Recent Posts

Are You Prepared for Severe Weather?

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

During this time of year in Chemung & Schuyler Counties, we can experience some pretty severe weather. It is important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and even tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below, we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens.

Protect your electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm.

Prepare for power outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise about 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be discarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines.

Go inside when you hear thunder

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out there until the storm passes. 

Keep an emergency kit ready

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets, extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. If an emergency strikes your home during a storm, SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties is ready to help get your life back to normal fast. Call us (607) 846-3685

Renter's Insurance

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Do you know how important renter's insurance is?

We see disasters every day... and one of the saddest things is when people don't have renter's insurance and lose everything.  If you have questions about renter's insurance you should speak to an agent for more information.

Top myths and the facts—about renters insurance from State Farm:

  1. The landlord's insurance covers your possessions- Don't count on it. Most landlords' insurance covers only the building and damages due to negligence. 
  2. Renter's insurance is expensive- In this case, the numbers speak for themselves. The average renter's policy costs just $12 a month for up to $30,000 in personal property coverage. That's solid coverage for less than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee a week.
  3. Still concerned about price? Your insurer will work with you to find the combination of coverage and costs that suits your needs. You might even qualify for a discount by taking some simple home safety precautions or purchasing another policy, such as auto insurance, with the same insurer.
  4. You don't need insurance if your stuff isn't expensive- Most renters' belongings cost more than they think. 
  5. Think that number is too high? Take a moment to add up the approximate cost of your computer, television, stereo, furniture, jewelry, and clothing. If a fire gutted your apartment tomorrow, would you have the cash to replace it all?
  6. Renter's insurance covers only your possessions- In fact, renters insurance covers much more than just your personal property: The average policy also includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage. That means in the event of a covered loss your insurer will help cover the costs if you're held responsible for injuring another person or damaging another person's property, including your landlord's. 
  7. Renter's insurance is hard to get- You can research providers, compare quotes, and even find an agent online.

Speaking from experience, SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties can attest to just how important renter's insurance can be. In the event you have a water or fire loss in your rented home, we won't just work with your landlord's insurance, we will work with your insurance company too. 

Residential Smoke & Soot Cleanup

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • 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.

Different Types 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. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

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 rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (607) 846-3685

Chemung & Schuyler Counties Fire & Smoke Damage? Call SERVPRO!

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO says electrical overloads can burn you Chemung & Schuyler Counties home.

Homeowners in Chemung & Schuyler Counties can sometimes take electricity for granted. There are so many electric devices we use in our homes today, that it might be a surprise when you have an electric overload. They can, unfortunately, happen, however, and even though there are precautions like fuses and circuit breakers to keep these overloads from starting a fire, there are some things you can also do to help prevent it from happening in the first place. 
If an electrical overload has left fire damage in your Chemung & Schuyler Counties home, you need the professional assistance of a remediation company. At SERVPRO, our staff is trained and experienced in cleaning up damages from fire, including smoke and soot and we work quickly so you can get your life back in order. Therefore, it is easy to see why SERVPRO is the right choice for your remediation needs. 
When the current of electricity going through a circuit is too much for it to handle, an electrical overload can happen. Usually, it occurs when you have too many devices plugged into a single circuit, but it can happen with older homes if you are trying to run an appliance that uses much energy. When the circuit overloads, it trips a breaker or blows a fuse. These are safeguards to stop your system from overheating and causing severe damage. However, they can malfunction, spark and create a blaze.
To avoid overload, knowing the amperage of your fuses or circuit breakers is a must. They should only be loaded to eighty percent of their amperage rating, and if you have a breaker that keeps tripping, you are going past this eighty percent. SERVPRO believes in providing information to our neighbors to always prevent fires and water damage. We live here, too.
When you call us for help because of a fire from an overload, our first step is to assess the damages. Even a small blaze produces acidic smoke and soot that needs to be cleaned up. Depending on how much smoke damage there is, there are various methods we can use to clean up the surrounding walls and ceiling. 
Dry cleaning for ceilings with light-to-medium soiling that is non-grease based can be used, and the dry cleaning sponge is also utilized to pre-clean excess soils before we wet clean. Wet cleaning is used on metal, painted, or wood with heavy dry ash or soot residue or oil-based residues that are light to heavy. Alternatively, peroxide active cleaning can be used on acoustical or other porous and nonporous surfaces, especially if they have heavy soiling.  The always standing by HEPA filtered vacuums do a great job of suctioning up loose particles on surfaces.
SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties can assist you in restoring your home in Fort Collins or the surrounding areas after fire damage from a circuit overload. Reach out to us at (607) 846-3685 as soon as the flames are out; so we can get to you before the settled soot does more damage.

