Recent Posts

Looking to get your HVAC/Air Ducts Cleaned?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air

quality? Inspecting the duct work in your facility or home should be a high

priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time

without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of our service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money.

Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Western Essex County Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct work and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, we can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to pre-damage condition. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, we use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the air-stream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

To inquire on prices for HVAC/Air duct cleaning, give us a call at 866-361-3400

Mold Services

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Western Essex County professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem affecting your residential and commercial property.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect hidden water sources that could lead to mold. Depending on the amount of mold found, we may refer the services of an environmental testing company for your protection.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Western Essex County technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub floors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

If you suspect a mold issue in your home or business, please give us a call at 866-361-3400, to schedule an inspection. We have highly trained professionals ready to take care of your property needs  

Do's & Don'ts for Fire in Your Home

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Essex 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:

DO:

-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

DON’T:

-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 Western Essex County For your residential or commercial needs. 866-361-3400

Understanding Water Types

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Essex 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 Western Essex County. 866-361-3400

Prepare for a Flood

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Essex 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 Western Essex County today for your residential or commercial needs. We are a 24-Hour emergency response service with highly trained restoration technicians. 866-361-3400

Gearing Up for Unpredictable Spring Weather

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

We’ve made it through winter and welcome spring with open arms! Now we can better enjoy the weather…but also buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Mother Nature Can Be Tricky

With the arrival of spring comes longer days and more sunshine; however, the season also brings the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Changing, unpredictable weather is caused by the unstable temperatures we get with spring, going from warm to cold even in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

When looking at losses caused by natural catastrophes 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.

The threat of floods, high winds and even tornadoes, given the right conditions, go along with these storms. 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.

Be Prepared

Weather is fickle, and we are not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, forecasters have the tools available to at least give warnings that severe weather may be on the horizon. 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 Western Essex County to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

What to Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Learning that you’ve been affected by a home fire is devastating. While it’s stressful regardless of the extent of the damages, 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—they work with your homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf, and 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 decide you’d like to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:

Laundry

Getting started on laundry right away is the best way to help the cleanup process. Most things will have to be washed several times, so 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.

<h3ventilation">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. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to aid this process once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

<h3cleaning">Preliminary Cleaning

Non-porous surfaces such as tile and countertops 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 anything you’re unsure about should be left to the pros.

SERVPRO's a team of trained professionals can help your life get back to normal and get the cleanup done quickly in the event of a home fire.

Time Is of the Essence in Cleanup and Restoration

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Time become a precious commodity when disaster strikes your home or business. There is no benefit of waiting for help when it is your home or livelihood on the line, because you need help right away.

Nobody understands how important a fast response is like we do, which is why a fast response to any size disaster is more than just a slogan for us.

Why a Fast Response to Disasters Matters

When it’s your belongings or business on the line, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This is especially true when 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.

It only takes mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. The walls, the floors, upholstery and your belongings are fast casualties of water.

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

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

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

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

Water damage that is left unchecked for over a week can lead to a dramatically increased restoration time and costs and can also impact structural safety.

We’re Here to Help

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in. 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.

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 Western Essex County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We are Mold Damage Specialists

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

When water damage occurs in a home or commercial property, mold growth will likely follow. It’s a proven fact that mold can begin to grow within 48 hours of exposure to moisture.

If you are faced with a mold issue, it is very important to know what you need to do, which is why we’re providing an overview of what mold remediation is in this blog.

Mold Remediation, Not Removal

There are ads out there for mold remediation and you’ve also seen those that promise mold removal, but mold removal is a fallacy. Removing all mold from a home or business simply cannot be done. Instead, a qualified restoration company will focus on mold remediation and the goal of bringing mold levels back into a normal and natural range.

It is a natural occurrence for mold spores to occur almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They are not an issue until a minor problem is not treated and it then turns into a major infestation.

During a mold remediation process, technicians will isolate the contaminated areas and either close off all doors and windows or effectively sealing off all doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through misting.

Wet and mold-damaged materials are removed and discarded using plastic bags, and then all areas exposed to and affected by the mold will be thoroughly cleaned and completely dried. A HEPA vacuum can be used during some remediation cases to help remove contamination and debris.

The mold-affected area is treated with a biocide and left to cure overnight allowing the biocide to kill the mold spores. The following day, the mold remediation crew will return and encapsulate the mold-affected and surrounding areas.

<h4to-call-the-professionals">When to Call the Professionals

So, if you believe your home or business may have a mold problem, it is important to act quickly. If you find that the mold-affected area is larger than 10 square feet upon evaluation, that is when you need to contact professionals to take care of the situation.

The professionals you contact need to be well-versed and highly trained and certified in areas like:

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

While some minor mold issues have been successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, the surest and safest way to handle mold remediation to bring in the professionals for a quick resolution to the problem.

At SERVPRO® of Western Essex 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

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever stopped to think about how Mother Nature can prove to be quite a formidable foe, throwing everything from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes at us? The key to being able to roll with the punches as a business, so to speak, is to be prepared for a multitude of worst-case scenarios.

Being prepared for those scenarios involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Some aspects to consider when designing that plan are laid out in this blog.

What to Consider in Your Disaster Plan

There are many things you will need to consider when creating a disaster plan for your business. Included in those considerations should be:

  1. Protecting your employees
  2. Securing your assets
  3. Getting your business up and running again

Many checklists are available from different agencies like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that will assist in identifying areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources can also help let you know how prepared you truly are.

The Importance of Protecting Employees

Because disasters strike without warning, your primary concern must be having a plan in place that lays out procedures and safety measures for the protection of employees and visitors.

Evacuation routes and all exits from your facility need to be clearly marked. You need to provide a place where people can take shelter, look into installing emergency lights, and have a designated staff of “safety wardens” properly trained and ready to help with all emergency efforts.

A basement is the ideal location when looking for a space to provide shelter in tornadoes or high-wind situations. However, if this is not possible, find a small interior room, closet or interior hallway on the lowest level of the building.

How to Protect Assets

Brick and mortar locations don’t always mean your business is not at risk. You’ll need to make careful choices about protecting your assets on the inside. Thousands of dollars in equipment and/or merchandise are at risk when a natural disaster strikes.

Be sure to have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of these items, and yes, having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If your assets are based on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is working and the storage system cannot be damaged.

As a building owner, take the time to work with a contractor and uncover any areas that could need structural integrity improvement. The contractor can also show you possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that are not up to code for certain weather situations.

Starting Back in Business

When a natural disaster does occur, it is possible that your business will have to be closed due to damage, and every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is a good idea to set aside an “emergency” fund to cover any additional costs incurred that are not covered by your insurance.

Have a list of contractors who would be available for construction concerns, and know which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.

With SERVPRO® of Western Essex 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 Western Essex County to be there for you.