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Understanding Mold Growth

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO  Understanding Mold Growth Mold removal in a retail store in Bronx,NY

Preventing mold growth in Bronx, NY, is something many business owners have become increasingly aware of. Not only can mold cause damage to the property, but it has the potential to spread which can be a cause for concern. Understanding how mold grows can allow these business owners to better protect their companies.

Where Mold Grows

Understanding where mold grows can help you identify potential problem areas in your company building. Knowing these locations can allow you to inspect them as needed for water damage, which can provide an enticing environment for mold spores. These areas can include:

  • Duct work
  • Masonry surfaces, especially pocket areas
  • Drain pans for an HVAC system and the system itself
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Basement areas

Why Mold Grows

In most cases mold growth occurs in area of high humidity or locations that are constantly damp, where it has access to organic or cellulose-based materials. These can include areas near a leak or other water source, or a place where condensation settles. A lack of proper ventilation can also encourage water build up. The moisture allows the mold to thrive. As it grows mold will release spores which can then spread to other areas.

Preventing Mold from Growing

If you find mold or water caused damage in your business property it’s best to take care of it as quickly as possible. A mold remediation specialist can look over the area and not only take care of the damage the water caused, but dry and sanitize the affected space to prevent mold problems. Keeping things as clean and dry as possible is one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing.

Because mold growth occurs in damp locations, it’s best to remedy water damage as quickly as possible. If you have mold or damp areas in your place of business, you may want to contact a professional to help with the cleanup process.

5 Steps of Dealing With a Puffback

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 5 Steps of Dealing With a Puffback Puffback damage in Bronx,NY

Dealing With a Puffback

There are several signs that the furnace in your commercial building in Bronx, NY, needs repair. It may make strange noises or start using more oil. One of the most common signs, however, is puffback damage. If you start seeing sticky soot around your furnace or at other places throughout the building, you must take these five basic steps to remedy the problem.

1. Determine the Scope of the Issue

Furnace puffback does not usually stay in one place. Chances are that if you see it around the furnace, it is probably lurking in hidden places such as supply closets, furniture crevices or drawers all over the building. Inspect your building thoroughly so that you have an accurate account to tell the insurance company.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent

The good news is that puffback damage is typically covered under most property policies. By contacting your insurance company as soon as you realize it's a problem, you can obtain the means to solve it before it causes much further damage.

3. Call an HVAC Professional

The best way to keep problems resulting from a faulty oil furnace is to hire a trained technician to repair it. It doesn't do you any good to clean up the soot until you remedy what caused it.

4. Seek Restoration Services

It is unwise to try to clean this soot problem yourself. Certified restoration experts have the necessary training and equipment to handle the cleanup process thoroughly and efficiently.

5. Expect Damage Repair

Soot cleanup methods may cause further damage to your building. No matter how careful the technicians are, it is likely that post-cleaning repairs will be necessary. It is a good idea, therefore, to hire a team that specializes in both cleanup and repair.

While you may not be particularly pleased to see evidence of puffback damage in your building, restoring your property is manageable. By following these steps, you can resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.

Is Your Home Located In a Flood Zone?

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Is Your Home Located In a Flood Zone? Flooded zone in Bronx, NY

Three Ways To Find Out If Your Home Is Located In a Flood Zone

Residences in flood zones may require flood insurance coverage, particularly if homeowners have a mortgage through a lender that is federally regulated or insured. If you are not sure whether your home is located in a flood zone, there are three ways to find out.

1. The Flood Rate Insurance Map

FEMA maintains a Flood Rate Insurance Map that identifies the level of flood risk in most locations. Rates of coverage under the National Flood Insurance are usually based on this geographical data. Access the FEMA Map Service Center to determine whether your property is located in an area prone to flooding. If your home has mitigating improvements, you may be able to obtain an amendment. This adjustment will not alter the status of your residence on the flood zone map, but may result in lower insurance rates.

2. Regional Risk Levels

FEMA also undertakes and provides access to the Flood Insurance Study Report on regional flood risks. You can view the findings of this study on FloodSmart.gov. Regional information does not account for official determinations or amendments on property.

