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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO: How Is SERVPRO Better Than Its Competitors In The Restoration Business

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a disaster restoration company that specializes in water damage, mold removal, fire and smoke damage, storm and natural disasters as well as general home services. We are in this business for many years now and offer our services in the Woodbury and Deptford area in New Jersey. These days you can find many different disaster restoration companies in the market so choosing one that fits your requirements can be tricky. But we are here to help you ease down your decision. Here are a few factors for why SERVPRO is better than its competitors.

Not Many Competitors Offer 24/7 Services Like SERVPRO

When it comes to the restoration business, time is crucial. SERVPRO has a fleet of crews and technicians that are standing by 24/hours a day, every single day of the year. All you have to do is call us and we will dispatch an expert within 30 minutes! Even if your home or office gets severely damaged due to some unforeseen event like fire damage, water damage etc., our experts can arrive quickly and start working on repairing and restoring your property as soon as possible so you don't miss out much work from life's routine.

Not Only Water and Fire Damage Restoration but Also Mold Removal Services Are Offered By Us

Mold growing inside homes is one problem most homeowners face, but not many are aware that it can cause adverse health effects, too. SERVPRO will send its experts who are trained in mold removal and the process is completed within a matter of days.

We Offer Our Services to both Commercial and Residential Clients

SERVPRO is a company that offers its services to both commercial and residential clients. Whether you want us for your office or home we will provide the best solutions! We are a versatile company that can help you with a range of different restoration services for both your home and your workplace.

If You Are Looking For Services Which Are Timely and Affordable, We Offer the Best Solutions for Your Needs

SERVPRO offers top-notch services with timely completion of work at an affordable price. Our team ensures that they use only high quality equipment for restoration making sure your home or office doesn't sustain any further damage while under our care. We offer more value through our services for the money spent.

What Are You Waiting For? Call Us Now For A FREE Estimate!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, clients can call us on the phone number and you can also request for help online. We are open 24/hours so you don't have to worry about calling us during odd hours of the night for urgent matters. Our experts will be there at your doorstep in 30 minutes flat and start working immediately! So what are you waiting for? Call SERVPRO now!

How to Assess Water Damage after a Flood

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is a major issue that can occur in any home. Flooding has become a more common occurrence due to rising sea levels and natural disasters. This blog post will provide you with information on how to assess your water damage after a flood, as well as tips for what to do next if the flooding was caused by something else!

Inspect the Pipes and See If the Sewerage System Is Blocked

The first thing you should do is inspect the ventilation system and see if it has been clogged. The water damage may have occurred because of a blockage in one or more parts of your home's plumbing, usually near where sewage exits into the drainage system. If there are any visible signs of flooding on these pipes, including leaks or cracks, call your local plumber after reading this blog post to learn what they can do about them! Cleaning Your Flood-Damaged Home Can Prevent More Damage from Occurring

Closely monitor all appliances that use electricity. Be sure not to try to use anything electrical until everything has dried out completely (and even then only turn something back on once every hour). It is also important that you keep your house as ventilated as possible by opening windows and doors. Do not skip this step! It is important that you use a fan to remove moist air from the building as often as possible, especially during heavy rainfall or when it’s humid outside.

Check your furniture and other items inside your house if the water was able to get in

After the water damage has been assessed, you can begin cleaning up! Remove items that have been damaged by moisture and evaluate them to see if they are salvageable. If you find any furniture or appliances in your home with mold growing on them, throw these things out immediately because even a small amount of growth can generate health effects. While many homeowners choose to hire professional cleaners for this part of their post-flood restoration process, some decide it is more cost effective (and doable) to clean everything themselves using products like bleach and detergents which will kill harmful spores after three minutes at 20° Celsius. Dry off all surfaces such as floors and walls before mopping since excess moisture could cause bacteria to grow inside.

You may also notice that some of your belongings have been damaged by the water including books, CDs and clothes which you should clean using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove any dust or bacteria before throwing them out. You can do this yourself if you feel comfortable enough but many people choose to hire professional cleaners who specialize in cleaning mold from clothing and furniture items for this task instead! In addition to dry-cleaning materials such as clothes, blankets and pillows it is important that you get rid of all wet carpets, rugs or other textiles immediately since these will become home to dangerous molds if not removed within 48 hours of flooding occurring.

Inspect your lawn for any water damage

Even if you are not allowed to stay in your house after it has been flooded, make sure that you do not neglect any of the exterior spaces. Check for cracks or leaks on patios and driveways as well as broken irrigation systems since they may have contributed towards flooding occurring inside your home. A landscaping professional should be able to repair these problems easily so long as it is done soon enough!

5 Ways to Protect Your Belongings during a Storm

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

We've all been there. You're sitting in your home, anxiously waiting to hear if the storm that is heading towards you will be a Category 2 or 3. It's not until hours later when it has passed do you go outside to survey the damage. If you were lucky, only some of your property was damaged and everything else was still intact; but if you weren't so lucky, then this article may help stop future disasters from happening again! Here are five ways to protect your belongings during a storm.

Store important documents In a Safe Place

One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your belongings during the storm is to place them in a safe place. This will not just save your belongings from getting damaged but it will also be great if you have to rush and evacuate due to the storm warning. A great option for this would be an Under Bed Safe, which you can easily store underneath any bed or heavy piece of furniture so that no one will ever think twice about it being there. This type of safe has been known not only to lock away documents but also jewelry, money, cameras, laptops, etc.

Place any items that can be blown away, such as plants or decorations, inside of the house

If you have any items in your yard that are not too heavy, then it is best to bring them inside the house or into a garage. This includes plants, decorations, and furniture. It may be fine for these types of objects to get damaged during just one storm but if they're outside when multiple storms happen back-to-back then there's no telling how much damage can occur!

Keep appliances unplugged

If you have any appliances that are not in use, then it is best to unplug them during the storm. If they get damaged due to power surges caused by lightning or rain/snow entering through poorly-sealed doors and windows, then this can become very costly! It's also a good idea to keep all of your electronics plugged into surge protectors so that if there does happen to be an electrical problem, these items will still remain safe (just make sure they're turned off).

Make sure you have multiple flashlights/lanterns around for when there is no power available due to storms which happen often lately

This is an essential item to have in any house, especially if you live in a rural area. There are many times where the power goes out for days at a time due to storms and it can be very annoying when there's no light or heat available! To solve this problem, make sure that you always keep flashlights/lanterns with candles on hand so that you won't ever have to worry about feeling completely powerless during a storm again.

Park the Car inside the Garage So the Storm Does Not Damage It

This is a relatively small but very effective way to protect your car from damages caused by the storm. If you live in an area that gets heavy storms then it might be best just to always park inside of your garage during such times so that there will no longer be any chance of water, hail, and/or fallen branches damaging it!

These are some great ways for how to care for your belongings during a storm which should hopefully stop future disasters from happening again.

6 Simple Ways to Assess Total Damage after a Storm

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

When a storm hits your property, it can be difficult to assess the total damage. You want to know what needs repairing and how much it will cost you. The following is a list of 6 simple ways that you can assess the damage from a storm:

1) Check for structural integrity

Does your building have any cracks in the foundation or leaking pipes? If so, then there may be more extensive repairs needed. It is very important to check the damage to the structure for timely repairs and restoration. If you don’t check the building for any damages then it can create a very dangerous living environment.

2) Check for water damage

Look around your house at all of the wet surfaces and make sure that no mold has grown anywhere yet. If you see any signs of mold growth, then this could lead to further complications or health effects.

3) Take pictures

One of the most important steps in assessing a storm's damage is to take pictures. It will help with getting insurance claims and also reminds you of what needs repairing or replaced.

4) Check for Damages to the Doors and Windows

Are your windows loose or cracked? How about your doors, are they damaged too? Take a special look at the glass windows. Sometimes even the protective wooden panels aren’t enough to save the windows from breaking.

5) Check the Utilities, Gas lines and Electricity Lines

If you smell gas, turn off your appliances and open doors and windows. Get outside immediately! If there is a power outage or the electricity lines have been damaged then this will need to be addressed as soon as possible so that they do not catch fire. It can also cause serious damage to any electronic devices in your home which you may want to address quickly before more problems arise down the road.

6) Take an Inspection Round outside Your House

Inspect things outside the house including your car, trees, lawn and most importantly your house's roof. Roof of a house is the most vulnerable thing during a storm. Strong storms can break off shingles and expose your roof to a lot of serious damage. You may need to replace your roof if it is very damaged. If you find any tree that is in a bad condition and may fall down any minute then you need to get away from the house and call a tree maintenance company as soon as possible.

It is very important to assess the total damage after a storm. There are many things that you can do at home before calling in an expert. By taking pictures, checking for water damage and structural integrity, as well as assessing the damages to doors and windows you will be able to figure out what needs repaired quickly. Then call up someone with experience when it comes time for more extensive repairs!

Choosing the Right Storm Damage Restoration Company

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

In the aftermath of a tornado, hurricane or other major storm, one of the most important tasks facing homeowners is finding a reputable and reliable emergency restoration contractor to get the job done.

A number of factors need to be considered in order to choose a company that can do an effective job without taking advantage of stressed-out clients who are not thinking clearly during a disaster.

Preparation:

It's important for people to plan ahead and get several estimates from local companies before a major storm hits. Then, homeowners should get references and check them so they know who they can trust when an emergency happens.

The business of restoring homes hit by disasters such as tornadoes is highly competitive. That's why unscrupulous restoration contractors might cut corners or otherwise take advantage of their clients in the aftermath of a disaster. Getting multiple bids beforehand will help a homeowner avoid a dishonest company that focuses on profits over quality workmanship. If there isn't time to gather several proposals, it's wise to at least ask neighbors or friends for referrals rather than going with the first contractor who comes knocking on the door during a crisis situation.

Proper Licensing

Typically, the most effective way to find a quality restoration contractor is by word-of-mouth from satisfied clients. It's wise to ask the company for references and speak with those they have worked for in the past.

In addition, homeowners should check whether they are properly licensed, bonded and insured. There might be a cost associated with this process but it could provide a degree of protection against fraud or shoddy workmanship if something goes wrong. For example, insurance companies typically will not pay out claims unless a restoration company is properly licensed and insured as required by law in that area. If an insurer refuses to pay up when problems arise after work has been done, having licenses and insurance will help make sure contractors do everything possible to make things right.

Experience of the Storm Damage Restoration Company:

A homeowner should also consider the number of years a restoration company has been in business. An established and respected organization is more likely to do quality work than a fly-by-night outfit that might not be around after the storm damage is repaired.

Time the Restoration Company Devotes To Your Property

The amount of time an emergency contractor devotes to customer satisfaction is another important factor, particularly with companies that often deal with crisis situations such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Satisfied clients can provide invaluable referrals, which usually helps generate new business opportunities.

It's wise to avoid restoration companies that pressure their customers into signing contracts on the spot during a time of stress and chaos. A responsible company will allow home and property owner’s sufficient time to review all terms and conditions before making any decisions about hiring them.

A written contract should include an itemized list of all work to be done, along with the estimated cost. It's in a homeowner's best interest to make sure the agreement also covers any additional expenses in case repairs are needed later on that might not have been foreseen by the restoration company or homeowner at the time of signing.

How to Fix Your Roof after a Storm

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

It's not often that disaster strikes but when it does, you want to make sure you are doing everything correctly, from start to finish. When the roof has been severely damaged by wind or hail, it can be one of the more costly repairs on your home. The main concern during this time period is safety from falling objects such as tree branches or other debris. This article is a guide for homeowners on what they should do after a storm has passed and left its wake of devastation in the form of shingles, shingles debris, and leaks that have sprung into their ceilings due to storm damage.

Now what? Whether you had a little damage or a lot of damage, a quick response is very important if you want to save your roof and reduce the potential for more leakage.

First make sure that it is safe to enter your home. If there are any toppled trees or limbs, remove those before entering the house. Once inside, if there is water in your ceilings and/or walls then it is time to call a professional roofer.

For minor damages like blocked gutters or missing shingles caused by wind gusts, wait until it stops raining and immediately check your roof with binoculars for any immediate danger of further damage such as loose tiles or hanging parts of the structure. If you have a partial shingle loss, be sure to nail down the tiles that are still attached. If your roof is in need of replacement, call for an estimate before performing any repairs or replacements yourself.

Soaking up water - Blocked gutters are the main cause of water damage when there is heavy rain over time

Removing debris - If you come across any loose tiles caused by high winds then remove them and nail down any metal ridge caps that might have popped out of place during the storm

Checking your shingles - Check with binoculars for blown off parts of the structure including missing shingles and loose tiles

Assessing the damage - Generally speaking, if there has been any shingle loss then it is time to call a professional roofer for an estimate. A restoration company will be able to tell you if you need to get a new roof or just get the one you already have restored. The restoration services like SERVPRO will tell it to you how it is. If we feel that the roof may not stand another storm we would recommend getting a new roof otherwise we will restore it for you.

Making temporary repairs for leaks in between rafters until the restoration company arrives. It is important to hire a storm damage restoration company if you want to get your roof in good condition. Don’t forget to contact your insurance company as well so you don’t have to pay much for the restoration or repair of the roof.

Does Fire Restoration Actually Work?

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

It's a scary thought to have your home or office burn down. It is even scarier when you find out that the fire was caused by something as simple as an electrical wire being too close to combustible materials. The reality is, however, that it can be devastating for buildings and contents alike. But do not fear! There are ways to get things back up and running again after a fire has happened.

Can Fire Damage Restoration Companies Actually Restore Your Goods?

The reality is that there are many different degrees of fire damage. Everything from a scorch to an actual burn can make items unusable or even irreparable. The restoration company you work with should be able to give you an accurate estimate on the costs and time it will take for each individual piece after they have made their initial assessment. This way, if your things cannot be restored then at least you know up front rather than waiting weeks upon months only to find out that nothing can be done!

Does Restoration Work Change Depending On What Was Destroyed?

Yes, in fact it does change depending on what was destroyed by the fire. Different types of materials require different kinds of treatments because some elements may not react well together. For example, if your things are made of metal then you need to make sure that the restoration company has experience in dealing with this material. If they do not, then it can cause further damage and be more costly than it needs to be!

What to Do After a Fire?

If there is anything at all that was destroyed by fire or heat damages don't try cleaning up yourself no matter how much you may want too. You could actually end up doing worse harm when trying to clean something like a television screen because chemicals on your cloth might react even more aggressively than the flames did originally. This way you will know exactly what kind of treatment each individual damaged item requires which also means lower costs for every single one of them!

Is There Anything I Can Do To Help The Restoration Process?

No matter how much you may want to help in the restoration process, do not try and fix anything on your own. This is especially true when it comes to electrical wiring because this can be just as dangerous for someone attempting a repair than it was before the fire even happened! Let professionals handle all of that so that they know what needs done and also if there is any chance of danger involved with an item or room itself.

Can You Really Restore Things After A Fire Damage?

Yes, companies like ours specialize in making sure everything returns back to normal after such a disaster strikes. So whether you need new drywall put up or appliances restored we have got professional technicians who will take care of it all for you. All of our workers are fully insured and licensed so that we can ensure your safety as well as the quality of materials used in making sure everything looks just like new!

Eliminate Odor after a Fire: Why Hiring A Professional Service Is Important

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

If you have just experienced a fire in your home, then the last thing on your mind is what to do about the terrible odor that lingers. It's important to get professional services for odor removal after a fire because it can affect how much insurance will pay out after an incident like this. By using these steps below, you'll be able to quickly and easily eliminate odors from smoke or other smells left behind by fires without having to spend money for costly services.

Use a Scented Cleaning Solution

A scented cleaning solution will mask the smell of smoke or other smells left behind. The smoke can stick to almost all items in the house which will keep the odor lingering on. So in order to get completely get rid of the odor, you need to clean all things in your house with a scented solution. You can make this solution at home as well using soap, water and vinegar.

Give it Time to Air Out

Leaving windows open, using fans and opening up doors for thorough ventilation can help get rid of odors in a short amount of time? You want to avoid cooking or smoking during this process as these activities may only worsen the situation by adding new smells into your home that are even worse than what you're trying to eliminate!

Use Odor Eliminating Pouches

There's also an option available if you don't have enough time for ventilation - place odor eliminating pouches around rooms with lingering odors. These should be replaced every couple weeks so they working effectively at getting rid of the smell.

Use Air Freshener

There are also air fresheners available that can help get rid of the smell in a short amount of time. These come in many different scents and will be sure to mask any smells left behind after a fire. Make sure you choose an air freshener with no strong chemicals or fumes - otherwise this may only irritate your throat further!

Keep the Windows Open

Open windows in order to keep fresh air circulating through your home. This will help speed up the process of eliminating odors left behind after a fire at your home. Again, make sure you avoid cooking or smoking during this time as it can worsen any lingering smells in the air!

Don't Use Fans for Ventilation

Using fans may actually hinder getting rid of these odors if they're not used correctly - instead use open windows and doors to get proper ventilation throughout your house when trying to eliminate odor after a fire. The only exception is if there are pets that need extra attention, then using fans could be helpful but still use caution around them because strong winds blowing their fur might irritate their respiratory system even further.

Remove the Burnt Items from your House

If there are any items that were burnt in the fire, then make sure you remove them from your house. These items will be emitting odors until they're properly cleaned and aired out so it's important to get rid of these as soon as possible!

How to Protect Your Commercial Building from Fire Damage

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

It's a sad fact, but fire is one of the most common causes for property damage. Whether you own a commercial building or are looking to purchase one, it's important to know how to protect your investment from this all-too-common risk! Here are some tips on how you can keep your commercial building safe and secure against fire damage.

1) Install smoke alarms in each room that has an exit door

Whether your commercial building has a history of fire damage or not, it is probably best to install smoke alarms throughout the entire structure. This will give everyone in the building time to evacuate safely before an inferno breaks out and reduces everything to ashes!

2) Use fire resistant materials for curtains and upholstery

Some materials are more flammable than others. Knowing which ones to use can be a lifesaver! For example, if you have heavy curtains or upholstery in your commercial building that catch fire easily, it would probably be best to replace them with something less combustible.

3) Keep cooking grease away from stove tops

This is especially important if you own a restaurant or cafe! Cooking grease, while it can be great for frying up all kinds of delicious foods, should never come into contact with open flames. This could lead to an explosion and extensive fire damage (and even the loss of lives!).

Be sure that your commercial stove tops are properly vented and that all of the grease traps are working properly. This will keep your commercial building safe from both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

4) Get an inspection done from relevant services to identify potential fire hazards and eliminate them

For example, there might be a faulty wire in your commercial building that is getting warmer and warmer until it finally sparks an electrical fire. Getting this fixed before the problem gets out of hand will keep you from losing everything to flames! An experienced inspector can also look at other potential sources for fires such as overloaded circuits or cluttered storage spaces with paper.

5) Keep the server room cool

If your commercial building is hosting a server room, it's important to keep the temperature of the room cool. Not only will this prevent damage from overheating and malfunctioning servers, but also fire! Servers can be damaged by heat as well as power surges. Keeping them in a comfortable temperature range helps ensure they operate properly and without issues for longer periods of time.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your commercial building is well protected against fire damage! These ideas are just the beginning too; there's always more to learn when it comes to restoration for your commercial building after a fire or any disaster for that matter. SERVPRO can help you with the restoration process after your commercial building has been struck with fire damage.

Steps to Take in Case of a Fire

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Steps to Take in Case of a Fire

Fire safety is a very important topic, and one that many people tend to overlook. Fires can happen at any time, so it's always best to be prepared for the worst! In this blog post, we will go over the steps you should take if faced with a fire. Let's get started!

Many people don't know what to do in case of a fire. To help you out, we will go over some steps that may come in handy! The way that fires can start is very unpredictable and different from one another. For example, some fires begin as an accident where someone was using the stove or oven. Other times it's because of faulty wiring or electrical problems with appliances like TVs and lamps. Despite how they start, every fire requires immediate attention and proper safety procedures so nobody gets hurt.

Don't Throw Water at It

The most important thing to do in case of a fire is not trying to extinguish it with water or any other liquid. In fact, throwing water on the flames can make things worse by spreading the fire and making it harder for firefighters to put out.

Try Stay Calm and Get Everyone Outside

Stay calm so nobody panics! It's important that everybody stays aware of their surroundings even if they're frightened about being in this kind of situation. You should only take your important documents and pictures with you. Leave everything else behind. If there's a specific plan for your building or apartment that requires evacuation during an emergency then leave immediately and stay away from the area until help arrives

Use Fire Extinguisher

This is actually one of the first things you should do in case of a fire. Even if the fire doesn't seem like it's that big, using an extinguisher can stop small fires from getting bigger and more difficult to control later on. However, remember not to aim at the flames – instead we want to direct this toward any flammable materials near them so they don’t catch on fire too! Only use your bare hands or wear protective gloves when trying put out a real blazing inferno with water or an extinguisher. If somebody has already tried putting out their own personal little fire then there might be extreme heat coming off of it which could cause burns quickly if someone else tries touching it without protection!

Cut the path of the fire by removing objects that are cluttered together

This is very important because the less fuel there is for the flames to get big, fast and out of control; the better your chances are of extinguishing it. When you only leave objects like furniture or other loose materials around then this gives room for larger fires to develop without any boundaries! Be sure to check if anyone has been trapped in a backroom that's on fire before leaving them alone in case they have collapsed unconscious from smoke inhalation. Make sure everyone knows where exactly they're going so nobody gets lost in panic mode when trying to escape quickly, especially kids who may not be able to find their way outside by themselves easily!

Call the emergency service

This is the most important step of them all. Don't try to handle firefighting by yourself if you don't have any proper equipment or training because it could be life-threatening! The first thing firefighters will do when they arrive at your location is survey the scene and see what's going on. They'll then decide how best to go about putting out the flames based on their initial observations, so that they can put an end to this emergency situation as soon as possible. It’s good practice not just for homeowners but also business owners who might have employees working there, like restaurants with kitchens full of food supplies and flammable liquids!

Use a Cloth to operate door handles as they would be hot from the fire.

If you’re trapped inside the building and have to get out, remember not to use any of your own clothing or bedding items because they could catch on fire too! Use a cloth that's already been soaked in water so it won't burn up when making contact with metal door handles or other objects near heat sources. If there is no available liquid for this then just try banging loudly until somebody comes outside from another part of the house who can help open doors without getting burned themselves!

Importance of Hiring a Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Importance of Hiring a Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company

When you encounter a fire at your home, the last thing on your mind should be about making repairs. First and foremost, get out of the house and leave everything to the professionals. There are too many risks involved when it comes to dealing with water damage issues after a fire has occurred. The most important reason for leaving a recently burned home in a hurry is that all sorts of toxic smoke particles can linger around in the air for days if not weeks which potentially makes breathing inside very unsafe for people without proper protection.

When faced with such a horrible tragedy, many homeowners tend to underestimate the seriousness of the situation only because they do not have prior experience in handling such problems. In reality though, restoring your burnt back to its original state requires years of knowledge and technical expertise. This is why it is always better to leave your burnt home in the hands of fire damage restoration experts rather than trying to fix things up on your own.

1- Safety hazards:

The moment a fire breaks out, the first thing you should be concerned about is your family's safety. Before anything else, make sure that every member of the household leaves the premises as quickly as possible. The agency which has come to remove hazardous smoke particles from your house should provide each individual present at the site with full face masks and clothing that covers every inch of skin before allowing them back inside for cleanup.

Trying to clean up an aftermath yourself without proper protection can lead to consequences like mold poisoning which may even spread into the blood. So it is always advisable to look for professional help when restoring a fire damaged house since it can be quite risky otherwise.

2- Time constraint:

With every passing minute, you are allowing more time for mold spores and other hazardous particles to settle down in your house. This causes the overall air quality within the premises to deteriorate with each passing moment thus making it hard for people to live in such conditions for prolonged periods of time. The longer you wait before getting rid of these smoke particles, the harder it becomes to keep breathing inside your house safe and healthy which is why hiring experts immediately after a fire occurs is crucial.

3- Cost effective process:

If you are thinking that dealing with water damage issues after a fire is cheaper on your own, you are severely mistaken. It takes years of experience to learn the tricks of this trade which is why most insurance companies will know if you have tried to restore damage on your own without any prior knowledge of restoration work. This could lead to refused insurance claims in some cases thus proving financially burdensome for you in the long run.

4- Hurry up with clean up:

Another reason why one should prefer hiring water damage experts after a fire has occurred at home is that they understand the importance of time when it comes this kind of work. If not dealt with appropriate urgency, chances are your once healthy home may never be restored back again to its original state by any other company but fire and water damage experts. There are several methods of restoring a burnt home which is why hiring the right people for this job is crucial.

5- Extensive and deep clean up:

Burnt homes require an extensive cleaning process which involves removing things like rubble, clothing, carpeting and even furniture if it has not survived the fire. All these items must be disposed of properly in order to clean up your house properly. This is where water damage restoration experts come into play since they are well aware of the process that is needed to restore a burnt home back to its original state.

Professional Fire Restoration Can Help You to Salvage Your Belongings and Things You Hold Dear

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Professional Fire Restoration Can Help You to Salvage Your Belongings and Things You Hold Dear

One of the most dreaded nightmares is fire. It does not only destroy our belongings but it can also damage or kill anyone in its path. The loss and the destruction that a fire inflicts on your property cannot be minimized by explaining it with words. For this reason, we should always try to learn how to prevent fires and especially, what we can do when a fire has actually broken out and caused damages to our properties and necessities for living? Sometimes, people may not have everything insured at once which therefore poses the greatest challenge of minimizing the losses before they accumulate into greater figures. Thus, learning how to restore your things from fire damage is an important skill you should acquire immediately you begin to live alone.

Safeguard your health:

The first thing you need to do is making sure that the area where the fire has broken out is safe for human use. In most cases, the safest place will be outside the house because when there is a fire break-out, it can cause poisonous fumes and gases to form which are dangerous for any one's life especially children and older people. However, if you cannot afford going outside your house when there is a fire in your room or in another part of the house, make sure that you have closed all doors and windows so as not to allow these deadly gases into the room where you are.

Wet a cloth with a little water and cover your nose with it very tightly so that you will not inhale the poisonous gas from the burnt items. That is, if there are no gases on fire, then it means that the area outside the house is safe for human use. In this case, open as many doors as possible to pollute as much space as you can with fresh air from outside especially those rooms which have been closed for some time before the smoke enters them. You should also make sure that your clothes or any material of yours does not smell of smoke. When all these things have been done, you should remain calm and maintain a positive state of mind.

Steps to be taken when there is fire:

The next thing to do is protecting yourself from the fire. Cover your nose with a wet cloth tightly and make sure that it does not smell of smoke instead, it should smell fresh during inhalation. You may also cover your face somehow with something like clothes or any available material with no effects of poisonous gases before proceeding with an action. After this, don't panic because most people die in fires not by the flames but by suffocation which occurs because most victims are panicky and they inhale more harmful smokes than they can manage.

If you really want your belongings to be salvaged in the best possible form then it is best to hire a professional fire restoration company to do so. They are experienced in the field and may help you get your belongings in one piece. It is best to let the professional do the job as you might end up damaging the item further.

Water Damage Restoration Companies like SERVPRO can save your property and its value

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Companies like SERVPRO can save your property and its value

It is important to know that there are water damage restoration companies out there who can help you if your property has been damaged. SERVPRO is one of the best restoration companies in the country, and they provide professional services for both residential and commercial properties. Their teams will come on site with all necessary equipment to begin their work as quickly as possible, so your property can be restored back to its original condition. Whether it's water damage or fire damage, SERVPRO professionals will help save your property!

How Can a Water Damage Restoration Company Boost the Value of Your Property?

Water damage restoration companies can help save your property, but it's also important to know that a water removal company can make sure you get the best price possible when selling. If your home or business has been damaged by flooding from severe weather conditions, SERVPRO professionals will take care of everything for you. They'll extract all standing water and restore your property back to its original state. If you're selling, having a professional water damage restoration company come in and make your home look good as new will give the buyer peace of mind that everything is up to par. They'll be more confident buying from you, resulting in better offers!

Restoration companies not only dry up your house, they also remove mold and the results are usually long lasting when there is a professional company involved. This can also increase the resale value of your house. Clean sewerage system and up to date and well maintained plumbing all add up to the overall value of the property.

If You Are Looking For a Water Damage Restoration Company In Your Area Then What Should You Do

Water damage restoration companies are available all over America, so don't hesitate to contact one if your property has been damaged by any kind of water or flooding event. Not only can they help save your home or business with their services but they can also increase the value when it comes time for resale. Searching online is easy too; if you are in Woodbury, then you can get in touch with professional at SERVPRO. You can contact us anytime of the day or night, and we'll come onsite right away. We work around the clock to make sure your property is drying up as quickly as possible!

Without proper restoration after water damage, you will never be able to get the right price for your house. SERVPRO is one of the best water damage restoration companies in America and they will make sure you get maximum dollar for your home or business.

A Water Damage Restoration Company Like SERVPRO Can Be A Good Investment For Your Property!

Water damage can cause a lot of stress, but you don't have to go through it alone because there are many water removal services available to help save your property and increase its value when it comes time for resale. If you want peace of mind that everything will be alright after suffering from any flooded area, then we suggest getting in touch with SERVPRO today.

Things that a water restoration company can do for you

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Things that a water restoration company can do for you

When you have water damage in your home, it is very important to get the issue resolved quickly. This will help prevent mold and mildew from growing on wet surfaces around your house. If you need a water restoration company to come out and take care of this for you, here is what they might do:

Assess damage to belongings

They take a look around your home to see what might be ruined, including furniture and flooring materials. This helps you know how much restoration work needs to happen in order for things to go back to normal again.

Remove sopping carpets

They will take out any wet carpeting and get it dried in a way that prevents mold from growing on the fiber. In some cases, they may need to be replaced. This is only if the water damage was severe enough for this to happen. If not, then you can save some money on the restoration work.

Clean and sanitize surfaces

They will wash down any walls or other places where water damage happened to remove dirt, mildew, mold, bacteria and other germs that might cause illness for you or your family members if they are not killed through cleaning. Then, they leave everything to dry out in the open air for a while.

Fix any water damage that happened

If there was plumbing damage or some other type of issue, they can fix it right away so you don't have to worry about further problems with the house down the road when these issues are ignored. This is necessary if your home is going to be safe for you and your family.

Provide warranty on all work

They offer warranties for any restoration services they do, which means if anything goes wrong in the future then they will be able to come back and fix it for you.

Dehumidify the air to reduce moisture levels in your home

When you find out that there is a problem with water damage, it is important to take care of this as soon as possible. If it goes untreated for too long, then your house may start to smell bad or have mold growing on the surfaces. This is when you should call a water restoration company to come out and do the work for you in an urgent manner. They will be able to remove the standing water, which means that there won't be any more surface damage done or mold growing on your walls or furniture.

These are just some of the things that they might do for you when it is time to call in professionals. There are many other services out there as well so be sure to find out what else they can offer in addition to the ones mentioned above.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Restoration Company for Your Commercial Building

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Why You Should Hire a Professional Restoration Company for Your Commercial Building

It is important to hire professional restoration company in order to get the best possible outcome. When you are in a crisis situation, it's natural for everyone on your team to want to help out. But if you're trying to save money by doing all of the work yourself, you could end up costing your business even more than necessary. A professional restoration company will have all of the knowledge and experience needed for dealing with commercial buildings specifically, so they'll be able to provide solutions that work best for your particular needs!

They Have the Right Tools and Equipment

A professional restoration company will have the right tools and equipment needed to get your commercial building back in shape. They'll be able to handle any problem that you might come up against!

Fast and Efficient Work

Professional restoration companies can also provide fast and efficient work for your business because they've got so much experience working with these types of crises.

They Have the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Business Type and Needs

You should hire a professional restoration company instead of doing it yourself, because not only do they already know how to deal with this type of crisis situation, but they also carry proper insurance coverage for businesses like yours! Hiring them is almost always going to be more cost effective than trying to tackle everything on your own while still giving your business the best possible outcome.

Hiring a professional restoration company is your safest bet for getting great results from this type of crisis situation! Not only will they have highly qualified technicians, but their experience and tools can get you back on track to running your business in no time!

They Are Skilled In a Variety of Restoration Services

Nothing can beat skills and experience when it comes to restoration services. A professional restoration company will be skilled in a variety of different restoration services that can benefit your business. They will be able to quickly get you back on your feet, whatever situation arises.

They Offer Long Term Solution to Your Restoration Problem

Professional restoration companies can provide a long term solution to your commercial building's restoration problem. They have the necessary tools and skills needed to get you back on track in no time!

They Have a Wide Network of Suppliers and Professionals That Can Help with Your Commercial Building’s Restoration Problem

A professional restoration company has a wide network of suppliers and professionals that they work with, which means that whatever situation arises, there will always be someone who knows how to deal with it. This is why hiring them instead of trying to do everything yourself could save your business even more money than expected because you won't need any extra help! If something goes wrong again after their job is done, don't worry - this isn't going to be an issue for them.

They Have a Faster Turnaround Time Than You Might Otherwise Be Able To Provide Without Their Help

A professional restoration company has a faster turnaround time than you would otherwise be able to provide, which can save your business money in the long run by preventing more damage from being done! They are equipped with everything they need so that whatever happens during or after their work is finished, any problems will quickly become theirs to deal with. This means less of a chance of further damage occurring after their job is completed.

Ways to Prevent Fire Damage Caused By Appliances in Your Commercial Building

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Ways to Prevent Fire Damage Caused By Appliances in Your Commercial Building

Fire damage can not only halt your work for the day but it can do significant damage to your overall business as well. You may end up losing some important documents or an extensive range of products in your warehouse which may cost you millions of dollars. So it is important to make sure that you take the right measures to prevent fire damage in your commercial building.

You may not know this, but one of the most common causes of fire damage in commercial buildings is an overheated appliance. This is a big problem and it can be prevented by following these steps:

Tips To Prevent Fire Damage In Your Commercial Building.

  • Use surge protectors for appliances that are plugged into wall outlets.
  • Check the electrical system on a regular basis and keep it maintained by an electrician if necessary.
  • Make sure all wires are properly insulated, grounded, or connected with tamper proof receptacles (or any other mechanism) to avoid overheating or short circuits causing fires.
  • Remove dry vegetation near power lines; trees planted too close can be hazardous as well. Ensure no combustible materials like boxes of paper etc., is kept around wiring/electrical panels at any cost .Keep them covered up or off floor completely if possible lest they catch fire due to heat generated from the wiring.
  • Ensure that all fire extinguishers are in proper working condition and easily accessible at all times, so you can use them quickly if the need arises.
  • Keep the area around your electrical panel clear and uncluttered.
  • Buy or rent a fire alarm that is installed in accordance with local building codes by a qualified agency such as Fire Protection Company, Inc. It should have an automatic smoke detector system connected to it. This will help you get early warnings of any fires breaking out.
  • Install smoke detectors on each floor of your building and one in each hallway.
  • Keep the fire exits clear at all times, so that people can easily get out of your building if there is a need to evacuate it for some reason like this.
  • Inspect all electrical outlets on a regular basis for any sign of wear or fraying wires which could cause sparks and start a fire.
  • Ensure that all appliances are in good working condition and that they do not overheat or cause sparks while being used .Check for frayed power cords before plugging your appliance into a wall outlet.
  • Keep all combustible materials away from heating units.
  • Avoid the use of halogen lights as they generate a lot of heat and can cause damage to your building if not used carefully .Install energy efficient lighting instead that does not overheat easily or produce too much heat.
  • Maintain appliances on regular basis, especially
  • Keep all flammable materials at least 3 feet away from any space heater
  • If you have an electric stovetop, never leave it unattended when in use

These are some effective ways you can prevent fire damage caused by appliances in your commercial building.

Tips for Protecting Your Commercial Building before the Storm

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Tips for Protecting Your Commercial Building before the Storm

It's always better to be safe than sorry. The best way to protect your commercial building before the storm is with a quality roofing system and good insulation. Here are some other tips on how you can prepare for an upcoming hurricane, typhoon, or tornado:

Keep Your Business Closed Until the Storm Has Passed Through the Area

This is one of the most basic things you should do when there is a storm. Just close down your business and shut all doors and windows. Send all the employees home before the storm other than the ones that need to be at the building for any necessary duty. Lock up your business with strong locks on doors to protect against looters after a disaster hits, especially at night when no one is around to spot them! A good deadbolt lock can do wonders for keeping you secure during this time of danger.

Take Care of the Outdoor Items

Remove any outdoor signage, lamps, or other items that could become a projectile during strong winds. This will help lower your risk of damage to property and keep you safe from possible injury.

Remove all vehicles from your parking lot. This will keep them safe and help prevent flooding if the storm surge makes it into your building through cracks or holes in the ground floor walls.

Move Furniture Away from the Windows

Move furniture away from windows so they are less likely to get destroyed by flying debris in high winds. You should also think about removing window treatments like curtains bars because these can turn into dangerous projectiles too!

Protect Your Doors and Windows

Protect your windows. You can do this by putting up hurricane shutters, plywood panels, plastic sheeting or even just masking tape. Close all exterior doors and make sure the building is secure. Make sure employees know where to go in case of an emergency, like a fire or gas leak!

Shut off power and gas lines

Shut off utilities like power and gas lines carefully and ensure that all employees know where the valves are located. Power and gas lines are already hazardous but they can become deadly during a storm. You should get a generator however in the event of a gas leak do not operate the generator.

Protect your files

Protect your files and office equipment. It's possible to put important files and paperwork in a cupboard or even a dryer before the storm hits if you don't have time to move them somewhere safer beforehand.

Have First Aid Kit Ready for People Staying IN the building

Have a first aid kid ready for people that are staying in the building during the storm. So in case anyone is hurt they can be treated inside the building instead of going to the hospital in the strong storm.

The Dangers of Water Damage to Your Commercial Building

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

The Dangers of Water Damage to Your Commercial Building

Have you ever had a roof leak and cause water damage to your commercial building? If so, then you know how expensive it can be. It's important that all business owners understand the dangers of water damage and what they should do if they experience this type of event. In this blog post, we'll go over some facts about water damage and why it's so dangerous to your commercial building!

Commercial buildings can be damaged by water in many different ways. For example, if the roof of your building gets a hole it will lead to leaks and eventually cause serious damage inside your commercial property. This is just one example of how you could experience water damage on your business!

Water damages are not something that should be taken lightly. Even minor amounts of leakage over time can do significant damage to the structure of your commercial building which results in high repair costs. It's important to take care of any leaks before they become larger problems! - When dealing with water damage there are several key steps that everyone should follow depending on their current situation: first off make sure all electrical items have been turned off, call for professional help as soon as possible, and document everything!

It's also important to know that there are many different types of water damage. For example, flooding is when an area has been completely submerged in water for too long which can lead to serious problems including mold growth inside your commercial building.

If you experience any type of leaking or major flood then call a professional immediately as they will be able to deal with the situation properly without causing more damage on your property. However, if you have noticed minor leaks over time then it might just require some smaller repair work done by one of our professionals at SERVPRO! - At SERVPRO we provide full repairs and restoration service.

Invest in Regular Maintenance of Your Commercial Building to Avoid Water Damage

We recommend investing in regular maintenance on your property to avoid experiencing any type of water damage. It's important that all business owners understand the importance of this as it can save you thousands of dollars!

Also, by performing routine checks and repairs on your commercial building before anything starts leaking inside we will be able to address small problems at an earlier stage which results in less repair costs overall - SERVPRO provides additional services for our clients such as mold removal and dehumidification service: if there is ever a presence of excess moisture or humidity then contact us immediately so we can take care of these issues properly without causing more severe damages within your commercial structure.

By following these simple steps after dealing with any form of water damage you will be able to protect the structural integrity of your building and avoid having high repair costs.

Confused About Whether To Hire A Fire Damage Restoration Company Or Not? Well We Have the Answer

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Confused About Whether To Hire A Fire Damage Restoration Company Or Not? Well We Have the Answer

In case of a fire at your home or business, call an emergency service to move you and your family from the dangerous place. But what should you do next? You can opt for a restoration company that will restore your property back to its original position. There shouldn’t be any question about this. People who have to think twice about hiring a fire damage restoration company will only create problems for themselves because if they don’t hire a fire restoration company today they will have to do it later on when the odor starts to get bad. But choosing one out of so many fire restoration companies is going to be a problem for you.

Fire Damage Restoration Companies Can Prevent a Cancerous Environment

Soot and smoke can cause health effects. You should always carry out water damage restoration as soon as possible to avoid such diseases. Direct exposure to smoke may prove fatal as well as you would require cleaning up as quickly as possible.

Fire Damage Restoration Companies Offer a Range Of Benefits

Fire damage restoration companies offer a lot of benefits to the property owner and the residents. We all want to get our house back as soon as possible and if you hire a fire damage restoration company it will just take one or two days to restore your property.

Fire restoration companies offer services that aren't available to general homeowners, including structural drying, dehumidification of air-ducts, walls and crawlspaces; anti-mold treatments; insulation replacement (for soundproofing); removal of hazardous material (i.e., asbestos removal); contents cleaning; board-up; tarping; draping for security precautions.

You Can Stop Small Fires At Home

If the fire is confined only to some part of the house like kitchen then you can start with cleaning yourself by using some existing household items like baking soda solution which absorbs foul odors and smoke from the kitchen.

Most of the fire damage restoration companies use chemicals to clean your upholstery and curtains. So they will need more time then usual which you might not have a luxury of if a smell starts to spread in your house or business premises.

We all want our home back as soon as possible but it isn’t always possible to bring things back on track again if we have not taken care of them when required so hire a fire restoration company after you have made sure that nothing is left unattended in your place which will only add problems later on.

Hire a professional, experienced and affordable fire damage restoration company, if you want your house back to its original shape as soon as possible. SERVPRO can offer high quality and long lasting fire damage restoration services.

Does Fire Restoration Actually Work?

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Does Fire Restoration Actually Work?

It's a scary thought to have your home or office burn down. It is even scarier when you find out that the fire was caused by something as simple as an electrical wire being too close to combustible materials. The reality is, however, that it can be devastating for buildings and contents alike. But do not fear! There are ways to get things back up and running again after a fire has happened.

Can Fire Damage Restoration Companies Actually Restore Your Goods?

The reality is that there are many different degrees of fire damage. Everything from a scorch to an actual burn can make items unusable or even irreparable. The restoration company you work with should be able to give you an accurate estimate on the costs and time it will take for each individual piece after they have made their initial assessment. This way, if your things cannot be restored then at least you know up front rather than waiting weeks upon months only to find out that nothing can be done!

Does Restoration Work Change Depending On What Was Destroyed?

Yes, in fact it does change depending on what was destroyed by the fire. Different types of materials require different kinds of treatments because some elements may not react well together. For example, if your things are made of metal then you need to make sure that the restoration company has experience in dealing with this material. If they do not, then it can cause further damage and be more costly than it needs to be!

What to Do After a Fire?

If there is anything at all that was destroyed by fire or heat damages don't try cleaning up yourself no matter how much you may want too. You could actually end up doing worse harm when trying to clean something like a television screen because chemicals on your cloth might react even more aggressively than the flames did originally. This way you will know exactly what kind of treatment each individual damaged item requires which also means lower costs for every single one of them!

Is There Anything I Can Do To Help The Restoration Process?

No matter how much you may want to help in the restoration process, do not try and fix anything on your own. This is especially true when it comes to electrical wiring because this can be just as dangerous for someone attempting a repair than it was before the fire even happened! Let professionals handle all of that so that they know what needs done and also if there is any chance of danger involved with an item or room itself.

Can You Really Restore Things After A Fire Damage?

Yes, companies like ours specialize in making sure everything returns back to normal after such a disaster strikes. So whether you need new drywall put up or appliances restored we have got professional technicians who will take care of it all for you. All of our workers are fully insured and licensed so that we can ensure your safety as well as the quality of materials used in making sure everything looks just like new!

Identifying Causes of Water Damage Is Important

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Identifying Causes of Water Damage Is Important

Water damage is one of the most common home disasters to occur. It can be caused by a number of factors, but often times it is due to improper maintenance or installation of plumbing fixtures. Preventing water damage begins with identifying the causes and implementing strategies that will help you avoid it in the future.

Leaking Roof

One of the most common causes of water damage is a leaking roof.

This can be caused by loose or missing shingles, worn out caulk around chimneys and skylights, or broken flashing where roofs meet walls. Whatever the cause might be you should always try to identify it as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage from happening. This includes taking note of how much time has passed since there was last heavy rainfall so that you have an idea about what kind of repairs need to happen during drier weather when trees lose their leaves and your house is less likely to get damaged again due to foliage contact with your home's exterior. Once any leaks are repaired immediately look for other potential areas where water may seep through the roof and check them as well.

Faulty Plumbing Fixtures

Another common cause of water damage is faulty plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, or toilets that are not properly installed. These can lead to water leakage behind walls which may result in rotting wooden studs , mildew underneath flooring materials, warped sub-floors , peeling paint on interior surfaces etc. If you suspect any issues with your home's plumbing be sure to have it inspected by a licensed plumber so they can repair it before mold sets in.

Outdoor Water Damage - Poor Drainage Systems

Leaks from outdoor faucets often go unnoticed for extended periods because people don't normally spend much time outside during rainstorms. The best way to prevent damage from occurring is by installing a water sensor in your garden or lawn. This will activate an automated sprinkler system that can help you extinguish any potential fires before they get out of control.

Appliances That Use Water

Another major cause of water damage is leaking appliances that use water like dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerators.

If you suspect any issues with your appliances be sure to have them inspected by a licensed plumber so they can fix the issue before mold sets in. If you are not able to afford repairs on these things right away look for cheap alternatives online without sacrificing quality and effectiveness. For example, some people even find success using dryer sheets instead of laundry detergent when doing their clothes!

Rain and Floods

Another cause of water damage is rain and flooding. If your home happens to get flooded you should not try to clean it yourself. Instead, contact professional flood remediation services in order to prevent mold growth inside the house which can be extremely hazardous for both humans and pets alike. If there are no signs of mold than simply airing out any rooms that have been affected by flooding will suffice until repairs begin. It's important that you do not use space heaters or other electrical sources when doing this because they could create a fire hazard.

When it comes down to preventing water damage in your home, identifying the causes of water damage is half the battle. The other half involves taking steps towards resolving those problems as soon as possible so they do not become an even bigger issue than they already are.

When Should You Contact a Water Damage Restoration Company?

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

When Should You Contact a Water Damage Restoration Company?

If you’ve experienced water damage in your home, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you try to clean up the mess yourself? Call a plumber? Contact an insurance company? Get estimates from several restoration companies? The answer is that first and foremost, if there is standing water or significant amounts of water coming out of your pipes, contact a professional 24-hour emergency service ASAP. Once the immediate danger has been taken care of, call one or two reputable restoration companies for estimates on how much it will cost to get your home back into shape.

When should you call a water damage restoration company? You might be asking yourself that question because your basement flooded and the carpet is soaked or your washing machine overflowed and leaked into the kitchen. Not sure if you need to call a water damage restoration company? We're here to help! In this blog post, we'll discuss when it's time to contact a professional for assistance with water damages in your home so that you can reduce any long-term effects of these types of disasters.

When the Damage Is Too Much For You to Handle On Your Own

Sometimes the damage can be too much to handle for you on your own and you know you need a professional to get rid of your water problem. If the damage is too much for you to handle on your own, call a water damage restoration company immediately.

When You Have Standing Water or Pipes That Are Leaking

If there's standing water in your home or if there are pipes that have been compromised and are leaking, it's important that you contact a 24-hour emergency service as soon as possible so they can get out to your location ASAP. The longer the water sits inside of your walls or carpeting, the more likely it will be that mold will begin to grow and/or cause structural problems within the building itself. If this occurs, not only do you run a higher risk of developing health issues due to exposure to growths caused by mold spores but also having all this water damage repaired will be a lot more expensive.

When You Need a Fast Turnaround Time for Repairs to Your Home or Business

Not only is it important that you contact a professional as soon as possible, but you also want to find one who can offer same-day service or at least 24 hours’ notice of when they plan on arriving for repairs. The faster the turnaround time from the moment your call has been made until help arrives, the better off your home and property will be in terms of minimizing any further long-term effects after water damage occurs. Also keep in mind that if there are outlets or appliances which have been destroyed due to this occurrence, not calling a restoration company quickly enough could mean being without these vital amenities for quite some time.

The Benefits of Using a Professional Restoration Company amid Flood Damage

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

The Benefits of Using a Professional Restoration Company amid Flood Damage

Floods and water damage can be devastating for any home or business. There is a lot to consider, such as how much damage has been done and where the flood came from. If you are trying to clean up your property following a flood, it is important that you hire professionals who have experience with this type of work. A professional water restoration company will know how to extract standing water, dry out carpets/carpeting, remove mud from floors, and do mold remediation if necessary and more!

They Can Assess the Real Damage to Your Property

Floods can cause a lot of damage to your property, and it is important for you to have someone who knows what they are doing assess the situation. Water restoration professionals will know exactly how much water has been absorbed into all of your materials including floors, walls, carpets/carpeting and more! This way everything can be dried out efficiently in order to prevent further damages from occurring.

They Can Offer A Long Lasting Solution to Your Water Damage Problem

When there is water damage to your property, it can lead to mold growth and other problems. Instead of trying to fix the situation on your own with DIY methods that may not work long term, you should hire a professional restoration company who knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to getting rid of any standing water or debris left behind after floods! They will do all the dirty work for you so that everything looks fresh again without having to worry about potential damages in the future because you tried fixing things yourself.

They Know How to Clean Up After Flood Damage Easily and Effectively

Restoration companies have equipment at their disposal such as dehumidifiers, blowers/vacuums, moisture meter devices and more! This way everything can be dried out efficiently and effectively. They will also have the knowledge of how to remove standing water from all types of surfaces including carpet, hardwood flooring, concrete/tile floors and more! With this equipment they are able to extract any moisture that has been absorbed into your materials as well as dry up wet carpets which is a big part of restoring your home after having flooded.

They Can Help Prevent Mold Growth

One of the main problems with having flooded properties is that there tends to be standing water for days, weeks or even months at a time depending on where exactly you live. If not properly taken care of such as drying out carpets/carpeting and removing mud from floors then this could result in mold growth behind walls or other surfaces which nobody wants. You should always leave these types of concerns into the hands of professionals who are experienced in restoring properties after having flooded. They know exactly how to dry out carpets/carpeting, remove mud from floors and prevent mold growth so that your home is restored back to its pre-flood condition with ease!

