SERVPRO Is Here to Help You Clean Up After Smoke Damage
Soot and fire extinguisher dust will cover every surface and is usually difficult to clean.
Smoke damage can make your home a dirty, smell mess. Whether you’ve suffered a major fire catastrophe or had smoke damage accumulate from the presence of fire in your home, you want to start cleaning up smoke stains as soon as you can in order to prevent permanent damage.
Our team at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has seen our share of fire incidents as Professional Cleaning and Restoration Leaders in this community so, we know what smoke damage can do to a home.
Make Sure the Area is Safe
If your incident was a small kitchen grease fire, there is probably minimal risk. However, if fire burned through a significant section of your home, you want to be sure the area you enter is structurally sounds and cleared by officials before anyone can attempt to start fixing it.
Dispose of Everything that Can’t Be Salvaged
The first step of the cleaning process is to get rid of everything that can’t be saved.
Be especially wary of food that may have been contaminated, plastics that may have melted, or materials that are too stained to be cleaned.
Vacuum Up Debris
We have specialized equipment to clean up debris.
Soot is greasy, it is best to wait for a professional to clean soot-stained surfaces and making a bigger mess.
Clean up Odors
You can clean some fabric and upholstery yourself that may have avoided smoke stains may still have absorbed odors.
If you have fabrics that are dry clean only, be sure to take them to a dry cleaner that specializes in smoke removal or fire treatment.
For fabrics that can go in a washing machine, add a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda to your regular load to clean the smoke damage. A mixture of white vinegar and baking soda can also be used to spot clean carpeting and upholstery.
Even after a full cleaning, there may still be some lingering stains and odors. To mitigate this, we use a sealing primer.
We use specialized sealers for different surfaces. For example, on painted walls, we use a stain concealing primer followed by a topcoat of latex paint. For wooden surfaces, we use a sealer designed specifically for wood or particleboard.
If you need professional assistance in cleaning up after a fire incident, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help. Our specialized technicians have the advanced training and equipment needed to clean and restore your property, helping you get your life and property back to normal ASAP.
5 Things You Must Do Immediately After Storm Damage
Storm damage can happen any time of year, (although during the winter, the effects of storm damage can be particularly brutal.) Your home may suffer roof damage that might ruin the structural integrity of your home and cause leaking. Strong winds might cause fragile trees to collapse.
At SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we’re committed to help keeping this community safe. We understand how challenging it can be to deal with storm damage. As a leader in the restoration industry, we’ve been helping homes and businesses in this area for over 10 years. We have the advanced training and equipment needed to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
When you’re dealing with storm damage, it’s important to act quickly to minimize problems. Here are 5 things you should do immediately in the wake of storm damage:
Winter storms can quickly create hazardous conditions, such as collapsing roofs or damage to your windows and/or walls. Leaking can cause water damage that can ruin carpeting, furniture, and building materials, leading to an environment full of potential dangers.
While it can be tempting to want to rush in and save what you can – don’t forget that your first priority is to stay safe!
Be sure to shut off the main gas line if you smell gas, and be on the lookout for slippery surfaces, exposed nails, broken glass, and other possible hazards. I you decide to enter the affected area, you’ll probably want to wear protective clothing and slip-resistant shoes. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may even be necessary to arrange an alternate place to be while your property is being restored.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can to notify them of the damage. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to check on the state of the damage and determine payments for repairs.
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch will work with your insurance provider to help you process the claim. Just let us know when you call!
If it is safe to move around or near the affected area, try to photograph the damage so that you have an additional record of evidence for your insurance company. This can help make sure you will be fully compensated.
No fancy camera required – taking photos with your cellphone will be just fine.
Check if You Qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance
Depending on the severity of the storm, the federal government may have declared your property to qualify for disaster relief assistance. You may be eligible for aid or a low-cost loan for restorations
When a severe storm hits, it’s a good idea to call for professional restoration services as quickly as you can. The longer standing water is left untreated and damage is not addressed, the more restoration work may be needed and the chance of cost increases may occur.
