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Steps to Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Steps to Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz Water damage can be one of the costliest damages to experience in a home or business.

Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may suffer. Things like a burst pipe, a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage are just some of the many ways water damage could strike your home.

There are a number of steps you can take to protect your home from water damage. Read on as we take a look.

Protecting Your Home

Water damage may not seem like much of a hassle for you to deal with, but drying out and cleaning up will prove to be tedious, not to mention there is a good possibility mold will follow. Mold is a very common side effect of water damage, as mold can begin to grow and flourish within 24–48 hours of moisture exposure.

When considering ways to safeguard your home, it may be helpful to break it down by areas of impact, such as by basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.

In the basement, you can prevent water damage by preventing water seepage, which can be done by resealing vulnerable areas of the basement, making sure water drains away from your home and installing a backwater valve.

Kitchens and bathrooms may experience water damage as a result of plumbing issues and/or appliance failures.

Make it a point to regularly:

  • Inspect all appliances for issues with hoses and faucets
  • Check the seals and caulking around your showers and tubs to make sure there is no leakage
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
  • Don’t leave your washing machine or dishwasher running when you are not home

While we would like to protect our possessions in our home from water damage, that is not always possible, but there are things you can do to at least decrease the amount of damage. When storing items in a basement, it is best to use waterproof bins, as well as store items on shelves up off of the floors.

Recovering From Water Damage

If you have suffered water damage to your home, there is a good chance you can salvage items that can be dried out within 48 hours.

The first step is to contact your insurance provider immediately and evaluate the extent of damage to your home and possessions as well as identify the type of water that is involved.

The three types of water are:

  1. Clean water is water from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.

  2. Gray water is water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.

  3. Black water is water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. and can cause serious health problems.

Following a water damage disaster, you will need to dry your home out quickly by removing wet objects and dehumidifying the area. You must then disinfect all remaining materials.

Pro tip: By freezing wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer, you allow yourself some extra time to deal with them. Doing this prevents mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz at 845-255-4334. We are here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Is you vacant home winterized? Best practices for avoiding frozen pipes

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is you vacant home winterized? Best practices for avoiding frozen pipes Keep an eye on your vacant property to help avoid this water damage!

If you own a 2nd home, rental property or have a vacant property for sale, it's important to have it winterized before the winter starts and to have someone available to check on it for you while it's vacant.

While there are always unforeseen issues that can happen, it's the water that causes the most damage. Water can and will get into everything, continuously finding a way out is the name of the game.

Don't turn the heat off in the colder months, follow good instructions to protect your pipes and utilities, have your furnace and heating systems checked regularly, seal windows and doors if possible, check outside spigots and water sources. Speak with your insurance agent about tips they have and make sure your policy is where it needs to be.

Should you ever suffer from water damage, or any kind of loss to your property, call the experts in damage restoration. SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz has been the local leader in the industry for over 25 years, we're here for your emergency 24/7 with certified technicians and the best technology around.

Call us immediately so we can give you piece of mind quickly, no matter the damage and no matter the size, 845-255-4334.

Making Sure Your Family Is Prepared for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Kingston/NewPaltz

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Making Sure Your Family Is Prepared for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Kingston/NewPaltz Help your family be prepared for unwarned severe weather!

We are fortunate enough to be able to have advanced warning for many types of severe weather, but there are times when severe weather can take us by surprise.

Fortunately, there are actions you can take and safety tips to follow that will ensure your family’s safety and help you prepare for various severe weather situations.

How to Create a Severe Weather Plan

One of the best ways to be prepared for severe weather situations is to have an established family emergency plan put together.

If your family does have an emergency plan in place, practice that plan regularly and especially at the beginning of different weather seasons so everyone knows exactly what to do.

If a family emergency has not been created, here are some suggestions to take into consideration when creating it:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

Today’s technology makes it easier to receive emergency alerts and warnings on our smartphones. Through Google or any one of a number of weather apps, you can quickly receive emergency alerts, providing you extra time in severe weather situations. Also, warnings and alerts are also still broadcast over radio and TV.