They Can Help Restore Your Property Back To Its Pre-Flood Condition

After you have experienced flooding in your property it can be hard for some people to get their lives back on track because they are concerned about fixing the situation themselves or hiring a professional who may not do everything properly. If you hire professionals however, they will restore all of your materials such as walls, floors, furniture etc. Back to its pre-flood state without any problems whatsoever which makes life easier when trying to move past something like this!

They Will Make Sure Everything Is Done Professionally

Regardless of how severe your water damage is (whether it was caused by a burst pipe, broken washing machine or more) you should always hire professionals to restore your property back to its pre-flood condition. This way everything can be done efficiently and effectively without any problems along the way. They will also use quality materials when restoring anything in order for all surfaces such as walls/walls, floors/carpets etc. To look fresh again just like they did before having experienced flooding. In this case hiring a professional restoration company works wonders because they have experience with fixing properties after flooding which makes life so much easier afterward!

How to Prevent Mold at Your Work Place

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Mold at Your Work Place

Mold can be a big problem in the workplace. It is important to take preventative measures so that your employees are able to work in an environment where they are happy and healthy. The following article will give you some tips on how to keep mold at bay, no matter what type of business you have!

Keep Humidity Levels Low

Keep the humidity levels in your office at a relatively low level. This can be done by using an air conditioner or fan to keep the room cool and dry, especially during humid seasons like summertime. Since mold grows best in damp environments, keeping things as dry as possible will help you prevent it from growing! Ensure that employees do not use too many ice machines. These machines are notorious for producing excessive moisture which can lead to water damage later on down the line if employees don't play their part in helping out with lowering humidity.

Use Wall Paint Treated With Mold Inhibitors

Using a wall paint that is treated with mold inhibitors can help you in your fight against this nasty stuff. These paints, which often come in green and white colors, are resistant to fungi and moisture so will not hold onto it for too long when humidity levels go up.

Ventilate the Room Well During Humid Seasons

Make sure that there are windows or another way of ventilating areas where employees work during humid seasons like summer time. This allows fresh air into the room and reduces any chance of harmful gases such as methane building up due to excessive dampness. Employees should be reminded regularly about keeping their workspace clean by removing items from shelves before cleaning them thoroughly at least once per week (or more if needed).

Use Mold Inhibitor Cleaning Products for Every Day Cleaning of the Workplace

If the janitorial staff notices any mold or mildew on surfaces, they should use a cleanser with mold inhibitors in it. These can be found at most stores and come in the form of sprays and wipes. They are great for everyday cleaning since you do not have to wait too long before being able to continue using them - unlike other types of paint that require weeks upon weeks before being usable again!

Hire a Professional to Get Rid Of Mold and Prevent Any Future Mold Problems

If you really can't get rid of the mold in your office, or if it keeps coming back again and again despite preventative measures taken by employees, then consider hiring a professional to take care of things. Mold problems like this are serious business that should not be dealt with lightly! If there is any chance that health risks may come about due to exposure to toxic spores over time because the problem was left untreated, then prioritizing finding professionals who will do their job perfectly is essential. This article has given you some great tips on how to keep your work place safe from harmful molds - so make sure you put them into practice today!

Top 4 Causes Of Commercial Water Damage

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Top 5 Causes Of Commercial Water Damage

Commercial water damage in your business can cause extensive damage. It can cause you to close your business for a while to restore the damage and this can end up causing you a lot of revenue. This is why it is important to understand what causes commercial water damage in the first place.

Once you understand these causes you can take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen on your property because of these reasons.

#1. Damaged Pipes

This is the biggest cause of commercial water damage. Many factors contribute to the damage of pipes over time. This can include regular changes in pressure and freezing temperatures.

However, you can tell if there is pipe damage as there are signs. If you see water stains on your floor or ceilings or notice a musty smell in an area then this may be a sign that the pipes in your property are damaged.

It is important to call a professional if you see these signs so they can assess and give you an expert opinion.

#2. Roof Damage

Maintaining your roof is an essential part of maintaining your property. Damage on the roof can be caused by many factors such as harsh weather, rain, snow, and destructive winds.

This can cause structural damage and result in leaking water. If this is not detected early on then it can even lead to mold damage and other consequences that come with water damage.

You must regularly keep a check on your roof so that you can maintain it easily.

#3. Fault In Sprinkler Systems

These sprinkler systems have pipes as well that can be damaged which can result in a leak. Extensive leaks can cause water damage to commercial property. Some signs of such water damage include:

  • Musty smell
  • Wet walls
  • Wet carpets
  • Standing water
  • Mold

These signs indicate that you may have a damaged sprinkler system. Call a professional and address it right away.

#4. Damaged Windows

Regular window maintenance should also be part of your maintenance routine. If the windows don’t have a proper seal or are damaged then water can come inside the commercial property.

Long-term exposure to this can lead to problems such as mold in the building. You have to ensure that all the windows in the property are sealed properly.

#5. Damaged HVAC System

As a business, it is important to provide your employees with a safe and thriving work environment. Part of that responsibility is to maintain clean HVAC systems. If that is not done then they can become damaged which will lead to water damage on the premises.

Final Words

These are the top 5 causes of commercial water damage. Make sure to conduct regular maintenance so these problems can be prevented on your premises.

If there is any such damage then call SERVPRO now. Our experts will ensure professional and skilled restoration of your premises. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Storm Flooding

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Flooding

As the storm weather approaches, you want to ensure that your home is completely safe and flood-proof. Having to deal with flood damage, later on, can be quite taxing, both, mentally and physically. So, the best thing to do is assess what needs to be done beforehand so that you can keep yourself and your home safe from any kind of flooding. Let’s look at what you need to do to ensure this. 

  1. Assess All The Possible Entryways For Water

The first thing that you will need to do before anything else is to assess whether there is any possibility of floodwater coming into your home. You will easily be able to tell this by taking a look at any gaps or slopes around your home. 

Doing so is essential if you want to take the right steps to keep your home safe from flooding. Otherwise, at the last moment, you will be running around trying to stop water from coming into your home. 

  1. Get The Relevant Renovations Made

If you have been through similar situations before as well, then you know how important it is to renovate your home. Once you have assessed the entryways of water, you will have to ensure that they are completely blocked so that you can keep floodwater out of your home. Don’t wait until the last moment, make sure that you get these done early so that you can be prepared. 

  1. Clear Out Gutters

One of the main issues that come with flooding is the blockage of gutters. To keep flooding at bay, you will have to ensure that you clear out the gutters and the pipelines so that the water can run through them without any issues. 

If you do not do this, then the possibility of your gutters overflowing and water coming inside becomes more likely. So, get your gutters cleaned out to lower the possibility of this happening to your home. 

  1. Cover Any Gaps Around Your Home

One of the main reasons why water finds a way inside your home is because of the gaps all around. When you’re aware of an upcoming storm or the particular season approaching, then you should make sure to cover all these areas up. 

If you’re looking for an effective way to do this, then try using sandbags to prevent water from coming in. It works great as the weight of the sand blocks the gaps and can easily be molded into the area you want to fit it in. So, try to do this as well to keep water out. 

Who To Call In Case Of Flooding?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not able to keep the water out of your home, then you’re sure to find your home filled with water. In such a situation, you will need to reach out to professionals to help clear out all the damage from your home. 

What To Do After Storm Damage

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Steps To Take After Storm Damage

A storm can be quite scary and having to deal with its after-effects is challenging. It can leave behind a lot of damage that you will have to take care of. For this reason, you need to have all the right steps in front of you so that you can restore your home as quickly as possible. Here are 5 steps that you will have to follow after suffering from storm weather damage. 

Check How Much Damage Is Done

Before you go on to figuring out the solution for the damage, you will have to assess how much damage took place. It is best to take a look at every nook and corner of your home to know where all the damage is. 

Don’t miss out on anything as you want to ensure that every bit of damage is repaired properly. Observe every inch of the exterior so that you can know exactly what went wrong. Also, if there is seepage or any other time of damage as well, then make sure to take note of this as well. 

Keep Yourself Safe And Avoid Injury

As you go about assessing your home of damage, you want to make sure that you avoid injury throughout. To do this, you will have to keep away from all sorts of electrical equipment and risky areas around your home. 

If you see cracks on the roofs, then it is best that you avoid standing under or close to that particular area. The best thing to do is to make sure that your electricity is shut off to avoid getting damage from wires running through your home. 

Get Your Insurance Company On Board

Throughout the process, you want to make sure that you are collecting adequate proof to show your insurance company. They will probably also send someone for a physical examination to verify your case. Keep them in the loop so that you can claim insurance for the damages that you face from the storm damage. 

Limit Further Damage To Home

Sometimes, if you do not act quickly, there is a possibility of more damage happening to your home. You want to avoid this as much as possible. If there is an excessive wind blowing or water coming in, you might want to board your windows. 

If you’re not sure how to do this, then you must reach out to a professional service for help. And, that is our final step that will help with the damage. 

Get The Right Professional Cleaning Service 

You want to ensure that your home is not damaged beyond repair. This is when you need to get the right people on board to help you clean up the mess after the storm weather damage. You do not want to put the entire work on yourself as you might not have the right equipment to get this done properly. 

You should reach out to professionals who can help you clean your home and minimize the damage done to your home.

5 Immediate Steps to Handle a Water Damage Emergency

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

5 Immediate Steps to Handle a Water Damage Emergency

Water damage can be infuriating. It is classified as one of the most serious emergencies that your property could suffer from – one that could possibly have long-term implications as well.

There are many ways that your property could get damaged by water, such as a heavy storm, flash floods, extreme rainfall, damaged pipes, overflowing water appliances, or even a leaking roof. Regardless of where your water damage stems from, it is mandatory to address the problem immediately to prevent further damage and to allow for repair strategies to be helpful.

When you face a water damage emergency at home, you should already have a plan in place that tells you exactly how to handle the situation. Here are a few steps that should ideally be part of your contingency plan:

  1. Protecting Yourself

The reason why water damage is considered extremely serious is because not only will there be floating water around your home, but the water can also further create more emergencies around the house. If the water is contaminated, there can be serious health effects if you come into contact with it. If you let the water reach electrical appliances, there can be a short circuit in the house or lead to electrocuted water.

To protect yourself, the first step in a water damage emergency should be shut off all electricity in your home. In case the water damage is caused by flooding, it is important to evacuate the home and reach a safe destination ASAP. Remember to wear protective clothing such as gloves and boots when you come in contact with the water to avoid the risk of contaminated or electrocuted water. You should also protect important possessions first – including important documents and electronic devices.

  1. Stop the Damage

In order to prevent further damage to your property, it is important to identify the source of the water damage and stop it immediately. If you have a burst pipe, you can shut off the water supply. If there is a flood in the area, you can use sandbags to lessen the impact. If you are suffering a ceiling leak, you should identify the exact point of leakage and reach out to a roofing expert.

  1. Call the Insurance Company

Since most houses in the US are insured, it is important to call the insurance company as soon as you identify water damage on your property. They are likely to guide you regarding what to do next, including getting a claims adjuster and taking photographs of the property damaged. This step is important to save money on damage repair in the future since your insurance company is likely to have it covered.

  1. Dry Everything

If it is possible, you should begin drying your wet furniture and flooring as soon as possible. Leave your rugs out in the sun to dry and turn on the fans to help dry out the entire house. This step is essential to eliminate the possibility of mold growth on your property due to still water and moisture in the home.

How to Prepare Your Home for Natural Disasters

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Your home is a central aspect of your life. It is your own personal space that you share with your loved ones, such as your parents, siblings, spouse, or children. Your home is where most of your dearest memories are made and you probably want to protect it forever.

However, natural disasters are common. They can wipe away all the memories you have made in your beautiful home in a split second if you are not adequately prepared for the disaster.

Preparing for a Hurricane

One natural disaster that combines many different disasters is a dangerous hurricane. It can bring heavy rainfall, winds that are faster than 150 MPH, extreme thunderstorms, and even flash floods in areas that are near the coastline.

In the US, hurricanes are especially common between June to November and it is important to prepare for them accordingly.

Hazards of a Hurricane

When a hurricane hits your area, there are many hazards that you need to look out and prepare for. These include

  1. Storms: A dangerous storm can affect both human life and property in just a few minutes. In the surge of a hurricane, ocean water is pushed towards the coast. When combined with the high, swirling winds, such storms can cause major damage to the structure of your home.
  2. 2. Winds: Hurricanes don’t have normal winds. Instead, the wind is as fast as 150 MPH and has a swirling direction. This can easily destroy entire buildings or cause irreparable damage to the foundational structure of the building.
  3. Heavy Rainfall and Floods: When a hurricane hits, it is accompanied by tropical storms that can bring rainfall of more than 6 inches. As the water builds, there can be flash flooding in low-lying coastal areas. This is extremely dangerous for people who live in the inlands, especially because they may not have sufficient time to evacuate in such situations.

Hurricane and Natural Disaster Preparation Guidelines

Here are a few things you can do beforehand in order to minimize the damage caused by hurricanes or other natural disasters in your area:

  1. Assess Your Home

Before you start taking any precautions to prepare for a hurricane, it is important to first analyze the risks of your own home. You can check with contractors or damage repair companies to ask whether the foundational structure and landscaping of your home will be able to survive heavy winds and storms. After the inspection, you may be required to have a few repairs made in your home to make the structure sturdier.

  1. Removal of Debris and Garbage

Since storms and hurricanes come with intense winds, it is important to remove any dead trees or garbage material such as logs of wood that could be blown into your house due to extreme wind pressure.

  1. Make an Evacuation Plan and Kit

If you live in a low-lying coastal area, it is important to have an evacuation plan in place that all of your family members are aware of. Apart from the plan, you also need to prepare a kit that must be equipped with food and water supplies, essential medication, a first-aid kit, and a battery-powered flashlight.

Storm Damage Restoration in Woodbury/Deptford, NJ

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

The Importance of Storm Damage Experience in Time of Disaster

When disaster strikes, the pros at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford are equipped to arrive fast. The franchise professionals specialize in both residential, and commercial storm damage restoration. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford offers 24/7 emergency services with fast response times to any sized disaster. Arriving quickly on scene, our team members are able to mitigate storm and water damage, which aids in helping reduce overall cost. Call 1-833-884-3200 to see how SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can help with your storm damage.

How to Prevent Residential Storm Damage

The best way to prevent residential storm damage is to assure that basic upkeep has been met at your residential stay. Notable common problems that are associated with storm damage can be reduced through the practice of:

  • Keeping your gutters clean
  • Securing outdoor furniture, fencing, etc.
  • Creating an optimal path to have water flow away from your residential home
  • Keeping an eye out for overgrowth of trees that have the potential to damage your residential home in times of high wind/rain.

Prepare Before the Storm

Storm Damage can often be minimized if the proper precautions are taken before the arrival of the storm. If there is an alert of a storm that possesses high winds and rain, look to take in or tie down any objects that could become airborne, causing damage to your home. Furthermore, another way to protect your home in a storm includes protecting your windows. In the circumstance of a storm that could cause damage or even break your windows, it is best to add a form of protection before the arrival of the high winds and rain in order to keep the inside of your property safe.

Why Your Home Needs A Professional Storm Cleanup Service

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Why Your Home Needs A Professional Storm Cleanup Service

A storm causes a lot of destruction in its wake. The chaos it creates is too much to deal with. This is why residential owners need extra help to restore their homes after a storm.

For this, you will need the service of a professional company that deals in storm damage restoration and cleanup such as us. After all, your home is your sanctuary and it needs to be protected so you can be safe.

Here are the many reasons why your home will need a professional storm damage restoration service.

Quick Cleanup And Repair

The damage that storms can cause can be extensive. You and your family can't possibly repair it in time and you will need a few days or a week to restore it yourself. However, because of this, you may feel unsafe in your own home.

Hiring a professional storm cleanup service means that your house will be restored to its original form in no time. This is because we are experts at what we do and we can quickly and effectively repair any damage caused by the storm around the house.

Professional Evaluation

As a layman, you will not know where to look for damage. You might miss out on a few things that should be repaired so your house can function well and live a long life.

Hiring a professional service will mean that they will do a full evaluation of your house first. This means that the experts will search every corner of the house to see the extent of the damage.

Apart from that, they will figure out what needs to be fixed through a detailed inspection and evaluation of your property. They will then come up with a solution to fix all the damage.

Clean And Sanitized Home For Optimal Health

Storm damage can cause contamination, infections, parasites, and diseases. These are serious issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. If these issues exist then they will come to light when the experts do the inspection and evaluation.

As a professional cleanup service, our main priority is your health and we will do everything to ensure that it is not harmed. This is why your home will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to get rid of any contamination and infection. You can then go back to enjoying a safe and healthy home.

Flooding Will Be Taken Care Of

Storms can cause flooding in basements and other areas. However, we will clean it up through the use of our flood pumps to get rid of all the water and to prevent it from seeping into your walls.

As a professional cleanup service, we have all the equipment and expertise to execute the restoration effectively.

Final Words

Please don’t attempt to restore the house yourself after storm damage. Instead call professionals and experts such as us to effectively clean and restore your house to its original form.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

What to do when Your House Floods

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Service It's our job to be there when you need us, 24/7.

Imagine coming home from a long day at work, and rain is pouring down from the skies. You open the door but to your surprise something is amiss. You check the basement to see if everything is alright, when you notice your house has been flooded. Instead of scrambling for help, simply call SERVPRO (856) 686-0100. If you or a loved one encounters this unfortunate situation there are steps you can follow until SERVPRO promptly arrives at your door.

What YOU can do in the meantime

            After a flood it is important to remove excess water by mopping and blotting what you can. Wipe any excess water from wood and retrieve tabletop items such as lamps. Remove upholstery and cushions from any chairs, couches, and beds that are accesible in the flooded area. Remove any colored rugs from wet carpets and surfaces. Remove any valuable pieces of art and store in a dry safe place. Gather attainable loose items from your floor.

SERVPRO saves the day

Once you’ve done what you can, this is where SERVPRO steps in. We operate a 24-hour emergency contact number so you can get in touch with us any time disaster strikes. Remember to call SERVPRO at (856) 686-0100. When you call this number, we will ask you several questions related to the emergency at hand. This helps determine what equipment to bring and how many employees to send. From here, highly trained water damage specialists will be sent to the place of emergency for inspection and damage assessment. An intensive inspection of the property will take place to determine the scope of the damage. Several things are taken into consideration such as amount of water, contamination of the water, etc. Once this assessment is complete, the water will be swiftly and efficiently extracted. Our company will also help move any valuable furniture and items out of the house to prevent stains and rust. The carpet and carpet pad will also be inspected and removed at this time if need be. State of the art water removal equipment is used in this process. This includes tools such as: moisture detectors, hygrometers, infrared cameras to find water behind walls, submersible and gas-powered pumps to expel high-level water, and truck-mounted and portable water extraction units. Next, our team will begin the drying process. This is a necessary step in the water restoration process as most building materials are porous, meaning they retain water. This retained water can cause materials to decompose, warp or mold. Our professionals will use dehumidification equipment based on the area’s measurements, temperature, and humidity of the flooded area. Industrial-grade dehumidifiers will be applied to prevent secondary water damage such as warping floors and swelling. High-speed air movers will also be introduced to the space to create airflow across walls, carpets, and furniture to accelerate the evaporation of moisture. SERVPRO will always provide validation and documentation once the property is dry. This brings us to the sixth and final step, Restoration. After a flood, your property may be in shambles. Leave it to SERVPRO to fix this. Various services are offered such as: board-up, roof tarping, temporary fencing, move-out assistance, and temporary warehouse space. However, that’s not all we can provide. We can also provide repair services such as drywall removal, hardwood floor repair, tile floor repair, painting, and carpet repair/installation. We can simplify the whole process for you by dealing with both the initial water damage and rebuilding of the affected areas. Having one extraordinary and qualified company throughout this entire process can save you both money and time. Find us anytime at https://www.SERVPROwoodburydeptford.com or by calling the number (856) 686-0100

Call SERVPRO for Water Damage

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Equitment Give us a call at the first sign of water damage in your home or business.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is proud to be a local and certified part of your community. We are ecstatic to help anyone in need within: Woodbury, Bridgeport, Gibbstown, Billingsport, Thorofare, Westville, Beckett, Paulsboro, Sewell, and surrounding communities within New Jersey. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a flood or any sort of water damage, don’t fight alone. We’re here to help! SERVPRO uses a unique six step water damage restoration process to effectively get your property looking like new again. The first step in this process includes operating a 24-hour emergency contact number (856) 686-0100. We are always available and ready help when need be. The second being property inspection and damage assessment. Here our team will identify and stop the source of water. We will also survey the extent of the water damage on the premises. Next comes water removal and water extraction which will be done swiftly and efficiently. We use high-tech equipment to remove excess water as fast as possible. At this time an organized move-out process can also be conducted if water is surrounding any furniture or valuables. After this we will dry and dehumidify the affected area, along with other spaces that may have water damage. We use room measurements and temperatures to precisely determine the optimal equipment needed to dry the area. Our Industrial grade dehumidifiers will prevent secondary water damage like swelling and warping walls. Then, our team will completely clean and sanitize your walls, floors, and ceiling, along with any furniture, upholstery, clothing, and other restorable items which were damaged. Our professionals will also rid the area and any valuables of all foul odors. The process doesn’t just stop here. Next, we are ready to restore and repair damage to your home. Services are offered such as: Drywall removal and installation, hardwood floor repair, tile floor repair, painting, carpet repair and installation. Along with emergency temporary services like: Board-up, roof tarping, temporary fencing, move-out, and temporary warehouse space. With these quick and reliable services, you can’t go wrong. We are trained to handle these disasters calmly and strategically to get your property back in order. If you simply cannot wait for SERVPRO professionals and need to act fast before help arrives you can follow these simple steps after flooding; Remove excess water by mopping, wipe excess water from wood furniture to avoid warping, remove wet upholstery and cushions, turn on air conditioning, remove colored rugs, remove art and valuable objects and store in a cool dry place, and finally gather loose items for the floor. Next comes the list of things you should never do while waiting for SERVPRO to come help with flooding. This list includes, don’t leave wet fabrics in place, hang up leather and fur goods, never leave books magazines or colored items on carpets, never use a household vacuum to remove water, avoid using television and other electronic appliances for the time being, don’t turn on fans or other ceiling fixtures when wet, it’s best to stay put of rooms entirely if the ceiling is wet or sagging. Finally, don’t wait until the water damage is irreversible. Call the professionals at SERVPRO today.

How SERVPRO’s Storm Response Program Was Born

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

The roots of the SERVPRO® Storm Response program date back to 1993 and make up a significant part of the SERVPRO® Story. In 1992, SERVPRO® made a decision to begin taking the steps necessary to compete in the commercial market and catastrophic response (CAT). That same year, there was a large fire loss in Nashville. Several Owners agreed with corporate leadership and responded to clean the building; this was the first step on the road to commercial and CAT response. The following year, in 1993, there was a significant flooding event in the Mid-West. Corporate responded by sending several willing Franchise Owners to complete work in Des Moines, Kansas City, and ultimately ending in St. Louis. The nearly 40 Franchise Owners involved completed multiple projects, including the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The next two years saw several significant storm events. Tropical Storm Alberto dropped 24” of rain north of Albany, Georgia, causing the Flint River to flood; Storm Teams signed the Dougherty County School System billing out $1.3 million, among many other jobs. Hurricanes Opal and Erin struck and SERVPRO® Storm crews responded throughout the Gulf Coast region. This was the beginning of SERVPRO® Storm Response on a larger scale using centrally administered Franchises and crews. Many of the precedents set during these events are still part of the Storm Response Program today. The storm remained an initiative led by the Storm Teams who are all Franchise Owners, using the processes learned on these early events. From 2002 to 2008, SERVPRO® Storm Teams responded to Iowa flooding and eight tropical storms and hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina. Many mistakes were made; however, many lessons were learned. Beginning in 2008, under the leadership of the Storm Teams, Commercial Large Loss Division (CLLD), and Executives, Storm Response was formalized into a cooperative program between the Storm Teams and the corporate office. From 2009 to 2011, the Storm Teams responded to 15 managed events. This experience continued to foster program improvements as Storm Leaders learned from successes and mistakes. At the end of 2011, SERVPRO® experienced the first of two “All-Call” events under the current Storm Response Program. The first was Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee, followed by SuperStorm Sandy in 2012. These two events significantly affected how Storm Response is managed, providing more valuable lessons. During this time, SERVPRO® also developed Storm Manager® to automate the process for dispatching and tracking leads. Since 2012, the introduction and integration of updated software tools for Storm and the introduction of DryBook™ for production have significantly improved the ability for SERVPRO® Storm Response to manage any event—whether it is a micro event or the next major hurricane. Storm Response is an integral part of the SERVPRO® Story and differentiates our ability to execute from all other competitors in the industry. We will continue to make incremental improvements to support the SERVPRO® Brand.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (856) 686-0100.

SERVPRO has perfected storm and flood restoration over the years. Our staff is exceptionally trained and ready to work the moment you call! SERVPRO's high tech equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are owned locally, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before the event occurs.

Board Ups and Roof Tarps

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

More Than Just Restoration

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford provides board-up services that will prevent further damage to your property. Our board-up services are intended to close any openings to your property following a catastrophe like a fire or a flood. Broken windows, broken doors, damaged hinges, and knocked-down walls all provide easy entrance to natural elements and thieves.

Benefits Before Damage

Even if you do not require damage restoration, you may still want to protect your property with board up services, including temporary shoring, power restoration, and temporary fencing after vandalism, an earthquake, fire, or other disasters. Placing fencing around your home deters burglars from entering and stealing furniture, electronics, or other expensive items.

Installing roof tarps also prevents exposure to weather conditions, which cause unexpected water or sun damage while cleanup and construction are being performed.

Here For You 24/7

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is here to help 24/7. Our experienced technicians are available at any time of any day, even on holidays! Don't hesitate to reach out with any concerns regarding your home or business. Call us today at 856-686-0100!

Being Proactive About Spring Cleaning

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

These days you may be spending some extra time at home and since spring is about to begin, you may be thinking about doing some spring-cleaning. On average, the American typically spends 90% of their time at home. That means that whether you’re simply relaxing, sleeping, working, or doing any sort of activity, you are spending a majority of your time at home. With all of that time, it can be incredibly difficult to keep your house spotless or much less even just simply clean.  The average household collects around 40 pounds of dust, dirt, and allergens each year. Dust can live on surfaces and in a variety of materials such as rugs, curtains and pillows. 

At SERVPRO, we’re here to help. We specialize in sanitation and cleaning of living spaces, furniture and rugs. Moreover, here are some tips from us about what should be on your spring cleaning list… 

  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces such as counter tops, baseboards, sinks, fridges, etc. 
  • Have you HVAC checked and cleaned for any buildup 
  • Dust window blinds, clean curtains, and clean windows and screens 
  • Unclog all drains and rain gutters 
  • Make sure washer and dryer are properly clean and free of any buildup. 

As you clean, make sure to let us know if you need any help or notice any mold or water damage as you begin tidying. We can send a specialist out to help you or provide an estimate. Just give us a call at (856) 686-0100. 

What To Expect From Us

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

If you have experienced fire or water damage and need assistance, here’s what you can expect from us… 

24/7 Service

We know that accidents or disasters don’t wait until business hours, that’s why we have someone on call in our office 24/7, so when disasters do happen, you can call us and be assured we get some out to you as soon as possible. 

Quick Response

We’re faster to any disaster! We know that when a property has been damaged, timing is everything. Timing can affect both the extent of and cost of restoration, so it’s important to us that we get to your property as quickly as possible. Once the necessary information is provided, we can move forward with preparation to address your needs. 

Inspections and Briefings 

Once our specialists arrive, they will begin their inspection, looking for the various signs of damage and the extent of it. Included in this could be advice on whether or not it’s worth it to make an emergency claim. 

Call us at (856) 686-0100 for any more information or if you need help restoring your property.

A Team Dedicated To You

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Our team is here to help you 24/7

Here at SERVPRO, we are dedicated to providing quality service to those in need after a disaster. We strive to truly make your property look “Like it never even happened,” as well as provide 24/7 quality service to our customers. Our staff works to provide excellent customer service with training to restore properties after water or fire damage. Our office seeks to give customers the best service and knowledge we can.

As a certified large loss provider, our restoration experts can extend beyond the threats to residential properties and offer the same level of quality work for commercial buildings. We have the equipment and personnel to handle substantial losses in industrial and commercial settings. This expertise and preparedness have made us a premier option in the restoration industry for local homes and businesses, accentuated by our Outstanding Sales Performance awards we’ve received annually since 2008.

Containment

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold is fact of life. We deal with mold on a daily basis here at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford and one of the most important factors when working with mold is keeping the mold spores confined to an affected area. 

Containment is the term used for limiting the spread of mold, dust, fibers and other items that can quickly make a small job a big job or a safe home a not safe home. 

We use the latest in technology and all of our available resources to create negative pressure, knock down mold spores down, containing the mold, drying any wet surfaces and utilizing a HEPA vacuum, thusly keeping our clients happy, safe and on their way to getting their homes back to "Like it never even happened."

Clean These 3 Areas to Prevent Mold Spore Buildup

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Prioritize These Three Areas To Greatly Reduce The Chances Of Mold Buildup

Carpet cleaning has more purposes beyond cosmetic improvements. It is crucial to prevent mold infestations in your commercial building. However, you cannot do this by preventing moisture alone. Mold spores feed on dust, dirt, and other organic materials, so it is important to clean your business regularly. 


  1. General Surfaces
    Mold feeds on any organic material around. One of these prominent catalysts is dust, which is composed of bacteria, dead skin cells, soil, and more ingredients. Dust also gathers around any surface that is not cleaned frequently. Therefore, regular cleaning of the entire location is important. Janitorial staff can target both obvious surfaces and tight corners where dust accumulates. Encourage your staff to wipe their workstations often to improve hygiene.

  2. Carpets and Rugs
    Another way to combat mold problems effectively is by focusing on carpets. This type of flooring throughout your location can trap the dirt, soil, and spores that people bring from outdoors. If the carpet is left alone, these particles can build up and lead to mold over time. Prevent this from happening with dedicated carpet cleaning and vacuuming. Install mats by each entrance so people can wipe their footwear immediately and reduce carpet contamination. However, you will also need to clean them often.

  3. Air Vents
    One aspect of the building you should not overlook is the HVAC system. The air vents are harder to reach, so it is more difficult to clean them. However, the dust that can gather inside of them can spread throughout the building. This means the system can also easily spread mold spores throughout the area, creating growth everywhere and complicating commercial mold remediation efforts. Contact HVAC professionals to clean and maintain the air vents.
    Stopping excessive humidity inside your business is just one step in preventing mold development. Surface, air vent and carpet cleaning stop these spores from getting the nutrients they need to thrive.

Four Of The Most Common Questions Regarding Mold Growth

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

The vast majority of homeowners do have to deal with a black mold issue at some point. Mold has the potential to grow nearly anywhere in your home, provided the correct conditions exist. If you suspect that your home has fallen victim to a mold problem, yet you still don't know where to begin, then you have come to the right place.

  1. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
    Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that depriving it of its vital nutrients could cause it to die off on its own. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and organic matter might temporarily halt its spread, but it will not kill the existing mold.
  2. Where Does Mold Grow?
    Black mold can grow anywhere the correct conditions exist. It's most commonly found in areas of your home that come into frequent contact with moisture, such as your kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room and garage.
  3. How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
    The size of the mold issue ultimately determines which approach you should take. You can address smaller mold cleanup projects using homemade cleaning mixtures that consist of equal parts water and white vinegar. Larger problems might require professional assistance, however.
  4. How Can You Prevent Mold?
    Mold needs water to grow, so cutting down on any existing moisture problem is your best course of action. You should also carefully monitor your indoor humidity levels to ensure that excess condensation isn't the root of the problem. Lastly, performing regular home inspections can help you catch mold problems before they spiral out of control.
    Just because black mold is a common household affliction doesn't mean that you need to put up with it. Learning what causes mold growth in your home and taking action to resolve the issue can help prevent future issues. Contact mold remediation experts for professional assistance.

Crime Scene Cleanup

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicides, homicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.

The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazard removal, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants (e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors. However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

With concerns about Ebola contamination in the United States, crime scene cleanup companies like Cleaning Guys of Texas and Bio Recovery Corporation of New York have been contracted by government to clean more than just crime scenes.

Where Can Property Owners Seek Help After a Fire Ruins a House and Some Belongings?

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Professionals Can Handle the Fire Damage in Affected Properties

Fire can cause significant destruction to your property, and if you delay the restoration process, the secondary damage can be irreversible. It is essential to contact a reliable fire restoration firm like SERVPRO within 24 hours after the unfortunate incident. We respond within the shortest time feasible since we understand how fast the secondary damage can spread in your property.

How fast is the restoration process?

Every damage situation is unique. The time our restorers can take to handle the fire damage in your home depends on:

  • The number of rooms damaged by the fire
  • The intensity of the damage
  • Materials burned during the incident

Our technicians can clean your property quickly and efficiently. It can take a few days to complete the restoration process.

Can I inspect my property after the incident?

At SERVPRO, we advise our customers not to enter the property after a fire. Post-fire hazards include:

  • Inhaling smoke and soot residues
  • Spreading the smoke and soot residues on various surfaces
  • Risking collapse since the structure could be weak after the fire

Can I clean the affected area myself?

Cleaning various surfaces in the affected property using home remedies and cleaning products can cause more damage. Besides, the restoration process requires trained and experienced persons to avoid incurring huge losses and expensive repairs. Our restorers have innovative equipment and products that help us to minimize damage. We also have protective gear that protects us from inhaling smoke residues.

Surfaces with heavy soot and smoke residues can be challenging for inexperienced homeowners to clean. Our restorers can use abrasive powders or roto pads and brushes to agitate the surface for easy cleaning. We can then vacuum the massive deposits from the surface to keep the loose particles from spreading.

Can technicians eliminate the smoke odor?

Smoke odors can linger even after heavy cleaning. The smells can hide in hard to reach areas or confined spots. We can use injection devices such as syringe and needle to inject small amounts of deodorant into the confined area. Since the odor may continue to persist, we can use air scrubbers to extract the airborne particles, gases, and odors from the air. The equipment drives indoor air through several filters to capture the odor particles and gases. It then exhausts fresh air back into the structure.

Even a small fire can jeopardize the safety and comfort of your family. Call SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford at (856) 686-0100 for effective restoration services that can make the fire loss seem, “Like it never even happened.” 

Tips On Fire Damage Cleanup

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

We might view fires as something abstract, but they are very real. Fires happen every single day, to others due to a variety of reasons. So, one does not usually imagine the scenario in which they, themselves, would have to go through such an experience. This is why most of us, seldom read about what it is that we can do to help ourselves after. However, we are going to change that today. If a fire does happen to occur on your property, then fire damage cleanup tips are something that you should know as they will, undoubtedly, come in handy. 

1.0 What Exactly Is Involved In The Fire Damage Cleanup Process

First thing's first, to understand the tips that we provide for the fire damage cleanup process, you must first know exactly what it is that the process entails. The process involves the removal of any debris caused by the fire, resolution of any sort of water damage, and removal of standing water within your property. That is not all, to ensure that the air quality in your home is as good as it was before the fire, you must start by eradicating the smell caused by the smoke and removing any soot accumulation in your house and places, such as vents. 

2.0 Tips

Now that we know exactly what we have to do during the fire damage cleanup process, here are some tips that will make the entire process much more easy and efficient.

2.1 Safety

Before you start the cleanup process, it is vital for you to ensure that you are safe and using protective gear at all times. So, our first tip is for you to wear protective clothing, such as shoes with heavy soles and work gloves. Next, to make it easier for you to breathe through the dust particles, make sure that before you begin the cleanup process, you water the debris to minimize them. 

2.2 Efficiency

To make the cleanup process more efficient, there are certain ways in which you can make the products you are using work for you. Firstly, to reduce odors set in your clothes after the fire, you can use cleanup products that contain TSP, that is, tri-sodium phosphate. However, make sure to wear rubber gloves when using such products. On the other hand, when cleaning the walls of your property, make sure that you work on one small area of the wall at a time. You can easily use a mild detergent or soap to clean soot from your walls. In fact, you can even mix it with TSP for extra ease and efficiency. Work your way up as this will ensure that your walls don't have any streaking. Then, immediately rinse with clear water. Make sure that you wash your ceiling after you have cleaned all of the walls.  

When dealing with a situation such as fire damage cleanup, things can start to become quite overbearing and emotionally overwhelming. This is why you should take each task one step at a time and remember these tips and all will be well.

What To Do And What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can completely change our lives. A fire in your home or place of business is one of them. It can cause extensive damage that can take a while to recover from.

However, you need to start the fire restoration process as soon as possible so you can resume life. When it comes to fire damage and restoration here are some of the things you should do and some you should avoid.

What To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to always have a plan when it comes to such damage. Your plan will allow you to take the necessary steps to deal with fire damage and restore everything as fast as possible. Here is everything you need to do:

  • Never enter the property until a professional has told you it’s safe
  • Take pictures so you can have evidence of the damage
  • Call your insurance agent
  • Call your local restoration company such as SERVPRO
  • Limit your movement inside the area of fire
  • If the weather is fine then open all the windows for proper ventilation
  • Throw away drinks and foods that have been left after the fire

All of this will protect you from further damage and help you restore your property as soon as possible. The best thing you can do is call a professional for restoration so they can take care of everything.

What Not To Do When Dealing With Fire Damage

It is important to know what not to do as well so that you don’t end up causing further damage. Here is a list of things you shouldn’t do when dealing with fire damage on your property:

  • Don’t start cleaning everything unless your insurer has assessed everything first
  • Don’t use carpets or other furniture until they have been professionally cleaned after a fire
  • Don’t eat or drink anything that has been exposed to the fire
  • Don’t turn on water, gas, or electricity until everything has been professionally assessed
  • Don’t turn on any electronics until it has been professionally assessed

You need to give time to the professionals to handle all these aspects. This is because the residue that stays after a fire can cause a variety of health problems if you start doing everything too soon.

So, until the professional sort everything out and restore the damage this is what you should and shouldn’t do. Just make sure that you are not using the property at all until it has been assessed by an insurer and a fire restoration professional.

If you want to minimize the risk of fire on your property then you should always take preventative measures. However, if you still end up having a fire on your property then this was your complete guide to what you should and shouldn't do.

Follow these steps and you will be good to go. If you want a professional fire damage restoration company then no one does it better than SERVPRO. Feel free to get in touch with us now.

Ways to Diagnose Water Damage in a Property

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Ways to Diagnose Water Damage in a Property

Water damage is a collective term that is coined to refer multiple impairments that have occurred due to persistent water attacks on a system thus destroying the material through various destructive processes, for instance, decaying of wood, corrosion of steel, mold or bacterial growth and so forth. Thus water damage can be problematic if not diagnosed immediately in its early destructive stages but property owners usually tend to neglect the issue as they reckon it as a consequence of either defective plumbing or may be due to structural defects.

Water damage that we notice is nothing as compared to the internal damage that it has caused the foundations of your property since most water damage begins deep in the walls leading to structural loss hence this can only be repaired by the aid of a trained professional who will not only analyze the issue but will also repair it.

So, here is how we can diagnose if the property has been damaged by water or not:

Dark or Wet Water Blotches:

The first and foremost sign that you should be looking while detecting the water damage is the wet stains of water that are usually found on the walls or ceilings. These yellowish water circlets are very easy to identify as they are quite obvious.

Inflated Drywalls:

At times the dry walls of the house, building or any other property tend to absorb moisture that is present within the walls, due to which they get swollen or simply puff out, therefore, it is imperative to check every wall to inspect for the inflated walls. These inflated walls are another sign indicating severe water damage.

Crumbling Wooden Items:

The most vulnerable material to water damage is wood as the wood fibers tend to swell and shrink. They shrink when discharge water and swell when absorb it. Swollen wood is more liable to crack and crumble down if not fixed instantly, so if you are suddenly observing your wooden furniture or any other wood-based item fractured and swollen thus you need to get it fixed promptly before this water leakage is successful in dilapidating it.

Tattered Walls:

Tattered or run-down walls are another clue for water damage. Excessive moisture within the walls makes the paint clammy and damp thus slowly and gradually, the paint starts peeling off or in some areas, it bubbles out. So if you notice patched walls or discolored and bumping paint do not hesitate in calling water damage control department.

Mold and Bacterial Growth:

One major signal that screams "water damage" is the growth of molds, bacteria and other minute viable organisms on your property. Apart from damaging your stuff, they are also a threat to your health since they may pose some health effects. Mold and bacterial growth simply tell you that the water damage is severe and needs to be examined properly.

Some numerous signs and indications may signal for water damage, some can be easily identified like the dampness of the walls, fractured ceilings while some require a professional's expertise to resolve the matter for instance terrible exterior etc. whatever the cause is, water damage is an alarming issue that must not be left unnoticed. 

Top 5 Causes Of Commercial Water Damage

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in your business can cause extensive damage. It can cause you to close your business for a while to restore the damage and this can end up causing you a lot of revenue. This is why it is important to understand what causes commercial water damage in the first place.

Once you understand these causes you can take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen on your property because of these reasons.

#1. Damaged Pipes

This is the biggest cause of commercial water damage. Many factors contribute to the damage of pipes over time. This can include regular changes in pressure and freezing temperatures.

However, you can tell if there is pipe damage as there are signs. If you see water stains on your floor or ceilings or notice a musty smell in an area then this may be a sign that the pipes in your property are damaged.

It is important to call a professional if you see these signs so they can assess and give you an expert opinion.

#2. Roof Damage

Maintaining your roof is an essential part of maintaining your property. Damage on the roof can be caused by many factors such as harsh weather, rain, snow, and destructive winds.

This can cause structural damage and result in leaking water. If this is not detected early on then it can even lead to mold damage and other consequences that come with water damage.

You must regularly keep a check on your roof so that you can maintain it easily.

#3. Fault In Sprinkler Systems

These sprinkler systems have pipes as well that can be damaged which can result in a leak. Extensive leaks can cause water damage to commercial property. Some signs of such water damage include:

  • Musty smell
  • Wet walls
  • Wet carpets
  • Standing water
  • Mold

These signs indicate that you may have a damaged sprinkler system. Call a professional and address it right away.

#4. Damaged Windows

Regular window maintenance should also be part of your maintenance routine. If the windows don’t have a proper seal or are damaged then water can come inside the commercial property.

Long-term exposure to this can lead to problems such as mold in the building. You have to ensure that all the windows in the property are sealed properly.

#5. Damaged HVAC System

As a business, it is important to provide your employees with a safe and thriving work environment. Part of that responsibility is to maintain clean HVAC systems. If that is not done then they can become damaged which will lead to water damage on the premises.

These are the top 5 causes of commercial water damage. Make sure to conduct regular maintenance so these problems can be prevented on your premises.

If there is any such damage then call SERVPRO now. Our experts will ensure professional and skilled restoration of your premises. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

Why is it So Difficult to Remove the Smell of Smoke?

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Virtually any type of fire causes a pungent odor that permeates throughout the home. A simple explanation for this phenomenon is that smoke particles are tiny and can travel to every nook and cranny in your home. Left unattended, smoke odors can last weeks or even months in your home. There are specific techniques and deodorization agents such as the direct-spray Odor Control, Water Based Cinnamon that assists in removing or masking the smell of smoke. 

Is Professional Assistance Helpful with Deodorizing? 

SERVPRO Understands Deodorization Techniques to Remove Offensive Odors

Although it may be possible to complete fire damage restoration on your own in your home, trained professionals can access professional equipment and cleaning products. Removing the strong smell of smoke is not a single step process. What works for one type of fire in a specific home may not work for another. SERVPRO professionals can assess your unique situation and determine a recommended course of action. 

What are Basic Deodorization Procedures? 

  • Rid your home of the odors source.
  • Clean residues from surfaces. Residues can cause additional odors.
  • Re-create the conditions. Basically, this means to create a smoke-like fog through the use of thermal or ULV fogging equipment to penetrate into areas where the smoke odors embedded. 
  • Seal surfaces to lock in the odor so that it cannot escape and travel through the air. 

In addition to the necessary deodorization procedures listed above, ventilation and thorough dry or wet cleaning are crucial steps in removing odors. Without proper ventilation, the smell of smoke tends to linger for more extended periods.  

For 24/7 assistance, contact our emergency response team at SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford at (856) 686-0100. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Why Disaster Planning Is Important For Commercial Buildings

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Do you know why most businesses shut down when hit by a disaster? It is because they do not have an emergency plan to deal with these disasters. Among the businesses that survive, almost all of them have a working and effective emergency plan. This is why planning for a disaster is extremely important for commercial buildings.

Importance Of Disaster Planning For Commercial Buildings

Protecting a commercial building from natural disasters is just as important as protecting the place that you live in. If the building is not prepared to face these disasters, its whole operation will shut down. As a result, the business will face huge losses as well. According to an estimate, 50% of the businesses shut down when a natural disaster hits them because they do not have an effective plan to deal with these disasters. Not investing in an emergency plan is one of the huge mistakes that businesses make. It can cost you a lot more than you ever imagined.

So, if you do not want your business to be among the 50% that shuts down, you need to make sure that the commercial building where the operations of your business are taking place has an effective emergency plan.

What Will Happen To Your Commercial Building If You Do Not Secure It?

When your office is building is secured against disasters, it will ensure the smooth operation of your business. Want to know what will happen to your business if you do not take the necessary steps to secure it against disasters? Keep reading then.

  • Your Building’s Exterior Will Get Damaged

The exterior of the building will be the first thing that will get damaged when hit by a storm. Therefore, it is extremely important that the roof, doors, and windows of your commercial building are prepared to face any unsuitable weather. If you have not reinforced the doors and the windows with any sturdy form of protection, make sure that you invest in it.

  • The Inventory And The Equipment Will Get Flooded

In areas where flooding is common, you must take the necessary steps to keep the office warehouse secure and dry. If you have not taken any preventive measures for it, it can cost you greatly as many important inventories are kept in the warehouse. When the level of the water will rise, the entire inventory will get damaged. Additionally, the equipment placed on the ground level will get damaged as well. This is why you need to keep the place secure and dry.

How To Ensure That Your Commercial Building Is Safe From Disasters?

To make sure that your commercial building is ready to face any unpleasant circumstances, you need to keep it maintained. Evaluate all the systems of the building on regular basis. Make sure that the heating, conditioning, and ventilation systems are working effectively.

You can also partner with an expert company that will help you ensure that all the features of the building are in working condition and the safety equipment is installed correctly or not. So, if you need expert advice, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

How To Protect Your Workplace From Natural Disasters

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

We never know when a disaster can strike. This is why it is extremely important to take the necessary steps to protect the property. Protecting your workplace from natural disasters is just as important as protecting your house. So, if your organization is not prepared for such emergencies and natural disasters, you need to take the necessary steps to protect it. Want to know how you can protect your workplace from natural disasters? Keep reading then.

Evaluate Your Area

If you want to be best prepared for natural disasters at the workplace, you need to evaluate and examine your office area and determine which natural disaster poses a possible threat to the area in which your office is located. You should not only evaluate the area in which your office is located, but you should also evaluate your office building as well. It will help you in determining the possible threats to which your office may be exposed and take necessary steps to secure the property.

Come Up With Emergency Plans

Once you have found out the possible threats to which your workplace is exposed, you need to create emergency plans to face these natural disasters. It will help you protect your organization and the workers of your organization as well. The plan should include what to do if the disaster hits your workplace and how to deal with the problem afterward. It should additionally include the ways to ensure the smooth flow of your business when your workplace is hit by an emergency.

Test The Plan

Once you have created the emergency plan that is needed to deal with the natural disasters, you need to make sure that the plan is effective as well. This is why you must test your emergency plan to make sure that it is effective and runs smoothly.

Prepare Emergency Kits

Even though all the companies have the necessary first aid kits to deal with emergencies, it is extremely important to have an emergency kit prepared to deal with natural disasters. For example, if your workplace is exposed to floods, and your workers are not able to travel in such a situation, you need to have the necessary supplies available to deal with such a situation. Some examples of these emergency kits include food and water, personal hygiene items, batteries, radio, etc.

Prepare Your Employees

Apart from preparing emergency kits for your workers, you need to prepare your employees to deal with the emergency as well. Preparing your employees will help them in dealing with natural disasters. Therefore, each of your employees should be trained and prepared for these natural disasters. For this, you need to equip and train your staff with the skills that are needed to deal with the situation such as CPR training and first aid courses.

Creating a solid emergency plan for your workplace to deal with natural disasters is extremely important. It will help you protect your workplace and your employees as well. For more details on how to create an effective emergency plan for your workplace, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

How To Prep Your Home For The Winter

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Summers are over and fall is officially here. This means that the weather is going to get colder and you have to prepare your home to ensure warmth and safety. Here are some of the most important steps you can take to prep your home for the winter season.

#1. Seal Your Windows And Doors

It is important to notice small openings in your doors and windows and seal them before the winter season arrives. These openings let in chilly air in the winters that can make your house even colder. Apart from that, water can also seep in if it rains or snows.

So, make sure to fill all these gaps with mortar or silicone caulk so that no cold air or water can get inside your home. It will ensure your home stays warm and you can stay cozy.

#2. Clean Your Gutters

You can do this yourself or call a professional to do it instead. This is because gutters collect debris all year long. If they are not cleaned then water can back up. This can cause roof damage and water damage.

So, make sure that before the weather gets even colder you clean out all the gutters from your home. This will reduce the risk of floods and water leaks in your home during the winter season.

#3. Extend Your Downspout

Too much water can cause a lot of damage to the foundation of your property. This is why you should add extensions to your downspouts before the winter season. Doing so will ensure that the water runs three to four feet away from the foundation in your home.

In the long run, your foundation will be safe from water damage and your home will not be prone to leaks or flooding. Winters tend to bring rain and snow so an extension is an essential item you should have.

#4. Add Insulation To Your Attics And Basements

Insulation ensures that the warm air stays inside your home during the winter season. Attics and basements can tend to get colder than the rest of the house. This is why you should think about adding insulation to prep your home for the winter season.

