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Simple Ways To Save Your Textiles From Mildew After Water Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

wet carpet Water damage to a carpet in a home in Montclair, NJ.

Simple Methods for Protecting Your Textiles from Mildew After Water Damage

Wet blankets, clothes and pillows may not be your first concern when broken pipes leave you in the middle of a water damage crisis in Montclair, NJ. However, they can quickly get your attention as they begin to mildew and smell if neglected for longer than 24 hours. Even textiles in closed cupboards can mildew if they remain above standing water in excess of three days. Over time, this smell may be difficult to remove from your home completely. If you need assistance with odor removal, a professional restoration company typically has the equipment to help. Here are some tips for caring for your fabrics and pillows that may save them and retard the development of this odor during your water cleanup.

General Cleaning Guidelines

For machine and hand washable items, always run some clean water over them before washing. Follow with a presoak in powerful detergent and a final wash in the warmest water possible. Feather pillows should be washed for 15 minutes in warm water during the final wash. Do at least one extra rinse on all items.

These are some other important tips to remember following water damage:

  • Never allow damp textiles to remain as they are or pile them together.
  • Completely dry items either in the dryer or in the sun after washing.
  • Follow up with ironing or steaming to further help kill germs.

Notes for Handling Special Textiles

For special textiles such as quilts and tapestries, keep in mind that these will likely be heavy when waterlogged. Use something flat and strong to transport them. Don’t try to unfold them if they seem unyielding. Wait for them to dry. Then rinse with clean water, blot dry with a towel and reshape to dry in the sun.

While fabrics may get overlooked in the big picture of water damage, they can cause some serious odors and loss. Having to replace these items and ridding your home of the possible mildew they may incur can only make matters worse. It’s very possible to restore your favored textiles and protect your home with some quick action on your part.

How To Remove Water From a Flooded Basement

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

A basement flooded being restoring SERVPRO, the best choice in flood restoration in the Montclair area.

What To Do If Your Basement Is Flooded

A sump pump is often a home’s first line of defense against flooding during the heavy rainfalls that hit Montclair NJ, every year. Sometimes, however, the equipment fails to channel the water outside, and the basement fills with a foot or two of water. Here are steps for removing excess water once the storm passes.

1. Ensure the House Is Safe

Before beginning any cleanup and restoration work, make sure the house is safe. The combination of electricity and water can be very dangerous. Water causes surfaces to be slippery, and when there is extreme flooding, it may be difficult to see the ground and identify potentially harmful objects in the water.

2. Pump the Water Out

If the sump pump is not working and there is a large amount of water in the basement, a more powerful pump is needed. The nature of the debris in the storm water, if the basement is finished or unfinished, and the contents stored in the basement will influence which type of equipment is best. A semi-trash pump can be used to extract water that is only slightly contaminated, with small amount of sand or dirt, for example. A trash pump can extract larger debris, such as pebbles or twigs, along with the water. There are portable and truck-mounted versions of these devices, but a truck mount provides more power, which can help clear out the basement quicker.

3. Dry the Basement and Its Contents

This may be the hardest part, drying the basement and its contents. Once the water is completely extracted, additional measures will likely be needed to remove lingering humidity to prevent mold growth.

As with all storm damage, flooded basements can seem overwhelming. With the right equipment, a water restoration specialist can assist in all steps of saving a family’s home and belongings from water damage, including water removal, drying, cleaning, sanitation and restoration.

5 Guidelines for Avoiding Cigarette Fires at Home

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Lit cigarette held by a woman's hand. Those who use medical oxygen or those who store it should keep lit cigarettes away from them.

5 Tips For Preventing Home Cigarette Fires

Smoking poses a threat to your home in Verona, NJ when you have improper habits. Following these five guidelines will protect you from any potential cigarette fire.

1. Use an Appropriate Container

An ashtray with a wide base or bucket full of sand should be around in areas where you typically smoke. When using an ashtray, it should be stable on a surface to prevent accidental knockdowns. Keeping it stable prevents it from spilling and starting an ashtray fire from a still smoldering cigarette.

If possible, the container should also be kept away from any building to add distance between the flame remnant and all flammable structures.

2. Completely Put Out Cigarettes

When you are finished smoking, it’s advised to add water to the ashes and cigarette butt to completely remove the fire and its risks. If you ever have to step away or need to stop smoking, you should put out your cigarette to avoid leaving a lit one unattended.

3. Smoke Only When Fully Awake

If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy or are sleep deprived, it is best to avoid smoking. If you pass out while smoking, you will likely drop your cigarette. Since you are asleep, you will also have a harder time escaping or stopping any growing cigarette fire. Smoking while sleepy puts your home at risk.

4. Only Smoke Outside Your Home

There is a sizable difference in the number of flammable objects when comparing a typical indoor and outdoor environment. Your furniture, curtains, trash bin, mattress and bedding can all be ignited by a loose cigarette. It is much safer to smoke outside and remain there until you are finished.

5. Avoid Smoking Around Oxygen Tanks

Oxygen is very sensitive to fire. Lit cigarettes should be kept away from anyone using medical oxygen or places where it’s stored.

