Cambridge Wind Storm
On the Afternoon of May 4, 2018, a line of thunderstorms along with a strong cold front, came through our town, Cambridge, NY. These strong storms moved across eastern New York between 6:30 and 10 pm, causing numerous reports of trees and wires down. Very strong winds gusted up to 61 mph. A few intense bands of wind damage, most likely were associated with microbursts. Most all of the damages occurred in Johnstown, NY and Cambridge, NY. Due to this extreme weather it caused several large trees to fall down on houses and cars in these areas. Well over 100,000 people lost power during this event. Many homes were in need of repair and water mitigation. Several streets and yards were covered with trees and debris that took several weeks to clean up and repair.
Saving your carpet!
When you have water instrusion in your home, carpet is very time sensitive in order to save. Water extraction is needed as soon as possible and if the water is not extracted properly, and in this time frame, it may not be able to be saved due to delamination and bacteria growth. Our truck mounted system allows us to extract quickly and efficiently, removing 80% of the water from the carpet and carpet pad. After extraction we then set up drying equipment to dry the last 20% that cannot be extracted. We have another blog post that explains how other types of flooring handle being exposed to water intrusion and the steps to restore, if they are able to be restored. If you are in the remodeling process, and have questions on the durablity of your flooring options when it comes to water, you can always call our office at 518-677-3444. In the case of a water emergency, and you are in need of assistance, we are available 24/7 serving Granville to Troy.
How will your floors hold up against water damage?
Below are listed some different hard surface floorings, and how our SERVPRO team has experienced their reaction to water damage. Let's start with laminate flooring, one of the more common floors we see in homes today.
Laminate flooring is very resilient to almost anything except water. Laminate flooring advertises that it is real wood which is correct, but it only has a thin layer of wood on the top layer. The rest of the flooring is made up of particle board or press board. These types of materials absorb water very quickly and delaminate with minimal time. Imagine dog food when it absorbs water, it expands and breaks apart, that is the same with laminate flooring. Laminate flooring cannot be dried for that reason, but also due to the water that sits under the floor. Laminate flooring is a floating floor with a foam pad underneath. Once water has reached the pad you are unable to extract or evaporate the water. So, for both of these reasons, laminate flooring must be removed after a water loss, in order to dry out the structure and subfloor properly.
Vinyl is more resilient to water than laminate flooring, because it does not absorb water and is glued down not free floating. If a vinyl floor is affected by water damage, it can be saved depending on the amount of time the water has been dwelling. Once water has found its way underneath the tiles, the tiles must be removed. Vinyl acts as a vapor barrier and does not allow for evaporation which is needed in the drying process.
Linoleum: This type of flooring is much like vinyl when it comes to water damage. It is a vapor barrier and will need to be removed if water gets underneath, so the sub floor is able to dry.
Wood floor is a semi porous material that absorbs water slowly between the wood joints. If wood has been affected by a water damage, and is caught in a short amount of time, there are mats that can extract the water out of the wood and bring it back to its original state. If a wood floor has absorbed a significant amount of water and has dwelled for an extended period of time, then the wood floor will begin to cup and stain. If the floors are left in this condition it will get worse to the point of no return and must be removed. If wood floors are treated as soon as you see cupping, there is still a chance of them being saved. Water will get extracted, and then once dry, the wood can be sanded and refinished to get a smooth surface again.
Ceramic tile is the most resilient to water damage. It is semi porous like wood flooring, but is more apt to release water than wood. A large percentage of time, ceramic tile will dry, as well as the concrete or plywood underneath. The only time ceramic tiles need to be removed, is if the tiles and grout have loosened, or there is a plywood subfloor that is not drying. If the plywood will not dry, the ceramic tile will need to be removed to dry the plywood properly.
Please note all these processes of drying are within proper standards of dehumidification and air movement, performed by water restoration professionals. You will not get these results with at home equipment or leaving materials to air-dry.
Why we choose Benefect for your home
Benefect is our favorite disinfectant and antimicrobial to use in our customer’s homes. Benefect is an authentic botanical disinfectant, and the active ingredient listed on the Safety Data Sheet is Thyme. We feel good knowing what we are using one of the safest products available, and something that is also strong and effective. We use Benefect on all different types of jobs whether it is water damage, sewer damage, or even mold damage. We apply Benefect on all structure surfaces affected on a job. Sometimes it is used at the beginning of the job as a cleaner, and sometimes we spray Benefect on our last day of the job as a preventative measure and let dry, since it does not require rinsing or wiping after application.
Immediate steps to take when a water loss happens in your home!
The first thing you want to do is find out where the source of water is from, and shut off if possible.
Second, soak up as much access water as possible by mopping and using towels for any other surfaces. Cleaning up as much water as you can will prevent further damage.
Third, if furniture is sitting on affected flooring, especially carpet, use aluminum foil or wood blocks to separate the furniture from the flooring. This will prevent the legs of your furniture from soaking up any more water.
