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The Dangers of Lightning During Storms | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

lightning strikes in dark stormy sky When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience and expertise. Contact us for all of your emergency needs.

There are many ways in which a thunderstorm can cause damage. Flooding or wind damage are what often come to mind, but it is also important to consider the risks associated with lightning when discussing thunderstorms.

While some storms bring rain and water, every storm is made up of electricity, creating the possibility for lightning even in the absence of precipitation. Lightning bolts can be up to 500,000 degrees, causing damage and even fatalities when they strike. An understanding of what lightning is and how it can be dangerous is extremely helpful in helping homeowners prevent these risks.

How Thunderstorms and Lightning Coexist

All thunderstorms contain the electricity that makes a lightning strike possible. What we know as a lightning strike is actually a rapid burst of electricity that occurs when this charge becomes agitated.

The atmosphere is not an ideal conductor, which is why lightning tends to strike objects—this creates a less resistant route in getting to the ground. When a home is the object that has been struck, lightning will usually forge this path through water pipes and wiring.

How Lightning Is Dangerous to Homes

While there are many dangers surrounding thunderstorms, there are [three main ones involved with lightning striking a house]:

The risk of fire. One of the biggest dangers of a lightning strike to a house is the fire hazard it causes. Lightning is hot enough to ignite building materials, causing a fire to break out at the point of impact. Additionally, lightning traveling through wires can cause them to fray, creating fire hazards all throughout the home.

The risk of power surges. Because of the electrical charge at play with lightning, it can easily transfer that to the wiring in the home. This is what we call a power surge, which can affect any electronic device plugged in that is not routed through a surge protector.

The risk of shock waves. Shock waves are typically manifested in thunder, but they can also occur at the site of a lightning strike. Shock waves have been known to crack chimneys, break windows and explode cinder blocks, making them extremely hazardous to a home’s structure.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Make Sure Your Business Is Ready for Potential Disasters | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

man with an umbrella looking over a storm A quick response time with an alert team will ensure that your restoration needs are professionally completed by SERVPRO of Western Essex County.

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.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Western Essex County is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

An Introduction to Mold Remediation | SERVPRO of Western Essex County

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on a white ceiling. We will ensure that each mold remediation job is done correctly and completely. Give SERVPRO of Western Essex County 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 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.

Where Water Damage May Hide in a Home | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

water damage all over a kitchen floor Water damage can happen at any time. SERVPRO of Western Essex County will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely.

Though water damage to a home is often associated with bad weather, there are many other ways water damage can sneak up on a homeowner. There are many causes of water damage, and many places for it to hide.

Because hidden water damage often takes a long time to be discovered, it can be a costly endeavor. For water damage insurance claims, the typical amount is over $6,500, and often insurance companies do not cover water damage at all. Being aware of where water damage may hide in a home is a great way to be on guard and prevent this costly disaster.

Where Water Damage May Hide in a Home
  • Beneath a window. The seal between the window and wall can often become compromised, allowing water to come between them and rot the wood over time.

  • Underneath siding. Where siding panels come together or at corners are especially vulnerable spots that water can enter.

  • Thresholds of exterior doors. Under the metal plate that serves as the door threshold, the wood can become swollen with water damage as it is gradually exposed.

  • Within painted windowsills. If there are many layers of paint on a windowsill, water can seep between them innocuously.

  • Beneath the dishwasher. The hoses of a dishwasher can get worn or leak, causing expensive damage to the subfloor underneath.

  • Under a tub. The pipes that carry water to a tub can become leaky or weak with time and can leak under the tub without notice.

  • Beneath a wobbly toilet. The seal at the base of the toilet can become weak and soak the wood underneath, which is often not noticeable until the toilet begins to wobble on the unsteady flooring.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call and we’ll get there quickly.

What to Do When Hoarding Is Discovered | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Compulsive hoarding in an apartment 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."

Commercial Division | Our Services

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

outside dining area of a restaurant Contact us to make it, "Like it never even happened."

Commercial cleaning and restoration present unique challenges. Our goal is to provide excellent results while minimizing the disruption to your clients. SERVPRO of Central Union County & Roselle are fully equipped to take on your commercial property no matter the size of the job.

Commercial Services:

  • Air Ducts / HVAC
  • General & Specialty Cleaning
  • Post Construction Cleaning
  • Punch List Services
  • Dry Ice Blasting
  • Power Washing
  • Biohazard & Sewage
  • Odor Removal / Deodorization

We offer our services to any time of commercial property:

  • Small/Large Office Buildings
  • High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

For any additional information, please feel free to contact our office for all of your commercial property needs.

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.

Business Owners Should Practice Flood Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water Call us 24/7 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

It is not uncommon for home and 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

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan?

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Green exit sign When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO Central County | SERVPRO of Roselle.

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:

  1. How to protect your employees
  2. How to secure your assets
  3. 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 trained and 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.

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.

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

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO van driving down the road Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

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

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

1. We’re Proud of Our Response Time

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

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

2. We’re Proud of Our Technicians

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

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

3. We’re Proud of Our Equipment

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

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

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