Recent Water Damage Posts

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 www.thebalancesmb.com; 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!

Identifying & Treating Unseen Water Damage

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Everyone knows that the water damage that you can clearly see is causing damage to your home is not good and should be fixed as quickly as possible. However, do you know that even the smallest water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. SERVPRO Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. Having the right equipment to use makes a significant difference when dealing with water damage. Here are a few examples of what our team uses to help any unseen water damage in your home:

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.

The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO Professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

If you are having any problems dealing with water in your home or property, call SERVPRO immediately so that we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Repair Division

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Having a fire, water or mold damage to your home can be very stressful! While it is our top priority to restore vs. replace, every situation isn’t a best case scenario. Our goal is to prevent further damage from happening with a quick response but sometimes water damage isn’t found for several days, or fire damage was beyond cleaning due to severity.

In these instances we are able to offer repair services. We have highly experienced repair coordinators on staff that can assist with your repair needs following a fire, water, or mold damage to your property. We will work with your insurance carrier and do all of the coordination for you throughout the mitigation and repair process to help limit the added stresses of reconstruction.

If you have any questions about our services and how we can help, just call our local office, and we would be happy to assist you!

Seasonal Snow & Water Damage

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

It has been a long and exciting winter in the Southern Tier as snow piles are still high in streets and on roof tops even in Mid March.

What risks you need to consider with roof snow build up:

1. Ice Dam formation

  • When warm air rises from your heated living spaces, it warms the shingles of your roof and the snow that covers it. This leads to snow melting and dripping down to the colder edges of the roof where it refreezes as ice. Once the ice grows thick enough, it backs up further snow-melt behind it, causing water to seep under the shingles, and eventually into your home through leakage points.

2. Icicle Formation

  • Icicles often result from the same kinds of conditions that cause ice damming. While they may seem harmless, they can actually damage shingles and gutters as well as break and fall on those walking below.

3. Attic Condensation Problems

  • When your roof is suffering from winter build-up, especially ice dams, there is a good chance that, just below the roof, your attic ceiling will have excessive condensation. Moisture build-up is no minor matter since this can lead to wood-rot and mold. Again, proper ventilation is the answer. However, in this case, it is crucial to plug any leaks in the insulation on the attic floor where moist air from below might enter.

**http://blogs.heattrak.com/residential/5-winter-roof-damage-issues-homeowners-need-to-know

Is there a concern for flooding from melting snow?

Although it may not be probable, it’s possible. If there is rapid snow melt from warmer weather and significant rainfall at the same time there could be a risk for flooding or flash flooding.

If you experience any issue with moisture or water, please call our office for a free estimate- We are always here to help!

National Month of Preparedness

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

September is National Month of Preparedness. Each year this month communities, businesses and families are reminded of the best ways to stay prepared in the event a disaster or emergency happens. We can never plan on a disaster happening but we can plan for them.

As a business owner, making a plan of what to do before a disaster strikes, can greatly increase your chances of recovery. Knowing what to do and who to call, can assist in minimizing business interruption and even minimize damage in some cases.

Unfortunately the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season is fierce this year! While there are many types of disasters, hurricanes and/or flooding affects majority of US areas! Follow the link below on how to prepare & protect your business

https://www.ready.gov/business

As a business owner you have many priorities, if you don't know where to begin or would like assistance in making a plan for your business, SERVPRO can help at no cost to you. We will get you READY with our SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile.  

Did you know there are 3 types of Water?

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to a water damage in your home or business, it is very important to determine what type of water you are dealing with before attempting cleanup yourself or starting services. If you are unsure, a SERVPRO trained professional can help determine what the cause of the water loss was.  

The source of the water is what determines what "type" of water. The 3 types of water are Clean Water, Gray Water, and Black Water.

Clean Water: An example of a "Clean Water" water damage would be resulting from a broken pipe, back of toilet tank, or any unused water source.

Gray Water: An example of a "Gray Water" water damage is a washing machine overflow; or clean water that has set too long or gone unnoticed will become gray water, as contaminates and bacteria will start to grow.

Black Water: An example of "Black Water" water damage would be caused by a sewage backup or flood damage. This is considered highly contaminated water.

