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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Proper Cleaning After a Puffback: Steps to Restore Your Home

8/10/2023 (Permalink)

Experiencing a puffback from your oil furnace can be a stressful and messy situation. After ensuring the safety of your family and addressing any immediate concerns, it's essential to begin the process of cleaning and restoring your home. Here are the steps to follow for proper cleaning after a puffback.

Contact a Professional Restoration Company

First and foremost, contact a professional restoration company that specializes in puffback clean-up. They have the expertise, experience, and equipment to handle the cleaning process effectively and efficiently. A professional restoration company will assess the extent of the damage, create a plan, and provide an estimate for the restoration work.

Ventilate the Area

Before the cleaning process begins, it's crucial to ventilate the affected area. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and help dissipate any residual smoke and odors. Turn off the furnace and ventilate the entire house to prevent the spread of soot particles.

Put on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the affected area. This may include gloves, goggles, masks, and disposable coveralls. Puffback soot contains harmful particles that can be hazardous to your health, so it's important to take precautions to protect yourself during the cleaning process.

Remove Loose Soot

Begin by using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner with a disposable filter to remove loose soot from surfaces. Avoid using traditional vacuum cleaners as they may blow the soot particles back into the air. Gently vacuum walls, ceilings, furniture, and other affected areas to capture as much loose soot as possible.

After removing loose soot, carefully wipe down surfaces using dry chemical sponges or specialized cleaning products recommended by the restoration company. Avoid using water or wet cleaning methods, as they can cause the soot to spread and stain surfaces. Follow the instructions provided by the professionals to ensure safe and effective cleaning.

Launder Fabrics and Textiles

Wash all affected fabrics and textiles, such as clothing, curtains, bedding, and rugs, as soon as possible. Use a mild detergent and follow the manufacturer's instructions for washing and drying. If the soot stains are persistent or if you are unsure about washing certain items, consult with the restoration company for guidance.

The soot from a puffback can infiltrate your HVAC system, including ductwork, registers, and filters. It's essential to clean the HVAC system thoroughly to prevent further contamination and potential future puffbacks. This step should be handled by professionals who can assess, clean, and repair the HVAC system as needed.

Consider Professional Deodorization

After the cleaning process is complete, have a certified HVAC technician inspect and repair your furnace. They will ensure that the cause of the puffback is addressed and that the furnace is in proper working condition before it is restarted. This step is vital to prevent future puffbacks and ensure the safety of your home.

Puffback soot can leave behind strong odors that are difficult to eliminate. Consider enlisting the help of a professional restoration company that offers deodorization services. They will use specialized techniques and equipment to neutralize odors and leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Remember, the process of cleaning after a puffback can be complex and time-consuming. It's best to rely on the expertise of professional restoration companies with experience in puffback clean-up. They will guide you through the process, ensure thorough cleaning, and help restore your home to its pre-puffback condition as efficiently as possible.

Water Damaged Electronics: What to Do Next?

7/27/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage can wreak havoc on electronic devices, leaving many of us wondering what steps to take when faced with such a situation. Whether it's a smartphone, laptop, or other valuable electronics, quick and appropriate action is crucial to minimize the damage and increase the chances of successful recovery. In this blog post, we'll explore the essential steps you should take when dealing with water-damaged electronics, helping you make informed decisions and potentially save your devices.

Act Fast

Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The longer electronics remain submerged or exposed to moisture, the higher the risk of irreversible damage. As soon as you discover water damage, immediately disconnect the device from power sources and turn it off, if possible. Acting swiftly can significantly increase the chances of successful restoration.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to power on a water-damaged electronic device. Water and electricity do not mix well and can lead to short circuits or further damage. Resist the temptation to check if the device still works, as doing so may cause more harm than good.

Remove External Components

If applicable, remove any external components such as batteries, memory cards, or SIM cards from the water-damaged device. This will help prevent additional damage and allow for easier access to the internal components during the drying process.

Gently dry the device using a soft cloth or towel to remove any visible moisture from the surface. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers, as excessive heat can further damage the electronics. Instead, opt for a cool, dry environment to facilitate the drying process.

To further absorb moisture, place the damaged device in a sealed container or bag with a desiccant packet or uncooked rice. Desiccants such as silica gel can be purchased online or found in packaging for various products. Rice can also help absorb moisture, but it may not be as effective as desiccants.

Seek Professional Assistance

For valuable or sensitive electronics, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. Contact the manufacturer, authorized service centers, or electronics repair shops experienced in water damage restoration. They have specialized tools, equipment, and expertise to properly assess and repair water-damaged devices.

If your device contains important data that has not been backed up, consult with professionals regarding data recovery options. Depending on the extent of the damage, they may be able to retrieve and salvage your valuable files.

Insurance Coverage

If the water damage is a result of an insurable event, such as a flood or accidental spill, check your insurance policy to determine coverage. Contact your insurance provider and follow their guidelines for filing a claim. Document the damage and keep records of any communication for the claims process.

Water damage can serve as a valuable lesson in preparedness. Consider investing in waterproof cases or protective covers for your devices, especially if you frequently use them in wet environments. Additionally, regularly backing up important data to external storage or cloud-based platforms can help minimize the potential loss in case of future incidents.

Dealing with water-damaged electronics requires immediate action and careful handling. By following the steps outlined above, you can increase the chances of saving your devices and potentially recovering valuable data. Remember, professional assistance is often recommended for complex or valuable electronics. While prevention is always the best approach, accidents happen, and knowing how to respond to water damage can make a significant difference in the outcome.

Why SERVPRO is the Best Choice for Your Storm Cleanup Needs

5/31/2023 (Permalink)

Green drying equipment in a kitchen. SERVPRO is a trusted name in the restoration industry, and here are some reasons why you should call them for your storm cleanup needs.

When a storm hits, it can be overwhelming and devastating to deal with the aftermath. From fallen trees to flooded basements, storm damage can cause a significant amount of stress and financial burden. That's why it's crucial to call in professionals to handle your storm cleanup needs. SERVPRO is a trusted name in the restoration industry, and here are some reasons why you should call them for your storm cleanup needs.

Quick Response Time

When it comes to storm damage, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to start the cleanup process, the more damage can occur. SERVPRO has a 24/7 emergency response team that can be on-site within hours of your call, ready to assess the damage and begin the cleanup process immediately.

Experienced and Trained Professionals

SERVPRO has been in the restoration industry for over 50 years and has a team of experienced and trained professionals who can handle any storm damage situation. Their technicians undergo rigorous training to become certified in various areas, including water damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, and mold remediation.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

To provide the best possible service, SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment for their cleanup and restoration services. This includes high-powered water extraction equipment, industrial-grade dehumidifiers, and air movers to dry out your property quickly and efficiently. They also use advanced moisture detection equipment to ensure that all affected areas are thoroughly dried, preventing further damage and mold growth.

Comprehensive Services

SERVPRO offers a wide range of services to handle all aspects of storm damage cleanup and restoration. This includes water damage restoration, mold remediation, fire and smoke damage restoration, and even biohazard cleanup. They can handle everything from minor water damage to major structural damage caused by a storm.

Insurance Assistance

Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when you're already dealing with storm damage. SERVPRO can help by working with your insurance company to ensure that the cleanup and restoration process is covered under your policy. They can even help with filing insurance claims and documentation to ensure a smooth and stress-free process.

Peace of Mind

At the end of the day, calling SERVPRO for your storm cleanup needs provides peace of mind. You can trust that their team of professionals will handle the cleanup and restoration process efficiently, effectively, and with care. This will allow you to focus on other important aspects of your life and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

In conclusion, dealing with storm damage is never easy, but calling SERVPRO for your cleanup and restoration needs can make all the difference. Their quick response time, experienced professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, comprehensive services, insurance assistance, and peace of mind make them the top choice for storm cleanup and restoration. Don't wait until it's too late - call SERVPRO today.

How quickly does mold form after a water loss?

5/25/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage in homes or buildings can occur due to various reasons such as leaks, floods, burst pipes, or other plumbing issues. One of the most concerning consequences of water damage is the potential for mold growth. Mold can start forming within a short period of time after a water loss, and understanding the timeline of mold growth is crucial for effective remediation. In this blog, we will explore how quickly mold can form after a water loss and the importance of prompt action to prevent mold growth.

The timeline for mold growth after water damage can vary depending on several factors, including the type of mold, the extent of water damage, and the environmental conditions. However, in general, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours after a water loss.

