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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Document Restoration Services Right Here in Buffalo, NY

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Document Restoration Services Right Here in Buffalo, NY Yes it's true, even documents can be restored after a fire/water loss.

Picking up the pieces after a fire/water loss can be overwhelming at best. Realizing that your documents have been damaged from the loss is even worse. But good news, SERVPRO of The Southtowns can restore your fire/water damaged documents. We understand that several documents, whether they are for residential or commercial use, are important to you and cannot be replaced. They may even contain sensitive information that should not, or cannot be shared. This is why our Technicians are HIPAA compliant and are trained how to deal with sensitive information.

 SERVPRO of The Southtowns can take fire/water damaged documents and pull the moisture and odor out using freeze-drying technology. It is important to start this process as soon as possible, so if you have documents that are affected by fire and/or water we recommend putting them in the freezer immediately and then calling our office at (716) 646-6684. This service has helped several doctor’s offices and schools that are required to keep a paper copy of documents. So if you have documents that suffered water and/or fire damage let the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns make it, “Like it never even happened."

Welcome Back to the BOMA Board Emily!

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

General Welcome Back to the BOMA Board Emily! Congratulations Emily on your second term on the BOMA Board.

As of April 10th, 2019 our very own Marketing Manager Emily McNulty was named to the 2019 Buffalo Building Owners & Managers Association Board of Directors for her second term. Emily has been active with the BOMA Association since 2014, and became a Board Member in 2015. Her favorite part of being a member of this wonderful organization, besides networking with the commercial real estate industry, is that she gets a behind the scene look at some of Buffalo’s historical properties and all the amazing renovations developers are doing to them.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is a non-profit trade association, and a federated chapter of BOMA International. Their membership includes over 120 property professionals consisting of building owners, property managers, developers and other real estate professionals as well as associate members providing services and supplies to the commercial real estate industry. Their members own or manage over 52 million square feet of office, commercial, retail and industrial properties. For more information on BOMA check out their website at www.bomabuffalo.com.

Do You Need CE Credits? We Got You Covered!

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do You Need CE Credits? We Got You Covered! Need CE Credits? Come to our class on May 7th, 2019.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns Presents a breakfast seminar covering

“Water Damage: Risk, Diagnosis, & Mitigation”

CE Credits (3) available for NYS Insurance BR, PC, C3, PA

Course # NYCR-259587

Date: May 7, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Registration and Breakfast: 8:30 AM

Location: JP Fitzgerald’s

4236 Clark St. Hamburg, NY 14075

Course fee: $60.00 (Fee Waived by SERVPRO)

Complimentary Buffet Breakfast Provided!

What Will You Learn?

  • The significance of water damage.
  • Causes & effects of excessive moisture on structure, contents, and health.
  • How quickly microbial (mold) growth can appear as a result of excessive moisture.
  • What your insured experiences with a water loss.
  • Emergency tips that can be given by phone to keep the loss at a minimum.
  • How fast action, in handling water loss claims, will save money & property.
  • The procedures that mitigation companies utilize to detect, mitigate, and document water losses.
  • The state-of-the art equipment is now used in mitigating water damage.
  • How ground water and sewage claims are handled.
  • Special restorative techniques for documents, electronics, and artwork.
  • New claims handling procedures, documentation requirements, vendor relationships.

Contact our office if you are interested in attending at (716) 646-6684.

An interview with Travis Braun – Operations Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO An interview with Travis Braun – Operations Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns Travis has been a part of the SERVPRO of The Southtowns family since 2006

An interview with Travis Braun – Operations Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

What makes your proud to work at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

The environment. We are a big “Family” company, not corporate, there is a direct line to each person in this company, an open door policy if you will.

What is something that still surprises you?

Never Settle. We are always striving for continuous improvements, such as the textile restoration division we just launched.

What is our greatest strength?

Compassion. We train everyone to have a “hero” mentality. We are usually dealing with people on their worst day. Every person in the company has to have great compassion for our customers to help them though their tougher times and get them back on their feet.

What is your management style?

I try to always be here to help if I am needed, but I prefer to give initial input and then let them perform with the best information they have and the training we’ve given them. This is a tough job and things change constantly. My team has to know that I trust them to make decision because I have set the expectation and given them the training to succeed.

Where do you see the company going in the next 5 – 10 years?

I want to double everything – double the building space, the truck fleet and the crew numbers. We have doubled in size over the last 5 - 7 years and I am looking forward to doing it again.

What would make someone successful at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

Initially, just someone who has a good attitude, a willingness to listen and learn. Restoration is a specialized field, I don’t expect people to come in understanding the daily activities, just that they are excited and motivated to learn and succeed.  

What does a typical day in your job look like?

I spend most of my time communicating with adjusters on approvals for certain job criteria.  Also responsible for final invoices and compliance with the programs we are on. As the industry has evolved there has been major shifts in compliance and expectations between insurance companies and vendors. It is my primary responsibility to make sure that everything we do is in line with what the insurance companies request from us.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Travis! You are an integral part of our team.

An interview with Dan Duggan – Construction Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO An interview with Dan Duggan – Construction Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns Dan has been a part of the SERVPRO of The Southtowns family since 2012

An interview with Dan Duggan – Construction Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

What is one of the most interesting projects you have worked on SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

We built a 2,000 square foot containment for mold remediation inside of a middle school gym. That was a really cool project to have the mitigation teams and reconstruction teams working together at the same time.

What makes you proud to work at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

The sense of accomplishment when putting the finishing touches on a job.

What is something that still surprises you?

To this day, there are still jobs that blow my mind on the amount of damage caused by water and fire.

Why should customers hire us?

We can do it all, clean up, lineup subcontractors, rebuild. We truly handle the loss from A to Z.

What is our greatest strength?

The front office and communication. They are involved in ALL the jobs every step of the way. Customers feel safe and confident because of all the work our front office does.

What is your greatest professional achievement?

Being right here where I am. Construction Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns, I’ll retire from here and truly love coming in every day.

What is your work environment like at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

It’s a sports like atmosphere. Everybody working together to accomplish the same goal.

What is your management style?

I like to have a coach style. I set goals with my team every day and stay hands-on to teach and assist.

Where do you see the company going in the next 5 – 10 years?

We keep getting bigger and better! I’d like to double the construction division, maybe even my own office one day, haha!

What does a typical day in your job look like?

In the mornings I come in extra early, I like to get my crews prepped for the day’s schedule, set goals for what we will accomplish that day. Then I like to get out in the field and swing a hammer alongside my team.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Dan! You are an integral part of our team.

An interview with Chris Ferguson – Production Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO An interview with Chris Ferguson – Production Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns Chris has been a part of the SERVPRO of The Southtowns family since 2003

An interview with Chris Ferguson – Production Manager at SERVPRO of The Southtowns

What is one of the most interesting projects you have worked on SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

We had to set up a very large containment center for mold remediation in a middle school gymnasium. It was like building a room inside a room.

What makes you proud to work at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

We are a family owned and operated business that is able to reach a lot of people when disaster strikes. Also, I am proud of how much we have grown since I started and all the technologic advances in the industry.

What is something that still surprises you?

The products and equipment are constantly being upgraded and improved.

What is our greatest strength?

Our knowledge and experience. After over 20 years in this industry, there isn’t much we haven’t seen.

What is your greatest professional achievement?

Working my way up from carpet cleaner to a production manager. I am 15 years strong with SERVPRO of The Southtowns and I am constantly learning and striving for more!

What is your work environment like at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

We are very team based. Everyone gets along and has fun, but when it’s time to take care of business we are all hands on deck.

What is your management style?

I would said I am fair but firm. I try to use teachable moments.

Where do you see the company going in the next 5 – 10 years?

We just keep growing! I am looking forward to hiring more people and being able to expand our reach to help more and more homes and businesses across Western New York.

What would make someone successful at SERVPRO of The Southtowns?

Commitment and hard work. This is not an easy job, there is manual labor, long nights, and dirty work sites, but someone who is willing and able to do what’s needed when its needed, able to change on the fly, things are always changing.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Chris! You are an integral part of our team.

Restoring Vs. Replacing: Fire Damage Edition

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoring Vs. Replacing: Fire Damage Edition In most cases, it is actually more affordable to restore your belongings after a fire and/or water loss than to replace them.

After experiencing a fire and/or water loss it is common for people to think that replacing all of their contents would be less expensive than restoring them. As a professional in the Restoration Industry we are here to tell you that is false! The technicians at SERVPRO of The Southtowns are trained to see beyond this common misconception, and restore your contents/valuable to a preloss condition.

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.

So if you experience a fire and/or water loss this spring, give the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns a call (716) 646-6684 to begin the restoration and mitigation process immediately! We are always, “Here to Help”.

3 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim after You’ve Experienced Water Damage

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim after You’ve Experienced Water Damage Having water damage in your home or business is stressful enough, filing an insurance claim shouldn't be.

Discovering water damage in your home is stressful enough, filing an insurance claim shouldn’t be.  So here our top three tips when it comes to filing an insurance claim for water damage. These tips and tricks come highly recommended from our top Insurance Agents, and make the claim processes faster and easier.

