If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (732) 578-9888

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Damage

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage Water damage in residential home.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 732-578-9888

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

·        Your name and contact information

·        Your insurance information (if applicable)

·        The street address of the water-damaged home or business

·        When did the flooding or water damage occur?

·        What caused the water damage (if known)?

·        Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch

SERVPRO of [Eatontown/Long Branch specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

We are cleaning experts!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO staff cleaning a commercial loss. SERVPRO Team cleaning a commercial building

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

· Kitchen/Food Areas

· Bathrooms

· Schools/Classrooms

· Offices

· Retail Spaces

· Water Fountains

· Shelving/Racks

· Sales Counters

· Carpets and Rugs

· Stair Handrails

· Elevator Cars

· Playground Equipment

· Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch 732-578-9888

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

We Are Cleaning Experts

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of Coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the Coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call us today for an estimate or proactive cleaning today.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

A Water Damage Timeline

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Living on the Jersey Shore, it's inevitable that there will be some sort of water event (groundwater, nor'easter, etc.) at some point during the year. Depending on your actual location, and how much water is flowing and how fast and/or how forcefully, water damage can begin occurring almost immediately.

Unfortunately, the longer water sits, the more time it has to cause even further damage. Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, insects, or other contaminants. 

This is why it’s important to dry everything as quickly as possible in order to minimize the long-term damage.  

 In Minutes…

    1. Water can soak into paper and cardboard, ruining them beyond repair
    2. Water can cause stains and other noticeable surface level damage to furniture, carpeting, ceilings, and walls
    3. Water can cause electricity-powered devices to short out

 In Hours….

    1. Walls and furniture made of composite materials can start to dissolve
    2. Carpet padding can start to fall apart, and carpet backing can become weakened
    3. Items made of unfinished wood can start to swell
    4. Upholstery and fabrics can develop stains
    5. Musty odors can start to develop

 In Days….

    1. Structural beams can start to swell and warp
    2. Carpets and fabrics can start to dissolve
    3. Mold can start growing

 In Weeks…

    1. Wood floors and furniture can start to swell, warp, and dissolve
    2. Mold can grow to the extent that it poses a severe health risk
    3. The structural support of your home can become so weakened that it is now unsafe

 Taking care of the problem early will eliminate the need for very costly remediation later. Make sure you make the call to the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch as soon and as quickly as possible. Most water damage is covered by insurance, and we will work directly with your insurance company to make the process less stressful, simple and seamless.

What To Do With Contents After a Fire

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fires are devastating. If contents aren't destroyed by flames, they can be rendered useless by smoke and soot.

Four items you should definitely throw away:

  • Food Exposed to Fire and Heat - any foods that come contact with the flames, smoke, high heat, including foods stored in the refrigerator or freezer. 
  • Fabrics 
  • Mattresses
  • Medicine and Cosmetics
  • Electric Appliances

Three examples of items that can often be salvaged after a fire.  

Hardwood - unless there is extreme burning or charring, use an oil soap made especially for wood to clean off stains. 

Glass - if it doesn’t melt, try cleaning it with white vinegar or dish soap. You can also try to soak it in vinegar and baking soda.

Metal - use vinegar or dish soap and then try to gently sand and paint the metal.

Note: never try to keep items that may be melted, charred, or rendered structurally unsafe. 

If you need help trying to salvage and/or restore your property and belongings after a fire, our team of experts here at SERVPRO  of Eatontown/Long Branch is close by and ready to help!  Whatever the size of your fire damage, we have the know-how, training, and tools to help you deal with it and move forward.

Prepare for Flash Floods: Your Guide to Stay Safe and Clean Up Effectively

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flash floods can be devastating and dangerous, and oftentimes there is no warning.

As a leader in cleanup and restoration services in the Eatontown / Long Branch area, our team here at SERVPRO has seen how damaging a flash flood can be. We want to help make sure everyone in this community will be prepared.

Causes of Flash Floods

Flash floods typically happen when there’s a sudden storm, and the ground soil can’t absorb all the water that’s quickly streaming in.

The most common causes of flash flooding include:

  • Rain for an extended time (e.g. during a tropical storm or hurricane)
  • Sudden heavy rain in a short time span
  • Dam failures
  • Rapid thawing of snow build-up
  • Overflow in man-made sewers and storm drains

Flash Flood Safety

It’s important to understand the difference between a flood warning and a flood watch:

  • Flood Warning – a flood is expected within 30 minutes to an hour
  • Flood Watch – the conditions are right for a flood, and you should continually check to see if a Flood Warning develops

If a flood warning is issued, you probably won’t have much time to take action, so it’s important to be prepared and know what to do:

  1. Pay attention to instructions from local authorities – there may be a mandatory evacuation or a recommended evacuation to designated shelters or areas. 
  2. Protect your home – if there is no need to evacuate, be sure to secure your home by closing all windows and doors and staying up high away from possible flooding.
  3. Pay attention to water sources – if you find yourself near any bodies of water, from oceans to rivers to lakes to streams, keep a close eye on water levels and be prepared to leave if necessary. Storm drains or drainage ditches could also cause problems.
  4. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas – many flood-related deaths are the result of people who are trapped in the cars or swept away by the flood waters. 

Flash Flood Cleanup

To cleanup after a flash flood, you want to make sure to remove all the water and dry the affected area as quickly as possible. Whether you hire professional cleanup and restoration services or can manage the cleanup work yourself, the process typically involves the following steps:

  • Removing all standing water
  • Properly disposing damaged materials
  • Quick-as-possible drying and dehumidifying
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Rebuilding and restoring

After a flash flood, it’s important to dry the affected area as soon as possible in order to minimize the extent of the water damage. This is why many people turn to experts like SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, as we guarantee fast, thorough cleanups with our expertly trained technicians and advanced professional-grade equipment. We’ll even help you work with your insurance.

Commercial Biohazard Cleanup

3/7/2020 (Permalink)

Accidents can happen at any moment at your business or commercial property. When the accident involves biohazards, you have to be extra cautious to make sure everything is cleaned up and restored properly.

A biohazard is defined as “a biological agent or condition that is a hazard to humans or the environment.” Some biohazards include pathogens such as MRSA or hepatitis that are known to be highly infectious. Because of the health risks, you should never attempt to cleanup biohazards on your own.

While every situation is different, there are several steps that are common to most biohazard cleanups. Here’s what you can expect if you’re in need of biohazard cleanup.

Safety Protocols

Before beginning any cleanup, the professionals will establish proper safety protocols. Sometimes an area might need to be quarantined with bio-tape and plastic sheeting. It’s important to follow the right safety measures to prevent further contamination.

Discarding Contaminated Items

Biohazard cleanup includes the removal of any contaminated items or materials from the scene that can’t be salvaged. Items are typically secured in specialized biohazard bags before being removed from the premises.

Sanitization

Disinfection is often done in multiple steps using several different commercial or hospital-grade cleaners that have proven to be effective and safe for biohazard cleanup. Deodorizers are also used to keep odors from developing as time passes.

Safe Disposal of Biohazards

After everything is disinfected, it will be time to systematically take down any quarantine structures and materials that may have been used.

In order to prevent contamination, any of the items that may have been exposed to biohazards are disposed according to established government regulations and industry standard best practices.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified professionals that have training for biohazard cleanup. SERVPRO also has specialized equipment that is necessary to properly clean up biohazards and prevent the risk of further contamination.

If you require help with biohazard cleanup and restoration for your business or commercial property, just call our team and we will be there "Faster to any disaster."

5 of the Most Important Winter Fire Safety Tips You Need to Know

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

These are the days of the year when we expect temperatures to remain chilly if not freezing, and it’s common for use multiple heating sources to keep your house warm. Unfortunately, that means it’s also a time when there’s a greater risk of fire damage.

Too many homes suffer from fire damage that could have been prevented with just a little foresight and planning. In order to help you keep your family safe from fire during the cold weather days, here are 5 of the most important Winter Fire Safety Tips you should act on:

Check Your Smoke Alarms

Ideally, you would have checked your smoke alarm batteries when the clocks changed. But now is the season when it might actually make a difference, so make sure that your batteries are good for the winter.

Also, there should be smoke alarms in every bedroom plus the kitchen and laundry room at bare minimum. Make sure you have enough smoke alarms strategically placed all around your home.

Inspect Your Chimney

If you use a fireplace, you should know that they can produce creosote, which is a flammable substance.

If your family likes to light fires in the fireplace, you should get an annual chimney inspection to ensure there are no fire hazards.

And don’t forget to use dry, seasoned wood, which will give you bright flames with less smoke. Excess smoke could lead to smoke damage.

Always Use a Screen for Your Fireplace

Whether you prefer a metal screen or a screen of tempered glass, you want to make sure to protect against any sparks that might otherwise stray from the fireplace.

Even with a screen in place, be sure to keep curious children and pets safely away from the fireplace. Also, any potentially flammable fabrics or materials should be kept at least three feet away from a lit fire.

Maintain Your Furnace

Typically, it’s a good idea to invest in an annual inspection from a professional. They can check your system for the signs of wear and tear or potential damage that could lead to furnace problems.

Use Candles and Space Heaters with Caution

Candle create a lovely atmosphere and may even provide extra light on the darkest of days. Make sure, however, they are placed securely where they won’t get knocked over, as well as safe out of the reach of young children and pets.

And don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room!

Similarly, with space heaters, you want to make sure to keep sufficient clear space around them (typically at least 3 feet all the way around) to prevent a potential fire hazard. Make sure the heater you use has an automatic shut-off switch so that its internal mechanisms won’t overheat.

And make sure to turn it off before you go to sleep or move to a different room!

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we have a strong track record of protecting the people and properties of this community from the horrifying effects of fire damage. We’re known not only for our reliability and expertise as a professional restoration and cleaning services provider, but people love us for our friendly customer service too.

For help with Fire Damage cleanup and restoration, you can give us a call any time 24/7.

March Is a Tricky Time of Year

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

March is always a tricky time of year, it is far enough removed from the cold winter temperatures, but not close enough to spring that we are not out of the woods for winter storms, either nor’easters or blizzards.

In 2019, the beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms in less than two weeks, one accompanied by a full moon which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns.

Actually, two of the three most expansive, heaviest Northeast snowstorms since the mid-1950s have happened in March, rather than the core winter months of December, January or February.

According to The Weather Channel, they are:

Superstorm 1993 (Mar. 12-14)           

Blizzard of 1960 (Mar 2-5)      

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared. As we have mentioned before, there are many things you can do to make sure you are ready for any major storm:

  • Trim Large and/or Dying Trees
  • Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean
  • Know Your Evacuation Plan
  • Put Together an Emergency Kit
    • Water
    • Non-Perishable Food
    • Flashlight
    • Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
    • Batteries
    • First Aid Kit
    • Medications
    • Multi-Purpose Tool
    • Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
    • Copies of Personal Documents
    • Cell Phones & Chargers
    • Emergency & Family Contact Info
    • Cash
    • Blanket
    • Area Maps     

Being prepared may minimize your damage, but you many still need some help should you have water or ice damage. The experts at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between and we have experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Why Commercial Losses Differ From Residential Losses

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine coming to work on a Monday morning, only to find that the sink in the kitchen is broken and has been leaking water all weekend, leaving your office a wet, soggy mess!

While any loss can be devastating, there are things that make cleaning a commercial loss different than a residential one, the main one being that a commercial water or fire loss can create a loss of business as well. 

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available, and is equipped to handle any size loss. Our IICRC certified technicians are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.The sooner we arrive the sooner mitigation can begin and the sooner you can get back to business.

So when an emergency situation arises in your business, make sure you call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

How You Can Prevent 5 of the Most Common Causes of Winter Storm Damage

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Here in New Jersey, we know all about the common winter storm cycle where ice and snow start to melt on slightly warmer days, only to be replaced by more ice and snow when temperatures drop below freezing again. Unfortunately, this cycle can lead to significant damage to your property and belongings.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch wants to help prevent major winter storm damage by taking proper precautions to keep your property safe. A little knowledge and preparation can go a long way to keep you safe this winter.

Here are 5 of the most common causes of winter storm damage and what you can do to avoid a potential catastrophe. 

Frozen Pipes that Burst

One of the horror stories that’s common in winter is pipes that freeze and burst. Even a small crack in a pipe (especially if it goes unnoticed!) can lead to significant leaking and damage. Making sure your pipes are correctly wrapped and insulated will make a huge difference when the temperature drops.

Ice Dams

Ice dams happen when snow that builds up on your rooftop goes through a repeated process of melting and freezing, often as a result of the rising and setting sun. When it’s in liquid state, water can seep under your shingles, and once that water freezes again, it can lift up and damage your shingles.

One of the best ways to prevent ice dams is to pay attention to your roof and make sure snow is swept away before it can build up. Be attentive of any signs of stress or damage to your shingles, and be sure to repair shingles ASAP.

Damage to Your Roof

Ice dams aren’t the only threat to your roof this winter. Heavy winds and continuous pelting from snow and ice can damage roofs, especially if/when they repeat over time.

Older roofs are often most susceptible to winter storm damage, so it’s important to make sure to perform routine maintenance on your roof to make sure it’s ready to last another winter. Pay special attention to your shingles and decking - you might even look for signs of water damage to your ceiling as evidence of a problem to the roof above.

Flooding from Melting Snow & Ice

Though melting snow and ice are often considered most problematic in springtime as temperatures thaw, melting can happen anytime temperatures start to rise.

Water can enter into your basement if there are cracks or other damage to your foundation walls or seams. Be on the lookout for signs of water damage to your basement or crawlspace when snow and ice are melting. 

Leaking

Leaks are probably the most common cause of winter storm damage, as they can happen anywhere your home has been damaged or otherwise compromised.

Although the most common leaks are through damaged roofs and foundations, they also frequently happen from gutters, windows, and doors. Make sure to pay attention to the caulking and seals around any entrance points to make sure no leaking will be allowed in.

If you’re dealing with major damage from a winter storm, our team here at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch is on call 24/7. We’re your local community experts in cleanup and restoration with all the specialized training and equipment needed to restore your property ASAP.

