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Differences Between Storm Damage and Other Flooding Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Van from SERVPRO passing through the streets of a neighborhood and there are damaged metal sheets on the ground Storm damage in West Orange, NJ

Any way you slice it, you never want to experience flooding in your home. The damage can be extensive, even from minor floods. In more severe cases, you may not be able to return to your home for the foreseeable future, and you may even lose personal belongings. Cleaning up after a flood is vital, but there are times when you don't want to deal with this task by yourself. Floods caused by massive storms or sewer backups are much more concerning than a flood due to a broken pipe in the home.

Common Causes of Floods

You can work diligently to keep water out of your West Orange, NJ, house, but there are situations where you can only do your best and hope for some good luck. Flood damage damage can occur from various sources, some of which may not be under your control. Some of these causes are:

  • Broken city water line
  • Severe weather such as a thunderstorm or
  • hurricane
  • Leaky plumbing
  • Broken pipes
  • Overflowing toilet

Understanding the Categories

Flooding is broken into three groups: Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3. A Category 1 flood poses little risk to a person's health and thus makes cleanup much safer. A broken or burst pipe under your kitchen sink, for example, would fall in the first category. Category 2 issues require more caution. This water contains chemical or biological hazards and can cause sickness. Category 3 water is extremely unsanitary and contains human waste. It can be lethal if ingested.

The Cleanup Effort

You can feel comfortable cleaning up after a Category 1 water damage. However, beyond this, an expert water removal company should handle Category 2 and 3 issues. A professional crew will have the right equipment and tools to safely get rid of the water. The team will also sanitize the area and make your home livable again.
Flooding is nothing to scoff about. If you face these issues at home, act quickly and get the right help for the cleanup job.

Dealing With Frozen and Burst Pipes

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes Frozen pipes can be big trouble for your Montclair NJ, home

Frozen pipes can be big trouble for your Montclair NJ, home. Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take to keep this from happening.

How To Prevent Freezing Pipes

Your pipes are most at risk of freezing when the temperature drops overnight. To avoid this scenario, keep the temperature of the pipes as stable as possible. Here are some ways to regulate the temperature:

  • Keep the thermostat set at the same temperature day and night.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas of the home.
  • Open cabinets that house pipes to allow heat to reach the pipes.
  • Close off any openings near pipework that let in cold air.
  • Allow warm water to run overnight. A small trickle should be enough to help keep pipes warm.
  • If you have outdoor faucets, drain the pipes leading to them in the fall.

What To Do If Pipes Freeze

If you do wake up to frozen pipes, follow these steps:

  • Turn on a faucet. If water pressure is very low, you may have a frozen pipe. Leave the faucet on, so you will know when water pressure has increased and your pipes are back to normal.
  • Locate the frozen pipe. There may be more than one.
  • Thaw out the pipe using a heating pad, hair dryer or other heat source. Do not use an open flame to thaw a pipe.

If you cannot find the frozen pipe or if you cannot reach it, you will need to call a plumber.

What To Do If Pipes Burst

If one or more pipes in your home burst, you will need to address the situation as soon as possible.

  • Turn off the water, electricity and heat in the home.
  • Call your plumber.
  • Document the damage for your insurance company.
  • Remove the water with buckets or pumps.

If frozen pipes burst in your home this winter, you may wish to enlist the help of a professional restoration company to help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

What To Do When There Is Sewage Backup in Your Building

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Inside of flooded dirty abandoned ruined industrial building with sewage water Sewage water in an Upper Montclair, NJ building

What To Do When There Is Sewage Backup in Your Building

A major hurricane or storm in Upper Montclair, NJ, can cause severe flood damage to your commercial building. Specifically, the contaminated floodwaters or sewage backup could end up in your office. This black water may contain microbes or harmful chemicals.
If you do suspect that there is a sewage backup in your building, you can take steps to limit the destruction. These precautions include:

  • Evacuating vulnerable individuals, namely seniors and children, from the area
  • Removing uncontaminated items
  • Opening windows to increase ventilation
  • Adding bleach to standing water to limit the spread of bacteria

Obviously, you do not want your workers exposed to these toxins. However, you do not have to completely shut down your office for the entirety of the flood cleanup. Once the affected areas are demolished or disinfected, employees can come back to work while the building is restored.

Small Sewage Spills

If the backup is fairly recent and confined to a small area, you may be able to handle the problem yourself. Make sure to wear proper gear, including masks, gloves and boots, so your skin does not contact the black water.
Any saturated paneling, carpets, floors and baseboards should be disposed of immediately. Then wash and disinfect the entire area with an antibacterial cleaner. Portable items should be allowed to dry outside in the sun.

When To Call the Experts

If the sewage backup is more than 24 hours old or has spread to multiple rooms of the property, you will need to contact a commercial building restoration company. Professionals will keep your employees safe and limit the spread of mold during the storm cleanup.
Employers or property managers may be able to handle small sewage backups on their own. However, a major black water contamination requires the assistance of professionals. Even if you do have to call in experts, your employees can return to the office while the storm damage restoration occurs.

