Recent Water Damage Posts

What is Water Intrusion

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever had water leak into your home through your roof? If so, you understand the ways a roof leak can cause damage in your home. If you haven’t experienced a roof leak- you’re lucky!

It is important to understand the condition of your roof. Knowing that roof maintenance will be needed and what types of maintenance will be required can be helpful! Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly, it helps to know in advance so that you can prepare.

If water starts leaking into your home it can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.

  • Damaged shingles is one of the most common sources of roof leaks. Having damaged or missing shingles, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Missing or damaged shingles will allow a lower layer of the roof to be exposed to nature’s elements and can allow water to seep through the uncovered spaces.
  • Nails that have backed out due to extreme weather should be hammered back in securely. When the nails are raised or fall out, allows water to seep in.
  • Flashing that is improperly installed or have been damaged allows water to enter through gaps. Have them inspected to ensure they are properly installed and are well maintained.
  • Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof. This would cause water to possibly intrude into your home through the underside of the roof. If you notice water stains around the perimeter of your home, water maybe backing up into your home from your gutters. Also, gutters that are not pitched properly don’t allow the water to flow the correct direction to the downspouts causing the same damage as a clogged gutter.
  • Skylights often have leaks if they are not installed properly or have seals that are worn and cracked. Water can seep into the home from the skylight causing damage.

Sometimes water damage from a roof leak goes undiscovered for a long time because of the insulation in the attic or crawl space. It takes a lot of water to seep into the home, soaking the insulation before it reaches the ceiling and walls. In some cases, mold forms before water intrusion from the roof is noticed.

If you think your roof needs attention, call a roofer to have them inspect your roof. They can tell you what kind of shape your roof is in, inform you of any repairs that are necessary and give you a quote for the repairs.

What to do About Your Noisy Water Heater

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Your water heater is the lifeblood of your home. It controls the flow of water to your sinks, tubs, and major appliances while allowing you to regulate the desired temperature for drinking, bathing, and other needs for you and your family. Like any other major appliance, problems can occur over time, and repair and/or replacement costs can skyrocket when not properly maintained. Fortunately, simple observations may be enough to help you diagnose a potential problem as it arises.

Identifying Problems Through Listening

Water heater noises are varied and can stem from several potential problems. Some issues can be small and easy to fix yourself, while others may require professional help. Note the following common occurrences and their sounds:

  • Partially-closed valves – Water line valves that are partially closed forces water to push through smaller openings, creating a screaming sound. Ensure all valves are completely open when hearing this noise.
  • Sediment buildup – Sediment naturally forms over time around element tubes and traps water beneath the layers, indicated by a crackling sound. The element should be cleaned, or replaced if the noise persists
  • Loose sediment – At times, sediment deposits can be stirred inside your tank when water is flowing through, causing a rumbling noise. Using a deliming solution during a water heater flush should solve the problem.

Additional Maintenance Notes

Water heater maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent leaks and premature breakdowns. The buildup of sediments and other minerals are a major cause for issues, particularly if you have hard water. Installing a water softener, and regular flushing and cleaning of the system can help prevent long term issues. If leaking does occur, always consult a water cleanup and mold remediation professional to ensure there is no extensive damage to your heater and the surrounding area. The cost of regular maintenance often pales in comparison to that of a major repair or replacement, so taking the time to observe your heater and keep it clean can save a fortune in the long run.

Why You Need an Immediate Response to Water Damage

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

When flooding and other water disasters affect your home and family, you don't want to wait several hours for regular business hours. You need solutions immediately. SERVPRO of South Albany County has water damage mitigation professionals that offer 24-hour emergency response services. This means that if a pipe bursts on a holiday, technicians are available to respond. If heavy storm damages leave your home exposed to flooding, a fast response could prevent further harm.

You Can't Wait a Single Day

The first few hours after your home is affected by water damage, many things begin to happen.

  • Furniture swells and breaks down.
  • Metal items tarnish and rust.
  • Fabric and paper items become stained.
  • Mold or mildew take hold.
  • Drywall weakens and swells. 

An immediate response puts the progression of damage on hold while a corrective course of action is put into place. 

