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Business Owners Should Practice Flood Preparedness | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 24/7 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly.

It is not uncommon for business owners to underestimate their flood preparedness, especially if they are not in an area historically known for flooding. However, it was recently reported that natural disasters involve flooding in 90% of instances and affect areas that are not typically known for flooding quite often.

Planning is a smart idea for business owners not only to increase safety within the workplace, but it can also serve to allow businesses to reopen more quickly after the flood passes. By planning ahead, business owners can have the peace of mind to know that they are ready should a flood occur.

How to Practice Flood Preparedness

Some key ways business owners can practice flood preparedness are:

  • Make use of the Flood Map provided by FEMA to get an overview of flooding rates in your geographical location.
  • Copy business documents and keep them in a secure location such as a waterproof safe or safety deposit box.
  • Develop an official training guide for emergencies so employees can be educated and know what to do.
  • Designate evacuation routes and mark them clearly.
  • Consider adding flood insurance to your business policy, which does not typically include it.
  • Create a personal emergency kit for your desk and an office-wide one in case someone is stranded.
  • Find creative ways to raise electronics if necessary.

How to Prepare Documents for a Flood

As you begin the process of reopening the business after a disaster, having helpful documents will make the process much easier. Consider preparing and storing copies of the following:

  • The continuity plan for after floodwaters recede
  • Contact information for all employees, vendors, suppliers and any other parties that might need to be contacted right away
  • Your insurance policy records and agent contact information
  • Digital file backups and recovery instructions
  • Financial documentation that may come in handy

You Can Count on Us to Be There Fast | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

water damage all over a floor If you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. Our team of highly trained restoration experts are available for emergency cleanup.

When disaster strikes, time can become an even more precious commodity—especially when it’s your livelihood on the line.

We know how crucial a fast response is following a disaster at your business, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan in our world.

Why a Fast Response Is Key

Time is not a luxury you have when disaster strikes, especially when it’s your business on the line. This is especially true where water damage has come into play, which can be through various means such as flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and fire damage, as water is used to put out the fires.

Water can spread throughout your property in mere minutes, saturating everything in its path. Items like the walls, floors, upholstery and your belongings can all be casualties of water.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack
  • Drywall begins to swell and break down
  • The arrival of a musty odor
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spread and stain
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish

The damage will worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours and a week later, you could begin to see:

  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode

The damage done can dramatically increase the restoration time and costs and can also impact structural safety if left unchecked for over a week.

How We Can Respond So Quickly

It doesn’t matter what day or time it is, our trained restoration specialists will quickly be dispatched to your property or business.

Providing an immediate response to any size disaster is what we are here for! Our fast response times can help minimize the damage and keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

A major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises is that we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations. Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in.

Make Sure Your Business Is Ready for Potential Disasters | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

guy standing with an umbrella overlooking a city on fire Disaster can strike when you least expect it, SERVPRO is here to help 24/7.

When you are a business owner, one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness.

Disaster are going to happen, and while having a plan in place cannot stop all disasters, it can still offer a certain sense of security and at least ensure that your employees are aware of what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

What’s Your Plan?

Please take the time and make it a priority to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations that could affect your business!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

When disaster strikes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a man-made incident or natural, if no emergency plan is in place for your business, things could get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By encouraging your employees to familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where to Begin

In beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, start by evaluating which scenarios are most likely to occur—and go as far as considering the longshots that could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

If you have a business impact analysis (BIA) done, it will help predict potential effects a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, be sure to review it and practice it with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Why Business Owners Choose Us for Restoration | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO van driving down the road If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster.

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.

Understanding Thunderstorm Damage | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

2 hands holding rocks of hail If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know our team is available 24/7 to help with cleanup and restoration.

Thunderstorms are a regular occurrence during the warmer spring and summer seasons, 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.

Can You Identify Common Fire Hazards in Your Home? | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

red christmas candle with holly If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, we are here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Nobody wants to think about the possibility of their home being damaged by fire, but it’s an unfortunate, harsh reality for a multitude of Americans.

One way you can help protect your home is to understand fire hazards and know how to identify them. In this blog, let’s dive into two of the most common causes of household fires.

Candles are a common fire hazard.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments across the United States answered an estimated 8,700 house fires a year that were caused by candles.

In total, these fires caused 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in property damage. Candles were the cause of 2 percent of reported house fires, of which 3 percent resulted in death and 7 percent resulted in injuries.

An average of 24 home candle fires per day were reported during those five years, with December having the highest month of incidents. Out of all the candle fires during this time period, 37 percent started in the bedroom and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent were associated with injuries.

When using a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could possibly ignite and that it is in a sturdy holder that will not easily tip over. It is never wise to use a candle where oxygen is in use in a home. And you always want to ensure that all candles are properly extinguished before leaving a room or going to sleep.

House fires from smoking can be lethal.

While cooking is the leading cause of house fires, smoking is the main cause of home fire deaths. Approximately 17,200 house fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, according to the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.

If you’re a smoker, it is smart to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and using a deep, sturdy ashtray is advised.

