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How Homeowners Can Protect Their Homes Against Flood Damage | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | Western Essex County

8/1/2020 (Permalink)

flood water gushing through a living room We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Did you know that out of all natural disasters, 90% involve some form of flooding? While no one wants to think about the dangers a flood could pose, it is important that homeowners understand their risks.

Though your home may not have a history of flooding in the past, it is still essential to be aware of the risks a flood could pose should it occur.

How to Reduce Damage From a Flood

Here are some ways for flood damage to be prevented for your home:

Stay aware of the risks. Using the FEMA Flood Map Tool or contacting your local authorities in emergency management, you can understand what specific measures you should take to stay aware.

Elevate valuables. Irreplaceable paperwork and documents such as family memorabilia, tax returns and other important files would be better kept in a secondary location, such as a safety deposit box.

Turn off electricity. It may be unlikely that electrical appliances or outlets would be affected by water, but it is still dangerous to have these things be live anywhere near floodwaters. Shut off the electrical breaker to any rooms that are at-risk for a flood.

Anchor propane and fuel tanks. A dangerous spill or even a fire can result from fuel tanks tipping or propane tanks leaking. Remove fuel tanks from the property or anchor them securely.

Discuss emergency procedures. Ensure every member of the household is aware of what to do should the need to evacuate arise. Keep emergency supplies on-hand, and make sure all adults know where to shut off the home’s utilities.

Raise hazardous materials. Elevate things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies to prevent dangerous spills into the floodwater.

Prepare appliances. In the case of a shallow flood, appliances such as washers and dryers can be elevated on bricks or stands to protect the internal workings from water damage.

A disaster, such as a flood, puts into perspective that the most important thing is keeping your family safe. By understanding precautionary measures and disaster action plans, homeowners can protect their family and their home from flood dangers.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Central Union County | Western Essex County is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 247 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call, 908.650.8611.

Why Business Owners Choose Us for Restoration | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | Western Essex County

8/1/2020 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO truck divining down the street. We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For many business owners, sustaining damage to their business can damage more than just their property—it can also damage their entire venture. In a recent FEMA study, they determined 40 to 60% of businesses will not reopen following a natural disaster. That is why if your business has sustained fire, water or mold damage, either due to a disaster or any other cause, it is important to choose a company that is well-versed in commercial restoration.

We know how important your business is to your livelihood, which is why we make it our mission to be experts in commercial restoration. Having a team you trust on your side will help you focus on other crucial business aspects and help get your doors open again faster. These are just a few of the reasons why business owners have chosen us for commercial restoration:

1. We’re Proud of Our Response Time

You may be aware that our slogan is “faster to any size disaster,” but that’s more than just something we say. Our emergency line is open 247, 365 days a year to ensure our restoration experts are alerted right away when a business owner calls to report the damage.

A quick response time not only gives business owners peace of mind, but it also makes the restoration process more efficient. By getting to the scene quickly, our technicians can stop further damage from occurring, saving both time and money on the project. This makes for one less thing business owners have to worry about as they get their business on track to reopen.

2. We’re Proud of Our Technicians

Our technicians are leaders in the restoration field because of the education and training they receive. They study the guidelines set forth by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to learn about best practices, restoration techniques and other insider tips in the field.

Technicians also have the opportunity to further their education through certification programs, online courses and other industry knowledge throughout their employment. This allows them to be prepared for any damage scenario your business might face.

3. We’re Proud of Our Equipment

The materials and procedures we use on commercial restoration projects comply with the IICRC’s guidelines, ensuring we are tackling the job with the most advanced tools in the industry.

From water extraction machines following flooding or odor removal equipment to remove smoke after a fire, we’ve got the tools to make your commercial remediation a success.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today at 908.650.8611.

Understanding Thunderstorm Damage | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | Western Essex County

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning striking in a stormy sky. White house with a brown roof in the background. Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Central Union County & Western Essex County is here to help 24/7.

Thunderstorms are a regular occurrence during the summer season, bringing along the risk of damage to your property.

Thunderstorms come in varying levels of intensity. Do you know what those are?

Understanding Thunderstorms

Across the world, an average of 16 million thunderstorms occur each year. The U.S. can see upward of 100,000 thunderstorms annually, with an estimated 10% earning severe status.

Thunderstorms need certain conditions to be met in order to form. Moisture and rising unstable air are required, along with a “lifting” mechanism, which could be things like hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing that rising motion.

There are three stages in a thunderstorm’s life cycle. Those are the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. It is during the mature stage that things like hail, strong rain, lightning, high winds and tornadoes are most likely to occur.

Common Types of Damage

Thunderstorms can prove dangerous in many different ways, but an extremely serious threat stems from the possibility of seeing flying debris due to high winds.

During severe storms, wind can see speeds in excess of 57.5 mph, and that is certainly high enough to result in damage to your property.

Even the most unexpected items could reach projectile status during a high wind situation. A smart thing to do is make sure you have scouted your yard for items that could turn dangerous, such as tree branches, lawn furniture, and fencing, and then taken steps to secure them before a storm comes into town.

