Fire Damage? Why You Should Call Restoration Experts ASAP
If you’ve just suffered fire damage to your home, the aftermath can feel overwhelming. You may feel tempted to hole yourself up some place far away and safe, putting off the stress of dealing with the whole restoration process.
While this reaction is understandable, you should know that if fire restoration gets postponed, the extent of the destruction and damage to your home can grow even worse than it already is. The longer you wait, the more repairs you will probably need – and the more money it will undoubtedly cost you in the long run.
However, if you make restoration a priority, you can probably avoid many long-term issues and expensive repairs.
Here are some steps you can take to get your home -- and your life -- back to normal as quickly as possible:
Contact Fire Damage Restoration Experts ASAP
In order to reduce the risk of increasing damage to your home, it is essential to bring in help from licensed fire damage restoration professionals. Everyone’s situation is different, but here are some of the steps they are likely to help you with, making your safety and the protection of your valuables their number one priority:
- Salvaging as many of your personal belongings as possible, making sure they will be safe for future use (this includes furniture, appliances, other electronics, etc.)
- Documenting everything temporarily removed from the premises, either through written records or photographs.
- Performing any needed restoration services from the fire (here in NJ near to the shore, fire damage is also often accompanied by water damage – which the professional can also help you address).
- Returning and re-installing the belongings that were saved.
- Working as quickly and carefully as possible to get you and your family back living in your home, keeping in contact to make sure you aren’t experiencing any continuing issues.
Be on the Lookout for Prolonged Smoke Damage
Fire damage can be tricky to assess, because while some signs of damage are obvious (wall discolorations and smoke stains on surfaces), there are some instances of prolonged smoke damage that stay hidden and can go unnoticed, until they start causing problems.
For example, it is common for ash and soot to become trapped in vents or in the spaces between your walls. You fire damage restoration experts should make sure to check your HVAC system, attic, basement, and exterior walls to ensure that all contaminants are removed and cleaned. They should also keep in touch after the cleaning is done, to ensure there are no lingering issues.
Prepare for Fall's Storms
Here in Monmouth County, NJ, we often enjoy a beautiful fall season spent outdoors, enjoying time with friends and family in our backyard and weekends walking along the beach, no longer crowded with summer revelers.
Unfortunately, this season can also bring potentially dangerous weather conditions in the form of nor'easter storms that can wreak havoc for homeowners. In order to minimize any damage to your home and property, here are some steps you can take now to help prepare for when the next storm hits:
Trim Large and/or Dying Trees
Some of the worst damage that can happen to a home during a major storm is the result of falling trees.
While the weather is nice, make sure to inspect all your shrubs and trees and remove any branches that may come crashing into your home.
Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean
When leaves fall it is especially important to keep your gutters clean of leaves and debris. This not only helps protect your siding and landscaping, it can also help prevent costly water damage to your foundation.
Make sure to inspect where the downspout meets the gutter system as this is a spot where clogs frequently occur.
Secure Your Outdoor Furniture
If the weather is still nice, you may still have your patio or deck set up. Before the storm hits, make sure you have tightly secured any furniture using heavy duty chains or wires to connect your furniture to stakes. Or, try tying multiple pieces of furniture together with bungee cords so that their combined mass and weight can function like a natural anchor.
If you have the space, another good option is to bring the furniture inside until after the storm has passed.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
If you’re wondering what you should have in your survival kit, here are the 15 minimum supplies recommended by the American Red Cross:
- Non-Perishable Food
- Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
- First Aid Kit
- Multi-Purpose Tool
- Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
- Copies of Personal Documents
- Cell Phones & Chargers
- Emergency & Family Contact Info
- Area Maps
Know Your Evacuation Plan
Lastly, in case the storm turns out to be severe, make sure you have a safe place to take shelter. Communicate with your family and make a plan well in advance so everyone is prepared.
If your home is damaged by a storm, call the restoration professionals of SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch as soon as you can. A quick response helps to minimize and prevent further damage, reducing you costs. We have the specialized expertise and equipment to help you quickly dry and restore your home to its pre-storm condition.
A Simple Step-By-Step Guide for Dealing with Water Damage
It’s a homeowner’s nightmare: water damage. An extensive water problem in your home can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, serious problems – like mold growth – can begin within 24 hours, so it’s important to assess your situation and act quickly.
If you’re staring at a pool of water in your home and wondering what to do next, here’s a guide to help you start getting everything back to normal.
Call for Professional Water Damage Restoration Services ASAP
The simple fact is, the quicker you bring in professional help, the better your chances of minimizing the long-term damages and costs.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Once help is on the way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your water damage will be covered.
Typically, a sudden major flooding event (like bursting pipes) is more likely to be covered than a long slow leak. You’ll want to act fast in order to make a claim. It’s also a good idea to take photos to document the evidence.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can help you manage the insurance paperwork process – just ask!
Remove Any Items You Can
When you’re dealing with water damage, remember: safety first.
“Slip and fall” accidents and electrical hazards can be common in water damage situations, so only perform those clean-up activities you know to be safe.
If it is safe to do so, remove any items you can from the affected area. It’s a good idea to gather any loose items from the floor, especially colored rugs, or other colored materials that might leave a stain. Prioritize the removal of any valuables as well as any wet items like cushions or upholstery that can be taken out to dry.
Remember: water-logged materials can be very heavy, so make sure to be safe and handle them carefully!
Dry Out the Damaged Area
If it is safe, start drying out the wet area.
Mops and buckets can be useful to remove excess water quickly. Also wipe down any wood or porous objects that may be more sensitive to water damage. Open windows and doors to allow maximum air circulation.
Also, if you have access to electricity, run an air conditioner and/or fans on high and use a dehumidifier. While a wet-dry vac can be a useful tool to deal with minor flooding, NEVER use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess water.
