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Water Mitigation: What Is It?

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO drying equipment drying out a basement that had a flood. Water mitigation refers to taking steps to lessen the impact of water damage or flooding in your home.

When you experience flooding or water damage in your home, you may come across the term "water mitigation" when it comes to restoring your home to preloss conditions. But what is water mitigation and what does it entail? Is it the same as water restoration? Here, we will review just what water mitigation is and the process that it entails.

Water Mitigation Definition

Mitigation refers to the process of making something less severe, dangerous, painful, harsh, or damaging. 

Thus, water mitigation refers to taking steps to lessen the impact of water damage or flooding in your home. The goal during mitigation is to prevent further damage, so that more of your property can be salvaged or be unaffected.

Mitigation does not refer to restoring your property to pre-damage conditions - that would be classified as water damage restoration services. But, mitigation and restoration do work hand-in-hand, with mitigation first and restoration following.

Water Mitigation Services

The water damage mitigation process is not one size fits all, as every water damage event is unique. But, the process does have a framework that is adjusted based on your damages:

  1. Determining The Cause & Type of Water Damage
  2. Water Cleanup
  3. Cleaning & Disinfecting
  4. Drying & Dehumidification

1.  Cause & Type of Water Damage

Before a water damage company like SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort can perform any emergency services, they must know the cause and category of your water damage. This is so they can make sure to create the proper mitigation plan for your property. The cause of water damage will determine if any repairs are needed before cleanup can begin. The category of water damage will guide how to clean up and what materials can be saved rather than thrown away.

Then, the type or category of water damage would be identified to guide your cleanup. In the case of sewage, it would be considered Category 3: Black Water, which is extremely hazardous when you come into contact with it without the proper protective equipment. The presence of black water changes how the company can remove it, clean up, sanitize, and determine what materials can be salvaged.

2.  Water Cleanup

The next step in the water mitigation process is water removal. In an emergency flooding situation, extracting water as soon as possible will help reduce damages to walls, floors, and ceilings. Rapid water cleanup also helps prevent water from migrating to other areas of the home and causing further damages. The goal of water cleanup is to lessen the impact of flood damage as much as possible.

3.  Cleaning & Disinfecting

During water mitigation, cleaning and disinfecting refers to a wide range of processes. This can include cleaning salvageable contents, cleaning and disinfecting affected areas, and taking steps to prevent mold growth. The scope of this step depends on the cause and category of water damage in your home.

For example, a sewage pipe break would require much more cleaning and disinfection than a water heater leak. The sewage pipe is Category 3 water, while the water heater would be Category 1: Clean Water and not require intense cleaning & disinfection.

4.  Drying & Dehumidification

The last step in water mitigation is completing the drying process. Drying wet, but salvageable materials helps make the restoration process much less costly and severe. Mitigation companies will use commercial grade air movers, dehumidifiers, and drying mats to help cut down on restoration costs in your home. Depending on the extent of your flooding or water damage, some materials may still have to be thrown away, but an experienced water mitigation company will be able to save as much as possible.

What Comes After Water Mitigation?

Clearly, your home will not be brought back to normal conditions after the water mitigation process. After mitigation, water damage restoration is needed to repair and restore your home. 

Water damage restoration companies do the following:

  • Replace damaged walls or flooring
  • Perform mold remediation as needed
  • Conduct moisture testing to ensure all issues are addressed
  • Replace any materials that were temporarily taken away, such as wall trims or carpeting

While water mitigation and restoration are separate processes, they can and should be performed by one water damage company. 

This will help ensure that your home is restored in a seamless process. If you find a company that only provides mitigation services, consider searching for one that provides restoration and mold remediation services as well. This will just help ensure that your property is brought back to pre-damage conditions as soon as possible.

What Happens When Your Apartment Building Floods?

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

An apartment building. A water loss in an apartment building can quickly become a literal disaster.

When the fire sprinkler system accidentally goes off or a water heater malfunctions on the 8th floor of an apartment building, the water damage can be extensive and overwhelming. A water loss in an apartment building can quickly become a literal disaster. Here, we will review what to expect if there is flooding in your apartment building. 