Why SERVPRO Can Help with Water Damage – Even When It’s Not Obvious What / Where the Problem Is
SERVPRO has special equipment to help see moisture even when its not outwardly visible
Sometimes water damage and its source are easy to identify – for example when a pipe bursts or a major storm causes flooding. But sometimes the problem can be more subtle…and that can actually lead to more damage over the long-term if you don’t recognize a problem before it becomes a potential disaster.
If you’re concerned there may be a water problem in your home or business, here are 5 common but not-so-obvious signs to look out for:
If you see pale yellow or brown stains on your ceilings, wall, or floors, that may indicate the presence of a slow but steady leak.
Many times, water stains will form directly under the water source. However, sometimes water will run along wire, pipes or other materials and then drip and cause stains far from the source. Make sure you figure out the cause of the water damage you see.
Mold grows where there is sufficient wetness for it to thrive, so if you have a mold problem, there’s a water problem.
Sometimes materials in your home will become mold infested if they’ve become wet and have never been able to dry sufficiently. This can happen to fabric, wood, insulation, and perhaps even your floors, ceilings, or walls.
A musty smell can be one of the first signs of a water problem, even if you can’t yet see any leaks.
Be on the lookout for any sudden changes in odor. Take note if it gets worse after a rainstorm or while you’re taking a shower or running the dishwasher.
Weak Wall, Floors, or Ceilings
Water will weaken your building materials. You might notice that your walls are becoming more soft or “spongey”, your floors might be bowing, there may be a crack in your ceiling or a bubble in your wall paper.
A sudden large leak might cause a major, obvious problem, but if the leak is slow these issues might come on gradually over weeks or months. The sooner you notice, the sooner you can address the root cause.
Higher Utility Bills
If you have a sudden and unexpected surge in your utility bill, that might be an indication of a water problem.
While slight fluctuations month to month are normal, be on the lookout for a sudden rise in the water bill, especially if there’s no corresponding increase in your sewer rates. If there isn’t a reason you can think of why your water bill might be high this month, it may be that there’s a water damage issue.
Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we know just how disastrous water damage can be to a home or business. That’s why we’re passionate about helping the people in this community do what they can to prevent water damage before it becomes a major issue.
But IF you have water damage – even just minor damage – SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch can help you identify and address the source of the problem and ensure that it won’t turn into an expensive catastrophe for your home or business.
Is Your Water Bill is Too High?
It can be normal for your water bill to fluctuate from month to month - you may be watering your lawn more in the Spring or Summer, or doing extra laundry if you have guests visiting. As long as you know why your water bill is higher, there shouldn't be any cause for alarm. However, sometimes you may notice an unexpected large increase…and that could be a sign of water damage
To help you prevent severe water damage to your property, here are 4 common kinds of leaks to look out for that may be causing your water bill to be too high:
A leaky faucet may just release a few drops of water, but if you wind up with a severe leak you could be wasting as much as 20 gallons of water every day. That’s why it’s important to check each faucet to make sure there are no visible signs of a leak.
One way to check is by placing an empty cup underneath the faucet and making sure no water collects. You’ll also want to take a look at the piping in the cabinets underneath the sink, and don’t forget to check your outside hoses and water sources as well!
Plumbing leaks can sometimes be difficult to detect as many of your pipes may be hidden behind walls or above the ceiling. Still, you can at least make sure to check all the visible fittings and fixtures for any signs of damage or leaking.
As for your hidden pipes, you can pay attention to the ceiling and walls themselves. If you notice any signs of discoloration, deterioration, or mold, that can be a clue to the source of the problem.
A continuously running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water every day and cause your water bill to soar.
One easy way to check if you have a leak is to dispense a few drops of food dye into the tank of your toilet. If you see the color start to come into the bowl, that’s a sign of a potentially bad leak.
Purification Systems / Water Softeners
If you use a water softener or purification system, that could be the cause of your bill increase. These systems tend to produce more waste water than other plumbing systems.
If you water bill is suddenly high, you want to make sure that these systems are working correctly and not producing excessive water waste.
Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we are available 24/7 and can be at your home quickly to help you if you do have water damage. Our local team is made up of the best advanced technicians with the training and equipment needed to handle any size disaster.