Lastly, move any contents or area rugs that may have been contacted by water, to prevent any futher damage.
Please note not to use any electronics that have been affected by water or are plugged in to an affected wall. This also regards any fixtures in the walls and ceilings.
After you have taken these steps, call your local SERVPRO. If you are located in North Rensselaer & South Washington Counties you can call our office at 518-677-3444.
Severe Water Damage
This winter has been a cold one!! These past couple months have been dangerous for many home owners. Why you may ask? These extreme temperatures and wind chill can freeze pipes in your home and create a water damage that can be catastrophic! This picture here was a home that was vacant due to being on the market. The water line to their tub froze and burst leaving water to run for days since no one was at the property, and the water froze on the outside of the home. The entire home had to be demoed due to the severe damage, but we were able to salvage the home and dry the structure.
What are some steps you can take to avoid a water loss in your home from these extreme cold temperatures? Make sure you have sufficient oil in reserve and keep your home much warmer than you normally would during these cold spells. You may feel you are saving money from keeping your heat low but in the long run you aren’t, especially for many with second homes that aren’t being lived in. One water damage can destroy your home and can be very costly to fix, so taking the necessary precautions are a necessity. Another great tip is to keep your faucets trickling while it is extremely cold. This keeps the water flowing so that the water will not freeze. For those problem areas that are hard to heat getting small electric space heaters can help to keep the pipes from freezing. One of the most important things to do to your home to protect from frozen pipes is during the summer month to check your insulation and see if there are areas that you can insulate that can protect from any draft or unwanted cold air getting to any of your water lines. These ideas may be basic but by following these tips you can prevent a water damage in your home. If you follow all of these tips and you still experience a water loss, there is no need to worry because we are here to salvage and dry out your home and make it "Like it never even happened."
The science behind what we do at SERVPRO
We here at SERVPRO use Psychrometrics. Psychrometry is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling a SERVPRO Professional to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.
Water can damage materials in two ways. First, materials absorb water through direct contact. Second, materials absorb water from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.
We as restoration professionals must establish an environment favorable for drying. It is critical we also understand how to manipulate temperature and humidity levels to produce optimum drying conditions without causing secondary damages through improper drying processes. The tools and equipment used to achieve the proper drying environment are: Moisture Sensors, Moisture Meters, Thermo-hygrometers, Infrared Cameras, Manometers, Air Movers, and most importantly our Refrigerant and Desiccant Dehumidifiers.
This is a little hint of what we do to make it "Like it never even happened."
Have you ever wondered if the air quality in your home is really as good as you might think? The air quality in your home is a crucial part to your respiratory health. What can you do to improve your air quality in your home? The first thing to check is your air filter near your air handler to your duct system. If the filter is dirty, then you should change the filter on a regular basis. After years of use, the next step is to get your duct work thoroughly cleaned with an industrial duct cleaning system. The reason for this is dust and mold spores can collect overtime. This process is quick and will tremendously improve your air quality. A hepa negative air machine is set up and attached to the duct system to vacuum out all the dust that is kicked up by a rotary brush that scrubs all the duct work in your home. After all the duct work is cleaned, we then apply an antimicrobial and an encapsulant, which will disinfect all the duct work and seal any of the dust that may be left behind. This process is fast and efficient, and by doing this you can rest easy that the air quality in your home will be improved drastically. We will be happy to help you in this regard, please give us a call at 518-677-3444.
SERVPRO Teams responding to Hurricane Harvey and Irma
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Major Hurricane at Category 4 strength on Friday, August 25 causing widespread devastating flooding and wind destruction along the Texas and Louisiana coast. After making landfall, the storm’s track continued through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, causing heavy rains and additional flooding situations. SERVPRO has mobilized and deployed Disaster Recover Teams to the most heavily impacted areas of Texas and Louisiana. Over 400 fully-equipped storm crews have been deployed and additional crews are being added daily. Hurricane Irma has made her way through Florida and we are actively routing Disaster Recovery Teams out to help. With disasters of this magnitude, residents and business owners are encouraged to be patient while SERVPRO makes every effort to respond to each need as quickly as possible. Our thoughts are with all who were affected by these devastating storms.
Is professional carpet cleaning the better option?
Many people rent at home carpet cleaning machines. Even though it is great that they have created a machine that is a “do-it-yourself” tool and not as costly as a professional cleaning, but it is important to know the issues home cleaning machines can cause. The biggest difference between the two machines is the at home machines do not have the suction power that professional truck mounts have. Truck mounts have around 4 times that amount of suction power, extracting much more than the alternative. At home machines generally don’t have the suction power to extract the cleaning agents and water that is put into the carpet. This can result in carpets that feel stiff or grimy, and take a very long time to dry. Also, at home machines only get up to about half of the temperature as truck mounts. The heat is essential to loosen the dirt and other particles away from the carpet fibers and be extracted. So, as you see there is a big difference in the machines and their capabilities for a good clean. If do decide to go to the professionals for a carpet cleaning, you can call us at 518-677-3444.