What To Expect When Your Apartment Building Floods

1.  Water Damaged Ceilings

When you live in or manage a multi-level building and there is flooding on one of the upper floors, you can expect widespread ceiling water damage. Water will have nowhere to go but down, seeping through carpet, hardwood, penetrating subfloors, and making its way to the apartments below. 

2.  Water Damage to Floors 

Expect to need to replace or dry wet carpets or pull up hardwood floors.

3.  Electrical Issues 

Flood water may have entered your apartment through light fixtures or even poured out of electrical sockets. In cases of major flooding, your apartment building may even have to turn off the power for a certain amount of time until it has been deemed safe to turn it back on. 

4.  Possible Mold Growth 

Flooding in an apartment building is widespread and it can be a while before the moisture on every level is addressed. Mold may begin to grow in as little as 48 hours after water damage, so you should keep an eye out. 

5.  Loud Equipment 

Your apartment management company will likely call their preferred water damage restoration company to handle the cleanup and repairs. This will include stationing commercial grade fans and dehumidifiers throughout the building and even in your apartment. The equipment is usually left for 3-5 days, depending on the extent of damages. 

6.  Demolition 

Since water will freely flow between the floors of the apartment building, the water damage restoration process will surely include opening up ceilings, pulling up carpets, removing trim and moldings, or even removing portions of wet walls. While it may be overwhelming in the moment, these steps will ensure your building is dried out after water damage and will help prevent a widespread mold problem down the line. 

7.  A Flooded Basement 

If your apartment building has a shared basement with laundry or storage - you may not be able to access it for a certain amount of time. When floods happen in apartment buildings, the water will usually collect in the basement. Do not enter it until it has been cleaned up and deemed safe to enter. 

8.  Possible Need to File an Insurance Claim 

The apartment’s management company’s insurance will likely foot the bill for any structural damages and drying out the building, but if any of your personal belongings or contents are affected by flooding, it won’t be covered by their claim. In these cases, you will have to file your own claim with your renters or condo insurance.

Apartment Building Flooded? Call SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort For 24/7 Service - 518-508-1111

Help! My Neighbor’s Tree Fell On My House

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

A tree that's fallen on the roof of a house. Need Help With Fallen Tree Damage & Cleanup? Call SERVPRO - (518) 508-1111

It’s unfortunate enough when a tree in your yard falls on your house - but when your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, the situation is a lot more complicated. Who is responsible for the damages? Who files an insurance claim? Who pays for tree removal? Here, we will clarify who is responsible when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house. 

Who’s Responsible For A Fallen Tree?

Scenario 1: Your neighbor's tree falls on your house

Whenever a tree falls on a home - it doesn’t matter where it came from to determine who is responsible for filing an insurance claim or covering for the damages. The only thing that does matter is whose house it landed on and why. So, that means if a tree in your neighbor’s yard falls on your home during a bad storm - you’re responsible for filing an insurance claim. The neighbor’s insurance policy will not cover it. 

Scenario 2: A tree from your property falls on your neighbor's house

In this case, your neighbor would be responsible for filing a claim and cleaning up any debris or damages on their property from your tree. In these cases you can feel ‘lucky’ that you didn’t have to file a claim and that no damage was done to your house. 

Scenario 3: Your tree falls on your home

This may not be as confusing as the other scenarios, but it is worth mentioning that you will be responsible for filing an insurance claim and taking care of any damages. 

Scenario 4: A neighbor's tree damages your house, but you think it was because it was old, damaged, or weak.

Since fallen trees are only covered due to “named perils” such as high winds, lightning strikes, vandalism, or a car crashing into the tree - insurance does not want to cover the damage for a tree that falls due to negligence or lack of preventative maintenance. If your neighbor has a tree in their yard that you think may fall on your home, approach them, point out the issue, and document it. This way, if the dying or weak tree falls on your home, you can argue to your insurance company that you took steps to prevent it and that it should be covered. 

Common Questions:

What if the fallen tree doesn't damage my home?

