9 Emergency Water Damage Tips
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
If possible, you can also remove the furniture from the room altogether.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
Hundreds of thousands of fires each year destroy homes, cause harm and disrupt people's lives. Most of them are preventable.
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!
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 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 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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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?
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.
SERVPRO of South Albany County Carpet Cleaning Services
Did staying in most of 2020 take a toll on your carpets? How DIRTY are your carpets and floors? Where your children play with their toys and lie down to watch their favorite cartoon. Did your dog track in muddy footprints? The IICRC states that 70% of soil in carpet is dry soil. Vacuuming is a key component to proper care and maintenance of carpet. Even the highest quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time and SERVPRO of South Albany County can clean that for you.
In between carpet cleaning use these maintenance tips:
- Regular vacuuming
- Using walk-off matts to limit the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet
- Remove stains and spots immediately
- Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpets every 12 months.
So, if you need your carpets clean, make sure you call SERVPRO of South Albany County.
How To Prepare For A Storm
It is better to be safe than sorry. Preventative measures are key to saving yourself and your home from the damage that comes with a storm. Storms bring heavy rain, winds, and lighting.
They can cause flooding, power outage, and a lot of destruction. This is why you must have a plan to deal with all these problems that may come with a storm.
However, if there is still damage caused to your property because of the storm then hire a professional storm cleanup service for your home restoration.
Here are the many safety tips you can follow to prepare yourself for a storm.
Ensure That The Exterior Of Your House Is Safe
You must take care of the outdoors to reduce safety hazards. For example, you need to trim down large trees and shrubs so that they don’t fall on something else or get tangled with wires.
Apart from that any plants, furniture, or other objects that are placed outside need to be brought indoors so they can be saved be from damage.
Keep Everything Powered Up
Make sure that the gas tank of your car is full. Charge any appliances that need charging such as your cell phone, laptop, etc. Apart from that, you need to test your generator beforehand so that it works properly in case of a power outage during the storm.
Also, keep extra fuel for the generator in case of extensive power outages. This way you will always have backup power.
Make An Emergency Plan
Nature is unpredictable and you never know how bad a storm is going to be. This is why you must have a contingency plan in case of extreme circumstances.
Come up with a plan of how you are going to get in touch with all the family members and where you will meet up to stay safe. This is because storms can happen anytime and not everyone will be home.
The main reason why urban flooding takes place because of a storm is due to the overflowing of gutters. With too much water coming in the water overflows and causes the area to flood.
This is why it is important to routinely get your gutters cleaned once in a while. This will allow the water to flow freely and prevent any blockages. It will also prevent the flooding of your basement and roof damage.
Create An Emergency Kit
This is only for a worst-case scenario. If you have to leave home because of some damage or in case of a power outage you will need an emergency kit.
Be sure to have essential medicines, first aid, batteries, important documents, non-perishable food, water, clothing, cash, and all other essential items that you may require.
It is always good to be prepared for an unprecedented situation that may arise due to a storm. Follow these tips to prepare before a storm and you will be good to go.
However, if there is any damage to your home due to the storm then give us a call (518)456-1111.
Tips On Fire Damage Cleanup
We might view fires as something abstract, but they are very real. Fires happen every single day, to others due to a variety of reasons. So, one does not usually imagine the scenario in which they, themselves, would have to go through such an experience. This is why most of us, seldom read about what it is that we can do to help ourselves after. However, we are going to change that today. If a fire does happen to occur on your property, then fire damage cleanup tips are something that you should know as they will, undoubtedly, come in handy.
What Exactly Is Involved In The Fire Damage Cleanup Process
First thing's first, to understand the tips that we provide for the fire damage cleanup process, you must first know exactly what it is that the process entails. The process involves the removal of any debris caused by the fire, resolution of any sort of water damage, and removal of standing water within your property. That is not all, to ensure that the air quality in your home is as good as it was before the fire, you must start by eradicating the smell caused by the smoke and removing any soot accumulation in your house and places, such as vents.
