Storms During the Colder Months
This summer and fall were unusually wet and cold. Even though the winter weather is not reliably predicted yet, whether or not we have a mild winter or one filled with blizzards and nor'easters, you should always prepare your home for the worst.
Preparing now may affect the impact that powerful storms and weather systems can do to property.
Keep Drains and Gutters Clear
Clear leaves from your gutters and rake leaves away from your foundation.
The same applies for snow. Break up any piles of snow that may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing, which will block any drains.
Another tactic to aid with drainage is to consult with a landscaping service to design your property to move water away from your home, and have plantings to prevent soil erosion.
Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps
As it gets colder and wetter, any roof leaks could be a potential disaster, as the entry point may freezes and re-freeze, making the gap expand and allow more water in.
Windows can also be a source for leaks. It may take time to locate where water is coming in–you may have to check for cold air as well. Once you find it, you’ll have to caulk around where the break is.
Clear Away Sick Trees and Loose Branches
Poor drainage, combined with sick, old or damaged trees may result in downed trees during a storm - which results in uprooted trees. These may fall or lean on power lines and homes.
If you have trees on your property it would be in your best interest to hire an arborist or tree service to check your tree’s health. Most branches and fallen trees were weak and sick before a storm, and only needed the right gust to send branches flying and trunks to topple.
Maintain your trees and keep them trimmed and healthy.
Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards and costly. Staying several steps ahead of the damage caused by wind, rain, ice and snow can make for a safe and secure rest of the year.
Remember, should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up.
Why SERVPRO is Your Best Restoration Service Provider when Burst Frozen Pipes Cause Water Damage
Burst frozen pipes can be any property owner’s worst winter nightmare. Even a small amount of leaking water can cause significant water damage in just a short period of time.
If your home or business has been unfortunate enough to have burst frozen pipes, it’s understandable if you’re feeling stressed out and confused as to what you should do. We’d like to tell you why SERVPRO can be the best restoration service provider to fix your water damage problem.
We’re a locally owned and operated company with some of the most highly trained and certified water restoration technicians in the country. We offer 24-hour emergency service, and we have the advanced water inspection, extraction, and drying equipment necessary to restore your property quickly.
We know that dealing with water damage requires immediate action in order to minimize the damage, so it’s best if you have a plan of action. We’d like to share some water damage tips with you so that you can be prepared if you ever have to deal with burst frozen pipes.
REMEMBER: your first priority is always safety first.
If it is safe to do so, try to determine the exact source of the water problem and cut off the water and electricity supply to that area. You want to minimize the damage as much as possible.
If you find any carpeting, rugs, drywall, ceiling, or tile that is saturated, you need to call a professional restoration service provider as soon as you can.
Remove What You Can
When you’re dealing with water damage, you need to remove items to a safe dry location. However, it is an unfortunate reality that in this situation certain items may be beyond saving or easier to just replace rather than try to salvage. Here at SERVPRO, we always try to salvage as much as possible and can help you determine the best course of action.
If it is safe to remove potentially salvageable items from the affected area, be sure to take the right precautions. Remember that your belongings will be much heavier if they’re soaked – you don’t want to attempt to lift something too heavy and injur yourself.
If you’re dealing with water damage, you want to dry out the area as thoroughly and as quickly as possible. This is why water damage typically requires professional equipment and training.
Pro tip: although it may seem tempting, DO NOT use a household vacuum cleaner to clean-up water damage. Any significant damage will require professional grade equipment to be both safe and effective.
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has helped hundreds of both commercial and residential customers in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Mercer Counties. If you ever have burst frozen pipes, we’ll be there ASAP to minimize the water damage and get you back to normal soon. We can even help work with your insurance company.
You can call us anytime 24/7 at 732-858-5196
Mold growth is NOT a new subject. In fact, many commercial structures end up closing their doors to business for months due to mold contamination. That is why in any large facility the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus.
Most mold growth is discovered after we get called to remediate a water issue, and we discover it growing behind removed material such as sheet rock, sink vanities, cabinetry, etc. In many instances, the mold growth has gone undetected for months, if not years.
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 as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots.
- 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 also an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your 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.
Why SERVPRO is a Trusted Leader in Fire Damage Restoration
If your home or business has been damaged by fire, you’re undoubtedly feeling stressed and may be confused as to what you should do next. We’d like to tell you why SERVPRO can be your best choice for help.
We’re your local neighborhood experts in fire damage restoration. Our company is owned and operated by proud members of this community. We’re also part of a nation-wide network of franchises with specialized Disaster Recovery Teams located strategically across the country to handle large-scale fire catastrophes.
