Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Claims Information at Your Fingertips

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

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

Claims Information at Your Fingertips

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

Information Whenever It Is Needed

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

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

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

Trusted Professionals

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

How To Maintain Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

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

Guidelines for Properly Maintaining Your Business's Fire Sprinklers

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

Check the Water Pressure

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

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

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

Wash the Sprinkler Heads

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

Remove Obstructions

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

Understanding How Mold Spreads and How To Stop It

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

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

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


Common Ways That Mold Spreads


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

Warm environments
Damp areas
Humid environments
Flooded locations

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


How To Prevent Mold From Spreading

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


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

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture with mold Mold damage on furniture in a Llewellyn Park, NJ home

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

Mold damage doesn’t just affect the structure of your home. It can also damage the contents inside the house. That is why a great mold cleaning company in Llewellyn Park, NJ, addresses not only the walls and floors, but also your valuable possessions.
Since the fungus can spread quickly throughout your home, the mold remediation process typically includes discarding damaged items. However, if a sentimental item was affected, experts may be able to restore it to its original state. There are several different cleaning methods that can be used. They include:

  • Spray and Wipe
  • Immersion Cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Abrasive Cleaning

Any items that have minor residue may just require dry cleaning. Wet cleaning, meanwhile, is designed for more severe damage. For belongings that cannot handle the wet mold cleaning method, the spray and wipe may be used instead.
Foam cleaning is designed for upholstery or other items that might bleed or shrink when washed with water. Abrasive cleaning includes surface agitation, and immersion cleaning involves dipping the damaged item into a bath full of cleaning solution.

Saving Your Electronics

Mold typically thrives in excess moisture, and moisture and electronics do not mix. You may thus find water damage to your computers, televisions or DVD players during the cleanup
Remediation experts will clean the outside of these devices to prevent corrosion. They will then send the items to a technician for restoration.
Special Services
Mold cleanup professionals may also be able to remediate of leathers, clothes and paintings. Special services are available to remove the mold from these items. In particular, the new Esporta machine can restore more than 90 percent of the textiles and soft contents of your home.
Even if you need black mold cleanup in your home, you may not have to throw out all of your possessions. The mold cleaning process can include the restoration of your favorite items.

Uncovering an Invisible Culprit

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the wall due to a water leak Dark spots on wall

Commercial properties in Verona, NJ, tend to see a lot of traffic, but there are some properties that are invaded by invisible troublemakers. Mold spores are a nuisance to air quality, but unless you see tracks of growth, you will need an indoor environmental specialist to uncover a problem.

Identifiable Signs of Mold

Many people are familiar with visible or noticeable mold problems. If you have any of the following conditions, it might indicate mold growth is present.

  • Musty odors
  • Dark spots or stains on walls or ceilings
  • Fuzzy growth near air returns and registers

If you haven’t experienced any of this but your building has experienced water damage, you should schedule a mold test with an indoor environmental specialist. Mold spores are invisible to the naked air, but they can be traced through highly sensitive equipment. Any building that experiences a lot of condensation or has been flooded is a prime growth spot for mold.

Air Quality Testing

Since many individuals spend the bulk of their time indoors while at work, it important to provide the best air quality possible. This is difficult to do if you have mild spores present. When testing is done for mold, it can reveal the exact nature of the materials present in the air. Since there are different types of molds, the evaluation will explain the specific types of mold present in the air and the level of concentration. The information is important for scheduling comprehensive mold remediation services because it directs the attention to the true culprit.
An indoor environmental specialist can do more than test your air quality. They can investigate potential sources of the contamination problem, as well as look for locations of moisture or water damage. They can also investigate the HVAC system and duct systems for growth problems related to the ventilation and movement of air throughout the building.

The First 12 Hours Of Disaster Response

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

The first 12 hours after a disaster are critical for mitigating damage.

The First 12 Hours Of Disaster Response

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

The First Call

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

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

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

1 Hour

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

4 Hours

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

  • Assessing losses
  • Inspecting damage
  • Identifying mitigation priorities

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

8 Hours

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

12 Hours

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

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

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

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Calling a water damage repair and restoration company in Montclair, NJ to see to the proper extraction of the water after a flood is critical.