It's Expensive To Delay

Many situations requiring cleaning and restoration must be addressed immediately. This is because water damage takes place within minutes. Within a short 60-second period, walls, floors, and upholstery absorb water. Finishes on tables and chairs begin to bleed. Cherished photographs start to warp and discolor. If you have to wait more than a 24-hour period for professionals to arrive, the damage becomes much harder to address. 

If you have to wait just two days for services, mold may begin to spread. Important framing may warp. Metal fixtures begin to corrode. Paint blisters and wood flooring swells. As damage increases, the efforts and cost of restoring your home increase rapidly. In some cases, the structural safety of your home could be affected. 

What a Quick Response Looks Like

SERVPRO of South Albany County is open 24/7, so technicians are ready to respond within a single hour. Before four hours pass, professionals will be at your home. Within eight hours, a plan of action will be in place, and you will be well on your way to getting back on track. A fast response to flooding is crucial; take advantage of 24-hour availability for the protection of your home.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Pipes against a brick wall covered with ice and icicles hanging from them. Use these preventative measures to prevent frozen pipes in your home this winter.

January is here, and so is the frigid temperatures. Also, it’s the time of year New Yorkers like to travel to a warmer climate to escape the cold. If you are planning your winter escape, it is important to take preventative measures to prevent the pipes in your home from freezing. Water damage from a burst pipe can be devastating, and costly. Especially when the water is sitting stagnant in the home for more than 24 hours, this leaves the potential for mold. Here are a few tips to prevent the pipes in your home from freezing.  

  1. Keep the furnace running at 55 degrees-Turning the heat down when you are away from the home for an extended period of time is smart, but be sure the thermostat does NOT go below 55 degrees.
  2. Insulate pipes exposed to outer walls-This gives pipes that are more prone to freezing added protection.
  3. Allow water to flow through pipes by turning on faucets to a slow drip-This keeps water moving consistently through the pipes.
  4. Open cabinets to allow heat from inside the home to help keep pipes warm-The extra air flow will help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Should you come home and find that a pipe is frozen, take immediate action to thaw it. If you experience water damage from a pipe that froze and burst, call the experts at SERVPRO of South Albany County at (518) 456-1111 to begin the mitigation process.

Hidden Water Damage

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

It’s the water you don’t see…

Even the smallest  water damaged areas have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly restoration in the future  is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your residential home or commercial property. SERVPRO of South Albany County has the professional equipment, highly-trained staff and proven experience to detect and dry hidden water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of South Albany County will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used to detect and find hidden moisture:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing us to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Bay County can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and deodorized.
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of South Albany County has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at (518) 456-1111!

Mitigation Cannot Wait!

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

When it’s your home or business that’s underwater, mitigation can’t wait. You need mitigation to begin yesterday.

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time. Wood floors warp, drywall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business. The benefits of rapid mitigation by a SERVPRO of South Albany County Professional are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

So, if the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO of South Albany County to help quickly make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

"This Feels Dry" Common Misconception:

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

After experiencing water damage you most likely have started to remove as much water as possible and begun the drying out process. After some time, you notice things appear to be drying and think, “This feels dry. I don’t need to call someone to do it for me. I’m saving money by doing it myself.”

This is the BIGGEST mistake homeowners make. The truth is even though things feel dry, they actually may still be wet, leading to more damage. When items are not dried properly, the effects of the damage can be more costly than if a professional had dried them. Within minutes water seeps into the floors, walls, upholstery and belongings. If not dried fully and properly there can be several damaging and costly effects. Such as:

  • The drywall may begin to swell and break down.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and ink from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Door, windows and studs swell and warp.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard containment is possible.

The professionals at SERVPRO of South Albany County utilize special equipment to ensure EVERYTHING is dry. Our trained technicians use thermal imaging cameras and water meter sensors to detect water that is unseen. So next time you experience water damage don’t make the mistake of leaving moisture behind. Call the experts at SERVPRO of South Albany County to make sure the job is done right the first time.

What is Water Intrusion

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever had water leak into your home through your roof? If so, you understand the ways a roof leak can cause damage in your home. If you haven’t experienced a roof leak- you’re lucky!