Mold Myths

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is one of those words that triggers an alarm - its dangerous and will create health problems are two of the most troubling concerns.

When suspected mold is discovered, it is best left to the professionals to remediate, simply because there are too many variables and mold is tricky. It is also because there are many "untruths" about mold:

Myth 1.)  “All Mold is Dangerous and Unhealthy”

In fact, some kinds of mold make human life better.  Just think of the life saving benefits of penicillin or the delicious taste of bleu cheese on a salad.  These all come from mold.

While it’s true that some molds do cause health problems, the effects of mold on people can vary dramatically from person to person.  Some molds produce allergens that can make life miserable for people sensitive to this allergy, and people with compromised immune systems are also often at greater risk to become sick from repeated mold exposure.

Myth 2.)  “Bleach Kills All Mold Growth”

Many people when they discover mold in their homes immediately reach for the bleach and assume this will solve the problem.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Bleach may kill certain kinds of mold growth, especially on non-porous surfaces.  But bleach has not been proven to be effective on all kinds of mold, and it frequently doesn’t work so well on porous materials such as wood.

In addition, the amount of bleach that may be needed to clean-up a mold problem may in turn pose its own health risks.

Myth 3.)  “If There’s Just a Little Mold, You Don’t Have to Worry”

Many people believe that if they see jut a little mold, they don’t have to worry about it.  Unfortunately, sometimes a little mold is a big problem.

While it is true that mild mold growth may not cause any problems, what you see may not in fact be merely mild growth.  Mold can be like an iceberg where what is visible is only the tip of major growth lurking beneath the surface.

Often times, the first visible signs of mold are just a signal that you have a major mold issue that needs to be remedied.

Myth 4.)  “You Can Clean-Up Mold Yourself with Home Remedies”

According to the EPA, if your mold problem is “less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.” However, as was just discussed, many times the mold you see is just the surface of a larger underlying problem.

If you even suspect that your mold problem may be larger than 10 square feet, or you’ve been experiencing health symptoms that may be related to mold exposure, you should bring in a professional mold remediation service provider as soon as you can.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has the training and equipment necessary to thoroughly inspect and address any mold issues you may encounter. We’ve helped many homes and businesses in the community with mold problems both large and small, including providing 24/7 emergency services.

What To Do After a Structure Fire

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is always traumatic, and knowing what to do next usually adds to the stress and anxiety already experienced. Most people are unsure of what the next steps should be.

It's always best to call experts who know the behavior of smoke and soot to clean up and restore the building, but there are a few things that can be done to increase the chances of a successful restoration.

  • Limit the amount of foot traffic within the property. Soot particles can be spread to unaffected areas and embed themselves into carpet and furniture fibers.
  • Keep your hands clean. Transferring soot and other fire-related substances can further soil the walls, upholstery, woodwork, etc.
  • Electricity is often turned off, empty refrigerators/freezers. Leave doors open to reduce odors.
  • Cover air registers with cheesecloth, and double layer the tape. If cheesecloth is unavailable, use any similar fabric that will keep soot particles out of the HVAC system.
  • If your electricity is off, your heating system will not operate. In the winter, pour antifreeze designed for RV's and Campers in your sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and bathtubs to "winterize" your home and keep pipes from freezing.

As smoke and soot can leave a film on surfaces (different kinds of smoke will have different properties, and will require different cleaning methods), leave ALL cleaning to SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch.

Do not:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery 
  • Clean any electrical items. Cleaning these should be left to professionals. Most likely they should be discarded.
  • Use or consume any canned or packaged food or beverage that may have been near the fire, heat or water. Varying conditions can alter the integrity of food items.
  • Use or turn on any electrical device, including ceiling fixtures or outlets, wiring can be damaged by water.
  • Send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may cause smoke odor to set in.

If you ever have a fire, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified technicians who know the properties of smoke and soot, and will be able to professionally and thoroughly clean and restore your property. Call us any time, we are open 24/7.

Fire Damage to Your Floors? Here’s Why You Need to Call SERVPRO

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning up after fire damage to a floor can be tricky, because different floors are made of different materials, and the clean up process can be different depending on the kind of floor you have.

If you need some information and advice to help you choose the right floor cleansers, calling SERVPRO of Eatonton/Long Branch is your best move. We have certified technicians who know how to clean soot and grime from smoke, and the mess left after using a fire extinguisher without disturbing the rest of your home. 

Preparation for Cleaning Your Floors After Fire Damage

While you may understandably feel a temptation to rush in and start cleaning up right away, it’s a good idea to take certain safety precautions before you start. 

Regardless what kind of floor you have, SERVPRO has the professional equipment needed to remove any debris.

Remove the Water and Begin the Cleaning Process

Once the fire department puts out your fire, there will not only be charred debris but also probably standing water left from the efforts to put out the flames. It’s important to not only remove any debris but all the excess water too.

Depending on the extent of the mess, you may need to go through the cleaning process multiple times if you did the work yourself. Calling SERVPRO will guarantee that the work will be done quickly and correctly.

How to Clean Different Types of Floors

Because each floor surface has different properties, leave the cleaning to professionals who know how to individually work with each one: 

  • Wood – soot can leave a residue on hardwood floors.  
  • Tile – glazed and sealed tiles are often resistant to soot stains. However, tiles with open pores will absorb stains easily. 
  • Vinyl – because vinyl is porous, it will absorb stains. Vinyl is also prone to melt or warp in the heat. For these reasons, it is likely you may have to replace any sections of the vinyl flooring that are severely damaged.

If you’re in need of professional cleaning and restoration services for fire damage to your home or business, our team of friendly experts here at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch are available 24/7.

Water Damage Isn't Always From a Storm

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water on basement floor A broken water heater caused the water damage in this basement, affecting the entire floor and contents.

When people think about water damage, often, especially in our area close to the Jersey Shore, they think of major storms like Hurricane Sandy or coastal flooding. In reality, most water damage is “man made.”

The majority of water damage in homes stems from leaking or broken pipes, pipe fittings or caps, burst or leaking water heaters, appliances, kitchen and bath fixtures and sump pumps.

For pipes, these simple steps can deter major issues once winter weather settles and it becomes cold.

OUTDOORS: 

  • Wrap outside faucets.
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

INDOORS:

  • Check your home for places where water supply lines are not heated (e.g., in a basement or garage).
  • Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing.
  • Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more, and set your thermostat a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Water heaters, on average, should last anywhere between 8 to 12 years. A broken water heater can leave over 50+ gallons of water all over your house, depending on how big it is.

How can you tell if it’s time to change your water heater? There are definitely signs.

  • If your water heater is getting up in years, it may be time to replace it before it breaks.
  • Tinted water coming from your hot water tap means there may be rust in your water heater, which is a possible indicator your hot water heater is showing signs of wear and may start to leak.
  • Gurgling or popping noises coming from your water heater are caused by the buildup of hard water sediment heating up and exploding inside your water heater tank.
  • Look around the base of your hot water heater for dampness. This may be a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
  • If you have no hot water while using your hot water tap, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be checked out.
  • If you see a puddle around the base of your hot water heater, immediate action should be taken to replace it.

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.

And speaking of sump pumps….. a sump pump is designed to help you prevent water damage, but if the sump pump itself fails, you’re in trouble. In order to keep your sump pump in good running order, it’s smart to service it at least once or twice a year. You can do this yourself by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pump basin to make sure it’s working properly. You may want to consider replacing your sump pump about every 7 years depending on use.

Even with all this preparation, accidents can still happen. In that case, calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch immediately will ensure that any water damage will be cleaned by professional technicians and your home will be restored “Like it never even happened.”

How Often Do You Think About Your Plumbing?

12/7/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet Bowl in bathroom as cause of water damage Toilets are often a cause of water damage, either by overflowing (sewage) or leaking. Damage can be extensive.

Many homeowners overlook issues that could develop into significant plumbing problems, and maybe even expensive water damage.

An easy visual inspection or simple test is often all it takes to ensure your plumbing is in good working condition and catch any problem before it becomes as major catastrophe.

Here’s a checklist of 4 common plumbing problems, and what you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem for you:

Washing Machine

Did you know that the average washing machine will use up to 40 gallons of water each cycle?  With that much water pumping through, you want to be sure to check both the supply and wastewater lines about once a quarter.

Sinks

One of the biggest wear-and-tear problems for sinks are the seals and washers which will deteriorate over time. 

You’ll want to check under the sink cabinets for any signs of leaking, which could include dampness, deterioration, or odors.

Toilet

When your toilet starts to wear down, it could lead to higher monthly water bills, or even potential flooding and major water damage.

In order to inspect your toilet, remove the tank lid and flush and make sure all the components (like the flush valve and flapper) are all in good working condition.

One easy way to check for a toilet leak is to add a couple drops of food coloring into the tank.  After a few hours, check the bowl – if you see the dye color, then you know there’s a leak problem.

Showers & Tubs

Showers and tubs are often the most heavily used plumbing fixtures in a home, so it’s important to make sure everything is working properly.

Make sure to check faucets, drains, and shower heads on a regular basis. You’ll also want to check the seals. If caulk deteriorates, it could lead to a mold problem behind your walls.

If you see any signs of damage or corrosion, or if you decide you’d like a professional opinion, our team of experts here at SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch can help make sure you minimize any water damage. And if you do need more advanced help, know that we have all the specialized training and equipment necessary to handle even a large-scale water emergency.

Keeping Your Business Safe During Winter

12/7/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro Trucks in front of Office Building It can sometimes take a lot of manpower to clean up a business after storm damage. Taking precautions before a storm can save time and money.

Many areas of Monmouth County are considered to be in low-lying areas, especially in the Two River Peninsula area. If you own a business here, make sure you are prepared before any storm to keep your business afloat afterward.

Prepare by making sure you locate any important documents and valuables and store them in a location that will be dry and secure. 

Check your gutters and spouts to ensure they won’t be clogged when the storm hits, and make sure to have a working sump pump.

If needed, move any electronics or other costly items to a higher floor or at least try to raise them several feet off the floor to minimize any flood damage.

If your business facility floods, your first responsibility is to keep people safe.

Make sure to turn off electricity in any affected areas.  Even if there’s a power outage, the power may be suddenly restored without notice and could cause a shock hazard. If you choose to enter a damaged building, be cautious of any structural compromises or falling debris.  

Clean-Up ASAP

When flooding occurs, the quicker you can start your cleaning and restoration efforts, the better your chances of minimizing long-term damage and costs.

Reconstruction can’t happen until the flood-damaged area has been thoroughly disinfected and dried.

Be aware that although surfaces may feel dry to the touch, that doesn’t mean they are thoroughly dried.  If you are able to remove any wet items from the flood-affected area of your business, make sure they dry completely before you bring them back to where they belong.

Anything porous that gets soaked – like carpet, insulation, or molding – may be beyond salvaging. If so, these items will need to be thrown away to prevent risk of disease from contamination.  Items that can be saved will need to be disinfected and washed in the hottest possible water the item can tolerate. 

If your business suffers storm damage and requires professional cleaning and restoration, rest assured that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has technicians with advanced training, skills, and equipment necessary to clean and restore your business.

Getting Ready for Coastal Storms

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

House on beach supported due to erosion Erosion from coastal storms can affect structures built along the beach.

Living on the Jersey Shore means dealing with coastal storms, mostly in the form of hurricanes and nor’easters.

By definition, a nor’easter is a “storm that forms along the East Coast of North America. Nor'easters are named after the direction from which the strongest winds typically blow over the northeast states, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. The storms can bring wind, snow, rain and flooding.” 

Here at the shore, most of damage we suffer is flooding and beach erosion due to high surf and tidal surge.

Nor’easter vs. hurricane

Nor'easters and hurricanes both form over the Atlantic Ocean. They're both also types of cyclones-a storm that has winds spiraling around a central low pressure zone.

However, while hurricanes originate over the warm waters of the tropics (near the equator) and rely on warm air to help move and strengthen them, nor'easters originate further north, near the eastern coast of the United States. Also, nor'easters thrive and pick up strength from cold air in the atmosphere, north of the Jet Stream and fueled by low-pressure systems from Canada.

Typically nor’easters are most common during the months between September and April. Because they thrive on cold air, bad weather conditions usually accompany them. These conditions usually include rain, flooding, high winds, snow and even blizzards. Sometimes the winds can be stronger than hurricane-force winds.

Hurricane season typically runs from June through October, with most storms affecting the East Coast during late August through October.

How to prepare for a coastal storm

Winterize Your Home

  • Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
  • Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
  • Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.

Stock Up on Supplies

  • Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping.
  • Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
  • Battery-Operated Devices: Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
  • Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
  • Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels
  • Keep Your Car Storm-Ready: Things to keep in your trunk are first-aid kit; jumper cables, shovel, scrapers and brushes .You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.

Being prepared is paramount to making it through a storm unscathed. However there are circumstances beyond anyone’s control that may affect your home which even the best preparation won’t help. In that case, SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is your best bet to get your home back to normal after a terrible storm.

Raw Sewage Backup? Why You Need to Call SERVPRO

11/28/2019 (Permalink)

Man wearing Tyvek protective suits It is important to wear protective covering while cleaning sewage.

Let’s admit it, raw sewage is disgusting to have to deal with. But if it’s currently a problem in your home, it’s important to act quickly and get the clean up started as quickly as possible in order to minimize any long-term damage and keep your family safe.

 Until help arrives, make sure you keep any young children or pets away from the affected area. Any adult who may be cleaning raw sewage should make sure to cover up any exposed skin and use safety equipment such as rubber boots, rubber gloves, and safety goggles.

Leaving sewage to the professionals is important due to the possibility of contamination or coming in contact with contaminants. 

The experts at SERVPRO will follow the proper steps to ensure your home will be decontaminated, cleaned and dried professionally and completely by:

  • Pumping out and removing sewage
  • Cleaning & Sanitizing affected area(s)
  • Drying the area to prevent mold growth and the spread of further contaminants.
  • Restoring & Rebuilding

Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to remove carpeting or other building materials. You may find that the raw sewage has damaged parts of your home beyond saving.

