Storm Damage Effects from Hurricanes
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New Yorkers are familiar with severe storms and their effects. But can you name the 8 most common types of storm? Each storm has unique causes and causes unique damage.
SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz knows how important it is to home and business owners to keep property safe during and after a storm and how important storm education is.The 8 weather events most likely to occur are:
- Snow storms
- Hail storms
- Lightning storms
- Ice storms
Here in New England, the Kingston/New Paltz area is familiar with snow and ice. On the bank of the Hudson River, and only a couple hundred miles from the Atlantic Ocean, residents are familiar with the risk of flooding, too. Hail and lightning aren’t too uncommon either. You might not have heard of a Derecho storm before, though. That’s because this a rare storm, one comprised of multiple large storms that spread across 240 miles (at least) and with speeds of up to 58 mph.
As New York learned during Hurricane Sandy, the effects of a hurricane are felt far and wide.
Because of these widespread effects (Hurricane Sandy impacted 24 states), it’s important to know exactly what kind of damage a hurricane causes.Storm surge, floods, and wind are the most common damage to follow hurricanes.What is storm surge?
Storm surge is commonly known as a “wall of water,” but it’s not a wall at all. Storm surge is when hurricane winds shove water closer and closer to shore, which causes it to pile up and rise higher than the predicted tide level. Instead of receding back into the ocean, the excess water rushes inward and inland. This excess water can be very dangerous, with swift currents and enough power to damage any structures in its path.What causes the floods?
When it comes to hurricanes, floods are primarily caused by rainfall or storm surge. When storm surge forces extra water inland, that water has nowhere to go and so it creates the perfect condition for floods. The effect of a hurricane can be felt up to 100 miles away through excess heavy rainfall, making rainfall the most widespread effect from tropical storms. Yes - even tropical storms that aren’t categorized as hurricanes can cause heavy rain.What about wind?
74 - 155 miles per hour. That’s how fast and strong winds from hurricanes can become. As these winds pick up debris and toss it around, they cause a domino effect in damage. Strong winds can rip out trees, down power lines, and move vehicles. Hurricane winds are known to be so strong that they can even form separate tornadoes.
Storm damage caused by hurricanes is vastly powerful. Cleaning up after a storm can be daunting. Don’t do it alone; instead, call SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz for the leading experts in storm damage restoration.
Mold: Basic Facts for Homeowners
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Almost every homeowner and renter has encountered the problem of mold. Unfortunately, it’s a widespread problem in many households. Because mold is common, you might think that a common solution is all you need. But that’s not the case. Often, a mold issue requires professional services to be dealt with effectively.
This blog has helpful information about mold so that you can decide if and when to call for a professional to help.
First, you should know that mold can be dangerous. Mold spores are airborne - so there may be more present than what you can actually see. You might be aware of this if you have a mold allergy, but mold can also cause other serious respiratory problems and can also irritate the skin.
Mold can grow in unexpected places - like walls. Most susceptible to mold growth is drywall. Untreated drywall that’s more porous is an easy place for mold to grow. Mold in the walls can cause significant upheaval. If the colony has grown more than 10 sq. feet, that section of the wall will probably have to be removed.
All that mold needs to grow is water and/or humidity. This means that your bathroom is the most likely breeding ground. Often mold can be found at the bottom of your shower liner or in between shower tiles. Other common spots for mold include damp basements, crawlspaces, and leaky attics.
If you have a recurring mold problem, call SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz. SERVPRO® can make it like it never even happened.
What You Need to Prepare for Flooding
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The likelihood of floods is increasing, even in areas where they were once unusual. Flooding is becoming more prevalent with every season.
The technical definition of a flood is when water submerges two or more acres or properties.
When faced with the imminent danger of a flood, safety for you, your property, and your belongings is vital. Keep reading for safety and preparation tips for floods.1. You need to generate power.
A generator is necessary in an emergency. In fact, it’s crucial to have it installed before an emergency. You can’t know what storm damage will happen to the power grid during a flood, so you need to be able to produce your own power. Variables like your home size and electricity needs will influence what kind of generator you need.
Before a flood hits, move all your power sources (like appliances and electrical devices) to safer ground since water conducts electricity.2. You need to know the flood risk.
