Recent Storm Damage 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

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. 

Pet Safety In An Emergency

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties 607-846-3685

Emergencies come in many forms:  fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and violent storms.  In the event of a natural disaster or extreme weather, would you know what to do to protect your pet, to keep them safe?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests five (5) steps you can take to keep your pets safe during and after an emergency.

  1. Have a plan- what you would do if you aren't home or can't get to your pet when disaster strikes
  2. Make a kit- stock up on food and water, tap water could become contaminated
  3. In Case of Emergency- have information with you that will help find your pet in case they get lost or run away
  4. Make sure vaccinations are up to date- in case your pet needs to stay at a shelter
  5. Have a safe haven- Pets get nervous too, make sure you have their favorite toys, a leash, and a bed or cage

The CDCP gives some Other things to think about and other resources with information to help keep your pets safe in an emergency.

How To Plan For A Power Outage

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERPVRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties 607-846-3685

The American Red Cross suggests that every household have an emergency preparedness kit for your home and for your car. Unfortunately, only a little more than half of the homes in the U.S. have an emergency kit.

Your power outage kit can start with a duffle bag or backpack. Depending on the situation, the kit can be a 3-day supply for an evacuation or a 2-week supply for home. The kit should include at least a gallon of water per person, per day, canned food, a can opener, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, a multi-purpose tool, and medications, copies of personal documents such as proof of address, deed/lease, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies. A printed list of emergency phone numbers and of friends and family. The needs of all family members including your pots should be considered when building your emergency kit. Learn more about what you need in a survival kit.

We will continually bring you more tips and information on how to best be prepared in case of disaster. Should you find yourself with a water damage disaster from a broken pipe or from a damaged water tank in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties 24/7, 365 to help when your emergency strikes. 

When Storms or Floods hit Chemung & Schuyler Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Chemung & Schuyler Counties

SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crew is highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces restoration cost.

Resources to Hangle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Chemung & Schuyler Counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States to assist in large scale natural disasters. 

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 607-846-3685

Are You Ready for Spring?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Winter here in Upstate New York is notoriously brutal. Because of this, we are always itching for Punxsutawney Phil to not see his little shadow on February 2nd so that we can get to Spring faster. The problem is, a faster Spring could mean too much rain too soon, or thawing snow from the mountains can bring severe flooding. Whether in the streets or in your home, the results can be devastating. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind as Spring comes closer:

  • Never drive or walk through flooded streets. It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off their feet and 12 inches to move a car.
  • Floods are expensive! A few inches of water in a 1,000 square foot home could cost more than $10,000.
  • Most insurance does not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance will cover the damage from floods. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more and remember flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so purchase now to protect your home and your family.
  • Talk with your family and make an emergency plan for you and don't forget your pets! No matter the disaster, it's always a good idea to have emergency supplies ready at home, at work, and in the car.
  • Lastly, if you do find your self with a flooded basement or flood damage to your home, call us! We have crews available 24/7/365. 

When Unexpected Storm Damage Ruins Your Home by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

Here in upstate NY, we often receive severe weather. If mother nature wreaks havoc on your property, use these 7 tips for cleaning up after a storm.

1. Get Protective Clothing. Prior to going inside your home, it is imperative that you wear protective boots, clothing, gloves, eye protection, and a mask. Flood waters carry sewage, bacteria and chemical compounds that may be dangerous.

2. Document the Damage.  To help with insurance and FEMA claims, you really need to document the damage as soon as it's safe to do so. Take photos and videos of your entire home from each and every angle. Make sure to get exterior and interior photos!

3. Water Extraction.  This, you may need help with. Flood water contains potentially dangerous bacteria, rodents, and insects. It's recommended that you have water extraction handled by a locally owned and operated professional disaster response team.

4. Open Windows. Circulating fresh air is an important step for cleaning up after flood damage and preventing mold growth. 

5. Remove Personal Items. Furniture, clothing, and other items in the house can be removed to speed the drying. Prior to throwing away damaged items, take photographs, and have them evaluated to see if they can be cleaned and restored. 