If you find you've had a sewage backup, or need help restoring your property after a backup incident, give SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch a call.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck and trailer in the parking lot SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always ready to head out for fire or water emergencies.

Nobody can predict when a water heater will burst, a pipe will break, or your stove will catch fire while you’re cooking. That is why SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Within minutes, water will quickly spread, saturating everything in its path. Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings. Within the first 24 hours drywall begins to swell and break down, metal surfaces begin to tarnish and furniture begins to swell and crack. The earlier SERVPRO can get to the scene, the faster water can be extracted from the area and the important step of drying and mitigation can begin.

Fire and smoke is especially destructive. Not only does the structure suffer physical damage, smoke and soot can creep into tiny spaces and settle there, leaving a lingering odor and settling in air ducts, furniture, clothes, and crevices.  In many instances property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts.

Immediate response can mean all the difference in further issues .If you wait too long, there is the possibility of  the appearance of mold and mildew, wood flooring begins to swell and warp or metal and paint being affected. The longer an area remains unmitigated, restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

So remember that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available day or night, we are always on call, and we’re always here to help.

Why SERVPRO Can Help When Your Sump Pump Fails

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

About and inch of standing water in a basement A malfunctioning sump pump can inundate a basement with water quickly, leaving a messy clean-up.

If you’ve invested in a sump pump, congratulations! A sump pump is your extra layer of protection to keep your basement or crawlspace safe from flooding and water damage. But what happens if your sump pump fails?

Here are 5 common reasons why sump pumps fail and what you can do about it:

An Overworked Sump Pump

If there’s a problem with your switch, or excessive amounts of rain or water flow, there’s a possibility your sump pump could continuously run until it burns out. Typically, sump pumps should only run for under a minute at a time.

Check how frequently your sump pump is running. If major storms will be a common occurrence, you may want to consider installing a secondary pump which can work alongside your first pump and empty the water basin more quickly when there’s heavy waters.

A Clogged Sump Pump

The drain lines that feed into the basin of your sump pump often carry bits of dirt and debris that can build up over time and clog the pump. When this happens, the pump may turn on, but it won’t function properly. 

In order to keep your sump pump running smoothly, it’s a good idea to clean it out once a year. Make sure to use a wet/dry vacuum to remove both water and dirt from the bottom of the basin. 

Power Problems

Power problem are one of the most frequent causes of sump pump failures. If your sump pump runs on electricity, you’ll be in trouble if you lose power during a major storm. That’s why you want to make sure to have a battery backup.

Unfortunately, battery backups can be expensive. As an alternative, consider a manual pump or a water-powered pump as your backup in case of a power outage.

Lack of Maintenance

Admittedly, it’s not pleasant to have to clean a sump pump – they’re typically dirty, smelly, and can be difficult to reach in a tight crawlspace. However, a sump pump that isn’t cleaned and properly maintained will wear out faster.

It’s a good idea to test your sump pump at least once a month to make sure it’s working properly. Then, every 6 months you will want to unplug the unity, drain the basin, and clean it out. Once you reassemble the unit, don’t forget to test it with several bucketfuls of water.

 Older than 6 – 12 Years

Depending on how frequently your sump pump runs, it should last between 6 to 12 years.

If you know your pump is getting older or you’re unsure of its age, it’s a good idea to test and clean it more often. If you start to notice the onset of any problems, you should consider replacing the unit sooner than later to prevent a backup.

If your sump pump does fail, and you find yourself dealing with water damage, at least you can rest assured that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is close by to help. Our team of expert technicians have all the tools and training needed to deal with any size disaster, and we offer 24/7 emergency service for when you need it.

5 Common Causes of Water Damage in Homes and Businesses

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Large chunk of damaged sheet rock from ceiling lies on living room floor Water damaged the ceiling of this home, and ended up with the ceiling collapsing onto the living room floor

Do you have a water problem?  Water is plentiful in nature and essential to life, but too much water in all the wrong places can be disastrous to homes and businesses. Water can breakdown drywall, hardwood, and other structural elements of a building as well as lead to hazardous mold conditions

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we know how important it is to diagnose and fix a water problem quickly, before it turns into a catastrophe.  Although sometimes the cause of water damage is obvious and unavoidable – major flooding from a hurricane, for example – there are actually several common causes of water damage that start small but can turn big and hazardous, especially if they go unnoticed.

In order to help you prevent water damage, here are 5 common causes of water damage you should pay attention to:

Backed Up Sewage

When sewage backs up, there is potential danger both from water damage and waste that can carry bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants.

Open floor drains are typically the most common cause of backed up sewers, but they can happen even with a closed waste system.

Leaks in Your Roof

It is common for roof shingles and decking to wear out over time, and as your roof weakens, there is an increased chance that rain or snow will lead to water damage.

Unfortunately, it is common for a roof problem to go undetected until it is too late. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a visual inspection of your roof at least twice a year. Also, pay attention to your ceilings for any signs of water stains, soft spots, or mold.

Problems with Your Foundation

Damaged foundations are also a common cause of water damage. Cracks, gaps, and general wear and tear to your foundation can make it possible for water to start to seep into your basement or crawl space, sometimes so slowly that it can go unnoticed until there’s a problem.

It’s a good idea to check your foundation regularly, and especially after storms or rapid snow melt when any small problem might quickly intensify.

Leaks in Your Plumbing

The valves and fixtures of your plumbing system will wear down over time and may cause at first just tiny leaks that easily go unnoticed, especially if the leaks are behind walls or otherwise hidden from plain sight.

To help prevent leaks, make sure to check your valves at least twice a year and replace them every 20 years or sooner depending on their condition.  If the valves are behind walls, be on the lookout for signs of water spots or sagging drywall.

A Malfunctioning Sump Pump

A sump pump is designed to help you prevent water damage, but if the sump pump itself fails, you’re in trouble.

In order to keep your sump pump in good running order, it’s smart to service it at least once or twice a year. You can do this yourself by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pump basin to make sure it’s working properly. You may want to consider replacing your sump pump about every 7 years depending on use.

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, our mission is to be “faster to any disaster.” So, if your home or business is in need of help for water damage, our team of advanced technicians will be on hand bringing the advanced equipment and specialized training needed to clean and restore your damaged property as quickly as possible.

Why SERVPRO Can Help if You’re Selling a Home with Mold

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on basement wall insulation Basements are the prime space in homes that are prone to mold growth.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, one issue you may have to deal with is the presence of mold Unfortunately, a mold problem can be quite common in homes where there are persistent sources of water and moisture – and a significant mold issue can make it difficult to sell your home with a good return on your investment. 

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we know how difficult it can be to deal with mold. While a small mold problem – less than 10 sq. ft. – is something you may be able to clean on your own, mold can also easily get out of control, especially if it’s growing behind walls or above ceiling tiles, etc.

While dealing with a significant mold problem is never pleasant, the issue can be especially challenging if you want to now sell your home.

Don’t make the process of selling your home harder than it has to be! Here’s a simple 3-step process for dealing with a major mold issue before you put your house up for sale:

If you suspect a mold problem, get an inspection

There are common signs that indicate you may have a mold problem. If you notice any of the following, it’s a good idea to have your home professionally inspected so you know exactly the extent of the problem you may have:

  • Signs of visible mold on walls, ceilings, or floors
  • Stains or discoloration
  • Musty smells
  • Building materials that are deteriorating or “soft”
  • Sudden or persistent respiratory problems or allergic reactions

Make sure to disclose the mold problem

If you currently have or have recently had a mold problem, this information is something you must include in your disclosure agreement.

It’s a good idea to be as specific and detailed as possible about the extent of the mold problem and the steps you have taken or will take to solve it. Make sure to document the process and provide proof of work through reports, receipts, and paperwork.

Get the help of a trusted professional mold removal provider

When you’re going to be selling your home, you want to make sure you hire trained, licensed and/or certified professionals to remove the mold.

This is important, because an expert mold removal provider will not only have the advanced equipment and training needed to thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area, they will also be equipped to address the water source that caused the mold problem in the first place.

Reputation matters, and you want to be able to show future buyers that your mold problem was fixed by a name they can trust.

Document all aspects of the mold remediation and removal process

When you’re planning to sell your home, it’s a good idea to save all the paperwork associated with any mold remediation services you get. This includes the initial estimate, work order, and any mold testing reports.

It’s also a good idea to document the process with before and after photos, including photos you take with your smartphone.

While this may seem overdone, it’s better to be more cautious than not. In the event that a future buyer files a legal claim against you, a court will be looking for these kinds of records in order to side in your favor.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has been a trusted mold remediation and removal provider for homes throughout Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Mercer Counties. Our team of experts can handle all aspects of a mold problem to make sure your home is ready for sale.

If you’re interested to find out more about how SERVPRO can help fix your mold problem for good, just give us a call at: 732-858-5196

Fire Damage? How to Start the Cleaning Process

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Charred contents in home caused by fire Calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch helped this homeowner clean up after a fire.

If you’ve experienced fire damage in your home or business, you’ve undoubtedly observed that smoke and soot can unfortunately damage almost all kinds of surfaces and materials. While some items are easy to replace, it’s a good idea to try to salvage as much as you can.

The good news is: there are many fire damaged items you can clean (or at least start to clean) all by yourself with easily available cleansers and cleaning techniques. In fact, it’s a good idea to get started cleaning as quickly as you can, in order to prevent the effects of long-term damage. However in most cases, CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY, everything from cleaning to replacement is most likely covered.

Here’s a guide to help you get started cleaning up after a fire:

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Wood

As long as your wooden items aren’t charred, you should be able to clean them with a mild oil soap. Rinse with water, and let them air dry.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Upholstery

If you can remove stained upholstery, bring it to a dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning fire damaged fabrics. At home, you could try washing it in a solution of water mixed with white vinegar and baking soda.

If you have upholstery that’s can’t be removed, start by vacuuming the surface with a shop vac, keeping the hose just above the surface to prevent rubbing in the stain even more. Next, sprinkle the stain with baking soda and allow it to sit for at least one hour. Then, spray the stain with white vinegar and wipe with a damp rag.

For hard-to-clean stains, you may have to let the baking soda sit longer (sometimes overnight) and/or repeat the cleaning process multiple times.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Metal

When cleaning metal, you want to be sure to use a polish that is specially designed for the specific type of metal you have. Typically, the process is just to gently rub the stain with the polish and then wipe away with a clean rag, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Glass

To clean glass, you can often use a commercial glass cleaner or a homemade solution of one-part water to one-part vinegar. You’ll want to avoid spraying the glass, as this can leave smoke streaks. Instead, apply the solution to the rag and start wiping at the edge of the stain moving inward.

Remove Smoke and Soot Stains from Leather

You can clean fire damaged leather with a specialized leather soap and conditioner.

You want to be sure not to get the leather too wet, as this can create additional stains. Also, you’ll want to apply the soap gently to avoid scratching the leather.

If you need help to restore your property after fire damage, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available to help. 

SERVPRO Is Here to Help You Clean Up After Smoke Damage

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Burned and charred treadmill covered in soot and fire extinguisher dust 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.

Seal Surfaces

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

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

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:

Stay safe!

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!

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.

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

Restore

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

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hand in front of kitchen cabinets holding up device used to measure moisture 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:

Water Stains

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 Growth

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.

Odors

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?

9/2/2019 (Permalink)

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:

Leaking Faucets

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!

Leaking Pipes

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.

Leaking Toilets

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  

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

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

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

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:

Before

  • 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

  • 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.

After

  • 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

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

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

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

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.

On-Site Inspection

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.

Property Removal

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. 

Frequent Communication

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

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

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

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Sanitize

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. 

Seal

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.

Reconstruct

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.”

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Drying Carpeting after Flooding and/or Water Damage

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or business has been damaged by flooding or a water leak, your carpeting may be a soggy, water-logged mess. When this happens, it’s imperative to dry the carpeting quickly in order to prevent damage to your 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! 

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we know how devastating water damage can be to a home or business. As a leader in professional restoration services we want to help make sure you mitigate any damage that may occur to your property due to a water problem.

Here’s how to start drying your wet carpeting 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.

The sooner you can start drying out your carpeting, the better your chances of salvaging it. If there’s standing water completely covering the carpet, you may want to rent a pump from your local hardware store to start extracting it.

Another useful tool is a wet/dry shop vac which can be used to suck up excess water from a saturated carpet.

Separate the Soaked Carpeting from the Floor

Once you’ve removed most of the water, now you will want to separate the carpet off from the floor.

Once you’ve pulled up the carpeting, you’ll want to dispose of the carpet padding. (Carpet padding is typically inexpensive and generally easier to just replace than to try to dry out).

Dry, Dry, Dry!

Once the carpeting is separated from the flooring, it’s time to do your best to dry both completely.

It’s often useful to move the carpeting to another totally dry area. Use high-powered fans and/or blowers on both the flooring and the carpeting.  SERVPRO has professional grade equipment that will do the job better than any home/retail equipment can do.

Replace and Clean the Carpeting

Once the floor has been cleaned and you’ve installed new carpet padding, it’s time to re-install and clean your carpeting. In most cases, however, replacing the carpet is the norm.

Bring In Professional Restoration Services

In cases of significant water damage, specialized equipment and training is often needed to thoroughly fix the problem and restore your property to like-new conditions.

Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, we’re proud to be 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.

When You Should Call for Professional Services to Clean Up Mold

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Spring showers may bring new flowers…but Spring flooding can also lead to mold growth in your home or business. Mold is a common side effect of water damage, and once it starts growing, it may require professional clean-up services to fully remove it.

We at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, are proud to be a leader in professional cleaning and restoration services for this community. We’re experts in dealing with the aftereffects of major flooding and water damage, helping homes and businesses throughout this area restore their properties to like-new conditions. We want to help make sure you stay safe from the hazards of mold.

Much misinformation has been spread about mold. The truth is, there are many types of mold that come in many colors, and not all types are as potentially dangerous as others.  

Common symptoms associated with hazardous mold exposure can include skin irritation, congestion, itchy eyes, or sinus problems. People who already have allergies, immune deficiencies, and upper respiratory issues may be at greater risk when exposed to hazardous mold.

