Recent Posts

Mold: A HOT topic.

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold: A HOT topic. Mold Damage? No problem.

Water damage in your home or office? You could be at risk for mold growth - this topic is actually a lot more complex than you might think. So let the SERVPRO Professionals break it down a bit. 

"On January 29th, 2015 - Governor Andrew Cuomo signed NYS Senate Bill S3667D-2013 which will create Article 32 to the Labor Law. This article will establish the licensing of mold inspection, assessment, and remediation specialists and minimum work standards. According to the bill - the law goes (went into effect) 180 days of Jan 29th - which if calculated correctly would be July 28th 2015."

Now that this law is in effect - mold remediation specialists are required to have much more certification on their ends. The specifics about requirements to become a licensed assessor or remediator have been left to New York State Department Of Labor. But for homeowners, all you need to know is that any contractor that performs mold remediation/abatement services must be certified.

When should you hire a mold remediation company?

  • New York State has set fourth a guideline that whenever 10 sq ft or more of mold is found you should consult a mold remediation specialist.

Need a few more tips?

  • Request proof of pollution insurance
  • Request proof of workers compensation and liability insurance
  • Request employee and company certification.
  • Obtain a written contract for all work to be done and costs to be incurred.

Or you could just call SERVPRO of Tompkins and Tioga Counties. Lucky for YOU, all SERVPRO of Tompkins and Tioga Counties employees are certified mold remediators and stay up to date on all certifications and requirements set forth by New York State. Our team will continue to advance in mold remediation techniques as the industry advances each year.

Mold is a serious threat to home and office owners, so having professionals who know how to handle the job is crucial. We're just down the road. Give us a call and read on to learn more.

Water in the Winter

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Water in the Winter Winter Water Damage

As the area’s weather is still ever changing from the 10’s to the 40’s, we may see on and off again snowfall, melting snow, and then again frozen. This can at times wreck havoc on your property. Water intrusions can happen through the roof, walls, windows, or any area not completely sealed---not to mention leaking appliances or broken pipes.

If there is ever a time water damage is noticed, no clean up is “too small”. It is important to address any and all water/moisture issues. The water you see, or not see for that matter, if its trapped in insulation or behind a wall surface, can contain bacteria, cause mold, rot, odor, or other unseen damage. No matter the size, call in one of our professionals for free to do an initial free assessment/ estimate of the damage.

Remember Safety first when it comes to water cleanup. If you can, prevent further damage on your own while waiting for one of our professional team members. If not we will follow up on- site quickly to…

  1. Identify the source/ type of water
  2. Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
  3. Survey the Extent of Damage and inspect the premises.
  4. Perform Emergency Water Extraction.
  5. Apply necessary Treatments.
  6. Utilize drying equipment and monitor drying

We will work with you and your insurance company, if you have opened a claim, throughout the water remediation process.

REMEMBER don’t let water of any type sit- call us in and we will be there!

Will your home be vacant this winter?

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Will your home be vacant this winter? Winter Storm

It's that time of year again! Whether your traveling this winter, or selling your home. You might ask yourself, how do I winterize my pipes, and how do pipe breaks happen?

According to; Winterizing plumbing pipes is a process that prepares household plumbing for freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks in the home. When water freezes, it expands as it becomes ice. This expansion produces pressure within pipes which causes damage. 

Winterizing plumbing is recommended when a house will be vacant for a long period of time and no water will be running through the pipes. The winterizing process involves emptying the water heater, draining all water from the pipes and filling all fixtures with antifreeze solution.

Preparing for Winterizations

Begin with a plan for winterizing your plumbing. It is easy to miss a step, so you make yourself a checklist of all parts of the house with the steps detailed below, including all taps and valves. Mark them off as you complete them, so you'll know you did everything—and won't have any nasty surprises come cold weather. 

Steps for Winterizing Your Plumbing 

Follow these steps to winterize plumbing pipes in a house:

  1. Shut off the main water valve, turn off the water pump and the water heater. It will protect heating elements in the water heater when there is no water inside the tank.
  2. Open all drain valves and all taps. Check off each on your list, so you are sure all taps are open. A closed tap could create a vacuum that will hold water inside of pipes. All valves and taps should remain open throughout the winter.
  3. Using air compressors, blow excess water standing out of the pipes.
  4. Open the drain valve in your hot water tank and let it discharge until it is empty. Be careful, because sometimes these hot water tanks don’t have floor drains and you will need to connect a garden hose to it.
  5. Drain all the water that is left in the holding tank, especially the one located in the rubber diaphragm, the one that is used along with the water tank to build pressure. As an additional protective measure, add antifreeze to the jet pump case.
  6. Flush toilets to remove as much water as you can from the tanks and the toilet bowls. If all water cannot be removed, add antifreeze to prevent any water from freezing and cracking the toilet.
  7. Check all sink and tub drains that could have drain traps. Add some antifreeze on each one of them to prevent water from freezing and cracking in the traps.

How to Prevent Freezing Pipes

If you have enough time to check the conditions of the building's plumbing, identify the pipes most vulnerable to freezing. Look for pipes located outside walls and windows, uninsulated pipes and pipes installed near unheated spaces.

It is also important to check for any cracks or openings in walls, floors, and ceilings. If you find holes during your inspection, caulk them to keep cold air from entering those gaps.