2. What type of storm shelter is available?

When living in an area where tornadoes are common, ideally, the best shelter is in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement if you have one. If a basement is not available, the next best place is an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that requires shelter, and you can educate yourself about other situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.

3. What is your evacuation route?

Have you identified several evacuation routes in the event of hurricanes, flooding or fires, which could force you from your home in a hurry? It’s wise to have multiple routes just in case one is impassable, and always be sure to find out if there are places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members evacuating with you.

4. How will everyone stay in touch?

We rely on our cell phones for many things, making it is easy to keep in touch with family, but in some circumstances, that just will not be possible. Weather can knock out cell phone towers, phones could be lost or left behind or if there is no power, batteries will not be able to be recharged.

Your family will need an emergency communication plan in place as well as a safe meeting place so that everyone can meet there if separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Have You Created a Disaster Plan for Your Business? | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Have You Created a Disaster Plan for Your Business? | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz You'll be able to roll with the punches by creating a disaster plan for your business.

Everything from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and hurricanes are in the news almost daily, proving Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. In the event your business should fall victim to one of these, the key to being able to roll with the punches, so to speak, is being prepared in advance for a multitude of worst-case scenarios.

Preparation for those scenarios involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Let’s take a look in this blog at some aspects to consider when designing that plan.

Disaster Planning Basics

So, what exactly will you need to consider when designing a disaster plan for your business? There are many factors to include from employees to your equipment and assets.

Considerations to include should be:

  1. Providing protection for your employees
  2. Safely securing your assets
  3. Getting your business up and running again

There have been many checklists made available to us by sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that will assist you identifying areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.

Safety for Employees and Visitors

If a disaster were to strike without warning, a plan needs to be in place that lists procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors to follow.

Make sure evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all clearly marked, mark a shelter space within the building for people to use as a shelter, consider installing emergency lighting, and have designated volunteer “safety wardens” who are properly trained and ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.

When you are looking for a shelter space, ideally a basement or storm cellar is where it should be in case of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If you have no basement space, select a small interior room, closet or interior hallway on the lowest level of the building.

Ways to Protect Your Assets

If the business is located in a brick and mortar location, you’ll have to make educated choices about protecting the assets inside it. There are thousands of dollars of equipment and merchandise at risk when a natural disaster strikes.

Do you have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of your equipment and merchandise or perhaps photographs taken prior to a disaster whenever possible? This is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If you use a computer server to store assets, take steps necessary to ensure that the backup system completes regular backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged.

If you own your building, you can ask a contractor to help you identify areas where the structural integrity may need improving. The contractor can walk you through possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not stand up to certain weather situations.

Getting Back to Business Quicker

When a natural disaster does occur, it is possible that your business will have to be closed due to damage. Each day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to have a “disaster” fund set aside to cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.

Establish relationships with contractors who would be available for construction concerns, and know who to call for cleanup and restoration services that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.

With SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.

Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz to be there for you. Call us no matter the emergency, we're here 24/7 at 845-255-4334.

SERVPRO is helping to protect the environment by using Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products!

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO is helping to protect the environment by using Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products! More than ever, it's important to protect our environment, SERVPRO is using cleaning materials made from earth-friendly raw materials.

Did you know SERVPRO® offers “GREEN” alternatives for some of our products? SERVPRO® is a proud member of the EPA’s Design for Environment initiative (EPA/DFE).The EPA/DFE has established a set criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators (such as our very own in-house chemists) a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials.

Some of the "Green" products SERVPRO® offers are:

Benefect® Botanical Disinfectant

SERVPRO® All Surface Green Clean

SERVPRO® Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean

SERVPRO® Window Green Clean

Contact us for more product information! SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz, 845-255-4334.

It's Frozen Pipe Season! Follow These Handy Tips to Avoid a Serious Problem!

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage It's Frozen Pipe Season! Follow These Handy Tips to Avoid a Serious Problem! This is an extreme example of the damage a frozen pipe can do to your home.

Subzero temperatures can cause even interior pipes to freeze

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage—easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (PDF).

The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.

“Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store,” says Susan Millerick, IBHS spokeswoman. “So for not much more than the cost of the aspirin you’d need, you can avoid the headaches of cleanup, loss of precious keepsakes, and the cost of your insurance deductible.” Use the pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes.

Both the IBHS and the American Red Cross, which is in the business of emergency preparedness, have useful advice on how to prevent your pipes from freezing, as well as how to thaw them if they do. 

How to Beat the Freeze

Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take measures inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois shows that the “temperature alert threshold” is 20° F, especially if you have uninsulated pipes running through an uninsulated space.  

Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do:

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

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)

Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.

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

For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. “If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear.

If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)

Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe.

Careful with that space heater!

If you need a space heater, use it safely. If you need supplemental heat, you can add a space heater to a room where pipes may be at risk. And though we don’t recommend using a space heater in a bathroom, if you really need one, make sure it’s plugged into an outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter and do not use an extension cord.

Sometimes, no amount of prep and prevention can stop situations like this, just remember that SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz is here 24/7 for when water damage happens. Call us at 845-255-4334 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

reference: Consumer Reports, How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing, https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/

Examining Common Causes of Water Damage in the Home | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Examining Common Causes of Water Damage in the Home | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz Severe weather is not always the main culprit in water damage.

Severe weather and water damage can often go hand-in-hand, so when many think about water damage, it’s usually one of the first things that comes to mind.

While storms and flooding can cause catastrophic water damage, they are often not the main culprits. Instead, various items or systems in your home can be responsible for many situations resulting in water damage.

Issues From Water Damage

Unfortunately, water damage is something many homeowners will face, and it was the third most common reason for a homeowners insurance claim between 2011 and 2015, paying out an average per claim of $8,861.

There is a difference between water damage and gradual water damage, each of which can impact insurance claim payouts. Examples of gradual water damage are things that have been occurring over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls that can cause damage to walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, many claims for gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

Items That Can Cause Water Damage in Your Home

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), here are the leading causes of water damage:

  • Plumbing supply system failures can involve frozen pipes that may burst due because the backup caused by frozen water creates an increase in water pressure or when materials used in the plumbing supply system fail, resulting in leaking or bursting pipes. Per IBHS, plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water damage losses and cost an average of $5,092 per incident after the deductible. It was also found that homes over the age of 16 to 40 years made up a larger group of supply system material failure claims.

  • Plumbing drain system failures can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or from material malfunction issues. IBHS found in its study that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to poor material performance issues—and these types of failures are more expensive in southern region states than in northern region states.

  • Toilet failures are the second highest source of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures and can result from faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. Interestingly, according to IBHS, toilet failures that occur on the first floor of a home resulted in more extensive claims than those that occurred in basements or upper floors.

  • Water heater failures can happen when your water heater has reached its life expectancy and the tank begins to rust and corrode, which creates leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident following the deductible.

  • Washing machine failures are generally caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. Washing machines are one of the top 10 source of residential water losses, and per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.

If your home ever experiences any water damage, rest assured that our professionals at SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz are available to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “like it never even happened.” Call us at 845-255-4334.

More useful tips to help prevent fire hazards!

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage More useful tips to help prevent fire hazards! Follow some easy steps to help prevent this scary situation.

Protect your clothes—and possibly a whole lot more—with these simple maintenance tips:

Not taking care of your dryer causes several issues, starting with longer drying times, which can lead to shrunken clothes and heat-damaged fabrics. It can also drive up your utility bills, since the dryer is one of the more energy-intensive appliances in the home.

Another symptom of poor dryer maintenance: your dryer's automatic cycles could start to be less accurate, resulting in laundry that's either damp or dried to a crisp.

Last but certainly not least, a neglected dryer poses a serious fire hazard. In fact, some 7,000 fires, 200 injuries, and 10 deaths are attributed each year to dryer fires, according to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Not cleaning the dyer is the leading cause of the blazes.

Here’s how to get peak performance, efficiency, and safety out of your clothes dryer in a few simples steps.

Step 1: Empty the Lint Screen

This needs to happen every time you use the dryer. Not every week or every so often—every single time. If you allow too much lint to build up on the screen, heated dryer air won’t move freely through the machine, which will prolong drying times.

