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A Guide to Being Storm-Safe at Home in Dutchess County

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

A bolt of lightning striking over a row of homes against a dark blue sky Don't underestimate the power of thunderstorms! Make plans and be prepared!

Thunderstorms are a common part of life in Dutchess County, but they can also be dangerous or deadly—just because they happen frequently does not mean they should not be taken seriously every time.

Severe thunderstorms can produce high winds, heavy rains, hail and lightning if conditions are right, all of which can be harmful to you and your home. Roof and exterior damage from trees, lightning strikes that can start fires, electrical malfunctions, flooding and water damage all have the potential to occur during or due to a storm. Thankfully, through practicing storm safety, you can circumvent many of the issues that could arise due to storms.

Storm Safety for Every Element of Your Home

*Storm safety for the outside of your home

Storms can lead to serious household damage that can be a big hassle to deal with. To help prevent this damage from occurring, you can take several steps:

  • Inspect your roof regularly for missing or loose
  • Clean out your gutters at least twice per Interior water damage often occurs when clogged gutters can’t handle the amount of rain a storm can bring.
  • Bring in or secure patio furniture, potted plants, toys, lighting features and any other objects that could become projectiles in high
  • Consider installing a lightning protection system for your home.
  • Trim trees near your home regularly to reduce the chances of dead limbs falling.

*Storm safety inside your home-

If severe weather is on the way, the best thing you can do is stay put and stay safe at home—and having a plan in place can help you make that happen:

  • Keep a weather radio, flashlights and batteries, a cell phone charges and bottled water handy as part of your emergency preparedness kit.
  • Designate a safe area of your home for your family to shelter from the storm—it should be an interior room without any
  • Use surge protectors on every outlet in case of lightning

*Storm safety when you are away from home-

If you will be going out of town, it is important to make sure your home is still protected from a storm that might come through while you are away.

  • Unplug all appliances and electronics in case of lightning
  • Secure outdoor furniture and possible projectile objects before you go away just in case. We usually recommend storing everything inside if you’re going to be away for a while.
  • Be sure a trusted neighbor knows you are going out of town so they can contact you if any issues Provide a list of emergency service providers, including SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County, so they know who to call no matter the issue.

If your home sustains storm damage, from roof tarping, window boarding and water damage of any kind, you can count on us to help. Contact us today and our emergency response team will take it from there. Making property damage "Like it never even happened." locally, since 1992.

Hoarding Problems Can Lead to Significant Damages At a Dutchess County Residence

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

A living and dining room of a home filled with miscellaneous contents displaying a hoarding situation There could be several hidden damages in a hoarding situation. SERVPRO is here to help!

Hoarding disorders can lead to other issues in a home like rodent infestations, water damage and mold growth. A person with a hoarding issue in any residence in Poughkeepsie, Wappingers, Fishkill or Beacon has difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions due to their perceived need to save them. The thought of disposing of items causes emotional distress. Often, these items are of no importance to anyone other than the occupant of the property.

This sensitive situation can lead to several problems such as accumulation of items for years making for dangerous areas filled to capacity. Entrances and exits might be blocked, doorways, appliances and bathroom essentials might have become inaccessible. In some situations, rodents, fleas, bugs, and other vermin may be present which creates an additional unsanitary living area. The inability to access and address appliances needing repairs such as showers, toilets and sinks can lead directly to water damage and possibly mold infestation if left untreated. Each situation our experts from SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County have faced has been different and handled with care and sensitivity by our professionals. No matter the source of the problem, no two damages have been alike. Having been in the property damage restoration business locally for 30 years, there has been no structure or property that we couldn’t clean, sanitize, remediate or restore.

Sometimes, our teams are called to address a fire, smoke or water damage situations and will encounter hoarding issues when they arrive at the home. Our staff will work seamlessly with the insurance company regarding the contents, and once approved, they will inventory, photograph, clean and pack the items to be stored while the other damages are remedied to preloss condition.

Occasionally, we are called to a home following a tragedy of a loved one and will work with the family members or legal representatives in locating important or sentimental possessions, legal documents and preparing a property as the family needs. Additionally, our professionals are certified in bio-hazard remediation to handle any areas that might need to removed, cleaned and disinfected. The SERVPRO staff is here to assist family in any way possible in a difficult time.

