Recent Posts

How Fast Does Mold Grow?

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow almost anywhere that there is moisture and a moderate temperature of around 70 degrees. Many different types of molds can grow inside your home without you even knowing. Most cases of mold go unnoticed until it covers an entire wall. How? Because mold mostly grows in places you don't see every day like an attic, garage, or laundry room. But how fast does mold spread? Unfortunately, mold starts growing immediately after spores are attached to an item. Mold will continuously grow and begin to colonize no later than 12 days after the initial invasion. Mold won't wait until you're ready, get the problem fixed now.
If you see mold growing in your home, call SERVPRO of Port Jefferson to start the mold removal to get your home back to being mold free. 

Distinguishing Common Fire Extinguishers

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are a standard household item. However, not all extinguishers are made equally. Many different kinds of extinguishers are made to fight specific classes of fire. Here is a list and description of common fire extinguishers.
Water: Water extinguishers are used on Class A fires, that start when ordinary combustibles like wood and paper ignite. It is best not to use water extinguishers on electrical fires, as the water can damage the appliance.
AFFF Foam: This type of fire extinguisher is highly effective on class A and B fires. When extinguishing a class B fire that involves gasoline, the foam helps to prevent reignition. Some of these extinguishers may be used on or near electrical appliances, check to see if the extinguisher has been dielectrically tested before use on electrical equipment.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): This extinguisher can be used on class B fires or class F fires. This extinguisher works by cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire and does not leave residue behind.
ABC Powder: This type of extinguisher is versatile across classes A, B, C, and electrical fires. However, it is recommended not to use ABC Powder in a small or confined room due to the risk of inhalation.
Water Mist: Water mist extinguishers are used to put out A, B, C, F, and electrical fires. "The unique design of the water mist extinguishers' supersonic nozzle creates a microscopic mist curtain, reducing the oxygen content. Water mist extinguishers are also safe on fires caused by electricity, as the water mist does not conduct electricity and the water mist does not form puddles which could lead to electrocution" (Safelincs, 2018).
Wet Chemical: Wet Chemical fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out class F fires that involve cooking oil and fats. Some of these extinguishers may be used on class A fires as well.
If you or anyone you know is having a fire emergency call SERVPRO of Port Jefferson for immediate emergency services. Staying safe and staying educated on fire safety can help you keep yourself, your family, and your home safe.

A Renter's Guide to Flood Insurance

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

With the Atlantic hurricane season in session, renters who live on the fifth floor of their apartment complex are not worried about flooding. However, renters are more likely than they think to be a flood victim. SERVPRO® of Port Jefferson encourages all renters to check their area on a flood map to see if they are at risk of flooding. If to your unpleasant surprise you find yourself in an at-risk area do your research and get flood insurance.

                "According to a ValuePenguin analysis, there are 1,274 counties in the U.S. in which at least one in four residents rent their homes. In about a quarter of those counties, floods have caused at least $5 million in property damages over the past 20 years--reflecting modest but not insubstantial losses. However, more than 5% of counties--78 in all--have suffered more than $50 million in damage over the years, and in more than one in five of those, the losses totaled $500 million or more" (Forbes, 2015).

                Even more surprising is that basic insurance does not cover flood damages. Insurance agencies will not cover water damage if the water has hit the ground before entering your home. The aftermath for flooding can range from $10,000 to $50,000 in out of pocket expenses. Not to worry, flood insurance for renters costs much less than for homeowners since the renter will not have to pay for structural damages, which is often the most expensive part of the restoration process.

                Understanding your insurance policies and being prepared this hurricane season is essential for keeping you, your family, and your home safe. If you or your family are having a flood, call SERVPRO® of Port Jefferson's 24/7 call center so we can help you start the renovation process.

