Recent Posts

Emergency Water Damage Process

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Our number one goal is returning damaged areas and items to preloss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

ONE HOUR: Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. You’ll know help is on the way!

FOUR HOURS: Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

EXPLANATION: A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.

PRETESTING: A SERVPRO Franchise Professional will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.

EIGHT HOURS: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.

CLEANING & RESTORATION:SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

FINAL WALK-THROUGH: After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

Fire Damage DO'S and DON'TS

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a Franchise company with over 38 years of leadership. Our track record of results has earned us trust of the insurance industry, countless homeowners, and in one unforgettable instance, even the Pentagon. 

SERVPRO Franchise professionals are a team of specialists, trained to professionally clean your home and personal Belongings. 

What Can the Costumer do before there is any professionals around to help? SERVPRO has some tips for you. 

Fire damage & Smoke DO'S

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep your hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants. 
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape Double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

 Fire damage & Smoke DON'TS

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service. 
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated) 
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 
  • Send garments to the dry Cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper action until your SERVPRO Franchise Professional arrives. 

Follow the DO's and DON'TS to reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration. Call SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford for any remediation help at (914)358-9000.

The Truth about Mold

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

The Truth about Mold

Mold Spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter home easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, and organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit. 

An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites and other organisms. 

Control Moisture and Reduce Mold

  • Correct any water leaks or standing water. 
  • Remove standing water under cooling coils or air air handling units. 
  • Replace washing machine hoses with steel mesh lines. 
  • Move large objects away from the walls to provide good air circulation. 
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. 

Healthy Home Checklist

  • Do you smoke in your home?
  • Do your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room have adequate ventilation and exhaust fans?
  • Do you change your air filters once a month? 
  • When cleaning or doing laundry, do you use bleach, ammonia or aerosol spray cans?
  • Is your gas fireplace and/or gas stove checked yearly for emissions?
  • Was your home built before 1978? If so, has it been checked for lead-based paint?
  • Do your bathrooms have carpet? 

Causes of Indoor air Pollution

  • Asbestos building products when dislodged( No longer intact)
  • Biological contaminants such as mold, dust mites, viruses and pet dander
  • Carbon Monoxide 
  • Formaldehyde found in pressure treated wood
  • Lead (pre-1978 house paint) 
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Particulates found in dust, pollen, cleaning sprays and poorly ventilated areas
  • Tabaco smoke
  • Volatile organic compounds including household cleaning products, pesticides and aerosol propellants 

The People

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your business, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. You can regain control quickly to avoid disruptions in your business functions, possibly even closure. Trained in the cleanup and care of your business and equipment, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will arrive onsite within four hours of loss notification to begin mitigation services understanding timely response could prevent business closure and revenue loss. Communicating the extent of damage, indicating how the damage may be handled and providing reassurance are some of the initial steps taken to begin restoration process.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer a variety of services including: 

    1. Smoke and soot removal. 
    2. Water removal and dehumidification. 
    3. Document and equipment restoration.

Proper Removal of fire, smoke, and water damage can prevent further damage, such as lingering odors, mold growth and permanent equipment damage.

Service Response Guidelines 

  1. Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact to arrange for a service. 
  2. Within four Hours of a loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be On-site to start mitigation services. 
  3. Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.

Have a Healthy Home

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaner Air Means a Healtheir Home

Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the home. Your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a proven Portable Ventilation and Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

What are the Benefits of Cleaning Ducts and HVAC?

  • It Lowers indoor air pollution 
  • Reduces pet dander
  • Eliminates offensive odors
  • Restores peak operating condition 
  • Prolongs the life of your systems 

Clean Air in the Home 

  • Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptoms -300% more than those in clean environments.
  • Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated 1,500 square feet in a home.
  • Roughly 80 Percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

Can I use bleach to clean mold?

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

What exactly is bleach? Most people have a bottle of bleach as a staple of household cleaning items, which contains 5.0% NaOCl. Bleach is used for whitening and disinfecting. Household bleach is made up of 90% water. As we know, mold LOVES water. This is why you shouldn’t use bleach to clean mold. Also, if you do happen to spray some Clorox on a moldy patch, make sure the surface is a hard, non-porous material such as a tile. When it comes to porous materials, such as wood, the bleach will actually worsen the situation. It may whiten the outer surface, but the water will soak inside through the pores and actually enable more mold to grow. That is why mold should not be cleaned, but rather removed. If you find you have a bit of mold growing on a surface you should cut that surface out, making sure that there is no more mold remaining. If even a little bit is left over it will start to grow again. Make sure to keep humidity levels low and keep an eye out on the moisture levels. If you notice mold growing in the bathroom, keep the fan on or a window open while showering as well as whipping down the tiles and ceilings afterwards. This will help prevent mold growth. If you happen to stumble on mold and not know how to handle it, leave it to the professionals! Our technicians are highly trained and will remove mold quickly and safely. So give us a call today at (914) 358-9000!

Water Damage DO'S and DON'TS

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a Franchise company with over 38 years of leadership. Our track record of results has earned us trust of the insurance industry, countless homeowners, and in one unforgettable instance, even the Pentagon. 

SERVPRO Franchise professionals are a team of specialists, trained to professionally clean your home and personal Belongings. 

What Can the Customer do before there is any professionals around to help? SERVPRO has some tips for you. 

Water Damage Clean Water DO'S

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. 
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. 
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture. 
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors. 
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Water Damage Clean Water DON'TS

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining. 
  • Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining. 
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Water Damage Contaminated Water DO'S

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated air.
    • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
    • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. 
    • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants. Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items. 

Water Damage Contaminated Water DON'TS

      • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
      • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. 

