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When a pipe bursts in your home.

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When a pipe bursts in your home. A burst pipe can cause serious water damage.

2018 has brought us mostly subfreezing temperatures. When it gets this cold outside homes are at risk of burst pipes and all of the headaches and water damage they bring. Water pipes burst when the water inside them freezes and expands causing an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain it bursts causing damage to your home.

A burst pipe can happen almost anywhere, but usually occurs with pipes that are close to the exterior of your home. The most critical aspect of dealing with a burst pipe is turning off the water supply and stopping the flow of water. Water in a crawlspace or basement is usually well contained and can be easily dried out. However, when a pipe bursts in the main part of your home, such as a toilet feed or an under-sink supply line, it can create a much bigger mess depending upon how much water has inundated the house.

As with any water damage, time is of the essence as mold can start to develop in as little as 24 hours after flooding occurs. The more time that passes without treatment the more likely those materials will continue to deteriorate and may not be salvageable. This is doubly true in homes with carpeting.

When a pipe in your home bursts—affecting multiple rooms—travels from an upper level to a lower level of the home, or has been left unnoticed for more than 8 hours, professional water mitigation and specialized drying equipment is essential for preventing long-term damage. If you see that water has seeped into the subflooring or the drywall the safest step would be to contact a professional water damage remediation company like SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn  to help remove or restore items that would otherwise be destroyed by mold.

Preventing Smoke Damage From Your Fireplace

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preventing Smoke Damage From Your Fireplace Preventing Smoke Damage From Your Fireplace

The weather outside is frightful and there is nothing better than curling up on a cold night to the warm glow of a fireplace. Unfortunately, fireplaces can also pose a smoke and fire hazard to your home. There is, however, nothing particularly soothing about unwanted fireplace smoke puffs that spill into the home while the fire is burning. Fires can also start when hot embers from the fire catch on residue from unclean chimneys.

If you are someone who likes to use their fireplace during the winter here are a few tips to prevent smoke or fire damage to your home.

Nobody likes a drafty house, but a house that is relatively airtight may not be able to supply enough outside air to the fire, resulting in a negative pressure in the home. Well-insulated homes can benefit from an outside air supply vent installed in the fireplace to satisfy the fire's needs.

Exhaust fans—like in kitchens or in forced air heating systems—can cause negative pressure, which will drag the smoke from your fireplace into your home. Turn off exhaust fans before settling down by the fire.

Only use your fireplace when it is cold out. The difference between the indoor and outdoor air helps the smoke draft properly. If it is too warm the smoke will have nowhere to go.

Make sure that the damper is open all the way. Sometimes there is a rain cap or even another damper on top of the chimney, which may be obstructed and needs attention. This can also be a fire hazard, so be careful.

Wet firewood can create heavy smoke. Make sure you only use seasoned firewood that is dry in your fireplace.

If you experience smoke or fire damage from your fireplace this winter contact the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn. Their smoke damage experts can clean your furniture, curtains, walls, and floors to get rid of not only the black soot, but the foul odor it leaves behind.

Hurricane Harvey Response

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Community Hurricane Harvey Response Hurricane Harvey Blasts Texas

SERVPRO is known to respond faster to any disaster; after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, we lived up to that claim. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017. It caused $180 billion in damage. That’s more than any other natural disaster in U.S history, except the largest estimates of Hurricane Katrina damage.

At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater. Two feet of rain fell in the first 24 hours. The storm claimed the lives of 82 people and damaged 203,000 homes, of which 12,700 were destroyed.

Harvey was just winding down when our team landed in San Antonio, TX, after that it was a harrowing journey navigating across flooded river crossings and damaged bridges to get to Houston. Within the first three days we surveyed thirty properties for water and storm damage and started getting them on the path to recovery.

We were able to coordinate efforts mobilizing the resources we needed to help dry out and rebuild these properties, shipping in tractor-trailers full of equipment, our crew of one hundred ready to work.

Common Places for Mold to Grow

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Common Places for Mold to Grow Mold can grow in many places.

When we think of mold problems we equate it to damp basements and black gross mold growing on drywall; but mold is insidious and can grow in places where you least expect it. Mold is fast growing, can pop up within 24 hours of being exposed to moisture, and spreads quickly.

