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Finding and Fixing Leaky Pipes | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

metal water pipe with leaking water pouring out" Are you in need of repairs due to water damage? Contact SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda for quick and professional service.

“Ahh, geez!” That’s what you might say when you find a slowly-leaking pipe has damaged the wood under your floor tiles. Sadly, you didn’t notice it until the damage was done.

And because it was a slow leak, your insurance does not cover the bill. If you own a home or business, take this opportunity to find and fix leaky pipes.

If you’ve never done any plumbing, you might get nervous when you think about fixing a leaky pipe. But reaching the leak is actually the hardest part. Once you can see it, you can often fix it. This video and many others like it show you the basics of fixing a leaky pipe.

Identifying Leaks and Calling Help

Signs of leaky pipes. If you’re standing in water, chances are you have a leaky pipe. But leaking pipes can also be subtle. Signs include:

  • Ceiling stains
  • Damaged flooring
  • Loose, flaking caulking or grout
  • Looseness of your sink faucet or handles
  • Mold or mildew
  • Puddles (of course)
  • Tiles that keep coming up
  • Toilet that moves when you rock it

Finding the source of a leak. To find a leaking pipe, check under countertops and sinks. Open the access panel behind you tub. To identify a small leak, you might partly fill your tub or sink. As the water runs out, check all the joints you can see for moisture.

Do you need a plumber? Can you easily get to the leak? You can likely fix it yourself. But if you can’t see or reach it, call an expert. Employing a professional now can save you repair costs in future.

“I Did It!”

It’s a great feeling to know you’ve saved money by doing your own repair. But be sure to check you don’t have mold or other signs of damage.

If you need to follow up with a professional clean-up, call SERVPRO®. We’ve been in the business of cleaning up water damage more than 50 years. We’ll take your call at any hour, day or night.

Looking for help with water damage? Reach out any time for the rapid response we’re famed for.

The Dollars and Cents of Storm Damage | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

severe roof damage from a large tree landing on gray house SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us if you experience any storm damage.

Storm damage hits you hard. In addition to losing beloved possessions, you may suddenly face expenses you weren’t ready for.

In fact, Americans experience as much as $34 billion in storm-related losses every year. Careful planning can help protect you and your family.

Looking Ahead

You’ve probably done a lot toward damage-proofing your house. You keep your gutters clean, replace large appliances like your hot water heater as they need to be updated, and maintain your house from roof to foundation. A few hours spent damage-proofing your insurance paperwork is also a sound investment.

Know Your Coverage. United Policyholders, a nonprofit group dedicated to informing and advocating for insurance policyholders, advises everyone to be familiar with their insurance policy before a storm hits. The specific wording on your coverage will help you understand exactly what’s protected from what kind of damage. Talk with your insurance agent if you need help understanding your coverage.

Perform Due Diligence. Your insurance claim may be weaker if your property already has damage, so take care of any problems as they occur. To help prove damage came from a recent storm, take “before” photos of your house in good repair.

Moving Forward

Get to Safety. After a storm, make sure you and your family are safe. Then check your house for safety hazards, such as downed power lines or standing water. You may need to move to a temporary shelter. Do what you can to limit ongoing damage. For example, you may need to board up broken windows or place a tarp over a hole in your roof.

Immediate Help. Sometimes you can get funding for urgent repairs from your local FEMA office.

Take Pictures, Take Notes. As you prepare your claim, document everything. Take pictures of all damage, superficial to structural.

Are You Ready to File? When you have your documentation prepared, reach out to your company. They will assign an agent to help you through the process. Be persistent and detailed in your claim. Keep careful records of each interaction with your insurance company. Soon, you should be feeling “home-sweet-home” again.

We have many years of experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.

How We Stand Out When it Comes to Storm Damage Restoration | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda to set up an appointment

The damage that storms can cause to buildings is serious. It can often lead to issues with moisture, structural considerations and electrical problems—and trends point to it becoming worse in recent years than it has been in the past.

Even for mild storm damage, leaving it unattended can lead to much bigger problems later on down the road, so picking a restoration company to work with right after you discover damage is important.

When you trust a restoration company to restore your home or commercial space, you are depending on them to do an impeccable job and treat your property with care. When you trust us to be your restoration company, you can plan on all that and then some every step of the way.

What Sets Our Storm Restoration Methods Apart

We have earned our reputation. We are proud to be not only a member of the local community, but also to be considered a leader in the restoration industry as a whole. We have worked hard to earn our reputation and we are proud of it. After disasters, there are many scams afoot that take advantage of those who are vulnerable, but when you trust us, you can be certain you are getting the best in the business.

We have extensive resources. When a storm impacts a large part of the community, the number of damages may seem like they would be overwhelming—but thanks to our national SERVPRO® partners, we are able to handle issues regardless of the size. We can scale up our resources and technician staffing to meet the demand, ensuring that everyone gets consistent and timely service from us every single time.

