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Water Damage isn't a DIY Project

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Trained and Equipped to Quickly Dry and Protect Your Home and Belongings

A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for black water intrusions. SERVPRO is trained to safely clean and restore your home, utilizing the following procedures:

  • Identify the Source/Type of Water
  • Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis
  • Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises
  • Perform Emergency Water Extraction
  • Move and Block Furniture
  • Provide Floor Service
  • Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service
  • Apply Necessary Treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization)
  • Utilize Dying Equipment and Monitor Drying
  • Dispose of Refuse

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, SERVPRO is on-site within four hours to begin drying and decontaminating your home and restorable contents. SERVPRO is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, a structure is quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages. 

Safety First

Abiding by OSHA guidelines and all applicable health regulations, SERVPRO removes moisture, sewage, and contaminants, disinfecting and deodorizing as they safely clean your home and restorable belongings. 

Any water damage in your home is bad. Especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of your family and the value of your home. Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their growth. 

SERVPRO understands how disruptive black water damages can be for your entire family. For this reason, SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency response, and, under normal circumstances, will have trained, uniformed technicians on-site of a water damage within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO can help you regain control quickly while drying, deodorizing and protecting your home and belongings. 

So, before you risk your health by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local water damage cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO of South Albany County. 

Understanding Different Water Types

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source. The term gray water is when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals. When you have a water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive. 

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist. 
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow even more drying. 
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place. 
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining. 
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contacts with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items. 
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas. 
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants. 
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 

Holiday Safety Tips to Prevent Fires

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Lights, candles, action- it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decoration, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all apart of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.

Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home. There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.

Homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts
Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.
The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips
Supervise items on the stove top. Fifty-eight percent of Kitchen Fires involve ranges: homes with electrical cook tops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cook tops.
Keep flammable items-potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing-away from the stove top.
Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts
Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters and fireplaces.
Use flameless candles.
If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candle holders, well away from the drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.

Christmas Tree Fire Facts
50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
14% involve decorative lights.


Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Keep live trees well-watered to reduce the chance of fire.
Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

“We hope these tips will be a reminder to area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations, so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of South Albany County at 518-456-1111.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Albany County

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Quick and Efficient Water Restoration Services

Water and flood damage in the capital region can have a significant impact on your business. It can destroy valuable items and documents, and undo work that took many years to complete. Worse still, you may have to relocate while the building is undergoing repairs. In the end, you may lose a lot of time and even important clients along the way.

When a water disaster happens, you can count on SERVPRO for quick and efficient commercial water damage restoration services in Albany NY. We have a thorough emergency response team that can return your premises to preloss conditions in no time, "Like it never even happened."

The first step our IICRC-trained technicians take is using special equipment to inspect the severity of the commercial water damage. Once this is done, they begin extracting any standing water. The exact process depends on whether the water is inside the property or on the property (or both, in some cases).

To counter water damage under the property, we use an extractor to vacuum up the water so that the contents are no longer soaking wet. If the culprit was a broken pipe, we fix it and then eliminate contaminated soil, spray antimicrobial products, and add new, fresh soil.

To deal with water damage inside the property, we first remove the furniture from the area or place it on blocks. If the carpeting and padding were contaminated with dirty water, we usually throw them away. Clean water can be dried off of the carpet using special procedures. If the wall also sustained water damage, we make small holes to allow air movement for a quicker drying process.

When plumbing leaks happen in a multi-story building like a hotel or office building, switching off the water supply at the main valve is important to prevent further water damage.  We identify where the problem is and then check whether the water valve is located nearby. Turning off the water supply at the mains can also prevent additional damage from mold and mildew. Keep track of your monthly water bills and maintain safety protocols at your business to minimize commercial water damage.

If you detect the presence of water damage in your premises, SERVPRO can help restore your property. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, and our technicians have access to advanced tools and products to ease the restoration process. For queries and emergency services, we are on call 24/7.

The Benefits for Commercial Clients

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Multi-family, Residential and Commercial Property Managers

If you work in the property management industry you understand the value of a quick response and fast turn around time when it comes to an emergency situation. A quick response time can mean a reduction in the size and scope of the damage, It can also mean the difference between having a chance at saving business critical documents and equipment for the clients that are most important to you.

Multi-family, residential and commercial properties throughout the region have seen better days. Despite proper maintenance, many 30 to 50 year old structures were in danger of slowly succumbing to the severe showers saturating Albany in early spring.