However, you should not attempt to do this on your own. It is better that you call a professional. They will do it at a reduced cost and also do a skilled job. This way you will be able to enjoy the insulation for a long time to come.

So, if you have chilly basements or attics then it is time for some insulation.

We should adapt ourselves and our homes to the changes in the weather. Doing so ensures that we are living in a safe home that provides us with everything we need despite the weather.

If you want to prep your home for the winter season then get it done by our experts at SERVPRO. For more information about our services, feel free to get in touch with us now.

Impact of Water Damage On The Property Value

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever confused the term "water damage" with life-threatening water associated natural catastrophes like flooding or hurricanes etc.? Well, this is very likely to happen, but the term water damage is not used in this context rather it is a term that describes multiple damages caused by water leakage on your property thus making it decrepit in many ways.

It is a very slow and profound kind of deterioration as water travels along parallel surfaces thus eliciting its effect bit by bit. The destruction takes place in places that you've never noticed before, usually occurring deep within the walls, floors and ceilings. Destruction due to water mainly happens due to faulty plumbing possibly due to corroded and dripping pipes and toilets in addition to this, it is visible and prominent in places like bathrooms, kitchen and even refrigerators thus opening doors for multiple issues like fractured and swollen walls, growth of molds, nasty smell, bumping and inflated paint etc.

Water damage has for sure negative impacts on the resale of the property and realtors or even property owners often face difficulties in making a sale deal for an already run-down property. One might think that what relation does water have with the property's value? This query is reasoned by stating fact that sellers generally highlight the pros and cons of the property when it is being sold having no clue about the destabilized foundations of the property chiefly done by the excessive water leakage until the new owner conducts the inspection and finds out about the declining state of the building.

Following are some ways through which water damage succeeds in lowering your house value:

Deflation in the price:

Water damage lowers your property's capital value as the price estimated for the restoration of the house is more as compared to its actual value thus whether you purchase a dilapidated property which is completely void from inside or you buy it and then spend large amounts of money on its restoration, Whichever the way is, you surely will be losing quite an amount of money.

Nil Electrical System:

Apart from making the property tattered, water damage disrupts the electrical layout of the building and a damaged electrical system is not only a threat to an individual's life but it further lowers the market value of the site.

Higher Chances of Re-occurrence:

A place that has been under the spell of water damage, might fall in the same pit again. This also makes buyers cautious once they are familiar with the problematic situation and ultimately your expectations of asking price are usually not met.

Water damage is more destructive than one can imagine and is brought into notice when the situation has aggravated tremendously. The control of water damage is a very expensive process as numerous problems need to be fixed for instance mold remediation, repairing of foundational and structural damages hence a lot of money is required for restoring a water damaged tumbled down mess to uplift its value.  

Water Damage Restoration Tips And Tricks

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Has your home or office experienced any water damage? Taking immediate action will only minimize the damage further. This is why you need to take action as soon as possible. Even though you need the services of experts in water damage remediation, there are many things that you can do yourself to minimize the loss. So, if your property has been damaged by water you need to follow some tricks and tips. Following these tips will ensure that the damage is minimized and will also ensure the safety of people present on the site. Want to know what these tips and tricks are? Keep reading then.

Dry Out The Affected Area

To minimize the damage, you must dry out the affected area as soon as possible. The presence of moisture in the affected area will only damage it further. This is why you need to be as thorough as possible. In smaller spaces, you can use fans to dry out the area affected by water. But, fans will not be effective in large spaces. So, if you need to dry out the larger space you can rent a large capacity dehumidifier.

Disinfect The Area

Once the area has been dried out and the damaged components have been removed, you need to disinfect the whole area before you start using it. Disinfecting the area is important so that the mold does not grow there. There are many ways through which you can disinfect the area but mostly bleach is used by the people. If you are not comfortable with using bleach, there are many other options that you can use instead.

Repair The Ceiling First

The ceilings that are damaged with water are riskier than other areas. This is why you need to repair them first or else they will collapse. If the damage is beyond control, you will need to remove the affected ceiling or boards. If it is repairable, then you can repair it as well. To repair the leaking ceiling, you must find the source of the leak first. Meanwhile, you need to make sure that the water does not cause any structural damage to your property.

Replace Damaged Wood

The wood that has been damaged by water will rot and develop mold on it. This is why it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. But, before replacing the damaged woods, you need to thoroughly clean the area beneath the wood. Also, you need to be careful about the placement as well and make sure that the structure has the right support.

Contact Professionals

The professionals can take of your damaged property in ways that you cannot do it yourself. So, if your property has been damaged by water, it is advisable that you avail the services of a professional company that can restore the place to its original form.

If your property has been damaged by water, you should take immediate action to restore the place back to its original form. It is an extremely important job that needs expert supervision. So, if you are looking for a team of professionals that would take care of your property, you must contact SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford and avail the professional services.

Why Do I Need Help with Cleanup After a Fire?

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s Skilled Technicians Use Industry-Proven Methods at Your Home to Execute Effective Fire Damage Restoration.

Any fire damage within your property can bring about post-event residue and hazardous chemicals. Expert restoration services help clean these stubborn residues and ensure that your interior is left like before the fire incident. Our SERVPRO crew also takes future hazards such as mildew and mold growth into consideration, which might develop if any moisture lingers from first responders extinguishing the flames.

Why Can’t Fire Restoration Be a DIY Project?

There are several reasons that make skilled fire damage restoration in Southern New Jersey better than do-it-yourself methods alone, including:

  • Industrial-grade vacuums pull up all traces of soot, smoke, chemicals, and ash.
  • Odor eliminators quell odorous particulates from burnt substances like wood, plastic, and other materials.
  • We perform a detailed inspection to help us identify and then safely remove any salvageable items for cleaning.
  • We know what items are beyond repair and dispose of them properly.
  • Controlled demolition using skilled building and reconstruction services allows us to replace any studs, drywall, window panes, and subflooring that had to get removed. 
  • Our fire and smoke damage restoration technicians take steps to secure any areas during the renovation by way of plastic sheeting or other protective measures.

Each of these aspects points to the utter importance of calling in the help of restoration pros whenever you have a fire, big or small, within your home. It is vital that you consider all of the hazards involved with fire cleanup and know that our crew always arrives wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Even a small kitchen fire extinguished quickly can leave behind odorous materials that bring a constant reminder of the incident. 

We are Faster to Any Size Disaster here at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, and you can count on us for 24/7 emergency service should you require fire damage restoration. To have a crew deployed to your property, call us at (856) 686-0100.

Importance Of Having A Disaster Response Program For Your Workplace

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Natural disasters don’t let anything come in their way. They destroy homes, buildings, offices, and anything else that comes in its way. This is why as a business you should always have a disaster response program in place for quick recovery.

Importance Of A Disaster Response Program

Here are the many reasons why such a plan is important to have for your business:

  • Ensures the safety of employees
  • Provides quick recovery
  • Better communication during emergency time
  • A better settlement from your insurer

Having such a strategy in place is important to recovering fast from any natural disaster. However, many businesses don’t know how to prepare such a plan.

What To Include In Your Disaster Response Plan

Here is everything you should include in your program:

#1. Identify Risk Of Disaster

Identify the kind of disasters that take place mostly in your area. Are you more prone to flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc? This will help you in putting the rest of the plan together.

#2. Preventative Measures

Once you have identified the risks, your second step should be to prevent your place of business from being extensively damaged because of these disasters. Maintain your systems and appliance regularly and provide your staff training on evacuation in case of an emergency.

#3. Make A Comprehensive Plan

There should always be one person appointed who should carry out the plan. This person should be responsible for making a plan that ensures:

  • Safety of employees
  • Securing hazardous chemicals or objects on the premises
  • Keeping the business operational

Apart from that, you should develop a detailed evacuation plan with exit routes, a list of employees, an emergency contact list, and a team that will be responsible for any duty that is related to first aid.

#4. Prepare An Emergency Kit

It is always good to be prepared, especially if you are responsible for the lives of many people. You should always keep a spare emergency kit in the workplace in case of disasters. This kit should include:

  • Extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First aid
  • Nonperishable food
  • Water
  • Radio

These are all essential items that people will need in case there is a disaster and they have to stay in the office or need supplies to make their way out.

#5. Insurance

Identifying the risks will let you know the kind of insurance policies you can opt for. This way you can go for a policy that provides adequate coverage for the kind of disasters your business may be prone to. So, choosing a suitable policy for such an event is also an important part of the disaster response plan.

Prevention is better than damage. As a business, you should always be prepared so that your employees can be safe during such a time. You can also consult a professional to develop a comprehensive disaster response plan.

If you go through any sort of disaster or damage then SERVPRO can help with the restoration of your property. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

How To Ensure That Your Facility Is Prepared For Disasters?

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Natural disasters can hit anywhere without a warning. Even though some disasters come with a warning such as floods, others give you no time for preparation. They strike suddenly without any warning. This is why disaster preparedness is extremely important to keep your facility safe. Not only is it necessary to keep your property safe, but it is also important for your own safety as well. So, how to ensure that your facility is prepared to face natural disasters? You can make your place prepared for disasters by following some basic tips. Keep reading to find out more about them.

  1. Make Sure That Your Facility Is Insured

You may suffer huge financial losses when a disaster hits your property. This is why you need to get the insurance of your property done. Many insurance companies pay claim to their policyholders that are affected by these natural disasters. This allows communities to rebuild once things get back to normal. So, pick the right insurance plan for yourself and protect your property with it.

  1. Make Sure That You Have A Plan

It does not matter where you live. Natural disasters can occur anywhere. To save yourself and your facility from these natural disasters, you need to have a useful plan that you need to have a plan in action. The first step in creating a plan is to identify the types of disasters that your property is exposed to. When you conducted a thorough search on the natural hazards in your area, it will help you prepare a plan for each of these disasters separately.

  1. Do Not Forget To Prepare The Emergency Kit

No matter which area you live in. You need to be prepared for any natural disaster that you may come across. The best way to prepare yourself for these natural disasters is by preparing an emergency kit for yourself and the people around you. There are many things that you can put in your emergency kit. Some of the basic things are a flashlight, utensils, water, canned food, toiletries, and regional maps. Once you have prepared an emergency kit, make sure that you place it in a safe place where you can easily access it when the emergency strikes.

  1. Prepare A List Of Hazardous Objects

While some of the decoration items at your faculty may look good to you, they can trouble you when a disaster hits your place. This is why you need to create a list of all such hazardous objects present at your facility. Go through the list once you have created it. Repair all the hazardous items that can be repaired. Get rid of the items that cannot be repaired as they can prove to be dangerous during a natural disaster.

Preparing your facility for natural disasters is just as important as preparing yourself. When your place is safe and secure, you will have peace of mind as well. so, follow the above-mentioned tips to ensure that your facility is prepared for disasters. If you want more details on making your facility disaster-proof, you can contact SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford and we will guide you with everything.

5 Things To Do After A House Fire

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

A fire occurring in your house can be both surprising, overwhelming, and confusing. One can easily feel confused about what it is that they should do after going through such an experience. However, reading up and learning about what it is that you can do after a house fire can make you better equipped with dealing with such a situation. So, in order to help you protect yourself and your property, here are 5 things that you can do after a house fire.

Call An Emergency Helpline

Of course, the first step in any emergency situation is to call an emergency helpline. However, you must first ensure that everyone within your house is outside first. The first responders will arrive at your home and will focus their attention on the safety of you and others who live in your house. After all of the house occupants' are out of danger, they will then focus their energy on saving the structural integrity of your house. 

Take Some Time 

While the first respondents are working on dousing the flames, make sure to take time for yourself so that you are able to process the situation. Try to remind yourself and those who surround you that everything will be okay as spiraling will only make you feel more stressed and won't help the process go any faster. Be sure to take everything one step at a time so that you do not overwhelm yourself. 

Contact Your Insurance Agency 

After you have collected your thoughts, contact your insurance agency and ask for their timeline on securing your property, which includes the removal of any standing water as well as covering the doors and windows of your house. The entire process depends on the amount of damage your house has taken, both from the fire and the dousing. Your insurance will help in starting this process for you and will then authorize their company for restoration to secure your property.

Find A Safe Place

As your house, despite the ventilation holes, will now be filled with chemicals, which lowers the air quality drastically, to prevent any health issues, you must then find a safe place to stay for the time being. In fact, the restoration and recovery process can take several months to finish, which is why most people end up residing in a relative's house rather than a hotel. So, be sure to be monetarily prepared. 

Secure Your House 

If you are in a situation where the fire department tells you that your house is safe to live in, you will still have to take certain precautions, such as boarding up your house. This will prevent any outside impurities from entering your house. 

All in all, knowing the steps that you have to take after a house fire will not only help you but will also make you feel more at peace. So, if you ever do go through something like this, we hope that you do not, you will not feel confused rather you will, by default, go into autopilot and start taking the required steps. 

Minimizing Business Interruption

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

When your business is impacted by a disaster minimizing business interruption should be your main concern as an owner, manager or employee.  When a disaster occurs this may not be the first thought that comes to mind.  That is why it is important to have assessed potential risks and have in place a plan to deal with potential threats.   These are a few steps that can be taken to ensure you are prepared.

  1. Identify possible risks to your specific business. Depending upon your industry, size of the structure and geographic location risks will vary.  By identifying the most likely risks to your business is the first step to being prepared for an event.  For example if your located in a cold weather climate a flood from a broken pipe could be a potential issue.
  2. Have a specific plan in place for each potential disaster. After identifying the most likely scenarios have a plan that dictates actions to be taken in each event.  Have an easily accessible plan that the employees in charge would have access to.  Depending upon the scenario the plan should include emergency contact information, a list of vendors to use to remedy each situation and a crisis communication plan.  Having a formal plan that all key employees follow and understand is important in minimizing business interruption.
  3. Understand your insurance coverage. It is important to have a clear understanding of what is covered by your policy in the event of a disaster.  Knowing what coverage you have prior to an event will help in planning how to go about fixing the issue.  It can also save time and stress to already have a clear understanding that whatever happens you are covered.  Having the business interruption coverage that is right for your business is integral to the recovery of your business.
  4. Get back to doing what you do best. With the proper planning and implementation of your plan you should be back to work in no time.  No matter what industry your in, time is money, so getting back to running efficiently as soon as possible is important. 

Here at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford we deal with commercial loss quite often.  It is always our top priority to minimize the business interruption that is experienced by our commercial clients.  We sincerely hope that you never need our services, but we do hope that you are prepared in the unfortunate situation that you do. 

Bio-hazards, Crime Scene & Vandalism Cleanup

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is a recognized leader in the fire and water damage restoration industry, but we also cover bio-hazardous, crime scene and vandalism cleanup for both commercial and residential property.

Biological and chemical substances can be extremely dangerous when exposed to within a home or commercial property. If it’s not professionally assessed and removed, bio-hazard materials can leave you with a dangerous environment for those who live and or work within it.

The certified and experienced technicians at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford are equipped to appropriately remove bio-hazard materials safely while disposing of them properly per state and local health agency guidelines.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford uses advance equipment and techniques that deal with the following:

  • Crime scenes
  • Blood-borne pathogens
  • Arson
  • Sewage overflow and back up
  • Vandalism
  • Black water
  • Mold 

So, when you are in need of a bio-hazard cleanup, call SERVPRO of Woodbury/deptford856-686-0100 available 24/7 for your bio-hazardous emergency!

Do you have a plan?

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

As a member of the Ready Campaign’s National Preparedness Coalition, SERVPRO is proud to present the following information.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan.
Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage.
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover. 

Prepare your Emergency Plan.
Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan.
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security.
Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up to-date. Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.


Information provided by https://www.ready.gov/

Why Your Home Needs A Professional Storm Cleanup Service

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

A storm causes a lot of destruction in its wake. The chaos it creates is too much to deal with. This is why residential owners need extra help to restore their homes after a storm.

For this, you will need the service of a professional company that deals in storm damage restoration and cleanup such as us. After all, your home is your sanctuary and it needs to be protected so you can be safe.

Here are the many reasons why your home will need a professional storm damage restoration service.

Quick Cleanup And Repair

The damage that storms can cause can be extensive. You and your family can't possibly repair it in time and you will need a few days or a week to restore it yourself. However, because of this, you may feel unsafe in your own home.

Hiring a professional storm cleanup service means that your house will be restored to its original form in no time. This is because we are experts at what we do and we can quickly and effectively repair any damage caused by the storm around the house.

Professional Evaluation

As a layman, you will not know where to look for damage. You might miss out on a few things that should be repaired so your house can function well and live a long life.

Hiring a professional service will mean that they will do a full evaluation of your house first. This means that the experts will search every corner of the house to see the extent of the damage.

Apart from that, they will figure out what needs to be fixed through a detailed inspection and evaluation of your property. They will then come up with a solution to fix all the damage.

Clean And Sanitized Home For Optimal Health

Storm damage can cause contamination, infections, parasites, and diseases. These are serious issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. If these issues exist then they will come to light when the experts do the inspection and evaluation.

As a professional cleanup service, our main priority is your health and we will do everything to ensure that it is not harmed. This is why your home will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to get rid of any contamination and infection. You can then go back to enjoying a safe and healthy home.

Flooding Will Be Taken Care Of

Storms can cause flooding in basements and other areas. However, we will clean it up through the use of our flood pumps to get rid of all the water and to prevent it from seeping into your walls.

As a professional cleanup service, we have all the equipment and expertise to execute the restoration effectively.

Please don’t attempt to restore the house yourself after storm damage. Instead call professionals and experts such as us to effectively clean and restore your house to its original form.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now.

How To Prepare For A Storm

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

It is better to be safe than sorry. Preventative measures are key to saving yourself and your home from the damage that comes with a storm. Storms bring heavy rain, winds, and lighting.

They can cause flooding, power outage, and a lot of destruction. This is why you must have a plan to deal with all these problems that may come with a storm.

However, if there is still damage caused to your property because of the storm then hire a professional storm cleanup service for your home restoration.

Here are the many safety tips you can follow to prepare yourself for a storm.

Ensure That The Exterior Of Your House Is Safe

You must take care of the outdoors to reduce safety hazards. For example, you need to trim down large trees and shrubs so that they don’t fall on something else or get tangled with wires.

Apart from that any plants, furniture, or other objects that are placed outside need to be brought indoors so they can be saved be from damage.

Keep Everything Powered Up

Make sure that the gas tank of your car is full. Charge any appliances that need charging such as your cell phone, laptop, etc. Apart from that, you need to test your generator beforehand so that it works properly in case of a power outage during the storm.

Also, keep extra fuel for the generator in case of extensive power outages. This way you will always have backup power.

Make An Emergency Plan

Nature is unpredictable and you never know how bad a storm is going to be. This is why you must have a contingency plan in case of extreme circumstances.

Come up with a plan of how you are going to get in touch with all the family members and where you will meet up to stay safe. This is because storms can happen anytime and not everyone will be home.

Clean Gutters

The main reason why urban flooding takes place because of a storm is due to the overflowing of gutters. With too much water coming in the water overflows and causes the area to flood.

This is why it is important to routinely get your gutters cleaned once in a while. This will allow the water to flow freely and prevent any blockages. It will also prevent the flooding of your basement and roof damage.

Create An Emergency Kit

This is only for a worst-case scenario. If you have to leave home because of some damage or in case of a power outage you will need an emergency kit.

Be sure to have essential medicines, first aid, batteries, important documents, non-perishable food, water, clothing, cash, and all other essential items that you may require.

It is always good to be prepared for an unprecedented situation that may arise due to a storm. Follow these tips to prepare before a storm and you will be good to go.

However, if there is any damage to your home due to the storm then give us a call 856-686-0100!

Cleaning the Gutters in Your Home Can Prevent Water Damage

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Prevent Water Damage in with Fall Gutter Maintenance 

Although we are used to the weather extremes in Minneapolis, our swings from summer’s hot and humid feel to the “Polar Vortex” in deep winter can be hard on our home’s systems and structure. Now that fall is firmly ensconced, and winter is on the way, make time to inspect your roof and its drainage configuration. Once winter’s frigid temperatures take hold, it is too late to prevent problems easily. 

Why the Focus on Gutters and Drains? 

Water damage in is not limited to the aftermath of burst pipes, appliance malfunctions, and severe storms. During the quiet and coziness of a gentle snowfall, your roof and the structural components of the upper levels of your home can be under attack. If ice dams form near the eaves and roof edges of your house, water can seep inside. You risk ice dam complications when warm air escapes at the joints between exterior walls and the roof, melting snow that deposits into the gutters. If your home's gutters experience clogging with leaves and debris, the water collects. Poorly attached or missing downspouts exacerbate the situation, and improperly canted gutters prevent drainage as well.  

Slow, Steady, and Nearly Invisible Damage 

The cycle of snow melting and freezing into ice dams eventually force moisture into your attic or highest level. Wood framing and insulation absorb the water, increasing the probability of mold growth and deterioration of the building materials. Throughout the winter, the water can migrate down and between the walls into living areas. Drywall or lath and plaster construction both experience significant damage over time. The smell of rapidly multiplying mold colonies or staining might be your first signal that months of substantial destruction have occurred without fanfare. 

Maintenance Is the Key to Ice Dam Prevention 

Cleaning gutters and securing downspouts is an autumn task that repays you many times over when the snow flies. A bonus is that a well-maintained gutter system also helps preserve the integrity of your home during spring showers and summer’s severe weather. Ensuring that the water running off the roof is far from your foundation prevents flooding and damage to exterior building materials. Sealing eaves and upgrading insulation also helps interrupt the melting and freezing cycle at the edge of your roof. 

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is your partner if poorly draining gutters and downspouts cause water to head into your abode any time of the year. Contact us year-round at (856) 686-0100 for help with migrating water damage.

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Flooding

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

As the storm weather approaches, you want to ensure that your home is completely safe and flood-proof. Having to deal with flood damage, later on, can be quite taxing, both, mentally and physically. So, the best thing to do is assess what needs to be done beforehand so that you can keep yourself and your home safe from any kind of flooding. Let’s look at what you need to do to ensure this. 

  1. Assess All The Possible Entryways For Water

The first thing that you will need to do before anything else is to assess whether there is any possibility of floodwater coming into your home. You will easily be able to tell this by taking a look at any gaps or slopes around your home. 

Doing so is essential if you want to take the right steps to keep your home safe from flooding. Otherwise, at the last moment, you will be running around trying to stop water from coming into your home. 

  1. Get The Relevant Renovations Made

If you have been through similar situations before as well, then you know how important it is to renovate your home. Once you have assessed the entryways of water, you will have to ensure that they are completely blocked so that you can keep floodwater out of your home. Don’t wait until the last moment, make sure that you get these done early so that you can be prepared. 

  1. Clear Out Gutters

One of the main issues that come with flooding is the blockage of gutters. To keep flooding at bay, you will have to ensure that you clear out the gutters and the pipelines so that the water can run through them without any issues. 

If you do not do this, then the possibility of your gutters overflowing and water coming inside becomes more likely. So, get your gutters cleaned out to lower the possibility of this happening to your home. 

  1. Cover Any Gaps Around Your Home

One of the main reasons why water finds a way inside your home is because of the gaps all around. When you’re aware of an upcoming storm or the particular season approaching, then you should make sure to cover all these areas up. 

If you’re looking for an effective way to do this, then try using sandbags to prevent water from coming in. It works great as the weight of the sand blocks the gaps and can easily be molded into the area you want to fit it in. So, try to do this as well to keep water out. 

Who To Call In Case Of Flooding?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not able to keep the water out of your home, then you’re sure to find your home filled with water. In such a situation, you will need to reach out to professionals to help clear out all the damage from your home. 

Connect to https://www.SERVPROwoodburydeptford.com/ to clean out your home and make sure that you limit the damage that happens to it!

Protect Your Home Against Flooding

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Keep Your Home Secure Against Flood Damage

Flooding of your home can cause major problems. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from heavy rains.
Maintain Existing Flood Prevention Structures
Many homes have common flood prevention features, such as gutters and sump pumps, already installed. It is important to maintain this equipment.

The following are some routine maintenance activities that will help keep your home secure against flood damage:

  • Clean and inspect gutters (fall and spring)
  • Clean storm drains (at least once a year)
  • Test sump pump and clean screen (every season)
  • Inspect roof (every year)

When completing the above tasks, be sure to check for damage such as loose gutters or missing shingles. The suggested frequency for each task will vary depending on your specific situation. For example, if you have trees near your home, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often. If you suspect that you will be unable to do any of these jobs, you may wish to hire a professional contractor for some or all of your home's routine maintenance tasks.

Consider Home Improvement Projects

In addition to maintaining whatever flood-proofing systems your home already has, you may decide to do some home improvement projects to further protect your home from flooding.

The following are some common improvements that you can make to keep your house safe in heavy rains:

  • Install any of the above items (gutters, storm drain, sump pump) that you do not already have
  • Grade your lawn so that it slopes away from house
  • Upgrade seals around windows and doors

Employ Temporary Solutions

Even well-prepared homes may need additional protection during very heavy rains. If a severe storm is headed your way, you may want to install sandbags or other flood protection devices such as inflatable dams.
The above suggestions will help protect your home from flooding. However, even the most well-prepared homes can suffer storm damage. You may need to enlist the help of experienced restoration professionals to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Flatten the Curve

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

As many states begin to reopen, we all have feelings of uncertainty going into spaces we used to not think twice about. The grocery store, a coffee shop, your own work desk are all spaces that we used to frequent. At SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford we are offering our disinfectant services to places of businesses, so employees and customers feel safe in your place of business. In New Jersey, we have a responsibility to take care of our fellow neighbors. 

Practicing preventative cleaning for reopening is essential. When SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  enters your home or business, we are able to disinfect your entire area with EPA approved products. As we look toward the reopening date, we want to ensure your business is prepared to act and your home is sanitized to guarantee safety. 

We are providing disinfecting services for COVID-19 as well as general detailed cleanings for unoccupied homes collecting dust. 

Our Disinfectant services include:

  • Through cleaning of effected areas with disinfectants approved by the EPA
  • Approved Hospital Grade disinfectant. Our cleaners are usable on any surface and is safe.
  • Surface wiping of critical contact areas. Fixtures, keyboards, phones, door handles, certain contents within the affected area are hand wiped. A 5-10 minute dwell time should be allowed post wipe down. Walls up to a height of approximately 5’ throughout traffic areas.
  • Technicians will always wear masks and gloves. If needed, overalls will also be worn.

Since many homes and offices have been vacant for some time, we also offer a detailed floor to ceiling deep cleaning, from base molding to crown molding including: content manipulation, carpets and upholstered furniture if needed. We will clean every square foot leaving your home or office in the highest condition. 

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is dedicated to help flatten the curve and insure your safety so you can spend more time focusing on the important things in life. If you have any questions, feel free to call us here at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, 856-686-0100.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

SERVPRO Of Woodbury/Deptford (856) 686-0100

Power Outage

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

With the spring and summer season comes a higher chance of thunderstorms and high winds. Due to the high abundance of trees in our area, there are many outages caused by fallen trees as well. If you do not have a home generator then it could be a very strenuous time going through a power outage.

Here are a few tips to help get through a power outage safely. 

  • Limit the opening of refrigerators and freezers unless necessary 
  • Do not use gas stoves to heat home, this can be a very dangerous method. Instead wear layers and use blankets when possible. 
  • Disconnect appliances to avoid damage from electrical surges
  • If possible, leave to a different location to get heating or cooling
  • Make sure you have necessary supplies on hand, such as batteries, flashlights, matches, etc. 

These are just a few tips to follow during a power outage. For more information go to Ready.gov. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is always here to help. 

Storm Preparation

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

A storm can cause major trouble for homes and businesses alike. From gale force winds to lightning strikes, a storm can cause major damage.  While every storm may not cause catastrophic damage to your home, even a small roof puncture from a tree limb or flying debris can be enough to allow substantial runoff and torrential rainfall to pour into your home. A falling tree can cause serious damage to your roof, siding and windows. Heavy rain can also cause concern for potential flooding. Below are a few tips to help keep your home safe and dry in the event of a storm:

  • Routinely check your home or business for flaws in the structure. This includes your siding and roof.  Even the smallest hole can allow rainwater in, which can lead to water damage and mold growth.
  • Trim larger branches that could potentially cause structural damage if a storm caused them to fall on your home or business.
  • Make sure that sump pumps are working properly.  Sump pump overflows during a storm are a leading cause of water damage.

When your home or business suffers damage as a result of a storm, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is here to help.  We can be reached 24/7 at 856-686-0100

Cleaning Beyond COVID Chaos - 7 Steps for Small Businesses

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

In recent months, the world has changed beyond recognition. Business of all sizes have had to pivot and adjust at breakneck speed in response to the pandemic breakout of the coronavirus. Whether you’re a shop-fronted business, an office-based organization, or a startup working from a co-working space, no one has been left unaffected.

In the coming months, each country will gradually go at their own pace to start lifting restrictions. Communities will slowly start to come back together. Store entrances will tentatively reopen their doors. Staff will eventually return to their desks, and meetings will resume their place in time.

But what will the future hold, beyond this?

In order to overcome this crisis, it’s vital to hold on to the facts. We need to gather together to implement strong, clear hygiene practices in our workplaces going forwards. We must embrace the relevant information provided and turn it into positive practices for a clean, safe working environment.

Our staff teams are relying on us to keep them safe.

At SERVPRO, we work with a wide range of customers in need of specialist support services from domestic disasters. Fire restoration, specialized cleaning and water damage are just some of the services we provide. With the arrival of COVID-19, we are working harder than ever to keep our customers and staff safe!

Here are our 7 effective steps that we recommend for your business through the coronavirus chaos and beyond:

  1. Remain informed.  At the moment, the updates are changing hourly, yet alone daily. It can seem overwhelming, but staying informed about the latest advice is crucial. Gather information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organization rather than hearsay from colleagues or newsfeeds. By doing so, you will be empowering your business team rather than scare mongering them.
  1. Educate your staff.  Are your managers fully clear on how social distancing should operate?  Do your office team understand the government precautions and what they implicate?  Use simple, positive language to deliver training on hand washing practices, cleaning scheduling, and personal hygiene.  By doing so, you will be creating a safer workspace for everyone.
  1. Reassure your team.  Your staff groups are likely going to be hyper vigilant when they return to work, as they have been impacted by the scarier news stories they have seen on their screens during lockdown.  They may be more anxious than usual, and concerned about how they can do their jobs safely while still achieving their goals.  Use positive, straightforward language in all communications to reassure each person that their safety is in good hands.  They will appreciate your constructive approach and be much more likely to adhere to safety practices.
  1. Provide appropriate products.  Hand sanitizer should be a standard product you supply for those working within your small business.  Make sure you have plenty stocked up.  Depending on the type of business you have, you might also want to purchase specialist cleaning products and equipment.  If your staff needs training to use them, head back to step 2 of this guide.
  1. Use floor markings.  We are all doing our best to stick to the distancing rules, but it can be easy to forget them when we become engaged in a conversation.  To help your staff and clients stay safe, mark out 6 feet gaps between workstations and places where people might be likely to gather.  This will also provide a handy frame for someone to refer to if they need to politely remind a colleague who is overstepping boundaries accidentally.
  1. Utilize effective signage.  While your staff team adjust to new practices of health and safety, help them by placing guidance signage in easy to see places.  This will help to normalize the changes whilst also providing additional educational opportunities.  Remember, knowledge is power. Equip your staff with the right information and you will be avoiding further issues down the line.
  1. Consider shift cycles.  Depending on the type of business you have, consider creating shift patterns for safety purposes. Even an office-based business can benefit from doing this in helping to lessen the numbers of groups of people in the space at the same time. Try out various pattern styles to see how it could work for your business. You can also continue implementing remote work for those staff members who don’t necessarily need to be physically present.

During these challenging times, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. With so much noise coming from news desks and newsfeeds, it’s difficult to navigate forward. However, it’s important to stay focused on the facts of this situation rather than the fearful guessing games that are so common at the moment.

This is not a time to panic - it is a time to plan.

We all want to be back in business as soon as possible.  We want to overcome these unprecedented times.  Not only that, we want to return to a clean environment that our staff can feel safe within.  This, above all, is vital practice for an organization of any size going forwards.

If any of your staff team show any of the key symptoms of the virus, then take immediate action to gain medical support for them.  Remove them from your workplace as soon as possible, in order to keep your staff team safe.  Wellbeing practices such as this will become the norm for some time, and we must accept this in order to keep our businesses and our staff safe.

This too, shall pass.  Despite how it might feel right now, we will survive this chaos, and move on from its clutches.  We will overcome this, ultimately. Perhaps as we emerge from lockdown, we will move into our collective futures with an even greater sense of value for the teams who work with us and the customers who facilitate our successes.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay positive. We are in this together!

Hoarding Clean Up

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Do you know anyone you would consider a ‘Collector’, ‘Pack-Rat’, or…a ‘Hoarder’?

Without going into the psychology of Hoarding Disorder, or HD, a hoarding situation can escalate from

  • a clutter issue
  • to a health and sanitation issue
  • to a safety issue
  • In an emergency situation, such as fire, blocked pathways could be disastrous.

Our IICRC certified team at SERVPRO® of Woodbury/Deptford have the training, experience, and equipment to handle hoarding cleanup. In addition, our crews are professional, polite and tactful. For more information on our Advanced Technology & Techniques.

How we can help:

  • Assess the situation
  • Dispose of Debris
  • Can do an Inventory of items
  • Floor to ceiling Cleaning, Disinfecting and Deodorizing
  • Demolition, if necessary, such as remove affected carpeting, flooring, and drywall
  • We can rent dumpsters and storage containers to have on-site
  • Our Crews wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while at these job sites, to avoid infection

Our focus is on indoor cleanup; not outdoor spaces such as yards and fields.

Need help with Hoarding Cleanup?

Call SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford today at 856-686-0100

We are “Here to Help”

Faster to Any Disaster

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Fast 24-Hour Emergency Service

Fun Fact: Did you know that there are over 60 SERVPRO Franchises in the state of New Jersey?

Being locally owned and operated, as well as being a franchise of a nationally recognized brand, is the best of both worlds. We live and work locally, and know South Jersey well.

Training

Our technicians are IICRC certified in Water Damage Restoration.  

Crew member training is constantly ongoing if on a job site or in house training. 

Advanced Technology

For a faster response, our high-tech equipment is preloaded and neatly organized on our vehicles. Our high-tech equipment includes:

  • moisture detection and measurement equipment
  • water extraction and drying equipment
  • techniques for deodorization and anti-microbial treatments

For more information on our advanced technology, click here.  

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 856-686-0100

And remember, “We’re Here to Help”

We are Cleaning Experts

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

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 Woodbury/Deptford 856-686-0100

Board Up Services

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

After an emergency involving one’s own property, whether it be a bad storm, fire, or water damage, properties need to be boarded up. Board ups are done to prevent the properties from incurring any further damage before the remediation process can begin. Most people are experiencing emotional trauma after an emergency involving their own property. By calling SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford in for a board up, it relieves some of the stress and leaves our customers with time to deal with the accident on their own time.

Aside from the board up, we also can start the remediation and restoration process as soon as possible. Our services are available 24/7 and we always have a crew on call ready to assist in emergency situations. Give us a call today at 856-686-0100

Fire Clean-Up

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

When the smoke settles and the commotion dies down and all the fire trucks leave, a new fleet of trucks will arrive. You will be swarmed by companies who will all have different stories claiming: the fire department sent them, they were called by your insurance company, or even that your neighbor called them.

As customers you have the right to choose who helps with your fire restoration and clean up. SERVPRO® of Woodbury/Deptford would love to be that help, and help with mostly all your other clean up needs. We have been working in the community to provide the best customer service. If a disaster should strike your home or business, make sure to call SERVPRO® of Woodbury/Deptford 856-686-0100.

We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Moisture Rides on Air Currents, and Warm Air Carries More Moisture Than Cool Air

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

To control air flows, make sure the air barrier is continuous

An air barrier helps control airflow both through and within the building enclosure. By controlling airflow, you also control moisture.

If moist indoor air contacts a cold surface — for example, exterior sheathing in cold weather — condensation can result. An air barrier prevents those cold surfaces from being connected with humid indoor air.

Air has a maximum storage capacity for water vapor which depends on temperature. Warm air can store lots of moisture, while cold air can store very little.

As the temperature falls from 90°F down to 20°F, the amount of moisture that can be stored in the air changes by a factor of ten.

Leaky homes didn’t have condensation problems

Older buildings rarely had condensation problems in cold weather because they were so well ventilated — meaning leaky. The relative humidity in an old home would rarely rise above 25%. As we have built tighter houses (and in some cases failed to provide mechanical ventilation), the indoor relative humidity has gone up.

In a heated, tight, unventilated house, the amount of moisture in the air and the amount of condensation that can occur are dramatically different than in an old leaky house. Condensation can occur wherever water vapor can find a cold spot — on roof or wall sheathing, on the inside faces of the windows, and inside the walls.

Let's say it’s 40°F outside and the outdoor relative humidity is 50%. If you allow that outdoor air to enter a building and heat it up to 70°F, the amount of moisture in the air stays exactly the same, but the “tank” gets bigger because the storage capacity of the air increases with the temperature. As a result, the relative humidity initially drops. Then, as moisture is added to the air, the relative humidity rises, and the absolute moisture content rises as well. How do you add moisture to the air? You breathe, sweat, boil water for spaghetti, take hot showers, grow houseplants — and all of those activities generate moisture.

When does indoor humidity become a problem?

Let’s say that air leaks out of a house through holes in the enclosure. As it reaches surfaces colder than 52°F or 53°F, the air will cool. Once it reaches its full capacity to store moisture, condensation occurs.

If the temperature of the outdoor air is around 30°F, the indoor air will drop all of the moisture that it gained on the way out, dumping it on the cold sheathing surface. That’s a typical example of the air leakage condensation cycle. Since condensation in walls can cause puddles — and in extreme cases, rot the framing — condensation is something you want to avoid. Installing an air barrier is one way to help prevent condensation.

Air conditioning can also create condensing surfaces

The same phenomenon can happen in reverse in the summertime. Let’s say the outdoor air is 85°F and the relative humidity is 75%. When outdoor air leaking inward contacts a surface below about 76°F, the moisture in the air will condense. So if you have an exhaust fan in your home, the air leaking in may cause condensation on the air-conditioned surfaces — for example, on the back side of vinyl wallpaper.

If moist air leaks into a house through gaps in the wall or roof, you can have problems. But in a tight house with a good air barrier and a supply-only ventilation system, most of the air that’s drawn inside is drawn in through the air conditioner, so the first cold surfaces it sees are the cooling coils.

If you have air leaks in your building envelope, you usually can’t see the condensation —Unless you have an Infrared Camera with a Visual Inspection. However, condensation is sometimes visible in the attic; all you have to do is look for frost or dampness forming on the underside of the OSB or plywood roof sheathing.

Crime Scene Cleaning

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicides, homicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.

The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination 

("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazard removal, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants (e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors. However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

With concerns of Ebola contamination in the United States, call the professionals at SERVPRO

Mold and Your Health

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all.  Areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.


It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.

Mold Remediation and Damage

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Why is the Close Your Door message so important now?

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Modern synthetic construction materials, home furnishings, and contemporary layouts allow fire to spread and become toxic much faster – like three-minutes-or-less-to-get-out faster.

But a closed door can slow the spread, reduce toxic smoke levels, improve oxygen levels and decrease temperatures dramatically – and that could make a life-saving difference in your home.

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide Detection

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Commercial security devices issue a signal to a fire alarm control panel as part of a fire alarm system, while household smoke detectors, also known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible or visual alarm from the detector itself.

Smoke detectors are housed in plastic enclosures, typically shaped like a disk about 150 millimeters (6 in) in diameter and 25 millimeters (1 in) thick, but shape and size vary. Smoke can be detected either optically (photoelectric) or by physical process (ionization), detectors may use either, or both, methods. Sensitive alarms can be used to detect, and thus deter, smoking in areas where it is banned. Smoke detectors in large commercial, industrial, and residential buildings are usually powered by a central fire alarm system, which is powered by the building power with a battery backup. Domestic smoke detectors range from individual battery-powered units, to several interlinked mains-powered units with battery backup; with these interlinked units, if any unit detects smoke, all trigger even if household power has gone out.

The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. The US National Fire Protection Association reports 0.53 deaths per 100 fires in homes with working smoke alarms compared to 1.18 deaths in homes without . Some homes don't have any smoke alarms, some don't have working batteries; sometimes the alarm fails to detect the fire.

Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detection

Carbon monoxide sensors detect potentially fatal concentrations of carbon monoxide gas, which may build up due to faulty ventilation where there are combustion appliances such as heaters and cookers, although there is no uncontrolled fire outside the appliance.

High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) may indicate a fire, and can be detected by a carbon dioxide sensor. Such sensors are often used to measure levels of CO2 which may be undesirable but not indicative of a fire; this type of sensor can also be used to detect and warn of the much higher levels generated by a fire. One manufacturer says that detectors based on CO2 levels are the fastest fire indicators, and also, unlike ionization and optical detectors, detect fires that do not generate smoke, such as those fueled by alcohol or gasoline. CO2 fire detectors are not susceptible to false alarms due to particles, making them particularly suitable for use in dusty and dirty environments.

Check and Test both alarms on a Schedule.

Check with your local Building Code Enforcement, with more details on both items...

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.

An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.

Ice Dams are a common sight in Northern New England winters, and Home Partners has dealt with quite a few. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.

HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?

An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.

WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot

DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.

3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.

A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.

The 15 Must-Do's of Fall Yard Cleanup

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Autumn means football games and visits to the local pumpkin patch. It also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right preparation now will save you time and energy when spring rolls around, and will keep you and your family safe in the yard year-round. Make sure you get the most out of your yard next year by following our checklist of fall cleanup musts.

1. Clean out debris.

Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Till the vegetable garden.

After the final harvest, pull out old vegetable plants, remove debris, and completely till the whole plot. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim Rogue Branches.

Trim up any large or out-of-place tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling during the snowfall to come.

4. Clean out the gutters.

Not all fall cleanup is in the yard. This is the perfect time to clear leaves and other debris from rain gutters. Check for proper drainage, clear out any blockages with a small garden trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry everything out.

Drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate.

Break up soil to keep water from pooling and guarantee that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator, which should be available to rent for a reasonable price.

7. Feed the lawn.

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

8. Rake and mulch.

Don’t let fallen leaves get the best of you; if left unattended they can suffocate the grass. Rake them up, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. You might even be able to skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to mulch the leaves in your yard.

9. Prune trees and shrubs.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes. If you have blooming perennials like clematis or roses, now is the time to prune them and train the branches.

10. Give it one last mow.

Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

11. Divide and cut back perennials.

If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now — wait and divide them in the spring.

12. Protect cold-sensitive plants.

Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in top shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

13. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals.

Some plants do best when planted in the fall. If you want to add new shrubs or spring bulbs like hyacinth, now is the time to get them in the ground. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

14. Protect the deck.

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from a garden store. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

15. Clean tools and store them.

Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.

The Acidic Nature of Smoke and Soot Require Special Cleanup

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, soot damage is very typical. Soot can be a black flaky or oily or powdery substance which forms from incomplete combustion. Fine carbonized compounds cling to surfaces in your home like ceilings and walls, plus your possessions. Soot can be difficult to remove, and sometimes it is not possible to restore the surface to its pre-fire condition.

There are two types of sediment you can find after soot damage home – oily and dry. A quick check you can do to discover the type of residue you have is just to run your finger over a soot-covered surface. It is oily residue if it smears. Try not to make a mess. Better yet, leave it to us to inspect and clean.

You need an experienced fire damage restoration team working with you to clean the soot from your home thoroughly. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford is standing by to help you as soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe. The longer you leave the smoky substance sitting in your home, the more damage it does. 

Heat from the fire pushes the soot and can cover everything in its way. Smoke looks for a kind of equilibrium and travels until its energy is used and it goes to cooler temperatures. When tested, soot can always be found on the acidic side of the pH scale. Acidic materials are destructive to a majority of elements found in nature. Over time, they keep degrading materials by oxidation which leads to discoloration, etching, corrosion or pitting. Stains over metals can yellow and soften. These reactions are ongoing from soot residues until they are removed. 

We can clean up oily residue with special degreasing agents, while we clean dry soot with cleaning sponges. Sometimes, soot will be oily in one room and dry in another. It all depends on the kinds of materials that were burned, so we check ahead of time before we begin remediation. 

Many varying types of damage occur after a fire, including water damage from firefighting efforts, but soot damage continues to eat away at the surfaces it is covering if left untouched.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO  of Woodbury/Deptford Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO Franchise will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

Refrigerator Water Line and Drain Hose Leaks...Prevention Tips!

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances around the home, so when one breaks down or suffers a leak, the experience can have consequences. If you find that your fridge’s water line has a leak, there are a few simple steps you can follow to troubleshoot the problem and have it running again in no time.

What To Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks

The first step is to identify the leak. The refrigerator water line connects the household water supply to a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser. The water line typically runs at the back of the fridge. Once the leak has been identified, here is what you can do to fix the problem.

  • Turn off the valve that supplies water to the refrigerator and then unplug the refrigerator to turn off the appliance. You will likely find the water shut off valve located beneath the kitchen sink or  in some cases, behind the refrigerator itself.

If the valve is located behind the fridge, carefully pull the appliance away from the wall and turn off the valve.

You will now have to loosen the compression nut that secures the supply line to the water intake valve. This can be done with the assistance of an adjustable wrench by turning the nut counter clockwise and then disconnecting the supply line.

Once loosened, remove the compression nut to disconnect the supply line from the valve.

If the supply line is broken or torn in places, replace the old line with a new one making sure that its length and dimensions are the same as the original water line. Material choices range between copper, plastic and stainless steel water lines. 

  • To fix the new water line in place, thread one end of the supply line to the shut off valve under the sink and tighten until it is snug in place. When using a copper or plastic line, make sure to first slide on a compression nut secured with a compression sleeve or ring onto the end of the line. A stainless steel water line comes with a built in rubber gasket that stops the connection from leaking.
  • Thread the other end of the supply line to the water intake valve and tighten it until snug.
  • Turn on water and check for any leaks. If there is still a drip, tighten the nuts a bit more.

Purchasing a new water line

When the line is badly damaged and needs replacement there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, one of the factors at this point would be to choose a line material that will offer durability and long lasting utility. Another is the price tag attached to the new purchase.

Plastic water lines

In terms of materials, plastic lines are the most cost effective but also least durable. The biggest threat lies in these lines cracking, clogging or leaking, causing water damage. While plastic lines may seem to work well in terms of flexibility, especially where space behind the fridge is tight, many people do not prefer this type of line material.

Copper water lines

Another option is to go with copper water lines that yield superior sturdiness but are also more prone to kinkiness. A more flexible version of copper lines is available to allow pushing the tubing into position giving it some flexibility to work well in cramped spaces.

Stainless steel water lines

As an alternative stainless steel braided lines can be considered. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking option to the more pliable plastic and the ¼ in flexible copper lines. Stainless steel also happens to be the most durable option but will tend to be the most expensive as well.

Whether the leak in your refrigerator water line is caused by a plastic, copper or stainless steel water line, remember that you can always access the professional service of our experts at Tidal Wave in Atlanta to come and resolve all water damage concerns at your home.

Time is Crucial When it Comes to Water Damage

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

A Fast Response Is Crucial

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Use Food Coloring to Diagnose a Water Leak in the Toilet Tank

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a heavy leak in your toilet, it's easy to diagnose—the faint sound of the toilet tank constantly replenishing is a dead give away. What about a slow leak? Diagnose it with food coloring.

If you have a slow leak in your toilet tank, hundreds of gallons are just slowly and silently cascading down the side of your toilet bowl every month. Fortunately you can easily detect if the uptick in your water bill is from a slow leak or not.

A simple test for toilet water leaks, place a half dozen or so drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Leave the toilet alone for a half hour or more. Come back and check to see if the water in the bowl of the toilet has become tinted with the food-coloring dye from the tank. If it has, you've got a leak between the tank and the bowl.

How to check your toilet for leaks

  1. Remove the toilet tank lid.
  2. Drop one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. (Dye tablets are often available for free through local water Providers.
  3. Put the lid back on. Do not flush.
  4. Wait at least 10-15 minutes, and then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak. If not, you don't.

Basement Water Issues, Sump Pump Malfunctions, and Water Damage

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

Unexpected increases in your water bill

  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

 If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs.
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency

Fire and Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage restoration are essential services that protect families and their homes from severe issues. Whether it’s bad wiring, a flood, or a burst pipe, these professionals are capable of making the home safe to live in again. But getting it back to that state takes some real expertise and manpower, and it’s the kind of expertise that a certified firm can provide the best. There are serious health implications involved as well, so a homeowner wouldn’t want anyone else handling the job. 

Why should a homeowner only consider a certified firm for fire and water damage restoration?

Floods and flames produce an immediate threat, and of course families are going to be pressed by the imminent danger, but these disasters can cause long-term problems as well. Pools of contaminated water, like those left behind by a storm or sewage backflow, are infested with a variety of pathogens and are also catalysts for explosive microbial growth. Molds, in particular, are common organisms found in the wake of contaminated moisture, and can take root in the home in as little as 48 hours if the problem is not dealt with by then. Mold is a significant concern, especially for families with young children, as it can cause lingering respiratory and behavioral complications. Mold can also spread quickly if it is given the chance to release airborne spores.

Flames leave behind a different kind of pest. Ash is a copious byproduct of burned out material, and it is both light and acidic. This means it can easily be swept up by air currents in the home and settle on a variety of items it can damage. If it is not cleaned up right away, it will begin etching glass, corroding metal, and discoloring drywall and porcelain. Ash can also irritate the throat, nose and lungs, inflaming conditions like asthma and allergies. This will happen over a matter of days, so a prompt response is required to stop it in its tracks. 

Fire and water damage restoration firms are qualified to halt and reverse the spread of molds, ash, and other hazards. Given the time-sensitive nature of their work, reputable crews are normally available around the clock and can begin work immediately. A certified firm, one that has been trained by an organization like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), will have the tools and methods needed to make the home safe to live in again. With proper training, professionals will be able to quickly establish a workspace inside the home, drain the excess water, and eliminate debris caused by the disaster. Over the next several days, they can set up equipment to expedite the drying process, saving any materials they can that have been exposed to water, or wash away ash residue, which has a tendency to get everywhere. These professionals can also inspect the building thoroughly for common trouble areas and confirm that there is no lingering moisture or ash hiding in wait. 