It is important to understand the condition of your roof. Knowing that roof maintenance will be needed and what types of maintenance will be required can be helpful! Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly, it helps to know in advance so that you can prepare.

If water starts leaking into your home it can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.

  • Damaged shingles is one of the most common sources of roof leaks. Having damaged or missing shingles, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Missing or damaged shingles will allow a lower layer of the roof to be exposed to nature’s elements and can allow water to seep through the uncovered spaces.
  • Nails that have backed out due to extreme weather should be hammered back in securely. When the nails are raised or fall out, allows water to seep in.
  • Flashing that is improperly installed or have been damaged allows water to enter through gaps. Have them inspected to ensure they are properly installed and are well maintained.
  • Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof. This would cause water to possibly intrude into your home through the underside of the roof. If you notice water stains around the perimeter of your home, water maybe backing up into your home from your gutters. Also, gutters that are not pitched properly don’t allow the water to flow the correct direction to the downspouts causing the same damage as a clogged gutter.
  • Skylights often have leaks if they are not installed properly or have seals that are worn and cracked. Water can seep into the home from the skylight causing damage.

Sometimes water damage from a roof leak goes undiscovered for a long time because of the insulation in the attic or crawl space. It takes a lot of water to seep into the home, soaking the insulation before it reaches the ceiling and walls. In some cases, mold forms before water intrusion from the roof is noticed.

If you think your roof needs attention, call a roofer to have them inspect your roof. They can tell you what kind of shape your roof is in, inform you of any repairs that are necessary and give you a quote for the repairs.

Where to Look for Water Damage

2/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can come from many different places and is not just a problem for people living on the coast. While the damage from a flood is pretty apparent, there are many ways water damage can happen to your home when you don’t even realize it.

Here are some common causes of water damage and how you can spot the warning signs.

Weather is a common cause of water damage. Rains cause flooding that can get into your home. Even if it isn’t raining or snowing there is still moisture in the air. Damp air can lead to condensation and water damage to your walls. This is especially true of basements, bathrooms, and other damp areas of your home that don’t get much airflow.

Appliances like your washing machine, garbage disposal, water heater, toilet, and air conditioner can all contribute to water damage if they leak or stop draining properly.

Water from our pipes and plumbing systems can also cause water damage. Leaks and drips can go on for months, or even years, raising your water bill and doing unseen damage to your home.

So if these are all the ways water can sneak into your home, what are the signs of water damage?

Here are a few warning signs that you have a water damage problem in your home.

Standing water – This may sound pretty obvious, but if you notice water pooling in your house you have a water problem that needs to be taken care of immediately.

Bad smells – While water doesn’t normally have much of a smell, the mold and bacteria that grow in damp environments can give off a distinct musty, wet odor. If you smell mold or mildew you might have a water issue.

Stains and spots – Stains on the ceilings or walls can be a sign of water damage. You might have a leaky pipe or roof. Call a professional to determine the cause of the problem and to clean up the damage before it becomes a serious mold problem.

Peeling paint – Paint damaged by water will start to peel, bubble, or flake off.

Uneven surfaces – Water damage can cause floors, ceilings, walls, and other surfaces to warp and feel uneven.

Cracks – Water is always seeking the path of least resistance out of your home. Water can enter through cracks and once water finds its way in, the crack will expand allowing even more to get into your home. Make sure you seal all visible cracks on your property.

Preventing Water Damage in a Commercial Building

2/9/2019 (Permalink)

According to disaster safety.org, here are some items to keep in mind to prevent water damage in a commercial building. When looking at your property, keep in mind that it isn't always the obvious that causes water damage. 

Ground Maintenance:

Grounds maintenance and landscaping are major components of the interconnected systems that work together to protect a commercial building from water damage. In sometimes unexpected ways these outdoor activities and elements can have sudden and extreme impact on the building itself. 

The Building Envelope 

All buildings are different, but each is at risk for water damage. From a minor roof leak to violently destructive hurricanes, any unwanted water intrusion can significantly impact the value of a commercial property. Protecting the roofs, walls, windows, and other components of ‘the envelope’ are essential to reduce the likelihood of water damage.