Carpet Drying after Flooding and/or Water Damage
If your business has been damaged by flooding or a water leak, the carpeting may be a soggy, water-logged mess. And because most business flooring IS carpeting, this can create a major issue.
The main concern is to dry the carpeting quickly in order to prevent damage to walls, sub-flooring, and other structural elements of your building. The good news is: the drying process is one you can often start on your own almost immediately after the incident! Just remember that calling in professionals like SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will ensure your office will be back in sooner rather than later (or never).
Here’s how to START the drying process in order to prevent further damage:
Identify and Stop the Source of the Water Problem
The first step in saving your carpeting is to identify the source of your water problem and do your best to stop it, or at least to lessen it.
Remove Any Standing and/or Excess Water
Once there’s no more water coming in, your next step is to start to remove any standing or excess water. Either renting a pump from your local hardware store or using a wet/dry shop vac will work.
Separate the Soaked Carpeting from the Floor
Once you’ve removed most of the water, if possible, separate the carpet off from the floor.
Begin along a wall, pulling away from the tack strips and moving across the room. Be careful not to use too much force in handling your carpeting, as wet carpeting is more fragile than normal and more likely to tear.
Bring In Professional Restoration Services
In order to thoroughly dry and clean any flooring and/or carpeting, you’ll want to consider calling for the help of a professional restoration service provider.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch are IICRC certified for all types of restoration, and will make sure every surface is dried out, cleaned and remediated professionally, and will take the necessary steps to
– helping homes and business deal with water damage that’s gone beyond their control. We have all the necessary training and equipment to quickly and efficiently dry your wet carpeting, limiting your risk of mold/bacteria exposure and increasing the chances of saving your carpeting.
- Dry the area, including affected walls.
- Clean the floor and sub-flooring.
- Clean and/or replace the carpeting.
- Check and remediate for mold if necessary.
SERVPRO Wants to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Storms
Because weather can be so volatile, especially with the upcoming hurricane season, it’s important be prepared in advance. Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we’ve seen firsthand how destructive storm damage can be, and we want to make sure everyone in this community knows what they can do before, during, and after a storm to help protect your family and your property in case of a storm emergency.
Here’s a helpful guide so you can be prepared when a storm is in the forecast:
- Make sure you’re ready with a Disaster Preparation Plan. Determine a meeting place away from your home or commercial building and plan escape routes from each room. Practice the plan with everyone, so there won’t be any question what to do in an emergency.
- Put together an Emergency Supply Kit. Some good items to include are water, non-perishable food, extra medications, a flashlight, batteries, copies of your personal documents, a blanket, a first aid kit, and cash.
- Check that your home or commercial building is in good condition to withstand a strong storm. Check your roof now for loose shingles and make sure your doors, windows, and basement are waterproof.
- During a storm, make sure all the windows and doors have been securely shut. Keep away from windows in case the glass should break and shatter. If the storm is severe, you may want to stay in the basement if you have one, or an interior room.
- If you go outside, be careful of moving water, because just a few inches of rapidly flowing water can be enough to sweep a person off their feet. If you can, try to stay on higher ground and keep away from low lying areas where deep flooding is more likely.
- Once the storm is over, make sure everyone is ok and start to check your property for any damage. Don’t forget the maxim “Safety First” as flooding can cause potential hazards, including risks of falling, contamination, and electrocution.
- Make a list of any lost or damaged items, and take photos to document the extent of the damage.
Don’t forget, any storm can happen suddenly, so now is the best time to plan and act. And, if you do require emergency flood repair or water damage restoration, rest assured that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is always here to help. We’re known for being “faster to any disaster” with the advanced technicians and equipment needed to restore your property so that it’s like new. We can even help you work with your insurance provider.
5 Tips to Keep Your Energy Costs Down and Your Home Safe from Damage as Temperatures Rise
Summer is a great time for family activities around the house, but it can also be a time of skyrocketing energy costs and potential home & health hazard.
Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we want to make sure everyone in this community stays safe and is able to enjoy the Summer while protecting your home and property values. As leading Cleanup & Restoration experts in this local area, we want to help you with this simple Summer checklist.
