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Better to Prepare and Prevent

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements
  • Windows/doors
  • Crawl spaces
What you need to look for:
  • Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
  • Visible mold growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
  • Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
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.

Mold in Schools

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Skin irritation (rash or itching)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Watery, reddened, or burning eyes
  • Fatigue

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:

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide

http://www.ncef.org/pubs/mold.pdf

Groundwater Basement Flooding 

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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
  • Sealant
  • Landscape slope
  • Irrigation

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.

Smoke 101

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke 101 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:

Content Cleaning

  • 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.

Deodorization

  • 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

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.