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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Wet Spring May Mean Mold Growth in your Home

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation A Wet Spring May Mean Mold Growth in your Home Mold can be found hidden anywhere.

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

  • 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)

Commercial Mold in Schools 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 Damage Groundwater Basement Flooding  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 Damage Smoke 101 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)

Mold Remediation Where to Look For Moisture & Mold 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)

Storm Damage In Like a Lion 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)

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

Fire Damage Fire Dangers After a Flood 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 Remediation Controlling Moisture Deters Mold Growth 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)

Storm Damage Be Prepared For Coastal Flooding 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)

Water Damage Hot Water Heaters: What to Know 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)

Commercial More Than Remediation 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)

Storm Damage Beware of the Flood 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)

Fire Damage Winter is the Biggest Season for Home Fires 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 Remediation Why Bleach Isn’t an Effective Mold Remover 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)

Mold Remediation Mold Prevention is Your Best Defense 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)

Storm Damage Deep Freeze of 2018 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)

Commercial Commercial Structures need rapid remediation 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)

Water Damage Water Damage 101 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)

Storm Damage Preparing for a Blizzard Part II 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)

Storm Damage Don't let a Blizzard Catch You Off Guard 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)

Fire Damage Christmas Tree Safety 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)

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

Fire Damage Holiday Safety Tips 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)

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

Commercial Will You be Ready for a Disaster? 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)

Water Damage  Avoiding Winter Water Damage 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)

Community SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Cares About Our Environment   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)

Fire Damage Is Your House Safe? 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)

Water Damage Water Restoration: 5 Ways to Deal with Water Damage 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)

Water Damage Winning the War Against Wind and Water During the Colder Months 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)

Mold Remediation Best Defense Against Mold 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)

General 10 Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Winter 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)

Fire Damage 3 Alarm Fire In Destroys Businesses And Homes in Ocean Grove 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)

Building Services SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Provides General Contracting Services 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

We Support Monmouth University

1/7/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is a proud supporter of Monmouth University Athletics. We are pleased to share in the rich history of our local academic community.

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)

    Storm Damage Helping a Veteran in the wake of Hurricane Sandy 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.

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