Recent Posts

Where to keep a fire extinguisher in a home.

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

How terrifying is it to have a fire in your home and not be properly prepared for the worst? A fire does happen in homes a lot more frequently than one would think. When it comes to a home fire, the best thing is to have a ready plan in place with the right equipment throughout the house. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties will explain the proper places for which a fire extinguisher in your home should be kept.


Did you know that 68% of home fires happen in the kitchen? So, we can only assume that the #1 place for a fire extinguisher is in the kitchen. Grease fires are the most common factor as it is highly flammable therefore, you don’t want to keep the fire extinguisher next to a stove. It should actually be located about 30 ft from the stove. For small kitchen we recommend mounting the extinguisher to an adjacent location with easy access. .

Every Level

For some of you who have several levels, please be aware that according to many law and jurisdictions with your state recommend a fire extinguisher be put on every level. If you think about it, it makes sense because no one would want to travel to another level and grab a extinguisher, that would absolutely take too long and you would run the risk of getting injured and having the fire grow into something more damaging.

Garage and Workshop

Garages and workshop’s are also a great place to have a fire extinguisher. In most cases the garage and workshop is a place where certain flammable items are stored. For example, gasoline, electric power tools, oil and paints are all stored in garages and workshops. So, to prevent that disaster of a fire to happen, mount a fire extinguisher and have the peace of mind that you have a ready plan in place as a precaution.

Laundry/ Heat sourced Areas

Laundry rooms and utility rooms are also areas in your home that could catch on fire. Dryers have a collection of lint that can build up in the hoses and vents. Dryers can get up to 120* f or hotter, and if the lint caught any sort of sparkle, a fire would happen instantly. Utility rooms are commonly used for the main heat source in a home. A furnace for example can be a potential fire hazard because of all the components, motors, electrically wiring, and the oil to allow it to run. You can never be too careful when putting a ready plan together and sticking a fire extinguisher in a utility room.

By having an extinguisher in all the basic rooms in the home you will have the ease that you are prepared in the event of a fire at your home. Did you know if you get to a fire within 6 seconds of it happening there is 75% chance that the fire can be put out. That is a quick action that could save a life or further destroy your home.

A word from the wise as well, please check expiration dates on all fire extinguisher in your home. They do expire and will not work when you need them too if expired. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties recommends you to not wait. By waiting you are creating a disaster to happen and you can never be too prepared. So, take an evaluation today and see if your home could use a few more extinguishers ready for a quick response.

SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington counties are the experts on removing odors

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most deterrents of buying a house is walking into a home that is for sale and smelling odors that are not appealing. Actually about 80% of realtors will say that a home for sale that has had owners who smoke will lose 20% of the value of home because buyers don’t want to buy a house that is filled with cigarette and/or cannabis smells. SERVPRONRSW has seen many instances where realtors will call us to help eliminate the order from the home. SERVPRONRSW has a proven odor removal protocol that prepares us to restore properties to their original forms.

Thermal Fog

Since smoke odors stick to surfaces throughout the home, SERVPRONRSW performs a Thermal Fog before any cleaning. A thermal fog uses a heat-activated odor neutralizer that makes its way to cavities and materials. Then it creates a vapor barrier to prevent smoke from returning.

Heavy Cleaning.

After a Thermal Fog, SERVPRONRSW starts the cleaning process. SERVPRONRSW is well trained and highly cautious of all the chemicals used to fully restore a property. One chemical that we use is called the smoke deodorizer and like a fine tuned comb, SERVPRONRSW crews will clean every surface from top to bottom. Another agent used is a degreaser. You would be surprised how greasy feeling smoke can be on upholstery, wood surfaces, cabinets and ceilings.


After all the cleaning is done and the foggers have done their job, SERVPRONRSW will treat the affected areas. Chemicals that carry neutralizers are sprayed on soft and hard surfaces to ensure refreshing smells and sealing power to not let smoke odors to stick to structures within the home.

In the end if you are buying a home that you are concerned that the smell cannot be illuminated is sure to give SERVPRONRSW a call to ensure the job can be done. We thrive to make sure that all of our jobs are handled with care and determination to make sure that we restore the home to its original fresh smelling integrity.

Top 3 Concrete Slab Foundation Problems

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Since the 1980’s, concrete slab foundations have become the first step in constructing a home. The typical foundation is poured over the top soil and is reinforced by rebar. Although slab foundations have replaced a crawl space, slabs can experience problems.