According to Allstate, if a tree falls on your house and causes no damages, insurance will not cover the cost of removing the tree. In these cases, it may not have been worth it to file a claim anyways, depending on your deductible and the size of the tree. 

What does tree removal usually cost without insurance?

The cost of tree removal is between an average of $500-$1,200, making it less than many homeowner's deductibles. Cost usually depends on the size of the tree and the location of where it fell.

What is the average cost of insurance claims from fallen trees?

According to Consumer Reports, the average amount paid by insurance companies for fallen tree claims was $4,110, and was only 7 percent of all settled claims.

What if a neighbor's tree just falls in my yard, and not on my house?

As mentioned earlier, when a tree falls and causes no damages it will not be covered by your insurance policy. You will be responsible for all debris cleanup and removal yourself.

Need Help With Fallen Tree Damage & Cleanup? Call SERVPRO - (518) 508-1111

Fire Preparedness

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Water shooting out of a firefighters hose at a large, uncontrolled fire. You hope to never experience a fire in your Saratoga Springs, NY, workplace, but the knowledge and preparation can give you peace of mind.

You probably remember being in school and going through periodic drills to get ready for the possibility of a fire. The information and practice are valuable. As a business leader, holding fire drills is a good idea. You hope to never experience a fire in your Saratoga Springs, NY, workplace, but the knowledge and preparation can give you peace of mind.

Map Out The Building

Regardless of the size of your office, you and everyone at work need to be aware of the layout and design. Study the map and determine the most effective and the safest exit routes from every floor and from every portion of the facility during an emergency.

Assign Roles

A fire drill should definitely not be a free-for-all where everyone rushes out of the building without order. There are critical responsibilities that people should play in this scenario. These include the following:

  1. Team lead or floor warden, who is responsible for making sure everyone gets out safely
  2. Communication specialist, who can teach employees about the drill steps and what to do in an emergency
  3. Design specialist, who can come up with the physical or digital representation of the escape route and meeting place.

Talk About It

Before having a drill, it is essential that all employees in the organization understand what will take place and what they will do once it begins. In groups meetings or in a company gathering, discuss the critical components of your drill, including where to meet and the importance of leaving promptly but calmly.

Practice

Have a drill at least once a year. This will benefit newer employees and refresh the memories of more seasoned workers. Afterward, discuss with the group what went well and what improvements are necessary.

Practice makes perfect, but even after doing all of these things, a fire can still happen. If it does, call the experts at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort at (518) 508-1111.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Identifying The Source Of Water Damage Requires Professionals

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

It can be frustrating how far water can travel from where the actual leak has occurred. Unless the leak is discovered from an appliance or an entryway (window, door) it can be very difficult to trace the water damage back to the source. Even more so, when water damage occurs in multiple-units, like condominiums, townhomes or apartment buildings, finding the source can be almost impossible to the untrained eye. That is why you need the help of a certified professional to find the source of the water damage and to determine the best restoration solution.

When dealing with water damage in multi-unit housing every apartment is typically plumbed separately, yet shares walls, ceilings, and floors with other living spaces. Responding only to the complaint of one tenant may very well leave a ticking time bomb that will eventually spread throughout the building.

Professionals Know How To Follow The Migration Of Water

Water is often characterized as moving along the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, this does not always hold true as a number of other factors weigh in. For example, if water runs along the outside of a pipe, think condensation on a cold water supply pipe parallel to the floor in a warm, damp basement, some water will drip in a line along the expanse of the pipe to the floor. Instead of just one wet spot below the pipe, there will be many damp areas, tracing on the floor over the length of the pipe. If, on the other hand, the cold pipe is perpendicular to the floor, the condensation will tend to run down that pipe, depositing in a circle around the bottom. Other examples can result in even more varied answers. 

Since water follows pathways that are not as straightforward as expected, the Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort master basic moisture detection strategies during the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training. They use detectors with and without prongs to locate the presence of moisture, helping us trace the outline of a water incursion. For added data, we also employ moisture meters to determine levels of water absorbed by permeable materials. The moisture levels become baselines for our Applied Structural Drying (ASD) technicians when we move on to determining drying goals after we remove all standing water.

