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3 Tips To Prepare Your Household for a Flood

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

Flash flooding If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.

Flood Safety and Flood Preparation

As floodwaters rise, the true power of nature can quickly become apparent. Houses in the path of a major deluge can become inundated and lose a significant portion of their former value. When families are unable to move to higher ground, safety can also become a concern. Fortunately, following basic flood safety and flood preparation guidelines can help to alleviate much of the need for worry.

1. Understand Where Water Will Flow Around Your House
Water flows much differently depending on the underlying earth. If your house is on a hill, for example, it is likely better protected than one on in a low-lying area. Still, water can accumulate even on high ground when there is not sufficient drainage available to redirect it. If your home is particularly vulnerable to high waters, make sure that you have a backflow valve on your septic system so that waste does not flow back into your house.

2. Elevate Your Vulnerable Items
If your area is prone to flooding, elevate outdoor appliances, such as grills or generators, for flood safety. Keep indoor electrical equipment at least a foot above ground. Shut off the electricity if your home is in imminent danger.

3. Be Proactive
Everyone in your home should be familiar with safety procedures. Check the Federal Emergency Management Agency's resources for safety tips as well as flood maps for your area. If you live near a river or other body of water, you may wish to flood-proof or elevate your home. This can be expensive but could save you thousands in the long run.
Understanding flood safety and floodproofing can go a long way towards mitigating disaster for you and your loved ones. If your Williamstown, NJ, home has suffered flood damage, contact a storm remediation specialist who can help to restore your home and advise you on the next steps to take.

Knowing the Steps for Mold Remediation

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear while removing mold Mold cleanup in Clementon, NJ

Found Mold? What Can You Do About It?

You walk into your basement or attic, and you smell something musty. You dig around in storage boxes, trying to uncover the culprit only to find a patch of mold growing on your wall. How did this mold contamination happen, and what can you do about it? Contact a mold remediation company in Clementon, NJ, and ask for a property assessment. The company will send out a crew to test the area and determine the steps to take.

Confinement
Removal
Cleaning
Restoration

Confinement
Depending on the size of the mold infestation, the crew may suggest confining the problem. They will seal the area with plastic, ensuring they control the airflow. While confinement is typical in large-scale infestations, it may not be necessary, depending on the mold species.

Removal
Once the area of mold contamination is secure, the crew will probably get to work removing affected items. Porous items are the primary concern of remediation crews because mold spores root deep within a surface. Non-porous items can typically be cleaned and left. Unfortunately, most porous items may need to be discarded.

Cleaning
When the area is clean of any mold, the team will begin cleaning the space. They may use special cleansers and bleach solutions to eliminate any potential remaining sources of mold. Also, crews may clean an area several times over to ensure it is sterile.

Restoration
Once the space is clear of the infestation, the remediation company will begin the restoration process. They will repair any damage and replace insulation and drywall. When complete, you will never know there was a problem to begin with.
Mold contamination happens, and while it is troubling for many homeowners, remediation companies are licensed and certified for this type of specialty removal and cleaning. If you believe that your home has a mold problem, then contact a remediation company for help, do not try removing it on your own.

5 Ways a Fire Mitigation Company Will Help With Everything You Need After a Disaster

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of a business covered by smoke, contents with smoke Fire damage in a business in Berlin, NJ

5 Ways a Fire Mitigation Company Will Help With Everything You Need After a Disaster

Immediately after a fire in your commercial building, you’ll need to act quickly to avoid further damage. There’s an insurance claim to make and fire damage that exposes inside areas that need to be protected.
If you’re a licensed building contractor in Berlin, NJ, you probably can deal with your insurance adjuster yourself, as well as hiring your own subcontractors.
Otherwise, you’ll probably get much better results if you choose a single mitigation company to handle it all. They can take care of everything you need to be done after a serious disaster.

Insurance Companies Vastly Prefer Working With Them

The best fire mitigation companies are officially designated as a “Preferred Vendor” and put on a shortlist to be recommended after a disaster. The only ones who make the list have decades of experience and must stay within a narrow budget. This avoids fly-by-night contractors who charge a fortune and disappear before the work is done.

Insurance Forms Can Be Confusing

The mitigation company can walk you through what your policy covers and what might be excluded. They may even find coverage your insurer may have missed.

