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Understanding the Difference Between a Burst Pipe and a Storm Flood

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding the Difference Between a Burst Pipe and a Storm Flood Give SERVPRO a call if you have a burst pipe or storm damage.

No matter the cause of flooding in your Montclair, NJ home, you may have a sense of panic rise up. After all, standing water in your home is rarely a good thing. While the overall damage may seem the same to you, the fact is that water from a burst pipe and water from a large storm can affect your house in drastically different ways. A residential water remediation team may be able to help you better understand this difference.

Burst Pipe

When a burst pipe causes flooding in your home, you likely turn to water damage specialists for help repairing the problem. This type of water source usually falls into Category 1, which means the following:

• It does not contain bacteria, spores or other contaminants.
• Once the water is drained from your home, drying the house is the main concern.
• Water needs to be treated quickly to ensure it does not get contaminated.

Water from a clean source usually has a shorter cleanup process than water from a questionable source.

Storm Flood

Flood damage caused by a storm does not have to be worse than that from a burst pipe, but it could be. This type of water usually falls into Category 2 or 3, which means the following:

• It may contain sewage, chemicals, bacteria and other microbes.
• Your belongings will have to be disinfected as well as dried out.
• The water needs to be treated quickly to reduce the damage and contamination done to your home.

When water comes from rising rivers, ground water or sewage backup, it can be a little more troublesome. Not only do you have to worry about mold growth and water damage, but you also have to worry about the potential side effects of the dirty water.

No matter what causes flooding in your home in Montclair, NJ you want to make sure to address the problem as quickly as possible. If left unattended, standing water can cause major mold growth and structural damage. Visit for more information on storm damage.

Why Your At-Home Mold Testing Kit Is Not Always Accurate

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Why Your At-Home Mold Testing Kit Is Not Always Accurate Mold Growth Under Bathroom Cabinet

Many homeowners use DIY mold testing kits to determine if their home has mold, but professionals warn that at-home testing kits are not always accurate. In fact, they rarely ever are. If you bought a mold kit in the hopes of keeping your home healthy, this post outlines a few reasons why it might be better to ditch the kit and reach out to a professional Montclair, NJ, mold remediation expert to perform a test instead.

An at-home testing device may not be accurate for the following reasons:

• They don’t come with expiration dates.
• They are notorious for providing inconsistent results.
• There is no controlled sampling.
• They don’t account for dead spores.
• There is no inspection.

Why You Should Not Rely on a DIY Mold Kit

Bacteria can accumulate anywhere and on any item. If a mold testing kit has been allowed to sit on a store shelf for years, or worse, in a damp storage compartment, the kit itself may have spores attached to it. There is no way for consumers to know this, however, because there is no expiration date to refer to.

In addition to there being no sell-by date, DIY kits are notorious for providing inaccurate results. Professionals have cited instances in which home kits detect an abundance of mold, but in which professional devices detected low levels of growth and vice versa. At-home kits cannot be relied upon to provide accurate results.

A controlled sample is necessary to evaluate the extent of the problem and determine whether or not one area of the home is, in fact, a problem area. However, most DIY kits don’t come with a dish to take a comparison sample. Additionally, at-home kits do not account for dead spores, which are just as harmful as live ones.

Finally, a DIY test kit cannot provide an inspection, which is key in mold remediation. Without a thorough inspection, you cannot know the true extent of your problem.

If you suspect that there is mold growth in your home, do not rely on a DIY mold testing kit. Instead, call in a Montclair, NJ, professional who can give you an accurate reading and advise you on how to proceed with remediation efforts.

Visit us at for more information. 

Know When Your Homeowner's Insurance Covers Broken Pipes, and When it Does Not

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Know When Your Homeowner's Insurance Covers Broken Pipes, and When it Does Not Broken Pipe in West Orange NJ Home

You may have heard that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water damage, and while this is true in many instances, it is generally not true in the case of a broken pipe. While most policies won’t cover the broken pipe itself, they will cover the ensuing damage, such as weak drywall, ineffective insulation and ruined carpet. If you recently experienced a flood of water because of a pipe burst, it is important that you understand what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Though this post can give you an idea, the best thing you can do is contact your West Orange, NJ, insurance provider regarding your coverage.