We understand that dealing with fire damage is a stressful, high pressure situation, and it’s best if you have a guide for action. We’d like to share with you this essential, step-by-step action plan – even if you don’t need it now, it’s always best to be prepared.
Wait Before You Re-Enter
Even if it seems safe again, you should wait until a fire professional gives you the go-ahead before you re-enter your building.
Your property may look okay from the outside, but it is possible the structure could be unstable, and the fire may not yet be completely smothered. In order to keep safe, it is always best to wait until the authorities determine the area is secure for re-entry.
Make Important Phone Calls
If fire has damaged your home or business, you will want to call close family and friends or business stakeholders to inform them about the situation.
You’ll also want to call your insurance company. They can help you arrange temporary shelter and walk you through next steps. Let them know you’ve enlisted the help of professional restoration services and any information you may have about your situation.
Remember to Get a Copy of the Fire Report
In the rush of things to do and calls to make, don’t forget to call the fire department to find out how you can obtain a copy of the fire report.
The fire report will not only provide official documentation regarding the fire event, it should also cover the condition of your property.
Make Sure Your Property is Secure
In order to prevent further accidents or theft, make sure your property is secured.
This could include boarding up windows or doors or making sure structural supports are added to your building. Your insurance provider may require this and will let you know what you need to have done.
Begin the Process to Replace Valuable Documents
You may have lost valuable documents in the fire, such as credit cards, your driver’s license, or other important identification papers.
Even if documents weren’t destroyed by the fire, they may have become lost or ruined in the confusion of the catastrophe. Best to take stock now of what you might need replaced. For example, if any of your credit cards are missing, you should cancel them now.
Start the Clean-Up Process
One reason why SERVPRO is such a trusted leader in the restoration industry is because of our dedication to responding immediately when you need restoration and clean-up help. We’re known to be “faster to any size disaster.”
The truth is: the quicker the response time, the better when it comes to minimizing damage and keeping costs low.
As elite fire and water damage experts, we have the specialized training and advanced equipment to handle any of your clean-up or restoration needs, from fire restoration to odor control to soot-stained upholstery cleaning to water damage restoration from the effects of the fire hoses on your property. We like to prioritize restoring before replacing, in order to get you back to your pre-fire life as quickly and with as little disruption as possible.
Just call us anytime at 732-858-5196
Is Your Hot Water Heater Leaking? Here’s What to Do.
Finding out that your hot water heater is leaking is never a pleasant experience. But this minor emergency doesn’t have to become a major disaster.
Here’s a list of steps you can take to minimize the damage from a leaking heater:
Confirm that it is, in fact, your water heater that’s leaking.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving. If you see a puddle of water under your hot water heater, it’s obvious why your first thought would be a heater leak. But that may, in fact, not be the problem.
If it’s a small puddle, your first step should be to clean-up the water an inspect the heater. Do you see any wet fittings or other signs of leakage from the tank itself? Check your surroundings for other water sources? Maybe there’s a nearby window or pipe that is the actual source of the water you see. Don’t forget about the effect of gravity! If your floor slopes, the water may have traveled from a different source point to the place where it ultimately pooled.
Turn off the water.
If you do have a leaking water heater, the next recommended step is to turn off the water.
Your hot water heater should have its own shut off valve.
If your valve is broken, you may need to shut off the water to your home. If you need assistance, reach out to your local expert professionals.
Cut the power.
Whether you have a gas or electrically powered water heater, your next step is to shut off the fuel source that powers your heater.
A gas tank should have its own dedicated shut-off gas valve. You want to make sure the gas is off so your heater will be safe to work with. If you have an electric tank, you can shut off the power at the breaker.
Try to determine the location and cause of the leak.
Now that the water and power are off, you will be in a better position to assess your situation and try to determine the location and course of your leak:
Check the pipes that connect to your heater for any loose fittings. This may just require quick tightening with a wrench.
- Check your pressure relief valve. If the temperature or pressure is too high, this could be causing valve leaks. Your water heater should be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure shouldn’t be over 80 PSI.
- Check the drain valve to make sure it doesn’t need replacing.
- Check the bottom of the water heater itself -- it may be that the tank itself is cracked and needs to be replaced.
If you determine that it is your tank that is leaking and the leak is serious, you may want to drain the tank to minimize further water damage.
Hopefully, the leak from your hot water heater hasn’t caused too much water damage. But if you need professional assistance, the restoration pros at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch are here to help. We’re equipped to handle any size water damage restoration needed for either residential or commercial buildings.
