Recent Posts

SERVPRO Knows How to Remove Mold

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a problem that can affect every home, and may be present even before it becomes visible.

In order for mold to take hold, environment needs to be rich in food sources (like cardboard, wood, dust, paper, etc.), little air movement and humid and moist temperatures. Basements, garages and bathrooms are prime places mold growth can occur.

The issue is most people are completely unaware there could be mold hidden behind sheet rock or in their insulation. In many cases you can smell mold in the air long before you ever see signs of a mold problem. Many times your wall or floor may look dry on the surface, but moisture can be trapped underneath.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has technicians who are certified and trained in discovering hidden mold and removal.

Hidden mold is often discovered during a water loss restoration, when sheet rock or flooring is too wet to dry with our special equipment and must be removed. Once that is done, often mold will be visible growing on stud beams, inside the sheet rock or on insulation. Homeowners may not even know it’s a problem.

Thankfully, once discovered by our technicians, mold removal and cleaning is easy to accomplish. Again, SERVPRO has special equipment and procedures to remediate mold and make sure your home is safe, the dangerous mold is removed and your home is left “Like it never even happened.”

How to Prevent Water Damage: Everyday Tips and DIY Tricks

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can be unpredictable. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent it. In fact, it can be quite easy to make sure your plumbing and HVAC systems are in good working order.

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we’re proud to be leaders in cleaning and restoration services here in this community. Our team of advanced technicians has all the specialized knowledge, training, and equipment necessary to handle any size disaster.  But rather than cleanup after a disaster, we’d like to help you prevent major damage from occurring in the first place.  

Here are some ways you can prevent water damage on a day-today basis, both when you’re at home and traveling away for an extended period:

Everyday Water Damage Prevention Tips

If you’re careful about what goes down your drains, you can help prevent cracks and damage to your pipes that might otherwise lead to leaks and water problems.

  • Be careful what goes down your toilet. It’s a good idea to flush only human waste and toilet paper. Note: even “flushable” wipes can clog toilet drains, especially in bulk.
  • Make sure not to pour grease or coffee grounds down drains as these can clog pipes and sewer lines.
  • If you have a drain clog, try using a drain snake rather than a chemical cleaner as a snake is typically both more effective and less potentially hazardous.

DIY Water Damage Preventative Maintenance

Here are some easy DIY steps you can take to inspect and maintain your water supply.  If you do notice signs of wear and tear or incorrect operations, be sure to call professional services soon before a small problem turns into a major home disaster.

  • Clean your gutters regularly once a year and be sure to check them after heavy storms to make sure water is flowing properly.
  • Once a year, make sure to visually inspect your plumbing - including any toilets, sinks, tubs, washing machines, or dishwashers – and look for any signs of damage or leaking.
  • Flush your sinks with baking soda and vinegar to help prevent clogs. You can use lemon juice to eliminate any odors.
  • Consider investing in a sump pump in case of flooding and be sure to check it regularly to make sure it is in good working order.

Pay attention to your water bill each month. An unexpected increase may indicate that water is leaking somewhere.

Water Damage Prevention When Traveling

If you’ll be traveling away on vacation, here are steps you can take before you leave to help prevent any water problems while you’re away.

  • Adjust your HVAC settings to a low setting or turn them off completely if possible.
  • Consider turning off your water supply and draining your pipes.
  • Ask a neighbor to check on your house every few days to make sure there aren’t any developing problems.

While it’s not always possible to prevent water damage, these tips can help minimize your chances of having to deal with a major water-related emergency. And if something should happen, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is available 24/7 to help deal with any size water damage problem, large or small.

What to Do About Commercial Property Leaks

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage caused by leaky pipes can cause severe property losses for local businesses. Whether the water is slowly seeping from a loose fitting or is suddenly gushing from a burst frozen pipe, commercial property leaks can prove disastrous for the overall local economy.

The good new is: many types of leaking water damage are covered by commercial property insurance policies.  Unfortunately, not all leaks are covered.  So, it’s good to know how to be prepared.

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we know how important it is to keep local businesses up and running. That’s why we’re trusted by so many business owners in this community to help deal with water damage and restoration issues.

To help you understand how to deal with leaks at your commercial property, here’s a helpful guide explaining what kinds of water leaks are typically covered by commercial property insurance policies, and what kinds of leaks are not:

Covered

  1. Sudden Events

If a leak is caused by a pipe or other appliance, such as a water heater, that suddenly breaks, any damage to your commercial property will likely be covered under your insurance policy.