If you ever experience a water intrusion of any kind, it is always best to clean and dry the area as soon as possible to avoid further damage from occurring. Call in our SERVPRO Team for a free estimate of services.

Dangers of Flash Flooding

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding is the number #1 weather related cause of death, with majority of those deaths caused by flash flooding. Flash flooding is when there is a large amount of rain that comes down within minutes or hours. Other causes can be heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or melt water from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields.

If flooding does occur in your area, please remember

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for current and forecasted conditions in your area.
  • If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
  • When driving, always be aware that the road bed under flood waters may be severely damaged. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Remember that it takes only two feet of water to carry away a vehicle, including pickups and SUVs.
  • When walking, do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock an adult off his feet.
  • If your vehicle stalls, get out immediately and go to higher ground.
  • Be extra cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.
  • These four words could save your life: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

When it comes to water damage from flooding, safety is the number one priority. When you can insure the safety of your family and conditions have improved, that is when to call in the professionals and assess damage. Our SERVPRO Team is Ready for Whatever Happens.

If flooding does occur in your area, listen to and adhere to weather alerts and warnings and know your risk!

See the link below to learn about some of History’s worst and most extreme recorded Floods in the U.S. https://www.bustle.com/articles/85907-the-8-worst-floods-in-us-history-show-how-devastating-extreme-weather-can-be

Ice Damming: What is it?

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Damming: What is it? Photo by handyman.com

When it comes to owning a home or business, one way or another, water will find its way in. It could be minor from a simple spill or slow leak, to flood or broken pipe. Ice damming is another risk that can happen to anyone living in regions where they are affected by cold weather. What is Ice damming?

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. What causes this happen? According to the University of Minnesota Extension There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.

The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! - an ice dam.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

If water damage occurs inside the home, contact us immediately and we can assist in minimizing the amount of damage that is caused. Our TEAM can also assist in finding trapped water in walls and ceilings before secondary damage arises.

Please visit http://www.extension.umn.edu/environment/housing-technology/moisture-management/ice-dams/ to learn more about long term & temporary prevention.

 

 

 

Customer Benefit: Restore vs. Replace

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, our goal on every water, fire, or mold damage job is to save more and replace less. When assessing damage in a home or business, our team will determine what can be salvaged or cleaned, such as contents, furniture, & structural materials. Our team will then perform pre-testing to determine what the best method of cleaning will be.  

To an untrained eye, it would appear most items need to be removed and replaced when it comes to fire and water damage. However our drying and cleaning methods allow us to save more every day.

What exactly are the benefits of Restoring Vs. Replacing?

  • Cost effective-For example, it is significantly less expensive to dry and save flooring than to remove and replace.
  • Saves Time- The drying process will return you to normalcy sooner, where as removing and replacing materials will be a timely process.
  • Environmental Benefit: For every item & building material that is saved, that is one less item wastefully put in the landfill.
  • Peace of Mind: Being able to save precious family Heirlooms, a child’s toy, photo or favorite item, puts that peace of mind back to our customer. In our case new isn’t always better.
  • Preferred Method by majority of insurance companies. Many insurance carriers prefer working with mitigation companies like SERVPRO vs contractors when it comes to fire and water damage.

 

If you ever experience a fire or water loss at your property, just wondering where to start can be very stressful and overwhelming to say the least. Please call our office for a free assessment and estimate. Our professional and knowledgeable team will get you back to normal faster by replacing less, and saving more!

Secondary Damage to Hardwood Floors

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

There are many ways water damage in your home or business can occur. Some of the most common examples are broken or leaking pipes, appliances malfunctioning, or flooding. The key to keeping the extent of water damage to a minimum is a quick response to start drying. Otherwise secondary damage to the property will be inevitable. Secondary damage can be many things from, delaminated carpeting, discoloring of building materials, musty odors, mold, or warped flooring. In this case we are talking about hardwood flooring in particular and what happens. Wood is semi porous material that absorbs water slowly between the wood joints. If wood has been affected by water damage, and is caught in a short amount of time, there are drying mats that can extract the water out of the wood and bring it back to its original state. If a wood floor has absorbed a significant amount of water and has dwelled for an extended period of time, then the wood floor will begin to cup and stain. If the floors are left in this condition it will get worse to the point of no return and must be removed. If wood floors are treated as soon as you see cupping, there is still a chance of them being saved. Water will get extracted, and then once dry, the wood can be sanded and refinished to get a smooth surface again.