Proper Treatment After Flooding

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

Causes of Secondary Damage Following In-Home Flooding

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

Moisture Removal

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

Cleaning and Disinfecting

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

Humidity

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

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

How To Prevent a Recurring Mold Problem

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Having a recurring mold issue in your home in Montclair, NJ can be very frustrating.

How To Prevent A Recurring Mold Problem

You find a patch of mold near your air conditioner vent. As soon as you see it, you scrub it with a bleach solution. Although you no longer see a patch for the next few days, you can still smell the musty odor. After a couple of weeks, the black mold is back. Having a recurring mold issue in your home in Montclair, NJ can be very frustrating. Here are some steps to help you take care of it once and for all.

1. Hire a Professional Mold Inspector

Many people will buy DIY mold kits, but these kits only tell you half the story. They just register that there is mold in your home. As mold spores are everywhere, however, that information isn't really helpful. What you need to know is where the problem is located, how big of a problem it is and what kind of mold cleanup is required. For that level of assessment, professional inspection is needed.

2. Complete the Remediation Process

Once you have determined that you have black mold growth, you must resolve the problem thoroughly. Just cleaning what you can see will probably not do the trick. Certified mitigation specialists are trained to treat mold issues by completing every necessary step of the process, from removing the growth to restoring all the parts of the structure that are affected.

3. Control Moisture Levels

Excess moisture is probably what led to the mold problem in the first place. It logically follows, therefore, that moisture control is vital in the prevention of future problems. After mold remediation is complete, make sure the humidity of your home stays below 50%. Fix leaks and dry all spills quickly. Do everything you can to discourage mold from growing again.

Trying to clean black mold growth by yourself almost inevitably results in the return of the problem at a later date. Hiring professional help and taking steps to discourage growth is the best way to prevent it in the future.

3 Things to Know About Preferred Vendor Qualifications

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Our technicians meet the IICRC standards

Importance of Vendor Qualifications

When clients have property restorations needs, an insurance agent in Upper Montclair, NJ, may choose to recommend a preferred vendor to make the repairs. Choosing a preferred vendor allows the insurance company to know the team of professionals have the qualifications to perform the job, and also will meet a set of standards in the process. Vendor qualifications can be important because they

1. Let Clients Know What to Expect

A preferred vendor must agree to certain guidelines in order to be recommended by an insurance company. This means that the client knows what to expect from the professional restoration team, such as SERVPRO, working on their property. Knowing the guidelines also allows the client to ask questions about the steps involved if desired.

2. Allow the Client to Work With a Certified Team

The insurance agent processing the claim will often recommend that their client work with a certified professional. This gives the client the ability to look up any relevant qualifications and feel comfortable that their restoration team has the tools and knowledge to properly perform the job. It also allows the insurance company the ability to ensure that all restoration work meets the IICRC standards.

3. Ensure Quality Work

A vendor program teaches the participants how to properly conduct restoration efforts in a variety of circumstances. These may include mold, fire, water, and storm damage restoration. Participants are taught the proper procedures and how to ensure quality work every step of the way. In many cases these professionals are also taught how to clearly communicate with the insurance company so that all claim information remains up-to-date.

When an insurance agent recommends a preferred vendor for a job it’s because they trust that team or individual to do the job correctly. These professionals have been trained and certified to industry standards, take pride in quality work, and because of this the client can know what to expect in the restoration of their property.

Key Locations To Monitor For Mold Growth

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Severe mold damage in a Orange,NJ structure

One potentially significant issue for business owners that can become a problem without warning is mold growth. Mold needs moisture, oxygen and nutrients to grow, which means commercial buildings in West Orange, NJ, are at risk for the development of mold. Here are the main areas to monitor.

Anywhere Water Is Present

A key indicator of the existence of, or potential for, mold is the presence of water. Locations within a commercial building that are particularly susceptible to mold include the following:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen areas
  • HVAC equipment rooms

Mold is likely to be found in bathrooms and kitchens because of the moist conditions in these locations. They are often smaller spaces that may not be adequately ventilated. Dripping faucets and standing water contribute to high humidity levels, which build up and foster the growth of mold. Similarly, HVAC equipment rooms are also often small and may not have been designed initially to accommodate the machinery they currently house. HVAC equipment generates heat and condensation that can lead to mold growth.

