Recent Posts

Suspect a Water Leak? Here Are the Signs to Look For

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Water leaks can be insidious in that they can go on undetected for days, weeks, or even months before you discover them. Identifying signs of water damage to your home sooner rather than later can make a difference in lessening the damage and the costs to repair and restore your home back to normal. Here are a few signs that may indicate water damage in your home.

Darkened materials

Many materials common in homes show water damage through discoloration in various degrees. Colorants used in fabrics, paints, flooring, ceilings, and other surfaces can change color when they encounter water of any kind, often turning a darker shade. The shape, spread, and specific color of these spots can fluctuate depending on how much water has been released, and what materials it has already come in contact with. One of the most damaging processes in a water-damaged home is color bleed from one fabric to another, but a call to SERVPRO can help to avoid color bleeding by addressing issues as quickly as possible.

Odd earthy or musty odors

Numerous complications of water damage can create unusual and off-putting odors, sometimes very soon after the damaging water incident happens, and sometimes only after a period of time. Corroding metals, soaked wood, other materials, and long-term mold growth can all create exceptional and pungent odors in your home. While smells can be useful to identify a problem, you don’t want them around forever! That’s why our trained technicians use multiple deodorization methods to do away with the odors in your home of any unwanted smells. If you observe an unusual smell in your home, call the pros to get the problem handled right away!

Unusual sounds

Unusual sounds behind walls and below floors could be symptomatic of a water leak or other plumbing issues in your home. Drips may be obvious when you hear them but be alert for other unusual sounds as well like whooshing. Water at high pressure inside pipes in your home can create unique sounds when something is awry. It might even be a hum that you hear. If you hear anything unusual behind those walls, give us a call and we’ll come to investigate.

Call in water remediation specialists when you need help

SERVPRO technicians are ready 24/7 to respond quickly to floods, burst pipes, and other mishaps, saving time and money by getting to the job site faster. By identifying and treating problems earlier, we can help to prevent situations such as mold growth and severe oxidation from causing damage to the structural components of your home. SERVPRO of South Albany County helps homeowners who experience water leaks, floods, and other disasters in their residences, helping get their homes back to normal. Call us at 518-456-1111 if you experience water damage of any kind.

Can’t Remember When Your Office Building Ducts Were Last Cleaned? Then It’s Time!

5/7/2022 (Permalink)

Last year really flew by and for many building owners, maintenance was a bit of a struggle to get done for a variety of reasons. It’s important to have regular maintenance done to ensure the building is clean and safe. However, one item that’s often overlooked is duct cleaning. It is especially important to have your commercial ducts cleaned. While this type of maintenance isn’t as visible as, say, dirty windows or carpets, it’s still important to get done. If you can’t remember the last time these were addressed, then it’s time!

Why clean a building’s ducts on a regular basis?

Ventilation systems are often the biggest cause of poor indoor air quality, including dust and odors. Most HVAC ducts don’t cross a building owner’s mind until odor or dust actually becomes an issue. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without proper cleaning, it could be circulating less than desirable air throughout the building. SERVPRO of South Albany County can inspect the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit of your business to see if you’re due. Why is it so important to do this? Keeping ducts clean can help fight unwanted odors and extend the life of the equipment, which can save building owners money.

When should you clean your ducts?

Duct cleaning should be a part of your regular office building maintenance. This is especially true if you have done major construction to your building which generated dust and particles! Why clean after construction or other major renovations? Dust and dirt can reside in your air ducts and get worse over time if not cleaned out. Not sure the work was dusty enough to merit a cleaning? SERVPRO of South Albany County will come out and inspect your ducts, making recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns at your business and let you know if you’re due for a cleaning. Even without major construction, it’s a good idea to keep those ducts clean.

What exactly does duct cleaning entail?

Duct cleaning usually refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans, fan motor, and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing. This can help eliminate dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, and other contaminants. The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include helping restore peak energy efficiency, eliminating offensive odors, and possibly reducing the potential for mold growth if moisture has also accumulated in the HVAC system.

