Recent Posts

What Is Secondary Damage and Why Is It Important for Your Business?

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

White pipe coming out of a wall, wall covered with mold. Concept Secondary damage after water loss Water loss caused mold growth

When a significant water intrusion strikes your business, it isn’t just the flooded areas that receive damage. Excessive water in Upper Montclair, NJ, also directly leads to high humidity that can cause black mold and other problems in seemingly untouched places. This can create what’s known as secondary damage.

Water Damage Spreads Beyond the Flood

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) defines secondary damage as “the impairment of the appearance or function of a material from prolonged indirect exposure to water.” Key to this issue is that the water never made direct contact with the damaged materials.
Examples of this type of damage include

  • Black mold
  • Swelling wood or drywall
  • Cupping or warping of a wood floor

The damage can be either cosmetic, structural or both. It may also be reversible or permanent.

Water Wicking Causes Secondary Damage

Excessive humidity in a building can cause all kinds of problems. It’s bad for paperwork, electronics and many sorts of building materials. Water also can be drawn to dry areas by being wicked through porous materials and can even travel uphill through tiny cracks by capillary action due to water’s amazing surface tension.

Water Damage Should Be Repaired Immediately

Simply put, the longer water has to impact a material, the more damage possible. If caught quickly, many types of harm, such as minor wood warping, can be reversed. Once the wood has rotted, however, the injury is permanent. Wood rot must be removed and replaced quickly to avoid drawing termites. Black mold and fungus can often be fixed, and bowed flooring is usually repairable.
If you’ve had a water intrusion into your business in Upper Montclair, NJ, you need an IICRC-certified company with the specialized equipment that can extract excess water from salvageable materials. SERVPRO is Here to Help you get back to normal business operations and put the disaster far behind you quickly and efficiently.

Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Structure of a bathroom with mold growth Water damage leads to mold

Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage

Water damage to your Montclair, NJ, business can cause serious problems. If left for more than 24 hours, mold can begin to grow, so it is important to dry the area as soon as possible. The following steps outline the cleanup process:

1. Document the damage. Depending on how busy the insurance company is, there may not be time to wait for an adjuster to visit the property. Take detailed photographic or video evidence of the damage to give the insurance company when you file a claim.

2. Remove standing water. You can extract a lot of the water using pumps, specialized vacuums or buckets. Make sure to remove as much water as you can.

3. Dry out remaining moisture. For proper mold prevention, it is important to thoroughly dry the entire affected area. After removing standing water, there may still be moisture remaining in porous surfaces, and it is just as important to dry those areas. A fan or dehumidifier can come in handy with this step. Any items that cannot be fully dried should be thrown out. If the water damage is severe, you may need to hire professionals to ensure everything is dry.

4. Clean affected areas. Clean all surfaces that came into contact with the water. The level of contamination in the source water will determine the type of cleaner you should use. Throw away any items that cannot be properly sanitized.

5. Repair or replace damaged items. Whether or not mold growth is present, there will likely be damage to some items. You may be able to do the repairs yourself. However, for serious damage or damage to delicate objects, it may be necessary to seek professional help or completely replace the item.
Water damage, if not addressed quickly, can lead to mold growth. If the damage to your commercial building is more than you can handle on your own, a certified restoration company can help you get your property back to normal quickly and safely.

Claims Information at Your Fingertips

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claims form While each insurance claim is different, they all have their own complexities

Claims Information at Your Fingertips

The unexpected can happen to any business in Upper Montclair, NJ. When it does, an insurance agent or adjuster is there to ensure the insurance claim goes as smoothly as possible. That vital role comes with diverse responsibilities to ensure the client gets their property back to normal within the guidelines of the insurance policy. Choosing the right restoration services company can eliminate unneeded headaches and quicken the process.

Information Whenever It Is Needed

Along with having an elite team of certified specialists when it comes to mold, fire, water and smoke damage, SERVPRO also has the expertise and an established system to aid in the claims process. Instead of working with a company that may or may not keep track of everything, SERVPRO prides itself on keeping detailed, accurate documentation throughout the process. Within a few hours after an inspection, our Claims Information Center provides the data you need via an electronic job file that includes:

  • A detailed outline of the estimate
  • Photos of the losses
  • Forms and other needed documentation in digital format

Along with the file, you get online access to all the documents needed, as well as up-to-date progress reports. By logging in, you can check pending and completed jobs, as well as obtain data regarding job cost and performance.