The first thing to remember about cleaning up is that mold is the result of a water problem. So, the first step to getting rid of the mold is to identify and fix the source of the water issue. If you don’t, the mold is likely to return, even after a thorough cleaning.

When you ought to call for professional clean-up help

  • If you have significant water damage.
  • If you have damp areas you’re not able to thoroughly dry yourself. 
  • If you have mold growth beyond 10 square feet.

If your home or business needs clean up help with black mold, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here 24/7 to help. Our friendly expert technicians have the advanced training and professional grade equipment needed to stop your mold problem for good and restore your property.

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)

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.

How to Deal with Water Damage to Your Home

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

If you’re facing water damage, there are some steps you can take to minimize the costs of restoring your home. The following are tips that can help you lessen the effects of any future water damage.

Just remember that depending on the extent of the damage, sometimes your smartest move is to call a professional right away.  Your first priority needs to be making sure you and your family are safe.

Safety First

Before you can clean and restore your home, you first have to get rid of the mess. 

Molds and bacteria flourish and grow in any damp space with little air flow, and can be very dangerous. Anyone working on cleaning-up water damage ought to wear protective clothing such as masks, gloves, and safe footwear. 

Electrical hazards and the potential to slip and fall are the other major safety concerns – only perform those clean-up activities you know to be safe. 

When belongings get wet, they can become much heavier than normal; you don’t want to attempt to lift something that is too heavy and hurt your back on top of everything else!

Remove Damaged Items

If your basement has flooded, you need to get the damaged items out. Unfortunately, many things may be beyond saving, or easier and cheaper to just replace rather than try to salvage. If you can make some of these decisions earlier rather than later, it may help you save costs in the long run.

Remove Water and Let Your Home Dry

Sometimes, the amount of water will be too much to remove yourself and you should call your cleaning and restoration professionals right away. Prop-up wet cushions and upholstery somewhere they can dry out. And place a piece of aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting to prevent further water damage.  

Ripping up soaked carpet will most likely be necessary - be careful of nails and carpet tacks.

DO NOT use any electrical appliances that may have gotten wet or damaged themselves.  A household vacuum cleaner is generally not a good option for cleaning-up after water damage, however, if you can get your hands on a commercial grade shop vacuum, that may help you clean and save some money in the process.

Disinfect

Once you’ve removed the water and damaged items, you’ll want to use a disinfectant to clean up the remaining affected areas. There are some green products that are safe to use and can help make a difference to the amount of professional grade cleaners you may ultimately need. Just be sure to read the labels and wear your protective gear.

Get the Air Circulating

The extent of bacteria and 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. If significant mold growth develops, that will increase your remediation costs – so it’s important to start drying as much as you can as soon as you can.

While your household fans can’t compete with professional equipment, they certainly can help and ultimately reduce remediation costs. 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. 

5 Tips to Help Your Business Weather Out a Bad Storm

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Just when you think winter may be over, the New Jersey Coast can still see a major winter storm which can batter the Shore area with wind, rain, snow and flooding.

If you own a business that is in a high-risk area for flooding, these tips can help you minimize damage you may be unfortunate enough to endure

Get Prepared 

1. Store important documents and valuables and in a location that will be dry and secure. 

2. Check your gutters and spouts to ensure they won’t be clogged.

3. Make sure to have a working sump pump.

4. If possible, move any electronics or other costly items to a higher floor or at least try to raise them several feet off the floor to minimize any flood damage.

Safety First

1. Turn off electricity in any affected areas.  Even if there’s a power outage, the power may be suddenly restored without notice and could cause a shock hazard.

2. Be cautious of any structural compromises or falling debris ff you choose to enter a damaged building. 

3. Keep out of the floodwater as much as possible to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall hazards and bacterial contamination.

4. Be sure to wear protective clothing – including slip-resistant shoes, gloves, eye protection, and a mask – in order to minimize potential risks.

Clean-Up ASAP

When flooding occurs, the quicker you can start your cleaning and restoration efforts, the better your chances of minimizing long-term damage and costs.

Here at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch our expert technicians are available 24/7 to respond to any flooding emergency big or small.  We have the advanced training, skills, and equipment necessary to clean and restore your business to its pre-flood condition as quickly as possible.

The Science Behind Mold

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

Not all molds are actually toxic.  That’s the good news. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other molds that are toxic -- but they’re not black.

If you’re concerned about mold in your home or business, here are the basics you need to know in order to keep safe:

What Kinds of Mold Are Toxic

If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard the scientific term Stachybotrys used to categorize black mold that produces toxins. (Specifically, the toxins that are produced are mycotoxins, which is the scientific term for any toxic substance produced by a fungus).

However, mycotoxins are not always produced when mold is present.  Scientists have identified specific strains of Stachybotrys, such as Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys atra, which have been shown to cause many health issues for humans.  But as there are literally hundreds of thousands of mold species that we currently know of in existence, it’s not necessarily likely that you will have these particular kinds.

What’s more, dangerous mycotoxins can be produced by other kinds of mold besides Stachybotrys.  And these molds don’t have to be black.

The bottom line is that your best protection against a mold problem is to prevent mold in the first place.  And if you do see some mold, you need to know when it’s okay to try to clean it on your own (hint: only if it’s small in area, less than 10 square feet).  In most situations, however, if you think you have a mold problem, you should call in professional services to be sure. Remember: safety first.

Weather is Unpredictable

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

Just like winter itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.

The recent mild weather in the beginning of February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.

Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began. 

“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters.

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions:

For Your Home

  • Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone.
  • If Feasible, Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines.
  • Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational.
  • Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.

If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

4 Tips to Prevent Fire Damage During the Cold Weather Season  

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there are more fires during the Winter months than any other time of the year? During the cold weather season, it makes sense that people are looking for extra ways to keep warm.  Unfortunately, many alternative heating methods can also be fire hazards, especially when they’re not approached with care.

If you want to protect your home and/or business from fire damage during this cold weather season, here are 4 tips to keep in mind:

Know the Dangers of Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves

Sitting in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night may sound cozy – unfortunately, a large percentage of fires start with issues to a chimney or fireplace.

  • Shield the fireplace with a grate to prevent flying sparks from igniting in the room.
  • Keep any flammable materials at least 4 feet away from the fire place.
  • Perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your fireplace and/or wood burning stove.
  • Make sure there are no cracks in your chimney and that the top is properly capped to keep out debris throughout the year.

Know the Dangers of Space Heaters

Space heaters are wonderful for keeping us extra warm on cold days. But this extra heating equipment is also a major cause of winter house fires.

  • Use only space heaters with a “tip switch,” ones that shut off automatically if tipped over.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation and base/floor support in the areas where you will use a space heater.

Know the Dangers of Electric Blankets

On a cold night, it’s comforting to curl up in a warm bed.  However, if you want to use an electric blanket, make sure to be cautious – these can quickly catch fire if the blanket material is ignited by an overheated electrical element within the blanket.

  • Check for charred or frayed cords or any dark spots, these may indicate a potential problem with the electrical element.
  • Don’t allow anyone or anything on top of the blanket when it is in use, this could lead to overheating.
  • Similarly, don’t fold or tuck in the blanket when it is in use, as this could also lead to overheating.
  • An electric blanket should never be left unattended or used while one is sleeping.

Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms are Working

If a fire accident should happen, you want to make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, so that you can address the issue immediately.

It’s generally a good idea to regularly check the alarms each year (many people remember to check the alarms on the days when daylight savings time changes).  However, it’s also wise to double-check the alarms before you start a fire or use a heating element, just in case.

These tips can help make sure you, your property, and your family all stay safe during the cold weather season when we’re all trying to stay warm. If, however, you do experience a fire accident, know that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is here to help. We pride ourselves on being “faster to any disaster,” no matter the size. And we can help you get back to normal ASAP!

What You Can do to Reduce Your Exposure to Mold

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold first by prevention:

Get your house tested for mold. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has a list of local environmental testing companies.

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. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.

Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window.

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

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

If you follow these tips, mold growth should be kept at bay. But if you DO find mold, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, and we will be out right away.

Why SERVPRO is the Best Restoration Company In Your Area

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters are by definition: "a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage."

Nobody can predict when a water heater will burst, a pipe will break, or your stove will catch fire while you’re cooking.

But SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We are always ready to be there when you call, being "faster to any disaster."

Within minutes water will quickly spread, saturating everything in its path. 

Fire and smoke are especially destructive, leaving physical damage, smoke and soot and lingering odor settling in air ducts, furniture, clothes, and crevices.  In many instances property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts.

In either case, The longer an area remains unmitigated, restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive. That is why SERVPRO is ALWAYS available, we can get to the scene the faster. 

As part of a national chain of over 1,700 independently owned and operated franchises, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is held to a high standard of customer service. Creating happy customers is our overall goal.

Things Remember to Keep Mold at Bay

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a problem that can affect every home, and may be present even before it becomes visible. Mold likes to grow in dark and damp environments, so sometimes you'll notice a damp, moldy smell in the air long before you ever see signs of a mold problem. Here are three tips to stop it before it even gets started.

Temperature 

Warmer weather can instigate mold growth. Areas in your home that are allowed to surpass the 80-degree mark are the most susceptible. I

In the winter, check places where condensation collects, such as windows and doors. The heat from your home reacting to the cold outside will create moisture, especially if the area is not well insulated. If you have an older home, consider adding weather strips around drafty openings.

Air Circulation

Mold thrives in environments where there is little or no air movement. 

Vent fans, ceiling fans and strategically placed floor fans are excellent additions to bathrooms, or other places in your home where air can become stagnate. 

Moisture

The last problem you need to be concerned about is probably the most important. Mold needs moisture to grow. Without moisture in some form, mold will dry up and turn to dust. 

Leaks & Drips

Always fix water leaks and drips immediately though.

Gutters & Eaves

Clogged rain gutter can drip back under the eaves and begin to slowly seep behind your exterior walls.

Cleanliness

Dirt can also attract moisture as well as be a food source for mold. Vacuum at least once a week. If you have pets that shed, it would be well advised to vacuum a little more frequently.

Mold is everywhere, and once it starts to spread in your home it can become an expensive problem to remediate. Make sure you keep on top of issues when they arise to keep mold from affecting you!

Storms During the Colder Months

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Safety First

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.

Dry

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

Commercial Mold

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

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.

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

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 

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  • Asbestos
  • Smoke from cigarettes, chimneys, fireplaces, etc.
  • Construction Materials
  • Lead
  • Radon
  • 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.).  

  1. 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

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

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

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

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

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  1. Water
  2. Non-Perishable Food
  3. Flashlight
  4. Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
  5. Batteries
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Medications
  8. Multi-Purpose Tool
  9. Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
  10. Copies of Personal Documents
  11. Cell Phones & Chargers
  12. Emergency & Family Contact Info
  13. Cash
  14. Blanket
  15. 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

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Prevention

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.

Aftermath

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

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

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!

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

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

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

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.


Charcoal grills

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

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

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

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for a flood would have kept the contents of this home from being soaked and ultimately having to be discarded.

Knowing that flooding and storm damage is a potential threat, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize any future damage.

First, don’t forget to do your spring cleaning. Our homes, and especially our basements, can easily become cluttered with things we don’t even need.  Better to clean them out once a year when the weather is nice. If flooding does happen, you’ll be glad that excess clutter is gone.

Second, get your belongings off the floor and up on shelves. Boxes piled up on the floor can quickly become an awful nightmare once water starts to rise. However, if your items are already sorted out on shelves above the water, it’s one less thing to have to deal with.  For any low hanging shelves, metal and plastic are recommended rather than wood as they better survive potential water damage.

Finally, make sure you have enough ventilation and keep the air circulating. Potential mold growth will depend on a number of factors, including moisture level, temperature, and the presence of wood and paper materials on which they can feed. Running a dehumidifier can also help remove excess humidity from the affected environment.

If you do require professional water damage restoration services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch offer 24-hour emergency service. We’re a locally owned and operated company here in your community providing the highest caliber water inspection, extraction, drying, and restoration equipment and service.  Call us now at (732) 784-4082.

A Wet Spring May Mean Mold Growth in your Home

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be found hidden anywhere.

Springtime at the Jersey Shore is usually a month of wet, rainy weather followed by hot and humid temperatures. So it is important to be aware of the potential of mold growth in your home. Mold spores exist everywhere. Mold growth depends on certain conditions such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for. Places to look in your home that are susceptible to mold growth are areas that are constantly wet or humid such as:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements
  • Windows/doors
  • Crawl spaces
What you need to look for:
  • Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
  • Visible mold growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
  • Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
Our technicians are IICRC certified and undergo weekly training. We screen all our employees with background checks so you can feel safe having us in your home. We follow EPA standards and our products are child/pet safe. If you find ANY mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care of the issue. If you find you need our services, we are always open.

Mold in Schools

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

maintaining water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus at any large facility.

Mold growth in schools is not a new subject. In fact, just last year a large township in NJ was forced to close its schools for months due to mold contamination.  That is why in any large facility like a school or commercial building, the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems and poor air quality should be the main focus.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems!

Mold Prevention Tips

  • Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
  • Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
  • Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
  • Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
  • Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
  • Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.

Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.

According to the National Clearing House for Educational Services, the following symptoms may be caused by mold allergies:

  • Nasal or sinus congestion
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Skin irritation (rash or itching)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Watery, reddened, or burning eyes
  • Fatigue

Damp buildings and mold growth are recognized triggers of asthma attacks. 

Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your school or commercial building need mold remediation, remember that SERVPRO has specially trained technicians that can handle the job. No job is too large or small, and we are available 24/7.

For more information, check out these links:

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

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

Groundwater Basement Flooding 

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water in a basement needs to be extracted and dried out as soon as possible.

Groundwater flooding is basically water in your basement caused by seepage or flow through the walls or foundation floor. 

According to State Farm Insurance, there are four common sources of water entering basements.  Each source has its own specifics and requires its own course of action.

Surface water running down foundation walls.

If this is the first instance of water problems in your basement, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. Water coming in at one location or only at the exterior foundation wall indicates surface water problems. Here are some things to look for once you get outside.

