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.
Ready To Sell? How To Prepare Your Home For A Sale
Prepare your home to sell
Selling your home can seem stressful, but there are plenty of ways you can make the process easier on yourself. By following some simple steps, you can more easily attract a buyer and maybe even negotiate a better sale price.
Before you bring anyone in for a tour, you'll want to make sure everything is in its best condition possible. What it all comes down to is getting your home as close to move-in ready as you can and presenting its best face to prospective buyers. Here are a few ways you can be sure to wow any interested parties.
Tidy the landscaping and exterior
The first thing anyone will notice upon approaching your home is the landscape and the exterior. Making both look top notch is key to nailing your very first impression with the potential buyer.
Tidying up your lawn and shrubbery can go a long way to improving the overall look of the property, and you might even consider planting some flowers to bring a splash of life and color to your yard.
Be sure to wash your home if it needs it; power-washing the siding can go a long way to making the building look like new. Applying a fresh coat of paint to the entryway and laying down a welcome mat are nice finishing touches that will really make a prospective buyer feel like a guest.
The key is to make it feel homey and put together, so that a buyer can envision a simple transition from their old home to their new. This implied simplicity could be the difference between a sale or a walk.
Make any necessary repairs
Repairs are essential, as any savvy home buyer will be checking to ensure that everything is in working order. That means guaranteeing that there are no mold problems or other underlying damage that needs to be addressed.
If there are issues, tackle them before you invite prospective buyers to view the home. Consider contracting remediation services Like SERVPRO Eatontown/long Branch to deal with any mold, fire, or water damage that might have occurred over the years. Now is your chance to address these problems, before they chase off a prospective buyer.
Remove personal items and organize your space
It's important to downsize as much as possible ahead of time, packing away whatever personal items you can and only leaving those things in the living space that are absolutely essential to your day-to-day life, or those that give the buyer an idea of what the home looks like when furnished.
Buyers want to picture the space as theirs when searching for a new home, so make it as easy as possible on them by removing family photos, keepsakes, or any décor based on your identity and personality. Help them see themselves in your home, and closing a deal will likely become easier.
Provide a squeaky-clean interior
Finally, no buyer wants to imagine hours of hard work scrubbing the home they just bought with their hard-earned money. Providing a squeaky-clean interior will go a long way to closing the deal.
Selling your home takes a lot of time and energy, so consider partnering with a professional cleaning service like SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch to get the job done quickly and efficiently, without having to divert your focus from the many other tasks at hand.
Once everything is repaired, cleaned, and shaped up, it's time to bring in your leads. If you've crossed all your T's and dotted all your I's, odds are you'll get some immediate reactions and likely seal that deal sooner, rather than later.
Fire Dangers After a Flood
Electrical appliances such as this treadmill are in danger of catching fire after being submerged in flood water.
Fire is probably not the first thing you think of as the result of flooding, however it is a real concern and something every homeowner should be aware of.
It is well known that water and electricity DO NOT mix. It is important to remember that any electrical device that has been submerged in water could potentially be dangerous, as the wires may become compromised or corroded.
According to the Colorado Inspection Services, the rule of thumb for electrical devices that have been submerged is REPLACE them. The fire hazard from soaked electrical devices is not worth trying to save them.
As stated in their web site, outlets, switches and breaker boxes are the obvious electric devices that need replacement. Appliances, heaters, furnaces, AC units and anything else that contains electric motors, switches or wiring are included.
Flood waters may also contain mud and many toxic substances such as fuels, solvents, cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals, sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic compounds, that can deposit in these devices causing overheating and/or mechanical failure.
Controlling Moisture Deters Mold Growth
Mold growth in attics can be due to lack of moisture control and poor ventilation.
Water leaks, showers, cooking, all these things can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture the air in your home can hold depends upon the temperature. The warmer the air, the more moisture stays in the air. The lower the temperature, the less moisture is in the air.
At any temperature level, moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow, which becomes the perfect habitat for mold growth.
So how do you begin to control moisture in your home? According to the EPA, the following steps can be taken to keep moisture – and subsequently mold – at bay:
Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
Place a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.
Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure fans are vented to the outside, and not the attic.
Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates.
Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Insulate storm windows and open doors between rooms to circulate warm air. Using fans and moving furniture away from wall corners can help increase air circulation.
Be careful of carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In some climates it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier over the concrete.
While these tips may help control moisture in your home, it may not guarantee the complete prevention of mold growth. If you do suspect mold, have your home tested, and make sure a professional takes care of remediation safely and properly.
Be Prepared For Coastal Flooding
The New Jersey coastline is particularly vulnerable to ocean storm surge.
The Jersey Shore is particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding during hurricanes and nor'easters. The safest step to take is to evacuate to higher ground.
However, if you must shelter in place, much of the evacuation protocol applies in moving valuables and furniture to a higher floor and removing loose items, but now you, your loved ones and any pets must move to a higher floor. What is paramount is creating the conditions to endure the next few days with increased discomfort, and accepting the limited availability of rescue and medical services.
- It is recommended to keep at least 3-days of food and water. Any food you keep should be non-perishable, such as canned and dry goods (e.g., soups, cereals, protein bars);
- It may be dangerous to use a gas stove, or you may not have access to a working gas or electric one, you can use the following alternatives:
- Camp stoves (outdoor use only)
- Charcoal grills (outdoor use only)
- If you have access to a refrigerator, be sparing in its use to help keep the cold circulating. If the temperature rises above 40°F, bacteria will thrive—rendering any refrigerated food inedible;
- Any food that has been left at room temperature for over two hours or has had contact with contaminated flood water should be discarded.