Walls, Ceilings, Carpets and Ductwork

Unfortunately, mold is not limited to areas where water is immediately present. There are several other, less obvious locations in a commercial building where mold may be found:

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Carpet
  • Ductwork

Depending on the ventilation in a building, mold has the potential to take hold behind walls, in ceilings, and under carpet. Once they get damp, these porous surfaces and dark areas are mold's ideal breeding ground. Ductwork in small spaces above the ceiling and within the walls can also be a culprit in the development of mold. Air of varying temperatures flows through ductwork, and these temperature changes create condensation that can lead to mold in hidden areas.

While no business can guarantee its building will be completely free from mold, it is helpful to be aware of the locations in which mold is most likely to grow. Careful monitoring of bathrooms, kitchens, HVAC equipment rooms, walls, ceilings, carpet and ductwork can help identify mold growth before it becomes a problem for your business.

Dealing With the Aftermath of a Flood

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Drying up water from storm in a Montclair,NJ home

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood in Montclair, NJ, can be devastating. Even when you have flood damage repair specialists taking care of the mess, going back to see the damage from the flood water can be a mentally and physically grueling task. Not only that, but you need to consider your safety when dealing with flood damage. Thankfully, there are several relatively easy things you can do to prevent yourself from getting injured or ill from the effects of the flood.

Wear Proper Clothing and Footwear

One of the first things to consider are your clothing and footwear choices. Wearing sandals or tennis shoes is not advisable, as they cannot provide you with the protection that may be required. Steel-toed boots are your best bet when dealing with flood water. Not only can they help keep your feet dry, the can also protect you from a variety of hazards:

  • Contaminated water
  • Cuts and puncture wounds
  • Crush injuries

In addition to proper boots, gloves and safety goggles will help keep you safe.

Avoid Standing Water

Standing water can pose a risk to you in several ways. The water could be contaminated, so if you come into contact with it, shower immediately afterwards if you can. If you have small children with you, watch them closely. Children can drown in less than one inch of water. Additionally, there could be glass or other dangerous items in your flooded home.

Look for Mold

Mold growth is common in dark and moist places, which makes it important to check for when dealing with water damage. If you notice a musty smell in your home, then you could have mold damage. Mold usually looks fuzzy and is most commonly green, brown, grey, or black. If you find it, try to have it removed as soon as possible.

These tips can help keep you safe in the aftermath of a flood. Preventing yourself from getting injured by the flood water will enable you to avoid further stress in an already mentally and emotionally taxing situation.

5 Fire Sprinkler System Components To Inspect Regularly

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler in a West Orange,NJ building

Fire Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system can be a cost-effective means of preventing fire, water, and smoke damage to your commercial building in West Orange, NJ. However, your fire sprinkler system must be functioning properly to mitigate losses. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates annual inspections of commercial systems in accordance with standards in NFPA 25. You should perform regular inspections of the following components on your own to identify and address potential issues before they can affect the operation of your system.

1. Control Valves

Inspect your control valves weekly. Because control valves are crucial to the flow of water and the operation of your system, it is essential to monitor their status. Valves should be in the open position, sealed, and locked.

2. Gauges

Inspect your gauges monthly. Gauges monitor the pressure in your sprinkler system. A wet system uses water pressure, and a dry system uses gas pressure. If there isn’t sufficient pressure, either water or gas, your fire sprinkler system will not function properly.

3. Pipes and Fittings

Inspect your pipes and fittings annually. Pipes are key to the delivery of water through your sprinkler system for fire suppression. A visual inspection from the floor level will suffice. Pipes should be securely suspended, without any materials resting against them or hanging from them.

4. Sprinklers

Inspect your sprinkler heads annually. Sprinkler heads must be fully functional for your system to operate properly. Ensure sprinkler heads are not leaking, corroded, or damaged in any way. No paint should be applied to sprinkler heads.

5. Signs

Inspect your sprinkler system signage annually. Accurate, legible signage conveys important information about the details of your system and its operation to firefighters and technical inspectors.

No business wants to contemplate the destruction and loss associated with fire or the fire sprinkler cleanup that follows the use of such a system. A properly functioning system can help prevent fire and water damage. You can ensure your fire sprinkler system is prepared for action by conducting regular inspections.