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Homeowners Should Check These Places for Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

water damage and flooding on kitchen tile Water Loss in the Throgs Neck Area

Water damage is often a result of heavy rains—but that’s not always the case. Water damage has a variety of causes, some of which are not even a result of rain at all.

In cases of water damage that is hidden, it can also be more costly to restore. Many homeowners find out after it’s too late that their policy does not cover water damage.

For ones that do, the average claim is over $6,000. Knowing the places homeowners should check for water damage is key to preventing this costly and disheartening situation.

<h3to-look-for-water-damage">Where to Look for Water Damage

  • Below their windows. A wall and window seal together on the exterior, but over time, this seal can begin to decay. This allows water to seep into the wall below the window, a hidden area that is important to check.

  • Under siding panels. At the point where siding panels overlap, often on corners or in the middle of large walls, water can begin to seep through if they are not properly joined.

  • Under threshold panels. The metal plates at the base of exterior door frames are not designed to be watertight, so if they are repeatedly exposed to water, they will eventually allow it to seep through to the wood.

  • Between layers of paint. Homes that have exterior elements that are repeatedly painted (such as windowsills) often experience water damage because it is able to seep between the layers of paint.

  • Below a dishwasher. The cubby of a dishwasher can hide water damage from leaking hoses and seals, which is often not found until the dishwasher is replaced.

  • Within walls. Aged pipes can become leaky within walls, causing discoloration and water spots. Any suspicious coloring—especially near a bathroom or kitchen—should be investigated.

  • Beneath an unsteady toilet. Toilets have a seal around the base that can begin to leak slowly, until it gets out of hand. This is often not discovered until the toilet begins to wobble due to deterioration in the subfloor.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

How to Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Man extinguishing a kitchen fire on his stove SERVPRO of the Northeast Bronx is here to help with any size fire

The kitchen can be a wonderful place for family and friends to gather, spending quality time as food is being prepared to share. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires happen.

Fires caused by cooking are listed as the No. 1 source for home fires and injuries. The leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Safety Tips for the Kitchen

Staying in the kitchen to supervise your cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Be careful about the type of clothing you wear when cooking. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Watch the items around the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible in or near the kitchen. It is a good idea to have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Wait until grease is cool before disposing of it. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Make sure you have a fire escape plan set up for your home and family. No one wants something bad to happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why Choose Us? Because We Can Respond Faster to Any Size Disaster | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged wooden floors due to water from storm damage.

If your home or business suffers damage from a disaster, time is of the essence to begin the cleanup and restoration process. When it is your home or livelihood on the line, you don’t want to wait, nor should you have to wait, for that help—you need it right away.

We understand just how important a fast response is, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

Why a Fast Response Matters

When you have your belongings or business on the line, one luxury you do not have is time when it comes to disaster cleanup. In fact, time can work against you when water damage is involved, which can happen through events like flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and water used to extinguish fires.

The walls, floors, upholstery and your belongings fall victim to the water as it only takes mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours and a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

You will find that if you wait longer than a week, water damage that is left unchecked will lead to a longer restoration time and higher costs, as well as impact the structural safety of the building.

You Can Count on Us

We can dispatch our trained cleanup and restoration specialists to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is. By providing an immediate response to any size disaster, we can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

As a locally owned and operated franchise, we are in your neighborhood, ready to respond whenever the call comes in. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises so we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations—a major perk for you!

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting the business.

If you are a business owner, one thing you need to consider is planning and working toward preventing a fire at your business. This is one of many safety considerations regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors.

<h4causes-of-commercial-fires">Common Causes of Commercial Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

In a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was discovered that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In looking at more recent years, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

<h4to-protect-your-business">How to Protect Your Business

Let’s take a look at some of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can lessen the chances of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the risk of fire hazards. Fire marshals are made available in some areas by the local government. A fire marshal will help identify possible hazards and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, we come to the most important asset to your business—your employees. By creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff, you are making sure everyone is prepared and knows what to do in the event of a fire. Conducting fire drills at least once a year will keep your fire safety protocol fresh, and you can utilize that time to review evacuation plans and first-aid kit locations.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx is available to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Understanding the 3 Water Classifications | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Understanding the 3 Water Classifications | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

Even though it is easy to assume that all water causing damage is the same, there are three completely different classifications for these waters: clean water, gray water and black water. By having an understanding of these different types of water, you will be better equipped to handle a water damage situation.

There will always be the task of cleanup and restoration regardless of what type of water has caused the damage. The first, and most important, step to take is to remove all moisture and damp items quickly, so that mold cannot take advantage of this ideal environment and begin to flourish.