HVAC Systems 

Proper operation and maintenance of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential to reduce the risk of water damage to a commercial building.  

SERVPRO of South Albany County is IICRC trained and certified to clean up after all types of water damage. The quicker we get in to clean up, the less damage there will be and you can get back to operating your business!

Insurance Claims with Water Damage

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Severe storms and water damage. It’s one of the first things that comes to mind for many, but while severe storms and flooding can cause extensive water damage, they are often not the main culprits.

Were you aware that various items in your home could be responsible for many situations that result in water damage?

Water Damage is a Major Threat for Homeowners

Homeowners may at some time face water damage as it is the 3rd most common reason that homeowners filed homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.

Understanding the difference between water damage and gradual damage and how they can impact insurance claims is important. Examples of gradual damage are things that have been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Some aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, unfortunately, while some storm-related water damage is.

If your home has experienced any type of water damage, the team at SERVPRO of South Albany County is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Advanced Equipment for Water Damages

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that staying on the cutting edge of technology in our industry will help our customers the most. That's why we add new equipment to our inventory on a regular basis. We are proud to be able to offer the best to our customers. 

You may be wondering why this is importat. Check out this information found on aboveboardchamber.com: 

Many homeowners feel that if the water is removed, the work of water damage cleanup is done. This is because it is difficult to see or feel the extent of the saturation of water in building materials without moisture detection equipment used in the water damage industry. What follows is that either the homeowner will attempt to remove the water and simply place household fans around, with or without removing drywall; or they will tell the water damage restoration contractor to leave when the water is extracted and before equipment is placed. The paradox here is that these decisions are made to save time and money. In some cases, they may have done just that. However, in most cases, the resulting long term water damage is both costly and time consuming in addition to being inconvenient and stressful. Added to that is the fact that the cost of mold remediation consequent of an improperly dried flood damage will likely not be covered by insurance policies because the water damage or sewage damage was not dried properly to begin with.

You have probably noticed by now that it is not the water removal service that is the important part of taking care of water damage. It is actually the drying part that makes your home safe from long term mold or building material damage. In fact, there is no time to waste when it comes to drying a water damaged home. Mold begins to start growing within 24 hours and continues “growing like a weed” damaging building materials as it spreads.

Water damage restoration companies spend a tremendous amount of money on drying equipment for a very good reason. They dry quickly, effectively, and safely. After all, think about it, if we could just use household fans and a couple of blowers, we would save a tremendous amount of money on equipment. If I thought those types of equipment did an effective job, I would be all over saving money by purchasing those at less than $50 each rather than a $300-400 blower and $3000 dehumidifiers. However, I know the importance of having industrial equipment to keep your home safe and dry. Further, all of the equipment works together to both dry the structural materials (blowers), remove the moisture from the air as the wet materials dry and the water from them turns to vapor (dehumidifiers), and clean the air to prevent allergens that permeate through the air during drying (air scrubbers).

2 Things Not To Do After Water Damage to Your Home

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

When your home has suffered extensive water damage after a broken pipe or flooding, your first instinct may be to start cleaning up the mess. As strange as it sounds, this may not be the best course of action. If you plan on filing a claim with your insurance company, you’ll need to provide evidence of the damage and get approval before making any repairs. Not only that, hiring a professional water damage mitigation service, to handle the clean-up and restoration of your home can save you time and money. 


1. Don’t Throw Anything Away


Before you throw away any possessions damaged by a broken pipe or flood, you’ll need to photograph or video them, record their make, model, age and condition and allow a claims adjuster to inspect them. It’s also worth letting a water damage expert assess the damage too. They have specialized equipment for drying, cleaning, deodorizing and restoring everything from furniture to photographs, so there’s a fair chance they can salvage damaged possessions.


2. Don’t Try To Remove the Water Yourself 


As distressing as it is to see so much water in your home, don’t try to get rid of it yourself. Again, you’ll need to have the damage assessed by an adjuster before you begin clean-up. When you contact your insurance company, talk to them about hiring your own public adjuster to do the assessment as a way to speed the process along. 

