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Valuable Disaster Tips for Small Business Owners in Dutchess County

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

A yellow sign in front of blue buildings displaying the words "Disaster Ahead." As a business owner, having a disaster plan in place ahead of time can save you valuable time and stress.

Small businesses in Dutchess County are the most susceptible when it comes to disasters due the time it takes to reopen.

A disaster of any sort is always a frightening thing, whether it be natural, due to a pandemic or a fire or water damage, but if it is headed for or happens to your business in the Hudson Valley, it can be even more alarming. When  a disaster causes a business to need restoration before it can reopen, that creates a loss in revenue that can be critical.

Planning for natural disasters and how your business can recover from them can reduce the time it takes to get back up and running. Here are some of the most crucial tips that small business owners should know about preparing for a natural disaster.

  1. Check and Double-Check Your Insurance
    While business insurance policies are generally enough for day-to-day incidents that might happen, when it comes to a disaster, regular coverage may not suffice. Every insurance plan is different, therefore understanding your specific policy and the extra coverage options that are available to youwill 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 as well as one where a speedy and safe exit is in need.
  3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
    As you make your emergency action plan, getting your staff involved is important so that everyone is on the same page. Having their feedback on the plan can be vital as employees and staff can offer valuable insight. Have them involved in the official plan and construct disaster drills so they can practice what to do in a real-life scenario. Not only will this help 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 is choosing the restoration company you would like to work with following a disaster as this will be the biggest factor in how quickly you can reopen.Making sure you choose a company with experience, a quick response time and advanced training specific to commercial incidents is important. Doing this in advance will ensure all your needs are met, 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 to partner with, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart. In the event of an emergency, our experienced teams are available 24/7 to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Signs That Point to Water Damage in Your Arlington Home | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

A section of hardwood floor cupping and buckling from water damage underneath it. Water can cause a number of different damages to homes, but the sooner you have it remedied, the less the severity can be!

Did you know the number of water damage claims is growing every year? And that’s at the same time that fire damage claims have been dropping.

Water damage claims are always among the most common ones homeowners file on their insurance. About one in 50 American homeowners did it in 2020. Would you know what to do if your home were affected?

When to Reach Out for Professional Help

If you own a home in Arlington, Poughkeepsie or anywhere in Dutchess County, you may be unsure about when you can handle a leak yourself and when you should call for professional services.

Leaks caught early can often be cleaned up with towels and a few minutes of your time. But you may need professional help to set your home back to its original state and prevent further damage to your property if you’re dealing with more serious damage.

You might notice these things when you’re dealing with water damage that needs professional remediation:

Your floorboards or furniture are damaged. Wet wood will start to warp fast. If that happens in your home, it’s best to start seeking help from professionals.

You notice your windows or walls are warping. Like your floors, your window panes and walls can start to warp if the water damage is severe enough. That means you need remediation help.

You notice signs of mold—especially a musty smell. Does your home have a musty odor? That can be among the first signs of mold damage, meaning if you notice that scent, it’s time to call in a professional to help you deal with remediation issues.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time, we're always here to help.

Tips for Staying Safe in Kitchen This Winter and Beyond | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

A partially opened oven filled with smoke Simple kitchen safety can help avoid a dangerous situation!

House fires are more common during the winter months in the Hudson Valley than they are at any other time during the year. And one of the main reasons fire damage happens to homes this time of year involves accidents in the kitchen.

Many families are cooking large meals to entertain guests or uphold long-held traditions from Thanksgiving through the New Year. But even after the holidays are over, many families spend more time cooking and baking on dark, cold winter nights.

Preventing Kitchen Fires

You can take steps to lower your risk for a kitchen fire if you follow some essential kitchen safety tips. By implementing these simple steps, you can significantly reduce your risk for a kitchen fire—and the resulting fire damage.

Don’t leave your oven and stove unattended. It’s tempting to leave a pot to simmer or a cake to bake for as long as it needs and leave the room. Unfortunately, not regularly checking the progress of a meal is a fire risk. Pots and pans that are left to boil over can cause accidents, and it’s possible to miss an oven fire if you don’t check how things are cooking.

Learn what to do if a small kitchen fire starts. For example, it’s best to cover a grease fire— don’t throw water on it. In general, don’t pull a pot or pan that’s flaming directly off the stove, because those flames can jump. Instead, it’s smart to cover or smother the fires. Keeping pot lids nearby, a fire extinguisher or baking soda can help you extinguish small kitchen fires fast.