The Cardinal Rule of Mold Prevention

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall damaged, drywall with mold growth Severe mold damage in Verona, NJ.

Mold Prevention's Cardinal Rule

Black mold is a common problem; it faces building owners and commercial tenants alike in Verona, NJ. It's especially a nuisance in certain businesses, such as storage rental, where nobody's around to keep an eye on things. Mold could also affect any of the following types of commercial operations:

  • Residential rentals
  • Laundry businesses
  • Restaurants

The main reason that black mold appears in so many different types of businesses is that all it really needs to survive is water. If a building has a moisture problem, and if the wetness is not addressed soon enough, then the owner might end up needing to call the professionals for mold cleanup. Here are some of the reasons that moisture gets out of control in businesses.

Bad Ventilation

One of the most common starting points for a mold growth problem is in the bathroom. Nearly every commercial facility in Verona, NJ, has washroom facilities of some sort, usually in a relatively small space. Combine those small spaces filled with water with an inadequate or malfunctioning ventilation system, and you have a prime environment for mold.

Floods and Leaks

The other major source of moisture in commercial businesses is from flooding. Flooding doesn't have to be an epic natural disaster; it can be as simple as a broken piece of machinery causing a water problem. This is often the case in commercial laundries or other businesses that use water in their service or manufacturing processes. The other likely source of flooding inside a building is bad plumbing. Broken or leaky pipes can cause problems within the walls of a building, leading to a mold colony that seems to appear out of nowhere.

The bottom line is that businesses and property owners are better off when they keep track of the moisture levels in their facilities. If the humidity or wetness gets out of control, then is often a good idea to check for any black mold growth after solving the immediate moisture issues.

Fixing Your Flooded Basement

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in West Orange, NJ.

How To Fix A Wet Basement?

Being a homeowner in West Orange, NJ means tackling whatever challenges arise. In the case of a basement flood, there are steps you can take to fix it when it happens. Prior to acting, you may want to call your insurance company to see what exactly is authorized under your coverage.

Restoration Actions

Before undertaking the below steps to restore your flooded home, try to assess the level of water. If possible, attempt to determine the source of the water.

• Turn off the power. Even if power is already out at your house, it could be restored while you’re touching water, so be sure to shut down the electricity supply before entering the basement. If your power supply source is in the basement and you would have to walk through water to reach it, you should call a professional to avoid the risk of electrocution.

• After the power is off, remove all the standing water. Depending on the level of water, your tools may be buckets, towels, fans, and/or a wet-dry vacuum. Once the water has been eliminated, try to erase all signs of the basement flood by cleaning and drying the area. A dehumidifier will also be beneficial to remove the moisture from the flooded space.

• Take inventory of items that have gotten wet. Transport them to an area where they can dry. Even if you make the decision to dispose of unsalvageable objects, take a picture of them in case your insurance company will cover the cost of replacing them. Most electrical and mechanical appliances will need to be discarded and exchanged. Walls and flooring that have been waterlogged will most likely need to be extracted and updated.

Going Forward

After emptying the space of water and belongings, take stock of damaged areas such as your foundation, pipes, or sump pump. A future flood may be prevented by maintaining or upgrading any outdated or broken supplies. If the issue recurs, an expert may need to be consulted.

Don't let a basement flood leave you swimming in stress. Follow these simple steps to prevent headaches now — and perhaps in the future too.

3 Products You Should Always Throw Away After a Fire

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Colorful pills and medicines in the hand Medicine relies on chemical reactions to accomplish the desired effects in the human body.

What To Throw Out After A Fire

When you’re cleaning up after a fire in your home in Glen Ridge, 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 the 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, the 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 at 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.

4 Tips for Removing Standing Water From Your Building

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Water removed from basement flood Basement flood cleanup.

How Do I Remove Standing Water From My Property?

Storms in Llewellyn Park, NJ, can bring a lot of water with them. With so much excess water, it's not all that surprising when your commercial building ends up with standing water in its lower levels. Even though it is not a shock, it can still be a challenge to deal with. Working with a team that has the specialized equipment needed to remove standing water can make this entire process a little easier. Keep these four tips in mind as you try to tackle this remediation.

1. Call in the experts. Your first step should be to call in a commercial storm damage repair team. This crew of professionals can help you remove standing water, repair damage and prevent the same flooding from happening again. The teams can also make sure the project is done quickly.

2. Consider the water. If your basement is full of plain water, you may be able to use a simple pump to suck the floods out of the space. However, if there's any sludge mixed in with the liquid, you may need to turn to a trash pump instead.

3. Remove all humidity. Once you have the standing water out of your building, the project isn't quite over. You still need to make sure all of the excess moisture is sucked from your space. Using special equipment, such as a dehumidifier, can help with this task.

4. Install a new pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may need a new one after dealing with a two-foot flood. If you didn't have a pump, installing one may help you avoid more flooding in the future.

You can never predict what type of damage a storm is going to do to your commercial building. You can, however, make sure you work with a trained team that has access to a wide range of equipment if your property is affected by a storm.

