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3 Facts To Know About Water Damage and Flood Recovery

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

A specialist removing water damage from of a house SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown has trained restoration technicians ready to help after water damage.

Water Damage and Flood Recovery: Three Things to Know

When flooding affects your Whitehall, NJ, home, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. Whether the flood was caused by a pipe burst in your cellar or bathroom or from an overflow of a nearby creek during a rainstorm, it can ruin your home’s building materials and your belongings. Before you attempt to recover from water damage, there are a few facts you can keep in mind that may make the process less stressful.

1. Not All Flood Damage Is the Same

The amount of damage your home suffers from a flood can depend on many factors. For example, basement flooding caused by a leaking or ruptured water line may be less invasive than water that enters your home forcefully during storm flooding. The condition of the water can also play a part, as water from outdoor flooding is typically a category three, or black water situation, where water that comes from a kitchen pipe burst or water line is usually much more sanitary and therefore simpler to clean up.

2. Building Material Damage Is Not Always Apparent

After a flood there will likely be problems that are instantly visible, such as standing water that can occur during heavy flooding. However, there might also be water damage that you cannot see, especially if water levels reached more than a few inches. Drywall and interior insulation can be badly affected and may even grow mold if left untreated. Calling in a flood damage and restoration company to inspect these areas can help prevent costly issues later on.

3. Restoration Is Possible for Many Items

It is important not to discard items until they are inspected by your flood damage professionals. For example, if a pipe in your basement has burst and you had items stored there, such as furniture, photographs and important documents, they may be restored if salvaged properly.

How To Identify and Prevent Black Mold

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Broom, wet tile, mold growth on drywall Mold damage on Library, NJ due to humidity

Stop The Spread and Keep Growth From Worsening

As soon as you suspect a destructive fungal invasion within your home in Library, NJ, perform a comprehensive mold inspection. Swift recognition will allow you to abruptly stop the spread and keep growths from worsening.

Among the spores that most commonly form, black mold is the worst. It can be easily detected via:

Location. Look for outgrowths within carpeting, drywall, wood paneling, and ceiling tiles. Any damp area becomes particularly vulnerable.
Shape and size. Black mold features a dark green or inky coloration and often consists of a slimy texture.
Smell. Suspicions should rise when detecting musty or mildewy odors.

If your efforts reveal any form of fungal infiltration, have a mold removal professional eliminate the matter with urgency.

Conducting the periodic precautionary mold inspection can help clamp down on perilous conditions from developing. Look out for leaky pipes and malfunctioning household appliances that use water, as spores cannot take hold without adequate moisture. When seepage is discovered, thoroughly dry the affected area and take outside any materials that have absorbed dampness.
Cleanliness is key to maintaining dryness. Perform spot checks in areas prone to humidity and diligently apply mold and mildew removal products, paying particular attention to bathrooms and kitchens.
Reduce the potential for moisture by employing humidifiers or vapor steam cleaners in closets and restrooms. When storing items, be certain everything is thoroughly dried before packing begins. Insulate walls and check that your basement’s foundation drain remains unblocked. Proactively thwart HVAC disasters by regularly servicing your unit.
Finally, check your ventilation. Open windows and move furniture away from walls to accommodate better airflow. Closet doors and access portals to confined spaces should be intermittently left open to allow for breezes that discourage house mold.
Perform the periodic mold inspection in your residence and observe basic measures that hinder black mold from forming. Such efforts may well impede a stressful situation from unexpectedly striking.

Driving on Flooded Roads: 3 Safety Tips

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Collection truck in a flooded street Avoid driving through a flooded street

How To Stay Safe On The Roads During A Flood

Powerful storms in Williamstown, NJ, can cause localized flooding and fill roads and highways with water. Flash floods can catch you unaware and put you in danger in a matter of moments, and a flooded street can present a serious problem because the water may be deeper than it appears. Keeping a few tips in mind about how to stay safe on the roads during a flood can help prevent an emergency situation and protect you from flooding danger.

1. Avoid Driving Through Floods
When you encounter flooded roads, you may think you can navigate the water easily. However, even standing floods can cause your car’s tires to lose contact with the road and cause it to float. If it becomes caught in an undercurrent, it could carry your car away. Turning around when you come upon a flooded road and finding an alternate route can keep you safe.

2. Reduce Your Speed
During heavy storms, you may find yourself on a flooded street in a matter of minutes, especially if the area is prone to flash floods. If this occurs, you may want to reduce your speed so your car does not skid or hydroplane across the surface of the water. This can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and lead to a crash.

3. Obey Warning Signs
One of the most important travel tips you can follow is to obey road signs related to localized flooding. During a flood, water damage and mitigation services may be working on flooded residences and emergency workers might be in the area to repair affected streets or clogged sewer lines. Follow detour signs and directions from any personnel directing traffic in flooded areas.
Powerful storms in Williamstown, NJ, can create a flooded street and trap you in your vehicle. Keeping a few safety tips in mind as you drive through a storm can reduce the risk of flood-related danger and keep you and your passengers safe.

What Can Discolor Ceiling Tiles?

