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How Much Time You Have When Water Damage Is Found

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Much Time You Have When Water Damage Is Found Even hardwood floors may be salvaged.

If a pipe bursts or a water line begins to leak, the damage starts immediately. It is important to start the mitigation and drying process as soon as possible. Here is a timeline to show just how invasive and devastating water damage can be.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

What To Do If There Is Mold In Your Apartment, Home Or Business

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

In the short time of 48 hours, water from a roof or water line leak may cause a mold growth problem in your home or business. Not only can mold cause significant damage to your property, but it may have sever health effects as well. Children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems may be at a greater risk when exposed to mold.

Eradicating a mold issue takes specialized equipment, proper training and protective gear. SERVPRO of The Southtowns is the one place that has them ALL. If you do suspect a mold problem in your home or business, it’s important to remember safety. Significant mold growth can occur between 48-72 hours.

If you suspect a mold problem call SERVPRO of The Southtowns at 716-646-6684 IMMEDIATELY.

Here are a few tips on what to do until help arrives.

What To Do:

  • Stay out of effected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns for mold remediation services

We Have So Much More To Offer...

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

General We Have So Much More To Offer... We offer several other services besides Fire and Water Mitigation and Restoration!

Sure you know SERVPRO of The Southtowns for Fire Restoration and Water Mitigation. Because unfortunetly, fire damage happens when you least expect it and sprinklers and pipes brake at 2 am. But did you know SERVPRO of The Southtowns can help you with so much MORE?

We’re talking:

Mold Remediation-Because spraying bleach does NOT kill mold!

Biohazard Cleanup-Yes we’re talking about blood, crime scene and sewage.

Post Construction Cleaning-Because construction is a dirty job.

Catastrophic Storm Response-Hurricanes, Blizzards, Tornadoes, Oh my!

Environmental and Hazmat Services-Spills happen, we clean it up.

Document Restoration-For when that storage area, where all the files are kept, is underwater.

Odor Identification and Restoration-When you start avoiding a room because of the smell.

Move Out and Content Inventory-For when contents need to be packed up and moved after a loss.

Did You Know Soot Damaged Documents Can Be Restored?

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Did You Know Soot Damaged Documents Can Be Restored? Even soot damaged documents can be restored!

The file room is one place where you never want to have fire or water damage, but when distaster strikes SERVPRO of The Southtowns can restore important documents to a usable condition to keep your business running smoothly. 

These are medial documents at a doctors office where a small fire caused a great deal of soot damage. We are HEPA compliant and were able to deodorize and restore these documents while keeping the files in compliance. 

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of The Southtowns is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.

SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.

We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contact any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give us a call, and leave the restoration to us.

Debunking a Major Misconception

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Debunking a Major Misconception Having a professional on scene to assess the damage quickly can be the difference between hundreds of dollars vs. thousands of dollars

A general misconception among people that have suffered fire and/or water damage is that, "It is less expensive to replace rather than to restore." However, professional technicians at SERVPRO of The Southtowns are trained to see beyond the misconceptions. 

The mitigation process of cleaning yields excellent results at a cost-effective price. Mitigation stops further damage and reduces the loss, while restoration puts the damaged items back to their preloss condition. For ultimate results, mitigation needs to begin within twenty-four hours of a loss. Any delay will complicate or, may devalue the mitigation effort. In order to guarantee the removal of smoke odor, all of the contaminated areas need to be cleaned, deodorized and possibly sealed (where applicable). Also, all odor molecules, whether airborne or absorbed, need to be neutralized.

Our SERVPRO professionals utilize testing and measuring equipment to ensure that the moisture content has been returned to normal standards. Thus, preventing a multi-thousand dollar mold claim in the future, caused by ineffective drying. State-of-the-art meters and sensors allow us to document and record data that justifies equipment usage, as well as allow us to know when to safely remove it.

Only the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns can make it "Like it never even happened."

Valuable Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Valuable Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage Having to file a claim from water damage is something that is never expected.

Having water damage is never something expected. Coming home to a house filled with water can be a traumatic experience. It can be hard to think about the appropriate steps to take to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to limit secondary damage and keep the out of pocket cost to a minimum. Below are some tips to help make filing an insurance claim easier.

Something to Know:

Every insurance policy is different. Therefore, what will be covered may only be determined by reading your policy or calling your insurance agent/insurance company to have them determine coverage. 

Knowledge is Power:

Be sure you know who your insurance company is and how to contact them. You may want to list the phone number for your insurance company on your refrigerator for easy access. You could also add your insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number to your cell phone to have ready at all times. You never know when this information is going to be important. 

Stay Calm:

This experience can be upsetting. It's important to stay calm when you are talking to your insurance company so they can ask all the essential questions to set up your claim and get the ball rolling. 

Take Pictures:

Document the situation every step of the way to help your insurance company understand the full extent of the damage. Take pictures of every room that sustained damage, structural materials affected and personal items. These pictures will help your adjuster understand the full picture of what happened and what will be involved in restoring your house and the contents affected.

