SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Offers Opportunity to Use Green Products
These are just some of the green cleaning products we use that are specially manufactured exclusively for and by SERVPRO.
Cleaning up after a disaster is a messy job, which oftentimes calls for specialized cleaning products. Many of the products we use at SERVPRO are our own unique formulas that are manufactured in our headquarters in Gallatin, TN.
At SERVPRO we care what we use and how it affects our environment and the safety of our customers. We understand that sometimes families with children and pets prefer all natural products. For this reason we offer the opportunity to use Green products when available and appropriate. There are some jobs, however, that require the use of different products.
Our green products are awarded the “Green Seal” and are registered with the EPA. They do not contain any solvents, phosphates, dyes or fragrances, and are safe and non-toxic.
Opportunities for using our own label Green products are when we do carpet & upholstery cleaning, or need a urine odor and stain remover, all surface cleaner, glass cleaner and fuel oil degreaser.
Other green products we use for disinfecting, mold clean-up and prevention and mold stain removal contain no chlorines, ammonias or other harsh chemicals, are hypo-allergenic, and food-grade non-toxic.
We hope that as soon as a customer calls SERVPRO of Eatontown Long Branch and we enter their home, they can rest assured that their remediation job will be done as quickly as possible in a safe and effective way.
Will You be Ready for a Disaster?
Water leaking from the upstairs completely destroyed the sheet rock ceiling on the lower floor.
Disasters like water damage, fire damage or flood, no matter how big or small, can never be predicted. But you CAN prepare for them!
The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW. Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, no matter how big or small.
According to the latest industry research, 50% of all businesses never recover after a disaster. Of the businesses that do open, approximately 75% of those businesses had a plan in place.
One of our most effective tools in helping customers in the event of an emergency is the ERP, or Emergency Ready Profile. This profile provides all the critical information needed in emergency situations, and minimizes business interruption.
The main reason to have an ERP done for your facility or home is:
- It provides a concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- It is a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- It is an identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
This invaluable service is offered at no cost to our customers, and leaves them with peace of mind that their home or office will be ready for whatever happens.
This service can also be done for residential properties, so homeowners can rest assured they have the information at hand when a disaster strikes.
Be prepared! Call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to schedule your Emergency Ready Profile and rest easily in knowing that we will be faster to your disaster!
Avoiding Winter Water Damage
The water that flowed out of this window and froze was caused by an unprotected pipe that burst.
In Monmouth County, cold winter weather can usually come at us in a snap after a warmer, summer-like autumn. Because water expands when it freezes, pipes are especially susceptible to crack and burst from the resulting excess pressure.
That is why it is so important to make sure that you take the steps to prepare your house – especially your pipes, for the freezing temperatures.
Following are tips to get your house ready:
- Wrap outside faucets.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Disconnect garden hoses.
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing.
- Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more, and set your thermostat a temperature no lower than 55° F.
IF YOU DO COME HOME TO FROZEN PIPES, THESE TIPS CAN HELP YOU
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Should you ever have a problem with water due to bursting pipes or any other reason, calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will get your home back to normal “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Cares About Our Environment
Pier Village Beach, Long Branch
October Beach Sweep a Success!
On October 21, 2017, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch participated in the Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep, which was conducted all over New Jersey, from Raritan Bay to the Bayshore to Cape May We captained the site at Pier Village in Long Branch, where close to 50 volunteers spent their time combing the beach for garbage. In all, over 5,500 pieces of debris were collected and thrown away or recycled! Last year a total of nearly 220,000 pieces of debris were removed statewide from the shore lines!
Volunteers began arriving at 9 a.m. and combed the beach until 12:30 p.m. Although the beaches “looked” clean, the amount of debris that was found was surprising. Among typical items such as straws, candy wrappers, plastic bottle caps and cigarette butts, unusual items such as a melted beverage cooler, large plywood and metal pole were also found.
It is always important to be mindful of our environment, and how what we do affects more than just our immediate surroundings. We are very proud of our beaches, and we should make the effort to keep them clean all year long!
Is Your House Safe?
Basement wall where dryer caught fire.
How safe is your home? Have you done the proper maintenance needed to minimize your family’s risk of fires? Now is the time for you to prepare your home against risks that are easily avoidable.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 2015 saw nearly 370,000 home fires nationwide, at a cost of 7 billion dollars in damages. Ninety-two percent of the appliance fires were caused by the clothes dryer. Thirty-two percent of those fires were due to lack of cleaning.
Here are some dryer safety tips:
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
As scary as the statistics for dryer fires sound, they aren't close to being the number one cause of home fires. Two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen, Cooking and cooking equipment account for over 60% of all home fires. They also account for 42% of all fire related injuries in the home.