Here are 5 tips to keep your family protected and your home safe as the days get longer and temperatures continue to rise:
How to Keep A/C Costs Low
One of the best ways to keep your air conditioning costs down is to plan for regular maintenance. It’s a good idea to have a central HVAC unit serviced at least once a year, and make sure to replace or at least clean your filters before the new summer season gets into full swing.
Another useful tip is to not run your air conditioner on high when you’re not at home. Set your thermostat a couple of degrees higher anytime you’ll be out for more than an hour. You can set it back down once you return.
How to Grill Safely
Summertime grilling is a favorite way to spend quality time for families across the country. Unfortunately, it is also a leading cause of fires and fire damage.
Here are a few guidelines for safe grilling:
- Make sure the grill is clean and in good working order before you use it.
- Keep a bottle of water and a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Place your grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any other flammable structure.
How to Prevent Water Damage
Warmer weather is also the season for sprinklers, hoses, and other outdoor water faucets.
You want to be diligent to make sure these water systems aren’t leaking, as leaks can lead to significant water damage. Look for signs of corrosion, wear and tear, or other damage to the various parts. Also, be on the lookout for any puddles or pools of water that may have formed across the water line.
How to Prevent Mold Growth
The potential for mold growth increases as the weather gets more humid. Mold grows where there’s moisture, so be on the lookout for standing water or extensive condensation.
If you discover a small section of mold (less than 10 sq. ft.) it is probably safe to clean it yourself with a solution of one-part water to one-part bleach. If in doubt, however, you can always call for help from a professional service provider like SERVPRO.
Pay Attention to Your Attic and Basement
While you may now be spending more time outdoors, don’t forget to keep tabs on what’s going on inside your house as well, especially in the attic and basement.
If you notice signs of discoloration or deterioration, these may be signs of a water or mold problem. Catching these problems early is the best way to keep costs down.
Maintenance and prevention are the best ways to prepare for a safe Summer. If, however, a problem should arise, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is always here to help with any clean-up or restoration project large or small. We have the all the advanced training and equipment needed to deal with home damage of all kinds.
What You Need to Know About Commercial & Large Loss Fire Damage Restoration
A large-loss fire presents unique challenges for a business that needs to emerge from the ashes stronger than ever. A fire is not only devastating to a business’s physical building, it can also be emotionally devastating to the owners, employees, and loyal clients and customers of the business.
Because of this, handling a large-loss fire restoration project is not only about restoring a piece of commercial property to its pre-fire condition, it also requires sensitivity to the long-term, deep needs of those most affected by the fire.
Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we have the advanced training, specialized equipment, and expertise to help your business in all aspects of the restoration process. Our elite large-loss specialists are strategically trained and positioned to be able to respond to any size disaster, no matter how large. Every large-loss project is supervised by a specially designated manager who ensures that the restoration process happens as quickly as possible with effective, responsive communication among everyone involved.
If your business suffers a major loss due to fire, here are 6 key steps to the restoration process that you can anticipate:
Making the Call
The first point of contact happens when we get the call about your fire damage restoration needs.
During the initial stages, we want to gather as much information as we can about the fire and your needs: When and where was the fire? What kind of fire was it? How much of your business property has been affected? The better we understand the scope of your needs right from the start, the more efficiently we can move forward.
Next, we will conduct an on-site inspection to assess the extent of the damage and prepare for next steps.
Typically, this occurs after the fire department has cleared the fire and secured the property. Oftentimes, the efforts to put out the fire can cause an additional set of problems (i.e. water damage). In this stage, we work to determine the exact scope and timeline of the project and how much demolition and/or reconstruction may be necessary. Sometimes we may have to temporarily board-up open spaces and introduce temporary supports to maintain the structural stability of your building.
Typically, the next step is to remove and pack up anything in the building that has been affected by the fire to try to restore what can be salvaged off-site.
Estimate & Restoration Work
Once we have an idea of the scope of your project, we can offer you an estimate, sign all the necessary paperwork, and finally get started on the restoration work.
Though demolition and/or reconstruction may be necessary in the case of major fire loss, some areas of your business property may just require smoke, ash, and water damage restoration. Wall and carpeting may require professional deep cleaning to restore them to their pre-fire condition.