How to Avoid Candle Fires

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Many homeowners light candles to freshen up a room or to have lighting during a power outage. However, candles still have the potential to create a fire that spreads throughout the building. Avoid a candle fire at all costs, and follow these helpful tips to stay safe. 

1. Do Not Leave Candles Unattended

If you are leaving a room with a candle in it, first extinguish the flame. After all, you can always relight a candle if you desire. 

2. Keep the Area Around Candles Clean

The shelf or stand where you place the candle should not have anything flammable on it. Additionally, you should avoid placing a candle on a nightstand near your bed. The bedding may catch fire if you are not careful. 

3. Toss It Once It Is Less Than Two Inches Tall

You do not want to risk a candle fire by allowing the flame to get too close to the base of the candle. It is better to simply throw away a candle once it is less than two inches high. They are relatively inexpensive to replace.

4. Keep Candles Away From Pets and Children

Candles should be placed high enough that kids and animals cannot get them. It is dangerous for children to play with anything lit. If the candle is left on a coffee table, then a dog’s tail may accidentally hit it and cause it to fall onto the floor. 

5. Do Not Put Out a Candle With Water

It is preferable to put out a flame by blowing on it rather than pouring water. The reason is that water can cause the wax to spill all over the place. The hot wax may still catch fire, causing flames to spread throughout a home. Candles are meant to be enjoyed, so always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions to avoid a nasty candle fire and the impending smoke cleanup. 

Water Removal Services for Chemung & Schuyler Counties

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you have small or large scale water damage in your home, calling SERVPRO is a great decision for drying out your property and mitigation.

Water in a Fort Collins home can be everything from an irritation to a disaster that requires major remodeling and replacement of carpets, furniture, and building material. What causes homeowners further problems is when they try to treat high water in the basement like a half-inch across the kitchen floor. 
SERVPRO starts water removal from homes using pumps and extraction wands. With them, we can remove water both on the surface and trapped in carpets and between floorboards or the seams of tile and linoleum. 
When there is a carpet, we carefully lift it in affected rooms to finish drying it. Carpet pads hold a massive amount of water and quickly deteriorate once they become wet, so we dispose of them immediately. To completely dry the floor and the underside of the carpet, we set-up air movers to generate warm, dry air at an entry point while an exhaust fan pulls damp air out. 
If there is a wood floor, we have to look at the sub-floor as well. SERVPRO technicians can remove floorboards next to a wall or from spots that are normally under a bookcase or another piece of furniture. If we discover there is pooled water, or a layer of moisture covering every surface, we can use a commercial grade version of a water-vac to draw it out and then place an air mover with a hose to direct warm air and dry out the area. 
After the carpets and floors, the part of the home most affected by flooding is often the walls. While drywall is an excellent material for interior walls and ceilings, it is very fragile after it becomes wet. If panels soak up too much water, they can begin to dissolve right off of the wall framing after we remove the flood water. 
To prevent demolishing and replacing them, we attempt to dry each one in place. If there is no visible damage, but we can manipulate it, we place dehumidifiers next to the most affected spots and begin drawing water out of the panels and from the surrounding air. To augment this action, we set-up air movers and use dry air to help force out the moisture. Technicians control the warmth of the air to prevent over drying the panels and causing them to crumble. 
Water removal is much more than bringing in a pump and waiting for it to finish. If any part of your home is underwater, call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties today at (607) 846-3685. We are here to help. 

