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The Whys and Hows of Flushing the Water Heater

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Whys and Hows of Flushing the Water Heater An annual flush is an important part of maintaining your heater.

Important Benefits of Flushing a Water Heater

If you happened to read the owner's manual for your water heater, you probably know that an annual flush is an important part of maintaining your heater. Many homeowners choose to do this themselves, but some like to complete the task on their own. Before reviewing the steps for completing the flush, consider some of the important benefits:

  • Prevent future damages
  • Honor warranty requirements
  • Extend the life of the water tank
  • Reduce the cost of operating the heater
  • Improve efficiency
  • Put a stop to noises, such as banging, crackling, and popping

When the heater is flushed, a lot of sand and scale are drained, so the tank is as likely to rust. As debris is drained from the bottom of the tank, it makes room for more water and improves your family's access to ready hot water.

Risks of Delay

If you don't get the water heater flush, you risk facing serious problems. In some cases, sediment may show up in the water coming from your faucets. After a couple of years without flushing the water heater, you may experience a decrease in water pressure or go through the frustration of a burst pipe. (If this happens, you should immediately contact a water remediation specialist to avoid the serious issues that come with water damage.) In some cases, the tank will simply stop working.

How to Flush the Water Tank

There are several steps to flushing the heater:

  • Make sure you have a drain handy or a large enough receptacle to collect all the water and sediment in the tank.
  • Turn the heater thermostat knob to the off position.
  • Turn off gas or electricity to the heater.
  • Turn off the cold-water supply.
  • Open the hot water at your sink.
  • Open the pressure relief valve.
  • Attach your garden hose to the drainage spout.
  • Turn on the spigot and let the water drain out.
  • Turn the cold-water spigot on and let it run until the water coming out of the hose is clear.

Once you're happy with your results, put things back to the way they were originally. Your Llewellyn Park, NJ, home requires a lot of maintenance, but flushing the water heater is one chore that won't take all weekend. Plus, it comes with plenty of great benefits.

The Facts About DIY Mold Testing Kits

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Facts About DIY Mold Testing Kits DIY testing kits aren't a good investment

Reasons Home DIY Testing Kits Aren't a Good Investment

You've found evidence of mold in your home, and you want to know just how far the problem has spread. Mold testing seems like a good idea, and there are a lot of mold kit tests available online. It seems like you can simply order a kit and tackle a DIY solution and save yourself a lot of money, right? It's not so simple. Take a look at some reasons home DIY testing kits aren't a good investment.

  • The kits will always show a positive result. This is because mold exists naturally in the environment. You've already found visual evidence, so there's nothing left for those DIY mold kits to tell you.
  • Experts, including doctors, lawyers, and your insurance company, will not accept the results of a DIY test. These products are notoriously inaccurate with false negatives and positives, and a lack of oversight in shipping and handling.
  • Kits don't include a control sample, lack accredited certification and endorsement, and don't include an inspection factor.
  • A DIY kit doesn't tell you how to proceed next.

The only reliable way to determine the extent of a mold problem in your home is to hire a certified industrial hygienist.

The Right Credentials

What makes these people experts? A certified industrial hygienist, or CIH, has demonstrated the knowledge and practical skills necessary to promote clean working conditions, including in homes. These professionals are prepared to take air samples, run analytical chemical tests, identify biohazards, review toxicology reports, and conduct mold testing in your home.

Just the First Step

Resolving a mold problem in your home involves far more than recognizing the problem. Once you know there's mold, you've only begun. A CIH technician can measure the extent of mold growth, identify the types of mold in your home, provide results accepted by your insurance company, complete a comprehensive inspection, and tell you what needs to happen next.

Don't Take Risks

Mold can lead to a lot of problems in your home, and mold testing is a good first step to avoid that trouble. Make sure you get accurate results by working with professionals in Glen Ridge, NJ.

3 Steps for Avoiding a Dryer Fire

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Steps for Avoiding a Dryer Fire The lint filter should be cleaned before and after every load of laundry

Steps Recommended By the USFA

One common cause of home fires is the clothes dryer. The United States Fire Administration includes some startling statistics in their information about fire safety at home, specifically regarding a lint fire situation.