      These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper action until your SERVPRO Franchise Professional arrives. 

Let Us Clean Your Carpets!

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO we know stains!

Since 1967 SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been handling stains and soils of all types, from residential homes to commercial facilities. Using IICRC standards for carpet care as a guide, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will walk with you through your home and guide you in the best decisions to care for your carpet.

Our crew will: 

  • Show you what cleaning options would be best for your carpet's level of soiling
  • Give you an estimate of time and cost of the carpet cleaning
  • Explain the benefits of soil protection
  • Explain the advantages of a clean carpet for good indoor air quality
  • Explain how you can help prolong your carpet's appearance with frequent vacuuming.

How do we determine the type of care your carpet needs?

Depending on your soil level, SERVPRO will use one of four cleaning methods

For lighter soil level, we will use the Bonnet Cleaning. During this process, the carpet is lightly sprayed with cleaning solution followed by a rotary extractor with a "bonnet" pad is used to pull dirt from the carpet. 

This method is great because it is the least aggressive maintenance cleaning method especially for short piled carpets. They will dry quickly and look as good as new!

If the soil level is light-moderate, we will use the Hot Water Extraction method. During this process, truck mount or portable extraction unit applies cleaning solution with hot water while vacuuming the carpet. 

This method provides a deeper cleaning for all carpet types as well as promotes longer carpet life. 

For carpets affected by water damage, the Deluxe Precondition and Rinse would be the preferred method. During this process, soil emulsifier is sprayed on carpet, setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Extraction unit removes soil and cleaning agent via a vacuuming carpet wand. 

This helps restore the carpet piles and remove deeply soiled areas. 

For carpets affected by fire damage, don't fright! We will use Showcase Premier Cleaning method for those carpets. This is the most thorough cleaning method of the four. It involves two steps. After shampooing the carpet, it will be rinsed and extracted entirely for deep cleaning. 

This restorative method can be used as a back up method if others do no work. 

Give us a call today at (914) 358-9000 and let our professionals clean your carpets! 

Fireplace Safety

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

There’s no arguing that a fireplace is the perfect romantic compliment to any Valentine’s Day evening. There’s something magical about the crackling sounds and dancing, soft light of a fire on a chilly February evening. A poorly maintained fireplace can turn that sense of romance into one of terror if it causes the fire to spread. So this Valentine’s day, before you start that fire and sit by the hearth with someone special, take a moment to go over these tips to make sure your home is safe.

  1. Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected regularly

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 28 percent of heating fires are caused by failing to clean equipment, especially chimneys. Over time, creosote (a sticky, flammable substance that’s released when wood’s burned) can build up in the chimney. If the creosote isn’t removed, a chimney fire can result. This is not only dangerous in itself, but it can also cause damage to the chimney, increasing the risk that flames will reach the frame of the house.

Debris such as fallen leaves and animal nests should also be removed, since they can restrict airflow and cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house. 

If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you should have the chimney professionally inspected at least once a year (before you use it). Ask for a Level 1 inspection, which involves a visual examination of readily accessible parts of the chimney. The inspector will ensure the chimney is sturdy and perform any necessary cleaning.

Have a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning one? You should still get a regular inspection, as corrosive deposits can build up and prevent your fireplace from venting efficiently. Debris can block this type of chimney as well.

  1. Burn only dry, seasoned wood

Properly seasoned firewood contains around 20 percent water. Freshly cut wood can contain up to 45 percent water, so it takes a lot of heat to get it to catch fire (which means less heat inside your house). Burning wet wood also creates large amounts of smoke and causes creosote to build up more rapidly.

To be properly seasoned, firewood must be cut to length and allowed to dry for at least 6 months (up to a year in damp climates) before being burned. If you’ve gathered a stockpile of wood, be sure to protect it from rain and snow. If you’re buying wood to burn, look for dark edges with visible cracks. Well-seasoned firewood’s fairly lightweight and makes a clear, sharp sound when clapped together.

Resist the temptation to toss wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, or foam containers into the fireplace. Paper and cardboard can cause flames to burn too high, while foam releases toxic smoke and particles into the air.

  1. Make sure your damper’s properly adjusted

The fireplace damper is a plate or valve that controls airflow in your chimney. When the fireplace isn’t in use, keep the damper closed completely to prevent heat from escaping. When lighting the fire, open the damper wide to help create a good blaze and get smoke flowing up the chimney. Once the fire’s burning well, partially close the damper to keep in warmth while still allowing smoke to escape.

  1. Install and regularly check carbon monoxide detectors

Burning wood creates carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) — but this poses little danger if your chimney’s properly maintained and free from obstructions and if your damper’s letting smoke out. Nonetheless, it’s wise to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors close to your fireplace as well as in your bedrooms.

In the event that you do have a fire damage, it is best to know what the proper steps are to take in the situation to avoid further damage to your home. Take a look at the SERVPRO Fire Damage Restoration Process:

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

For more information on what steps you should take to begin the Fire Damage Restoration process and what SERVPRO of

Tarrytown/Elmsford can do for you, take a look at our website here

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us today at (914)358-9000!

Sources:

www.SERVPROoftarrytownelmsford.com

http://blog.esurance.com/4-must-read-tips-for-fireplace-safety/#.Vri1T_krKM8 

Do you know enough about Lead Paint?

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Some facts about lead paint:

  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  • Lead can affect children's brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
  • Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies. 
  • Lead is also harmful to adults and the elderly.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
  • In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.

Does your property contain lead?

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. They may be urban, suburban or rural. 

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

  • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%
  • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%
  • Built before 1940 = 87%

What can you do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes?

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil. 

Source: SEVRPRO "What You Need to Know About LEAD PAINT" Brochure.