Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Recovering From a Home Fire Only Takes Two Phone Calls

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

A kitchen with fire damage This home had a fire loss that started in the microwave. We responded quickly and were able to clean up and repair all the damage. Call us!

It Only Takes Two Phone Calls To Get Back On Your Feet After A House Fire

The first call is easy. Contact your insurance company and explain your situation. They will confirm your coverage and send an adjuster to assess the damage. The basis for the adjuster’s estimate is the amount of damage caused by the fire. This fire restoration estimate includes the cost of:

  • Protecting your home from the wind and rain until repairs are complete.
  • Removing water and eliminating water damage.
  • Removing restorable items and sending them out for restoration.
  • Removing damaged material for disposal.
  • Removing the effects of smoke and soot on your home and its contents.
  • Cleaning your home in preparation for final restoration.
  • Restoring your home to its original condition.

The Rest Is Up to You

The adjuster leaves you shaking your head. In one hand, you have the estimate. In the other, you have the insurance company’s list of preferred vendors in the Upper Montclair, NJ, area. You dread the thought of:

  • making all those calls
  • talking to all those contractors
  • scheduling all that work.

It looks like a full-time job. You don’t have that kind of time. You look at the list of preferred vendors and, suddenly, one name jumps off the paper.

Your Second Call Is Even Easier

That name belongs to a company that can do the entire job. There is no need to convince them of the urgency. They already understand that the tarps and plywood must go up immediately.
Many people don’t understand the extent of this company’s capabilities. When you excel at something, people tend to forget about your other skills. Providing rebuilding services is a natural addition to their cleaning and restoration expertise. After all, why would you bring in a separate contractor after a fire to rebuild when one can do it all? Having this company do the job is one-stop shopping at its best.

It’s Time To Make That Call

You’ve selected the best contractor from the preferred vendor list. You want the restoration to begin quickly. It’s time to make that second call. Those full-service fire remediation specialists are ready to go.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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