Trusted Professionals

In addition to keeping you up to date on all aspects of the insurance claim, we are also available 24/7 for any questions or concerns. If changes need to happen, we ensure ongoing communication so all interested parties’ needs are met. As a leader in the industry for decades, we have a proven track record of making a disaster “Like it never even happened,” for clients while ensuring as much as possible is restored and not replaced to keep costs as low as possible.
While each insurance claim is different, they all have their own complexities. Choosing the right restoration specialist can help ensure a speedy recovery with the quality work your clients deserve.

The Benefits of Calling Professionals to Handle Water Damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Two air movers placed on the floor Water damage is our specialty

The Benefits of Calling Professionals to Handle Water Damage

Most people have no idea water damage is about to occur to them at home or work. They have no idea they might wake up in the morning to find water in the home that shouldn’t be there. They don’t know when they walk into the office they might find water in the business that has no business being there. They don’t realize a pipe in the walls has been leaking and causing extensive water damage for months. They don’t know they’ve been living with a pipe about to burst for months. They don’t know their sewage is too full from an overflowing septic tank or a clog somewhere along the line.

Some people might know water damage is about to occur. They might know a hurricane or tropical storm is on the way. They might know flood damage is very likely due to their proximity to the water or their home or office’s location in a low-lying area. The only good thing that comes out of flood damage is the fact it’s easy to predict and prepare for in many instances. When someone knows a storm is coming, they have time to move their items off the floor and protect what they can. In reality, most people are just surprised when water damage occurs, and flood damage is often devastating. That’s why calling a professional water cleanup restoration and mitigation company is the right choice. If anyone remains unconvinced of this, it’s time to learn the benefits calling a professional restoration and mitigation service has to offer.

Faster Water Cleanup

Some people know they need to get through the water cleanup process quickly, but they don’t know how. Call a professional restoration and mitigation service. They are equipped to take care of water cleanup and drying quickly and efficiently. They know there is a chance they might have mold already forming inside a home or office, and they know time is of the essence.

Faster cleanup means fewer chances for mold to grow and spread, and it means there is less chance of further damage occurring. Faster water cleanup is one of the biggest benefits of the restoration process.

Better Equipment

There is a good reason to call a professional mitigation company, and it’s to use their professional equipment. The drying process is so much easier to go through when there is professional-grade equipment available. The job of a homeowner or business owner is made much simpler when it’s provided through a service such as this that provides the correct type of equipment.

When water in the home or water in the business is present, drying the mess is key. The faster it’s dried, the faster water in the home or water in the business can be cleaned up and the situation rectified.

Less Chance of Spending More Later

When someone finds water in the home, it’s not a good sign. The same goes for finding water in the business. It’s one of the most stressful things a homeowner or business owner goes through, and it’s best handled by the professionals. Water in the home can become a much more expensive problem if it’s not cleaned up right away in the correct manner.

Anyone who finds water in the business or home and chooses not to call for professional help is not saving money. It might seem like it at first, but the cost they face to repair damage as it continues to grow worse under carpet padding, inside drywall, and anywhere else in the home or office is getting more expensive by the day. What might have been a simple cleanup process following water damage or flood damage turns into a major project.


The drying and cleaning process takes skill and professionalism when it's done correctly. This is one of those situations when attempting the project at home is not financially motivating. It's better to do it professionally.

How To Maintain Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

sprinkler head Your sprinklers can help to prevent devastating damage if a fire impacts your Verona, NJ, commercial property

Guidelines for Properly Maintaining Your Business's Fire Sprinklers

You must be prepared for anything as a business owner and that includes fire incidents. In addition to forming a reliable emergency plan and inspecting your fire alarms, it’s crucial to monitor your fire sprinkler system on a regular basis. Your sprinklers can help to prevent devastating damage if a fire impacts your Verona, NJ, commercial property. Here are some guidelines for properly maintaining your business’s fire sprinklers.

Check the Water Pressure

In order to properly douse the flames during a fire, your fire sprinkler system needs the optimal amount of water pressure. It’s best to contact a plumber or a fire professional who can accurately assess the water pressure of your sprinklers. A knowledgeable specialist can then perform the following steps:

  • Test the control valve
  • Read the gauge
  • Open the main drain

This process allows experts to determine whether there is sufficient water flowing through your sprinkler system.