3. Check for Map Amendments or Elevation Certificates

These documents may be available for improved property situated on a flood plain. While these materials may reveal that you live in a region at risk for flooding, amendments and certificates may also indicate that measures have been taken to mitigate flood risk to the property.

These three methods can help you determine whether you live in a flood zone. You can also find out whether your property has any mitigating circumstances to factor into your considerations. Keep in mind that the location of your property may necessitate flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. If a flood damages your residence in Bronx, NY, schedule a consultation with a service that specializes in storm and water damage cleanup and restoration.

What You Need To Know About Floods and Black Water

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What You Need To Know About Floods and Black Water It is important to know whether or not the flood waters have been declared clean or not!

If a flood comes to your home in Bronx, New York you may wonder how safe it is to wade into the water. Many people believe that because rain caused the water damage, it is completely safe to touch.

However, this is a dangerous assumption, because it could be black water.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Remediation Certification classifies water into these three categories:

  • Clean
  • Gray
  • Black

Each of these types of water carries different risks. Clean water is typically safe for human consumption. Gray water has been used since its last filtering but has not encountered contaminates. 


The third categorization is more dangerous to people and animals. Unless and until an authority declares the flood water as clean, you should assume it is black water. Learn precisely what that means below:

What Is It?

The classification of water as “black” means that it has come into contact with harmful elements such as raw sewage. This rating means the water may contain all kinds of dangerous microbes, including bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses. It may even include the noro virus, parasites, and other infectious material.

Why Is Flood Water Classified This Way?

When water enters your home after heavy rains, it’s not just water from the sky. Water damage also comes from overflowing sewage. That sewage can mix with the rainwater and contaminate everything it touches.

What Should Homeowners Do?

If you have water in your home after a storm, do not wade into it unless doing so is necessary. It is also important to dry out the area as soon as possible. That water can spread disease and cause mold growth.

It’s essential to call an experienced restoration company in Bronx, New York as quickly as possible after water damage or flooding occurs. Be sure to rid your home of the black water as soon as you can to keep you and your family safe.

Grilling Safety Tips Every Grill Master Needs To Know

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Grilling Safety Tips Every Grill Master Needs To Know Contact your Bronx,NY fire damage cleanup team in case something occurs

You may have years of grilling experience under your belt, and your friends might all refer to you as the grill master, but are your grilling techniques really safe? Most peoples' aren't. A grill fire can occur instantly and for seemingly no reason, but there is always a reason. Some of the most common reasons for a barbeque fire include the following:

  • Failure to clean a barbeque
  • Placing the grill too close to something that can catch fire or indoors
  • Leaving the grill unmanned

You can avoid grill fires and subsequent smoke damage by applying a few key safety measures.

Clean Your Grill Before Every Use

While you don't need to use dish soap and a sponge to clean your grill, you should use a scraper to scrape away old food debris, left over debris and other possible flammable contaminants. The bonus of taking this step is that you also scrape away leftover bad bacteria from raw meat.

Keep Your Grill Outdoors and Out in the Open

One common cause of grill fire incidences is that the grills are being used indoors or under an overhang. People place their grills in such areas so that they can grill year-round or grill out of the heat. While the idea is innocent enough, fulfillment of the idea is dangerous. Grills need to be out in the open and have nothing above them that flames can catch onto.

Attend the Grill at All Times

Unattended grills are the most dangerous grills. If a barbeque fire does happen and you're there to catch it, you can put it out before it causes too much damage. However, if you're not around, the fire can grow out of control and quickly. Also, if you're not around, there is no telling who or what might accidentally bump the grill and cause hot charcoal to spill out, or worse, the grill to tip over.

You can prevent a grill fire by grilling in a safe and controlled manner. Clean your grill, grill in a safe place and man the grill at all times. If something does occur, contact your Bronx, NY, fire damage cleanup team ASAP.