The peak month of the year for these kitchen related fires is January, the peak time being between 5-8 p.m. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires.
What you need to know:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
It all amounts to common sense and being mindful.
This short video has more safety information:
Water Restoration: 5 Ways to Deal with Water Damage
Standing water can create issues from water flow obstruction to mold.
As a homeowner, water damage is always a cause for concern. When water damage does strike, it’s important to know how to handle the situation with efficiency and ease. Effective water damage restoration comes with knowing that the situation is urgent and calling the professionals immediately, however, there are a few things each and every homeowner can do to minimize the damage.
The best path towards successful water damage restoration is to not have to restore anything at all. One of the most beneficial things a homeowner can do is be informed. In short, know your home!
- Know where your water main valve switch is located. This is really important. Don’t be afraid to shut it off when you go away for long periods of time.
- During the winter, disconnect your hoses. This prevents standing water from forming and creating an issue where your water flow becomes obstructed. Bursting pipes are no fun!
- Maintain the hoses in your home. From the washing machine to under the sink, make sure you upgrade your hoses regularly to avoid leaks.
- Measure your water pressure. Hoses and pipes can only handle so much and checking the pressure that is running through them can save you a huge headache. You can buy a pressure gauge at Home Depot or Lowes that will do the trick.
Any disaster, small or large, comes with the risk of safety. First, make sure everyone is safe and while cleaning up the damage wear gloves, waterproof footwear, and protective gear. Additionally, be mindful of mold and bacteria, exposure to them can be very unhealthy.
SERVPRO’s professionals understand how important it is to create airflow in a water damage emergency and their team is second-to-none when it comes to water cleanup and restoration. As a homeowner, we recommend utilizing any fans or dehumidifiers you have in your home until the pros arrive. This helps prevent bacteria and microbial growth from forming.
One of the smartest preventative measures you can take is to keep a close eye on how you store your belongings and items within your home. Items and boxes stored at floor level are a target for damage, should a water emergency occur. Utilizing plastic or metal shelves for storage can prevent your items from taking on water damage. Avoid wood and particleboard if possible.
Plastic storage bins can provide an excellent way to store items as well. And even better, they’re cheap! Make sure the tops are secure and store them a few feet off the ground.
Isolate the Damage
If disaster does strike, you will want to remove the affected items right away. Separate water-logged items and place them in an area where they can dry. This will allow you the ability to move around the water-filled area with ease and create airflow that can help reduce water damage quickly.
Call the Pros
Dealing with water restoration and damage can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating. We suggest you call the professionals immediately so they can guide you through the process. The SERVPRO team is experienced and knowledgeable and will be able to get you back on track in no time. We are here to serve you!
If you need to reach us feel free to contact us through our site form or call us at (732) 858-5416.
Winning the War Against Wind and Water During the Colder Months
Icicles forming on your gutters can cause structural damage due to melting and refreezing water.
It seems most of the heavy-hitting storms happen in the fall, followed by brutal winter blizzards and nor’easters. Your adversaries during this time are the two legendary elements: Wind and Water. At full force, the wind will scatter leaves and tear off the sturdiest limbs; water will flood and wash away. The damage they can cause can be mind-boggling, resulting in physical injury and death, and property destruction.
Homeowners must be mindful of the impact that powerful storms and weather systems to their property and their loved ones. Decisions must be made in a timely manner to get ahead of the extremes of the season. The following are suggested remedies for possible issues that will come up as the seasons change and the weather gets colder.
Keep Drains and Gutters Clear
After a major rainfall, rain pours from your roof and pools around your property and leaks into your basement. A major reason is leaves and branches clogging water drainage on the street or around your house. When not raked away from drains, leaves and branches will clog them. Rake the leaves and clear treefall from your property.
The same applies for snow. Snow mounds on the street may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing and will block any drains. If it’s on your property—or if you’re feeling neighborly when the department of public works has left the job to fate—break it up and keep it clear.
As for the gutters around your roof, it’s best to contact a professional gutter cleaning service to clear out leaves and debris that could choke your gutters. If left unattended, rain will flow unhindered to leak down into your property, potentially flooding your basement. During the colder months, moisture in the gutters will freeze and weigh them down. They could come crashing down around you and cause injury as well as property damage.
Another tactic to aid with drainage is to consult with a landscaping service to design your property to move water away from your home, and have plantings to prevent soil erosion.
If you have a concern about the basement flooding, your house should have a working sump pump system or a French drain system to prevent seepage or drain collected water. If your basement does take in water and you are able to drain it out, you should set up a de-humidifier to dry it out to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps
It’s almost inevitable that leaks will develop in a house, from top to bottom, owing to long-term exposure to the elements, construction concerns or animals nesting. As it gets colder and wetter, those leaks could become more than just a nuisance. When a leak entry point freezes and re-freezes, the gap will expand and allow more water in.