When water damage strikes your commercial property it is critical to not only clean the mess, but also, fix the root cause. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort are here to help. Contact our water remediation experts at (518) 508-1111!  We have the resources to make it, "Like it never even happened."

What Causes Paint Bubbles on a Wall or Ceiling?

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

A white wall with multiple paint bubbles. The appearance of one or more paint bubbles can point to a potential water damage issue.

SERVPRO techs can use their advanced equipment to locate and restore your home from the damage done by hidden leaks.

A hidden leak making itself known is a situation no property owner wants to get presented with. However, the appearance of one or more paint bubbles can point to a plumbing issue in particular if the bubble continues to grow in size or other bubbles appear in the vicinity. Moisture is collecting within the paint and causing it to lose adherence to the surface. Before opening the wall or ceiling, SERVPRO techs use their detection equipment to "see" behind the sheetrock and look for other signs of water damage such as:

  • Musty odors
  • Visible mold growth on walls
  • Staining
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Deteriorated sheetrock

Should Homeowners Pop a Paint Bubble or Bring in Professional Water Restoration?

When the signs of a leak appear on the walls or ceiling of your home, water restoration is the best course of action. There can be many issues behind a paint bubble, and popping it is not advised. Until SERVPRO techs scope the area and see how widespread the moisture is within the wall cavity, there is no way of knowing if the paint bubble is the worst of the issue or if a more extensive problem lurks behind the scene. In some cases, removing the paint bubble and allowing it to drain, followed up by diagnosing the reason for the water collection and suggestions for repairs and prevention in the future, are standard procedures. 

When a leak remains undetected for a time, it creates an excellent opportunity for mold growth. If evidence of an infestation gets found, the techs need to remove the damaged sheetrock and insulation to open up the wall cavity for complete drying. Afterward, cleaning with antimicrobial cleaning agents and sealants as needed ensures no return of the mold to the treated areas.

SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort at (518) 508-1111 handles water restoration for local properties. The techs arrive quickly and make the damage, "Like it never even happened."

My Saratoga Business Has Mold – Who Do I Call?

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on drywall. Contact SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort for commercial mold removal!

SERVPRO provides mold remediation and mold removal to keep businesses open

Finding mold in a business is never a good thing. Mold spores travel through the air and are carried around on everything from clothes to the wind. They are everywhere, and you cannot get rid of them. Mold can develop anywhere there is moisture and a food source. 

How Does Containment Work with Black Mold Damage Repairs?

Mold is made up of tube-like filaments known as hyphae. As the colony grows, the mold spreads. This allows for the development of more mold spores, which then look for moisture and food. If you see mold, it is time for mold removal. One of the tools we used when dealing with mold removal is containment. Containment makes it difficult for mold spores to get away from the impacted area. Containment helps with other things involving mold removal and the impacted material such as:

  • Silica dust
  • Particles left from soda blasting
  • Dust from mold removal techniques
  • Easier cleanup
  • Preventing further damage
  • Safer mold remediation

SERVPRO uses various containment methods such as polyethylene sheeting, tape for sealing, decontamination areas if needed, and HEPA filters in our vacuums and air scrubbers.

Contact SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort at (518) 508-1111 for commercial mold removal. We are mold specialists who understand just what your business needs.

After the Storm: Board Ups, Water Damage Restoration and Repairs

9/4/2021 (Permalink)

A red and white sign with an explanation point that reads "Severe Weather" If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

If you have been hit hard by mother nature, call our office at (518) 508-1111 for immediate service.

If your property has been damaged by severe weather such as a high winds, heavy rain or flooding, it can be devastating to your family or business. To get the complex storm damage repair completed quickly and safely, you need a restoration service company that specializes in bringing your home back to its preloss condition. 

SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort provides specialized emergency cleanup and restoration services to bring your property back to normal with minimal interruption. We can handle any damage due to severe weather, including:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Flooding
  • Lightning strikes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes and high winds
  • Hail and ice storms
  • Freezing weather and ice dams

SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort is available 24/7 to restore your home or business.