Be careful with your clothes. In general, don’t cook meals while wearing a top with flowing sleeves. If these drag through a flame, they can start a fire and severely injure you. Opt for something fitted instead.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen fire or any other cause, you can count on SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County to provide emergency response for fire damage assistance. We’re here to help 24/7 and will make it "Like it never even happened."

How Lightning Can Cause Significant Storm Damage to Beacon Businesses | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of several white lightning strikes hitting homes and businesses against a dark blue sky. Businesses can suffer serious damages if stuck by lightning, be knowledgeable and prepared!

Severe thunderstorms can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons, but one of the most dangerous considerations of all is lightning damage. Extremely hot and incredibly quick, a lightning strike can cause significant damage in an instant to anything it lands on—which could very well be a business or a home.

Lightning occurs when there is a spark of electricity, which can be between two clouds, in the air or between the clouds in the ground. The significant heat of lightning is also what causes thunder, so every thunderstorm contains the potential for lightning to strike as well.

Lightning can also travel for up to 25 miles away from the sound of thunder, making it a phenomenon that impacts quite a broad area. Below, we will look at how lightning can damage your business so you know what to be aware of the next time severe weather comes through.

How Lightning Damages Businesses

Through Starting a Fire:

The risk of starting a fire is the biggest danger that a lightning strike poses. Lightning can reach up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, giving it the potential to immediately cause a fire if it strikes flammable building materials or nearby trees and possibly attached or adjoining buildings or living spaces. Lightning can also burn up wires as it travels through the structure, creating the potential for an electrical fire within the walls, either immediately or at a later date. If your business has been struck by lightning, it is wise to have professional commercial electrician check for damage within the walls.

Through Power Surges:

As lightning travels through the wiring, it can overload the circuits and cause energy to be shot to anything that is plugged into a wall outlet—this is called a power surge. This can ruin electronics including computers, security systems, fire alarms, elevator functions, lighting and health/safety systems and even send sparks flying, posing another type of fire hazard altogether.

Through Shock Wave Damage:

The same force that causes thunder to sound in the clouds can occur on the ground, where it is called a shock wave. This powerful force can lead to shattered glass, foundational cracks and explosions of brick or cinder blocks if lightning strikes the building or even nearby.

If your business has been damaged by severe weather, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has the experience and equipment to handle any size commercial damage. Call us at any hour for help with severe weather restoration at your business.

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Your Hopewell Junction Home

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of a home garage with 3 cars completely encased in ice from a burst pipe in the ceiling above. Frozen pipes can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Avoid this problem with our useful tips and tricks!

The famous Hudson Valley winter temperatures can cause even interior pipes to freeze. While we grin and bear it every year, unprotected or uninsulated pipes just can’t. 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 like some basements, attics, and garages are the first to cause problems. Vacant homes, 2nd homes and abandoned properties suffer through this issue the most, but even occupied, heated homes with pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. There are a few tricks you can do to keep your house dry and your water running.

“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. Certainly avoid any heat sources or flames but otherwise it’s ok to be generous with pipe insulation.

Our tips and tricks to beat the frozen pipe issue:

Once temperatures start 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 at least at 55 degrees that to thwart potential issues.  

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. The heart of winter is not the best time to lower the heat to adjust for expenses as a water damage repair can be thousands of dollars to repair and cause plenty of secondary issues like structural problems and possible mold growth.

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, can help prevent pipes from freezing. Similar to a mountain stream that doesn’t freeze over completely as the water is always moving.

Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage. Consider some insulation around the windows and doors to help. Small tricks like these can have a positive affect on the whole house.

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. Consider a professional to winterize the home or a property management company to keep an eye on things and take care of any issues that arise.

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.

Sometimes, things just happen no matter how much you might prepare for it. 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."

What Do I Do If a Pipe Bursts in My Wappingers Falls Home?

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of the lower half of a person in colorful rain boots standing ankle-deep in water on a hardwood floor. Being prepared for the unexpected pipe break in your home can help you recover quicker, make SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County part of your plan!

No one ever wants to experience water damage in their house, but one of the most significant types of water damage—a burst pipe—is extra difficult to handle. When a pipe bursts, it is able to pump large volumes of water into a room or multiple rooms in a short amount of time, leading to serious damage that comes about fast.