Whatever the scope of your project, the manager we assign to your restoration will make sure to facilitate frequent communication that includes you, your insurance company, and all the members of the teams assigned to your project.
Constant, consistent communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and making progress. We want to make sure any of your questions are addressed at any stage of the project. Our goal is full transparency, so you know just what will be done, when, and why.
Finishing Touches & Walk-Through
Once the major work of reconstruction and restoration is complete, the last step is often to clean the air ducts and HVAC system to remove the last traces of soot and contamination. Also, it is now time for any property that had been removed for restoration or safe-keeping to be returned to where it belongs.
If your commercial property has suffered a large loss due to fire, call us here at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch anytime.
SERVPRO Wants to Help You Prevent Summertime Fires
Summertime is the season for backyard barbecues, fireworks, and time spent enjoying the outdoors, maybe even sitting around a fire pit. This means there’s also an increased potential for a fire emergency.
Here’s a guide that can help keep your home and/or local business safe from fires this summer:
Practice Grill Safety
It’s a good practice to make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from the house and any other structures or objects that could potentially catch on fire. Be wary of any overhanging tree branches!
Regularly clean the grill and remove any grease build up. Also, always make sure you have water and a fire extinguisher nearby when you’re grilling, just in case
Monitor Your Air Conditioning
Air conditioning, fans, and other cooling equipment are a frequent cause of summertime fires. Typically, they occur from electrical or mechanical failures.
One way to make sure your equipment is in good working condition is to schedule regular maintenance. You can also make sure to change the filter and remove any dirt or debris.
In order to prevent overuse, try turning your air conditioner off during peak hours. You can also adjust your thermostat when you leave for more than one hour to maximize efficiency.
Check Your Lawnmower
Don’t let a faulty lawn mower be the cause of a fire!
Be sure to check the engine, mufflers, and cutting blades and keep your machine clean and well maintained. If your lawn mower overheats, wait for it to cool down before trying to refuel it.
Be Cautious with Fireworks
If you live somewhere where fireworks are legal, they can add some extra pizzazz to your summer parties. Just be sure to use them with caution!
Make sure to follow all the local laws, and heed any warnings or instructions that come with your fireworks. Make sure to keep your fireworks at a safe distance away from people, buildings, and any flammable objects.
And always keep a bucket of water on hand, just in case!
These summertime fire prevention tips can go a long way to keeping you safe. However, if you still do experience a fire accident, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch can help you take the right steps to get your home or business back in shape. We often even can help you work with your insurance company.
SERVPRO Can Help with Your Commercial Loss
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has been the cleanup and restoration leader in this community for over 10 years. We’ve helped many business owners deal with the aftermath of a water or fire disaster and make sure they are up and running for business again as soon as possible. We know how important it is to be prepared so you can deal with the cleanup process ASAP and get back to serving your customers.
To help you understand what to expect from the cleanup process, here’s a step-by-step guide:
Create a Safety Zone
During any restoration process, it may be necessary to establish a safety perimeter, especially around standing equipment and removed building materials.
Remove Any Non-Salvageable Items
Our SERVPRO team of restoration professionals is committed to salvaging and repairing as much as possible.
In particular, items like carpeting or wooden furniture that can become saturated with contaminated water may not be safe to try to repair. When this happens, these non-salvageable items will be properly bagged and removed from the area for safe disposal.
Once the affected area has been cleared out, next it is time to clean and disinfect.
The specific cleanup process will vary depending on the nature of the accident, but in all circumstances, a commercial-grade disinfectant will be used to thoroughly sanitize the area and prevent any further issues.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to seal-up certain surfaces in order to remedy odors and stains.
It is common for drywall to need to be repaired. Other surfaces that may need sealing might include plaster, concrete, or certain wooden surfaces.
Once your damaged property has been thoroughly cleaned and sealed up, it will be time to start the restoration and reconstruction process.
Maybe it’s just your floor that needs to be restored, or maybe there’s a whole section of a building that needs to be reconstructed. Whatever the size of the problem, you can rest assured that our professionals of SERVPRO will be able to handle it. In fact, we pride ourselves on being “faster to any size disaster.”