Clean Water

Clean water pretty much sums up this first category in its name. It is considered “clean” and free of contaminants and is not the type to pose an immediate threat to your health. This type of water can come from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

This will be the easiest kind of water damage to deal with because it contains fewer microbes in the water, but after just 48 hours and building surface contact, clean water can move up very quickly to category two, “gray” water.

Gray Water

Gray water requires a more involved water damage cleanup and restoration process because this is water that may pose a health risk, due to containing chemical or biological contamination. That slight amount of contamination in gray water means that it will need to be thoroughly treated before it is safely consumable.

Gray water can usually be likened to the kind that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Here, again, the 48-hour exposure time rule applies as gray water can quickly turn into black water if not treated.

Black Water

Black water, which would include floodwaters and water containing sewage, is the most serious of the three classifications, and it is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter such as sewage.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more, and can be hazardous to humans.

Some diseases transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember to treat all waters related to floods as black water since as it makes its way along its path, it picks up contaminants and hazardous materials.

All three distinct classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience is water damage. Anything from a burst pipe to a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage are just some of the countless ways water damage could strike your home.

There are plenty of ways you can protect your home from this common issue homeowners deal with that can be especially trying. Let’s take a look at some.

<h4to-start">Where to Start

Not only is dealing with the water damage a hassle, but it can also impact your home down the road if not dealt with properly at the onset. Mold is a difficult and common side effect of water damage, as mold begins to grow within 24–48 hours of exposure to moisture.

When you begin to think about ways to protect your home, think of it in terms of different areas of impact, such as the basement kitchen, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.

Water can seep in to basements, so to prevent this, reseal any of the vulnerable areas of the basement, make sure water drains away from your home’s foundation and install a backwater valve.

Plumbing issues and appliance failures are the main cause of water damage in your kitchen and bathroom.

Make sure to regularly:

  • Inspect all appliances for issues with hoses and faucets
  • Check seals and caulking around showers and tubs, ensuring they are watertight
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
  • Don’t leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running

The possessions inside your home may not be salvageable, but there are things you can do to decrease the amount of damage and loss. Using waterproof bins to store items is a safe protection against water damage, as is keeping items stored on shelving off of the floor, especially when using a basement or garage for storage.

<h4from-water-damage">Recovering From Water Damage

Should you have to deal with water damage in your home, you may stand a good chance at salvaging items if you can get them dried out within 48 hours.

You’ll need to contact your insurance company immediately, evaluate the extent of the water damage in your home and identify the type of water that is involved.

The three types of water are:

  1. “Clean” water, which can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.

  2. “Gray” water, which is slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.

  3. “Black” water, which can cause serious health problems and is water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc.

Following a water damage disaster, you will need to get your home dried out, dehumidify the area, remove wet objects and disinfect remaining materials.

Pro tip: Freeze your wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer to prevent mold and mildew from developing and causing more damaging deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan?

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Be ready to roll with Mother Nature's punches.

Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan? | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx

If you want your business to survive all that Mother Nature can throw out, like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes, you will want to have a disaster plan in place for your business. The key to being able to roll with Mother Nature’s punches, so to speak, is to be prepared for a plethora of worst-case scenarios.

This will involve creating a natural disaster plan for not only your family but also for your business. Here, in this blog, are a few suggestions to take the guesswork out of designing that plan.

The Importance of Disaster Planning

Employees are your assets, as well as the materials and equipment within your business. All of these need to be taken into consideration when devising a disaster plan.

Included in those considerations should be:

  1. Ensuring your employees are protected
  2. Ensuring your assets are protected and secure
  3. Getting your business up and running again in a reasonable amount of time

There are many helpful checklists available from sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and that can assist you in identifying areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. You will also be able to see just how prepared you truly are.

Keeping Employees Safe

Protecting employees and visitors should be top on your list when making a disaster plan. In case a disaster were to strike without warning, that plan should address procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors to follow at a moment’s notice.

All evacuation routes and exits from your facility should be clearly marked. There should be an area that can serve as a shelter space, and you should consider installing emergency lighting and having volunteer staff designated as “safety wardens” properly trained and ready to guide and assist in all emergency efforts.

When picking out a shelter space, the ideal location would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement space, use a small interior room, closet or interior hallway on the lowest level of the building.

How to Protect Assets

You may think having your business in a brick and mortar location is safer. However, you’ll have to make mindful choices about how to protect the assets inside it. There could be thousands of dollars at risk in equipment and merchandise when a natural disaster strikes.

Always have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of these items, and, if possible, take photographs prior to a disaster as this is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If you keep your assets stored on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that your backup system is doing regular backups and utilize a cloud storage system, which cannot be damaged.

If you own your building, contact a contractor to uncover areas needing structural integrity improvements and can walk you through possible safety upgrades and offer advice on any areas that may not withstand certain weather situations.