Be sure to follow these tips:

  • Insulate pipes with insulation sleeves, wrapping or slip-on foam pipe insulation. Do not leave any gaps without insulation as cold air can affect the pipe in these spaces. Plastic piping is more tolerant of freezing than old copper or steel water pipes.
  • Inspect the exterior of the property making sure that all visible cracks are sealed. Cold air can enter through the cracks and once inside it will cause your pipe to freeze. If visible cracks are noticed, seal them using caulking or spray foam to fill the voids.
  • Maintain a heating source inside the building to protect pipes against cold.
  • It is a good idea to maintain a faucet dripping allowing the water to move freely and continuously preventing it from freezing.
  • Make sure the crawl space is properly insulated. Block all vents that lead to the outside using cardboard or wood. 
  • Don't forget the hose bibs. Hose bibs are normally left unattended causing them to burst in the middle of the night. Drain hose bibs and insulate with covers. Once this has been completed, deactivate bibs at the shutoff valve. 
  • Use heat tape to protect pipes from freezing. Heat tape is one of the preferred methods for winterizing plumbing, but be aware that these might bring additional hazards. The U.S. CPSC has provided safety recommendations for homeowners using heat tapes to help prevent fires.

Click on the link above to learn more on how to prepare your vacant property before the cold temperatures arrive!

If you need help with a pipe break or water damage, call SERVPRO of Tompkins & Tioga Counties to assist you. With our certified technicians, no temperatures are too cold to battle the worst water damages. We are always available and happy to help!

Winter Storm Prep

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Prep Warning:Winter Storm

Winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of all of these conditions. This guide from FEMA is designed to help you properly prepare for a winter storm and know how to protect yourself before, during, and after one.

Planning and preparing can make a big difference in safety and resiliency in the wake of a winter storm. The ability to maintain or quickly recover following a winter storm requires a focus on preparedness, advanced planning, and knowing what to do in the event of a winter storm.

Prepare NOW:

Sign up for local alerts and warnings.

Create and test emergency communication plan(s).

Stock emergency supplies, and install battery-powered or battery backed-up carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Winterize your home.

Review your property insurance, and safeguard critical documents.

Get trained on specific needs your family may have. Also, consider joining your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Identify a place nearby where you can safely warm up should you lose heat in your home.  

*Find out more tips on what to do during the storm and after to ensure safety and survival at

Commercial Large Loss Division

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division Large Loss Response

SERVPRO of Tompkins & Tioga Counties is ready for your emergency call 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Our Large Loss Response Team can assess the damage done to your commercial facility and write up a professional scope for you and your team to review. We take a step by step approach and identify the most important tasks to tackle first. Not only are we there as your restoration specialists, we are there as your professional consultants, business associates and trusted advisors. We focus on what is best for you and your business and work hard everyday until the job is complete. We strive for excellence by providing you with daily written and verbal communication, before and after photographs and detailed scope outlines of the entire project. Call us today to see why SERVPRO is the leader in Restoration industry. See, feel and experience the SERVPRO difference!

Duct Cleaning: How Does it work?

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Duct Cleaning: How Does it work? Duct Cleaning Before & After

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the US EPA recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

When it comes to cleaning your duct work the SERVPRO way uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system.  

  • Our process beings by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16 gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean. 
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. 
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

SERVPRO Emergency Response

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO Emergency Response Emergency Response 24/7

Restoring a property is SERVPRO of Tompkins & Tioga Counties first priority. You will appreciate the immediate response we provide, and feel comfort knowing that are doing everything we can to minimize the damage to your home or business.

We strive to meet our 1-4-8 priority response guidelines. What does this mean to you?

Within ONE hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. 

Within FOUR hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. 

Within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you by a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.

SERVPRO of Tompkins & Tioga Counties is dedicated to providing the fastest service possible when you need us. Our response guidelines help us address the issue quickly and efficiently to prevent further damage from occurring.

Pride in our Community

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Our Production Managers and Large Loss Project Managers wore pink for the entire month of October to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness. The fundraiser was called 'Real Men Wear Pink' for the American Cancer Society.

We planned a successful fundraiser and raised funds online to reach a goal of just over $1,000.00 to aid research efforts. Our managers were happy to wear pink to showcase our support for the cause and for our community.

Throughout the year we take part in many different activities to showcase different aspects of our company. We make it so every one of us feels like we are making a difference in the place we work and live in. This is important to us so we can all be a part of building a better community together.

Team Building Activities

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Tompkins & Tioga Counties knows that the best teams that work together are the ones who have a great relationships. We like to do fun team building activities with our employees to remind them that it is important to work together to reach our main goals.

We have weekly meetings with the entire company where we focus on education and communication to one another.

In this activity, everyone was split into teams to build a pyramid of cups without using their hands! The only materials they could use were the ones provided to them. The materials were 6 paper cups, precut pieces of string and a rubber band. It was exciting to see each team come up with different strategies to complete their task. This helps them get ready for the day and whatever it may bring.

Commercial Specialty Cleaning

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Our Team offers a variety clean up and restoration services. Many times our clients think of us for Fire, Water or Mold Clean up. However we have offer specialty cleanup services as well. Our Team has been contacted by Universities and Hospitals to assist in minimizing rapid spread of infectious illnesses. We have assisted in the containment of diseases such as the Norovirus, Scabies, and aggressive cleaning of Operation and Medical rooms to limit infection spread.

Our Team provided our client a plan of action based on their need, and worked in a professional and safe manner to successfully deliver the outcome needed. Every circumstance is different, please feel free to call our office for a Free Estimate or just to learn more about our services, capabilities and how we can help!

SERVPRO is READY 24 Hours a day, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a year.