Different Classes of Fire

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

There are many different classes of fire based on what fuels the flames. Even though there are a variety of fires, all fires are dangerous. The first step in protecting yourself, your family, and your home from different types of fires is understanding what fuels them and what extinguishes them.
Class A fires are fueled by ordinary combustible materials like wood, paper, fabric, and most kinds of trash. Class A fires typically start at campsites, kitchens, backyards, schools, and forests. If a Class A fire does start and has not spread, pouring water or cutting off the oxygen supply will extinguish the fire.
Please call 911 in case of a fire emergency, then call SERVPRO to help start the restoration process.
Flammable liquid and gas fuel class B fires. Not to be confused with a greasy kitchen fire, Class B fires start when gasoline catches fire. When a Class B fire starts never pour water directly onto the fire, due to gasoline's hydrophobic makeup the water will cause the fuel to spread, thus making the fire spread. Extinguishing these fires should be left to professionals. However, if that is not an immediate possibility, a CO2 extinguisher will effectively stop the fire.
Please call 911 in case of a fire emergency, then call SERVPRO to help start the restoration process.
Electrical fires are categorized as a Class C fire. With the absence of an energized electronic device, it is classified differently. A Class C fire is extinguished the same as a Class A fire.
When cooking anything with grease, a Class K fire is possible. This class of fire starts when oil, grease, or vegetable fat ignites. Similar to the aforementioned Class B fire, never pour water on a Class K fire. Grease and oil repel water, and by pouring water directly onto the fire, it will cause the fire to spread. You can extinguish this fire by cutting off its oxygen supply with a CO2 extinguisher, but these fires need to be left to professionals.
Please call 911 in case of a fire emergency, then call SERVPRO to help start the restoration process.
Being educated about what to do and what not to do for different classes of fire can help you protect yourself, your family, and your home from disastrous fire damage.

Don't Let it Spread: Common Types of Mold

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Let's face it. Mold can grow almost anywhere, and a comfortable house is one of the prime locations for mold to thrive. However, knowing what you're looking for can help you stop the spread and damage that mold can cause.

Below are the five most common household molds:

  1. Alternaria

            Alternaria is a large spore mold that can cause health effects. This mold starts out as dark or gray spots which start to spread quickly.

Where to look for it in your house:

-carpets

-textiles

-house dust

-damp areas (i.e., window frames and showers)

- Plants, trees. grasses, and soil

What to look for inside your home:

-dark or gray spots which are spreading

-musty smell

            It's safe to say that Alternaria, while it is typically found outside, can easily wind up in your home. If you have any suspicions about mold being in your home contact SERVPRO® of Port Jefferson at 516-733-1800.

  1. Aspergillus

            This mold is generally found in warmer climates where water damage has occurred. However, this mold can grow in extremely damp environments and has been found in household dust and compost piles.

            "Though only a lab test can truly verify the identity any variety of mold, you can suspect that mold is from the Aspergillus genus if it has a powdery texture and an extremely high growth rate" (IndoorDoctor, 2016).

  1. Cladosporium

            This fungus is common outdoors but can enter your home through the HVAC and airflow entryways. When indoors, this mold can grow on textiles, wood and other porous locations with a damp environment. Whether it is growing indoors or outdoors Cladosporium can cause health affects.

Where to look:

-Wallpaper

-Carpets

What to look for:

-black, brown, or green spots

            These spots will start out small, but if left alone will keep growing.

  1. Penicillium

            Penicillium is one of the most common molds indoors and outdoors.The Penicillium that we have all known are the types that cause food decay. When food starts to rot, we can easily see Penicillium appear to start the decomposing.

Where to look:

-Wallpaper

-Wallpaper glue

-Decaying fabrics

-Carpet

-Interior fiberglass duct insulation

            Since this mold is prevalent, if there is a leak in your roof it would be essential to have someone inspect for mold.

  1. Stachybotrys

            The harder the name is to pronounce, the more toxic the mold is. Stachybotrys is a type of black mold that causes significant health effects. However, this mold is the least common in households and needs plenty of running water to grow and is easily identifiable with its black and slimy texture.

Help your home stay safe by staying educated. For more information about mold, fire, hurricane, and water damage safety go to SERVPRO.com. If you are concerned about mold in your home call SERVPRO® of Port Jefferson at 516-733-1800.