  • 2,900 home fires due to clothes dryers are reported every year.
  • Failure to clean the dryer, including the lint trap and hose behind the dryer, is the leading cause of these fires.
  • The rate of these fires increases during the fall and winter months.

You can avoid a clothes dryer fire with steps recommended by the USFA.

1. Hire a Professional To Install and Service Your Dryer

A home appliance professional will choose the correct electrical outlet and plug for your home and your appliances. They may also recognize potential risks, such as old wiring or outdated construction. You should also be sure to read through the manufacturer warnings and instructions before you operate the dryer.

2. Clean the Dryer Regularly

The lint filter should be cleaned before and after every load of laundry. The vent pipe should be cleaned out every three months. You should also clean the dryer itself once every six months at least. This may involve vacuuming out the interior of the appliance, scrubbing down the interior sides with a nylon bristled brush, and rinsing off the lint trap. Cleaning out the dryer and keeping it free of debris is one of the top steps you can take to avoid a lint fire. If you notice the dryer cycle takes longer than normal, hire a professional to inspect and clean the appliance before risking a dryer fire.

3. Perform Consistent Maintenance

Regularly inspect the vent system directly behind the dryer, watching for damages or restrictions. Cover the outside dampers to prevent dirt, rain, or snow from clogging the vents. However, you need to make sure the covers open when the vent is in use.

Carefully following these three steps can keep you and your home safe from a lint fire. Contact fire damage and remediation professionals in your West Orange, NJ, to get more tips.

3 Quick Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Quick Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes Flood damage in Upper Montclair, NJ area

Things You Need to Know In Order to Claim Your Tax Deduction

Severe weather events cause a great deal of property damage in Upper Montclair, NJ. Even if you have business insurance, your policy may not cover all the costs. You may be left with out-of-pocket expenses, such as hiring a commercial building restoration services company. The upside is that you may qualify for a storm damage tax deduction. In order to claim your tax deduction, there are a few things you need to know.

1. Understand Casualty Loss

What's a casualty? It's an unusual, unexpected or sudden event. Is your property damage a casualty loss? That's the first question that must be answered. A tax-deductible claim is based on property damage sustained during certain types of weather conditions. The following natural disasters below fall under that category:

  • Floods
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes

2. Know What Can Be Deducted

All property damage is not covered under a casualty insurance policy. For instance, damages due to wear and tear can't be claimed. Examples include damages, such as termite damage or age-related deterioration.

3. File Your Claim on Time

If you don't file your claim in a timely manner, you run the risk of losing out on your reimbursement. Generally speaking, you have up to one year to file a claim after a disaster. In federally declared disaster areas, the time frame may be more flexible.

Additionally, there are two approaches to filing this deduction on your tax return. One, you can submit an amended tax return for the preceding tax year. Two, you can submit a return with your disaster-related deduction for the same year the storm damage took place.

Get Tax Deductible Relief

Insurance is an essential part of running a business in Upper Montclair, NJ. As important as it is, it may not cover the total losses incurred by a storm. This often leaves you with covering the rest of the costs. Fortunately, you gain financial relief if you qualify for a disaster-related tax deduction.

Preventing Sewage Backup

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preventing Sewage Backup A sewer backup at your home is never fun.

A sewer backup at your home is never fun. It is even less enjoyable when it leads to storm damage at your Montclair, NJ home. If you have been suffering through a lot of these backups, it may be time for you to find ways to prevent them from happening again. Here are four actions you can take to prevent future sewage backups.

1. Install a Backwater Valve

Backwater valves are a very common solution to backups. They are designed to help sewage flow away from your house - but they also close if a backup is imminent. Remember that a certified contractor must install such a valve.

2. Use a Standpipe

A standpipe is a simple sewage solution - it is a pipe that is installed right in your floor drain. What makes it unique is that it has a rubber seal that is airtight, so any water that comes out of your drain is usually directed to the pipe rather than the floor. You can also remove the pipe after flooding is no longer an issue, and the remaining water will then drain.

3. Consider a Floor Drain Plug

These plugs are installed below your floor drain grates. They prevent water from backing up when sewage conditions are poor, letting the water return through its opening after the sewers calm down. They are typically very affordable and easy to install.

4. Buy an Overhead Sewer

Did you know that overhead sewers exist? They tend to be a less popular option due to their high cost, but they are highly effective. A professional must install this flood prevention tool.