Water Damage After a Fire Can Be Severe

If the fire department needs lots of water to quench the flames, there’ll be quite a mess to clean up. Water damage teams can squeeze out all the excess water with specialized air movers. They also use hygrometers to find hidden damage behind walls and in subflooring.

Fire Damage Needs to Be Covered

To prevent the elements from causing further damage, exposed areas must be tarped and boarded. The mitigation company will make that a priority.

Smoke Removal Is Tricky

Moderate or heavy smoke damage is exceedingly hard to remove. Expert fire damage restoration teams use commercial smoke absorption techniques to strip away the oils and toxic residues, allowing reentry.
Choosing a preferred mitigation company means you have a single contractor to deal with. It also reassures your insurance adjuster (and you) that the work will be done correctly, on time and within budget.

Stinky Microwave? Tips to Get It Clean

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Young repairman repairing microwave with a bad smell in it Stinky microwave

Homes in Pleasant Hills, NJ, with an over-the-range microwave, may appreciate the extra counter space, but it often means taking a little extra care of your appliances. Daily cooking can go up through the vent grill and create a smoke smell in the microwave. If a grease fire happens, the damage may require a professional fire and smoke damage remediation expert to remedy. In most cases, that smell can be avoided with regular care and maintenance.

Keep It Clean

A good habit to form is to wipe down your microwave after each use. Food particles can quickly accumulate, which could affect how the appliance functions. The grease filter should also be removed and cleaned regularly. For an overall clean, common household items can be used to freshen it up.

Vinegar: Boiling a cup of water with a few tablespoons of vinegar for about four minutes can help loosen particles that have been crusted on. To remove grease, use one part vinegar and one part water and wipe out the unit.
Lemon Juice: The zesty lemon is a natural deodorizer. Use the same process as vinegar, but only use a few teaspoons of lemon. Fresh lemon slices can also be boiled in the water. Limes, oranges, and other citrus juice can also be used.
Baking Soda: For tough stains and smoke smell, this is a less acidic alternative. A water and baking soda solution, about one quart of water with five teaspoons of powder, can be used to wipe down the microwave. Use less water to create a paste for tougher stains.

Replacement Parts
Like with most things, there are components of a microwave that should be regularly replaced. Over-the-range models feature a charcoal filter. It is designed to absorb pollutants, including odors, and re-circulate air. If it can’t do its job right, your appliance can easily become smelly. It is recommended to replace filters every six months.
With just a little extra care, you can avoid a smoke smell in your kitchen and keep your appliances operating at their best.

Minimizing Business Interruption With the Claims Information Center

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Minimizing Business Interruption With the Claims Information Center

Business interruption is a natural part of any commercial disaster, but the trick is finding a way to organize and speed up the relief process. SERVPRO, unlike many other disaster relief companies in Library, NJ, can help make the insurance claim process easier for both you and your insurance agent. The Claims Information Center is a unique tool that allows you and your agent access to every aspect of the disaster recovery process.

1. Job Estimates 2. Changes 3. Documentation 4.Analysis

Estimates
When filing a claim, the primary concern is the cost of the project. Most insurance adjusters will want to see estimates from several contractors before approving the funds. The Claims Information Center not only shows a detailed breakdown of project costs, but it also provides a cost comparison against industry standards.

Changes
After your insurer approves your insurance claim, the goal of a business owner is to receive funds quickly for repairs. Unfortunately, projects will run into issues, and extra work will need to occur. To help with quick funding, SERVPRO's system allows everyone involved with the claim access to work orders and changes, meaning that your agent can make funds available when they notice a work order change.

Documentation
Insurance companies require proof of loss. The evidence does not have to be substantial. You can take pictures of the property loss. However, the references may need to be reviewed several times while waiting for claims approval. The Claims Information Center allows you to save photos in the system.

Analysis
The claims information portal is continuously being updated so that the customer and insurance representatives have up-to-the-minute data and information. You can even create reports about job costs with a click of a button.
The insurance claim process should not be complicated for anyone involved. It should also allow for quicker approval times. SERVPRO's Claims Information Center is a tool for insurance agents and business owners alike, making the claim process approachable for all involved.

