Recent Posts

Helpful Fire Prevention Tips

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Flames in a frying pan on a kitchen stove When fires strike, experts estimate that you may have as little as 2 minutes to exit a burning home.

Did you know that home fires make up the majority of the 70,000 annual disasters that the American Red Cross responds to each year? When fires strike, experts estimate that you may have as little as 2 minutes to exit a burning home. With such a high prevalence paired with a limited reaction time, it’s critical to ensure that you and your family are ready should this happen to you.

Here are some useful tips:

  • Check Your Alarms.

Because fires can grow quickly and sometimes silently, the first line of defense in your home is your smoke alarm. To ensure those detectors will work hard for you when you need it, schedule regular battery tests. A good rule of thumb is to check your alarms twice a year when Daylight Savings Time begins (Spring) and ends (Autumn). Working alarms can make all the difference if a fire starts unnoticed in your home.

  • Clean Your Chimneys.

Many home fires start in the chimney, due to the left-behind residue of burning material called creosote. Creosote is black to brown in color and can be crusty, flaky, or sticky; it is highly combustible. If it builds up and the flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire which can spread to the roof of the home.

  • Create An Exit Strategy.

Get every member of the household together and discuss what to do and what not to do for a fire of any scale. Who will be the point person to act if the fire is small and manageable? If the fire is uncontrollable, discuss the best and quickest emergency exists and how to stay safe. It’s necessary to have a set plan of action, but it’s also important to teach your family to respond fast and flexible, so review a variety of options in case you need to shift at a moment’s notice.

  • Practice Makes Perfect.

As many as 82% of Americans have never practiced a fire drill at home, an essential step in home fire preparedness. Schedule time with your family to run-through how to escape from any room in the house to safety. Review your escape times, highlighting just how serious it is to exit a burning home fast.

Our team here at SERVPRO Berlin/Williamstown is ready to help you when disaster strikes. Call Us at 856-728-7350

Got Mold? Here is how we take care of it

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Extensive black mold growth on a wall Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.

Mold Remediation Process

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Here are the steps below:

Step 1: Emergency Contact (856)728-7350 

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call our number. Someone from our team will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.  

Step 3: Mold Containment

They use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. They may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

Step 4: Air Filtration

Their specialized filtration equipment allows their Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. They utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Our team uses antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings

SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Water Damage Restoration

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture floating in a flooded house (3D Rendering) Standing water will adversely affect your furniture, upholstery, drywall and cabinetry, so it's critical that you act fast.

Water damage can pose a very serious threat to your home.Whether the problem is a leaky roof, burst pipe, or a flooded basement, it's important to take care of the issue as soon as possible to prevent the serious water damage that can occur.We at SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown are ready, willing and able to help! More damage can be done to your home the longer you wait, so call as soon as it occurs. The materials used to build your home can absorb lots of water and will eventually result in more serious damage. Standing water will adversely affect your furniture, upholstery, drywall and cabinetry, so it's critical that you act fast so that the problem can be taken care of as cost effectively as possible.

Please call us today with any water problems. 856-728-7350

Why Is My Toilet Overflowing?

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Toilet overflow in a Clayton, NJ home

Why Is My Toilet Overflowing?

Discovering an overflowing toilet can cause a real sense of panic, especially if raw sewage is involved. The sewage cleanup process is disgusting, to say the least. A clogged pipe is one of the most common reasons for a toilet overflow. The challenge is finding which part of the system is clogged, as there are several different areas that could be the source of the problem:

1. Toilet Bowl

A toilet bowl clog is the most common of all toilet backups. There are certain things that shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet. Surprisingly, one of the biggest offenders is the so-called flushable wipe. They can easily cause a clog.

2. Toilet Trap

The toilet trap is an s-shaped trap that’s in that shape so that the sewer gases don’t travel back up through the pipes. This avoids the foul sewer odors in your bathroom. This keeps sewer odors where they should stay—in the sewer. Unfortunately, the s-shape can also be conducive to clogs.

3. Drain Lines

Similar to the toilet trap, the drain lines leading from your home to the sewer tend to have multiple bends. Clogs can eventually build up in these bends and they can cause your toilet to flush slowly or even lead to a backup. Sewage cleanup could be a real possibility if you’re not proactive.

4. Lateral Sanitary Sewer Line

If you find that water is backing up in your sink when you flush the toilet, you likely have a backup in the lateral sanitary sewer line. This is the main sewer line of your house. A clog in this line can eventually cause a toilet overflow, especially if things that should not be flushed are flushed.
A clogged pipe can develop into a real problem if it’s not immediately resolved. If your Clayton, NJ, home is the victim of a toilet overflow, you can count on professionals to handle your sewage cleanup needs.

The Benefits of Content Cleaning

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Dry cleaning hanging up They know the best steps to take and in what order.