Now that we know exactly what we have to do during the fire damage cleanup process, here are some tips that will make the entire process much more easy and efficient.
Before you start the cleanup process, it is vital for you to ensure that you are safe and using protective gear at all times. So, our first tip is for you to wear protective clothing, such as shoes with heavy soles and work gloves. Next, to make it easier for you to breathe through the dust particles, make sure that before you begin the cleanup process, you water the debris to minimize them.
To make the cleanup process more efficient, there are certain ways in which you can make the products you are using work for you. Firstly, to reduce odors set in your clothes after the fire, you can use cleanup products that contain TSP, that is, tri-sodium phosphate. However, make sure to wear rubber gloves when using such products. On the other hand, when cleaning the walls of your property, make sure that you work on one small area of the wall at a time. You can easily use a mild detergent or soap to clean soot from your walls. In fact, you can even mix it with TSP for extra ease and efficiency. Work your way up as this will ensure that your walls don't have any streaking. Then, immediately rinse with clear water. Make sure that you wash your ceiling after you have cleaned all of the walls.
When dealing with a situation such as fire damage cleanup, things can start to become quite overbearing and emotionally overwhelming. This is why you should take each task one step at a time and remember these tips and all will be well.
What Steps Are Crucial in Disinfecting Property Flooded by A Storm?
SERVPRO Can Help Clean, Disinfect, or Remove Materials as Part of Flood Damage Restoration in Your Property
When a storm floods your property, one of the problems you have to worry about is contamination. Failure to decontaminate the affected areas can pose significant risks. It is important to note that you can clean up your Albany property, but leave traces of contaminants.
Can Contamination Persist After Cleaning?
Cleaning is a necessary part of flood damage restoration properties flood. However, several factors influence its effectiveness in removing contaminants, including:
- Whether affected materials are porous or non-porous
- Whether cleaning involves the use of disinfectants or antimicrobial products
- Procedures used in the application of cleaning agents
- Site management procedures such as content manipulation
What is easier to decontaminate, porous, or non-porous material?
Floodwaters contain massive levels of contaminants, such as chemicals and biohazards. In most cases, decontamination is only feasible for non-porous or semi-porous materials such as wood furniture or some floor and wall materials. Porous materials, including carpets and pad, allow deeper penetration of contaminants minimizing chances of proper decontamination. Our SERVPRO technicians remove such materials for disposal for the safety of your family.
Which steps are necessary when decontaminating hard surfaces?
- Allowing products at least 10 minutes of dwell-time
- Use of products at correct temperatures of at least 68°F
- Ensuring the cleaning solution spreads evenly around the property
Our SERVPRO technicians use various approaches to ensure we decontaminate all areas thoroughly. For instance, to ensure we apply sufficient products on vast areas such as floor surfaces, we use electric or pump-up sprayers for application. We also clean the surfaces we want to decontaminate before applying the disinfectant since the products need physical contact to be effective. Some organic matter can also neutralize the products.
Restoring sanitary conditions to your property after a storm floods it is crucial. Call SERVPRO of South Albany County at (518) 456-1111 to assist. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
Can My Flooded Basement Be Restored?
SERVPRO provides water restoration services in Albany, NY
Flooding due to weather events can be catastrophic for many. At the very least, the consequences of floodwaters entering your home are disruptive and problematic. Not only is it an issue of functionality or comfort, but there are also real health concerns associated with the debris and organisms brought into your home.
Flood damage is assessed and handled by our trained SERVPRO team. Our water restoration technicians train with the best in the industry to resolve imminent issues and anticipate those that could develop over time. At its core, our process requires water extraction, drying, and sanitizing the space, so it returns to its original condition. To complete the process, we may bring into your home some of the following-
- Submersible and truck-mounted pumps
- Air circulators and dehumidifiers
- Thermal foggers
Decide to mitigate your loss by calling our team at SERVPRO of South Albany County. A quick call to our 24/7 line at (518) 456-1111 can make all the difference in restoring your home.