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Hidden Water Damage From Appliances | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

A woman sitting on the floor looking frustrated next to a broken washing machine If your home experiences any flooding or other water issue, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is here to dry, clean and repair any damage.

There is no water damage that is more or less pleasant to deal with, but discovering hidden damage can bring an extra layer of frustration.

Appliances are some of the most common culprits of this—they are often isolated or rarely moved, so discovering damage can be difficult. Thankfully, through regular check-ins, homeowners can stop this from getting out of hand.

Discover Appliance Leaks Through Regular Checks

Hot Water Heater
A hot water heater will generally last around 10 years, but premature leaks are not uncommon from its pipes and seals. Making sure there is no diminished performance, standing water or other signs of water damage is a task that should be done with regularity to ensure damage does not occur.

Refrigerator
Refrigerators are some of the most rarely moved appliances, meaning water damage can lurk under and behind them long enough to become severe before it is even noticed. As part of your annual home maintenance, move the refrigerator away from the wall to look for any dark or soft spots with the wood, and test the water dispenser to watch for any drips.

Dishwasher
While refrigerators can cause issues, dishwashers pose an even higher risk and are moved about as infrequently. Dishwashers require gallons of water when they run and are not always covered by standard insurance policies. Because their leaks can be costlier and more severe, checking them as often or more than you check the fridge is advised.

Washing Machine
Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years in order to prevent hidden deterioration.

Air Conditioner
An air conditioning unit contains a drain that handles any accumulated condensation that is created when your unit is working. However, issues to this system can create hidden water damage quickly, as the condensation will pool inside the unit and can cause damage to surrounding structures. Your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule is the best defense against this—stick to it to be made aware of any issues before they start to cause serious problems.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

Disaster Tips for Small Business Owners | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

An image of several pieces of paper with phrases on it emphasizing preparedness Small businesses are the most vulnerable when it comes to disasters and the downtime it takes in order to reopen.

A natural disaster is always a frightening thing, but if it is headed for your business in Fishkill, it can be even more alarming. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to natural disasters due to the downtime they can cause—when a disaster causes a business to need restoration before it can reopen, that creates a loss in revenue that can be critical.

Fortunately, planning ahead for natural disasters and how your business can recover from them can reduce the time it takes to get back up and running. For that reason, we have compiled some of the most crucial tips that small business owners should know about preparing for a natural disaster.

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
While commercial insurance policies are generally enough for day-to-day incidents that might occur, when it comes to a disaster, regular coverage may not suffice. Because every insurance plan is different, understanding your specific policy and the extra coverage options that are available to you will help you be certain you are covered for anything that comes your way.

2. Create Your Action Plan
Being able to spring into action as soon as a disaster becomes imminent is key. Weather patterns and other emergencies can happen in an instant, and official orders to evacuate often come on extremely short notice. Plan both for an evacuation scenario and one where you and your staff must remain at your business until it is declared safe so you can be doubly prepared.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
As you make your emergency action plan, getting your staff involved is a wise choice so that everyone is on the same page. Clue them in to the official plan and construct disaster drills so they can practice what to do in a real-life scenario. Not only will this keep everyone fully prepared at all times, but it will also lessen your business’ liability in the event of an emergency.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
One of the most critical parts of the process, choosing the restoration company you would like to work with following a disaster will be the biggest factor in how quickly you can reopen. Making sure you choose a company with a quick response time and advanced training specific to commercial incidents is important, and doing this in advance will ensure all your questions can get answered and you are able to choose without the external pressure of needing to rush.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Preventing Water Damage From Frozen Pipes | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of a piece of pipe with ice formed on it Frozen pipes can be a major headache in the winter months, protect your home against them!

During the chill of the winter months in Dutchess County, frozen pipes are a serious concern we hear about from homeowners. In fact, burst pipes are one of the biggest causes of water damage during the winter months, amounting to more than $5,000 in property losses on average. 

Understanding why pipes freeze, why frozen pipes burst and how these factors can lead to water damage is an important part of keeping your household dry and warm during the wintertime. Read on for our guide to frozen pipes and how to prevent them. 

How Pipes Freeze and Why They Burst 

When the weather is cold enough, any pipe can freeze—while those running through unheated areas such as exterior walls or basements are the most vulnerable, even pipes inside the home can become frozen if conditions are right. 