It's time to schedule your duct cleaning

Curious if your office building needs a duct cleaning service? Call our office to schedule your duct cleaning and our pros will come out and let you know what needs to be done. SERVPRO of South Albany County has highly trained professionals ready to help you get those office building ducts cleaned. We offer free estimates so you’ll know what the cost will be before we start the work. Contact us today at 518-456-1111 to get started!

Is Your Office Building Prepared for An Unexpected Disaster?

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

If you own an office building, fire safety and emergency preparedness should be a priority for you, regardless of the size of the building. Being prepared with the right equipment and a well-thought-out emergency plan can save money, protect property, and possibly save lives in the event of a fire or other emergency. Take a moment to see if your office building is prepared now with these suggestions from SERVPRO of South Albany County.

Have fire extinguishers on hand and ready to use

When trying to avoid potential fires at work, make sure that the office building has the suitable amount of fire extinguishers to sufficiently cover the entire building. Fire extinguishers should be tested on a regular basis to make sure they always work correctly. This also applies to all fire suppression systems, like automatic sprinkler systems as well. Your local fire department can assist you in testing and will eagerly provide recommendations on what would be ideal for your office building. Confirm all the building’s fire extinguishers are clearly within reach throughout the building should an emergency occur. Taking additional time to find an extinguisher during an emergency can result in further damage or worse so it’s critical to be prepared ahead of time and know where extinguishers are and are functional.

Check smoke and fire alarms on a routine basis

Smoke and fire alarms are vital to fire protection and damage control for commercial buildings of any size. Installing them is a good start, but they need to be inspected regularly to maintain functionality; otherwise, you may find them non-functional when you need them most. There are several choices for smoke and fire alarms, from hard-wired to wireless units. Once you have a smoke and fire alarm system in place, make sure there is an action plan should the alarm sound off and people know what to do to stay safe and exit the building quickly and safely if necessary. Confirm that your building has an exit map clearly posted throughout the building so people know how to exit the building safely.

Practice ongoing safety training for employees

An important aspect of safety preparedness is safety training for both homeowners and business owners. Including a fire safety training course in your workplace will empower building occupants to know exactly what they do should if an emergency of any kind occurs, from fire to flooding to a gas leak, etc. It’s a good idea to contact your neighborhood fire department for information on available safety courses that you can use in your place of business.

Emergency exit lighting is important for additional safety

Emergency exit signs that light up should be installed throughout the property to direct people to safety during a fire alarm or other emergency in the office building. Make sure that the emergency exit is clear of anything that could get in the way as people try to exit the building. Having appropriate lighting is also especially useful when highly trained remediation specialists arrive to clean up after the disaster.

Have an established evacuation plan

It’s imperative to schedule your commercial building to be inspected for any potential fire code issues or other issues that could hinder overall preparedness. The fire department will do it for free. Have regular fire drills and educate employees so that they are familiar with how to work the fire equipment, how to detect a gas leak, etc. It’s also a good idea to invest in an emergency readiness plan to make sure your building is prepared for any issue that may come along. SERVPRO’s ERP is an efficient way to plan for any emergency for your office building.

Stay prepared for emergencies

It’s critical to ensure that your office building is prepared for any emergency at any time. Reach out to the disaster recovery pros at SERVPRO of South Albany County to learn how we can help. Contact us at 518-456-1111 to get more information today.

One Cleanup and Restoration Team Is Best for Full Fire Damage Recovery

4/29/2022 (Permalink)

When your property is affected by fire and soot, it's crucial that recovery and restoration work begin immediately to lessen the fire damage. Within a short period of time, the acidic qualities of soot and the penetrating qualities of smoke can leave permanent scarring. An experienced fire mitigation team quickly and thoroughly puts a stop to damage and completes the recovery process to get your company back into business.