We will never tell you to call back in the morning. Storms do not follow a logical schedule, which is why storm damage is a problem that happens around the clock. No matter what hour you sustain damage, you can give us a call. We have a 24-hour emergency line just for that purpose, so you can always get in touch with us and have a crew be dispatched to your damage as quickly as possible.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

Always Be Careful When It Is Time to Cook on the Grill | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

a person in grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda are the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

Taking advantage of the nice weather and extra light of summer is fantastic, especially when a grilled dinner is involved. While you may love to break out the grill, it is important to remember that no matter how many times you do it, fire safety is still a vital habit to get into.

It is estimated by the U.S. Fire Administration that every year sees nearly 6,000 fires due to grilling accidents, which can add up to millions in household damages. By prioritizing safety every time you grill, you can be certain that you are not part of this scary statistic.

Prioritize Safety Every Time You Grill

Create a safe zone around your grill. It might be tempting to situate your grill in a spot that is convenient to your back door, but you should always remember the three-foot rule when placing it in your yard. A flare-up can be quite large, igniting any flammable materials that happen to be nearby.

Clean your grill grates often. After using your grill each time, taking a few minutes to brush down the grates can make a big difference. The bits of food that get left behind can build up and become a fire hazard, especially if you are cooking meats with a lot of grease on them. These flare-ups can happen suddenly and be quite dangerous, so a prevention strategy is the best approach.

Never leave the grill unattended. You may have seen people run back into the kitchen to grab something or take a break from manning the grill to play with the kids, but officials advise to never, ever do this. Grills can start fires even if their lids are closed, and it is best to act like that is always a possibility and keep a fire extinguisher within reach.

Inspect the grill regularly. An inspection on a charcoal grill is more straightforward, but for a gas grill, you have propane hookups to consider. The connectors and hoses of a propane tank can become worn with time, leading to leaking gas that can cause a serious fire hazard if you do not notice it in time.

If you have a grill fire do damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Prioritizing Safety From Summer Storms | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

Tips for Safety During Summer Storms

Know your options for shelter. When storms are on the way and you are at home, the best thing you can do is move to an interior room of the home to seek shelter. However, if a storm catches you while you are on the go, seeking shelter in your car with the windows up is a good secondary solution. Make sure the engine is off and that you refrain from touching any metals in the vehicle.

Practice electrical safety. When lightning hits a building, it is searching for the quickest way to get through to the ground—which often involves traveling through electrical wires. The wires in buildings are not equipped to handle the high charges that lightning presents, so they will transfer some of this energy through the outlets and into whatever is plugged into them, referred to as a power surge. If you are able, unplugging everything before a thunderstorm starts is wise—as is installing surge protectors in case you are caught off-guard.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. Concrete structures are extremely sturdy, but that does not necessarily make them the safest place to be. Many times concrete is poured around steel beams for reinforcement, which means when lightning strikes, a charge can be carried through the concrete itself. Avoid touching any concrete structures if lightning is nearby just in case.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. Summer thunderstorms often pop up and disperse quickly, leaving people eager to resume their activities that have been interrupted. However, experts warn that lightning is able to strike at least 25 miles from the origin of the storm and recommend that you wait at least 30 minutes to go outside after the last clap of thunder.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Create Comprehensive Fire Evacuation Drills for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda specializes in commercial fire restoration.

Planning for all possible scenarios is an important part of being a business owner, and that includes planning for emergencies such as fires. There are many commercial fire incidents annually, so it is something that is worthwhile to prepare for just in case.

Making sure your employees know what to do if a fire breaks out is of chief concern, and you can achieve this by planning out regular fire evacuation drills. This way everyone will rehearse what needs to be done in advance, so in a real fire situation, they will know what to do.

Preparing Your Staff for Fire Evacuation

Consult with your local fire officials. Your local fire officials are a great resource for your business in all aspects of fire safety. Consult with them regarding your business and they will be happy to discuss the best fire evacuation routes and any special considerations you may need to take into account as you plan ahead.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once you have determined the best evacuation paths from various points in the building, involving your employees is the next step. Make sure to round everyone up before you host your first drill so everyone can be clear on what path to take and what the protocol will be once the drill begins.

Have fire drills frequently. Hosting regular drills is the best way to make sure that the evacuation plan is solidified in everyone’s mind and reduce the likelihood of panic if a real fire were to start. Make sure that everyone can exit the building safely within a few minutes’ time each time you do the drill.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can break out in a myriad of ways, so your evacuation drills should be comprehensive by taking this into consideration. Run through a different fire scenario each time that features blocked exits and varying fire origin spots so you can be certain that everyone is ready for any fire situation that may arise.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today at 716-694-9949

Firework season is now in full swing

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Fireworks going off in the air This season enjoy your holiday and be safe.

It is getting really close to Independence day and that means backyard cookouts, family gatherings and of course fireworks. Here at SERVPRO we want you to have fun but also be safe and practice safety first when it comes to handling fireworks, With the country in the state it's in it is easy to get overwhelmed and excited about being able to get out of the house and celebrate with others. This being said please use caution when handling fireworks and flammable items in the summer heat. One good practice is keep fireworks in a shady non flammable area away from grills and fire pits. we all know it only takes one spark to ignite flammable fireworks. So please enjoy your summer, take care of each other and practice safety while enjoying the weather. If something should happen please give us here at SERVPRO a call. We can help with your fire restoration needs.