6. Remove Carpeting, Wet Drywall, and Insulation. If the storm water contains sewage, which many floods do, the flooring in the home will probably have to be removed. Drywall and insulation that has been touched by flood waters and saturated will also have to be removed. This helps prevent future mold growth.

7. Scrub Every Surface.  Each and every surface should be scrubbed with a powerful disinfectant.

Your local SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties is available 24x7 and stands at the ready to inspect, extract water, disinfect, dehumidify, and restore your home quickly.

This list might seem overwhelming, and it is. Cleaning up and restoring your home after a storm or water damage in New York requires hard work, proper tools, and specialized equipment.

SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties is locally owned and operated, and we'll work directly with your insurance company for a stress-free claim. Call us 24/7 at (607) 846-3685.

Winter is coming! Here are some ways you can prevent frozen pipes! by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

12/2/2016 (Permalink)

Winter is coming! Here are some ways you can prevent frozen pipes! by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

Within the last couple weeks tempatures have been plummeting fast and your pipes could be at serious risk. Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

If you find yourself in the situation where your pipes have burst call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties were always here to help!

Prepping Your Home for Extreme Winter Weather by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

1/26/2016 (Permalink)

Prepping Your Home for Extreme Winter Weather by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

As we move through winter months toward spring, we need to keep vigilant and make sure our homes are properly protected.

  • If you haven’t already, consider installing storm windows, or cover existing windows with plastic, to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a snow thrower, make sure the machine has been serviced and that it’s functioning properly and ready for immediate use. Keep rock salt and/or kitty litter on hand too, so you can melt ice and gain temporary traction.
  • Keep your gutters clean of leaves and other debris so that snow or freezing rain can’t accumulate and cause an ice dam.
  • If you have branches that hang over gutters, roof areas or walkways, remove them otherwise, they can cause problems once they become heavy with ice and snow.
  • Stock up on fuel for heat in case of a long-term power outage. When used safely, backup heat sources like a fireplace, a wood, coal or pellet stove, or a camp stove, can be invaluable. Many people in the mountain communities own generators and have plenty of gasoline available; that way, they can fire up the generator to help run heat sources that are dependent on electricity, such as pellet stoves.
  • You may be isolated for several days, so have an emergency kit with flashlights, extra batteries and other emergency essentials prepared. Make sure you have an adequate supply of drinking water, and don’t forget food and water for any pets.
  • Have an emergency communications plan, In case family members are separated during a winter storm. Designate a family member or friend who lives out of the area to serve as a central contact.

Take measures now, so that, even if “the big one” hits, you’ll be well prepared.

Call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties for any questions or concerns.

Preventing Frozen Pipes by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties.

1/19/2016 (Permalink)

Preventing Frozen Pipes by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties.

Within the last couple weeks tempatures have been plummeting fast and your pipes could be at serious risk. Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

If you find yourself in the situation where your pipes have burst call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties were always here to help!

First-Time Homeowners Can Get Ready For Extreme Cold by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

1/7/2016 (Permalink)

First-Time Homeowners Can Get Ready For Extreme Cold by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

Winter is almost here, and the season may include extreme cold in your area. For first-time homeowners, preparing for a big freeze, an ice storm, or even a blizzard can require a little more than simply having a few shovels on hand. Check out these important tasks to do before Jack Frost arrives in your neighborhood.

Stock a Winter Emergency Kit

You might have an all-purpose supply kit in your home, but is it stocked with items specifically for extreme cold? In addition to the standard emergency supplies of food, water and medication for everyone in your household (including pets), Ready.gov suggests stocking supplies that include windshield scrapers, additional hats and gloves, and road salt and sand. In the event of a loss of power, the website also suggests using a battery-operated radio that receives broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All Hazards network to stay up to date on any developments in the forecast.