  • Overflowing gutters: leaves
  • Overflowing gutters: downspouts
  • Downspout distance
  • Pavement slope
  • Sealant
  • Landscape slope
  • Irrigation

Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure.

If no surface water sources are found, then the source of the water is likely subsurface groundwater under hydrostatic pressure. When the groundwater levels outside the basement rise above the level of the floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. If a boat is sitting in water, water will leak in through any open cracks or holes. It works the same way with a basement. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through hairline cracks.

Unfortunately, subsurface groundwater problems are more difficult and more expensive to fix than surface groundwater problems.

Storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement.

If you have an older house within town and the house has a basement with no sump pump, it is likely the perimeter foundation drain system connects directly into the city storm sewer system. If the level of the basement is below the street level, there is the potential of storm water backing up in the city storm sewer system and being pushed into the perimeter foundation drain system. This can saturate the soils around the house at the basement level with storm water under hydrostatic pressure, causing water to leak in.

  • Underground springs
  • Storm water backing up
  • Sewer water backing up

Sanitary sewer water from a clog in your home's sewer line. If there is a clog in the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, it can cause sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.

Whatever the cause of water in your basement, remember it is important to have it dried out as soon as possible by a professional. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7, and will be able to get to your water damage quickly.

Smoke 101

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire leave smoke and soot damage throughout the home.

Smoke damage from a fire, no matter how large or small, can be devastating. Oftentimes smoke damage can be long lasting, which is why it is so important to take care of it immediately.

Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss can be very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals undergo extensive fire restoration training and certification, and understand the behavior of smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas.
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.

This enables us to take care of smoke throughout the entire home or office.

  • Knowing how smoke penetrates and lingers is only one part of being able to mitigate smoke damage. Knowing what types of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process as well. Upon arriving at a fire scene, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will test the smoke to see what type of fire has taken place.

Types of Smoke

  • Wet smoke- Plastics and Synthetics
    • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry smoke- Paper and Wood
    • Fast burning, high temperatures, dry. Powdery, non-smeary residues. Heat rises therefore the smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
    • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot- Furnace Puff Backs
    • While “puff backs” can create havoc for property owners, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other smoke related services we offer are:

Content Cleaning

  • Smoke and soot residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors if not properly deodorized.
  • All restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition when possible. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, clothing, photos, kitchen items, bedding and much more.

Deodorization

  • SERVPRO® Franchises provide specialized services
    that rid structures of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
  • Proper deodorization is vital as odors may appear to be gone, only to reappear months later under different conditions, including when humidity levels rise.

It is important to understand why calling us in the event of a fire, no matter how large or small. The professionals at SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch will help get you back to your lives and jobs as soon as possible, making it “Like it never even happened.”

Where to Look For Moisture & Mold

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Hidden mold like this which was found when a bathroom sink was removed can spread and become a health problem.

Mold growth depends on certain conditions for growth such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for.

The following is a list of places in your home that are susceptible to mold growth:

  • Under sinks
  • Behind washing equipment
  • Under and behind refrigeration units
  • Under dishwashers
  • Behind toilets
  • Behind and below water heaters
  • Around tubs and showers
  • Around doors and windows
  • Around basement perimeters
  • In crawl spaces
  • Above ceiling tiles
  • Around the outside hose bib
  • Inside access panels to whirlpool tubs

What you need to look for:

  • Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
  • Visible mild growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
  • Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor

If you do find any mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care and remediate the issue. Mold spores are easily dispersed if incorrectly disturbed and most household cleaners won’t sufficiently take care of the problem.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7/365 to help home and business owners take care of water, mold and fire disasters quickly and thoroughly.

In Like a Lion

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

This road in Belmar saw flooding due to high tide surge. Homes facing the bay had water damage that had to be remediated.

The beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, Riley, Quinn and Skylar, in less than two weeks. Winter Storm Riley was accompanied by a full moon, which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns. Many homes had flood damage or water damage caused by high winds and heavy rain and snow.

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Ready To Sell? How To Prepare Your Home For A Sale

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare your home to sell

Selling your home can seem stressful, but there are plenty of ways you can make the process easier on yourself. By following some simple steps, you can more easily attract a buyer and maybe even negotiate a better sale price.

Before you bring anyone in for a tour, you'll want to make sure everything is in its best condition possible. What it all comes down to is getting your home as close to move-in ready as you can and presenting its best face to prospective buyers. Here are a few ways you can be sure to wow any interested parties.

 Tidy the landscaping and exterior

The first thing anyone will notice upon approaching your home is the landscape and the exterior. Making both look top notch is key to nailing your very first impression with the potential buyer.

Tidying up your lawn and shrubbery can go a long way to improving the overall look of the property, and you might even consider planting some flowers to bring a splash of life and color to your yard.

Be sure to wash your home if it needs it; power-washing the siding can go a long way to making the building look like new. Applying a fresh coat of paint to the entryway and laying down a welcome mat are nice finishing touches that will really make a prospective buyer feel like a guest.

The key is to make it feel homey and put together, so that a buyer can envision a simple transition from their old home to their new. This implied simplicity could be the difference between a sale or a walk.

Make any necessary repairs

Repairs are essential, as any savvy home buyer will be checking to ensure that everything is in working order. That means guaranteeing that there are no mold problems or other underlying damage that needs to be addressed.

If there are issues, tackle them before you invite prospective buyers to view the home. Consider contracting remediation services Like SERVPRO Eatontown/long Branch to deal with any mold, fire, or water damage that might have occurred over the years. Now is your chance to address these problems, before they chase off a prospective buyer.

Remove personal items and organize your space

It's important to downsize as much as possible ahead of time, packing away whatever personal items you can and only leaving those things in the living space that are absolutely essential to your day-to-day life, or those that give the buyer an idea of what the home looks like when furnished.

Buyers want to picture the space as theirs when searching for a new home, so make it as easy as possible on them by removing family photos, keepsakes, or any décor based on your identity and personality. Help them see themselves in your home, and closing a deal will likely become easier.

Provide a squeaky-clean interior

Finally, no buyer wants to imagine hours of hard work scrubbing the home they just bought with their hard-earned money. Providing a squeaky-clean interior will go a long way to closing the deal.

Selling your home takes a lot of time and energy, so consider partnering with a professional cleaning service like SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch to get the job done quickly and efficiently, without having to divert your focus from the many other tasks at hand.

Once everything is repaired, cleaned, and shaped up, it's time to bring in your leads. If you've crossed all your T's and dotted all your I's, odds are you'll get some immediate reactions and likely seal that deal sooner, rather than later.

Fire Dangers After a Flood

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Electrical appliances such as this treadmill are in danger of catching fire after being submerged in flood water.

Fire is probably not the first thing you think of as the result of flooding, however it is a real concern and something every homeowner should be aware of.

It is well known that water and electricity DO NOT mix. It is important to remember that any electrical device that has been submerged in water could potentially be dangerous, as the wires may become compromised or corroded.

According to the Colorado Inspection Services, the rule of thumb for electrical devices that have been submerged is REPLACE them. The fire hazard from soaked electrical devices is not worth trying to save them.

As stated in their web site, outlets, switches and breaker boxes are the obvious electric devices that need replacement. Appliances, heaters, furnaces, AC units and anything else that contains electric motors, switches or wiring are included.

Flood waters may also contain mud and many toxic substances such as fuels, solvents, cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals, sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic compounds, that can deposit in these devices causing overheating and/or mechanical failure.

Controlling Moisture Deters Mold Growth

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth in attics can be due to lack of moisture control and poor ventilation.

Water leaks, showers, cooking, all these things can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture the air in your home can hold depends upon the temperature. The warmer the air, the more moisture stays in the air.  The lower the temperature, the less moisture is in the air.

At any temperature level, moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow, which becomes the perfect habitat for mold growth.

So how do you begin to control moisture in your home? According to the EPA, the following steps can be taken to keep moisture – and subsequently mold – at bay:

Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.

Place a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.

Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure fans are vented to the outside, and not the attic.

Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.

Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates.

Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Insulate storm windows and open doors between rooms to circulate warm air. Using fans and moving furniture away from wall corners can help increase air circulation.

Be careful of carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow.  Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In some climates it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier over the concrete.

While these tips may help control moisture in your home, it may not guarantee the complete prevention of mold growth. If you do suspect mold, have your home tested, and make sure a professional takes care of remediation safely and properly.

Be Prepared For Coastal Flooding

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

The New Jersey coastline is particularly vulnerable to ocean storm surge.

The Jersey Shore is particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding during hurricanes and nor'easters. The safest step to take is to evacuate to higher ground. 

However, if you must shelter in place, much of the evacuation protocol applies in moving valuables and furniture to a higher floor and removing loose items, but now you, your loved ones and any pets must move to a higher floor. What is paramount is creating the conditions to endure the next few days with increased discomfort, and accepting the limited availability of rescue and medical services.

Food:

  • It is recommended to 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);
  • It may be dangerous to use a gas stove, or you may not have access to a working gas or electric one, you can use the following alternatives:
  • Candle warmers
  • Chafing dishes
  • Fondue pots
  • Camp stoves (outdoor use only)
  • Charcoal grills (outdoor use only)
  • 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 of the commercial variety. 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.

Further tips and information can be found here.

Enduring and surviving a flood can be a harrowing experience. There’s much preparedness that is required for living in flood-prone areas. With the right information helpfully provided on Ready.gov and the FEMA sites, you can find strategies and tips, so you can direct your energies to help and comfort for your loved ones.

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

Hot Water Heaters: What to Know

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Homeowners should be aware of hot water heater maintenance and replacement.

Water heaters are one of those appliances that you use frequently, but always seem to forget they’re around. Oftentimes homeowners are surprised in the middle of the night or after coming back from vacation to find water everywhere.  A broken water heater can leave over 50+ gallons of water all over your house, depending on how big it is.

How can you tell if it’s time to change your water heater? There are definitely signs.

  • On average, your gas hot water heater should last anywhere between 8 to 12 years, while an electric model will last a bit longer at 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is getting up in years, it may be time to replace it before it breaks.
  • Tinted water coming from your hot water tap means there may be rust in your water heater, which is a possible indicator your hot water heater is showing signs of wear and may start to leak.
  • Gurgling or popping noises coming from your water heater are caused by the buildup of hard water sediment heating up and exploding inside your water heater tank.
  • Look around the base of your hot water heater for dampness. This may be a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
  • If you have no hot water while using your hot water tap, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be checked out.
  • If you see a puddle around the base of your hot water heater, immediate action should be taken to replace it.

Remember, prevention and being prepared could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. But if you need us, the professionals of SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch are available 24/7/365, and will have your home cleaned up and restored “Like it never even happened.”

More Than Remediation

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Clean air ducts are important for maintaining good air quality.

Did you know that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch offers more than water and fire cleanup and remediation? We offer a host of cleaning services for our commercial clients who don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils their office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of regular janitorial staff, can call SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, our commercial clients can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best!

Among the services we offer our commercial clients are:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism

Beware of the Flood

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

This restaurant in Monmouth Beach was almost submerged from a storm surge and tidal flooding during a hurricane.

It's February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.

We’ve all seen the footage and images from the most recent wave of deadly hurricanes, the destruction wrought by storm surges that fill residential streets. Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began. 

“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters. What follows are some helpful tips and suggestions:

For Your Home

  • Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone. If so an early measure to take is to seek out a flood insurance policy that works for you. Having flood insurance will help cover the cost of any repairs once waters subsides. Flood insurance is available for renters and business owners as well and forms and information can be acquired through the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines. Frequent flooding requires frequent fixes so stockpile emergency building materials, such as wood, nails, etc.;
  • Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You can find ready step-by-step fixes on most websites or purchase sealants to fill cracks and openings. You will also need to 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 do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, make sure you contact the pros from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch. They will be able to fix your home "Like it never even happened." 

Winter is the Biggest Season for Home Fires

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires occur in winter more than any other season.

Did you know that, the threat of a home catching on fire is the greatest during the winter months? Half of ALL heating home fires occur during the months of December, January and February. One in Seven home fires is a result of malfunctioning or misused heating equipment.

There are several tips to keep your home safe while keeping warm during the winter.

  • Have your fireplace, heating vents and dryer vents inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
  • If you use your fireplace, make sure you clean after every use. Dispose of ashes correctly by placing them in a metal can at least ten feet from the house.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • If portable generators are needed, keep them outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home. Make sure someone is home to supervise.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.

These are simple but effective steps to take to safeguard your home against fire. But should you ever need us, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can clean fire, smoke and soot damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why Bleach Isn’t an Effective Mold Remover

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow anywhere, but is most prevalent where there is leaking water, moisture and poor ventilation.

Most households have a bottle of chlorine bleach on hand that is designated for a host of uses such as cleaning, laundry or a disinfectant. This bleach is a combination of hypochlorite, chlorine and water.

As a disinfectant, chlorine bleach will kill many household molds, but not all of them. This is the reason that bleach is not recommended in removing mold from walls According to the Harvard School of Public Health, bleach will only kill 50% of mold growth on surfaces such as wallboard (sheet rock, plaster, etc.).

It can also be considered a dangerous substance if not used correctly.

This is why it is so important to leave mold remediation to professionals, who have the proper tools and products to remove mold. Attempting to remove mold yourself may result in mold spores being released and finding a foothold elsewhere in the home. Also cleaning agents will not effectively remove all the mold. In most cases anything affected such as the sheet rock, insulation, carpeting or carpet padding must be cut out and/or removed.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified and trained technicians who know how to properly clean and remove mold from your home safely and effectively. If you suspect  you have a mold problem give us a call at 732-578-9888.

Mold Prevention is Your Best Defense

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Hidden moister or water behind a wall can be detected by our infrared sensors.

Mold thrives in dark, damp, warm environments. If you have (or have had) water damage, water leaks, a leaky roof, a washing machine that overflows frequently or a basement that takes on water, even occasionally, the resulting moisture can give mold a toehold for growth.

In some instances, it can be hard to see the water damage. SERVPRO professionals can use a moisture meter and infrared cameras and find moisture or water behind walls.

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

  • 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.
  • Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.

