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.
How different floorings react to 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.
How does SERVPRO know what is wet in my home?
Have you ever wondered how SERVPRO detects what parts of your home are wet and how they can tell where the water has traveled?
To do this, we use a Protimeter .They are Moisture Sensors, Moisture Meters, and Thermohygrometers all in one. Each part tells us a little bit of different information.
- The moisture sensor detects where there is water.
- The moisture meter tells us the moisture content of various materials. Most materials such as drywall and concrete read in points ranging from 001-999, but wood material is calculated by percentage from 0% to 100%. With these readings we can see where the water traveled and also helps us when we are monitoring to show that the materials are drying.
- The thermohygrometer tells us the temperature and the humidity in the room. Capturing these two readings calculates specific humidity, dew point and vapor pressure, which leads us to calculate the amount of fans and dehumidifiers needed to dry the area.
First steps to take immediately after a water loss!
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.