References

Mold Answers: A Home Owner's Guide to Mold Removal

Achoo! Allergy

Indoor Doctor

How to Prepare You, Your Family, and Your Home for a Flood

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

For those of us that live on the coast, or on a low part of the neighborhood, flooding is all too familiar. However, flooding can also happen from a clogged storm drain or a pipe bursting in the apartment above you. Depending on the severity of the flooding in your areas, there are some ways to help prepare your home and your family for a flood.

1. Have a checklist for Gas, Water, and Electric. This includes:
-disconnecting all appliances,
-turning off electrical power at the main breaker boxes,
-turn off all gas at the main line,
and most importantly,
-Turn off all water at the main line! During flooding, pipes inside the house can burst and create further damage.
2. Have a flood kit prepared for emergency situations. This list should include:
-A gallon of water per person per day
-A 3 day supply of nonperishable foods that are easy to make
-Flashlight
-Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio (NOAA Weather radio if possible)
-Extra batteries
-first aid kit
-Sanitation and personal hygiene items
-Cell phone and cell phone portable chargers
-Family emergency contact information
-Maps of the area
-Emergency blanket
-Extra set of car keys and house keys
-Extra clothing and sturdy shoes
-Rain gear
-Camera for photos of damage
There are also other checklist items to consider if you or someone you live with is elderly, has a pet, or has a child:
-Baby food and formula
-Diapers
-Hearing aids and prescription medications
-Extra food and water for all pets
This checklist is provided to you by the American Red Cross. Click the link for more information.
3. Evacuate or head to higher ground. When evacuating, keep children out of the water and never tread through flowing water that is six inches deep. If you find yourself in a situation where the water is rising above six inches, turn around and go another way. Always try to find high ground for you and anyone else you are with.
4. Install backflow valves or plugs
"During a flood sewer and storm drains can back up and force sewage into your washing machines, bathtubs, sinks, and dishwashers, which can then overflow onto your floors" (Homes.com, 2018).
5. Have a backup water supply and unperishable foods for after the flooding has receded. After a flood, do not drink well water or the city water until it has been tested and verified by the local health department. Buying bottled water for a "just in case" flood comes in handy. All food that has been contaminated by the water has to be disposed of accordingly.
6. Learn how to use sandbags and plastic sheets effectively. While these tools, even if installed correctly, will not keep out all of the water, they will reduce the amount of flooding inside your home causing less damage to your property.
7. Whereas if you live in an apartment, #4 on our list will not do you much good. However, having a backup plan when a pipe does burst will help with keeping everyone calm and organized in the face of the emergency. Call your leasing office to see if they have a plan in place for when such an incident might occur.
These are just a few of the safety and preparation tips for flooding. Help keep you, your family, and your home safe by staying educated and alert about possible flooding situations. If you or anyone you know needs emergency service for flooding call SERVPRO of Port Jefferson for their 1-4-8 emergency services. In 1-hour SERVPRO professionals will address your call, in 4-hours we will send in a group of trained professionals to help with the situation, and in 8-hours we will have your claims sent to your insurance agency.

5.8.18 Hurricane Prep

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

May 6 -12 is Hurricane Preparedness Week. Do you know what to do? Are you Prepared? 

If a hurricane strikes, you’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy recovery period that could follow. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You’ll also need a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cellphone. For more information on how to be hurricane ready go to following website  https://www.ready.gov/kit

Check it out today! #hurricane ready  

5.7.18 Hurricane Prep

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in a zone or unsafe home, and work it out with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about. Check out https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness for more information!

Hurricane Prep. & Insurance

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance. Here is a list of participating Write Your Own (WYO) companies.

If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. NFIP flood insurance policies can only be purchased for properties within communities that participate in the NFIP.

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Hurricane Safety 5.10.18

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

A hurricane is a powerful tropical cyclone with sustained winds of at least 74 mph that often measures several hundred miles in diameter. All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes and tropical storms. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June through November with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.