Here are some common places where mold forms that you might not be aware of:

  • Under Your Refrigerator

The spaces behind and under your fridge rarely see the light of day, which make them a perfect breeding ground for mold. Clean all water lines and drip pans and ensure they are not leaking; even a small leak can lead to a huge mold problem. Take the extra time to check and clean behind and underneath your refrigerator.

  • Chimneys

Your chimney can easily become a breeding ground for mold. Brick crevices collect water, dirt, and other organic debris. Rusted chimney caps and faulty flashing let in rain and snow, encouraging mold to grow. Replace rusted caps and fix flashing. Call a licensed mold removal specialist to remove the mold in your chimneys. To prevent mold, get your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep at least once a year.

  • Front-Loading Washing Machines

Front-loading washing machines are great, but can be a hotspot for mold growth. The gasket around the door on front-loading washing machines often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. Add some lint to the moisture and mold happily munches and multiplies. Wipe the gasket and glass dry before you shut the door. If you spot mold, run a hot water wash with some chlorine bleach (no clothes), which will kill the fungi. Even if you have a top-load washer make sure to regularly check behind and underneath your washer and dryer to make sure there are no leaks or source of moisture. Clean out vents and lint traps to prevent mold havens, as well as fire hazards.

  • Window Sashes and Seals

Condensation from windows provides the moisture mold loves, and the dirt and dust that collect provide the perfect place for the mold to settle. After heavy rains open windows and wipe moisture from the bottoms of sashes and windowsills. Replace any broken seals and if you notice any water has leaked into the wood and walls call a professional to see if the problem has caused mold.

  • Air Conditioners

Air conditioning units trap dust and pollen (a good meal for mold) and grab moisture from the air. If you don’t run your AC unit at least every 24 hours in warm weather humidity in your house climbs, giving mold the opportunity to grow in AC ducts, drain pans, and on coils. Drip pans and drainage hoses on window units can leak causing mold to grow into the windowsill and dry wall. If mold grows in your central air conditioning unit you’ll have to hire a mold remediation pro to clean out the system.

If you suspect you may have mold contact the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn

Construction Services

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Building Services Construction Services Rebuilding after a disaster.

After a disaster—whether it be a fire, water, or storm—damages your home you will need to rebuild and restore. For decades SERVPRO has been known for their ability to respond to a disaster and fix your home to make it "Like it never even happened.”

The first thing you must do after a disaster is take temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, and boarding up to secure the building and remove water and debris. Mold, smoke, fire, and water damage all have their own protocol for restoration and our experts know how to tackle each problem.

Once your home or building is secured and the hazards are removed you can start the rebuilding process; from the structure itself to preserving and restoring the treasured items inside your home—including heirlooms, art, and family photos. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.

SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.

  • Board Up
  • Carpet Repair and Installation
  • Document Drying
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Drywall Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical
  • Electronics Restoration
  • Fine Art Restoration
  • Furniture Restoration
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Move Out
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing Services
  • Tree Removal
  • And more!

If you are in need of construction services contact SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 831-6294.

Document Restoration

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Document Restoration Document Restoration at SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn

Aside from people, some of the hardest things to replace after a natural disaster are documents. After a flood or fire photographs and books could be lost forever. As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn   knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. Our experience and state-of-the-art technology can help save your important documents from the trash.

We employ the latest technology available, utilizing the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books; this method can clean and dry your documents without sacrificing their integrity or damaging them. As powerful as our document restoration technology is, it is delicate enough to handle old and fragile documents, books, and papers. With water damage like sewage or floodwater, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. Our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.

Our facility is managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance so you know that your personal information is kept secure and confidential.

To prevent your documents from becoming damaged again, we also offer digitalization for your documents and photos. We use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents. In the digital age converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. You can have access to your records while saving space.

Types of Documents We Restore/Preserve

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

If you are in need of document restoration services contact SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 831-6294.

What to Do After A Fire

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

About SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn

SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

What to do after a fire-

There is nothing quite as devastating as a house fire and once the smoke clears and the fire trucks drive away the real work rebuilding begins. It may be a daunting task, especially when there is such a mess left behind, but it is possible to rebuild.

The first thing you should do after a fire is contact your insurance company within the first 24 hours. Your insurance company will advise you on how to handle the aftermath of your fire and possibly be able to recommend a professional fire restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn. A fire restoration company provides services to prevent further damage, help determine which items can or cannot be refurbished and which structural items do and do not need to be repaired or replaced. They provide estimates to insurance companies for the cost of damages and will help walk you through the process of thoroughly deodorizing, cleaning and repairing your home.

