Your First Steps After a Disaster
You might feel overwhelmed after a disaster, but we are here to help!
You might have a lot of questions running through your head after disaster strikes. The feeling of being overwhelmed is not uncommon, but we find people are often left asking: what now?
The first step is to have your house evaluated to ensure it is a safe place to return. Safety is always our first priority, and it should be yours too. Fire, water, and mold can all lead to unsafe living conditions—like contaminants in the air or structural damage. If the house has been cleared for re-entry, most people think the obvious next step would be to start cleaning, but it is important to document the damage done to your home and belongings. Using a camera, or your phone, to take pictures of the chaos can help with insurance claims. If your phone or camera did not survive the incident we recommend calling a SERVPRO of East Windsor professional to document the damage so you can begin the process of restoring your home.
An expert at SERVPRO of East Windsor will be able to photograph the damage done to your home on your behalf for purposes of insurance claims. Based on the condition of your home, the SERVPRO of East Windsor serviceperson will advise—based on possible rate increases and the cost to repair—whether involving the insurance company is cost-effective.
We aim to make the restoration as painless as possible; we will help you throughout the entire process. Once the damage has been documented, we can give you a professional assessment of the damage done and the how best to proceed. The only thing you will have to do is submit the claim to your insurance company! An insurance company will often have agreements with—what they refer to as—preferred vendors, but you should know that you have the right to choose which company you trust to rebuild your home.
Disaster is—obviously—never welcomed, but it could give you the opportunity to recreate your house in your own image! SERVPRO of East Windsor is ready to help build your dream home. Turn a negative into a positive by adding the laundry room you always wanted. Restoring your life after a disaster is always difficult, but we hope you find comfort in knowing SERVPRO of East Windsor is here to help!
Get Your Ducts in a Row
Removing a vent cover allows for a better look at your duct system.
Restoring air ducts is an errand best left to professionals but, fortunately, it can be relatively pain-free to determine if they are in need of a cleaning. Removing vent covers can give you a peek into the air duct system; when looking into the vent system you should be easily able to check for the dirt and debris that is circulating in the air you are breathing. Air filters can also be checked for contaminants. If either of these tasks results in unpleasant results you should contact a professional duct cleaning service like SERVPRO of East Windsor. You can take a glance inside your heater as well. The heat exchanger’s surface is running optimally if it is visibly clean. The unit’s blower blades must also be clean of dirt and oil.
With summer approaching (quickly) now would be a great time to check the air conditioning unit. The coils inside the air conditioner must be clear of dirt and dust. You can shine a flashlight on the unit’s cooling coils to see if the light is coming out the other end. The coil fins must be evenly spaced and free of bends or nicks. If any of the parts appear to be less than perfect give us call before it gets too hot. Don’t sweat issues with your air conditioner, we are here to help!
Here is a quick introduction to the cleaning process used to make sure your ventilation system is running at maximum efficiency:
The first step is to check the air conditioner filter. If dirty, the filters will be cleaned or replaced. A dirty filter will minimize your unit’s efficiency and sully the air you breathe.
After ensuring the filters are perfect, we will clean the unit’s condenser coils. Clean condenser coils will maximize the unit’s energy efficiency. The SERVPRO of East Windsor expert will also check the lines carrying coolant to ensure you are getting the coldest air possible.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we will test the AC unit. While running we are able to double check previous work and make sure everything is functioning well and the system is clean. If more work needs to be done (a broken part repaired) a SERVPRO of East Windsor professional will quickly find the issue and complete any necessary repairs.
What Causes Mold Inside The Home?
Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of East Windsor to tackle any mold removal or mold remediation jobs.
All mold needs is water to thrive. Mold spores will begin spreading when they locate a wet surface. Some major spots mold can cover include:
- Bathrooms. Showers, sinks, and toilets are ideal for mold. These spots have a tendency to be spongy and, without capable ventilation, will develop mold.
- Air conditioning and vents.
- Fireplaces. If not used regularly, a chimney or fireplace is cold and dark—beneficial ground for mold spore development.
- Attics. If your rooftop drips, mold can congregate and spread through the ventilation in the frequently neglected space. It will prosper in ventilation or soffit vents.
