Recent Water Damage Posts

How to avoid frozen pipes in your vacant Hillsdale home.

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

A kitchen ceiling falling down and insulation and debris on the floor from a pipe break above. Frozen pipes can cause major damage, call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties to help with the restoration, 24/7!

If you own a 2nd home, rental property, Air BnB or have a vacant property for sale, it's important to have it winterized or take precautions against the extreme elements the Catskills and Berkshires throw at us in the winter months.

While there are always unforeseen issues that can happen like appliances failing or storm damage, it's the water that causes the most damage. Water can and will get into everything, continuously finding a way out is the name of the game. Water always takes the path of least resistance, and as we say in the remediation industry, water always wins.

Some key tips for your vacant property to help avoid water damage:

-Don't turn the heat off in the colder months, rather keep it set to at least 55 degrees and make sure you’ve had an oil delivery or are on a schedule for a rotating one if needed.

-Take care to protect your pipes like wrapping them with pipe insulation, keeping windows and doors sealed and emptying outside spigots and water sources. Even something as simple as a lightbulb left on in a poorly insulated area can prevent pipes from freezing.

-Have your furnace, heating systems and hot water heater checked regularly. All too often, our professionals see these systems fail in the winter for various reasons and they can cause significant water damage and secondary issues like structural problems and mold growth.

-Have someone check on your house regularly for any issues, making sure to pay attention to mechanicals, pipes and leaks. Even tree branches near or on the roof can puncture and cause a leak. The last thing you want is a phone call telling you that your house is now an igloo.

-Consider hiring a property manager or management company. They offer many services to help with unoccupied homes and that can help reduce the chance of a plumbing problem going unnoticed for a long time.

- Speak with your insurance agent about tips they have and make sure your policy is where it needs to be. If you have a sump pump in the basement or crawl space, make sure you have the necessary coverage for it if there is a system failure. Make sure you have made them aware if your property is not your full-time residence or used as a rental. If your policy isn’t written to your need, it could potentially affect damage coverage in the event of a loss.

-Invest in a generator, speak with an expert about what you would need one to do for you in the event you’re not around and the power goes out.

-Keep SERVPRO® of Columbia & Greene Counties’ contact info at the ready, even taped to your fridge should anyone ever need it on your behalf. 

Should you ever suffer from water damage, or any kind of loss to your property, call the experts in damage restoration. SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties has been the local leader in the damage restoration industry for over 30 years, we're here to help 24/7 with certified technicians, extensive experience and the best technology around.

I found Water Damage in my Chatham home, what do I do now?

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

White paint and drywall peeling and coming off of a ceiling When the toilet supply line in the bathroom burst, this homeowner called SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties to handle the cleanup and restoration.

When it comes to water damage, the cause of the loss (or whatever is causing the water) must be repaired first. Call a plumber to get the problem repaired right away. At the very least, find the water shut off in your home and turn off the water in that area.

We highly recommend you then file a claim with your insurance company. We can help no matter what, but if it’s covered by your homeowner’s insurance, that means less out of pocket cost to you.

Next step, call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties, no matter the size of the disaster and no matter what time of day. Our dedicated professionals will gather all needed information and schedule an estimator to meet you.

How much is this going to cost?

Our estimates are FREE and we’ll work directly with your insurance company to help cover the costs of the damage. In most cases, you’re only responsible for your insurance deductible. However, no two losses are ever the same, we’re happy to explain the course of action. If this isn’t something you’re putting through insurance, we’ll work out a self-pay estimate for you instead.

What about my damaged items? Our teams are trained and certified in Water Damage Restoration. They will remove all damaged contents and create both salvageable and non-salvageable lists and photos for you as well as storing them if needed. Your items will be cleaned, dried and returned to you promptly. We have state of the art drying equipment to take care of it all from couches to clothing to important documents, photos and electronic equipment.

Everyone talks about mold, do I have to worry about that too?

