How do you determine the type of Water loss?
Water Damage Categories
When it comes to a water damage in your home or business, it is very important to determine what type of water you are dealing with before attempting cleanup yourself or starting services. If you are unsure, it is safer to have a SERVPRO trained professional help you determine what the cause of the water loss was.
Some things to look for to assist you in determining the cause; Is there an odor to the water? Is there debris floating in the water? Is the water a different color? Answering these questions first can help you know what to do next. Ask yourself, is it safe for me to attempt cleanup myself? Unless you are sure, it is always better to have a SERVPRO trained professional assess the situation.
The source of the water is what determines what "type" of water. The 3 types of water are Clean Water, Gray Water, and Black Water.
Clean Water: An example of a "Clean Water" water damage would be resulting from a broken pipe, back of toilet tank, or any unused water source.
Gray Water: An example of a "Gray Water" water damage is a washing machine overflow; or clean water that has set too long or gone unnoticed will become gray water, as contaminates and bacteria will start to grow.
Black Water: An example of "Black Water" water damage would be caused by a sewage backup or flood damage. This is considered highly contaminated water.
If you ever experience a water intrusion of any kind, it is always best to clean and dry the area as soon as possible to avoid further damage from occurring. Call in our SERVPRO Team for a free estimate of services. We are always available and happy to help!
Water Damage: What to do First
When discovering water damage in your home or business it can be very stressful. Water damage can happen from a number of things: Washer Hose Breaking, Pipe Break, Refrigerator Ice Maker line breaking, Flood damage, Toilet overflow or backup, Roof leak, sprinkler system going off, just to name a few. But then where do you begin as a property owner?
Step One: Stop the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified party to do so
Step Two: Call SERVPRO!
What you can do while we are on our way:
- Remove as much excess water as possible, by mopping or blotting
- Wipe away excess water on wood surfaces, table tops
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs of wet carpeting
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, documents or items that are sensitive to moisture
Always Remember safety first! If you are not physically able to take on the above measures, it will be ok, our Team will be there to help!
What to avoid doing:
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical hazards may be present
- Do not use water damaged appliances
- Do not use ceiling light fixtures if the ceiling is wet
When our Team arrives we will make an assessment of the affected areas and start mitigating the water damage as soon as possible to avoid further damage from happening such as warped flooring, mold damage and musty odors.
Be READY for 2019!
As a business owner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. We couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO® of Broome County East realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, fire, mold etc.
Emergency Ready Program
Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster...by planning for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage is a no-cost assessment to your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. The SERVPRO ERP is a concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. It is a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. This plan Establishes SERVPRO® as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. The plan identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Our Profile will provide facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!
Homeowner Electrical Safety: Fire Prevention
According to data from the NFPA, fire departments responded to an average of 45,000 home fires caused by electrical failure or malfunction every year between 2010-2014. In fact, home electrical fires are the most common fire in a home accounting for nearly 60% of all fires.
While you can’t prevent all electrical fires from occurring, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce the risk of an electrical fire from happening at your Binghamton home. Below the NFPA will cover some electrical safety tips you can follow that may help prevent an electrical fire from happening to you.
Protect Children from Exposed Outlets
If you have young children in your home, it’s important that you use child-proof outlet covers on unused receptacles. You can find outlet covers and tamper resistant outlets at your local hardware store. If you replace your standard outlets with tamper resistant outlets, be sure to hire a professional electrician to install them. Another tip to keep young kids away from outlets is to block access to the outlets using furniture like a couch or table or shelving.
Don’t Overload Outlets
Do you have an outlet that is powering a couple power strips and a dozen electronics? This can be dangerous. Don’t overload your outlets with too many powered electronics or appliances. Try to move some to another outlet. If you aren’t using an electrical appliance, like a blender or toaster, unplug it when you don’t need it. Overloading an outlet can trip the circuit or worse, it can lead to a fire.
Turn Off Appliances Before Turning Circuit Back On
If you do experience a tripped circuit from overloading an outlet or a power surge, be sure to turn off any appliances that the circuit is powering. Also, unplug anything that is powered by the circuit. Once you have flipped the circuit back on, you can then turn on the appliances or the electronics that the circuit is powering.
Check Cords and Plugs
Over time cords can kink, tear and fray. A small fray in a cord can cause sparks which can lead to a fire pretty quickly. Make it a habit of always taking a look at any cords or power outlets that you are near. Not only make sure that the cords are in good condition but that the plugs are plugged into the outlets all the way. A loose plug on an outlet can also cause sparks or a short which can cause an electrical fire.
Light Bulb Safety
Light bulbs are the most commonly used electrical item in a home. With light bulbs located in every room of your home, it’s important to follow a few tips to ensure they don’t become a fire hazard. Always use the recommended wattage of bulb for each fixture. Using a higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat. Be careful with light bulbs near curtains or other fabric. The fabric can be blown on top of the bulb which can quickly lead to a fire.
If You Should Suffer a Fire, Contact the Professionals
Following the above tips should help reduce the risk of a house fire, but it can’t eliminate the risk. If you should suffer from a house fire, call the fire professionals at SERVPRO of Broome County East. They have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to handle any size disaster.
Just call and we will be ready. We offer emergency fire board up services and free estimates on all services!
Commercial Mold Restoration
Many types of mold exist and all molds have thepotentialto cause health effects. However some mold is good- such as mold used in making blue cheese mold and mold used in the production of Penicillin. Some forms of mold can certainly cause health problems, but not all kinds of molds cause health problems in all people. Molds produce allergens, but not all people will have the sensitivity to react to the molds. However, those allergens can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks in people who are allergic to mold.