Always be familiar with your area’s flood risk, even if it’s very low. FEMA and the local government are good resources for this. Flood knowledge is the best prevention tool. For the Kingston/New Paltz area, start here.
Stay up to date on weather and flood risks by purchasing a weather radio and learning what the many emergency notifications signal.3. You need an emergency kit.
Always have an emergency kit packed and ensure it’s prepared for a flood. This means storing important documents or medicines and first aid in something waterproof. Also be sure to include plenty of fresh, clean water, because flood waters contain contaminants. For instructions on how to build an emergency kit, read this.4. You need to know how to evacuate.
Evacuation is a two-step process. Begin with your local government. Does it have an official evacuation plan? Then create an evacuation plan for your family and practice until everyone has it memorized. It’s good to include emergency modes of communication as part of your evacuation plan.
After a flood caused by a storm, the likelihood of damage is high. Always be careful when returning to the flood site and call for professional help as the damage could be potentially dangerous.
After a flood, SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz will make it like it never even happened.
Routine Maintenance You Can Perform on Your HVAC System | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
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Homeowner Fact: Energy Star estimates that as much as half of the energy expenditure from a home is a result of energy spent heating and cooling. While we all want to keep our homes as comfortable as possible, installing and maintaining an HVAC system is quite the investment for a homeowner.
Because this system is so important, doing regular maintenance is a great way to catch problems before they become serious and extend the longevity of your system. Here are some HVAC maintenance tasks every homeowner can do:
- Filter swap. For maximum air quality and efficiency, your HVAC filters should be switched out every 30 - 90 days depending on the quality of the filter. Other ways to improve heating and cooling include using the highest efficiency of filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends and ensuring a secure fit when filters are installed.
- Limit dust. Simply dusting and vacuuming your home regularly can do wonders for your HVAC system. By getting these pollutants out of your home, you’re stopping them from having the ability to invade your air conditioning system. Always use the highest efficiency filter for the vacuum, and purchase a model with HEPA certification.
Tip: If construction is happening on your home, seal off supply and return registers in the house. Wait to unseal them until the dust has been cleaned away.
- Check for drainage often. When the AC is running, a lot of moisture is generated by the system. Cooling coils remove water from the air, but if the drainage becomes obstructed they can become contaminated and create the perfect environment for mold. Regularly check drain pans and nearby surfaces for moisture accumulation.
- Schedule regular maintenance. While there are quite a few things homeowners can do to maintain their HVAC system, having a professional survey your system twice per year is the best way to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible. A deep cleaning can improve air quality and heating and cooling costs, so your family can breathe better.
If you think it’s time to get your HVAC system assessed and cleaned, contact SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz today!
Preventing Mold After Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Patlz
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Water damage is devastating in any situation. Because it can damage your home and all of its contents, it can pose unique risks and health hazards during the cleanup process.
One of those dangerous health hazards is mold growth. The CDC lists many negative symptoms of mold exposure, and after moisture seeps in, it can begin growing in the first 24 hours.
If you’re concerned about mold growth after water damage, here are the steps you can take to help stop mold in its tracks.
Before You Begin
- Never re-enter before you are sure all water has receded and officials have deemed it safe.
- Take photos and video of the damage for insurance purposes, including all damage done to furniture and walls.
Begin Drying Right Away
- Enlist the help of fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to speed up drying time.
- Open windows and doors if weather allows.
- Before the professional cleanup crew arrives, vacuum up what you can with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum.
Sort Items Exposed to Floodwater
- Any porous material—this includes wood, upholstery and paper of any kind—can trap mold and should be discarded.
- Metal, plastic and glass can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused as they are not absorbent.
- It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores once they begin to grow.
Consult a Professional Immediately
Mold sometimes causes foul odors and discolorations, but can often lurk unnoticed long before it is seen. While carpets damaged from floodwaters may be able to be salvaged, experts recommend a replacement of the carpet pad in most situations.
While replacing the carpet pad alone is more cost-effective than re-carpeting the entire home, a professional will have to be consulted to make sure this will suffice in your situation.
