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Smoke and soot cleanup

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and soot cleanup Soot on a tongue and groove ceiling during cleaning

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Jefferson County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

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.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 315-777-8377

How To Inspect for a Shower Leak

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Inspect for a Shower Leak Discovering a bathtub leak early in your Watertown,NY home can save time and money

4 Steps Home Inspectors Take to Look for Bathtub and Shower Leaks


When buying or renting a home in Watertown,NY, don’t forget to inspect for a bathtub leak. Spending the time to do a thorough check of the home for water damage can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. From tiled showers to enclosed shower bathtub units, many of the ways to check for leaks are similar. Here are four simple steps home inspectors take to look for bathtub and shower leaks.

  1. Check surrounding areas for water damage. Stained baseboards or ceilings, rusted tacks holding down carpet or loose bathroom floor tiles are all indicators of a shower pan leak. Another quick trick is to push a finger into the baseboards or surrounding grout to feel for any give. Ideally, they should be hard, nonporous surfaces and provide no movement.

  2. Examine crawl spaces beneath bathrooms. If your house has a crawl space or basement, be sure to look for black wood dripping with water, as that is a sure sign of a bathtub leak.

  3. Let your suspicious nature run free. An old pan, a fresh coat of paint, or an unused shower could all be signs of a leak that may not have been properly sealed. Note the age of the home and consult with the owner to find out the last time the shower pan was replaced.

  4. Inspect a tiled shower stall. A loose threshold into the shower can be a sign of a shower pan leak. Vertical or horizontal cracks in the tiled wall or tile separating from the wall can lead to leaks due to water spraying from the showerhead directly into the cracks.

Water damage in your home can be frustrating and costly. Your local water damage repair and restoration specialist can help you get your home back to normal. Discovering a bathtub leak early can save you time, money, and hassle.

Commercial Buildings Need Protection After a Fire

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Commercial Buildings Need Protection After a Fire Commercial building fire damage in Adams,NY

Before the fire, the building was the center of a thriving business. It was alive during the day, and there was an active security presence during the off hours. Then came the fire. Today, the building is dark and an invitation to the kind of trouble that a security fence could prevent.

Unsecured, Unoccupied Buildings Invite Trouble

Your commercial insurance company will help with the costs related to the fire. However, with an unsecured building in Adams,NY, you can’t expect them to help with the costs of

  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Damage caused by squatters and other unauthorized occupants.

You need to secure the building by installing a security fence. Your insurance company may even help with the cost of the fence as part of the settlement. Speak to your adjuster and see what is possible. Your fire restoration specialists can help arrange for its installation.

Unsecured, Unoccupied Buildings Invite Accidents
Unoccupied buildings are magnets for children and teenagers. They don’t necessarily mean any harm, but their curiosity gets the best of them. An unoccupied, burned building is especially dangerous. If there is an accident and a someone is injured, you have a serious liability problem. Without a fence, a judge might rule that you did not try hard enough to keep unwanted trespassers out.

Unsecured, Unoccupied Buildings Invite Squatters, Homeless or Drug Dens
If trespassers move in, the risks are substantially higher. The possibility of another fire is also substantially higher because they may light fires for heat or cooking. You don’t want this type of settlement or the problems they bring to your commercial property.

Install a Security Fence for Your Peace of Mind
You’ve already had the fire. You don’t need any of these other problems. Install the fence, and you will never wonder what’s going on in your building. Of course, there are always people who will find a way to get in, but at least you made a bona fide effort to secure the property.

Top 3 Benefits of Completing a Commercial Mold Inspection

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 3 Benefits of Completing a Commercial Mold Inspection Mold on commercial wall in Carthage,NY

Mold Inspection

Because buying property is a serious financial investment, you should complete a thorough building inspection before purchasing any commercial building in Carthage,NY. An extensive property evaluation may help you identify a variety of potential issues, but some problems, such as mold damage, may be well hidden and difficult to discern. For this reason, incorporating a professional mold inspection into your building assessment may help you better gauge the overall health of the property.