A home fire is one of the most devastating events that a homeowner can experience. No matter how big or how small, when a fire sweeps into your home in Berlin, NJ it produces a lot of damage. Soot and smoke damage and even fire damage infiltrate everything in your home. At first glance, it may seem as though your clothes and upholstery, even valuable family heirlooms, have suffered a total loss. Fortunately, a professional fire remediation team can salvage many items with advanced cleaning techniques such as dry-cleaning. Once your safety is assured, and the home is stabilized, the emphasis can be placed on cleaning the home.

How Content Cleaning Works

A number of professional methods can be employed to restore the items in your home after a fire. It's always better (and less expensive) to restore instead of replace your valuable belongings. These techniques may be effective after a fire:

Dry-cleaning for items with light residues
Wet cleaning for items with heavier damage
Immersion cleaning for contents that benefit from a cleaning bath
Foam cleaning for fabrics that cannot withstand wet cleaning
Abrasive cleaning for items that need scrubbing
Ultra-sonic cleaning for non-porous items

Content storage is a helpful step when it makes more sense to move items out to facilitate the overall cleanup. Moving some items off-site protects them from additional damage and makes the entire process more efficient.

How a Proven Process Helps

This may be your first fire, and hopefully your last fire, but a professional team has been through this before. You benefit from a proven process that restores your home in short order and returns it to pre-fire condition. With a variety of methods such as dry-cleaning even your clothes and upholstery can be cleaned of fire damage. A thorough cleaning also can look at electrical devices that need expert attention.

3 Tips To Avoid a Flooded Basement

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Large crack in a reinforced concrete foundation and brick wall Performed regularly inspections to the exterior of your foundation

Factors That Can Cause a Flooded Basement

Knowing what factors can cause a flooded basement is the first step toward preparing for the unthinkable. Your home may be the priciest investment you'll ever make, so it pays to be proactive. You may already have a sump pump for dealing with an influx of water, but inspecting these areas around your house can also assist in warding off an unexpected basement flood.

1. Foundation Cracks

Visual inspections of the exterior foundation, as well as your basement’s walls and floor, should be performed regularly. Excessive rain and insufficient waterproofing systems can cause saturated earth to push water through foundation cracks. Concrete shrinks and expands with changes in temperature and moisture levels. Therefore, the repair solution must be flexible enough to move with the wall, yet sturdy enough to keep the crack sealed. Caulk, hydraulic cement and waterproof paint are a few options for sealing cracks.

2. Gutters and Downspouts

Make sure your gutters are cleaned regularly and your downspouts are properly positioned to carry water away from the foundation. Clogged gutters can give your sump pump a workout. Water will spread unevenly, causing an unnecessarily large volume of water to enter the sump pit. This forces the pump to work harder, potentially burning out its motor. Clean and well-maintained gutters and downspouts can actually prolong the life of the pump, requiring less pump maintenance or replacement.

3. Landscaping

Have you noticed water pooling around your home after a good rain? Even small changes to your landscaping, such as a new flower bed, can cause drainage issues. Follow the slope of your yard to discover problem areas. Either grading the property or installing a French drain may help solve the issue.
It’s best to be proactive and prepared when it comes to the potential for a basement flood. Regularly inspecting your home in Cedar Brook, NJ, inside and out, can reduce the risk. However, keeping your sump pump in good working order and the wet/dry vac easily accessible for any emergency also provides significant benefits. If things seem overwhelming, be sure to call on water damage cleanup professionals for assistance.

Commercial Storm_43_Flood Preparation Tips

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

A pile of sanbags It’s important to remember that sandbags only work for water under 2-feet tall

Whether you live in an area prone to flooding in Williamstown, NJ, or want to be preventing in case of a flash flood, having a plan in place before an even occurs can help reduce flood damage. Ensuring the safety of people should always top the list. Once an evacuation or flood plan is in place, protect your assets with the following steps.

Turn Electricity Off

At the first sign of floodwaters, even if they appear nowhere near outlets, turn of the electricity. This will not only ensure the safety of everyone present, it will also prevent the risk of a fire.

Flood Barriers

If possible, keep sandbags onsite or invest in a flood barrier. If using sandbags, only fill them hallway and layer them like bricks directly against the area you want to protect. It’s important to remember that sandbags only work for water under 2-feet tall.

Raise Valuable and Hazardous Items

Always store important documents and equipment on higher ground. If your business is on the ground floor, invest in shelving or other fixtures that can keep precious items off the ground. Vital paperwork should also be copied and stored offsite. Cleaning supplies, paint, oil and other hazardous materials should be kept at a higher elevation. If they are on the ground and not properly closed, they could mix with the floodwaters.

