Recent Posts

Drying Goals During The Water Restoration Process

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Our technicians use advanced equipment to provide moisture content readings. Our SERVPRO of South Albany County Team uses state of the art equipment during the water restoration process.

Drying Goals During Water Removal In Your Columbus Home

Water damage technicians create a drying goal during your Albany home’s initial assessment. The drying goal should indicate the condition of materials and contents once restored to their natural preloss dryness. Qualified technicians should always monitor the drying process to determine if current procedures remain in-line with any established goals.

A drying goal for water removal at your Albany property is the intended result in affected areas after completing restoration services. Our dedicated technicians use years of experience, training, and advanced equipment to provide moisture content readings from dry, unaffected contents, and structure — readings in percentage for wood materials, and readings in points for non-wood materials.

Our SERVPRO technicians use drier air to increase the rate of evaporation while performing water removal services on your property – drier air means air with low humidity. A relative humidity (RH) of less than 40% is within the normal range for performing an effective drying solution. RH under 40% typically tells us that the air is dry and thirsty, allowing it to pull more water from wet materials within the affected area.

While measurements for RH does not guarantee that your structure is dry, reaching a low RH ensures that humidity within the affected area is decreasing. To determine whether the area is dry, SERVPRO technicians take specific humidity readings of the affected areas; these readings should match those taken in unaffected areas. We use moisture meters to measure the moisture content of wet materials found in your home.

SERVPRO water removal technicians set moisture content goals on a per-item basis – after establishing a drying standard and recording typical equilibrium moisture content (EMC). The dry standard is a moisture content reading taken from dry materials of the same type found in unaffected areas. We establish a dry standard or use a typical EMC of a material as a goal. Once the readings match, the drying process is complete.

Call our SERVPRO of South Albany County Team for water removal, cleanup, and restoration services, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

What's That Smell? It Might Be Water Damage

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Do you know when to be worried about a funny smell? Most new homeowners are not water damage specialists, but the human nose is an excellent tool for sniffing out trouble. Your nose is not the only way to spot water damage in your new home. Our SERVPRO of South Albany County technicians are IICRC certified and can help handle any moisture problems you may discover after moving in.

The sooner you notice a problem, the sooner you can call our team to help mitigate ongoing damages. With spring coming in central Columbus, some water damage will be easier to spot. When you notice a problem, a highly trained SERVPRO professional can assess the extent of your damages. We can use our specialized equipment to remedy the issue fast.

What should you keep an eye out for when you do your spring cleaning? Start at the top. When looking for roof damages, obvious water stains aren't the only problem. Swollen insulation is usually an indication of water retention. Check your flashing (where the roof meets the walls) for cracks and look for missing shingles as well as more obvious signs like holes. Look at door frames and molding. Unusual stains or dark spots on the walls can mean trouble.

Inside, make sure you check your appliances after you move in to be certain they are not leaking where you cannot see easily behind them. Cracked hoses and loose connections can be tricky. Ripples, buckling, and changes in texture can tell you the flooring has a water problem. Remember to trust your nose. If it smells wrong, it probably is.

Outside water damages and mold are often caused by improper drainage. Check your spouts to see that they are clear and make sure you do not have water pooling around the foundation of your new home. At the first sign of damage, you can call SERVPRO.


No one wants to find water damages in their new home this spring. If you do, SERVPRO of South Albany County is available at (518) 456-1111, 24 hours a day. We can make things “Like it never even happened.”

First 48 Hours After a Flood

10/16/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded Albany business with SERVPRO dryers drying it out. Don't wait after a flood! The first 48 hours are critical!

ACT FAST. The sooner you clear the contents out of your basement during a water incident, the more likely you will be able to restore the condition to your items and possessions.

When a finished basement experiences significant water damage, such as a basement flooding or a water pipe burst, timing is everything. Where the sooner you begin the disaster recovery process, the more likely you will be able to restore the condition of your possessions and the finished basement environment.