If the leak is coming from the roof, you will need to locate where the leaks are coming from and seal them. You can do it yourself, but if it looks like a bigger job, locate a roofer.
Windows can also be a source for leaks. Just like the roof it will take some detective work to locate where water is coming in–you may have to check for cold air as well. Once you find it, you’ll have to caulk around where the break is.
Clear Away Sick Trees and Loose Branches
The day after any powerful storm will find a landscape littered with fallen branches and downed trees. Some of those trees will have a crushed house underneath. Others will lean on power lines. One of the reasons for the trees to be uprooted may be that the ground was so sodden the roots couldn’t maintain their grip, owing to poor drainage.
If you have trees on your property it would be in your best interest to hire an arborist or tree service to check your tree’s health. Most branches and fallen trees were weak and sick before a storm, and only needed the right gust to send branches flying and trunks to topple.
If you do have sick trees, then you should have them and whatever weakened limbs removed. It’s recommended to get a professional service to do it. DIY only works if your experienced and know how to handle the tools to do the job.
Should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up. Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards, costly financially—and in life and limb. Staying several steps ahead of the damage caused by wind, rain, ice and snow can make for a safe and secure rest of the year.
The Facts About Hoarding
As one of New Jersey's premier resoration companies, we at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch often get asked questions about hoarding clean up. In order to understand the process of cleaning the residence of a hoarder, we first need to enlighten the family and friends of the facts about the issue itself. According to the International OCD Foundation:
What is compulsive hoarding?
Compulsive hoarding includes ALL three of the following:
1. A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people.
2. These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended.
3. These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.
How is hoarding different from collecting?
• In hoarding, people seldom seek to display their possessions, which are usually kept in disarray.
• In collecting, people usually proudly display their collections and keep them well organized. What are the signs of compulsive hoarding?
• Difficulty getting rid of items
• A large amount of clutter in the office, at home, in the car, or in other spaces (i.e. storage units) that makes it difficult to use furniture or appliances or move around easily
• Losing important items like money or bills in the clutter
• Feeling overwhelmed by the volume of possessions that have ‘taken over’ the house or workspace
• Being unable to stop taking free items, such as advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants
• Buying things because they are a “bargain” or to “stock up”
• Not inviting family or friends into the home due to shame or embarrassment
• Refusing to let people into the home to make repairs.
What makes getting rid of clutter difficult for hoarders?
• Difficulty organizing possessions
• Unusually strong positive feelings (joy, delight) when getting new items
• Strong negative feelings (guilt, fear, anger) when considering getting rid of items
• Strong beliefs that items are “valuable” or “useful”, even when other people do not want them
• Feeling responsible for objects and sometimes thinking of inanimate objects as having feelings
• Denial of a problem even when the clutter or acquiring clearly interferes with a person’s life
Who struggles with hoarding behavior?
Hoarding behaviors can begin as early as the teenage years, although the average age of a person seeking treatment for hoarding is about 50. Hoarders often endure a lifelong struggle with hoarding. They tend to live alone and may have a family member with the problem. It seems likely that serious hoarding problems are present in at least 1in 50 people, but they may be present in as many as 1 in 20.
Are hoarding and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) related?
Compulsive hoarding was commonly considered to be a type of OCD. Some estimate that as many as 1 in 4 people with OCD also have compulsive hoarding. Recent research suggests that nearly 1 in 5 compulsive hoarders have non-hoarding OCD symptoms. Compulsive hoarding is also considered a feature of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and may develop along with other mental illnesses, such as dementia and schizophrenia.
What kinds of things do people hoard?
Most often, people hoard common possessions, such as paper (e.g., mail, newspapers), books, clothing and containers (e.g., boxes, paper and plastic bags). Some people hoard garbage or rotten food. More rarely, people hoard animals or human waste products. Often the items collected are valuable but far in excess of what can reasonably be used.
What are the effects of hoarding?
• Severe clutter threatens the health and safety of those living in or near the home, causing health problems, structural damage, fire, and even death
• Expensive and emotionally devastating evictions or other court actions can lead to hospitalizations or homelessness
• Conflict with family members and friends who are frustrated and concerned about the state of the home and the hoarding behaviors
Can compulsive hoarding be treated?
Yes, compulsive hoarding can be treated. Unfortunately it has not responded well to the usual treatments that work for OCD. Strategies to treat hoarding include:
• Challenging the hoarder’s thoughts and beliefs about the need to keep items and about collecting new things
• Going out without buying or picking up new items
• Getting rid of and recycling clutter. First, by practicing the removal of clutter with the help of a clinician or coach and then independently removing clutter
• Finding and joining a support group or teaming up with a coach to sort and reduce clutter
• Understanding that relapses can occur
• Developing a plan to prevent future clutter.