Some factors your insurance adjuster may consider when examining your claim include:

• The cause of the broken pipe
• Whether you were negligent in the care of your pipes
• Preventative measures employed by you prior to pipe burst
• The type of damage

Was Negligence at Play?

While most homeowners insurance agencies agree to cover water damage, they do so under upon the condition that homeowners do their best to maintain their premises. Part of home maintenance includes eliminating hazards, fixing noticeable damage before it becomes a problem and taking proper preventative measures. If an adjuster determines that you did not fix a broken pipe when it started to leak or that a lack of heating caused your pipes to burst, your claim may be denied. However, if you did everything in your power to prevent a flood, your agency cannot rightfully deny your claim.

What Type of Damage Is Present?

Fortunately, most homeowners policies are fairly extensive when it comes to water damage. Basic homeowners insurance coverage should cover the cost of damaged drywall, carpet, framing, woodwork and restoration efforts if the damage was sudden and unpreventable. However, any type of gradual damage is not likely to be covered.

Every homeowners insurance policy is different, and what may be covered by one company may not be covered by another. If you want to know whether the flood damage in your home is covered by your policy, the best thing you can do is talk with your provider.

Visit us at for more information. 

What To Expect When Cleaning Up Storm Damage

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What To Expect When Cleaning Up Storm Damage Commercial Storm Loss

Sometimes Mother Nature gets the best of you no matter how much you prepare. If your business property in Mont Clair, NJ, was hit with water damage due to flooding, you need to clean up quickly so that you can get back to work. Use this guide as a walkthrough from the tear out process to opening your doors again after storm restoration.

Remove the Water

The first thing you need to do when dealing with water damage is to remove the excess water. This is possible in one of two ways.

- You can do it yourself if you have the right equipment and it's a small amount of water.
- You should call a professional company if you don't have the equipment or the water is very high.

Remove the Wet Materials

Once the excess water has been removed, you must tear out or remove wet materials such as furniture, inventory and carpeting. While some items, such as some types of furniture, might be salvageable, it is usually best to claim any inventory or larger items as a loss with your insurance company. Anything you do try to save will need to dry thoroughly before you can take it back inside.

Dry the Rest of the Property

Walls, floors and other hard structures are likely to retain some moisture due to humidity. Open windows, turn on fans and bring in dehumidifiers. Run them as long as you need to until the inside of your property is dry again.

Restore the Property

Once everything is dry, you can begin to restore your business to its former glory. Lay down new carpet, bring in new furniture and inventory and get ready for your grand reopening.

When working with a storm restoration company, remember to research thoroughly. Look for one that is licensed, insured and well-respected in the community. Using a lesser company to remove water and tear out carpet may just leave you with more mess to clean up.

Visit us at for more information.

Mold Remediation in the Workplace

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is found everywhere. If moisture is present, mold likely is, too. It can grow on just about any surface, and reproduces via spores. Because spores can easily travel on air currents, they are able to quickly find suitable, damp habitats in which to grow. All black mold needs to thrive is a moist environment and a food source.

Tips for Preventing Mold

The best approach to preventing mold in your commercial building is to stop it before it becomes a problem -- and moisture control is the key. Use these tips to get on top of the issue before it gets out of hand:

• Identify potential problem areas. These are typically secluded areas where moisture is present.
• Clean up water immediately. This includes water from pipe leaks, basement seepage or a spill on the carpet.
• Provide proper ventilation in problem areas. If you know condensation tends to build in a certain room of your facility, come up with some ventilation solutions to help keep that space dry.
• When doing repairs or upgrades, use products that resist the growth of black mold.
• Monitor the humidity levels in your building by investing in a moisture meter. The EPA recommends that indoor humidity should not be higher than 60 percent.

Mold Cleanup

Mold is a common component of dust in the workplace, and is therefore commonly found in buildings. Many times, indoor mold is found at low enough levels that it doesn’t have a negative impact on most healthy individuals, but in large amounts or when dealing with toxic black mold, some risk may arise.

If you are concerned you may have an issue, consider contacting a mold remediation and restoration specialist in Montclair, NJ to assess your building and help you find a solution. Mold can often spread and grow in places you don’t notice. When removing large amounts of mold, it is imperative that you take special precautions. When dealing with mold, wear a face mask and turn off the furnace and air conditioning, so you don’t spread spores to other areas of your facility. Visit for more information on mold. 

