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Window Air Conditioner Leaking Water Into House – What To Check – How To Fix

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

air conditioner units in an apartment building If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® is always available to help with cleanup and restoration.

Question: I just turned my window AC unit on today and it is leaking water inside my house. What could be the problem? I had it running for 3 weeks and all of a sudden it started to leak. Water is on the plastic vent where the cold air blows out. I believe that is where it is leaking from but not sure. Can you tell me how to fix this? 

 ANSWER: You need to check a few things to be sure the ac unit is installed properly and there is no water drainage block present.

– Unplug the window AC unit.

– Clean up all the water on the AC unit, on the window ledge, and on the floor of your room.

– Check and be sure the AC is tightly sealed in the window.

– Do you feel warm air coming into the room around the AC unit?

– If you feel warm air coming in you need to seal it again.

– Check to see if the drain holes on the rear of the ac unit are blocked.

– Clean the drain holes to allow water to drip out.

– Make sure the filter is clean and not clogged with massive dirt or dust.

– After cleaning up the water and having it turned off for 30 minutes or so, then turn it back on to make sure the water doesn’t appear again.

Here are the reasons water can drip from a window air conditioner unit:

AIR LEAK – AIR CONDITIONER NOT PROPERLY SEALED IN WINDOW:

If your window air conditioner is not sealed correctly, the warmer air from outside gets inside the air conditioner. When this happens, the moisture that is in the warmer air will be condensed by the colder air inside the air conditioner. When there is excess moisture, the water will leak. 

DRAIN IS BLOCKED – DIRT OR DUST HAS BLOCKED THE DRAIN HOLES:

There are drain holes (drip pan) at the rear of window AC units. They can get blocked from dusty conditions or dirt in the air. When this type of blockage happens, the water that would normally drip out will be trapped and water will leak from the front of the AC unit and at both sides of the unit. Be sure to keep the drain holes clean and free of debris. Also clean the filters or replace them to prevent any type of blockage that may cause a water leak.

OUTSIDE TEMP IS LOWER – HEAVY MOISTURE IN OUTSIDE AIR:

If it is raining or there is heavy moisture in the air outside, water evaporates much less than usual. This leads to excess water moisture in the air conditioner and this will cause water leaks. This is normal for most window AC units and using a drip pan can solve the issue if there is heavy moisture in the air outside.

CONDENSER PUMP NOT WORKING – BROKEN OR CLOGGED PUMP:

If the condenser pump in the AC is faulty or clogged, it will cause water to leak. You can check the condenser/pump if you feel confident. Check for any blockage or loose wires. If the pump seems to be okay visually, you will need to test the pump with a meter to see if it is faulty. If so, you may be better off buying a new AC unit.

If your home has experienced any water damage, the team at SERVPRO® is always available to help with cleanup and restoration, making it look “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 908.650.8611.

How We Approach Restoration Differently | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & Roselle

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO van driving down the road If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 24/7 so we can address your damages quickly.

There is a lot that goes into choosing a restoration company as a homeowner. Not only are you picking someone to restore your home, but you are also forced to make a big decision during a stressful time in life. Choosing the right company will give you peace of mind and make your experience a positive one, but it’s important to pick one that is trustworthy.

Because there are so many types of damages that can occur from a disaster, it is important to choose a company that can handle a variety of situations.

When water damage turns into structural damage or a small kitchen fire releases toxic soot particles into the air, homeowners will want a company that can handle the entire situation. Seeking a company that can handle complications is essential for a positive experience.

Our Approach to Restoration

Our restoration jobs are just as much about providing excellent service as they are restoring your home. These are the ways in which we approach restoration differently:

With a Guaranteed Quick Response Time

Emergencies do not have respect for anyone’s schedule, which is why we do not have business hours. Our emergency service line is an around-the-clock service, meaning you can call us 24 hours a day to report the damage. Once we receive the call, our technicians will spring into action in order to get to you ASAP.

With an Experienced Team

Our restoration technicians are industry leaders with proven results. Trained according to IICRC standards, they will ensure the most up-to-date methodology is used in your restoration for any type of damage.

With a National Network

Our franchise locations are located across the country with over 1,800 locations. This means that we have a national network to utilize for resources. Therefore, we can treat a large-scale disaster with the same care and efficiency as we would an isolated spot of thunderstorm damage.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

Can You Identify Common Fire Hazards in Your Home? | SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO of Hamilton/South Trenton

6/4/2021 (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.