When temperatures drop and the water inside the pipes begins to freeze, it can create an inconvenience as you will not be able to access running water. However, if frozen pipes are left alone and no effort is made to thaw them, the pressure inside will become too great and the pipe can actually burst open, leading to water damage. 

Ways Frozen Pipes Can Cause Water Damage 

Once a pipe bursts open, the potential for water damage is automatically increased. Instead of bursting directly at the frozen blockage, pipes generally falter further up the line, in between a closed faucet and where the blockage occurs—often in a wall or under a sink, which may not be discovered immediately if it occurs. This allows all the built-up water to begin coursing through the breakage and flow freely through your home. 

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing 

Fortunately, there are steps that homeowners can take to prevent their pipes from freezing and avoid costly water damage. By preventing pipes from freezing in the first place, it will greatly lessen your headache throughout the colder months: 

  • If you are leaving for a long period of time, make sure the heat stays set to above 50 degrees. 
  • Leave faucets on a slight drip so water is constantly running through the pipes. 
  • Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom and ensure all the bedroom doors are open to increase airflow. 
  • Add insulation to exterior areas with water pipes and/or to the pipes themselves. 
  • Keep garage and cellar doors closed tightly if there are water lines inside. 

Are you concerned that a pipe has burst in your home? Contact us to have our trained experts inspect your home for moisture damage. We're here to help 24/7!

The Benefits of Preparing Your Business for a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

A female business owner writing a plan in a book Having a disaster plan in place for your business has huge benefits! Ask SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County how we can help!

Experiencing a natural disaster as a business owner in Dutchess County can be a major life event. There are so many questions about what to do and how to recover, with the main focus simply being to continue operations as quickly as possible.
To avoid being left stressed and uncertain after a disaster strikes, put a plan in place now for how you would handle a disaster that impacts your business. Planning ahead can reduce the damage a disaster causes, keep your staff safer and help you reopen quicker after the danger passes. Making disaster plans has big benefits for businesses. Here’s how:


Reduce the Damage a Disaster Causes to Your Business


Disasters can cause major damage to businesses even when business owners do everything
right, but a little bit of planning can reduce your losses exponentially. Making copies of essential
documents and keeping them in a secure, offsite location will ensure you do not lose any
important paperwork due to flooding, fires or other scenarios. Additionally, creating a
technology-focused disaster plan can help you protect any electronics in the workplace and
ensure you can recover all your digital files even if your main computer systems are impacted by
the disaster.


Increase the Safety of Your Workplace


Though some extremely small businesses are not required to have a written emergency plan, all
employers should communicate their plan to staff orally and consider creating a written one
even if they are not required to do so. Training employees on the procedures of a disaster, as
well as assigning people with roles and responsibilities to help you execute a safe emergency
evacuation, will increase the safety of your workplace and make sure that everyone in the
building feels prepared.


Decrease the Time It Takes to Reopen After a Disaster


Perhaps the most important reason to prepare for a workplace disaster is decreasing the time it
will take you to reopen. The Small Business Administration states that 25% of small businesses do not reopen following a disaster—if your business is your livelihood, you know just how devastating this can be. By doing what you can in advance to prevent damage and having a
plan in place for restoring your property and recovering following the disaster, your business can reopen much more quickly.


If you’re planning ahead to help protect your business from a disaster, contact us to learn more
about our commercial restoration processes and how we can help you recover quickly.

Avoid Frozen Pipes in Your Fishkill Home!

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Burst water pipes causing a waterfall inside a home Some smart tricks and tips can help avoid frozen pipes in your Dutchess County home this winter!

Subzero temperatures can cause even interior pipes to freeze. Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage.

Unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages are the first to cause problems. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. There are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.

“Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store,” says Susan Millerick, IBHS spokeswoman.“ So, for not much more than the cost of the aspirin you’d need, you can avoid the headaches of cleanup, loss of precious keepsakes, and the cost of your insurance deductible.” Use the pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes.

How to Beat the Freeze

Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take precautions inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Temperatures below 20F are the warning spot so keep the area above that to thwart issues.  

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Not the best time to lower the heat to adjust for expenses as a water damage repair can be thousands of dollars to repair.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)

Let the cold-water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes (think basement utility sinks or laundry sinks). Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage. Consider some insulation around the windows and doors to help. This could help your whole house as well.