Unlike settlement a slab foundation can happen in areas. This could be because of moisture in the soil or simply a poorly designed foundation. Some signs of disruption will occur in the walls, floors, and countertops as they will not be level. To help prevent disruption install proper drainage to illuminate unwanted moisture from the soil.


Cracks in the foundation can be from many factors including disruption from weather and settling. Once cracked, the concrete slab will separate the joints and allow bugs, water, and moisture to enter the home. Sometimes foundations will experience just a hair line fracture. However, the littlest crack will grow into a bigger crack. Every home will experience settling because it is a natural process that the home sinks into the ground. Settling however can become more disastrous if not properly reinforced.

Improper Design

Finally, a slab that is not properly designed can be the top reason for a disaster to strike in the foundation. Having an engineer who take a proper geological survey can prevent cataclysmic problems in a slab foundation. By not following professional recommendations for foundations a home could be at risk. Surveyors will give the recommendations and statistics as to what kind foundation should be used with what soil type is present. Therefore, to keep a foundation safe one should always call a professional.

SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties is IICRC certified.

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

The first questions that everyone has are, what is the IICRC and what does it mean? In 1972 the IICRC was founded and is an acronym for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. In the event of some water damage, SERVPRO must follow certain regulations and guidelines and those protocols come from the IICRC standards.  In fact the group includes about 60,000 active certified registered technicians and 10,000 certified firms. To get a certification, technicians take a series of classes that specialize in cleaning, inspection, and mitigation and remediation and follow it up with a standardized exam. After the certification is complete, registered technicians must keep up to date with the trends of the group. For example, new protocols, renewals of certification, etc. So what does this mean for the homeowner? Well, peace of mind because they know they are getting a comprehensive restoration during any water damage. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer and South Washington Counties is prepared for that comprehensive restoration. We know what our customers need and what an impact a water loss or fire can do for a home. We take pride in our regulated guidelines and continue to strive for the best.

Water Loss- Categories and Classes

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Loss- Categories and Classes

Water Losses in a home happen all the time whether the home has experienced damaging storms, pipe bursts, or even utility failure. Water Mitigation and Remediation companies like SERVPRO decipher water losses under categories’ and class. There are 3 categories when dealing with a water loss. The category is determined by the originating source and the level of contamination.

Category 1 (Cat1)

Cat 1 water loss means that the loss happened from a clean water supply and does not carry a risk if ingested or inhaled. Examples of a Cat 1 water loss included broken water supply lines and sink or tub overflow with no contaminants.

Category 2 (Cat2)

Cat 2 water loss means that the loss happened from a contaminated water source that has potential risk that is unsafe to ingest or even inhale. Examples of a Cat 2 water loss include overflows of washing machines, discharge from dishwashers, and overflows from toilet bowls.

Category 3 (Cat3)

Cat 3 water loss is the highest category with the most risk. Cat 3 water loss can contain pathogens, micro organisms and other harmful agents. Examples of a Cat3 water loss is sewage and outside driven weather condition that damage the home and disrupt its structure.

Water losses also carry a class depending on the amount of water and the anticipated rate of drying of wet materials. There are 4 classes to consider when there is a water loss.

Class 1 water loss may affect part of a room or minimal materials with the least amount of water and drying time.

Class 2 water loss may affect an entire room with a large amount of water and minor drying time.

Class 3 water loss may affect from above, such as ceilings, walls, and insulation with a greater amount of water and increasingly slow drying time.

Class 4 water loss is the highest class. This means that there is deep saturation and destruction of wet materials, usually hardwood floors, plaster, brick and concrete. This class requires long drying times and special methods including demolition.

Weighted Water Extraction!

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water extraction is extremely important in water remediation. When a water damage occurs in a home or a business, the first step in water mitigation is to remove all the water as quickly as possible! This will reduce the risk of water spreading into various areas into other rooms and reduce the damage.

Recently we serviced a home North of Albany where a supply line in a bathroom had broken and affected all three levels of the home! Immediately our crew was on the scene! We used a method of water extraction called “weighted extraction”.  This technique is used to remove water from carpets and pads without having to remove the carpet! It allows us to save the carpet and in the end save on drying time! This method unfortunately cannot always be used. However, If contamination levels are low, then this is the best system to use. Still, if we are unable to use this method our expert team has other processes that we can use to extract water from your carpets and home!