- Cellars. A musty cellar smell is an affirmation of dampness, and—more than likely—mold. Mold could be discovered anywhere: the foundation, sump pump, windows, or vents.
Mold spread must be stopped by drying the moist conditions inside. If there is mold growing in your home it is vital to stop it as quickly as possible. In the wrong conditions, mold can spread rapidly—in as few as 24–48 hours.
If your home or business has mold it is crucial that you call a professional immediately. The professionals at SERVPRO of East Windsor will start by isolating and testing the area of concern. The Mold Remediation Specialists at SERVPRO of East Windsor are educated in water and mold evacuation. They're experts in recuperating your home from mold using the best equipment possible.
SERVPRO of East Windsor will review the harm and, if required by law, receive a protocol for a Certified Mold Assessor so they can begin to devise a methodology. They will then spotlight the issue and get the opportunity to work. Using physical barriers and a negative air pressure chamber, your SERVPRO of East Windsor expert will stop the mold so they can start cleaning and reestablishing your home.
The pros at SERVPRO of East Windsor are completely prepared for remediation, ensuring your home or business will be yours again in a matter of moments.
SERVPRO of East Windsor offers quick response 24 hours every day of the week.
Is Black Mold Really Dangerous?
SERVPRO of East Windsor has a team of trained specialists to handle any mold remediation/mold removal in your home or business.
We’ve all been there. You go into your basement or your bathroom and there, on the wall, you see it: black mold. You panic, because you’ve heard horror stories for years about the dangers of black mold, but is there really any truth to the hype?
In truth, the term “toxic black mold” is a misnomer with no scientific validation at all. In fact, the term “toxic mold” is also inaccurate. According to the CDC, “the term ‘toxic mold’ is not accurate. While some molds can produce toxins, specifically mycotoxins, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous”.
So what kinds of mycotoxins can black mold produce??The trichothecene types below are found in toxic black mold:
- Roridin E
- Satratoxin F, G and H (the most abundant type of trichothecene)
- Sporidesmin G
- Verrucarin J
Molds come in a rainbow of colors but it is the black mold species Stachybotrys chartarum that has been falsely dubbed “toxic black mold”. In reality, mold is everywhere in our environment, it’s the dosage that makes the poison.
There is no argument that excessive exposure to almost any type of mold can cause adverse health effects, no matter what the color.
In addition, mold growth can also damage buildings—weakening structure and causing unpleasant odors, as well as causing ugly staining. Cleaning mold is often exactly what causes it to spread; the process dislodges mold spores and allows them to travel into new areas of the environment.
To avoid this it’s best to call a professional when you suspect you have a mold issue in your home or business. SERVPRO of East Windsor has years of experience in mold removal and remediation and can ensure that any damage caused by mold is repaired properly, and completely. With SERVPRO of East Windsor it’ll be "Like it never even happened."
The Real Truth About Mold Removal And Mold Remediation
If you discover mold in your home or business, contact the mold removal experts at SERVPRO of East Windsor.
Many contractors and even mold removal companies will try to confuse you as to the difference between mold removal and mold remediation. Some will try to tell you that for a small mold issue, you can get mold removal, but for a larger more dangerous issue, you’ll need a more complicated, and expensive, mold remediation. Out of fear, many will choose to go with remediation and spend the extra money. That makes sense, mold can be extremely dangerous, causing severe illness and other problems, but the fact is that mold removal and mold remediation are interchangeable terms that mean the same thing!
Mold is endemic in our environment, meaning you can find it almost everywhere that water and oxygen are present. While some mold, such as the mildew in your shower (when in small quantities,) are considered “cosmetic mold” and can be simply sprayed with bleach, other types of mold (and even mildew when it spreads,) can become dangerous and toxic.
Certified Mold Specialists
SERVPRO of East Windsor has certified mold remediation technicians that can not only help to identify and properly remove the mold in your home, but they will also locate the source, and eradicate the cause of your mold issues.