Here is a timeline of mold growth after a water loss:

0-24 hours

In the first 24 hours after water damage occurs, the affected area may still be wet, but mold growth is not typically visible at this stage. However, mold spores, which are microscopic mold particles, may already be present in the air and on surfaces, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

24-48 hours

Within 24 to 48 hours, mold spores can start to germinate and grow into visible colonies on damp surfaces. If the moisture source is not addressed, mold can spread rapidly and cover larger areas.

48 hours and beyond

If the water damage is not mitigated and the affected area remains wet, mold growth can accelerate. Mold colonies can become larger and more widespread and affect materials, such as walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture.

It's important to note that mold growth is not always visible. Mold can grow behind walls, under carpets, and in hidden areas, making it difficult to detect without proper inspection. The longer the water damage remains unresolved, the higher the risk of mold growth.

The presence of moisture, warmth, and organic matter (such as drywall, wood, or carpet) are the ideal conditions for mold to thrive. Mold can also grow in dark and poorly ventilated areas, making it even more challenging to detect early on.

Given the rapid timeline of mold growth after water damage, it's crucial to take prompt action to prevent mold growth and mitigate the risks.

Address the water source

Identify and repair the source of water damage as soon as possible. This may involve fixing leaks, drying out wet areas, or using dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels.

Remove standing water

If there is standing water, it should be removed promptly to prevent further damage and inhibit mold growth. Use pumps, wet vacuums, or professional water extraction services to remove excess water.

Dry out affected areas

Properly dry out the affected areas using fans, dehumidifiers, and proper ventilation. It's important to thoroughly dry the area within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Consult with professionals

If the water damage is extensive or if you suspect mold growth, it's best to consult with professional mold remediation services. They have the expertise and equipment to properly assess and remediate mold issues to prevent further damage and ensure a safe and healthy environment.

In conclusion, mold can start forming within 24 to 48 hours after a water loss, making it crucial to take swift action to prevent mold growth. The longer the water damage remains unresolved, the higher the risk of mold growth.

Stay Safe and Warm: Essential Tips to Reduce Space Heater Fires

5/10/2023 (Permalink)

When the weather starts getting colder, many of us turn to space heaters to keep our homes and workplaces warm and cozy. While space heaters are an effective way to heat small spaces, they can also be a fire hazard if not used safely. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are involved in about one-third of home heating fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths.

To keep your space heater use safe and prevent fires, follow these essential tips:

Choose the right space heater

Not all space heaters are created equal. When choosing a space heater, look for one with safety features such as automatic shut-off switches and overheat protection. Make sure to select a space heater that is appropriate for the size of the room you want to heat. Check the label or packaging for information about the heater's wattage and recommended room size.

Keep space heaters on a flat, level surface

Place your space heater on a flat, level surface that is not prone to tipping over. Do not place your space heater on furniture or other unstable surfaces. Make sure the heater is at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, and furniture.

Plug space heaters directly into the wall

Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Space heaters draw a lot of power and can easily overload extension cords or power strips, increasing the risk of fire. Instead, plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet.

Turn space heaters off when you leave the room

Never leave a space heater unattended. Always turn your space heater off when you leave the room or go to bed. If you have pets or small children, consider using a space heater with a protective grill or cover to prevent burns.

Keep space heaters away from water

Do not use your space heater in damp or wet areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements. Water can increase the risk of electrical shock or short-circuiting, which can lead to a fire.

Maintain your space heater

Regularly inspect your space heater for damage or wear and tear. If you notice any damage, do not use the heater until it has been repaired or replaced. Clean your space heater regularly to remove dust and debris, which can build up and increase the risk of fire.

By following these essential tips, you can reduce the risk of space heater fires and keep your home or workplace safe and warm. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when using space heaters. Stay warm and stay safe!

Stop the Drip. A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

3/6/2023 (Permalink)

A leaky faucet is a common household problem that can waste a significant amount of water if left unaddressed. Fortunately, fixing a leaky faucet is a relatively simple task that can be accomplished by following a few basic steps. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you begin to work on the faucet, you need to turn off the water supply to prevent any water from flowing. To do this, locate the shut-off valve under the sink and turn it clockwise to shut off the water.

Step 2: Remove the Handle

Use a screwdriver to remove the handle of the faucet. Depending on the type of faucet you have, there may be a screw on top of the handle or a set screw on the side. Once you remove the screw, gently pull the handle off the faucet.

Step 3: Remove the Packing Nut

Once you have removed the handle, you will need to remove the packing nut. The packing nut is located just below the handle and can be removed using a wrench. Turn the nut counterclockwise until it comes off.

Step 4: Remove the Stem

Once you have removed the packing nut, you can remove the stem of the faucet. The stem is the long, cylindrical part of the faucet that the handle attaches to. Use pliers to pull the stem out of the faucet body.

Step 5: Replace the Washer

The most common cause of a leaky faucet is a worn-out washer. Inspect the washer for any signs of wear or damage, and replace it if necessary. To remove the washer, use a screwdriver to pry it off the stem.

Step 6: Reassemble the Faucet

Once you have replaced the washer, reassemble the faucet in the reverse order that you disassembled it. Insert the stem back into the faucet body, tighten the packing nut, and reattach the handle.

Step 7: Turn On the Water Supply

After you have reassembled the faucet, turn on the water supply and test the faucet to ensure that it is no longer leaking. If the faucet still leaks, you may need to replace other parts, such as the O-ring or cartridge.

In conclusion, fixing a leaky faucet is a simple DIY task that can be accomplished with just a few basic tools. By following these steps, you can save money on your water bill and prevent water waste. However, if you are not comfortable performing the repair yourself, it's always a good idea to call a professional plumber to ensure that the repair is done correctly.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

If you ever find yourself in a situation where there is a fire in your home, it's important to know what to do. Fires can be dangerous and life-threatening. They also have the potential to damage everything in their path. If you know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly, though, it's possible that you will be able to stop a small blaze before it gets out of control or causes serious damage. Here are some tips on how best to fight an emergency fire.

Six Feet Away.

Do not stand closer than six feet from the fire. The heat, smoke and flames can injure or kill you if you are too close. If your clothing catches on fire, stop what you're doing and drop to the ground immediately! Roll around in a blanket or rug until the flames are out. Do NOT run away from it because that will only fan the flames!

Be careful when dealing with hot embers after extinguishing an outdoor fire as they may still be burning inside their casings and could start another blaze if handled improperly (or even just touched).

Never use water on a grease fire.

If you think you have a grease fire, don't use water to put it out. Water causes the oil in the pan to spread and can make the flames larger. Instead, get yourself a dry powder fire extinguisher and aim for the base of the flame. Having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen incase of an emergency is always a good idea.

Call a Professional.

If you are in doubt about how to use a fire extinguisher, or if you feel unsafe near the fire, call the fire department. If that's not possible, or if it takes too long for them to arrive and put out your blaze, then here are some other ways that you can handle it yourself. Call a professional fire extinguisher service. There are many companies that offer this kind of service, they'll come out with their own equipment and take care of everything!

Call a professional fire damage restoration company. They can help clean up any messes left behind by extinguished flames before they cause any more damage than necessary. Give SERVPRO a call for remediation after a fire loss to your property.

As you can see, there are many ways to extinguish a fire. Even so, it's important to remember that safety always comes first. If you are unsure about how to use a fire extinguisher or if there is any doubt in your mind about whether or not you should use one at all, call 911 immediately! 

Factors to Consider When Getting Professional Mold Inspection

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp areas. It can be found growing on any organic material, and it thrives in warm, dark places with high humidity. Mold growth can be an issue in homes and businesses, leading to structural damage. If you notice mold around your home or business, it's important to have it professionally inspected and tested as soon as possible. An inspector will advise you on what actions should be taken based on the results of their inspection and testing services.

Hidden Mold

Mold is sometimes visible and sometimes invisible to the naked eye. Mold can be seen as a black or green discoloration, as a black or white powdery substance, and as a black or brown slimy substance. The growth of mold can be in different colors due to its spores being present on many surfaces in your home or office. 

Property Damage from Mold

When you hire a professional to check for mold, they will assess the property thoroughly and identify any potential issues. Mold can cause property damage as it grows throughout your home or business. The presence of mold is also an indicator that there is water damage somewhere in your building.

Mold growth has a negative impact on the value of your home; when it's visible, buyers will usually consider this problem before making their final decision on whether or not they want to buy the property.

Professional Mold Inspection

If you suspect that there may be mold in your home, it's best to get an inspection done by a certified inspector.

This can help you determine whether or not there is actually any visible mold on the surfaces of your home and also what kinds of molds are present in the air quality of your home.

Similarly, if there has been any recent water damage or leaks that have caused moisture problems in your home (such as a flooded basement), then professional mold testing should also be performed to ensure that the moisture levels have been brought back down to normal levels before returning to living spaces where occupants will spend time breathing them in every day.