Long-Term Fire Damage Begins With Initial Cleanup

One of the best reasons to work with fire cleanup and reconstruction experts for your full recovery is that lasting results begin as soon as the fire department leaves. The smoke and soot particles left in the air penetrate quickly into surfaces. Water from the fire department hoses is rapidly absorbed into carpeting, fabrics, wood, and structural elements. Technicians working toward full recovery perform many actions during their first trips to your property:

  • Board up the building to prevent secondary damage and to improve security.
  • Assess structural damage and stabilize the property as necessary.
  • Determine what can be saved, cleaned, refurbished, and restored.
  • Document damages for the insurance adjuster.
  • Provide an estimate of the project, the costs, and the time frame.
  • Discard unsalvageable items and store other belongings.

These initial steps provide an environment where the rest of the recovery process can be undertaken safely and efficiently.

Specialized Equipment Removes Smoke Damage

The main goal of the fire damage cleanup and recovery team is restoring your property and getting you back to work. Specialized scrubbers are used to eliminate smoke odors and soot stains. These tools are used on exterior and interior surfaces, including walls, ceilings, windows, patios, and sidewalks. Inside your building, cleansers and sanitizers are used to treat the same surfaces, as well as floors, the basement, and furnishings. Professional equipment, including ozone machines, are used to neutralize lingering particles and odors.

Water Damage Is Addressed Through Ventilation and Powerful Cleansers

Of course, there's a significant risk of water damage, so professionals must also get to work removing water from the building. This involves shutting off electricity, testing the integrity of structural elements, and monitoring levels of humidity. With high-powered fans and dehumidifiers, technicians dry the building and remove floating contaminants.

Progress Moves Forward Without Delays

When multiple recovery companies are hired to aid in the recovery of your property, there's a risk that mold growth will go unnoticed. Mold prevention begins with the tarping and boarding step, right after the fire department has left. This step continues as water-logged furnishings are removed from the building and as ventilation throughout the property is increased. During water extraction, further steps are taken to neutralize and remove any remaining mold particles.

A Speedy Recovery Matters

Recovering from fire damage doesn't have to take a long time. When you choose one experienced restoration team, each step is completed smoothly and without unnecessary delays. Each point of the process moves forward seamlessly. When a speedy recovery is essential to your company, contact a cleanup and restoration crew to see you through from beginning to end.

3 Facts for Homeowners Facing Storm Damage Cleanup

4/16/2022 (Permalink)

What is Pretesting?

The aftermath of an Albany, NY, storm can leave you with severe damage to your home. Flooding is especially troublesome, as it can affect building materials, electrical systems and valuables. Gauging the total cost of repairs can be difficult, especially when it comes to filing a claim with your insurance company. Having storm damage and restoration service performs pretesting can lower the cost of your claim, and there are a few facts you can keep in mind that may help you better understand the process.

1. A Pretest Can Gauge Water Condition

Not all flooding is the same, and the condition of the water can greatly affect the cost of cleanup and your insurance claim. A pretest allows flood damage technicians to grade the quality of the floodwaters and estimate what will be involved in the restoration. For example, if the flood is the result of a burst kitchen pipe, the water comes from a sanitary source and will likely not cause as much damage as water that comes from an overflowing toilet or outdoor flooding.

2. Cost Estimations Can Be Made More Accurately

Pretesting damaged items can lower insurance claim costs by letting restoration technicians know whether clothing, documents and other objects can be repaired or if they must be declared a total loss. Detailed estimations can result in a more efficient filing process, which might help you recover faster.

3. You Can Learn All Your Restoration Options

A pretest of certain items can help you understand which restoration options are available, as well as the cost of each. Technicians from a flood damage and remediation service could also forward this information to your insurance agent so you all remain on the same page as far as being able to lower the total cost of the claim.

When storms and flooding strike Albany, NY, you may be left with damage to your home and belongings. Pretesting can be one of the best options for evaluating affected items and helping you lower the amount on your insurance statement.

Did your Albany, NY basement take a hit in a recent storm?

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Did your basement take a hit in a recent storm?

Severe storms can quickly flood your basement causing damage to your structure and contents. Wading through the water going through soggy boxes of keepsakes, soaking carpeting and wet furniture can be overwhelming. What do you do? Always act quickly, but carefully!

