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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How Does Storm Damage Differ From Flooding?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible.

What Is The Difference Between Storm Damage And Flooding?

Property owners may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage. Commercial properties can sustain water damage from either source. There are a few major differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.

Storms Versus Floods

The most general distinction is that storm water comes from above, whereas flood water usually overspills natural bodies or courses of water and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land. Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes such as:

  • High winds
  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Snow
  • Tornadoes
  • Tropical storms

Most business insurance plans provide protection from damage caused by storms. Property owners will need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your investment.

Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as:

  • Beaches or coasts
  • Canals
  • Creeks
  • Dams
  • Lakes
  • Stormwater channels

For water to be considered a flood, it must not only cover two acres but affect at least two properties. If a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally-regulated lender, he or she is required to maintain flood insurance.

Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible. Regardless of the source of moisture, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be just as severe.

Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods

Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a commercial property in Montclair NJ experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact a commercial damage restoration company as soon as possible.

4 Tips To Teach Your Kids on How To Escape a House Fire

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

A parent and child huddling under a table It's important that everyone in your home is well prepared in a fire case, even your kids. You should teach them how keep themselves safe and escape.

4 Ways To Teach Your Children How To Get Away From A House Fire

While everyone hopes that a fire never happens in their house in Upper Montclair, NJ, it is important that everyone in your home is well prepared. An essential step in ensuring your kid’s safety in a home fire is to teach them how to keep themselves safe and escape if possible. Make sure they know the following four tips!

1. Fire Crawl

Explain to your children that breathing in a lot of smoke can hurt their lungs, and that smoke rises up into the air. Show them how to travel low to the ground and keep their head down when smoke or fire is nearby. They can either crawl on all fours with their forearms on the ground or with their legs flat on the ground.

2. Checking Doors

Your kid’s safety depends greatly on whether or not they know not to immediately open doors when they suspect a fire might be near. It is important that you teach your child that opening a door without checking can cause an explosion. Demonstrate how to check the doors’ temperature with the back side of your hand.

3. Stop, Drop, and Roll

If you’re child’s clothing catches on fire, it is important they know how to quickly extinguish the fire to prevent the fire from spreading. Encourage your kids to remember the phrase “stop, drop, and roll” so they know to immediately stop moving, drop to the ground, and roll around until the fire is out.

4. Go Outside and Stay There

Come up with a fire escape plan that your child can use to escape outdoors. Tell them that once they get outside that they can’t go back inside to retrieve any of their items and that a fire restoration service will be able to help retrieve them later.

While you will certainly worry about your kid’s safety if a fire starts in your home, teaching them these tips will give you some peace of mind that they will make it out safely!

3 Top Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Structure of a home damaged by mold Mold requires moisture and humidity to grow and spread.

Mold Could Be Hiding in These 3 Places in Your Home

While finding mold growth in your West Orange, NJ, home can be distressing, you usually have options for cleaning it in a way that prevents it from returning. However, when mold starts to develop in places you cannot see, it can grow into a serious infestation before you notice its presence. If you want to kill mold in your home before it takes hold, it is wise to check out a few locations where it commonly hides.

1. Behind Drywall

Even small leaks, such as those that might seep from your refrigerator’s water line if it includes an automatic ice maker, can encourage mold growth in nearby walls. Drywall can be particularly affected because it is porous and absorbs water. Once moldy drywall and insulation develop, they must be torn out and replaced to prevent further growth from occurring.

2. Under Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Mold requires moisture and humidity to grow and spread. This makes the areas under your bathroom and kitchen cabinets vulnerable, especially in far corners that can be difficult to see. It is a good idea to check these spaces often, especially in humid weather, and leave the cabinet doors open for a few hours a day so the wood and other building materials inside can breathe.

3. In the Basement

Your home’s basement makes a perfect hiding space for mold growth, especially if it tends to be damp all year round. Mold spores do not require sunlight to grow or spread, so spores that detach when you move stored belongings around can travel through your home’s air ducts and attach to wood and drywall in other parts of the house. Since mold on wood can be difficult to remove once it takes hold, consider calling in a mold removal and remediation service to inspect your home if you suspect a problem in your basement.

Hidden mold growth in your West Orange, NJ, home can be disastrous if it is not caught in time. Checking potential hiding spots often is one way to avoid this issue and to prevent future infestations.

Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump in a basement It's time to inspect your sump pump.

Helpful Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

As a homeowner in Glen Ridge, NJ, it might seem like the maintenance for your home never ends. Cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof for damage or leaks should already be part of your seasonal checklist, but have you thought to check your basement? More specifically, if heavy rains are in the forecast or spring is coming around the corner, it’s time to inspect your sump pump.

What Is It?

This device is used to remove any water that’s gathered in a sump basin, which is usually found in the basement. In the event of a basement flood, this pump is necessary to ensure that water is sent away from the house and into a place, such as a storm drain or dry well, where it will no longer be a concern.

How To Perform Pump Care

For your benefit and ease, you should be putting time aside every couple of months to confirm that your sump pump is working correctly. If you are unsure on how to go about conducting pump maintenance, look to the following tips:

• Occasionally flood the sump basin by pouring water into it to ensure the pump does what it’s supposed to do and drains the water quickly. Have it serviced if it doesn’t.

• Be sure that the pump is standing upright. Sometimes vibrations occur while the pump is running that can make it topple over or tilt to one side.

• Check the power cord to be sure it’s connected. It’s not uncommon for a breaker to trip in damp areas. If needed, reset the outlet.

The below can be limited to once a year:

  • Clean out the sump.
  • Check the manual (or online) to see if the pump bearings need grease or oil.
  • Remove the pump from sump and clean and inspect it.

Learn Now, Protect Later

Though the preservation of your home is constant, the ease of knowing that you are capable of fixing your own sump pump is worthwhile. You can save time, money, and potential water damage to the rest of your home.

Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Keyboard of a computer on flames A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics.

Smoke Damaged Electronics

An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.

1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges

Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.

2. Dealing with Black Film

A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.

3. Removal of Acidic Soot

In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.

4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment

While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Upper Montclair, NJ, area.

A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.

5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. If you have water damage to your floors, SERVPRO is here to help around the clock. Call us!

Water Damage Prevention: Five Points To Keep In Mind

In Montclair NJ, damage from water in home environments can be problematic. Both to fix the damage and to find the source of the leak. If you’re worried about water damage occurring at your residence there are a few tricks you can try.

1. Fix Leaks ASAP

If you find a leak it’s important to take care of it quickly. Prompt pipe cleanup can lessen your chances of water damage, and allow you to take the steps you need to prevent potential issues before problems arise.

2. Inspect Your AC System

Regularly looking over your AC system can help you ensure that your home is receiving proper ventilation which can help it stay dry. It will also allow you to ensure that all your hoses and connections to the cooling unit are in working order.

3. Regularly Look Over Your Appliances

Damage from water in home appliances can occur as well. Common culprits are washers, dishwashers and refrigeration units. It’s important to look over connections and hoses so you can have them repaired or replaced before a leak causes damage.

4. Use the Right Tools When Fixing Issues

When fixing a broken pipe, tightening a connection or performing other maintenance, it’s important to always use the recommended tools for the job. Using the wrong tool can cause additional damage.

5. Know When To Call a Professional

Last but not least it’s important to know when to call a water damage professional. They can assess the situations and come up with a plan of action to help solve the problem and make repairs. If you don’t know where the water is coming from, what steps to take, or want the repairs fixed faster than you can do yourself, these are the people to call.

Whether you’ve found damage from water in home areas, or want to protect your residence, regularly looking over potential trouble spots may help. It’s also important to properly maintain plumbing and appliances, as well as fix any broken pipes as soon as you can. If you have any trouble a professional may be able to help.

Methods for Cleaning Items After Water Damage

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist is removing water damage in a home When you find water in your home, be sure to call the trained experts at SERVPRO of Montclair for mitigation services.

Cleaning Methods For Water Damaged Items

When excess water in the home affects your belongings and valuables, there may still be a chance that those items can be salvaged. Water restoration experts in Upper Montclair, NJ, can assess the damage and suggest a method for fixing it. It may be as simple as air drying, or it may involve a more complicated process.

Air Drying

Many items that undergo water damage from a broken pipe or other mishap in your home need to be air dried. Such items may include:

  • Important documents
  • Books
  • Photographs
  • Art
  • Textiles

Sometimes, this is all that is needed. For example, if you open a damp book and leave it open under a fan, the book will probably dry out quickly. If, however, the saturation is more intense, air drying may be the first step in the process. Make sure to air dry indoors as sunlight can cause fading to occur.

