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Spring & Summer Backyard Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Eastern Rockland County

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County to learn more.

The newness of spring makes it a favorite seasons for many. Birds are singing, beautiful plants are springing up, and the weather is mild and enjoyable again. Kids are excited to be out of school, and there are a million reasons to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

This season also means the ubiquity of backyard events like family reunions and graduation parties, gender reveals, and church socials, all of which definitely call for a good barbecue session. What’s a party without chicken wings, right?

Unfortunately the rise in backyard activity also brings with it an increase in fires. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year.

So what can you do to ensure your backyard parties are safe this season? Here are a few places to start:

The grill. Whether it’s propane, charcoal or a big fancy smoker, your grill needs fire to get going, and that makes it an automatic danger. Make sure the grill is sturdy and in good working order, and that it has no breaks, leaks or rusted-out spots. Never use liquid accelerants once the fire is going, and make sure the grill is safely away from anything flammable, including the side of the house. And don’t forget about cleanup! Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. A favorite gathering place for many, the fire pit is a wonderful place for having conversation and roasting marshmallows in the evening. But make sure you are doing it safely. Never leave any fire unattended, and never leave children unattended beside any fire. Make sure you have a bucket of water with which to douse any errant flames, and use that same bucket to slowly, safely put out the fire when you’re finished. And avoid adding anything like leaves or pine needles to your fire, because those can easily create flying embers that put your yard and neighborhood at risk of wildfire.

The chimney and dryer vent. These aren’t technically backyard-related, but you should do them anyway while you’re thinking about fire safety in the spring or summer. Make sure your chimney gets clean and clear of built-up ash or soot, and check your dryer’s vent pipe to make sure that lint hasn’t gathered inside.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

How Will I Know if My Basement Has Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of Eastern Rockland County

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County is a full restoration company. Our restoration experts are on call and ready to help you determine the best course

The basement of your Rockland County home can be a great utility area in a home. It can serve as bonus living space if it’s fully furnished, but it can also serve as a storm shelter for the family if needed or just some extra storage.

But because true basements are mostly or fully underground, they are prone to taking on some of the water and moisture from the surrounding area, creating potential for some unwanted situations.

It’s almost a statistical certainty that at some point a homeowner with a basement will have to deal with some degree of water intake. Below, we will look at some of the signs that water damage is present in your basement. If you need mitigation or if you just need someone to take a closer look, our well-trained teams are always here to take your call.

Signs of Basement Water Damage

Unpleasant, musky odors. The groundwater that enters basement spaces may not be dirty like water that comes up from a sewer backup, but over time, it stagnates and evaporates, creating that signature basement aroma. Many people believe basements inherently smell a little musty, but that’s not the case. The odor arises when mold and mildew are present in the environment, and while they may be hard to see initially, they are easy to smell.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Even seasoned homeowners sometimes believe that a layer of waterproof paint will do the job when it comes to preventing water leakage from the outside. Unfortunately, even the best paint will only hold back groundwater leakage for so long. Water that seeps in will inevitably bubble under and flake the paint, creating cracks and gaps and laying the groundwork for mold and mildew.

Foundational cracks. Cracks in the foundation should be taken very seriously, even though many houses do shift over time. Cracks can show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls and often signify that dangerous pressure is being applied to your structure due to water leaks. If hairline cracks appear, don’t panic, but keep an eye on them. If they begin to expand, call us right away.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.

A Look at What Dangers Thunderstorms Can Cause | SERVPRO® of Eastern Rockland County

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County if you experience any damage.

The warmth of the spring and summer is a welcome change from the chill of winter, but this warm weather also means that thunderstorms are given ample opportunity to develop.

Thunderstorms become a regular occurrence when it is hot outside, which means that many people do not take them seriously when they become a possibility. Every thunderstorm has the potential to cause serious harm to those in its path and should be regarded with caution.

All thunderstorms contain thunder and lightning every time, in addition to heavy rain and wind. If a thunderstorm is classified as severe by weather authorities, that means hail is over an inch in diameter and winds are reaching speeds of 58 miles per hour. All of these conditions can cause serious injury and property harm to those impacted by the storm.