If you or someone you know is faced with a hoarding situation, no matter the size, the team from SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County will help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Gray Hue on the Walls of Your Wappingers Home? Don’t Try to Clean This Yourself!

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

A man in a jacket and tie holding up a small wooden block with the words "We Can Help" printed on it in black ink. Use the experts in cleaning when it comes to any kind of soot issue in your home or business!

If you have an oil furnace, hot water heater or boiler, pay attention. If you’ve had recent renovations, a clog in your fireplace, or maintenance done to your HVAC system, this info is for you!

Have you ever seen a car backfire and there’s a dark plume of smoke behind it when that happens? When your hot water heater or furnace burners don’t ignite upon start up, this causes excess oil fumes to combust, basically an explosion of un-burned oil.  While this is a malfunction and should be fixed asap, the main problem is that this reaction can produce a large amount of smoke that will cause soot and debris to spread throughout your house, called a Puff Back.

Any kind of renovations inside your home, lots of candles burning in a closed up winter home, maintenance mishaps when the boiler, furnace or hot water heater is serviced plus clogged up duct work makes for all type of particles and debris to go airborne and find any surface to land on. As much as you want to grab a sponge and get to work, most household cleaners can’t remove soot, drywall dust, insulation bits and oil-laden dust particles. If you’ve already tried this, you might notice streaks of black or the natural surface never coming back no matter how many times you’ve tried.

The absolute safest and effective course of action is to contact a professional clean up and restoration company. Some Quick Tips-

-If you’ve had a puff-back, don’t touch the soot and limit movement in the house. Don’t turn on fans or open windows, that will only force the soot to further move around your home. Your HVAC system could start working harder due to all the filters getting clogged up with debris.

-Sheet rock dust is extremely tough to eliminate on your own. A proper restoration company will have all the necessary products, equipment and expertise to take care of any type of cleaning, no matter the source.

-It’s wise to consider duct cleaning in addition to the structure or property. Fresh filters and cleaned out duct work can make a huge difference in proper indoor air quality as well as to help the system keep performing at its peak.

**SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has been handling deep cleaning of homes and businesses locally for 30 years.  Our trained experts will get to work immediately getting your home back to where it should be. We’ll walk you through every step and work directly with your insurance company, if applicable, to help expediate the process. Our team’s knowledge and experience are incomparable and before you know it, we’ll have your property looking and feeling "Like it never even happened."

Renovations and Do-It-Yourself Projects Can Leave a Huge Mess to Clean Up in Your Beacon Home

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

A green SERVPRO van with the backdoor open parked in front of a home Save yourself the headache of heavy cleaning and duct cleaning, call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County!

Home and business renovations and projects have been in full swing since COVID started in the Hudson Valley. Time on everyone’s hands really pushed folks to change their surroundings, add some freshness, renovate older properties and add to that curb appeal.

Any sort of work done in a structure, even on the outside too, can really create one giant mess of sheetrock dust, building debris, sawdust, allergens and other dust particles. You might see it floating in the air, adding a layer of film to every surface, HVAC filters getting covered and maybe the overall feeling that your hands are always dirty. No matter how much you wipe and clean, those particles will continue to float and settle which makes for constant cleaning over and over again. Let SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County take care of it once and for all!

Your HVAC system and ductwork has been sucking up the dirt, but the filters can only take so much. The ducts in your home or business are there to help remove irritants, dust, allergens, and particulates found naturally in most building products. Going through any sort of renovation dredges up a lot of bits that have been stationary and are now circulating through the air or clogged up in the filters. Even work on the landscaping and other areas outside the property can impact your indoor air quality and cleanliness.

Our trained technicians have the knowledge and expertise to not only get those ducts cleaned out but also give your place a fabulous cleaning. Duct cleaning removes the particles that might’ve been building up, aids in eliminating odors and allergens, helps restore peak efficiency in the system and can lengthen the life of the system itself.

With the housing boom and some anxious to sell and/or buy homes in the Hudson Valley, it’s vital to have a sparkling property to show. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County also offers full residential and commercial deep cleaning services to get your property to a beautiful, clean and fresh condition. Let us do the hard work for you, many families and businesses have used our cleaning services before and are amazed by the efficiency and outcome. One client recently stated, “We had SERVPRO clean the house before we put it up for sale and they did such a beautiful job, that it helped us sell the place in 2 days!” Tell your realtor or property caretaker to call SERVPRO!