Signs of Water Damage in Building Materials

5/23/2020 (Permalink)

Swollen wooden floor caused by water damage Wooden floor needs to be replaced in a Whiteall, NJ home

What Happens When Building Materials Become Waterlogged?

As a homeowner in Whiteall, NJ, it's important to know the signs of water damage. No matter the source of the water – an intense storm, a burst pipe, or something else – you should act quickly to resolve the situation. Water seeping into your home can cause bigger issues such as swelling wood and it can also damage your belongings. Here are the basics of what happens when building materials become waterlogged.

Swollen wood items such as subfloors and cabinets need to be replaced.
Furnishings need to be sanitized and professionally dried.
Weakened drywall and real wood items can often be dried and salvaged.
Insulation needs to be replaced if it shows signs of mold growth.

Interior Damage
If you find signs of water damage in your home, be sure to note all areas affected. Look for warped, swelling wood and crumbling drywall. These developments often mean your structure is compromised and you will need professional water damage mitigation to properly dry or replace impaired materials. Whether water enters your home from a flood or a damaged supply line, the moisture can cause issues even after the water pipe repair is complete. It's important to have all materials inspected to ensure all problems are found and fixed.

Exterior Damage
Building materials on the exterior of your home are repeatedly saturated with water, making them prone to develop mold or rot. Regularly inspect areas where moisture is likely to be trapped. On your roof, look for signs of water damage around chimneys, shingles, and exhaust fans. The siding of your home is vulnerable wherever the panels meet, such as at corners and around windows and doors.
Whether you have experienced a severe storm or a broken supply line, take water damage remediation seriously. The water can cause obvious damage to your furniture and belongings, but it can also cause damage that's harder to see such as swelling wood and mold.

Which Contents Can Be Cleaned After Water Damage?

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Stained ceiling tile. Words on the bottom STAY AWAY Contaminated water permeates porous materials

Which Items Are Good Candidates for Cleaning?

From fixtures to furniture, business owners may want to try to preserve as many contents of a flooded company as possible. The extent of water damage to contents will vary depending on the degree of contamination and saturation. In general, non-porous contents can be cleaned, disinfected, and dried more effectively than porous materials. These three categories are helpful for determining which items are good candidates for cleaning.

Non-Porous Materials
Contents that are made of hard materials should not absorb contaminated water. These items may be suitable for the following treatments:

  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Wet cleaning

Durable non-porous materials can be agitated or blasted without causing damage. Immersion in cleaning solutions or wet cleaning methods may be a better choice for delicate items resistant to moisture. Non-porous contents typically pose a lower risk of re-contamination.

Uncontaminated Porous Materials
Exposure to clean water is less likely to ruin porous materials such as carpeting or furniture. Timely drying is still essential to prevent mold from forming. If a broken pipe is the cause of a flooded company, most contents can be safely dried and cleaning may not be necessary. Items that have become stained may benefit from dry cleaning, foam cleaning, or spraying and wiping.

Certain Contaminated Items
Contaminated water permeates porous materials. While these items are more difficult to completely clean, disinfect and dry, restoration of contaminated contents may still be possible at a considerable cost. Upholstered furniture, for instance, may require a combination of specialized cleaning methods and the replacement of padding. In most cases, it is more cost-effective to replace contaminated items. Careful cleaning is necessary to preserve the condition of expensive or rare contents while minimizing any risk of re-contamination.
The owners of a flooded company should consult with content cleaning experts in Atco, NJ. Trained specialists can recommend the best approach to restoring items damaged by water.

4 Reasons Mold Containment Is Important

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Technicians putting plastic barriers on a wall of a building Mold containment in Whitehall, NJ

Here are Some Benefits of Containment

Discovering a mold infestation in a business is a cause for concern. The problem can quickly get out of hand and spread throughout the building. Microscopic mold spores drift on the slightest breeze and settle into new areas. An important principle of mold cleanup relies on effective mold containment. A professional mold mitigation company in Whitehall, NJ, employs trained technicians and sophisticated equipment to remove mold as efficiently as possible. Here are some benefits of containment.