By the time a certified firm has completed their work, the building will be transformed back to its original state, waiting for the family to settle back in and continue their lives.

Sewage Spills can be Dangerous if Not Handled By Professionals

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious illness or disease. Disease causing agents in raw sewage include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and can cause serious illnesses including Hepatitis A.

If a building has been flooded by sewage or wastewater there may be unsafe electrical wiring, bacterial and pathogen hazards, mold hazards, even unsafe mechanical systems.

    • Turn off electrical power in the area that has been flooded if there is any chance of electrical wires, extension cords, or electrical appliances or fixtures coming in contact with standing water or wet materials
    • Vacate sewage-contaminated areas right away. Areas of sewage spill should not be occupied by people who are not wearing appropriate protective equipment as they are dangerous:
    • Stop flushing toilets
    • Turn off running water that is sending water into the drain system (clothes washer, sinks etc.)

If the sewage or wastewater are being spread by water from a burst plumbing supply or hot water heating pipe, turn off the water to the building and if needed for safety or to stop further you may also need to turn off the (hot water or steam) heating system.

Items that have been soaked and are not salvageable may best be placed outdoors. By removing wet and contaminated materials from the building it may be easier to inspect, repair leaks, and clean the building itself.

Do not handle sewage-contaminated materials without proper personal safety protection: there are bacterial, pathogenic, respiratory and infection hazards Act promptly.

    • Watch out: The longer that sewage waters remain in a building or on its contents the greater the chance of spreading illness or disease and the greater the chance of causing a costly mold contamination problem in addition to the sewage problem. High indoor moisture caused by standing water can cause mold contamination to form on other building surfaces even if they were not directly wet by the sewage spill.
    • Don't panic: while prompt action is needed as we just explained, don't be in such a rush that you do something dangerous. Also, if you sound terrified when calling a contractor for assistance the result may be the imposition of inappropriate or costly steps.
    • Call SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, a professional water damage restoration authority - For other than a trivial spill on a tiled bathroom floor you may need help from SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.
    • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in the building
    • Notify your municipal authority or sewer department if your home is connected to a public sewer
  • Contact your local health department for advice if your home is connected to a private septic system

The Dangers of Plugging a Heating Source Into a Power strip

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

As temperatures begin to dip across the country, millions of people are pulling space heaters out of storage to help warm their homes.

You should never plug a heater into a power strip.

These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. 

Most people do not realize that power strips are not the same thing as surge protectors.

You should definitely not use an extension cord or power strip, which could easily overheat. And you really shouldn't plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater for safety reasons.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against using extension cords or power strips with space heaters to reduce fire risks. The agency says that portable electric heaters cause 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 32 percent of home-heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in 79 percent of home-heating fire deaths in the United States.    

How to Detect Water Damage

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems — deal with it quickly. If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up, see A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home on the EPA's web site.

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections. Read Maintain Your Washer and Dryer for instructions on replacing hoses and balancing the washing machine.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement. See Gutter Cleaning and Repair for steps to keep your gutters working correctly.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points. See How to Caulk for instructions. Repair cracked mortar joints.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs. Read Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile and Repair Tile Grout for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems. Read Controlling Moisture and Humidity in the Home for more ways to reduce indoor moisture.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency. See Shut Off Your Home Water Supply for instructions on locating the valve.

Emergency Ready Profile!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
  • Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can Email you a Sample Copy, of an Emergency Ready Profile!

Refrigerator Water Line Detection and Tips!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances around the home, so when one breaks down or suffers a leak, the experience can have consequences. If you find that your fridge’s water line has a leak, there are a few simple steps you can follow to troubleshoot the problem and have it running again in no time.

What To Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks

The first step is to identify the leak. The refrigerator water line connects the household water supply to a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser. The water line typically runs at the back of the fridge. Once the leak has been identified, here is what you can do to fix the problem.

  • Turn off the valve that supplies water to the refrigerator and then unplug the refrigerator to turn off the appliance. You will likely find the water shut off valve located beneath the kitchen sink or  in some cases, behind the refrigerator itself.

If the valve is located behind the fridge, carefully pull the appliance away from the wall and turn off the valve.

You will now have to loosen the compression nut that secures the supply line to the water intake valve. This can be done with the assistance of an adjustable wrench by turning the nut counter clockwise and then disconnecting the supply line.

Once loosened, remove the compression nut to disconnect the supply line from the valve.

If the supply line is broken or torn in places, replace the old line with a new one making sure that its length and dimensions are the same as the original water line. Material choices range between copper, plastic and stainless steel water lines. 

  • To fix the new water line in place, thread one end of the supply line to the shut off valve under the sink and tighten until it is snug in place. When using a copper or plastic line, make sure to first slide on a compression nut secured with a compression sleeve or ring onto the end of the line. A stainless steel water line comes with a built in rubber gasket that stops the connection from leaking.
  • Thread the other end of the supply line to the water intake valve and tighten it until snug.
  • Turn on water and check for any leaks. If there is still a drip, tighten the nuts a bit more.

Purchasing a new water line

When the line is badly damaged and needs replacement there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, one of the factors at this point would be to choose a line material that will offer durability and long lasting utility. Another is the price tag attached to the new purchase.

Plastic water lines

In terms of materials, plastic lines are the most cost effective but also least durable. The biggest threat lies in these lines cracking, clogging or leaking, causing water damage. While plastic lines may seem to work well in terms of flexibility, especially where space behind the fridge is tight, many people do not prefer this type of line material.

Copper water lines

Another option is to go with copper water lines that yield superior sturdiness but are also more prone to kinkiness. A more flexible version of copper lines is available to allow pushing the tubing into position giving it some flexibility to work well in cramped spaces.

Stainless steel water lines

As an alternative stainless steel braided lines can be considered. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking option to the more pliable plastic and the ¼ in flexible copper lines. Stainless steel also happens to be the most durable option but will tend to be the most expensive as well.

Whether the leak in your refrigerator water line is caused by a plastic, copper or stainless steel water line, remember that you can always access the professional service of our SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  to come and resolve all water damage concerns at your home.

Water Damage in Your Property?

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to "Sewer and Drain Coverage".

Those individuals who are affected by wide scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space.

Mold Indoors and Out

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.  Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.

  • The key to mold control is moisture control.
  • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
  • It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Electrical Fires

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical fires
The most inclusive and direct interpretation of “electrical fire” is a fire involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Any equipment powered by electricity can have such a failure.

In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, home electrical fires represented 13% of total home structure fires, 18% of associated civilian deaths, 11% of associated civilian injuries, and 20% of associated direct property damage. 

In 2011, an estimated 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 13 civilian deaths, 243 civilian injuries, and $501 million in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, non-home electrical fires represented 13% of total non-home structure fires, 5% of associated civilian deaths, 13% of associated civilian injuries, and 21% of associated direct property damage.

The national estimates in this report are derived from data reported to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  These statistics include fires reported as “confined fires,” for which detailed reporting is not required. Estimates of detailed characteristics for confined fires require statistical allocation of a large share of unknowns and so involve less confidence. 

Half (48%) of 2007-2011 reported non-confined U.S. home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction had some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment as equipment involved in ignition. The leading other types of equipment involved in ignition were fan (6%), washer or dryer (6%), space heater (4%), air conditioning equipment (4%), water heater (3%), and range (3%).

Prevent Your Child From Becoming a Statistic

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible precautions in the home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.

Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires.   The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.

Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.

Help Your Child Survive a Fire Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.

Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.

Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside.

Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.

Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.

Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows.

Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Limiting Down Time During a Water Loss

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet. Turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and mildew. Business owners can prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.

Avoid Business Interruption to Prevent Financial Losses

Preventing extensive property damage also helps to avoid business interruption loss along with the possibility of creating liability claims from nearby property owners, tenants or guests. Maintenance personnel in businesses are responsible for turning off the main water valve during normal hours of operation before beginning Mitigation services. However, when leaks happen at unusual times such as during the night or on weekends, tenants, employees and managers do not know what to do.

Important Emergency Water Damage Guidelines

Having Emergency Water Damage guidelines in place at businesses can help to reduce losses. Begin by taking the following steps to assess a property to have procedures in place when water leaks occur.

Step One: Inspect Properties

At least once a month, assess various areas of a building to look for signs of moisture from leaking pipes and fixtures. Check water distribution systems, including bathroom fixtures, kitchen plumbing and drinking fountains, especially devices that are old and degraded. Keep a record of plumbing fixtures that are prone to having frequent failures such as galvanized or steel pipes and connectors. Inspect decorative water fountains, swimming pools and hot tubs at the same time. Understand the particular areas of a property that do not have drainage systems such as parking garages. In a water leak emergency, lower levels of a building without drains require portable or fixed sump pumps.

Step Two: Mitigation Plans

Create and implement a loss mitigation plan for employees to follow when finding a leak in a multi-story building. A basic emergency plan should contain written guidelines that include conducting initial and annual training for staff and tenants concerning procedures to follow after finding a water leak. The plan should also include a map or diagram showing the location of water shutoff valves and exactly how to close the devices. If a building has a sprinkler system for fires, then it is often necessary to turn off these devices to avoid damage from water or chemicals. For confidential or sensitive areas of a building, make a list of the designated employees who can enter the space.

Step Three: Emergency Contact List

Maintain an up-to-date 24-hour emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers for:

• The business maintenance staff

• Plumbers

• Electricians

• Tenants

• Local water company after-hours number

• Water mitigation service vendors such as SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford

• Building agent or broker

Step Four: Additional Plans

When a major water disaster happens in a multi-story business, owners need to know where all records are kept along with essential services and key operating systems. Business owners should always have duplicate records in a safe place off-site in addition to having online records. Understand the procedures for relocation or movement of goods, records or tenants to a safe area. A written plan for evacuation of employees, guests and tenants along with equipment shutdown and closing a facility is essential to save property and people from danger.

Septic or Sewer System Backs Up into Your Property or Business....Here are safety tips

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Watch out: sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious illness or disease. Disease causing agents in raw sewage include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and can cause serious illnesses including Hepatitis A.

If a building has been flooded by sewage or wastewater there may be unsafe electrical wiring, bacterial and pathogen hazards, mold hazards, even unsafe mechanical systems.

    • Turn off electrical power in the area that has been flooded if there is any chance of electrical wires, extension cords, or electrical appliances or fixtures coming in contact with standing water or wet materials
    • Vacate sewage-contaminated areas right away. Areas of sewage spill should not be occupied by people who are not wearing appropriate protective equipment as they are dangerous:
    • Stop flushing toilets
    • Turn off running water that is sending water into the drain system (clothes washer, sinks etc.)

If the sewage or wastewater are being spread by water from a burst plumbing supply or hot water heating pipe, turn off the water to the building and if needed for safety or to stop further you may also need to turn off the (hot water or steam) heating system.

Items that have been soaked and are not salvageable may best be placed outdoors. By removing wet and contaminated materials from the building it may be easier to inspect, repair leaks, and clean the building itself.

Watch out: do not handle sewage-contaminated materials without proper personal safety protection: there are bacterial, pathogenic, respiratory and infection hazards.

    • Act promptly.
    • Watch out: The longer that sewage waters remain in a building or on its contents the greater the chance of spreading illness or disease and the greater the chance of causing a costly mold contamination problem in addition to the sewage problem. High indoor moisture caused by standing water can cause mold contamination to form on other building surfaces even if they were not directly wet by the sewage spill.
    • Don't panic: while prompt action is needed as we just explained, don't be in such a rush that you do something dangerous. Also, if you sound terrified when calling a contractor for assistance the result may be the imposition of inappropriate or costly steps.
    • Call SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  - For other than a trivial spill on a tiled bathroom floor you may need help from a professional water damage or restoration company.

Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in the building

Notify your municipal authority or sewer department if your home is connected to a public sewer

Contact your local health department for advice if your home is connected to a private septic system

Emergency Response Plan

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research? Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

I just want to introduce myself and let you know what SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford can do for your home and your business. My name is Kathy and we here at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford want to make sure that in the event of a disaster you are ready for whatever happens and ready to move forward in a positive way. That is why we offer our clients a free Emergency Ready Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile business interruption can be minimized by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help lowering effects of water and fire damage to your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantages:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

No one plans for a disaster but you can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford

(856) 686-0100

Termites Love Water Damaged Wood

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

a swarm of termites chewing on decaying wood. Termites can cause destructive damage to your home

The American Dream of most people has always included owning their own home. While renting is sometimes the more practical approach, there is just something special about being able to call the place you live your very own. There are so many things one can do when they own their home…remodel, add on a room, investing in the upkeep and improvements of your dream home.

With that being said, the most important thing one can do involves preserving the value and structure of their house. This is much more important than all the decorating and beautifying of the home. At the top of the list of things that cause damage is moisture. Moisture causes multiple problems that include mildew, mold, rotting and decaying of wood and damaging painted surfaces. This list of moisture problems creates unsightly appearances, health issues and structural damage. Excessive water or moisture in the home also allows the potential of another scary problem—termites! Termites love water-damaged wood.

Termites are one of the a homeowner’s greatest enemies. They are often referred to as Silent Destroyers. You may think this risk or threat does not affect you because you purchased your home not long ago and it was considered to be free of termites. The structure of your home may still be compromised because termites do their damage from the inside out and go undetected until the damage is extensive.

Many homeowners fail to recognize all the water and moisture problems that exist in their house. It does not require a mass flood or standing water for water damage to occur. In fact, you may be causing water damage to your home every time you take a shower or use the toilet. Of course the answer to this is not to stop showering or using the bathroom! However, you should periodically check the caulking around the shower stall or tub. Cracked or missing caulking can cause the wooden structure to be exposed to water and cause wet, decaying wood.

Another common, slow water leak is under the toilet where it connects to the floor. A slow leak may occur over a period of time allowing the subfloor under the toilet to stay wet. Again, this will cause the wood to always be wet and decay and attract those destructive termites.

Termites constantly need to be surrounded by moisture. They live several feet under the surface of the ground, thriving in the damp, cool dirt. They even build tunnels through which they travel as they make their way into your house foraging for their food; damp, water-damaged wood!

Keep your home dry and free of excess moisture and decaying wood. Repair any leaks, replace cracked or missing caulking, keep taking those showers and you will be able to enjoy your American dream home for many years!

7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

The problem is that Sump Pumps fail all the time. While it’s not to say that we have a fool-proof method for preventing 100% of failures, there are certainly some tips you can follow to better your chances of a properly working sump pump.

For years, sump pumps have been a pretty common fixture in homes, especially in lower-level areas of the country or in places where the rapid melting of heavy snow can cause flooded basements. The popularity of sump pumps have grown exponentially in the past couple decades, largely in part to a legal amendment to the US Federal Clean Water Act in 1987 that requires certain homes to have a sump pump, even if they are not necessarily high-risk for floods.

The American Society of Home Inspectors actually did a study that showed more than 60% of American homes suffer from underground wetness or water damage. And there’s a likelihood that an ever large percentage will deal with a flooded basement at some point. Something we often talk about with roofing in terms of moisture also applies here. It doesn’t always take a large amount of water to create a large amount of issues. In roofing, we talk about roof leaks going into the home which aren’t uncommon for a faulty roof after a big rain storm. But just as problematic – or sometimes even worse – are the small leaks that get into the attic and aren’t noticed until well after a huge mold problem has been created. Same goes for moisture in the lower levels of your home. It doesn’t take a huge flood to cause thousands of dollars in damage. It takes very little standing water and very little time for mold and mildew to take over and create problems.

Proper maintenance is the key. Ugh, more maintenance! Here we are telling you to maintenance your roof, now we’re telling you about your sump pump. Really, though, maintenance is a great thing. It’s much cheaper than a huge repair and it drastically increases the life of your equipment.

There is no definitive “lifetime” of a sump pump. Most last anywhere from 3-20 years. That’s a pretty big window. The US Department of Housing and Development estimates the average life expectancy at 10 years. In my opinion, 10-15 years is pretty reasonable for a pump that goes through regular maintenance.

First, let’s talk about how a sump pump works.

The basics are pretty simple. A hole is dug in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace where a sump pump sits and filters out water. As the pit fills up, the pump turns on and moves the liquid out of the pit through pipes that run away from the foundation of your home into an area where it can drain, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. A one-way valve (check valve) keeps water from entering back into the home.

The pump is generally powered with no special wiring; just your main household current. But being near water, or in water (in case of a failure), it’s a good idea to have some type of circuit interrupter to prevent electrocution.

The majority of residential sump pumps will turn on automatically from a pressure sensor or float activator. The pressure sensor activates as water builds up and creates more pressure than air which prompts the pump to turn on. The float activator has a ball that floats on top of the water, moving the arm as the water level rises – similar to the one in your toilet tank.

When the motor activates, the impeller (a fan-like device) will turn. Using centrifugal force, the spinning impeller will force the water towards the sides of the pipe, creating a low-pressure center where water from the pit rushes to while the spinning action pushes it through the pipe.

All of these things work together to keep your home dry. And for the most part, everything tends to go smoothly. But there’s a lot of parts working together and if one thing quits working, or some type of outside force comes in and causes disruption, things can get back quickly.

7 Things that Cause Sump Pump Failure

1. Power Failure

The most common cause for sump pump failure is an electrical power outage. To prevent this, have a backup generator that can be manually activated. In the case that your primary pump mechanically fails, though, a generator cannot help in this situation. But in the event of a storm where the power is knocked out for any length of time, a backup generator can be a lifesaver.

On the same topic of power, some components of the sump pump may be vulnerable to damage from power surges. To prevent this, protect the entire electrical system from power surges with a service entrance surge protection device.

2. The Sump Pump is the Wrong Size

If you have an incorrectly sized pump, or if the pump is not installed properly, there will most likely be a problem. A small sump pump is often just as effective as a big one. When a sump pump is too big, the pump is forced to work harder, resulting in a shorter product lifespan. But if it’s too small, it may not be able to adequately pump out the water – again resulting in a shorter lifespan.

3. Improper Installation

Installing a sump pump must be done exactly right. Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed carefully for the installation in order to avoid severe water damage down the road. Most manufacturers recommend or require a check valve to be installed on the discharge line. If not installed, the back-flow of water can cause the pump impeller to rotate backwards and unscrew off the motor shaft. In this scenario, you will still hear the pump motor running, but it would not be pumping any water.

Most manufacturers require the drilling of a small air relief hole in the discharge line between the pump and the check valve which is intended to prevent the pump from having to overcome the air pressure in the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe must be of the required diameter.

Lastly, the sump pump pit should not be set in dirt or gravel. This causes debris to enter into your pump and can result in interference with the pump’s on/off switch or float arm.

4. Switch Problems

The leading mechanical cause of sump pump problems is a switch problem. This occurs when the pump shifts from its position inside the basin, rendering the float ineffective. Float is responsible for the smooth operation of the on/off switch. Your sump pump relies on both the switch and the float arm mechanisms to operate effectively.

5. Lack of Maintenance

Some pump manufacturers recommend the pump to be run every 2-3 months. Some recommend a yearly program completed just before the rainy season hits.

Here are some additional manufacturer recommendations:

  • If there is a back-up pump, unplug the primary pump and run the back-up pump to make sure it works properly
  • When testing your sump pump, go outside to make sure it is discharging water
  • Sometimes the pump can run but not pump any water. This means the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft or the check valve is installed backwards.
  • Check the operation of the float to make sure it is not restricted
  • Clean out the air hole in the discharge line
  • Listen for any unusual noises when the motor is running
  • Replace the battery on the back-up sump pump every 2 or 3 years

6. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines

If water cannot exit your home through the discharge line, your system will not work. It is important to keep the discharge pipe protected from freezing and free of sticks, dirt, rocks and other debris. Protecting the water’s exit point of the discharge pipe will keep debris and animals out of the system, making it optimal for your sump pump.

Grated covering will not stop the lines from freezing or becoming blocked by ice and snow. A special grated discharge line attachment should help; it is placed near your home on the discharge line. It includes openings that give water a way to flow out of the pipe if the line is blocked further down.

7. Product Defect

Though rare, product defect is always a possibility and does happen. It is wise to test the pump when it is initially installed to make sure the pump operates properly.

It’s All About the Maintenance

Don’t get me wrong, you cannot avoid all of these problems with maintenance. Let’s be honest – it’s a mechanical piece of equipment and mechanical pieces of equipment fail. It happens. But there’s no doubt that you can avoid many of these issues, and give a longer lifespan to the equipment by performing regular maintenance.

At the very least, follow these maintenance tips once per year. Some experts will even recommend that you do this every 2 months. Quarterly maintenance is probably the norm. It takes just a few minutes and can avoid some serious pains in the future.

  • A vinegar solution can be run through the sump pump in order to clean it
  • The pump will become free from tiny particles and debris which will allow the pump to run much cleaner
  • This can be done by the homeowner and unless there is a serious problem, then you may need to call a professional.
  • Make sure the sump pump’s float switch is not restricted in any way. If it is, it will cause the sump pump to not automatically kick on in case of a flood
  • Lastly, clean all vents and air holes for maximum effectiveness

That’s it. Maintenance is super easy and keeps your home protected from water damage. Make this a part of your regular home improvement plan and you’ll surely save some money in your pocket by either putting off the purchase of a replacement sump pump for several years, or by avoiding a costly water damage project.

Water Moisture - Type of Moisture Meters

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture meter is an essential instrument used in many industries to detect moisture content in materials. Home and building inspectors rely on moisture meters to identify potential problems and damage to structures from moisture buildup. Woodworking industries, such as furniture makers, use wood moisture meters to insure a quality product. Flooring contractors use moisture meters to determine ideal conditions when installing a floor over a concrete slab or sub-floor.

Indicator scales on moisture meters can vary in appearance, but all will indicate moisture content in percent (%MC). While some moisture meters offer an analog scale, others read %MC digitally. The accuracy of the %MC readings, as well as the appropriate substrate scales, varies per meter and can vary by brand and type.

Most moisture meters are calibrated to wood, which provides a relatively accurate reading in wood moisture content. Typically, this scale ranges in the 5 to 40% range. When testing the moisture content in non-wood materials, such as concrete, a relative scale of 0 to 100 is often used, where 0 is bone dry and 100 is saturated. This is a relative scale. Moisture meters include visual LED indicators related to the percent reading on the scale for dry, moderate and saturated or wet readings. Additionally, some meters also offer a third scale for readings of gypsum. These scale readings can range from 0.2 to 50% moisture content. When selecting a moisture meter for sheet rock, it is advised that a moisture meter that offers a scale reading for gypsum be used.

Color indicators on moisture meters are helpful in determining whether the material being tested is considered dry or if there is a potential problem with moisture. The green (dry), yellow (moderate) and red (high) indicators typically identify where on the scale of %MC the readings occur. This can clear up confusion where one interprets a %MC as dry versus one that is moderate and may require more thorough investigation to determine if a problem with moisture in the material exists, especially if a visible sign of moisture does not exist.

Types of Moisture Meters

There are three common types of moisture meters used for the inspection of building and structure materials: pin-type, pin-less and pin/pin-less/all-in-one. All three types of moisture meters offer specialized purpose and are unique to the end user's application in determining %MC in materials.

Pin-Type Moisture Meter

The first of the three types of moisture meters is the pin type. Pin-type moisture meters measure %MC at the depth of the head of the contact pins. Pin-type moisture meters have two pins on the instrument, which are used to penetrate into the test surface at a desired depth. The reading of %MC is determined by measuring the electrical resistance between the tips of the two pins. This method of inserting pins into a surface is often viewed as an invasive process for measuring %MC. Typically these moisture meters will read up to 5/16" depth.

Pin-type moisture meters use the principle of electrical resistance to measure the moisture content in materials by measuring the conductivity between the pins. The tips of the pins are relatively sharp, uninsulated and penetrate into the surface for a sub-surface reading. With pin-type meters, you can also obtain a reading by touching the pins to the surface for testing. Most pin-type moisture meters use a scale calibrated to wood, however this does not mean that the meter cannot be used to measure moisture in other substrates and materials. This type of moisture meter can also be used for, but is not limited to, concrete, drywall, ceiling tiles and painted surfaces. When using the wood scale on a pin-type moisture meter, the %MC reading can range from 5% to 40% in moisture content. Generally, the low end of this reading falls into the 5 to 12% range, the moderate range will be 15 to 17%, and the high or saturated range will read above 17%. Scales for MC% ranges are provided in the instrument instructions and should be consulted concerning measuring ranges for particular surface materials.

Pin-type moisture meters are useful in measuring %MC in wood flooring, drywall, painted surfaces (such as the exterior of the home), carpeting, ceiling tile and cement. A pin-type moisture meter is the best way to identify the exact location of moisture buildup. A pin-type meter uses two pins that penetrate into the test surface at the user’s desired depth. When insulated contact pins are used, only the uncoated tips are exposed, providing an accurate reading of moisture content at various levels of penetration. Pin-type meters are the only instruments that allow the inspector to identify exact location of moisture at a given point. Using a pin-type meter is an effective way to determine the difference between shell and core moisture content. In some cases, the depth of the reading exceeds the length of the pin on the meter. If this is the case, many meters are equipped with a connection option to add accessory probes that can be inserted further into a substrate for more accurate core or depth detection. An example would be for Exterior Insulated Finish Systems (EIFS) testing.

Pin-less Moisture Meter

Pin-less or noninvasive moisture meters operate on the principle of electrical impedance.

This meter provides a nondestructive measurement of moisture in wood and other substrates, such as concrete and gypsum. A noninvasive moisture meter may also be called a nondestructive or a pin-less moisture meter. Scales on these meters are similar to that of pin-type meters, where the wood scale reads %MC at 5 to 30%, and non-wood materials' %MC is read on a relative scale of 0 to 100%.

Pin-less moisture meters are commonly used to determine moisture content on a relative scale of 0-100% in concrete sub-floors and flooring prior to laying a wood floor or other decorative flooring surface. Other common uses for a pin-less moisture meter for identifying possible moisture buildup behind bathroom/shower tiles, under vinyl flooring and other finished surfaces, as well as to determine if water-borne finishes are adequately dry prior to second application.

Pin-less moisture meters are capable of reading up to a typical depth of 3/4" or 1" into a subsurface. These are useful for detecting problem moisture buildup where visual indicators are nonexistent.

Pin/Pin-less/All-in-One Moisture Meter

A third and possibly more useful moisture meter would be a pin/pin-less/all-in-one moisture meter. This type of moisture meter utilizes both methods for measuring %MC in surfaces. Because this type of meter offers the option to measure moisture content in substrates using both methods of reading moisture, one meter may be able to identify problem areas and then also be used to pinpoint the exact location where moisture damage or buildup is occurring. Essentially, this type of meter would utilize the same scales of %MC for wood and non-wood substrates and allow the end user the versatility necessary for a full inspection in determining areas where moisture is an issue.

Ideally, due to its diversity, this type of meter could be utilized by the flooring specialist, IAQ specialist, general contractor and home/building inspector.

Be Aware of Flooding

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Even though the hurricanes are not touching down on land the rain the hurricane can bring should be watched because it can lead to flooding. Every community should at least be aware of flood dangers and be prepared for them because you never know when flooding may occur.

Additionally, the dangers of floods do not disappear after water levels stop rising. Here are five factors to remember when recovering from a flood.

1. Be wary of damaged utilities

Water may have damaged electrical power and natural gas or propane, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports. Minimize any fire hazards by turning off these utilities, especially if an odor, fraying wiring or sparks are present. Only turn the power on or off if you can do so from a dry location. Otherwise, call an electrician.

Contact the proper authorities, such as the gas or electric company, the police department or the fire department to help determine when turning utilities back on is safe.

2. Protect yourself against carbon monoxide

Generators, pressure washers, charcoal grills and other fuel-burning tools can release CO, which can collect in dangerous concentrations when used indoors or near open doors, windows or air vents.

The CDC recommends avoiding use of these in enclosed or partially enclosed areas, and encourages people to buy battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors. These should be placed outside all sleeping areas and, for added protection, near a home's heat source.

3. Minimize contact with dirty water

Remaining floodwater can also pose various hazards. It may be mixed with sewage or other hazardous substances, like chemicals, or it could be hiding downed power lines or sharp objects.

Dry out homes as soon as possible and thoroughly wash and disinfect clothes, linens and hard surfaces. Discard anything that cannot be cleaned -- this includes contaminated drywall and insulation.

4. Control Mold

Mold can also be a major issue if it is not addressed after a flood.

Mold can dry out, but the dried spores can still pose a risk if they enter the air. Proper cleanup is essential after a flood.

5. Avoid traveling through flood water

Never enter swiftly flowing water, and do not try to drive or walk through standing water because underneath the road could be compromised or blocked by debris.

When it comes to moving water, obviously you should try to get to high ground and get away from flooding whenever possible. Don't put yourself into moving water. If you have standing water, you certainly don't want to drive or walk through that either if you can't see to the bottom of it.

2019 Hurricane Predictions

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is an ongoing event in the annual formation of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019. These dates historically describe the period each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin and are adopted by convention. However, tropical cyclogenesis is possible at any time of the year, as demonstrated by the formation of Subtropical Storm Andrea on May 20, marking the record fifth year in a row where a tropical or subtropical cyclone developed before the official start of the season, breaking the previous record of four years set in 1951–1954.[1] This was also the second year in a row in which no storms formed during the month of June. The season's first hurricane, Barry, formed in July in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and struck Louisiana. A series of storms developed in late August, including Hurricane Dorian, which is currently moving through the southwestern Atlantic.

With hurricane Dorian looming closer toward the Florida coast and bringing with it winds of up to 125MPH, here are some predictions for the upcoming 2019 hurricane season:

The firstforecast for the year was released by TSR on December 11, 2018, which predicted a slightly below-average season in 2019, with a total of 12 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, due to the anticipated presence of El Niño conditions during the season.

Should you incur water damage from a storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, NJ to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Have Storm or Flood Damage?

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford, specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Woodbury / Deptford, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford 856-686-0100

Water damage in Deptford NJ

6/26/2019 (Permalink)


It is common knowledge that most commercial buildings have fire sprinkler systems that work to prevent fire damage. However, many do not realize how important these fixtures are in the case of fire. In fact, mounting evidence shows that this form of fire protection is more effective than many give it credit for.

If you are thinking about investing in new fire sprinkler systems, consider the ways that commercial sprinkler systems can benefit your building in case of fire:

Sprinkler Systems Are Virtually Fault-Free

In a recent study conducted on fires, the researchers discovered that fire sprinkler systems operated during 91% of all reported structure fires large enough to activate the systems. Ultimately, nine times out of 10, the sprinkler systems worked. Typically, the reason sprinkler systems stop working due to a lack of maintenance. This fact drives home the importance of regularly repairing your commercial fire sprinkler systems and replacing them if necessary.

Fire Sprinklers are Capable of Cutting Potential Losses in Half

It’s no secret that fires can result in devastating damage to both the structure of the building and the people that are trapped inside. Another recent study found that when paired with early warning systems, automatic fire sprinklers help to reduce property damage, injuries, and loss of life by over 50%. Those are numbers you just can’t ignore!

Fire Sprinklers Help Save Lives

Perhaps one of the most important things that fire sprinklers do is help to lower the risk of death and injury during devastating structure fires. According to a study from the National Fire Protection Association, there has been no record of more than two lives lost inside of a building with a full sprinkler protection that was well maintained and fully functioning.

As you can see, having a full system sprinkler system is a crucial part of fire protection for commercial buildings. If you already have a sprinkler system in place, make sure your fire alarm inspections are up to date and your fire protection equipment is functioning properly. Fire alarm inspections can mean life or death — make sure your equipment is working when it counts.

Sewer Backup and prevention tips

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in Woodbury, NJ and prevention tips.

Backed up sewers can wreak havoc on a home, causing thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50. 

For homes that have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable, homeowners policies may provide Loss of Use coverage, which provides reimbursement for lodging, food and other living expenses you may incur as a result of having to live outside of your home. Loss of Use coverage also reimburses you for the lost rental income if you rent out part of the house.

Causes of Sewer Backup

Aging Sewer Systems: The Civil Engineering Research Foundation reports that the number of backed up sewers is increasing at an alarming rate of about 3 percent annually. In addition, a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation's 500,000-plus miles of sewer lines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.

Combined Pipelines: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.

Blockages Due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. Tree roots can travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If city trees are suspected, your plumber can contact the city, and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes the blockage is a result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and the property owner.

Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering into your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately.

Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings, where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab that allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. In these cases, water can show up in a basement that has never had a water problem. This will usually happen after a number of rain storms, when the ground is saturated. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Owners may also be able to prevent flooding by water sealing the basement.

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.

Steps to Take After a Storm

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy such as SERVPRO’s® Ready Plan https://ready.SERVPRO.com/ to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO® to help with the basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. SERVPRO®, provides 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Water Damage is a Scary Thing

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is a scary thing, especially since often times we don’t even know that there is water damage happening until long after the fact. Take, for example, water damage caused by a leaky refrigerator. Because the fridge blocks your view of the wall and floor behind the unit, you won’t notice water damage is occurring unless the leak creates a visible puddle.

How to Repair Water Damage from a Refrigerator

The repairs will depend highly on the extent of the water damages. If the water has only recently been there, chances are that you can mop it up and air out the surfaces. Once dry, flooring should return to normal. You’ll want to make sure that the walls are adequately dried as well, since this will prevent mold growth.

If your fridge has caused water damages over a long period of time, however, you’ll likely need to have the flooring and drywall completely ripped out and replaced. This is where things get costly. Because mold is also a serious possibility, we recommend that you leave the job of assessing and repairing the damages to the professionals at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

How to Repair Water Damage from a Refrigerator

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is a scary thing, especially since often times we don’t even know that there is water damage happening until long after the fact. Take, for example, water damage caused by a leaky refrigerator. Because the fridge blocks your view of the wall and floor behind the unit, you won’t notice water damage is occurring unless the leak creates a visible puddle.

The repairs will depend highly on the extent of the water damages. If the water has only recently been there, chances are that you can mop it up and air out the surfaces. Once dry, flooring should return to normal. You’ll want to make sure that the walls are adequately dried as well, since this will prevent mold growth.

If your fridge has caused water damages over a long period of time, however, you’ll likely need to have the flooring and drywall completely ripped out and replaced. This is where things get costly. Because mold is also a serious possibility, we recommend that you leave the job of assessing and repairing the damages to the professionals at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

Congratulations!

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Well deserved honor

Last night SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford had the honor of attending the Deptford Rotary Club's "A Night of Live Jazz band and Sinatra Fundraiser".  It was held at Four Star Event Catering, in Wenonah, NJ.  There was a great time had by all that attended.  The big surprise came when our owner, Scott was awarded with a plaque for special recognition from the rotary for all that he does for them and the community.  Congratulations Scott, we know how good you are, we didn't need a plaque to prove it :) Thank you for all you do!  Good Food, Good Friends, GREAT time

SERVPRO and Esporta has the latest technology and machines to help your home or business look “Like it never even happened.”

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Rely on SERVPRO® of Woodbury/Deptford for all your restoration needs. 856-686-0100

When a house fire breaks out the local Fire Department arrives swiftly to extinguish the flames and provide safety and comfort for the unfortunate residents that is when our job begins.

SERVPRO® professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced.

What is the Esporta capable of cleaning?

  • Bacteria
  • viruses
  • sewage
  • soot
  • grime
  • mold
  • bio-waste
  • mildew

Soft contents that can be cleaned include:

  • Clothing
  • bedding
  • comforters
  • pillows
  • sleeping bags
  • linens
  • rugs
  • jackets
  • suedes
  • furs
  • linens
  • stuffed animals
  • shoes
  • hats
  • belts
  • purses 
  • Sports Equipment

Rely on the SERVPRO® professionals to not only clean up after water, fire, and mold damage, but to clean and restore your precious "keepsakes"

Woodbury/Deptford SERVPRO is Here For You 24/7/365

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, a new fleet of trucks will arrive, you will be swarmed by companies calming everything from being sent by the fire department, they were called by your insurance company or even that your neighbor called them. As a customer you have the right to choose who helps with your fire damage clean up. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford has been working for years to provide the very best customer service. If a disaster should strike make sure to call 856-686-0100

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, when you need a professional, call us for help

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Exposure to moisture, whether it’s from storm damage or a plumbing failure in your home or business, can provide the right situation for mold to flourish. The growth process can begin in as little as 48 hours, which is why it’s extremely important to know what steps to take and who to call for help with mold remediation.

Proper Mold Remediation Is Key

We’re sure that you’ve probably seen ads for mold remediation and mold removal, but the truth is that the latter of these two is false. Removing all mold from a home or business simply cannot be accomplished.

Instead, a qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation, and will work to achieve the goal of getting mold levels back to normal and natural ranges.

Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. It is only when a minor mold problem is left untreated that the mold will become a major issue.

During a mold remediation, technicians will isolate the mold-contaminated areas. Depending on the size of the remediation job, it can be done by either closing all doors and windows or completely sealing all of the doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through misting.

Wet and mold-damaged materials are removed and discarded in plastic bags, and all areas that have been exposed to and affected by mold are then completely cleaned and dried. In some cases, a HEPA vacuum may be brought in to aid in the removal of the contamination and debris.

The area that is affected by the mold is treated with a biocide, and then left overnight to destroy and kill the mold spores. The mold remediation crew will return the following day and encapsulate the affected and surrounding areas.

When to Call the Professionals

If you suspect that your home or business may have a mold problem, you’ll need to act quickly. Take a look at the size of the problem area and, if the moldy area is larger than 10 square feet, it is time to contact your local Franchise Professionals.

Contact the trained professionals of SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford. We are highly trained and certified in areas like:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

While some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, the safest way to deal with mold is to talk to the professionals to quickly and efficiently resolve the problem.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford offers a lot of Services, And We Are Here 24/7 to Answer Your Call

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

DID YOU KNOW? SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford provides 24 hour emergency response and additional services to help customers with Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration and Mold Remediation!

Board-ups/Roof Tarping/Property Securing - In some cases it may be important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford Professionals may perform the board-up and tarping themselves, or outside subcontractors may be utilized.

Move-Outs - If prolonged exposure to the loss event could cause additional damage to your contents, your contractor requests relocation of the contents, or the safety of your contents is a concern, a move-out may be recommended. In these situations, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford are trained to properly inventory, move out and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration and deodorization process.

Reconstruction Services - Once the damaged materials are removed from your home or business other construction may be needed to restore your property to preloss condition. Your local SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford Professional is trained with the proper equipment to replace flooring, carpet, tile, hardwood floors, and doors. We can paint many surfaces, work on  ceilings, trim, bathroom/kitchen remodels and home/office renovations.

Inventory - Utilizing Contents Claim Inventory Service technology, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable - allowing for easier contents settlement.

Electronics Cleaning and Restoration - Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces when moisture is also present. If the residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor.

We also provide the following services: 

  • Temporary Power Rental
  • Temporary Fencing
  • Storage Services
  • Packing Supplies
  • Furniture & Fine Art Restoration

For all of your restoration needs, contact the Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford today! Call 856-686-0100 . We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Restoration 101

3/31/2019 (Permalink)

Specific steps can be taken to reduce property destruction, prevent additional water damage and restore your property. 

Your selection of water restoration technicians should be certified and trained in current procedures in order to dry the entire structure as quickly as possible by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technology. In addition, moisture meters are needed to locate moisture invisible to the eyes, such as behind walls or cabinets, where dangerous mold can grow.

When water damage of any kind strikes, time is of the essence. By acting within the first 24 – 48 hours of the damage, homeowners can prevent permanent destruction and reduce repair costs.

A pipe burst, your washing machine broke or it rained a little too much, and suddenly you have your own personal pond down in your basement.

Water problems are a nightmare for homeowners, especially when those problems lead to significant flooding. Dealing with water or flood damage is time-consuming, expensive and isn’t always covered byhomeowners insurance. Depending on the amount of damage, restoration can cost between $1,400 – $7,500.

Since it can be so expensive, homeowners might consider taking on some repairs themselves to minimize the amount of money they have to spend. But is this a wise idea? And how can you tell whether the cleanup will be manageable, or if it’s necessary to hire professionals?

Vacation Time Is Approaching, Are You Ready to Go?

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford

Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact

  • Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
  • A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
  • Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
  • Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail. 
  • The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back. Here is a link to the US Post Office

Take plumbing and electric precautions

  • Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
  • Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
  • Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60 in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.

 Right before you leave

  • Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
  • Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
  • Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.

 If you come back from vacation and encounter damage within your home, call SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford 856.686.0100. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in  Woodbury/Deptford  and surrounding areas.

Because You Can't Do It Alone, Call the SERVPRO Professionals of Woodbury/ Deptford

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Once your home floods, your headaches are just beginning. Promptly assessing the flood damage and rapidly enacting a cleanup plan require immediate attention.

Moisture can seep into areas some homeowners might otherwise overlook, such as inside of the walls, under baseboards, windowsill plates or subfloors. To avoid extensive damage, it is highly recommended that certified restoration experts inspect and begin water mitigation.

This process can reduce post-flood water damage swiftly – ideally within 48 hours of the incident. Water mitigation can reduce the severity of damage that often follows a flood.

Water damage can be deceptive.

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

While there are many methods for drying structural components and contents, the “in-place” drying system has been taught in the industry and used by drying contractors since the early ’80s. In those days, this method of drying components, without significant removal of furnishings or fixtures, was somewhat restricted, due to limitations imposed by extraction, evaporation and dehumidification equipment. In recent years, however, drying technology (extraction, evaporation, dehumidification), along with better understanding of psychrometry, has advanced in major ways so that in-place drying has, in some cases, become far more safe and practical.

Electrical fires

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical fires
The most inclusive and direct interpretation of “electrical fire” is a fire involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Any equipment powered by electricity can have such a failure.

In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, home electrical fires represented 13% of total home structure fires, 18% of associated civilian deaths, 11% of associated civilian injuries, and 20% of associated direct property damage. 

In 2011, an estimated 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 13 civilian deaths, 243 civilian injuries, and $501 million in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, non-home electrical fires represented 13% of total non-home structure fires, 5% of associated civilian deaths, 13% of associated civilian injuries, and 21% of associated direct property damage.

The national estimates in this report are derived from data reported to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  These statistics include fires reported as “confined fires,” for which detailed reporting is not required. Estimates of detailed characteristics for confined fires require statistical allocation of a large share of unknowns and so involve less confidence. 

Half (48%) of 2007-2011 reported non-confined U.S. home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction had some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment as equipment involved in ignition. The leading other types of equipment involved in ignition were fan (6%), washer or dryer (6%), space heater (4%), air conditioning equipment (4%), water heater (3%), and range (3%).

Mold in Deptford NJ

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

A leak from a refrigerator line caused mold damage to the laminate flooring in this kitchen all the way down to the subfloor, pictured here.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford responded to a call for mold remediation in Deptford, New Jersey.  The ice maker line in the refrigerator was leaking for an unknown length of time.  As a result, the floor and cabinets were wet.  As soon as the homeowner discovered the floors were wet, he called SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

Upon tearing out the kitchen floor, our technicians learned that the subfloor was also effected by mold and had to come out, along with the cabinets.  The wood in the subfloor and the cabinets is a food source for mold.  In order to grown, mold requires an organic material to feed on, sustained moisture, and time.  This Deptford kitchen met these requirements.

The kitchen was approximately 150 square feet.  SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford set up an air scrubber and dehumidifier within the containment in order to properly clean the space.  The family could not use their kitchen for the three days our company was working, but they were not displaced from their home.  After the tear out, we vacuumed the space with a HEPA vacuum to catch any errant mold spores from the remaining surfaces in the kitchen.  

So as you can see, a small leak that goes undetected for a period of time can cause major damage!  Make sure you have someone to call as soon as you notice a problem.  SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford responds to all emergency cleanups 24/7.  

3 Things That Can Do To Reduce the Smell of Cigarette Smoke

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

3 Surprising Things You Can Do To Reduce the Smell of Cigarette Smoke

Home deodorization in Woodbury/Deptford, NJ, can be a challenge, especially if you or a family member smokes. Whether you are getting ready to host friends or family members or you just want to be ready for unexpected company, here are a few surprising things you can do to reduce the smell of cigarette smoke in your furniture and carpets and throughout your home. 

1. Use Vinegar

Vinegar might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cigarette removal, but it’s very good at removing stubborn scents from a variety of fabrics. If you have pillow cases, blankets or decorative throws that are saturated with the scent of your cigarettes, throw them in the wash with two cups of vinegar. Then put them through a regular drying cycle. You’ll be surprised at how fresh-smelling they are when you pull them out. If the smell of cigarette smoke lingers, wash them once more to get rid of it completely. 

2. Sprinkle Baking Soda on Furniture

Baking soda is a well-known air-freshening tool. It’s frequently used in refrigerators to soak up the smell of old, rotten food. You can also use it to absorb the smell of stale cigarette smoke. For home deodorization purposes, sprinkle baking soda on all soft furniture surfaces in your home. It won’t work very well on leather, but it should work great on fabric furniture. After sprinkling generously across all furniture, use your hands to smooth it out and make it disappear into the fabric. After letting it sit for at least 10 minutes, vacuum it up. You can use the same technique on carpets, rugs and drapes. 

3. Repaint or Replace

In some cases, cigarette odor is so pervasive that it can’t be removed with simple cleaning methods. In this case, may want to consider repainting your home or replacing old, smelly carpets if the scent bothers you enough. 

If you have tried the above steps and you still have an odor, try calling professional restoration services. They have the tools and expertise necessary to handle your home deodorization needs. 

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwoodburydeptford.com/

Undetected Leaks

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

A leak from a refrigerator line caused mold damage to the laminate flooring in this kitchen, all the way down to the subfloor, pictured here.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford responded to a call for mold remediation in Deptford, New Jersey.  The ice maker line in the refrigerator was leaking for an unknown length of time.  As a result, the floor and cabinets were wet.  As soon as the homeowner discovered the floors were wet, he called SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

Upon tearing out the kitchen floor, our technicians learned that the subfloor was also effected by mold and had to come out, along with the cabinets.  The wood in the subfloor and the cabinets is a food source for mold.  In order to grown, mold requires an organic material to feed on, sustained moisture, and time.  This Deptford kitchen met these requirements.

The kitchen was approximately 150 square feet.  SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford set up an air scrubber and dehumidifier within the containment in order to properly clean the space.  The family could not use their kitchen for the three days our company was working, but they were not displaced from their home.  After the tear out, we vacuumed the space with a HEPA vacuum to catch any errant mold spores from the remaining surfaces in the kitchen.  

So as you can see, a small leak that goes undetected for a period of time can cause major damage!  Make sure you have someone to call as soon as you notice a problem.  SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford responds to all emergency cleanups 24/7. 

Mold remediation

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in Woodbury, NJ

If you have black mold covering a large area (greater than ten square feet) or mold growing in your heating and ventilation ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional handle the cleanup. It’s also best to have a professional handle the job.

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

Crime Scene Cleanup

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of bloodbodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicideshomicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.

The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazard removal, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants (e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors. However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

With concerns about Ebola contamination in the United States, crime scene cleanup companies like Cleaning Guys of Texas and Bio Recovery Corporation of New York have been contracted by government to clean more than just crime scenes.

Stucco Remediation-What you Should Know

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Every home, no matter when it was built or when you purchased it, can fall prey to stucco failure, mold and moisture contamination. Even the tiniest of cracks in the façade of your home can result in moisture coming in, which can then cause major problems. If that happens, it can threaten the very structure of your home as well as the health of your family. If it isn’t treated properly, mold can cause extensive and costly damage.

Signs that you need repairs include cracking or breaking in the façade of your home, or brown streaks below your windows or at intersection of the wall and roof. Inside, you’ll notice leaks in doors or windows, the bottoms of your windows may be discolored, your base trim can become warped and there may be wet carpet or a moldy smell in your home.

But did you know your stucco doesn’t even have to be cracked to have problems? Heller explains that it wasn’t until fairly recently that proper weep screens and break points in the stucco were required. That means walls may not breathe properly, which can allow moisture to build up and then be trapped.

That’s just one of the many reasons it is important to call your building contractor to inspect your home for damage. The contractor may be able to find problems that you never even knew existed and stop a problem before it becomes too big and costly.

The process of repairing the stucco is referred to as stucco remediation. Your first instinct may be to simply call a stucco company to repair the façade of your home, but that might not be the right thing to do.

Companies that are stucco only will have the know-how to remove and replace the existing façade of your home.

While this is important, it may simply cover up the effects caused by the moisture. The structural integrity of your home and the health of your family can still be in jeopardy if the underlying problems still exist.

Simply put, a stucco repair company could lack the knowledge and ability to identify and repair the problems that result from the water damage. And if they aren’t properly corrected, that can lead to even more damage and expense in the future.

Moisture intrusion most often affects stucco-clad homes, but can also affect homes made of brick, stone, wood or composite siding, and typically affects homes built between 1985 and 2003. Having the right person inspect your home for damage is crucial to find and repair problems to the home’s wood structure that aren’t visible to the eye. Rot and mold within the wall cavity can cause serious damage.

If you think your home may have fallen prey to moisture intrusion, then please give SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford a call

Christmas Tree Fires

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

This report provides estimates of the causes and circumstances of home structure fires that began with the ignition of Christmas trees during the five-year period of 2010-2014. Trend data are also presented. Previously published descriptions of Christmas tree fires are also included to show how these fires can happen.

Report highlights

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home1 structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees in 2010-2014. These fires caused an annual average of six civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage. 
  • On average, one of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are much more likely to be deadly than most other fires.
  • Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January.
  • In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires and 80% of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

1Homes include one- or two-family homes and apartments or other multi-family housing.

The Process Of Fire Restoration

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event. One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation. It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration. Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions: current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. Customers should also check all references and obtain price quotes prior to hiring anyone. Any contracts that are presented should be reviewed closely.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind. If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.  Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state. One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage. The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website. This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately. Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results. These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteractant and deodorizing fog. Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further recontamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. Professionals can be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.  By hiring the right professionals the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

Warning: Do not plug a space heater into a power strip.