Many people dont think about planning for water damage as the situation seems hypothetical, but having a plan in place is one of the best things you can do. Out of every 50 homes, one will have water damage in a year, but those who are prepared tend to have a much better time recovering.

Know What to Do If You Discover a Burst Pipe

Shut off your water main. If a burst pipe is left unattended, it will continue to pour water into an area indefinitely. Knowing where your home’s water main is located and being able to turn it off can significantly curb the overall damage that is caused.

Shut off your electricity. When you can safely get off to your breaker box, cutting that off is the next thing you should do to prevent water and electricity from coming into contact and causing further and dangerous issues.

Contact your restoration company. When there is water damage, acting quickly is key—which is why we recommend having a restoration company chosen before you ever need them. This way, you can place the call immediately after discovering damage to start the process.

Take photos of the damages. Being able to keep thorough records is a great way to keep things organized, both on your behalf and on the behalf of your insurance company. Taking photos, videos and keeping a list can keep you from forgetting about anything amidst the chaos.

Contact your insurance company. Every insurance policy extends different coverages for different situations, so getting in contact with your provider shortly after water damage is key for understanding exactly if and how you are eligible to file a claim.

Open windows and doors if possible. Reducing drying time is key for reducing the overall damage, so if you can safely do so, opening up windows and doors in addition to wiping up water is a great way to take some moisture out of the equation.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or any another cause, you can count on SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County for immediate restoration assistance. We're here to help 24/7 and will make it "Like it never even happened."

The Increase Of and How To Prevent Winter Fires in Your East Fishkill Home

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of a burning Christmas tree in a living room. Fire risks increase dramatically every winter season, take extra precautions!

Take precautions now to help prevent winter fires in your Dutchess County home. While winter brings about the holidays, it also brings colder temperatures and increased snowfall, and results in 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 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. More festivities involving cooking, the use of candles, holiday décor and trees, utilizing space heaters and fireplaces all add to the increase of chances of a fire occurring.

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. Never leave cooking food unattended in the kitchen. Keep a fire extinguisher at the ready, and if you’re going to deep fry a turkey, make sure it’s done safely outside and away from any structure (including the deck or garage).

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. Space heaters should always be plugged directly into the wall, never on an extension cord, and kept far away from flammable items, bedding and decorations. Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned by a professional every year to avoid creosote build up and potential hazards.

Candles and Decorations-
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. Don’t keep them near a door or window and never amongst the holiday décor that is usually super flammable. For electronics, frayed wires and general overheating can pose a fire risk, so it is important to be cautious with those as well.

Christmas trees that haven’t been watered or are drying out pose a huge fire risk. Over 150 home fires each year are caused by Christmas trees. Candles and lighting can spark a fire and a dry tree can go up in flames in seconds. Keep your tree watered regularly and away from any heat source.

Prevention Tips for Wintertime Fires:

Understanding the common causes of winter fires is an important step in prevention. By going about these 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 shutoffs 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 you’ve suffered a fire at your home in Poughkeepsie, Wappingers, Hopewell Junction, Beacon or East Fishkill home or business, we’re here to help. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County is the local leader in property damage restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs

A Look at the Different Types of Floods That Can Cause Damage to Your Home | SERVPRO® of Western Dutchess County

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

A street lined with businesses and flood waters up to their doors. Be prepared ahead of time if you can for different types of floods and how they can affect your home!

Flooding is an extremely dangerous weather event, and it can happen when it is least expected, even in the Hudson Valley.

While a flood may seem like an event unlikely to happen, every year they impact around 75,000 people across the United States, causing billions of dollars of property damage in the process.

In simple terms, floods occur when there is too much water, but we will be looking at the various types of floods below to give you a greater understanding of why they happen.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory lists out five types of floods that can occur due to different conditions. While all of these floods can be destructive, they can cause issues for those impacted by them in vastly different ways.

The Types of Floods That Can Lead to Water Damage

-A River Flood

A river flood takes place when the banks of a river are not high enough to contain the water within. These are generally caused by slow-moving, steady rain or a combination of rainfall and snowmelt that causes the river to overflow.

-A Coastal Flood

Impacting areas along the coast, coastal floods are caused by high tides coupled with heavy rainfall. Coastal floods are especially prominent in areas that are low-lying and located on the ocean.

-Storm Surges

A storm surge occurs when a severe storm creates wind, waves and low pressure that lead to a much higher tide. Storm surges happen quickly and flood large areas at a time, and they are considered an extremely dangerous type of flood.