If you or someone you know ever experiences water damage, the first thing you should do is call in a SERVPRO professional and start the drying process to prevent unnecessary damage from occurring! If a water damage occurs and has gone unnoticed, call us in and we will survey the damage. Our goal is to save as much as we can and assist in the replacement of materials if absolutely necessary.

Getting READY with new Equipment

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

We will now serve our clients better than ever. Our TEAM has made an investment of growing our equipment inventory, allowing us to service more people, faster. Throughout each year we make it  point to continually update versions of equipment we may have,  add more of what we already have, or expand our commercial fleet.

SO what is new? To help service our clients this winter, we have added more Desiccants, Vapor Sharks, Air scrubbers, Air movers, Portable Heaters, Gull Wings, 1 Dodge Promaster, and 1 Portable 20 KW Generator.

Calling in SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins & Tioga Counties will give you access to the most state of the art industry equipment. Having new and well maintained equipment in your home or business gives that extra peace of mind that you’ve hired a company that cares, and wants to continually invest in what is best to serve our clients.

READY for the Holidays

12/20/2016 (Permalink)

When it comes to Fire or Water damage in your home or business…it’s never a 9-5 job. Our team will be READY 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what the day, even if it is a holiday!

By calling our local number, our on-call service will be ready with a live representative day or night to take your call. Our typical on-site response time is 4 hours*.

If you find water, mold, bio-hazard or smoke damage to your property, make us your first call! This can be very stressful and we will be here to help advise and discuss what you can do or shouldn’t do to prevent further damage while you are waiting for our team to respond, how we will work with your insurance company, and put your mind at ease while we are on our way!

Call us day or night, we are READY for the Holidays!

*Only exception is catastrophic high volume events

 

Preventing Frozen Pipes

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

During the winter months our franchise sees an increase in water damages caused by frozen pipes that have burst. It is nearly impossible to tell the condition of interior pipes in your home and business, but there are ways to decrease your risk of having pipes break due to freezing and thawing of water.

Here are a couple tips from the American Red Cross to prevent pipes from freezing..

  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  •  
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  •  
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  •  
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  •  

Visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes to learn more about preventing frozen pipes, and how to safely thaw pipes that may be frozen.

If your home or business experience water damage due to a broken pipe, contact us right away to prevent further damage from happening. We will be able to quickly respond and start the water removal and drying process right away. We are also able to use moisture reading tools to test if there is moisture trapped in walls or flooring. This will allow us to effectively dry wet areas, and give you the best service possible!

Protect Your Pipes From the Cold

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Preparing your home is a crucial task homeowners must take as we approach the colder fall and upcoming winter weather.  Our SERVPRO team looks out for you and your family and we have several tips when it comes to setting up your home.  One particularly significant  regards piping.  Pipes freezing from the cold is an ongoing phenomenon we’d like to stop!

Before the cold weather hits, we suggest insulating the pipes most susceptible to freezing, specifically your home’s water pipes.  In order to properly insulate and keep out cold air, you can use heat tape to wrap around any spots that leak.  You should also make sure to disconnect garden hoses and drain the water from the pipes previously connected.

If your pipes do freeze immediately shut off the water.  Be cautious as there may still be water in the pipe, which could potentially lead to an electric shock.  After stopping the flow of water call a professional to fix the piping.  Do not try to defrost the pipe on your own.

We at SERVPRO hope you take care of your home. Remember, we’re always ready to help in any disaster, so if you do have a home emergency contact us. Your safety is our number one priority!

How to Handle Water Damage

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage ranging from floods to leaks can severely hurt your home. Once the water flows in it’s crucial that you take the right procedures as it can cause immediate damage.  Our SERVPRO team acts fast, but before we arrive we want to make sure you’re safe.  

When the water hits, it’s important to first determine whether it’s safe to stay in the house.  If you decide to stay, we offer the following tips that will ensure you and your family remain safe.