What to Do When Hoarding Is Discovered | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & Roselle

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

plastic bottles and garbage In need of a team to help restore a space where hoarding has been an issue? Contact our team at 908.650.8611.

Have you ever heard about hoarding? It’s a dangerous mental disorder that can make household dangers, including fires, more likely.

So, what is hoarding exactly? Hoarding is a mental illness that causes people to obsessively hang on to possessions, ultimately accumulating them in large quantities that can take over a home. Those affected by the disorder are rarely hoarding things of any value—trash and other clutter are common.

As these items pile up over time, they can present fire hazards, house insects or rodents, or even hide toxic mold growth.

So, if you you need to clean out a space where hoarding has been taking place, what should you do?

Step 1: Call in the professionals, who can clean up the space and ensure the area is safely rehabbed for future use.

What Is Involved in Hoarding Cleanup

There’s more involved in hoarding clean-up than simply clearing out the hoarded materials and washing the space. A professional team will provide a comprehensive cleanup process that mitigates any safety hazards that have cropped up.

Removal of Dangerous Substances

Piles of hoarded materials can conceal any number of health hazards, including toxic mold growth, along with insects, bacteria, and other pests.

A team of professionals educated in safe removal principles and outfitted in the appropriate gear will help ensure this step is done comprehensively and safely.

Removal of Items

When you think of cleaning up after hoarding, this is probably the step you think of. This involves clearing the space of hoarded materials, including items like newspapers and even trash that has collected over time.

Other items like carpets, furniture, and kitchenware, may also have been contaminated and need to be removed.

Complete Cleaning

Once the space is cleared of all debris and clutter, a professional team will deep-clean the area. This is the last step in the process and helps ensure the property is ready to be used again.

In need of a team to help restore a space where hoarding has been an issue? Contact our team at SERVPRO® of Central Union County, and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."

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

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Plastic sealing during mold remediation We will ensure that each mold remediation job is done correctly and completely. Give SERVPRO of Central Union County & Roselle a call.

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.

At SERVPRO® of Central Union County & Roselle, 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.

Fire Safety Basics to Help Protect Your Family

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

flame on a stove A quick response time with an alertful team will ensure that your restoration needs are professionally completed.

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, SERVPRO® of Central Union County can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

A Look at Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

rusty metal with a glass of water Water damage can happen at any time. We will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely.

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.”

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

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

lightning strikes in dark stormy sky Storm and lighting damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need us.

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, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Central Union County to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Ways You Can Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & Roselle

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

white fan on a desk If you’re worried about cleanup associated with water damage and mold growth, we can help you restore your home and remediate any mold issues.

Water damage is difficult for home and business owners—not only because of the structural damage it can cause but also because of the unique health hazards and risks it can present.

One of the most dangerous of these risks is mold growth. The CDC has many health effects associated with mold exposure that are well-documented, and the problem is exacerbated because of how quickly mold can begin growing.

Here are the steps you can take to stop mold from taking hold if your home has been affected by water damage:

Before You Get Started

  • Do not attempt to re-enter your building until officials have deemed it safe and are positive all water has receded.
  • Take photos and videos of damage throughout—making sure to include damage done to furniture and walls—for insurance claim purposes.

Drying Should Begin Right Away

  • Set up as many fans, dehumidifiers and heaters as possible to speed up drying time.
  • Begin vacuuming with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum before the cleanup crew arrives.
  • Weather permitting, open windows and doors to maximize airflow for as long as possible.

Items Exposed to Water Should Be Sorted

  • Metal, plastic glass and other non-porous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
  • Porous materials exposed to water damage, such as wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, can trap mold and should be discarded.
  • It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores if they’ve already begun to grow.

A Professional Should Always Be Consulted

In some cases, carpets can be salvaged after water damage. However, most experts will recommend replacing the carpet pad at a minimum.

Mold is incorrectly associated with discolorations and foul odors when the reality is that mold can often lurk unnoticed long before it is visible. Replacing the carpet pad is significantly less costly than a full re-carpeting of the home, but only a professional can determine if this is adequate enough to prevent mold from spreading.

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

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

flames coming on the outside of a house We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 24/7.

moke 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, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.