Recent General Posts

What is lurking in YOUR ducts?

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever wondered what is lurking in your ducts? 

Sweeping away years of dust and dirt - reducing potential for damage and health risks.

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home. 

A routine part of SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money. 

If you want your ducts cleaned, call SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford today at (914) 358-9000 or send us an email to SERVPRO9937@jdcrestoration.com to schedule your appointment! 

The Truth About Mold

4/11/2019 (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
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Volatile organic compounds including household cleaning products, pesticides and aerosol propellants 

Everything you need to know about SMOKE

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That is why it is important to have trained technicians. SERVPRO Professionals know their smoke!

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process.

Type of Smoke:

  1. Wet SmokePlastics and Rubbers
    Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  2. Dry SmokePaper and Wood 
    Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore the smoke rises. 
  3. Protein- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
    Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  4. Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs
    While the "puff backs" can create havoc, SERVPRO can normally restore the contents and structure quickly
  5. Other Types- Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue
    Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses!

Do you know enough about Lead Paint?

3/18/2019 (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: SERVPRO "What You Need to Know About LEAD PAINT" Brochure. 

How to Clean Your Gutters

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

"Preparing to Work on Your Gutters

Thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters every spring and fall will keep them working like they should. Leaves can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (the board behind the gutter).  Water pouring over the gutters or from leaks can end up next to your home’s foundation, in the basement or crawlspace.

Cleaning the Gutters

A hose-end attachment specially designed for gutters may make this project a lot easier. If you need to clean from a ladder, follow these steps.

Step 1

Begin cleaning the gutter near a downspout.

Step 2

Remove the large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) with a trowel and dump it in a bucket.

Step 3
To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer and clean as necessary.

If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.

  1. Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed.
  2. Install a small nozzle on the hose, and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage.
  3. Reattach the downspout.
  4. Flush the entire gutter again.
  5. Be sure to clean the downspout strainers.

Gutter Maintenance and Repair

Step 1
If there's still standing water after the gutter has been flushed, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. The length of the system should decline at least ¼ inch every 10 feet toward the downspout.

If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. It may be easier to work on small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling.

Step 2

Inspect the gutter sections and downspouts for obvious damage and missing parts. Support hangers should be spaced every 2 feet along the gutter.

To replace or add hangers:

  • Install screw and ferrule hangers by marking their position on the gutter, drilling the holes in the gutter lip and fascia, then driving the screw with a drill through the ferrule.
  • Install screw-in or hidden hangers following the manufacturer’s directions. Most are attached through the rear of the gutter and into the fascia board, then clipped to the inside-front of the gutter.
  • If no fascia board exists, use roof hangers with straps, following the package instructions. Typical installation involves attaching a hanger across the gutter channel, clipping a strap to the hanger, then attaching the hanger under the shingles.


Step 3
Repair any leaks in the gutter.

  • To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints.
  • To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint.
  • To repair holes in the gutter material, ask a Lowe’s associate for products designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.

Step 4
Apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters."

To learn more about how to properly clean your gutter, visit https://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/gutter-cleaning-and-repair/project

It Doesn’t Cost a lot to be Prepared

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

General It Doesn’t Cost a lot to be Prepared Choose to be PREPARED!


It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and man made, can you afford not to be prepared?


Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come. Here are
a few tips* on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.


• Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go
and what to do in case of an emergency. You can download Family Emergency Plan templates www.ready.gov/make-a-plan


• Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.


• Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get
you back on your feet.


• Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. Sample Ready Lists can be found at www.ready.gov/document/familysupply-list


• Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.


• Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.


• Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight. 

• Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.


• Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.


• *The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!