There were multiple layers of flooring in this home that had a severe water damage. Normally ceramic tile can be saved when drying a home, for the simple fact that it is a natural stone. We have extraction mats that lay over the stone and they remove any harbored water within and the wood subfloor beneath, since wood is also a natural material and will release water. Unfortunately, when this home was remodeled, they laid ceramic tile over top of vinyl flooring. Vinyl acts as a vapor barrier and will hold water between the ceramic tile and the subfloor. Since this layer existed, all of the tile had to be removed and the vinyl also had to be removed in order to dry the subfloor properly. Multiple layers of flooring like this can cause mold growth since it traps water within the layers. So when you remodel your home, remember it is worth the extra time to take out the old flooring first instead of laying over top.
What to do during a storm
- Use a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
- Avoid contact with corded phones. Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
- Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
- Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
- Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open spaces.
- Avoid contact with anything metal - tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
- If you are not driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
Fire Restoration in an 1800's Home
A fire occurred at our customer’s home in their kitchen due to a cardboard box catching fire near an electric stove. Our customer stated that there was 5 to 6 feet of backsplash affected by the fire and white ash from the cardboard and paper towels throughout the home. Our technicians spent several days properly cleaning the homes structure, contents, and upholstery. Due to the ornate woodwork and moldings within the home, along with the historic wallpaper that dated back to the 1800’s, we took extra time to insure these areas were properly restored. In the photo you will see the wallpaper that covered the ceiling of the dining area and the ornate base of the dining room's chandelier. When our work was completed the customers were very satisfied with our quality of work and timely restoration.
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Make sure you are prepared should one be near you! Hurricane's are defined as an intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher. You can see a storm coming by the change in color of the sky (often greenish), large hail, low-flying clouds and a roar like a freight train.
Below are some helpful hints to follow whether you own a home, RV, boat, car or all of them!
- It is best to have a plan in place regarding where you are going to go when a hurricane hits. While they may be intriguing to watch, the best place is NOT outside. Your basement or under a set of stairs are great places to wait out the storm. If this is not available, the bottom floor of any building will work.
- Keep your car indoors if possible. Tape up the windows and door with tarps and keep away from any objects that could damage the car if they were to fall on top of it.
- During an emergency, gas stations will often be closed, so always make sure you have at least half a tank of gas to get away instantly
- Have enough supplies on hand to wait out 72 hours, just in case help cannot arrive right away. These supplies can also be stored in the trunk (items like a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and medication can stay there at all times.)
- Make sure your car is in proper shape. Have a full tank of gas, wiper blades and tires are ready to go.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep your charger with you.
- Avoid driving in deep waters
- For your boat, remove non-secure items, electronics, excess gear, valuable, and important documents.
- Make sure all openings are clear of debris
- Double all lines that are securing your boat to its securing space
- With your RV, do not drive it during the storm as it is more vulnerable to higher/stronger winds
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas, but empty holding tanks, turn off propane cylinders and cover the regulator.
- Make sure all documents are in a waterproof bag and with you at all times
Life can be unpredictable, but having plans in place help you with whatever may come. For more information, please check out these hurricane tips. As always, once the storm passes, contact your SERVPRO of North Rensselaer & South Washington Counties 518-677-3444 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Prepping your home
Whether it is fire, water, or mold, we always take the extra precaution to protect your home. In this scenario we had a ceiling that needed to be removed, so we covered all cabinetry, countertops, and flooring to protect them from drywall dust and any residue. This dust will travel into your drawers and cabinets and leave a layer of dust on your contents inside. A temporary containment wall was put up to protect the next room from any dust traveling through the air, and we also covered their air conditioning unit so no dust would travel inside. In instances such as these, we also place a negative air fan that filters the air in the area. When we are on a job that requires us to travel through the home to get back and forth to the loss area, we have film that will cover and protect the carpet and we will also use cardboard to protect hardwood floors from any scratches.
Check your home for mold on the outside too!
Many people are under the assumption that mold only grows on structures inside your home, but that’s not true. This photo represents a home that experienced water damage more than once and was very close to a lake. Water and Mold remediation in the interior of this home had been completed and passed inspection, although it reappeared within a few months in the same areas as before but not to the same severity. The contractor on the job traced the areas of most mold concentration to the photo you see here. The problem began behind the siding. Mold had been present here for quite a while and although it wasn’t visible it had reached a point where it would continue to spread in the interior of the home unless it was totally gutted. This home had a new exterior face-lift!
When torrential rains fall, and water cannot disburse or settle in the ground it will enter any building in its way. This prestigious college found inches of ground water entering their large main library with thousands of books and other historical items that could have been damaged for good. This is one row of many isle bookcases that have had their books packed out and sent to a Document Restoration Company to have them all restored to their original state prior to the flooding. After packing up boxes of water damaged documents industrial air movers and dehumidifiers are placed to dry carpeting and custom-made bookcases. Each one of these bookcases were individually elevated in order to dry the carpeting and bookcases completely so that when the documents returned they would be able to be put back in specific areas “Like it never even happened.”
Water Damage in a Physician's Office
Residential homes are not the only ones that experience water damage. This commercial physician’s office experienced a flood after a ceiling pipe burst and affected the entire complex, including an adjacent occupied office space. Not only were medical tables and office equipment affected, so were years of medical records. Residential storage rooms can be a nightmare when water damages contents in them, but in a medical building it can destroy years of medical history within minutes. This medical group not only had written files on their patients, but fortunately for them, these files were also scanned in their computers. Drying equipment was set up in these rooms and the contents were all dried with minimal damage to the files. Happily all the party items were also saved!
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there!
When inspecting a fire at a commercial building site, it is very crucial to look at every level of the building even if the fire did not occur on that floor. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there! Ceiling tiles and or any other type of ceiling may block your view of soot throughout the building. A great hint that there is extra space above the ceiling is the HVAC ventilation system. This building had a complete automobile repair shop above it prior to it being closed off for the building space below. In total there was a 14’ ceiling space above this commercial business that needed soot cleaning along with HVAC ducting, steel structure, electrical & plumbing systems and main carrying beams that would never have been seen if the inspector never looked above the ceiling tiles to see how much damage there was.
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.