What To Do If You Smell Gas in Your Home

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark What to do if you smell gas in your home?

No one expects a gas fire to happen to them in Verona, NJ, but it is more common than most people think. In order to protect your home and your family you should educate yourself on the best steps to take should you notice a gas smell inside your house.

Proceed With Caution

If you smell is still weak, you should attempt to find the source of the gas leak. You should already be familiar with your gas meter before an emergency occurs, so you know how to turn it off. Some tips to stay safe while you are investigating:

  • Don't turn on your lights- this could spark a fire, so use a flashlight instead
  • Use your senses- follow the smell of natural gas or any hissing noises you hear
  • Check your stove- sometimes a simple bump can accidentally turn on the gas

Air It Out

After you find the location of the gas leak and you've shut it off, you should also ventilate your home as much as possible to avoid a gas fire from the built up fumes. Open up all the windows and doors and keep them open until the smell is gone. To avoid any electrical sparking, do not turn on or plug in any fans. You can use towels or anything flat to attempt to fan the air out yourself.

Get Out of Dodge

If the smell is strong and you fear a gas explosion, feel free to skip any previous steps and leave the premises. Be sure to call emergency services to report the leak, so professionals can handle it using the proper safety protocol and protective equipment. If a fire does start, it will make your life easier if you already have a fire damage remediation service you trust and know what your insurance expects of you.
The thought of a gas fire can be terrifying, but you should do your best to stay calm make careful decisions about how to proceed. Find friends, family or a hotel to stay with until the danger passes.

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

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Broken pipe in the ceiling 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.

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Common Commercial Water Damage Problems

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Pieces of wood and paper thrown and wet on a floor Commercial water damage in Llewellyn Park, NJ

Common Commercial Water Damage Problems

If you own or lease a commercial space in Llewellyn Park, NJ, you need to be aware of what types of problems most commonly cause water damage to commercial buildings. Any sizable water damage, whether from a flood or broken pipe, will require the services of a professional restoration company. There are certain preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of water invading your building.

1. Broken, Damaged or Leaking Pipes

Pipes carry a lot of water in and out of your building on a daily basis. Over time, joints can become loose, cracks can develop, and pipes can begin to wear out. A busted pipe inside a wall can cause a lot of damage. If you hear unusual noises in your pipes, you should get them checked out.

2. Faulty Toilets

One of the most dreaded sources of flooding comes from dirty toilet water. This water can contain bacteria and other organisms. If you experience a toilet overflow due to a broken pipe or other problem, make sure the area is properly cleaned and disinfected. You can help maintain toilets by making sure they are flushing properly and do not continue to run after they are flushed.

3. Extreme Weather

Extreme weather can cause flooding, especially if your building is not properly maintained. Get your roof inspected regularly and make sure windows and doors are tightly sealed.

4. Failing Appliances

Some appliances use water. When these appliances begin to fail, they can leak water and cause water damage. For example, a freezer that thaws out overnight can leave an unexpected mess in the morning. Make sure your appliances are properly maintained and running smoothly.
Returning your building to normal involves more than simply soaking up the water from a broken pipe or other source. When you work with a skilled water repair service, you get the benefit of expertise and equipment to get your business back to normal.

4 Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Insurance Adjuster

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Someone wearing a white protective gear with google, helmet and gloves Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing if you are in an area with standing water since it is likely contaminated

4 Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Insurance Adjuster

When you make a flood insurance claim after a storm, you might consider waiting for your adjuster to arrive before doing anything else. However, this can cause the damage in your Glen Ridge, NJ, home to become worse and may affect your claim. Instead of doing nothing, here are some productive things that you can do while you wait.

1. Call a Restoration Service

The longer the water sits in your home, the worse the damage becomes. Mold damage, in particular, can become a big problem in a short amount of time since this fungus can start spreading within 24 hours. To prevent this from happening, contact a cleanup and restoration service to begin mitigation right away.

2. Take Pictures

When you are making a flood insurance claim, it is important to provide evidence of the damage. Since waiting for someone to inspect the house will only make the situation worse, you should take photos instead. You can provide this along with a list of affected items to your adjuster when he or she arrives.

3. Start Cleaning Up

Even before the restoration company shows up, you can start cleaning the flood damage on your own. Move dry belongings to a safer area so that they don’t end up in the water. Set aside anything that has already been affected. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing if you are in an area with standing water since it is likely contaminated.

4. Read Over Your Policy

Checking the details of your flood policy while you wait can help move things along once the adjuster gets there. It can help you understand what needs to be done and what requirements there will be moving forward.
While you will need to wait for your flood insurance adjuster to work on processing your claim, there is still plenty that you can do in the meantime. You can take that time to begin returning your home to its previous condition. Just make sure that you do so safely.