Besides wind damage, thunderstorms can also produce these types of damage:

Lightning damage. Not only can lightning strikes cause a fire, they can also wreak havoc on your electrical systems. Since a lightning strike can pass through the wiring of your home, it can lead to the damage of anything plugged in.

Tornado damage. With wind speeds that can reach as high as 200 mph, tornadoes are especially destructive. They are able to cover a large area and do their damage in a limited amount of time.

Hail damage. Believe it or not, hail damage can top out around $1 billion a year. Small hail can damage crops throughout the country, while larger hail can damage vehicles, roofing and windows.

Flood damage. Rain almost always accompanies a storm, so it should not come as a surprise that heavy rains can turn into flood danger. Flash flooding can have the strength to rip trees out of the ground and sweep items and structures away.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Central Union County is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration. Contact us at 908.650.8611.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Central Union County | Western Essex County at 908.650.8611.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience. Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

An Introduction to Mold Remediation | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Saran wrap isolating an individual area We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When there is water damage in a home or commercial property, mold growth will likely follow. Mold can begin to grow within 48 hours after moisture exposure.

If you are ever facing a mold issue, knowing what steps to take is very important, which is why we have chosen to use this blog to discuss the subject of mold remediation.

Mold Remediation, Not Removal

Mold remediation and mold removal ads are everywhere, and you’ve probably seen ads for these services, but the truth is there is no such thing as mold removal. Removing all mold from a home or business is simply impossible. Instead, a qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation, which in turn brings mold levels back to a normal and natural level.

Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both inside and outside. The issue arises only when a minor mold problem is left untreated and then turns into a major mold issue.

During mold remediation, the contaminated areas will be isolated by technicians. Depending on the amount of remediation required, this would be done by either closing all doors and windows or sealing off all doorways and openings with polyethylene sheeting. The technicians will use a method called “misting” to suppress the dust in the contaminated areas.

Materials that are wet and mold-damaged are removed and discarded in plastic bags. Any areas that have been exposed to and affected by the mold are then thoroughly cleaned and dried. A HEPA vacuum may be brought in at sometime during the remediation process to help remove contamination and debris.

Then, the mold-affected area is treated with a biocide and left overnight to start killing the mold spores. The following day, the mold remediation crew will return and encapsulate the affected area and beyond.

When to Contact a Professional

If you believe your home or business may have been affected by mold, you'll want to act quickly. Upon evaluation of the size of the problem, and if the moldy area is more than 10 square feet, you will want call in the professionals.

The professionals you hire for mold remediation should be highly trained and certified in areas such as:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

While some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, it is always safest to talk to professionals and get the remediation process started quickly before further damage sets in.

Our mold damage specialists are trained and certified experts in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.

Storm Damage: What are the Causes? SERVPRO® of Central Union County | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Four traffic lights and power lines on a dark night in a rain storm. We are available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In the past few months, New Jersey has been experiencing a high level of heavy rainfall. Did you know heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding is one of the common types of damage from storms? There are ten common types of storms and being familiar with them aids in storm preparation and damage prevention.

SERVPRO® of Central Union County knows how important it is to homeowners to keep homes safe from storm damage.

The 5 most common storms are:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Thunderstorms
  • Snow storm
  • Hail storms

Since Union County is so far north and so close to the coast, it’s very possible that you may experience each of these kinds of events.

The fact that hurricanes cause damage far past the coast is obvious, but the kinds of damage they cause and how is not always known.

Since hurricanes have long-term effects (Hurricane Sandy impacted 24 states), it’s very important to be educated on that type of storm in particular.

Hurricane damage is caused by three distinct but related storm elements: storm surge, floods, and wind.

Storm surge is when water rises far past the predicted tide level. This rise occurs because the wind from the hurricane pushes the water toward the shore, giving it nowhere to go, except up and in. The force of storm surge can be so strong as to destroy buildings and roads.

Storm surge is a direct cause of floods. The extra water from storm surge can reach far inland, causing widespread floods as it goes. Hurricanes can also cause rainfall as far as 100 miles past where the hurricane actually hits. Even tropical storms that don’t reach hurricane level can cause excess rainfall and thus floods.

Wind from hurricanes can reach speeds of 74 mph up to 155 mph. Winds of this speed cause widespread destruction by uprooting trees, downing power lines, and carrying debris and tossing it against other structures, even causing roofs to lift. It’s not unheard of for hurricane winds to form tornadoes.

Storm surge, floods, and winds can cause damage that is far-reaching, unexpected, and overwhelming. You can take precautions by packing an emergency preparedness kit, installing weather-resistant features to your house, and always following official safety orders or directives.

Storm damage clean up can be exhausting and dangerous. Don’t do it alone. Call SERVPRO® of Central Union County for expert storm damage restoration services.

