Recent Posts

How to Be Winter Storm Ready In Your Poughkeepsie Home

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

The upper portion of a white house loaded with icicles and accumulated snow on the roof and eaves. You can't ever be too storm-ready, so prepare your family, your home and your pets from the brutal damage a winter storm can make!

We’re all used to winter storms in Dutchess County, some drop a ton of snow, some blustery and frigid and some bringing that nasty coating of ice. Just because they happen frequently does not mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously every time.

Severe snowstorms can produce white out conditions, dangerously low temps, blowing drifts and amounting inches to feet, if conditions are right. It’s wise to prepare your family, your pets, and your home every year to help evade and be ready for issues that can arise and possible extreme situations.

Storm Safety for Every Element of Your Home

Outside of your home-

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

  • Inspect your roof regularly for missing or loose shingles. Throughout the year, take a look in the attic for any wet or damp spots (or even mold growth). Be mindful of any noticeable drafty areas and have them taken care of asap.
  • Clean out your gutters at least twice per year. Debris and leaves can clog up the downspouts and cause water intrusion. In the winter months, accumulating and then melting snow (from attic heat) can cause ice buildup in your gutters. This can cause an ice dam which forces water behind the gutters and into the walls and rooms of your home. Keep your attic well ventilated and cool to help avoid this hassle as well.
  • Bring in or secure patio furniture, potted plants and any other objects that could become projectiles in high winds. This includes snow removal equipment, ice scrapers, outside toys, holiday decorations, trampolines, pet supplies and garbage cans. We’ve all seen garbage cans flying down the sidewalks and roads from time to time. These also can cause traffic issues.
  • Trim trees near your home regularly to reduce the chances of dead limbs falling on your home. Additionally, this helps keep gutters from clogging. If you notice any near power lines, notify your electric provider immediately so they can deal with them quickly. Don’t try to trim any branches near power lines or transformers.

Inside your home-

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

  • Keep a weather radio, flashlights and batteries and spare car chargers or cell phone battery chargers 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 windows. Make sure all family members know the plan and location and that your pets can be with you indoors too.

Some tips for avoiding frozen pipes-

The frigid temperatures can linger for days. Often, uninsulated areas of your home are the most vulnerable to water pipes freezing.

-Check garages, basements, crawl spaces, laundry rooms, utility rooms and renovated areas to make sure the pipes and/or walls are insulated enough.

-A simple 60-watt light bulb in small rooms can give off enough heat to help avoid pipe issues.

-Try wrapping uninsulated pipes in Styrofoam pool noodles, they very inexpensive and easy to do.

-Only use a space heater when you are home, in the same room and never plug it into an extension cord.

-Insulate drafty areas around windows and doors.

When you are away from home-

If you will be going out of town for more than a day, it’s wise to make sure your home is still protected from a storm that might come through while you are away.

Do NOT turn the heat off, never below 55 degrees or you will come back to an igloo

  • Unplug all appliances and electronics.
  • Secure all outdoor furniture and possible projectile objects before you go away just in case. Think along the lines that pretty much anything outside can become a projectile.
  • Be sure a trusted neighbor or family member knows you are going out of town so they can reliably check inside your home and contact you if any issues arise. This is also helpful when it comes to home invasions that can occur when there’s less security.

If your home sustains any kind of storm damage, we’re here to help 24/7. Contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County as soon as possible. We’ll be with you step by step, work with you and your insurance company to help get you back to preloss condition quickly and effectively. Making it Like it never even happened, locally, since 1992.

Choosing the Right Commercial Damage Restoration Team After a Disaster at Your Beacon Business

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

3 SERVPRO vehicles and a tow-behind trailer in a parking lot in front of a commercial building. Knowing you have a local, trustworthy leader in commercial damage restoration can make all the difference after a disaster!

