It’s Hurricane Season!
The peak potential time for hurricanes here in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October. Hurricane Sandy is still on people’s minds, and each season is unpredictable as to the amount and severity of possible storms. Here at the Jersey Shore it’s especially important to be prepared for anything.
In order to protect your home, here are 5 tips that can help you prepare for and ride out a storm:
Keep Doors and Windows Protected Against Rain, High Winds, and Flying Debris
Heavy rains can cause flooding in your home. And, high winds can hurl objects at speeds so fast they can act like bullets. In other words: make sure to protect your windows and doors.
And don’t forget your garage door! Make sure your garage door is installed to be weather-proof or brace an existing door to keep it from giving way.
Remove Items from Your Yard
The more you can minimize any loose, large objects near your house, the better you can protect yourself from flying debris. Remember to secure any patio furniture or garden sculptures. Even better, try to bring everything you can indoors for the duration of the storm.
Keeping your trees pruned and removing any dead branches well before the storm begins will make a big difference in high winds.
Keep Gutters Clear So Water Can Flow
It’s a good idea to regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts and make sure nothing blocks flowing rain water or melting snow throughout the year. But, is especially important to make sure nothing is blocking your water flow before a major storm.
If the heavy rains can’t flow down and away, they could end up pooling on your roof and leaking into your attic, creating significant and costly damage to your home. So, make sure to conduct a visual inspection of your gutter and downspouts to ensure rain will flow away from your roof and home.
Make Sure You Have a Working Sump Pump and Emergency Generator
One way to ensure your basement or crawl space will stay dry during any potential flooding is to install a sump pump system. Also having an emergency generator on hand can be useful for any power loss you may experience during a major storm. You may consider installing a whole-house system, but even a small generator can keep the essentials going and help you withstand the worst of the storm’s after-effects.
Stock Up on Basic Supplies
It’s a good idea to keep on hand at least a three-day supply of basic necessities. This includes drinking water, food that doesn’t need refrigeration, a first aid kit, any prescriptions or other necessary medications, and personal hygiene items. You’ll probably also want a supply of batteries, a flashlight, and candles, just in case you end up with no electricity.
Some additional items recommended by FEMA include:
- Copies of important family documents in a waterproof container
- Sleeping bags and warm blankets
- Change of clothing
- Paper towels and plastic utensils, plates, and cups
- Books and games to pass the time.
If your home does sustain significant storm damage, it is a good idea to enlist the help of trained storm damage specialists as soon as you can. A fast response can limit the extent of the damage and significantly reduce your overall costs. Remember SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is THE only restoration company who can handle storms like Sandy - we can rely on many of our SERVPRO franchises throughout the country to come and help.
Preventing Grill Fires
Summer is the time for lazy days, warm nights, fireflies and barbecues. Many families use their grill daily during the summer so they don’t heat the house and because clean-up is easy.
However, it’s always important to remember to use the grill safely to avoid injury or fire. Before lighting up, remember the following safety points.
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended..
Make safety checks with your propane tank & lines before you use your grill. Learn how to check your propane tank with this video from NFPA.org.
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use.
- Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Remember that a fun summer also means a safe summer, and if you need SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch for any fire or smoke damage, we are a phone call away 24/7.
A Commercial Cleaning Checklist for Your Business
Cleanliness is always a key component of a professional reputation. Customers, clients, and colleagues will always respond more favorably to a well-kept, fresh atmosphere. Plus, you need to make sure your commercial property is a safe environment for all who enter. This includes being proactive about potential hazards.
To help make sure your place of business is as clean as it ought to be, here’s a commercial cleaning checklist:
- Power wash all exterior building surfaces, sidewalks, and parking lots
- Clean all the windows, including their accessories such as blinds and drapes
- Clear out all gutters
- Inspect for and remove any mold and mildew growth
- Make sure air ducts and HVAC systems are clean and functioning properly
- Deep clean any carpets or upholstery
- Remove the accumulation of dirt, grease, and contaminants from hard floors, walls, and ceilings
Everyday wear and tear can build up overtime until the problem goes beyond the capabilities of your janitorial staff. Plus, certain challenges, like removing biohazardous contaminants, should always be left to specially trained professionals with the equipment, tools, and industrial grade products needed to restore your commercial property to business as usual.
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has been helping local business maintain their high standards of safety and cleanliness with a range of commercial cleaning services from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing odors to restoring damaged property.
Check out the wide range of commercial cleaning service we offer: www.SERVPROeatontownlongbranch.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning
Better to Prepare and Prevent
Preparing for a flood would have kept the contents of this home from being soaked and ultimately having to be discarded.
Knowing that flooding and storm damage is a potential threat, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize any future damage.
First, don’t forget to do your spring cleaning. Our homes, and especially our basements, can easily become cluttered with things we don’t even need. Better to clean them out once a year when the weather is nice. If flooding does happen, you’ll be glad that excess clutter is gone.
Second, get your belongings off the floor and up on shelves. Boxes piled up on the floor can quickly become an awful nightmare once water starts to rise. However, if your items are already sorted out on shelves above the water, it’s one less thing to have to deal with. For any low hanging shelves, metal and plastic are recommended rather than wood as they better survive potential water damage.
Finally, make sure you have enough ventilation and keep the air circulating. Potential mold growth will depend on a number of factors, including moisture level, temperature, and the presence of wood and paper materials on which they can feed. Running a dehumidifier can also help remove excess humidity from the affected environment.
If you do require professional water damage restoration services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch offer 24-hour emergency service. We’re a locally owned and operated company here in your community providing the highest caliber water inspection, extraction, drying, and restoration equipment and service. Call us now at (732) 784-4082.