Fixing the leak and drying out all affected areas as quickly as possible helps stops the growth of mold spores. Mold likes warm and damp environments, that’s why you’ll often see it in basements, crawl spaces and sometimes attics. As part of our drying process, we use green- based anti-microbial products to inhibit any mold growth, in addition to our mold prevention techniques and protocol. Time is key here, the quicker the areas are remedied, the less of an issue mold growth will be.

How long will this all take? It sounds lengthy.

This answer often depends on the size and severity of the damage but our estimators, production managers and technicians will be with you step by step. We pride ourselves in using effective methods as well as being efficient and timely. We understand how stressful this type of situation is and we’re eager to help get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Check out some of our testimonials from some previous clients!

SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties is here to help 24/7 with an emergency response to your water damage. Call us if you need us, no matter what, 518-943-5005.

Water Damage Due to Leaking Water Heater - Cleanup & Restoration Process

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

A leaking water heater may cause severe mold and rust build up in a home.

Water restoration is one of the main jobs we handle here at SERVPRO. When there is flooding in a home, there is more that comes along with the water damage. Overtime, any excess water can lead to unwanted mold and mildew in the home. It is imperative to get ahead and move forward with the restoration process in order to successfully recover from the damage that has occurred.

SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties has a team of certified experts that specialize in Water damage and mold remediation. We are an IICRC certified firm. IICRC stands for the Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification that focuses on innovative teachings and most advanced technical information that are required to take on complex jobs and return normalcy from a chaotic environment – "Like it never even happened."

Once you call us here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties, you are one step closer to bringing your home back to normalcy. For example, if you experience water damage from a water heater leaking, the following steps is the cleanup process of restoration you can expect from SERVPRO.

1.) Emergency Call

When a customer first noticed initial signs of a water heater leaking, we advised them not to attempt handing the situation on their own. Reason being, it may cause additional damage to their property. Instead, we recommend calling us! We have a 24/7 answering service you can call with your emergencies. We strongly recommend to not waste any time and call as soon as possible. Any delay of even just a few hours may lead to further damage.

2.) Assessment of the Job

One of our project managers will come to the home immediately and assess the leaking water heater to determine the extent of damage and what entails in fixing the heater and any water damage that it caused.

3.) Removal of Water

Our project manager will schedule a crew to come to the house with truck mounted vacuums or extraction machines to get rid of any excess water in the home. SERVPRO utilizes moisture meters which help determine how much saturation is in a room and uses infrared cameras to discover any hidden moisture.

4.) Drying Process

Once all the water damaged materials are removed from the home, SERVPRO will install drying equipment thoroughly dry the structure.  Air movers and de-humidifiers are used to extract and evaporate remaining water from the structure so that mold has no opportunity to grow.

5.) Cleaning Process

During and after the drying process, SERVPRO technicians will utilize air scrubbers and other sanitizing equipment to ensure the household is clean, odor-free and ready for the repair process to begin.

6.) FINAL STEP: Reconstruction Process

SERVPRO will be working to keep your insurance adjuster informed of all the damages caused by the water loss. At the completion of the drying phase, your house will be ready for repairs to be made. SERVPRO is available for reconstruction of the damaged residence if you so choose and typically can get started sooner than most other contractors. Since we have been working with the adjuster, SERVPRO will most likely already have and estimate to perform the repairs that is consistent with the insurance adjuster’s expectations.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties at (518)-943-5005

So, if you ever go through the unfortunate experience of having water damage loss at your home, be ready to call SERVPRO to help you through the process as stress-free as we can make it. We will truly make it…"Like it never even happened."

Freezing Weather & Frozen Pipes

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes

One of the biggest reasons for water remediation calls every winter is the damage caused by frozen pipes. When water freezes, it can expand by almost 10% of its liquid volume size. Frozen water in your pipes can increase the pressure so much that the pipe itself can crack or even break open completely. Here are some tips to prepare your pipes for the extra cold weather heading our way in the upcoming weeks.