  1. Stay Calm and Carry On-It may sound simple, but staying calm during the claim process can make a huge difference. By keeping your emotions in check, you will be able to better communicate and describe the damage to your insurance agent, hear what they are saying with clarity and also not miss any important information they are trying to share with you. We recommend that you keep a list of phone numbers on your fridge (ex. SERVPRO of The Southtowns, your Insurance Agent, and the local Fire Department) just in case of an emergency. Remember, it’s always best to be prepared.
  2. Snap Some Photos- Taking photos of any water damage or standing water is ALWAYS a good idea. It allows the insurance company to see firsthand the extent of the damage, as well as help protect you should a question arise. These days most people carry their smart phone on them at all times, so having access to a camera is no problem!
  3. Speak Up!-Dealing with a water loss claim can feel overwhelming at times. If you ever have a question about what is going on be sure to ask. Our office staff is here to explain and answer any question you may have. ALL of our technicians are IICRC Certified, and can answer any questions you may have onsite. Here at SERVPRO of The Southtowns we understand that this may be your first water loss and we are always available to help our customers.

We would like to point out that every insurance policy is different. So be sure to call your Insurance Agent prior to filing a claim, to determine if there is coverage for your water loss and policy details. If you are questioning if you currently have coverage for a water loss, give your local Insurance Agent a call and schedule a review of your policy.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter Use these preventative measures to prevent frozen pipes in your home this winter.

January is here, and so is the frigid temperatures. Also, it’s the time of year Western New Yorkers like to travel to a warmer climate to escape the cold. If you are planning your winter escape, it is important to take preventative measures to prevent the pipes in your home from freezing. Water damage from a burst pipe can be devastating, and costly. Especially when the water is sitting stagnant in the home for more than 24 hours, this leaves the potential for mold. Here are a few tips to prevent the pipes in your home from freezing.  

  1. Keep the furnace running at 55 degrees-Turning the heat down when you are away from the home for an extended period of time is smart, but be sure the thermostat does NOT go below 55 degrees.
  2. Insulate pipes exposed to outer walls-This gives pipes that are more prone to freezing added protection.
  3. Allow water to flow through pipes by turning on faucets to a slow drip-This keeps water moving consistently through the pipes.
  4. Open cabinets to allow heat from inside the home to help keep pipes warm-The extra air flow will help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Should you come home and find that a pipe is frozen, take immediate action to thaw it. If you experience water damage from a pipe that froze and burst, call the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns at (716) 646-6684 to begin the mitigation process.

How to Assemble a Emergency Winter Kit for Your Vehicle

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

General How to Assemble a Emergency Winter Kit for Your Vehicle Having a Emergency Winter Kit in your vehicle will have you prepared for when disaster strikes!

Although December and January have been mild so far in WNY, one thing is for sure, the snow is coming! And while we haven’t seen a lot of the white stuff yet, it is a good idea to prepare for it now. One way of doing that is to keep a Winter Emergency Kit in your car for when disaster strikes!

Here are some things that you will want to keep in your kit. We recommend storing these items in a water proof bin/tot (you can get these at any store) and placing it in your vehicle’s trunk.  If you already have an Emergency Car Kit just add a few additional items and you are good to go!

Winter Emergency Kit Essentials:

  • Blankets, gloves and hats
  • Ice scraper
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter (to help with traction)
  • Extra phone charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Multi-too (such as a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman Tool)
  • Road flares

As always, you should practice safe driving during the winter months as well. Being prepared for any size disaster is just one more way SERVPRO of The Southtowns is “Here to Help.”

Rain Rain Go Away

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Rain Rain Go Away A wet weather forecast can lead to water damage in your home. Contact a professional from SERVPRO of The Southtowns immediately.

Increased rain during the fall and early winter seasons in the Buffalo area often causes an increase of water damaged basements due to failed sump pumps and overwhelmed storm drains.

If you discover water damage in your home, the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns are Here to Help.

Time is key when it comes to stopping and restoring water damage.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns recommends these helpful tips until help arrives:

Do:

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

Don’t:

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry seperatly at room temperature.
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

If you do experience water damage anywhere in your home, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns immediately at 716-646-6684. Time is crucial when dealing with water damage, so do not delay. 

When Time Counts, Choose the Team With the Fastest Response

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Time Counts, Choose the Team With the Fastest Response When time is of the essence, call SERVPRO of The Southtowns to make it, "Like it never even happened".

No one plans for a disaster, but when it strikes, time is of the essence to restore and protect your property.

Our team is available 24/7, so when the sump-pump fails at 6pm or a fire strikes at 2am, our team can begin the restoration process immediately.

Once our office is contacted, our team arrives on location within four hours, guaranteed. This allows us to begin cleanup immediately and cut down on restoration costs.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns works with all major insurance companies and has long standing relationships with local adjusters to help the claim process run smoothly.

When the drain backed up at a local high school, the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds contacted our office and a team was onsite in less then an hour. With a quick response and cooperation between all parties involved, the school was able to open it's doors for classes on schedule.

Storm Damage Specialist in Buffalo, NY

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage Specialist in Buffalo, NY SERVPRO of The Southtowns is ready to help during any storm and water damage.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of The Southtowns has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can access the resources and personnel of over 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of The Southtowns is close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Buffalo community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Proper Training Makes A Difference

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Proper Training Makes A Difference Our Training Supervisor Taylor Braun reviews best practices and techniques with the crew every Friday morning.

Training is something that is very important here at SERVPRO of The Southtowns. We believe that reviewing proper training is somthing that should be done on a regular basis.

The Training Supervisor at SERVPRO of The Southtowns, Taylor Braun, reviews water pumps with us in preparation of the rainy season. This time of year, a high volume of our customers require basement pump out and we have the equipment to perform this service. There are a  number of different types of water pumps available to pump out standing water from one inch to many inches. 

At SERVPRO of The Southtowns we are dedicated to the continuing education of our entire staff, every Friday morning we host an educational seminar for the crew and staff to review equipment use, best practices, new procedures, and upcoming industry changes.

Having a crew that is knowledgeable and confident gives our customers the best service during their times of need.  

We make water damage, "Like it never even happened".

Highly Trained Restoration Technicians to Restore Your Home

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Highly Trained Restoration Technicians to Restore Your Home Proper training is key when dealing with restoring fire/water damages. It can be the key between restoring vs. replacing.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of The Southtowns

SERVPRO of The Southtowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Think Twice Before You Plug That Space Heater In

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Think Twice Before You Plug That Space Heater In Use extra caution this winter season when operating a space heater. Be sure to follow safety regulations to prevent a fire from happening.

It is that time of year when there is a chill in the air and a little extra warmth is needed. However, if not used properly space heaters can be very dangerous. Here are some great space heater safety tips to prevent a fire in your home this winter season.

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.

Chimney Fires Cause More Damage Then You Think

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Chimney Fires Cause More Damage Then You Think Chimney fires account for more than $120 million in damage every year.

Did you know chimney fires account for over $120 million in damage every year? As you prepare for colder winter months, be sure to get your chimney cleaned.

If you do experience fire damage in your home, here are some Do and Don't tips: 

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas until cleaning is complete.
  • Blow or brush vacuum, loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
  • Wash house plants on both sides of leaves.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to prevent redistribution of soot from ducts.

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Why You Should Never Wait For Emergency Service For Your Commercial Property

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Why You Should Never Wait For Emergency Service For Your Commercial Property We're always available for your commercial property. Even when the sprinklers go off at 2 am.

Did you know that after a commercial property suffers a loss from fire and/or water damage, only 50% of those companies re-open for business?

That is why 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. 

So if your commercial property suffers from any fire/water damage, call SERVPRO of The Southtowns at (716) 646-6684.

When Disaster Strikes, Time is Key

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO When Disaster Strikes, Time is Key Time is of the essence when dealing with fire or water damage.

Whether its fire, water or mold damage time is KEY. In order to protect your home and belongings from further damage, immediate action is best. That’s where SERVPRO of The Southtowns comes in. Our professional, highly trained technicians know how to strategically begin to mitigation process to prevent further damage and protect/restore what’s important to you.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is conveniently located in the village of Hamburg and a crew is ALWAYS on call to respond to your disaster. Once our office is notified of your loss, a certified technician will arrive onsite within an hour to begin assessing the damage. Within four hours a crew will have arrived onsite and the mitigation process will begin. From there our crew will put together a drying plan and communicate that information to the insurance adjuster/agent so that everyone is on the same page.

Our fleet of 17 trucks are ready to roll out at any time of day. So when disaster strikes, SERVPRO of The Southtowns will be ready to take action! We truly are faster to any size disaster. Should you experience fire or water damage, call our office immediately at (716) 646-6684.

Community Matters To Us

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Community Matters To Us SERVPRO of The Southtowns has been an active role in the Hamburg Community since 1995.

Lyn and Thom Braun have owned and operated SERVPRO of The Southtowns since 1995 and believe in being an active role in their local community. SERVPRO of The Southtowns has been a member of both BOMA and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce for the last 6 years. Our Marketing Manager Emily M. currently sits as the Treasurer for the BOMA Board and has recently accepted the role of Chair Elect for the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. We are also members of several other organizations that support different groups in our community. 

Each year we participate in several local events in support of our community such as the Hamburg Village Halloween Parade, supporting the Hamburg Farmers Market and donating to local charities. So when you come home to a burst pipe or heaven forbid a fire, call the people that you know and trust. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns at (716) 646-6684 to make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Restore Vs. Replace: Why Having a Professional Matters

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Restore Vs. Replace: Why Having a Professional Matters SERVPRO can be the difference between hundreds of dollars of cleaning vs. thousands of dollars of replacement.

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. Our certified technicians know that prioritizing mitigation and restoration efforts will not only stop further damage and reduce the loss, but also prevent secondary damage from occurring.

Having a professional on scene to assess the damage quickly can be the key difference between hundreds of dollars of cleaning vs. thousands of dollars of replacement. 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.

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”.

When Mold Strikes: Real Estate Edition

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation When Mold Strikes: Real Estate Edition Mold can hinder the process of selling a home. Take action fast and let the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns handle it.

Are you looking to list a home or property soon and discovered mold? SERVPRO of The Southtowns can help! Recently, our Sales and Marketing Representative Jocelin gave a short presentation to a real estate office in East Aurora. She explained that mold spores are everywhere, because they are airborne. In fact, there are an uncountable number of mold spores. An Institute of Medicine study found that excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites and other organisms. This makes sense since mold needs three things to survive:

  • Moisture
  • Heat
  • Food Source

Therefore, if you find mold in your home it is important to call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns to remove it properly. Simply spraying bleach on the mold and scrubbing it will not work. Our technicians are certified and trained to come in and remove the moisture from the air, clean the mold off the surface with the appropriate cleaning agent and remove the mold spores from the air. Thus, preventing any future mold growth.

Prior to listing a home or property, SERVPRO of The Southtowns recommends the following steps that can be taken to reduce the potential for moisture buildup or mold growth:

  • Correct any water leaks and remove any standing water. This includes water under cooking coils or air handling units.
  • Ensure a ventilation system is installed and working properly.
  • Ensure exhaust fans are operating properly.
  • Run a dehumidifier if moisture lingers.

NYS Mold Remediation Certifications

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation NYS Mold Remediation Certifications NYS Mold Certifications

The Department's new Mold Program, which is responsible for enforcing Article 32 of the New York State Labor Law, establishes licensing requirements and minimum work standards for professionals engaged in mold assessment and remediation. There are three main components to the new law:

  1. Training: The Mold Program will protect consumers by requiring contractors to obtain appropriate training prior to being licensed to perform mold assessment, remediation or abatement services.
  2. Licensing: Contractors will not be allowed to advertise or perform covered work without the required license, with limited exceptions such as home or business owners performing work on their own properties.
  3. Minimum Work Standards: The Mold Program also establishes new minimum work standards for mold assessments and remediation activities by licensed professionals, including:
    • Protection against fraud by prohibiting the performance of both the assessment and remediation on the same property by the same individual;
    • Protection against fraud by requiring an independent mold assessment to define the scope of the remediation work;
    • Identification of disinfectant products, consistent with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards;
    • Provision of personal protection equipment to employees, as necessary;
    • Posted notice of the project and the contractor's licenses; and
    • Completion of a post-remediation assessment.

https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/mold/mold-program.shtm 

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns is certified and compliant with the new NYS Mold Remediation requirements

Picture This

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Picture This In order to prevent further damage to your belongings, call SERVPRO of The Southtowns IMMEDIATELY after a fire.

Picture this; you have just entered your home after a fire. There is black soot EVERYWHERE making the house feel dark and cold. There is a horrible odor that has permeated the entire house. Your life is in chaos as you try to figure out where to go from here.

That’s when your instincts kick in. Every day you clean your kitchen table, its routine, which is now covered in black soot. You rush to underneath your sink and pull out your trusty bottle of cleaner, and begin to clean your kitchen table because it is all you know what to do at this moment.

This is the WORST thing you could possible do! There are different types of soot, each requiring its own special cleaning process. Should you experience a fire this year, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns IMMEDIATELY to begin the fire restoration process.

While you wait for help you can:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further spoil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place old towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, drapes, and carpets.

Fire damage can be devastating. Let the professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns make it “Like It Never Even Happened”. 

You Should Never Need An Umbrella Inside

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial You Should Never Need An Umbrella Inside It's not a good sign when an umbrella is needed inside.

It’s never a good day when you need to use the umbrella inside! This local, Buffalo warehouse suffered water damage after a leak in the roof dumped water onto stacked and boxed inventory. The Property Manager knew to call SERVPRO of The Southtowns immediately, and within an hour our crew was onsite, ready to assess the situation and begin mitigation.  

When our trucks arrived on scene there was already between 1 and 2 inches of water in some areas. Our crew began extracting the standing water, while our Production Manager worked with the Property Manager on the best way to remove the boxed inventory to a dry area. From there our crew would use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the inventory.

Due to quick action, we were able to save the inventory, and production never had to stop. If your commercial space experiences water damage, give the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns a call at (716) 646-6684 to get you back on track and make it “Like It Never Even Happened”.  

New York Insurance CONTINUING EDUCATION

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

General New York Insurance CONTINUING EDUCATION Insurance CE class sponsored by SERVPRO of The Southtowns

Topic:  “Property Fire & Smoke Damage Mitigation & Restoration”

Presented By:  Robkat, Inc.

Provider # NYPO-100256

Course # NYCR-259586

Date:  November 1, 2018

Class Time:   9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location:  Butera’s

32 Main Ave.       

Hamburg, NY 14075

Credit:  3 hours for PC and BR Licenses

Robkat course fee: $60.00 (Fee waived by SERVPRO)

Complimentary Breakfast Included (8:30 AM – 9:00 AM)

What Will You Learn?

  • The material costs of fire damage losses in the State of New York.
  • Cause of fires and preventative measures.
  • The effect of fire and smoke on structure surfaces and contents.
  • The factors that determine restoration and salvage.
  • The testing processes necessary to determine restoration vs. replacement.
  • The processes utilized to restore smoke-damaged walls, floors, hardwood, and carpet. & fabrics
  • When ancillary services, including move-outs, dry cleaning, duct cleaning, and specialty restoration processes, are required.
  • How to deal with the in-shock, difficult, or uncooperative insured.
  • How commercial Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response plans can reduce fire loss costs for both insurance carrier and insured.

Register today by emailing Jocelin @ sales@SERVPROthesouthtowns.com with your licence information. 

Get The FASTEST Service For Your Commercial Property

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Get The FASTEST Service For Your Commercial Property Never wait for emergency restoration service at your commercial property again.

When a fire, biohazard or water damage happens to your WNY property there is ZERO time to waste. It is important to begin the restoration immediately not only to save your property, but to make sure your business is up and running as soon as possible.

Our office will ALWAYS provide prompt (usually same day) service to any commercial properties regardless of our current production schedule, even during storm time. In fact, in most cases we have someone onsite within an hour to begin assessing the situation. Additionally, SERVPRO of The Southtowns carries liability insurance well above the industry standards based on feedback from our commercial clients.

So what exactly qualifies as commercial properties? A few examples would be: Schools, Manufacturing, Industrial, Apartment Buildings, Health Care, Offices, Financial Institutions, Hospitality, Retail, Food Services, Government/Municipal and more!

So if disaster strikes at your commercial property, give the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns a call at (716)646-6684.

The Causes of Mold In Your Home

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Causes of Mold In Your Home Possible cause of mold

When customers call us wanting to get rid of the mold in their home, we often ask them what caused the mold to be there. This is an important question, because if the cause of the mold growth is not fixed, then mold will return after the mold remediation is completed.

There are many different reasons that could cause mold to grow. By failing to get to the root of the problem, mold will most definitely come back.

There are many different types of mold. Mold is essentially all around us. It is indoors, outdoors, settled on materials and in the air. Mold can transfer from place to place by spores wafting around in the air or being transferred via clothing or other items. Mold growth thrives in moist damp areas.

In order to stop mold growth in your home, it is important to follow these recommendations:

  • Keep doors and windows closed during times when the mold count outside is high.
  • Make sure your windows, doors and roofs are not allowing moisture into the home. These are places in the home that often allow water into the home causing mold problems.
  • Make sure your basement is properly sealed and ground water is not settling inside of your home.
  • Ensure that your home is exhausting and ventilated appropriately. Often people find that their bathroom exhaust fan is not ventilating properly and the moisture is getting stuck in the attic space causing mold to grow. Likewise, a dryer vent may be exhausting into a crawlspace rather than all the way to an outside area.
  • Check your pipes and drains to ensure that water is not leaking from these areas.

If you have an area of your home that gets a lot of moisture that cannot be fixed correctly or may be too costly, consider putting a dehumidifier in that area to draw extra moisture out of the air. You may want to consult with someone with knowledge about different types of dehumidifiers do see what kind would best work in the space you are drying to dehumidify.

If you should have more questions on this topic, please feel free to call our office at 716-646-6684 and ask to speak to someone who can further assist you. We would be happy to help!

Concrobium Mold Stain Remover

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Concrobium Mold Stain Remover Concrobium Mold Stain Remover

Mold staining can remain on surfaces affected by mold even after the mold has been removed. Concrobium Mold Stain Remover is one of the products that we often use on mold projects for stain removal. This product is designed to effectively eliminate mold staining. This stain remover removes the toughest mold staining and separates mold from the surface for remediation. Once the concrobium has been applied, we let it dry and begin HEPA vacuuming and wiping affected surfaces. 

This solution is safe for use in homes, hospitals, schools, commercial and industrial buildings. The stain remover works on hard, non-porous or semi-porous surfaces such as wood and composite wood, concrete, masonry, drywall, grout, fiberglass, tile, plastic, laminate, metal and fabric.

The Concrobium Mold Stain Remover has a slight odor which will dissipate within a couple hours of usage. Due to the odor, it is important that this product is used in a well ventilated area.

Should you have questions as to whether or not this product could be used on a project you have, feel free to call our office at 716-646-6684 and speak to someone about our Concrobium Mold Stain Remover.

Beware of Gaps In Your Insurance Policy

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Beware of Gaps In Your Insurance Policy There could be gaps hidden inside your homeowner's insurance policy.

A Homeowners Insurance policy gives you protection for the actual structure of the home, valuables inside, and your family. However, are you aware that there could be gaps in your policy leaving you paying out of pocket for disasters such as a sump-pump back up or failure, or even flood damage?

It’s true, these types of coverage are not included in your basic homeowner’s policy and require a separate addition in order to provide proper coverage. So what should you do? First, dust off a copy of your policy (or ask your local agent to send you a new one) and check to see if you have an endorsement for Sewers and Drains. This endorsement will give you coverage (generally up to $10,000) if the sump-pump backs up or fails, and floods the basement.

 Worried about an actual flood destroying the basement and part of the house? Not a problem, flood insurance is not part of a homeowner’s policy, but may be purchases separately through FEMA. Actual flood insurance can be expensive, so generally people who live in a flood zone purchase flood insurance.

However, if you find that you do not have an endorsement for Sewers and Drains or Flood insurance don’t stress. Simply talk with your local insurance agent and they will be able to help add that on to your existing policy. It takes just a few minutes to make sure your properly covered, and will save you thousands should you ever experience water damage from a sump-pump failure or back-up.

"This Feels Dry" Common Misconception

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage "This Feels Dry" Common Misconception This water meter is just one of several tools we use to ensure things are actually dry.

After experiencing water damage you most likely have started to remove as much water as possible and begun the drying out process. After some time, you notice things appear to be drying and think, “This feels dry. I don’t need to call someone to do it for me. I’m saving money by doing it myself.”

This is the BIGGEST mistake homeowners make. The truth is even though things feel dry, they actually may still be wet, leading to more damage. When items are not dried properly, the effects of the damage can be more costly than if a professional had dried them. Within minutes water seeps into the floors, walls, upholstery and belongings. If not dried fully and properly there can be several damaging and costly effects. Such as:

  • The drywall may begin to swell and brake down.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and ink from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Door, windows and studs swell and warp.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard containment is possible.

The professionals at SERVPRO of The Southtowns utilize special equipment to ensure EVERYTHING is dry. Our trained technicians use thermal imaging cameras and water meter sensors to detect water that is unseen. So next time you experience water damage don’t make the mistake of leaving moisture behind. Call the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns to make sure the job is done right the first time.

Essential Emergency Apps For When Disaster Strikes

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Essential Emergency Apps For When Disaster Strikes These 5 Apps could be life savers in an emergency situation.

Our cellphone devices have become an essential in our day to day lives. We use them for planning out our schedules, keeping in touch with friends and family, and even to get the daily news. There really is an App for everything, including Apps that could help you during a disaster or emergency. Here are five useful Apps that will help during an emergency.

  1. ubAlert

This App is a global social network where users share alerts about disasters (both natural and man-made). People can post what they are experiencing first hand as the disaster unfolds.

  1. Official FEMA App

Use this app to arrange a meeting spot with your family, find an interactive emergency kit, and learn basic disaster safety tips.

  1. Life 360 Family Finder

This app lets you and your family members’ share your exact location at all times. You can turn off the location feature when there is no emergency and use the chat to stay in touch.

  1. !Emergency!

If you travel outside the country this app is ESSENTIAL. Don’t know where the nearest embassy is? Haven’t memorized the equivalent for 911, police or other medical services in the country you are visiting? Not a problem because this app will do it all for you.

  1. Winter Survival Kit

A perfect app designed for WNY winters. This app details what you should keep in your car and notifies emergency services for you. It even alerts you to turn off the car every 30 mins to check the exhaust pipe for snow build up, protecting against carbon monoxide poisoning.

https://mashable.com/2013/10/07/storms-emergency-apps/#NegV8q1Akiqc

Will Your Business Recover?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Will Your Business Recover? According to latest industry research, as many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster.

According to latest industry research, as many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns wants your business to be one of the businesses that DOES recover. The Emergency Ready Profile is a concise Profile Document that contains critical information needed in the event of an emergency and allows you to get back into your building faster following a disaster. The Emergency Ready Profile Advantage

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster - Help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action

Identification of line of command for authorizing work to begin - Saving time so      mitigation of damage can begin quickly which can save you money

Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contacts - Giving a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call providing a proactive solution so that during an emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens”

A No Cost assessment of your facility - Giving you peace of mind as well as a great  value at no cost by not having to allocate funds.

You can be ruined or you can be ready. The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW.  Be ready for any size disaster. Give yourself the peace of mind knowing you have a solution in place.

When Fire Disaster Strikes: Why You Should Never Clean Up After A Fire

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When Fire Disaster Strikes: Why You Should Never Clean Up After A Fire There are different types of smoke, each requiring a different cleaning method.

After experiencing a fire it may be tempting to start the clean-up yourself immediately. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make. There are two types of smoke, wet and dry, and each type may greatly affect the restoration process.

Wet smoke is caused from plastic and rubber burning. It smolders at a low heat, has a very pungent odor, and is often sticky and smeary. With wet smoke, smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke is caused from paper and wood. The fire is fast burning and burns at a high temperature. Heat rises, therefore the smoke rises as well leaving soot on everything in its path.

Protein fire residue, which is produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire, may also be present after a fire. This residue is virtually invisible and discolors paint and varnishes. Like wet smoke, it also has an extreme pungent odor.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damaged occurred, and then develop a comprehensive plan of action to restore your home. 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.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges.

Flooding and water damage events in Buffalo, NY commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of The Southtowns

SERVPRO of The Southowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Count On Our Highly Trained Technicians To Restore Your Home After A Major Storm

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Count On Our Highly Trained Technicians To Restore Your Home After A Major Storm You can count on the SERVPRO of The Southtowns family to be there for you. Even after a major storm.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of The Southtowns

SERVPRO of The Southtowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

The Three Warning Signs of Mold

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Three Warning Signs of Mold Mold can have several negative effects on your health and home. Know the general warning signs!

Mold can have several negative effects on your health, as well as cause an enormous amount of property damage. Knowing the warning signs of mold is not only important for your family’s health, but for saving money in potential property damage as well. There are generally three major warning signs of mold:

  1. Strange Odors

If mold is present, you will notice a musty smell. However, this smell is often not noticeable until you leave the room and return. This is due to your nose adjusting to the odor of the mold. If you notice that the smell is worse when the air conditioning or heat is on, there could be a mold problem in the HVAC system, air conditioner or heater. If you do notice a musty smell in your home, it’s important to look for signs of water damage (because it could lead to mold).

  1. Past Flooding

If your home has suffered from past flooding, there could be a chance that mold may be growing in those areas. Mold survives off of moisture, heat and a food source. So, if there was previous water damage and it was not dried properly, there is a chance mold could be growing in those affected areas.

  1. Health Symptoms

Mold can have many negative effects on your health. Such as:

  • Asthma
  • Sore Eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sore Throat

People often attribute these symptoms to colds or allergies. However, a good indicator that mold is the cause is if symptoms go away once leaving the home. Also, a good indicator that these symptoms are caused by mold is if multiple people in the home are suffering them.  

Should you notice any of these signs, please give our office a call at (716) 646-6684 to begin the mold remediation process immediately.

http://blacktoxicmolds.com/mold-signs.php

What To Do Until Help Arrives...Water Damage Edition

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Time is KEY when it comes to water damage, so utilize these helpful tips until help arrives. These tips will help prevent further damage to your valuables and home. But, remember only a professional at SERVPRO of The Southtowns can ensure that your home is dried fully and properly.  

DO:

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of laps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Open and place luggage in sunlight to dry, if possible.
  • Gather loose items, toys etc. from floors.

DON”T:

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Use TV or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors. Especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Lunch & Learn Seminar 2018

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

This month SERVPRO of The Southtowns hosted a Lunch & Learn Seminar covering the topics of “Property Water Damage Restoration & Emergency Planning for the Commercial Market”. This event was held at the Black Iron Bystro in Blasdell, NY. Guest enjoyed a specialty prepared lunch curtsey of Chef Bryan, and learned about topics such as:

  • The material costs of water damage losses.
  • The effect of water on structure surfaces and contents.
  • Psychometrics, the science of drying.
  • The factors and testing processes that determine restoration and salvage.
  • The testing processes necessary to determine restorations vs. replacement.
  • When ancillary services, including duct cleaning and specialty restoration processes, are required.
  • How commercial Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response plans can reduce fire and water loss costs for both the insurance company and the property owner/manager.

What made this event so special was the intimate setting, allowing guests to participate in an engaging conversation. If you have any questions about any of these topics concerning your commercial space, please give our office a call at (716) 646-6684

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. http://www.IICRC.org/education-certification/ 

 

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.

When Rain Is In the Forecast...

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Rain Is In the Forecast... Time is key when dealing with water damage. The experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns are "Here to Help."

Increased rain during the fall and spring season in Buffalo often causes an increase of water damaged basements due to failed sump pumps and overwhelmed storm drains.

If you discover water damage in your home, the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns are Here to Help.

Time is key when it comes to stopping and restoring water damage.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns recommends these helpful tips until help arrives:

Do:

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

Don’t:

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry seperatly at room temperature.
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

Chimney Fires Cause Over $120 Million in Damage

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Chimney Fires Cause Over $120 Million in Damage Chimney fires account for over $120 million in damage every year.

Did you know chimney fires account for over $120 million in damage every year? As you prepare for colder winter months, be sure to get your chimney cleaned.

If you do experience fire damage in your home, here are some Do and Don't tips: 

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas until cleaning is complete.
  • Blow or brush vacuum, loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
  • Wash house plants on both sides of leaves.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to prevent redistribution of soot from ducts.

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Review of Water Pumps

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Review of Water Pumps Taylor reviews water pump equipment.

The Training Supervisor at SERVPRO of The Southtowns, Taylor Braun, reviews water pumps with us in preparation of the rainy season. This time of year, a high volume of our customers require basement pump out and we have the equipment to perform this service. There are a  number of different types of water pumps available to pump out standing water from one inch to many inches. 

At SERVPRO of The Southtowns we are dedicated to the continuing education of our entire staff, every Friday morning we host an educational seminar for the crew and staff to review equipment use, best practices, new procedures, and upcoming industry changes.

Having a crew that is knowledgeable and confident gives our customers the best service during their times of need.  

There is no job too big or too small for SERVPRO!

The Master Minds of SERVPRO of The Southtowns

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Community The Master Minds of SERVPRO of The Southtowns The Strong Six meeting with Lyn and Thom.

Every successful business is backed by strong, talented leaders. At SERVPRO of The Southtowns ours are known as the Strong Six. They meet monthly to discuss progress, growth and tackle and challenges that may arise. Our managers have over 45 years of experience between them!

Travis Braun-Operations Manager. Travis has been with SERVPRO of The Southtowns for 11 years. He started as a technician and now oversees our operations. He works closely with our technicians and insurance companies to make sure the proper work is being done and documented to make the claims process as smooth as possible.

Chris Ferguson-Production Manager. Chris also started as technician and has been at SERVPRO of The Southtowns for over 14 years now. It was a natural transition for Chris since he is now responsible for getting estimates, seeing projects from start to finish and updating our clients in emergency situations.  

Tracie Hebdon-Office Manager. Tracie started with us in 2011 and has been a wonderful addition to our team. As the office manager she oversees the office, as well as the jobs schedule and runs job improvement meetings.

Emily McNulty-Marketing Manager. Emily is working on her sixth year with our company and is a marketing wizard. She sits on the BOMA Buffalo Board of Directors, as well as serves as the Treasure for the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Emily keeps us involved in our community. She also educates and advises the Insurance and Property Management Industries.

Dan Duggan-Construction Manager. Dan is also working on his sixth year with our company and oversees the in-house construction. He is involved with clients on a daily basis by getting estimates, helping his crew and meeting with inspectors.

Taylor Braun-Training Supervisor/Fleet Supervisor. Travis has unofficially been at SERVPRO of The Southtowns for years, but officially became the Training/Fleet Supervisor about four years ago. He is responsible for new hire training, annual re-certifications and training, and building company protocols (ex. Safety Procedures and Emergency Action Plan).

Give Your Air Ducts a Fresh Start

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Give Your Air Ducts a Fresh Start Make it a priority to inspect the duct work of your home or business.

When is the last time you gave the HVAC system in your home some attention? If you find yourself not able to answer that question, or it has been over five years, you may want to contact SERVPRO of The Southtowns to perform a professional duct cleaning.

Dust, pollen, dirt and debris are just some of the contaminates that could be circulating in your ducts. Let SERVPRO of The Southtowns professionally inspect your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can save you money over time and keep the air that you breathe in your home clean.

Other benefits from keeping your HVAC system clean are:  

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Buffalo, NY

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Buffalo, NY We professionally clean carpets and upholstery.

Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. The SERVPRO System offers a number of cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet.

Need Carpet or Upholstery Cleaning?
Call us Today – (716) 646-6684

We also offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

From carpets to area rugs, couches and love seats, we will get your home furnishings looking and smelling "Like it never even happened." 

Biohazard Exposures are More Common Than You Think

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Biohazard Exposures are More Common Than You Think Exposure to biohazards can happen anywhere and should be handled by a professional.

Did you know that you could be exposed to biohazards everyday in places that you least expect?  Places like your workplace, schools and even your doctor’s office put you at risk. These situations need to be handled with extreme caution. 

Examples of biohazards include:

  • Human blood and blood products
  • Animal waste
  • Human bodily fluids
  • Microbiological wastes
  • Pathological wastes
  • Sharps wastes

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) there are four levels of biohazards

  • Level 1: Agents that pose minimal threat to humans and environment.
  • Level 2: Agents that can cause severe illness in humans and are transmitted through direct contact with infected material.
  • Level 3: Pathogens that can become airborne and can cause serious disease.
  • Level 4: Pathogens that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease for which there are no treatments.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you are exposed to any of these biohazards materials, give the experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns a call at 716-646-6684 to safely clean and sanitize the affected area.

More Than Just a Restoration Company

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Building Services More Than Just a Restoration Company More Than Just a Restoration Company

While SERVPRO of The Southtowns is proud to be known as leaders in fire and water restoration industry, we also offer several additional services. 

 We are available to help you with:

Deodorization

Duct Cleaning (Commercial or Residential)

Document Restoration (Mold, Odor, Water, Fire Damage)

Post Construction Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning

Lead Abatement

Upholstery Cleaning

Area Rug Cleaning

Hazardous Spill Clean Up

Emergency Planning

Content Pack Out and Inventory

General Cleaning

Reconstruction Including Painting

Temporary Power

Demolition

The owners, Thom and Lyn Braun, have operated SERVPRO of The Southtowns since 1995 and are dedicated to serving their community while working to become one of the largest and most professional restoration providers in the area.  Please give our office a call 27/7 at 716-646-6684 to help you with your building and restoration needs.

Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher Know your fire extinguisher

Know your fire extinguisher! Using the proper type of extinguisher saves lives.

Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can e used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper and many plastics.

Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.

Class D: For use on flammable metals: often specific for they type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals. 

Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are becoming more popular in residential market for use in kitchens. 

Injectidry Saves Gym Floor

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Injectidry Saves Gym Floor Injectidry Mat-Panel Drying System

When Frontier Middle School discovered a pool of water on their gym floor they called SERVPRO of The Southtowns to come in and assess the situation. 

Upon arrival, our highly trained technicians were able to dry and preserve the affected area with the use of injectidry panels.  Injectidry panels are a mat-panel drying system which allows SERVPRO to extract water from the subfloor level by creating a vacuum effect between the panels and the flooring.  The technicians were then able to control and speed up the drying process by sealing off the affected area and using a dehumidifier to pull out more moisture. 

Within a matter of a few days Frontier Middle School’s gym was restored and ready to go. Just another example of how SERVPRO of The Southtowns makes it “Like it never even happened.”

Why Choose SERVPRO - Right Product, Right Job

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why Choose SERVPRO - Right Product, Right Job SERVPRO product line

The right equipment and product for the job means everything. When you call on SERVPRO of The Southtowns you can feel secure that the products and equipment we bring into your home or work place are the best in the industry for your specific needs. 

Here at SERVPRO, we have an on-staff chemist that has created a custom line of cleaning products based on experience and knowledge from over 40 years in the restoration industry.

The SERVPRO line of Professional Cleaning products has over 150 individual products each specifically formulated to get the job done right. Each product has an available MDS sheet so you know exactly what compounds are in your environment and we can avoid allergens. We also have a complete line of natural and sustainable products. 

DryBook Mobile

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage DryBook Mobile DryBook Mobile helps make our job sites "paper-lite"

DryBook Mobile is making our job sites "paper-lite" as we transition more daily paperwork to the iPad. 

All of our crews are being trained on DryBook Mobile to create a job process that is transparent and honest.

DryBook mobile is the proprietary program designed and used throughout the SERVPRO franchise system. The program includes floor plans of areas that we are working in, water meter reading or wet areas to show the progression of drying, and equipment formulas based on room size and type of water damage to determine the appropriate amount of dehumidifiers and air movers to remove excess moisture in a timely manner. 

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is the restoration company you can count on for over 20 years in Western New York. Call us today for all of your fire, water, mold, and bio-hazard clean up needs. 

Fire Damage Tips

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Tips "Soot Webs" may form from very hot fires

Have you ever experienced something like this? After a fire "soot webs" may form, this is a reaction of the heat and smoke, not the result of poor house keeping. Always call your SERVPRO of The Southowns professionals before attempting to clean fire damage yourself.

Fire and Smoke - Home Emergency Tips

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further spoil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • Blow or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets
  • Place old towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and  refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with a light coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • Wash house plants on both sides of leaves
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Professional
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV sets, radios, etc that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
  • Use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

Hydraulic Oil Spill

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

When a forklift sprung a hydraulic oil leak it created a 20,000 square foot safety hazard in a local Buffalo production warehouse. The parking lot and warehouse floor had a coat of oil that needed to be cleaned for the safety of the employees and the environment.

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns was able to react quickly to get the spill cleaned up and the warehouse back on schedule. We take commercial losses very seriously, we know that every hour of down time has a cost of loss production and loss of revenue.

The facility manager, John, was thrilled, he said “Thank you for getting here quickly!”

There is no job too large or too small for SERVPRO® of The Southtowns, we are on call 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened."

Restoring your Western New York Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring your Western New York Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events in Buffalo, NY commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO® of The Southtowns

SERVPRO® of The Southowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew

When Storms or Floods hit Western New York, SERVPRO is ready!

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of The Southtowns specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are 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, by Thom and Lyn Braun, 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 the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Western New York, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today SERVPRO of The Southtowns

When the sprinklers burst...

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial When the sprinklers burst... SERVPRO of The Southtowns on site at 1am!

Our definition of 24/7 means that when the sprinklers burst at 1am, we are there. 

When this commercial facility called us at 1am because the sprinklers stated going off, by 2am we had a crew on site to begin extracting the standing water and setting up drying equipment. 

There is no job too large or too small for SERVPRO of The Southtowns. We respond to all emergence night and day because our customers need to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Having SERVPRO of The Soutthowns in your corner is having a hero you can count on. Every loss is catastrophic for the people who have to live through it, we want to take the stress away and make it "Like it never even happened." 

Water Damage - Home Emergency Tips

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage - Home Emergency Tips Water damage happens when you least expect it, be prepared with this knowledge!

DO: 

    • Remove as much excess water as  possible by mopping and blotting
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of laps and table top items
    • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
    • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer
  • Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Remove valuable paintings and art  objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible.
  • Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors.

DON'T:

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature
  • Leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors
  • Use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Use TV or other electric appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

An Overview of Mold

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 

Excessive amounts of mold and certain types of mold may present health concerns. It is essential for the health of you and your family, as well as the protection of your property, to address the issue and arrange for professionals to conduct mold removal and mold remediation as soon as the presence of mold is identified.

Water Damage can cause mold growth in your home or business, therefore it is important to have your water damage cleaned promptly and professionally.

Signs of the presence of excessive mold include:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong, musty odors.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Mold Damage Removal

If you think you might have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of The Southtowns at 716-646-6684 to schedule an inspection or mold removal.

In most water damage situations, mold growth is not a problem, and we can safely restore your home or business to preloss condition. The need to address the mold removal can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection.

Mold Remediation

In some situations an indoor air quality professional will be required to create a restoration plan for your home. SERVPRO is experienced at carrying out the assigned mold remediation plan and working to make it "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO - National Name, Local Roots

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® is the number one restoration company in the country with over 1,700 franchise nation wide.

We are proud to be a part of a national brand, but as franchise, we are equally proud to have local roots.

Our customers get twice the benefit. By using the SERVPRO® brand you know you are getting the experience and expertise of the largest restoration company. We have the unique opportunity to be able to call on franchises across the country to help during storm time

And our customers can also feel good that by using SERVPRO® they are supporting local business owners who live, work, and are invested in the communities they live in.

SERVPRO® was founded in 1967 in Sacramento, CA by Ted and Doris Isaacson.

Your local SERVPRO® of The Southtowns has been owned by Thom and Lyn Braun since 1995.

Why Choose SERVPRO - We Clean That

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

You know us for Fire and Water, but we do so much more!


Fire Restoration


(Because fire damage happens when you least expect it)


Water Mitigation


(When the sprinklers go off or a pipe breaks)


Mold Remediation


(Making the work and living spaces healthy again)


Biohazard Cleanup


(Yeah, I’m talking about blood, crime scene, and sewage)


Post Construction Cleaning


(Because construction is a dirty job)


Catastrophic Storm Response


(Hurricanes and blizzards and tornadoes, oh my)


Environmental and Hazmat Services


(Spills happen, we clean it up)


Document Restoration


(That storage area, where all the files are kept, underwater)


Odor Identification and Deodorization


(What is that smell?!)


Move out and Content Inventory


(When contents need to be stored after a loss)


 


No matter what you are facing, we will make it “Like it never even happened”

Water Damage can cause Mold Damage

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Excessive amounts of mold and certain types of mold may present health concerns. It is essential for the health of you and your family, as well as the protection of your property, to address the issue and arrange for professionals to conduct mold removal and mold remediation as soon as the presence of excessive mold is identified.

Water damages can cause mold growth in your home or business, therefore it is important to have your water damage cleaned promptly and professionally.

Signs of the presence of excessive mold include:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong, musty odors.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Call SERVPRO of The Southtowns today to schedule an estimate for mold remediation. Don't put off the health of you and your family.

Ultra Content Cleaner

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Ultra Content Cleaner Ultra Content Cleaner is an environmentally friendly, bio-based detergent

All of the products we use at SERVPRO are specially formulated, in house, to work based on 50 years of experience in the restoration industry.

Product Spot Light

Ultra Content Cleaner is an environmentally friendly, bio-based detergent designed to clean Fire Damaged Contents. It contains a proprietary blend of detergents and surfactants designed to be tough on soot and contains exclusive deodorizing components to help break down, neutralize and remove smoke odor particles while leaving a fresh lemon fragrance.

Trust the experts for 50 years in fire damage restoration. SERVPRO of The Southtowns is committed to the best products, the best people, and the best training so we can make fire damage "Like it never even happened."

24/7, 365 days a year, fire knows no rest, so neither do we.  

Water Damage Alarm

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Alarm Many of the water damage alarms cost anywhere from $12-$50. When you think about the cost it may save you in the long run, it’s well worth the money!

What if we told you there was something you could hook up in your home that would alert you when water penetrated an area of your home you didn’t want it to?


Worried about your dishwasher leaking? Concerned about your water heater being old and water seeping out of it? Nervous about having your sump pump fail? Having an alarm that would sound if water infiltrated an area that it was not suppose to be could be helpful in many different spaces in a home or business. If there is an area of your home that has had previous water damages that you may be worried about happening again this water damage alarm could make you feel more comfortable.


If there is a space in your home that you don’t go often, this alarm would notify you of any water damage that occurs. Often, people have areas of their homes they don’t go into on a daily basis. For example, many people don’t or can’t go into their basement every day. Water damages occur in these areas and sit for long periods of time without being noticed. In the mean time, secondary damage occurs. Mold grows, contents get ruined and the already expensive damage becomes a lot more expensive than if it was discovered at the time of loss.


While browsing Amazon.com I found that many of the water damage alarms cost anywhere from $12-$50. When you think about the cost it may save you in the long run, it’s well worth the money! Consider purchasing one (or a few) of these alarms in your home to alert you of a water damage.

Bethlehem Steel fire in Lackawanna, NY

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Bethlehem Steel fire in Lackawanna, NY The fire at Bethlehem Steel blacked skies and distributed ash for many miles

I am dashing you off a quick note to offer our hope that all of our friends in the Lackawanna, Blasdell, and South Buffalo areas stay safe from the ongoing Bethlehem Steel fire. The damage is far reaching as all the way here in Hamburg we are experiencing soot falling into our parking lots.

Please know that we are giving top priority to any customers who call us needing soot clean up and deodorization due to this event.

This can be a stressful situation for families as their lives and sense of safety is being invaded by a force outside of their control. We will work with the community closely to put all those effected at ease and get them back to normal as quickly as possible.

Fire damage restoration is our specialty and we have the experience to deal with any unique situations that arise. Please feel free to call me with any specific questions.

The Team you want in your home

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Community The Team you want in your home SERVPRO of The Southtowns company picture

A beautiful morning to update our annual company photo! Our SERVPRO of The Southtowns team are heroes every day to families and businesses in the Western New York community.

The team you want in your home or work, because making it "Like it never even happened," ONLY happens here!

"This team is the best team ever! Very proud of all our employees! I love coming to work everyday because of this team!! They give there ALL to make it "Like it never even happened"." - Lyn Braun

We continue to grow year over year and are so proud to be helping families and businesses in the Western New York community after fire and water damage. This is where we call home and you are our neighbors and families.  

Happy Boss' Day!

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Community Happy Boss' Day! Happy Boss's Day to Thom and Lyn Braun

Happy Boss' Day to our awesome leaders here at SERVPRO of The Southtowns.

Thom and Lyn enjoyed a family style lunch prepared by the staff to celebrate!

The Braun's have owned SERVPRO of The Soutthowns in Hamburg since 1995 and with a focus on customer satisfaction and continued growth, have created the largest SERVPRO franchise in Western New York.  

Thom and Lyn's dedication is shown through their daily involvement in each job that comes into our company as well as their commitment to growing employees through education and promotion.  

Happy Boss's Day to all the Bosses out there who lead by example and create work environments where people can be proud to be part of a winning team. 

Thom and Lyn Braun, to many more years of success. 

BOMA Buffalo Vendor of the Year

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial BOMA Buffalo Vendor of the Year Marketing Manager, Emily McNulty, and Owner, Lyn Braun, received the BOMA Buffalo 2016 Vendor of the Year.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is so honored to have been named the BOMA Buffalo 2016 Vendor of The Year at the October 18 BOMA awards luncheon held at Aqua Restaurant.

We were nominated for this award by the members of BOMA and voted on by the Awards committee.

Our Marketing Manager, Emily McNulty has been an active member of BOMA for three years, sits on the board of directors, and participates on the Member Communications committee as well as sponsors the annual golf outing. 

Thank you to all of our customers who have trusted us over the years for fire restoration, water mitigation, mold remediation, bio hazard cleanup, and more. We are honored to be the name that you call on when the sprinklers go off in the middle of the night. 

 

 

Thunder Storm Safety Tips

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Thunder Storm Safety Tips Thunder and Lightening Storm

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These causalities are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.

1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.

2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.

3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.

4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.

5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.

6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services in Buffalo, NY

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services in Buffalo, NY Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

Crime scenes cause unique challenges, here at SERVPRO of The Southtowns, we have over 20 years of experience. 

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Tear gas and pepper spray residues
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants

Common Trauma and Crime Scene Scenarios

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

Bloodborne Pathogens

We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Our trained Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning Make it a priority to inspect the duct work of your home or business.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the duct work of your home or business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

SERVPRO of The Southtowns Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (716) 646-6684.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Buffalo, NY

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Buffalo, NY We professionally clean carpets and upholstery.

Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. The SERVPRO System offers a number of cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet.

Need Carpet or Upholstery Cleaning?
Call us Today – (716) 646-6684

We also offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

From carpets to area rugs, couches and love seats, we will get your home furnishings looking and smelling "Like it never even happened."  

Faster to Any Size Disaster in Buffalo, NY

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Faster to Any Size Disaster in Buffalo, NY SERVPRO of The Southtowns is faster to any size disaster. 24/7 we are on call for you.

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,650 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of The Southtowns arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

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.

Additional Services

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Additional Services A history of achievement.

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns has long been known as a leader in emergency fire and water restoration, but we also perform a number of additional services.

Please consider us for:

Deodorization 

Duct Cleaning (Residential and Commercial)

Document Restoration (Odor, Water, Mold damage)

Post Construction Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning

Lead Abatement

Upholstery Cleaning

Area Rug Cleaning

Hazardous spill clean up

Emergency Planning

Content Pack out and Inventory

General Cleaning

Reconstruction including painting

Temporary Power

Demolition 

Thom and Lyn Braun have owned and run SERVPRO® of The Southtowns since 1995. They are dedicated to helping the Western New York community during times of crisis while growing to become the largest and most professional restoration provider in the area. 

Please contact us at 716-646-6684 for a quick response to all of your building needs. We are available 24/7 for emergencies to make it "Like it never even happened."  

Bio Hazard Cleanup

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Bio Hazard Cleanup Bio-hazard cleanup substances including blood, bodily fluids, and more.

Bio Hazard Cleanup - 

When you need a plan for emergency Bio Hazard clean up and disinfection, SERVPRO® of The Southtowns has professionals on call.

We are saddened that our wonderful customers occasionally have to find help for bio hazard cleanup, but are grateful that we have the opportunity to help. 

Bio Hazard cleanup may involve bodily fluids, sewage, rodent feces and many other contaminates that have to be handled with care. Our certified professionals use proper personal protective equipment to protect themselves from spreading possible illness.

Please call SERVPRO® of The Southtowns for a free estimate and leave bio hazard clean up to the professionals.  

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

Our SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. The SERVPRO training program includes the follow:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

The Science of Mold

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Science of Mold Mold can grow on organic surfaces after moisture intrusion.

A mold (US / CA) or mould (UK / NZ / AU / ZA / IN / CA) is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae.[1][2] In contrast, fungi that can adopt a single-celled growth habit are called yeasts.

Molds are a large and taxonomically diverse number of fungal species where the growth of hyphae results in discoloration and a fuzzy appearance, especially on food.[3] The network of these tubular branching hyphae, called a mycelium, is considered a single organism. The hyphae are generally transparent, so the mycelium appears like very fine, fluffy white threads over the surface. Cross-walls (septa) may delimit connected compartments along the hyphae, each containing one or multiple, genetically identical nuclei. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by profuse production of asexual spores (conidia) formed by differentiation at the ends of hyphae. The mode of formation and shape of these spores is traditionally used to classify molds. Many of these spores are colored, making the fungus much more obvious to the human eye at this stage in its life-cycle.

Molds are considered to be microbes and do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping, but can be found in the divisions Zygomycota and Ascomycota. In the past, most molds were classified within the Deuteromycota.

Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials, which can be unwanted when it becomes food spoilage or damage to property. They also play important roles in biotechnology and food science in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and enzymes. Some diseases of animals and humans can be caused by certain molds: disease may result from allergic sensitivity to mold spores, from growth of pathogenic molds within the body, or from the effects of ingested or inhaled toxic compounds (mycotoxins) produced by molds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold 

A Clean Home Sells Faster

9/16/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services A Clean Home Sells Faster A clean home sells faster.

In today’s real estate marketplace, you can have an edge with a reputation for having quality listings. You also want the ability to move a sale through quickly to get your commission.

Presentation is everything.

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns will inspect a property - including crawl spaces - to help determine the extent of water or mold damage and remove potentially harmful bacteria and odors.

We can also assist with a packing, inventorying, and storing contents, as well as a complete deep cleaning including carpets and upholstery.

So before you risk your buyer’s health or the opportunity to close the sale of the property, call your local cleanup and restoration Professionals at SERVPRO® of The Southtowns at 716-646-6684. 

Independently owned and operated by Thom and Lyn Braun for over 20 years serving the entire Western New York community.  

Here to Help

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

General Here to Help SERVPRO of The Southtowns

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns

Here to Help

SERVPRO® is the premier restoration company in the country with nearly 1,700 franchises reaching into all 50 states and Canada. This gives us a distinct advantage. During high volume storm time we are able to call on other franchises across the country for additional resources and equipment if needed. 

NATIONAL NAME, LOCAL ROOTS:

Though SERVPRO® is nationally known, we have local owners. Lyn and Thom Braun, have run SERVPRO® of The Southtowns for over 20 years and have been staples in the Buffalo community. Their company has grown into the largest restoration provider in Western New York. There is literally no job too large; we have experience working on schools, hospitals, hotels, as well as many other large loss structures.

24/7 EMERGENCY RESPONSE:

Our standard guarantee is that 24/7 we are ready for action. In after hours situations we have a live answering service and you will receive a call back in less than one hour from one of the managers. In less than 4 hours crews will be onsite for emergencies. 

INSURANCE RELATIONSHIPS:

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns has built long standing local and national relationships with insurance adjusters and insurance companies. We adhere to all insurance regulations and procedures for claim management.

Commercial Post Construction Cleaning

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Commercial Post Construction Cleaning HEPA vacuuming all surfaces for a clean learning environment.

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns spent a week cleaning construction dust from a school. It is important for us to do what is best for the business. In this case, we scheduled after hours services to work around their needs. 

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO® of The Southtowns

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Buffalo Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Buffalo Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Buffalo Home.

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 The Southtowns 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 – 716-646-6684

For Immediate Service in Buffalo, Call SERVPRO

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

General  For Immediate Service in Buffalo, Call SERVPRO We provide immediate service day or night!

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Buffalo. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 716-646-6684

Residential Services

Whether your Buffalo home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Buffalo commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: Commercial Services

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Erie County Board of Elections Fire Damage Restoration

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Erie County Board of Elections Fire Damage Restoration SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team in Buffalo, NY

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is proud to be on site with our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team at the Erie County Board of Elections. 

After a fire occurred on the third floor last Thursday evening we dispatched an after hours crew to begin the fire restoration process. We set up air scrubbers to begin the deodorization process at 11pm.

The following morning we met with the director of facilities to create a comprehensive plan to get employees back in their offices as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

SERVPRO® of The Southtowns prides ourselves on responding to all emergency losses, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We believe that the top priority of our business is to mitigate losses and get business back to work and homeowners back home. 

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Community Hamburg Chamber of Commerce New Hamburg Chamber of Commerce logo.

Have you seen the new Hamburg Chamber of Commerce logo? We are very excited about the changes and growth in our community and the new logo is a reflection of that growth. 

The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice for success of the local business community, gathering the support of many to speak as one.

The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce works with local business, the community, and government to help Hamburg grow and prosper. Since 1927, the primarily volunteer businessmen and women of the Chamber have been serving the Town of Hamburg and its incorporated villages of Blasdell and Hamburg.

Our Marketing Manager at SERVPRO® of The Southtowns, Emily McNulty, is proud to serve on the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as the Treasurer as well as Chair of the Digital Marketing Committee. 

Watch for the new Hamburg Chamber of Commerce launching soon, with advanced business services and user friendly features.  

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Western New York Home

4/13/2016 (Permalink)

General Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Western New York Home We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of The Southtowns

SERVPRO of The Southtowns specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Storms or Floods hit Western New York, SERVPRO is ready!

4/11/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Western New York, SERVPRO is ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Western New York.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are 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, by Thom and Lyn Braun, 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 the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Western New York, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today SERVPRO of The Southtowns

Shut off the water!

4/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Shut off the water! Know your shut off valve

Home Tip: Know where the water shut off valves are on your toilets, sinks, appliances, and the main house shut off so you can limit the amount of damage if there is a leak. 

Extra Tip: Add a shut off tag to the main house water shut off so anyone can quickly find it. 

Time is of the essence when dealing with water damage, quickly stop the water flow and then call us right away. Water damage can't wait until the morning, that's why we are on call around the clock. When mitigation begins immediately it reduces the risk of mold growth and any further damage. 

While you wait for us to arrive begin to remove excess standing water if you can do so safely. 

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is on call 24-7 for emergency fire and water damage. 

Lead Remediation

3/4/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Lead Remediation Thom Braun reviewing lead procedures

We are certified to handle materials contaminated by lead paint. Here Thom Braun is review proper lead handling with our crew. 

Lead abatement is an activity to reduce levels of lead, particularly in the home environment, generally to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, in order to reduce or eliminate incidents of lead poisoning.

Lead abatement may be undertaken in response to orders by state or local government. It requires specialized techniques that local construction contractors typically do not have. It includes activities such as lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments and lead-based paint removal.

In the United States, lead abatement activities are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Individuals and firms that conduct lead-based paint activities, including abatement, must be certified.

Lead abatement is distinguished from Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) programs, which are typically performed at the option of the property owner for aesthetic or other reasons, or as an interim control to minimize lead hazards. RPP programs are not designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.

Winter Fires

2/26/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know over $2 billion in property loss occurs from winter fires? Will you be prepared if it happens to you?

Most home fires are preventable, but sometimes common sense isn't so common. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it's not too early to protect your loved ones and your home from fire damage, by simply following sensible suggestions.

1. Have your furnace checked

2. Have your chimneys and vents checked

3. Test smoke alarms. Make sure batteries are fresh. Place smoke alarms in the kitchen, laundry room and in bedrooms.

4. Cover the fireplace with a screen

5. Beware of lit candles.

6. Beware of space heaters

7. Know how to put out kitchen fires quickly. Water doesn't help a greasefire, which can get out of control. Keep salt and baking soda on hand to sprinkle liberally on pan fires. Keep lids handy to put on top of pots and pans that get too hot.

8. Practice an escape route. Businesses have fire drills, your family should, too. 

9. Fire extinguishers can be life-savers. Store one under the kitchen sink, and in the hall closet near the bedrooms. Make sure you use the correct setting -- A for paper, wood and trash; B for grease and flammable liquids; C for small electrical fires.

10. All household members should know 911.

Over 1700 SERVPRO Franchises!

2/22/2016 (Permalink)

General Over 1700 SERVPRO Franchises! Over 1700 SERVPRO Franchises strong

Something to celebrate! SERVPRO has crossed the 1700 franchise mark! We are proud to be part of a network that spans the entire United States and into Canada.

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Call on the name you know you can trust whenever you experience Fire or water damage. For nearly 50 years the SERVPRO name has been the leader in customer satisfaction and innovation within the restoration industry. 

Your local franchise in Western New York has been owned by Thom and Lyn Braun since 1995, we are here for you 24/7!

American Red Cross at SERVPRO

2/17/2016 (Permalink)

Community American Red Cross at SERVPRO The American Red Cross film crew at our corporate training facility.

We are pleased to have American Red Cross utilizing our corporate training facility today to create a "Home Fire Preparedness" education video.

Here is a link to find out more:

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Home-Fire-Preparedness-Campaign-Stretches-Across-US

Caption This!

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Caption This! Plumbing Problems?

Caption this picture!

Water damage from toilet problems can be common. Toilets create a unique type of water because there are multiple sources. Depending on the source the water may be clean category 1 water from a supply line, contaminated category 2 water from the water tank or clean bowl, or grossly contaminated category 3 water from beyond the drain.

Each category of water is handled differently with category 3 water being bio hazard because of the risk to human health.

If you experience water damage from a toilet please call a professional plumber to repair the toilet and a certified technician to mitigate the water damage.

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is on call 24/7 for water damage emergencies. Our heroes are faster to any size disaster, day or night.   

Celebrate President's Day

2/15/2016 (Permalink)

Community Celebrate President's Day Celebrate Presidents Day - February 15, 2016

Officially known as “Washington’s Birthday” to this day, President’s Day falls on the 3rd Monday of February. Due to a move in 1971 (as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act) to create additional three-day weekends for the country, the celebration was scheduled from President’s Washington’s actual birthday (February 22nd) to fall every 3rd Monday of the same month.

Aside from George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Ronald Reagan, and Abraham Lincoln also celebrate their birthdays in February. Although there still are states that celebrate the actual birthdays of past presidents, the nation as a whole now honors all US Presidents during President’s Day. 

Space Heater Safety Tips

2/10/2016 (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.

NYS CE Class : Water Damage: Risk, Diagnosis, & Mitigation

2/8/2016 (Permalink)

Location: J&M's West End Inn, 340 Union St, Hamburg

Date:    May 11, 2016

 Time:    9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

RSVP REQUIRED  

What Will You Learn?

·          The significance of water damage for Property-Casualty insurers.

·          Causes & effects of excessive moisture on structure, contents, and health.

·          How quickly microbial (mold) growth can appear as a result of excessive moisture.

·         What your insured experiences with a water loss.

·          Emergency tips that can be given by phone, to the insured, to keep the loss at a minimum.

·         Changes to water damage mitigation protocols.

·         How fast action, in handling water loss claims, will save money & property.

·        The procedures that mitigation companies utilize to detect, mitigate, and document water losses.

·        The state-of-the-art equipment is now used in mitigating water damage.

·         How ground water and sewage claims are handled.

·          Special restorative techniques for documents, electronics, and artwork.

 

Braymiller Market has a new Owner!

2/4/2016 (Permalink)

Community Braymiller Market has a new Owner! Braymiller Market's new owner - Stuart Green

Congradulations to Stuart Green, long time insurance professional, is the new owner of Braymiller Market. We love supporting local businesses! Stop in to meet Stuart.

Braymiller Marekt - 6936 Gowanda State Road, Hamburg, NY

Carpet Cleaning

1/28/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet Cleaning Jackie really gets into her work!

SERVPRO of The Southtowns cleans area rugs! Please drop off your soiled area rugs to our office anytime during regular business hours. From general cleaning to deodorization or stain removal, we can make your rugs look "Like it never even happened."

Carpets act as a filter, trapping dust, dirt, gases, animal hair, and other soils. All carpet manufacturers agree on actions you can take between carpet cleanings to increase the life span of your carpet.

We also offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue. 

Fire Damage

1/25/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Soot Webs occur from very hot fires

Have you ever experienced something like this? After a fire "soot webs" may form, this is a reaction of the heat and smoke, not the result of poor house keeping. Always call your SERVPRO of The Southowns professionals before attempting to clean fire damage yourself.

Fire and Smoke - Home Emergency Tips

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being imbedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further spoil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • Blow or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets
  • Place old towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and  refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with a light coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • Wash house plants on both sides of leaves
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers

DON’T:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Professional
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV sets, radios, etc that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
  • Use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

Facility Management Expo

1/21/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Facility Management Expo SERVPRO of The Southtowns Facility Management Expo booth

SERVPRO of The Southtowns is a proud to be a vendor at the annual Facilities Management Expo. 

We work with all size businesses, from offices to warehouse and manufacturing facilities to make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." 

The Western New York Facilities Management Expo is a regional showcase featuring products and services for maintenance, renovation, modernization and management of commercial, industrial, institutional, income properties and more.

As the largest Facilities Management Expo in the WNY region, with vendors and visitors from Western New York, North Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern Ontario, attendees have a wide range of displays, seminars, and demonstrations to attend throughout the event.

Vendor categories include roofing, solar energy, alarms, cleaning supplies and services, flooring, fire and carbon monoxide protection systems, furniture, LED lighting, signage, painters, recycling services, air quality, safety equipment and more.

Flood Clean Up in North Boston, NY

1/20/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Clean Up in North Boston, NY Flooded business after heavy rain fall

After a significant rain fall, this business experienced flooding in their warehouse. We arrived on the scene within 30 minutes of their call. This picture shows our crew performing extraction, drying, and cleaning of their file storage room.  

Water damage in a business can cause a unique challenge. Confidential documents may need to be preserved, whether these include tax documents or customer files we have the experience to handle sensitive documents and restore them to a usable condition and prevent further damage.  

Returning a business to operation as quickly as possible is our top priority. Time that businesses have to be closed result in lost revenues which can be difficult to recover from. We work with the business to determine priority areas, such as the office or warehouse. 

Throw Back to the 90's

1/19/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Throw Back to the 90's MCC Fire in science lab

MCC Fire in science lab circa the mid 1990s. Do you see Lyn and Thom Braun?! 

SERVPRO of The Southtowns has been performing fire and water restoration under the ownership to Thom and Lyn since 1995 and we continue to be dedicated to ongoing training. 

All of our crew and staff have weekly training on equipment and procedures to keep knowledge fresh and up to date. In an ever changing industry we provide IICRC certification in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Restoration. Our crews are also NYS Mold Remediation certified and Lead abatement certified. 

It is important for us that all of the SERVPRO of The Southtowns staff is well educated in not only fire and water restoration but also safety procedures to protect themselves and their team mates in what can include hazardous situations. 

Celebrating 20 Years!

7/23/2015 (Permalink)

This year Thom and Lyn Braun are celebrating 20 years of success! Congratulations on receiving the 2015 Chairman's Bronze Award from SERVPRO Industries for Outstanding Sales Performance.

Continuing Education Class

4/22/2015 (Permalink)

New York Insurance CONTINUING EDUCATION 

Presented By:  MikAnd, Inc.

Provider # NYPO-100291 Course # NYCR-237788

Sponsored by: SERVPRO® of the Southtowns   

Date:  May 6th, 2015

Breakfast Served Promptly: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Time:   9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Topic:  “Property Fire & Smoke Damage Loss Mitigation”

Location: J&M’s West End Inn

340 Union Street, Hamburg, NY 14075

Credit:  3 hours for PC, BR, C3, PA Licenses

Complimentary Breakfast Included

What Will You Learn?

  • The material costs of fire damage losses in the State of New York.
  • Cause of fires and preventative measures.
  • The effect of fire and smoke on structure surfaces and contents.
  • The factors that determine restoration and salvage.
  • The testing processes necessary to determine restoration vs. replacement.
  • The processes utilized to restore smoke-damaged walls, floors, hardwood, and carpet and fabrics
  • When ancillary services, including move-outs, dry cleaning, duct cleaning, and specialty restoration processes, are required.
  • How to deal with the in-shock, difficult, or uncooperative insured.
  • How commercial Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response plans can reduce fire loss costs for both insurance carrier and insured.

Registration Required  

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