1. It Stops the Spread. Fungus spores often settle into the building's HVAC system and quickly are carried throughout the building. Quick containment measures turn off the heating and cooling system and keep the mold confined to a specific area. This makes the mold easier to remove and control. It only takes mold two or three days to spread to new areas.
2. Containment Limits Damage. Mold contamination destroys materials such as drywall, tiles, and carpeting over time. Some of these materials can be restored, while others may have to be replaced. Even decorative items such as paintings or documents can be destroyed by a mold infestation. The smaller the mold problem, the less extensive the cleanup.
3. It Minimizes Air Quality Impacts. A professional mold cleanup also takes care of the musty odors associated with mold. The fungus smell is made of volatile substances that fill the air and that has an impact on the quality of air that employees and customers breathe. As much as possible, it's beneficial to limit a potential impact on indoor air quality.
4. Containment Accelerates the Cleanup. The faster mold is removed the better for all concerned. Employees can work in a healthy environment and the business can get back to serving customers and clients.
A professional mold cleanup looks to return a company back to normal again. It eliminates odor, removes mold, and restores damaged materials.

When Is a Flood Cut Needed?

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Flood cut performed in a West Berlin, NJ

When flooding happens in your West Berlin, NJ, most people want to get the problem taken care of as quickly as possible and get back to normal. Unfortunately, that process isn’t always as simple as getting a mop and bucket and moving on with life. The extent of cleanup and repairs depends on the type of floodwaters and the amount of water.

Types of Flood Water

There are three categories of water that need to be considered before beginning the cleanup.

Clean Water: This type is considered safe and typically caused by a broken pipe, toilet holding tank, or malfunctioning appliance.
Gray Water: Considered a potential health risk, it contains chemicals and microbes. It often is the result of a leaking dishwasher, washing machine, or shower.
Black Water: The contamination in this type of water is high. Typically due to flooding, it often contains sewage and harmful microorganisms.

Flood Cuts
If the flooding is a result of the first two water categories, materials that you may have to tear out are often limited and don’t require as many safety precautions. When black water has invaded your home, it should not be taken lightly. Any type of water has a way of being absorbed by drywall and other porous materials, quickly working its way up. When black water is involved, a flood cut needs to be made. These cuts involving removing drywall at least 12 inches above where the damage ended. Along with getting rid of tainted materials, it allows for any hidden moisture issues to be dealt with. If the wall has insulation, regardless of the type of water causing the damage, a flood cut will be necessary since water damages insulating properties.
When flooding happens, it doesn’t have to mean tossing everything out. It does mean you should contact a flood, water damage, and mold remediation expert to help you safely salvage what can be saved and eradicated any harmful aftereffects of the incident.

The Best Way To Clean Puffback Soot

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Technician looking over a gas furnace with a flashlight before cleaning it. Schedule furnace repair in your Clayton, NJ commercial property

The Best Way To Clean Puffback Soot

A furnace puffback can cover every surface in a commercial building with oily soot. Puffback damage calls for furnace repair followed by specialized cleaning equipment and methods. Take the following steps to resolve the underlying problem, minimize damage and clean up a commercial property located in Clayton, NJ.

1. Schedule Furnace Repair

A puffback results from an explosion caused by the accumulation of fuel vapors inside the burner chamber of a gas or oil furnace. Minor incidents can cause soot to build up in a furnace and diminish the function of the appliance over time. An open flue vent connector allows soot to spread through ducts and vents, causing damage throughout a building.
Regular furnace maintenance can clear clogged burners, address fuel leaks or clear a blocked chimney or exhaust flue. These measures should prevent a puffback explosion. If an incident has already occurred, schedule a furnace repair and hire professionals to clean up damage.

2. Contact Restoration Professionals

Soot is corrosive and will discolor building materials and contents and eventually cause deterioration. The best way to handle puffback damage is to contact mitigation and restoration specialists.
Cleanup professionals have access to specialized solvents and personal protective equipment for cleaning up damage consisting of particles as small as 2.5 microns. Decontamination and deodorization may be necessary to make a structure safe for occupancy after a furnace puffback.

3. Keep Damage From Worsening

Any attempt by a building owner or occupant to clean up after a puffback could make damage worse. Walking on or touching soot-covered surfaces grinds in particles and intensifies staining. Limit access to a structure until restoration is complete.
Damage cleanup professionals have the right supplies and equipment to handle furnace soot. Rather than risking making puffback damage worse, a building owner should contact a restoration service that offers a full range of cleaning services for commercial properties in Clayton, NJ.