Our area experienced record setting rainfall, causing intermittent flooding throughout the area. Strong winds ravaged roofs, hurling twisted limbs and branches into gutters, which sagged under the weight of rainwater. Our crews were out mitigating various types of water damage, remediating and restoring apartment complexes, commercial offices, retail establishments, and government property.

Commercial Client Benefits

Choosing SERVPRO for your commercial damage mitigation accrues you benefits not limited to:

    • Working with you to tailor the solution to you, priding ourselves in accurate and straightforward communication.
    • 34 years of experience sets us apart from the competition, we are the leader in commercial damage mitigation.
    • Every large commercial loss is supervised by a local commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
    • The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

We are Faster to Any Disaster!

An extra wet winter meant SERVPRO answered the call for commercial property managers in the capital region.

Call us today!

Contact the Commercial Fire and Water damage experts at SERVPRO.

How to Make Your Office Smell Good

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

We notice if something smells particularly bad or particularly good, but average smells don't usually generate a lot of notice. However, scent can actually affect your mood, for better or worse. That's why it's important to ensure that your office smells good, but not overpowering.

Deodorization and Odor Removal

The first step to making an office smell good is to sniff out the source of any negative odors. This can be surprisingly difficult, as the culprit might be hiding in the walls, ceiling, or floor. Here at SERVPRO, we're pros at finding and eliminating the source of any negative odors.

Once we've determined what's causing an unpleasant odor in your office space, we use industry-leading deodorization methods to target and remove both the negative odor and its source.

Adding in Positive Scents

While removing an odor can make a huge difference in the smell of a space and on employees' moods, it often isn't enough. Olfactory bulbs, which are the parts of our body that process scents, have a direct effect on the parts of the brain which process emotion and learning. This means that adding positive scents to the office can make working there an incredibly pleasant experience, and can also function to improve productivity!

Scents proven to increase mood and focus are:

Lemon, Jasmine, Rosemary, Peppermint

  • Lemon can promote concentration and produce calming effects. It also contains natural antibacterial properties, which can be a lifesaver for offices!
  • Jasmine has been shown to lift your mood by producing feelings of confidence and increasing optimism and energy.
  • Rosemary helps to improve focus and clarity as well as fighting physical tiredness – great effects for a workplace to have.
  • Peppermint increases concentration, focus, and acts as an energy booster to help you come up with brilliant ideas.

Just be careful not to overdo any aromatherapy, as too much scent in the workplace can cause productivity to drop or irritate allergies.

If you have a need for odor removal or deodorization services in the Albany area, SERVPRO has the technical experience, know-how, and professional savvy to make your office smell brand new again. Contact us today to see how we can help your business smell its best!

3 Tips to Keep Your Construction Site Clean

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

A dirty and disorganized construction site will not only make for an eyesore but will also present serious health and safety risks to workers, supervisors, and anyone who visits the site. With the huge volumes of waste that accumulate during and after a construction project, cleaning as well as managing and disposing of waste is likely to present a major challenge. To ensure that the project is completed within the set time-frame and avoid unnecessary complications, you should consider following these tips to keep your construction site clean.

Have clean-up tasks regularly

With the different materials used in construction sites, it would be important to separate the scrap material. Materials such as concrete, metals, and wood can be piled up in an organized manner before being recycled. You should also identify effective and safe ways of disposing of materials that are not recyclable.

To ensure that cleanup tasks are carried out on a regular basis, specific tasks should be assigned to individual workers. This will help to hold each worker to account at the end of the cleaning exercise. For better services, you should consider hiring commercial cleaning services.

Place trash cans on site

Having trash cans and dumpsters on the site will make it easy for you and the construction workers to manage waste. In case there are smaller scraps that cannot be categorized in any specific pile, the trash cans will hold them until the designated time for getting rid of waste. Workers at the site will also have a place to place any wrappings, bags, and containers after eating or drinking various products. In the end, you will have a clean construction site that promotes the health and safety of all workers and visitors.

Choose a responsible contractor

Any responsible and professional construction contractor understands the importance of keeping a construction site clean. Such a contractor will be aware of the various Albany laws relating to environmental conservation. This is why you should shop around before settling on a contractor of your choice. Contractors who have been in business for a number of years will have the experience needed to maintain a clean construction site. This will ensure that they educate everyone at the site on the importance and effective ways of promoting a clean and safe working environment.