If you need help after water damage and/or mold growth, SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz can help you restore your home back to normal.
3 Things to Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
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Being affected by a home fire can be debilitating. While damage from fires can often be mitigated with restoration, as you begin the cleanup process, it’s important to always hire a professional to properly handle the damage.
Calling a professional has many benefits, including preventing the hassle of working with your homeowner’s insurance and helping your home to be restored faster. However, while you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started.
While some things should absolutely be left to the professionals, there are processes you can begin on your own to get your life back to normal even faster. If you find yourself ready to get started on fire restoration ASAP, here are three tasks you can safely do:
Giving cabinets, countertops and any other solid surfaces a preliminary scrub with soap and water will cut through the initial layer of grime. It’s best to use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to begin, and let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty. Cleaning improperly can result in more severe and even permanent damaging to your surfaces, so do not start in on anything you’re unsure about.
If weather permits, air out the house as much as possible. Open windows and doors to begin to let the smoke smell dissipate, and leave them open as long as you are able. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to air out the home once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.
If your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process as most items will need to be washed several times. Any bedding, clothing or other machine washable materials should be washed with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution, but delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains should be left in professional care.
If you need help with fire restoration, SERVPRO®’s team of professionals can get you the help you need right away!
Why Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning? | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
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For most homeowners, carpet cleaning isn’t a regular chore. Many assume that vacuuming will suffice, so it might not seem like something that needs to get done. However, there are a lot of messes that vacuuming can’t tackle.
Not only do carpet companies typically require regular cleaning to maintain the warranty, but there are several other reasons why carpet cleaning is a wise choice. By improving air quality, making your personal cleaning routine easier and even helping banish bugs and mites, carpet cleaning is a smart choice for any homeowners looking to extend the longevity of their floors.
Still not convinced? Here are some reasons that carpet cleaning is a smart choice:
Extend your carpet’s life. Older homes often have carpets that look “tired,” when the reality is just that they’ve been too dirty for too long. Dirt acts like sandpaper to the delicate carpet fibers, and every time carpet is walked on, it becomes more deeply embedded and shortens the lifespan.
Improve indoor air. It’s disturbing enough to think that carpet contains dirt, but there are also more heinous pollutants and bacteria lurking within the fibers. Every time outside air comes into the home, contaminants come right along with it. Because vacuuming only handles surface-level debris, the chances are good that there are deeper factors hurting indoor air quality.
Remove mites and bugs. Just as with other soft surfaces in the home, plush carpet fibers are the perfect place for mites and bugs to reside. A thorough cleaning will make for an inhospitable living environment for the critters, while maintaining a regular schedule will keep them from coming back.
Have easier floor maintenance. While vacuuming serves as a surface-level solution to a deeper carpet problem, the two can be quite complementary! Carpets that are cleaned regularly will be easier to vacuum because the heavy-duty dirt and debris have already been eradicated.
Still not sure if carpet cleaning is for you? Get in touch with our team of carpet cleaning professionals today to discuss how it can benefit your home!
How to Build Your Family’s Emergency Kit | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
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In 2017, over $306 billion of destruction was declared from natural disasters. This means that not being prepared is a gamble, and the number of weather-related disasters makes it an expensive one.
At SERVPRO®, we know how important it is to be prepared for emergencies. That’s why we’ve put together tips on building your family’s emergency preparedness kit, so you can stay safe and comfortable while you weather the storm:
Stay Comfortable: When thinking about your emergency kit, remember that it might be your survival resource for a few hours to a few days. Things like pillows, blankets and extra clothes might not be needed for a short time, but when preparing for a worst-case scenario, it’s worth taking the time to pack them. Also, don’t leave out practical things like paper towels and hand sanitizer, which will help everyone stay comfortable until help arrives.
Tip: Feel like you’re forgetting something? Make note of what your family uses within a three-day period.
Food and Water: When packing food and water, experts recommend readying a 72-hour supply for each family member. Hearty items like granola bars, trail mixes or nearly anything you might find in a store’s camping section is a good place to start. If you’re OK with doing more preparation for your meals, canned foods and dehydrated dinners are a viable option as well.
Tip: Don’t forget about Fido! The same 72-hour rule applies to pet food and water.
