Do's & Don'ts for Fire in Your Home
SERVPRO of Central Union County are devoted to keeping your family safe in case of an unexpected fire. Please review these tips to better prepare yourself for any future disasters:
-To prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet, try to limit the movement around your home. This will avoid tracking. Also, keep your hands clean as you can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
-Empty your freezer and fridge. Keep doors open to prevent odor.
-Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
-Pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, and tubs, to avoid freezing pipes in case heat is off during the winter.
-Change your old HVAC filter, and leave it off until a professional can check the system
-To prevent soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system, tape your air registers with double layers of cheesecloth
-Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces, or shampoo carpets/rugs without contacting SERVPRO of Central Union County
-Do not clean any electrical appliances as it may have been close to fire
-Ceiling fixture wiring may be wet and damaged, so avoid turning them on. It may cause electrical shock
Call SERVPRO of Central Union County For your residential or commercial needs. 908-233-7070
Understanding Water Types
SERVPRO of Central Union County are here to help you understand what type of water you are dealing with to ensure proper cleanup when your home or business suffers a water damage.
We classify these waters in three ways. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source (such as rain). The term gray water is slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should only be handled by trained professionals. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- We advise our customer to not enter any rooms with standing water. Electrical hazards may exist and should be avoided. Turn off your circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.
- Shut off water source if possible.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call your SERVPRO of Central Union County. 908-233-7070
Prepare for a Flood
SERVPRO of Central Union County proudly service our community, bringing the best solutions for water damage in your residential home. Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.
- Stock up on water! - You should have 3 days’ worth (or more) of water, and about one gallon per person per day.
- Keep a supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food. You should have enough for 3 days (or more)
- Keep a couple of flashlights in your possession
- Battery-powered or çhand-crank radio
- Extra batteries for your flashlights, tools, or radio
- Have a First Aid kit
- Medications – Here’s one that doesn’t get spoken of… Medication! (7-day supply) and medical items
- Bring a Multi-purpose tool
- Stock up on Sanitation/personal hygiene items for the family
- Save Copies of personal documents
- Don’t forget a Cell phone with chargers
- Have Family and emergency contact information
- Bring Extra cash for expenses
- Emergency blankets
- Make sure to have map(s) of the area
- Pack Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Remember your four-legged friends! Pet supplies such as food, treats, toys, medication, etc.
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear (water- resistant coat, rainboots, umbrellas, hats)
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Call SERVPRO of Central Union County today for your residential or commercial needs. We are a 24-Hour emergency response service with highly trained restoration technicians. 908-233-7070
It’s Time to Prepare for Spring Storms
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:
- Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
- Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
- 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.
Tasks You Can Complete Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives
A home fire is stressful regardless of the extent of the damages, but the good news is that if you hire a professional, many of the damages can be mitigated through restoration.
Working with a professional has several benefits—not only will they work with your homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf, but they will also be able to salvage more items in the cleanup. However, as you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started.
While some things should always be left to the professionals, a few things are safe for most people to do while they wait. If you’re ready to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:Preliminary Cleaning
Tile, countertops and other non-porous surfaces can benefit from a scrub with soap and water to cut through the initial layers of grime. Using a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner is safe, but let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty.
Cleaning improperly can result in more severe and possibly permanent damage to your surfaces, so if you’re unsure about anything, leave it to the pros.
Getting started on laundry right away is the best way to help the cleanup process, as most things will have to be washed several times to get the smell of smoke out. Washing any clothing, bedding or other machine-washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution is a great place to start.
Delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains should be left to professional care.Increased Ventilation
If weather allows, opening windows and doors will help reduce the smoky smell—be sure to let them remain open as long as possible. The restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to aid this process once they arrive, but increasing ventilation on your own is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.
If you’ve been affected by a fire, SERVPRO®’s team of trained professionals can help your life get back to normal.
You Can Count on Us to Be There Fast
When disaster strikes, time can become an even more precious commodity—especially when it’s your home or livelihood on the line.
We know how crucial a fast response is following a disaster at your home or 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 belongings or 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.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Central Union County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are Your Mold Damage Specialists
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, 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.
SERVPRO is There for You & Your Business | Disaster Plan
Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes? The most important key to surviving these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations.
Being prepared for these situations involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. This blog will lay out some aspects to consider when designing that very important disaster plan.Where to Start With Your Disaster Plan
There are many things you will need to consider, including your employees, your material assets and equipment, when developing a disaster plan for your business.
Some of those considerations should be:
- How to protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
Many checklists have been made available through sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can offer information that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.Don’t Neglect Employee Safety
If a disaster should strike without warning, your plan must lay out clear and concise procedures and safety measures for the protection of your employees and visitors. Your evacuation routes and exits from your facility should all be properly and clearly marked, have an area designated that will serve as a shelter space, consider emergency light installation, and ask for volunteers to serve as designated “safety wardens” properly trainedand ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.
When choosing a place for shelter, ideally this space would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement available, select a small interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a closet or interior hallway.How to Protect the Assets
In a brick and mortar location, you’ll still need to make careful decisions when it comes to protecting the assets inside the building. You have thousands of dollars tied up in equipment and/or merchandise that will be at risk should a natural disaster strike.
Be sure to have a complete and up-to-date inventory of all equipment and assets. Having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is also always helpful if insurance claims need to be made. If your assets are computer data-based and kept on a server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is making regular backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged, such as a cloud storage option.
If you own the building that you conduct your business in, get with a contractor to uncover areas that could be structurally strengthened. This contractor should be able to suggest possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not make the grade in certain weather situations.Getting Back to Business
When—and if—a natural disaster does occur, it may be entirely possible that your business will have to be closed for days or months due to the damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to set up a disaster fund to help cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Keep a list of contractors handy who will make themselves available for repairs, and know which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of Central Union County, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Central Union County to be there for you.
We Are The Experts & We Are Here To Help | Identifying Floodwaters
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:
- 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, SERVPRO® of Central Union County is 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!
SERVPRO of Central Union County Cares About Your Family
Today, we are fortunate to have advance warning for some types of severe weather, but there are also times where Mother Nature manages to catch us by surprise.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take and safety tips to follow that will guide you in preparing for your family’s safety in various severe weather occurrences.Where to Start
One of the best ways to ensure your family’s safety is to have an established family emergency plan at the ready.
Be sure to go over your plan together as a family at the beginning of each weather season if there is an emergency plan in place so everyone knows exactly what to do.
Here are some things to take into consideration when creating your family emergency plan if you have not yet done so:
1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?
Thanks to technology today, emergency alerts and warnings are at our fingertips with our smartphones that are equipped with a weather app or Google. We can quickly receive emergency alerts, that provide us with valuable time in severe weather situations. Warnings and alerts are also still broadcast over radio and TV.
2. What type of storm shelter do you have?
Where tornadoes are a common occurrence, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement, or if there is no basement, use an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that require a form of storm shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.
3. What are the evacuation routes?
Have you mapped out multiple evacuation routes because hurricanes, flooding and fires can force you from your home at a moment’s notice. It’s wise to have multiple routes in the event one is impassable, and be sure you find places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members involved in your evacuation.
4. How will everyone stay in touch?
Cell phones are the easiest way to keep in touch with your family, but in some circumstances, that just will not be possible. Cell phone towers can be damaged and phones could be lost or left behind; not to mention batteries will not last forever and there will be no power to recharge them.
Your family should have an emergency communication plan in place as well as a safe meeting place so that you can all meet there if separated.
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Central Union County to get the cleanup and restoration process started.