1. Identifying Moisture Concerns

Moisture is a key ingredient for mold growth. A mold inspector can help you detect both moisture concerns and areas possibly susceptible to mold problems. Examples of potential areas of concern may include the following:

  • Roof flaws that may result in leaks
  • Leaking pipes
  • Foundation cracks that may allow water seepage
  • Cold zones prone to condensation buildup

2. Recognizing Signs of Water Damage

Mold is also adept at hiding behind walls and under flooring. To help prevent mold contamination, saturated building materials such as carpets, drywall and insulation should be promptly removed and replaced after a flood or significant leak. Completing a mold inspection may help you recognize signs of past water damage that may not have been properly addressed:

  • Stained ceilings and walls
  • Corrosion or rust around pipes
  • Warped or buckling floors
  • Presence of a musty odor

To detect hidden mold, the mold inspector can use specialized tools to investigate behind walls and other problematic areas without causing structural damage to the building.

3. Conducting Specific Mold Tests

Conducting mold tests can also help the inspector identify the presence of significant mold growth. Air testing can, for example, identify specific types of airborne contaminants, while surface testing can help you evaluate any visible mold you encounter.

Many business owners may not be eager to purchase a building that has a mold problem requiring extensive mold remediation. Completing a mold inspection on a prospective property can help you identify hidden mold as well as areas susceptible to mold growth, which may help you determine if the property is a wise financial investment.

3 Simple Ways To Prepare Your Home for a Storm

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Simple Ways To Prepare Your Home for a Storm Storm damage to home in Carthage,NY

Steps To Help Minimize The Chances Of Flooding

Being in the path of a severe storm in Carthage,NY, can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to think about your safety, but you also have to consider the damage that your home might sustain from flood water. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to help minimize the chances of flooding or other issues.

1. Check Your Gutters

Your gutters are one of your home’s main ways of preventing water from leaking into your home. However, they likely won’t work properly if they aren’t clean. Leaves, sticks and other debris can get stuck in the gutters, which can lead to water damage in your home. Double check that they are clear before it starts raining. Additionally, check for damage to your gutters so you have time to repair them before the storm hits. This will reduce the chances of a flooded building.

2. Inspect Trees Around Your Home

Flood water isn’t the only thing you need to look out for when preparing for a storm. If you live in an area surrounded by trees, then you should consider having your trees trimmed before the storm arrives. Trees that still have a lot of leaves on them or have particularly heavy branches are more likely to fall due to heavy wind and rain. Furthermore, you might see branches that already look like they are about to detach and fall, which should be removed immediately.

3. Do Your Homework

Sometimes, even when you do everything right, there is nothing you can do to prevent flood water from entering your home. Finding a storm damage restoration company beforehand can help relieve stress if your home winds up needing repair. It’s also a good idea to keep important phone numbers in a safe location. If you do not evacuate, have an emergency kit and be prepared for an extended time without power.

It can be helpful to take these steps when you know a storm is headed your way. Ensure your gutters are clear, your trees are trimmed, and you are prepared with emergency items. These things can reduce water damage, stress and danger during a storm.

Were Here to Help

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Were Here to Help Floor where there was a small furnace fire in Water Town.

Do you ever get tired of calling places and getting an answering service or voicemail? You won't with us! We understand that disasters don't have scheduled hours.

We adhere to our 1-4-8 guidelines. 

1- Within one hour from the first notice of loss, a SERVPRO Professional will contact you to arrange for service.

4- Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary).

8- Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.

Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation. 

Whether it's 8pm or 3am we're Here to Help! 

What You Should Know About Gas Leaks in Your Home

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What You Should Know About Gas Leaks in Your Home Soot Covered Furniture from a Gas Fire in Watertown, NY.

Fires from natural gas can occur suddenly and can result in a lengthy restoration process. If you suspect a gas leak in your home in Watertown, NY, there are various steps you can take to prevent a gas fire.

1. Preventative Steps

There are several ways you can prevent gas leaks from occurring, which can ultimately save you the stress of dealing with a fire. Prior to purchasing any appliances for your home, make sure you understand how they work and which signs could indicate a malfunction. Frequently check your appliances to ensure that there are no dysfunctions that could cause a leak. If you do have an issue with an appliance, it can be smart to have it professionally checked.