Remember that even when you take preventative action against sewage backup, sewer cleaning and other upkeep is still important for a better chance of protecting your home. If you are already suffering from water-related destruction, contact a local residential storm damage company for remediation assistance.

Does Commercial Insurance Cover Water?

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Does Commercial Insurance Cover Water? Commercial policies generally cover water damage.

Commercial policies generally cover water damage. They will either pay for the repairs or reimburse the business for the loss. Coverage varies but it usually addresses damage from a:

  • Water leak
  • Fire
  • Weather event
  • Flood

Water Coverage Is an Important Part of Commercial Insurance

Most of the water-related information in a commercial insurance policy relates to damage. Insurance considers it to be like a natural force that ravages company property. It doesn’t attribute any value to the water itself.

It’s a different matter when the business receives an outrageous water bill. Most often, the bill has a simple explanation and is not a cause for alarm. However, there are times when the bill is brutally accurate.

Someone Is Always Responsible for the Water Bill

Something on your side of the water meter is or was consuming massive amounts of water. Your water bill reflects the additional cost. Perhaps you were already aware of the problem. If the bill is a surprise, there may be an underground water leak or pipe break. Either way, the business didn’t get the benefit of the water. You may believe that the business isn’t responsible for payment. Think again.

As far as the water company is concerned, they delivered the water to your business through the meter. Beyond the meter, the water was yours. If the business expects to continue receiving water, it will pay the bill.

Next, the business might look to the insurance company for reimbursement. The insurer will most likely tell you that they don’t consider water to be an insurable asset. They probably won’t reimburse you for the cost of the water. The insurer should, however, pay for any damage that the water problem caused.

Sometimes There Is More Involved Than Just Paying the Bill

Wherever there is a water leak, damage can’t be far behind. If your West Orange, NJ area business experiences a water problem, professional water damage specialists are Here to Help.

Why Does Mold Keep Growing In the Same Spot?

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Why Does Mold Keep Growing In the Same Spot? Mold growth can only occur if moisture and nutriment remain present.

A building owner or manager may think a mold problem has been solved only to have new colonies form in the same place. Mold growth can only occur if moisture and nutriment remain present. Any traces of former colonies can also support regrowth. Learn more about why mold tends to return to the same locations.

Favorable Conditions

Mold thrives in locations with moisture, food and favorable conditions. A combination of the following factors can support growth:

  • Moisture
  • Nutriment
  • High humidity
  • Warm temperatures
  • Little ventilation
  • Undisturbed areas

It is not sufficient to eliminate any one of these factors, although a lack of moisture can limit the ability of mold to become established and multiply. A building owner or manager should also get rid of contaminated materials and lower temperatures. Once mold is no longer a problem, owners or managers can try increasing ventilation or treating the area with fungicides or preventative solutions.

Persistent Leaks

If a pipe or portion of a roof is prone to leak, mold growth will be more likely in the affected area. Rely on plumbers or roofers to fix the problem and cleanup and restoration professionals to limit primary and secondary damage due to water. If the problem recurs and conditions remain conducive, mold may resume growing in the same place.

Untreated Damage

Just as recurring water damage may cause mold to return to the same spot, untreated mold damage can also lay a foundation for future growth. When mold penetrates a porous surface, the hyphae may remain even if the surface appears clean. These filaments fulfill functions similar to roots and can support regrowth.

If conditions remain unchanged or damage is allowed to persist, mold growth will be likely to reoccur. A property owner or manager should rely on the expertise of water and mold damage specialists at a mitigation and restoration company in Montclair, NJ.

Fire Damage Tips For Professional Business Owners

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Tips For Professional Business Owners Commercial Fire Damage can be devastating for a local business in Montclair, NJ.

Running a business takes a lot of work. Any business owner wears many hats. One day, the business owner may be called on to answer the phones. The next, they may be called on to speak with new clients or spend time networking with other business owners in the area to help with lobbying to lower taxes in the area. The last thing a business owner in today's climate needs to cope with is commercial fire damage.

A fire in home somewhere, alas, can lead to fire in business. Fire in business can cause huge problems including fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage. The owner who faces fire damage may need to spend time coping with the after effects of a fire in business and the need for fire cleanup help and board up from a properly trained restoration company.