  • Use fans and heaters to dry water-damaged areasand items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding.

  • Replace ceiling tiles or carpet that have become moldy (or smell like mold).

  • 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.

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

  • Add insulationto windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces. Mold can grow even in winter months.

  • Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Check with your state health department or find a local environmental testing company.

  • If you find or smell mold anywhere in your home, DO NOT try removing mold yourself. Instead, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to put a remediation plan in place.

Deep Freeze of 2018

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Temperatures below freezing for over ten days left many homeowners seeking help from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch for broken pipes

The Jersey Shore, along with the entire Northeast, suffered a deep freeze of below freezing temperatures for nearly two weeks, coupled with Winter Storm Grayson. This resulted in frozen and bursting water pipes in many homes, offices and schools throughout the region. Monmouth County was hit particularly hard as well from coastal flooding.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch was on the scene, helping many homeowners and businesses by extracting water and drying basements, crawl spaces, floors and sheet rock.  

To avoid future frozen and broken pipes during long-time freezing temperatures, it is easy to take the following steps:

Outdoors:

  • Wrap outside faucets
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house
  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems

Indoors:

  • Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing
  • Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom
  • Make sure thermostat is set to constant temperature

If, however, you do experience broken pipes, make sure you take quick action to have the water extracted and your home or business dried out properly. Call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial Structures need rapid remediation

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Broken water pipe completely soaked this office space in Eatontown, NJ

When a home experiences disruption due to water, mold or fire damage, it can be difficult to think things can get back to normal. The quicker a family can get back to normal life, the better everyone feels. 

It is just as important to get commercial spaces up and running quickly. The longer the loss of time means the greater loss of business. At SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch we strive to get businesses back in operation with as little interruption as possible. We make every effort to be quick and thorough, making sure that every detail has been taken care of and remediation is complete.

We are equipped to service the following, no space is too large or small:

  • Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Retail Stores
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military
  • Universities/Colleges
  • Schools

Mold Growth in Winter

1/9/2018 (Permalink)

Most people think that you need humid, moist air in order for mold to take hold and grow. While this is true, many other factors need to be present for mold growth.

During cold winter months, when there seems to be little moisture in the air, mold will still grow in places where there is a sufficient source of food (dead organic matter) and the right temperature. This usually occurs in cold, uninsulated exterior windows and walls, including uninsulated closets along exterior walls, where building surfaces are generally cold relative to the indoor air temperature. Cold surfaces next to warm oftentimes results in condensation (moisture), which is necessary for mold growth. And while extreme cold, freezing, and heat can deactivate spores, it does not kill them.

In order to keep winter mold growth at bay, try to control humidity in crawl spaces, basements and uninsulated closets, insulate exterior doors and windows and remove any material that mold will grow on, such as paper, cardboard, wood and fabrics.

If you do suspect mold growth, make sure you call professionals such as SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to take care of the removal and mitigation.

Water Damage 101

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Standing water needs to be mitigated quickly before it has the chance to turn into blackwater.

According to Wikipedia, wastewater is any water that has been affected by human use. But did you know that there are different grades of wastewater? Should your home be affected by water damage, it is imperative to act quickly to mitigate damage and prevent further damage such as mold growth.

CLEAN WATER

Floodwater that does not pose an immediate health threat is known as clean water. Clean water floods can result from malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, and melting snow and rainwater. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself, but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater if left untreated.

GREYWATER

Greywater refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter. As far as household wastewater goes, greywater could include water from bathtubs and showers, appliances such as dishwashers, a weather event, an overflowing plumbing fixture or appliance or even a broken pipe.

When flooding occurs, it can saturate carpeting, furniture and drywall. If you experience a home flood with greywater, wear protective gear, and keep children and pets away from the flooded area. If the flood is extensive, such as several inches of water in the basement, it is advisable to hire professionals to safely clean up and decontaminate the area. Cleanup must begin as soon as possible as greywater can become blackwater if left untreated.

BLACKWATER

Blackwater is wastewater contaminated with human waste, flood water, or water contaminated with chemicals.

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.

Having water damage in your home is never a pleasant experience, and oftentimes it is destructive, and disruptive - affecting multiple rooms, floors, levels – of a home, office or multiple dwelling. Knowing whom to call and when could mean all the difference in keeping contamination and damage to a minimum.

Remember that you can call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch twenty-four hours a day, 365 days year. We will be there to survey and clean up your water damage quickly and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Preparing for a Blizzard Part II

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure to be prepared way ahead of any storm.

Now that you've winterized your home, you're ready to prepare for the unexpected. It's never too late to get everything you need before a storm.

Stock Up on Supplies

Every powerful storm brings a panic run on supermarkets and gas stations. Consider stocking up on the following to sustain you and your family over difficult days:

  • Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping. Stocking up on soup, canned vegetables, dry pasta and other items gradually could create a substantial food source that could be useful during the winter months.
  • Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
  • Battery-Operated Devices: A working supply of batteries can be the difference between staying illuminated and connected or stuck and ignorant in the dark. Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
  • Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (or find reliable tips online) and perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
  • Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels. Fire extinguishers should also be full and inspections up-to-date. 

 Keep Your Car Storm-Ready

There could be that awful possibility of getting caught out on the highway in a terrible storm, only to discover that the highway has been closed and you are forced to shelter in place. Don’t let your motor idle, sapping battery life and fuel in an effort to keep warm. In addition to keeping a first-aid kit and jumper cables in your trunk, you may want to stow a shovel, scrapers and brushes to remove snow and dig out your car, or someone else who may need your assistance. You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.

Here’s some other suggestions for keeping your car storm-ready:

  • Snacks and water: have the foresight to keep snacks on hand, such as trail mix, nuts or anything else with a long shelf life, as well as a fresh bottle of water.
  • Keeping warm: That sleeping bag that accompanied you on summer overnight trips could come in handy should you find you have to stay the night before the ploughs can clear the highway. Also a set of dry clothes (jeans, sweaters, shirt, socks and maybe even extra boots) to change into if what you’re wearing manages to get soggy.
  • “Go Bags”: It may be a sound decision to have on hand in your car or home, packed and ready for emergencies, a “go bag” (aka, “bug-out bag”). The Get Ready campaign, an emergency preparedness campaign sponsored by the U.S. government, has a site where you can learn the basic contents: a set of clothes for extended stays, some money, first aid material, and anything else needed should there be a call to evacuate.

Keep Activity to Confined to Only a Few Rooms 

It will prove important to reduce the amount of area that your family uses to retain heat. Designate areas such as the living room, the kitchen and a bathroom for habitation and to keep warm. Close off all other rooms—especially if they aren’t well insulated. If you keep enough people to only a few rooms, body heat and the heat given off by heaters and will last much longer, especially if the power goes out. 

If you want more information regarding preparation for blizzards and nor’easters and the challenges these storms present, information can be easily obtained via material posted on the Red Cross and FEMA websites. Both proved helpful in compiling the tips and pointers mentioned in this article. Should you need help with cleanup and disposal in the aftermath, you can always count on SERVPRO  of Eatontown/Long Branch to provide ready assistance.

Don't let a Blizzard Catch You Off Guard

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Excess snow from a blizzard can create a host of problems if your home is not prepared.

Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse!

You can call it anything you want, but when the wind and snow come roaring through: a blizzard is a blizzard! With heavy snowfall and hurricane-force gusts hurling drifts in every direction, a blizzard will render roads impassable, down power lines and bring life to a standstill.

With the right precautions in place, you may be able to ride out the storm with your home and your family’s safety intact. Your main tasks during such a trial are to be prepared, stay warm and dry and stay safe. 

Winterize Your Home

If there’s an evacuation order it’s best to take heed, especially if there’s a danger of coastal flooding or impassable roads cutting you off from vital care. If by choice or circumstance you find you are riding out the storm at home, it’s important to make sure your home is well-insulated and that any gaps and cracks around windows and doors are sealed.

 These following precautions can be very helpful in the run-up to any winter storm or freezing condition:

  • Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
  • Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
  • Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.

Dress for the Storm

To preserve body heat indoors and out, it’s best to layer up. If there is a reason to go out and brave the weather, or you’re feeling snug at home while the wind is roaring outside, you should still dress for reduced temperatures and stormy conditions.

Outside Apparel: If you must be outside, you must keep warm and dry. Cover yourself from scalp to sole with a hat, a scarf and a water-repellent outer layer. Use mittens instead of gloves because keeping your fingers close together helps with insulation.

Inside apparel: Even in the comfort of your own home, you should add an extra, secondary layer—especially if and when the power goes out. For the duration of the storm and the cold days and nights afterward, you will want to retain as much heat as you give off.

By making sure your house is prepared, you can save yourself the expense and headache of broken pipes and water damage. But if you DO need storm cleanup, you know you can turn to SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch!

Christmas Tree Safety

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas trees are a wonderful holiday decoration, but it is important to remember to keep them at least 3 ft away from any heat source.

Christmas trees are an integral part of decorating for the holidays. They are beautiful to look at, have that wonderful aroma that permeates the house, and lend a festive atmosphere in the home. But if not properly taken care of and set up correctly, they could pose a dangerous fire hazard.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the statistics are alarming: 

  • From 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 200 home1structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees.
  • Christmas tree fires caused an annual average of $14.8 million in direct property damage.
  • Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January.
  • In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.

With proper planning and common sense, Christmas tree fires can easily be avoided. Here are some tips to remember when bringing home fresh cut trees:

  • When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and with needles that don’t fall off easily.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

It is important to remember that your holiday lights need to be used safely as well. The lights you use to decorate your tree or your house need to be in good shape:

  • Make sure there are no frayed ends or wires showing.
  • Make sure the lights are specifically meant for either indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

We at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch hope all our friends, family and customers have a very happy, healthy and SAFE holiday season!

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7/365

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available, no matter what time of day or night.

Nobody can predict when a water heater will burst, a pipe will break, or your stove will catch fire while you’re cooking. That is why SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is always available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Within minutes, water will quickly spread, saturating everything in its path. Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings. Within the first 24 hours drywall begins to swell and break down, metal surfaces begin to tarnish and furniture begins to swell and crack. The earlier SERVPRO can get to the scene, the faster water can be extracted from the area and the important step of drying and mitigation can begin.

Fire and smoke is especially destructive. Not only does the structure suffer physical damage, smoke and soot can creep into tiny spaces and settle there, leaving a lingering odor and settling in air ducts, furniture, clothes, and crevices.  In many instances property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts.

Immediate response can mean all the difference in further issues .If you wait too long, there is the possibility of  the appearance of mold and mildew, wood flooring begins to swell and warp or metal and paint being affected. The longer an area remains unmitigated, restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

So remember that SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available day or night, we are always on call, and we’re here to help.

Holiday Safety Tips

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Lit candles are beautiful, but be careful about where you place them. Keep them away from flammable materials and out of reach of children and pets.

It’s that time of year - the holiday season- when most people are busy getting their homes ready for large family dinners, guests and celebrations. 

With all that goes behind getting your house in perfect holiday order, it’s easy to get distracted and forget about safety.

Here are some tips to remember while you decorate and cook that perfect holiday meal!

Fires

Cooking is the No. 1 home fire hazard, according to the NFPA.

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking, and always keep an eye on the stove, oven or grill.
  • Be careful of smoking oil – that is a sign that the oil is too hot and may ignite. Lower the flame or remove the pan from the heat.
  • Never try to put out a pan fire with water. Baking soda works to extinguish a pan fire.
  • It is now New Jersey law that every home must have a fire extinguisher within 10 feet of the kitchen area,
  • Keep oven mitts, dish towels and other flammable items away from heating elements and open flames.

Candles are a popular decoration, however it is important to follow these simple rules:

  • Keep an eye on candles, and never place them near fabrics such as curtains, wall hangings or flammable decorations.
  • If you have small children or a pet, make sure the candles are placed out of reach.
  • Be sure to extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house.

Fireplaces are also a safety concern:

  • Have your chimney cleaned annually.
  • After a fire, dispose of ashes in a metal container, away from flammable material.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from fireplaces.

Lighting

Holiday lighting poses the risk of overdrawing power and creating a fire hazard, and older strands are more likely to overheat because they require more electricity.

  • Inspect your lights before hanging them. If they look worn (frayed wires, loose or cracked bulbs), don’t hesitate to replace them. Switch to LEDs, which are more energy-efficient and burn coolerthan conventional incandescents.
  • If you’re stringing lights outside, make sure they are for outdoor use.
  • Do not attach more than three strings of lights together.
  • Always unplug your lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.

Christmas trees

We wish the best, brightest and safest holiday season for all our SERVPRO friends and families.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Offers Opportunity to Use Green Products

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

These are just some of the green cleaning products we use that are specially manufactured exclusively for and by SERVPRO.

Cleaning up after a disaster is a messy job, which oftentimes calls for specialized cleaning products. Many of the products we use at SERVPRO are our own unique formulas that are manufactured in our headquarters in Gallatin, TN.

At SERVPRO we care what we use and how it affects our environment and the safety of our customers. We understand that sometimes families with children and pets prefer all natural products. For this reason we offer the opportunity to use Green products when available and appropriate. There are some jobs, however, that require the use of different products.

Our green products are awarded the “Green Seal” and are registered with the EPA. They do not contain any solvents, phosphates, dyes or fragrances, and are safe and non-toxic.

Opportunities for using our own label Green products are when we do carpet & upholstery cleaning, or need a urine odor and stain remover, all surface cleaner, glass cleaner and fuel oil degreaser.

Other green products we use for disinfecting, mold clean-up and prevention and mold stain removal contain no chlorines, ammonias or other harsh chemicals, are hypo-allergenic, and food-grade non-toxic. 

We hope that as soon as a customer calls SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch and we enter their home, they can rest assured that their remediation job will be done as quickly as possible in a safe and effective way.

Will You be Ready for a Disaster?

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Water leaking from the upstairs completely destroyed the sheet rock ceiling on the lower floor.

Disasters like water damage, fire damage or flood, no matter how big or small, can never be predicted.  But you CAN prepare for them!


The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW.  Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, no matter how big or small.