Getting a Mold Sample

Choose the location of the test. It is important for you to choose where you want your home inspected, or what area of your home you would like tested. Your inspector should be able to assess all possible places where mold can grow and provide you with a list of areas that need to be checked out as well as ones that are safe from contamination.

Indoor Air Quality Check

Inspectors should be able to conduct an indoor air quality test on request. If you have a concern about the amount of airborne mold in your home, you can ask for an indoor air quality test. The results of this test will help determine whether remediation is necessary and effective.

Mold Remediation Professionals

SERVPRO of Egg Harbor/ Township is available 24/7. If you are experiencing a mold emergency or need professional mold remediation services, call us at 609-383-9785. Our staff can help you with any questions or concerns regarding the cleanup process and will be happy to provide you with an estimate for any necessary work.

If you suspect that you have a mold problem in your Egg Harbor home, it is important that you take action. Mold can be dangerous and harmful to your health. The first step is to contact SERVPRO for expert mold removal services.

9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Water Damage Restoration Company

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

Half of wood flooring removed, air movers placed on a room Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, as they are all reasonable and pertinent to the services you will receive.

9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Water Damage Restoration Company

The water damage restoration industry is a highly competitive industry to be in. No matter what city or state you live in, there are likely many restoration companies to choose from after suffering from a water loss. That's why it's important to do your research when choosing a water damage restoration company. The last thing you want to do is hire an inexperienced company to handle your water disaster. You want to make sure they have the right equipment, staff, and training to handle any type of water damage. So, before you hire a restoration company, ask them questions about.

1. How Long Have They In Business?

It's important to ask a restoration business how long they have been in business because not only does it show that they have been around for a while, which means they're likely to be more reliable, but it also shows that they are experienced and know what they're doing. If you're looking for a company to do some work on your house, it's best to find one that has experience with that kind of work, so you can trust that the job will be done well and correctly.

Make sure to ask the restoration business the following:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • How long have they been in the industry?
  • How long have they been providing this type of service?

2. Do They Have a License?

It is important to verify that your water damage restoration company has a license. In some states, it is illegal for anyone other than a licensed contractor to perform any type of water damage repair. Licenses are an excellent indicator of quality because they indicate that the company has met certain standards and has been reviewed by a third-party appraiser.

3. Do They Have Experience?

The next step is to ask about their experience. You need to know that the company has had experience in dealing with your type of water damage, whether it is a flood or another type of disaster. How many times have they performed restoration services like yours? What types of jobs have they completed in the past? Do they have references? It's important to ask these questions because if they haven't done this type of work before, there may be some mistakes made that could cost you more money down the road.

4. What Services do They Offer?

Once you've established that the company you're considering is licensed and insured, it's time to start asking questions. 

What services do they offer? Water damage restoration companies will typically offer a variety of services including water removal, dehumidification, furniture removal and air quality testing. They may also be able to help with odor removal as well as sanitation and cleaning. A good water damage restoration company will also be prepared to restore your property back to its pre-damaged state.

5. Are They Available 24/7?

If you have an emergency situation, it's important to know that your water damage restoration company can be reached 24/7. What happens if you have a flood at 2am? Will they pick up the phone and help you then? You want a company that will respond quickly when you need them most. That's just one of the benefits of working with a full-service restoration company such as SERVPRO of Egg Harbor/Township—they're available 24/7 for emergency calls or after-hours emergencies.

6. Will They Work with My Insurance?

While it is your job to pay for the repairs, you will find that many insurance companies are willing to reimburse you if they can determine that the damage was not your fault. Insurance companies have their own process for deciding whether or not they will pay for a claim. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, ask before hiring a company.

7. What Type of Equipment Do They Use?

Water damage restoration companies have a myriad of equipment at their disposal. Some of these tools are considered standard industry equipment, while others are unique to the company you choose. One way to find out what type of equipment they use and why is by asking them about it directly. If you’re not sure what they should be using, here’s a list:

  • Dehumidifiers – These machines remove excess moisture from your home so that it can dry quickly and prevent mold growth. They also keep humidity levels low which prevents further damage from occurring in your home
  • Steam cleaners – This machine uses high-temperature hot water steam to clean up any remaining dirt or grime left behind by the flood water in your house after it has been removed
  • Air movers – These fans blow air around your home so that all its surfaces get dried properly before being covered up again; this helps prevent further damage from occurring because airflow will be improved thus allowing better circulation throughout every room

8. Are the Technicians Trained?

One of the most important questions to ask when hiring a water damage restoration company is whether or not they have trained technicians. This will allow you to be certain that the job will be done right and in a timely manner, which can often mean the difference between having dry floors and walls or remaining damp for weeks on end.

Trained technicians are also more likely to do an excellent job at cleaning up your Northfield, NJ home after it has been damaged by water because they know what equipment works best for removing mold and mildew from surfaces such as carpeting or drywall. If there is no training involved, then chances are good that whoever comes out to assess your situation might not know how best clean up after such an event.

Trained technicians are much faster than amateurs when it comes time for repairs because they have been taught how best get rid of all moisture as soon as possible!

9. What Will the Process Look Like?

What will the process look like? How long will it take for them to be on-site, and how long does each step take? It’s important to know these things beforehand so that you can plan appropriately.

How will they remove water and dry your home? The type of drying equipment used depends on several factors, including where your home is located, its construction materials, and whether it was flooded by sewage or fresh water. However, they should still have a plan in place for dealing with any kind of water damage situation.

Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, as they are all reasonable and pertinent to the services you will receive. This information will help you determine if a company is right for your needs or if there are better options available.

How To Drain a Flooded Basement?

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

How Can a Flooded Basement Be Drained?

When a basement floods, it's important to act quickly. It's also important to know for sure if the water is coming from a clean source.

Steps to Drain Flooded Basement

Identify the source of water: After you have determined that your basement is flooding, identify the source of the water. If it is not coming from a clean source, such as a rainwater downspout or broken pipe, then call a professional to take care of it. If it is coming from a clean source, you can use a sump pump to remove the water.

Use a sump pump: Sump pumps are quite popular and can be found at most home improvement stores. They are not meant to replace a commercial pump, but they can help you get the water out of your basement quickly.

For sump pumps to work properly, make sure that you install them in an area where there is enough space around them so that they can drain all the water from your basement. If there isn’t enough room around the pump itself, then you may want to consider installing additional drainage pipes or using an underground drain system instead of buying a new sump pump altogether.

Call an Expert

Remember that it’s always better to call an expert. If you decide to clean the water yourself, wear protective clothing like gloves and a rubber apron. Do not use bleach or other chemicals—they can react with the materials in your basement and cause more damage than good. Instead, use a pump to remove as much of the water as possible before calling for help.

If your basement has been flooded due to heavy rain or another natural disaster, don’t try drying out or cleaning up on your own! You could make things worse by using chemicals that are harmful when mixed with other substances found in basements (such as those used in washing machines). 

Pump out the Water

If you have a sump pump, use it. If you don’t know how to use a sump pump, call an expert. If you can’t find a source of clean water to pump out the water, then it’s time to get creative and improvise.

If your basement is completely flooded, call 911 immediately and let them know about your situation. They will send out emergency personnel who can help evacuate people in need or aid with other tasks such as pumping out flooded basements or saving pets from drowning in flood waters.

When a Basement Floods- Act Quickly

It's also important to know for sure if the water is coming from a clean source or an unclean source. If you don't know where the water is coming from, you may end up using a lot of time and resources on something that won't help at all.

If your basement has flooded because of a leak in your roof, then there's no need to continue reading this article because we will be happy to help! Call us now at (609) 383-9785 and we'll send someone over right away.

With these tips in mind, you can get started on the journey to dry out your basement and keep it that way. It's worth noting that if you have any question about what to do next, call an expert or seek professional help immediately. 

Fire Commercial Cleanup Process

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

technicians covering with plastic buckets of paint inside a grocery store Fire damage in a business.

How To Properly Clean After a Fire

When fire and smoke damage occurs, many people assume that the damage can be cleaned up easily. This is not always the case. In fact, some soot is corrosive and will cause major damage if not addressed immediately by a professional team of experts like SERVPRO® of Egg Harbor/Ventnor City.

The process to handle fire damage in business must be done correctly or it could cause further issues down the line. Below are some steps on how to properly clean up after a fire:

Soot and smoke damage can cause major issues if not addressed immediately.

Soot and smoke damage in the home can cause major problems. If left unattended, they can lead to severe structural damage and even the need to replace damaged items. That's why you'll want to act quickly if a fire has occurred in your home—soot and smoke can wreak havoc on your belongings if you don't address them immediately.