With these simple tips, you will create a safer and more productive work environment. This will go a long way in helping you to avoid expensive lawsuits and claim settlements.

How to Keep Your Flooring Shining Bright

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

We spoke about how to properly maintain commercial carpeting in our last blog, but what about the commercial properties that have purchased hard surface flooring instead? We’ve got those commercial properties covered in this article. Although many people view hard flooring as an easier cleanup, it still takes the proper care and maintenance year round to keep it looking presentable and clean.  According to the Institute of Inspection of Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the first step to maintaining your hard surface flooring is identifying the type you have. The IICRC states that there are primarily six different categories of hard flooring such as, natural stone, concrete, ceramic, wood, resilient and specialty. Each category may take a different method of cleaning to ensure that it lasts a long lifetime.

·      Using a walk off mat is critical to keeping dirt and extra contaminants from entering your building and sticking to your flooring. Just as dirt wears down carpet, it also can damage and cause erosion on hard surface flooring. According to the IICRC, five feet of walk off mat will reduce dirt from entering the building by 33% and 25 feet of walk off mat will reduce almost all dirt by time the person has entered your clean Nashville business.

·      Make sure to clean up spills right upon discovering them. This is not only extremely important for your customers’ safety, but also will stop from causing a stain or water damage on your flooring. Find the proper cleaning product for the type of flooring you have, mark off the area, clean the spill up and dry the area fully before letting people walk back over the surface.

·      We spoke previously about vacuuming carpet regularly to eliminate dirt build up and although there is isn’t much material for dirt to build up on with hard surface flooring, the dirt will cause erosion, breaking down the flooring and possibly causing visible damage. Make sure to provide daily maintenance to the surface by mopping, scrubbing and cleaning the area thoroughly after the commercial traffic is done for the day. This will lead to a longer lifespan and will help eliminate replacing the flooring early on.

·      Last but not least, sometimes it’s nice to treat your flooring to some special treatment. If there are stains or tough to clean spots that have developed over time, this doesn’t always mean that the floor needs to be replaced. Contact your local restoration company to help clean the surface with their specialty equipment.

Emergency Planning for a Storm

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing.  A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country.  It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan.

Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flowchart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage.

Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption.  Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare your Emergency Plan.

Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.

Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security.

Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

How to Handle Flood Damage from a Storm

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

It is tragic when a flood brings devastation and water damage to your home. But rapid water removal, clean up and repairs certainly must get under way for you home to get back to normal with minimal losses.
 
Safety is a top priority. After the flood damage, evaluation of the home's safety issues must be completed before you dare to enter your home again. 
 
You do need to call your insurance agent to ascertain if you are covered under your standard home owners policy or if you do possess flood insurance. An insurance adjuster will be dispatched to your property to inspect the damage and eventually offer a settlement. Ask for help in retaining a competent water damage restoration company.  We can assess and document all water damaged items, help you with your claims and paperwork, and expedite the water removal and restoration. We can check your home for structural damage and any possible electrical issues since water and electricity are a dangerous duo. This inspection will indicate to you the severity of the water damage that your home has suffered and any potential health issues you may have to address during the process of getting the flood damage repairs done on your home. 
 
When these concerns have been addressed, and if you have been given permission to enter your home, you should also document all the flood causing water damage for insurance purposes. Be sure that you do take pictures of the flooded areas of your home and any damaged belongings, including damaged furniture. This, along with the input from SERVPRO,  will help you to be fairly compensated by the insurance company. 
 
Once you have done the documentation and the adjuster had done his inspection, then the clean up starts to get under way. The home needs to be made dry and needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent any other damage from occurring. This will also lessen the likelihood of mold and mildew growth. Contamination is a given if the flooding is the result of groundwater intrusion, whether from rain, bodies of water, or a sewage blockage. Do not attempt to clean and sanitize on your own. The potential for future illness is too great.
 
It is wise to call the professionals from SERVPRO; because they can immediately begin to pump out the water and mitigate on-going water damage. And they have the skill and knowledge, along with the professional equipment required to start and complete the entire restoration process for you. 
 
After the water removal and clean up are in operation, then repairs need to be done. They could be extensive, depending on how much structural damage has occurred and the condition of the contents of your property. SERVPRO can start with water removal and finish your project with complete water damage restoration "Like it never even happened."