According to the latest industry research, 50% of all businesses never recover after a disaster. Of the businesses that do open, approximately 75% of those businesses had a plan in place.

One of our most effective tools in helping customers in the event of an emergency is the ERP, or Emergency Ready Profile. This profile provides all the critical information needed in emergency situations, and minimizes business interruption.

The main reason to have an ERP done for your facility or home is:

  • It provides a concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • It is a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • It is an identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

This invaluable service is offered at no cost to our customers, and leaves them with peace of mind that their home or office will be ready for whatever happens.

This service can also be done for residential properties, so homeowners can rest assured they have the information at hand when a disaster strikes.

Be prepared! Call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to schedule your Emergency Ready Profile and rest easily in knowing that we will be faster to your disaster!

Avoiding Winter Water Damage

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

The water that flowed out of this window and froze was caused by an unprotected pipe that burst.

In Monmouth County, cold winter weather can usually come at us in a snap after a warmer, summer-like autumn. Because water expands when it freezes, pipes are especially susceptible to crack and burst from the resulting excess pressure.

That is why it is so important to make sure that you take the steps to prepare your house – especially your pipes, for the freezing temperatures.

Following are tips to get your house ready:

OUTDOORS: 

  • Wrap outside faucets.
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

 INDOORS:

  • Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing.
  • Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more, and set your thermostat a temperature no lower than 55° F.

 IF YOU DO COME HOME TO FROZEN PIPES, THESE TIPS CAN HELP YOU

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Should you ever have a problem with water due to bursting pipes or any other reason, calling SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch will get your home back to normal “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Cares About Our Environment

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Pier Village Beach, Long Branch

October Beach Sweep a Success!

On October 21, 2017, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch participated in the Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep, which was conducted all over New Jersey, from Raritan Bay to the Bayshore to Cape May We captained the site at Pier Village in Long Branch, where close to 50 volunteers spent their time combing the beach for garbage.  In all, over 5,500 pieces of debris were collected and thrown away or recycled!  Last year a total of nearly 220,000 pieces of debris were removed statewide from the shore lines!

Volunteers began arriving at 9 a.m. and combed the beach until 12:30 p.m.  Although the beaches “looked” clean, the amount of debris that was found was surprising. Among typical items such as straws, candy wrappers, plastic bottle caps and cigarette butts, unusual items such as a melted beverage cooler, large plywood and metal pole were also found.

It is always important to be mindful of our environment, and how what we do affects more than just our immediate surroundings. We are very proud of our beaches, and we should make the effort to keep them clean all year long!

Is Your House Safe?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Basement wall where dryer caught fire.

How safe is your home? Have you done the proper maintenance needed to minimize your family’s risk of fires? Now is the time for you to prepare your home against risks that are easily avoidable. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 2015 saw nearly 370,000 home fires nationwide, at a cost of 7 billion dollars in damages. Ninety-two percent of the appliance fires were caused by the clothes dryer. Thirty-two percent of those fires were due to lack of cleaning.

Here are some dryer safety tips:

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

As scary as the statistics for dryer fires sound, they aren't close to being the number one cause of home fires. Two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen, Cooking and cooking equipment account for over 60% of all home fires. They also account for 42% of all fire related injuries in the home.

The peak month of the year for these kitchen related fires is January, the peak time being between 5-8 p.m. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires.

What you need to know:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

It all amounts to common sense and being mindful.  

This short video has more safety information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm6UMPP2z8I

Water Restoration: 5 Ways to Deal with Water Damage

10/13/2017 (Permalink)

Standing water can create issues from water flow obstruction to mold.

As a homeowner, water damage is always a cause for concern. When water damage does strike, it’s important to know how to handle the situation with efficiency and ease. Effective water damage restoration comes with knowing that the situation is urgent and calling the professionals immediately, however, there are a few things each and every homeowner can do to minimize the damage.

Prevent It

The best path towards successful water damage restoration is to not have to restore anything at all. One of the most beneficial things a homeowner can do is be informed. In short, know your home!

  • Know where your water main valve switch is located. This is really important. Don’t be afraid to shut it off when you go away for long periods of time.
  • During the winter, disconnect your hoses. This prevents standing water from forming and creating an issue where your water flow becomes obstructed. Bursting pipes are no fun!
  • Maintain the hoses in your home. From the washing machine to under the sink, make sure you upgrade your hoses regularly to avoid leaks.
  • Measure your water pressure. Hoses and pipes can only handle so much and checking the pressure that is running through them can save you a huge headache. You can buy a pressure gauge at Home Depot or Lowes that will do the trick.

Safety First

Any disaster, small or large, comes with the risk of safety. First, make sure everyone is safe and while cleaning up the damage wear gloves, waterproof  footwear, and protective gear. Additionally, be mindful of mold and bacteria, exposure to them can be very unhealthy.

Create Airflow

SERVPRO’s professionals understand how important it is to create airflow in a water damage emergency and their team is second-to-none when it comes to water cleanup and restoration. As a homeowner, we recommend utilizing any fans or dehumidifiers you have in your home until the pros arrive. This helps prevent bacteria and microbial growth from forming.

Smart Storage

One of the smartest preventative measures you can take is to keep a close eye on how you store your belongings and items within your home. Items and boxes stored at floor level are a target for damage, should a water emergency occur. Utilizing plastic or metal shelves for storage can prevent your items from taking on water damage. Avoid wood and particleboard if possible.

Plastic storage bins can provide an excellent way to store items as well. And even better, they’re cheap! Make sure the tops are secure and store them a few feet off the ground.

Isolate the Damage

If disaster does strike, you will want to remove the affected items right away. Separate water-logged items and place them in an area where they can dry. This will allow you the ability to move around the water-filled area with ease and create airflow that can help reduce water damage quickly.

Call the Pros

Dealing with water restoration and damage can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating. We suggest you call the professionals immediately so they can guide you through the process. The SERVPRO team is experienced and knowledgeable and will be able to get you back on track in no time. We are here to serve you!

If you need to reach us feel free to contact us through our site form or call us at (732) 858-5416.

Winning the War Against Wind and Water During the Colder Months

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Icicles forming on your gutters can cause structural damage due to melting and refreezing water.

It seems most of the heavy-hitting storms happen in the fall, followed by brutal winter blizzards and nor’easters. Your adversaries during this time are the two legendary elements: Wind and Water. At full force, the wind will scatter leaves and tear off the sturdiest limbs; water will flood and wash away. The damage they can cause can be mind-boggling, resulting in physical injury and death, and property destruction.

Homeowners must be mindful of the impact that powerful storms and weather systems to their property and their loved ones. Decisions must be made in a timely manner to get ahead of the extremes of the season. The following are suggested remedies for possible issues that will come up as the seasons change and the weather gets colder.

Keep Drains and Gutters Clear

After a major rainfall, rain pours from your roof and pools around your property and leaks into your basement. A major reason is leaves and branches clogging water drainage on the street or around your house. When not raked away from drains, leaves and branches will clog them. Rake the leaves and clear treefall from your property.

The same applies for snow. Snow mounds on the street may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing and will block any drains. If it’s on your property—or if you’re feeling neighborly when the department of public works has left the job to fate—break it up and keep it clear.

As for the gutters around your roof, it’s best to contact a professional gutter cleaning service to clear out leaves and debris that could choke your gutters. If left unattended, rain will flow unhindered to leak down into your property, potentially flooding your basement. During the colder months, moisture in the gutters will freeze and weigh them down. They could come crashing down around you and cause injury as well as property damage.

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.

If you have a concern about the basement flooding, your house should have a working sump pump system or a French drain system to prevent seepage or drain collected water. If your basement does take in water and you are able to drain it out, you should set up a de-humidifier to dry it out to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps

It’s almost inevitable that leaks will develop in a house, from top to bottom, owing to long-term exposure to the elements, construction concerns or animals nesting. As it gets colder and wetter, those leaks could become more than just a nuisance. When a leak entry point freezes and re-freezes, the gap will expand and allow more water in.

If the leak is coming from the roof, you will need to locate where the leaks are coming from and seal them. You can do it yourself, but if it looks like a bigger job, locate a roofer.

Windows can also be a source for leaks. Just like the roof it will take some detective work 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

The day after any powerful storm will find a landscape littered with fallen branches and downed trees. Some of those trees will have a crushed house underneath. Others will lean on power lines. One of the reasons for the trees to be uprooted may be that the ground was so sodden the roots couldn’t maintain their grip, owing to poor drainage.

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.

If you do have sick trees, then you should have them and whatever weakened limbs removed. It’s recommended to get a professional service to do it. DIY only works if your experienced and know how to handle the tools to do the job.

Should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up. Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards, costly financially—and in life and limb. 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.

The Facts About Hoarding

3/7/2016 (Permalink)

As one of New Jersey's premier resoration companies, we at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch often get asked questions about hoarding clean up. In order to understand the process of cleaning the residence of a hoarder, we first need to enlighten the family and friends of the facts about the issue itself. According to the International OCD Foundation:

What is compulsive hoarding?

Compulsive hoarding includes ALL three of the following:

1. A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people.

2. These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended.

3. These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.

How is hoarding different from collecting?

• In hoarding, people seldom seek to display their possessions, which are usually kept in disarray.

• In collecting, people usually proudly display their collections and keep them well organized. What are the signs of compulsive hoarding?

• Difficulty getting rid of items

 • A large amount of clutter in the office, at home, in the car, or in other spaces (i.e. storage units) that makes it difficult to use furniture or appliances or move around easily

• Losing important items like money or bills in the clutter

• Feeling overwhelmed by the volume of possessions that have ‘taken over’ the house or workspace

• Being unable to stop taking free items, such as advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants

• Buying things because they are a “bargain” or to “stock up”

• Not inviting family or friends into the home due to shame or embarrassment

• Refusing to let people into the home to make repairs.

What makes getting rid of clutter difficult for hoarders?

• Difficulty organizing possessions

• Unusually strong positive feelings (joy, delight) when getting new items

• Strong negative feelings (guilt, fear, anger) when considering getting rid of items

• Strong beliefs that items are “valuable” or “useful”, even when other people do not want them

 • Feeling responsible for objects and sometimes thinking of inanimate objects as having feelings

 • Denial of a problem even when the clutter or acquiring clearly interferes with a person’s life

Who struggles with hoarding behavior?

Hoarding behaviors can begin as early as the teenage years, although the average age of a person seeking treatment for hoarding is about 50. Hoarders often endure a lifelong struggle with hoarding. They tend to live alone and may have a family member with the problem. It seems likely that serious hoarding problems are present in at least 1in 50 people, but they may be present in as many as 1 in 20.

Are hoarding and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) related?

Compulsive hoarding was commonly considered to be a type of OCD. Some estimate that as many as 1 in 4 people with OCD also have compulsive hoarding. Recent research suggests that nearly 1 in 5 compulsive hoarders have non-hoarding OCD symptoms. Compulsive hoarding is also considered a feature of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and may develop along with other mental illnesses, such as dementia and schizophrenia.

What kinds of things do people hoard?

Most often, people hoard common possessions, such as paper (e.g., mail, newspapers), books, clothing and containers (e.g., boxes, paper and plastic bags). Some people hoard garbage or rotten food. More rarely, people hoard animals or human waste products. Often the items collected are valuable but far in excess of what can reasonably be used.

What are the effects of hoarding?

 • Severe clutter threatens the health and safety of those living in or near the home, causing health problems, structural damage, fire, and even death

• Expensive and emotionally devastating evictions or other court actions can lead to hospitalizations or homelessness

• Conflict with family members and friends who are frustrated and concerned about the state of the home and the hoarding behaviors

Can compulsive hoarding be treated?

Yes, compulsive hoarding can be treated. Unfortunately it has not responded well to the usual treatments that work for OCD. Strategies to treat hoarding include:

• Challenging the hoarder’s thoughts and beliefs about the need to keep items and about collecting new things

 • Going out without buying or picking up new items

• Getting rid of and recycling clutter. First, by practicing the removal of clutter with the help of a clinician or coach and then independently removing clutter

• Finding and joining a support group or teaming up with a coach to sort and reduce clutter

• Understanding that relapses can occur

• Developing a plan to prevent future clutter.

How can I help a hoarding friend or family member de-clutter?

Attempts by family and friends to help with de-cluttering may not be well received by the person who hoards. It is helpful to keep in mind:

• Until the person is internally motivated to change they may not accept your offer to help. • Motivation cannot be forced.

 • Everyone, including people who hoard, has a right to make choices about their objects and how they live.

• People who hoard are often ambivalent about accepting help and throwing away objects.

Can’t compulsive hoarding be solved by simply cleaning out the home?

No. Attempts to “clean out” the homes of people who hoard without treating the underlying problem usually fail. Families and community agencies may spend many hours and thousands of dollars clearing a home only to find that the problem recurs, often within just a few months. Hoarders whose homes are cleared without their consent often experience extreme distress and may become further attached to their possessions. This may lead to their refusal of future help.

How do I have a conversation with my friend of family member who is ready to talk about hoarding?

When a person seems willing to talk about a hoarding problem, follow these guidelines:

• Respect. Acknowledge that the person has a right to make their own decisions at their own pace.

 • Have sympathy. Understand that everyone has some attachment to the things they own. Try to understand the importance of their items to them.

• Encourage. Come up with ideas to make their home safer, such as moving clutter from doorways and halls.

• Team up with them. Don’t argue about whether to keep or discard an item; instead, find out what will help motivate the person to discard or organize.

• Reflect. Help the person to recognize that hoarding interferes with the goals or values the person may hold. For example, by de-cluttering the home, a person may host social gatherings and have a richer social life.

 • Ask. To develop trust, never throw anything away without asking permission. 

If you are faced with helping a family member who needs to clean their home after a hoarding situation, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch. We can take you through the process and ensure that everything is handled professionally and as quickly as possible. 732-578-9888

Winter Mold Growth: What You Need To Know

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.

Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Mold remediation services can help eliminate the mold in your home and personal items affected by water damage.