Vacuum Drying

Many specialists employ a vacuum seal method for cleaning up items affected by water in the home. Vacuum thermal drying uses heat to evaporate excess water. For items that would become distorted by excess warmth, vacuum freeze drying can use the opposite extreme temperature to leech water out of damaged items. This is the method most often used for rare books or valuable antiques.

Dry Cleaning

Linens, clothing and other fabric can usually be dry cleaned after your home floods. This chemical process is used to clean the fibers without dousing them with additional water. It can also help by removing or preventing stains from setting. After the cleaning process is done, items can be pressed to iron out wrinkles.

Not every item can always be salvaged, but the water damage technicians you hire to clean up water in the home are your best source for determining if saving your belongings is possible. They can advise you on the quickest and most effective method for dealing with the damage to your property.

How To Keep Your Home Smoke Alarms in Good Working Order

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hands taking home smoke detector apart with white ceiling background Fire damage restoration and cleanup are no problem for SERVPRO! If you've experienced a fire in your home, call the right company!

How To Maintain The Functioning Of Your Smoke Alarms At Home

It’s a good feeling when your family is all tucked safely in bed and the world is at peace. But sleeping through a fire is a leading cause of death in Glen Ridge, NJ. A smoke alarm is the best way to keep your family safe from the ravages of a home fire. If properly installed and fitted with fresh batteries, an alarm will sound at the first sign of smoke or flame and alert your family members in time to get out before they are overtaken by smoke or heat. But how often do you need to give these units a little attention?

How To Keep Your Smoke Detector Going Strong

•You need to replace the batteries in every unit at least once a year
•Test the units periodically to make sure they are functioning
•For modern units, it is recommended they be replaced about every ten years
•Most inexpensive alarms work as well as expensive designer ones – but good batteries can make a difference

Taking Further Steps

You can also buy linked detectors, which can for instance, set off an alarm upstairs when a fire is sensed up by a detector downstairs. The cost of batteries doesn’t compare it to the price you would have to pay if something goes wrong and you have no warning, so use quality batteries. Make sure to install the appropriate number for the home you are living in and that they are all in good working order.

If things do go wrong, your home could suffer from fire damage, as well as damage from water and smoke. Cleanup and repair can be a daunting task and one that is hard to tackle on your own. Call a professional restoration service in Glen Ridge, NJ, to help salvage and repair your home and its belongings. They can help with washing, dry cleaning and ozone or ultrasonic treatments to rid your home of residue and odor.

How Smart Business Owners Prepare for Emergencies

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire safety plan for  business Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill.

How Prepared Are Smart Business Owners for Emergencies?

If you are like most business owners in Montclair NJ, you want to do what you can to protect your business from catastrophe. Of course, safeguarding your building and other physical assets is only part of the equation. You also must take steps to ensure your employees and customers are safe during an emergency. By taking your routine fire drill to the next level, you increase your odds of avoiding disaster.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

Business owners have a duty to protect their employees and customers from injury. Before planning your drill, you must draft an action plan. To comply with OSHA regulations, business action plans must include at least the following components:

  • A procedure for reporting emergencies
  • An evacuation procedure, including escape routes
  • A description for continuing essential operations
  • A method for accounting for employees during the situation
  • An assignment of rescue and medical duties for designated employees
  • A detailed list of contact personnel inside and outside the organization

Hold Periodic Drills

Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill. During the drill, encourage employees to follow the action plan completely. You may also want to collaborate with emergency responders to make the drill as realistic as possible. Remember, planned drills are usually not as good as surprise one.

Evaluate the Success of Your Action Plan

After you complete a drill, you must have a method for evaluating its success. Ask each department to prepare a report card. Then, look for holes in your action plan. If the plan needs rewriting, do so before your organization’s next drill.

While you can probably use a restoration service to repair your business after a catastrophe, you can’t replace human life. With a complete action plan and a regular fire drill schedule, you can likely boost your odds of keeping everyone in your company safe during a disaster.

3 Cooking Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Microwave Fire This home had a fire loss that started in the microwave and spread from there. SERVPRO responded quickly and repaired all the damages.

3 Fire-Resistant Cooking Techniques

It is not difficult to prevent kitchen fires, but awareness and attention are necessary. Here are three fire damage prevention tips to avoid a grease fire.

1. Use Grease Safely

Grease fires are very hot and can cause extensive damage in a kitchen. Heat any cooking oil or grease slowly to a safe temperature and exercise caution when adding food. Remove as much moisture from food as possible before cooking in fat, and never cook frozen food in hot grease. Keep a Class K extinguisher between the kitchen and the nearest exit. Baking soda and salt can cause a chemical reaction that can put out grease fires, or you may be able to smother a fire with a cookie sheet or metal pot lid.

2. Monitor Cooking Food

A key safety tip is to remain in the kitchen to monitor food while it is cooking. This will ensure that you see and smell smoke and can suppress a fire as soon as it starts. If you do need to leave the room, set a timer that will remind you to check on food and prevent it from getting burned or starting a fire.

3. Organize the Kitchen

A kitchen should be organized with basic fire safety in mind. Avoid storing cooking utensils, oven mitts, or pot holders anywhere near the stove. It is also a good idea not to hang curtains or leave towels or other combustible textiles close to heating elements.

These tips can significantly reduce the risk that a grease fire will start in the kitchen of your home in West Orange, NJ. If a fire does break out, do everything you can to suppress it without compromising your safety. You may want to call firefighters to ensure that the fire is extinguished and poses no further danger. A residential fire damage mitigation and restoration service can fix any damage to your home.

Does Your Business Need Commercial Flood Insurance?

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Most flood policies only cover damage to your business’s physical structures. Most do not, however, cover damage to exterior parts.

Is Commercial Flood Insurance Necessary for Your Company?

The point of owning a business is to make money while selling goods or providing services. As you likely know, a flood can stop your business enterprise in its tracks. To better protect your organization from the harmful effects of floodwaters, you may want to purchase flood insurance.

Are Floods Covered by Conventional Commercial Insurance?

Because you are a diligent business owner, you have probably purchased conventional commercial insurance. Generally, commercial policies cover the following situations:

  • Damage to business property
  • General liability
  • Workers compensation

Glaringly missing from this list, of course, is damage due to flooding.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

If you purchase insurance coverage to protect your business from floodwater damage, you can expect it to generally cover damage to the outside and inside of your business. This includes losses from storm surges, rising rivers, excessive rainfall and other similar causes. Note, however, that a floodwater policy usually does not cover water from above your business. If your damage is due to overflowing gutters or a leaky roof, your commercial property insurance will likely cover your business loss.

What Does a Flood Policy Not Cover?

Most flood policies only cover damage to your business’s physical structures. Most do not, however, cover damage to exterior parts. Specifically, a flood policy likely exempts the following:

  • Damage to landscaping
  • Damage to septic systems
  • Damage to vehicles
  • Damage caused by work stoppages

Are You Required To Purchase a Flood Policy?

Most business owners have no obligation to purchase a flood policy. If your business is in a floodplain, however, you may have a legal requirement to purchase flood coverage. This is specifically true if you have a federal-backed mortgage. Restoration service may be able to help you restore the condition of your company after a flood, you may need to purchase flood insurance to better protect your business.

Commercial Water Damage Problems To Expect and How To Deal With Them

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in office. As a building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues.

As a business owner, there may come a time or two when you are forced to contend with common water issues such as a broken pipe or flooding. For this reason, it is important that you understand what to expect and, more importantly, how to deal with water-related headaches. Below are just four of the most common causes of water troubles that building owners have to deal with:

• Broken pipes
• Fire sprinklers
• Toilet overflow
• Supply line breaks

If you are faced with any of the above issues, there are steps you should take to minimize damage and repair costs.

Broken Pipes

Broken pipes are par for the course of property ownership and usually stem from old age or freezing temperatures. When faced with a broken pipe, you should shut off the water supply, locate the source of damage and make the necessary repair. If the damage is too great, you may have to contact your local plumber.

Fire Sprinklers

If your building catches fire, the fire sprinkler system should activate. When this occurs, you should call in your Verona, NJ, fire, and water remediation team to help clean up the damage and restore your building.

Toilet Overflow

Toilet overflow is another peril with which many business owners are forced to deal. Because you never know what toilet water contains or what causes an overflow, you should not attempt to deal with the mess yourself. Block off the area and contact a plumber and water repair company right away.

Supply Line Breaks

Like broken pipes, supply line breaks can happen because of old age or because of adverse weather conditions. When a supply line bursts, shut off the main water valve right away to prevent further damage and contact both a plumber and a local water remediation team as soon as possible.

As a building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues. Whether the issue stems from a broken pipe or a sewage backup, the best thing you can do to minimize damage and keep costs low is to contact a Verona, NJ, water repair company as soon as you discover the issue.

Why Is Mold Attracted to Residential Homes?

