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Must-Haves for Your Emergency Kit | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Take the time to make and stock an emergency supply list for weather-related emergencies! Having a well-stocked emergency supply kit offers some peace of mind in weather-related disasters!

When a weather emergency strikes, there will not always be time to gather your supplies before heading to a basement or other safe space to wait out the storm. Having an emergency kit that is fully stocked and ready can make such a big difference in your survival during a disaster.

Experts recommend that your emergency kit contain at least 72 hours of provisions as well as some necessities such as personal hygiene supplies and emergency radios. An emergency kit is the best way to obtain peace of mind and know your family will be safe.

The Basic Emergency Kit:

While every emergency kit should be tailored for individual needs and considerations, to build an emergency kit with the bare necessities, this is what recommends:

  • At minimum, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food per person
  • Either a battery-powered or hand-crank radio for local alerts
  • A NOAA Weather Radio for national alerts
  • Flashlights for each person
  • A well-stocked first-aid kit
  • Any prescription medications your family members may require
  • A surplus of portable phone chargers, charger cords and batteries for the flashlights and radios 
  • Dust masks for filtering debris-filled air
  • Paper towels, toilet paper,  garbage bags, hand sanitizer and any other personal hygiene supplies
  • A non-electric can opener and utensils for food.
  • Local maps of the area with shelters clearly marked

Additional Supplies for Emergencies:

Having the above items is a great place to start, but if you have the space and ability to build out a more robust kit, there are some additional items you may want to include:

  • Tools such as wrenches, hammers, nails and pliers
  • Plywood in case it is necessary to barricade doors or windows
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting in case an impromptu shelter needs building
  • Solar-powered chargers for using electronics long-term
  • Climate-appropriate spare clothes
  • Thin, camping-style blankets
  • Unscented bleach, which can be used as a disinfectant or water purifier
  • A source of entertainment for adults and children
  • Cash and/or travelers checks

If you’ve experienced a weather-related disaster and have sustained water or storm damage in the process, SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County is here to help you. Our experts are available 24/7, and pride ourselves on a fast response time following disasters.

What Does Mold Remediation Really Mean? | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

If you've had water damage in your home that hasn't been fixed, you might have a mold issue on your hands.

The warm and humid temps of summer combined with sometimes heavy rains often bring about talk of mold growth. If you are hearing about mold and what problems it can cause in your home, you might be confused about what mold removal and remediation really mean. 

While mold removal is an often-advertised service, its name is a bit misleading—making mold remediation the more accurate term. Read on to learn what mold remediation really means:

Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation

In nature, mold serves a useful purpose by helping to break down decaying matter and do its part in the circle of life, but mold growing in your house is not quite as useful to the ecosystem. 

Not only is it unsightly, but mold can also lead to a variety of health issues for people and pets. Due to the organic and functional nature of mold, it exists nearly everywhere, simply waiting to find a spot to land and carry out its job. 

Mold spores are microscopic and ever-present, both inside and outside and during every season. They are airborne and can travel through the air, HVAC units or even hitch a ride on pets or clothing. 

Because of the characteristics of mold, “mold removal” is a misnomer—it is impossible to remove all mold from any home or business. Therefore, be wary of companies advertising full mold removal guarantees, as there is no way to stop nature from its process.

What Encourages Mold to Grow?

It might sound like mold should be growing everywhere all of the time because of how prevalent it is, but thankfully it needs specific conditions to begin to grow. 

Most importantly, mold thrives on moisture—a single spore can quickly form a colony when there is water present. Even excessive indoor humidity can create an ideal environment for mold, so experts recommend to keep indoor humidity below 50%.

The Mold Remediation Process-

Even if you have not seen mold, if you have noticed a musty odor in a damp area of the home, you may have a mold issue on your hands. It could be time to call in the professionals, here is what you can expect from the mold remediation process:

  1. You get in touch with your mold remediation experts like SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County.
  2. Experts perform a full assessment of the extent of the damage. Our estimates are FREE.
  3. The restoration team will contain the mold.
  4. Air is filtered to reduce the number of spores.
  5. Mold and mold-infiltrated materials are removed.
  6. Structures and belongings are cleaned.

