Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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. 

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.

Prevent Water Damage Before It Happens

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Prevent Water Damage

1. Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you are not careful, they'll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant, keep roots away from any water lines.

2. Clean out roof gutters

You know it's on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you're seeing lots of leaves, birds nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home's foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you're doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to clean them.

3. Keep an eye on your water bill

With so many water pipes behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there's a leak until the damage is done. That's why it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up or get one that's uncommonly high, it's a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere. 

4. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you've used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most people don't realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That's why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They're pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you'll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary. 

5. Never pour grease down your sink

You've probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn't matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Trust In The Professionals

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Bleach does not kill mold, it will only kill it on the surface and discolor the mold to make it appear as though it is gone.

We get asking this question many times from customers, "Can I just spray bleach on it?"

Using bleach to take care of mold was once recommended by agencies such as OSHA and the EPA. However, they have since been revised after research revealed that the "do-all, be-all cure" for killing microbial growth, actually had the opposite effect. First, let us take a look at how mold forms to understand why using bleach is not effective. 

Mold needs water, food, and typically a warm temperature to grow. This illustrates the first reason to call SERVPRO: if mold is growing, chances are the materials are wet. There has likely been a water loss of some sort, and until it is properly dried, mold will continue to grow. 

The chlorine in bleach, due to its ionic composition, cannot penetrate porous surfaces. Porous surfaces include materials such as drywall, ceilings, wood, carpet, and many others. Spraying bleach on the mold will only kill it on the surface. Many people don't know that mold actually has roots called hyphae. These roots will still remain in the porous material and eventually rise to the surface again. Remember that bleach contains both chlorine and water. The chlorine cannot make it below the surface-but the water can. Thus, you are actually replenishing the mold with one of the key things it needs to grow-water! Secondly- it will "bleach" the color, making it appear that the mold is gone. Again, this is only on the surface.

At SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties, we use specialized products, designed to travel deep into the porous surfaces to remove mold at its roots. Sometimes we cannot remove the mold from the material and the material must be completely removed from the home for the safety of you and your family. Our technicians are trained to differentiate between what can be safely cleaned and what cannot. In addition, live mold releases spores into the air. The air in your home may need to be treated with specialty equipment to make sure that all spores are removed. 

HVAC Cleaning benefits by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Before and After Ducts by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

Sneezing like crazy? Coughing uncontrollably? Are your itchy and scratchy?

Maybe the air you’re breathing in your home isn’t as clean as you thought. Believe it or not ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. But have no fear - the SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties team is here!

If your HVAC system has been running for a while without any attention it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris and more. If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold... having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.

On the other hand, if family members are experiencing unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor.

EPA has published the following publications for guidance on identifying possible indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or fix them.

And if you want the job done and done well, call SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties at 607-846-3685

Belongings Damaged because of Mold by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy Books by SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties

If your home or business has important documents that are affected by mold, we can HELP!

We use a specialized process called Gamma Irradiation. This is used for cleaning/ disinfection and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (Colbalt 60) producing ionization(electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations you are dealing with CAT 3 water: therefore, most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case then decontamination is always a must. In Living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause death to the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

For additional information or questions on processes involving fire, water, or mold damaged documents please call our office, and we would be happy to further discuss and provide a free estimate for services.