-Inland Flooding

When a rain-producing storm hovers over an area for a long time or heavy rains fall quickly, inland flooding can occur, as it creates too much moisture for the regular drainage systems to absorb. Inland flooding can also occur when dams or levees fail.

-Flash Floods

The most dangerous type of flooding, flash floods occur within six hours of a storm beginning and often provide little notice that they are developing. They can occur within minutes and are considered the deadliest type of flood there is.

If your home or business has received water damage due to a flood or another incident, we are ALWAYS here to help. You can reach us 24/7 to receive a response from our expert restoration technicians— call us today.

No Matter the Job, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County Has the Tools to Get It Done!

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of 2 green SERVPRO trucks in a parking lot with an insulation vacuum and full bag attached. This insulation vacuum is being utilized to remove a large amount of wet insulation from a crawl space.

No two water damages are the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a pipe burst, an appliance malfunction, a leak from a hot water heater or a flood, each one must be handled and remedied in its own customized way. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County has been remediating and restoring water damaged properties since 1992, in fact, it’s the cornerstone of our local business.

For larger losses that affect a greater area, you can count on us to have the experience and the equipment to get it done the right way, the first time. We pride ourselves on extensive and ongoing training and always having the needed tools on hand. No waiting for specialty tools or personnel to arrive from elsewhere, helping make the remediation process seamless.

When there’s a large amount of insulation in a basement or crawlspace that’s been saturated, it needs to be removed cleanly and safely. Our professionals utilize the insulation vacuum to make this type of job quick and effective. It helps contain the affected insulation in an easy to dispose of fashion and can be utilized outside for less special restrictions.

For even larger water damages that need to get dried out, like an auditorium, arena, or commercial structures, we use a powerful industrial machine called a Desiccant Dehumidifier. Desiccant dehumidifiers utilize chemical attraction instead of condensation to remove water from the air. Because they do not use condensation, they are not limited by low dew point temperatures, and when used properly, they produce the lowest vapor pressure of any dehumidifier. Portable desiccant dehumidifiers work best in cool and/or dry environments. The cooler and drier the air going into the desiccant, the drier the air will be coming out. 

If your home or business has suffered any level of water damage, call the pros who have been taking care of properties for over 28 years. We’re available and ready to help 24/7, and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."

No Matter the Kind of Cleaning You Need, SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County Can Do It

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

An image of 4 lightbulbs on a green background, the 3rd being lit up with the SERVPRO logo on it and the rest unlit. SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County will successfully tackle any kind of cleanup you need, call us today!

Cleanup and restoration have always been the absolute cornerstone of our local business since 1992. Of course, we handle the large damages like fire, smoke, water and sewage cleanups, but those are only part of what our professionals can do for your Dutchess County home or business.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our certified professionals have been set to task and put together a defensive cleaning program to tackle COVID-19 related concerns. Whether it’s on a preventative level or to tackle a confirmed exposure situation, our crews have been working around the clock to help keep businesses open and homes sanitized. From weekly fogging and wipe down services to full touch points, encapsulation and deep cleaning, there isn’t a unique situation we’re not experienced for.

Many families have completed home projects while they’ve been indoors, but those can leave a large amount to be cleaned up! If you’ve had or done any renovations or work in your home, let us handle the post-construction clean-up for you. Even if it’s a garage, a shed, a bathroom, that sheetrock dust or sawdust can get out of hand!

Being inside during the pandemic and then facing that again because of the winter months, it’s a good idea to have your dryer vent and home duct systems cleaned. Dryer vents should be cleaned yearly by a professional to help keep your dryer working properly and to avoid fire hazards from the lint and debris build up.

Your home’s ductwork should be cleaned every 3-5 years to help ensure maximum efficiency and to help eliminate the build-up of allergens, mold spores, dust, fur and small debris that inevitably gets caught it in over the years. Indoor air quality is important to consider for many reasons but certainly to help avoid adverse health risks.

Our bio-hazard certified professionals can also take care of any kind of vandalism and graffiti, hoarding situations, odor removal and crime scene clean-ups. With over 28 years in the industry, we are armed with the necessary safety protocols, equipment and products.

If you have found yourself, family members or your business in need of any type of cleaning services, turn to the pros in cleanup and restoration. We’re always here to help and will make it "Like it never even happened." Ready for your emergency 24/7 at (845)831-3600.