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist removing mold from of a room If your home is damaged by mold, don't worry about it, SERVPRO is ready to help you, just call us!

What Attracts Mold To Residential Buildings?

While mold can happen anywhere, it seems most attracted to residential buildings. Finding black mold in your home can be a nightmare of mold cleanup and remediation, but you can prevent it by understanding the common causes that lead to infestations in your Montclair NJ, home.

It’s All About the Water

Mold growth in your home can almost always be traced back to one source: a moisture problem. Black mold thrives on organic matter, but it requires moisture to truly grow out of control and proliferate. Common sources of moisture that lead to mold outbreaks include the following:

  • Broken and leaking pipes
  • Roof and window leaks
  • Standing water left behind by bathtub, shower, and toilet splashing or overflow
  • Water trapped beneath linoleum and tile
  • Standing water left behind by floods
  • Excess humidity and condensation in the air

So How Can I Fix Mold in My Home?

Avoid a mold infestation in the first place by keeping your home dry and free of leaks or other moisture sources.

• Check the integrity of your roofing and window seals and have them repaired as needed.
• If you’ve recently suffered flooding, quickly dispose of any sodden materials and dry out any remaining water, even if you may have to pull up carpeting and floorboards.
• Have a plumber in to check your pipes and keep them in good health.
• Check your appliances, particularly refrigerators and air conditioners, to ensure they aren’t leaking or having problems with condensation.
• If you live in a high-humidity environment, invest in a dehumidifier and run it as necessary to bring down the moisture levels in the air inside your home.

If you’ve already seen outbreaks of black mold, you may need to retain the services of a mold remediation specialist. These technicians can help you identify sources of mold that aren’t readily apparent on initial inspection and recommend appropriate cleanup and prevention actions.

Facing Flood Damage Without Flood Insurance? Know Your Options

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Equipment in empty livingroom. After a flood, there’s everything from housing to flood remediation to worry about.

For many homeowners, flood insurance can easily sound like a perk at best or anxious overkill at worst. That’s until a busted pipe, a rising water table or a flash flood happens. Now you’re looking at two feet of water in your basement and facing a mountain of expense with no way out. Or are you? It turns out Montclair, NJ, homeowners without coverage still have options if they know where to look.

What is Flood Damage Insurance?

At its most basic, this is specialized insurance to cover damage to your home caused by excess water. Offered in all 50 states, this insurance is obtained through the federal government's NFIP flood insurance program with help from a local insurance agency. Like any insurance policy, flood coverage involves deductibles and covers specific items like:
• Appliances
• Carpeting and window treatments
• Foundation walls
• Cabinets
• Personal items

As with homeowner’s insurance, there are limits to what’s covered and deductibles before coverage is provided.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Flood Coverage?

If the unthinkable happens and you don’t have flood coverage, you’re likely to have to shoulder much of the expense. But there is some help available from federal government grants and low-cost loans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers grant money that can substitute for flood insurance. So does the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Best of all, you can apply for FEMA grants if your area is covered under a federal disaster. Also, you can likely get expedited approval and more immediate assistance if your home is uninhabitable.

After a flood, there’s everything from housing to flood remediation to worry about. For some, a lack of insurance is another strain. If you’re facing flood damage without insurance, try the above tips to get the help you need. And if a disaster hasn’t struck, whether you live on a flood plain or not, consider investing in coverage in advance.

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.

How Can I Prevent a Lint Fire?

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

utility room, dryer and clothing on a room By maintaining your dryer you can prevent a lint fire in your home.

Ways To Prevent A House Fire

Lint fires are common occurrences in Glen Ridge, NJ, and cause heavy fire damage leading to costly repairs. You can prevent a house fire by keeping flammable substances away from your home.
To prepare in case of a fire:

  • Have a fire plan in place
  • Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible
  • Create a list of emergency contacts

Lint from dryers is often used in campsites to light the campfire because of how highly combustible it is. Here are some ways you can prevent a dryer fire.

3. Properly Clean Your Dryer
Experts recommend that you hire a professional to service your dryer at least once a year. You can also take steps throughout the year to clean around your dryer and prevent accumulating lint. Check behind the dryer to ensure no lint is hidden.

2. Clean the Lint Filter Housing
The dryer filter is the most obvious place where lint accumulates. Its housing can also become filled with lint if it is not cleaned regularly. When you lift the filter from its housing, you will often find the lint trapped under it. This buildup can easily start a lint fire inside of the dryer. It is best to use a small brush inside the housing to reveal any hidden lint and use a vacuum to remove it.

3. Notice the Signs
When your dryer begins to function abnormally, it can be an indication that your dryer vents are clogged. Knowing the signs of a malfunctioning appliance can prevent a dryer fire. If you notice that the dryer is no longer drying effectively or your clothes are coming out hotter than usual, contact a professional to clean your vents before purchasing a new one.
A lint fire is preventable in your home if you take the appropriate steps to maintain your dryer. If you have experienced a dryer fire, contact your local fire damage restoration service to help get your property back to normal.

How Hail Can compromise Your Roof

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

summer rain with hail falls on the roof of slate Hail storm in Llewellyn Park, NJ.

A healthy roof can protect your commercial property from storm damage in Llewellyn Park, NJ. Roof damage from a severe storm requires you to act quickly to avoid costly consequences.

How Can Hail Affect Your Roof?

Hail storms are typically not long-lasting, but they can severely compromise your roof depending upon various factors, including:

  • Stone size
  • Stone weight
  • Stone shape
  • Speed at Impact
  • Roof material

Hailstones can have diameters up to three inches and weigh as much as a pound. They can form with jagged edges and travel over 100 miles per hour from thousands of feet above the ground. Damage occurs if these large stones land on your roof and puncture a hole through it.

How Can You Identify Hail Damage?
Roof damage following a hail storm is not always easy to recognize if it doesn't leave a gaping hole. Following a hail storm, it is necessary to conduct a roof inspection and look for the more subtle damage signs. Your roof may have damage if your gutters are out of place or dented or if they are not draining properly due to clogging from trapped hail particles. Dents in your building's siding following a hail storm are another good indication that your roof also has damage.

What Are Consequences of Ignoring Roof Repairs?
Delaying roof inspections or hail damage repairs can lead to other issues affecting your building's interior. For example, a small hole in your roof can grow bigger if it remains unrepaired. As a result, water from the next rain or snowstorm could make its way inside. The result could be an obvious flood, water-soaked insulation or an accumulation of water within your building's interior walls. These scenarios can lead to secondary mold damage that would require immediate attention from a mold remediation service to decontaminate your premises.
If roof damage causes flooding at your building in Llewellyn Park, NJ, a disaster recovery service can undertake proper cleanup and sanitization.

5 Ways To Mitigate Home Water Damage

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up in West Orange, NJ. Shutting off the water supply may reduce the amount of water released into your home.

Five Ways To Limit The Extent Of Water Damage

Water can cause any degree of damage from minor to major at a home located in West Orange, NJ. Here are five ways to limit the extent of water damage due to any incident from a broken or leaking supply line to a backup of contaminated water from a sewer or outside flooding.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply
If broken pipes or supply line leaks are the cause of damage, shutting off the water supply may reduce the amount of water released into your home. Make sure plumbing is fixed before turning the water back on.

2. Collect Dripping Water
When a leak is dripping anywhere in a home, you can use a bucket or container to keep surfaces from getting soaked. The weight of water may make it necessary to pump out large quantities of standing water.

3. Pump Out Standing Water
The longer water is left standing, the greater the risk of severe primary water damage. Clean water will degrade into contaminated water over the course of just 48 to 72 hours.

4. Tear Out Ruined Building Materials
Soaked drywall or insulation may need to be torn out and replaced during water cleanup. Consult with restoration professionals if you are not sure which materials can be dried.

5. Dry the Affected Area
The entire area affected by a pipe burst or leak should be thoroughly dried. If contaminated water causes damage, it is first necessary to tear out exposed porous materials and disinfect hard surfaces to prevent mold.
These mitigation methods may not apply to every type of water damage. It is important to assess the source of damage and level of contamination at a residence in West Orange, NJ. If you are not sure which approach to mitigation and cleanup to take, consult with restoration experts who can limit the severity of primary damage and avoid secondary damage.

A Collaborative Relationship: How Restoration and Insurance Coincide

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in a home in Montclair, NJ Water Cleanup in Montclair, NJ

A Collaborative Relationship

When the right company is hired, a symbiotic relationship can exist between an insurance adjuster, business owner and restoration manager. While each of these parties may see themselves in various roles, the reality is that all parties seek to effectively treat the property within a reasonable time frame and price. With the correct planning and proper measures, buildings may receive methodical, efficient cleanup without frustration or claim delays. Here are three ways a water remediation company in Montclair, NJ makes projects easier, not harder.