Whatever wind or water damage you have experienced, we are fully equipped to help. Contact us for:

  • Water, wind and storm damage repair
  • Emergency tarping and board up
  • Emergency heat and generators during restoration
  • Reconstruction services
  • Insurance claim assistance

If your property has experienced damage from a storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort!

Fire Alarms

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

A white smoke detector on the ceiling. Your property should be outfitted with multiple alarms so that you are made immediately aware if there is a fire.

When a fire starts in your commercial or residential property time is not on your side. You only have so much time to leave the premises and call for help. Every second counts. If you encounter a fire, you will be thankful to have a fire alarm that gives you a head start. Your property should be outfitted with multiple alarms so that you are made immediately aware of the situation, no matter where the fire begins.

How Many Alarms Do You Need

There is no exact number of alarms to have on hand, as everything depends on the size and layout of your property. In general, it is recommended that you have at least one alarm on each floor. You are also advised to place alarms inside or nearby the following rooms:

Residential

  1. Bedrooms
  2. Basements
  3. Garages
  4. Attics

Commercial

  1. Inside office rooms
  2. In hallways
  3. On every floor

It is not possible to have too many alarms, and it is far better to ensure that your property is highly protected in order to avoid the devastating effects of fire. The sooner you know about a fire, the more quickly you can get assistance and avoid severe fire damage. 

What Should I Do After a Fire

Though alarms are an important source of protection, they cannot always keep your property free of fire or smoke damage. If your commercial or residential property is severely damaged after a fire, then a professional fire restoration team can make repairs and even remove smoke smells from your carpet. 

Having smoke and fire alarms is necessary, but the reality is, even after doing all of these things, a fire can still happen. If it does, call the experts at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort at (518) 508-1111.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened." 

Dishwasher Failure

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A dishwasher leaking water all over the kitchen floor. When it comes to your dishwasher leaking, you need to take immediate action to prevent the spread of water damage in your home.

Dishwashers are essential to most residential homeowners these days. Most homeowners use them without giving a second thought to the possibility of the appliance leaking and causing water damage to their kitchen floor.

Unfortunately, if your dishwasher leaks it can quickly cause water to pool on your kitchen floor, leak into the subfloor, damage your cabinetry and more. When it comes to this appliance leaking, you need to take immediate action to prevent the spread of water damage in your home. 

When dishwashers flood your kitchen or cause water damage to the floor underneath it, there are certain steps you should take to stop the spread of flooding in your home and to properly clean up.

Be Aware Of Potential Safety Hazards

Whenever there's water you should make sure to check for any electrical hazards. The safest choice is to disconnect the power to your kitchen while cleaning up and call a licensed electrician.

Remove Standing Water

The average dishwasher uses about 6 gallons of water per wash. While this amount of water may not seem like a lot, it can cause serious damage to your home. You want to clean up puddles of water as soon as possible to prevent them from seeping under the kitchen flooring, into the subfloor, or even into the room below.

While cleaning, pull out your dishwasher if possible. You don’t want to overlook water damage underneath the dishwasher or the walls and cabinets around it, as this can worsen over time.

Look For Signs 

Once you’ve removed the water the job is not done. Depending on how long your dishwasher leaked, there may be water damage to the floor underneath the dishwasher, the wall behind it, the surrounding cabinets, and even the ceiling below your kitchen. 

You should inspect your kitchen cabinetry, flooring, walls, and room below for the following signs of water damage: 

  • Bubbling or peeling paint
  • Soft or squishy walls
  • Bending or buckling flooring
  • Drooping ceiling
  • Water stains
  • Mold growth
  • Musty odors

If you find any of the above issues, you must take steps to have the additional areas of damage to be addressed. 

Following these steps will help to minimize the damage to your home and may be all that is necessary to clean up the mess. However, if you uncover additional areas of water damage or if you are simply not sure if the drying process is complete call the water remediation experts at SERVPRO of Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."