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Vintage looking Damage caused by damp and moisture on a ceiling Ceiling tile damaged by water

Find Out More About Differences In Tile Discoloration

Ceiling tiles can become slightly discolored over time, but faster and more noticeable discoloration may be due to water exposure or tile mold. Find out more about differences in tile discoloration due to moisture, mold, dirt, smoke or ultraviolet light. Any of these factors could be the cause of discolored ceiling tiles at a building in Clementon, NJ.

Moisture and Mold
Moisture and mold that results from water damage that has not been restored are two common culprits behind discolored tiles. There are several ways in which these elements may change the appearance of ceiling tiles:

  • Damp tiles appear dark
  • Ongoing water exposure stains tiles
  • Mold growth may be patterned

Tiles that are currently damp can appear dark in color. It is important to stop the flow of a leak and dry or replace tiles that have suffered water damage. Tile mold tends to grow in patterns and have distinctive surface textures. Mold may show up as soon as 24 to 48 hours after water causes damage.

Dirt or Smoke Particles
Over time, airborne particles of dust and dirt can settle on a ceiling and alter the color of tiles. In buildings where smoking is still allowed, residue can cause discoloration. Smoke residue contains a combination of nicotine, tar and other substances that can turn ceiling tiles brown or gray.

UV Light Exposure
Repeated exposure to bright ultraviolet light used indoors at manufacturing or medical operations can bleach ceiling tiles. Light damage lightens the color of a ceiling rather than introducing darker staining. This type of discoloration poses no allergen or health risks.
A building owner may want to replace discolored ceiling tiles. In the event of tile mold growth, remediation will be necessary before restoration can take place. Replacing building materials without addressing the underlying cause can lead to further ceiling tile discoloration at a building in Clementon, NJ.

Making a Fire Escape Plan

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor An emergency evacuation plan is basically a map posted throughout your building.

An emergency escape plan outlines the routes you should take to exit a building. It is excellent to have one in the event of a fire. This is because it not only helps with evacuation but can designate meeting and communication strategies as well. This should be part of any companies fire preparedness strategy. However, many questions come into play when you are creating one.

What Is an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

An emergency evacuation plan is basically a map posted throughout your building. It is designed to tell employees and customers the safest and fastest exit routes during a fire.

Why Should You Have One?
There are many reasons that you should have a fire escape plan for your business in West Berlin, NJ. The main motivators include:

  • Quicker response times
  • Improved employee safety
  • Established chain of command
  • Faster arrival of remediation professionals

How Often Should You Practice Your Plan?
Practice your exit plan at least twice per year. This ensures that all of your employees know the routes and your plan is still effective.

How Can You Draw the Maps?
To create the maps in your fire escape plan easily, you can use online templates. There are also map makers that you can use. This means you don't need any drawing or advanced technology skills.

Does It Improve Your Workplace Atmosphere?
By creating a plan, you are showing that you care about your employees. This will make your workplace feel more positive and can encourage employees to feel comfortable at work.

What Technology Do You Need to Make a Good Plan?
The simplest way to make a plan is by using online drawing tools. These operate on most computers, tablets, and phones. The only thing you will need to operate these is an internet connection. If you prefer to make your plan the old-fashioned way, you can use any office-type program.
Having a fire escape plan can improve your company's reaction to a disaster. This plan is easy to create thanks to online templates and should be practiced regularly for maximum effectiveness.

Stinky Microwave? Tips to Get It Clean

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

man covering his nose when opening a microwave oven Wipe down your microwave after each use.

Homes in Clayton, 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 it. 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 them 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.

3 Smart Smoke Detectors To Choose From

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Smart smoke alarm on ceiling Smart smoke alarms will give you peace of mind.

Smart Smoke Detectors

When you put together your fire safety plan for your Cedar Brook, NJ, home, you likely installed a smoke alarm in multiple places throughout your home. While a smoke detector is incredibly helpful in catching fire before it spreads out of control, it isn't quite as useful if a fire starts when you're not at home. Many fire remediation specialists recommend that you install smart alarms that will notify you in the event of a fire. Here are three smart smoke detectors to choose from.

1. Internet-Connected Smoke Alarm

Many home protection companies have started making internet-connected smoke alarms that notify you through push notifications on your phone if the alarm activates. Some alarms even contact local emergency services for you. These alarms can be a significant initial investment, depending on how big your home is and how many you need, but the peace of mind in knowing that your home is always protected is worth it.

2. Smart Batteries

If you don't want to purchase all new smoke alarms for your home, then use smart batteries. Instead of a regular 9-volt battery, you install the smart battery like normal and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Then, if the alarm sounds or the battery runs low, you'll receive a notification on your phone. The battery only notifies you if the alarm it is installed in is triggered, so you'll have to buy a battery for each detector in your home to ensure complete coverage.

3. Listeners

Listeners are another excellent option if you don't want to replace all of the alarms in your home. The listener is plugged into the wall and listens for the specific frequency of the smoke alarm. Listeners are especially useful if you have a large home because you can place one device in a hallway, and it will cover every alarm on that floor.
You want to ensure your home is protected, even while you're not there. Smart smoke alarms will give you peace of mind and are a great way to catch fires before they grow out of control.