For mold to grow it takes moisture and oxygen. Mold can grow on any organic substance such as wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in an indoor environment; however, mold growth can be controlled simply by controlling the moisture indoors.
If mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Over time mold can gradually destroy the things they grow on if the mold is not remediated.
Today builders are making buildings that are tightly sealed, and can lack adequate ventilation which can potentially lead to moisture buildup. Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems can be a result of roof leaks, landscaping and lack of timely maintenance of moisture problems.
It is important to address any water issues whether sudden or on-going in order to eliminate or at least minimize the need for mold remediation services. SERVPRO can provide free estimates for mold damaged commercial properties. Our Team has the experience, knowledge, and NYS Mold Licensing to get your affected business back in working order.
Risks of not Cleaning your Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest or other potential obstacles. For more information on cleaning dryer vents contact your local SERVPRO. Your local SERVPRO Team is available 24 hours a day, do not hesitate to call, day or night you are guaranteed to reach our office-just call 607-722-2262.
Water needs a Quick Response!
Whether it's from a busted water pipe, sewage backup, faulty appliance, or natural disaster water damage can wreak havoc on your property if not addressed immediately.
Here are some essentials you should know about water damage restoration:
The more polluted the water, the worse your situation. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water into three categories in its S500 Standard:
- Category 1: Generally sanitary water
- Category 2: Significantly contaminated water
- Category 3: Grossly contaminated water
The category of water on any loss will dictate how it's restored and how much can be salvaged.
Mold can be debilitating to your home's structure and to your health. Mold needs only five perfect conditions to grow in 48-72 hours:
- Food source
- Prime temperature
- No/minimal air movement
- No/minimal light
Fast action is crucial. In order to begin processing an insurance claim, your agent or carrier needs to know about a water damage situation immediately, what happened, how it happened, the source of the water, etc. The longer you wait, the worse the situation gets. When it is safe and reasonable, your insurance carrier may expect you to minimize sudden damage as much as possible. Call in our Team and we can help!
What can you expect when choosing SERVPRO?
Choosing the right vendor for your fire or water damage is important. Here is what you can expect when calling SERVPRO of Broome County East.
- Uniformed Employees with photo ID Badges
- Drug Tested and Background Checked Team Members
- Advanced Training and Certifications
- On-site arrival within 4 hours (This does not apply to catastrophe situations)
Once they get here, what’s next?
Once our employees arrive on-site the customer will meet with a SERVPRO Supervisor who will explain the mitigation services. Our Supervisor will explain the necessary documents in order for our team to proceed with services.
Here are some of the basic forms that we review with our customers
Authorization To Perform Services & Direction Of Payment Form
This form is the customers consent for SERVPRO to perform restoration services in their home or business. It also addresses how services will be paid for and their deductible amount to be collected as directed by their insurance company.
Customer Information Form
This form is an informational document that addresses many aspects of the customer home such as what the customer should expect during the process and how we will proceed. It also discusses what items are restorable, pre-existing conditions, personal items in the home and understanding our role versus the insurance companies.
Customer Equipment Responsibility Form
This is a document in which the customer can identify and confirm what equipment is left in their home as well as the responsibility they assume with SERVPRO equipment. It also explains who to contact if there are any issues with the equipment.
Certificate of Satisfaction: Job Completion Form
This form is used during the final walk through of services with the customer. It is also used to insure we completed mitigation services to customer’s satisfaction. This document is also needed to provide to the insurance company for final billing for services completed.
When it comes to Storm Damage, your world can be turned upside down in a matter of minutes. Our Team was able to assist following a local tornado event in Pennsylvania. Within a matter of minute’s cars, roofs, and building debris were lifted and moved from tornado strong winds. Buildings were left with full exposure to rain and outside elements.
Our TEAM was able to assist a sporting goods store establish temporary fencing and board up services to help secure the store. There was glass and debris inside the building to be cleaned from the storm making it unsafe for employees to report to work. Additionally we worked to relocate merchandise, fixtures, and protect undamaged items from further damage and risk.
In this situation there was no doubt business interruption was going to happen, but it was our goal to minimize the turnaround time as much as possible. Our Team worked with the business owner and its representative’s daily providing updates and keeping communication open between all parties.
If your business is ever affected by unexpected storm damage, we will be there. Just call our local number to learn more about our services and how we can help.
Restore Vs. Replace Q & A
SERVPRO of Broome County East is the area’s leading mitigation vendor and a preferred vendor of many insurance companies. When we are faced with homes, businesses, or contents affected by fire, water, or mold damage our goal is to first try and restore the item(s) or materials back to preloss condition compared to replacing the items.
Q. What is water and fire mitigation?
A. When we are providing water or fire mitigation services, we are providing a service in which we reduce the affects of fire and water damage to the property. This is done through a quick response, use of effective drying techniques, and cleaning and restoration.
Q. How can the “restore vs. replace” concept affect Insurance?
A. When a structure or contents are restored to pre loss condition, it eliminates or minimizes costly repairs. This will ultimately lower the cost of the claim to the insurance company.
Q. How can the “restore vs. replace” concept affect a business owner or homeowner who had a fire or water loss?
A. When we are able to restore items for a customer rather than replace them, it gives the customer peace of mind knowing they can have their own property back. Re-construction of a property takes more time to complete, and restoration can return the customer to normalcy faster. The quicker a customer is returned to normalcy the more likely they will be satisfied with claim resolution.