Recent Posts

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

fire debris SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties was called out for a chimney fire.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (570)-759-0966

After Hours Response

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

water puddles on the floor SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties responds to late night water loss!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties had received a call at 12:15 AM on a July Sunday morning! A local apartment housing building had sustained significant amount of water damage due to a broken pipe. Our crew was on-site by 2:00 AM to start mitigation of the first floor. Upon review the initial loss, they crew found minimal damage, puddles of water in several areas. They extracted the standing water and set up drying equipment. 

Our crew returned later in the day to set additional drying equipment to find that the customer had a second water loss. This second loss was much more substantial, the whole first floor now contained water damage. Our crew went to work with a second mitigation and placement of drying equipment.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your water mitigation needs!

(570)759-0966

Winter Weather

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

travel with snow on roads Please take extra time to travel on snow covered roads!

As we approach the winter months, please be alert for the winter storms!

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.

How do winter storms form?

Just like any other storm at other times of the year, the right combination of ingredients is necessary for a winter storm to develop.

Three basic ingredients are necessary to make a winter storm:

  • Cold air. Below freezing temperatures in the clouds and near the ground are necessary to make snow and/or ice.
  • Lift. Something to raise the moist air to form the clouds and cause precipitation. An example of lift is warm air colliding with cold air and being forced to rise over the cold dome. The boundary between the warm and cold air masses is called a front. Another example of lift is air flowing up a mountainside.
  • Moisture. To form clouds and precipitation. Air blowing across a body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean, is an excellent source of moisture.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We are Cleaning Experts

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

covid 19 SERVPRO is here to help!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, 570-759-0966

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

SERVPRO is Here to Help!

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

here to help SERVPRO is Here and Ready to Help!

  • We can help minimize the spread of germs with proactive cleaning! At SERVPRO, we’re trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitization standards, making us the #1 choice for cleanup and restoration. Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties to see how we can help clean your home or business.
  • Stop the spread of germs with a professional cleaning for your home or business. 

 COVID-19

  • Wash hands
  • Avoid touching face
  • Clean and sanitize house
  • Clean and sanitize office

Fire Damage?

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged home SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties (570)759-0966

When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family, but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home. 
 
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios. 
 
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage. 
 
In fire damage situations, there are three main types of severity. Putting each damage scenario into a certain level of severity helps our specialists know what types of methods to use when mitigating the problem. The three levels are minor, medium and major fire damage. 
  
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are available 24/7 at 570-759-0966. 

Grilling Safety Tips

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

grill on fire Always use caution when using a grill!

Nearly 8,900 home fires are started by grilling accidents each year.

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips:

  •  Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills:

Before you use your grill:

  •  Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills:

  •  There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for your restoration needs (570)759-0966

Be Prepared! Spring Storm Safety Checklist

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

lightning storm Always be safe!

Spring is here, which means severe weather can arrive at a moment’s notice, no matter where you live. Wind, rain, hail, tornadoes, and other elements can cause extensive damage to your home and property, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for what Mother Nature throws your way. Below is a spring storm checklist to proactively protect your home and property from damaging spring storms.

Spring Storm Home Safety Checklist

  1. Assess. Take a walk around your property often to see if there is any damage—whether by Old Man Winter or from summer mayhem—and make necessary repairs. Small damage to roofs and chimneys that occurred during winter can turn into big headaches after any severe storm. Make sure gutters are clear and draining properly. Consider investing in a chimney cap—they’re great at keeping out moisture from heavy rains, which can damage stainless steel liners, or cause mold.
  2. Trim and prune trees. Remove dead branches that could end up being dangerous projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage not covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Are any hovering near the power source to your home? Most arborists recommend that trees and limbs be at least 10 feet away from your home. Hire one to come out and identify any problem areas. Or enlist a knowledgeable friend.
  3. Ensure sump pumps are working. Spring runoff and torrential rainstorms can all result in flooded basements. Make sure your pumps are running smoothly so they can do their job when you need them.
  4. Secure backyard items. Your backyard oasis can turn into a danger zone in a severe storm. High winds can turn unsecured items into missiles. If you’ve received a warning that a severe storm is approaching, move these items—patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, and grills, flags and poles, bird feeders, and potted or hanging plants—inside your home, shed, or garage if possible. If you can’t bring furniture or heavy items in, try using a rope or garden hose to tie them down securely.
  5. And don’t forget this important step!

    Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage. Every homeowner should know exactly what their policy covers, or doesn’t cover, so there are no surprises in the event of storm damage. Damage to your swimming pool, for example, may not be covered.

   Be ready for power outages:
  • Think ahead. Make ice, lots of it. Fill up empty soda bottles with water and freeze them and leave them in your freezer. These will come in handy in both a cooler or the refrigerator, like an old-time icebox.
  • Stay informed. Know your electrical company’s phone number to report outages and listen for updates. If you don’t have a battery-operated radio, get one!
  • Use a cooler for essential foods. This way you can keep the refrigerator closed and keep the foods that you absolutely need to access cool and safe.
  • Disconnect. If you have an electric garage door opener, be sure to disconnect it before your stuck in the dark, without a vehicle.
  • Batteries. It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries, some drinking water, and a good first-aid kit on hand.
  • Think camping. Either get a camp stove (always use it outside) or use the grill to cook if you’ve lost power. If you have a lot in the freezer and it’s going to be a long time without power, you may just want to invite the neighbors over and grill up as much as possible before it goes bad.
  • Keep your cell phone charged before the power goes out!
  

Flash Flood Tips

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

flooded streets Please use caution during flash floods!

Flash Flood Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Flood Watch

  • A flood watch means the conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
  • Update your phone number and e-mail address with your electric company so you can be served faster in the event of an outage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your natural gas and electricity at the main switch or valve, but only if you are able to do so safely and without standing in water.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports and emergency instructions on the radio, television, and Internet.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.

Flood Warning

  • During a flood warning, a flood is either happening or will happen shortly.
  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

After A Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid standing water, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Never go into a basement with standing water in it unless you are sure the electricity is off.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.

Check Your Appliances...

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

top of water heater Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, (570)759-0966!

Flooding in your home can happen in the blink of an eye. One moment everything is okay, and the next moment, water is everywhere. 

Below are tips to aid in identifying and disarming their damage:

HOT WATER HEATER

What to do: Check the tank regularly for leaks. Have your tank maintained yearly. It is recommended to replace your water heater every 10 years.

WASHING MACHINE

What to do: Inspect hoses once a month. Look for signs of impending leaks, such as blisters, bulges, cracks, discoloration or kinks. Turn off the water supply to the washing machine when you go on vacation.

DISHWASHER

What to do: Tighten the drain line where it connects to under-sink plumbing. Replace the water supply line immediately if you run across a small leak. Don’t run the dishwasher while away from home.

REFRIGERATOR

What to do: Replace copper water lines with braided steel alternatives. Check the water supply line behind the fridge yearly.

AIR CONDITIONER

What to do: Install a secondary drain line and drain pan overflow switch. Have your A/C maintained regularly, which includes changing the filter and checking the refrigerant level.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are available 24/7, call (570)759-0966! The quick response and efficient, professional services of our team of technicians will return your home to normal in no time; we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”