If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. The last thing you want is to come home to an igloo.

For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. If you think the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (we usually recommend you call a plumber to avoid a much bigger problem.)

Turn on the faucet- Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe- using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Sometimes, things just happen no matter how much you might prep, just keep in mind that SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is here 24/7 for when water damage happens. Call us at 845-831-3600 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Services for your Wappingers, Fishkill and Beacon home or business!

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO drying machines set up around washing machines inside a home We're here to help 24/7 for all water damage emergencies!

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration services throughout Dutchess County including Wappingers, Fishkill and Beacon homes or businesses.

Our professionals are available 24 hours a day for water emergencies and we’re faster to any size disaster. When you are dealing with any kind of water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage and sometimes cause secondary issues like mold growth.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help,
Call Today - 845-831-3600

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and overwhelmed. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. Our staff has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business since 1992.

What You Can Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many certified SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Some of the questions you can expect:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage and has the cause been repaired?
  • Is there electricity and heat available (on-site)?

We’ll take it from there! We have a full staff of technicians ready to help at a moment’s notice, no matter the time or holiday!

About SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, water or sewage 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.

Let us help relieve the stress and make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Increase & Prevention of Winter Fires in Wappingers homes | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

A Christmas tree on fire surrounded by personal items You can take precautions to help prevent winter fires in your Dutchess County home.

While winter brings about colder temperatures and increased snowfall, it can also bring a higher likelihood of residential fires in the Hudson Valley.

In any given year, winter is the most common time for residential fires to begin. While not all of the common winter fire causes are specific to the season, they are more common during cooler weather and thus increase the chances for a fire to occur.

Behind the Increased Likelihood of Winter Fires:

An Increase in Cooking-
At any time of year, cooking errors are the No. 1 cause of residential fires in the country, but even this statistic is increased in the wintertime. With more baking, holiday meals and group cooking opportunities, the chances for a cooking error tend to become higher during the winter months, leading to an increased fire rate.

The Risk of Heaters-
Wood stoves, fireplaces and space heaters are all common forms of auxiliary heating during cold weather, and as long as precautions are taken, they are generally safe. However, errors in heating are the second leading cause behind residential fires during the winter months, making safety features and supervision an essential part of these methods.

Candles and Decorations-
Safety in decorating is not commonly discussed, but candles and other decorations are another leading cause of residential wintertime fires. Candles are inherently hazardous due to the open flame—it can spread to surrounding areas if conditions are right. For electronics, frayed wires and general overheating can pose a fire risk, so it is important to be cautious with those as well.

Prevention Tips for Wintertime Fires:

Understanding the common causes of winter fires is an important step in prevention. By going about these hazardous activities with a safety-focused mindset and keeping the below tips in mind, individuals can help prevent any accidental fires from occurring this season:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.


It’s Not Just the Flames that Do the Damage to Your Home or Business | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

A photo of a burned kitchen in a home, cabinets blackened and appliances removed. The flames from a fire are only one part of the damages that can occur during a residential or commercial fire.

Whether it’s at your Wappingers home or your Poughkeepsie business, a fire is a devastating occurrence. Once the flames are put out, the next step is often confusing at to what the cleanup truly entails and what kind of damage has really been done.

Horrible flames are what most of us think of, but the fire itself isn’t always what causes the most damage. Smoke, soot and water damage go together with a fire no matter the type, and it is important to work with a trusted and reliable restoration company that understands how to handle all these issues. 

The Types of Damage That Fires Can Cause 

Smoke Damage Smoke inhalation is the #1 cause of fire-related deaths, and smoke damage is also one of the most severe ways a structure can be impacted after a fire. Smoke seeps into absolutely everything, damaging furniture, walls, flooring, even the furthest rooms. For areas not physically touched by the flames, paint discoloration, corroded appliances and unbearable odors can all be expected following simply due to the smoke. 

Soot Damage Soot is an inescapable, dangerous substance that WILL cover nearly any material in a layer of extremely hazardous film. Soot is the deposit that smoke leaves behind, which often contains many dangerous chemicals as a result of the burning of plastics and other materials. Not only can soot linger on items, but it can also infiltrate the ducts of the HVAC system in a home or business, leading to contaminated air quality that results in health issues. Hiring a restoration company that can also remediate your HVAC system and duct work is key to improving the air quality.