The first 48 hours are considered the most important time period to react, as it is crucial to preventing further damage to the basement and the items within, as well as preventing a wide spread mold problem. Below are the first steps to take, preferably within these first 48 hours.

  1. Turn Off the Power. Never enter a flooded basement or touch the flood waters without cutting off the power.
  2. Call your insurance company. Policies differ. Most require special flood insurance to cover ground water leaks, but homeowner’s insurance may cover damage from indoor plumbing and hot water heater leaks.
  3. Get the water out as soon as possible. Call SERVPRO of South Albany County to extract any standing water. If there isn’t a lot of water, you might try to get it out yourself, with a “floor sucker” or a shop-vac.

Dry everything out as quickly as possible

To prevent items and building materials from becoming ruined, dry your basement as soon as the water is removed. Ideally, the basement should be completely dry within 48 hours. After that, the potential for mold growth increases considerably. A professional restoration company might help expedite this process. Alternatively, you can consider acquiring a powerful basement dehumidifier.

Why Restore vs. Replacing

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

When your home has been damaged by fire or water damage, our goal at SERVPRO of South Albany County is to make your property "Like it never even happened," quickly and at the lowest cost to you.

Part of restoring your home and belongings is determining what items and structures can be saved utilizing our state of the art restoration techniques and equipment and what will ultimately have to be replaced. Insurance and restoration industry studies have concluded that restoring property after fire and water damage is less expensive than replacing. Restoring is also less disruptive to our clients, often allowing them to remain in their homes during the process and resume life as normal quickly.

As a preferred mitigation and restoration vendor for most major insurance companies, our SERVPRO Team is highly trained to determine when restoring can be accomplished with the high quality results that our clients deserve. This "restore" versus "replace" mentality can save money while preserving family heirlooms, keepsakes, and other items that are impossible or cost-prohibitive to replace.

If your home or business have been impacted by water or fire damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Albany County today at 518-456-1111.

Our SERVPRO Team Will Eliminate Smoke And Odors In Your Home After A Fire

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

Fires can happen at any time, and the most common culprits are cooking and heating equipment. Residual damage such as fire odor, smoke, soot, and ash always happens after a fire. Some water damage also commonly occurs while extinguishing fires. All homes contain different materials that burn and create unique cleaning and restoration challenges.

To restore your Albany home after fire damage, you need to take care of smoke, fire, and water damage. Our SERVPRO Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technicians (FSRTs) have experience in addressing these issues. Smoke and odors can emanate from burned wood or paper and melted plastics. Smoke damage typically falls into 4 categories:

    •    Dry smoke – Usually results from fast-burning and high-temperature fires.
    •    Wet smoke – Results from smoldering or low heat fires. The smoke from a wet fire has a smeary, sticky texture, and a pungent odor.
    •    Fuel oil soot smoke – It results from furnace smoke returns, which cause oily soot.
    •    Protein smoke – Fires that burn plants, food, or other organic matter emit this smoke. It discolors varnishes and paints and has a pungent scent.

Smoke can penetrate walls and other surfaces quickly and drift through air ducts. Smoke odor can remain in furniture and clothing if it not deodorized properly. Smoke also penetrates cabinets and drawers, meaning that if you do not clean up your house properly, the odor can continue to re-occur for long periods.

Smoke can also ruin delicate works of art such as sculptures and paintings. The same acid that damages wood and metals can discolor the paint on canvas and the stone that makes up sculptures. When this occurs, the beauty of an art piece diminishes, and its monetary value reduces. We can work with a curator to restore ruined artwork.

Our fire damage restoration process is proven and thorough. It includes finding the source of the fire to determine the type of smoke and odors present in a home. Our technicians also determine if any areas of a house are wet because of firefighting efforts. We extract the water using shop vacs and dry the affected areas using air moving and dehumidifying equipment. We also remove any charred contents that could seal in smoke and smells like burned wood and insulation.