Things to remember after a fire:

  • Don’t use any electrical appliance that was in or around the fire.
  • If the ceiling or floor above is wet do not use any ceiling lights or fans.
  • Prevent soot from getting everywhere by not touching anything.
  • Do not wash drapes or other materials that may require dry cleaning.

Hiring a professional like SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn right after a fire can save you time and money.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 375-2388 

Burst Pipes

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Burst Pipes Frozen or burst pipes can cause serious water damage,

When old man winter starts doing his worst, it wreaks havoc on your home. Plunging temperatures put your pipes at risk of freezing. Burst pipes cause problematic water damage requiring remediation, not to mention the risk for mold as well. As water freezes it expands putting pressure on metal and other pipes. The continuous expanding and contracting eventually weakens the integrity of your pipes, turning them into ticking time bombs. Expanding water can cause pipes to break, leaving you with a big, wet, cold, mess.

So How Do You Prevent Burst Pipes?

Ice forming in a pipe is not what causes it to break. It’s the continual freezing and expansion that causes water pressure to increase downstream, between the ice blockage and the closed faucet at the end. It’s this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually, the pipe will burst where little or no ice has formed.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold; like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls—with little or no insulation—are also subject to freezing.

So, what should you do? Keep the water running at a trickle to keep water from settling, open cabinets, and draw heat to pipes against exterior walls and places like your basement.

If you should find yourself faced with a pipe break situation, contact your insurance company, then call us. We have 24 hour emergency services available, and will do our very best to bring your home back to its preloss condition as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 831-6294

What To Do After a Flood

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

 

Floods happen so quickly that many are caught unprepared, and while floods often can’t be prevented, what you do after a flood can save you thousands of dollars on flood remediation and water damage repair costs.  Here are some tips to take after you notice flood damage.

  1. Stay Safe

Flood waters can be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals so do not go into the water without protection even if it is clear. If there is possibility of downed or live wires don’t risk it, wait for a professional. If it is safe to go into the water wear waders, hip- or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water- damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants. Hiring a professional to do flood clean-up is the best way to ensure your safety and the safety of your possessions. Any food that came into contact with the flood waters should be thrown away. Boil all of your water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.

 

  1. Take Pictures

 

Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage to send to your insurance company by taking photos or video. If you start removing water or making repairs before you photograph the damage, you run the risk of decreasing the extent of your coverage.

 

  1. Call Your Insurance Company

After you have ensured your family is safe, the first person you contact should be your insurance agent. If the floods have affected an entire region note that your agent might be dealing with their own flooding emergency and may not be available. If that is the case, contact your insurance company’s headquarters they should be able to direct you to the right information.

Let your insurance company know the extent of the damages to your home and any repairs you intend to do immediately. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs. Document the damage and conversations at every stage of the process.

  1. Call SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn

Our expert flood damage remediation specialists can help you recover from water damage. We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 831-6294

Puff Back

11/30/2016 (Permalink)

General Puff Back Soot from a puff back should be cleaned by a professional.

A puff back can turn your home into a smelly mess, covering the place in black soot. So what causes puff backs and what can you do if it happens to you?

Puff backs happen when the ignition fails to light properly, oil fumes accumulate in the chamber of the furnace. These fumes will cause a small explosion when the pilot light finally ignites and will blow every little piece of dust and soot in your baseboard heating system or duct system all over EVERYTHING in your home. Drapes, blinds, furniture, bedding, clothing, floors, carpets, dishes, appliances, you name it, the soot will find its way in.

The biggest problem with soot is that it is not easily cleaned. You cannot clean soot with a regular sponge, towel, paper towel, etc. The cleaning of soot requires special sponges and cleaning products that are used by professionals. In addition to this stick sooty mess, an odor will also be present which is similar to that of an oil smell. This odor is difficult to remove and requires the services of a professional to remove as well. A professional certified home restoration company such as SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn is experienced with handling puff back situations. A puff back can occur in large proportion such as the situation just mentioned or in small proportion, over a period of time. If you notice black soot accumulating on carpet around heating vents or baseboard, or on surfaces inside your home, chances are you are experiencing a small scale puff back.

If you experience puff back in your home call your insurance company then call SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn at (718) 375-2388 to clean it up.