Smoke and soot can linger long after a fire has been put out.

Smoke and soot can linger long after a fire has been put out. The longer you wait to clean up, the greater the damage will be to the structure, its contents, and its occupants.

Some soot is corrosive, meaning it can eat through surfaces and leave rust stains on walls, floors, and ceilings.

It's important to note that some soot is corrosive, meaning it can eat through surfaces and leave rust stains on walls, floors and ceilings. If you see rust stains after your fire cleanup company has cleaned up your property, you may need to get the interior of your home re-painted with a special coating designed for use after a fire event.

SERVPRO® of Egg Harbor/Ventnor City is always here to help with fire restoration services any time you need them most.

SERVPRO® of Egg Harbor/Ventnor City is a locally owned and operated business that has been serving the community for over 30 years. SERVPRO of Egg Harbor/Ventnor City has one of the most advanced fire damage restoration services in the industry, with over 1,400 Franchises nationwide.

If you have recently suffered fires damages or need help with smoke removal, please contact us today!

Fire commercial cleanup process; removing smoke and soot from business

The fire commercial cleanup process is an important part of dealing with a fire, not only in terms of helping to restore your business but also in improving the overall safety of the building. When it comes to fire commercial cleanup, there are several steps that you may need to take. First and foremost, you'll want to make sure that no one was hurt or injured during the incident. If someone was injured by smoke inhalation or other injuries related to fires, they will likely need immediate medical attention—you should call 911 immediately if this is the case. It's also important for you (or whoever is responsible for running your business) to check with your insurance company about any coverage issues that may arise from this event; if someone has been injured due to negligence on your part (such as leaving hazardous materials near heat sources), then this could put some serious strains on your financial situation down the road!

Fire commercial cleanup process; removing smoke and soot from business

Smoke and soot damage can cause major issues if not addressed immediately. SERVPRO® of Egg Harbor/Ventnor City is always here to help with fire restoration services any time you need them most.

3 Smoke Odor Remediation Techniques

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Removing Odor After a Fire

Smoke cleaning can be used to return your home to its pre-fire condition. Once the cleanup and restoration process is complete, you may find you still have some lingering odors that make your home less than habitable. Fortunately, there are several techniques that professionals often use to remove the smell of smoke. If you have experienced smoke damage in Somers Point, NJ, you may need the help of an expert to remedy the situation. Luckily, there are three techniques that are often used to remove odors after a fire.

1. Thermal Fogging
Fogging machines use a petroleum-based deodorizer that counteracts the smoke molecules, rendering them odorless. Since this works by emitting a thick fog, it can easily get into small cracks and crevices where other techniques may have a harder time reaching. It is not safe to be in the room while the fog is present. Anyone that remains in the room must wear respiratory protection.

2. Ozone Machines
Ozone generators perform smoke cleaning by releasing additional ozone into the air. These machines use an electrical charge to break down oxygen molecules. After the atoms sort themselves back into oxygen molecules, the smoke odor should be gone for good. Ozone is dangerous at high levels, so everyone should leave the room until the ozone level returns to normal. It will not be safe to enter the residence until the process is complete.

3. HEPA Filters
High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestors, more commonly known as HEPA filters, work by trapping up to 99.97% of particulates. The system sucks the air into the device, passes it through the filter, and releases it on the other side. Most odor-causing particles will become trapped inside the filter, leaving you with only clean air.
Smoke cleaning is a special skill that requires special training and equipment to safely and effectively remove odors. If you are dealing with unwanted odors after a fire, call a professional fire restoration service for help.

Mitigate Damage While Waiting for Adjuster

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Rising water in your Scullville, NJ, home can result in significant flood damage. Once it is safe to re-enter your home, you want to start getting your home back to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, your flood insurance company may have been bombarded with claims, resulting in having to wait. Although repairs can’t be made quite yet, there are a few ways to minimize the damage from spreading and ensure a smoother claim process.

Best Practices

As water sits, it can be causing more damage. To avoid that from happening, below are some best practices after a flood.

Document Everything – You will need to wait to throw anything away, but you can start removing saturated items. Before doing that, take pictures and videos of all the affected areas and items.
Start Removing Water – The sooner the water is out, the faster the cleaning process can happen. If you get the go-ahead from your insurer, use a wet vacuum to start the water removal process. If humidity levels outside are low, open doors and windows to increase airflow.
Mitigate Mold Damage – Mold grows fast, often within 48 hours. If possible, remove wet items, such as clothing, bedding and rugs, as soon as possible to minimize growth and potentially salvage more of your belongings.
Ensure Property Is Secure – Depending on the situation, there may be broken windows or roof damage. Temporarily board up windows and secure a tarp in the attic to prevent additional moisture seeping in.

Call the Professionals
Although you have to wait to see what your flood insurance will cover, calling a water damage and restoration specialist gives you a better idea of the extent of the damage. After the inspection, they will provide a plan of action for restoring your home. A trusted professional will also have the know-how regarding working with insurers.
Flood insurance can be a lifesaver, but it may still require waiting. While it’s always best to verify what can be done from your insurer, a few small steps may minimize the damage.

Everything To Know About Water Damage Restoration

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers placed on a room, wooden floor removed due to water damage Water damage restoration in Pleasantville, NJ

If you notice the supply line leaking in your commercial property, you may not think it is a big deal. However, the leak could eventually cause the pipe to break. This, in turn, could create a massive flood inside your Pleasantville, NJ, building.
Pipe burst cleanup involves more than just wiping away the excess water. Carpet and drywall must be dried thoroughly to stop the growth of bacteria and mold. For best results, you should contact a remediation company following a water disaster.

Water Restoration Process

Water restoration professionals will do what they can to salvage your building. The experts should follow the below process.

1. Assessment and Inspection
The specialists will start by surveying the water damage and classifying the water loss. The pros can then estimate the cost of the repairs.

2. Water Removal
The experts will next use powerful vacuums and pumps to extract the standing water from the property. They may also remove hardwood floors or carpets if necessary.

3. Dehumidifying and Drying
Dehumidifiers and air movers should eliminate any lingering wetness. The pipe burst cleanup specialists will monitor the moisture levels in the floors and walls to determine when the building is sufficiently dry.

4. Sanitizing and Cleaning
After the water is gone, the professionals will use various cleaning techniques to remove any contaminants. This process may include mold remediation, as well.

5. Restoration
Finally, the cleanup pros will return your building to the way it was before the flood. This could require extensive reconstruction.

Water Restoration Certification
Of course, not all water cleanup companies are the same. The experts you hire should be properly trained. Otherwise, they could leave your property in worse shape than it was before they arrived.
Look for specialists who are members of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This regulatory agency provides industry standards for remediation experts.
A massive supply line break does not have to destroy your business. Certified pipe burst cleanup professionals will know the right techniques for restoring a flooded building.

Mold FAQs

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind a water heater Mold from water heater break

What To Do If Your Home Is Suffering From Mold Damage?

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the vast majority of homeowners do have to deal with at some point. Ensuring that you take care of the problem quickly and effectively is the best way to prevent a tiny mold problem from spiraling out of control. Read on to have some of your common questions answered, especially if you suspect that your Somers Point, NJ, home is suffering from a mold issue.

1. Where is Mold Commonly Found?
Mold thrives in damp, dark places. This means that rooms, such as your kitchen, bathroom, garage and basement are all especially susceptible to unwanted mold. Any areas in your home that have recently suffered some type of water damage are also at risk.

2. How Can You Tell Whether You Have a Mold Problem?
You can usually spot mold with the naked eye. Black mold, one of the most common residential varieties, looks like a dark black or green stain that spreads across the surface of an object. A musty or dank smell is also a good indication of a mold presence.

3. How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
Keeping your home as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent a mold issue. This involves cleaning spills and leaks as soon as they occur, ensuring your home doesn't suffer from high humidity levels and properly ventilating your home to prevent condensation from building up. Performing regular mold inspections can also help you catch the issues while they're still small.

4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you'd be able to get rid of it simply by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and organic matter could potentially halt its spread, but it won't kill the existing mold.
It's important that you address a mold issue swiftly and effectively in order to prevent the situation from becoming worse. If you discover unwanted mold growth in your home, make sure to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

Tips for Preventing Bathroom Mold

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Ways To Limit Mold Buildup in Your Bathroom

Water damage to your Margate, NJ, home is more than just a minor inconvenience. It can also encourage the growth of mold throughout your house. Mold thrives in moist areas, so any wet locations are more susceptible to the fungus.
It is thus no surprise that bathrooms are a common location for mold. However, there are steps you can take to limit the buildup of mold near your sink or bathtub. All you need is:

  • A squeegee
  • A scrub brush
  • Grout sealer

Bathroom Walls
Whenever you use your shower, its walls quickly get coated in water. If you let this water sit there, mold will start to develop. You should thus squeegee the walls each time you take a shower or bath.