Getting Back to Business

Should your business suffer damage in a natural disaster, it is possible that it will be shut down and closed. Every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is a good idea to have a “rainy day” fund set up to cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.

Compiling a list of contractors who would be available for construction concerns and knowing which cleanup and restoration service is available to quickly respond to your emergency situation is helpful.

With SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.

Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx to be there for you.

How To Find and Fix a Water Leak

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

A water leak can cost a building owner or business a lot of money over time. If you notice a water bill increase, it may be due to a leak somewhere on the premises of a commercial structure. Here are a few ways to locate and stop a leak.

Check for Drips

Dripping is often one of the first indications of a leak. Look for signs of

• Damp walls or floors
• Droplets clinging to surfaces
• Dripping plumbing fixtures
• Water around the base of toilets or appliances

The sooner you identify the source of a water leak, the less damage may take place. A pipe break is likely to be more noticeable and result in immediate damage. Shut off the water supply and contact a plumber to fix a burst or leak.

Search for Stains

Leaks that have continued for some time will result in staining. Inspect ceilings and walls for any signs of discoloration. A leak will not go away on its own. If you see new signs of staining, a leak is probably present and should be fixed. Water damage restoration experts can mitigate primary and secondary damage.

Ask the Experts

If you cannot locate the source of a leak on your own, contact a plumber or leak detection specialist. These professionals can

• Test potential risk areas
• Troubleshoot low water pressure
• Use thermal imaging technology

Experts can minimize the extent of damage caused by a leak. It is advisable to seek assistance sooner rather than later.

It is important to locate and fix a water leak as soon as possible. An undetected leak can cost building or business owners a lot of money and result in water damage and an increased risk of mold growth. If you suspect that a leak is present but cannot locate the problem, contact a plumber or leak detection service located in Bronx, NY.

3 Tips To Keep Frozen Pipes From Ruining Your Home

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Winter often brings cold weather to Bronx, NY

3 Ways to Keep Your Water Line From Freezing During Cold Winter Months

Winter often brings cold weather to Bronx, NY. While snow, sleet and ice require you to throw on some extra layers before leaving the house, they can also spell disaster for your home’s plumbing system. As you probably know, water expands when it freezes. This expansion can put tremendous pressure on pipes, leading to a potential pipe burst. Here are three effective ways to keep your water line from freezing during cold winter months.

1. Find Exposed Pipes

Not all the pipes in your home are at equal risk for freezing. Generally, pipes in exposed areas and outer walls have a greater chance of sustaining damage during a cold spell. If you aren’t sure which pipes in your home are vulnerable, ask a plumber to explain your plumbing system to you.

2. Disconnect Outside Hoses

Leaving your hoses connected to exterior spickets during the winter can encourage a pipe burst. At the end of the watering season, disconnect and drain your houses. Also, consider placing insulation around exterior faucets to keep them from freezing when temperatures drop.

3. Let the Faucet Drip 

Contracting with a reputable mold mitigation service, you have the equipment, skill and expertise to ensure your home returns to its pre-flood condition.

Two Simple Chores That Can Prevent Fires

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Clean your lint trap with every use to avoid fire damage in your Bronx, NY home

Learning about common sources of house fires can arm you with a little knowledge that can lead to a little change, and that change can lead to a big impact. Clothes dryers, for example, are one such common origin for many residential fires - about 2,900 per year according to the National Fire Protection Association. Learn how to reduce the chance of a dryer fire in your home in Bronx, NY, with simple steps you can do yourself:

  1. Clean the lint trap with every use. Clear the lint screen every time you start a load of clothing. This is an important, routine step that removes the source of tinder and keeps the vent clear from blockages. This is critical to reducing your chance of a lint fire. Never operate your dryer without a screen.
  2. Do a deep lint removal once per year. The lint screen is the first line of defense, but the frequent use of your machine will certainly cause lint to accumulate in the vent pipe. It’s critical to do a deep cleaning of that pipe once a year.

Deep Cleaning Details

Deep lint removal is critical to preventing a lint fire, and it’s really easy to do. Just remove the screen and brush out the entrance of the vent pipe. Next, unplug your dryer and vacuum any visible lint from the backside. Disconnect your exhaust hose and clear it by snaking it, or take it outside to blow out dust with a shop vac or simply shake it out. Lastly, clear lint from the outside vent flap. Make sure air can flow freely in the hose by laying it out, so it is not kinked when you reconnect it.


Cleaning your dryer is one of those small things that can make a big impact. If a lint fire causes damage to your home, it can be helpful to have a fire damage assessment done by a professional recovery company. Unlike general contractors, they specialize in damage recovery from major incidents like fires, floods and other major events.