Step 2: Clean the Dryer Vent

Even if you’re diligent about emptying the lint screen, small fibers will get through the trap and into your dryer vent. Left unchecked, this lint can slowly snowball, to the point where an errant spark could lead to a serious conflagration inside the dryer vent. That’s why it’s critical to clean the dryer vent every few months or so, depending on how often you use the dryer and the types of laundry you dry. 

It’s a pretty simple task, assuming you can access the dryer vent by pulling the dryer away from the wall (if not, you’ll need to hire a professional). Always disconnect the dryer from its main power source at your home's electric panel. Then separate the vent from the dryer and vacuum both ends using the crevice attachment of your vacuum.

A few years ago, we tested the Lint Lizard, a device that can be attached to the end of your vacuum. It was extremely effective at sucking up dryer lint, so it might be worth the $10 investment. Just note the Lint Lizard’s sharp point could harm flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic. That being said, we strongly recommend metal dryer ducts, because they don't sag, making lint less likely to build up. Also, if a fire does start, a metal dryer vent is more likely to contain it than one made of plastic or foil.

Step 3: Clean the Moisture Sensors

Our top-rated dryers all have moisture sensors that work in conjunction with auto-dry cycles to detect the laundry’s dampness and shut off the machine when clothes are dry. Over time, these sensors can get covered with film, especially if you use dryer sheets. The buildup can prevent the dryer from knowing when the laundry is dry, leaving them either damp or overcooked.

To counter this problem, clean the sensors with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol every few months, or any time the auto-dry cycles seem to be missing the mark. The sensors are usually located just inside the dryer, underneath the door. Look for thin metal bars, about 6 inches long, with a slight curve that follows the contour of the door. If you don't see the sensors there, check your owner's manual for their location.

Be diligent and avoid fire hazards! If you have experience fire and/or water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Kingston/new Paltz to alleviate the burden of restoration, 845-255-4334.

(reference: Consumer Reports, How to Clean Your Dryer Vent and Other Quick Tips, https://www.consumerreports.org/clothes-dryers/how-to-clean-your-dryer-vent/)

Kingston/New Paltz residents: Follow these safety tip if you expect mold

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Kingston/New Paltz residents: Follow these safety tip if you expect mold If you see mold, leave it alone and call us!

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 845-255-4334. We'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Protecting Your Property From Wind Damage | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Protecting Your Property From Wind Damage | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz Protect your property from damaging winds!

Many concerns accompany severe storms, with damaging winds being one of them. These winds can appear with little to no notice and can be problematic due to long-term structural impacts.

The 101 on Wind Damage

When you think of damaging winds, what comes to mind? Probably a tornado or hurricane, but those are not the only times when they may come into play.

As a general rule, damaging winds are considered winds with speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be the result of a strong thunderstorm. You will commonly hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds. These are not to be confused with winds and damage from a tornado.

The damage from straight-line winds can be very destructive, as these winds can cause loose, unanchored objects to become projectiles. Windows and roofs can take the brunt of this damage, and if it’s extensive enough, there can be resulting water damage to the home as the outside elements come indoors.

Anyone who lives in a thunderstorm-prone area can be at risk from damaging winds, but there are some structures that are especially at risk. One such structure is the mobile home. Even those that are anchored could be severely damaged when the wind gusts to over 80 mph.

Here’s How to Protect Your Property

Here are a few practical steps you can take to protect your property from damaging winds:

  • Make sure your garage door is professionally reinforced.

  • Remove and/or anchor any loose items on your property that could be moved or tossed around by the wind, such as trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture.

  • If you have a large or dying tree near your home, have a professional remove it and any large branches that could be blown over onto your home or break away and come through the window.

Mind you, not all high wind circumstances will come with advanced warning. But, as we all know, being prepared for that “just in case” situation could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Also, you can have some outdoor furnishings permanently anchored in their locations. If you are building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure the windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.

If your home has been hit by damaging winds and resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home. Call us at 845-255-4334.