Examine the situation - if you’d like to clean your home before we arrive remember to only do activities that are safe for you to perform.  As we mention on our website, gathering wet items and other materials may be very heavy, so be careful when picking them up. Particularly significant hazards include the handling of electrical equipment and the high potential to “slip and fall” from the wet floor.

Electrical equipment is one of our most prevalent concerns. It is a factor that is stressed throughout the long list of “What Not To Do After Flooding.”  When your home has water damage, do not turn on the television or other household appliances. Do not use your household vacuum to remove water, or turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.  Finally, it’s important to keep out of rooms where the ceiling is sagging.

Our SERVPRO team will be there for you in any disaster at any time.  We hope you remember the information above and, most importantly, stay safe.

The Water You Don't See

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

Everyone knows that the water damage that you can clearly see is causing damage to your home is not good and should be fixed as quickly as possible. However, do you know that even the smallest water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. SERVPRO Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. Having the right equipment to use makes a significant difference when dealing with water damage. Here are a few examples of what our team uses to help any unseen water damage in your home:

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.

The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO Professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

If you are having any problems dealing with water in your home or property, call SERVPRO immediately so that we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.” 607-722-2262

Preventing Secondary Damage from Water

7/15/2016 (Permalink)

Secondary damage can be anything from mold to warped flooring to delaminated carpet or even just musty odors. It is important to know that timely mitigation is key in preventing secondary damage to contents and structure. The quicker that water is removed, the less damage that will occur. Ultimately, this will save the insurance company money while also preventing timely and costly repairs to the property. 

SERVPRO offers free estimates for all services and moisture checks! Call us today! (607)722-2262

http://bit.ly/1jeyRYv

SERVPRO Injectidry System

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO our goal is to restore instead of replacing your belongings. We aim to make sure that your home is back to the way it was before the damage was done, and in order to do that we make sure we are using the right equipment. For water damage, you may catch us using the Injectidry System. 

This system is very useful for drying almost anything with high power abilities. We want to get your home back to new as soon as possible without having to start from scratch and replace everything. For more information on our equipment check out our website! http://bit.ly/1jeyRYv 

The Science of Drying

6/16/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding is common. Especially in Upstate NY. We’ve seen our fair share of epic floods in 2006 and 2011. That’s why SERVPRO of Broome, Tompkins and Tioga Counties is so certified when it comes to our drying techniques. The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its pre-loss condition. We know your first inclination is to grab the roll of paper towels and a fan, but that could create secondary damages. That’s when you know to call in the SERVPRO team.

 

When your business is facing water damage, our certified professionals will

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening

  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly

  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment

Your local SERVPRO professionals (US!) specialize in water damage restoration. We use the very latest technology to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO: Water Damage Clean Up Tips

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage clean up is a large task to tackle. Knowing the type of water damage you’re dealing with is crucial to ensuring the proper clean up, that’s why you have the SERVPRO professionals on hand (download our Ready App). But until help arrives know the categories of water: clean, gray and black.

Clean water is typically due to a pipe burst or to an appliance malfunction.  This water damage is the easiest to handle, but it is important to clean and dry the area properly, so fungus and mold do not grow. No matter the amount of water damage, a quick response will minimize secondary damage- call in a professional to ensure all areas are thoroughly dry!

Gray Water is slightly contaminated. Clean water can become gray water if it is left untreated for a long period of time. Gray water is most commonly seen when a toilet or washing machine overflow occurs. No biggie, but we’d suggest letting the professionals handle this more difficult cleaning task, especially if it’s quite a bit of water. 

Worst and most important to note is black water in your home. This is the most hazardous of the three. Black water usually results from natural disasters or sewage damage and can contain toxic contaminants!  Diseases, chemicals, pesticides and microbes can be found in black water, so understand that when you spot it, it’s time to call in the certified, trained professionals. 

Know the signs and call us for a spill of any size! 

http://www.SERVPRObroomecountyeast.com/water-damage-tips

SERVPRO: Better Safe Than Soaked

3/17/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO: Better Safe Than Soaked Flooding

This week marks the National Weather Safety's (NWS) Annual Flood Safety Awareness week. The National Weather safety will be teaming with NOAA and FEMA to provide awareness and safety to help prepare America for the single most damaging water related event. For those who are not aware The NWS is America’s Hero, providing support efforts and important prevention information to those at risk of experiencing the effects of a disaster from sea to shining sea. Similar to SERVPRO, The NWS exists to provide one sole purpose. To provide support and relief to those we serve.