5 Steps for Cleaning Your Belongings After a Flood

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifiers placed inside a room. Concept of storm cleanup Storm cleanup in Montclair, NJ.

5 Steps for Cleaning Your Belongings After a Flood

Many people lose residential and commercial property to floods every year. Structures and their contents are susceptible to water damage and other types of damage. You must take action immediately to begin structure and content cleaning. The longer it's left to linger, the more damage will occur.

1. Extract Standing Water
The first job that you must do following a flood is extracting the standing water. You can do this with a mop or towels. However, the quickest and most efficient method is utilizing a wet/dry vacuum.

2. Remove Mud and Debris
There will probably be dirt, mud and debris that came in with the floodwaters. Now it's time to remove it. Get a shovel and trash can and begin shoveling it into the trash can. Only fill it about halfway, however, as mud is very heavy.

3. Dispose of the Unsalvageable
Next, you'll need to determine what's salvageable and what isn't. There will probably be a lot that cannot be saved, especially porous items, due to the extreme toxicity of black water and being too soaked to dry. There are some items that the content cleaning process won't be good enough. These items could include carpeting, upholstered furniture, mattresses, wooden furniture and even some drywall.

4. Clean and Disinfect Remains
Everything remaining must be cleaned and disinfected, including the affected area and contents. This cleaning includes washing down walls.

5. Dry Everything
Finally, it's essential to dry the entire area and all contents thoroughly. It may be necessary to hire Montclair, NJ, flood damage restoration professionals to make sure it's completely dry. There are several ways to do it on your own, if you choose, including opening windows and doors and running fans, heaters and dehumidifiers.
After a flood, content cleaning must begin immediately to save as much as possible. When it's complete, have a professional inspection done to ensure there's no mold.

Tips for Addressing Mold

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a wall Mold growth in a home in Upper Montclair, NJ.

How To Address Your Mold Problem

When you find black mold in your home in Upper Montclair, NJ, your first instinct is probably to get rid of it as soon as possible. Tackling the problem yourself could actually make it worse, though. Without the expertise and equipment needed to fully mitigate the fungus infestation, it can easily spread. 

Call Mitigation Experts
The first thing you should do when you discover a mold problem is call certified remediation experts. Upon arrival, they assess the damage and start the mold cleanup process:

  • Tearing out ruined materials
  • Extracting excess water
  • Drying all remaining surfaces
  • Disinfecting the area
  • Rebuilding the structure

Mold growth happens when spores that are already in the air find a surface that has both excess moisture and organic matter on which it can feed. If you try to scrub the patch yourself, chances are that you will just release these black mold spores back into the air to settle and cause damage elsewhere. Professional intervention guarantees that the mold problem is eradicated, not just moved around.

Eliminate Air and Water Flow
Most mold damage starts with a moisture problem. To prevent it from returning, you must eliminate the water issue that caused it. Turn off the water until the leak can be fixed. In addition to halting the moisture issue, you must also minimize airflow. This keeps mold spores from traveling throughout your home and causing problems in other areas. Turn off fans and the HVAC system, and close all the windows.
Excess moisture and dirt can lead to mold damage. The last thing you want to happen when you have black mold growth in your home is for it to spread. By eliminating the factors that could cause it to migrate and relying on certified professionals for remediation, you are more likely to get rid of the problem for good.

3 Steps To Secure Your Building After a Fire

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of building board up. If you have experienced fire damage to your property make sure to board up windows and doors.

Protect Your Building After A Fire

A fire in your Verona, NJ, building can be disastrous, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately, extinguishing the fire itself is just the first challenge in what is often a long journey to recovering from fire damage. The next task is to secure the building and prevent further damage to the property. Follow these steps to minimize your losses and reduce your overall fire cleanup time.

1. Board Up Windows and Doors
Doors and windows are often broken during a fire due to heat, structural instability, or high-pressure water from a fire hose. Cover any damaged or missing windows and doors with plywood and secure all building entrances with locks if possible. Boarding up windows and doors adds structural stability and prevents exposure to rain, wind, debris, vandalism, looting, and wildlife. Never attempt to enter or secure a fire-damaged building until a firefighter or other professional has ensured that the building is safe to enter.

2. Cover Roof Damage With a Tarp
Your building’s roof is likely to have suffered some fire damage. Even if the roof appears intact, falling ash and hot embers can harm roofing materials, causing small leaks. Cover damaged areas with plywood, then cover the plywood with a tarp and secure the tarp with lumber.

3. Remove Valuables If Possible
If it is safe to do so, consider removing equipment, inventory, and other valuables from the building and transporting them to a secure location where they will not be harmed during repair work. Smoke damage and heat damage are not always readily apparent, so be sure to have any off-site items professionally inspected.
After a fire, it may take some time for fire damage repair and restoration work to begin. Securing your building can help prevent any further damage from occurring during this time. Furthermore, your property insurance policy may require you to take measures to mitigate your loss. If you aren’t comfortable with securing the building yourself, find a professional remediation company that offers board-up and tarp-over services.