How Thunderstorms Can Be So Destructive

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. If there is thunder, lightning will always be present too—in fact, thunderclaps are actually caused by lightning strikes. Over 300 injuries annually are attributed to lightning strikes, in addition to the major property damage lightning can cause due to fires and falling trees.

Property damage due to hail. Hail is not present during every thunderstorm, but it is always possible and can be quite dangerous. Hail falls faster the larger it is, and can lead to injury, car dents and household damage. If hail impacts a home’s roof or siding, it can provide a way for water to work into the home and cause major water damage if left untreated over time.

Harm from flash flooding. Flash flooding is an extremely dangerous force because of how suddenly it can come about and the fact that it can occur nearly anywhere. During periods of heavy rain, storm drains can become overwhelmed and begin to overflow, causing flash flooding conditions that can be deadly. Just a few inches of water can knock an adult off their feet or move a car, so never come into contact with floodwater if it can be avoided.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

What Kind of Water Damage do You Have?

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Clean Water Or Contaminated Water

When your Rockland County, New York home or business suffers from a water damage disaster, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water.

Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source, and rainwater.

The term grey water is used to describe slightly contaminated water, which is usually clean water that has been left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.

Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. 

When you have water damage, don't leave your Rockland County property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County to professionally cleanup any size disaster in your home or business. 

The Water You Don't See Is The Problem

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Even small water damages in your Rockland County home have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. 

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a serious problem that will affect your property. Our SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County service technicians have the training and equipment to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage occurs. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage and expense during a fire or water damage event. 

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to work, here are just a few of the tools our technicians use to do their job and restore your property.  

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. 

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate reading, allowing technicians to monitor the drying process. 

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, technicians can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but  also to disinfect and deodorize. 

Ultra Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard to reach areas. 

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles. 

These are just a few pieces of the professional grade equipment that each SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County technician is trained to use to help ensure your property is completely restored.

If Disaster Strikes Your Eastern Rockland County Home Will You Be READY?

5/2/2021 (Permalink)

Preparation Is Key It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation. 
  1. Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  2. Develop and test emergency communication plans.
  3. Assemble or update emergency supplies. 
  4. Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
  5. Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class. 
  6. Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  7. Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
  8. Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
  9. Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
  10. Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization.

Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property. After the emergency call SERVPRO  of Eastern Rockland County to help with water, fire, mold and storm cleanup and restoration. 

What To Do Before Help Arrives to Your Rockland County Home

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

 

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. 

Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your Nyack, or Nanuet Rockland County home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet. 
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don't:

  • Don't attempt to wash walls, painted surfaces, furniture or carpets. Instead call SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County.
  • Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances before consulting authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as it may be contaminated. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
  • Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. 

Can Your Employees Escape in Under Two Minutes?

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing a plan.

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your com[any's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and will lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. 

*Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

SERVPRO Of Eastern Rockland County Ready Plan APP: Help At Your Fingertips

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Help For Any Size Disaster

The SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile Application provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in to SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County when disaster strikes. The Ready Plan App is a free emergency preparedness tool offered by SERVPRO, and can be downloaded on your Android or iPhone.

The application allows both residential and commercial Rockland County property owners and managers to create an Emergency READY Profile containing critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs.

In addition to property details, the application tracks prior loss history, utility shut off locations, key contacts; stores photos of the damage; and integrates local weather forcasts and more, including our SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County contact information. 

Through the application, the user can quickly call SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County or submit an electronic "First notice of Loss" to the SERVPRO National Call Center setting the wheels of recovery in motion. Rapid response can help the owner evaluate options, and start the insurance process and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal, "Like it never even happened."

The Behavior of Smoke

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Soot webbing caused from fire damage. Soot Webbing

The damage to your Rockland County New York property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke.

There are two different types of smoke--wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

SERVPRO technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration, and know the different types of smoke and its behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration.

Before restoration begins, the technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on your precious items. 

Smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us to investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. 
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Types of Smoke:

Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke dries. 

Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO technicians can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly. 

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

Our SERVPRO of Eastern Rockland County technicians are trained to handle even the toughest losses. And make any smoke disaster "Like it never even happened."