Experts in water damage mitigation have access to specialized equipment that will make water removal faster, more efficient and much easier than anything you can do on your own. Their industrial de-humidifiers and fans can dry out your belongings before they begin to grow mold, saving you the cost of replacing furniture and carpets. 

It’s easy to panic when a broken pipe or other disaster floods your home, causing extensive water damage. Whatever you do, however, don’t throw anything away or try to remove the water yourself until you file an insurance claim and talk to an expert in water damage mitigation.

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

When responding to a water damage emergency, we begin with a detailed inspection of your home or property, including a damage assessment. At this stage, our professionals are trying to determine the scope of the damage so that we can develop an appropriate plan of action.

We will identify the category and classification of water damage to ensure our professionals restore your property based on industry guidelines. The level of contamination of the water will affect the specific restoration processes we use.

  • Category 1: "Clean Water"
  • Category 2: "Gray Water"
  • Category 3: "Black Water"

We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration. In addition, we will inspect for safety concerns that may be evident. If there are any safety issues like lead or asbestos, please bring them to our attention.

  • Survey Damage
  • Complete Safety Inspection

We move furniture and property contents and block items to help prevent rust or furniture stains on wet carpet.

How to Prevent Water Damage

1/28/2018 (Permalink)

Most Homeowners insurance policies cover basic water damage claims up to the purchased limit.

But you know what’s a lot easier than going through the claims process? Preventing the water damage in the first place!

Check out these 5 suggestions for preventing water damage:  

  1. Be careful where you plant 

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.  

  1. Clean out roof gutters

You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.  

  1. Keep an eye on your water bill

With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.  

  1. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you’ve used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.  

  1. Never pour grease down your sink

You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Some people use detergent to break up grease before pouring it down the drain…and that may help sometimes. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll keep the grease from sticking to your pipes, so why take the risk?

The safest thing to do is just to pour your grease in an empty can, and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done.

SERVPRO Helps Keep Your Home Liveable

1/28/2018 (Permalink)

Except in the most severe situations, you should be able to live in your home even as SERVPRO technicians go through the motions of water damage restoration. We always try to keep residents in their homes wherever possible, even if it means making accommodations in how we go about our business. Of course, access to some parts of your home may be impeded while we do our work, but these efforts are designed to keep the rest of the building working and livable with as little trouble to you as possible. Here's a brief overview of how we try to keep your home functioning as normal during restorations. 

Quarantines 

When water damage in your home has especially strong odors or mold presence, our technicians may put in place some quarantine measures to keep a section of your home separate from the rest of the structure. While this may entirely cut off access to part of your house, it also stops odors and mold spores from reaching beyond where they have already taken hold. Our quarantines range greatly in size, from a small area in the corner of a room to an entire wing or section of the home.

Safety Markers 

SERVPRO technicians put up markers and warnings wherever there may be a safety hazard, helping to keep them as well as you safe from harm. This can be especially beneficial in situations with flooding or otherwise serious water damage where major electrical, structural, or chemical hazards may exist. 

Active Cooperation 

Our personnel is always careful to inform homeowners and insurance companies alike when the situation changes or needs shift. If anything happens that may change your living conditions or personal safety in any way, our technicians or representatives always contact you before going any further in their work. Keeping homeowners informed and updated on the restoration process has helped to earn us a national reputation for quality care and service.

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. 

How to Prevent Water Damage While You're on Vacation

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

One of the highest insurance claims by homeowners is water damage, according to a study done by the Insurance Information Institute. In fact, leaky pipes and in often cases appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms annually. While you’re on vacation, it’s no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs. This is why it’s important to read our steps below on how to prevent water damage to your home while you’re away.

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Before embarking on your trip, check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should also check the seals around your windows to make sure there are no cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see what condition your roof shingles are in. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

It’s important that you inspect the hoses that connect to important appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washer/dryers, and refrigerator. If there is any damage, you should get the hose replaced before you leave to prevent extensive water damage.

Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters

Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won’t have any blockages that can cause damage while you’re away.

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. You should also run a few tests, listening to the sounds it makes and making sure that the water in the pump is actually going outside. You should also install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you’re away.

Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you are planning on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.

Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 7. Turn Off the Water

Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. You will also want to drain the pipes completely so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. You should also open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.

How to Spot Water Damage Early

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Spotting Water Damage Early

Water is one of the most important natural resources. However, when there is a leak in your roof or plumbing system, water damage will make for one of the most stressful problems you will face as a homeowner. Before water can cause damage to your property, you will need to identify the problem and request professional help.

Standing water

If you notice standing water around your property, you should suspect a problem with the plumbing system or flooding. Regardless of the source of the problem, stagnant water will weaken the foundation of your home if allowed to stand for a considerable period of time. The water will also form a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Water spots and stains

Another common sign to look for is water spots and stains on your walls and ceilings. While there will be no visible water in such cases, any leaks that manifest in this form could damage your drywall or wooden flooring. Once you notice this sign, you should consider assessing the extent of the damage to take the necessary measures.

Mold

If part of your home is damp and has been out of sunlight for a while, mold may start growing on the surface. While it is possible to treat and remove mold that grows on these surfaces, it would be important to hire the best experts.

Evidence on walls

If your drywall is sagging or appears to be saturated, this could be a sign that water is causing damage to your property. Some of the other subtle signs you should never ignore include bubbling or peeling paint. Such defects should be repaired before water deteriorates your building material further.

Musty smells

If your home is not well ventilated, odors and smells will be trapped in the space in case there is a persistent leak. The smells will not only be a sign of damp areas but could also be an indication of mold growth.

Sounds of water running

When you are sleeping at night and the house is quiet, you may hear sounds of running water in the pipes or dripping inside the walls. This could be a sign of water damage.

Once you have noticed any signs of water damage, it is advisable to call a reliable company to carry out repairs. SERVPRO of South Albany County has the expertise and experience to help you address such problems and prevent them from recurring.

The Process of Drying

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to hep prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment. 

What exactly does it mean to help "Speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material - but only if the air is, indeed, drier. 

The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. 

Your SERVPRO of South Albany County Franchise Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your SERVPRO of South Albany County Franchise Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business. 

It's not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO has developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process. 

The bottom line? SERVPRO of South Albany County Franchise Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."

How to Save Personal Belongings from Water Damage

12/3/2017 (Permalink)

One of the most common topics after a client suffers water damage, is how and what they can save from water damage.  Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question. Every water damage is unique in some sense, so what can be saved is really on a case by case basis. However, here are some guidelines that you can use to make the best decision possible.

What Type of Water Damage

Determining whether the water that damaged your personal belongings is clean or contaminated will be a big factor in whether or not it can be salvaged. Obviously, if you are dealing with clean water, the chances of you being able to save some of your belongings is higher.  Even though it may be possible to restore something that is damaged by contaminated water, it is more than likely not worth the health risk that it may bring.

Porous vs Non Porous Materials

Porous materials such as fabrics, wood, and paper are very good at retaining water. This also means it increases the chance of other dangers like mold growth, and damage beyond repair. This is not always the case and if handled quickly and properly, many times these items can be saved as well. On the other hand, porous materials like marble, metal, and porcelain - among others - usually have no problem being restored. Since there is really nothing for bacteria and mold to root itself in, a simple cleaning is usually no problem.

The Amount of Time the Water Saturated

Another factor that will come into the equation of determining what can and cannot be saved is how long the materials have been wet for. The longer an item sits in water, the deeper it can penetrate. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly more difficult to bring it back to its normal state. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a bit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them.

Factor in the Replacement Cost

Water damage restoration of personal belongings is no different than any other type of repair. You will always want to evaluate how much it is going to cost to repair something versus simply replacing it. Is the item you want to save really worth paying a professional to do work on it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.

You should also take into account that paying for restoration does not guarantee your item will be returned to its original state. If that’s the case, you’ll have to replace the item anyways.

If you are unsure about whether or not one of your items could be salvaged, it is best that you get it analyzed by a professional. If you hire a water damage restoration company to handle a dry out of your property, they will be able to assist you in assessing damage to your personal belongings as well. To speak to a professional water restoration representative at SERVPRO, contact us today.