We here at the SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties are dedicated to responding immediately to you when you contact us! A quick response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the cost of these disasters. If your business or home experiences a water damage, please call us at (518) 677-3444 and our professional team will make it “Like it never even happened."

What's a Soot Web?

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs in a customers basement after a recent fire.

After a fire in your home you’ll probably spend a lot of time focusing on the aftermath of this disaster. One thing that you may notice along the edges and corners of your ceiling are what many customers think are “dirty cobwebs”. However, these are called soot webs! These are not indicative of your cleaning skills at all they are actually due to the fire!

Soot webs form when ionized soot particles stick together and form long chains. These webs like to move to cooler areas in your home which is why you will likely see them along the edges of your walls and ceilings.

Do not attempt to clean these soot webs all by yourself! In order to properly clean them the correct chemicals and experience are required. Otherwise, further damage can be done if the proper action is not taken! We here at the SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties have crews that are trained and have the precise tools and experience to clean up these soot webs the right way!

If you have a fire damage please call us at (518) 677-3444.

Storms and Floods: Tips and Safety to Consider!

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flood water can wreak havoc on any home or business. Avoiding floods may not be entirely possible but there are ways to reduce the impact of water damages. If a storm is approaching here are some actions to take!

  1. Consider flood insurance. Floods tend to follow storms and many policies do not cover floods so check your policy to make sure you are covered!
  2. Locate weak points. Retrofit your doors and seal all windows. You can even have a professional come out to inspect your roof, basement, and gutters.
  3. Keep valuables on your upper levels. Floods tend to for the most part impact basements so moving irreplaceable belongings to upper levels or even higher up on shelves can help reduce risk of damage.
  4. Consider purchasing a portable generator.
  5. Remove or trim rotting trees or branches around your home or business. These are at increased risk of falling and causing injury or damage during a storm!
  6. Sign up for your communities alert system. So you can be prepared for when a storm is approaching.
  7. During storm unplug appliances and other electrical devices.
  8. Avoid flooded roadways. Never drive your vehicle through a road that is flooded.
  9. Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Always be on lookout!
  10. Stay away from anything metal! Avoid wires, metal fences, tractors, farm equipment, golf clubs, bicycles, etc.

Storms can hit quickly and unexpectedly, leaving a trail of damage behind. SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide emergency services. Our crew responds quickly to restore properties affected by storms, if you experience storm damage please call us at (518)677-3444.

Flooded Basement? No Problem!

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Recent basement that was flooded and in the drying process

Cleaning basements especially after a flood calls for a team of professionals with the proper equipment and experience to get the job done right. The water needs to be extracted as soon as possible to reduce the damage. Your basement can become flooded for several reasons, broken pipes, flood conditions (storms), sewer backup, and malfunctioning appliances. Regardless of the cause something must be done and we here at SERVPRO of North Rensselear/South Washington Counties are here to help!

Our team of trained specialists would first pump out or remove any standing water and debris. Cleaning and disinfecting then needs to take place and the final step in the mitigation process would be drying!

As water damage specialists our team of skilled professionals have the advanced training and experience that enables us to get your basement dried properly as well as any of your affected belongings cleaned and dried.

Homeowners and business owners dealing with a flooded basement can rely on us here at SERVPRO of North Rensselear/South Washington Counties to make it “Like it never even happened."

If you experience a flooded basement or any other water damage, please call us at (518) 677-3444.

Precautions to Take During Thunder and Lightening!

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Services, so far in 2019 there have been 12 fatalities due to lightening. When lightening strikes do you know what to do? What measures can you take to ensure your safety, your family’s safety, and even your pets? Here are some safety suggestions and guidelines to follow!

  1. Get inside a house or a large shelter. If safe shelter is unavailable find a low spot away from trees, metal fences, and poles.
  2. Do not use your balcony, porches, or an open garage area during storm.
  3. Do not use a phone that is attached to a cord. Only use cordless or wireless phones.
  4. Do not shower and avoid washing your hands and dishes.
  5. Bring your pets inside during a severe storm, avoid leaving them tied up outside or in a doghouse.
  6. Do not touch TV’s, computers, or other electronic devices or appliances with cords.
  7. Do not lean on exterior doors or windows that could possibly contain some amount of metal components.
  8. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.
  9. If boating or swimming, get out of the boat and away from the water, get to land and find some shelter.
  10. Wait at least 30 minutes after you hear the last roar of thunder before going outside.

Here at SERVPRO of North Rensselaer/South Washington Counties we want our community to stay safe and follow precautions!