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture with mold Mold damage on furniture in a Llewellyn Park, NJ home

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

Mold damage doesn’t just affect the structure of your home. It can also damage the contents inside the house. That is why a great mold cleaning company in Llewellyn Park, NJ, addresses not only the walls and floors, but also your valuable possessions.
Since the fungus can spread quickly throughout your home, the mold remediation process typically includes discarding damaged items. However, if a sentimental item was affected, experts may be able to restore it to its original state. There are several different cleaning methods that can be used. They include:

  • Spray and Wipe
  • Immersion Cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Abrasive Cleaning

Any items that have minor residue may just require dry cleaning. Wet cleaning, meanwhile, is designed for more severe damage. For belongings that cannot handle the wet mold cleaning method, the spray and wipe may be used instead.
Foam cleaning is designed for upholstery or other items that might bleed or shrink when washed with water. Abrasive cleaning includes surface agitation, and immersion cleaning involves dipping the damaged item into a bath full of cleaning solution.

Saving Your Electronics

Mold typically thrives in excess moisture, and moisture and electronics do not mix. You may thus find water damage to your computers, televisions or DVD players during the cleanup
Remediation experts will clean the outside of these devices to prevent corrosion. They will then send the items to a technician for restoration.
Special Services
Mold cleanup professionals may also be able to remediate of leathers, clothes and paintings. Special services are available to remove the mold from these items. In particular, the new Esporta machine can restore more than 90 percent of the textiles and soft contents of your home.
Even if you need black mold cleanup in your home, you may not have to throw out all of your possessions. The mold cleaning process can include the restoration of your favorite items.

What to Do When Water Drips From Your Light Fixtures

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water in light fixture

What to Do When Water Drips From Your Light Fixtures

Dealing with water leaks is a pretty familiar occurrence as a homeowner in West Orange, NJ, but having water leaking into sensitive places around the house can be very damaging, and even more so if the leak goes unnoticed for a period of time, causing wall or ceiling damage, and even electrical damage.
Finding water in light fixtures can be both a costly repair and dangerous, and it’s possible to be shocked by just touching the light switch. Not only that, water going into an electrical fixture could potentially spark and start a fire. The leak may be gradual, making it impossible to notice right away, so by the time you see water dripping there may already be mold present, or corroded wires which can cause a short circuit.

Ceiling Damage

If you don’t see water in light fixtures, but you do see the ceiling sagging or bulging, the drywall could be soaking wet meaning it has lost almost all of its structural integrity. If this is the case, it’s important to stay away from these areas until you can get it repaired.

What to Do Next

Once you see damage or water around your home lighting, it is recommended that you turn off the electricity to that area of the house to avoid electrocution. Then you can figure out where the water is coming from and shut off the source if it’s being caused by a plumbing leak. Finding water in light fixtures below a bathroom might mean you have a leaking toilet, tub, or sink. Leaks on the top floor or in poorly sealed basements could be caused by rain.

Safety and Repairs

Let everyone in the house know about the damage, and make sure they do not touch any electrical sources until you can confirm they’re safe. It might be necessary to call an electrician to ensure all your wiring is still up to code, as well as a plumber if you have damaged plumbing. A professional restoration company can come in and cleanup the damage caused by water in light fixtures, mold, or even an electrical fire.

How To Keep Your Business Safe During a Thunderstorm

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Checking for roof leaks

Prepare For A Storm And Keep Your Business Protected

When a thunderstorm is about to target your business in Upper Montclair, NJ, it’s your responsibility as the owner to keep it as safe as possible. To ensure that your building doesn’t sustain severe damage, it’s crucial to take preventative measures before the rain storm arrives. Here are some of the steps you should take to prepare for a storm and keep your business protected.

Maintain Your Property

To prevent any high winds or flood damage from wreaking havoc on your property, you need to maintain it. Some of the ways you can maintain your building’s property include:

  • Trimming trees
  • Checking for roof leaks
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Pulling weeds

Taking even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the state of your business. When the storm arrives, you can feel much more prepared if you’ve taken good care of your property.

Protect Your Windows

If you leave your windows vulnerable to the various effects of a rain storm, they can become severely damaged. Be sure to properly shield your windows from the storm in advance. You can shutter them or cover them with curtains or drapes to protect them from the effects of hail or high winds. Taking this step may also keep the wind from blowing broken glass into your building.

Keep Your Appliances Safe

All of the corded appliances you have in your building should also be protected from the thunderstorm. Make sure you unplug any corded appliances you see when walking through your building to prevent them from being affected by storm damage. Ensuring that your devices and equipment stay safe throughout the storm can help you avoid paying for costly repairs or replacements.
While it’s important to do what you can to keep your business safe, you can’t control nature. If you notice any signs of harm after a rain storm, don’t hesitate to contact storm damage restoration professionals. With the help of their knowledge and expertise, your building can be renewed after undergoing storm damage.