3 Tips to Stop Mold From Gaining a Hold After a Storm

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Tips to Stop Mold From Gaining a Hold After a Storm Mold removal in a retail store in Bronx,NY

Mold growth is not the kind of growth you want for your Bronx, NY, business. Following a particularly wet storm or season, it should be on your radar as a potential problem. It can hide itself in your commercial property and spread its infestation despite numerous cleanup attempts. You can both prevent it and stop it from consuming your building by adhering to these three tips.

1. Stop the Mold Before It Spreads

If it’s safe to do so, you should enter your property after a storm to investigate potential areas where mold may’ve set up. Discolored, moist areas are likely locations where mold growth is now located and should be scrubbed and sanitized.

Any areas with leaking pipes damaged by the storm should be remedied by a professional plumber as soon as possible to stop unwanted standing water from creating more suitable places for growths.

2. Do What You Can to Isolate Mold

Mold is a quickly reproducing microorganism, much like a bacteria or yeast. Acting quickly on the problem will stop a localized growth from encompassing the whole building in as little as a day.

If you notice any visible mold on objects, it’s best to seal them up in a bag and remove them from the premises. Precaution should be taken to not let moldy objects come in contact with any clean areas. Any clothes worn while in an infested zone should be sealed up before leaving the area and washed.

3. Treat the Problem

While cleanup and sanitation can be attempted without assistance, you may overlook hidden fungus that will continue to reproduce and resettle in previously cleaned areas.

Adequate cleanup involves completely removing water and killing every mold growth on the property. A professional storm damage cleanup crew has both the expertise and toolkit to fully remedy current infestations and any water damage that acts as fungus fuel. Keeping the mold from spreading can lessen the length of business closure and its cost. You can act swiftly to stop storm damage from becoming extensive mold damage.

Flush a Water Heater in 4 Steps

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flush a Water Heater in 4 Steps If your water heater is leaking contact a plumber or repair service in Bronx,NY

Regular maintenance can keep a water heater working for years. Follow these four steps to flush the tank and eliminate deposits such as minerals and sediment.

1. Turn Off the Appliance

If you have a gas heater, shut off the gas and extinguish the pilot. Switch off the line that supplies an electric heater at the circuit breaker.

2. Prepare the Hose and Tank

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and run the opposite end to an area that will not be affected by water and sediment. Open the drain valve on the water heater and let the water flow for several minutes. Turn on the hot water faucet in the kitchen to drain the remaining water from the tank. After several minutes, turn off the water supply valve. You may turn the valve on and off again for an extra flush.

3. Close Valves and Turn On Water

Once the water and sediment has drained, close the heater valves and turn the water supply back on. Check the flow of water at the kitchen sink and make sure the stream starts flowing consistently.

4. Turn on the Heater

Turn on the heating element or restore power only after the tank is full. Turn off the faucet in the kitchen.

The frequency with which you should perform a water heater flush depends on the quantity of hot water used. If you live alone or with one other person, flush the tank once a year. In a household with three to five residents, flush the tank every eight months. For more than six occupants, flush the tank twice a year.

If you experience a leak or water damage resulting from a malfunctioning water heater, contact a plumber or repair service in Bronx, NY. You may also want to file an insurance claim and hire residential water damage restoration experts.

4 Tips for Maintaining Fire Sprinklers at Your Business

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

To remain helpful and protective of a business, fire sprinklers need proper care. Without it, these systems can instead become detrimental. For example, it could potentially go off without a fire and lead to water damage. Active sprinkler maintenance for your Bronx, New York, business can be accomplished by following four tips.

Keep Sprinkler Heads Clean and Unhampered

If you have painting done on the ceiling, be sure to keep the sprinklers protected from the paint until the process is done. The coating can dry and restrict the unit from allowing water to escape. This can lead to flooding in the ceiling when you need water spread around the room.

Sprinklers become dirty if not regularly cleaned, especially in areas where the air is often inhabited by chemicals or grease. If you are not comfortable doing this using a nondamaging degreasing solution, you can have them cleaned by a professional.