If you think you may have mold in your house, call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County. We’ll set up a free estimate with our certified experts to do a full inspection. Learn more about our mold remediation process, and get in touch with us today, the quicker- the better We’re here to help, 24/7.

It's vital to have an Emergency Plan for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Have a plan to get your business back up and running following a disaster.

Emergency preparedness for your Dutchess County business is one of the best things you can do. Having a plan in place will not only help to keep your staff safe and informed, but it will also help your business get back to normal and reopen quicker following a disaster.

An emergency plan should be thorough, easy to understand and include information to share with employees. It’s important to have all the materials you need at your fingertips in order to get your business reopened in the wake of a disaster. Here is an easy guide to making your business emergency plan:

  1. What are the Most Likely Threats?

The first thing to do to prepare your business for an emergency is to understand what types of damages you might be likely to face. If your business is in an area prone to flooding, or if you have a restaurant and are more likely to have a fire, these are factors you should take time to think on when making your plan and to be prepared for anything that could cause harm or loss.

  1. Create an Emergency Response Plan & Share it With Employees

The most beneficial aspect of a disaster plan is that every single employee should automatically know what to do when an emergency occurs. Create a clear step-by-step plan so employees are aware of where they should go for safety, where emergency access and shut-offs are for utilities, who they should check in with and what next steps are no matter the situation.

Tip: Schedule workplace emergency drills so employees can rehearse the actions they will take in the case of a real scenario.

  1. Determine How You Will Get Back to Business

Workplace emergencies can have a huge impact on a business, almost 40% can fail to reopen following a disaster. It is important to plan how you will get back to business following a disaster by creating a business recovery plan. This should cover topics such as staffing issues, data management, equipment failures, insurance specifications and what commercial restoration company to work with to get your business back up and running smoothly.

If your business has suffered any kind of damage or loss, we can help! We are fully certified in commercial restoration and can respond quickly when you call. Call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County today to make us part of your emergency response plan!

Were here to help, 24/7! Dont wait if youve suffered any kind of damage at your business, well get you back to normal in no time!

Residential Fire Prevention Strategies | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared and in the know when it comes to fire safety and prevention!

Structural and property damage from residential fires can be significant, causing expensive damage for homeowners and putting the household in danger. Because of how devastating they are and how frequently they occur, practicing proper fire prevention techniques is essential to staying safe and gaining peace of mind.

Residential Fire Numbers

Many consider fires to be an uncommon occurrence, but according to the numbers, they occur quite often. A fire occurs every 24 seconds, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association.

Over half of residential fires are caused by cooking in some manner. Utilizing caution when cooking with open flames can go a long way in residential fire prevention.

Residential Fire Prevention

Because of how quickly fires can grow, preventing them from starting is the most effective method of fire safety. Household objects can quickly turn hazardous if conditions are right, but there are many ways to keep the risk of a residential fire at bay:

Inspection of the smoke detector. Use the smoke detector’s test button to check the batteries once each month. Every 10 years, the unit should be replaced with an updated model.

Disposal of dryer lint. An excessive amount of lint can be a fire hazard due to the heat of the dryer. Dispose of dryer lint in the tray after each load as a cautionary measure.

Attend to open flames. Just because one uses a flame each day for cooking or fireplaces does not mean that it cannot pose a hazard. Always attend to open flames and never leave the room when one is burning.

Maintain cables. Cords come with a safety coating that protects the wires and lessens the fire risk. When the cables become frayed and worn, the wires become exposed and create a threat. Check cables often and dispose of frayed ones immediately.

Properly store products. Everyday household products can also pose a fire risk. Read the label of cleaners, household chemicals and aerosol cans to determine the safest way to store them.

If your home has suffered damage from a fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Overwhelmed by the mess left behind by renovations in your Western Dutchess County home or business?

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Call us today to schedule your duct and home cleanings!

You’ve finally gotten those renovations done in your home, congratulations! The contractors have left, their equipment and materials are gone and it’s time to get the place back in order. But everywhere you look, there seems to be a film of dust and bits of debris that keep settling or reappearing no matter how much you clean and wipe. Let SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County take care of it once and for all!