A How-To Guide for Handling Fire Damage to Your Home | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

The process of surviving and recovering from a house fire is not something to be taken likely. Regardless of how big the fire was or how rapidly it was extinguished, damages can be extensive and the trauma of the experience can be significant.

Though recovering from a fire is also an overwhelming process, our how-to guide will help you handle it. Here are our tips for recovering from residential fire damage:

Our Tips to Recovering From Residential Fire Damage

Prepare yourself for what to expect. While it is easy to find pictures of fire-damaged buildings in the news, experiencing that with your own home is a different feeling entirely. The damage from a fire can be extensive and can spread to far reaches of the home that were nowhere near the initial flames. It is important to prepare yourself mentally for seeing this, as it can be an emotional experience.

Wait to enter your home. Though the fire-impacted area may take up a small portion of your home, hidden dangers can be lurking anywhere in the house due to structural or electrical damage a fire may have caused. Never enter your home before the firefighters provide guidance that it is safe to do so to avoid further complications.

Contact your insurance company. After you are able to access your home and take in the damage, you will want to call your insurance company quickly. Every homeowner policy is different, so you will want to be certain you get all the details regarding how to proceed with filing a claim before you do anything else.

Document the damages. Thorough documentation of the damage done to your home—including an inventory list with photos—will allow you to keep track of what has been damaged both for yourself and for your insurance company. Because it can be so overwhelming, staying organized can go a long way.

Contact your restoration company. The restoration company you decide to work with is one of the biggest factors in how quick and smooth your recovery process is. The lingering trauma from a fire can be persistent, so having a company that has your best interest in mind can do wonders for making the process as painless as possible.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Prioritize safety if severe storms are in the forecast

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

severe weather red sign with dark cloudy sky in background If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Buffalo/Tonawanda will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

When severe storms are possible in the area, prioritizing your safety is the best thing you can possibly do to prepare. In addition to receiving property damage, many people get injured or killed in storms every year—but by taking the proper precautions, you can significantly increase the likelihood that you will survive the storm unscathed.

Understanding the weather alert system, being prepared and well-stocked for emergencies at home and staying in touch with weather alerts are all measures you can take to increase your safety during a storm.

The Difference Between Watches and Warnings

When thunderstorms are a possibility, our area weather officials will release watches and warnings as it is appropriate to do so in order to keep the public informed. A severe weather watch is issued if the conditions point to a thunderstorm occurring—meaning one has not started yet, but there is a high possibility. For severe weather warnings, a thunderstorm has already moved into the area—meaning everyone should immediately seek shelter and listen for further information.

Household Emergency Preparedness

When a thunderstorm is possible, officials will generally alert people to stay in their homes and wait out the process, which means you should stock your house with everything you need. Not only should you have an emergency kit stocked with food, water and medical supplies, but you should also prepare for a power outage by having light sources and backup power sources stashed around the house. Additionally, have a plan for where to go in the home should things get serious—generally a hallway or bathtub is advised.

Have a Way to Tune Into Emergency Broadcasts

While many of us depend on our phones to receive updates online, this may not suffice when it comes to severe weather alerts. When batteries die or a storm upsets the cell reception network, it is important to have another way to receive these life-saving alerts, such as a NOAA Weather Radio that is powered without electricity just in case.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

How to stay safe in the aftermath of a flood

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

If your home has been involved in a flood, you are likely antsy to return to your household and begin the recovery process. If you’re experiencing any water damage from flooding, SERVPRO of Buffalo Tonawanda is available 24/7 to assist you with any repairs.

While acting quickly in the aftermath of a flood is advised in most cases, it is important to make sure that you are holding safety in the utmost regard as you do so. There are many hazards that can be lurking in and around floodwaters, which can cause injury or further damage if not heeded.

Here are the top ways to keep safety in mind following a flood:

Staying Safe and Returning Home Following a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. In the aftermath of a flood, never return home without first checking with local authorities and making sure it is safe. Floodwaters can harbor many dangers, including contaminants, electrical currents and other hazards that can make recovery more difficult in the long term.

Air out the home. If severe weather has cleared out of the area, airing out your home by opening doors and windows is a great place to start. If your home has been closed up for several days following the flood, it is wise to enter in order to open windows and doors and then allow air to circulate for a bit before you begin the cleanup. Though mold can begin growing within the first 24 hours following water damage, having adequate airflow can prevent damage from worsening.

Document the damages. While cleaning up is generally homeowners’ No. 1 priority, it is important to first document the damages the flood has caused to your home. Even if you do not have flood insurance, there may be some damages you can file with your insurance company to help you recover.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. It is always wise to alert your insurance company regarding the damage as soon as possible so you can determine if you are eligible to file a claim for any of the damages. Once that is done, contact your restoration company in order to start the recovery process and prevent the damage from worsening. Untreated water damage can cause serious structural issues, so acting quickly is advised.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.