Note: commercial property policies generally don’t cover damage resulting from a backed-up drain, sewer or sump pump. However, it is often possible to purchase additional sewer backup coverage if you are concerned about that issue.

  1. Fire System Damage

While commercial property policies generally won’t cover the repair costs to most broken appliances, they often will cover the cost to replace or repair any damaged parts of a fire protective system, such as a sprinkler. 

  1. Building Restoration

Most water pipes are hidden inside walls, ceilings, and floors, so when a leak occurs, it will often be necessary to tear out a piece of the building in order to repair the pipe.

The good news is, many commercial property insurance policies will cover the costs to restore those parts of the building that had to be removed in order to repair the leak.

Not Covered

  1. Slow Leaks

Many commercial property insurance policies will not cover damage caused by water that has been leaking continuously for 2 weeks or more.

For this reason, it’s important to be proactive about maintenance and vigilance regarding potential leaks.  Sometimes a leak can be so slow that no harmful damage occurs until months have passed, so you need to be on the lookout for even the smallest indications of a leak.

  1. Frozen Pipe Leaks

It’s common for many insurance policies to contain a “freezing” exclusion so that any damage caused by a frozen appliance or liquids that freeze will not be covered.

However, there are often exceptions.  For example, if you can demonstrate that you did your best to maintain adequate heat in the building, if the frozen pipe was caused, say, by a sudden power outage, you may still be able to qualify for coverage.

If the worst should happen and you do need water damage restoration, we can help you ASAP. Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we pride ourselves on being “faster to any disaster” with the best technicians and equipment to restore local businesses in this community. We’ll even help work with your insurance provider.

Keep Your Home Safe From Mold

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Most homes have basements, attics, crawl spaces or garages that provide habitats for mold. All that is needed is a dark, damp, warm environment. If you have water damage, water leaks, a leaky roof, a washing machine that overflows frequently or any other chronic water/moisture issue, mold can take a toehold and thrive.

sometimes water damage can lurk behind walls where it is not apparent. SERVPRO professionals can use a moisture meter and infrared cameras see if anything is leaking.

So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold on two fronts -- removal and prevention:

Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.

Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Throw out all wet, moldy tiles and carpeting.

Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you're cooking or in the bathroom when you're bathing.

In the summer use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.

In the winter, add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.

If you suspect or see mold anywhere in your home, get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help, and dust samples from your carpet can show whether mold spores are in your home. If you DO have mold, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, and our certified experts will put a remediation plan in place to get rid of it.

SERVPRO Can Help After a Fire  

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO Can Help After a Fire    While we unfortunately can't do anything for the structure that is gone, SERVPRO CAN remediate and clean the surrounding structures.

Having a fire in your home is a devastating and traumatic experience. No matter how small, soot, smoke and ash can creep into every crevice of your home, leaving a fine film over surfaces, ash everywhere and a lingering odor.

Having a fire in a structure next to your home can be just as devastating, as fire may destroy siding, smoke and ash may enter your home and water used to put out the fire next door can also affect rooms in your home as well. It can be just as traumatic not knowing what to do or whom to turn to.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help. We have certified, experienced and professional technicians who will come to clean and deodorize – finding every place soot and odor can hide. We are also experts in content cleaning like furniture and have services that can clean documents, photos, artwork, rugs and window treatments. We can also tarp your home where damage has occurred or board up windows and doors if needed.

Whether you experience a fire in your home or are affected by one next to you, remember that SERVPRO is here to help, and truly can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke is Sneaky - It Gets Everywhere

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage from a fire, no matter how large or small, can be devastating. Oftentimes smoke damage can be long lasting  because the odor soaks into every surface including walls, furniture, window treatments, flooring, and wall studs.

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.

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. 

Knowing what type of smoke has affected your home is also important.

  • Wet smoke- Plastics and Synthetics
  • Dry smoke- Paper and Wood
  • Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
  • Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs

Because we are experts in dealing with fires, we know how to clean it professionally and completely. It is important to understand why you need to call us in the event of a fire, no matter how large or small. The professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will help get you back to your lives and jobs as soon as possible, making it “Like it never even happened.”

Coastal Storms Pose Flood Dangers

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Living in a flood-prone area such as the Jersey Shore, being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself in case of the inevitable storm surge. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you can endure rising waters. 

Obtain Flood Insurance - most of the area we live in is considered a flood plain.