Wash the Sprinkler Heads

Your sprinklers accumulate large amounts of dirt, dust and other forms of debris on a day-to-day basis. If these materials continue to build up, water may not flow freely from the sprinkler heads. As soon as you notice a layer of grime on your sprinkler heads, use a degreasing solution to remove the coating. This ensures that your fire suppression system can respond properly to a fire emergency.

Remove Obstructions

If there are any objects blocking adequate spray from your sprinklers, the system may not work properly during a fire. Be sure to remove any objects that are stacked to a high level as they can be hazardous. The area surrounding your fire suppression system should be completely free of obstructions to allow the sprinklers to distribute water evenly throughout the room.
Maintaining your fire sprinkler system can keep your business protected. If any fire, water or smoke damage occurs due to faulty sprinklers, contact water damage restoration specialists immediately for a fire sprinkler cleanup.

Inspecting and Maintaining a Commercial Roof

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed from storm Collapsed ceiling in Llewellyn Park, NJ

A roof is designed to protect a building from the elements. It is thus one of the most important parts of your commercial property in Llewellyn Park, NJ. A roof leak during a storm may force you to spend your business profits on flood cleanup services.

Inspecting Your Roof

Before a storm comes, you should inspect your roof for potential water or wind damage. This way, you can address the issue ahead of time. Ideally, you should schedule two inspections each year.
You may also want to have an additional inspection after a hailstorm to ensure the roof is intact. You can perform the inspections yourself, or you can hire an experienced contractor, instead.
During the inspection, you should check for obvious issues with the roof. Some signs of a leak include:

  • Water stains on the ceiling
  • Unexplained odors or mold
  • Rotted or rusted roof decks

Contractors will also recognize some of the less obvious indicators of trouble. For instance, standing water could cause the cover to deteriorate over time, which could eventually lead to a roof leak. Bubbles in the cover, meanwhile, could be a sign of trapped moisture. This may also reduce the effectiveness of the roof.

Maintaining Your Roof
To prevent storm damage to your roof, you should additionally perform regular maintenance. Loose items and debris can block moisture and speed up the deterioration of the roof. Be sure to remove twigs, leaves and other similar materials from the downspouts and gutters.
Regularly trim the trees near the building, as well. This should prevent branches from rubbing against the roof. It will also limit the number of leaves clogging the drain.
A roof leak can cause major flood damage to your commercial property. That is why you should keep the roof maintained and inspect it regularly for flaws. If water does come into your building following a hurricane or similar disaster, storm cleanup professionals can assist with the restoration process.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Pen on insurance contract sheet Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

Different types of fires may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Most accidental fires and even some fires for which liability is a factor are covered perils. The legal term for an intentional home fire is arson. These fires are not covered by insurance and may result in criminal penalties. Find out more about the fire coverage available through most homeowners insurance policies.

Accidental Fires

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires. Several features distinguish this type of fire:

  • May be caused by an electrical short or heating malfunction
  • Could result from the actions of a policyholder or another person
  • No intention to destroy

An investigation will probably be necessary before an insurer will cover restoration costs. The one exception to this general coverage is a vacant home fire. Policyholders should obtain an endorsement or an additional vacancy policy for a vacation home or residence that will not be occupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

Fire Liability

Some fires start due to gross negligence or casual disregard on the part of a policyholder or another occupant of a residence. These fires may or may not be covered, depending on how the home fire started and whether any evidence of intentionality is present.

Intentional Fires

Insurance does not cover fires started deliberately to harm a person, damage property, or commit insurance fraud. Intentionally starting a fire may result in one or more of the following criminal charges:

  • Arson
  • Criminal mischief
  • Destruction of property

Reckless burning
Investigators will search for indications of intent to destroy property. An intentional fire may result in a prison sentence.

Most accidental fires and even some fires in which liability is evident should be covered by homeowners insurance. Intentional fires or fires in vacant properties without sufficient coverage are not covered. Insurers prefer to work with home fire damage restoration experts in Montclair, NJ.

3 Things You Should Know About Category 3 Water Damage

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

A neighborhood flooded Sewage and flooding are considered Category 3

What to Do If You Are Dealing With Contaminated Water

Water can cause many problems in your Glen Ridge, NJ, home, whether it is from an overflowing toilet, a storm or a broken pipe. However, not all water damage is exactly the same. There are multiple levels of water contamination from clean to black water, and each of these should be handled a little bit differently. The following information can help you determine what to do if you are dealing with contaminated water.