When it comes to your Dutchess County business, it’s essential to have any commercial restoration work done right. Whether you need help cleaning up after a fire, a sewage backup, a busted pipe or another disaster, business owners should look for a partner that can do the work from cleanup through restoration and do an excellent job at every phase.

If you’re dealing with a disaster and the time comes to choose a commercial restoration partner, it can feel overwhelming. After all, the issue you’re dealing with impacts your livelihood and success. That’s why it’s a good idea to put some thought into it beforehand.

Taking the First Steps

If you’re dealing with a disaster, this advice from the Insurance Information Institute can help you get the process started:

Reach out to your insurance company. As soon as you realize your business is damaged, this step can help you get the process rolling for expense coverage and reliable help.

Make sure your space and records are secure. Don’t leave your business and essential information vulnerable. If you need to back up documents to a private server, do so immediately. Board up any windows and/or entrances as needed. Make sure any winterizing is done if needed and let utility companies know as well.

Make a list of damaged assets. You’ll need this information for the insurance company. Every single thing in your business needs to be documented and accounted for.

Take pictures, if you can. Debris and destroyed items should be documented as well, but only if safe to remain inside to do so.

Choosing a Restoration Partner

You’ll also want to choose a company to work with that can meet your needs and provide you and your business with exemplary service. Here are some of the things to look for when you’re choosing a commercial restoration service:

Find a company with highly trained experts using the latest technology. You’ll feel better knowing that the people working on your businesses have the training and certifications needed to deal with disaster cleanup. You’ll also benefit if they have access to technology to make the cleaning process faster and easier.

Choose a partner with excellent customer service. Communication is vital when your business suffers a disaster. You’ll want to work with a team who answers the phone when you call—who is available when you need help.

Select a team that understands disaster cleanup. Many companies can do regular cleaning around your business, but it takes special training and skills to handle a fire, storm or another type of disaster. Be sure the company you choose is experienced in restoration work that goes beyond cleaning. Contents, documents, electronics and soft good restoration should always be part of their wheelhouse.

SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has been helping Hudson Valley businesses recover from property damage for 30 years. From fires to floods to sewage and mold, there isn’t a situation we aren’t prepared for. We’re here to help 24/7 at (845)831-3600.

What Hopewell Junction Business Owners Should Know About Frozen Pipes

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

A cluster of frozen, white pvc pipes and steel pipes forcefully leaking water. Do what you can as a business owner to prevent frozen pipes that can create costly business interruptions!

Understanding the how, the why and the dangers of frozen pipes is a must for anyone who lives in a climate where there are cold winters, like the Hudson Valley, but that is especially true for business owners in our area as well. Frozen pipes can be a serious threat to commercial property, and while they can often be repaired and remedied, it’s much less of a hassle and inconvenience to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

If you are unsure how frozen pipes happen, how they cause damage and how they can be treated, we’ve got some info for you! We’ve compiled together everything business owners should know about frozen pipes so you can keep your commercial property safe and without interruption.

WHY Frozen Pipes Occur-

While it is a common misconception that frozen pipes are only an issue when the weather turns bitterly cold, the truth is, they can happen any time the temperature falls under 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If pipes are not insulated well enough and holding still water, they can quickly freeze and become blocked. If the pipes are in an area that isn’t insulated (like a garage or utility room), this scenario adds to the chances of a problem.

HOW Frozen Pipes Cause Damage

While a pipe freezing does not cause damage itself, it can lead to the pipe bursting, which can cause serious issues. When there is a blockage in the pipe (in this case, ice), the water behind the blockage has nowhere to go. Eventually, this force can overwhelm the material the pipe is made of and lead to a burst, which means there will be an outpouring of water from the weakened area. 

WHAT To Do If You Find A Frozen Pipe

If there is a frozen pipe in your commercial business, you may be able to remedy the situation. Making the area around the pipe warmer can help thaw the ice inside, preventing a burst from occurring. Whatever method you choose to utilize, please do so safely and follow all fire prevention protocols.

