Recent Storm Damage Posts

Special Techniques That Aid Recovery After a Storm

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak With industry-leading techniques and advanced equipment, SERVPRO professionals can quickly and efficiently restore your building after a flood.

Special Techniques For Post-Storm Recovery

While your commercial building in Montclair NJ, might seem indestructible, in reality, it is at risk of powerful storms. Thunderstorms unleash lightning and high winds, while tornadoes produce winds of more than 100 miles per hour. As recent events have shown, hail storms can be truly destructive. Hurricanes often generate torrential rains that lead to flooding. All of these weather events put your facility at risk of damage. Fortunately, an experienced storm remediation company has the equipment and the knowledge to bring your company back from disaster. They often use specialized techniques during the restoration phase.

The Execution of a Tear Out

When water inundates your building, many materials become saturated with moisture. In some cases, normal drying is not sufficient, and a technique known as a flood cut is employed for repairing drywall and wall insulation. In the aftermath of flooding, technicians will perform the following actions:

  • Remove all standing water
  • Cut the drywall 12 inches above the flood line
  • Remove all damaged wall insulation
  • Completely dry out the area with fans
  • Replace new insulation and drywall

This must be done to remove any contamination caused by floodwaters. It ensures the drywall and insulation will not later produce unpleasant odors or result in mold growth.

The Utilization of Professional Cleaning Methods

A professional restoration company will also use many different methods of cleaning and sanitizing areas of a building as well as the contents of a building. While some items such as clothes might need dry cleaning techniques, other items such as non-porous items can benefit from abrasive cleaning or foam cleaning. The technicians will determine the best method of cleaning for each item, and they will use a restore versus replace mentality when possible.

The recovery of your facility from flooding is a complicated process. Trained professionals can restore your building quickly and efficiently with industry-leading techniques and advanced equipment.

How to Remove Lingering Odors Caused by Water Damage

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

A dehumidifying machine of a restoration company is dehumidifying a business Materials like insulation and drywall can quickly absorb flood water. This is what causes scents to linger and structural damage.

How To Get Rid Of Lingering Water Damage Odors

Water of all kinds can cause damage to your Montclair NJ, building. While contaminated water may be more likely to cause lingering odors, clean water can also contribute by facilitating mold growth. If you are noticing bad smells after water damage, the following steps can help remove it.

1. Clean Surfaces

Both flooding and sewage loss can bring contaminated water into your building. This can contain bacteria, mud, waste and other debris. As a result, it can carry with it unpleasant odors. Everything that this water has come into contact with should be thoroughly cleaned, both to reduce these odors as well as to prevent bacteria from spreading within the building.

2. Perform Mold Remediation

Mold spores that have been brought into the building by contaminated water, as well as those already present, will grow quickly in a wet environment. Infestations of this fungus can then create a musty odor. Both the mold growth and the smell can be effectively removed by a mold remediation company.

3. Replace Damaged Materials

Materials like insulation and drywall can easily absorb large amounts of flood water. These are not easily cleaned, resulting in bad smells that stick around as well as damage to the building. Removing and replacing these materials should reduce lingering odors.

4. Remove Odors From the Air

If you have tried the previous steps but still haven’t quite removed all of the bad smells, then you may need to clean the air inside the building. Using an air purifier, you can remove bacteria and other contaminants to create a clean and fresh-smelling environment.

After you have experienced water damage, it can take some time to return your building to its previous condition. Everything should be cleaned thoroughly and any mold growth should be removed. In most cases, it is best to have this done by a professional who has the necessary training and equipment to get the job done properly.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.