Just call us any time 24/7 at 732-858-5422
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
This summer at the Jersey Shore was one of the wettest, most humid summers in recent memory. We all had our air conditioners running 24/7 to keep the humidity at bay. Running into the fall season, it is important to remember that indoor air quality is important to our overall health and well-being.
We talk a lot about mold,but mold is not the only the only potential pollutant that may be damaging your indoor air quality. Other sources of indoor air pollution include:
- Smoke from cigarettes, chimneys, fireplaces, etc.
- Construction Materials
- Carbon Monoxide
How to Improve the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home
If you suspect your home may be contaminated by any indoor pollutants, there are three strategies you should follow to improve the indoor air quality of your home.
- Remove the Source of the Air Pollution
In many cases, you will want to hire a professional cleanup and restoration services provider such as SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to safely assess your particular situation and make sure the problem is thoroughly fixed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Make Improvements to Your Ventilation System
Proper ventilation is necessary for good indoor air quality.
The EPA recommends increasing the amount of outdoor air coming indoors whether it’s through natural ventilation (such as opening windows and doors), mechanical ventilation (for example through a well-functioning HVAC system), or through infiltration (the process by which outdoor air enters your home through cracks and openings in the window casings, walls, floors, etc.).
- Use an Air Cleaner
There are many air cleaners on the market today from small, inexpensive table units to extensive house-wide systems.
The effectiveness of your air cleaner will depend on how well it collects the pollutants from your indoor air and how much air it draws through its cleaning element. You can learn more about air cleaners here: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/ventilation/whole-house-ventilation
If you’re concerned about mold or other potential pollutants in your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch. We are highly trained, certified remediation and restoration specialists who can quickly get your home back to normal.
Sewage Back Ups Need Immediate Attention
Dealing with a water mishap is devastating enough, but dealing with a sewage backup is even worse.
Sewage is considered blackwater, which is waste water contaminated with human waste, flood water, or water contaminated with chemicals. Unlike clean water, which is floodwater that does not pose an immediate health threat, sewage leaves contaminants on every surface it touches. This can lead to potential serious health risks.
Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive, and must be cleaned and mitigated immediately. Because of the unsanitary conditions of the water, items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater can cause illness in both humans and pets.
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.
Calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is the best step you can take to make you’re your home or business is mitigated and restored correctly and safely. And because we are open 24/7, we can be at your door immediately, day or night. Our technicians are experienced and trained to know exactly how to handle any situation and will be able to get your home or business back to normal.
Halloween Fires Can be Scary so Be Prepared
Halloween is almost here. It is a time of fun and festivities for children and adults alike, including decorating the house, dressing up in costumes, going out trick-or-treating, and attending spook-filled parties. But don’t forget about Halloween fire prevention!
Unfortunately, many of the favorite activities associated with Halloween can also be serious fire hazards, especially if precautions aren’t taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween fires are responsible for $13 million in property damage every year, in addition to risks of injury and death.
In order to make sure you and your family stay safe, make sure to follow these Halloween fire prevention tips:
Consider Costume Length and Materials.
Dressing up can be one of the most fun activities associated with Halloween. Unfortunately, some costume can be fire hazards.
Look for costumes that are made of flame-retardant materials.
Avoid long-trailing costumes or outfits that are oversized and bulky.
Pay Attention to Decoration Locations.
Jack-o-lanterns and other candlelit decorations are always popular on Halloween. However, if you use real candles for these decorations, it is important to keep them in a safe location. Make sure they remain at least three feet away from people and things that could accidentally ignite.
Similarly, corn stalks, hay bales, and paper decorations need to remain at least three feet away from any heat source or flame. Flammable decorations that are too close to a light bulb or heater may start a fire.
Make sure no Halloween decorations are blocking your exits. If you need to escape quickly, you will want all paths out the house to be clear and easily accessible.
Choose an Alternative Light Source.
One of the best ways to keep safe on Halloween is to use battery operated lights or glow sticks instead of open flames.
If you and your family are going out trick-or-treating, be sure to carry a flashlight. Make sure it is bright enough so that you can see any potential fire hazards and so that others can see you and the full extent of your costumes.
Practice “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.
Advise young children to keep far enough away from any decorations that may have candles. And make sure they know to “stop, drop, and roll” if their costumes should catch on fire.
Check Your Fire Alarms.
October is Fire Prevention Month, so make sure to double check that your fire alarms are working properly, just in case.
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.