Watch the Sewer

When waters are flowing, they can turn sewers into raging waters that begin to overload systems and cause severe storm damage. As the flooding makes the water rise, it can push sewage up through basements. Ensure your building has a cap or sewer plug to reduce sewage from entering your business.
Once the flooding subsides and everyone is safe, these steps can help protect vital elements of your business. Even if items are damaged, a restoration professional can help you get your business back on track.

Reduce Your Risk of Fire With Candle Alternatives

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Automatic air freshener When looking for candle alternatives, consider air fresheners

Candles are one of the leading causes of home fires in Clementon, NJ. A fire can be devastating, and it can take your fire restoration company a while to get things back to normal. While candles can help fill your home with a pleasant scent and provide a pleasing light, there are some candle alternatives that can offer you the same benefits without risking fire.

Light Alternatives

If you are looking for something to offer the same lighting as a candle, but aren't worried about it having a scent, then you have a few options. Some of the lighting options you have include:

  • Electric candles
  • Fairy lights
  • Tea lights

These will all offer a subtle light without a candle fire, which lowers the risk of a house fire.

Essential Oils

Perhaps you are looking for something that provides a nice scent for your home. Essential oils in an essential oil diffuser might be just what you are looking for. You should be able to find essential oils online or at your local grocery store. Oil diffusers are relatively inexpensive and can help you fill your room with fragrance.

Wax Warmer

Wax warmers are similar to candles in that they have a scented wax that can give your house a homey scent. They are either battery powered or plug into an electrical outlet. Because they are flameless, the risk of having a fire with a wax warmer is significantly lower than it would be with a candle.

Air Fresheners

When looking for candle alternatives, consider air fresheners. There are many fresh, clean scents that you can choose from, and they can fill your home with a nice fragrance even when you are away.
These candle alternatives are all a great option for someone who wants to reduce their risk of fire by not using candles. Whether you want something that offers you a refreshing sent or something to give you a pleasing light, there are options that can give you just what you're looking for.

What Is the Worst Category of Water Damage?

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood stree Sewage and flooding are considered Category 3

Water in your home is never a good thing. It can cause a number of problems, destroy furniture and carpeting and enable the growth of mold on walls and ceilings. When black water is present, this signifies a very serious situation. In fact, this is the highest level of water harm to a home as it indicates the presence of contaminated water. If this happens to your home in Williamstown, NJ, it's time to call in the professional water restoration team. This is the best way to protect your family and your contents from the effects of unsanitary water.

The Definition of Category 3 Water

A category 1 water leak involves clean water from pipes associated with drinking water and similar sources. It often does not pose a health threat to humans. A category 2 water event comes from grey water and includes leaks from toilet bowls with only urine, sump pumps and dishwashers. It could have the presence of elements harmful to humans. The highest level of water damage often includes the following:

  • Black water
  • Harmful bacteria and fungi
  • Sewage
  • Unsanitary agents

An event that requires a sewage cleanup is a good example of a category 3 water problem. This situation demands a quick reaction to the problem. The longer contaminated water remains in a home the more damage it can do and the greater the potential to cause harm to pets and humans.

The Answer to Water Damage

The first thing to do is call a company that is Here to Help. The professionals can take control of the situation and begin the clean up process quickly. This will involve specialized equipment such as wet vacs, powerful fans and ventilation systems. After a damage inspection and assessment, the company will undertake water removal, drying, cleaning and restoration. The presence of black water will be removed from your home "Like it never even happened".

Commercial Water Damage Problems to Watch Out For

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Red sprinkler with SERVPRO logo. Theses systems may malfunction and cause damage.

Water damage is a common problem that many commercial buildings in Berlin, NJ, face at one time or another. Understanding the potential risks that can lead to something like a broken pipe and how to handle them can help save your business a lot of time and money. Here are some of the main causes of water issues you may face.

Broken Pipes

A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but it can end up causing a lot of damage. If left untreated, it may even lead to a broken pipe, which can cause serious flooding in the building. Have a professional come look at your system right away if you notice a problem.

Toilet Overflow

Most commercial buildings have numerous patrons going in and out each day. This increases the risk of a toilet getting backed up and overflowing. This is usually due to people using too much toilet paper or flushing items that are not meant to go down the system. Putting up signs asking users not to flush trash or feminine products can help prevent flooding. It is also helpful to place small waste bins in each stall. Toilet water is contaminated, so if an overflow does occur, it is important to handle the cleanup process correctly.

Fire Sprinkler System

Sometimes these systems malfunction and go off without cause. The water can then cause damage to important documents and office equipment. A restoration company can help you with the water repair in these cases, but you should also contact the company that installed the system to find out why it went off.

While doing what you can to prevent water damage from occurring is beneficial, sometimes a broken pipe just happens, and it is out of your hands. In those cases, have a plan in place and know what to do. Be prepared to call a professional restoration company to assist in your needs. The sooner the situation is taken care of, the better off your business will be.