2. Signs of a Gas Leak

You cannot prevent a gas fire without knowing the most common signs of a natural gas leak. An unpleasant smell, often described as rotten eggs, is one indicator that you may have a gas leak in your home. Additionally, a whistling noise is sometimes heard near the gas meter when there is a leak.

3. Action To Take If You Suspect a Leak

If you suspect a leak in your home, it’s important to turn off any appliances that could result in a fire. To keep gas from building up, make sure your home is well-ventilated by opening any windows and doors. Even with these precautions, spend as much time as you can out of your home to avoid the negative health effects of breathing in the gas you suspect is leaking.

If you believe that your home may be experiencing a gas leak, it’s essential to do what you can to prevent a gas fire or a gas explosion. Once you have taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and your home, it can be helpful to work with restoration professionals who can fix the leak and ensure the safety of your home.

Flood Damage 101 for Commercial Property Tenants

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Damage 101 for Commercial Property Tenants Flooded Apartment Building in Watertown, NY

Severe storms and flooding in Watertown, NY, can cause massive damage to commercial properties. As a tenant, you may feel confused and helpless in the aftermath of a flood that has wreaked havoc on your place of business. Should you ever have to go through the highly unfortunate situation of dealing with severe commercial property flood damage, you likely already know you need to reach out to your renter’s insurance provider.

There are three more steps you should immediately take:

  1. Call your landlord or property management company to inform them of the situation.
  2. Start tracking the expenses you incur during this time. Your insurance may possibly reimburse some of these costs.
  3. If it is deemed safe by the authorities to enter the property, take pictures of each room and make notes about the extent of damage incurred.

Who Covers What?

Commercial flood damage can feel overwhelming. When you are a tenant, you may not know off the top of your head who should be responsible for covering what. Unless your lease specifies otherwise, structural damage is typically covered by the property owner’s insurance coverage, while the contents of the property are usually covered by the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy.

It may not be possible to continue operating your business after it floods. You will need to determine whether it is better to shift into a new, temporary space during cleanup, or put everything on pause until you are able to move back in. Check with your insurance agent to see if any of these costs are covered.

Moving Forward

When you file a claim with your insurance company, they will likely send out an adjuster to determine the extent of damage done to the interior and exterior of your commercial property. You’ll also want to ensure a professional cleanup crew in Watertown, NY, is called in to clean up, dry out and sanitize the area, as well as uncover any hidden areas of flood damage.

Flooding is no fun. However, if you follow these steps, you can simplify the process and utilize your renter's insurance to guarantee a quick, smooth return to business as usual.

Heavy Storms and Mold Damage

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Heavy Storms and Mold Damage Fort Drum Home with Mold Damage.

As you know, this year has been especially wet with the constant storms and flooding. We've seen an unprecedented amount of water and mold damages.

The rain just keeps coming!

One way that you can help prevent these from happening in your basement is to keep an eye on your sump pumps. Sump pumps do fail, and when they do it can have devastating consequences. It is also important to be sure that your homeowners insurance will cover a loss if your sump pump fails. If you notice your sump pump is not working and you have water coming in to your basement, please give us a call so we can minimize the damage and get your structure dry to prevent mold growth. We can help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Where Does Mold Grow?

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where Does Mold Grow? Mold on drywall paper and studs after a water damage in Carthage, NY.

Mold grows on organic matter. Anything that is organic in your Carthage, NY, home has the possibility of having mold growth when it gets wet.

Where does mold grow?

  • Dry Wall Paper
  • Wood floors
  • Wooden Windowsills
  • Window frames
  • Books
  • Old paper brochures, menus, etc.
  • Curtains
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture upholstery
  • Wooden furniture

Keeping these items dry after a water damage is critical to keep mold spores from beginning their growth cycle. The spores are already in your home as "settled spores" but they are harmless in this state. The spores need time, organic material, and warm temperatures to begin growing. Unfortunately, your home has everything mold needs to grow and it can become a big problem in just 48 hours.

SERVPRO of Jefferson County has the training and certifications to clean up your home after mold damage.