While tile adds a bit of style to your bathroom, it is also prone to water damage. In particular, water can get trapped in the grout lines between each tile. You should thus apply grout sealer to the tile annually. Use a toothbrush for those hard-to-reach locations.

Bathroom fans are another great mold prevention tool. Run your fan every time you use the shower or bath, and keep on the fan for at least a half-hour afterward.
For best results, choose a fan that removes most of the moisture within five or 10 minutes. If your fan takes longer than that, then you should switch to a fan that has a larger airflow. Calculate your bathroom's ideal airflow by multiplying its square footage by 1.1 (if you have an 8-foot ceiling) or 1.5 (if you have a 9-foot ceiling).
To prevent mold, you need to limit the amount of moisture in your bathroom. Still, even if you do keep your bathroom fairly dry, a sudden leak or pipe emergency can cause severe water damage that leads to mold growth.
Trying to clean this mold on your own only exacerbates the problem. However, local mold remediation specialists can address the fungus promptly.

3 Causes of Overflowing Toilets

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Three Reasons Why Your Toilet Might Overflow

When you own a house, there are a variety of challenges that you might face. Overflowing plumbing fixtures is a common problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. It can require sewage cleaning and repairs and can sometimes become reoccurring. If your toilet is overflowing when you take a shower, this means that the water is unable to drain properly. The following are a few reasons why this might happen in your Ventnor, NJ, home.

1. A Clog

The first potential culprit of your overflowing toilet is a clogged pipe. This can happen when items in the drain don’t disintegrate properly. To prevent this, be careful of what you flush down the toilet or pour down the sink. Food, grease, paper towels, wipes, and other items that are not designed to be disposed of in this way can cause clogs and damage.

2. Overgrown Tree Roots

Something else that may be blocking the drain and causing a toilet overflow is tree roots. Sometimes, particularly if there are small cracks or leaks in the pipe, roots can be drawn to the moisture inside and begin to grow there. When this happens, water is unable to move through the pipes in these areas.

3. Damaged Pipes

Over time, aging pipes can begin to weaken or may become damaged by the environment. If this happens, then sewage cleaning is almost inevitable. Be sure to perform maintenance on your plumbing system regularly and replace pipes that show early signs of damage, such as rust or small holes, to prevent them from breaking.
No matter the cause, an overflowing toilet can be an inconvenience at best and the cause of severe damage to your house at worst. If you have a large amount of water in your home, it is a good idea to have sewage cleaning done by a professional cleanup and restoration service. They can help locate the cause of the overflow and perform any necessary repairs.

4 Things You Shouldn't Do After a Flood

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Four Things To Avoid After a Flood

If a flood in Linwood, NJ, has caused water damage to your home, you might be wondering what to do next. An emergency of this kind is not always the easiest to handle, particularly if you are feeling stressed or panicked. If you find yourself in this situation, there are some things you should avoid doing to keep yourself and your family safe.

1. Don’t Touch Flood Water
Water from a flood is often highly contaminated. It picks up dirt, waste and debris and can bring it inside your house. Try to avoid entering areas with a lot of water and, if you do find it necessary, wear protective gear to keep the water from touching your skin.

2. Don’t Hesitate To File a Claim
If you have flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long after the damage has occurred to start your claim can affect the amount of money that you are able to receive. In some cases, your claim may be denied entirely.

3. Don’t Wait To Arrange For Repairs
Storms can damage your home in several ways. Flood water can ruin building materials and contribute to mold growth if it is not removed quickly. An emergency cleanup and repair company can remove water, rebuild certain areas if necessary and clean damaged belongings.

4. Don’t Travel On Flooded Roads
It can be uncomfortable to remain in a flooded home before repairs are completed. However, it is better to stay where you are than to drive in unsafe conditions. If the roads are flooded, they can make it difficult to control the vehicle and can even cause damage to the car.
Avoiding these actions if there is flood water in your house can help you navigate the situation more easily. Stay away from contaminated water and contact professionals to help manage difficult tasks that you cannot do on your own. After a flood, your safety should be your top priority.

What Do You Do If a Pipe Breaks in Your Building?

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

What Should You Do If a Pipe in Your Building Bursts?

If a disaster strikes in your Northfield, NJ, office building, you want to be ready to act. You have to consider the safety of everyone in the building. You also worry about office equipment and materials. Bursting pipes, for example, can cause extensive flooding, leading to damage and destruction. If you know how to respond appropriately to this situation, you can minimize long-term problems. 

1. Shut Off the Water
Once you notice bursting pipes, get everyone to safety. You should then turn off the main water to the building as soon as possible. This will prevent more water from spilling out of the broken or damaged pipes and causing more flooding.

2. Turn Off the Electricity
Next, shut off the electricity to the Northfield, NJ, building. If there is water damage or standing water around, on or near any electronics, there is a risk of shock or electrocution. 

3. Call a Plumber
Fortunately, in emergencies, many plumbers are available to come to your business 24/7. An experienced plumber has the knowledge and training to fix a broken pipe and address other concerns. A plumber can also replace other plumbing components.

4. Begin Removing Water
You don't want to leave water in your building for long. It can continue to damage flooring, electronics, furniture, and other items. Plus, mold can begin to form. Use a wet vacuum to clear out as much water as you can. 

5. Call a Water Cleanup Company
If the flooding is widespread, you should contact a professional disaster cleanup company to remove the water. Professionals have the right equipment and proven methods to thoroughly get rid of any remaining water and dry the affected areas. The company will also rebuild and replace ruined materials. 
Bursting pipes can create significant damage to your building. The faster and more effectively you respond, the better.

3 Things to Understand About a Nor'easter

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Nor'easter Facts You Should Be Aware Of

If you live in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, you may be familiar with Nor'easters. This strong storm can cause significant damage, and it can be dangerous to be out in. Named because of the fact it normally hits the northeastern region, a Nor'easter may not come along very often, but you should be prepared if one does. The following are some Nor'easter facts you should be aware of.

1. It Generally Occurs During the Colder Months
The most common months for this storm are from September to April, as the cold air coming down from Canada mixes with warmer air, and this is a perfect combination for a big storm. However, this type of storm can happen at any time during the year.

2. A Nor’easter Produces Dangerous Conditions
This devastating storm produces heavy precipitation in the form of rain or snow, strong winds, high tides and rough seas. The storm typically lasts one or two days, and the conditions make it dangerous to drive or even be outside. The winds can cause power lines and trees to fall, causing widespread outages.
Flooding is a common occurrence with this type of storm. If you discover flood waters in your home, it is important to call flood restoration specialists to clean up the damage. Waiting to get rid of the water and dry things out can have disastrous results.

3. There are Two Different Types
The two types of storms are named after the gentleman, J.E. Miller, who first classified the storm in the 1940s. Miller type A forms along the Gulf coast and then moves up the east coast. This is the classic type. Miller type B forms in the Midwest and heads east towards the Appalachian Mountains.
A Nor'easter is a strong storm that causes a lot of damage. If you experience this type of storm and have damage to your home, it is important to start cleanup and restoration right away.

How To Clear a Clogged Drain Without Damaging Your Pipes

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

How to Unclog a Drain Without Causing Damage to Your Pipes

When you notice a clogged drain in your home in Longport, NJ, you want to clear it as quickly as possible. However, did you know that certain drain cleaning methods can cause permanent damage to your pipes? By understanding how different methods work and what alternatives there are for clearing out your pipes, you can help to protect your home and its intricate plumbing system.

Chemical Drain Cleaner
If you use a product that is chemically based, you may cause damage to your plumbing. Many liquid cleaners work by instigating an electron transfer process. As electrons are added to or taken away from organic substances stuck in your drain, heat energy is created. The heat breaks the clog down enough that it can then be flushed down the pipe with water.
There are three common types of chemical drain cleaners:

  • Oxidizing
  • Caustic
  • Acid

Unfortunately, if you have grease, oils, or fats stuck in your clogged drain, the chemical cleaners may just cause the mass to move farther down the pipe. As well, over time, the heat caused by the chemical reaction can cause the pipes themselves to erode or become weaker.

Biological Agent
A biological agent uses nontoxic live enzymes or bacteria to eat away at the clog. This method works best on organic messes and can take around 24 hours to work, but it will not damage your pipes in the process.