When you find mold in your home, make sure that your mold professional can explain the mold remediation process in simple terms. Many small mold issues should not be expensive to handle. Moldy drywall is one example. If the affected area is small, it should not be a tremendously expensive fix. The most important issue with small drywall fixes happens once the damaged section is removed. It is imperative to ensure that spores are not spread further, so great care must be taken with the disposal of affected areas. If the technicians you hire use extremely technical terms to frighten you into tremendously expensive treatment options, be wary.
When you call SERVPRO of East Windsor, we will carefully inspect your property to ensure that not only are all mold issues are addressed, but also that we locate the source of the issue, and eradicate it. If we do find an issue that needs to be addressed, we will use specialized filtration equipment to capture microscopic mold spores that may be in the air and to prevent them from spreading during removal.
In addition to mold removal, we also specialize in cleaning your belongings and ensuring that they are sanitized and safe to use. Should major restoration need to be done, we can also handle reconstruction and finishing to ensure that you are back to normal as quickly, and cleanly, as possible.
Mold doesn’t have to be scary, so don’t let an unqualified contractor or “specialist” make it into a nightmare.
Water Damage & Flooding
If you experience flooding, contact SERVPRO of East Windsor
The rainy season is upon us in East Windsor. Excessive rainfall means the potential for leaky roofs, flooded basements and other types of water damage. These situations are some of the most costly that a homeowner or business owner can face. Water can quickly lead to mold growth, damage furniture and drywall, and compromise the very structure of a house or building.
Common causes of water damage include corroded or damaged pipes, blocked gutters, and leaks from roofs or windows.
To prepare for flooding, elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home or building. Install check-valves to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains. And know how to locate and safely shut off all utilities.
There are also several measures you can take to help prevent water damage. Inspect sinks, showers, toilets, gutters and downspouts to ensure there are no blockages. Have a sump pump installed in the basement of your home or business. Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds.
If certain areas consistently have standing water or if there are a few spots in your basement where water regularly collects, there might be a problem with the pitch or angle of the grounds outside. If the ground is pitched toward your house or building, water will run back toward it, causing leaks or flooding. So make sure the ground pitch is angled away from your home or facility.
Water and flood damage restoration is not a do-it-yourself project. It is a lengthy and potentially dangerous process that should be tackled only by experienced professionals, like the experts at SERVPRO of East Windsor. If you have an issue, call SERVPRO of East Windsor right away. While you wait for our restoration team to arrive, take the following steps:
1. Turn off all power
2. Move important possessions and documents to safety
3. Raise all furniture or remove it entirely
4. Let in fresh air if weather permits
5. If safely doing so is possible, use buckets to remove water, and clean out the internal and outside water drainage of your home or building
Once they arrive, the SERVPRO of East Windsor team will begin the repair and restoration process:
Our technicians determine f the water is from a clean source or an unsanitary place like a sewerage system. SERVPRO of East Windsor locates and measures the damage, from subfloors to inside the wall cavities and elsewhere.
We use powerful vacuums capable of removing thousands of gallons every hour.
Our licensed restoration professionals have the knowledge and heavy-duty
equipment to start the air movement necessary to dry out your home or facility. They will also inspect the affected areas for mold.
Without prompt action, water damage is virtually guaranteed to spread and become permanent. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. So if you live in East Windsor and have a water issue, call SERVPRO of East Windsor immediately. Our professionals have the expertise to reverse and prevent the devastating effects of flooding and water damage.
When a pipe bursts in your home.
A burst pipe can cause serious water damage.
2018 has brought us mostly subfreezing temperatures. When it gets this cold outside homes are at risk of burst pipes and all of the headaches and water damage they bring. Water pipes burst when the water inside them freezes and expands causing an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain it bursts causing damage to your home.
A burst pipe can happen almost anywhere, but usually occurs with pipes that are close to the exterior of your home. The most critical aspect of dealing with a burst pipe is turning off the water supply and stopping the flow of water. Water in a crawlspace or basement is usually well contained and can be easily dried out. However, when a pipe bursts in the main part of your home, such as a toilet feed or an under-sink supply line, it can create a much bigger mess depending upon how much water has inundated the house.