Inspect Your Furnace

There’s more to winterizing your home than cranking up the heat at the first sign of cold weather. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends servicing and repairing your furnace before cold weather reaches your area. In addition, EnergyStar.gov suggests scheduling a maintenance check of your furnace in the fall, before the cold weather arrives in force. The website also recommends checking your filter every month and replacing it if it’s dirty, with the filter replaced every three months at minimum. As noted by EnergryStar.gov, a dirty filter may impede a furnace from working efficiently.

Clear Outside Banisters, Stairs and Sidewalks

The outdoor features of your home may require some maintenance, too, especially if your area sees a significant amount of snow in addition to extreme freezing temperatures. Homeowners should repair or replace outside stairs, railings or banisters that could present a hazard in case of ice or snow, according to the III. You may need to clear your sidewalk of ice and snow, too, but don’t grab that shovel just yet. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advises that you follow your doctor’s advice regarding strenuous work like shoveling, and to work slowly and dress warmly. The organization also advises dressing in layers and to keep your clothing dry while you work outdoors, as wet clothing in extreme cold weather can chill your body.

Ice Dam Signs and Prevention from SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

12/28/2015 (Permalink)

Ice Dam Signs and Prevention from SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties
Perhaps you saw them around the holidays: whiteor blue outdoor lights that simulate trickling icicles. Or greeting cards that depict houses with large icicles hanging from the gutters. While the frosty stalactites may look pretty, they may actually be a signal of trouble in your own home. 

Are icicles a sign that something is amiss?

Icicles are commonly thought to be a sign of an ice dam on your roof, but are they? Possibly, says Rem Brown, senior engineering manager at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

The three things necessary to form icicles – snow, heat to melt the snow, and cold weather – are also necessary to form ice dams, he explains. Ice dams form when warm air from inside your home melts snow on the roof. When the meltwater reaches the colder eaves (the part of the roof that extends beyond the walls), the water re-freezes and creates a build-up of ice along the edge of your roofline.

So, icicles hanging from the roof edge could be a sign of an ice dam (and larger icicles would likely indicate a larger ice dam, Brown says), but ice dams can even form without the presence of any large icicles.

The dangers of ice dams

The more snow and ice accumulate, and temperatures rise and fall, the larger the potential for ice dams. And ice dams can wreak havoc. They can damage and loosen shingles, rip off gutters and cause meltwater to pool and seep into your attic. Once that happens, insulation can get wet, paint can peel and the structure of your home can become damp. Untreated, this may cause rotting wood, damaged drywall and even mold growth.

How to remove snow to avoid an ice dam 

It’s best to remove snow from a heavy snowfall immediately to prevent the buildup of ice dams later. Though you might hear about people doing anything from using a snow blower to remove snow or an axe to chip away at an already-formed ice dam, both methods can damage your roof, IBHS warns.

A push broom with stiff bristles can be used to remove snow off flat and low-slope roofs, while a roof rake is the right option for sloped roofs, IBHS says, because you can remain on the ground and still remove snow. Of course, if you’re unable to easily reach the roof, or just unsure about your ability to do so, ask a roofing professional to do the job.

In the event that an ice dam does form, IBHS suggests keeping the attic well ventilated – the colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on your roof, IBHS says.

How to permanently prevent ice dams

According to This Old House, the best way to prevent ice dams is to keep your roof and eaves the same temperature. Here’s how:

  • Add extra insulation in your attic floor to keep the warm air inside your home and out of the attic.
  • Relocate or remove heat sources (recessed lighting, for instance) in the attic directly under your roof.
  • Insulate attic access doors with a cover, or seal an existing hatch with weatherstripping.
  • Check the exhausts. Make sure all ducts from bathrooms, kitchens or other living areas exhaust to the outside, not the attic.
  • Check the flashing around the chimney. Over time, flashing can crack and separate from the roof, causing hot air to escape and allowing water to trickle in along the chimney. Have your chimney sweep check the flashing and, if necessary, repair or replace it.

Preventive steps like these can help preserve the health of your home by eliminating ice dams – and maybe even those icicles!

If these ideas do not work, call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties at 607-846-3685 and will be there to help.