Remember: if there are any electrical hazard concerns, do NOT attempt to use any appliances.
Disinfect Damaged Surfaces
Once you’ve removed excess water, you can start to disinfect the damaged area to clean-up and prevent further mold growth and other contamination.
A simple cleaning solution is one-part household bleach to one-part water. Just lightly spray and wipe down any affected non-porous surfaces.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is a locally owned and operated organization of highly trained technicians with the expertise and advanced technological equipment needed to clean-up and repair your water damage fast. We’re ready to respond to your emergency situation immediately, and we will oversee and document the entire process until your home is fully restored.
What to Do When Sewage Backs Up in Your Home
A sewage backup can be a homeowner’s nightmare.
Having to deal with a disgusting mess and the damage to items in your home are often just the start of the problems. If the backup is severe enough, you may have to keep out of your house until the damage restoration is complete. There are also potential serious health risks from the contamination. And don’t forget about the potential major hit to your wallet, especially if you have to pay not only for restoration services but for replacements of ruined furniture and appliances too.
In order to protect your home, it’s good to know some preventive measures you can take, as well as the best steps to follow right after a sewage backup to mitigate the damage.
To save yourself and your home from a sewage backup, here’s some advice to keep in mind:
- Keep your drains clear of clogging. Don’t flush items down your toilet that can cause build up in the pipes, such as diapers, sanitary napkins, or thick waste. Also, don’t get rid of grease down the sink, as grease can harden within the pipes and then collect other waste, creating a major clog.
- Conduct regular inspections of all the pipes and valves in your home and make sure they are well maintained.
- Don’t plant trees too close to the sewer lines, as over time the roots can grow and damage the pipes.
- Keep a working sump-pump on hand, just in case.
If a sewage backup does happen, you may be able to limit the damage considerably if you take the following steps:
- Call for professional sewage cleanup and restoration services ASAP. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely deal with the hazards of unsanitary sewage water, and the quicker you enlist help, the better you can contain this emergency situation.
- Put on protective clothing, such as gloves, rubber boots, and protection for your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Open windows to allow air circulation and remove any fumes.
- Use your sump pump to remove excess water.
- If it is safe, shut off the power. But if you have any doubts, don’t touch electrical equipment.
- Discard any soaked, dirty items and debris. Try to remove unaffected valuables from the premises to keep them safe.
- Scrub any items that have been only slightly affected with an antibacterial soap and water then let them air dry.
- Try adding a small amount of chlorine bleach to standing water to help disinfection.
To keep safe, here’s a list of things you should NOT do:
- DON’T attempt any cleaning measures if you have the slightest doubt about sanitation. Remember: safety first.
- DON’T attempt to flush toilets or drain sinks and tubs. Wait for the professionals to inspect, sanitize, and restore your plumbing before you use your water system again.
- DON’T use harsh chemical to try to unclog the drains. You don’t want to cause further damage to your pipes. This is why professionals have special training and cleaning solutions.
- DON’T let children or pets near the affected areas until your house been thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and restored.
If you are dealing with sewage backup, SERVPRO’s specially trained technicians are here to help. Call us 24/7 at 732-858-5422.
4 Tips for Cleaning Your Commercial Property After Water Damage
If you own commercial property, you know that water damage can be horribly bad for business. It can ruin your assets and disrupt the flow of transactions and productivity that keep your business growing. Whether you own an office building, a retail store, a restaurant, or even a manufacturing plant, whatever the size of your business, you need to get back to “business as usual” as soon as you can.
If your commercial property has been struck by water damage, you’ll want to act quickly in order to minimize any losses. Time is of the essence when it comes to salvaging what you own. Unfortunately, expensive items, like furniture and electronics, are often the most prone to be ruined by water damage, so you’ll want to do as much as you can and bring in assistance as quickly as you can to reduce the long-term costs.
If you’re dealing with water damage to your business, here are 4 tips that can help you deal with the problem and minimize the extent of the damage:
Cut the Power and Remove Any Salvageable Large Items
The first thing you must remember is the truism: safety first.
If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity, and focus on removing valuable assets from the affected area. You might be able to salvage area rugs and carpeting if they are removed and dried quickly. The same is true for electronics, furniture, and other important movable items you need for your business.
Remove as Much Water as You Can
There are multiple methods for removing water. A sump pump can be an effective tool for removing lots of water and can sometimes even be rented from a nearby hardware store if you don’t have one on hand. If It is possible to safely access an electrical outlet that is far enough away from the water, you might also be able to use a wet/dry vacuum.
If need be, manual methods of water removal can work. Buckets, mops and towels can be safe and effective, especially if the water damage is contained to a delimited area.
Your professional cleaning and restoration services provider will be able to bring industrial grade tools and expert techniques to clean up your water damage, so if your problem is extensive, you will want their help as soon as possible.
Allow for Ventilation and Drying
Once you’ve cleared out as much standing water as you can, you want to speed up the drying process as much as possible.
Open any doors or windows to allow maximum ventilation. If you have access to electricity, you can also use fans and/or a dehumidifier. Turn them up to the highest possible setting for the quickest results.
Clean and Disinfect
Once the water has dried out, use a disinfectant to clean the affected area and get rid of any bacteria contamination.
Make sure to wear protective clothing and use a 10% bleach solution or other proven disinfectant on areas where it is safe to do so.
You want to prevent any contamination from spreading and affecting other areas of your business property. This includes odor control and the prevention of mold growth.
If your business requires emergency professional cleaning and restoration services, your local SERVPRO experts are here to help. We have the professional training, skills, and equipment to respond to any size water damage problem and restore you back to business fast. You can reach SERVPRO of Eatontown/ Long Branch anytime 24/7 at 732-858-5422.
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