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

The cold weather is upon us and so is the need to stay warm and toasty, but if you use a space heater, fire officials are warning you to not plug it into an extension cord or a power strip.

  Doing so is a major fire hazard, according to fire authorities.

According to fire officials, these devices are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat, and even catch fire.

 Heating elements inside a space heater can reportedly get up to more than 500°F to 600°F. Residents should plug their space heaters directly into the wall, and always keep an eye on it when it's in use.

What to Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances around the home, so when one breaks down or suffers a leak, the experience can have consequences. If you find that your fridge’s water line has a leak, there are a few simple steps you can follow to troubleshoot the problem and have it running again in no time.

What To Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks

The first step is to identify the leak. The refrigerator water line connects the household water supply to a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser. The water line typically runs at the back of the fridge. Once the leak has been identified, here is what you can do to fix the problem.

  • Turn off the valve that supplies water to the refrigerator and then unplug the refrigerator to turn off the appliance. You will likely find the water shut off valve located beneath the kitchen sink or  in some cases, behind the refrigerator itself.

If the valve is located behind the fridge, carefully pull the appliance away from the wall and turn off the valve.

You will now have to loosen the compression nut that secures the supply line to the water intake valve. This can be done with the assistance of an adjustable wrench by turning the nut counter clockwise and then disconnecting the supply line.

Once loosened, remove the compression nut to disconnect the supply line from the valve.

If the supply line is broken or torn in places, replace the old line with a new one making sure that its length and dimensions are the same as the original water line. Material choices range between copper, plastic and stainless steel water lines. 

  • To fix the new water line in place, thread one end of the supply line to the shut off valve under the sink and tighten until it is snug in place. When using a copper or plastic line, make sure to first slide on a compression nut secured with a compression sleeve or ring onto the end of the line. A stainless steel water line comes with a built in rubber gasket that stops the connection from leaking.
  • Thread the other end of the supply line to the water intake valve and tighten it until snug.
  • Turn on water and check for any leaks. If there is still a drip, tighten the nuts a bit more.

Purchasing a new water line

When the line is badly damaged and needs replacement there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, one of the factors at this point would be to choose a line material that will offer durability and long lasting utility. Another is the price tag attached to the new purchase.

Plastic water lines

In terms of materials, plastic lines are the most cost effective but also least durable. The biggest threat lies in these lines cracking, clogging or leaking, causing water damage. While plastic lines may seem to work well in terms of flexibility, especially where space behind the fridge is tight, many people do not prefer this type of line material.

Copper water lines

Another option is to go with copper water lines that yield superior sturdiness but are also more prone to kinkiness. A more flexible version of copper lines is available to allow pushing the tubing into position giving it some flexibility to work well in cramped spaces.

Stainless steel water lines

As an alternative stainless steel braided lines can be considered. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking option to the more pliable plastic and the ¼ in flexible copper lines. Stainless steel also happens to be the most durable option but will tend to be the most expensive as well.

Whether the leak in your refrigerator water line is caused by a plastic, copper or stainless steel water line, remember that you can always access the professional service of our experts at Tidal Wave in Atlanta to come and resolve all water damage concerns at your home.

Water Damage From a Faulty Roof

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Check for damage in the roofing material directly above where the leak is coming in. This will likely be easier to find on a flat roof, but leaks can also come into the house a good distance from where the actual roof damage is located. If your roof is slanted, inspect areas on the roof that are higher than where the leak enters the home.

If you have an attic, inspect it with a flashlight for water stains, black marks or mold.
Run a hose along different sections of the roof and have a person inside alert you when leaking occurs.

Look for damaged, curled or missing shingles near where the leak is coming in. Look closely for exposed roofing tacks, too.

Straighten out shingles that are curled back. In colder weather, this might require that you soften the shingle edge with heat, such as an electric hair dryer. Using a torch or other open flame heat source isn't recommended since asphalt shingles may be flammable, and regardless of whether they are flame retardant or not, excess heat will ruin the shingle.

Reattach curled-back shingles after straightening with a generous amount of asphalt roof cement or compound around the exposed edges.

Replace damaged shingles. If the shingle lifts off the roof with little effort, breaks, or simply crumbles, it needs to be replaced.  Remove the old shingle by lifting its edges and prying out the nail.
Scrape the area underneath it to remove any leftover roofing cement.
Use a sharp utility knife to round the back corners of the new shingle slightly.
Slide the new shingle into place and drive 1 1⁄4 inch (3.2 cm) galvanized roofing nails into each upper corner, then cover the nail heads with roof cement.

Inspect for cracks or blisters in the roofing material.

Mend the blisters. Cut a line through the middle of the blister with a utility knife, but do not cut the sound roofing felt {substrate) underneath.  Squeeze out or soak up any water inside the blister. The area needs to be completely dry.

Spread a generous amount of roofing cement under the loose roofing material and press down.

Drive galvanized roofing nails along each side of the repaired blister.

 Inspect areas where surfaces connect, such as a chimney or vent pipe.
Look for damage to the caulking, and reapply caulk where necessary.
Remove damaged or deteriorated caulking so the new application can bond to the roof or flashing surface.
Use a putty knife to remove the loosened old caulk.
Clean and dry the area.
Cut the tip off the caulk tube and spread a bead along the same line, working it into the crack with an applicator. Let it dry.

Larger-scale repairs will be necessary if there is damage to the flashing around the chimney or the boots around vents, as these features may need to be replaced.

Tips to Avoid Water Damage

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

Unexpected increases in your water bill

  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

 If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs.
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency.

Fire Safety Tips

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

This report has sections on statistics on home and non-home structure fires involving either electrical failure or malfunction in any equipment or involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment, with separate sections for each of the major types of home electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Trends, some risk comparisons, and suggested safety tips are also included.

Executive Summary

Electrical fires
The most inclusive and direct interpretation of “electrical fire” is a fire involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Any equipment powered by electricity can have such a failure.

In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, home electrical fires represented 13% of total home structure fires, 18% of associated civilian deaths, 11% of associated civilian injuries, and 20% of associated direct property damage. 

In 2011, an estimated 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 13 civilian deaths, 243 civilian injuries, and $501 million in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, non-home electrical fires represented 13% of total non-home structure fires, 5% of associated civilian deaths, 13% of associated civilian injuries, and 21% of associated direct property damage.

The national estimates in this report are derived from data reported to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  These statistics include fires reported as “confined fires,” for which detailed reporting is not required. Estimates of detailed characteristics for confined fires require statistical allocation of a large share of unknowns and so involve less confidence. 

Half (48%) of 2007-2011 reported non-confined U.S. home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction had some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment as equipment involved in ignition. The leading other types of equipment involved in ignition were fan (6%), washer or dryer (6%), space heater (4%), air conditioning equipment (4%), water heater (3%), and range (3%).

Septic or Sewer System Backs Up Into Your Property or Building...Here are SAFETY Tips!

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Watch out: sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious illness or disease. Disease causing agents in raw sewage include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and can cause serious illnesses including Hepatitis A.

If a building has been flooded by sewage or wastewater there may be unsafe electrical wiring, bacterial and pathogen hazards, mold hazards, even unsafe mechanical systems.

    • Turn off electrical power in the area that has been flooded if there is any chance of electrical wires, extension cords, or electrical appliances or fixtures coming in contact with standing water or wet materials
    • Vacate sewage-contaminated areas right away. Areas of sewage spill should not be occupied by people who are not wearing appropriate protective equipment as they are dangerous:
    • Stop flushing toilets
    • Turn off running water that is sending water into the drain system (clothes washer, sinks etc)

If the sewage or wastewater are being spread by water from a burst plumbing supply or hot water heating pipe, turn off the water to the building and if needed for safety or to stop further you may also need to turn off the (hot water or steam) heating system.

Items that have been soaked and are not salvageable may best be placed outdoors. By removing wet and contaminated materials from the building it may be easier to inspect, repair leaks, and clean the building itself.

Watch out: do not handle sewage-contaminated materials without proper personal safety protection: there are bacterial, pathogenic, respiratory and infection hazards.
    • Act promptly.
    • Watch out: The longer that sewage waters remain in a building or on its contents the greater the chance of spreading illness or disease and the greater the chance of causing a costly mold contamination problem in addition to the sewage problem. High indoor moisture caused by standing water can cause mold contamination to form on other building surfaces even if they were not directly wet by the sewage spill.
    • Don't panic: while prompt action is needed as we just explained, don't be in such a rush that you do something dangerous. Also, if you sound terrified when calling a contractor for assistance the result may be the imposition of inappropriate or costly steps.
    • Call a professional water damage restoration authority - For other than a trivial spill on a tiled bathroom floor you may need help from a professional water damage or restoration company.
    • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in the building
    • Notify your municipal authority or sewer department if your home is connected to a public sewer
  • Contact your local health department for advice if your home is connected to a private septic system

Water Removal and Water Extraction

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

The water damage restoration process begins with a detailed inspection of your property, including a damage assessment. The SERVPRO Franchise Professional is determining the scope of the damage so he or she can develop an appropriate plan of action. Being careful and cautious is also a Priority. Also, Making sure electrical items, Appliances, and Outlets are Not a Hazard.

They Identify and Stop the Water Source

They check for the source of water in your home and business and stop it. The water source must be stopped before the drying process can begin.

  • Stop the Source
  • Check for Contaminated Water

They Identify the Type of Water

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals must identify the category and classification of water to restore your property safely to industry specifications. The type of water contamination will affect the specific restoration processes used to restore your property.

  • White / Category 1 Water
  • Gray / Category 2 Water
  • Black / Category 3 Water

They Survey the Extent of the Water Damage and Inspect the Premises

They inspect and test your home to discover the extent of the damage. Additionally, they will look for safety concerns and explain them to you. If you are aware of any safety issues, such as asbestos or lead, please share them.

  • Survey Damage
  • Complete Safety Inspection

They Move or Block Furniture

They move furniture and property contents and block items to help prevent rust or furniture stains on wet carpet.

  • Block Furniture

The water extraction step removes the majority of the water from your home or property. By performing a thorough water extraction, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help reduce the drying time and help to prevent mold and secondary water damage. They use powerful pumps and truck-mounted vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons of water from your property.

Move-Out / Pack-Out

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out to protect your belongings from further damage.

  • Move-Out Service

Emergency Water Removal

Highly trained technicians will begin the water removal process almost immediately. Depending on the amount of water, they may use powerful submersible pumps in addition to industrial strength, wet/dry vacuums. This step helps to reduce drying time and helps to prevent mold and secondary water damage.

  • Remove Excess Water
  • Use Submersible Pumps and Industrial Wet/Dry Vacuums

Inspect the Carpet Pad and Carpet

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals inspect the carpet and pad and determine if it should be removed to protect the subfloor.

  • Inspect Carpet Pad and Remove If Needed
  • Inspect Carpet and Remove If Needed

Water Removal Equipment

  • Moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
  • Infrared cameras may be used to find “hidden” water behind walls and ceilings.
  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps are used for continuous pumping of high-level water.
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

Protect Your Commercial Building fro Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet. Turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and mildew. Business owners can prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.

Avoid Business Interruption to Prevent Financial Losses

Preventing extensive property damage also helps to avoid business interruption loss along with the possibility of creating liability claims from nearby property owners, tenants or guests. Maintenance personnel in businesses are responsible for turning off the main water valve during normal hours of operation before beginning Mitigation services. However, when leaks happen at unusual times such as during the night or on weekends, tenants, employees and managers do not know what to do.

Important Emergency Water Damage Guidelines

Having Emergency Water Damage guidelines in place at businesses can help to reduce losses. Begin by taking the following steps to assess a property to have procedures in place when water leaks occur.

Step One: Inspect Properties

At least once a month, assess various areas of a building to look for signs of moisture from leaking pipes and fixtures. Check water distribution systems, including bathroom fixtures, kitchen plumbing and drinking fountains, especially devices that are old and degraded. Keep a record of plumbing fixtures that are prone to having frequent failures such as galvanized or steel pipes and connectors. Inspect decorative water fountains, swimming pools and hot tubs at the same time. Understand the particular areas of a property that do not have drainage systems such as parking garages. In a water leak emergency, lower levels of a building without drains require portable or fixed sump pumps.

Step Two: Mitigation Plans

Create and implement a loss mitigation plan for employees to follow when finding a leak in a multi-story building. A basic emergency plan should contain written guidelines that include conducting initial and annual training for staff and tenants concerning procedures to follow after finding a water leak. The plan should also include a map or diagram showing the location of water shutoff valves and exactly how to close the devices. If a building has a sprinkler system for fires, then it is often necessary to turn off these devices to avoid damage from water or chemicals. For confidential or sensitive areas of a building, make a list of the designated employees who can enter the space.

Step Three: Emergency Contact List

Maintain an up-to-date 24-hour emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers for:

• The business maintenance staff

• Plumbers

• Electricians

• Tenants

• Local water company after-hours number

• Water mitigation service vendors such as SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford, NJ

• Building agent or broker

Step Four: Additional Plans

When a major water disaster happens in a multi-story business, owners need to know where all records are kept along with essential services and key operating systems. Business owners should always have duplicate records in a safe place off-site in addition to having online records. Understand the procedures for relocation or movement of goods, records or tenants to a safe area. A written plan for evacuation of employees, guests and tenants along with equipment shutdown and closing a facility is essential to save property and people from danger.

Detect and Prevent Water Damage

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems — deal with it quickly. If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up, see A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home on the EPA's web site.

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections. Read Maintain Your Washer and Dryer for instructions on replacing hoses and balancing the washing machine.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement. See Gutter Cleaning and Repair for steps to keep your gutters working correctly.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points. See How to Caulk for instructions. Repair cracked mortar joints.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs. Read Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile and Repair Tile Grout for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems. Read Controlling Moisture and Humidity in the Home for more ways to reduce indoor moisture.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency. See Shut Off Your Home Water Supply for instructions on locating the valve.

Do's and Don'ts of Water Intrusion

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Do:

* Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

* Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.

* Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.

* Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

* Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.

* Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.

* Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place.

* Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible.

* Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors.


Don’t:

* Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

* Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.

* Use your household vacuum to remove water.

* Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

* Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out


CALL SERVPRO 1-856-686-0100

Mold and Your Health

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all.  Areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

 The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.

Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

A fire at a 16,000 square foot mansion on the waterfront in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, took the lives of six people including two grandparents and their four grandchildren. The cause of the fire, according to investigators, was a 16-foot tall Christmas tree that the owners left lit most of the time in the great room of the house. An electrical failure ignited the two-month-old tree, which swiftly fueled the fire in the rest of the house.

The lack of a sprinkler system inside the house or fire hydrants and other water sources near the home made it extremely challenging for fire fighters who responded to the call.

1. Candles

Who doesn’t love the romantic glow of candlelight? But, even if you enjoy their fragrance and ambiance, you might want to think twice before lighting a candle and leaving the room. From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms, causing 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries. More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items. They should always be kept at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

2. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

3. Electrical & Lighting

Electrical fires can have a number of different origins. They can be caused by an equipment malfunction, from an overloaded circuit or extension cord, or from an overheated light bulb, space heater, washer, dryer or other appliance.

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. 

4. Dryers and washing machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

5. Lightning

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, those caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

6. Children playing with fire

The NFPA says that children start an average of 7,100 home fires per year, causing approximately $172 million in property damage. July is the most active month for these fires, and males start the majority (83%) of them. Younger children under the age of six are more likely to start fires inside, using matches or a lighter as the ignition source. The most frequent sites for fires are the bedroom (39%), kitchen (8%) and living room/family room/den (6%). Older children are more likely to start fires outside.

7. Christmas trees

Like candle fires, Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights and a fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

8. Cooking

The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Several years ago in Florida, investigators saw a pattern of fraudulent house fires that started in the kitchen when the owners left food cooking on the stove while they ran to the store for a missing ingredient. Grease would catch on fire and the flames spread from there. 

Contact a Fire and Smoke damage Restoration contractor, for any Fire Damage and Smoke damage to your property

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

Some days it's the little things that make you smile

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Made our day

When our crews spend tireless hours on storm jobs wonder if being away from family and missing functions is really worth what they do, we get a little something that reminds us what we do is important to others.  We received a hand made note today, telling us "thank you so much for fixing my house.  I know it was so hot and I could not stand that.  I really appreciated your hard work you did."  From Taliana

Commercial Fire Damage

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage, and Restoration, and the Process of Fire Restoration, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ.  The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event. One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation. It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration. Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions: current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. Customers should also check all references and obtain price quotes prior to hiring anyone. Any contracts that are presented should be reviewed closely.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind. If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.  Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state. One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage. The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website. This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately. Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results. These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteractant and deodorizing fog. Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further recontamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. Professionals can be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.  By hiring the right professionals the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

Sewage is a Biohazard

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Watch out: sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious illness or disease. Disease causing agents in raw sewage include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and can cause serious illnesses including Hepatitis A.

If a building has been flooded by sewage or wastewater there may be unsafe electrical wiring, bacterial and pathogen hazards, mold hazards, even unsafe mechanical systems.

    • Turn off electrical power in the area that has been flooded if there is any chance of electrical wires, extension cords, or electrical appliances or fixtures coming in contact with standing water or wet materials
    • Vacate sewage-contaminated areas right away. Areas of sewage spill should not be occupied by people who are not wearing appropriate protective equipment as they are dangerous:
    • Stop flushing toilets
    • Turn off running water that is sending water into the drain system (clothes washer, sinks etc)

If the sewage or wastewater are being spread by water from a burst plumbing supply or hot water heating pipe, turn off the water to the building and if needed for safety or to stop further you may also need to turn off the (hot water or steam) heating system.

Items that have been soaked and are not salvageable may best be placed outdoors. By removing wet and contaminated materials from the building it may be easier to inspect, repair leaks, and clean the building itself.

Watch out: do not handle sewage-contaminated materials without proper personal safety protection: there are bacterial, pathogenic, respiratory and infection hazards.

    • Act promptly.
    • Watch out: The longer that sewage waters remain in a building or on its contents the greater the chance of spreading illness or disease and the greater the chance of causing a costly mold contamination problem in addition to the sewage problem. High indoor moisture caused by standing water can cause mold contamination to form on other building surfaces even if they were not directly wet by the sewage spill.
    • Don't panic: while prompt action is needed as we just explained, don't be in such a rush that you do something dangerous. Also, if you sound terrified when calling a contractor for assistance the result may be the imposition of inappropriate or costly steps.
    • Call a professional water damage restoration authority - For other than a trivial spill on a tiled bathroom floor you may need help from a professional water damage or restoration company.
    • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in the building
    • Notify your municipal authority or sewer department if your home is connected to a public sewer
  • Contact your local health department for advice if your home is connected to a private septic system

sewer cleaning

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Backed up sewers can wreak havoc on a home, causing thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50. 

For homes that have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable, homeowners policies may provide Loss of Use coverage, which provides reimbursement for lodging, food and other living expenses you may incur as a result of having to live outside of your home. Loss of Use coverage also reimburses you for the lost rental income if you rent out part of the house.

Causes of Sewer Backup

Aging Sewer Systems: The Civil Engineering Research Foundation reports that the number of backed up sewers is increasing at an alarming rate of about 3 percent annually. In addition, a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation's 500,000-plus miles of sewer lines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.

Combined Pipelines: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.

Blockages Due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. Tree roots can travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If city trees are suspected, your plumber can contact the city, and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes the blockage is a result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and the property owner.

Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering into your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately.

Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings, where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab that allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. In these cases, water can show up in a basement that has never had a water problem. This will usually happen after a number of rain storms, when the ground is saturated. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Owners may also be able to prevent flooding by water sealing the basement.

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.

How to File a Claim

For insurance purposes, take before and after photos of the affected areas and itemize any property losses. Save all receipts related to repair, cleaning or damages and contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Backups In Your Lateral and in the City Main

Dispose of Grease Properly: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly, after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is unsatisfactory. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.

Dispose of Paper Products Properly: Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers and feminine products can cause a great deal of trouble in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main. These products do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does, so do not put them down the drain or toilet.

Replace Your Line with New Plastic Pipe: One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to have the roots cut periodically.

Correct Illegal Plumbing Connections: Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections. French drains are common drainage systems, primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations.

Install a Backwater Prevention Valve: A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backwater valves. The cost to install one depends on the type of plumbing in the building and the difficulty of installation. Check with a qualified plumber.

What to Do If You Experience a Sewer Backup

A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold or further damage. If you experience a sewer backup situation, immediately arrange for the cleanup of your property. This should include:

  • Wet-vacuuming or removal of spillage
  • Mopping floors and wiping walls with soap and disinfectant
  • Flushing out and disinfecting plumbing fixtures
  • Steam cleaning or removing wet carpets or drapes
  • Repairing or removing damaged wallboard or wall covering
  • Cleanup of ductwork

WaterWhen Storms or Floods hit Woodbury / Deptford, SERVPRO is ready!

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford, specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Woodbury / Deptford, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford 856-686-0100

Sump Pumps

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

The problem is that Sump Pumps fail all the time. While it’s not to say that we have a fool-proof method for preventing 100% of failures, there are certainly some tips you can follow to better your chances of a properly working sump pump.

For years, sump pumps have been a pretty common fixture in homes, especially in lower-level areas of the country or in places where the rapid melting of heavy snow can cause flooded basements. The popularity of sump pumps have grown exponentially in the past couple decades, largely in part to a legal amendment to the US Federal Clean Water Act in 1987 that requires certain homes to have a sump pump, even if they are not necessarily high-risk for floods.

The American Society of Home Inspectors actually did a study that showed more than 60% of American homes suffer from underground wetness or water damage. And there’s a liklihood that an ever large percentage will deal with a flooded basement at some point. Something we often talk about with roofing in terms of moisture also applies here. It doesn’t always take a large amount of water to create a large amount of issues. In roofing, we talk about roof leaks going into the home which aren’t uncommon for a faulty roof after a big rain storm. But just as problematic – or sometimes even worse – are the small leaks that get into the attic and aren’t noticed until well after a huge mold problem has been created. Same goes for moisture in the lower levels of your home. It doesn’t take a huge flood to cause thousands of dollars in damage. It takes very little standing water and very little time for mold and mildew to take over and create problems.

Proper maintenance is the key. Ugh, more maintenance! Here we are telling you to maintain your roof, now we’re telling you about your sump pump. Really, though, maintenance is a great thing. It’s much cheaper than a huge repair and it drastically increases the life of your equipment.

There is no definitive “lifetime” of a sump pump. Most last anywhere from 3-20 years. That’s a pretty big window. The  UD Dept of housing estimates the average life expectancy at 10 years. In my opinion, 10-15 years is pretty reasonable for a pump that goes through regular maintenance.

First, let’s talk about how a sump pump works.

The basics are pretty simple. A hole is dug in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace where a sump pump sits and filters out water. As the pit fills up, the pump turns on and moves the liquid out of the pit through pipes that run away from the foundation of your home into an area where it can drain, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. A one-way valve (check valve) keeps water from entering back into the home.

The pump is generally powered with no special wiring; just your main household current. But being near water, or in water (in case of a failure), it’s a good idea to have some type of circuit interrupter to prevent electrocution.

The majority of residential sump pumps will turn on automatically from a pressure sensor or float activator. The pressure sensor activates as water builds up and creates more pressure than air which prompts the pump to turn on. The float activator has a ball that floats on top of the water, moving the arm as the water level rises – similar to the one in your toilet tank.

When the motor activates, the impeller (a fan-like device) will turn. Using centrifugal force, the spinning impeller will force the water towards the sides of the pipe, creating a low-pressure center where water from the pit rushes to while the spinning action pushes it through the pipe.

All of these things work together to keep your home dry. And for the most part, everything tends to go smoothly. But there’s a lot of parts working together and if one thing quits working, or some type of outside force comes in and causes disruption, things can get back quickly.

7 Things that Cause Sump Pump Failure

1. Power Failure

The most common cause for sump pump failure is an electrical power outage. To prevent this, have a backup generator that can be manually activated. In the case that your primary pump mechanically fails, though, a generator cannot help in this situation. But in the event of a storm where the power is knocked out for any length of time, a backup generator can be a lifesaver.

On the same topic of power, some components of the sump pump may be vulnerable to damage from power surges. To prevent this, protect the entire electrical system from power surges with a service entrance surge protection device.

2. The Sump Pump is the Wrong Size

If you have an incorrectly sized pump, or if the pump is not installed properly, there will most likely be a problem. A small sump pump is often just as effective as a big one. When a sump pump is too big, the pump is forced to work harder, resulting in a shorter product lifespan. But if it’s too small, it may not be able to adequately pump out the water – again resulting in a shorter lifespan.

3. Improper Installation

Installing a sump pump must be done exactly right. Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed carefully for the installation in order to avoid severe water damage down the road. Most manufacturers recommend or require a check valve to be installed on the discharge line. If not installed, the back-flow of water can cause the pump impeller to rotate backwards and unscrew off the motor shaft. In this scenario, you will still hear the pump motor running, but it would not be pumping any water.

Most manufacturers require the drilling of a small air relief hole in the discharge line between the pump and the check valve which is intended to prevent the pump from having to overcome the air pressure in the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe must be of the required diameter.

Lastly, the sump pump pit should not be set in dirt or gravel. This causes debris to enter into your pump and can result in interference with the pump’s on/off switch or float arm.

4. Switch Problems

The leading mechanical cause of sump pump problems is a switch problem. This occurs when the pump shifts from its position inside the basin, rendering the float ineffective. Float is responsible for the smooth operation of the on/off switch. Your sump pump relies on both the switch and the float arm mechanisms to operate effectively.

5. Lack of Maintenance

Some pump manufacturers recommend the pump to be run every 2-3 months. Some recommend a yearly program completed just before the rainy season hits.

Here are some additional manufacturer recommendations:

  • If there is a back-up pump, unplug the primary pump and run the back-up pump to make sure it works properly
  • When testing your sump pump, go outside to make sure it is discharging water
  • Sometimes the pump can run but not pump any water. This means the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft or the check valve is installed backwards.
  • Check the operation of the float to make sure it is not restricted
  • Clean out the air hole in the discharge line
  • Listen for any unusual noises when the motor is running
  • Replace the battery on the back-up sump pump every 2 or 3 years

6. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines

If water cannot exit your home through the discharge line, your system will not work. It is important to keep the discharge pipe protected from freezing and free of sticks, dirt, rocks and other debris. Protecting the water’s exit point of the discharge pipe will keep debris and animals out of the system, making it optimal for your sump pump.

Grated covering will not stop the lines from freezing or becoming blocked by ice and snow. A special grated discharge line attachment should help; it is placed near your home on the discharge line. It includes openings that give water a way to flow out of the pipe if the line is blocked further down.

7. Product Defect

Though rare, product defect is always a possibility and does happen. It is wise to test the pump when it is initially installed to make sure the pump operates properly.

It’s All About the Maintenance

Don’t get me wrong, you cannot avoid all of these problems with maintenance. Let’s be honest – it’s a mechanical piece of equipment and mechanical pieces of equipment fail. It happens. But there’s no doubt that you can avoid many of these issues, and give a longer lifespan to the equipment by performing regular maintenance.

At the very least, follow these maintenance tips once per year. Some experts will even recommend that you do this every 2 months. Quarterly maintenance is probably the norm. It takes just a few minutes and can avoid some serious pains in the future.

  • A vinegar solution can be run through the sump pump in order to clean it
  • The pump will become free from tiny particles and debris which will allow the pump to run much cleaner
  • This can be done by the homeowner and unless there is a serious problem, then you may need to call a professional.
  • Make sure the sump pump’s float switch is not restricted in any way. If it is, it will cause the sump pump to not automatically kick on in case of a flood
  • Lastly, clean all vents and air holes for maximum effectiveness

That’s it. Maintenance is super easy and keeps your home protected from water damage. Make this a part of your regular home improvement plan and you’ll surely save some money in your pocket by either putting off the purchase of a replacement sump pump for several years, or by avoiding a costly water damage project.

Hurricane Checklist, Be Prepared, Stay Safe

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Tips to Avoid Water Damage

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems — deal with it quickly. If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up, see A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home on the EPA's web site.

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections. Read Maintain Your Washer and Dryer for instructions on replacing hoses and balancing the washing machine.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement. See Gutter Cleaning and Repair for steps to keep your gutters working correctly.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points. See How to Caulk for instructions. Repair cracked mortar joints.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs. Read Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile and Repair Tile Grout for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems. Read Controlling Moisture and Humidity in the Home for more ways to reduce indoor moisture.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency. See Shut Off Your Home Water Supply for instructions on locating the valve.

Water Damage

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home's foundation, the very core that holds your house together. Water damage hits at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. Damp woods invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew. Here's how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give your peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit.

  • Ensure Good Drainage
    • Clean your gutters.
  • Test Your Sump Pump
    • Check your sump pump once a year.
  • Fix Water Leaks
    • Repair any noticeable dripping pipes.
    • Check for dark spots under pipes & on ceilings.

Contact your local SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  @ 856-686-0100 to restore your water damaged home "Like it never even happened."

Restore Your Child's Favorite Stuffed Animal

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

It's often the little things that means the most when your home is hit with disasters. The lumber, drywall and flooring can call be "easily" replaced after a fire or flood. However, it is your child's favorite stuffed animal that is irreplaceable. Fortunately, their favorite stuffed animal can be restored by an Esporta Certified Operator at SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford using the Esporta Wash System.

The National Flood Insurance Program

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically. Signup to receive email updates.

I don't have flood insurance--Why do I need it?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

Who can buy flood insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online

Did you know? An elevated home, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

Mold and Your Health

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all.  Areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

 The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and ix the water problem.

It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.


Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.

Fire Works

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Every year between the Fourth of July and new years eve/day fire works play a major roll in house damage as well as injury's NFPA’s Fireworks report provides estimates of fires and associated losses caused by fireworks through 2013. Information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) 2014 Fireworks Annual Report about the estimated number of injuries caused by fireworks that were seen in hospital emergency departments is also summarized. Additional details are provided about injuries seen in the month around July 4.

Report highlights

  • In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires.
  • More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.
  • According to the CPSC, more than one-third (35%) of the people seen in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries from June 20-July 20, 2014 were under 15; nine percent were under five. 
  • CPSC data show that sparklers alone accounted for more than one one-quarter (28%) of the emergency room fireworks injuries seen from June 20-July 20, 2014.  

Stucco Remediation – What You Should Know

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Every home, no matter when it was built or when you purchased it, can fall prey to stucco failure, mold and moisture contamination. Even the tiniest of cracks in the façade of your home can result in moisture coming in, which can then cause major problems. If that happens, it can threaten the very structure of your home as well as the health of your family. If it isn’t treated properly, mold can cause extensive and costly damage.

Signs that you need repairs include cracking or breaking in the façade of your home, or brown streaks below your windows or at intersection of the wall and roof. Inside, you’ll notice leaks in doors or windows, the bottoms of your windows may be discolored, your base trim can become warped and there may be wet carpet or a moldy smell in your home.

But did you know your stucco doesn’t even have to be cracked to have problems? Heller explains that it wasn’t until fairly recently that proper weep screens and break points in the stucco were required. That means walls may not breathe properly, which can allow moisture to build up and then be trapped.

That’s just one of the many reasons it is important to call your building contractor to inspect your home for damage. The contractor may be able to find problems that you never even knew existed and stop a problem before it becomes too big and costly.

The process of repairing the stucco is referred to as stucco remediation. Your first instinct may be to simply call a stucco company to repair the façade of your home, but that might not be the right thing to do.

Companies that are stucco only will have the know-how to remove and replace the existing façade of your home.

While this is important, it may simply cover up the effects caused by the moisture. The structural integrity of your home and the health of your family can still be in jeopardy if the underlying problems still exist.

Simply put, a stucco repair company could lack the knowledge and ability to identify and repair the problems that result from the water damage. And if they aren’t properly corrected, that can lead to even more damage and expense in the future.

Moisture intrusion most often affects stucco-clad homes, but can also affect homes made of brick, stone, wood or composite siding, and typically affects homes built between 1985 and 2003. Having the right person inspect your home for damage is crucial to find and repair problems to the home’s wood structure that aren’t visible to the eye. Rot and mold within the wall cavity can cause serious damage.

If you think your home may have fallen prey to moisture intrusion, then please give SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford a call

Fire Safety

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why is the Close Your Door message so important now?

Because fires have become more dangerous than ever.

Modern synthetic construction materials, home furnishings, and contemporary layouts allow fire to spread and become toxic much faster – like three-minutes-or-less-to-get-out faster.

But a closed door can slow the spread, reduce toxic smoke levels, improve oxygen levels and decrease temperatures dramatically – and that could make a life-saving difference in your home.

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford  has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Sewage Backup in Woodbury/Deptford, NJ and Prevention Tips

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Backed up sewers can wreak havoc on a home, causing thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50. 

For homes that have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable, homeowners policies may provide Loss of Use coverage, which provides reimbursement for lodging, food and other living expenses you may incur as a result of having to live outside of your home. Loss of Use coverage also reimburses you for the lost rental income if you rent out part of the house.

Causes of Sewer Backup

Aging Sewer Systems: The Civil Engineering Research Foundation reports that the number of backed up sewers is increasing at an alarming rate of about 3 percent annually. In addition, a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation's 500,000-plus miles of sewer lines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.

Combined Pipelines: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.

Blockages Due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. Tree roots can travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If city trees are suspected, your plumber can contact the city, and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes the blockage is a result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and the property owner.

Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering into your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately.

Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings, where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab that allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. In these cases, water can show up in a basement that has never had a water problem. This will usually happen after a number of rain storms, when the ground is saturated. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Owners may also be able to prevent flooding by water sealing the basement.

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.

How to File a Claim

For insurance purposes, take before and after photos of the affected areas and itemize any property losses. Save all receipts related to repair, cleaning or damages and contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Backups In Your Lateral and in the City Main

Dispose of Grease Properly: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly, after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is unsatisfactory. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.

Dispose of Paper Products Properly: Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers and feminine products can cause a great deal of trouble in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main. These products do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does, so do not put them down the drain or toilet.

Replace Your Line with New Plastic Pipe: One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to have the roots cut periodically.

Correct Illegal Plumbing Connections: Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections. French drains are common drainage systems, primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations.

Install a Backwater Prevention Valve: A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backwater valves. The cost to install one depends on the type of plumbing in the building and the difficulty of installation. Check with a qualified plumber.

What to Do If You Experience a Sewer Backup

A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold or further damage. If you experience a sewer backup situation, immediately arrange for the cleanup of your property. This should include:

  • Wet-vacuuming or removal of spillage
  • Mopping floors and wiping walls with soap and disinfectant
  • Flushing out and disinfecting plumbing fixtures
  • Steam cleaning or removing wet carpets or drapes
  • Repairing or removing damaged wallboard or wall covering
  • Cleanup of ductwork

Why is my Air Conditioner leaking?

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water has started to pool around your central air conditioner’s inside unit and you have no idea why.

First, you should turn off your air conditioner because this water could harm the electronic parts of your AC and cause water damage to your home. Then you should contact a professional AC repair person for help.

If you want to understand the cause of this problem before calling a professional, read this article.

We’ll talk about:

  • Why water forms in the inside AC unit
  • Why there’s water all over the floor
  • What needs to be done to fix it

Why water forms in a central air conditioner indoor unit

Part of your air conditioner’s job is to pull humidity from the air. The inside unit’s blower pulls in hot, humid air through the return grille and over the inside unit’s cold evaporator coil  to cool the air down.

When that happens, condensation/droplets form on the evaporator coil. It’s just like when water droplets bead up on a glass of ice cold water on a hot summer day in Georgia.

That water on the evaporator coil falls into a sloped drain pan and down a condensate drain line like a slip n’slide. That drain line (usually a PVC pipe) either exits out the home (usually near the outside unit) or into your plumbing.

OK, so now you have a general idea of how the water forms and the parts involved. If there’s an issue with any of these parts, that’s why the water is forming around the inside unit.

Here are a few common problems that are causing the issue you’re having.

Clogged condensate drain line or rusted condensate drain pan

If the drain line gets clogged by dirt, insects, mold, or anything else, the water has nowhere to go but back into the home. (Some home’s have a secondary drain line but that may also be become clogged.)

Use wet-dry vacuum to suck out the obstruction from the outdoor PVC condensate pipe.

Also the root of the problem may be a dirty evaporator coil. The dirt will mix with the water and fall down into the pan, clogging the drain. Have a professional clean this coil annually as part of an annual AC maintenance visit.

Also, the drain pan may be rusted through and is falling onto the floor and causing damage to your home. So you’ll need to replace that.

Note: Your air conditioner may have a secondary drain pan to catch the water. This pan has a float switchthat turns off your air conditioner to prevent water damage.

Installation issues

If you have a newer air conditioner, the problem may be installation related. An improperly designed condensate trap will stop the condensate from draining. So all that water builds up in the drain pan and overflows into your home, causing water damage.

You’ll need a professional to examine the condensate trap to see if it has been designed properly and fix it if necessary.

Frozen evaporator coil

Open the blower door of your inside AC unit. Is the evaporator coil covered in ice? When that frozen evaporator coil melts there may be so much water that it flows over the drain pan and then onto the floor.

There are 2 common causes of a frozen evaporator coil:

  • Dirty air filter—A dirty air filter blocks airflow over the evaporator coil, causing the temperature to drop below freezing and ice up. Check the air filter and change it if it’s dirty.
  • Low refrigerant— Low refrigerant causes the evaporator coil to become much colder than normal, causing it to freeze up.

To defrost the evaporator coil, turn the air conditioner off. Then turn the blower from “auto” to “on.” The fan should melt the ice slowly enough for the drain pan to handle all the water.

In the meantime, you should call a professional to check your air conditioner to make sure it’s is working properly and ensure nothing was damaged.

What to do when a storm hits

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

When a storm hits unexpectedly and the damage is all around you, you can be confused on what to do.  Knowing in advance what to do " just in case"

Knowing what your insurance covers in the event of a flood or fire.

Knowing who to call is an important thing to know, you want to get someone reliable, trustworthy, and  able to answer your questions and concerns. 

Using SERVPRO's ERP (Emergency Ready Program) you will be ready for whatever may arise.  With emergency phone contacts, to where emergency shut offs are located.  This information is stored safely so when you need to access it can be accessed for the information you will need to help get things started.

This service is free and is for either business or personal use.  Please contact SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford 856-686-0100 for more information.

Storm Team

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Woodbury/Deptford storm team was assisting with the recent storm damage in Virginia and Maryland. We are so proud of our team for dealing with the grueling long days and getting everything dried up for our customers dealing with the storms.  I am so glad you made it back safely and appreciate all that you did for them.

Woodbury/Deptford is Storm Ready

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford Professionals can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, our storm team  can respond quickly.

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford's storm team is in Virginia, volunteering in  assisting those that have been affected by the storms that have wreaked havoc on several areas.  We wish them a safe journey and an even  safer return home.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research? Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

I just want to introduce myself and let you know what SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford can do for you and your business. My name is Kathy Attilio and we want to make sure that in the event of a disaster you are ready for whatever happens and ready to move forward in a positive way. That is why we offer our clients a free Emergency Ready Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile business interruption can be minimized by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help lowering effects of water and fire damage to your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantages:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

No one plans for a disaster but you can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford

(856) 686-0100

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research? Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

I just want to introduce myself and let you know what SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford can do for you and your business. My name is Kathy Attilio and we want to make sure that in the event of a disaster you are ready for whatever happens and ready to move forward in a positive way. That is why we offer our clients a free Emergency Ready Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile business interruption can be minimized by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help lowering effects of water and fire damage to your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantages:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

No one plans for a disaster but you can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call SERVPRO Woodbury/Deptford

(856) 686-0100

Smoke Damage, Water damage, Crime Scene Cleaning, Soot Damage, Bio hazard cleaning,

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Esporta's patented and proprietary technology is the most effective washing solution available today, and arguably, one of the most significant breakthroughs in cleaning technology since the introduction of the electric washing machine.

Items are held stationary and passed through detergent-laden water. The combination of the patented hydraulic action and the proprietary, environmentally friendly detergents results in the removal of over 99% of the organic and inorganic contaminants. Laboratory results indicate that this process is five time more effective than traditional washing machines.

Esporta's patented wash technology ensures that we can provide exceptional quality soft contents restoration.

What can be restored in the Esporta Wash System?

  • Leather goods of all kinds

-Shoes

-Purses

-Jackets

  • Laundry of all kinds

-Wash and fold

-Press and hang

  • Household goods of all kinds

-Sleeping bags

-Pillows

-Comforters

-Stuffed animals

What types of damages and contamination can we restore?

  • Contaminated water & sewage
  • Heavy smoke and soot
  • Mold
  • Bio waste contaminated goods
  

“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 856-686-0100
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

3 Surprising Things You Can Do To Reduce the Smell of Cigarette Smoke

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

3 Surprising Things You Can Do To Reduce the Smell of Cigarette Smoke

Home deodorization in Woodbury/Deptford, NJ, can be a challenge, especially if you or a family member smokes. Whether you are getting ready to host friends or family members or you just want to be ready for unexpected company, here are a few surprising things you can do to reduce the smell of cigarette smoke in your furniture and carpets and throughout your home. 

1. Use Vinegar

Vinegar might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cigarette removal, but it’s very good at removing stubborn scents from a variety of fabrics. If you have pillow cases, blankets or decorative throws that are saturated with the scent of your cigarettes, throw them in the wash with two cups of vinegar. Then put them through a regular drying cycle. You’ll be surprised at how fresh-smelling they are when you pull them out. If the smell of cigarette smoke lingers, wash them once more to get rid of it completely. 

2. Sprinkle Baking Soda on Furniture

Baking soda is a well-known air-freshening tool. It’s frequently used in refrigerators to soak up the smell of old, rotten food. You can also use it to absorb the smell of stale cigarette smoke. For home deodorization purposes, sprinkle baking soda on all soft furniture surfaces in your home. It won’t work very well on leather, but it should work great on fabric furniture. After sprinkling generously across all furniture, use your hands to smooth it out and make it disappear into the fabric. After letting it sit for at least 10 minutes, vacuum it up. You can use the same technique on carpets, rugs and drapes. 

3. Repaint or Replace

In some cases, cigarette odor is so pervasive that it can’t be removed with simple cleaning methods. In this case, may want to consider repainting your home or replacing old, smelly carpets if the scent bothers you enough. 

If you have tried the above steps and you still have an odor, try calling professional restoration services. They have the tools and expertise necessary to handle your home deodorization needs. 

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwoodburydeptford.com/

what is Black Mold?

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

When the topic of mold comes up, one of the first questions that people usually ask is: what is black mold? Many people know that they don't want mold in their home, but they don't realize the serious dangers of black mold health problems that can occur. It is a good idea to monitor your home to make sure that there is no mold growing, especially if you live in a warm humid environment.

Mold thrives in areas that are moist and warm. Sometimes the mold growth can begin after an area has been wet, and it never dried completely. For example, if a basement is flooded and the carpet is never pulled up to allow the carpet and the padding to dry completely, then mold may start to grow under the carpet. Common places for mold to grow include the bathroom, basement, or any area that may be exposed to moisture from a leak, such as under the sink, in the attic, or under a waterbed.

What is Black Mold Made of?

To put it simply, black mold is a living organism that is microscopic. One mold spore is so small that it is not visible to the naked eye, which means that it may be in your home and you won't even know it. If you can visibly see that there is a mold problem, then mold has probably been present for quite awhile because it has grown and spread to an area large enough to be visible.

Mold usually grows on porous types of materials such as drywall, wood, carpet, and fabrics. Mold must have the right types of conditions to grow. Usually, some type of water damage needed to occur and the area stayed wet for a long enough period of time (i.e. more than 48 hours). People who live in humid environments are more likely to have a mold problem, because mold thrives in more humid areas.

What is Black Mold Health Problems

It is very important to keep mold out of your home in order to avoid black mold health problems. When mold spores are present, they quickly multiply and spread, and exposure to the spores can cause severe health concerns. In the beginning, the symptoms may start out small, but they will get progressively worse with more exposure over time.

Typical black mold health symptoms include red itchy eyes, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, congestion, skin rashes and asthma like symptoms. If mold is causing these problems they will continue to get worse and not better. For more information about the symptoms of black mold exposure, follow the link.

It is best to avoid mold exposure by preventing mold growth in the first place. If any area has become wet, then you should clean it up as soon as possible and completely dry the area. Mold can't grow in a dry environment, so quickly cleaning up the mess and drying the area will help to prevent mold growth.

However, if mold growth has already started, then it is best to talk with a professional who knows how to safely clean it up. If you can visibly see mold, that means that the problem is bad enough that an experienced mold remediation specialist should be consulted. If you can't see the mold but are having health problems, then you need a professional black mold inspection of your property to find all of the "hidden mold."

Mold removal specialists have special training on how to properly clean up areas that have been contaminated with mold. These specialists understand the serious health effects that can occur from mold exposure, and they have specialized equipment and techniques to make sure all of the mold is removed and that it doesn’t spread to other parts of your home during the removal process. Most removal specialists will come to your home and give a free inspection and evaluation, so even if you are thinking of doing the cleanup yourself you can get some free valuable advice from an expert.

Plugging a space heater into a power strip can be disastrous here's why

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Plugging a space heater into a power strip can be disastrous here's why

As temperatures begin to dip across the country, millions of people are pulling space heaters out of storage to help warm their homes.

You should never plug a heater into a power strip.

These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. 

Most people do not realize that power strips are not the same thing as surge protectors.

You should definitely not use an extension cord or power strip, which could easily overheat. And you really shouldn't plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater for safety reasons.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against using extension cords or power strips with space heaters to reduce fire risks. The agency says that portable electric heaters cause 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 32 percent of home-heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in 79 percent of home-heating fire deaths in the United States.    

Fire And Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire And Water Damage Restoration Companies, Have Standards

Fire and water damage restoration are essential services that protect families and their homes from severe issues. Whether it’s bad wiring, a flood, or a burst pipe, these professionals are capable of making the home safe to live in again. But getting it back to that state takes some real expertise and manpower, and it’s the kind of expertise that a certified firm can provide the best. There are serious health implications involved as well, so a homeowner wouldn’t want anyone else handling the job. 

Why should a homeowner only consider a certified firm for fire and water damage restoration?

Floods and flames produce an immediate threat, and of course families are going to be pressed by the imminent danger, but these disasters can cause long-term problems as well. Pools of contaminated water, like those left behind by a storm or sewage backflow, are infested with a variety of pathogens and are also catalysts for explosive microbial growth. Molds, in particular, are common organisms found in the wake of contaminated moisture, and can take root in the home in as little as 48 hours if the problem is not dealt with by then. Mold is a significant concern, especially for families with young children, as it can cause lingering respiratory and behavioral complications. Mold can also spread quickly if it is given the chance to release airborne spores.

Flames leave behind a different kind of pest. Ash is a copious byproduct of burned out material, and it is both light and acidic. This means it can easily be swept up by air currents in the home and settle on a variety of items it can damage. If it is not cleaned up right away, it will begin etching glass, corroding metal, and discoloring drywall and porcelain. Ash can also irritate the throat, nose and lungs, inflaming conditions like asthma and allergies. This will happen over a matter of days, so a prompt response is required to stop it in its tracks. 

Fire and water damage restoration firms are qualified to halt and reverse the spread of molds, ash, and other hazards. Given the time-sensitive nature of their work, reputable crews are normally available around the clock and can begin work immediately. A certified firm, one that has been trained by an organization like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), will have the tools and methods needed to make the home safe to live in again. With proper training, professionals will be able to quickly establish a workspace inside the home, drain the excess water, and eliminate debris caused by the disaster. Over the next several days, they can set up equipment to expedite the drying process, saving any materials they can that have been exposed to water, or wash away ash residue, which has a tendency to get everywhere. These professionals can also inspect the building thoroughly for common trouble areas and confirm that there is no lingering moisture or ash hiding in wait. 

By the time a certified firm has completed their work, the building will be transformed back to its original state, waiting for the family to settle back in and continue their lives.

Energy Saving Tips for Winter

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Energy Saving Tips for Winter

The strategies below will help you save energy, save money, and stay comfortable during the cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Cover Drafty Windows

  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

Adjust the Temperature

 
  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. 
  • If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Find and Seal Leaks

  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  • Find out how to detect air leaks.
  • Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
  • Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.

Maintain Your Heating Systems

  • Schedule service for your heating system.
  • Furnaces and heat pumps: Replace your filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining furnaces or boilers and heat pumps.
  • Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency. Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
  • Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.

Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs

  • Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
  • Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings.
  • Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strings.

Tax Credits, Rebates & Savings Website:

https://energy.gov/savings/search

11 Tips to Protect and Prevent Pipes from Freezing

11/24/2017 (Permalink)

11 Tips to Protect and Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Do You Have an Evacuation Plan and Procedure

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Do You Have an Evacuation Plan and Procedure

For smaller organizations, the plan does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 or fewer employees. [29 CFR 1910.38(b)]

At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements [29 CFR 1910.38(c)]:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
  • Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
  • Accounting for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
  • Rescue and Medical Duties for Employees Performing Them
  • Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted

Although they are not specifically required by OSHA, you may find it helpful to include the following in your plan:

  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems.
  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees' emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

A floor plan shows the possible evacuation routes in the building. It is color coded and uses arrows to indicate the designated exit. A room containing hazardous materials is indicated in the lower right hand corner of the building by the flame symbol. The assembly area is indicated outside the primary exit at the top of the building.

An evacuation floor plan with three exits, has the primary exit designated in the upper left by red arrows, with two main flows coming toward it indicated by bent arrows, the red rooms, and red elevator. Persons in the upper left half of the building are directed toward this exit.

The secondary exit is located centrally on the adjacent outer wall on the right side of the building. Persons in the top hallway and second hallway are directed with tan arrows from the tan colored rooms toward this exit. A male and female figure (representing restrooms) are indicated in the first tan colored rooms in the upper hallway. The individuals should exit along the hallway toward the secondary exit at the right side of the building. Both the primary and secondary exits are marked with handicapped signs.

There is a third exit in the last hallway, centrally located in the outer wall opposite the outer wall with the primary exit and adjacent to the outer wall with the secondary exit. Persons in the third hallway are directed by blue arrows from the blue colored rooms and blue elevator to exit out this doorway. This exit is not designated for handicapped persons as stairs are indicated.