Helpful Tips to Prevent Flood Damage to Your Property

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

We all know that prevention is the best medicine, but floods can happen at any moment from any number of causes. By completing regularly scheduled home maintenance and keeping an eye out for common warning signs, you can minimize the chances of a flood. However, nothing can give you a 100% guarantee of never having a flood. In that case, preparation is the best way to minimize water damage.

First, it’s a good idea to know your flood risk. Are you in a potential flood zone? Is your yard sloped away from your foundation? Knowledge is power so the more you know about how your home might flood, the more steps you can take to prevent it or minimize damage from it.

Using waterproof building materials is a great way to reduce damage from flooding and there are waterproof sealants and paints that can be applied to existing structures. In particular, there are many protective coatings for block or poured concrete walls which are common in basements.

Keep your valuables and irreplaceable items such as photo albums, yearbooks, and important documents on high shelves. Do the same with chemicals and paints. If they leak into flood waters, they could cause additional damage. Any items put away for storage should be in air and water-tight plastic containers. Never leave boxes or items on the floor; instead, invest in raised shelving units.

It may also be a good idea to raise appliances and electronics off the ground. Get wires and power strips out from behind your tv stand and organize them in a way that keeps them out of the flood danger zone. Put washing machines and dryers on cinder blocks or sections of lumber to reduce the chances that rising water levels will affect them.

If a flood does strike, turn off electricity, gas, and water lines and place buckets under active leaks. If the water is pooling slowly, soak up as much of it as possible to reduce the potential damage. Calling SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties at the first sign of a flood is the best way to reduce water damage. Our highly trained technicians will solve your immediate problems and ensure you don’t experience lasting effects or further damage.

We are here ready to help!

Give us a call (607) 846-3685

Spring Showers May Bring May Flowers...But Be Ready For Flooding!

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Be especially careful if you live close to creeks and streams!

Spring showers can often lead to flooding conditions in central Illinois. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods may have on your property. 

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring. 

Flood Damage at Your Property?

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

What to do if you have flood damage at your property

A flood can be one of the most devastating things to happen to your home and life. It can come from heavy rain, a broken pipe, defective appliances, sewage backup, and other unexpected causes. Because flooding is generally kept off your radar until it actually happens, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions about how to act in the best interest of your safety and belongings. Here are three tips for responding to a home flood.

1. Identify the Damage

Is the source of the water a broken pipe or something more complicated? Is it clean water or contaminated? These kind of questions will help you decide how to proceed. If it's Category 2 or Category 3 contaminated water, it could be hazardous to enter the area without proper protective gear. Do not enter the wet area unless it is clear what kind of damage you have experienced.

2. Turn Off Power

Your next move should be to shut off the main power to your home in order to avoid electrocution in the initial cleanup stages. If this task will have you wading through the flooded area, do not proceed with the list and simply evacuate the home.

3. Call a Professional

Although there are minor things you can do while waiting for emergency restoration services to arrive, it is not wise to take on remediation without the proper training and experience. There are a mountain of risks that could end up worsening the damage if you’re not careful. Even simply waiting too long to begin cleanup poses a danger to your home and health, so it is best to act as soon as the water in your home is detected. Do not attempt to fix a damaged pipe or appliance on your own, either; always consult an expert.
If you experience a flood due to a broken pipe or other water events, it's important to act quickly and safely. Sometimes the safest, smartest thing to do is leave the cleanup to the professionals. 

Call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

(607) 331-4584

Commercial Cleaning Services

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties to ask about our Commercial Cleaning Services today!

If you are a business owner or run a particular business that receives a lot of visitors and foot-traffic, you know how important it is to keep your business looking clean and in good shape. A lot of times, you don't have the time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.

When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.

SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, Hardwood Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism