Recent Water Damage Posts

Important Things To Know About Your Water Loss: Categories of Water

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

You already know that water damage can be extremely devastating and damaging, but did you know that there are different categories of water? Yup, that’s right. These three different categories of water help determine what our drying plan will be, and what products need to be used in order to properly sanitize and clean the disaster.

 Category 1- This is clean water that is free of contaminates or additives. It can be water that originates from the plumbing supply line, the toilet supply or sprinkler head.

 Category 2- This is grey water and it contains significant contamination. It may have additives; it may have passed through building materials or has remained stagnant for a short period of time. Category 2 water is usually from sump pump failures or floor drains. It is also Category 1 water that has passed through walls or floors, or Category 1 water that has sat for more than 72 hours.

 Category 3- This is black water and is grossly contaminated water or sewage. It is water that originates from flooding, beyond the plumbing trap or has remained stagnant for a long period of time. It is usually from a sewer drain backup, flooding, or is Category 2 water that has sat for more than 48 hours. This type of water requires our technicians to wear full PPE while extracting, and extensive cleaning and sanitizing after the water is removed.

 Once one of our professional technicians has determined what category the water is, they can begin to put together an appropriate plan to make your water damage, “Like it never even happened." If you have any water damage in your home, please call the experts of SERVPRO of The Southtowns at (716) 646-6684.

Did You Just Experience a Water Loss? Read This!

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Did You Just Experience a Water Loss? Read This! We can now restore ALL of your contents! Soft goods included.

The aftermath of a fire can be one of the most devastating times of a person’s life.  It is not uncommon for someone to want to feel a sense of normalcy immediately after a fire. You already know that SERVPRO of The Southtowns can take care of the cleanup and restoration of your fire damaged home, but we can now help you with the restoration of your soft goods and textiles too.

What do we mean by textiles? We mean we can restore most, if not all, of your

  • Sports equipment
  • Soft contents (such as stuffed animals)
  • Laundry
  • Shoes and handbags
  • Curtains
  • And so much more

In fact, we are now able to restore 90% of the soft content items in your home and nearly twice as much soft contents than a restoration drycleaner! We can restore items affected by heavy soot, Category 2 & 3 water, mold and bio contamination. And, we can do it in as soon as 48 hours. That means you can get back to normal life even faster! This also means having just one point of contact for all your restoration needs, which helps to make life a little easier during your time of need.  Just another way we are, “Here to help” and make it, “Like it never even happened."  

If you experience fire damage, please give our office a call at (716) 646-6684 and let the professional experts at SERVPRO of The Southtowns get life back to normal.

One Day It Just Started Raining, And It Never Stopped...

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage One Day It Just Started Raining, And It Never Stopped... When storms are in the forecast, be sure to take preventative measures so that the rain and water stay outside and not in the home.

Will it ever stop raining? That seems to be the question lately. And while the weather outside is anything but desirable, it’s important to remember to take preventative measures inside your home to help prevent water damage.

A simple, and affordable way to help protect your home during these rain storms is to purchase a water detection alarm to place near the sump pump. You can purchase one of these devices from any local hardware store, Home Depot or Lowes. They can be purchased for as little as $10, and are worth every penny.

Another action you can take is to check the attic and crawl spaces for any water that may have been dripping and accumulating. Any time there is accumulated moisture, warmth and a food source (such as wood, cardboard or other soft goods) there is potential for mold growth. Taking away one of these factors eliminates the chance for mold. By staying proactive, you can help prevent mold growth in your home.

Lastly, you can run a dehumidifier in basements or crawl spaces that hold a lot of moisture. This is a pretty common tip that most people follow this time of year, but it’s one that is worth sharing. Dehumidifiers help pull moisture out the air and keep your basement and contents in it dry.

If you do discover water damage from these storms, it is important to call a professional as soon as possible. Water damage is not something that should be “cleaned up” by a nonprofessional. Items or parts of your home that seem dry may actually still be wet, which can lead to more damage down the road. Not to mention the water (depending on where it came from) can be loaded with contaminants. Should you experience any water damage during these rain storms, please give our office a call at (716) 646-6684 and let SERVPRO of The Southtowns make it, “Like it never even happened."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.