  1. Complete an Extensive Inspection of the System - Central to sprinkler maintenance, a yearly inspection by a professional can catch problems that may otherwise be invisible. These inspections are thorough and can identify pipe leaks, improperly fitted components or damaged sensors that could lead to a failure to deploy or accidental discharge.
  2. Keep the Sprinklers Clear of Obstructions - Blocked fire sprinklers are a danger and safety code violation. Ceilings should be kept clear a few feet around the sprinkler so it can function properly. Unobstructed flow also prevents water buildup inside that leads to unnecessary damage to the sprinkler system.
  3. Ensure Valves Are Open and Have Pressure - Water valves need to be regularly checked that they are open. Without water flow, sprinkler systems obviously cannot work. A professional can ensure sprinklers are open and receiving appropriate water pressure.
  4. Maintain Your Business in All Circumstances - Regardless if it’s fire or water damage, a professional damage restoration crew can stop sprinkler damage from irreparably harming your business property. Proper sprinkler maintenance incurs expenses early on to prevent even costlier cleanup in the future. Water and fire damage can be mitigated with proper action.

How To Save Your Plants From Mildew

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Save Your Plants From Mildew Mold damaged wall in Bronx, NY, home.

Few things bring life to your home in Bronx, NY, the way houseplants do. Plants clean the air and brighten up the room. Sometimes, plants get sick, though. The white powdery substance you find on the leaves is plant mildew. As long as your plant is not already dead, however, there is still hope to save it. Unlike mold remediation, you can probably remedy the problem yourself with some extra care.

Here are six tips to help prevent or save your plants from mildew.

  1. Move the plant outside. The air inside your home tends to be more stagnant than the fresh air outside. Increasing air flow can help control the moisture that led to the mildew growth.
  2. Remove infected areas and debris. Some parts of the plant may not be able to be salvaged, so you can prune those parts off. Remove any leaves or debris that are crowding the plant.
  3. Spray plant with mildewcide. There are products that are specifically formulated to combat plant mildew. Avoid harsher chemicals, especially if the plant is meant to be edible.
  4. Water the plant at the roots. One of the causes of mildew on plants is excess moisture on the leaves. The effects of rain are often counteracted by the rays of the sun, but indoor conditions cannot compensate for frequent watering from above.
  5. Introduce it to the sun. Sunshine has a natural drying effect on the leaves of a plant. It also infuses important nutrients that support overall health into the plant's cells.
  6. Disinfect tools. If you used your gardening tools on your infected plant, chances are that some of the mildew escaped onto the tools. To be safe, disinfect your tools with mildewcide before using them again.

If you want to prevent plant mildew, monitor the moisture and air flow around the plant. If your plant already has mildew, taking these steps can save its life.

Change of Plans: Keeping Your Cool When Your Flight Is Canceled

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Change of Plans: Keeping Your Cool When Your Flight Is Canceled Plan for the unexpected

Sometimes when you make travel plans to go on a trip or visit family, Mother Nature has other plans. A delayed or canceled flight is a more common occurrence during storm season. If you plan to travel during seasons where bad weather is possible, here are some storm tips for staying calm and making the best of your altered schedule.

Make a Plan


Preparing for storms starts before you book your flight. There are some factors to take into consideration when planning your trip:

  • Weather forecast, not just for your home in Bronx, New York, but also for the path your flight will take
  • List of hotels in the area
  • Extra cash or credit available for emergency accommodations
  • Cancellation policies on your destination accommodations

If you receive notice of a delayed or canceled flight after you've booked, you can still benefit from planning ahead. Pack light so that you don't have to worry about checked luggage as plans shift. Leave for the airport as if the flight is still on schedule to compensate for other last-minute changes or increased traffic.

Stay in Control

Your smartphone is your best friend when flight plans change at the last minute. You can keep the airline's number and an app for easy hotel booking so that you can skip lines, ask for compensation for your inconvenience and arrange alternate flights and stays from wherever you are. It is also a good idea to keep contact information for a local storm restoration company in your phone just in case you get reports of damaging conditions while you are away from home and need to get on their service waitlist.

Late changes in your schedule caused by a canceled flight can be frustrating, but they don't have to completely derail your plans. By planning ahead and taking measures to make sure you stay as in control of your schedule as possible, you can alleviate some of that stress.