Believe us, there is nothing we haven’t cleaned before! We’re here to help make any situation "Like it never even happened."

Don't Overlook Bathroom Water Damage in Your Poughkeepsie Home!

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

A pool of water on a bathroom tile floor coming from a shower leak Bathroom water damages can be a huge and expensive hassle if they're overlooked, keep an eye on water issues!

If you’re like most people, your bathroom is one of the dampest spots in your home. Between the sinks, showers and bathtubs, there’s a lot of plumbing going in and out of your bathroom. And it’s plumbing you use every day.

Along with your kitchen and your basement, your bathroom is one of the most common places that water damage can be found. Like the kitchen, your bathroom can show small signs of water damage that are evident before the issue becomes serious.

Because water damage and plumbing repairs can quickly become costly and extensive, it’s a good idea to periodically check your bathroom for small signs of water damage. When you catch a leak or damage early, you can take the necessary steps to correct the problem before it evolves into a major issue.

Since water damage spreads quickly, the sooner you begin to correct the process, the better off you and your home will be. Here are some things you might notice when you’re dealing with bathroom water damage:

Standing water should always raise a red flag. Whether the water is standing inside your shower or on your floor, it’s something that needs to be evaluated. You may want to check for clogs or get in touch with a plumber.

Damp drywall can be a sign of a leak behind your wall. If you notice your drywall has damp spots, water spots or stains, you may be dealing with a leak near it or behind it. That leak will need to be repaired and the resulting water damage corrected. The longer that leak goes, the worse all around it will be for repairs and remediation to the damaged areas around it.

Signs of mold mean a water issue. If you notice mold spots under your bathroom sink, near your tub or around your ceiling, then you likely have a water issue in your bathroom. Mold spreads easily and fast, so any issue like this should be repaired as quickly as possible.

If your home is damaged due to fire, water, sewage or any other cause, the team at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has the experience and equipment to meet your needs and get your home restored to its original state. Call us at any hour for assistance, we’re ready to help your family, 24/7.

Why There is Never an “Off” Season When it Comes to Mold Growth in Dutchess County

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

A wall next to a hot water heater covered in brownish-black, fuzzy mold growth Check out our most popular questions and answers to your mold questions!

Doesn't matter the season, there will always be mold in the Hudson Valley. Here's some of our most popular questions and answers to this irritating product of nature.

“It’s 20 degrees out, there’s no way that is mold growing in my basement, it’s not warm enough.”

The hard truth is that mold, or microbial growth, happens whenever there is a consistent moisture or water source and it’s above 32 degrees. That means a leaky hot water heater or pipe in the ceiling can very well be the source of mold in the winter in your basement.

“Ok, yes it smells funky and we noticed a leak in the wall, but it’s been fixed, now what?”

Ah, yes- the undeniable smell of mold. The dirty, musty, earthy, mushroomy, slightly bitter, off-putting, something-is-weird-here smell. Now, put down the bottle of bleach. Trust us, that will only touch the surface of the mold growth. Even if you see a difference when you scrub it, the inside of the material is still harboring a whole colony of microbes.

“Yuck, where does it even come from?”

Microbial growth is naturally occurring in the environment and gets into your home through hitching a ride on clothes, shoes and pets. But it will always be present when water is present. Mold spores just need moisture, comfy temperature and a good food source like wood or sheet rock to live and grow.

“But it’s cold out, how is it growing?”

It’s not 20 degrees inside your walls unless they’re completely uninsulated from the environment. A basement, crawl space and attic usually are insulated to help keep pipes from freezing in the winter and to keep heat inside. If you have an unknown pipe leak in the wall or ceiling, mold can start growing in as little as 48 hours. It does take longer to grow in the winter months, but it will still be there.

“Now, how do I get rid of it?”

The first step is to call a certified mold remediation company, like SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County. Our experienced team will ask a few questions to get a good idea of what you might be dealing with. In some cases, they’ll recommend you have the mold tested by a mold assessor, those are independent companies who focus on the science behind the mold and what kind you could have.** What the mold assessor finds by lab testing is what our remediation techs use as a protocol for treatment and mitigation. We’ll be happy to give you a few names of companies we’ve worked with before and you can choose whoever you feel is the right fit for your situation.