1. Experience and Credentials

Preferred vendors like SERVPRO ensure that employees at all locations undergo continuous training to meet national IICRC standards. Armed with the best knowledge and up-to-date equipment, insurers and owners may trust that the job is taken seriously and handled correctly. Efforts applied are meant to secure the premises and guard against future complications.

2. Collaboration and Efficiency

An insurance adjuster faces several demands. Financial costs must be monitored to avoid overpayment, and the structure's stability must be repaired and sanitized. All of this should happen without having to worry about vendor delays. Working with one establishment allows for more accessible communication and improved treatment response. A manager coordinates with the crews, arranging their schedules and sending in the appropriate and necessary documentation. Business owners, through this effort, experience smoother work schedules and have professionals supporting their efforts.

3. Streamlined Claims

An insurance claim isn't simple. Insurers need the crew to understand the policy and how to apply it to the situation. Restoration businesses with electronic systems and knowledgeable staff can track the site's needs from the initial concern to project completion. Proprietors may not understand the technicalities or language of the process. The restoration company's claims department steps in to assist both groups.

In the end, an insurance adjuster and owner seek one goal: a safe and sanitary space. Remediation teams act as the middleman, getting the task done correctly and improving the communication process.

3 Potential Causes of Sewer Backup

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Split drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots in Montclair, NJ Tree roots often negatively impact sewer lines as well.

Reasons For A Sewer Back

If you own or manage a business, you may offer restroom facilities to your customers or clients. If you run a dining place, there are probably sinks. Commercial buildings are usually connected to sewer systems. A flooded toilet, blocked-up sink or other issue caused by sewer backup can be a hassle to handle. Such occurrences often result in big messes. You may have to contact a professional remediation service in Montclair, NJ, for sewer cleanup and sanitation. An important part of dealing with sewage-related incidents is locating the source or cause to stop further leakage. There are many possible reasons for a sewer backup.

1. Blockages
Sewer backups may often be attributed to clogs in mainlines and pipes. People, both employees and patrons, tend to throw things they should not into drains or flush them down toilets without considering the consequences. Examples of such products and materials include:

  • Grease, oils and fats (in restaurants)
  • Fibrous food particles (in restaurants)
  • Pads and tampons (in public bathrooms)
  • Sanitary wipes (in public bathrooms)

2. Damaged Pipes
Broken pipes may malfunction, leading to a sewer backup. What happens is that they fail to properly drain, causing buildups of sewage that overflow, creating the need for sewer cleanup. Damage may be due to a number of factors, such as improper installation.

3. Nature
One unpreventable factor that can lead to waste problems is nature. Earthquakes are one natural phenomenon that can harm pipes, which, as mentioned earlier can affect their performance, resulting in backups. Tree roots often negatively impact sewer lines as well. They are capable of diverting or blocking drainage and wrapping around, crushing, cracking and/or pinching pipes. They may even cause them to burst. Floodwaters from a storm or rising waters can surge through your commercial property's sewer lines or the city's main ones, pushing chemicals and hazardous materials out.
Insurance may or may not cover sewer cleanup. If the backup originates on your property, you may be able to have it fixed yourself. However, if it arises due to a fault in the public sewer system, officials will most likely have to get involved.

3 Types of Protective Equipment Every Remediation Professional Should Have

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Specialists in PPE combating mold in an apartment in Montclair, NJ Make sure they use their equipment appropriately to avoid any issues

Learn About The Most Essential Pieces Of Protective Equipment They Should Have

One sign of professionalism you should expect from qualified mold remediation specialists is their ability to protect themselves and others. Mold spreads easily and can be hazardous, which is why it is important to safely eliminate it from your Montclair, NJ business. This goal is best accomplished when the professionals use their resources properly.

1. Protective Suit
Mold spores can easily cling to clothing and spread throughout the rest of the location or even other areas. The people working with it should wear protective suits that can be washed easily and prevent spores from getting attached. Disposable hazmat suits are the most effective solution to this issue. During smaller projects, removal professionals may wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants that are distinct from their casual outfits. They wash these items in hot water immediately after use.

2. Disposable Items
A disposable full-body suit may not always cover all body parts. Experts need other disposable items to protect other areas from mold growth exposure, including:

  • Gloves
  • Foot/shoe covers
  • Hair covers

Mold can cling to hands, shoes or hair and spread easily if there is no adequate protection. Therefore, technicians usually wear these items before entering the affected area. When they leave, they remove these items and carefully dispose of them. If they must re-enter, they put on new ones.

3. Face Mask
The most important protective item cleaners should have in their arsenal is a face mask, sometimes known as an air-purifying respirator. This item filters mold particles and any other harmful substances. There are both permanent and disposable masks and they block different particle percentages. If a mask does not include a built-in visor, remediators can use safety goggles to prevent mold, debris, and chemicals from entering their eyes.
Responsible mold removers do not just clean and restore the area effectively, but they also protect everyone inside. Make sure they use their equipment appropriately to avoid any issues.

3 Steps for Avoiding a Dryer Fire

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Hand removing lint from dryer filter in West Orange, NJ 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 Steps To Take After Storm Damage

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged area by storm, Servpro vehicles passing through debris on a neighborhood area in Montclair, NJ Storm damage in Montclair, NJ

Storm Tips

Taking the proper steps after storm damage can help you avoid unnecessary damage to your property and delays in processing your insurance claim and restoring your property. These three storm tips will help you decide what steps to take after a storm.


1. Check for Damage
Once it is safe to do so, check your home for damage caused by the storm. Keep an eye out for slippery areas, loose flooring, downed electrical lines and other hazards. Do not walk through standing water. If it is night time, wait until daylight if you can. If you need to look for damage at night, use a flashlight instead of a candle or other open flame that could ignite a gas leak. If you notice a gas smell, shut off the main gas line, open your windows and leave your home immediately, before notifying the gas company and authorities in Montclair, NJ. Photograph any damage you find.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have insurance on your home that covers storm damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to get the claims process started. In addition to making arrangements to have your damage inspected, your agent or claims adjuster can provide you with storm tips to help you mitigate your damages while you wait for permanent repairs to be made. They may also suggest a storm damage mitigation company to assist you with the cleanup process.

3. Mitigate Your Damages
If you have broken windows or damage to your roof that has lead to leaks in your home, cover the holes with plywood or tarp. If your home has a lot of damage, you may want to use a professional tarping service.
Taking the correct steps after a storm is critical for restoring your storm-damaged home to preloss condition as quickly and safely as possible. These three storm tips can help you get the restoration process started.

Reduce Mold in Your Commercial Building's Bathroom

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage on the wall of a Montclair, NJ home Keep the humidity as low as possible

The bathrooms in your commercial building are one of the most common places for mold to grow. Mold spores are everywhere, but the moisture and humidity in bathrooms are an invitation for these spores to grow into a large-scale mold problem. To discourage mold growth, reduce the moisture, and conduct thorough mildew clean frequently.

How To Reduce Moisture in Bathrooms

Follow some simple steps to eliminate the accumulation of moisture in your bathrooms.

Inspect for leaks frequently. The pipes and seals attached to the sinks and toilets must be secure. If you spot a leak and your maintenance staff isn't capable of fixing the problem, contact a plumber right away.
Seal the bathroom tile's grout lines each year. After thorough mildew clean, apply a sealant to the grout lines to keep them waterproof. If the grout isn't cleaned properly beforehand, the sealant won't adhere effectively.
Keep the humidity as low as possible. Because of the humid weather in Montclair, NJ, installing a dehumidifier reduces the moisture in the air. A dehumidifier increases ventilation which discourages mold growth as well. Your air conditioner will also cool the air and remove moisture.

How To Conduct a Thorough Cleaning
Conduct proper cleaning each week to prevent bathroom mold. Dust is a food source for mold because mold spores like to settle on surfaces. Lightly dampen a cloth and wipe the counters, faucets, and door handles. After dusting, use an all-purpose cleaner to thoroughly clean each surface, including sinks, toilets, and flooring.
Clean bathroom mirrors with a glass cleaner each week as well. Spray the cleaner on a cloth and wipe the entire mirror. If any streaks remain, buff them out with a dry cloth.
Maintaining your bathrooms with thorough mildew clean and reducing excess moisture will discourage mold growth. If you are concerned about mold, contact a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible.

What to Expect During Sewage Damage Cleanup

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on the floor of a Montclair, NJ home Water damage restoration in Montclair, NJ

What to Expect During Sewage Damage Cleanup

If a sink or toilet has overflowed in your Montclair, NJ building, then you will likely need to have sewer cleanup done. Depending on the type of water involved, this process may differ slightly, but the general steps will remain the same. You should expect the following to take place.