Drop all lit cigarettes and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and remember that one out of four fatal victims of smoking fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

Dust bunnies as fire hazards?

While candles and smoking are well-known causes of home structure fires, were you aware that some glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray may ignite flammable materials. It’s best to keep glass accessories away from windows and out of direct sunlight.

Dust bunnies can also pose a fire risk when they collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Regular sweeping or vacuuming regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind entertainment systems can help prevent buildup.

Also, look for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these outlets loosens the wires connected to the outlet and could create dangerous arcing.

Storm Damage: What are the Causes? SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

rain and snow on a dark night hitting a street lamp When disaster strikes, we strike back!

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.

We know 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 is that hurricanes cause damage far past the coast. That storms cause damage 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.

Avoiding Fire Hazards While Cooking | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

man putting out kitchen fire A quick response time with an alertful team will ensure that your restoration needs are professionally completed.

Even though the kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place for family and friends to gather to enjoy a fresh-cooked meal or to spend quality time together, danger can lurk. Unfortunately, home fires can often begin in the kitchen.

Fires resulting from cooking are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries and, often, the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

Over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims that were related to grease and other cooking fires were paid out in 2017 by State Farm Insurance. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

Staying Safe in the Kitchen

There are other safety tips to look into, as well as the well-known tip of remaining in the kitchen while cooking. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Be careful of your clothing. If you are wearing long, flowing sleeves or loose fitting clothing, it is best to change into a short or close-fitting sleeved shirt or make sure any loose shirts are tucked in or tied back away from the stove. Loose clothing could catch fire if you aren’t careful and get too close while cooking over the stove.

2. Be aware of what you are placing on or near the stovetop. Make sure there are no kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, it is best to move anything flammable away from the stove.

3. Place a fire extinguisher in or close to the kitchen. It is best to have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home and, ideally, one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Wait before throwing hot grease in the garbage can. Even if the grease may not be on fire, it could still be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. Letting the grease cool a bit and then disposing of it in an old coffee can is safest. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Be sure there is a fire escape plan established. Thinking about the worst that can happen is not fun, but it’s better if you are over-prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Central Union County is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Getting to Know the 3 Water Classifications | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

mopping up after water damage We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you think all water that causes water damage is the same, think again! There are three classifications for it: clean, gray and black.

By gaining a better understanding of the differences in these types of water, it will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.

Whenever there is a water damage situation, it doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage because a cleanup and restoration process will always follow. First, and most important, is removing all moisture and damp items as quickly as possible to hinder the growth of mold, which begins to flourish in this ideal environment.

Clean Water

The name says it all; clean water is considered “clean” and not likely to be the type that would pose an immediate threat to your health. This water contains no contaminants and is the result of:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

Clean water is the easiest type of water damage to work with because there are fewer microbes living in the water. But remember, it only takes 48 hours and contact with the surfaces of a building for clean water to become a category two, becoming gray water.

Gray Water

Damage from gray water makes water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more serious. This is water that may pose a health risk because it will most likely contain chemical or biological contamination. This slight contamination means that gray water would need to be thoroughly treated before it is safe for consumption.

Water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. is considered gray water, and the 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, as it will become black water if it is not quickly and property treated.

Black Water

A black water damage situation is considered the most serious of the three classifications as this water is highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, which include bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Any water involved in a flooding situation should be considered dangerous and assumed to be black water since it will pick up contaminants along its path.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, recognizes these three classifications of floodwater. Our highly trained technicians have all studied IICRC’s standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, we are here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

A Look at Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Roselle

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

water damage all over a floor We are available for cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many when thinking of water damage. It’s true that storms and flooding can cause catastrophic water damage, but they are often not the main culprits. Various items in your home can be the culprits responsible for many water damage situations.

Understanding Water Damage

Many homeowners will face water damage. Water damage was the third most common reason for homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.

Insurance claims are impacted by the type of water damage. Gradual damage, for example, is often not covered by insurance. Gradual damage is something that has been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

Common Water Damage Culprits

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), lists the leading causes of water damage as outlined below:

  • Plumbing drain system failures. These can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or from material performance issues. In their study, IBHS determined that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material performance issues. It was also discovered that the average costs incurred due to drain system failure were higher in southern states than in other areas of the country.

  • Plumbing supply system failures. Frozen pipes can burst due to water pressure buildup caused by freezing water or when the supply system material fails and results in a leaking or burst pipe. Per IBHS, plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water losses, costing an average of $5,092 per claim after the deductible. Homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger group of supply system material failure claims.

  • Toilet failures. Toilets are the second highest cause of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures and result from faulty fill valves to clogged drain lines. Surprisingly, according to IBHS, toilet failures on the first floor of a home resulted in more extensive claims than those in basements or upper floors.

  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, expect that the tank will begin to rust and corrode, resulting in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures were a result of a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident after the deductible has been paid.

  • Washing machine failures. Typically washing machine failures are caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. Washing machines are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses. Per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.

If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of Central Union County is always available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.”