We can clean affected surfaces to eradicate the soils or soot particles. We perform several cleaning actions based on the affected surface and type of smoke particles present. Our technicians often perform mechanical action before other cleaning actions. Mechanical action is useful for pre-cleaning excess, non-greasy residues from surfaces before applying solvent-based or water-based cleaning products. Our SERVPRO technicians also treat affected surfaces for smoke scents using dry solvent deodorizers and thermal fogging equipment.

To deal with the aftermath of a fire in your home, call SERVPRO of South Albany County at (518) 456-1111 to assist you. We can examine the extent of the destruction and take the right steps to make it “Like it never even happened.”

9 Emergency Water Damage Tips

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

As water damage mitigation and restoration professionals, we know firsthand that the first 24 hours after a water loss are the most critical for reducing and preventing damage. The steps you take immediately after a loss will determine whether the damage is minor or major, temporary or permanent.

That’s why, after you call us, we spring into action fast. We get to you ASAP to inspect the scene, provide emergency mitigation services, monitor drying and restore your home or business to preloss condition.

But what should you do when a water loss occurs? How can you spring into action to prevent permanent damage? Here are nine simple tips.

  1. Do not enter the area if water is exposed to electricity.

Before you rush in and get to work, make sure it’s safe. If there’s a chance that the water might be exposed to a live wire or an electrical source, do not enter the room.

  1. Do not enter the area if the ceiling is sagging, and do not turn on wet ceiling fixtures.

Similarly, don’t rush into the area if the ceiling is sagging – this might indicate more serious structural damage, and there’s no reason to put yourself in harm’s way. You should also avoid turning on any ceiling fixtures if the ceiling’s wet.

  1. Shut off the water source, if possible.

If you can safely access the water source, shut it off to prevent further water from coming into your home or business. If you aren’t sure how to access the water source, or you aren’t sure if it’s safe, call a qualified professional for help.

  1. If safe, turn off circuit breakers for wet areas.

If you’re able to get to them safely, you should also turn off the circuit breakers for the wet area to prevent the flow of electricity.

  1. Mop or blot as much excess water as you can.

In a water loss, every little bit counts! Grab your mop and whatever towels you can find and try to remove as much water as you can until the professionals get there.

  1. Place foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

If possible, you can also remove the furniture from the room altogether.

  1. Move art, electronics, documents and valuables to a dry place.

Moving contents to a dry place is the first step to restoring them to their original condition. Start with art, electronics, documents and anything else that’s both especially valuable and susceptible to serious damage.

  1. Do not use a household vacuum to suck up water – this could shock or damage the device.

Some people try to use their vacuums as makeshift extractors. We don’t recommend it – you’re likely to damage your device irreversibly.

  1. Call us, we’re here to help!

No matter how fast you spring into action, there’s a good chance that you’ll need professional help to truly mitigate and restore serious water damage. Give SERVPRO of South Albany County a call at 518-456-1111 – we’re here to help!

5 Common Causes of Fires (and How to Prevent Them)

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Hundreds of thousands of fires each year destroy homes, cause harm and disrupt people's lives. Most of them are preventable.

Cooking Fires

Cooking is the number one cause of preventable home fires! You should not cook when you're tired, if it's the middle of the night, or if you just got home from a late night. If you do cook under any of these circumstances, you need to be extra careful.

You also should not cook while you're drinking, especially if you've been drinking more than one or two glasses of wine, because your full attention won’t be where it needs to be and can lead to something dangerous. 

Oftentimes in the event of a grease fire, the first instinct is going to be to get some water to put the fire out. Do not do this - this may cause the grease to splatter and can cause the fire to spread. Instead of that, cover the fire with a pan. Starved of oxygen, it will go out on its own. You can also use baking soda on some occasions.

However, if the fire becomes too much to handle or out of control and you start to get worried for your own safety, get out as quick as possible and call 9-1-1! 