A Wet Spring May Mean Mold Growth in your Home
Mold can be found hidden anywhere.
Springtime at the Jersey Shore is usually a month of wet, rainy weather followed by hot and humid temperatures. So it is important to be aware of the potential of mold growth in your home. Mold spores exist everywhere. Mold growth depends on certain conditions such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for. Places to look in your home that are susceptible to mold growth are areas that are constantly wet or humid such as:
What you need to look for:
- Crawl spaces
Our technicians are IICRC certified and undergo weekly training. We screen all our employees with background checks so you can feel safe having us in your home. We follow EPA standards and our products are child/pet safe. If you find ANY mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care of the issue. If you find you need our services, we are always open.
- Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
- Visible mold growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
- Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
Mold in Schools
maintaining water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus at any large facility.
Mold growth in schools is not a new subject. In fact, just last year a large township in NJ was forced to close its schools for months due to mold contamination. That is why in any large facility like a school or commercial building, the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems!
Mold Prevention Tips
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
According to the National Clearing House for Educational Services, the following symptoms may be caused by mold allergies:
- Nasal or sinus congestion
- Sensitivity to light
- Sore throat
- Skin irritation (rash or itching)
- Shortness of breath
- Watery, reddened, or burning eyes
Damp buildings and mold growth are recognized triggers of asthma attacks.
Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your school or commercial building need mold remediation, remember that SERVPRO has specially trained technicians that can handle the job. No job is too large or small, and we are available 24/7.
For more information, check out these links:
Groundwater Basement Flooding
Water in a basement needs to be extracted and dried out as soon as possible.
Groundwater flooding is basically water in your basement caused by seepage or flow through the walls or foundation floor.
According to State Farm Insurance, there are four common sources of water entering basements. Each source has its own specifics and requires its own course of action.
Surface water running down foundation walls.
If this is the first instance of water problems in your basement, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. Water coming in at one location or only at the exterior foundation wall indicates surface water problems. Here are some things to look for once you get outside.
- Overflowing gutters: leaves
- Overflowing gutters: downspouts
- Downspout distance
- Pavement slope
- Landscape slope
Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure.
If no surface water sources are found, then the source of the water is likely subsurface groundwater under hydrostatic pressure. When the groundwater levels outside the basement rise above the level of the floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. If a boat is sitting in water, water will leak in through any open cracks or holes. It works the same way with a basement. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through hairline cracks.
Unfortunately, subsurface groundwater problems are more difficult and more expensive to fix than surface groundwater problems.
Storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement.
If you have an older house within town and the house has a basement with no sump pump, it is likely the perimeter foundation drain system connects directly into the city storm sewer system. If the level of the basement is below the street level, there is the potential of storm water backing up in the city storm sewer system and being pushed into the perimeter foundation drain system. This can saturate the soils around the house at the basement level with storm water under hydrostatic pressure, causing water to leak in.
- Underground springs
- Storm water backing up
- Sewer water backing up
Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your home's sewer line. If there is a clog in the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, it can cause sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.
Whatever the cause of water in your basement, remember it is important to have it dried out as soon as possible by a professional. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7, and will be able to get to your water damage quickly.
Fire leave smoke and soot damage throughout the home.
Smoke damage from a fire, no matter how large or small, can be devastating. Oftentimes smoke damage can be long lasting, which is why it is so important to take care of it immediately.
Behavior of Smoke
A fire loss can be very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals undergo extensive fire restoration training and certification, and understand the behavior of smoke.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas.
- Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
This enables us to take care of smoke throughout the entire home or office.
- Knowing how smoke penetrates and lingers is only one part of being able to mitigate smoke damage. Knowing what types of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process as well. Upon arriving at a fire scene, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.
Types of Smoke
- Wet smoke- Plastics and Synthetics
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
- Dry smoke- Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, dry. Powdery, non-smeary residues. Heat rises therefore the smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs
- While “puff backs” can create havoc for property owners, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
Other smoke related services we offer are:
- Smoke and soot residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors if not properly deodorized.
- All restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition when possible. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, clothing, photos, kitchen items, bedding and much more.
- SERVPRO® Franchises provide specialized services
that rid structures of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
- Proper deodorization is vital as odors may appear to be gone, only to reappear months later under different conditions, including when humidity levels rise.
It is important to understand why calling us in the event of a fire, no matter how large or small. The professionals at SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch will help get you back to your lives and jobs as soon as possible, making it “Like it never even happened.”
Where to Look For Moisture & Mold
Hidden mold like this which was found when a bathroom sink was removed can spread and become a health problem.
Mold growth depends on certain conditions for growth such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for.
The following is a list of places in your home that are susceptible to mold growth:
- Under sinks
- Behind washing equipment
- Under and behind refrigeration units
- Under dishwashers
- Behind toilets
- Behind and below water heaters
- Around tubs and showers
- Around doors and windows
- Around basement perimeters
- In crawl spaces
- Above ceiling tiles
- Around the outside hose bib
- Inside access panels to whirlpool tubs
What you need to look for:
- Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
- Visible mild growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
- Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
If you do find any mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care and remediate the issue. Mold spores are easily dispersed if incorrectly disturbed and most household cleaners won’t sufficiently take care of the problem.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7/365 to help home and business owners take care of water, mold and fire disasters quickly and thoroughly.
In Like a Lion
This road in Belmar saw flooding due to high tide surge. Homes facing the bay had water damage that had to be remediated.
The beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, Riley, Quinn and Skylar, in less than two weeks. Winter Storm Riley was accompanied by a full moon, which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns. Many homes had flood damage or water damage caused by high winds and heavy rain and snow.
Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.