HOW To Prevent A Frozen Pipe

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. Insulating or wrapping pipes during the winter, keeping the heat on in your building, at least above 55 degrees, even when your business is not operational and turning on faucets to a trickle during any extreme cold spells can all significantly reduce the likelihood that a pipe will burst in your business. Please keep in mind, running a space heater in less-insulated rooms is NOT a long-term solution, it’s only a major fire hazard. Short-term use of a space heater, properly plugged into a wall outlet and not an extension cord, can help for a small period of time.

*If you experience water damage due to a burst pipe or any other cause in your commercial space, we can help. We’re local and ready to help 24/7. Contact us today so we can make the damage, "Like it never even happened."*

Know Where to Look for the Source of a Leak in Your Wappingers Falls Home

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Streams of water coming down the wall of a bedroom over the window with blue curtains. Be thorough checking your Wappingers Falls home for water damage to help avoid a nasty headache!

Water damage can be a huge inconvenience and distraction that no one wants to deal with. We rarely get advanced notice before something damaging occurs. Water is always looking for a place to go, and it always takes the path of least resistance and that can be through many levels or floors of your Dutchess County home.

Knowledge is a great thing. If you can educate yourself about where water can get into your house, some preventive maintenance could go a long way in avoiding damage and costly repairs to your home. Let’s look at a few of the most common sources of home water damage:

Showers. Showers have a number of places that could leak, including fixtures and drains, cracks in a fiberglass tub, and missing grout on tile. Showers are used daily and should be inspected each time they are cleaned. If possible, check the room below it to see if there are water stains or moisture on the ceiling.

Washing machine drain hose. The washing machine drain hose connects to the household drain system in the form of an upside down J-shaped pipe. This pipe should be at least as high as the washing machine itself to prevent siphoning. The pipe should be secured in the drain with a clamp. During the discharge of water from the washing machine, pressure is created in the drain system. The hose, if not secured, could push out of the drain.

Broken or improperly sloped gutters. Gutters are an important component of the roof drainage system. Gutters should be debris-free and sloped toward the downspout to ensure proper emptying of water from the gutter. Broken gutters should be repaired immediately to prevent leaks into the house or foundation damage.

Pipe vent boots. Pipe vent boots secure the venting component of the plumbing system from water infiltration. These boots are engineered to last at least 15 years and should be inspected annually.

Obstruction of outdoor drains. Drain obstructions blocking the path out of the home are common. Whether tress roots have invaded the drain pipe or grease and food particles have solidified to form a clog, the drain line is where all waste water from your home is removed.

Grease solidification. Excessive food can clog disposals, and hair and oil can clog drains and other pipes. Plunging too much or too hard can cause loose fittings to give way, spilling water under your sink. Grease should cool into a solid and then be scrapped off and put in the trash. Never pour excess grease down the drain.

It’s important to keep up with the state of your appliances, pipes and roof, as they all have an expiration date and require periodic maintenance. If you can catch the signs of wear before a leak occurs, you can save yourself a costly headache.

If a water leak turns into a problem at home, you’ve got the best team in the business on your side. Contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County today so we can get started. Here to help, locally since 1992.

Water Damage Numbers Speak Volumes | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

A leaking white pipe under a sink, showing the floor underneath warped and with holes. Routine maintenance on your home can really help keep your home out of the water damage statistics!

As adults, we all have learned that life can be tough, unfair and exhausting. We work hard to provide for our family, keep up with monthly bills and stay on top of home maintenance. However, no matter how hard we try, "adulting" is just what must be done.

When you decide to buy a home in Dutchess County, you know going in that you are taking on a lot of responsibility as well as risk (regardless of where). At some point or another, no matter how much you prepare, your home is likely to be affected by water damage of some kind.