No doubt, 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. Having gone through remodeling dredges up a lot of bits that might’ve been stationary for awhile and are now circulating through the air or clogged up in the filters.

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.

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County also offers full residential and commercial 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!”

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

That musty smell just won't go away in your Western Dutchess County home? Mold is a likely culprit.

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores occur organically everywhere but you don't want them growing inside your walls, get that leak fixed asap!

Every time you walk in your kitchen, you get a whiff of that telltale musty, damp, organic smell of mold but you just can’t seem to find where it’s coming from. Perhaps that pipe under the sink has a slow leak, maybe the refrigerator water line is dripping inside the wall. There could even be a leak from a bathroom above the kitchen, but where do you begin?

First things first, mold needs water to start forming, so every attempt should be made to find the source of the leak or where the water could be coming from. Contact a plumbing professional or other service pro as soon as possible to take remedy the issue as soon as you can.  Additionally, and equally as important, give your homeowner’s insurance agent or company a call to see what your policy might cover for the repair and remediations.

**Be very clear on what your policy will and will not cover. There are all kinds of terms and restrictions and everyone’s situation is different. Ask your agent specifically about your issue. The more info you have, the more you’re prepared for the next steps.

Mold growth in a home always starts with a water issue like an unknown or hidden leak, a burst pipe, ice damming, roofing or gutter failures, sump pumps, toilet or fridge water lines, etc. If you don’t have a professional take care of the source of leak, the mold will continue to thrive and create a more aggressive situation that is harder to treat and could be costly.

Sensitive groups like those with allergies might have some reactions to large areas of mold spores or growth, it’s important to have the remediation done by licensed and trained experts to ensure it’s cleaned properly.

We are experts in the mold removal industry. Every technician is highly trained and certified in mold remediation utilizing the most advanced technology and use specific treatments for your situation. No two microbial growth problems are the same and we see cases of mold throughout every season in Western Dutchess County, it’s not just an issue in the spring or summer temperatures.

We understand the stressful nature of this and we’re here to help ease that. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County offers free estimates conducted by our professionals that will help guide you to getting the problem solved for good.

Kitchen fires in your Western Dutchess County home can leave pungent, lasting odors.

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire odors and damage can permeate throughout the home more than you think.

Protein fires can come from food that is burnt in the kitchen. Think about a pan of fried chicken where the grease has caught on fire and created a significant issue. They can make an especially unique restoration challenge and create odor issues which are difficult to mitigate.

Here are some important facts regarding this type of fire:

*Protein fires generally leave little visible residue, often confusing the untrained eye. The smell is there but hard to pinpoint where it could be coming from.

*They create a significantly more distasteful smell than most other fires.

*The nature of the burn causes the odor to permeate the home even more completely than other fires, sometimes the damage can require a sealing agent or even repainting to completely eradicate the odor.

*The damage may require multiple attempts and methods to achieve the best results.

*Often, because of the strong link between smell and memory, a homeowner may experience “phantom odors,” where the memory of the event causes reproduction of the odor even after thorough cleaning. You don't want a reminder of a stressful event every time you walk in the kitchen.

Don’t tackle this issue by yourself, let the trained and experienced experts at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County take care of it. We’re here to help when you need it most and when fire and odors take control of your life, we’ll help take it back. You'll be amazed how fresh and clean our team can make your home, "Like it never even happened."

Restore Peak Performance to Your HVAC System With Cleaning | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Not unlike a car, an HVAC system and the duct work in your home need to be cleaned and maintained.

We all feel grateful for air conditioning in the heat of the Hudson Valley summer, but without regular maintenance, your HVAC system could be costing you money in repairs and untimely breakdowns. 

By taking care of your AC unit through regular maintenance and duct cleaning, you are investing in a future of climate-controlled comfort, improving your home’s indoor air quality and helping your system run more efficiently. 

How Can HVAC Cleaning Make My System More Efficient?

An HVAC unit that has to fight through dust and debris to pump out air is going to have to work harder and expend more energy to get the same amount of cool air distributed around your home. Considering that about half of your home’s energy usage goes to heating and cooling, helping things run a little smoother can make a big difference in your overall bill costs.