Be Prepared

Should smoke damage and soot damage happen during commercial fire damage, it is imperative to keep in mind that problems such as smoke smell may be immediately apparent. Any business owner facing a problem from fire in business should be prepared. Damage can strike at any hour of the day from fire in home that spreads to other places. A fire may have broken out as a result of a branch falling down during a storm. It's best to be prepared to realize that fire damage such as soot damage, smoke damage and smoke smell will probably be present the second the business owner walks inside the home. Commercial fire damage can happen and cause problems that may linger in every single corner in the space.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (973) 669-4825

SERVPRO of Montclair/ West Orange is available 24/7, 365 days a year. We have the experience, training and equipment to respond immediately to get you back to business. 

The First 12 Hours Of Disaster Response

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The First 12 Hours Of Disaster Response The first 12 hours after a disaster are critical for mitigating damage.

The First 12 Hours Of Disaster Response

A professional assessment should take place within a few hours after a disaster and mitigation may also begin. For a fast response, property owners should contact a 24 hour restoration company located in Montclair, NJ.

The First Call

A property owner should contact a mitigation and restoration service immediately after noticing damage. This call should establish several factors:

  • The property location
  • The type of damage
  • The general extent of damage

This information determines which franchise location will be able to respond most quickly. A nearby location that is always open should follow up within one hour.

1 Hour

A local representative should call a property owner to discuss damage within an hour. The purpose of this call is to schedule an on-site visit as soon as possible.

4 Hours

Restoration professionals should arrive on site within four hours of the first call. This visit may have several purposes:

  • Assessing losses
  • Inspecting damage
  • Identifying mitigation priorities

A 24 hour mitigation and restoration service can provide a fast response at any time of day. The information obtained will be used to provide a verbal briefing and calculate an estimate.

8 Hours

Within eight hours, a local franchise should verbally brief a property owner. This briefing should cover the mitigation and restoration equipment and labor that will be necessary. A service can then calculate an estimate for owners and insurers.

12 Hours

Within 12 hours, a property owner should have a clear idea of the work necessary to limit and restore damage. An estimate should be available as soon as possible, and mitigation work can commence.

The first 12 hours after a disaster are critical for mitigating damage. A property owner should report damage to a 24 hour SERVPRO location in Montclair, NJ. A company that is always open can quickly work to limit damage, which may lead to a more successful restoration.

Proper Treatment After Flooding Can Prevent Secondary Damage Such as Black Mold

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Proper Treatment After Flooding Can Prevent Secondary Damage Such as Black Mold Calling a water damage repair and restoration company in Montclair, NJ to see to the proper extraction of the water after a flood is critical.

Proper Treatment After Flooding

When the tragedy of a flood happens in your home in Montclair, NJ you do your best to clean it up and restore a sense of security and normalcy for your family. The initial flooding can be followed by secondary damage, such as black mold. This is the reason that further steps may be needed to ensure that your home is fully restored to livable condition.

Causes of Secondary Damage Following In-Home Flooding

  • Residual moisture content due to incomplete water removal
  • Inadequate disinfection methods
  • High humidity, especially when combined with warmth

Moisture Removal

If water is not removed immediately or completely after a flood in your home, you can experience some structural damage such as warping or swelling of floorboards or studs. Allowing these to become saturated, but not replacing or drying them out completely may result in soft spots or weakening.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

All flooded areas should be inspected for residual bacteria or other contamination. It may be necessary to use chemical cleaners and/or ozone generator to destroy all bacteria and microbial growth from carpets and soft surfaces in order to prevent things such as black mold.


Controlling the humidity in the affected area is also a key factor in preventing secondary damage. If carpets, floorboards, sheetrock or other materials are continually subjected to high humidity, it is an irresistible invitation to black mold to join the party. A dehumidifier can help a great deal in keeping mold spores and growth in check.

Calling a water damage repair and restoration company in Montclair, NJ to see to the proper extraction of the water after a flood is critical. They can check more than just skin deep to remove water in hidden places. They will also use proven methods to disinfect and clean everything, ensuring that residual bacteria is destroyed. In addition, they will have access to ozone generators and can help you find a good dehumidification unit to help prevent black mold growth and restore your home to pre-flood livability.