1. What Are the Different Categories of Water?
There are three categories of water. Category 1 is clean water and often comes from sources like a leaky pipe or a broken supply line. Category 2 is sometimes called gray water and has a moderate amount of contamination, usually in the form of chemicals. It can often come from broken appliances like dishwashers or washing machines. Category 3 water is also referred to as black. It has the highest level of contamination and contains large amounts of bacteria and sewage. Flood water or overflow from your toilet will usually fall under this category.

2. What Makes Category 3 Damage Different?
The damage caused by black water is different from other categories because it is more difficult to clean. Anything affected by this water will need to be thoroughly sanitized to eliminate harmful bacteria. When it absorbs into porous materials, removing it is not always an easy task. For many items, it is recommended that you throw them out and replace them instead.

3. What Should You Do?
If you have black water inside your home, especially in high quantities, you should not attempt to clean it up on your own. Instead, it is better to hire a professional company with the necessary equipment and experience. If you do need to be near the water, always wear protective gear and gloves.
This kind of water damage should be handled by a professional, so contact a cleanup and restoration company to do the work for you. They can perform sewage cleanup and will make any necessary repairs to your house. They may be able to salvage some of your belongings as well.

Understanding How Mold Spreads and How To Stop It

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

mold spores In order to stop mold from spreading, you need to take action before it becomes an issue.

No one wants to find mold in their Montclair, NJ home. Even saying the word mold to a homeowner causes a slight cringe. Many individuals know that mold can be costly to repair and has some nasty health effects. Mold is a fungus that feeds off of its environment. Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent problems in your home by understanding spreading mold.


Common Ways That Mold Spreads


Some of the most common molds found inside homes are cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria and aspergillus. If you notice a musty smell or see black mold on any surface inside your home, it’s likely you have a mold problem. Mold is easily spread in the following conditions:

Warm environments
Damp areas
Humid environments
Flooded locations

Moisture is the ideal condition for mold growth. Because mold is a fungus that feeds off of its environment, it’s easily spread through the air. Knowing that warm, humid areas increase the risk of spreading mold, take the proper steps to stop moisture from becoming a problem in your home.


How To Prevent Mold From Spreading

First, make sure all high-moisture areas are well-ventilated. Bathrooms and laundry rooms should have fans that vent outside the home. It’s even a good idea to open bathroom doors when showering to prevent excessive moisture. You also want to be proactive about repairing any water leaks around windows, doors and plumbing fixtures. In addition to reducing moisture inside your home, you need to take care to prevent water from entering your home. Make sure all water flows away from the foundation of your home.


If you have a problem with black mold, contact a mold remediation specialist. They understand spreading mold and will be able to help you remediate the problem and prevent future issues. Knowing that you have the knowledge to prevent mold will give you peace of mind.

Common Sense Home Fire Safety

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

2 fire extinguishers It is important to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

No one thinks they will experience a home fire, yet nearly half a million residential fires occur per year. This discussion of common fire sources and fire preparation may highlight areas in your home where you could bolster your fire safety plan and reduce your fire risk.


Cooking-Related Fires


Smoke alarms are required near kitchens because nearly half of home fires are caused by cooking practices. Here are some examples of potentially risky kitchen scenarios:

Small appliances, such as toasters, can ignite grease or crumbs near the heating element.
Dry or greasy food near a hot broiler coil can start an oven fire.
Flames from a gas-stove can ignite grease build-up on a pan.

A fire in the kitchen can be serious and require considerable fire remediation work. Good fire preparation includes following safe cooking practices. Monitoring all cooking processes and cleaning grease from ranges, pans and appliances will minimize your chances of a fire.


Recreation-Related Fires


Human carelessness is frequently associated with home fires, and smoking in the bedroom is a primary example. Unattended cigarettes and pipes cause thousands of fires every year. It is recommended you do not smoke in your home. If you do, it is important not to consume alcohol or other drugs while smoking as the combination increases the chances of a smoking-related fire. Unattended burning candles bear a similar risk because they are often left unattended. Common sense is key in this category.


Space-Heater Fires


It’s tempting to start your bedroom space heater an hour before you go to bed, but unattended heaters are notorious for starting fires. A small heater can overheat, igniting internal elements or nearby textiles, such as clothing, bedspreads or drapes. Following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully will minimize your fire risk.


The goal of fire safety in your Montclair, NJ home is to keep flame and heating elements separated from potential fuel sources, such as grease or fabric. Equally important is consistent monitoring of anything in your home that produces heat or has an active flame. Sensible fire preparation can mean the difference between a nice evening meal and a disruptive, costly home disaster.