Heating Fires

Of course, in the winter, you need to keep your home warm, especially in Albany. But heating elements like fireplaces or space heaters can be major causes of residential and commercial fires.

You should keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from that heating source. You should also turn the heater off when you're leaving the room or if you're going to sleep. While it’s always nice to go to bed toasty, it's not safe to do so!

Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are also all too common, but they can be avoided with a bit of common sense.

You should only plug in one heat-producing appliance at a time. For major appliances like refrigerators, plug those directly into outlets - don't use extension cords or power strips. Finally, use light bulbs with the right number of watts. Those watts are listed on the sticker on the side in most cases

Smoking Fires

Smoking is less common than it used to be, but it's still a major cause of preventable fires. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, over 17,000 home fires per year were caused by smoking.

Store cigarettes and lighters high up or in locked cabinets so children cannot access them.

Put out your cigarette in a deep sturdy ash tray when you're done. Make sure it's away from anything that could burn.

Candle Fires

Candles can be a major cause of home fires, causing over 7,000 fires per year, especially over the holidays. You should ensure that candles are at least one foot away from anything that could possibly burn. Finally, blow your candles out before you leave the room or go to bed. Everybody likes a bit of ambiance, but it's not safe.

It's important to remember that fires are preventable so long as you know the risks. Still, it's important to be prepared for the worst case scenario, so take a look at developing an emergency response plan. And remember if you do have a fire, call SERVPRO of South Albany County at 518-456-1111.

How To Avoid Pipe Bursts!

5/30/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursts are some of the most common causes of water damage. Small changes can prevent a buildup of damage to your pipes over the years. Here are some tips to keep your pipes from getting damaged and to protect your home from water damage.

  1. Consider a water softening system. Hard water can cause significant damage to your pipes over time. Early signs of hard water in your home is if your coffee maker has clogs and gives out earlier than expected. This is due to a high mineral content in the water. A water softening system will lower the hardness in the water and reduce the amount of minerals that can adhere to your pipes.
  2. Install a pressure regulator. A pressure regulator will help you detect problems in your water supply before any serious damage can occur. High water pressure is one of the most common causes there is of pipe damage. Increased clogs or mineral adherence will cause the pressure to increase in your pipes and can lead to bursting. Contact your local plumber if your pressure appears to be high.
  3. Insulate your pipes. Insulated pipes will help prevent freezing in the winter. If water freezes in your pipes, the pressure builds up and can cause a pipe burst.

If a pipe burst does occur, SERVPRO is here to help! We will help clean up your water damage of any size!

40% of Businesses Do Not Survive a Disaster. Here's what you can do!

5/23/2021 (Permalink)

According to a report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. To survive, businesses should plan ahead for any and all potential disasters so they can weather any storm. Whether it’s fire damage, water damage, storm damage, mold damage or any other general cleaning, SERVPRO has got you covered. Make us your first call in the event of a disaster and we’ll work with you to save and restore. With the assistance of SERVPRO, you’ll have the hard work and dedication of a team who are expertly equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to respond to any size disaster. We are available 24 hours a day to restore your property and get you back to business. Call us at 518-456-1111 to take the first step towards disaster recovery. We’re happy to help!

Can Your Business Survive A Disaster?

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of South Albany County is ready to respond. We know the importance of getting your business back up and running. With 24/7/365 services, our crews are always prepared to help. Loss of business affects your customers, your employees, your income, and every day that goes by, and can jeopardize you if the business cannot successfully stay in business. Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a fire, major water damage or storm event, and 25% will fail within one year according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. No job is too large or too small. The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of the best of the best in restoration. They are strategically placed throughout the United States. The Large Loss Division has assisted with hurricane damage, tornado disasters, major state flooding events, The Pentagon and COVID 19 outbreaks and preventative cleaning. If your business needs restoration help, call SERVPRO of South Albany County at 518-456-1111.