After the dirt, dust and grime that builds up in your vents and ducts is cleaned out, your air can flow more freely through the home, allowing your system to expend less energy to adjust the temperature. 

How Can That Make My System Last Longer?

With proper maintenance and cleaning, a homeowner can expect an HVAC unit to last 15–20 years—but due to negligence and improper cleaning, that is not always the case. Because a dirty HVAC unit is consistently under stress when the system is on, it will deteriorate more quickly because of the energy it is expending. 

Additionally, substances like mold and mildew can build up within your ducts and cause significant damage to your unit, which requires professional remediation to prevent further spread throughout the house. 

Rodents and pests can also make themselves at home in your ducts, leading to an extreme pest control issue if left undisturbed. Having your ducts cleaned ensures you are able to identify problems that can lead to costly breakdowns and repairs early on instead of waiting until a major issue occurs.

By taking proper precautions and keeping your HVAC ducts clean, you are protecting the investment you have made in your home. Because of all the issues can arise, calling a professional to assess if your ducts need cleaning is the surest course of action to be proactive about problems.

Do you think your air ducts might need to be cleaned? Give us a call today to have one of our certified technicians take a look!

Thunderstorms can cause serious damage in Western Dutchess County

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Don't underestimate the power of a thunderstorm!

Thunderstorms are pretty common during the summer months in the Hudson Valley. However, with these storms comes a chance for storm damage caused by those severe thunderstorms.

A little Thunderstorm 101 from SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County-

In the U.S., there are generally around 100,000 thunderstorms per year, and 10% of those that are considered severe. Compared to hurricanes and winter storms, thunderstorms affect relatively smaller areas.

Every thunderstorm needs 3 ingredients:

*Moisture- to form clouds and rain

*Unstable Air- warm air that can rise rapidly

*Lifts- fronts, sea breezes, and mountains can lift air to form thunderstorms

(This is why you often hear meteorologists’ reference when cold and warm fronts are about to intersect, creating dangerous conditions).

Damage from Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can create many different dangerous situations that can occur during it, but debris flying around due to high winds is among the most dangerous to both property and humans.

Wind speeds can gust in a severe thunderstorm up to and over 57.5 mph. That is enough to cause damage to your property. If you have anything in your yard that’s not secured, including things like bikes or trash cans, those items can become projectiles quickly, causing damage to homes, businesses and cause personal injuries.

Thunderstorms can also produce the following damage besides wind damage:

Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a building, electricity moves through the wiring of the home. This can lead to appliances blowing out, along with an increased risk of fire.

Tornado damage. Consider this—the average storm has winds around 60 mph. The wind in a tornado can gust upward of 200 mph, which can wreak some serious havoc.

Hail damage. Did you know that according to NOAA, the cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year?

Flood damage. During storms, a lot of rain often falls in a small amount of time. This can make it impossible for the water to soak into the earth, leaving pools of water everywhere. This flash flooding can have dangerous consequences.

Dealing with storm damage to your home or business? Know that the team at SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess Countyis available 24/7 for emergencies to help with cleanup and restoration.

Mold can occur during any season in your Western Dutchess County home

7/5/2019 (Permalink)

Contact your insurance company to find out if you have any coverage options when it comes to mold damage.

Sometimes you can see it, other times you can't, but mold has a smell that can stop you in your tracks. If you’re able to pinpoint an area where it might be coming from, get the source of water repaired as soon as possible. There are a lot of circumstances that can lead to a mold problem in your home or business, but it will always start with a water issue like flooding, an unknown leak, a burst pipe, ice damming, etc. Our mold technicians see cases of mold throughout every season in the Hudson Valley, it’s not just an issue in the warmer temps.

Contact your insurance company as soon as you notice it too, there are damages that may be covered under your policy depending on the source. **Coverage varies from policy to policy so best to be clear as to what the terms are.**

Mold only needs water or consistent moisture and an organic food source to thrive and it can do so quicker than you think. Though it can be tricky to treat and remove, there are experts in the industry who can walk you through the process and help ease your worries. Call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County, our free estimates conducted by our trained and certified professionals will guide you in the right direction to getting the problem solved.