Water Damage Whether it is from firefighting efforts or automated sprinkler systems, water damage and fire damage are often intertwined. Not only can water damage result in more damage to susceptible items such as electronics, but it can also result in mold growth if it is not removed quickly by a professional. In the right humidity and temperatures, mold will start to grow within 48 hours. Though putting out the fire should always be the first concern, it is important that cleanup is done properly and efficiently in order to mitigate as much damage as possible and to avoid secondary issues.

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has been the trusted, LOCAL fire and water damage remediation company since 1992. We have the certified professionals who will handle any remediation needed, in either a commercial or residential property and get you back to normal quickly. 

If your home or business has been impacted by a fire, we are here to help! We’re here to help, 24/7 and can make it “Like it never even happened.”

An Overview of How Storms Can Damage a Home | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hail and rain hitting a roof during a storm The effects of a storm can be very damaging, give us a call asap if you suffer any kind of storm damage.

Though storm warnings are fairly common, it is important to take weather advisories seriously every time they are issued. Because of the variance in weather and atmospheric conditions, no two thunderstorms are exactly the same. Though some might pass through and bring gentle showers, others can cause extreme amounts of damage in a short time. 

To give homeowners in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Wappingers and Beacon an idea of what to expect when severe weather is forecasted, we have compiled the four most common types of storm damages that can occur to a home. The effects of a severe storm can range from mild to severe, and it is important to know what to prepare for when hazardous weather is coming your way. 

Lightning Damage Lightning strikes occur around 25 million times each year, and it is possible for lightning to strike the same place twice. When lightning strikes a home, it can cause fires, electrical issues and structural fractures, making it a large headache for homeowners. If your home is struck by lightning, having an expert inspection is key as lightning damage could also increase your chances for electrical fires in the future. 

Hail Damage Hail is caused when the storm pushes rain clouds upward enough that the water droplets are frozen solid before passing through to the ground. Hail damage is commonly considered for cars that are parked outside, but it can also wreak havoc on a house’s roof, drainage systems and can even break windows if conditions are right. 

Flood Damage Flooding is one of the most dangerous things that storms can lead to. While thunderstorms typically cause what are known as flash floods, they can also lead to more long-term flooding if conditions are right. Flood damages can be detrimental to a home and its contents and cause hazardous conditions for those in affected areas. 

Wind Damage In some cases, severe storms can have winds as significant as a tornado would, yet they often last much longer. We all can remember a “straight line storm” that was thought to be a tornado by the shear damage it left. Severe weather can cause homes to become damaged beyond recognition, especially if they face an open area or are located in a spot where they might be particularly vulnerable to winds. If high winds are in the forecast, it is important to secure anything in your yard in advance and to take cover immediately as they approach. 

If you’ve sustained any storm damage to your Western Dutchess County home, call us 24/7 to get your restoration process started right away!

Fall Tips for a Healthy Winter Home in Dutchess County

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

A duct cover on a wall covered in dust, dander and allergens Think about the indoor air quality of your home before winter strikes!

Fall is finally in full swing in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Beacon and Wappingers!  Indoor air quality will become a focus as it’s driven by having to be in closed up environments in the winter months.

Here are some things to consider before we're all hunkered down in the freezing temps waiting to be able to open the windows again-

Questions:

-Does 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/gas stove checked yearly for emissions? Has the chimney been cleaned?

-Do you smoke in your house?

Answers:

-Consider hiring a professional to install exhaust fans if you need them. Mold loves moisture and humidity.

**Have your air ducts and dryer vents cleaned yearly. This can eliminate contaminants like mold and irritants. The dryer vents should be cleaned yearly for performance and fire safety. **

-Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned as needed.

-Store flammable and dangerous cleaning products away from fire or closed in spaces.

-Don’t smoke inside the house, keep it outside at a distance from the home to avoid a fire and preferably near a water source.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution:

-Asbestos building products (Usually found in very old buildings and 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 in 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.

**SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County uses a proven Portable Ventilate and Duct Cleaning System to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

Call us today to schedule your duct cleaning and to learn more about how we can help you get your home ready for winter, 845-831-3600.