1. Remove the Water
The first thing that will need to be done during sewer cleanup is water removal. It is important that this is done as soon as possible to prevent further issues. Mold, rust, and warping wood can result from water damage if it is left for too long.

2. Disinfect Surfaces
If a flooded toilet is involved, then you will likely be dealing with category 2 or 3 water. These are both considered contaminated, although category 3 or black water contains more waste and bacteria. Any floors, walls, or other surfaces in the area will need to be cleaned and disinfected to remove bacteria and other harmful contaminants.

3. Clean or Replace Affected Items
Along with surfaces, items that have come into contact with the water will need to be addressed during cleanup. In some cases, cleaning may not be enough to remove all of the contaminants. This is often the case with large items made with absorbent materials. It is best to replace belongings that cannot be thoroughly cleaned.

4. Address the Cause
Whether it is a sewer backup or damaged plumbing, if the cause of the overflow is not addressed, the problem may occur again in the future. A cleanup and restoration company can perform an inspection to help identify the issue. They can also make any necessary repairs.
Any kind of water damage in your building should be taken care of as soon as possible. Not doing so can result in mold growth and other secondary damage. If the water is coming from damaged plumbing, sewer cleanup is often necessary. Having this service done will remove bacteria and other contaminants to keep your building sanitary.

3 Steps To Take if Your Roof Is Damaged by a Fire

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

The outside of a fire damaged home in West Orange, NJ Cleaning up after a fire in West Orange, NJ

Include These Three Steps In Your Fire Cleanup Process

Even if the flames never reach your roof, your roof may be damaged by measures the fire department takes to put out the fire. 

1. Cover Holes With Tarp

Fire damage can cause holes in your roof that may lead to leaks. Additionally, firefighters sometimes break holes in the roof to ventilate smoke, hot air, and gases. If your roof has openings, cover them with a tarp while you wait for roof repair. If your roof damage is too extensive to place the tarp yourself, a fire mitigation company in West Orange, NJ can provide tarp services.


2. Call Your Insurance Company

It is OK to make temporary repairs, such as placing a tarp, but do not start fire cleanup or make permanent repairs until you have filed a claim with your insurance company. Your adjuster will likely want to inspect the damage before repairs start. Additionally, an assessment will need to be made to determine whether your roof can be repaired or needs to be replaced. If you start repairs on your own, before the insurance company has a chance to inspect the damage, you risk spending money that your insurance may not compensate you for.


3. Document Your Damage

Take photographs of the damage to your roof, if you can safely do so. Keep records of any temporary repairs you have made and retain your receipts. If you have had your roof replaced since you purchased your building, it may be helpful to locate documentation that shows when the roof was replaced and how much you spent on it. Maintenance records may also be useful to have in case there is a dispute over whether the damage was caused by the fire or wear and tear.

A leaking roof can cause additional damage to your property and hamper your fire cleanup efforts. Taking these three steps will help you mitigate your damages.

3 Types of Contaminated Flood Water

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Refrigerator with the phrase Category 1 Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source

3 Types of Contaminated Flood Water

Water damage can wreck havoc on your Montclair, NJ home. That being said, not every home flood is the same. Flood water is categorized by the types of contaminants present. Understanding the differences between the different types of contaminated water can help you remediate the damage more effectively.

1. Clean Water Floods
As their name implies, Category 1, or clean water floods, are categorized by an absence of contaminants. As the least dangerous types of floods, they typically originate from a supply line burst, a shower leak, or some other type of clean water source. Just because these floods aren't as dangerous doesn't mean that they shouldn't still be taken seriously. A clean water flood can transform into a Category 2 flood if left untreated for too long.

2. Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are also known as Category 2 floods. This flood contains mildly contaminated water, but nothing that could pose a biohazard risk. These floods are often caused when household appliances malfunction and floods, such as dishwashers and laundry machines. If left untreated for longer than 48 hours, a Category 2 flood will quickly become a dangerous Category 3 flood.

3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, or black water floods, are the most dangerous of all. They are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human or animal fecal matter, raw sewage, and dangerous chemicals or pesticides. You should never attempt to resolve a Category 3 flood by yourself, due to the possible health risks. Instead, you should contact water damage professionals as soon as you can. These floods are usually caused by toilet overflow, sewage backflow, or a flooding riverbank.
All types of floods are capable of inflicting serious amounts of damage. That being said, it's still important for you to learn the differences between the various types of contaminated water. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for assistance, no matter which type of flood you're currently dealing with.

What Is Mold?

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Structure with severe mold damage in West Orange, NJ Severe mold damage

Learn About Your Fungal Home Invader

Black mold is an extremely common issue for many homeowners, yet so many people still know so little about it. Before you attempt to tackle the issue in your West Orange, NJ home, you should look for the answers to all of your pressing mold questions.

1. What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that has the potential to grow just about anywhere. Common types of residential molds feed off of moisture and organic matter, meaning it's quite common to find them in areas that come into contact with a lot of water.

2. How Do You Know Whether You Have a Mold Problem?
Almost every type of mold is visible to the naked eye, so you can easily spot a mold problem in your home. In some cases, the mold might grow inside your walls or ceiling where you can't see it as easily. In these instances, you can usually identify the mold by its musty odor.

3. Where Does Mold Usually Grow?
The most common types of residential molds require water in order to grow. You're most likely to find them growing in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement, garage, or attic. If your home has a moisture problem or recently suffered from a flood, you could also find it growing in the walls or ceilings.

4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Since mold is a living organism, it's natural to assume that it could die off on its own. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Depriving the black mold of its essential moisture and nutrients might temporarily prevent it from spreading, but it won't resolve the issue.

5. How Can You Get Rid of Mold?
You can tackle a smaller mold cleanup project by mixing together your own non-toxic cleaning solution, consisting of equal parts white vinegar and bleach. Larger problems might require professional assistance, however.
Learning about your fungal home invader is the first step to solving the issue. Make sure to contact mold remediation experts if you require more assistance dealing with your black mold problem.

3 Essential Techniques for Escaping Fires To Teach Your Kids

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Rear view of a Caucasian firefighter wearing a fire helmet over his head and teaching about fire extinguisher to school kids If you keep your child informed, your lives can go back to normal in no time

Kids Safety Strategies

Going through a home fire in West Orange, NJ, is an undeniably harrowing experience. It can be even scarier if there are children involved. To preemptively avoid any tragedies, it's essential that your children know how to get out of the house. When teaching kids safety strategies, remember to explain these three rules for escaping fires.

1. Testing Doors

One of the most potentially hazardous parts of a fire escape is leaving a room. If there is a fire in an adjacent room, opening a door that leads into it could result in an outward explosion. Therefore, checking doors is an essential point to teach a child. Tell your kids to test the temperature of the doorknob. To prevent getting burned, these are a few items young ones can use:

  • A towel
  • A piece of fabric
  • The back of one hand

If the handle feels hot, your kids should know to find another exit. Try to plan two other ways out of your children's bedrooms and other common rooms.

2. Stop, Drop, and Roll

This method is taught in schools for a reason. If your kids' clothes catch on fire, they should know to immediately fall down and roll. This can be confusing for many young ones to understand, so try to practice it regularly to ensure kids' safety.

3. Rolling Out of Bed

Hot air rises, so to avoid burns from the scorching heat during a house fire, teaching the bedroll technique is vital. Tell the young ones to roll onto the stomach and crawl to the floor from there. At this point, your kids should know to continue crawling until safety is reached, avoiding extremely hot spaces.
While a house fire is often terrifying, the damage can be dealt with by a fire restoration company. If you keep your child informed, your lives can go back to normal in no time. Stay strong and keep kids' safety intact by remembering these key instructions.

What To Know About Filing a Water Damage Claim

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Applicant filling in water damage claim application form document Filing a claim can be complex

There are dozens of reasons a home flood happens, and after one you could find yourself needing to file an insurance claim in West Orange, NJ. Filing a claim may feel overwhelming, especially as you try to deal with saving your belongings and finding professional water cleanup. Understanding the different types of damage and what to expect when talking to your insurance agency can help.

There Are Different Types of Water Damage

Insurance companies separate damage into several different categories:

  • Flood damage
  • Weather-related damage
  • Sudden or accidental discharge (such as broken pipes)
  • Gradual damage (such as leaking pipes or holes in roofing)


Filing a Claim Can Be Complex

The differences in types of water damage mean that filing an insurance claim is often more complicated than people expect. The agency will want to know how the damage occurred. Keep in mind that gradual damage isn't often covered because a gradual problem is more likely to reoccur and require further claims. However, some policies do cover certain types of gradual damage. Read your policy thoroughly and ask plenty of questions to ensure you know what your insurance covers.