With that being said, you can take some peace of mind in knowing that you are keeping your pipes and appliances well-equipped and maintained. Doing so can lower your risk of becoming part of the water damage statistics:

  1. This is the percentage of all home insurance claims pertaining to water damage. That’s one out of every 50 homeowners that file a water claim in a given year.
  1. When water strikes your home, the only appropriate response is to act quickly. You only have approximately 48 hours before mold can set in, which will cause you even larger problems. And honestly, sometimes it doesn’t even take 48 hours.
  1. If you own a home that has a cool basement that has become a man cave or game room, you might not like this one- Homes with a basement have a 98% chance of experiencing water damage. Ground water penetration, pipes bursting, flooding from storms or run off, hot water heater failures, toilet line breaks…basements are the total victim here.

10,234. This may seem like a large number, and it is, but when you consider that it is the average amount of money paid out for water damage, you might rethink that. If you were to put a value on things in your home that water has affected, this number can seem relatively small. Between the flooring, walls, insulation, appliance replacement and don’t forget about furniture, clothing, electronics and personal effects.

14,000. This number shows how many Americans encounter water damage every single day! To put that in perspective, that means that every six seconds, someone is dealing with a new burst pipe or appliance that gave out.

13,000,000,000. Yes, this is a lot of zeroes! $13 million is the amount of money paid out each year in the United States for water damage.

Now that you see the numbers, you can see that water damage is something that happens every single day. And while these numbers can be somewhat overwhelming, you can sleep easy knowing that most water damage is preventable with proper upkeep and maintenance. Make sure you are doing your part in ensuring that your home is well-maintained and cared for.

Keep up to date on your homeowner’s insurance policy as well. Make sure to make any revisions for flood coverage, sump pump installations, mold remediation coverage, and personal property changes.

If water damage catches you off-guard and leaves you all wet, you’ve got help on your side. Contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County to see how we can quickly and fully restore water damage to your home or business. We’re here to help 24/7!

Fire Safety Tips for Cozy Dutchess County Winters

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

A lit fireplace with a cup of coffee and a plate of cookies placed in front of it with the words "It's Peak Season" displayed The winter months are when we handle the most fire damage restorations at homes and businesses. Always be in the know of winter fire safety tips!

As we march on to the holidays in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Wappingers, Beacon and Hopewell and we begin preparing our homes and our outdoor spaces for winter, it’s important that you give some thought to fire safety efforts to complement the season. Many fire safety tips will be the same as the ones you should be aware of throughout the year, but as the weather gets colder, there are other elements to consider.

An eye-opening fact is that property fires happen more when the weather turns cooler, often due to the use of heating appliances, more candle use, fireplace and chimney issues, extra cooking during the holidays and home décor becoming a fire hazard.

~Here are some key tips to help you and all family members stay safe from these risks.

Stay Safe with Space Heaters

When it turns chilly, many of us will reach for the space heaters before turning our central system on. While space heaters can be used safely, they are a leading cause of household fires because of how often they are used improperly. Be sure to keep a three-foot buffer around heaters that is free of flammable objects, and always unplug them if you are not in the room. Do NOT use an extension cord or power strip, plug it directly into the wall.

Practice Good Candle Habits

Candles make homes feel cozy, smell great and really help give a holiday feel, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. As warm and inviting as candles are, they do still contain an open flame—meaning they do present a level of risk. It is best to never leave candles unattended when lit and to extinguish them before leaving the room. Also be certain that there are no flammable items near a candle that could potentially catch fire if the flame burns too high. Holiday décor or any home décor can be a fire hazard if placed too close to a candle.

Keep Your Fireplace Functional

If you have a fireplace, make sure you get it inspected before ever lighting a fire in it. There are many issues that can develop with chimneys that can cause smoke or fire hazards inside the home. Always use a fireplace grate to avoid any accidents and never leave a fire burning unattended. Make sure it’s extinguished properly before going to bed and put any ashes in a metal container with a lid that can be stored outside, at least 3 feet away from your home.