Prevention, however, is what will help keep your lungs healthy and homes and buildings strong. We’ve put together a few tips on how you can help thwart mold from infesting your home that are efficient and realistic:

General Home and Building Maintenance:

  • Keep all areas clean.
  • Make sure there is good air circulation. Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.
  • Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes.
  • Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements. If you find your basement is wet or has water leaking into it, inspect the outside drainage systems.
  • Spread moisture-barrier materials in crawl spaces over the soil. Heavy roofing paper or plastic film made of polyethylene can be used for this. Make sure there is good ventilation in the crawl space and, if possible, do not enclose it. One may need to use a fan to blow out humid air from under the building.
  • One can get rid of humidity or dampness within a building by heating it for a short time. After heating, open up the doors and windows, or use an exhaust fan, to let out the air that is moist.
  • Hire a professional roofing contractor to cover a damaged roof with a tarp or tent. This will help protect the building from the elements.
  • If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
  • Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground around your building slopes away from the foundation so water does not collect around or enter in to it.
  • Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of the condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.

After a Flood or Heavy Rains:

  • Work fast. Call in SERVPRO, which will help in the cleaning and disinfecting of your home from toxins and spores mold can release.
  • Lower the humidity and temperature in the building: molds do not like these conditions. Open up windows if the air outside is less humid than the air inside. Otherwise, turn on an air conditioner and a dehumidifier.
  • Dispose of moldy items in a sealed bag. Objects that can be saved should be frozen (which deactivates mold) or dried out. Mold remediation services can assist with restoring many of your items, including documents, pictures, and books.
  • Make sure there is good ventilation within the building affected. Use a fan, if necessary, to promote good air circulation.
  • Remove as much standing water in a building as quickly and safely as possible after disconnecting all electronic equipment inside the building.
  • The two key things to remember in mold prevention are: 1. Keep everything clean, and 2. Keep everything dry. Many simple steps can be taken to prevent mold damage as well as water damage during the winter months. However, keep the number SERVPRO handy should you require their services. These professionals can efficiently and quickly ensure your home is safe, dry, and mold-free.

Winter Ice Dams: Cause, Effects, and Prevention

1/25/2016 (Permalink)

Ice Dams
What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when melting ice and snow refreeze above the eaves of your roof and subsequent melting backs up under the shingles. This causes interior leaks and water damage to interior walls and ceilings.

Preventing Ice Dams

Proper ventilation, drainage and insulation are the only ways to prevent ice dams and can be achieved in the following ways:
  • Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris
  • Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all possibilities
  • Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation
  • Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof
  • If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily
  • Keep snow from accumulating on the lower three to six feet of your roof


Additional Steps

  • Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from "bonding" to the lower roof
  • Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles for the first three to six feet from the eaves up
  • Install heating cable along the eaves to melt ice


Removing Ice Dams

  • Consult a roofing professional
  • Do not use a snow blower, shovel or blowtorch to try to chip, break or melt ice dams

5 Tips To Protect Your Home On Winter Vacation

1/13/2016 (Permalink)

Everyone dreams of that warm weather vacation when the winter temperatures drop in NJ. But that dream vacation can turn into a nightmare if your don't prepare your home before you leave.

For peace of mind while you lounge on the beach here is a great article from First Service Residential:

5 Tips Before You Leave On Winter Vacation

If you should come home to an emergency, remember SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day to help. Call us at 732-578-9888

Prepare Your Home in 2016

12/31/2015 (Permalink)

As we say goodbye to 2015, and get set for our resolutions that disappear faster than the ball drops on Times Square, take some time in the coming weeks to think about safety. 

How safe is your home? Have you done the proper maintenace needed to minimize your families risk of fires, floods or mold?

In 2013 there were nearly 370,000 home fires in the U.S. At a cost of 6.8 billion dollars in damages. 92% of the appliance fires were caused by the clothes dryer. 32% of those fires were do to lack of cleaning. Here are some dryer safety tips:

*Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.

* Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.

* Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.

* Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.

* Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.

* Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.

* Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.

* Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.

* Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

As scary as the statistics for dryer fires sound, they aren't close to being the number one cause of home fires. Two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen, Cooking and cooking equipment account for over 60% of all home fires. They also account for 42% of all fire related injuries in the home.

The peak month of the year for these kitchen related fires is January. The peak time being between 5:00pm and 8:00pm. Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires.

What you need to know:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Watch this short video for more safety info:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm6UMPP2z8I

Make 2016 the year you prepare your home against the risks that are easily avoidable. 

Best Defense Against Mold

11/11/2015 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Management Team meets with Bruce Wolf of Garden State Environmental Consultants to discuss mold remediation

The first thing you should be aware of is that mold spores are absolutely everywhere. Fungal spores use air currents and water to spread, which is how they get inside homes and other buildings to begin with. The key to prevention is to ensure the atmosphere required for mold spores to mature and spread cannot be found in your home.

The following steps are the best defense against  mold becoming a problem in your home. 

  • Clean and dry wet spots immediately
  • Promptly remove any affected materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned or dried
  • Maintain indoor humidity levels below 60%
  • Maintain plumbing and utilities to prevent leaks
  • Run the bathroom exhaust fan a minimum of 20 minutes after a shower or bath
  • Operate a dehumidifier in basement during hot and humid weather
  • Ensure attic vents are open and clear of insulation for outside air flow

Should you feel that you have mold issues in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch at 732-578-9888.

10 Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Winter

11/4/2015 (Permalink)

Are you ready for Winter?

Winter can be a devastating time for many unprepared home owners. With freezing temperatures and high utility usage, winter can be expensive and even dangerous.

Here are a few tips to get things in order before the temps drop:

1. Order firewood. Ask friends and neighbors for suggestions on good sources in your community. Because of invasive tree pests like the emerald ash borer, it's now illegal in New York state to move firewood more than 50 miles. Any hardwood, such as oak, maple, beech or elm, will work fine for firewood. You want seasoned firewood that's at least a year old. Ash is the only wood that you can burn "green," right after it's cut down.

2. Clean gutters. If you can't get on a ladder yourself, hire someone. Wait until all the leaves are down, then do it once (unless, of course, they're already overflowing when it rains). So many water-in-the-basement problems are because of clogged gutters.

3. Get water away from the house. Same as above. Even if your gutters are clean, rainwater may be pouring down the leader pipes and emptying right at the corner of your house (and into the basement). You may need to hire someone to dig trenches and install underground drain pipes to pull roof water away from the house. Make sure that all landscaping is pitched away from the house.

4. Seal up masonry. Repair any broken joints or cracks in walkways, steps and stone work. Make sure you have clear, shovel-friendly paths to all doors.

5. Cut down on heating costs. Make your house more energy-efficient by adding insulation, caulking around windows and doors and new storm windows. Maybe you have enough sun and space for solar panels. Repair any cracked or broken windows.

6. Don't rake your leaves. Instead, just leave them where they fall and run them over with a mulching lawn mower. You'll be amazed at how one of these powerful machines can turn a pile of leaves into a million little pieces. Plus, they add valuable organic matter to your lawn. Similarly, leave grass clippings on the lawn.

Love 'Em and Leave 'Em is a Westchester County initiative to encourage leaf mulching and reduce organic yard waste, with a downloadable list of landscapers (Rockland, too) who do this, leleny.org. The cities of Yonkers and New Rochelle have been particularly active with this program.

7. Hire a chimney sweep. We've had two bad winters in a row with another one forecast, so if you haven't had your chimneys cleaned in a while, it's probably time.

How often should you have your chimneys cleaned? "If you have 40 to 50 fires a winter, or about three times a week, you should clean it every year," said Bob Pelaccio of the Mad Hatter Chimney Sweep in Montrose. If it's a couple of times a week, every other year is fine. Only on Sunday? Then every third year will do.

Tedd Cuttitta of New City-based NY Fireplace Designs (and formerly High-Tor Chimney Sweeps) is more of a stickler for an annual checkup. "According to every code in the world, chimneys should be cleaned or inspected on an annual basis," he said. Even if they look fine, there may be internal water damage to the bricks that you can't see.

"I never recommend that any of my clients go beyond every third year, no matter how infrequently they use their chimneys," Cuttitta said.

8. Call in an arborist. Many winter tree catastrophes are preventable. Get a certified arborist to walk around your yard with you to look for rotting trees or damaged or dangling limbs that may come down in the next storm.

9. Get your furnace and boiler inspected. Instead of begging for service when your boiler blows on a dead-cold January night, sign a contract now with a reputable heating company. Many oil and propane suppliers are happy to bring you on board with an annual service contract. It's worth it.

10. Time for a generator? Raise your hand if you spent a week in a dark, cold house after Superstorm Sandy tore through the Northeast. If a big storm is forecast or upon us, no one will have a generator with your name on it. So think long and hard now about whether it's time to finally spring for one. But consider your neighbors, too, and where you're going to put it. Generators are LOUD.

Keep SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch's 24 hour help line number handy: 732-578-9888.

Is My Sump Pump Working? How To Test It.

5/12/2015 (Permalink)

Sump pumps are often installed in a crawlspace or basement below the floor to defend your home against a flood or accumulating ground water. A sump pump also removes collected condensation created by your air conditioner and water from areaway drains, preventing moisture from collecting around the foundation of your home or in the floor of your basement. Test your sump pump periodically to ensure it is working correctly to protect your home against water damage.

1) Find the outside pipe that catches the water as it drains from the pump. Examine the inside the pipe to ensure no dirt or debris is clogging the drain. Remove any debris.

2) Locate the sump pump in your basement or mechanical room. Trace the two electrical cords from the sump pump to the electrical outlet. The pump cord plugs into the back of the float cord plug. Pull the plugs from the outlet, pull the plugs apart, and plug the pump cord only back into the outlet. You should hear the pump running. Unplug the pump and plug the cords back in the wall with the float first, and the pump cord plugged into the back of the float pump.

3) Remove the lid from the sump crock. Slowly pour some water from a 5-gallon bucket into the crock. Observe the sump pump switch. It should turn on and begin to pump water from the crock. Wait until the water pumps from the crock to ensure the pump turns itself off, then slowly pour the remaining water in the crock to ensure the pump turns on again.

4) Replace the sump pump if it fails either test.

 

Monmouth County: Do You Have Mold?

4/14/2015 (Permalink)

Older homes are prime habitats for mold, which thrives in a dark, damp, warm environment. If you have water damage, water leaks, a leaky roof, a washing machine that overflows frequently, that moisture can give mold a toehold.

In some instances, it can be hard to see the water damage. 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:

· Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Also, a dust sample from your carpet can show whether mold spores are in your home. Check with your state health department or find a local environmental testing company.

· 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.

· If your crawl space has mold, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to put a remediation plan in place to get rid of it.

· Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.

· Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.

· If ceiling tiles or carpet have become moldy, they must be replaced. 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.

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

· Add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.

Find out morehttp://www.SERVPROeatontownlongbranch.com/mold-removal-remediation

Ice And Cold Can Wreak Havoc On Your Home

3/2/2015 (Permalink)

March is here and winter is still with us in Monmouth County NJ. From Sea Bright to Long Branch, Red Bank and Eatontown, many homeowners have experienced water damage from frozen pipes these past two months. Keep in mind that ice dams can also cause water to come into your home from the outside elements. Luckily, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is here to help 24 hours a day. Our experienced crews can tackle any type of water or fire damage in your home. Call us at 732-578-9888. 

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Featured On News 12 New Jersey

2/9/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch owner, John Majeski speaking with Karla Bardinas of News 12 New Jersey regarding our clean up efforts at the scene of the Ocean Grove fire. 

3 Alarm Fire In Destroys Businesses And Homes in Ocean Grove

2/9/2015 (Permalink)

Green on the scene Saturday morning in Ocean Grove.

A three-alarm blaze demolished a section of Main Street in Ocean Grove on Friday. The fire began in an apartment above Yvonne's Luncheonette at approximately 4pm. Firefighters battled the flames and cold temperatures throughout the night. 

On Saturday morning, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch was called in to clean up the soot, smoke and water damage in three adjacent buildings. Crews began work shortly before noon. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch offers 24 hour response for fire, and water clean up and remediation.

At this point, no cause has been determined for the fire.  

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Provides General Contracting Services

2/3/2015 (Permalink)

Removing sheet rock is the only wayto get to the problem and remediate thoroughly. Afterward our renovation team will come and make the area like new.

Sometimes damage requires more than just cleaning soot or removing sewage. Some damages require replacement of drywall, paint, electrical service and plumbing.

Having damage is stressful enough, and seeing your home during remediation can add to that stress. That is why SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch now provides many general contractor services through our restoration department to help return your home or business to pre loss condition. We aim to get you back to your normal life as quickly as the job allows.

These services include, but are not limited to, fire, water and mold restoration services,  flooring, tile, framing, window replacement, carpentry, roofing, siding and masonry work. Find out all that SERVPRO can do for you.

When it comes to helping you get your life back to normal, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Avoid Winter Water Damage

1/28/2015 (Permalink)

With ice, snow and cold temperatures across the Jersey Shore, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch reminds you take the steps needed to avoid major flooding problems... 

OUTDOORS: 

  • Wrap outside faucets
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house
  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Drain in ground sprinkler systems

INDOORS:

  • Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing
  • Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the home for several days or more.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch: Faster To Any Disaster

1/22/2015 (Permalink)

The residents of Monmouth County NJ, know that when it comes to any size emergency, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch can make it "Like It Never Even Happened". Whether it's damage from a fire. Water damage from a broken or frozen pipe, a flooded basement, mold or even a sewage back up, Servrpro of Eatontown/Long Branch's trained technicians can tackle the clean up quickly. We work with all major insurance companies. We'll clean up the mess and get your life back on track after any type of commercial or residential loss. Call 732-578-9888. 24/7

Winter Weather Tips

1/7/2015 (Permalink)

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or non-insulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.”
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.
  • Ensure gutters are clan and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Helping a Veteran in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

    10/29/2013 (Permalink)

    Our response crew with SSG Mike Minard (right).

    SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch teamed up with Homes For Our Troops to help Iraq war veteran SSG Mike Minard and his family return to their Union Beach home after suffering damage from Hurricane Sandy. It was an honor to work with a veteran that has given up so much for our country.

    Categories

    Archived Posts