- Keep a fresh supply of bottled water of the commercial variety. If you need to use containers, use food-grade water storage containers. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they will dehydrate you;
- If you run out or need to treat possibly contaminated water, boil it, chlorinate it, or use distillation methods before use.
Further tips and information can be found here.
Enduring and surviving a flood can be a harrowing experience. There’s much preparedness that is required for living in flood-prone areas. With the right information helpfully provided on Ready.gov and the FEMA sites, you can find strategies and tips, so you can direct your energies to help and comfort for your loved ones.
Once the flood waters subside, you know you can count on SERVPRO to assist with the cleanup and speed up the return to normalcy.
Hot Water Heaters: What to Know
Homeowners should be aware of hot water heater maintenance and replacement.
Water heaters are one of those appliances that you use frequently, but always seem to forget they’re around. Oftentimes homeowners are surprised in the middle of the night or after coming back from vacation to find water everywhere. A broken water heater can leave over 50+ gallons of water all over your house, depending on how big it is.
How can you tell if it’s time to change your water heater? There are definitely signs.
- On average, your gas hot water heater should last anywhere between 8 to 12 years, while an electric model will last a bit longer at 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is getting up in years, it may be time to replace it before it breaks.
- Tinted water coming from your hot water tap means there may be rust in your water heater, which is a possible indicator your hot water heater is showing signs of wear and may start to leak.
- Gurgling or popping noises coming from your water heater are caused by the buildup of hard water sediment heating up and exploding inside your water heater tank.
- Look around the base of your hot water heater for dampness. This may be a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
- If you have no hot water while using your hot water tap, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be checked out.
- If you see a puddle around the base of your hot water heater, immediate action should be taken to replace it.
Remember, prevention and being prepared could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. But if you need us, the professionals of SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch are available 24/7/365, and will have your home cleaned up and restored “Like it never even happened.”
More Than Remediation
Clean air ducts are important for maintaining good air quality.
Did you know that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch offers more than water and fire cleanup and remediation? We offer a host of cleaning services for our commercial clients who don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils their office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of regular janitorial staff, can call SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, our commercial clients can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best!
Among the services we offer our commercial clients are:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Biohazard and Sewage
- Trauma and Crime Scene
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Drapes and Blinds
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
Beware of the Flood
This restaurant in Monmouth Beach was almost submerged from a storm surge and tidal flooding during a hurricane.
It's February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.
We’ve all seen the footage and images from the most recent wave of deadly hurricanes, the destruction wrought by storm surges that fill residential streets. Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began.
“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters. What follows are some helpful tips and suggestions:
For Your Home
- Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone. If so an early measure to take is to seek out a flood insurance policy that works for you. Having flood insurance will help cover the cost of any repairs once waters subsides. Flood insurance is available for renters and business owners as well and forms and information can be acquired through the National Flood Insurance Program;
- Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines. Frequent flooding requires frequent fixes so stockpile emergency building materials, such as wood, nails, etc.;
- Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You can find ready step-by-step fixes on most websites or purchase sealants to fill cracks and openings. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational. It may also be in your best interest to have a battery-operated sump pump if you lack a system or there is a power failure;
- Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.
If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, make sure you contact the pros from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch. They will be able to fix your home "Like it never even happened."
Winter is the Biggest Season for Home Fires
Home fires occur in winter more than any other season.
Did you know that, the threat of a home catching on fire is the greatest during the winter months? Half of ALL heating home fires occur during the months of December, January and February. One in Seven home fires is a result of malfunctioning or misused heating equipment.
There are several tips to keep your home safe while keeping warm during the winter.
- Have your fireplace, heating vents and dryer vents inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
- If you use your fireplace, make sure you clean after every use. Dispose of ashes correctly by placing them in a metal can at least ten feet from the house.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
- If portable generators are needed, keep them outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home. Make sure someone is home to supervise.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
These are simple but effective steps to take to safeguard your home against fire. But should you ever need us, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can clean fire, smoke and soot damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Why Bleach Isn’t an Effective Mold Remover
Mold can grow anywhere, but is most prevalent where there is leaking water, moisture and poor ventilation.
Most households have a bottle of chlorine bleach on hand that is designated for a host of uses such as cleaning, laundry or a disinfectant. This bleach is a combination of hypochlorite, chlorine and water.
As a disinfectant, chlorine bleach will kill many household molds, but not all of them. This is the reason that bleach is not recommended in removing mold from walls According to the Harvard School of Public Health, bleach will only kill 50% of mold growth on surfaces such as wallboard (sheet rock, plaster, etc.).
It can also be considered a dangerous substance if not used correctly.
This is why it is so important to leave mold remediation to professionals, who have the proper tools and products to remove mold. Attempting to remove mold yourself may result in mold spores being released and finding a foothold elsewhere in the home. Also cleaning agents will not effectively remove all the mold. In most cases anything affected such as the sheet rock, insulation, carpeting or carpet padding must be cut out and/or removed.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified and trained technicians who know how to properly clean and remove mold from your home safely and effectively. If you suspect you have a mold problem give us a call at 732-578-9888.