Fire Safety Basics to Help Protect Your Family | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

2 fire escapes on a red brick building. We are available for emergency restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Every year in the United States, more than 350,000 house fires happen, adding up to more than $5.5 billion in property damage. Beyond the financial loss, these fires also lead to nearly 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.

The best defense for your family against a fire is to prepare in advance. That’s why it’s important for every person to know how to prevent fires and how to respond if one occurs.

Start teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines when they’re young. Let’s also take a look at three other fire safety practices you can practice as a family:

Watch Out for Fire Hazards

Go through your home. You might be surprised how many fire hazards you spot! Take some time and go through every room and your outdoor space to uncover any hazards.

  • Ensure your appliances are in good shape.
  • Check that electrical cords are in workable condition.
  • Do not overload outlets and/or extension cords.
  • Check to make sure you are using the correct wattage of lightbulbs.
  • Double-check that electrical wiring is not covered up by rugs or carpet.
Creating Your Fire Plan

In the event of a fire, every person in the family needs to know what to do—including how to get out of the house and where to go once they’re out.

But don’t just create a plan and not have practice drills. After all, as the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of what to do makes you more likely to remember the steps if an actual fire occurs.

Practice Kitchen Fire Safety

Cooking is the biggest single cause of home fires. That’s why it’s important to be especially careful in the kitchen.

Anyone who’s cooking needs to familiarize themselves with basic cooking safety:

  • Never cook when tired or unable to pay attention.
  • Do not leave kids and teens alone when they cook.
  • Always keep a lid at hand when cooking on the stove in case of a grease fire. If a small grease fire occurs, use the lid to smother the fire.
  • If a fire occurs in the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed.
  • Leave the room and close the door if a kitchen fire occurs and begins to spread.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, we can help! Give us a call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

It’s Time to Prepare for Spring Storms | SERVPRO® of Central Union County | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

thunder and lightning bolts in a dark grey, stormy sky Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Central Union County & Western Essex County is here to help.

Spring is here! That means that, even though we are enjoying warmer weather, we also must now prepare for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Spring = Thunderstorms

With the arrival of spring comes longer days and more sunshine, but it also brings the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s a toss-up this time of year, meaning the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Unstable temperatures are the cause of the changing weather, with temps that can go from warm to cold even in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms become more common during the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm will occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, a common occurrence in the spring and summer.

In taking a look at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

With these storms comes the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Make Sure Your Family Is Prepared

Weather forecasters are not able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, they do have the technology available to at least give us an idea of severe weather that could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, click here to contact us.

What Could Cause Fires in Your Business | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Two men putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher at their place of business. Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Central Union County & Western Essex County is here to help.

Business owners have many responsibilities, with one of them being safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks that needs some extra consideration is planning for and working toward preventing fires.

Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading causes of structure fires in office properties were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively..

Protect Your Business

By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can take steps to protect your business from a fire risk and help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the fire hazard risk. Fire marshals are often offered in some areas by the local government. During a visit, the fire marshal can offer advice and help identify your business’ risks, providing guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure you have chosen the right fire protection equipment. This should include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, and more importantly, consider your employees and visitors. By creating a fire prevention and evacuation plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct regular fire drills at least annually to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and routes and also the location of first-aid kits.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. Click here to contact us to learn about our fire damage repair and restoration.

How to Prevent House Fires | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Brick and vinyl sided house on residential street with flames coming out of the garage. A quick response from SERVPRO of Central Union County | Western Essex County ensures your Damage Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Smoke alarms are a great tool for house fire prevention, but they are not the only way to lessen your risk.

The causality of house fires is varied, but one thing that is consistent is how frequently they occur. By learning about the statistics and proven prevention methods, homeowners can keep their families safe.

The Numbers Behind House Fires

In the United States, it is reported that a home fire is put on record every 24 seconds according to the NFPA. That works out to nearly 8,600 house fires a day.

Though the vast majority of house fires are cooking-related, malfunctioning appliances, frayed wiring or cords, and carelessness with open flames are also often to blame. Because fires spread rapidly and can quickly consume an entire home, it is essential to be vigilant in prevention for the safety of your household.

House Fires Prevention Tips

Being proactive is the best defense against house fires. By keeping these fire prevention tips in mind, you can minimize your risk and keep your home safer:

Maintain smoke detectors. Maintain your smoke detectors by testing them each month and replacing them every 10 years.

Clean the dryer. After each load of laundry is dried, make a point to clear lint from the tray. Lint can build up and become a fire hazard when the dryer gets warm.

Keep an eye on open flames. Fires can start and spread faster than you think, which is why it is never wise to leave the room when there is an open flame. Whether it is a candle, cooking flame or fireplace, always keep an eye on them.

Maintain electrical cords. Cords and electrical wires should be checked often for frayed spots and immediately replaced if they are present. Never run electrical cords under rugs or behind furniture, as they can produce heat.

Read product labels. Chemicals in household products can be highly flammable, and so can products that come in aerosol cans. Keep these away from sunlight or heat sources.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, click here to contact us. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.