Mechanical Drain Opener
The idea behind a mechanical drain opener is that the clog can be forced down the pipe without using heat energy or chemicals. A thrust of the plunger will send a burst of water, hopefully with enough force to dislodge what is stuck in your drain.
A drain auger works by making physical contact with the mass stuck in your pipe. When properly used, it should be able to dislodge most blockages without causing any damage. A professional sewage cleaning company can clear your drain in the safest and quickest way possible.
A clogged drain can interfere with your routine and quickly become a nuisance for everyone in the home. Choose the right way to clean the drain to preserve your plumbing.

Top Tips for Avoiding a Natural Gas Fire

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Top Natural Gas Fire Prevention Tips

Gas lines to your home are one of the wonders of the modern era. At the turn of the switch, plentiful gas flows into your home in a steady, controlled manner, allowing you to cook your meals, heat your home and clean your clothes. Occasionally, a gas leak occurs, leaving your home vulnerable to a gas fire. A few precautions and a little bit of knowledge can better prepare you and your family for such a scenario.

How To Identify a Gas Leak

Natural gas is colorless and odorless. To help with detection, a chemical called mercaptan is added to give gas a recognizable smell. The odor is commonly described as that of rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide. Look for these signs to detect a gas leak:

  • The sudden smell of rotten eggs
  • A hissing sound coming from gas pipes
  • A stove burner turned on but no flame

To prevent a gas fire make sure everyone in your home knows these signs of a gas leak. It may be helpful to children to let them smell natural gas with mercaptan so they can identify it.

How To Respond to a Gas Leak

If you suspect a leak, make a quick check of the stove to make sure all burners are off. Don't turn on any lights, as this could cause a spark and result in a gas explosion. Increase ventilation in the home by opening doors and windows. Have someone call 911 when that person is safely outside the home. If you know where your gas meter is located (normally outside of the home), try to locate a turn-off valve. A wrench may be needed to turn it to the off position.

If you do experience a gas fire, call in a fire cleanup team once the flames are extinguished. Look for a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster and that can help with all aspects of fire recovery.

What Steps Are Necessary for Commercial Smoke Cleanup After a Fire?

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling, walls and structure damaged by fire SERVPRO of Egg Harbor and Township offers fire restoration and cleanup services.

Steps for Fire Restoration

When a fire affects your Scullville, NJ, commercial property, the cleanup process may feel overwhelming. Not only must you contend with flooding from fire hoses and scorched building materials, but multiple floors may also have serious smoke damage. This may all seem difficult to handle, but learning the steps a fire restoration company may take to repair the damage can have you feeling more confident about returning to business operations faster.

Once a contractor or the fire department deems the building safe to enter, fire restoration technicians will assess your commercial property and note which services you will need. Depending on the severity of the fire, you may require multiple needs, including:

  • Smoke cleaning
  • Removal of damaged building materials
  • Gathering and removal of fire debris

The technicians will likely keep you up to date about which services your building needs so you can calculate costs and report them to your insurance company

Appraising Smoke Damage Needs

Smoke can cause a great deal of damage to a variety of items inside your business, such as furniture, inventory and electronic equipment. Porous objects will absorb the smoke and its odor, which can discolor and tarnish metals, fabrics and glass. Smoke can also cause some items to yellow, which can make them appear dirty.

Specialized Cleaning

When your building suffers smoke and soot damage, a fire cleanup and restoration service can bring in specialized cleaning materials, such as ozone machines, to clean soot and odors from each room. After a serious fire, smoke odor cannot be cleaned away with room deodorizers, as they are usually not powerful enough to eliminate these smells completely.
Cleaning up after a fire at your Scullville, NJ, business can feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to smoke damage and ridding your building of the odors a fire can cause. The more you understand the cleanup process, the more confident you can feel about the outcome.

What To Do After a Basement Flood

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

After a Basement Flood, What Should I Do?

Flooding in your Cardiff, NJ, basement can cause serious problems. Fortunately, further damage can often be prevented with quick and careful action.

Potential Issues
A basement flood can lead to a variety of other problems. Some of the most common are the following:

  • Electrical hazards
  • Mold growth
  • Structural damage

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, so it is extremely important to be mindful of all sources of electricity in a flooded room. Before you begin cleaning, turn off the power to the basement. Do not use any electronic devices or appliances until an electrician has told you that it is safe to do so.
Mold growth and structural damage are less immediate threats but should still be prevented if possible. Fungus can begin to grow on wet items within 24 hours. Additionally, the longer your items are wet, the more likely they are to suffer structural degradation. Therefore, it is important to dry out the area as soon as possible.

Cleanup Process
The first step to take in cleaning a water-damaged basement is finding and stopping the source of the flooding. Pipe repair and other necessary actions should be completed before you begin drying. It won’t do any good to dry out the basement if a pipe is still leaking. Once the source of the water has been addressed, it is time to begin drying and cleaning the area. Use wet/dry vacuums or pumps to remove standing water and fans or dehumidifiers to pull out any remaining moisture. Then sanitize all affected areas, and throw away anything that cannot be completely sanitized and dried. When everything is clean and dry, begin making repairs or procuring replacements for damaged items.
Basement flooding is a fairly common problem that can happen to anyone. Fortunately, taking adequate safety precautions and acting quickly decreases the likelihood of many of the associated risks occurring.

4 Essential Things To Do When Filing a Fire Damage Claim

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

When Filing a Fire Damage Claim, There Are Four Things You Must Do

If a fire occurs in your Pleasantville, NJ, home, you may be at a loss for what to do next. One of the most important tasks to complete is filing a fire damage claim. Doing this can allow you to cover the fire restoration process. If you're unfamiliar with this task, here are four essential things to do when filing a fire damage claim.

1. Study Your Coverage

To make the most out of your insurance policy, you must study your coverage. These are particularly important factors to investigate:

  • What damages are covered
  • How soon your claim should be filed
  • What your next steps are

If you need more thorough information, you can call your insurance company for help. Just be sure beforehand that you're planning on filing a claim.

2. Ask About Assistance

If your home is uninhabitable after the fire, you may be able to receive assistance from your insurance company. Part of your fire insurance could include housing, at least until your home has been restored. You may also be able to get essential products replaced. Keep in mind that these expenses may be taken out of your claim.

3. Document the Damage

Your fire restoration costs won't be covered unless the damage can be located and proven. If it's safe, walk through your home and look for damaged areas or items. Be sure to document what you see, preferably with visual proof. This will also be useful when an adjuster comes to inspect your home. When this happens, you can be sure every bit of damage is noted.

4. Keep Your Claim Open

While it may be easy to close your claim after getting the initial fire restoration payment, this could become problematic after a while. You may find that further damage has occurred since the accident. In case this happens, consider keeping your claim open for a while afterward.
Covering smoke cleaning and other aspects of the restoration process is essential. Therefore, it's important to file a claim as soon as possible.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Flood

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

Steps to Flood-Proofing Your Business

If you’re expecting flooding in Somers Point, NJ, it’s a good idea to prepare your business to reduce or prevent any serious damage. There are several steps that you can take to minimize the impact of this natural disaster.

1. Relocate Important Items

Water can cause damage to most items in your building, from paper documents to electronics. To keep these safe from the flood, move anything you can to a higher floor. Waterproof containers can be an additional level of safety for smaller objects. Using tarps or other protective covering can reduce flood damage to items that cannot be moved.

2. Prepare Your Employees

Not only can flooding cause damage to your property, but it can also make it unsafe to travel. Creating a plan for severe weather will help everyone stay prepared for emergency situations that occur while you are at work. You may also want to plan for everyone to work from home until the storm has passed.

3. Create an Emergency Kit

If you are at the office, you should have emergency supplies prepared. This should include flashlights and extra batteries in case the power goes out. A battery-powered radio can also be helpful, allowing you to stay updated on the situation. Make sure to have plenty of bottled water and ready-to-eat food as well, in case you are stuck in the building.

4. Inspect the Building for Damage

While your building should be regularly maintained, you may want to do a quick check for any issues before a big storm. If the building is already damaged, then it is more vulnerable to additional storm damage as well. An emergency restoration service can help perform an inspection and make necessary repairs.

You cannot control mother nature, but you can make an effort to prepare for an emergency. Taking the right precautions can help reduce the effect that flooding has on your commercial building, your business and your employees.

5 Mold Hazards in Dry Climate Buildings

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

5 Mold Hazards in Dry Climate Buildings

Mold requires moisture for growth. A dry outdoor climate does not necessarily mean that mold is not likely to flourish indoors under certain conditions. Any of these five sources of moisture can sustain black mold growth within a structure in Margate, NJ.