Ask Questions:

Resolving the water damage issue can be very confusing. Feel free to ask as many questions as you can think of to your insurance company so that you understand what will happen next every step of the way. It's important to know what your roles are and what your insurance company will be doing for you.

Use a company with IICRC Certified Technicians:

While there are many companies that may be willing to help you clean up from your water damage, it is important to utilize a company that has technicians who have been trained to properly perform mitigation. SERVPRO prides itself on the fact that our technicians are IICRC certified. Our technicians go through on-the-job training and complete IICRC training so that we can keep up with the latest techniques and technologies to dry your home out quickly to eliminate further damage. Education and training is very important to satisfying our customers. 


What To Do After A Pipe Bursts

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do After A Pipe Bursts The steps you take after a pipe burst are critical. Time matters when it comes to water damage.

This has been the coldest winter on record in twenty-two years, and it’s only January. Therefore, it is no surprise that we have seen an increase in calls regarding frozen and burst pipes. Tips on how to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing have been all over the media (including the news, our blog and social media), but what should you do if a pipe actually bursts? Here are four helpful tips that you should follow if you experience a burst pipe this winter.

  1. Shut off the main water valve immediately- This step is critical, as it stops the flooding at its source. Make sure you know where your main water shut off valve is. Pro tip: try tagging the shut off valve so it is easy to spot.
  2. Turn off the electric supply- This only applies if the main electrical is not wet. Never touch the electric if you are not sure, call an electrician instead. Do not turn on any TV’s or ceiling fixtures.
  3. Call a professional to begin mitigation right away- Time is key when it comes to water damage and restoring personal items. You can create a barrier between wet carpet and furniture with aluminum foil to prevent further damage until help arrives.
  4. Remove undamaged items from the affected area- To prevent further damage to removable items, take them out of the affected area and allow them to begin drying.

Should you come home to a burst pipe this winter, give the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns a call at 716-646-6684 to begin mitigation immediately, and truly make it “Like it never even happened.”

Six Simple Tips For Staying Warm Without Turning Up The Thermostat

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

The subzero temperatures are bad enough, now National Fuel has asked homes and businesses to turn down the thermostat by five degrees. While we can’t help with the low fuel crisis, we can give you some helpful tips on how to stay warm this winter that won’t require you to turn up the heat.

  • Warm yourself up first-It is easier to change your body temperature than it is to change the temperature of the room. Not to mention it is more eco-friendly. So put another layer of clothing on before you consider turning up the thermostat.
  • Wear a hat-You lose heat from any surface that is exposed, that includes your head. Putting a hat on helps keep in body heat, even if you are inside.
  • Turn on the ceiling fan-Warm air rises, so turn on the ceiling fan at the lowest setting (in a clockwise direction) to push the warm air back down and help circulate it through the room.
  • Use a pool noodle to help block door drafts-Simply cut the noodle in half lengthwise, wrap it in fabric and slide it under the door. It helps keep the cold air out, and the warm air in.
  • Change up your curtains-By replacing your thin curtains with a thicker curtain, such as wool or fleece, they will help hold in more warm air. Remember to keep your curtains open on a sunny day to let more heat in, and keep them closed at night to keep that heat trapped inside.
  • Properly layer your covers-The big, fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin, and thin dense blankets should be layered on top to prevent heat from escaping.

Give these tips a try, and let us know what you think of them on our Facebook page @SERVPROofTheSouthtowns.

How to Never Wait for Emergency Service

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fastest service for all commercial losses

We believe that when businesses are disrupted by fire, water, or bio hazard there is no time to waste.  

At our office, we will always provide prompt (usually same day) service to any commercial properties regardless of our current production schedule, even during storm time.  

Additionally, SERVPRO of The Southtowns carries liability insurance well above the industry standards based on feedback from our commercial clients 

What qualifies as "commercial"?:

Schools, Manufacturing, Industrial, Apartment Buildings, Health Care, Offices, Financial Institutions, Hospitality, Retail, Food Services, Government / Municipal, and more.

What does "Storm Time" mean?:

Storm Time is after a major local weather event, such as a cold snap, a flash of heavy rains, or a major snow storm. During these times our office can easily be fielding over 60 new calls for losses per day. During storm time we are "all hands on deck" and the entire company works around the clock. 

Space Heater Safety Tips

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Space Heater Safety Tips Space Heater Safety Tips

It is going to be cold in WNY for the next week, here are some great space heater safety tips to prevent fires.

Electric space heaters are generally more expensive to operate than combustion space heaters, but they are the only unvented space heaters that are safe to operate inside your home. Although electric space heaters avoid indoor air quality concerns, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution.

1. Place heater on a hard, level surface

2. Turn heater off when you leave

3. Keep heater 3 ft. from the nearest object

4. Avoid using extension cords

5. Look for heaters with tip over and over heat protection

6. Keep heaters away from water and flammable items such as papers, blankets, and curtains. 

Educating yourself about the safety hazards that come with the improper use of portable heaters will help you achieve better peace of mind as you keep your home warm, comfortable, and fire hazard-free this winter.