Colored boxes indicate a row of rooms along the outer walls, with hallways parallel to the rows of outer rooms on three sides of the building. The outer wall on the left side of the building has a hallway along the outer wall. Four sets of six colored rooms are along the internal corridors and there are three large rooms centrally located with internal hallways connecting the top and bottom of the building.

The Primary Exit is marked with an arrow from the text below the map, as is the Secondary Exit. An X inscribed in a circle marks the position of the employee, indicated in the legend, in text "You are here". On the floor plan, the employee is located in the upper left hand corner in the internal set of six red colored rooms, in the central room in the second hallway. The employee may exit the red colored room, either to the left or right (indicated by red arrows), and then proceed toward the outer wall and the upper left primary exit.

For more details visit the OSHA website:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/min_requirements.htm

Crime Scene cleaning, Victim Benefits and Compensation

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Crime Scene cleaning, Victim Benefits and Compensation

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of bloodbodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazardremediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicideshomicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Attached are Compensation and Benefits for Victims in NJ:

Benefits in a Nutshell   Crimes Covered

Assault

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Burglary
  • Sexually Related Crimes
  • Kidnapping
  • Acts Constituting Domestic Violence
  • Drug and Food Tampering
  • DWI
  • Carjacking
  • Hit and Run
  • Eluding a Police Officer
  • Human Trafficking
  • Bias Crimes

What You Need to File

  • Completed VCCO Application
  • Police Report
  • Copies of Bills and Receipts of all Related Losses
  • Documentation

Time Requirements

  • Report Crime to Police within 9 Months
  • File Claim Application with VCCO within 3 Years

Benefits Provided

  • $25,000 Maximum

Mental Health Counseling

  • Homicide Survivor- $12,500
  • Injured Victim- $12,500
  • Secondary Victim(s)- $7,000
  • Group Counseling- $50 a Session Per Victim

Medical Bills

  • Medical Bills not Covered by Other Sources
  • Chiropractic/Physical Therapy
  • Medical Supplies and/or Other Prescription Drugs
  • Medical Related Transportation

Loss of Earnings or Financial Support

  • Maximum Amount-$600/Week
  • Loss of Support- 48 Months
  • Loss of Earnings- Direct Victim-104 Weeks
  • Permanent Disability- Direct Victim-60 Months
  • Loss of Earnings- Secondary Victim-$7,000 to Care for
  • Primary Victim

Others

  • Funeral Cost-$5000
  • Transportation to Funeral-200/Person or $1,000 Total
  • Crime Scene Cleanup- $4,000
  • Relocation Expenses- $2,500
  • Domestic Help- $6,500 Total
  • Child Care/Day Care Services- $6,500
  • Victims’ Rights Attorney Fees (Criminal Matter)- $125/Hr with a $3,000 Maximum
  • Attorney Fees for Representing Victims in VCCO Claim
  • (Up to 15% of the Award)

Catastrophic Injuries

  • Supplemental $35,000 for Rehabilitative Services Only

Here is the web link:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/njvictims/benefits.html

Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

A recent fire at a 16,000 square foot mansion on the waterfront in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, took the lives of six people including two grandparents and their four grandchildren. The cause of the fire, according to investigators, was a 16-foot tall Christmas tree that the owners left lit most of the time in the great room of the house. An electrical failure ignited the two-month-old tree, which swiftly fueled the fire in the rest of the house.

The lack of a sprinkler system inside the house or fire hydrants and other water sources near the home made it extremely challenging for fire fighters who responded to the call.

1. Candles

Who doesn’t love the romantic glow of candlelight? But, even if you enjoy their fragrance and ambiance, you might want to think twice before lighting a candle and leaving the room. From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms, causing 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries. More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items. They should always be kept at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

2. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

3. Electrical & Lighting

Electrical fires can have a number of different origins. They can be caused by an equipment malfunction, from an overloaded circuit or extension cord, or from an overheated light bulb, space heater, washer, dryer or other appliance.

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. 

4. Dryers and washing machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

5. Lightning

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, those caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

6. Children playing with fire

The NFPA says that children start an average of 7,100 home fires per year, causing approximately $172 million in property damage. July is the most active month for these fires, and males start the majority (83%) of them. Younger children under the age of six are more likely to start fires inside, using matches or a lighter as the ignition source. The most frequent sites for fires are the bedroom (39%), kitchen (8%) and living room/family room/den (6%). Older children are more likely to start fires outside.

7. Christmas trees

Like candle fires, Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights and a fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

8. Cooking

The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Several years ago in Florida, investigators saw a pattern of fraudulent house fires that started in the kitchen when the owners left food cooking on the stove while they ran to the store for a missing ingredient. Grease would catch on fire and the flames spread from there. 

Contact a Fire and Smoke damage Restoration contractor, for any Fire Damage and Smoke damage to your property.

Space Heater Safety Tips

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Space Heater Safety Tips

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. 

Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.

Space heaters are, of course, designed to be hot. But they shouldn’t burn you or create a fire hazard.

Look for a sensor that shuts the heater off if it overheats. A switch that does the same if they tip over is a welcome plus for taller models, especially if kids and/or pets use the room, too.

Damaged power cords are one of the major causes of fires, injuries, and deaths associated with space heaters. Inspect electric space heater cords for damage regularly and never use an extension cord with an electric heater.

When you shop for an electric space heater, look for a label from a recognized testing laboratory such as UL (Underwriters Laboratory), ETL (Intertek), or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) verifying that the heater's construction and performance meet voluntary U.S. safety standards.

 Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:

  • Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
  • Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Use Food Coloring to Diagnose a Leaking Toilet,

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Use Food Coloring to Diagnose a Leaking Toilet,

If you have a heavy leak in your toilet, it's easy to diagnose—the faint sound of the toilet tank constantly replenishing is a dead give away. What about a slow leak? Diagnose it with food coloring.

If you have a slow leak in your toilet tank, hundreds of gallons are just slowly and silently cascading down the side of your toilet bowl every month. Fortunately you can easily detect if the uptick in your water bill is from a slow leak or not.

A simple test for toilet water leaks, place a half dozen or so drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Leave the toilet alone for a half hour or more. Come back and check to see if the water in the bowl of the toilet has become tinted with the food-coloring dye from the tank. If it has, you've got a leak between the tank and the bowl.

How to check your toilet for leaks

  1. Remove the toilet tank lid.
  2. Drop one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. (Dye tablets are often available for free through local water Providers.
  3. Put the lid back on. Do not flush.
  4. Wait at least 10-15 minutes, and then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak. If not, you don't.

How a $10 pipe can cost thousands in water damage to your home,

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

How a $10 pipe can cost thousands in water damage to your home,

One of the most common causes of internal flooding in homes is from a burst flexible water hose, or ‘flexi hose’, an increasingly common plumbing items around the world.

The flexi hose is a plumbing connection from the water main to major appliances, sinks and toilets, and has come into the spotlight as one of the top reasons a home is flooded — from water leakages and ruptures, to major water bursts.It’s highly likely you have flexi hoses installed in your home. So just how preventable are flexi hose water leakages, ruptures and bursts?

What are Flexible Water Hoses?

Flexible water hoses, or ‘flexi hoses’, are a versatile hose commonly installed in modern homes and to replace standard copper pipe installations in older homes.

Found in connections from the wall outlet to taps, sinks, basins and tubs, flexi hoses are also used to connect water from the toilet stop tap to the cistern.

Constructed in outer braided layers of stainless steel with a rubber pipe interior, the flexi hose — as its name suggests — is designed for its malleability and can be shaped to meet a range of home plumbing hardware solutions.

So why are so many people experiencing problems with flexi hoses?

In general, there are many reasons why a burst may occur — the main culprits tend to be:

  • The age of the water hose – most hoses have a life span of five years
  • Incorrect installation – over tightening, over stretching, and looseness can cause the pipe to fail
  • Incremental damage through limited or no maintenance – rusting, fraying and kinking can cause the pipe to bust.

While flexi hoses tend to be the preferred option for many installations, there is a general consensus amongst plumbing professionals that they are also a leading cause of house flooding, with spoiled carpets, warping of wooden floors and water-damaged ceilings on multi-floor homes too often the result.

The main reasons behind the widely agreed consensus that flexi hoses are a major cause of flooding in homes is due to four key factors: Questionable products on the market, incorrect installation, a lack of simple maintenance checks and the overall age of the flexi hose — and with that, there is also good news:

Water damage to your home from a burst flexi hose is largely preventable.

What follows is a range of causes that can compromise the integrity of the flexi hoses in your home, followed by ways you are more likely to prevent them.

The Most Important Thing is Prevention

Paramount to preventing flooding in your home is to have a licenced plumber install all flexible water hoses, or check those already installed to professionally confirm the integrity of the product.

It’s also a good idea to show everyone in your home where the main water valve is located so they can stop the water in case of an emergency.

 The Installation Factor

The DIY factor is at the heart of our culture and has intensified with the rise of television shows all about ways to ‘do it yourself’.

However, the installation of flexi hoses requires specialised knowledge that a licenced plumber is best to provide — and while the initial financial outlay may be more than the perceived savings from a DIY installation, you’re more likely to save in the long run.

For example, as with most products, flexi hoses vary in quality and your home can be compromised by the choice of water hose you buy. More expensive does not immediately lend to better quality and a licenced plumber will more likely know which type and brand of water hose is right for your home.

Flexi hoses also vary in length and choosing the wrong size can make the hose too taut, putting the hose under stress by being stretched, or too loose, allowing the hose to become kinked or twisted. Either way, installing the incorrect length of flexi hose will cause it to fray and unravel over time, leading to a major leak.

Flexi hoses are also easy to over-tighten, with excessive force applied to the end fittings of a flexi hose in order to obtain a watertight seal. However, such force can cause a fracture in the rubber seal connection, which, over time, is likely to cause a major rupture.

While flexi hoses are generally seen as robust products, if they are put under great strain due to being damaged at the time of installation, the likelihood of structural breakdown is high.

It’s worth considering a licenced plumber to install any and all flexi hoses around your home — and if you’re in any doubt of the flexi hose systems already installed, consider having a plumber come to your home for an inspection.

Stucco homes, failing at alarming rate, and the fix is costly,

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Stucco homes, failing at alarming rate, and the fix is costly,

Stucco remediation is extremely expensive because the house has to be torn down to its sheathing and windows replaced.

This is beyond the asbestos plague, the radon plague and the lead paint problem. This is a life changer and scope of this is enormous.

The reason it is failing is because some builders took shortcuts and didn’t’ install flashing properly, installed inferior windows and didn’t apply enough layers of stucco.

Many (builders) won’t put stucco on new houses anymore, not even on foundations. But stucco is a good product, and you can use it anywhere as long as you use good practices like having a good vapor barrier, and proper caulk around all windows and doors.

A failed a moisture inspection, can put a significant amount of work and money into a home, and replaced the stucco with stone because it was one-third of the cost.

A house buyer today would be wise to order a moisture report if considering a stucco home. It’s not required, but sometimes the cost for the inspection falls on the potential buyer.

Some (real estate agents) sell houses to unsuspecting buyers, hoping they won’t get the test. Will the realtor tell you to get a moisture inspection, or will they not tell you and hope to get the sale and the commission.

Homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover issues of mold or rot or shoddy contractor construction. Many carriers eliminated stucco remediation when the problem was first discovered years ago. Insurance typically only covers “Acts of God” such as rain, hail, fire and wind. And Pennsylvania law states homeowners cannot hold the original builder accountable for problems after 12 years.

So in just about every case, the cost for stucco remediation lies with the homeowner. And when that homeowner just bought a house without ordering a moisture test and discovers problems, they are severely “underwater” in their mortgage just after purchase.

A proper remediation, involves tearing off the stucco, taking out windows and replacing them with new windows, replacing damaged sheathing and framing, applying a drainable house wrap, reinstalling new windows with proper flashing, applying extra layers of house wrap, applying rainscreen and applying new stucco.

Homeowners who hire contractors who patch affected areas and do not replace windows will find it will fail again in short order.

Smoke detector Tips, Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips,

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke detector Tips, Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips,

Smoke Detector 

A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Commercial security devices issue a signal to a fire alarm control panel as part of a fire alarm system, while household smoke detectors, also known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible or visual alarm from the detector itself.

Smoke detectors are housed in plastic enclosures, typically shaped like a disk about 150 millimetres (6 in) in diameter and 25 millimetres (1 in) thick, but shape and size vary. Smoke can be detected either optically (photoelectric) or by physical process (ionization), detectors may use either, or both, methods. Sensitive alarms can be used to detect, and thus deter, smoking in areas where it is banned. Smoke detectors in large commercial, industrial, and residential buildings are usually powered by a central fire alarm system, which is powered by the building power with a battery backup. Domestic smoke detectors range from individual battery-powered units, to several interlinked mains-powered units with battery backup; with these interlinked units, if any unit detects smoke, all trigger even if household power has gone out.

The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. The US National Fire Protection Association reports 0.53 deaths per 100 fires in homes with working smoke alarms compared to 1.18 deaths in homes without . Some homes don't have any smoke alarms, some don't have working batteries; sometimes the alarm fails to detect the fire.

Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detection

Carbon monoxide sensors detect potentially fatal concentrations of carbon monoxidegas, which may build up due to faulty ventilation where there are combustion appliances such as heaters and cookers, although there is no uncontrolled fire outside the appliance.

High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) may indicate a fire, and can be detected by a carbon dioxide sensor. Such sensors are often used to measure levels of CO2 which may be undesirable but not indicative of a fire; this type of sensor can also be used to detect and warn of the much higher levels generated by a fire. One manufacturer says that detectors based on CO2 levels are the fastest fire indicators, and also, unlike ionization and optical detectors, detect fires that do not generate smoke, such as those fuelled by alcohol or gasoline. CO2 fire detectors are not susceptible to false alarms due to particles, making them particularly suitable for use in dusty and dirty environments.

Check and Test both alarms on a Schedule.

Check with your local Building Code Enforcement, with more details on both items...

Chimney Fires and Smoke damage

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Chimney Fires and Smoke damage

A chimney fire is the combustion (burning) of residue deposits referred to as soot or creosote, on the inner surfaces of chimney tiles, flue liners, stove pipes, etc.

Causes

The process begins with the incomplete combustion of fuel in the attached appliance, usually a wood or coal stove, or open fire. The unburned volatiles are heated to the vapor state but not consumed due to a lack of adequate heat and oxygen within the appliance. These volatile distillates escape into the chimney, where they contact cooler surfaces and condense into tar-like deposits, and soot. Successive layers accumulate until either the chimney plugs completely, or the chimney reaches a temperature and oxygen level at which the deposit will ignite. Due to the concentrated level of volatile material now present, these fires tend to burn very hot.

Alternatively, a chimney fire may be caused by old bird's nests which have fallen into the chimney and lodged there. When a hot ember ignites the nests, the fire can be just as serious as one caused by ignition of soot. In very old houses, the chimney may also be very large and thick enough to withstand the fire.

The high temperatures may affect the strength of the chimney causing distortion of metal structures, and potential failure of ceramic structures.

Causes of the deposits which lead to chimney fires include using green/wet fuels, the operation of appliances with insufficient air intake, and low operating temperatures for prolonged periods followed by hot fires. Such practice typically occurs when mild weather periods are followed by cold snaps.

There are several major issues that are at risk from a chimney fire event. There is of course the danger of burning debris being expelled from the top of the chimney that could ignite other portions of the structure, but the major cause of damage is where the heat of the chimney fire will pass through the masonry materials and overheat nearby combustibles. Even though codes and standards require a specific clearance of the framing members from the masonry materials, often this is not found in actual construction. Many fires reported as chimney fires, are actually structure fires ignited by the overheating of the framing members. These structure fires can be traced to the normal use of the fireplace or sealed combustion chamber.

Prevention

Steps to prevent this buildup of deposits include only running appliances hot during the initial ignition phase regularly, only building short and hotter fires, regular cleaning of flues using a chimney sweep, and only using internal chimney structures where possible versus a chimney attached to an external wall. The latter tends to be cooler, contributing to the problem, as well as creating downdrafts which tend to introduce smoke into the structure as the fire subsides. The nests of birds can be prevented by using a wire guard over the chimney.

Control includes denial of oxygen, addition of extinguishing agents, and removing heat sources. In case of chimney fire, the local fire department should be called immediately: there is a risk of the chimney failing, and/or overheating adjoining structures, which could cause the fire to spread to other parts of the building. Additional hazards include the possible buildup of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide within the structure due to restricted flues.

Remember to Check and Change your Smoke Detectors and Carbon Dioxide Detector Batteries and Replace older one!

The Acidic Nature of Smoke and Soot Require Special Cleanup

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

The Acidic Nature of Smoke and Soot Require Special Cleanup

The Acidic Nature of Smoke and Soot Require Special Cleanup

After a fire, soot damage is very typical. Soot can be a black flaky or oily or powdery substance which forms from incomplete combustion. Fine carbonized compounds cling to surfaces in your home like ceilings and walls, plus your possessions. Soot can be difficult to remove, and sometimes it is not possible to restore the surface to its pre-fire condition.

There are two types of sediment you can find after soot damage home – oily and dry. A quick check you can do to discover the type of residue you have is just to run your finger over a soot-covered surface. It is oily residue if it smears. Try not to make a mess. Better yet, leave it to us to inspect and clean.

You need an experienced fire damage restoration team working with you to clean the soot from your home thoroughly. SERVPRO is standing by to help you as soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe. The longer you leave the smoky substance sitting in your home, the more damage it does. 

Heat from the fire pushes the soot and can cover everything in its way. Smoke looks for a kind of equilibrium and travels until its energy is used and it goes to cooler temperatures. When tested, soot can always be found on the acidic side of the pH scale. Acidic materials are destructive to a majority of elements found in nature. Over time, they keep degrading materials by oxidation which leads to discoloration, etching, corrosion or pitting. Stains over metals can yellow and soften. These reactions are ongoing from soot residues until they are removed. 

We can clean up oily residue with special degreasing agents, while we clean dry soot with cleaning sponges. Sometimes, soot will be oily in one room and dry in another. It all depends on the kinds of materials that were burned, so we check ahead of time before we begin remediation. 

Many varying types of damage occur after a fire, including water damage from firefighting efforts, but soot damage continues to eat away at the surfaces it is covering if left untouched.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO Franchise will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Woodbury Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

The 15 Must-Dos of Fall Yard Cleanup,

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

The 15 Must-Dos of Fall Yard Cleanup,

Autumn means football games and visits to the local pumpkin patch. It also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right preparation now will save you time and energy when spring rolls around, and will keep you and your family safe in the yard year-round. Make sure you get the most out of your yard next year by following our checklist of fall cleanup musts.

1. Clean out debris.

Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Till the vegetable garden.

After the final harvest, pull out old vegetable plants, remove debris, and completely till the whole plot. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim Rogue Branches.

Trim up any large or out-of-place tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling during the snowfall to come.

4. Clean out the gutters.

Not all fall cleanup is in the yard. This is the perfect time to clear leaves and other debris from rain gutters. Check for proper drainage, clear out any blockages with a small garden trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry everything out.

Drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate.

Break up soil to keep water from pooling and guarantee that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator, which should be available to rent for a reasonable price.

7. Feed the lawn.

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

8. Rake and mulch.

Don’t let fallen leaves get the best of you; if left unattended they can suffocate the grass. Rake them up, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. You might even be able to skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to mulch the leaves in your yard.

9. Prune trees and shrubs.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes. If you have blooming perennials like clematis or roses, now is the time to prune them and train the branches.

10. Give it one last mow.

Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

11. Divide and cut back perennials.

If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now — wait and divide them in the spring.

12. Protect cold-sensitive plants.

Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in top shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

13. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals.

Some plants do best when planted in the fall. If you want to add new shrubs or spring bulbs like hyacinth, now is the time to get them in the ground. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

14. Protect the deck.

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from a garden store. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

15. Clean tools and store them.

Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.

Basement Water issues, Sump Pump malfunctions, and water damage

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Basement Water issues, Sump Pump malfunctions, and water damage

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

Unexpected increases in your water bill

  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

 If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

 
  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs.
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency.

The Big DIY Projects That Will Save on Insurance

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

The Big DIY Projects That Will Save on Insurance

DIY projects could save you money on your insurance premiums. Home improvements, whether it’s remodeling to sell or regular repairs, are part of being a homeowner.

With proper preparation and guidance, homeowners can tackle some of the biggest DIY projects without hurting their pocketbooks. We’ll take a look at some of the more costly professional home improvement projects and provide tips on how homeowners can not only do it themselves, but how doing so could lower their home insurance premiums.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC): Staying Current Saves Money

updating and keeping the HVAC system in good working condition, especially in older homes, can reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums. A good rule of thumb is that a system should always be less than 10 years old. If a system is over 10 years old, insurance premiums are likely to rise.

Over time, the insulation on outdoor air conditioner lines can wear, age, and begin to rot — which can cost the homeowner valuable energy. A great DIY project for air conditioner repair is replacing the rotten insulation.

Roof Improvements

With the threat of damage from weather and natural disasters, the roof is one of the most important parts of the home that needs maintaining. Being proactive in roof maintenance is best, and Darras suggests homeowners invest in impact-resistant roofing, especially if they live in an area known for hail, strong winds, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Doing so can cut insurance premiums as much as 30-40%.

One way homeowners can lower their insurance bill is to choose a Tough Roof.

It’s best for homeowners to talk to their insurance agents to learn about specific discounts for materials other than standard asphalt for the roof. While metal roofing will usually provide the largest discount, it can be much more costly than standard asphalt shingles. Experts suggest considering heavier-grade Class 4 modified asphalt and shake shingles, which include a 30- to 50-year limited warranty. This is a more economical alternative than replacing a roof damaged by storms.

Routine roof inspection and maintenance is important because fixing a roof can be the most expensive home repair an owner may face with full replacements ranging from $2,000 to $12,000.

While many roofing repairs are best left to the experts, some repairs — such as fixing a roof damaged by a tree or branch — can be a DIY project.

Pool and Fence Safety Improvements

Build a fence around a pool is not only is a smart insurance saver — in some states it’s a requirement. Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina have pool fence codes.

In addition to the insurance benefit, this security measure protects the homeowner and neighbors because it reduces the chance of someone wandering into the yard, falling into your pool, and accidentally drowning — which is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Death by drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths for kids between 1 and 14. Besides increasing your insurance coverage and building a fence around it, pool owners should keep it covered or drained when not in use.

Fences also help lower premiums by acting as barrier to vandalism or burglary, and some underwriters will classify fences as a form of security like an alarm system.

While building a fence can be a DIY project, there are important first steps to consider. Planning for a fence is more than picking the material. Homeowners need to:

  • Be sure of the property line. Building on the neighbor’s yard — not good.
  • Know where cables are. While this isn’t a DIY, it is free (usually). Ask your utility company to mark the location of buried power cables with spray paint. This helps ensure you won’t ruin your fence building experience by splitting a buried power cable with a shovel and lighting up like a Christmas tree. Additionally, locate any buried water lines to swimming pools, low-voltage lines for decorative lighting, sprinkler systems, and tree roots you don’t want any injury stemming from building your fence.
  • Be a good neighbor. It’s not just a slogan. Inform your neighbors about your DIY construction plans.

Focus on Security

There are numerous improvements homeowners can perform for the purpose of enhancing security, many of which will lower insurance premiums.

A few examples are:

  • Installing home sprinkler systems and putting up smoke detectors.
  • Using shatterproof windows instead of standard window panes.
  • Putting in motion-sensor lighting.
  • Making sure all electrical wiring is up-to-date. Insurance companies pay particular attention to electrical wiring being up to code because this makes homes less likely to experience an electrical fire.
  • Leak detectors can warn homeowners of plumbing failures by using battery-operated or plug-in temperature sensors to detect furnace breakdowns which lead to frozen and bursting pipes. Installing a leak detector can easily be a DIY project. The detector will sound an alarm or automatically shut off the home’s main water line valve when water touches the sensor. This installation can drop insurance premiums by two to five percent.
  • People with homes in areas prone to hurricanes can put up storm shutters — which Darras said can save the homeowner up to 30% on the hurricane portion of the insurance premium and up to 60% in coastal areas.

Before homeowners attempt any DIY improvement projects, they should consult with their insurance provider to get a list of discounts available to them.

Besides added safety, there’s no point in wasting a ton of money if it won’t actually lower premiums. Ask for specifics. It may be that your alarm system has to meet X, Y, and Z criteria in order to lower your premium. You want to make sure you are following these guidelines to the tee before investing in any home improvement project.

If done properly, DIY home improvement projects stand to be of dual benefit — homeowners maintain the upkeep of their homes and shave money off insurance premiums.

Water Damage in Woolwich NJ, Water Damage in Woolwich NJ, and The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage, FREE SAMPLE PROFILE, PDF Document

10/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Woolwich NJ, Water Damage in Woolwich NJ, and The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage, FREE SAMPLE PROFILE, PDF Document

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
  • Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Our SERVPRO location can Email you a Sample Copy, of an Emergency Ready Profile!

Fire Damage Restoration, Fire damage in Westville NJ, Fire damage in Woodbury NJ, Smoke damage in Deptford NJ,

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration, Fire damage in Westville NJ, Fire damage in Woodbury NJ, Smoke damage in Deptford NJ,

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

What to Expect from a Home Energy Audit, Fire Damage in Woodbury NJ, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ,

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

What to Expect from a Home Energy Audit, Fire Damage in Woodbury NJ, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ,

Specially trained and certified technicians will assess your home from top to bottom. The technician will take inventory, report on the current conditions in your home and will test for:

  • Health and safety check (carbon monoxide levels, moisture, and indoor air quality problems)
  • Overall comfort level (cold/hot spots, indoor air quality stuffiness/stale odors)
  • Air sealing opportunities
  • Insulation levels
  • Heating system efficiency
  • Cooling system/central air conditioning efficiency, if applicable
  • Domestic hot water system efficiency

Certified technicians use a number of diagnostic tools during your Home Assessment including the Carbon Monoxide (CO) Analyzer, which is an important health and safety tool. Your contractor will identify any potential health and safety issues during the initial audit (assessment). Any issues that arise will need to be addressed before any energy efficiency improvements can be made through the program. 

After the home energy audit, you will receive a report listing recommended measures, along with financial incentives available to help you pay for the recommended improvement work. The eligible energy efficiency upgrades must meet specific efficiency requirements. Here is the NJ Energy Audit Website, for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial incentives:

http://www.njcleanenergy.com/residential/programs/home-performance-energy-star/what-expect-home-energy-assessment

Biohazard cleaning in Woodbury NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Deptford NJ,

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard cleaning in Cherry Hill NJ, Biohazard cleaning in Moorestown NJ,

Biohazard and Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicides, homicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigationhave added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazardremoval, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants

(e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors.

However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

Business

Crime scene cleanup began primarily as a local or regional small business activity but maturity and consolidation has created some larger entities in the industry; only a few nationwide companies exist, although some national carpet cleaning and restorationcompanies franchises have added crime scene cleanup and biohazard removal to their services. Due to the legal and ethical complications crime scene cleanup is often its own business entity or a separate division.

Regulatory requirements

While the field of crime scene cleanup is not specifically regulated as a class, most if not all of the activities performed by biohazard cleanup teams in the United States are regulated or fall under best practice guidelines from governing and advisory bodies such as OSHANIOSHDOT, and EPA.

Those who hire a crime scene cleanup company should make sure that they are properly trained in applicable federal and state regulations and can provide documentation of proper biohazardous waste disposal from licensed medical waste transportation and disposal companies. If in California or Florida the client should confirm that the company is registered with the state Department of Health. A few states such as California, New York and Florida are the only states that explicitly require registration or licensing for crime scene cleanup. Other states may require biohazardous waste transport permits from the DOT.

In the US, OSHA requires that exposure to blood-borne pathogens be limited as much as possible due to the assumption that the blood and biological material is infectious. Most actions taken to limit exposure fall under cross-contamination protocols, which provide that certain actions be taken to avoid further spreading the contamination throughout otherwise clean areas. CTS De-con companies should have in place, an exposure control plan before beginning work on any trauma scene. Under employee safety and cross-contamination protocols, the following OSHA regulations may pertain to bioremediation.

  • OSHA29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)- Initial Assessment of Work: Must assess work site for potential hazards to employee safety. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200, et seq.- Hazard Communication Protocol: Required to establish what chemicals are used and that they are properly labeled.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(i);29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(iii); 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1); and 29, CFR 1926.1053 – Work Practice & Engineering Controls and Safety: Having done the initial assessment, must determine damage, potential hazards, equipment needs, egresses, work routes, possible complicating factors, ladder/scaffolding safety protocols, availability for hand-washing/sanitization wipes.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1) – Method of Compliance: Ensure employees are following all OSHA-mandated engineering and work practice controls through proper supervision, written documentation and photographs.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(2) – Exposure Determination: Determine employee safety concerns due to exposure to biological materials.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1) – Hazard Signs and Labels: Hazardous areas must be demarcated; use of biohazard tape and establishment of zones separates and identifies hazardous areas.

In the UK, biohazards are regulated in part by HSE. Canada has published Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines.

Methods

The crime scene cleaners' work begins when the coroner's office or other official, government body releases the "scene" to the owner or other responsible parties. Only when the investigation has completely terminated on the contaminated scene may the cleaning companies begin their task.

Standard operating procedures for the crime scene cleanup field often include military-like methods for the decontamination of internal and external environments. Universal precautions recognized worldwide are the cautionary rule-of-thumb for this field of professional cleaning.

Cleaning methods for removing and sanitizing biohazards vary from practitioner to practitioner. Some organizations are working to create a "Standard of Clean" such as ISSA's K12 Standard, Which includes use of quantifiable testing methods such as ATP testing.

Organizations

The first specialty trade organization for this field of cleaning was the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA). The largest association dedicated to the crime scene cleanup industry is the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association (NCSCA). Among other tasks, they organized cleanup procedures for Ebola decontamination in 2014.

Clean Trust (aka IICRC) is a certifying body for the cleaning trade in general. International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is a global standards body and trade organization of professional janitorial and cleaning professionals.

In popular culture and the media

Crime scene cleanup as a profession has been featured sporadically in popular culture and the media. It first showed up in films when Quentin Tarantino produced Curdled, then after an eleven-year hiatus in the Samuel L. Jackson film Cleaner, and more recently when Amy Adams and Emily Blunt teamed up for Sunshine Cleaning. On television it has been featured in a smattering of documentaries aired on the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, as well as reality series such as Grim Sweepers.

In video games and visual media, crime scene cleanup takes center focus as the main objective in the game, Viscera Cleanup Detail. Viscera Cleanup Detail is a PC game distributed through Steam that enables players to clean up blood and body remains after a Sci-Fi battle has occurred on a space station. Another example of crime scene cleanup in video games is Safeguard. Safeguard takes a more realistic and educational approach, enabling users to learn about the hazards of crime scene cleanup, as well as the equipment and tools used. Safeguard also uses virtual reality to immerse users in the crime scene environment.

ANSI/IICRC S540 Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

IICRC announces the publication of a new ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup (1st edition, 2017). 

ANSI/IICRC S540 Standard defines criteria and methodology used by the technician for inspecting and investigating blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) contamination and for establishing work plans and procedures. The Standard describes the procedures to be followed and the precautions to be taken when performing trauma and crime scene cleanup regardless of surface, item, or location. This standard assumes that all scenes have been released by law enforcement or regulatory agencies.

Protect Your Commercial Buildings from Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks, Water damage in Woodbury NJ, Water Damage in Deptford NJ,

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Protect Your Commercial Buildings from Water Damage, Due to Plumbing Leaks, Water damage in Woodbury NJ, Water Damage in Deptford NJ,

When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet. Turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and mildew. Business owners can prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.

Avoid Business Interruption to Prevent Financial Losses

Preventing extensive property damage also helps to avoid business interruption loss along with the possibility of creating liability claims from nearby property owners, tenants or guests. Maintenance personnel in businesses are responsible for turning off the main water valve during normal hours of operation before beginning Mitigation services. However, when leaks happen at unusual times such as during the night or on weekends, tenants, employees and managers do not know what to do.

Important Emergency Water Damage Guidelines

Having Emergency Water Damage guidelines in place at businesses can help to reduce losses. Begin by taking the following steps to assess a property to have procedures in place when water leaks occur.

Step One: Inspect Properties

At least once a month, assess various areas of a building to look for signs of moisture from leaking pipes and fixtures. Check water distribution systems, including bathroom fixtures, kitchen plumbing and drinking fountains, especially devices that are old and degraded. Keep a record of plumbing fixtures that are prone to having frequent failures such as galvanized or steel pipes and connectors. Inspect decorative water fountains, swimming pools and hot tubs at the same time. Understand the particular areas of a property that do not have drainage systems such as parking garages. In a water leak emergency, lower levels of a building without drains require portable or fixed sump pumps.

Step Two: Mitigation Plans

Create and implement a loss mitigation plan for employees to follow when finding a leak in a multi-story building. A basic emergency plan should contain written guidelines that include conducting initial and annual training for staff and tenants concerning procedures to follow after finding a water leak. The plan should also include a map or diagram showing the location of water shutoff valves and exactly how to close the devices. If a building has a sprinkler system for fires, then it is often necessary to turn off these devices to avoid damage from water or chemicals. For confidential or sensitive areas of a building, make a list of the designated employees who can enter the space.

Step Three: Emergency Contact List

Maintain an up-to-date 24-hour emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers for:

• The business maintenance staff

• Plumbers

• Electricians

• Tenants

• Local water company after-hours number

• Water mitigation service vendors such as SERVPRO of Cherry Hill NJ

• Building agent or broker

Step Four: Additional Plans

When a major water disaster happens in a multi-story business, owners need to know where all records are kept along with essential services and key operating systems. Business owners should always have duplicate records in a safe place off-site in addition to having online records. Understand the procedures for relocation or movement of goods, records or tenants to a safe area. A written plan for evacuation of employees, guests and tenants along with equipment shutdown and closing a facility is essential to save property and people from danger.

80 percent of Property Owners lack flood insurance, Flood damage in Woodbury NJ, Flood damage in Westville NJ, Flood Insurance,

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

80 percent of Property Owners lack flood insurance, Flood damage in Woodbury NJ, Flood damage in Westville NJ, Flood Insurance,

The vast majority of homeowners in the area devastated by Hurricane Harvey lack flood insurance, leaving many who escaped the storm with little financial help to rebuild their homes and lives.

“I wish I had flood insurance now,” lamented Leroy Moore, a 58-year-old whose home in Northeast Houston filled with water. He cancelled his flood policy when it grew too expensive. He and his wife were rescued from the rising waters on Sunday by National Guard troops and are now sleeping in a church. “When it's a choice to make between things and life, sometimes you've just got to let the things go and hang on to life.”

Regular home insurance covers wind damage but not flooding. Homeowners have to purchase separate flood insurance policies from the government-run National Flood Insurance Program, which will end in late September unless Congress renews it. In Texas, the average cost for a NFIP plan is $500 a year, but it can rise to more than $2,000 for homes inside a floodplain.

Only 17 percent of homeowners in the eight counties most directly affected by Harvey have flood insurance policies, according to a Washington Post analysis of Federal Emergency Management Agency data. When disaster hits, the policies cover up to $250,000 in rebuilding costs and $100,000 to replace personal belongings such as TVs and furniture.

Everyone else who loses their home to flooding will be dependent on private charity and government aid, especially grants from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But FEMA's help is a poor substitute for flood insurance: The grants, intended to help residents rebuild homes and cover hotel stays until permanent housing is available, are capped at $33,300. Most receive significantly less. Funds will be even tighter if Congress doesn't provide additional emergency funding for Texas soon.

To get a grant, “FEMA has to believe your house is damaged so substantially that there’s no area in your house you can live in,” says Saundra Brown, a lawyer whose home in Houston was flooded. She spoke to The Washington Post while removing drywall to prevent mold. Her advice is to take photos of everything.

 

President Trump vowed “very rapid action” to help victims, but aid is usually slow to arrive, particularly in a large-scale disaster that strains FEMA's capacity to inspect and assess all the damaged homes.

Brown has seen firsthand just how long FEMA can take. She heads up Lone Star Legal Aid's disaster response unit, a group of lawyersthat assists low-income clients, including helping them to get FEMA money. Some of her clients were fighting with FEMA for months after the smaller storms that deluged Houston with rain in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s not like the government comes in with big buckets of cash and just hands it out,” says Robert Meyer, a professor and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania's Risk Management Center, which studies natural disaster response. “People who don't have insurance may have to abandon their homes.”

Moore and his wife were sitting in the First Baptist Church in North Houston trying to comprehend how quickly everything they worked for was ruined by a horrendous storm. The couple fled the home they'd owned for 32 years with just the clothes on their backs.

Moore, a forklift driver, used to buy flood insurance from the government when it cost $200 a year, but he says the premium rose above $300, so he stopped. His home had never flooded before Harvey until now.

“I've been in Houston all my life … I've never seen it like this,” Moore said, looking around the room at so many other families in the same situation.

Losing a home without insurance compensation is financially devastating. A home is the most valuable financial asset that many middle-class Americans have. The median home value in Harris County, where Houston is located, is $138,000, according to the U.S. Census. A total loss could delay retirement or force people into bankruptcy. Even if they can rebuild, it's unlikely the home will be worth as much if it is now marked as prone to flooding.

Legally, homeowners in places that FEMA designates as “high-risk” flood areas are supposed to have the insurance, but the rule isn't tightly enforced. Across the country, only 12 percent of homeowners have flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The rate is a bit higher in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, but even in those coastal areas, only about 20 percent get it.

The best hope for those who don't get much FEMA aid is a low-interest government loan.“The largest vehicle for disaster recovery isn’t FEMA grants; it’s Small Business Administration disaster loans,” says Brown. Some businesses and charities in the Houston area are already offering aid and cheap loans up to about $10,000.

“Nothing like this has happened before in Houston. Individuals and businesses are all trying to help,” says Yuvette Chou, a 41-year-old who didn't have flood insurance and was trying to stay positive. She spent Sunday sitting with her husband on the stairs watching water seep into their home for the first time ever. Her employerhas already reached out to offer a low-cost loan. “I've learned my lesson.”

Houston, with 2.3 million residents, is America's fourth-largest city. It's the country's energy hub, and it has thrived thanks to the shale gas boom. In total, nearly 6 million people live in the eight counties most affected by the storm. One of the biggest concerns for the economy is whether people will leave after Harvey. Katrina demonstrated what such a storm can do to a major American city. New Orleans lost half its population in the year after Katrina struck.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside My House, Water damage restoration in Westville NJ, Water damage restoration in Woodbury NJ,

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside My House, Water damage restoration in Westville NJ, Water damage restoration in Woodbury NJ,

Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside My House, Water damage restoration in Westville NJ, Water damage restoration in Woodbury NJ,

First, turn off your AC to prevent serious water damage and hazardous electrical issues. Next, we highly recommend calling a HVAC company for help.

Why water forms in an AC’s indoor unit

Condensation is a natural reaction that occurs inside all AC units.

You see, your AC’s job is to pull heat and humidity from the air inside your home. To do that, your system pulls in warm air through an indoor vent (called a return grille) and moves it across your inside unit’s cold evaporator coil to cool the air down.

When this happens, moisture forms on the evaporator coil. Just like the condensation that forms on a glass of ice cold water on a hot summer day.

Normally, the condensation on the coil drips into a drain pan and down a condensate drain pipe that leads it outside of your home (or into your plumbing system).

Now that you know why the condensation happens and the parts involved, here are a few common problems that can cause water to leak inside your house.

Clogged condensate drain line or rusted pan

If your drain line is clogged–commonly by dirt, algae, insects or a dirty evaporator coil–water drainage is limited; causing a buildup of water with nowhere to go other than your home.

And because it is so hot and humid, your AC runs more often so it doesn’t take long for large amounts of water to build up.

Also, the drain pan may be rusted through, allowing the water to fall through the pan and cause disastrous leaks and dangerous electrical issues inside your home. So, you’ll definitely need to replace the pan.

Improperly installed condensate trap

If your AC is fairly new, the problem could be with the way your system’s condensate trap was installed. An improperly designed condensate trap can block drainage and cause the drain pan to overflow with water.

What to do: You’ll need a professional to know what to look for in a condensate trap design and to see if it needs to be reinstalled.

Frozen evaporator coil

Condensation on your cold evaporator coil can also freeze. If it does, there’s a clear problem with your AC. It can even freeze all the way down the refrigerant lines to the outside unit.

And when it melts, there can be a lot of unwanted water in unwanted places throughout your home. 

Common causes of a frozen coil include:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Low refrigerant
  • An airflow problem

Other issues...

There are a number of problems that cause water leakage from your AC but these are a few of the most common. We understand this stuff can get pretty complicated.

Note: Depending on where the inside unit is and what specifically is causing water to leak inside your home, the damage could be pretty significant and extremely dangerous. Many, if not all, of these problems require a professional to ensure safety and proper resolution.

Contact a Certified Water Damage and Mold remediation company, to resolve any Microbial issues,

Water Damage Restoration in Deptford NJ, Water damage restoration in Westville NJ, Emergency Tips,

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration in Deptford NJ, Water damage restoration in Westville NJ, Emergency Tips,

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Then Call a Certified Water Damage Restoration Contractor, for Proper Drying, Dehumidifying, Possible Demolition and Clean Up!

Wind damage in Swedesboro NJ, Wind Damage in Sewell NJ,

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Wind damage in Swedesboro NJ, Wind Damage in Sewell NJ,

Q: Am I required to have homeowners insurance?

A: It is always smart to have a good homeowners insurance policy, even if you don't owe any money on your home. If you have a mortgage, home equity loan, or use your home as collateral, your lender will require you to maintain insurance.

Q: Are all homeowners insurance policies the same?

A: There are many different types of insurance policies. Levels of coverage, exclusions and limits of liability vary greatly. Some policies provide basic coverage, while others offer broad coverage and high levels of protection.

Q: Does my homeowners insurance cover all types of storm damage?

A: It depends on your policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover storms including hail, tornado and wind damage. But, floods and earthquakes usually require additional coverage. It is always smart to check your policy to see exactly what is covered.

Q: Is replacement cost the same as the sale price of my home?

A: Not necessarily. The replacement cost is the actual cost to rebuild your home in the event it is completely destroyed, which may be more or less than the market value, or sale price.

Q: What does a homeowners insurance policy cover?

A: Homeowners insurance covers the repair or replacement of your home and its contents up to defined limits. Your policy may also include a liability policy, which protects you in the event someone is injured on your property due to your negligence.

Q: What are the various types of coverage included in a homeowners policy?

A: To determine the types of coverage you have, check the declarations page of your insurance policy. Types of coverage are as follows:

  • Coverage A - Damage to your home
  • Coverage B - Damage to other structures including garage, deck or swimming pool
  • Coverage C - Loss or damage to the contents of your home
  • Coverage D - Loss of use in case your home is not inhabitable
  • Coverage E - Personal liability to third parties
  • Coverage F - Medical payments to third parties

Q: Who pays for living expenses when my home is being repaired after a storm?

A: Your insurance company will pay for loss of use, in the case that your home is uninhabitable after it has been damaged by a storm, up to applicable limits.

Q: Does my policy cover tornado, wind and hail damage?

A: Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage done by tornado, windstorms and hailstorms. Check your policy for limits and details.

Q: What is not covered by homeowners insurance?

A: Earthquakes, floods and other named exclusions and usually require separate coverage. Normal wear and tear and poor maintenance is not covered by insurance.

Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of tree removal after a severe storm?

A: Most policies cover the cost of tree removal after a storm, however, you should check your policy. Some insurance companies require a separate tree removal policy.

Q: Will my homeowners insurance cover damage to cars on my property?

A: No. Damage to your car is not covered by your homeowners policy, even if a tree on your property falls and damages your car. Damage to your car is covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy.

Q: If I file a storm damage claim, will my premiums go up?

A: Most states prohibit insurance companies canceling your coverage or singling you out for a rate increase due to an Act of God damage claim.

Q: Will my homeowners policy cover earthquake damage?

A: Not unless your policy specifically includes coverage for earthquakes. In most cases you'll need a separate insurance policy to cover earthquake and flood damage.

What are damaging winds?

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.

Are damaging winds really a big deal?

Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.

Who is at risk from damaging winds?

Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.

Types of Damaging Winds

Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.

downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.

downburst is a result of a strong downdraft. A downburst is a strong downdraft with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) resulting in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground. (Imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of the sink.) Downburst winds may begin as a microburst and spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a strong tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, downbursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder. 

microburst is a small concentrated downburst that produces an outward burst of damaging winds at the surface. Microbursts are generally small (less than 4km across) and short-lived, lasting only 5-10 minutes, with maximum windspeeds up to 168 mph. There are two kinds of microbursts: wet and dry. A wet microburst is accompanied by heavy precipitation at the surface. Dry microbursts, common in places like the high plains and the intermountain west, occur with little or no precipitation reaching the ground. 

gust front is the leading edge of rain-cooled air that clashes with warmer thunderstorm inflow. Gust fronts are characterized by a wind shift, temperature drop, and gusty winds out ahead of a thunderstorm. Sometimes the winds push up air above them, forming a shelf cloud or detached roll cloud.

derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. A typical derecho consists of numerous microbursts, downbursts, and downburst clusters. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

Post Hurricane Clean Up Tips, Hurricane Irma, Mitigation, SERVPRO,

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Post Hurricane Clean Up Tips, Hurricane Irma, Mitigation, SERVPRO,

Post Hurricane Clean Up Tips, Hurricane Irma, Mitigation, SERVPRO,

Another Satisfied SERVPRO customer, Awesome Thank you Email, in attached pictures,

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Another Satisfied SERVPRO customer, Awesome Thank you Email, in attached pictures,

Another Satisfied SERVPRO customer, Awesome Thank you Email, in attached pictures,

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ, Water damage in Westville NJ, SERVPRO Checklist,

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ, Water damage in Westville NJ, SERVPRO Checklist,

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ, Water damage in Westville NJ, SERVPRO Checklist,

A Fast Response Is Crucial

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Hurricane Checklist, Be Prepared, Stay Safe, SERVPRO, Westville NJ, water damage in Woodbury NJ,

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Checklist, Be Prepared, Stay Safe, SERVPRO, Westville NJ, water damage in Woodbury NJ,

Hurricane Checklist, Be Prepared, Stay Safe, SERVPRO, Westville NJ, water damage in Woodbury NJ, 

A Fast Response Is Crucial

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

The National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP), Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage in Deptford NJ, Flood damage in Woodbury NJ,

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP), Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage in Deptford NJ, Flood damage in Woodbury NJ,

The National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP), Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage in Deptford NJ, Flood damage in Woodbury NJ,

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically. Signup to receive email updates.

I don't have flood insurance--Why do I need it?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

Who can buy flood insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online

Did you know? An elevated home, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

9 Affordable Ways to Dry Up Your Wet Basement For Good, Water damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage in Deptford NJ,

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

9 Affordable Ways to Dry Up Your Wet Basement For Good, Water damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage in Deptford NJ,

Diagnose the Water Problem

Water or moisture in basements comes from two sources. One source is indoor humidity that condenses on cold surfaces, much like water droplets form on a cold drink on a humid day. The other is water—or water vapor—that comes from outside. Rainwater, melting snow or groundwater can saturate the soil around your foundation and leak in. Water can leak through cracks, or it can penetrate porous concrete or masonry walls in the form of water vapor. To figure out what's causing the problem, tape aluminum foil to your basement wall and inspect it a few days later. Moisture on the outside surface of the foil indicates high indoor humidity. Moisture behind the foil means moisture is leaking through the walls.

Get Rid of Excess Humidity

Eliminating the sources of humid air will help dry out your basement. Seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape to prevent unwanted humid air from entering your basement. Don't just use duct tape; it'll eventually fall off. Add a vent fan to your basement bathroom and make sure your family turns it on during showers. Keep your basement windows closed during humid weather. And if you're still getting condensation on cool surfaces, run a dehumidifier to lower the indoor humidity.

Insulate Pipes

Condensation dripping from cold pipes can contribute to basement water problems. Cover cold water pipes with foam pipe insulation to stop condensation. The foam insulation is inexpensive and easy to cut with scissors.

Insulate Walls

Insulate exterior walls to prevent condensation. In cold climates, insulating basement walls also saves energy and reduces your heating bill. But don't cover the walls with insulation if water is leaking in from outside; you'll just create a potential mold problem.

Keep Water Away From the Foundation

If your basement leaks after heavy rains or after snow melts, making sure water is diverted away from your foundation may solve the problem. It's common for the soil alongside your house to settle over time, creating a moat that collects runoff and directs it down your foundation wall and into the basement. Lawn edging and gravel along the foundation can make things worse. Solve the problem by creating a 6-ft.-wide slope that drops about 4 in. away from the foundation. For extra insurance, cover the sloping soil with a layer of 6-mil poly. Then hide the poly with mulch, gravel or a layer of soil covered with grass. This will keep water from soaking in near the foundation.

Add Gutters and Extend Downspouts

If your basement leaks after it rains and you don't have gutters, consider adding them. Gutters catch the rain and channel it to the downspouts, which direct it away from the house. Whether you're installing new gutters or already have them, be sure the downspouts have 4- to 6-ft. horizontal extensions to move the water away from the house.

Plug Holes and Cracks in the Foundation

Holes and cracks in your foundation can let moisture and water seep into your basement. Plugging them probably won't solve basement leaks, but it'll help. Hydraulic cement works great for patching holes in a foundation because it can set up even under water, and it expands as it sets to seal the hole and lock the plug in place. Use a cold chisel or an angle grinder fitted with a masonry-cutting disc or diamond blade to enlarge the hole or crack into an inverted “V,” with the narrow part of the “V” on the surface of the wall. Then follow the package instructions for mixing and using the hydraulic cement.

Waterproof the Walls

Waterproofing materials that go on like paint fill the pores in the concrete or masonry walls and prevent water from leaking in. To be effective, these coatings must be applied to bare concrete or masonry walls. Start by removing loose material with a wire brush. Then clean off any white powdery “efflorescence” with masonry cleaner. Follow the safety and application instructions carefully. A common mistake when using masonry waterproofing products is to spread them too thin. The goal is to fill every pinhole to create a continuous waterproofing membrane. Brush the coating in all directions to completely fill every pinhole. Add a second coat after the first dries.