A Damage Claim May Raise Your Insurance Rates

A damage claim is a red flag for an insurance agency. If you do need to file a claim, it will probably raise your insurance rates. The specific circumstances determine whether your rates rise and, if they do, by how much. If you've filed claims before or live in an area that floods frequently, expect a significant rise in rates. Even your credit score can factor into the equation. Depending on each of these factors, your rates could rise by as much as 20-40%.
The best way to keep yourself from needing to file a water damage insurance claim is to do what you can to prevent gradual damage now. Routine maintenance on your roofing, pipes, water heater and septic system is essential. Keeping your home in good condition makes it less likely that you'll see a large rate hike if you need to file a claim due to a natural disaster or something else beyond your control.

3 Tips for Content Cleaning After Business Storm Damage

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

broken glass on the floor, debris, water damage in Montclair, NJ Commercial storm damage in Montclair, NJ

Here's What You May Want To Know

After a storm causes a flood at your Montclair, NJ place of business, content cleaning can seem like a large task. Fortunately, there are a few steps that may help you get through this process. 

1. Contact a Professional

After a storm damages your company property it’s a good idea to contact a local storm damage restoration service for help with repairs. These professionals can help restore the property, but many offer restoration services for damaged items as well. In most cases, they will also help you store these items until building repairs can be completed.

2. Sort Damage Items

The first step for content cleaning is to sort your affected items by damage type and severity. The composition of an item may affect which type of cleaning method can be used. Similarly, items with heavy damage may need to be treated differently than those with light damage. It’s also important to remember that even electronics and paper items, such as file, can be restored as well, so it’s a good idea to consult a professional before you throw anything away.

3. Use the Appropriate Cleaning Method

Because flooding is classified as black water it’s important to note that everything will need to be cleaned in order to remove any bacteria that may have been in the water. Fortunately, there are a number of cleaning methods available. Small, cloth items can be washed with a detergent while furniture may need upholstery cleaner. Large items can be wiped with a special solution. Electronics and paper documentation can be cleaned by a professional trained in their restoration.

It’s a good idea to talk to a professional service about help with any content cleaning that may be required after a storm floods your business. These professionals are trained to help you sort your items by damage type and severity, as well as which method of cleaning is best for each item. They may even be able to help you store these items until repairs to the business property can be made.

How a Fire in the Workplace Can Affect Your Business

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Big fire in a stairway, in a building in Montclair, NJ Office fire in Montclair, NJ

In the everyday affairs of your business, you probably worry about things other than disasters and emergencies. However, these types of incidents can have devastating effects on your company. You should be prepared to prevent and respond to events such as floods and fires. One of the best ways to mitigate loss and help stabilize your company's finances when you can't continue daily operations is to purchase interruption insurance. This coverage can be critical in keeping your business afloat during difficult times.

The Consequences of an Office Fire

Even a small fire in your Montclair, NJ building can cause severe damage. You may also see business interruption to production changes with employees' work. Aside from injuries and harm a fire could do, you need to be aware of the following effects:

  • Loss of pertinent equipment such as computers, servers, and other production tools.
  • Destruction of building materials, making the facility unsafe for work.
  • Long-term health effects from the smoke.

Loss of Revenue

Your first concern during and after a fire should be for the welfare of your staff. Mae everyone gets the proper medical attention they need after this incident. You will then turn your thoughts to how the fire will affect the bottom line of your company. Even shutting down for a single day could put you thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars behind, depending on the nature of your work and the size of your organization and customer base. If major fire restoration is necessary, and you have to close your office for weeks while professional fire and smoke cleanup crews address repair needs, it may be difficult to recover financially from lost income.

Insurance to the Rescue

Interruption insurance will reimburse you for the costs of having to close your office due to a disaster such as a fire. This includes any revenue you lose and will lose because you cannot operate your company. The coverage can also pay for relocation costs.
Purchasing business interruption insurance can spare you a lot of stress and grief in the future. You can have peace of mind even during the most dire emergencies.

The Process of a Sewer Cleanup Explained

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Basement flood in West Orange, NJ Sewer backup is a job for the experts at SERVPRO!

Sewer Cleanup Process

A sewer cleanup is a different animal from an ordinary water cleanup. That's because the water could contain a variety of substances that are harmful to humans and therefore extra caution should be used. Contaminated water sometimes holds viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Examples of this type of discharge include the following:

This type of water problem can properly be called an emergency and it is important to get professional help right away. A SERVPRO company will arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. An experienced water mitigation franchise has the training and certifications to adequately address the situation.

The Use of PPE

The technicians involved in a sewer cleanup in West Orange, NJ, will use the necessary precautions to keep themselves and everyone else safe. This means blocking off access to the spill area as well as wearing gloves, eye protection and even hazard suits as conditions demand. Professional equipment and training are the keys to an effective and safe sewer cleanup. Sophisticated equipment will remove the contaminated water from the area and then powerful air dryers will eliminate excess moisture.

The Use of Approved Disinfectants

Whether the restoration team is dealing with a flooded toilet or some other source of contaminated water, the area will need to be cleaned beyond what a regular cleaning service provides. Technicians will use cleaning agents that have been recommended by leaders in the cleaning and restoration industry. This will help prevent odors and guard against mold growth. While each sewer cleanup is unique and demands specialized training and knowledge, a professional team should be able to handle any situation. This includes the restoration or replacement of damaged contents and the rebuilding of such structural items as drywall and insulation. A professional job ensures a commercial building is cleaned to the highest standards.

What Is the Purpose of a Flood Cut?

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cut in a home in Montclair, NJ. Flood cut performed in a Montclair, NJ home

After a residential storm in Montclair, NJ, you may have visible flooding damage in your home or basement. To ensure that water is dried up and your home is safely restored, you may wish to hire a storm restoration professional to assess the destruction the water has left behind. A professional restoration crew may choose to use something called a flood cut to inspect the area before repairing damages. Learn more about a flood cut before your repair person arrives to put your mind at ease about the restoration process.

What Is a Flood Cut?

After water gets into your home after a storm, a home restoration crew may wish to tear out drywall up to 12 inches above the flood line. This practice, known as a flood cut, is used to examine the area below the surface for any hidden damage. It is a common practice and should not be a concern to you as a homeowner. The 12-inch cut creates a buffer and gives a better idea of how far the water has penetrated. A flood cut will help determine if water has reached these key areas:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Insulation
  • Other drywall

Is a Flood Cut Necessary?

A flood cut may not be required if flooding was caused by a sanitary water source such as a sink or pipe leak. Likewise, walls where insulation is not present, such as a garage wall, may also be less of a concern after a flood incident. However, water from a storm is considered unsanitary. This dirty water can be a source of contamination and leave more severe damage if not addressed properly. A flood cut ensures the safety of all of the residents in the home.
Ask your local flooding restoration professional if a flood cut would be helpful in your water damage situation. This technique may be the best way to ensure all water is discovered and addressed before repairs are made.

3 Tips To Prevent Water Damage While You're Out of Town

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. It's a good idea to shut off your water at the main before you leave

Prevent Water Damage In Your Home

When you go on vacation, you want to be able to truly relax, take a load off, and be free of worries for that blissful period of time. Many people, however, are plagued by worry as soon as they leave their home, and waste their get-away by spending the whole time wondering if they left on the stove, if their basement has flooded, or if some other catastrophe has struck. If the proper preventative steps are taken, however, an overflowing sink or broken pipe will be the last thing on your mind, and water pipe repair can be a fairly painless procedure if handled appropriately.

Tip #1: Check Before You Leave
Before embarking on your journey, take the time to search your house for signs of existent water damage. Look for:

  • Puddles or pools of water
  • Steady dripping sounds
  • Stains or discolored patches on walls, ceilings, or floors

If you spot any of these signs, it is crucial to call your local Verona, NJ, water pipe repair professionals right away. Lucky for you, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster, so you can be back on track with your travel plans in no time at all.

Tip #2: Double Check Hoses and Pipes
Check all your water supply lines for kinks, worn out hoses, or broken pipes. Even if nothing has flooded yet, it could be just around the corner if you don't keep your water lines in good shape.

Tip #3: Enlist a Friend or Shut Off Water
Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to periodically check up on your house while you're away. They can check for leaks, floods, broken pipes or hoses, staining, and other signs of water damage, as well as check up on the thermostat to make sure the heat is on if it's wintertime. If you can't find anyone to check on your house, it's a good idea to shut off your water at the main before you leave.
By taking these steps, you can do your best to avoid any water pipe repair needs at all.

Mold Cleanup Tips

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, drying equipment, mold containment concept Mold remediation in Llewellyn Park, NJ

House mold is a common issue that most homeowners do have to handle at some point. It's difficult to know where to start when it comes to fighting a mold issue, especially if you're a new homeowner. Use the following tips to help you fight off the mold growing in your house in Llewellyn Park, NJ.