  • Even if your home or business is vacant, you should keep the internal temperature around 68 degrees.
  • Wrap pipes, especially those along external walls, with insulation or heating tape.
  • Disconnect outside garden hoses and place overs on all outside faucets.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks if located along exterior wall to allow home’s heat to circulate around sink and dishwasher pipes.
  • Add additional insulate outside walls that house any pipes or plumbing.

With freezing temperatures forecasted in the coming days, it is more important now than ever to keep an eye on your home or business’ water pipes. If a frozen pipe leads to water damage in your home this winter, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties 24/7.

Common Causes of Home Flooding

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

With record-high rainfall accumulations across New York State this year, it is no surprise that we are seeing more and more water-related remediation needs. Here are the most common causes of home flooding:

  • Poor basement sealing
  • Drainage tile failure
  • Debris in the gutters
  • Broken, cracked or clogged pipes
  • Hot water tank failure
  • Sump pump failure

To avoid major home damage from flooding or water you should be inspecting your home regularly to ensure all your water sources or protectants are intact. Even the smallest amount of water damage can lead to more serious mold issues if not addressed properly. Sometimes though, as we are seeing throughout the Northeast, weather is unpredictable and unrelenting. With many water issues, time is of the essence. SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties knows an immediate response to water damage helps to minimize repair, cleaning, and restoration cost and will respond to any size disaster the fastest with 24/7 emergency response. 

Crawl Space Water in Copake, NY

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

Waterfront home properties are always beautiful and serene until the water decides to enter your home! In this Copake, NY home on the Upper Rhonda Pond that is just water happened. The homeowners found about a foot of water in their crawl space and gave SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties a call for help. After assessing the situation, the SERVPRO team got right to work with the water mitigation. Using expert equipment, the crew members pumped out the standing water to begin the drying process. They then used SERVPRO drying equipment such as fans and dehumidifiers to alleviate any moisture remaining in the crawl space. Once water is removed from any space, it is important to proactively prevent mold from growing in the wake of the damage. Once sufficiently dry, an anti-microbial solution was applied to the crawl space to kill any bacteria in the area that could lead to mold growth. SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties is faster to any size disaster and is on call 24/7 to help you and your home through any damage- especially from water.

Sewage in Hudson, NY

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Contaminated Water with Sewage in Hudson, NY Home Basement.

SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties was called to a home in Hudson, NY, that had contaminated water backed up into their basement. Did you know there are three major types of contaminated water? The first type of contaminated water is, “Clean Water.” This water is from a clean source, but through a broken line or pipe. This water does not pose an immediate risk to personal health, but if gone untreated; can degrade into category 2 or 3. The second category of contaminated water is “Grey Water,” which is water with a significant level of contamination. This water can have a cloudy or darkened appearance. This water can come from overflowing toilets, pipes, washing machines, and dishwashers. Even from a seemingly clean source as a dishwasher, this contaminated water could contain bacteria that can be harmful if not taken care of quickly. The third category of contaminated water, which we can see in this Hudson home's basement; is “Black Water.” This water is grossly unsanitary and should be avoided at all costs. Luckily, SERVPRO of Columbia and Greene Counties has 24/7 Emergency Services and can help you with any water damage: whether category 1 or category 3. We can inspect any contaminated water to determine the type and create an action plan to restore your home safely and quickly.

Busted Supply Lines

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

This was a home that suffered a major water loss caused by the freezing of two bath tub supply lines that leaked water for some time after thawing out. Notice each pipe has a hole in them. The tub was located on the second floor. When SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties arrived, the crew discovered waster damage all the way down to the basement! Water damaged the entire kitchen making that a total loss including a bathroom, two guest bedrooms, dining room, and majority of the whole finished basement. This was no job that SERVPRO couldn't handle of course! Crews removed all wet material in the house as well as organizing and sorting all wet and dry contents while noting everything and taking pictures. Once all the wet material was removed, SERVPRO installed drying equipment including dehumidifiers, air movers, and hardwood floor drying mats for areas that were able to be dried and saved.  