If you’re using a wood stove, have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional. · Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the stove. · Do not burn paper in your wood stove. · Before you go to sleep or leave your home, put the fire out completely.

If you have had fire damage in your home or business, we are here to help! Call us 24/7 and our certified fire damage restoration technicians will start the damage remediation process right away.

Contact us at any time, we’ll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Safety in Dutchess County: Dispelling Some Common Myths About Lightning

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

A dark purple and black sky over a large city, lit up by a massive vertical strike of lightning. A clear understanding of lightning truths can help you and your family stay out of harm's way!

When it comes to severe weather, one of the biggest dangers that can impact those in its path would be lightning strikes. Flash flooding is more deadly, but lightning is still responsible for nearly 70 deaths and over 300 injuries every year in America—and because every single thunderstorm contains lightning, the chances of getting struck are rather high.

There are also quite a few myths about lightning that are frequently repeated, but mostly unsubstantiated. Understanding lightning safety is so important to protecting yourself and others during severe weather. Here are some of the persistent myths pertaining to lightning strikes and severe weather.

Dispelling a Few Common Myths Regarding Lightning Strikes

Myth #1: If you can’t see lightning, it is not a threat.

**Fact: Lightning is always a threat if there is a thunderstorm nearby.**

While thunder may sound dramatic, it is actually not thunder that is a threat in the event of a thunderstorm—lightning is. Lightning is actually what produces thunder, as the sound of the clap occurs from lightning striking either between clouds or toward the ground. That means that if you hear thunder, you are within a range to be struck by lightning even if you have not yet seen a strike.

Myth #2: “Heat lightning” is not a threat.

**Fact: “Heat lightning” does not exist, and is simply lightning that is too far away for thunderclaps to reach you.**

The concept of heat lightning is completely a myth. If you see lightning, even if you do not hear any thunder or it is not currently raining, you are within the potential range of a lightning strike and could be in danger. “Heat lightning” is simply lightning from a storm in the distance that may not have reached you yet.

Myth #3: If there is no rain, there is no threat of lightning.

**Fact: Lightning can strike away from the storm’s center.**

Lightning can strike away from a storm’s center, spanning a radius of nearly 10 miles. Even if it is not actively raining or storming in your area, it is wise to seek cover any time there is a storm nearby to avoid getting struck by lightning from a distance.

If your home or business has been hit by lightning and suffered fire or smoke damage, give us a call 24/7 to speak with a live team member to get the much-needed help started!

A Look at the Leading Causes of House Fires|SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

A firefighter holding a fire hose shooting water at a wall of flames. You can count on SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County if you ever suffer fire damage at your home,

To see something as valuable as your home up in flames is devastating! House fires can happen without warning and take over your home and personal items in a matter of minutes.

Even with all of the awareness campaigns about fire safety over the last few decades, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur in homes.

By knowing the top causes of house fires, we can help get these numbers down. Read on to get a look at those causes and how to prevent them.

Cooking. The majority of house fires begin in the kitchen. The No. 1 cause is unattended cooking. When you’re using the stove, oven or grill, be sure you’re physically and mentally present at all times.

Heating equipment. Because of a combination of things like mishaps or equipment malfunctions, 14% of house fires are started because of heating equipment. Portable space heaters can be particularly dangerous. If you use a space heater, be sure it is placed away from flammable objects and on a level surface.

Electrical fires. These days, electricity plays an essential role in our daily lives, and you will find it in basically every room of the house. Simple carelessness can increase your fire risk, so ensure you aren’t using frayed cords or wires and that you take care not to overload outlets. If you live in an older house, have your electrical system inspected regularly, since older systems weren’t built to withstand the amount of energy being used today.

Intentional fires. There are more than 28,000 intentional home fires started every year. We don’t mean a fire that got out of hand accidentally. No, we mean someone purposefully set a home structure on fire with the intent of destruction.