For safety reasons if you have standing water in your basement do not go downstairs. Call your power company, an electrician, or a professional water restoration company. You may want to disconnect the electrical before walking into the water and make sure you do not touch anything electrical. You want to clean up the water quickly, you will need to determine if you have a clogged drain, faulty sump pump or backed-up gutters. Fixing the cause of the standing water could make the difference in saving your belongings and money. If the water is not remediated and the structure dried completely, mold can start to grow within a couple of days. Removing any damp possessions and drying them out as soon as possible could save the integrity of it.

Here are five tips for dealing with water in your basement.

  1. Remove water. Get water out as soon as possible by using a wet vac or calling your local SERVPRO to cleanup and restore your home.
  2. Dry it out. Use dehumidifiers and fans to move air around, discouraging the growth of mold and mildew. Keep dehumidifiers at least six to eight inches away from walls for the best air circulation. Run your air conditioning constantly. Throw away any wet boxes.
  3. Scrub flooring. Scrub vinyl tile, linoleum, and other hard surfaces with a solution of no more than one cup of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. During this process, wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear and keep the room ventilated.
  4. Examine and clear gutters, downspouts, and drains. Put on your rubber gloves and check basement steps and drains. Get rid of any leaves, twigs, and mud. Remove the drain screen and give it a good cleaning and, if necessary, use a plunger or plumber’s snake to clear the drain. Muck out gutters and downspouts around the house.
  5. Restore your assets. If valuable documents or cherished papers are wet, you might try quickly putting them in the freezer. This may stop mildew growth and deterioration until you can deal with them later. Resolve not to store anything of value in the basement and to use concrete blocks to keep possessions off the floor. Plastic storage bins are far better than cardboard boxes for basement use.

SERVPRO of South Albany County is your one-stop shop from mitigation to restoration from a water, fire, or storm disaster. After our crews have performed the cleanup services, we can smoothly transition into the reconstruction services to help restore your home or business back to preloss condition, so it looks “Like it never even happened.” Call us 24/7 at 518-456-1111.

SERVPRO of South Albany County - Fire Damage Experts

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

In your lifetime you hope to never experience a fire damage to your home. A fire disaster can cause little to major damage to the structure of your home along with all the belongings. There are some easy things you can do to reduce the risk of a fire.

  • Smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should interconnect. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. One smoke alarm sound they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf can get special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights in bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

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 – SERVPRO of South Albany County at 518-456-1111.

Mold Growth

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

How to recover from mold growth.

Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your Albany home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleaning processes used by SERVPRO of South Albany County and which cannot. 

1. Throw Away Porous Items 

Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask our SERVPRO remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate. 

2. Freeze Documents and Books 

If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by our SERVPRO expert mold remediation and restoration technicians This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums, and baby books. 

3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing 

If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask our remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. SERVPRO of South Albany County uses an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt, and molds in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot. 

Mold can have a devastating effect on your home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.  

Let us try to help you with this problem, call SERVPRO of South Albany County at (518) 456-1111.

10 Things You Should be Doing to Prevent Mold

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

Regardless if you’re a new homeowner or if you’ve been in the same home for forty years, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office. Mold is basically tiny fungi that grow in branch-like filaments called hyphae. While some mold and mildew can be scrubbed away with the right cleaning products, other types of mold can do severe damage to the structure of your home and it can be very expensive to repair. Not only is mold horrible for your home, but it can be dangerous. Unfortunately, certain kinds of toxic mold are undetectable by the naked eye. That’s why it’s so important to follow these guidelines to make sure that you’re protecting your home from the potential risks of mold and mildew.

1. Be Aware of Air Flow

When trying to prevent mold, take note of the arrangement of furniture and other items in your home. You want to make sure you have a proper airflow throughout the house. When moisture gets trapped, you’re increasing your chances of mold. Always be aware of odd smells or odors in the home that may represent mold or mildew. Any kind of musty smells will most likely be a sign of mold growth.

2. Know Your Moisture Levels

Most people don’t really know how much moisture they have floating around their home, but it’s important to keep an eye on these levels, especially in basements. Basements should always be below 50% humidity to prevent mold. If you’re worried about how much humidity is in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer. A lot of the new thermometers for central air and heat in more modern homes will include a humidity level setting on the monitor.

