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.
Hoosick Falls Flood Damage
Tenting system to dry gymnasium wood floor
Hoosick Falls, New York recently had flooding causing devastating damage. We were able to respond to many homes and the Hoosick Falls Central School. Many basements had to have water extracted, and other homes had water affect their main living area. We were able to go in immediately and perform mitigation so the contractors were able to go in and get the homes back to preloss condition. The school had flood water enter about a quarter of the school. Our full crew responded right away and prevented any further damage the water could have done, including saving the gymnasium wood floor. With our office ladies going out in the field, we were able to pull together and help a community that was in desperate need. Construction of roads and homes are still underway, but are coming together.
John and Angie opened their first business in 1997 named Deep Clean Restoration. It started as a carpet cleaning business, but grew over the years adding many services including water mitigation and fire restoration. In 2014 John and Angie decided to become part of the SERVPRO family. Angie ended her career in nursing to run the office, and John continued to work with our crew out on the field. We started in a small shop and have expanded to our building in Cambridge New York. Cambridge centrally locates us to our area covering northern Rensselear counties including Troy and southern Washington counties. Our team not only comes prepared, but with 20 years experience. If you ever need our services you can call our office at 518-677-3444.
SERVPRO Franchises stand by a 1-4-8 policy for our customers. We are committed to contacting our customers within 1 hour of notification of loss. We will discuss with you the cause of loss, how much of your home and what materials were affected. This gives us an idea of what needs to be packed on our trucks and leads us to the next step. The number 4 is in regards to the amount of time given to get to your home. Once at your home we do an inspection and walk you through the steps we would take to complete the project, to make sure you are comfortable with the process. The next step is contacting your insurance company or property manager within 8 hours of on-site arrival. We give a verbal briefing of the damage and what we foresee is needed to be done to get the structure back to good standing in the shortest amount of time. With this outline our customers know SERVPRO is there fast, in their time of need.
Our franchise's first billboard!
We decided we would do something different and budget for a billboard in our small town. We wondered what it would be like to have a billboard, and when the day came we decided to post on the billboard that is right near our building. Our billboard features our action figures Stormy and Blaze, and I’m sure you have seen them in action on our commercials! Whether they are propelling, scuba diving the deep waters of a house flood, or landing with a parachute to a large fire loss, Stormy and Blaze are first on scene. Though they are just for the commercials, we are here to help when you are in need. Contact us at 518-677-3444 for all of northern Rensselaer counties including Troy, and southern Washington counties!
Our favorite product, Benefect
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.
Soot Webs or Soot Tags
Our customers frequently mistake these soot webs, also known as soot tags, for smoke that has attached itself to spider webs that were present prior to a fire. In fact, soot from synthetic/petroleum based sources that have burned, cling to each other like magnets creating chains of soot. These webs are usually found in corners like spider webs and here’s why. Smoke/soot circulates towards cold, as the air is seeking equilibrium within its environment. These areas tend to be on the perimeter of the ceiling on an outside wall since those walls are cooler. Not only are those areas cooler, but the area near the ceiling is also a low area of concentration. So if you happen to find these after a fire, they are in no way indicative of your housekeeping.
Warning signs and preventative measures to prevent a house fire
This past year we have done a few fire restoration jobs relating to everyday items, that most people know can be a fire hazard, but are overlooked. Some items were an electric blanket, electrical outlet, kitchen stove, dryer, portable electric heater, and an extension cord. As a homeowner there are warning signs and preventative measures you can take to help prevent a fire like this in your home. For example, a couple ways to prevent your dryer from causing a fire is to clean out the lint in the lint filter to help prevents the dryer from overheating, also make sure to check your exhaust for any obstructions. For extension cords make sure to check them thoroughly for cuts or kinks in the cord, these can make sparks if the positive and the negative cords touch. Another area to check on cords is the end of the cord that plugs into the outlet. If the cord is extremely warm to the touch, then you should replace that end immediately or replace the cord all together. Any item that has an outlet cord is an easy place to check regularly. If this cord ever gets hot to the touch it should be replaced. Another tip is anything that has a fan, whether it is exhaust or intake, make sure the fan can breathe. Clean any dust or debris that may be covering the area. Some items that may have these fans would be a stove, portable boxed heaters, dehumidifiers, computers and computer towers. These are just a few tips to help you prevent a disaster from happening in your home. As a side note make sure to do your yearly maintenance cleaning on your boiler and chimney in order to prevent chimney fires and puff backs in your home. We hope these tips are a help for all of you in the future for preventing fires in your home.
Drying Time after a Water Damage
If you are wondering how long it will take for your home to dry after a water damage, it is hard to pinpoint an exact amount of time without knowing the materials of your home’s structure, or the amount of water damage. We can tell you that through our experience, we have found that after non-restorable materials have been removed, drying on average is about 3-4 days. This time frame only correlates with the placement of the required commercial air movers and dehumidifiers from the calculation of many variables including temperature, humidity, and square footage. You will not have these results with at home equipment or if you were to let the structure air dry. It is important after a water damage to consult a water mitigation specialist, as improper drying techniques can lead to mold damage. If you ever need us we are available 24/7. Call SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties at 518-677-3444.