Utilizing the protocol, our certified mold remediation pros will handle the containment, removal and treatments of the affected areas in your home, that can also include drying equipment and specialized treatments depending on the scope of the project.

Once the mitigation is complete, the assessor will come back to re-test to make sure all is clear. This is crucial to get documented as well when you sell or if you’re buying a home.

If you think you might have a mold issue in your home or business anywhere in Dutchess County, trust the local experts who have been taking care of the Hudson Valley for 29 years. We’ll walk you through every step of the way, and always here to help-24/7.

**Per NY State guidelines- the remediation company and the mold testing company can not be one and the same, that’s a significant conflict to you as the consumer.

Keeping Your Pets Safe During Severe Weather in Fishkill and Poughkeepsie

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

A white labrador dog with an umbrella in it's mouth wearing rain boots on it's front paws, standing in a puddle Great tips for keeping your pets safe during severe weather!

If you’re like most pet owners, you have an undeniable bond with the furry or feathered friend in your life. Naturally, as a conscientious pet parent, you want to be sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your pet safe and secure during difficult times.

Your pets should always be part of your emergency plan, and your emergency kit needs to include items like leashes, collars, extra pet food and any medications your pets take. It’s also a good idea to learn more about their unique safety needs during emergency situations. Learn ahead of time what hotels/motels are pet friendly, including if there’s a pet size or weight limit. In our experiences, knowing where you can stay with your fur-baby for the time being offers a lot of relief. There are several hotels in the Dutchess County area that happily accept pets and often, your homeowner’s insurance company can help make arrangements as well.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how flooding can impact your pet and the steps you can take to keep your pet safe during a flooding emergency.

Pet Safety Pointers:

-The FDA and the AKC offer these tips to help you handle your pet during an emergency and ensure they come out safely on the other side. The National Weather Service has some valuable info as well.

-Keep your pets with you. Don’t leave your pets outside during a flood, and don’t leave your home without them. The best way to protect your pets is to do a little pre-planning and find places where you’ll all be welcome.

-Have your pet’s important records accessible. Treat your pet’s vaccination and health records like you do other important documents and keep copies accessible in your emergency kit. It’s also a good idea to take a selfie with your pet, so you can prove ownership if you get separated.

-Make your contact information accessible. Some pets have microchips that can help rescue workers reunite them with their owners. Also, consider a collar or tag with your pet’s name, your name and your phone number on it. This will ensure you can be easily contacted. Have trusted friends or family members set up as emergency contacts in the event your pet is lost. If your pet has enough of a connection with anyone else, they can assist in the relocation efforts.

-Don’t let your pet walk through flood water. It’s not a good idea for you or your dog to walk through moving water. Even a little water (about six inches), if it’s moving quickly enough, can knock you and your pet over. Additionally, flood waters can contain dangerous debris and harmful bacteria. These waters can affect your animal just as much as it would affect you.

If your home needs restoration services due to fire, flooding, sewage or any type of damage, trust the local experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County. We’ve been here to help 24/7 for any emergencies since 1992.

Do You Know What to Do When Water Damages Your Hopewell Junction Home?

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

A woman in a yellow shirt holding a white bucket above her head to catch water dripping from the ceiling. Acting fast can help reduce the issues that water damage can cause!

So, you’ve found water damage at your home. What’s your next step?

If you’re wondering what to do if you notice that your home has been damaged by water, then we’re here to help you break down your next steps and understand what you need to do about the problem at your home—and the steps to take to get your home back to its original state.

Water damage is a very common reason homeowners file claims on their insurance. In fact, it’s the most common type of homeowner’s insurance claims people file. These claims don’t often grab attention the way major storm damage or fires do, but they’re much more prevalent.

If a pipe in your basement bursts or you notice that your refrigerator or dishwasher is causing damage to the kitchen, maybe a leak behind the toilet is puddling on the bathroom floor, we’re here to help no matter the size of the damage!