Flood preparedness is not optional when living here in the Southern Tier. Our long term residents know firsthand the disastrous effects of Flash Flooding. Within the last decade we have experienced two catastrophic floods, the first in 2006 and the second in 2011. The flood caused from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 forced 20,000 (NY Times) residents to evacuate their homes and find refuge outside the flood zone. Local University SUNY Binghamton even housed 1,700 residents displaced from their homes in its events center and used it’s west gym as a medical emergency unit, caring for 100 critically injured flood victims (NY Times). Unfortunately flooding is too common and unpreventable by the residents. Because they are guaranteed to happen and unpreventable in nature, being prepared for such an event is absolutely critical. SERVPRO will be here for relief efforts after the event, however it is your responsibility to ensure that when a flood does strike that you are not caught without a plan.

SERVPRO Flood Relief: http://www.SERVPRObroomecountyeast.com/storm-flooding-restoration

Knowledge is power. Binghamton’s National Weather service has dedicated each day this week to a different flood related topic:

http://www.weather.gov/bgm/preparednessFSAWNY2016

We highly recommend that you educate yourself on the different topics. Here’s the “sparknotes” version: but reading the full piece could literally be a matter of life or death come the time of an emergency.

Prepare: Know what you’re up against

Flooding Hazards that affect Broome County of New York State:

-Flash Floods

-River Flooding

-Snowmelt

-Tropical Systems and Coastal Flooding

Be Aware: Stay Informed

Use resources to always be aware of what the conditions are around you

Weather.gov - For latest forecasts and hazardous weather conditions

Weather Ready Nation's FAQ on Wireless Emergency Alerts- To sign up for wireless emergency alerts

Water.weather.gov - Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Flood forecastings for us simpletons)

weather.gov/bgm/floodinundation- Flood inundation Mapping (See future road closing)

www.floodsafety.noaa.gov- Flood safety awareness (before, during, and after information)

Turn Around Don’t Drown (TADD): There is no such thing as a little flood

-Six inches of fast moving water can knock over an adult 

-Twelve inches of flowing water can carry away most small cars

-Twenty four inches of rushing water can carry away most vehicles

Partner Resources:

American Red Cross- Family disaster plan

Federal Alliance For Safe Homes (FLASH)- Flood safety information

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Safety information

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Safety kit assembly

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Property protection and flood insurance

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Assess your flood risk

United States Army Corps of Engineers- Flood information

United States Geological Survey- Water watch

United States Geological Survey-Water alert - National Water Information System

Final words from SERVPRO:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”- Benjamin Franklin

Snap, Crackle, and Pop! Best practices to avoid winter pipe freezes!

3/10/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Snap, Crackle, and Pop! Best practices to avoid winter pipe freezes! Pipes

Many people welcome the crisp, cold winter weather, but nobody welcomes pipe-related headaches that come with the dropping temperatures. Frozen pipes are far more common than most would think, affecting hundreds of thousands of families every winter. 

The best way to handle pipe freezes are to prevent them in the first place.

Follow these SERVPRO Tips:

Spend a little, Save a lot:

Temperatures only need to be at 31 degrees for your pipes to freeze and cause you a headache

Even if your house is 45 degrees, waterlines close to exterior walls (I.E. baseboard heaters) can be significantly colder because of their proximity to an uninsulated exterior wall, your house may be 45 degrees, but your pipes may be dangerously close to freezing

Spend the extra few dollars in fuel, and save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the long run

Let your pipes feel the heat:

Be sure to keep your pipes insulated to ensure warmth

Open cabinet doors to allow uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances close to exterior doors, allowing the heat from your house to heat your pipes

Keep it moving:

Keeping a faucet open to allow a continuous drip ensures that the water in your pipes are moving and decreases the chance of a freeze significantly.

In the event that you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a pipe-related problem, the SERVPRO team would be happy to lend a helping hand!