Install a Drainage System

The best permanent fix for chronic basement leaks is to install drainage tubing below the basement floor that's connected to a sump basket and pump. You can install a system like this yourself, but breaking out the concrete floor, burying the tubing, and patching the floor is a lot of backbreaking work. Materials to do an average basement will cost $600 to $1,000. Expect to spend $3,000 to $8,000 for a professionally installed system in a standard-size basement.

Commercial Water Damage in Westville NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ, Water Damage in Woodbury, NJ

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage in Westville NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ, Water Damage in Woodbury, NJ

Commercial Water Damage in Westville NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ, Water Damage in Woodbury, NJ,

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner's insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to "Sewer and Drain Coverage".

Those individuals who are affected by wide scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space.

Causes

Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, and clogged toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks.[3] On average that is approximately 10,000 gallons of water per year wasted by leaks for each US home. A tiny, 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.[4]According to Claims Magazine in August 2000, broken water pipes ranked second to hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims (on average $50,000 per insurance claim costs in the US. Experts suggest that homeowners inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator ice makers, water softeners and humidifiers. A few US companies offer whole-house leak protection systems utilizing flow-based technologies. A number of insurance companies offer policy holders reduced rates for installing a whole-house leak protection system.

As far as insurance coverage is concerned, most damage caused by bad weather is considered flood damage and normally is not covered under homeowners insurance. Coverage for bad weather would usually require flood insurance.

Categories

Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as "grey water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Classes

Class of water damage is determined by the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded. Determining the class of water damage is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to dry-down the structure.[7]

Class 1 - Slow Rate of Evaporation. Affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

Class 2 - Fast Rate of Evaporation. Water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

Class 3 - Fastest Rate of Evaporation. Water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations. Involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.

Restoration

See also: Convectant drying

Different removal methods and measures are used depending on the category of water. Due to the destructive nature of water, chosen restoration methods also depend heavily on the amount of water, and on the amount of time the water has remained stagnant. For example, as long as carpet has not been wet for longer than 48 hours, and the water involved was not sewage based, a carpet can usually be saved; however, if the water has soaked for longer, then the carpet is probably irreparable and will have to be replaced.[8] Water damage restoration can be performed by property management teams, building maintenance personnel, or by the homeowners themselves; however, contacting a certified professional water damage restoration specialist is often regarded as the safest way to restore water damaged property.

Standards and regulation

While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two certifying bodies, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. The IICRC-recommended standard is IICRC S500.

Fire and Water Restoration companies are regulated by the appropriate state's Department of Consumer Affairs - usually the state contractors license board. In California, all Fire and Water Restoration companies must register with the California Contractors State License Board.[10] Presently, the California Contractors State License Board has no specific classification for "water and fire damage restoration."

Procedures

Water damage restoration is often prefaced by a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials. The damaged area is inspected with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage and possible extent of area affected. Restoration services would then be rendered to the residence in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls and contents.

Commercial Water Damage in Sewell NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ,

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage in Sewell NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ,

Commercial Water Damage in Sewell NJ, Flood Damage in Westville NJ,

Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, and clogged toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks.

On average that is approximately 10,000 gallons of water per year wasted by leaks for each US home. A tiny, 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.

According to Claims Magazine in August 2000, broken water pipes ranked second to hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims (on average $50,000 per insurance claim costs in the US.

Experts suggest that homeowners inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator ice makers, water softeners and humidifiers.

A few US companies offer whole-house leak protection systems utilizing flow-based technologies. A number of insurance companies offer policy holders reduced rates for installing a whole-house leak protection system.

As far as insurance coverage is concerned, most damage caused by bad weather is considered flood damage and normally is not covered under homeowners insurance. Coverage for bad weather would usually require flood insurance.

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Mold remediation and damage in Woodbury NJ, Mold remediation in Deptford NJ,

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold remediation and damage in Woodbury NJ, Mold remediation in Deptford NJ,

Mold remediation and damage in Woodbury NJ, Mold remediation in Deptford NJ,

 If you have mold like this in your home, you need to get it cleaned up as soon as possible in order to prevent health problems from beginning or worsening. If you have black mold covering a large area (greater than ten square feet) or mold growing in your heating and ventilation ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional handle the cleanup.  It’s also best to have a professional handle the job.

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business.

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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

Mold remediation and damage in Sewell NJ,

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold remediation and damage in Sewell NJ,

Mold remediation and damage in Sewell NJ,

 The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business.

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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford.

Mold remediation in Westville NJ,

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold remediation in Westville NJ,

Mold remediation in Westville NJ,

 If you have black mold covering a large area (greater than ten square feet) or mold growing in your heating and ventilation ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional handle the cleanup.  It’s also best to have a professional handle the job.

SERVPRO of Woodbury / Deptford is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Mold remediation, water damage, fire damage.

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage can be deceptive, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ,

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage can be deceptive, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ,

Water Damage in Woodbury NJ, Water damage can be deceptive, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ,

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. 

Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

While there are many methods for drying structural components and contents, the “in-place” drying system has been taught in the industry and used by drying contractors since the early ’80s. In those days, this method of drying components, without significant removal of furnishings or fixtures, was somewhat restricted, due to limitations imposed by extraction, evaporation and dehumidification equipment. In recent years, however, drying technology (extraction, evaporation, dehumidification), along with better understanding of psychrometry, has advanced in major ways so that in-place drying has, in some cases, become far more safe and practical.

Sump Pump Failure in Woodbury NJ, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, 7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Sump Pump Failure in Woodbury NJ, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, 7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

Sump Pump Failure in Woodbury NJ, Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, 7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

The problem is that Sump Pumps fail all the time. While it’s not to say that we have a fool-proof method for preventing 100% of failures, there are certainly some tips you can follow to better your chances of a properly working sump pump.

For years, sump pumps have been a pretty common fixture in homes, especially in lower-level areas of the country or in places where the rapid melting of heavy snow can cause flooded basements. The popularity of sump pumps have grown exponentially in the past couple decades, largely in part to a legal amendment to the US Federal Clean Water Act in 1987 that requires certain homes to have a sump pump, even if they are not necessarily high-risk for floods.

The American Society of Home Inspectors actually did a study that showed more than 60% of American homes suffer from underground wetness or water damage. And there’s a liklihood that an ever large percentage will deal with a flooded basement at some point. Something we often talk about with roofing in terms of moisture also applies here. It doesn’t always take a large amount of water to create a large amount of issues. In roofing, we talk about roof leaks going into the home which aren’t uncommon for a faulty roof after a big rain storm. But just as problematic – or sometimes even worse – are the small leaks that get into the attic and aren’t noticed until well after a huge mold problem has been created. Same goes for moisture in the lower levels of your home. It doesn’t take a huge flood to cause thousands of dollars in damage. It takes very little standing water and very little time for mold and mildew to take over and create problems.

Proper maintenance is the key. Ugh, more maintenance! Here we are telling you to maintenance your roof, now we’re telling you about your sump pump. Really, though, maintenance is a great thing. It’s much cheaper than a huge repair and it drastically increases the life of your equipment.

There is no definitive “lifetime” of a sump pump. Most last anywhere from 3-20 years. That’s a pretty big window. The US Department of Housing and Development estimates the average life expectancy at 10 years. In my opinion, 10-15 years is pretty reasonable for a pump that goes through regular maintenance.

First, let’s talk about how a sump pump works.

The basics are pretty simple. A hole is dug in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace where a sump pump sits and filters out water. As the pit fills up, the pump turns on and moves the liquid out of the pit through pipes that run away from the foundation of your home into an area where it can drain, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. A one-way valve (check valve) keeps water from entering back into the home.

The pump is generally powered with no special wiring; just your main household current. But being near water, or in water (in case of a failure), it’s a good idea to have some type of circuit interrupter to prevent electrocution.

The majority of residential sump pumps will turn on automatically from a pressure sensor or float activator. The pressure sensor activates as water builds up and creates more pressure than air which prompts the pump to turn on. The float activator has a ball that floats on top of the water, moving the arm as the water level rises – similar to the one in your toilet tank.

When the motor activates, the impeller (a fan-like device) will turn. Using centrifugal force, the spinning impeller will force the water towards the sides of the pipe, creating a low-pressure center where water from the pit rushes to while the spinning action pushes it through the pipe.

All of these things work together to keep your home dry. And for the most part, everything tends to go smoothly. But there’s a lot of parts working together and if one thing quits working, or some type of outside force comes in and causes disruption, things can get back quickly.

7 Things that Cause Sump Pump Failure

1. Power Failure

The most common cause for sump pump failure is an electrical power outage. To prevent this, have a backup generator that can be manually activated. In the case that your primary pump mechanically fails, though, a generator cannot help in this situation. But in the event of a storm where the power is knocked out for any length of time, a backup generator can be a lifesaver.

On the same topic of power, some components of the sump pump may be vulnerable to damage from power surges. To prevent this, protect the entire electrical system from power surges with a service entrance surge protection device.

2. The Sump Pump is the Wrong Size

If you have an incorrectly sized pump, or if the pump is not installed properly, there will most likely be a problem. A small sump pump is often just as effective as a big one. When a sump pump is too big, the pump is forced to work harder, resulting in a shorter product lifespan. But if it’s too small, it may not be able to adequately pump out the water – again resulting in a shorter lifespan.

3. Improper Installation

Installing a sump pump must be done exactly right. Manufacturer’s instructions must be followed carefully for the installation in order to avoid severe water damage down the road. Most manufacturers recommend or require a check valve to be installed on the discharge line. If not installed, the back-flow of water can cause the pump impeller to rotate backwards and unscrew off the motor shaft. In this scenario, you will still hear the pump motor running, but it would not be pumping any water.

Most manufacturers require the drilling of a small air relief hole in the discharge line between the pump and the check valve which is intended to prevent the pump from having to overcome the air pressure in the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe must be of the required diameter.

Lastly, the sump pump pit should not be set in dirt or gravel. This causes debris to enter into your pump and can result in interference with the pump’s on/off switch or float arm.

4. Switch Problems

The leading mechanical cause of sump pump problems is a switch problem. This occurs when the pump shifts from its position inside the basin, rendering the float ineffective. Float is responsible for the smooth operation of the on/off switch. Your sump pump relies on both the switch and the float arm mechanisms to operate effectively.

5. Lack of Maintenance

Some pump manufacturers recommend the pump to be run every 2-3 months. Some recommend a yearly program completed just before the rainy season hits.

Here are some additional manufacturer recommendations:

  • If there is a back-up pump, unplug the primary pump and run the back-up pump to make sure it works properly
  • When testing your sump pump, go outside to make sure it is discharging water
  • Sometimes the pump can run but not pump any water. This means the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft or the check valve is installed backwards.
  • Check the operation of the float to make sure it is not restricted
  • Clean out the air hole in the discharge line
  • Listen for any unusual noises when the motor is running
  • Replace the battery on the back-up sump pump every 2 or 3 years

6. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines

If water cannot exit your home through the discharge line, your system will not work. It is important to keep the discharge pipe protected from freezing and free of sticks, dirt, rocks and other debris. Protecting the water’s exit point of the discharge pipe will keep debris and animals out of the system, making it optimal for your sump pump.

Grated covering will not stop the lines from freezing or becoming blocked by ice and snow. A special grated discharge line attachment should help; it is placed near your home on the discharge line. It includes openings that give water a way to flow out of the pipe if the line is blocked further down.

7. Product Defect

Though rare, product defect is always a possibility and does happen. It is wise to test the pump when it is initially installed to make sure the pump operates properly.

It’s All About the Maintenance

Don’t get me wrong, you cannot avoid all of these problems with maintenance. Let’s be honest – it’s a mechanical piece of equipment and mechanical pieces of equipment fail. It happens. But there’s no doubt that you can avoid many of these issues, and give a longer lifespan to the equipment by performing regular maintenance.

At the very least, follow these maintenance tips once per year. Some experts will even recommend that you do this every 2 months. Quarterly maintenance is probably the norm. It takes just a few minutes and can avoid some serious pains in the future.

  • A vinegar solution can be run through the sump pump in order to clean it
  • The pump will become free from tiny particles and debris which will allow the pump to run much cleaner
  • This can be done by the homeowner and unless there is a serious problem, then you may need to call a professional.
  • Make sure the sump pump’s float switch is not restricted in any way. If it is, it will cause the sump pump to not automatically kick on in case of a flood
  • Lastly, clean all vents and air holes for maximum effectiveness

That’s it. Maintenance is super easy and keeps your home protected from water damage. Make this a part of your regular home improvement plan and you’ll surely save some money in your pocket by either putting off the purchase of a replacement sump pump for several years, or by avoiding a costly water damage project.

Commercial Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood,

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood,

Flood Damage in Woodbury NJ, What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood,

After flood waters subside, document, work with your insurer, and clean up safely!

Whether a flood is caused by ground water, falling water, or home water system malfunction, there are some best practices you’ll need to employ within the first 24 hours after the flood to ensure the safety of your home and family and give you the best outcome possible with your insurance company.

If the flood was serious enough for you to leave your home, be sure you stay safe upon your return. The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that you should check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines. 

In addition, it’s important to have a working flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the home, Even if the power isn’t operational, it’s a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you’re not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.

Take Pictures: Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage for your insurer by taking photos or video. Digital versions are best, says Ramirez, because they can be stored electronically and easily copied. If you start removing water or making repairs before you photograph the damage, you could potentially decrease the extent of your coverage, he says.

Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Be sure to throw out any food that may have come into contact with flood waters. FEMA recommends boiling water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.

Find Out if You're in a Disaster Area: Once a region has been officially declared a “disaster area” by government authorities, property owners have access to increased resources, including public services to protect and remediate the area. In addition, you may have access to financial assistance. Your insurance company will have additional information on this or you can contact FEMA directly.

Call Your Insurance Company: Since you should notify your insurer soon as possible after the flood, it’s a good idea to keep your insurance company and local agent’s phone number in your always-ready emergency bag. (Note that the NFIP works through private insurance companies, so you contact your insurer just as you would for any other type of claim). In cases where a flood has affected a region or community, your agent may be busy handling his or her own flood issues. In that case, contact the insurance company’s headquarters. 

Since groundwater flood damage typically isn’t covered by conventional homeowners insurance policies, you’ll need to work with your insurer to determine the cause of the flood and the extent of your coverage. 

Advise your insurance representative of the state of your home and any repairs you intend to do immediately. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs. Document the damage and conversations at every stage of the process.

What can you expect in terms of time to get back to normal? It could be as little as one week if the claim and clean up is minimal to five to six months if you’re working with an insurance adjuster and contractor to complete extensive repairs.

Remove Water: Once you get the OK from your insurer to remove the water, use a sump pump, available from most hardware or home supply stores for $150 to $500, and a wet vac ($40 to $130) Be careful not to injure yourself, especially if you’re carrying buckets of water up and down stairs. Open doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate so long as that won’t allow in more water. 

Mitigate Mold Damage: Mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours of a flood, says Ashley Small of FEMA, so remove wet contents, including carpeting and bedding, as soon as possible. If an item has been wet for less than 48 hours, it may be salvageable. However, you’ll need to decide whether it holds enough monetary or sentimental value to try to do so. And notify your insurance company before removing items to ensure that you’re not affecting coverage. Always photograph the flood-soaked items.

Rugs, for example, may be dried and then cleaned professionally, which could cost $100 to $500 or more, depending on the size and number. Large pieces of furniture that are saturated will likely be difficult to dry effectively, and should often be discarded. 

You may also wish to hire a flood restoration service—Look for those with Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification.

Secure the Property: As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to secure the property so that no additional damage occurs. Put boards over broken windows and secure a tarp as protection if the roof has been damaged. Again, take photographs to prove to the insurance company that you have done everything possible to protect your home against further damage.

If the home is habitable, take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe from injury. Use flashlights to move around dark rooms, for example. If the home isn’t habitable, don’t try to stay there. Move to a shelter or alternate location. Consult your insurer to find out what provisions the company will make for temporary housing while your home is being repaired.

Washing Machine Hoses: A Disaster Waiting to Happen, Water Damage in Woodbury NJ

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Washing Machine Hoses: A Disaster Waiting to Happen, Water Damage in Woodbury NJ

Though most property owners are careful to protect their buildings and possessions against fire, burglary, storms, and other dangerous conditions, they often overlook a situation that insurers know to be one of the most potentially destructive and costly: water damage caused by leaking or malfunctioning home appliances, especially washing machines. Unlikely as it may seem, water damage from washing machines is one of the top five causes of claims to home insurers, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, which analyzed 525 washing machine claims from multiple insurance companies.

Of all water damage claims related to washing machines, more than half – nearly 55% – are from water supply hoses that leaked or burst. And these claims are costly, with the average claim running to more than $6,000.

Why and How Do Washing Machine Hoses Fail? Over time, most washing machine hoses, even those that are installed properly, will eventually fail, leading to leaks or catastrophic floods caused when the hoses burst. Failure may be caused any of several factors, including age, installation error, poor-quality materials, and poor design. Under normal conditions, water in the hoses is under the same pressure as in other faucets in the building. When the hose becomes weakened, or when the connection is faulty, the water pressure will break the hose or coupling, sending water flooding out. In a typical residential plumbing system, water will spill out of a single burst hose at a rate of about 650 gallons per hour (that’s six gallons per minute, or 2½ tons per hour).

Because the supply lines to the washing machines are always “on,” water will flood from a broken hose until someone notices it and turns off the main supply line. If the hose breaks at night or when a building is unoccupied, thousands of gallons of water might flood the building before the problem is discovered. If the line breaks on a washing machine situated on an upper floor, the damage will be extensive as the water pours through the floors. Most traditional washing machine hoses are made of reinforced rubber or polymer.

These materials lose resiliency as they age, making them subject to cracks, leaks, and bursting. The IBHS study showed that failure rates increase dramatically in hoses that are more than five years old; the average age of failed hoses was 8.7 years. More than half of all failures occurred by the time the machine and its hoses were eight years old, and nearly 80% occurred before ten years. Improper installation can also damage the hose, leading to premature failure. The most common installation error is failure to leave sufficient room between the machine and the wall connection to prevent kinking or bending of the hose, particularly near the valve connections, as described below. Cracks, crimps, or blockages in the line will cause damage and lead to leaks or total failure. 

Poor design (including fabrication from poor-quality materials) is probably the most significant factor in the failure of both kinds of hose commonly in use – the standard black rubber hose and the braided steel variety – though these products usually fail for different reasons, as described below. Standard black washer hoses are made of rubber tubing with a polyester reinforcement lining. The metal inserts at the coupling end are rolled and stamped from thin sheets of copper alloy. Most failures occur at the end of the hose, where the metal insert comes into contact with the tubing.

Failures generally occur for one of the following reasons: Razoring — The metal insert has a very sharp edge which is in direct contact with the rubber tube. This edge becomes progressively thinner and sharper as it is worn away by the movements of the water and by the effects of electrolysis. In a process called “razoring,” the motion of the washing machine causes the metal edge to rub repeatedly against the inside of the hose, cutting it gradually from the inside out. Stress Fractures — The metal insert is attached to the hose by a ferrule, or ring, which is crimped tightly to hold the pieces together. The crimping can cause a stress fracture in the hose, which is then subject to failure, especially as the rubber ages and begins to deteriorate.

Rusting — Corrosion (rusting) of the metal fitting can cause failure in two ways. First, as the thin metal fitting corrodes, it becomes jagged and rough and cuts into the hose as the washing machine operates. Water can leak between the hose and its outer covering, forming a bubble, a critical warning sign of imminent failure. Though a bubble may appear anywhere along the line, most breaks occur at the point where the metal fitting meets the rubber tube. Second, as the fitting continues to corrode, it can become so weak that it may eventually break apart. Braided stainless steel hoses (sometimes called “steel-clad” hoses) were designed as a reliable replacement for standard black hoses, but they, too, have been problematic. They have proven to be not much stronger than standard rubber hoses, and they are also subject to failures related to the to failures related to the materials from which they are fabricated.

Crimping — A braided stainless steel hose consists of a plastic or rubber tube covered with a braided steel sheath, which is sometimes protected with a thin nylon coating. Because of the variety of materials used, a very tight crimp is required to fasten the metal fitting securely to the hose. During the manufacturing process, this tight crimping can damage the hose by cutting into the rubber. Once the product is installed on a washing machine, the action of the water and the movements of the machine can make the cuts worse, leading to eventual failure. Corrosion — The stainless steel braided cover can oxidize when exposed to chloramine, a chemical increasingly popular in water treatment. Under these conditions, the stainless steel braided cover can weaken, fray, and even break, so that it can no longer provide strength to the hose.

Inspect Washing Machine Hoses Regularly In many cases, the hoses and fittings that connect the washing machine to the water source are visible and easy to inspect every time the machine is used. If your machine’s hoses are not visible, find out how to gain access to them in order to inspect them once a month or so. Inspect both hot and cold water lines. Most failures occur near the connection, where the hose typically bends. Here’s what to look for: Signs of Imminent Failure. Look for obvious signs of deterioration or imminent failure, such as blisters, bulges, bubbles, cracks, unraveling, discoloration, crimps, or kinks, especially near the connections and turns in the hose. Leaks. Check for moisture, drips, rust, discoloration, or leaks in, on, or around the hoses and connections or in the catch pan (if present). Check the connections to be sure that they are tightened properly, as described below. Even a small leak may indicate an imminent failure. Proper Positioning. Be sure that the washing machine is located at least four inches from the connections (usually at the wall) so that the hose is not bent or kinked. Check to see that the machine is properly balanced so that it does not “walk” during use. The motion of a “walking” machine will place added stress on the hoses and connections.

Replace Defective or Aging Hoses Immediately!

Humidity, Water Damage, Condensation, Mold, and Indoor Air Quality, in Deptford NJ,

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Humidity, Water Damage, Condensation, Mold, and Indoor Air Quality, in Deptford NJ,

Humidity, Water Damage, Condensation, Mold, and Indoor Air Quality, in Deptford NJ,

Moisture rides on air currents, and warm air carries more moisture than cool air

To control air flows, make sure the air barrier is continuous

An air barrier helps control airflow both through and within the building enclosure. By controlling airflow, you also control moisture.

If moist indoor air contacts a cold surface — for example, exterior sheathing in cold weather — condensation can result. An air barrier prevents those cold surfaces from being connected with humid indoor air.

Air has a maximum storage capacity for water vapor which depends on temperature. Warm air can store lots of moisture, while cold air can store very little.

As the temperature falls from 90°F down to 20°F, the amount of moisture that can be stored in the air changes by a factor of ten.

Leaky homes didn’t have condensation problems

Older buildings rarely had condensation problems in cold weather because they were so well ventilated — meaning leaky. The relative humidity in an old home would rarely rise above 25%. As we have built tighter houses (and in some cases failed to provide mechanical ventilation), the indoor relative humidity has gone up.

In a heated, tight, unventilated house, the amount of moisture in the air and the amount of condensation that can occur are dramatically different than in an old leaky house. Condensation can occur wherever water vapor can find a cold spot — on roof or wall sheathing, on the inside faces of the windows, and inside the walls.

Let's say it’s 40°F outside and the outdoor relative humidity is 50%. If you allow that outdoor air to enter a building and heat it up to 70°F, the amount of moisture in the air stays exactly the same, but the “tank” gets bigger because the storage capacity of the air increases with the temperature. As a result, the relative humidity initially drops. Then, as moisture is added to the air, the relative humidity rises, and the absolute moisture content rises as well. How do you add moisture to the air? You breathe, sweat, boil water for spaghetti, take hot showers, grow houseplants — and all of those activities generate moisture.

When does indoor humidity become a problem?

Let’s say that air leaks out of a house through holes in the enclosure. As it reaches surfaces colder than 52°F or 53°F, the air will cool. Once it reaches its full capacity to store moisture, condensation occurs.

If the temperature of the outdoor air is around 30°F, the indoor air will drop all of the moisture that it gained on the way out, dumping it on the cold sheathing surface. That’s a typical example of the air leakage condensation cycle. Since condensation in walls can cause puddles — and in extreme cases, rot the framing — condensation is something you want to avoid. Installing an air barrier is one way to help prevent condensation.

Air conditioning can also create condensing surfaces

The same phenomenon can happen in reverse in the summertime. Let’s say the outdoor air is 85°F and the relative humidity is 75%. When outdoor air leaking inward contacts a surface below about 76°F, the moisture in the air will condense. So if you have an exhaust fan in your home, the air leaking in may cause condensation on the air-conditioned surfaces — for example, on the back side of vinyl wallpaper.

If moist air leaks into a house through gaps in the wall or roof, you can have problems. But in a tight house with a good air barrier and a supply-only ventilation system, most of the air that’s drawn inside is drawn in through the air conditioner, so the first cold surfaces it sees are the cooling coils.

If you have air leaks in your building envelope, you usually can’t see the condensation —Unless you have an Infrared Camera with a Visual Inspection. However, condensation is sometimes visible in the attic; all you have to do is look for frost or dampness forming on the underside of the OSB or plywood roof sheathing.

Lightning and Thunderstorms in Deptford NJ, and Helping Your Pets Overcome the Fear of Them,

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning and Thunderstorms in Deptford NJ, and Helping Your Pets Overcome the Fear of Them,

Lightning and Thunderstorms in Deptford NJ, and Helping Your Pets Overcome the Fear of Them,




Storm phobia. You call it your worst nightmare. Either way, we all want the same thing: A calmer dog who doesn’t have to suffer the psychological damage done by booming thunder, wicked lightning and plummeting barometric pressures.



And it’s not just their psyche at risk. We all know that dogs are capable of doing serious damage to themselves during stormy times of the year. Fractured claws, lacerations, broken teeth and bruises are but a few consequences. I’ve even seen broken limbs and witnessed one dramatic case of deadly hit-by-car when a neighbor’s dog ran wildly into the street (so you know, they do this...thinking they’re fleeing the storm).



So how do you handle thunderstorm phobia?

Here are tips:



1. Handle it early on in your dog’s life

Does your dog merely quake and quiver under the bed when it storms outside? Just because he doesn’t absolutely freak, doesn’t mean he’s not suffering. Since storm phobia is considered a progressive behavioral disease, signs like this should not be ignored. Each successive thunderstorm season is likely to bring out ever-worsening signs of fear. It’s time to take action...NOW!



2. Don’t heed advice to let her “sweat it out” or not to “baby” her

I’ve heard many pet owners explain that they don’t offer any consolation to their pets because they don’t want to reinforce the “negative behavior” brought on by a thunderstorm. But a severe thunderstorm is no time to tell your dog to “buck up and get strong.” Fears like this are irrational (after all, she’s safe indoors). Your dog won’t get it when you punish her for freaking out. Indeed, it’ll likely make her anxiety worse. Providing a positive or distracting stimulus is more likely to calm her down.



3. Offer treats, cuddlings and other good stuff when storms happen

This method is best employed before the phobia sets in––as pups. Associating loud booms with treats is never a bad thing, right?



4. Let him hide...in a crate

Hiding (as in a cave) is a natural psychological defense for dogs. Getting them used to a crate as pups has a tremendous influence on how comfortable they are when things scare them. Having a go-to place for relaxing or hiding away is an excellent approach, no matter what the fear. Another approach to try, whether he’s a pup or not.



5. Get him away from the noise...and compete with it

Creating a comfy place (for the crate or elsewhere) in a room that’s enclosed (like a closet or bathroom) may help a great deal. Adding in a loud radio or white noise machine can help, too. Or how about soothing, dog-calming music? Not only does this approach muffle sounds, it also means pets can avoid the...



5. Electromagnetism

Though it may sound like Voo-doo, your dog can also become sensitized to the electromagnetic radiation caused by lightning strikes. One great way to shield your dog from these potentially fear-provoking waves is to cover her crate with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Another method involves clothing her in a commercially available “Storm Defender” cape that does the same work. If she hides under the bed, consider slipping a layer of aluminum fold between the box-spring and mattress.



6. Desensitize him

Sometimes it’s possible to allay the fears by using thunderstorm sound CDs when it’s not raging outside. Play it at a low volume while plying him with positive stimuli (like treats and pettings). Increase the volume all the while, getting to those uncomfortable booming sounds over a period of weeks. It works well for some.



7. Ask your veterinarian about drugs

Sure, there’s nothing so unsavory as the need for drugs to relieve dogs of their fears, but recognize that some fears will not be amenable to any of these other ministrations without drugs. If that’s the case, talk to your vet about it––please.



8. Natural therapies can work

For severe sufferers there’s no doubt it’ll be hard to ask a simple flower essence to do all the heavy lifting, but for milder cases, Bach flower extracts (as in Rescue Remedy), lavender oil (in a diffuser is best) and/or “Dog Appeasing Pheromone” (marketed as D.A.P. in a diffuser, spray or collar) can help.



9. Consider seeing a board certified veterinary behaviorist

If nothing else works, your dog should not have to suffer. Seek out the advice of your veterinarian and, if you’ve gone as far as you have with him/her, consider someone with unique training in these areas––perhaps a board certified veterinary behaviorist.




Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ, Fire Sprinklers,

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ, Fire Sprinklers are Capable of Cutting Potential Losses in Half

Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ.  Fire Sprinklers are Capable of Cutting Potential Losses in Half


It’s no secret that fires can result in devastating damage to both the structure of the building and the people that are trapped inside. Another recent study found that when paired with early warning systems, automatic fire sprinklers help to reduce property damage, injuries, and loss of life by over 50%. Those are numbers you just can’t ignore!

Sprinkler Systems Are Virtually Fault-Free
In a recent study conducted on fires, the researchers discovered that fire sprinkler systems operated during 91% of all reported structure fires large enough to activate the systems. Ultimately, nine times out of 10, the sprinkler systems worked. Typically, the reason sprinkler systems stop working due to a lack of maintenance. This fact drives home the importance of regularly repairing your commercial fire sprinkler systems and replacing them if necessary.

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ.

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ.

Commercial Water damage in Deptford NJ. Insurance property damage water loss.  Water pipe burst from main.  Project required significant air movers, drying and extraction.  Project was completed to customer satisfaction, and prevented Microbial growth. Customer provided a referral as well for another commercial loss. Customer satisfaction form scored a 10 out of 10

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

SERVPRO  understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business.

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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO.

Commercial Fire damage in Woodbury NJ, Fire Damage in Woodbury NJ,

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire damage in Woodbury NJ, Fire Damage in Woodbury NJ,

Commercial Fire damage in Woodbury NJ, Fire Damage in Woodbury NJ,

Whether you own your building, lease your workspace or work at home, business property insurance protects your business’ physical assets.

Commercial property insurance plans vary from policy to policy, but are generally categorized by the type of event leading to a loss, and by what specifically is insured.

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

SERVPRO understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business.

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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO.

Commercial Fire Damage, and Restoration, and the Process of Fire Restoration, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ,

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage, and Restoration, and the Process of Fire Restoration, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ,

Commercial Fire Damage, and Restoration, and the Process of Fire Restoration, Fire Damage in Deptford NJ.  The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event. One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation. It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration. Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions: current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. Customers should also check all references and obtain price quotes prior to hiring anyone. Any contracts that are presented should be reviewed closely.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind. If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.  Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state. One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage. The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website. This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately. Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results. These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteractant and deodorizing fog. Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further recontamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. Professionals can be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.  By hiring the right professionals the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

Water damage can be deceptive, Water Damage in Deptford NJ,

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive, Water Damage in Deptford NJ,

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

While there are many methods for drying structural components and contents, the “in-place” drying system has been taught in the industry and used by drying contractors since the early ’80s. In those days, this method of drying components, without significant removal of furnishings or fixtures, was somewhat restricted, due to limitations imposed by extraction, evaporation and dehumidification equipment. In recent years, however, drying technology (extraction, evaporation, dehumidification), along with better understanding of psychrometry, has advanced in major ways so that in-place drying has, in some cases, become far more safe and practical.

Water Damage in Westville NJ, Detect and Prevent

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Westville NJ, Detect and Prevent

Standing water on the floor is easy to see. Less obvious signs of problems include:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Deal with problems as you find them. Clean up any water or moisture, locate the source and make repairs. Tracking down a leak isn't always straightforward — water can travel along components in the building structure, so the indications of the leak may be in a different part of the home than the leak itself. If necessary, contact a professional roofing contractor, plumber or water damage restoration specialist to help with identification and repair.

In addition to the damage that water causes, it can encourage the growth of mold on walls and floors — where it's readily visible — and in ductwork, attics and crawl spaces — where you might not notice it. A musty odor is a sign that mold may be present.

Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems — deal with it quickly. If the affected area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you find a professional mold remediation contractor. For smaller areas, you can clean nonporous surfaces with commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a solution of a cup of bleach to each gallon of water. Follow the instructions and safety precautions for the cleaning product you use and wear appropriate safety gear. Porous surfaces such as drywall need to be replaced. For more information on mold in the home and how to clean it up, see A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home on the EPA's web site.

Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of water damage and mold.

Plumbing

  • Every 6 to 12 months, inspect water lines, shut-off valves and fittings for fixtures such as sinks, toilets and tubs and for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and ice makers. Check for cracks, loose connections, kinks and corrosion. If you find a leak, turn off the water to the fixture or appliance until you can make repairs.
  • Check around toilets to make sure water is not leaking at the base — an indication that the wax ring between the toilet and floor might need replacing or that there might be a crack in the base.
  • If the temperature drops near the 20°F mark, allow faucets connected to vulnerable pipes — those not protected in insulated spaces — to drip. This helps minimize the risk of burst pipes by relieving pressure if the pipes freeze.

Appliances

  • Replace washing machine supply hoses at least every five years. Consider using stainless-steel mesh hoses. Keep the machine properly balanced — over time, an unbalanced machine can move, pulling free the hose connections. Read Maintain Your Washer and Dryer for instructions on replacing hoses and balancing the washing machine.
  • Consider turning off the water to the washing machine when it's not in use.
  • Don't operate a dishwasher or washing machine while your house is unoccupied.
  • Follow the manufacturer-specified maintenance for your appliances, including your water heater. Have the water heater inspected every couple of years.

Roof and Gutters

  • Have your roof inspected every three years by a professional, but also check routinely for damage you can see from the ground — such as broken and missing shingles or damaged flashing. A poorly maintained roof can lead to leaks in the home and additional damage to the roof itself.
  • If your roof doesn't have a drip edge or drip cap, consider having one added. This component helps keep water away from the roof deck and directs runoff into gutters.
  • Keep gutters clear and well-maintained. Gutters that overflow, leak or don't drain properly allow water to seep into your roof and into your foundation, crawlspace or basement. See Gutter Cleaning and Repair for steps to keep your gutters working correctly.
  • Make sure gutter downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Use extensions to carry water at least 6 feet from the house.

Exterior Walls and Foundation

  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Caulk around gaps at plumbing and ventilation entry and exit points. See How to Caulk for instructions. Repair cracked mortar joints.
  • Check to see if roots from shrubs near your home have caused damage that can allow water to enter the foundation. You may need to remove shrubs that are close to the house to prevent problems. Roots can also damage and block in-ground pipes, causing leaks near the foundation and sewer backups in the home.
  • Keep shrubbery beds and other landscape features sloped to direct water away from the home.
  • Look for evidence of erosion or settling at the foundation that can indicate water problems.

Additional Tips to Avoid Water Damage

  • Have your attic ventilation and insulation inspected annually and seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic — such as those around access doors and light fixtures. When warm air collects in the attic, it can lead to the formation of an ice dam — ice around the eaves that causes water from melting snow and ice to back up under the shingles and leak into your home.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it several times during the year. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.
  • Check your water pressure with a pressure gauge; typically these screw onto a hose bib. The pressure in an average home is around 50 to 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Higher pressure causes extra stress on pipes and fittings and can lead to leaks.
  • Inspect tile and grout around showers and tubs. Make any necessary repairs. Read Replace a Broken Ceramic Tile and Repair Tile Grout for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Check for leaks around windows during rains and seal any you find.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to move excess moisture out of the house. Moisture in the air can condense on cool surfaces and cause problems. Read Controlling Moisture and Humidity in the Home for more ways to reduce indoor moisture.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn off water to the home in an emergency. See Shut Off Your Home Water Supply for instructions on locating the valve.

Roof Leaks in Woodbury, NJ, Shingle Damage in Woodbury, NJ, Chimney Leaks, and Tips for Preventing Leaks

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Roof Leaks in Woodbury, NJ, Shingle Damage in Woodbury, NJ, Chimney Leaks, and Tips for Preventing Leaks

Check for damage in the roofing material directly above where the leak is coming in. This will likely be easier to find on a flat roof, but leaks can also come into the house a good distance from where the actual roof damage is located.If your roof is slanted, inspect areas on the roof that are higher than where the leak enters the home.

If you have an attic, inspect it with a flashlight for water stains, black marks or mold.
Run a hose along different sections of the roof and have a person inside alert you when leaking occurs.

Look for damaged, curled or missing shingles near where the leak is coming in. Look closely for exposed roofing tacks, too.

Straighten out shingles that are curled back. In colder weather, this might require that you soften the shingle edge with heat, such as an electric hair dryer. Using a torch or other open flame heat source isn't recommended since asphalt shingles may be flammable, and regardless of whether they are flame retardant or not, excess heat will ruin the shingle.

Reattach curled-back shingles after straightening with a generous amount of asphalt roof cement or compound around the exposed edges.

Replace damaged shingles. If the shingle lifts off the roof with little effort, breaks, or simply crumbles, it needs to be replaced.Remove the old shingle by lifting its edges and prying out the nail.
Scrape the area underneath it to remove any leftover roofing cement.
Use a sharp utility knife to round the back corners of the new shingle slightly.
Slide the new shingle into place and drive 1 1⁄4 inch (3.2 cm) galvanized roofing nails into each upper corner, then cover the nail heads with roof cement.

Inspect for cracks or blisters in the roofing material.

Mend the blisters. Cut a line through the middle of the blister with a utility knife, but do not cut the sound roofing felt {substrate) underneath.Squeeze out or soak up any water inside the blister. The area needs to be completely dry.

Spread a generous amount of roofing cement under the loose roofing material and press down.

Drive galvanized roofing nails along each side of the repaired blister.


Inspect areas where surfaces connect, such as a chimney or vent pipe.
Look for damage to the caulking, and reapply caulk where necessary.
Remove damaged or deteriorated caulking so the new application can bond to the roof or flashing surface.
Use a putty knife to remove the loosened old caulk.
Clean and dry the area.
Cut the tip off the caulk tube and spread a bead along the same line, working it into the crack with an applicator. Let it dry.

Larger-scale repairs will be necessary if there is damage to the flashing around the chimney or the boots around vents, as these features may need to be replaced.

Flood damage in Woodbury, NJ, and Insurance Property Damage Claims, What You May Need to Know

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Woodbury, NJ, and Insurance Property Damage Claims, What You May Need to Know

Rising waters and flood damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Most homeowner, who has insurance, will want to make a claim. While all insurance companies don’t have flood coverage, usually a separate policy is purchased in areas where flood waters are a risk. While some insurance companies can take a claim over the phone, an insurance claim letter is always the best way to go. Sure you can call, but a letter can say much more and include valuable pictures. This letter needs to contain specific information about the incident, and when it occurred. All this is valuable and necessary to a claim. 

 

Since this is a formal letter, make sure it is appropriately set up. A block style format should be observed. The name and address of the claimant, followed by the date and then the name and address of the insurance company should always be on the left hand side. A subject line would also be appropriate in this type of correspondence. Unless you know someone personally at the insurance company, you will probably need to address it with a general "To Whom It May Concern," or a “Dear Sir/Madam.” 

 

Start the first paragraph by telling them why you are writing. As a matter of fact, make sure this is in the first sentence. You want to make sure your needs are specified loud and clear. You need to be very specific in your writing and make sure to not leave out any details. If the carpet in the basement is ruined, say so. Specify the date the incident happened and the event that triggered it. Are there other homes in the area directly affected? Make sure to put as much info as you can in the first paragraph. 

 

Giving background information is always helpful to an adjuster. Did you call in an extraction company? Many people call in extraction services before they call the insurance company. These companies can remove the water and do their best to save furniture and carpet. Make sure to specify any methods used to try to save the items. Don't leave out problems with drywall, electric and other critical items. These are of the up-most importance. Just because you got the water out of an item, doesn't mean the problems will stop. Oftentimes, mold will set into areas that have had severe water damage.

 

Make sure the tone of the letter is friendly. Give information that is necessary to the claim, like account numbers, who the policy’s name is under etc. Also state what you believe your policy limits are, if known. Encourage the company to clear the matter up quickly. Give them an invitation to call or contact you as soon as possible. This letter, along with picture evidence, is a great way to get the ball rolling on your claim. The sooner you contact the insurance company, the sooner you can have your damages repaired. End your letter with a formal conclusion and contact information.

4 Fast Facts About Hail Damage To Your Property, in Deptford, NJ

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

4 Fast Facts About Hail Damage To Your Property, in Deptford, NJ

A powerful storm system blew through a large swath of the nation’s midsection, spawning deadly tornadoes, blowing cars off roads and causing property damage, including from hail.


Here are some hail facts, according to the National Weather Service:


HOW IT FORMS


Inside thunderstorms are warm updrafts and cold downdrafts. When a water drop is lifted, it can carry to temperatures below 32 degrees, freeze and then fall. As it falls it can thaw as it moves into warmer air, where it can get picked up again by another updraft, returning it to cold air where it refreezes. With each trip above and below freezing, it adds a layer of ice before it ultimately falls to earth as hail.


HAIL SIZES (diameter)


Pea: 1/4 inch


Marble: 1/2 inch


Penny: 3/4 inch


Nickel: 7/8 inch


Quarter: 1 inch (hail at least quarter size is considered severe)


Pingpong ball: 11/2 inch


Golf ball: 13/4 inch


Tennis ball: 21/2 inches


Baseball: 23/4 inches


Grapefruit: 4 inches


Softball: 41/2 inches


BIGGEST EVER


The largest recorded hailstone in the U.S. was nearly as big as a volleyball and fell on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota. It was 8 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds.


DAMAGE DONE


Hail causes about $1 billion damage to crops and property annually. A hailstorm that hit Kansas City on April 10, 2001, was the costliest ever in the U.S., causing about $2 billion damage.


If a strong storm roars through, you may find your siding damaged by hail and shingles that the wind ripped off the roof. Homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage. Coverage also usually includes damage from hail, wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside the home when a roof or wall is damaged due to wind. Most policies also offer some coverage for fallen trees that damage your home, provided the tree broke because of a storm or wind.


Be Prepared


While homeowners insurance may help provide protection against the unexpected, it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time. Taking measures to help prevent or minimize damage from bad weather or a harsh winter may save you a lot of time, energy and money.

Indoor Relative Humidity and Moisture issues, Inside Your Property, in Woodbury, NJ

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Indoor Relative Humidity and Moisture issues, Inside Your Property, in Woodbury, NJ

When indoor humidity levels are too high, condensation on windows and walls starts to cause structural damage. Damage to the house manifests in wood rot, molds, damp spots, and corroding furniture.


Costly damage caused by moisture that builds up can occur between the walls and ceilings, paint may start to peel as well as permanent wood warping/damage.Every time we cook, bathe, shower or breathe, we increase the amount of moisture in the air; when these activities occur indoors, we raise the humidity level inside our home. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air; it makes the air feel wet and clammy or smell musty. During a hot summer day, humidity makes the air feel even warmer, since it prevents sweat from evaporating from the skin, undermining the body's way of staying cool.


Relative humidity is the amount of water the air contains compared to the amount it could contain at a specific temperature. When the relative humidity is 100 percent, the air is retaining the most moisture possible at that temperature without precipitation. Most of us feel comfortable inside our home when the relative humidity remains between 30 and 60 percent. When the indoor humidity level is below 30 percent, the air is too dry, which can harm both a home's structural integrity and the homeowners' health. Conversely, when the level is above 60 percent, the air is too wet, which is also harmful to both the home and the homeowners. Excess humidity is a breeding ground for mold, pests and rot in homes and is more likely to cause heatstroke, heat exhaustion, headaches and dehydration than a less humid atmosphere.


To combat a high humidity level inside the home, many homeowners run the air conditioning unit. While air conditioning can reduce the humidity level, the result is high energy bills and a cold and uncomfortable living space. Rather than using air conditioning, homeowners and builders can have a whole-house dedicated dehumidification system installed. This type of system operates using the home's central air distribution system. A dehumidification system can be programmed to maintain specific humidity levels, giving homeowners the ability to customize the comfort level of their home.


Whole-house dehumidification systems can be installed in both new and existing homes. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering installing dedicated dehumidification systems:



  • Choose a dehumidification system that has built-in fan cycling. This feature will keep the humidity and temperature balance steady throughout the home instead of in just one room. It will also minimize hot and cold spots and improve the overall air quality.

  • Look for a dehumidification system that has the capacity to remove up to 90 pints of moisture per day from the air. For builders, a high-capacity system will provide for the flexibility of using the system in a wide variety of homes.


 

Air Conditioner Problems, and Prevent AC Condensation leaking into your Property, Water damage in Deptford, NJ

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Air Conditioner Problems, and Prevent AC Condensation leaking into your Property, Water damage in Deptford, NJ

One of the most common air conditioning problems is improper operation. If your air conditioner is on, be sure to close your home's windows and outside doors. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home. For a list of common air conditioner problems and what to look for, check out our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling.

Other common problems with existing air conditioners result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) does not match the manufacturer's specifications. If proper refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit is impaired. Unqualified service technicians often fail to find refrigerant charging problems or even worsen existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full. Learn what to ask for when hiring a technician to maintain your air conditioner.

Air conditioner manufacturers generally make rugged, high quality products. If your air conditioner fails, begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers. Let the unit cool down for about five minutes before resetting any breakers. If a central air conditioner's compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped; reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor's access panel.

REFRIGERANT LEAKS

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer's specification, and is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment

INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE

If you allow filters and air conditioning coils to become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.

ELECTRIC CONTROL FAILURE

The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently, as is common when a system is oversized. Because corrosion of wire and terminals is also a problem in many systems, electrical connections and contacts should be checked during a professional service call.

SENSOR PROBLEMS

Room air conditioners feature a thermostat sensor, located behind the control panel, which measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it; adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

DRAINAGE PROBLEMS

When it's humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it isn't clogged and is draining properly. Room air conditioners may not drain properly if not mounted level.

Common Causes of AC Water Leakage

The following issues can cause water leaks in your central AC system:

Clogged Drain Line

A clogged condensate drain pipe can make your AC system’s drain pan overflow. This is probably the most frequent cause of water leakage from a central AC system, bringing many service calls to HVAC professionals as summer temperatures rise. Drain lines can become clogged with dirt, rust, algae and other debris.

Disconnected Drain Line

When AC systems are improperly installed drain pipe fittings may not be secure. Over time, they can loosen, causing the drain pipe to disconnect from the AC unit and allowing the condensate to drain through the ceiling or onto the floor. As with a clogged drain line, the location of the leak will depend on whether the primary or secondary drain pipe is the one affected and whether your central AC system is located in the attic or in your house.

Condensate Pump Problems

A malfunctioning or dirty condensate pump can also cause water leakage from your AC system, flooding your attic or basement. Due to the continual presence of water, mold and mildew can grow inside the unit, causing it to clog.

Other Potential Causes of AC Water Leakage

 

 

Water leaks can also be caused by the following issues:

  • Clogged air filter
  • Low refrigerant
  • Cracked condensate drain pan
  • No p-trap and air vent in the drain line to prevent water backup
  • Condensate buildup in un-insulated ductwork

The first two issues in the list above can contribute to a frozen evaporator coil, which creates its own set of water leakage problems.

Ways to Avoid Damage from Water Leakage

Follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of water leakage issues:

  • Make sure your central AC system has a secondary drain line — especially if your air handler is in the attic.
  • Install a drain pan overflow shutoff switch, equipped with a float.
  • Add a safety pan under your AC unit to catch drain pan overflow.
  • Clean or change your HVAC air filter regularly.
  • Make sure your ductwork is properly insulated.
  • Have your AC refrigerant levels checked regularly.
  • Make sure each drain line contains a p-trap and air vent.
  • Keep your condensate pump free from mold and mildew by flushing it with a 50% bleach/water solution.
  • Schedule annual HVAC maintenance to maximize performance and minimize furnace and AC repairs.

Storm Damage, Property Insurance Tips, Prevention, and Costs in Westville, NJ

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage, Property Insurance Tips, Prevention, and Costs, in Westville, NJ

When buying homeowners insurance there are several factors to consider. In areas where severe storms are common, it is especially important to understand the type of insurance policy you have, the limitations of your policy, what it covers and the types of storms for which you may not be covered.


Storm Damage Insurance Overview


Many homeowners have already experienced a severe hailstorm and witnessed the damage hail can cause to homes, automobiles, businesses and other property. When a hailstorm hits, it does the greatest amount of damage to the exterior of your home or property. Common types of damage caused by hail are: roof damage, siding damage, shingle damage, window damage and automobile damage.


Thunderstorms


Most standard homeowners policies, also known as HO-3 policies, cover both your home and its contents. Typically, you are covered against storm damage, theft, pet damage and some major disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and hail.


Earthquakes and floods are usually not covered under most standard insurance policies and require a separate policy. Remember, home insurance policies do not cover poor maintenance or normal wear and tear, so it is a good idea to make sure your home is always properly maintained.


What to Do Before You Talk to an Insurance Agent


Before buying homeowners insurance, the first thing you need to determine is the replacement cost of your home. The replacement cost reflects the total cost to replace the structures on your property. This is typically different than the market value, or sales price of your home, which takes into account other factors including the value of your lot.


An easy way to figure out your replacement cost is to multiply the building cost per square foot of your home, with the number of total square feet. If you don't have a good sense of building costs for your area, any local contractor should be able to give you a good idea of average building costs in your area.


Once you know your replacement cost, you'll have a good idea of what your insured liability limit should be. Liability limit is the amount of coverage you have if something, such as a tornado or other serious storm, destroys your home. Most experts recommend liability limits equal to the replacement cost, so if your home is totally destroyed your insurance will cover the costs to restore or rebuild your home, including living expenses if you are unable to inhabit your home.