Taking Care of Surface Mold

The majority of house mold cases do require professional help to remedy. However, you may be able to resolve smaller cases of surface mold on your own using the following technique:

  • Create a mold cleaning solution using 1 quart of water and 1/2 cup of bleach, white vinegar or baking soda. White vinegar and baking soda can be used to create non-toxic cleaning solutions.
  • Soak a kitchen sponge or scrubbing brush into the mold cleaning solution you created and attack the mold until it begins to disappear.
  • After you finish scrubbing, leave the cleaning solution to dry for a few minutes.
  • Use a fresh, dry cleaning rag or cloth to gently wipe any remaining solution off of the surface.

This technique only works if the mold is sitting on the surface and hasn't penetrated deeper yet.

Preventing Subsequent Mold Growth
Mold is extremely tenacious and has a tendency to return as soon as you think you're done with it. Implementing proper preventative measures can help prevent this from happening. Keep your household as dry as possible by wiping up spills and standing water immediately. Monitor indoor humidity levels to prevent excess condensation from building up. Regularly inspect your property for mold growth and pipe leaks. Repair any leaks you come across immediately before drying the area.
If your house mold issue is a relatively small case, you should be able to remediate the situation yourself using the above technique. Unfortunately, there's no real way of knowing exactly how large your mold issue is without enlisting professional help. It's recommended that you contact mold remediation experts to help resolve all mold cases, regardless how large or small.

Why Does Mold Keep Growing In the Same Spot?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on drywall Mold growth can only occur if moisture and nutrients remain present.

Why Mold Tends To Return?

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 nutrients 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
  • Nutrients
  • 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.

4 Tips for Making the Perfect Fire Escape Plan

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Exit route The best time to plan your evacuation route is now!

Fire Preparation Plan

When it comes to your family, safety is paramount. Because you never know when a fire might occur in Glen Ridge, NJ, it is always best to have a solid fire escape plan at the ready. Depending on the size and ages of your family members, you may need to add in particular elements that will ensure everyone's safety. Here are five great tips for making your fire preparation plan the perfect one for your needs:

1. Find at Least Two Exit Routes
Work with each member of your family to help them understand that the most important thing they can do in the case of a fire is to get out. No matter where they are in the house, they should be able to identify two different ways to get outside. Windows are an option as well, so be sure to explain (and practice) the process of using them to escape.

2. Choose a Meeting Place Outside
Designate a safe place outside of the home as an area for family members to meet in the case of a home fire. This could be a curb side, a mailbox, or even a neighbor's house. Help your family know exactly where to go, even if they don't have anyone else with them during an emergency.

3. Practice "Stop, Drop and Roll"
An important piece of every fire escape plan is knowing what to do if the fire gets too close. If a family member's clothing catches on fire, their immediate reaction should be to "stop, drop and roll." Practice this with every family member to help them be prepared.

4. Keep Doors Closed
A closed door can actually help prevent smoke and fire spreading more quickly. Where possible, keep doors closed while people are sleeping.
Being prepared is the best thing you can do for your family. In addition to a great fire escape plan, it is also important to have the contact information of a trusted restoration company to make sure your home is taken care of after any emergency.

5 Safety Steps for Mold Remediation at Your Business

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

workers setting up plastic covers for mold containment on a facility Mold containment in Montclair, NJ

Safety Steps During Mold Removal

During a mold removal at your Montclair, NJ, business there are a few things you can do in order to help keep your staff safe. Here are five tips you may want to consider.

1. Call a Professional

One of the first things you can do to help protect your staff is to contact a mold remediation service. These professionals will be able to safely contain the problem, as well as perform any cleaning and make repairs that may be necessary. They can also test the mold to determine it's type, such as black mold.

2. Wear Safety Gear

When dealing with mold growth it’s highly recommended to wear personal protective equipment. This includes masks, gloves, boots, and clothing covers.

3. Contain the Area

Containing the affected area is an important part of the mold removal process. The remediation professionals working on the area will separate it from the rest of the building, usually with plastic sheeting. This is done to prevent mold from spreading further.

4. Work Somewhere Else

Another way you can help keep your staff safe is to work somewhere away from the contained area. If your company building is large enough you may simply be able to share offices on the other side. Alternatively, you may be able to work remotely, or temporarily rent out a different space until repairs are completed.

5. Clean Thoroughly

The next step toward preventing mold in your workspace is to clean thoroughly on a regular basis. This can help discourage the type of environment mold grows and from occurring. It may also help you notice damages in time to have them repaired before mold sets in.

Following safety steps during a mold removal can help keep you and your staff safe. Calling a professional remediation service is one of the first things you can do. It’s also important to wear safety gear at any time you are in the affected area. The remediation service will contain the mold to help prevent spreading, but you may want to work away from the space until repairs can be completed and the area thoroughly cleaned.

How To Properly Handle Water Damage at Your Facility

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a storage room Commercial water restoration

Reasons To Call A Water Damage Expert

If you are a business owner, you want to make sure your property is protected from the elements as much as possible. Even the savvy owner who prepares for the worst, however, may still need to deal with water clean up at some point. Water damage must be handled carefully and professionally so that structures and equipment can be salvaged whenever possible.

Why Do You Need to Contact a Certified Water Repair Expert?
You may be tempted to handle water damage from such things as a broken pipe yourself, but it is critical to call a certified water damage expert as soon as possible. Listed below are some of the many reasons to call an expert.

Professionals have been trained to accurately and objectively assess the situation and provide the best solution for proper water clean up. They can determine the cause of the water damage, and they are also trained to look for mold growth.
Experts remove damaged materials safely and effectively.
Water damage restoration professionals have been trained and certified to know how to remove water and to dry areas quickly using industrial pumps and dehumidifiers.

What Certifications Are Available?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approves standards for various products and processes, including engineering and quality standards. ANSI has also approved many standards for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) program. The are many ICRC programs designed for proper water damage restoration and mold remediation.
The ANSI/IICRC S500 standard provides guidance for professional water damage restoration. Professional mold remediation guidance is covered in the ANSI/IICRC S520 standard. For those who require training to handle water damage restoration of commercial structures, the BSR/IICRC S550 standard is recommended.
When your property is in need of water clean up, call an expert with professional certification as soon as possible so that you can get your business back to normal quickly.

What To Remember When Conducting an Emergency Drill at Your Business

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Drill words in 3d It is important to schedule a fire drill periodically

Steps To Take During An Emergency Drill

Any West Orange, NJ business should schedule a fire drill periodically because storm and water damage to the electrical system, can cause a fire. This exercise can help your employees do the following during an emergency.

  • Evacuate quickly
  • Avoid injury
  • Know escape routes
  • Stay focused

Here is what you need to know about conducting a helpful drill.

Time it Appropriately
During an emergency, most people tend to forget what they need to do unless it becomes second nature. By regularly scheduling an unannounced evacuation drill every few months throughout the year, you will help your employees remember how to behave confidently during an emergency.

Add Variety
It is impossible to anticipate every catastrophic scenario. Instead, it is better to prepare your employees for how to respond to the unexpected. Every time you simulate an evacuation, focus on training staff to access different escape routes. Knowing all the ways to escape from a fire will avoid wasting valuable time.

Non-Employees
It is necessary to create as realistic a situation as possible to get the most value out of an evacuation exercise. For example, a fire drill can occur when your business is at maximum capacity. Suppose your business frequently has visitors coming and going throughout the day. This circumstance is perfect for testing your evacuation plan. Remember to designate specific staff members to oversee the evacuation of those additional individuals who will not be familiar with your plan.

Review Results
After each evacuation drill, review the results and look for areas for improvement. By analyzing information about evacuation time, staff confidence, communication systems, and the function of automatic systems, including sprinklers and lights, you can determine where improvements are needed. Your staff can also offer valuable feedback about the effectiveness of a fire drill.
Evacuating safely during an emergency at your West Orange, NJ, business is a priority. When this accomplished, a disaster restoration service can help clean up the damage left behind.

How to Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed after a storm, black mold growth on ceiling Ceiling collapsed from storm damage in Verona, NJ

How to Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding

While flooding can be one of the most destructive forces that impact homeowners, much of the damage it causes is done by mold growth that occurs after the water levels have subsided. When your Verona, NJ home is impacted by flooding, it is essential that you devote all possible energy to preventing further destruction.

1. Clear Out Remaining Water
Floodwaters can remain in certain areas of your home well after the water has ceased to flow from its original source. It is imperative that you remove standing water quickly. Water that has been allowed to remain can breed bacteria and set the stage for mold growth. Using coarse methods like removing water with buckets should precede any attempts to dry inundated areas. At this point, it is helpful to contact a cleanup specialist who can quickly and effectively begin the water restoration process.

