Recent Posts

What is roof tarping after storm damage?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Imagine: the big one hits. A gigantic thunderstorm (or, more likely in Western New York, a historic blizzard) blows through town and wreaks havoc on your neighborhood.

You're fast asleep when you hear an enormous crashing sound coming from above you.

Uh-oh. The limb of a nearby tree has decided to finally give out and crash into your roof, punching a hole in the top of your house.

What do you do?

Obviously, you'll need to clear the limb. But once that work is complete, you've still got issues on your hands. Your roof has been compromised and your house is now exposed to the elements, including snow, rain, ice and wildlife.

Getting a roofer out to fix the problem could take days, if not weeks, especially if the weather's bad. 

That's where emergency roof tarping comes in. Tarping your roof is a temporary fix that prevents additional secondary damage after an initial damage event. 

If you've had damage to your roof, don't wait - call for a tarp-up before it gets any worse.

How dangerous is wind in a storm?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Your home was built to stand up to the elements for a long, long time. Especially here in Western New York, it's not uncommon for people to live in homes that are over a century old and still in excellent condition.

That said, your house is not invulnerable when big storms roll through the region. And one of the most dangerous elements of those storms is invisible to the naked eye: high winds.

For the most part, wind itself isn't dangerous to a structure. Your house might creak and groan, but it's not going to get blown over.

Wind damage usually comes from other debris blowing around. A rotting tree, dead branch or even a few pieces of gravel propelled by abnormally high winds can harm you as well as your property.

How can you protect your home? Clear this debris so that it doesn't pose a threat, maintain your home well, and hope for the best.

There was a fire next door. Should you worry?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

A house fire, especially a serious one, can be a really terrifying thing. 

Within a very short timeline, your home can go from a safe, comfortable place to a dangerous, uninhabitable environment.

What many people don't realize is that house fires affect more than just the houses where they start.

Smoke, soot and other forms of damage can easily affect neighboring homes as well.

As smoke pours out of the source unit, it doesn't necessarily just go straight up into the sky. It can migrate to nearby structures, get blown around, and cause serious secondary damage throughout the neighborhood.

Often, this damage is most pronounced in the form of odor. Even when the restoration is totally complete on the source unit, neighboring people may notice that they still detect a smoke odor in their own homes.

Sometimes, this is psychological - they're so used to smelling smoke that they can't shake it. But often, it's a sign that the neighboring home may need some level of cleaning and restoration as well.

How common are cooking fires?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Every single day, fire departments respond to a wide variety of emergencies in the communities that they serve. 

Out of all of the fires that they respond to, the bulk will be cooking fires.

Kitchen fires are by far the most common types of fires that occur in the United States and throughout the world. It's no surprise as to why - we use our kitchens every single day, and we're usually using some form of heat or open flame to cook food. 

If something goes wrong, the consequences can be deadly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were over 172,000 fires caused by cooking in the US from 2014 - 2018.  These led to over $1 billion in property damage and around 550 deaths. 

Why do things go wrong in the kitchen? Usually, the culprit is not paying attention. Unattended cooking fires are the bulk of the problem.

Why is it important to pick up debris after a storm?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Storms of all types can wreak havoc on your property in all kinds of way.

Flooding and water damage are urgent problems that must be dealt with immediately. Lightning strikes can lead to trees falling and fires starting.

These are massive, flashy problems that most people are aware of. Not as many people are aware of the risks that something as simple as storm debris can pose, though.

After all, picking up debris is a chore, and it's your yard anyway, right?

Maybe so, but that debris can be deadly in the wrong conditions. 

Storms typically bring high winds along with them. These high winds, on their own, generally don't pose too much of a threat to a person or their property.

But when these winds pick up debris, like rotting or fallen trees or even displaced gravel, things can get serious quickly. These forms of debris become projectiles. 

So after a storm, and especially before a storm, make sure you clear your property!

What can a storm do to your roof?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Storms can be incredibly damaging events for homes throughout the Western New York region, and one of the major flash points for damage is the roof.

Your roof is built to withstand the elements on a routine basis. But a storm is anything but routine. High winds, huge volumes of precipitation and falling debris can all cause serious damage to your roof. 

After a storm, you should keep a look out for common forms of damage.

Water stains, for instance, can begin to form on your ceiling and are sometimes the first indication that your roof has been damaged and begun to leak. If they show up quickly, that means that the leak is probably pretty serious and you need to deal with it right away. 

Shingles are also a telltale indicator of roof damage. If you notice missing or loose shingles, you've obviously got a problem. But even discoloration can be a sign of an issue, as it often indicates damage from hail or debris. 

Why do you "flood cut" a wall?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

After a major water intrusion in a home, it's incredibly important to react quickly and comprehensively to remove the water and dry the structure out. 

If you react immediately and are able to extract or remove the water after turning off the source, then the level of mitigation and restoration that you need might be minimal. A little bit of air movement and dehumidification may do the trick.

However, if that water is allowed to sit and wick up your walls, then you might have a bigger problem on your hands. 

After all, how do you dry out water that's already inside the wall cavity?

This situation happens all the time, and it's why we perform "flood cuts" relatively often on bigger water damage projects. If we're not called in until after the water has gotten behind the wall, then we're forced to open up the wall to dry it.

How do I extract water on my own?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage event in your home, then you have a very limited timeline to stop it, mitigate it and stabilize the environment before it spirals out of control.

While SERVPRO is always quick to respond, it still takes some time for us to dispatch to your home after a water intrusion. Anything that you can do to mitigate the damage on your own before we get there is extremely helpful and will save you time and money on the restoration. 

Extracting water should be one of your top priorities. There are many ways that you can extract with items that you already have in your household. 

Obviously, if you have a vacuum that is capable of vacuuming up liquids or wet materials (like many Shop-Vacs are), this can be a great tool.

But even throwing down some towels to soak up water and prevent it from reaching vulnerable or high value areas is super effective.

We're your 3D building scan partner!

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

At our location, we've recently invested in a state-of-the-art panoramic, 360-degree 3D camera, and the software to go along with it.

This camera is high-powered yet extremely easy to use, producing scans of entire rooms in just a few presses of a button. 

Why did we buy this camera? We use it to document projects and create estimates that are more comprehensive than anything that's ever come before.

How can you use this camera in your commercial building? Any way you want!

As your partner in all things emergency preparedness, we're happy to come to your building and produce a scan of the entire property at no cost.

By pairing this scan with one of our sought-after Emergency Ready Plans, you'll be prepared for any emergency.

You can also use the scans to help you to market and promote your building - it's a win-win if you ask us!

What is wind and hail insurance?

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

In the United States, the most common and frequent homeowners claim is not simple water damage: it's wind and hail coverage.

Here in Western New York, you might find that surprising. While we definitely have strong winds, we don't see much hail, and you don't often see people putting in claims for wind and hail.

So what is wind and hail insurance? And why are these claims so frequent?

Wind and hail insurance can go by many names: windstorm insurance, hurricane insurance and even tornado insurance.

Much like flood insurance, it is usually a separate type of coverage distinct from your run-of-the-mill homeowners policy.

But if you live on or near a coast, wind and hail coverage is a necessity. It may even be required as a stipulation to getting a mortgage.

After all, imagine if you didn't have wind and hail coverage and a major hurricane blew through. Your entire home could be destroyed, and you could be left paying the bill out of pocket.