1. Air Conditioning

When it is hot outside, a building air conditioner may run constantly. The cooling coil, condensate drain pan and insulation in an AC cabinet or ductwork may develop mold without regular maintenance.

2. Bathroom Mold

Commercial bathroom facilities are another common location for mold cleanup. Supply lines that can leak or burst or drain lines that back up raise mold risks in these areas. Buildings with showers in addition to toilets may be more prone to mold.

3. Blocked Drainage

Blocked drain lines can cause mold to form in and around bathrooms as well as on the lowest level of a building. Backed-up toilets, bathroom drains and basement floor drains are the main culprits inside, while poor rain and runoff drainage outdoors can also raise mold risks.

4. Plumbing Leaks

Black mold may be prone to grow anywhere moisture is readily available. A slow leak can keep materials wet long enough that this potentially toxigenic species or other types of mold form. Shut off the water supply as soon as you notice a leak and contact a plumber.

5. Constant Condensation

Condensation may build up in a structure due to the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Droplets may also form around pipes, water-based appliances or structural features and necessitate extensive mold remediation.
Any of these factors can support the growth of mold in a building in Margate, NJ, such as black mold. It is important to have air conditioning and plumbing systems inspected on a regular basis and keep bathrooms and other areas clean and dry to prevent or control a mold problem.

4 Types of Generators To Protect Your Business

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Four Different Types of Generators to Keep Your Business Safe

If you are a business owner in Somers Point, NJ, and have not yet purchased a generator, it's helpful to know your options. A generator is a necessary investment to keep your company up and running during a power outage, but determining what type to buy depends on a few factors:

What your power requirements are
What size space it needs to cover
Whether your business can handle any interruption in service

Portable Generator

Portable generators are great to have for natural disasters like storms and floods when there are widespread power outages, or if a car accident or fallen tree takes down local lines. They are best suited for private homes and small businesses that don't require extensive power to keep everything functional: a few computers, a refrigerator, lights, or small power tools. Most portable generations can power between 3000-10,000 watts.

Standby Generator

Standby generators run on natural gas or liquid propane and kick on as soon as they detect a power outage and are very useful for hotels, restaurants, hospitals, apartment buildings, and commercial buildings. They are even available for residential homes, which is great for those living in areas prone to storms and wind damage.

Inverter Generator

Inverter generators first convert AC power into DC power and then invert it to AC again, to provide an extremely steady current to appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, automobiles, boats and other recreational vehicles that require a particular voltage and frequency. They are lightweight and portable, and therefore well-suited for businesses that have special electricity requirements.

Industrial Generator

Industrial generators, as their name suggests, are heavy-duty commercial generators that can perform seamlessly, even under harsh conditions. Different types utilize different fuel sources: natural gas, diesel, regular gasoline, propane and kerosene. Some industrial generators are even portable, which makes them very useful for situations where larger generators cannot be installed.

A little research and assessment will help you choose which type of generator is right for your company. If you've already sustained damage from a power outage due to a recent storm, it's best to reach out to a storm damage remediation service. They can help you get back on your feet and advise you on how to protect your business in the future.

The Categories of Water Damage

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

wet wooden floor Wooden floor damaged by water.

Categories of Water Damage

If your business in Pleasantville, NJ, has an issue with the plumbing such as a supply line problem or burst pipe, you may have many questions about how to keep your building and your employees safe, such as if this is clean water or black water. In these events, it's important to know what type of water damage you have in order to know how to properly begin your building's restoration.

The category of water damage depends on the severity of the water damage, including the level contamination of the water. Understanding what category of water damage you have is imperative to understanding how to get your building back to its original state as soon as possible.

Category 1

As the water damage categories range in severity, it starts with category one. This is the least severe of the three types. Category one is water that does not contain any contaminants. There are many ways to tell if you have category one water damage, including water damage from any of the following:

  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • An overflowing sink
  • A broken toilet
  • Melted ice or snow

Even with clean water damage, the clean-up process is still important to do promptly. Preventing any lasting water damage is imperative to preserving your building.

Category 2

Category two, or gray water, is water damage from water that is contaminated with chemicals or other material. There are many sources of category two water damage, such as water from a broken dishwasher or washing machine, a sprinkler malfunction or a toilet that is overflowing with urine. Gray water can also be a result of category one water from a broken pipe or other water issue, that has been left out too long.

Category 3

Category three, or black water, is the most severe form of water damage. Blackwater can contain bacteria and viruses and can come from sewage, rising seawater or floodwaters.
Knowing the three categories of water damage is important to the restoration process. It's important to know the difference between clean water, black water and gray water to prevent lasting damage.

How Pretesting After a Home Disaster Can Reduce Insurance Claims

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

A disaster such as a flood at your Ventnor, NJ, home can be devastating. Not only could it displace you and your family, but it can also severely damage or even completely ruin belongings, keepsakes, and even structural components of your house. You’re grateful to have insurance to help cover your losses. However, heavy claims can raise your premiums. To keep claims down, professional restoration teams can conduct extensive pretesting to determine what you can salvage and restore and what you must replace.

What is Pretesting?

This process works in tandem with the initial inspection, and it’s critical before you make an insurance claim. Your insurance provider expects you to make contact quickly after an incident so it knows what it can and will cover. Pretesting helps to accurately make claims by identifying the scope of the issues.

  • Crews will determine what materials and portions of your home were affected.
  • Crews will determine if any parts of your house were untouched by damage.
  • Crews will determine what they can restore and what they must replace.

The Danger of not Pretesting

What would happen if you were to hire the wrong cleanup company—one that didn’t pretest and examine the scene following a flood or other disaster? In this case, you might report unnecessary losses to your insurance agent, which would result in higher claims and more long-term financial burden. A knowledgeable disaster restoration company carefully evaluates this entire scenario and helps limit the number of claims you have to make.

Sometimes Replacement Is Inevitable

There are cases when the company will discover during pretesting that the damage was too great to salvage a portion of your home or a belonging inside. It may be more cost-effective in some instances to replace rather than restore. The team will also determine how long both the restoration and replacement process will take.

Working with an insurance company can be a smooth experience. If you want to minimize claims, it’s best to work with a disaster response company that believes in pretesting.

How To Help Prevent a Fire During a Gas Leak

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

While the building materials of a home provide plenty of kindling when a blaze breaks out, a gas fire can be another matter altogether. In both scenarios, hungry flames devour all in their path, but in a fire caused by an ignition of natural gas, explosive forces can blow out the structure of a home and cause greater demolition and even spread to neighbors more quickly. You can help prevent a disaster from occurring in your home in Linwood, NJ, during a gas leak by learning and remembering this checklist.

What To Do if You Smell Natural Gas

• Ventilate the area as quickly as possible to reduce the gas concentration by opening windows and doors.
• Make sure that your gas stove or oven is turned off.
• Do not plug in, unplug or turn on anything electrical including light switches.
• Learn where the gas line is located and how to shut it off. Turn it to the off position using a wrench.
• Get everyone out of the house and safely away from a potential gas fire explosion, then call 911 immediately.

How To Implement These Safety Steps

Using electricity during a leak can send out invisible sparks that can ignite gas fumes and start a fire, as can static electricity, and even your cell phone. Your best bet is to get everyone out and then investigate the odor’s cause or get help. You should learn where your gas meter is and how the shut-off operates. Keep a wrench to use for that purpose in a set location near the meter in case you need to use it. Get your family out with as little fuss and movement as possible to avoid building up static.

Should you experience a gas fire, or gas explosion, call on fire damage assessment technicians in Linwood, NJ, for help with salvage and restoration. The experience is traumatic enough without trying to deal with those things on your own. Learning what to do proactively if you do smell gas can save your home and even your life.

Four Steps to Protect Your Building from Flooding

2/5/2022 (Permalink)

Four Steps to Flood-Proofing Your Building

If you are in a flood zone, then it is likely in your best interest to prepare your business for the potential of flood damage. There are specific steps you can take to reduce the risk of property loss. However, no amount of preparation can guarantee no damage. Follow the four steps below to minimize your potential property loss.

1. Elevate Critical Equipment

While surge protectors can help save electrical equipment from electrical storm damage, it does little when it comes to floods. To protect computers and other sensitive equipment, you should unplug and elevate the items.

2. Sandbag Doors and Windows

Most flood damage occurs because of unprotected entry points. Therefore, it is necessary to protect all doors and windows. You can accomplish this by building up several barricades of stacked sandbags. These barricades should divert the water away from all points of entry.