Odds and Ends: Small items are easily forgotten but can be quite handy. First-aid kits are a necessity, as well as any prescription medication, copies of important documents, and cash or travelers’ checks. Additionally, flashlights, headlamps, a Swiss Army Knife and duct tape are useful to have in any scenario, while having the additional benefit of not taking up much room.
Tip: Pack small, fun items to keep kids entertained—puzzles, cards and books are great for this.
If you need help preparing for a disaster or rebuilding your home after one, SERVPRO can help. Contact our Kingston/New Paltz location today to get connected with our team of professionals.
Tips for Preventing Mold, Room by Room | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County
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In any home, moisture and dampness are impossible to avoid. Mold spores are resilient, and any moisture from faucets, pipes or steam accumulation will encourage them to take up residence if they are able.
Thankfully, you can prevent mold from finding a spot in your home through a bit of preparation.
We’re no strangers to mold remediation, so we’re familiar with the many surprising places it can take hold. Having a mold infestation is stressful, so we’re going room by room to help you keep your home clear.
A typical laundry room isn’t the site of standing moisture, but piping and laundry machines themselves can mask the growth of mold. To stop growth in its tracks:
- Check the connection between pipes and machines for leaks often.
- Remove clothes from the machine immediately after the cycle ends.
- Keep doors to the washer and dryer open after each use.
- Check the dryer vents—lint can encourage mold to spawn.
There’s a lot of moisture in the bathroom, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of mold’s favorite rooms. Thankfully, preventing mold in the bathroom is just a few habits away:
- Re-seal tile grout annually to prevent moisture buildup.
- Replace curtain liners and launder shower curtains regularly.
- Use a vent fan or window to clear out steam.
- Keep a squeegee handy to remove excess moisture.
When people think basements, they think mold. While they’re notorious for moisture buildup, mold prevention strategies for basements are the most hands-off of any room. Here’s how to keep your underground mold-free:
- Add an automatic dehumidifier to keep humidity levels low.
- Clear out the clutter, as it can hide mold easily.
- Insulate pipes to prevent bursting and leaks.
- Examine the foundation for water seepage regularly.
If you need help with mold prevention or remediation, our team of experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County will be happy to help!
Perfect Paint Is a Wall Clean Away | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
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Because painting is a more accessible DIY project, it’s the one that homeowners commonly choose to do themselves. While sprucing up your home is great, there are steps to take toward perfect paint even before you pick out your new favorite color.
Most homeowners aren’t familiar with the dangers of not cleaning the walls until it happens to them. Fortunately, being properly prepared is just a few steps away. No matter how tight the budget, making room for proper preparation will stretch it further in the long term. SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz has seen a lot of paint go wrong—so here’s how to make it go right.
###Paint Will Chip and Flake The shelves of the hardware store are filled with paint brands advertising the highest tech product, but regardless of the brand, no paint can stick to everything. Painting over walls covered in dust or dirt might seem passable but will have long-term consequences. The particles will not only make the paint uneven, but it will begin to chip and flake in time. The cleaning and painting that will be required to fix this can quickly derail a remodeling budget and create future problems in your home.
###Paint Can’t Bind to Grease Dust and dirt are bad enough, but grease can derail your project from the very beginning. Grease and residues prevent paint from binding to the wall, leading to splotchy, uneven drying. Logically, your kitchen and mudroom might be the only place you consider this—however, with central air systems, grease and debris can go anywhere. The only solution for splotchy paint is sanding the wall and starting over—something most homeowners are not keen to do.
###High Long-Term Costs From home-flips to changing tastes, chances are, your walls will need to be painted again at some point. Even if the flaking has yet to begin, debris lodged between the paint and the wall will eventually require professional attention. Whether you are faced with this when you want to change the color palette or you have to deal with it when a potential buyer requests a painting budget, it will be an out-of-pocket expense either way.
No matter if you’re buying, selling or sprucing up, your future self will thank you for investing in a professional wall cleaning service. Whether your paint has to survive your lifetime or just until the next change in taste, a properly prepared wall will make it happen!
From total overhaul remodels to freshening up, SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz can help your walls look like new in no time!