

We are experiencing frigid temperatures and subzero windchill's in WNY.  

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter.

Frozen Pipes Can Burst

Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves, because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:

Keep your house warm

If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.

Open Faucets

When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.

Insulation in key

Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed, but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 716-694-7776

Post Construction Services

1/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County now specializes in post construction cleanup and restoration. Structural integrity, materials, labor, safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines - the list goes on and on when building a commercial facility. The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors doors open on time.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County can help you meet your deadlines by providing thorough post-construction services in a timely manner. These services include:

    • Post-Construction Cleaning
    • Dehumidification and Drying
    • Final Cleaning
    • Fast-Track Drying
    • Emergency Response Restoration and Cleanup Services 

Post-construction cleaning takes place once the floors are down and the dry wall is up. The debris and dirt needs to be removed in order to lay down carpet, paint, and decorate. SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County can provide the debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design. 

During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. If you think one of your projects may have a moisture issue, rely on SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.

If you  want the facility to look its best when the doors open, SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County provides cleaning services to give the building that extra shine. Services include: 

    • Carpet, resilient, and non-resilient floor prep and finish
    • Ceiling, walls, and fixture cleaning
    • Window Cleaning

Rely on SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible. 

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County also offers the following system services: 


    • Fire, Smoke, & Soot
    • Catastrophic Storm Response
    • Move Outs and Contents Restoration
    • Electronics & Equipment
    • Document Drying 
    • Contents Claim Inventory Service 

Call us today at 716-694-7776

January is National Bath Safety Month, is your home safe from bath water damage?

1/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage January is National Bath Safety Month, is your home safe from bath water damage? Bath time should be fun, don't let water damage ruin your day!

January is National Bath Safety Month, and though safe bathing practices are of the utmost importance for you and your family, what about your homes safety against water damage caused by your bath?  The very nature of your shower or bathtub makes them at risk for leaks, causing damage over days, months, and sometimes years.  Less visible leaks which leak over longer periods of time are the number one cause of mold in a bathroom, with improper ventilation being the second.  The following are some tips to keep your home safe against bath and shower leaks:

  • Replace showers or tubs with cracks or other damage; even hairline cracks can allow water to seep in and cause damage.
  • Grout and caulk help prevent water from seeping into walls and floors, so repair them if they are chipped, cracked, or deteriorating.
  • Replace torn shower curtains or shower doors with seals that no longer work.
  • Dry the floor and drain water from the tub immediately after use to prevent damage from sitting water.
  • Be sure to turn on your exhaust fan every time you shower or use the tub, as the fan helps pull excess moisture out of the air (and out of your walls!). It will help keep your bathroom dry, preventing bubbly drywall and mold growth.

You can’t always keep disaster from occurring, but prevention and being pro-active are a step in the right direction of protecting your home.  In the case of emergency or if you suspect water damage from your tub, call SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Frozen Pipes

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen water exerts thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch on a pipe and can burst it, causing flooding and major damage to your business. Extensive water damage can also occur as a result of frozen pipes in sprinkler systems during extended power outages in freezing weather.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Guidance for reducing the risk of pipes freezing:

  • Provide a reliable back-up power source, such as a stand by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building.
  • Install a monitoring system with notifications if the building’s temperature dips below a pre-determined number.
  • Insulate recessed light fixtures in the ceiling to reduce heat entering the attic. Look for visible light inside the attic. If present, insulate or seal. If the space above a suspended ceiling is conditioned, there is no need for added insulation or sealing.
  • Insulate and properly seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, electric and mechanical chases, and access doors, and all doors and windows.
  • Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduit and other utility service lines.
  • Sprinkler systems should be consistently monitored by a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure.
  • Install insulation and/or heat trace tape connected to a reliable power source on parts of wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
  • UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.
  • A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the business is closed.

Peace of Mind

Although it seems as if our winters are longer and colder, the winter weather business protection tips described above can help give you piece of mind during the winter months. We believe that implementing these tips can greatly reduce a building’s potential structural loss and loss of business operations due to large snow falls, freezing temperatures and power outages during these times.

8 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipe Damage for a Business

  1. Seal Exterior: Seal all cracks, holes, windows, doors and other openings on exterior walls with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating wall cavities.
  2. Seal Interior: Insulate and seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, and electrical and mechanical chases.
  3. Relieve Pipe Pressure: Let all faucets drip during extreme cold weather to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet.
  4. Keep the Building Warm: Install a monitoring system that provides notifications if the building's temperature dips below a pre-determined number.
  5. Insulate Vulnerable Pipes: Insulate pipes most vulnerable to freezing by using pipe insulation.
  6. Install Early Detection System: Install an automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve.  Use wireless sensors near water sources.
  7. Monitor Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems: Monitor sprinkler systems using a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure and heat unheated sprinkler control rooms.
  8. Install Backup Power: Provide a reliable backup power source to ensure heat to the building.

Contact us at 716-694-7776 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County's System Services. 

9 Facts about Fire

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

1. Understand the fire triangle 
A simplified cousin to the fire tetrahedron, the triangle represents the three components that fires need to exist: heat, oxygen and fuel. If one of these components is missing, a fire can’t ignite.

Heat can be generated by a cigarette, an electrical current or a home heater. Fuel can be anything combustible, such as wood, paper, clothing, furniture, gases or chemicals.

Once a fire starts, if any of the three components is removed, the fire is extinguished. Water is used to cool a fire and take away the heat source. Oxygen can be removed by smothering a fire with dirt, sand, a chemical agent or a blanket.

Fuel can be removed by moving combustible materials away from the fire or by simply waiting until the fire consumes the material and goes out of its own accord.

2. Fire kills
Every year more than 3,800 people die fire related deaths in the U.S. Approximately 18,300 people are injured every year in fires. Most of these fires could have been prevented by practicing proper fire safety and having fire alarms. On average more than 60 firefighters die every year in the line of duty.

3. It's in the kitchen
Most house fires start in the kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries. Cooking fires often start from overheated grease and unattended cooking. Electric stoves are involved in more fires than gas stoves.

4. Leading causes of death
Another fact about fire is that smoking is the primary cause of death by fire in the U.S. The second cause of fire deaths is heating equipment.

5. Arson
Arson is the third most common cause of home fires. Arson in commercially operated buildings is the major reason for fire deaths and injuries in those types of properties.

6. Smoke inhalation
More people die from smoke inhalation than flames. Fire can suck all of the oxygen from a room and replace it with poisonous smoke and gases before flames even reach a room. Many times people die from lack of oxygen before the fire reaches their room.

7. Run report
According to NFPA, firefighters in the U.S. were called out on 501,500 structure fires in 2015. Between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 2,570 civilian deaths and 13,210 civilian injuries per year, and a total estimated cost of $329 billion in 2011.

8. Candles
Candles caused approximately 9,300 home fires and 86 home fire deaths between 2009 and 2013.They were also responsible for 827 injuries and $374 million in property damage.

9. Smoke alarms 
Approximately two-thirds of all fire deaths happen in homes where there’s no working fire alarm. Your chance of dying in a home fire is cut in half if you have a working smoke alarm.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is here for all of your restoration needs