4 Flood Cleaning Requirements

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Four technicians wearing protective gear in a commercial business It's important to wear protective gear while cleaning after a flood.

Cleaning Requirements for Flooding

While a small water issue in your Williamstown, NJ, home from a leaky pipe may be easy to clean, cleaning requirements for flooding are much more stringent. This type of water damage involves contaminated water, which means added safety precautions. It also likely involves a greater amount of water, which may lead to additional issues, such as mold growth. Before grabbing towels and the mop, it’s important to know what you are up against.

Cleaning Requirements
To properly flood clean, the following steps and procedures are recommended.

If safe to do so, use fans to enhance airflow and speed up the drying process. If outlets have been submerged, contact an electrician for an inspection.
If the humidity levels are not higher outdoors, open windows and doors for ventilation.
Prior to touching any contaminated items, wear proper safety gear, including gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, waterproof shoes, and long pants.
After your insurance provider gives the go, remove items with visible mold growth or that will not be salvageable, such as carpeting and mattresses.
Floors, countertops, sinks, stoves, and furniture that come in contact with water will need to be cleaned with a flood disinfectant.

Call in the Professionals
If the damage is significant and mold growth has spread, the cleanup process is best left to a certified water and damage restoration company. Along with having all the needed safety gear, including goggles and N-95 masks, they will have the expertise to find any hidden issues and the industrial-grade equipment to get your home dried out faster and on the restoration path. Since these companies use an array of professional cleaning methods, you may also be able to save more time than you previously thought without the worry of lingering issues.
While some water issues are simple and straightforward, flood-related issues have additional cleaning requirements to ensure safety and proper cleanup.

A Storm Damage Preparation Plan for Commercial Structures

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Afro american businessman signing partnership agreement concept. Some storm damage preparation methods involve investing in the infrastructure or maintenance of a commercial building in Clementon, NJ.

Commercial Structures Storm Damage Preparation Plan

The managers and owners of commercial buildings should make a plan to prepare for storms. Many methods for protecting a property from adverse weather are long-term strategies that may not be possible to implement in the hours before a winter storm. From anticipating seasonal weather patterns to monitoring weather forecasts for Clementon, NJ, building managers and owners should take a proactive approach to storm damage prevention.

Watch the Weather

One of the easiest ways for property owners and managers to prepare for storms is to be aware of seasonal weather patterns and approaching storm systems. Here are a few of the most important types of weather events for which to look out:

  • High winds
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Severe weather events

High winds have the potential to damage a structure and may accompany more severe weather events. Freezing temperatures may not seem as dangerous, but a frozen blockage may form in an exposed pipe and cause a pipe break that floods a structure.

Maintain Drainage

A longer-term storm preparation measure involves maintaining drainage. This can be helpful all year long, from allowing snow and ice to melt after a winter storm to keeping downspouts, drains and gutters clear for rainfall in other seasons.

Reduce Damage Risks

Property owners may want to invest in solutions for anchoring items kept outdoors such as chairs, tables or garbage cans. Any unsecured items can become flying debris that damages a property when wind speeds pick up. Storm windows might also be a worthwhile investment.

Some storm damage preparation methods involve investing in the infrastructure or maintenance of a commercial building in Clementon, NJ. Other measures require immediate action based on changing weather conditions, such as keeping under-insulated pipes from bursting during a winter storm. A plan that accounts for short- and long-term preparations can go a long way toward limiting the severity of damage to a structure.

How To Plan for Hail Damage

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

hail falls on the roof of slate Hail storms can cause damage to your roofs.

What To Do In The Event of a Hail Storm

No one wants to deal with hail damage roof repairs. Knowing what to do in the event of a hail storm and how to handle the resulting destruction is essential for achieving quick repairs and resolution.

Be Proactive, Have a Plan in Place
When hail is forecast for your area, prepare your property and possessions, take actions such as:

  • Inspect your roof frequently throughout the year and make repairs to lessen the impact of a hail-damaged roof.
  • Move your vehicles into a garage. If you don’t have access to proper coverage, place a large blanket and a tarp with grommets over it.
  • Cover all sides of the vehicle and secure with bungee cords or string.
  • Move free-standing patio furniture, plants, and decorations indoors, if possible.

Conduct Hail Damage Roof Inspections, Take Necessary Action
When the storm has subsided and everyone is safe, it is time to assess the damage. Put on closed-toe shoes and wear work gloves when walking around the area. Document all items of concern with pictures, video, and on paper.
Of note, having a video inventory of your home’s exterior, interior, and belongings before you need them will aid with any insurance claims you may make regarding hail damage repair.

Address Hail Damage Concerns, Know What To Do
Find reliable experts in hail damage roof repair in Williamstown, NJ, before you need their services. In the aftermath of a storm, you have other things on your mind, such as tending to your family and pets, navigating insurance policies, and taking care of your home. Ensure you have a plan of action in the event of an emergency. Discuss it with family members and review it annually for peace of mind.
Due to the erratic nature of hail storms, it is always good practice to check your home and property for potential damage, even if neighboring structures appear to be untouched.