3 Products You Should Always Throw Away After a Fire

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

When you’re cleaning up after a fire in your home in Montclair, NJ it’s only natural that you’d want to save as many of your surviving belongings as possible. After all, this can help cut down on the costs of refurbishing your home once the fire cleanup crews leave, and ensure you’re not wasting anything, right? While this is correct, there are a few products you’ll want to throw away after a fire. These include

• Food
• Medicine
• Cosmetics

1. Food

Just because food isn’t expired or burned doesn’t make it okay to ingest. Often, porous foods such as bread, potatoes and various types of fruits absorb soot, smoke and harmful chemicals from the air during a fire. This means that when you eat these foods later on, you’re also taking in the harmful compounds they’ve absorbed. Furthermore, meat quickly goes bad in high temperatures and should be discarded immediately to prevent food poisoning.

2. Medicine

Medicine relies on chemical reactions to accomplish the desired effects in a human body. However, warning labels often indicate that these products should be kept in cool, dry places for good reason. High heat can cause the chemicals in medications of all types to react and change. Ingesting these meds later can cause serious harm in some cases, so it’s best to throw them away after a fire.

3. Cosmetics

Much like medication, cosmetics use chemicals to do their job. Again, intense heat has the potential to cause a different type of fire damage to makeup and other cosmetics, changing their chemical compounds into a potentially more harmful version. Throw away any makeup that’s been near a high-heat fire.

The decision to throw away these belongings might not be an easy one in the moment, but it’s the best way to avoid further damages to your family and health after you’ve dealt with the flames themselves. Cleanup crews can often offer more information on other products that should be tossed out in the aftermath. Visit for more information on fire damage. 

Where There’s Fire Damage, There’s Sure to Be Water Damage

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

A structural fire can cause serious damage, but unfortunately, the flames aren’t the only damaging element to wreak havoc on your building and its contents. In order to put out a raging inferno, firefighters have to use massive amounts of water and other chemicals, which means that whatever the fire didn’t ruin, the water surely did. In addition to having to deal with fire and smoke cleanup, you will also be forced to deal with water cleanup. So, where do you start? FEMA recommends doing the following immediately after a fire:

• Contact your insurance agency
• Turn off the utilities
• Create as much ventilation as possible
• Contact a cleanup crew

Reach Out to Your Insurance Provider

First things first: you need to report the fire to whichever agency will be compensating you for damages. The longer you wait to report the fire, the slimmer your chances will become of recovering the full cost of damages.

Turn Off the Utilities

This is important for a number of reasons. For one, you can save money by shutting off the utilities you won’t be using for the foreseeable future. Two, by leaving the gas or electrical running, you may unwittingly cause another fire or explosion. If you don’t know which utilities to turn off, the Montclair, NJ water cleanup crew can help.

Create Airflow in Your Building

Part of fire cleanup efforts includes ridding buildings of smoke odors and the harmful contaminants caused by soot. You can aid the fire restoration team in their efforts by opening as many windows as possible and creating adequate airflow. However, only do this once you’ve been given the go ahead by the fire department.

Contact a Water Cleanup Crew

A professional fire cleanup crew can help you separate all salvageable items from the non-salvageable. They will have all the necessary water extraction equipment to effectively free your building of excess moisture and get it to the point where it can be recovered (if that’s an option). Finally, professional cleaners will remove all damaged materials, wash down all surfaces and advise you on what you need to do bring your building back to pre-fire condition. Visit for more information on commercial fire damage. 

4 Actions a Flood Restoration Company Can Take to Repair Your Home

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood damages your Montclair, NJ, home, deciding how to proceed with the cleanup can be a challenge. Your floors, furniture and other belongings may be saturated with contaminated flood waters. The first step you can take after a flood is to call in a professional restoration company, which can tear out ruined carpeting, remove standing water and perform other important actions to get your home looking and smelling like new again.

1. Removal of Flood Waters

Severe flooding can leave standing water in the interior of your home. Whether it is only a few inches or several feet deep, it may be contaminated with sewage water from overflowing storm drains. A residential restoration service can remove this water safely and prevent you and your family from coming into contact with toxins or pathogens that may exist in dirty flood water.