Smoking materials. Cigarettes and other smoking materials may cause only 5% of house fires, but they are the leading cause of fire death. People often fall asleep with these things still burning in their home.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County, let us help make it "Like it never even happened."

Making Your Dutchess County Commercial Property Cleanliness a Priority

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee in white PPE prepping an area for cleaning Are you ready to have the cleanest business in town? Contact SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County for all your cleaning needs.

Homeowners in Dutchess County know they can count on SERVPRO to provide quick and reliable restoration services after an disaster or accident, but do business owners know that we are passionate about them as well?

We are! We provide the same restoration services for commercial spaces that we do to our homeowners, along with specialty services. One such service? Here at SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County, we know that the state of your facilities matters, and we work to make your facility beautiful.

Commercial Services for Businesses of Any Kind or Size

Business owners have to concern themselves with work, employees and everything in between! That’s why we work to make our focus your business’ cleanliness so that you can stay focused on the other priorities. We handle professional cleaning and sanitation for all businesses:

Retail facilities, like supermarkets, local boutiques or nationally known chain stores. No matter what kind of business you are in, cleanliness is a must! It sets the stage for what your customers are about to experience.

Educational facilities, like preschools, churches or athletic performance centers. Studies show that when things are regularly cleaned by teachers and students, it only clears half the bacteria from desks.

Health facilities, like hospitals, hospice facilities or doctors’ offices. In these particular facilities, cleanliness is not only a priority—it’s a mandate that must be met.

Foodservice facilities, like manufacturing centers, restaurants or distribution centers. Cleanliness and food go together like peas and carrots. Let us help you clean, while you focus on the food.

Property management, like apartment complexes, hotels or convention centers. Tenants, customers and employees will rave about the effort you put into providing a beautiful, top-notch facility for everyone to enjoy.

In reality, the workforce can lose up to $260 billion per year in lost productivity due to sick employees. Let SERVPRO come in and do one of the things we do best—clean and sanitize.

When you’re ready to have the cleanest business in town, we’re ready to help. Call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County to get the pros working on the cleaning, so you can work on the work.

Making Sure Your Business Can Recover From a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

A woman dressed in a suit holding papers and talking on a cell phone next to a window of a business You can never plan too much for business recovery after a disaster, call us today for help!

Investing the time and money to start and maintain a business in Dutchess County is no easy feat, which you likely know all too well if you are a business owner. Unfortunately, natural disasters do not have the same respect for this work and can quickly derail any plans you had in place.

It is impossible to know when a natural disaster will strike or how damaging it will be, which is
why having a plan in place is key for mitigating the impact it has on your situation.

While every disaster will be unique in nature, there are many ways that a business owner can make sure the business is equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws its way. By making sure all of your bases are covered, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have prepared as much as possible to keep your business afloat.

### Properly Preparing Your Business to Recover From a Disaster

**Create a business continuity plan.** A business continuity plan will be your roadmap to recovery after any kind of disaster, as they often include contingencies for both natural occurrences and cyberattacks. The process of creating your business continuity plan will help you think through the likely threats your business could face in the future and how you will mitigate the damage any of these scenarios will cause. By having a plan in place, you will be much more prepared to pick up the pieces and work toward reopening if a disaster does occur.

**Understand who to get in touch with.** After a disaster, keeping in touch with key stakeholders is a must for proper recovery. Not only will you need to contact your insurance company and landlord (if you lease your commercial property), but you will also want to get in touch with key employees and vendors as well as your chosen commercial restoration company as soon as possible.

**Make sure your important data is secured.**

If you are still keeping important data in physical
storage, now is the time to figure out a better, safer solution for keeping up with documents.
Make sure you can store your business’ data securely, in a way that will not cause you to lose
important information should a natural disaster occur.

*If you need help preparing your business for a disaster, we are here for you. Contact us today for our second-to-none commercial restoration efforts and how SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County can help.*