If you live in an area prone to flooding, make sure you obtain flood insurance, which is typically a separate policy. If you have questions about your coverage, check with your insurance agent and make sure you have a solid understanding of your coverage, especially as it relates to serious storm damage or other catastrophic losses.


In states where a severe tornado not only threatens your home and its contents, it is important to understand the difference between actual cash value insurance and replacement value insurance. Actual cash value insurance compensates you for the actual, depreciated value of the items in your home. So, if you have a TV that originally cost $500, but is now worth $100, your insurance will pay you $100 if it is destroyed.


For homeowners with expensive electronics, art, and other furnishings, replacement value insurance is a smart way to go. Replacement value pays you the full amount it would cost to replace a broken, damaged or missing item. So, if a storm destroys a $4,000 plasma TV inside your home, your insurance will cover the full $4,000 replacement value of your TV, and whatever else is damaged inside your home, minus the cost of your deductible, up to the limits of your policy. If you own very expensive individual items, such as original art, or valuable jewelry, you might consider insuring those items individually, under a separate policy.


Whatever type of insurance you choose, it's always wise to take an inventory of the items in your home. If your home is completely destroyed, you will not be able to remember all of the items you own, unless you have a detailed inventory and pictures of what is inside. It is always a good idea to store your inventory list and pictures in a separate, secure location, such as a bank safety deposit box. If you have a digital camera, take pictures and email them to yourself, along with your inventory list.


A deductible is the amount you are required to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. Typically homeowners insurance deductibles range from $250 to over $1,000. So, if your home is damaged by a hailstorm and incurs $10,000 in damages and you have a $500 deductible, the insurance company will pay $9,500 towards your repairs. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.


When deciding on a deductible, make sure it's an amount you can come up with easily, that won't create a financial strain or hardship. Some companies are now offering policies with high deductibles, including deductibles that are calculated as a percentage of your home's value. For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and you have a 2% deductible, you will have to come up with $4,000 before your insurance pays anything. While these types of policies can offer a lower premium, make sure you are able to cover the cost of the deductible, in case a severe storm or disaster hits your area.


Shopping for Homeowners Insurance


When shopping for a homeowners policy, it is smart to check out several different insurance companies. Different insurance companies offer a wide range of coverage levels, discounts and prices. Don't just shop the companies you know best, but search for the policy that works best for your situation. If you come across a policy that looks good, but is offered by a company you haven't heard of, it's easy to check out their background. Here are three websites you can use to investigate the financial strength of an insurance company:



When selecting a policy, start by researching your area. You'll want to have a firm understanding of the storm damage history of your neighborhood related to:



  • Hailstorms

  • Tornadoes

  • Wind Storms

  • Flooding

  • Earthquakes

  • Natural Disasters


Make sure the insurance policy you select adequately covers storms and natural disasters in your area. Watch out for insurance companies known for unfairly denying claims. Every year, the American Justice Association publishes a list of the 10 Worst Insurance Companies. If your insurance company is on the list and your insurance claim has been denied, make sure you connect with a reputable contractor with the experience to fight for your rights.


Saving Money on Homeowners Insurance


There are many factors insurance companies take into account when determining the price of your insurance premium. Some factors that affect the cost of your premium may include:



  • History of a severe storm or disaster in your area

  • Neighborhood crime levels

  • Quality of building materials in your home

  • Building costs in your area

  • Size and overall condition of your home

  • Distance from a fire station


You may be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium by making certain improvements to your home, which can add up to significant savings. The following list of improvements will not just result in savings, but will make your home safer as well.



  • Impact resistant roofing shingles

  • Shatterproof windows

  • Storm shutters

  • Reinforced tile or slate roof


Most states prohibit insurance companies from canceling your insurance policy or singling you out for a rate increase for filing a storm damage claim. If you live in an area with a high propensity for severe storms or other natural disasters, you should expect premiums to be higher.


Insurance companies can raise rates for everyone living in a storm prone area. If this is the case, your rate will increase whether or not you file an insurance damage claim. So, if your home has been damaged by a tornado, hailstorm, severe wind, or other type of natural disaster, it is in your best interest to file an insurance claim to pay for the damage. If you fail to file a claim, your increase in premium will pay for everyone's repairs except for yours.


If you have storm damage to your home or commercial building, then you may need to file an insurance claim.

Causes of Property Sewer Backup and Prevention Tips..

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Causes of Property Sewer Backup and Prevention Tips..

Backed up sewers can wreak havoc on a home, causing thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50. 

For homes that have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable, homeowners policies may provide Loss of Use coverage, which provides reimbursement for lodging, food and other living expenses you may incur as a result of having to live outside of your home. Loss of Use coverage also reimburses you for the lost rental income if you rent out part of the house.

Causes of Sewer Backup

Aging Sewer Systems: The Civil Engineering Research Foundation reports that the number of backed up sewers is increasing at an alarming rate of about 3 percent annually. In addition, a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation's 500,000-plus miles of sewer lines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.

Combined Pipelines: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.

Blockages Due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. Tree roots can travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If city trees are suspected, your plumber can contact the city, and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes the blockage is a result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and the property owner.

Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering into your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately.

Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings, where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab that allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. In these cases, water can show up in a basement that has never had a water problem. This will usually happen after a number of rain storms, when the ground is saturated. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Owners may also be able to prevent flooding by water sealing the basement.

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.

How to File a Claim

For insurance purposes, take before and after photos of the affected areas and itemize any property losses. Save all receipts related to repair, cleaning or damages and contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Backups In Your Lateral and in the City Main

Dispose of Grease Properly: Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly, after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is unsatisfactory. As the grease cools off, it will solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.

 

Dispose of Paper Products Properly: Paper towels, disposable (and cloth) diapers and feminine products can cause a great deal of trouble in the property owner's lateral as well as in the city main. These products do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue does, so do not put them down the drain or toilet.

Replace Your Line with New Plastic Pipe: One way to prevent tree roots from entering your line is to replace your line and tap with new plastic pipe. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your lateral, you may have to have the roots cut periodically.

Correct Illegal Plumbing Connections: Do not connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections. French drains are common drainage systems, primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations.

Install a Backwater Prevention Valve: A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sewer line, and sometimes into a drain line, in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but not to come back in. Property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backwater valves. The cost to install one depends on the type of plumbing in the building and the difficulty of installation. Check with a qualified plumber.

What to Do If You Experience a Sewer Backup

A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold or further damage. If you experience a sewer backup situation, immediately arrange for the cleanup of your property. This should include:

  • Wet-vacuuming or removal of spillage
  • Mopping floors and wiping walls with soap and disinfectant
  • Flushing out and disinfecting plumbing fixtures
  • Steam cleaning or removing wet carpets or drapes
  • Repairing or removing damaged wallboard or wall covering
  • Cleanup of ductwork

Fire Safety for Kids, Protecting and Educating your children

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety for Kids, Protecting and Educating your children

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible precautions in the home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.

Prevent Your Child from Starting FiresThe U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.

Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.

Help Your Child Survive a FireInstall smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.

Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.

Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside.

Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.

Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.

Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows.

Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

TOP 10 CAUSES OF WATER DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY!

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

TOP 10 CAUSES OF WATER DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY!

Old plumbing and leaky appliances around the house aren’t out to get you, but sometimes it seems that way. The weather plays a part too with winter freezes that burst pipes and spring rains that flood basements.Our cleanup and restoration teams have seen it all here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. In our experience, these are the 10 most common causes of residential water damage that can affect your home. Our list also includes helpful links and tips on how to handle each type of wet disaster.

1. The Toilet Runs and Drips

When it constantly runs, it’s annoying and expensive. When it springs a bad leak, it can ruin floors and walls. The trick to fixing a leaky toilet is figuring out why it’s turned into a water hazard. Once you pinpoint the problem, repairs are usually simple and inexpensive.

2. Pressure Gets to the Washing Machine

Your washing machine quickly fills with water because its supply lines are under constant pressure. Older rubber or PVC lines wear out and rupture, and that failure turns the laundry room into a flood zone. Avoid this potential mess by replacing old lines with braided stainless steel.

3. Your Garbage Disposal Floods Cabinets

Most disposal leaks are DIY fixable, but when this appliance stops working, it can go out with a splash. As the body of the unit gets old, it springs leaks around the bottom housing and floods cabinets with a dirty mix of food garbage and water. When this happens, you need to replace the disposal.

4. Your AC Soaks the Ceiling

The AC pulls humidity out of the air and condenses moisture into the unit’s overflow pan so that water travels outside through the condensate line. This drainage system quits working if the pan is damaged or the line is clogged. The results are soggy insulation and soaked ceilings.

5. The Water Heater Develops Leaks

This appliance is often located in basements, and that can make cleanup even more challenging after a bad leak. Sometimes, a water heater problem is due to condensation, but it’s more likely a faulty water outlet or drain valve. Older units can develop leaks in the bottom of the tank and flood the entire basement.

6. Frigid Temperatures Burst Pipes

This water emergency is confined to cold months, but you have to be prepared. Pipes can freeze and rupture in just a few hours, and the flooding can soak the house from ceiling to basement. Always check and insulate your plumbing before the Chicago winter settles in.

7. Fire Sprinkler Systems Freeze Too

High-rises, condos and newer homes feature these life-saving systems, but residential fire sprinklers are prone to freezing without proper winter maintenance. Cold-weather sprinkler routines keep the family safe and help avoid water damage from ruptured pipes.

8. The Sump Pump Stops Pumping

Whether it’s caused by heavy rain or appliance failure, water in the basement is a disaster when the sump pump stops working. You have to deal with water removal, thoroughly dry everything and address mold and mildew growth. It’s often best to let professionals handle basement flooding.

9. Drains Quit Draining

This simple outlet can complicate an ordinary day by leaving standing water in a tub, the kitchen sink or the basement. A stopped-up tub or sink is a big nuisance, but a clogged floor drain can result in a basement filled with water. Your DIY solutions range from drain snakes to air blasters.

10. Sewer Lines Back Up

Don’t try to handle this problem by yourself. Backed-up sewer lines are caused by blockage or heavy rainfall, and they quickly spread dangerous contaminants that create a very unhealthy environment. Sewage backup and flooding should always be taken care of by certified professionals.

6 Disasters, Home/Property Insurance Won’t Cover!

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

6 Disasters, Home/Property Insurance Won’t Cover!

When disaster strikes your home, Property Insurance, is supposed to be there to help you pick up the pieces. Most of the time, it does.

A Bankrate survey found that 81 percent were aware flooding is not covered by regular homeowners insurance. You may have heard earthquakes also require special coverage. Yet you may not know that there are other types of damage that are excluded from most policies as well:

Mold

At least 1,000 species of mold are common to the United States, according to the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute.

Despite the threat, a standard homeowners insurance policy generally either limits coverage for mold damage or outright excludes it.

Some insurers offer an endorsement to expand coverage limits for mold claims but only if you are willing to pay more for your insurance, she says.

The best cure for mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. If the basement floods after a rainstorm or a pipe is leaking, eliminate the moisture promptly.

Sewer backup

America’s sewer lines are rapidly aging, with some more than 100 years old. As more homes have been connected to these out-of-date lines, sewage backups have followed.

Other sources of backups include pipelines that handle both stormwater and raw sewage — and become overwhelmed in rainstorms — and blockages from tree roots that work their way into sewer-line cracks.

When a sewer backs up into a home, it can damage floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover sewer backups.

The Insurance Information Institute says sewer-backup damage often can be covered for an additional premium of just $40 to $50 per year.

Sinkholes

Sinkholes can seem like something out of a horror movie. For example, there was the Florida man who was swallowed up in early 2013 when a sinkhole opened without warning beneath his bedroom.

Sinkholes are sudden gaps in the earth’s surface that occur after groundwater gradually dissolves rock such as limestone and carries bits of it away, creating large pores and cracks in bedrock. Once large cavities form underground, the land above it may suddenly settle or collapse, creating the sinkhole.

In the United States, sinkholes tend to cause the most problems in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Most home insurance policies will not cover damage associated with “earth movement,” such as an earthquake or sinkhole.

Florida is the only state in which insurers are required to provide coverage for sinkhole damage

Florida insurers must include insurance for “catastrophic ground cover collapse” — which refers to damage so severe, the home is uninhabitable — as part of standard homeowners insurance.

In every other state, earth movement is excluded from the insurance policy.

Termite infestation

Colonies of anywhere from a few hundred to several million termites can quietly and methodically devastate your home.

Wood, paper and dead plant material that is in contact with soil near the house provides termites with a ready source of food and an entry. And moisture accumulated around foundations and in poorly ventilated crawl spaces gives termites a source of water they need to survive.

Over time, termites can damage or destroy support beams and other wood features in a house. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause $5 billion in damage in the U.S. each year.

If these unwanted guests cause wear and tear to your home, do not expect your insurer to bail you out.

Homeowners policies do not pay for termite damage.

Homeowners can avoid structural damage with early intervention.

 

Nuclear plant accidents

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, says nearly 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an active nuclear power plant. If an accident at a nearby reactor leaves your home uninhabitable, standard homeowners insurance will not cover the claim. But that does not mean you will be unprotected.

A 1957 federal law called the Price-Anderson Act compensates people in the United States for any damage or injuries resulting from a commercial nuclear accident.

The law was called upon after the nation’s worst nuclear accident, at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pa., in 1979.

The insurance paid for the living expenses of families who decided to evacuate.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says an insurance pool of more than $12 billion is available to pay out claims.

Claims covered under Price-Anderson include:

  • Bodily injury.
  • Sickness.
  • Disease resulting in death.
  • Property damage and loss.

In addition, individuals evacuated from an affected area can expect reimbursement for reasonable living expenses beyond what you ordinarily pay. The coverage does not pay your mortgage, does not pay for your normal food bills.

Some acts of terrorism

The recent Boston Marathon bombings were a reminder that terror can strike at any moment.

The Insurance Information Institute says terrorist attacks using nuclear, biological, chemical or radioactive weapons are considered “acts of war” that are fundamentally uninsurable. Standard home insurance policies do not specifically reference terror attacks.

However, the policy does cover the homeowner for damage due to explosion, fire and smoke, these are the most likely types of damage a home would suffer in a terrorist incident.

If you own a condominium or co-op, the policy you carry on your individual unit will protect your structure and possessions from damage related to a terrorist attack.

However, damage to common areas — including the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways — is not covered unless your board purchases separate terrorism coverage.

Crime scene cleanup and Biohazards....

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Crime scene cleanup and Biohazards....

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to cleanup of bloodbodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. Such incidents may include accidents, suicideshomicides, and decomposition after unattended death. It could also include mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, animal biohazards (e.g. feces or blood) or regulated waste transport, treatment, and disposal.

Television productions like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have added to the popularity of the term "crime scene cleanup". Australia, Canada and England have added it to their professional cleaning terminology. As a profession, it is growing in popularity because of media exposure and the growth of training programs worldwide.The generic terms for "crime scene cleanup" include trauma cleaning, crime and trauma scene decontamination ("CTS Decon"), biohazard remediation, biohazard removal, blood cleanup and crime scene cleanup. The state of California refers to individuals who practice this profession as "Valid Trauma Scene Waste Management Practitioners".

Types of cleanups

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. There are many different sub-segments, named primarily after additional collateral, contingency, or preconditions, regarding the presence of non-blood borne organics, toxic irritants (e.g.,tear gas) or disease vectors. However, it is the legality of charging a fee for mitigating potentially harmful biohazard situations that differentiates a registered crime or trauma practitioner from any general restoration, carpet cleaning, janitorial or housekeeping service.

With concerns about Ebola contamination in the United States, crime scene cleanup companies like Cleaning Guys of Texas and Bio Recovery Corporation of New York have been contracted by government to clean more than just crime scenes.

Business

Crime scene cleanup began primarily as a local or regional small business activity but maturity and consolidation has created some larger entities in the industry; only a few nationwide companies exist, although some national carpet cleaning and restoration companies franchises have added crime scene cleanup and biohazard removal to their services. Due to the legal and ethical complications crime scene cleanup is often its own business entity or a separate division.

Regulatory requirements

While the field of crime scene cleanup is not specifically regulated as a class, most if not all of the activities performed by biohazard cleanup teams in the United States are regulated or fall under best practice guidelines from governing and advisory bodies such as OSHANIOSHDOT, and EPA. Those who hire a crime scene cleanup company should make sure that they are properly trained in applicable federal and state regulations and can provide documentation of proper biohazardous waste disposal from licensed medical waste transportation and disposal companies. If in California or Florida the client should confirm that the company is registered with the state Department of Health. A few states such as California, New York and Florida are the only states that explicitly require registration or licensing for crime scene cleanup. Other states may require biohazardous waste transport permits from the DOT.

In the US, OSHA requires that exposure to blood-borne pathogens be limited as much as possible due to the assumption that the blood and biological material is infectious. Most actions taken to limit exposure fall under cross-contamination protocols, which provide that certain actions be taken to avoid further spreading the contamination throughout otherwise clean areas. CTS De-con companies should have in place, an exposure control plan before beginning work on any trauma scene. Under employee safety and cross-contamination protocols, the following OSHA regulations may pertain to bioremediation.

  • OSHA29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(ii)- Initial Assessment of Work: Must assess work site for potential hazards to employee safety. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200, et seq.- Hazard Communication Protocol: Required to establish what chemicals are used and that they are properly labeled.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(i);29 CFR 1910.1030(e)(2)(iii); 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1); and 29, CFR 1926.1053 – Work Practice & Engineering Controls and Safety: Having done the initial assessment, must determine damage, potential hazards, equipment needs, egresses, work routes, possible complicating factors, ladder/scaffolding safety protocols, availability for hand-washing/sanitization wipes.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(1) – Method of Compliance: Ensure employees are following all OSHA-mandated engineering and work practice controls through proper supervision, written documentation and photographs.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(2) – Exposure Determination: Determine employee safety concerns due to exposure to biological materials.
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1) – Hazard Signs and Labels: Hazardous areas must be demarcated; use of biohazard tape and establishment of zones separates and identifies hazardous areas.

In the UK, biohazards are regulated in part by HSE.  Canada has published Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines.

Methods

The crime scene cleaners' work begins when the coroner's office or other official, government body releases the "scene" to the owner or other responsible parties. Only when the investigation has completely terminated on the contaminated scene may the cleaning companies begin their task.

Standard operating procedures for the crime scene cleanup field often include military-like methods for the decontamination of internal and external environments. Universal precautions recognized worldwide are the cautionary rule-of-thumb for this field of professional cleaning.

Cleaning methods for removing and sanitizing biohazards vary from practitioner to practitioner. Some organizations are working to create a "Standard of Clean" such as ISSA's K12 Standard, Which includes use of quantifiable testing methods such as ATP testing.

Organizations

The first specialty trade organization for this field of cleaning was the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA). The largest association dedicated to the crime scene cleanup industry is the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association (NCSCA). Among other tasks, they organized cleanup procedures for Ebola decontamination in 2014. Clean Trust (aka IICRC) is a certifying body for the cleaning trade in general. International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is a global standards body and trade organization of professional janitorial and cleaning professionals.

In popular culture and the media

Crime scene cleanup as a profession has been featured sporadically in popular culture and the media. It first showed up in films when Quentin Tarantino produced Curdled, then after an eleven-year hiatus in the Samuel L. Jackson film Cleaner, and more recently when Amy Adams and Emily Blunt teamed up for Sunshine Cleaning. On television it has been featured in a smattering of documentaries aired on the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, as well as reality series such as Grim Sweepers.

In video games and visual media, crime scene cleanup takes center focus as the main objective in the game, Viscera Cleanup Detail.Viscera Cleanup Detail is a PC game distributed through Steam that enables players to clean up blood and body remains after a Sci-Fi battle has occurred on a space station. Another example of crime scene cleanup in video games is Safeguard. Safeguard takes a more realistic and educational approach, enabling users to learn about the hazards of crime scene cleanup, as well as the equipment and tools used.  Safeguard also uses virtual reality to immerse users in the crime scene environment.

Do You Have a Fire or Smoke Damage in Your Property? Have A Professional Company Handle The Process Of Fire Restoration.

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Do You Have a Fire or Smoke Damage in Your Property? Have A Professional Company Handle The Process Of Fire Restoration.

Do You Have a Fire or Smoke Damage in Your Property? Have A Professional Company Handle The Process Of Fire Restoration.

The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event. One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation. It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration. Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions: current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. Customers should also check all references and obtain price quotes prior to hiring anyone. Any contracts that are presented should be reviewed closely.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind. If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.  Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business. For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state. One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage. The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website. This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately. Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results. These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteractant and deodorizing fog. Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further recontamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. Professionals can be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.  By hiring the right professionals the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

Water Damage in Your Property?

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Your Property?

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner's insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to "Sewer and Drain Coverage".

Those individuals who are affected by wide scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space.

Causes

Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, and clogged toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks.[3] On average that is approximately 10,000 gallons of water per year wasted by leaks for each US home. A tiny, 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.[4]According to Claims Magazine in August 2000, broken water pipes ranked second to hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims (on average $50,000 per insurance claim costs in the US. Experts suggest that homeowners inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator ice makers, water softeners and humidifiers. A few US companies offer whole-house leak protection systems utilizing flow-based technologies. A number of insurance companies offer policy holders reduced rates for installing a whole-house leak protection system.

As far as insurance coverage is concerned, most damage caused by bad weather is considered flood damage and normally is not covered under homeowners insurance. Coverage for bad weather would usually require flood insurance.

Categories

Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as "grey water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Classes

Class of water damage is determined by the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded. Determining the class of water damage is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to dry-down the structure.[7]

Class 1 - Slow Rate of Evaporation. Affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

Class 2 - Fast Rate of Evaporation. Water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

Class 3 - Fastest Rate of Evaporation. Water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations. Involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.

Restoration

See also: Convectant drying

Different removal methods and measures are used depending on the category of water. Due to the destructive nature of water, chosen restoration methods also depend heavily on the amount of water, and on the amount of time the water has remained stagnant. For example, as long as carpet has not been wet for longer than 48 hours, and the water involved was not sewage based, a carpet can usually be saved; however, if the water has soaked for longer, then the carpet is probably irreparable and will have to be replaced.[8] Water damage restoration can be performed by property management teams, building maintenance personnel, or by the homeowners themselves; however, contacting a certified professional water damage restoration specialist is often regarded as the safest way to restore water damaged property.

Standards and regulation

While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two certifying bodies, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. The IICRC-recommended standard is IICRC S500.

Fire and Water Restoration companies are regulated by the appropriate state's Department of Consumer Affairs - usually the state contractors license board. In California, all Fire and Water Restoration companies must register with the California Contractors State License Board.[10] Presently, the California Contractors State License Board has no specific classification for "water and fire damage restoration."

Procedures

Water damage restoration is often prefaced by a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials. The damaged area is inspected with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage and possible extent of area affected. Restoration services would then be rendered to the residence in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls and contents.

Property Damage claims Soft goods and Apparel...Yes, SERVPRO Can clean Both!

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Property Damage claims Soft goods and Apparel...Yes, SERVPRO Can clean Both!

2016 Xactimate claim data shows that there are more soft contents and clothing than all other contents on property claims by a long shot. See the full video report here: https://lnkd.in/gAeVMhQ

 

The Esporta Certified Operator cleans twice as much as restoration dry cleaners. With our game-changing technology, you’ll never need to send soft contents to a dry cleaners again. Eliminate the competition from dry cleaners and make more money.

Esporta Certified Operators restore smoke, soot, and water impacted soft contents using the patented Esporta® Wash System.  Traditional restoration companies and restoration dry cleaners typically consider much of these items non-restorable and they end up in a landfill.  

 

The Esporta Certified Operators cleans twice as much as restoration dry cleaners. With our game-changing technology, you’ll never need to send soft contents to a dry cleaners again. Eliminate the competition from dry cleaners and make more money.

Esporta Certified Operators restore smoke, soot, and water impacted soft contents using the patented Esporta® Wash System.  Traditional restoration companies and restoration dry cleaners typically consider much of these items non-restorable and they end up in a landfill.  By choosing an Esporta Certified Operator, you can make a big difference. When textiles are sent to the landfill, it leaves the fabric dyes and chemicals to leach into the soil, contaminating both surface and groundwater.

The Esporta Certified Operators provide an unparalleled competitive advantage. Using washing technology & detergents more advanced than any other products in the market, our technology cleans 90% of soft contents that would be considered irrecoverable using any other cleaning method.

 

What makes the Esporta Certified Operators so unique is that it is the only process with scientific validation to support it's ability to remove the bacterial contamination found in flood affected goods.  The use of standardized wash programs with proprietary detergents and disinfectants assure consistent decontamination.   No other washing technology has been able to make this claim.

How Do You Know if You Have Termites??

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

How Do You Know if You Have Termites??

Termites can cause severe damage to Properties


Although termites are ecologically beneficial in that they break down detritus to add nutrients to soil, the same feeding behaviors that prove helpful to the ecosystem can cause severe damage to human homes. Because termites feed primarily on wood, they are capable of compromising the strength and safety of an infested structure. Termite damage can render structures unlivable until expensive repairs are conducted.


Structural property damage


Properties constructed primarily of wood are not the only structures threatened by termite activity. Properties made from other materials may also host termite infestations, as these insects are capable of traversing through plaster, metal siding and more. Termites then feed on cabinets, floors, ceilings and wooden furniture within these homes.


Because termites are often not identified before considerable damage has occurred, it is advised that homeowners experiencing a termite infestation contact a pest control professional before attempting to address the problem on their own. Professionals will conduct an inspection in order to correctly identify the problem and will then discuss possible avenues of treatment with homeowners.


 

 


 


 


Signs of subterranean termite damage


Subterranean termites dwell underground in loose, damp soil. Although subterranean termite species in Africa are famously aggressive and known for the obvious mounds above their colonies, signs of subterranean termite damage within the United States are much less obvious.


Interior damage may not become apparent until infestations are full-blown. Termite damage sometimes appears similar to water damage. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold.


Subterranean termites also access above-ground food sources through mud tunnels they create from saliva, mud and feces. These tunnels are located near the foundation of infested homes.


Signs of drywood termite damage


Drywood termites build their colonies within wooden structures on which they feed. They can be found inside of walls or furniture. Drywood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item that the veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath become visible. Such damage is common in antique furniture pieces. Should this occur on new furniture or the floors or walls of your home, contact a professional to discuss the severity of your infestation, as well as prevention and treatment options.



  • Get rid of dead trees and stumps around your yard. Decaying wood is top food source for termites and can attract a colony of hungry termites. [5]If you keep a lot of firewood or spare construction materials on hand, keep them as far away from your house as possible. If you bring this wood into your house, make sure to look for signs of termite presence like holes in the wood or hollowed feeling or sound.


Inspect common termite entry points. The most common way they get into your house is through wood to ground contact, such as a door frame, deck posts, or wood support beams. Address these spots by examining them for signs of termites regularly, get rid of any standing water in the area, and treat the wood with termite prevention like soil treatments that repel termites.



  • Avoid spreading mulch too close to your home. You can have mulch in your home but you'll want to avoid putting it anywhere that it may touch your siding or foundation. Mulch creates moisture in the soil and prevents woods from growing, both conditions termites seek. This also includes your plants. Woody shrubs that touch the wood foundation or siding of your house can help attract termites and also help hide their presence.


Install termite shields. This can be especially helpful if you are currently constructing a home. These are metal shields put along the foundation of your home to deter termites. These should be made of a non-corroding metal with no gaps. This can prevent termites from getting access to the wood foundations or structures of your home.


 

The Most Common Causes of House Fires

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

The Most Common Causes of House Fires

The Most Common Causes of House Fires


A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of appliances and heating equipment to smoking in bedrooms.


 1. Cooking Equipment


Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.


2. Heating


Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even yourself. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.


3. Smoking in bedrooms


Bedrooms are best to be kept off limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alight for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?¹


4. Electrical Equipment


An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.


5. Candles


Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room. Did you know that in Perth last year 34 house fires started as a result of candles?²


6. Curious Children


Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Teach kids understand the “stop, drop, cover and roll” drill as well as knowing their address if they needed to call 000.


7. Faulty Wiring


Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are: 1) Lights dim if you use another appliance; 2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another; 3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently. Have a licenced electrician come and inspect you house, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences.


8. Barbecues


Barbecues are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.


9. Flammable Liquids


If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or methylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before storing. Be careful when pouring these liquids.


10. Lighting


Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights are insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.


The above tips are a good guide to avoiding a fire in your home. However it’s a good idea to protect yourself with adequate property insurance, cover to ensure you are covered in the unlikely event a fire were to happen.

Stucco Remediation – What You Should Know

4/20/2017 (Permalink)

Stucco Remediation – What You Should Know

Stucco Remediation – What You Should Know

Every home, no matter when it was built or when you purchased it, can fall prey to stucco failure, mold and moisture contamination. Even the tiniest of cracks in the façade of your home can result in moisture coming in, which can then cause major problems. If that happens, it can threaten the very structure of your home as well as the health of your family. If it isn’t treated properly, mold can cause extensive and costly damage.

Signs that you need repairs include cracking or breaking in the façade of your home, or brown streaks below your windows or at intersection of the wall and roof. Inside, you’ll notice leaks in doors or windows, the bottoms of your windows may be discolored, your base trim can become warped and there may be wet carpet or a moldy smell in your home.

But did you know your stucco doesn’t even have to be cracked to have problems? Heller explains that it wasn’t until fairly recently that proper weep screens and break points in the stucco were required. That means walls may not breathe properly, which can allow moisture to build up and then be trapped.

That’s just one of the many reasons it is important to call your building contractor to inspect your home for damage. The contractor may be able to find problems that you never even knew existed and stop a problem before it becomes too big and costly.

The process of repairing the stucco is referred to as stucco remediation. Your first instinct may be to simply call a stucco company to repair the façade of your home, but that might not be the right thing to do.

Companies that are stucco only will have the know-how to remove and replace the existing façade of your home.

While this is important, it may simply cover up the effects caused by the moisture. The structural integrity of your home and the health of your family can still be in jeopardy if the underlying problems still exist.

Simply put, a stucco repair company could lack the knowledge and ability to identify and repair the problems that result from the water damage. And if they aren’t properly corrected, that can lead to even more damage and expense in the future.

Moisture intrusion most often affects stucco-clad homes, but can also affect homes made of brick, stone, wood or composite siding, and typically affects homes built between 1985 and 2003. Having the right person inspect your home for damage is crucial to find and repair problems to the home’s wood structure that aren’t visible to the eye. Rot and mold within the wall cavity can cause serious damage.

Septic or Sewer System Backs Up Into Your Property or Building...Here are SAFETY Tips!

4/19/2017 (Permalink)

Septic or Sewer System Backs Up Into Your Property or Building...Here are SAFETY Tips!

Septic or Sewer System Backs Up Into Your Property or Building...Here are SAFETY Tips!


Watch out: sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious illness or disease. Disease causing agents in raw sewage include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses and can cause serious illnesses including Hepatitis A.


If a building has been flooded by sewage or wastewater there may be unsafe electrical wiring, bacterial and pathogen hazards, mold hazards, even unsafe mechanical systems.



  • Turn off electrical power in the area that has been flooded if there is any chance of electrical wires, extension cords, or electrical appliances or fixtures coming in contact with standing water or wet materials

  • Vacate sewage-contaminated areas right away. Areas of sewage spill should not be occupied by people who are not wearing appropriate protective equipment as they are dangerous:

  • Stop flushing toilets

  • Turn off running water that is sending water into the drain system (clothes washer, sinks etc)


If the sewage or wastewater are being spread by water from a burst plumbing supply or hot water heating pipe, turn off the water to the building and if needed for safety or to stop further you may also need to turn off the (hot water or steam) heating system.

Items that have been soaked and are not salvageable may best be placed outdoors. By removing wet and contaminated materials from the building it may be easier to inspect, repair leaks, and clean the building itself.

Watch out: do not handle sewage-contaminated materials without proper personal safety protection: there are bacterial, pathogenic, respiratory and infection hazards.


  • Act promptly.

  • Watch out: The longer that sewage waters remain in a building or on its contents the greater the chance of spreading illness or disease and the greater the chance of causing a costly mold contamination problem in addition to the sewage problem. High indoor moisture caused by standing water can cause mold contamination to form on other building surfaces even if they were not directly wet by the sewage spill.

  • Don't panic: while prompt action is needed as we just explained, don't be in such a rush that you do something dangerous. Also, if you sound terrified when calling a contractor for assistance the result may be the imposition of inappropriate or costly steps.

  • Call a professional water damage restoration authority - For other than a trivial spill on a tiled bathroom floor you may need help from a professional water damage or restoration company.

  • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage spill in the building

  • Notify your municipal authority or sewer department if your home is connected to a public sewer

  • Contact your local health department for advice if your home is connected to a private septic system


 

Refrigerator Water Line and Drain Hose Leaks...Prevention Tips!

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

Refrigerator Water Line and Drain Hose Leaks...Prevention Tips!

Refrigerator Water Line Leaks, Prevention Tips!

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances around the home, so when one breaks down or suffers a leak, the experience can have consequences. If you find that your fridge’s water line has a leak, there are a few simple steps you can follow to troubleshoot the problem and have it running again in no time.

What To Do When Your Refrigerator Water Line Leaks

The first step is to identify the leak. The refrigerator water line connects the household water supply to a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser. The water line typically runs at the back of the fridge. Once the leak has been identified, here is what you can do to fix the problem.

  • Turn off the valve that supplies water to the refrigerator and then unplug the refrigerator to turn off the appliance. You will likely find the water shut off valve located beneath the kitchen sink or  in some cases, behind the refrigerator itself.

If the valve is located behind the fridge, carefully pull the appliance away from the wall and turn off the valve.

You will now have to loosen the compression nut that secures the supply line to the water intake valve. This can be done with the assistance of an adjustable wrench by turning the nut counter clockwise and then disconnecting the supply line.

Once loosened, remove the compression nut to disconnect the supply line from the valve.

If the supply line is broken or torn in places, replace the old line with a new one making sure that its length and dimensions are the same as the original water line. Material choices range between copper, plastic and stainless steel water lines. 

  • To fix the new water line in place, thread one end of the supply line to the shut off valve under the sink and tighten until it is snug in place. When using a copper or plastic line, make sure to first slide on a compression nut secured with a compression sleeve or ring onto the end of the line. A stainless steel water line comes with a built in rubber gasket that stops the connection from leaking.
  • Thread the other end of the supply line to the water intake valve and tighten it until snug.
  • Turn on water and check for any leaks. If there is still a drip, tighten the nuts a bit more.

Purchasing a new water line

When the line is badly damaged and needs replacement there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, one of the factors at this point would be to choose a line material that will offer durability and long lasting utility. Another is the price tag attached to the new purchase.

Plastic water lines

In terms of materials, plastic lines are the most cost effective but also least durable. The biggest threat lies in these lines cracking, clogging or leaking, causing water damage. While plastic lines may seem to work well in terms of flexibility, especially where space behind the fridge is tight, many people do not prefer this type of line material.

Copper water lines

Another option is to go with copper water lines that yield superior sturdiness but are also more prone to kinkiness. A more flexible version of copper lines is available to allow pushing the tubing into position giving it some flexibility to work well in cramped spaces.

Stainless steel water lines

As an alternative stainless steel braided lines can be considered. Braided steel is a tough, non-kinking option to the more pliable plastic and the ¼ in flexible copper lines. Stainless steel also happens to be the most durable option but will tend to be the most expensive as well.

Whether the leak in your refrigerator water line is caused by a plastic, copper or stainless steel water line, remember that you can always access the professional service of our experts at Tidal Wave in Atlanta to come and resolve all water damage concerns at your home.

Jon Barrett

Marketing and Sales Support

SERVPRO of Cherry Hill/Haddonfield

Phone: (856) 662-2772

Email: JBarrett@SP9157.com

Websites:

http://www.SERVPROcherryhillhaddonfield.com/

http://www.SERVPROmtlaurelmoorestown.com/

11 Billion Gallons of Sandy Sewage Overflow

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

sewage spill

Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms to hit the northeast U.S. in recorded history, killing 159, knocking out power to millions, and causing $70 billion in damage in eight states. Sandy also put the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in stark relief by paralyzing subways, trains, road and air traffic, flooding hospitals, crippling electrical substations, and shutting down power and water to tens of millions of people. But one of the larger infrastructure failures is less appreciated: sewage overflow. 

Six months after Sandy, data from the eight hardest hit states shows that 11 billion gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage flowed into rivers, bays, canals, and in some cases, city streets, largely as a result of record storm-surge flooding that swamped the region’s major sewage treatment facilities. To put that in perspective, 11 billion gallons is equal to New York’s Central Park stacked 41 feet high with sewage, or more than 50 times the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The vast majority of that sewage flowed into the waters of New York City and northern New Jersey in the days and weeks during and after the storm. 

Our analysis of sewage-spill data provided by state agencies and individual treatment plant operators shows that:

  • One third of the overflow (3.45 billion gallons) was essentially untreated raw sewage.  The remainder (7.45 billon gallons) was partially treated, meaning that it received at least some level of filtration and, perhaps, chlorination.

Fire clean up

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

fire damage

Fire can cause large amounts of damage on your property. However, there are other damages that can seriously affect the building as well. Smoke odor invades building materials and personal belongings of every kind. Smoke soot damages walls that have not been burned by flames. Experiencing a fire can be devastating, and SERVPRO understands that your cherished possessions and memories are at stake. As fire restoration experts, we specialize in soot and smoke damage as well.

If your home is damaged by fire, it is critical to contact a company that specializes in the fire and smoke restoration process as soon as possible to prevent additional damage. Your local SERVPRO is available 24/7 to help minimize the cost of fire and smoke damage to your home.

Our fire restoration process includes:

  • 24/7 emergency services – onsite and assisting you within hours
  • Prompt damage assessment, pretesting and estimates
  • Emergency board-up and structural stabilization
  • Environmentally friendly methods for cleaning soot and other residue from fire damage
  • Smoke odor removal, sanitation and air purification
  • Careful removal and securing of damaged household goods, personal possessions and other contents for cleaning and restoration
  • Industrial grade water extractors, dehumidifiers, air movers and other equipment used to efficiently remove water resulting from fire extinguishing efforts
  • Reconstruction of the affected areas
  • Disinfectants and antimicrobials used to prevent mold and mildew

Why Trust SERVPRO

We will get your property back to normal faster. Our specialized training, cleaning methods and equipment combined with our experience means quicker clean up and lower smoke damage restoration costs. We can save your personal possessions using specialized equipment and cleaning methods, often being able to restore the contents of your home to their prior condition. We will assist with the insurance claims process to make it as painless as possible for you.

Mold remediation

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

mold in corner

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.  Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.



  • The key to mold control is moisture control.

  • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

  • It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Fire Damage in Westville NJ, Smoke Damage in Westville NJ,

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Westville NJ, Smoke Damage in Westville NJ,

Fire Damage in Westville NJ, Smoke Damage in Westville NJ,

No One Welcomes a Chimney Fire
A chimney fire in action can be impressive. Indications of a chimney fire have been described as creating:

  • loud cracking and popping noise
  • a lot of dense smoke, and
  • an intense, hot smell

Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about.

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and our highly trained technicians provide 24-hour emergency service. We're dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster with the training, equipment, and experience to respond to your restoration or cleaning needs.

24-Hour Emergency Service
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
Locally Owned and Operated
Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

SERVPRO understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business.

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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO

basement flooding

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

flooding
  • Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
  • From 2011 to 2015, the average flood claim amounted to more than $46,000.
  • From 2006 through 2015, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $1.9 billion per year.
  • In 2015, the average policy premium was nearly $700.
  • Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal disaster assistance for flooding.
  • The NFIP paid more than $839 million in flood insurance claims to all policyholders in 2015.
  • 2015 CLAIM REPORT FOR THE TOP 10 STATES

Texas9,670

South Carolina3,715

Florida1,079

New Jersey 1,045

Kentucky 1,034

Fire damage

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

fire

In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,280 civilian deaths, 15,700 civilian injuries, and $14.3 billion in property damage.

  • 501,500 were structure fires, causing 2,685 civilian deaths, 13,000 civilian injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage.
  • 204,500 were vehicle fires, causing 500 civilian fire deaths, 1,875 civilian fire injuries, and $1.8 billion in property damage.
  • 639,500 were outside and other fires, causing 95 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $252 million in property damage.

The 2015 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 63 seconds.

  • One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 34 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.
  • One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 1 seconds.

Ice damage

1/16/2017 (Permalink)

Ice damage
  1. Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. The raindrops move into a thin layer of below-freezing air right near the surface of the earth, allowing them to freeze on contact to the ground, trees, cars and other objects.
  2. Ice accumulates when super-cold rain freezes on contact with surfaces that are below freezing point. That can be dangerous, especially for older adults. You can walk a senior’s dog to keep them injury free! Sign up for Dog Days of Winter.
  3. Throughout the US, ice storms occur most often during the months of December and January.
  4. Ice storms have the bizarre effect of entombing everything in the landscape with a glaze of ice so heavy that it can split trees in half and turn roads and pavements into lethal sheets of smooth, thick ice.
  5. Ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times.
  6. Urban areas tend to suffer more economic and physical damage than rural areas because of the concentration of utilities and transportation systems (aircraft, trains, vehicles) — all of which may be affected to a great degree by the ice storm.
  7. The Midwest and Northeast are prime areas for freezing rain. In the high frequency band in the Midwest, an average of 12 to 15 hours of freezing rain occurs annually.
  8. Driving during an ice storm is extremely hazardous, because ice can cause vehicles to skid out of control, leading to devastating car crashes.
  9. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “deceptive killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. In addition to car crashes, people die from hypothermia which is prolonged exposure to cold.
  10. In 1998, an ice storm in northern New York and northern New England damaged millions of trees and caused $1.4 billion in damage. Accumulations were as much as three inches thick!
  11. The ice storm that struck the northeastern US in December 2008 left 1.25 million homes and businesses without power. Described as the worst storm of the decade, a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and parts of Maine.

Mold

1/13/2017 (Permalink)

mold

SERVPRO understands the stress when you have a water damage in your business or home. That is why we are available 24/7 to help. Our team is fast and quick to any job at any size. 
Our certified technicians will mitigate the damage to prevent mold, mildew or bacteria. Using EPA disinfectants, we will make your business or home safe to reenter and occupy. We make sure our team is trained and up to date with all of their credentials. 
SERVPRO has been trusted by local business's and insurance companies to assist with their water damage projects. We are there when your family needs help the most. Any type of damage in your home can be a devastating time and can cause a lot of stress in the household. Working with true professionals can definitely help the process and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. 

ice dams

1/11/2017 (Permalink)

ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.

An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.

Ice Dams are a common sight in Northern New England winters, and Home Partners has dealt with quite a few. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.

HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?

An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.

WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot

DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.

3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.

A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.

black ice

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

black ice

 

Watch out for black ice

What is black ice?

Black ice is actually invisible ice that is almost totally transparent. It can easily catch drivers off-guard and cause crashes.

How and where does black ice form?

Black ice forms when the air temperature is warmer than pavement, which causes moisture to rapidly freeze and creates a thin, transparent layer of ice on the roadway.

What can I do to be safer?

  • Slow down on bridges, overpasses and tunnels, and in the early morning when the air temperature is rising faster than the pavement temperature
  • Avoid applying brakes on ice as it may cause a vehicle to skid
  • Do not use cruise control during winter driving conditions
  • Use a safe speed for winter driving conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit
  • Keep a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you
  • Do not use a cell phone while driving and remember that texting is prohibited while driving in Minnesota
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel, your eyes on the road and your attention on your driving

Snow stats

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

snow

The insurance industry estimates the Blizzard of March 2003 was the most expensive winter storm from snow and ice damage in New jersey history. The estimated price tag was at least $93.3 million from more than 28,000 claims filed ($119.7 million in 2014 dollars). Most of the larger carriers activated their emergency catastrophe teams who specialize in handling disaster claims. This estimate is for damage to homes and automobiles and excludes the large commercial building losses resulting from the blizzard.

The lion's share of the damage was the result of wet, heavy snow causing collapses to roofs, porches, awnings, carports and outbuildings. There was also significant damage from downed trees and limbs, along with claims for wind, snow melt leakage, food spoilage and out-of-pocket living expenses for people forced out of their home due to storm damage. Most of the vehicle damage was due to being crushed rather than weather-related accidents.

"One of the biggest factors that has impacted the high insurance price tag of this storm is the rising cost to fix and rebuild homes in this current building market," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "The average cost per homeowner insurance claim is more than $3,500 and many homes were completely destroyed due to roof collapses and structural damage."

Smoke and soot

1/5/2017 (Permalink)

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 Mt. Laurel / Moorestown 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.

fires

1/4/2017 (Permalink)

In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,280 civilian deaths, 15,700 civilian injuries, and $14.3 billion in property damage.

  • 501,500 were structure fires, causing 2,685 civilian deaths, 13,000 civilian injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage.
  • 204,500 were vehicle fires, causing 500 civilian fire deaths, 1,875 civilian fire injuries, and $1.8 billion in property damage.
  • 639,500 were outside and other fires, causing 95 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $252 million in property damage.

The 2015 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 63 seconds.

  • One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 34 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.
  • One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 1 seconds.

 

 
 

Electrical fires

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

microwave melt down

This report has sections on statistics on home and non-home structure fires involving either electrical failure or malfunction in any equipment or involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment, with separate sections for each of the major types of home electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Trends, some risk comparisons, and suggested safety tips are also included.

Executive Summary

Electrical fires
The most inclusive and direct interpretation of “electrical fire” is a fire involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Any equipment powered by electricity can have such a failure.

In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, home electrical fires represented 13% of total home structure fires, 18% of associated civilian deaths, 11% of associated civilian injuries, and 20% of associated direct property damage. 

In 2011, an estimated 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 13 civilian deaths, 243 civilian injuries, and $501 million in direct property damage. In 2007-2011, non-home electrical fires represented 13% of total non-home structure fires, 5% of associated civilian deaths, 13% of associated civilian injuries, and 21% of associated direct property damage.

The national estimates in this report are derived from data reported to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  These statistics include fires reported as “confined fires,” for which detailed reporting is not required. Estimates of detailed characteristics for confined fires require statistical allocation of a large share of unknowns and so involve less confidence. 

Half (48%) of 2007-2011 reported non-confined U.S. home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction had some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment as equipment involved in ignition. The leading other types of equipment involved in ignition were fan (6%), washer or dryer (6%), space heater (4%), air conditioning equipment (4%), water heater (3%), and range (3%).

Cmas fires

1/2/2017 (Permalink)

This report provides estimates of the causes and circumstances of home structure fires that began with the ignition of Christmas trees during the five-year period of 2010-2014. Trend data are also presented. Previously published descriptions of Christmas tree fires are also included to show how these fires can happen.

Report highlights

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home1 structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees in 2010-2014. These fires caused an annual average of six civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage. 
  • On average, one of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are much more likely to be deadly than most other fires.
  • Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January.
  • In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires and 80% of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

1Homes include one- or two-family homes and apartments or other multi-family housing.

Lightning

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Lightning

One of my favorite things about hot summer days is an afternoon thunderstorm to cool things down.  It starts with the darkening of the sky as cumulus clouds block out the sun.  Then the wind picks up and the air takes on the scent of wet grass.  Finally, the skies open up and drop their deluge of rain on the dry earth below.

Thunderstorms are most likely in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours, but they can occur year-round and at all hours.  Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. Lightning is responsible for many fires around the world each year, and causes fatalities. Hail up to the size of softballs damages cars and windows, and kills livestock caught out in the open. Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Tornadoes (with winds up to about 300 mph) can destroy all but the best-built man-made structures.

As a child, we were usually permitted to play outside in a thunderstorm until we heard the rumbling sound of thunder.  Then, with the threat of lightning close by, we were ushered inside by adults.  We used to say that if you count how many seconds there were between the rumble of thunder and the flash of lightning (counting with “Mississippis” of course), you could tell how many miles away the storm was.  If there were only a few seconds between thunder and lightning, it was time to get inside.  It turns out that our game was partially true.  You should count the seconds between the sound and the light and you should count using “One-Mississippi”, “Two-Mississippi”, etc. However, you should take this number and divide it by five.  For every 5 seconds counted, the storm is 1 mile away. 

What else should we know about lightning?

·         Lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current.  If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, do NOT lay flat on the ground.  Keep moving toward a safe shelter.

·         Height, pointy shape, and isolation are the dominant factors controlling where a lightning bolt will strike.  The presence of metal makes absolutely no difference on where lightning strikes.  Mountains are made of stone but get struck by lightning many times a year.  When lightning threatens, take proper protective action by seeking a safe shelter.  While metal does not attract lightning, it does conduct it so stay away from metal fences, railings, bleachers, etc. 

·         Many lightning casualties occur because people do not seek shelter soon enough.  If you consider my example above about playing outside, we never should have waited to count the seconds until the lightning flashed.  Rather, we should have run for shelter at the first sound of thunder. 

·         Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object.  The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year!

·         Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires.  Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning.  When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm. 

·         The human body does not store electricity.  It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid.  This is the most chilling of lightning myths.  Imagine if someone died because people were afraid to give CPR!

For more tips on Lightning Safety or safety from some of the other hazardous events produced by thunderstorms.

Mold Remediation

12/23/2016 (Permalink)

A leak from a refrigerator line caused mold damage to the laminate flooring in this kitchen all the way down to the subfloor, pictured here.

SERVPRO of Woodburry/Deptford responded to a call for mold remediation in Deptford, New Jersey.  The ice maker line in the refrigerator was leaking for an unknown length of time.  As a result, the floor and cabinets were wet.  As soon as the homeowner discovered the floors were wet, he called SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton.

Upon tearing out the kitchen floor, our technicians learned that the subfloor was also effected by mold and had to come out, along with the cabinets.  The wood in the subfloor and the cabinets is a food source for mold.  In order to grown, mold requires an organic material to feed on, sustained moisture, and time.  This Deptford kitchen met these requirements.

The kitchen was approximately 150 square feet.  SERVPRO of Woodburry/Deptford set up an air scrubber and dehumidifier within the containment in order to properly clean the space.  The family could not use their kitchen for the three days our company was working, but they were not displaced from their home.  After the tear out, we vacuumed the space with a HEPA vacuum to catch any errant mold spores from the remaining surfaces in the kitchen.  

So as you can see, a small leak that