Elevate Your Property - some shore towns are now requiring it, so make sure you know what you need to do.

Waterproofing - it is not too difficult to have a company come and waterproof your basement - especially if groundwater is a constant problem.

You also 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 decide to stay in the home during a storm with potential flooding, there a re a few things to keep in mind.

Food:

  • 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);
  • 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.

Water:

  • Keep a fresh supply of bottled water. 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.

Once the flood waters subside, you know you can count on SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to assist with the cleanup and speed up the return to normalcy.

What to Do If Your Business Is Damaged by Fire

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

If you’re dealing with fire damage to your business, you may be wondering what you’re supposed to do next.

The good new is: fire damage doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. According to statistics from FEMA, more than half of all businesses do re-open after disaster[1], and for many businesses, fire damage can become an opportunity to emerge stronger -- just like the mythical phoenix who rises from the ashes.

If you too want to rise above a fire disaster, here’s a simplified step-by-step guide for what to do when your business gets damaged by fire:

Call for Professional Cleanup & Restoration Services ASAP

When disaster strikes, you will want to call for professional help immediately. Once you are dealing with the aftermath, things can get very overwhelming, and knowing what steps to take can be elusive. 

This is why calling in the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can be the best move at this critical time.

Figure out who is responsible. 

Many factors will come into play, including whether you own or lease the building, who or what caused the fire, and how much insurance coverage you have. (Note: some insurance policies only cover the contents of your building, not all the materials actually used to construct your business.)

In many instances, you will need to wait until investigations have been completed by the local fire or police departments and/or your insurance provider.  Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open for information and additional instructions.

Make sure to salvage and safeguard all you can.

If the fire has destroyed windows, doors, walls, or your roof, you will need to act quickly to salvage and safeguard any property you can.

Any large holes in your structure should be patched to prevent further damage and minimize the risk of vandalism.  This is another reason it’s so important to call for professional cleaning and restoration help as quickly as is possible.

Contact your business stakeholders.

Your next step will be contacting everyone who may be affected by the fire damage. This includes any employees, business partners, or investors.  It also includes your customers – make sure to communicate the news about what has happened and tell them about your plans to emerge stronger.  Making this open declaration can help your own motivation in such a difficult circumstance!

Also, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent ASAP.  Some claims may require an inspection or consultation, and you’ll wanted to get the process started as soon as you can.

In most instances SERVPRO is able to help manage your insurance process and paperwork.

Make sure your documents are in order.

The insurance company will require documentation about your losses, so be sure to gather up your statements and receipts.

Another good tip is to take photos or video footage of the damage, even just using a smartphone.  This can be used as evidence for the extent of your losses.

Get back to business as usual.

Once you call fire damage restoration experts, they will be able to assist you in repairing not only damage from fire and smoke, but also any water damage that may have occurred during the firefighting efforts.

The experts of SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch are specially trained to mitigate any damage and oversee the entire restoration process, getting you back to business as quickly as we can.

10 Things you need to know about mold

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

One of the biggest concerns for local residents is mold. Do I have mold? Is it bad? Are my kids safe? 

Here are 10 basic things you need to know about mold:

  1. Mold can cause health effects.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate ALL mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Cleaning mold jis difficult - calling a specialist is best. 
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e. basements) unless well ventilated.
  10. Mold IS everywhere and depending on the right environment, can grow and thrive. Food sources include wood, paper, carpet, and foods. Not all mold is a potential health threat, but knowing the difference is key.

Knowing the facts is the best way to prevent a potential mold problem. The BEST step is hiring a licensed professional to test and then have SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch do the remediation. Our 50 years of experience counts when it comes to removing mold from your home. Call us today.

The Unpredictable Month of March

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

March can be the most unpredictable month of the year. Last year in  New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, in less than two weeks! Or it can be mild, with spring-like weather leading into April.

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. Winter storms can be any of a combination of snow, wind or rain, and can result in flooding, wind driven snow drifts and icy roads.

The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, and know what to do in case an unexpected storm hits your area.

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 adjustor to check on the state of the damage and determine payments for repairs.

Take Photos

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.

Restore

When a severe winter storm hits, it’s a good idea to call for professional restoration services as quickly as you can.

Your restoration services will begin with the basic tasks of inspecting your property and securing it to make sure it is safe.  The damaged area will then be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and restored as soon as possible so you can hurry up and get back to normal life.

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.

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 and are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.