Water Extraction and Drying Process

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

You may have experienced and bad flood or water loss in your home or business that needs to be address immediately. If so, call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties who are a 24/7 Emergency Service and are ready to assist you. 

Upon arrival we will bring our truck mount van that is capable of extracting water from the effected area. It sucks it out using a hose and a proper wand that puts it into a tank that is also in the van. 

Once all water is extracted, SERVPRO will then be able to address all wet material including flooring and drywall as well as any contents that got water damaged. SERVPRO will make flood cuts where necessary and removing the flooring if it is not salvageable. 

SERVPRO will then bring in commercial grade drying equipment usually being air movers and dehumidifiers to get the effected area dried out and ready for reconstruction.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties for your water loss and let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Insurance and Your Home

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Most people learn a great deal about their homeowner’s insurance policy after there’s been an event— which is not the ideal time to have a crash course in coverage. At SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties, we work with many different policies and situations. Although the details vary from one state to another and from one policy to another, we can share some general guidelines.

You don't have to live near an ocean or river to get flood insurance. Most insurance policies don’t cover floods, which are the most common natural disaster in the nation. 

It’s important to note that it is the damage to your home that’s insured, not the actual item that failed. So if a busted pipe was the source of the problem, the ruined carpet will be covered but not the broken pipe.

Water Damage and Restoration

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Extracting water from hard wood floors with special drying mats.

If your home in the Columbia or Greene Counties region has suffered a broken pipe or water leak, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties.  We will respond to address the water damage cleanup and drying that is needed to keep your property protected and your family safe from the secondary effects, such as mold, that can occur from the loss.  Our team is the most highly trained group of professionals, and the closet in this region that will work to protect your property as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  When you call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties, you can be certain that the owner of the company will be involved to ensure in the end that your water damage loss will seem "Like it never even happened."

Our Response to Water Damage

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Basement of a house that had water damage on the entire first floor seeping through the floor.

If your home in the Columbia or Greene Counties region has suffered a broken pipe or water leak, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties.  We will respond to address the water damage cleanup and drying that is needed to keep your property protected and your family safe from the secondary effects, such as mold, that can occur.  Our team is the most highly trained group of professionals, and the closet in this region that will work to protect your property as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  When you call SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties, you can be certain that the owner of the company will be involved to ensure in the end that your water damage loss will seem "Like it never even happened."

When responding to a water damage emergency, we begin with a detailed inspection of your home or property, including a damage assessment. At this stage, our professionals are trying to determine the scope of the damage so that we can develop an appropriate plan of action.

We will check for the source of moisture in your home or business. The source must be stopped before any restoration or drying of the building can be successful.

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties can conduct an organized, efficient move-out to protect your belongings from further damage.

Our highly trained technicians will begin the water removal process almost immediately. Depending on the amount of water, we may use powerful submersible pumps in addition to industrial strength, wet/dry vacuums. Removing most of the water helps reduce drying time and helps prevent secondary water damage and mold and bacterial growth.

Once the excess water has been removed, the floors and walls may appear dry, but a quick inspection will reveal they are wet to the touch. Nearly all building materials, like wood, drywall, and flooring materials, are porous and therefore retain water. This retained water can cause the materials to break down, warp, or cause mold damage.

Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your home or business. We’ll carefully monitor the progress using moisture meters until the materials return to acceptable drying goals.

Clean Water Damage: DOs and DON'Ts

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Columbia & Greene Counties arrives.


  • Shut of the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable in a safe, dry place. 


  • Use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist. 
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration. 

Contaminated Water Damage: DOs and DON'Ts

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

This photo shows contaminated water that overflowed out of a toilet pump tank that had failed in a basement.

These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper action during a contaminated water damage until SERVPRO of Columbia-Greene Professionals arrive. 


  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items. 
  • Contact a contractor to fix the damaged pipe to prevent further spillage. 


  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas. 
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminates. 
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. 

Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration during a disaster.