3. Check All Storage

When moving into a new home, it’s easy to toss unwanted cardboard boxes and bins into the garage and then forget they were ever there. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored through the storage in your garage, basement or attic, you may want to give it a good check. Cardboard boxes in low ventilated areas are a breeding ground for mold. You also want to stay away from keeping your items in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves.

4. Keep Moisture Rich Areas Clean

To prevent mold it’s important to consistently clean areas of the house that are exposed to moisture often, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Routinely remove all of the items on your counter-tops and use anti-mold or mildew cleaning products. If water gets trapped in areas for longer than 48-hours, then mold can become apparent.

5. Utilize Exhaust Fans

When showering or cooking, remember to always use your exhaust fans. Some people will only turn exhaust fans on after showering, but this is a big mold prevention no-no. Always be sure to have the fan on during a hot shower, as well as for some time after a shower to make sure that all of the humidity has dissipated.

6. Be Aware of Leaks

It’s important to have your house checked randomly throughout the year for leaks. A leaky pipe that goes unnoticed can create havoc in a household. Something that might be simple to fix one day, can turn into a nightmare if it goes undetected. Have a mold remediation company occasionally check your home for potential leaks to save yourself money in the long run.

7. Remove Carpet in Basements

While some carpets may feel cozy and look great in a basement, they can turn into a fuzzy hotel for fungus. Basements are infamous for holding in moisture and carpets can make these matters much worse. If you’re looking to upgrade your home in the near future, tearing out carpets in the basement not only saves you from potential mold, but it can also increase your property value.

8. Keep Roof and Gutters Clean

With heavy rain, moisture can clog up your gutters and cause cracks in your roof.  It can build up near corners or crevasses in doorways. Keeping your roof and your gutters clean throughout the year can help you to prevent mold in these areas.

9. Use Mold Prevention Based Paints

If you happen to be renovating or moving into a new home, it’s the perfect time to find quality mold inhibiting paints and primers. Ask an expert at your local home improvement store which kind of paints are best for fighting off mold and mildew.

10. Change Out Air Filters

Everyone should always be aware of the air quality in their home. As mentioned above, many of the airborne illnesses that come from mold are very difficult to detect. Changing out air filters or purchasing air purifiers can add an extra layer of protection in your home.

Having the above ten steps on your checklist will help you to prevent mold in your home. If you do suspect there is mold in your home, call SERVPRO of South Albany County to inspect and remove it for you.

We Have the Solutions!

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO graphic with our logo and the message "Here in your community. Here to help." We offer a wide range of emergency services for both residential and commercial properties. Give us a call at (518) 456-1111!

SERVPRO has the unique ability to help property owners in a variety of ways. Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. With over three decades of experience we have seen most everything. We cannot say everything because even in the decades of helping our neighbors in the Albany, NY area, we still see new things. But here are a few disasters we commonly take care of.

Water Damage – We see water damage from all kinds of sources. Busted pipes, malfunctioning appliances, human accidents or neglect, and ground flooding to name a few common sources. No matter the cause, or the epic story that explains it, we have a solution to return you to normal “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and Smoke Restoration – A fire can be a very huge inconvenience but it is not the end of the world. Many times, you would be surprised at how much of your personal property can be restored. We specialize in cleaning and deodorizing anything from family heirlooms, documents, to the very walls in your home or business.

Mold Remediation – With naturally high levels of humidity in the area of the country we live in, mold can be an issue if water intrusion is not properly taken care of. Not only do we offer remediation services but we also do mold testing and offer preventative measures such as crawl space moisture barrier installation.

Bio Hazard Clean Up – This area of our work is not enjoyable to talk about but many times it is necessary. We have the training and experience to properly clean up any area they may have the threat of blood born pathogens being present. These cases include trauma and crime scene clean up.

These are by no means the only services we offer. Frankly, whatever mankind or mother nature can throw at a structure, we can more than likely assist in the restoration.