Recent Posts

Hoarding

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.  A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.   Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.  Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. 

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.  

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded.  Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called.  At times, hoarding may spread to the outside of the home as well, to storage facilities, or even garage or yard.  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown encounter hoarding situations several different ways.  Often, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is called for fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site.  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will communicate with insurance company regarding contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possible cleaned, dried and stored by SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.   

Another way SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one.  In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job.   Sometimes family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.  

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are here to help make "Like it never even happened." If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown today.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

The importance of cleaning dryer vents.  According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires.  Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury  or death.   

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insureds home or business, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a birds nest, or other potential obstacles.  For more information call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200

Storm Preparedness

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Preparedness This car decided to go through a large puddle and his car stalled during the storm.

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. We here on Long Island are experiencing Nor'Easter. Do you know the difference between a severe weather watch vs. a warning? Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather and it is possible. Remain alert for possible further warnings. Warnings: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar. Take cover. Safety Tips: The safest place to be during high winds is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or high wind warning has been issued. High Winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of high winds, Long Islanders should: 

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home or business for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs garbage cans, yard debris or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicles.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants garbage cans, tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as a gas grills or propane tanks.
 If your driving during periods of high winds: 
  • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes, as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care in a high profile vehicle such as trucks , vans and SUVs, as these vehicles and more prone to being pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
 Coastal Flooding Preparations:
  • Prepare a go bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry.
  • Learn the safest route from you home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate.
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
  If you experience flooding and water damage to your home and need our help please call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown at 631-265-9200 ‌

When Water Damage Strikes

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

The First 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage.  Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

Inspections:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work. 

Emergency Services:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying.  Our trained Crew Chief will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step. 

Monitoring:  To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO Technician will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you. 

Restoration Services:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown clean the affected areas for your property and belongings. A final walk through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property is returned to preloss condition.   

Dangers of Extreme Cold

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.  

Even Scarier? Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year. 

It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.  The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.  Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow ski, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. 

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather.  Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.  If someone's body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit , seek medical attention immediately.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible if not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry, 

Frozen Pipes and Ice Damming

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property. FROZEN PIPES Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the back-flow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To prevent pipes from freezing, here a few steps you take, according to The American Red Cross: 

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

 ICE DAMS

Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can back-flow under the roofs shingles and into the structures interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com To spot ice dams inside, check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Removing and ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter. If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insureds property, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are only a call away 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition. Call 631-265-9200

Types of Cleaning

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown arrives on site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results including lower claim cost. Within four hours of loss notification SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will be on site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services. Structural Cleaning:After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required toclean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insureds structure. Content Cleaning:All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for your insured. Deodorization:SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown provide specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

Restoring your Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Suffolk County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Prevention

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. Draw a map of each level of your home show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. Teach Children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your Fire Escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.  A Business Plan for Fire Emergencies.... Organize and Emergency Preparedness procedures review with you employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan. Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. Please remember SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is here for your emergency needs. Smoke Damage, Water Damage, Mold Remediation, we will make it "Like it never even happened." 631-265-9200

Happy Memorial Day

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown wishes you a very happy and safe Memorial Day.  Thank you to all who are serving and have served the Military.

Memorial Day – The Official Unofficial kickoff weekend for “pretty much almost might as well be summer”!  If you are planning to Travel, barbeque or spend a weekend in the sun, here are a few simple tips that will help you keep safe this Memorial Day.

Grill & Fire Safety – Grills and smokers, while creating delicious cookout fare, have a great potential for danger.  It is very important that a lit or hot grill is never left unattended; a responsible adult should stand guard as grill master to control flames and keep children and animals away from hot surfaces.  Before your first grill of the year and often during grilling season, make sure your grill ready for the job.  Keep it clean of grease, inspect propane fuel lines and position your grill away from structures, trees and high-traffic walkways.  You should also take any precautions in case a flare up or fire were to occur; keep an extinguisher nearby and make sure to know how to cut off fuel lines if you’re using propane.

Picnic Food Safety – Proper food safety during barbecues can help to avoid tummy troubles later.  Make sure to take safe food preparation precautions and avoid cross contamination with plenty of hand washing.  Take steps to keep foods at safe temperatures; cold foods should be kept on ice or refrigerated and left out no longer than an hour, and warm foods should be kept heated to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until served.  Keep all outdoor buffet dishes covered and try to keep insects from depositing germs onto your delicious meal.  If you do end up with any sort of digestion problems after a barbecue, stay hydrated and seek medical assistance if you experience serious symptoms.

Summer Sun Safety – If you spent time in the sun, be sun safe!  Use sunscreen of an appropriate SPF and make sure to reapply as necessary, especially if you are swimming or sweating.  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep cool.  Don’t forget your eyes – wear a hat and sunglasses.

Memorial Day Travel Safety – Tens of millions of Americans travel during Memorial Day Weekend, so it is especially important to include safety into your weekend travel plans.  Prepare your car for road trips by making sure your car is in top working condition; check your tire pressure and filly our tank before heading out on your trip and make sure you are equipped with emergency essentials.  Plan your drive ahead of time to choose direct routes on safe roads and keep an eye on weather forecasts to avoid driving with dangerous conditions.  Never drive after drinking, travel with anyone who has been drinking, or allow anyone who has been drinking to drive.  Of course, when you are driving, always wear your seat belt.