What to Do When You Notice Water Damage

-Move as fast as you can to start remedying the problem. Water damage doesn’t get better over time, it gets worse. Water damage spreads fast, so you’ll want to start the repair and restoration process as soon as you can.

-Identify and stop the problem. For example, if a water line that’s loose behind an appliance caused the problem, tighten it. Or if you need to shut off your water after pipe bursts until it can be repaired, then that’s an option, too. Whatever the original cause of the water flowing into your home is, it needs to be corrected before the repair process can begin.

-Start the drying and repair process. Depending on the extent of your damage, you may need to do anything from grabbing a mop and some towels to clean up to touching base with a water restoration professional. You’ll be glad you did!

If your home is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, the team at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has the experience and equipment to meet your needs and get your home restored to its original state. Call us at any hour for help. We’re ready to help your family!

Tips You Can Use to Keep Your Home Safer This Spring Season | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

A mottled, gray sky during a heavy rain storm. Be sure to keep your home safe from water damage during Spring storms!

Who isn’t looking forward to spring after a long winter?

Its March now, temps are rising so it’s not surprising if you are ready for a fresh, new season. Dutchess County residents are ready for warmer weather and the ability to get outside and work on landscaping, DIY projects and other outdoor pursuits.

If you’re a fan of doing DIY projects, then you might want to consider doing work that will not only make your home look more attractive but will also help protect it against the hazards spring thunderstorms can bring.

There’s nothing we can do to stop storms from hitting. After all, we can’t control the weather, can we? But there are things we can do to put our homes in the best position to weather the issues.

How to Protect Your Home from Storms

Here are some items you’ll want to put on your to-do list for the next year: 

Keep an eye out for tree limbs that hang over your home. Limbs and branches overhanging your house can come down when the winds get high and heavy. Cut down any stems hanging over your roof or garage.

Clean your home’s gutters. We talk about this step frequently in our home maintenance guidance, and there’s a good reason for that. Clean, clear gutters are an excellent way to keep water around your home flowing the right way, instead of causing water damage

Look for issues with your roof. You want to be sure your roof is in good shape before a storm starts hitting. Check for things like missing shingles and signs of leaks. Repair them to keep your home safer.

Be sure anything that’s around your home is secure, too. Don’t let unsecured furniture or other similar items become tools for wind damage. Trim back trees that need it and secure everything you can if there’s a storm threat in the area.

If a storm, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.

Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers, Hopewell and Poughkeepsie Business Owners Can Count On Us When They Need Restoration Services

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee wearing black shirt reviewing restoration plans on tablet with business owner in gray suit SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County knows restoration inside and out. Here are some of our best tips in choosing the right restoration company.

We’re here 24/7 to support all Dutchess County business owners after being impacted by a disaster like a fire, flood, severe storm, sewage backup or a biohazard situation.

We know as an owner that it can feel like you’re facing an uphill battle after a disaster. But as a business owner in our area, you have a powerful partner in the local SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County team. We’re always here to help you when you need advice and support.

Tips to Help Business Owners Thrive After a Commercial Restoration Project

Your business has what it takes to thrive even after damage has been done. But you need to know the best steps to take to help you move forward. Here’s what we recommend:

Your disaster plan is vital. It’s difficult for most business owners and their families to focus and think clearly after a damaging event. That’s why it’s smart to plan for these situations before they happen. Before you need it, build an emergency plan and spend time reviewing and learning the steps. If you’re impacted by a disaster, read the steps you laid out again (or a few times) and follow them carefully.

Document the damage you’ve suffered. Take plenty of pictures. You’ll want to do these before you start cleaning up the damage so your insurance company can get an accurate picture of what happened. In the age of COVID-19, more insurance companies are using virtual programs and videos to obtain the what is needed.  Also, inventory lost or damaged items. We highly recommend you take photos of inventory well in advance of issues coming up so you’re able to compare and document much easier should damage occur.

Stay in touch with your stakeholders. Regular contact with your suppliers, your employees, your customers and your community will put you in a better position when it’s time to open again. Social media can be a huge help with communication especially with clients and customers in addition to emails and phone calls.

Choose solid partners for mitigation and restoration. Don’t work with any restoration company that isn’t highly experienced, doesn’t communicate regularly and isn’t able to utilize advanced equipment designed to restore your business to its original state.

If your business is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.