2. Remove Mold Sensitive Materials
It may feel like an emotional twist of the knife, but all flooring, drywall, and insulation that can feed mold should be removed and relocated to a dry place. Items and surfaces that dry properly have the best chances of returning to usable condition. The first 24 to 48 hours are the most critical for preventing mold-related damage.

3. Control Your Environment
Because mold growth depends on moisture and humidity to develop, you should allow experts to use all dehumidifying and ventilating devices that they offer you. Once your spaces have been thoroughly controlled, it is always wise to personally inspect your things for visible mold buildup. A musty odor is also an obvious sign of an infestation. Continue to do this after your home has been restored.
When you act quickly to remedy water damage, you give yourself the best possible chance of saving on future restoration. Water damage can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to bring your life to a screeching halt.

3 Categories of Mold Personal Protective Equipment

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

People wearing protective suits disinfecting stairs with spray chemicals Professional mold remediation team in Llewellyn Park, NJ

Personal Protective Equipment for Mold Remediation

The mold cleanup process can disturb mold spores causing them to become airborne where they can be breathed in, get in the eyes or land on the skin. Face masks and other protective equipment can protect those doing cleaning from exposure. There are three categories of personal protective equipment for mold cleanup and removal. The appropriate category is based on the size of the area and the concentration of mold spores.

1. Minimum PPE
Minimum PPE includes gloves, goggles/eye protection, and an N-95 respirator. It is appropriate to use minimum PPE for small areas with mold damage. The N95 mask covers the mouth and nose, protecting the wearer from airborne particles, but does not provide eye protection.

2. Limited PPE
Limited PPE includes the use of half-face or full-face air-purifying respirators equipped with P100 filter cartridges. This level of PPE is recommended for areas between 10 and 100 square feet. The face masks used at this level provide a greater level of particle filtration than the N95 masks, though the half-masks still do not protect the eyes and neither option is capable of filtering out vapors or gases.

3. Full PPE
Full PPE includes a full-face, powered air-purifying respirator. This level of PPE is recommended for areas that exceed 100 square meters or for smaller spaces where high concentrations of mold spores are expected and jobs that will expose workers for extended periods. These respirators protect the entire face and head and have greater filtering capability than the masks in the other categories. These respirators require training to be used properly. Additionally, disposable clothing may be recommended for some medium and large jobs.
A professional mold remediation team in Llewellyn Park, NJ, is equipped with and trained to use the proper face masks and other PPE for your job. The safest way to handle mold removal is to call a professional.

How To Ensure a Fire Sprinkler System Is in Good Shape

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. A fire sprinkler system is a vital piece of fire prevention for your company

A fire sprinkler system is a vital piece of fire prevention for your company. The goal of a sprinkler system is to save lives from fire and to reduce property loss. As with most modern technology, sprinklers are finely calibrated and engineered mechanisms. They activate when sensors detect heat or smoke. Water-based systems then spray water onto the incipient fire and, if all goes well, douse the flames. For the system to work properly, all of its many components need to be in good shape and operational. The NFPA 25 document provides the standards for the maintenance and inspection of fire sprinkler systems, fire pumps, and standpipe systems.

Quality Fire Suppression

Few devices offer better fire protection than a sprinkler system installed in your company in Glen Ridge, NJ. They must be designed, installed, and maintained to a high standard. An inspection should be conducted at regular intervals by knowledgeable personnel and should include the following components:

  • Gauges
  • Pipes and fittings
  • Sprinkler heads
  • Valves
  • Connections
  • Switches

Equipment should also be tested on a regular basis. If any irregularities are found, they should be fixed or the component should be replaced. Inspections and tests are also a good time to repair any errors from the installation process. A quality maintenance program ensures the integrity of the system and makes sure it will work as intended in an emergency.

Professional Fire Mitigation
Even a brief fire in your building can produce significant damage. A local fire remediation company can arrive on your property in less than four hours and begin the restoration process. If the sprinkler system went off, the technicians will begin a fire sprinkler cleanup. This involves removing the water from the building and drying out the property and the contents. If the fire sprinkler system worked as intended, the building is likely to have suffered very little fire damage. However, smoke and soot damage may still need to be cleaned up.

How the Claims Information Center Can Help

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Woman showing information in tablet to an office business man The Claims Information Center is an ideal place for accessing complete job files

How the Claims Information Center Can Help

When working with clients to repair their businesses and approve their insurance claim, an insurance adjuster requires the upkeep of a tremendous amount of information. It is easier to deal with the overflow of data with a partner who categorizes it for you and the client. Unfortunately, not every disaster restoration company in West Orange, NJ, finds value in providing such services. However, SERVPRO does. The Claims Information Center is an ideal place for accessing complete job files.

1. Notice of Loss 2. Detailed Estimates 3. Paperwork 4. Reports

Notice of Loss
Every claim starts with a notice of loss. The insurance company needs to know what damage occurred and how. SERVPRO compiles this information in one centralized and accessible place for both the insurance agent and the client.

Detailed Estimates
When a business owner makes a claim, they are requesting a certain sum of money for necessary repairs. An insurance company needs to understand how that sum breaks down across the project. The Claims Information Center allows agents to break down a project into easily understood parts.

Paperwork and Photos
It can be challenging for clients and agents to keep track of all the paperwork about a specific job. With the insurance claim system, the pictures and paperwork are digitized for more accessible storage and access. No more having to dig around your filing cabinet for the right files.

Reports
Insurance adjusters also need to keep tabs on the project and how the money is being spent. With the information center, you can see the progress of the entire job, but more importantly, the breakdown and completion of specific portions of the work.
SERVPRO wants to make your job as an insurance agent easier than ever. There is no reason for you to juggle reams of information. Trust the Claims Information Center. The system will help you balance your schedule and focus on the necessities of each insurance claim.

Can You Save Your Wet Carpet?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet Water damaged carpeting in a Montclair, NJ home

If you have suffered flooding in your Montclair NJ home from a pipe break or another type of water damage, you may wonder if you should save or replace the wet flooring. It depends on a few conditions.

How Long Has the Flooring Been Wet?

If you discovered the flooding immediately after the water event, and the damage has been contained in a small area, you may be able to save the carpet. You must dry it completely within a few hours, however. Wet flooring that sits for a couple of days will begin to grow mold. If you suspect mold, call a water damage repair service right away.

What Type of Flood Water Damaged the Flooring?
Restoration can occur if the small water-damaged area is from a clean water source, such as a pipe break or leaky faucet. Water-damaged carpeting from any other water source should be removed and replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

Will the Padding Need to be Replaced?
If there is padding under the flooring, you will need to replace it. Padding soaks up water and is very difficult to dry. You may be able to salvage carpeting above the padding in some instances. It is important to stress that if you have never replaced flooring before, you should have a professional handle the job since it is easy to damage the carpeting. An experienced carpet layer will follow these steps:

  • Carefully lift up the carpeting. If it is just damp along the bottom, roll it up and move it to a dry area. Unroll it face down and completely dry out the bottom surface.
  • Make sure the subfloor is fully dry before you install new padding.
  • After the carpeting is dry, lay it back down and secure it.

While it may be tempting to try to salvage your wet flooring after a pipe break, it is smart to have a professional assess the situation.

Tips to Keeping Your Smoke Alarm Functioning Properly

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Among the most important features in your home, your smoke alarm is high on the list

Factors To Know About Smoke Alarms

Among the most important features in your home, your smoke alarm is high on the list. This device can be a lifesaver in the event of a fire. You should never disarm your alarms. Also, if your home doesn't currently have working alarms, make sure you install some immediately. Regular maintenance and care of these warning systems are critical. Failure to do this can lead to disaster or even death. There are a few important factors to know about smoke alarms.

Where To Put Them

Proper placement of each fire alarm will help protect you and your loved ones from harm. When you have alarms in the right places, you can be alerted to danger regardless of where a fire may have started in your Upper Montclair, NJ, house. Your alarms should be in the following places:

  • On each level of your home
  • In every bedroom of the home
  • In the hallway outside each bedroom and common area of the house (living room, kitchen, laundry room)

Changing the Batteries

Though digital alarms are available, many homeowners detect fire damage with battery-powered smoke alarms. It's easy to forget about changing the batteries, but if you can get on a regular schedule, you can make sure the alarms are working well. Change the batteries at least once a year. You may also know it's time if your alarms are chirping. Some also have an indicator light showing that the batteries are dead.

Replacing the Alarms

You may not be able to avoid smoke damage if a fire starts in your home. However, the alarms detect smoke, you can have time to safely exit your home and alert the fire department. Older, worn-out alarms may not work efficiently, so it's best to replace the alarms every 10 years.
Though you can salvage much of your home with the help of a professional fire cleanup company, you'd rather have a reliable fire alarm alert you in time to prevent catastrophic damage.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We can handle any cleaning job

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange, (973) 669-4825

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