How can I help a hoarding friend or family member de-clutter?
Attempts by family and friends to help with de-cluttering may not be well received by the person who hoards. It is helpful to keep in mind:
• Until the person is internally motivated to change they may not accept your offer to help. • Motivation cannot be forced.
• Everyone, including people who hoard, has a right to make choices about their objects and how they live.
• People who hoard are often ambivalent about accepting help and throwing away objects.
Can’t compulsive hoarding be solved by simply cleaning out the home?
No. Attempts to “clean out” the homes of people who hoard without treating the underlying problem usually fail. Families and community agencies may spend many hours and thousands of dollars clearing a home only to find that the problem recurs, often within just a few months. Hoarders whose homes are cleared without their consent often experience extreme distress and may become further attached to their possessions. This may lead to their refusal of future help.
How do I have a conversation with my friend of family member who is ready to talk about hoarding?
When a person seems willing to talk about a hoarding problem, follow these guidelines:
• Respect. Acknowledge that the person has a right to make their own decisions at their own pace.
• Have sympathy. Understand that everyone has some attachment to the things they own. Try to understand the importance of their items to them.
• Encourage. Come up with ideas to make their home safer, such as moving clutter from doorways and halls.
• Team up with them. Don’t argue about whether to keep or discard an item; instead, find out what will help motivate the person to discard or organize.
• Reflect. Help the person to recognize that hoarding interferes with the goals or values the person may hold. For example, by de-cluttering the home, a person may host social gatherings and have a richer social life.
• Ask. To develop trust, never throw anything away without asking permission.
If you are faced with helping a family member who needs to clean their home after a hoarding situation, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch. We can take you through the process and ensure that everything is handled professionally and as quickly as possible. 732-578-9888
Winter Mold Growth: What You Need To Know
The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.
Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Mold remediation services can help eliminate the mold in your home and personal items affected by water damage.
Prevention, however, is what will help keep your lungs healthy and homes and buildings strong. We’ve put together a few tips on how you can help thwart mold from infesting your home that are efficient and realistic:
General Home and Building Maintenance:
- Keep all areas clean.
- Make sure there is good air circulation. Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.
- Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes.
- Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements. If you find your basement is wet or has water leaking into it, inspect the outside drainage systems.
- Spread moisture-barrier materials in crawl spaces over the soil. Heavy roofing paper or plastic film made of polyethylene can be used for this. Make sure there is good ventilation in the crawl space and, if possible, do not enclose it. One may need to use a fan to blow out humid air from under the building.
- One can get rid of humidity or dampness within a building by heating it for a short time. After heating, open up the doors and windows, or use an exhaust fan, to let out the air that is moist.
- Hire a professional roofing contractor to cover a damaged roof with a tarp or tent. This will help protect the building from the elements.
- If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
- Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground around your building slopes away from the foundation so water does not collect around or enter in to it.
- Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of the condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.
After a Flood or Heavy Rains:
- Work fast. Call in SERVPRO, which will help in the cleaning and disinfecting of your home from toxins and spores mold can release.
- Lower the humidity and temperature in the building: molds do not like these conditions. Open up windows if the air outside is less humid than the air inside. Otherwise, turn on an air conditioner and a dehumidifier.
- Dispose of moldy items in a sealed bag. Objects that can be saved should be frozen (which deactivates mold) or dried out. Mold remediation services can assist with restoring many of your items, including documents, pictures, and books.
- Make sure there is good ventilation within the building affected. Use a fan, if necessary, to promote good air circulation.
- Remove as much standing water in a building as quickly and safely as possible after disconnecting all electronic equipment inside the building.
- The two key things to remember in mold prevention are: 1. Keep everything clean, and 2. Keep everything dry. Many simple steps can be taken to prevent mold damage as well as water damage during the winter months. However, keep the number SERVPRO handy should you require their services. These professionals can efficiently and quickly ensure your home is safe, dry, and mold-free.
Winter Ice Dams: Cause, Effects, and Prevention
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams form when melting ice and snow refreeze above the eaves of your roof and subsequent melting backs up under the shingles. This causes interior leaks and water damage to interior walls and ceilings.
Preventing Ice Dams
Proper ventilation, drainage and insulation are the only ways to prevent ice dams and can be achieved in the following ways:
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris
- Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all possibilities
- Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof
- If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily
- Keep snow from accumulating on the lower three to six feet of your roof
- Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from "bonding" to the lower roof
- Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles for the first three to six feet from the eaves up
- Install heating cable along the eaves to melt ice
Removing Ice Dams
- Consult a roofing professional
- Do not use a snow blower, shovel or blowtorch to try to chip, break or melt ice dams