3. Secure Furniture

Flooding turns tables, chairs and other nonsecure items into dangerous missiles. Floating furniture can damage windows, doors and even people. It is important to secure all furniture, inside and outside, by weighing it down or moving it to higher ground.

4. Establish an Emergency Response Plan

A disaster restoration specialist in the Northfield, NJ, area will likely offer free assessments of your business. During these assessments, they may discuss how and when you would like their company to respond. A final plan will mean that when a disaster occurs, your chosen restoration team will take action immediately, taking the stress away from you during that time.

Protecting your business from flooding is not necessarily about eliminating all risks of water damage, it is about reducing those risk so that recovery is quicker and easier. A flood is devastating and can interrupt business processes for weeks or months, depending on the level of loss. Be sure to follow the above steps to reduce potential flood damage losses.

3 Factors That Can Influence a Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

3 Things To Consider When Getting A Fire Damage Restoration Estimate

When a fire hits your business or Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, commercial property one of the first things you may consider is getting an estimate for the restoration costs. There are many professional restoration teams that can take care of the many repairs that come with fire damage, but the type of repairs they need to conduct and the costs can be affected by a number of factors. Here are three that could play a part in the quote.

1. Additional Damage Types

When receiving your quote, fire damage may not be the only type of cleanup required. In many cases a fire can also lead to water damaged caused by fire suppression systems or broken pipes. Smoke remediation may also be required. Your damage assessment professional will look at all these factors when factoring your quote.

2. Cleansing Services

The estimate given by your restoration team may also be influenced by the necessary cleaning services required to get everything back to pre-fire condition. These may include smoke odor removal, cleaning of furniture and upholstery, electronics cleaning for affected technology, and in some cases document restoration.

3. Extra Services

Many restoration companies offer additional services you may need to get your property functional again. These can include board up services to protect the building from additional damage during the restoration, debris removal, security services for lengthy repair work, and even help with the insurance claim. The use of these services may have extra costs attached, and should be indicated in your quote.

When receiving a commercial fire estimate it’s important to understand that a number of factors may play into the final price. In addition to standard fire damage clean up, your restoration team may look to see if there are any additional damage types such as smoke odor removal or water damage. You may also have options for cleaning services for damaged items, including documentation and furniture. Additional costs could come from other services you choose to take advantage of as well.

How To Know When Water Damage Requires You To Replace Your Carpet

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. SERVPRO has a team of licensed water damage restoration professionals who are ready to restore your home at any time.

When Is It Time To Replace Your Carpet Due To Water Damage?

When water infiltrates your home, many areas can suffer. Your floor most commonly bears the brunt of a pipe break or other flooding problems. In many cases, a professional flood cleanup company will have to replace the flooring. However, if you’re fortunate, you may be able to salvage this part of your house. It’s helpful to know when your flooring needs to go and when you can save it.

When To Say Goodbye

You may hate to part with your carpet, but even moderate water issues can damage it beyond repair. Here are some cases in which you’ll need to tear it out and put down something new:

  • You detect mold on or under the carpets.
  • The carpet was wet for three days or more.
  • The flooding included black water.

Can’t Deal With Mold

The amount of water and time it sits on your floor has a big effect on whether mold will develop. You can’t keep the flooring if mold is present. Have a specialist look for mold growth.

Time Is Not on Your Side

In the event of a pipe break, severe weather, toilet backup or any other incident that brings water into your house, you hope to detect it early. However, if you’re out of town at the time, or if the leak is in a place you can’t easily find, water can sit on the carpets for several days or longer. In these cases, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to sufficiently clean the area.

If the flooding in your Northfield, NJ, home came from sewage, you’ve got a water problem, and restoration of the affected area is essential.  

If these issues are present following a pipe break or other cause of flooding, you shouldn’t try to keep your carpet. Instead, call an expert to help you clean up and make your space safe again.

Black Mold Is Like the Annoying Visitor Who Never Leaves

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Black Mold Is Like An Inconvenient Friend Who Never Goes Away

The term black mold strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners everywhere. Few know anything about it. Here are some facts that you should know about this fungus:

  • Stachybotrys is its technical name
  • Stachybotrys is not always black
  • Not all black-colored molds are Stachybotrys
  • You don’t want it in your home

Perhaps you already have mold. You didn’t intentionally invite it to visit. You didn’t ask it to stay. It won’t leave anytime soon. It’s a nuisance. It’s unattractive. It’s destructive. It’s a threat. It won’t die. It needs to go. It’s not leaving voluntarily.

Mold Is Relentless

If you go on vacation and your houseplants don’t get watered, they are dead when you return home. No amount of water is going to revive them.
If you remove the source of moisture from black mold, it becomes dormant. When the moisture returns, it comes back to life as if nothing happened.

Start by Finding All the Mold

You found the mold in your home and called in experts to help with the remediation. However, it is important to locate all the mold colonies before the cleanup begins. A conventional technique for finding them involves taking air samples throughout the home. Samples with the highest concentration of mold identify locations close to active colonies.

Mold Cleanup Requires More Than Eliminating the Moisture Problem

The secret to getting rid of mold is to destroy it without releasing any into the air. There are many techniques for doing this. They all require the cleaner to wear a mask and other protective equipment. Some of these techniques are:

  • Abrasive blasting with baking soda or dry ice
  • Treating with chemicals that kill the mold
  • Vacuuming with HEPA filters

Don’t allow the situation to get worse. Call on a team of mold remediation specialists in the Linwood, NJ, area to solve your black mold problem. They are only a phone call away.

How To Respond to Water in Light Fixtures

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

How to Handle Water in Lighting Fixtures

Water that drips from the fixtures can be a pretty frightening experience, especially when you realize the extent of damage that water in light fixtures could represent. If you see water in the ceiling fixtures, don't try to release the water. Take the following steps to prevent further damage.

  • Shut off the electricity to the home at the breaker box.
  • Use a non-contact voltage tester to confirm that power is off.
  • Shut down water to the house at the main shutoff valve.
  • Contact a Ventnor, NJ, professional.

Once these steps have been completed, remove any water-logged furnishings to a dry location.

Keep Your Family and Home Safe

It may seem convenient or even funny to poke at the water in light fixtures, but there's more to worry about than ceiling damage. The combination of water and electricity could put everyone in the home at risk of shock or electrician.

Why Not DIY This Damage?

There are several other reasons to step back and let professionals deal with water in the ceiling. For example, identifying the source of the leak is difficult. The water could have covered a lot of distance before pooling in your fixtures. The water may have caused structural damage or mold, and professionals are often better prepared for dealing with those large-scale problems.

Address the Underlying Problem

Once the leak and the ceiling damage have been addressed, you may want to tackle some other home repairs. If the leak originated with your roof, you might need to repair holes in the roof and replace shingles or other roofing. You may need to replace insulation or clean out the gutters running along the roofing. Once again, significant damage in these areas should be tackled by Ventnor, NJ, professionals.

The best way to maintain safety and prevent further damage to your home is to shut off both the water and electricity and then contact a water damage repair professional. These experts will address water in light fixtures, remove the damaged components, repair the leak and the ceiling damage, and install any new fixtures as necessary.

What You Should Know About Category 1 Water Damage

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment (dehumidifier and air movers) placed in an office building due to water damage. Water damage at an office building in Linwood, NJ.

If your business in Linwood, NJ, is affected by water damage, starting the restoration process quickly can save you time and money. However, category 1 water damage, known as clean water, is often handled differently than other categories of water damage. Knowing what category of water damage your business has sustained can help you prepare for the cleanup process.

What Are the Causes of Category 1 Water Damage

Category 1 water damage is generally considered to be the least severe category of water damage. Common causes of category 1 water damage can include, but are not limited to:

  • A damaged supply line
  • A broken pipe
  • Overflowing water from an appliance

What Do Categories of Water Damage Mean?

Water damage categories are referred to numerically, with the least severe category being 1 and the most severe category being 3. Specifically, categories are classified by the following:

• Category 1: known as clean water, the water is not contaminated and isn’t hazardous to be around
• Category 2: known as gray water, the water is somewhat contaminated and should be removed with caution
• Category 3: known as black water, this type of water damage is highly contaminated and can be hazardous to a person’s health

Can Water Damage Change Categories?

Although category 1 water damage is generally simpler to clean up, it is possible for water damage to change from one category to another. Though water damage is unlikely to become less severe, category 1 water damage can easily turn into category 2 water damage, just as category 2 water damage can turn into category 3 water damage. Even if the original source of the water was clean, sitting water can become contaminated over time, making mold growth likely.
Even though category 1 water damage is considered less severe than other categories of water damage, clean water can still be costly to a business. If your business has sustained water damage, consider contacting professionals who are experienced in water damage restoration.


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