2. Disposal of Damaged Carpeting or Wall Covering

Water damage can affect your home’s floors and walls, especially if they are exposed to flood waters for an extended period of time. Absorbent material, such as carpeting, may become completely saturated. A restoration company can tear out these damaged materials once they remove the water from your home to ensure any contaminants or toxins they may be harboring are eliminated.

3. Mold Inspection

Mold can grow quickly in a flood-damaged home. Once it gains a foothold, it can be difficult to remove. You can ask your home restoration experts about how to monitor for mold and whether they can inspect your home for its presence once the rooms are dried and they tear out damaged surfaces.

4. Cleaning and Deodorizing

An important step in storm restoration is to have your home thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. Flood waters can leave a foul odor behind that might linger for months. Only professional home restoration experts can target these smells and leave your home smelling clean and fresh once more.

When your Montclair, NJ, home is damaged by a flood, it can be hard to know where to start with cleanup efforts. However, an expert flood restoration company can take several actions to help return your home to its former glory.

Visit us at for more storm information.

How To Handle Cleaning Up After a Sewer Backup

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is challenging enough when you are dealing with a burst or broken pipe, but it gets even more challenging when you are dealing with a sewer backup. Cleaning up after a flooded toilet or another major sewer malfunction in Upper Montclair, NJ, means not only drying the area and cleaning the affected home furnishings and belongings, but also disinfecting all the affected areas. That’s why it’s important to work with a professional sewer cleanup service that has the tools to handle the job.

Discovering the Problem

1. Turn off the water to the toilet or other appliance affected by the sewage backup.
2. Contact the cleanup service and your insurance carrier.
3. Keep pets and kids clear of the affected areas.
4. Contact repair services to fix the cause of the backup.

Any cleanup that requires thorough disinfection as part of its process presents a strong risk to human health and well-being from unprotected exposure. It’s important that you make sure to minimize any human exposure to the affected areas of your home until after you have gotten professional help with sewer cleanup following the accident.

Using Sewer Backup Cleaning Specialists

Water damage and restoration companies carry certifications that tell you what kinds of emergencies they are certified to handle. When you are dealing with a flooded toilet or a sewer that has backed up, you need to find a company whose employees are certified to deal with sewage and other biohazards. That way, you know they will use the proper disinfectant cleaning protocols during your cleanup.

Repairing Your Plumbing

You will probably need to line up a plumbing service in Upper Montclair, NJ, in addition to your cleaning service, but not always. If you do need a plumber, make sure you let the cleaning crew finish, so any contaminated areas are disinfected. When sewer cleanup goes first, the repair can be completed more quickly and efficiently.

Visit for more information on water.

When It Comes to Treating Water Damage, Speed Is Crucial

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering water damage in your home is stressful. You know it means hours of cleanup and restoration, and you may just not want to deal with it right away. After all, it’s already damaged, right? But what you may not realize is that failure to act quickly after a pipe burst can lead to costly secondary damages such as mold growth and humidity damage.

The Crucial First Day

The first 24 hours after a water damage incident are crucial to the cleanup process. Any water left standing after 24 hours runs the risk of developing mold and other harmful bacteria. The first step in any water damage recovery should be to get rid of as much water as you can as quickly as possible.

Some cleanup and restoration companies in West Orange, NJ, offer 24-hour emergency services to help you start the process right away. In the meantime, you can attempt to sop up standing water with a wet vacuum, mop, or even old towels. It’s important to contact a qualified cleanup company, rather than try to handle the pipe burst cleanup yourself, as you may not realize exactly how far the damage can extend. A cleanup company will be sure to correct any and all possible hazards from the affected area.

Even if the water has already been sitting for more than a day by the time you’ve found it, restoration companies often offer mold cleanup as well. You should still deal with it as soon as possible to avoid extending the damage.

Humidity Damage

Even if you manage to avoid mold growth, any remaining water can cause trouble as it evaporates through humidity damage. Extreme humidity can cause warping of wood or drywall and even damage electronics or musical instruments being stored in the space. A cleanup company can help you to avoid this by setting up dehumidifiers to capture any water vapor in the air as the affected area dries.

Don’t let frustration with a pipe burst prevent you from dealing with the damage quickly. Those first 24 hours are crucial to the cleanup process. Cleaning up right away can prevent costly and hazardous secondary damage.

Visit for your commercial restoration emergency.