As with any water damage, time is of the essence as mold can start to develop in as little as 24 hours after flooding occurs. The more time that passes without treatment the more likely those materials will continue to deteriorate and may not be salvageable. This is doubly true in homes with carpeting.
When a pipe in your home bursts—affecting multiple rooms—travels from an upper level to a lower level of the home, or has been left unnoticed for more than 8 hours, professional water mitigation and specialized drying equipment is essential for preventing long-term damage. If you see that water has seeped into the subflooring or the drywall the safest step would be to contact a professional water damage remediation company like SERVPRO of East Windsor to help remove or restore items that would otherwise be destroyed by mold.
Prevent Smoke Damage From Your Fireplace
Prevent smoke damage from your fireplace.
The weather outside is frightful and there is nothing better than curling up on a cold night to the warm glow of a fireplace. Unfortunately, fireplaces can also pose a smoke and fire hazard to your home. There is, however, nothing particularly soothing about unwanted fireplace smoke puffs that spill into the home while the fire is burning. Fires can also start when hot embers from the fire catch on residue from unclean chimneys.
If you are someone who likes to use their fireplace during the winter here are a few tips to prevent smoke or fire damage to your home.
Nobody likes a drafty house, but a house that is relatively airtight may not be able to supply enough outside air to the fire, resulting in a negative pressure in the home. Well-insulated homes can benefit from an outside air supply vent installed in the fireplace to satisfy the fire's needs.
Exhaust fans—like in kitchens or in forced air heating systems—can cause negative pressure, which will drag the smoke from your fireplace into your home. Turn off exhaust fans before settling down by the fire.
Only use your fireplace when it is cold out. The difference between the indoor and outdoor air helps the smoke draft properly. If it is too warm the smoke will have nowhere to go.
Make sure that the damper is open all the way. Sometimes there is a rain cap or even another damper on top of the chimney, which may be obstructed and needs attention. This can also be a fire hazard, so be careful.
Wet firewood can create heavy smoke. Make sure you only use seasoned firewood that is dry in your fireplace.
If you experience smoke or fire damage from your fireplace this winter contact the experts at SERVPRO of East Windsor. Their smoke damage experts can clean your furniture, curtains, walls, and floors to get rid of not only the black soot, but the foul odor it leaves behind.
Hurricane Harvey Response
Hurricane Harvey Blasts Texas
SERVPRO is known to respond faster to any disaster; after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, we lived up to that claim. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017. It caused $180 billion in damage. That’s more than any other natural disaster in U.S history, except the largest estimates of Hurricane Katrina damage.
At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater. Two feet of rain fell in the first 24 hours. The storm claimed the lives of 82 people and damaged 203,000 homes, of which 12,700 were destroyed.
Harvey was just winding down when our team landed in San Antonio, TX, after that it was a harrowing journey navigating across flooded river crossings and damaged bridges to get to Houston. Within the first three days we surveyed thirty properties for water and storm damage and started getting them on the path to recovery.
We were able to coordinate efforts mobilizing the resources we needed to help dry out and rebuild these properties, shipping in tractor-trailers full of equipment, our crew of one hundred ready to work.
Where to Look For Water Damage
Flooding is very common in New Jersey, but water damage can come from many different places and is not just a problem for people living on the coast. While the damage from a flood is pretty apparent, there are many ways water damage can happen to your home when you don’t even realize it.
Here are some common causes of water damage and how you can spot the warning signs.
Weather is a common cause of water damage. Rains (snow and ice during the winter) cause flooding that can get into your home. Ice is an especially insidious cause of water damage because it expands as it freezes, causing cracks that allow more water to enter your home.
Even if it isn’t raining or snowing there is still moisture in the air. Damp air can lead to condensation and water damage to your walls. This is especially true of basements, bathrooms, and other damp areas of your home that don’t get much airflow.
Appliances like your washing machine, garbage disposal, water heater, toilet, and air conditioner can all contribute to water damage if they leak or stop draining properly.
Water from our pipes and plumbing systems can also cause water damage. Leaks and drips can go on for months, or even years, raising your water bill and doing unseen damage to your home.
So if these are all the ways water can sneak into your home, what are the signs of water damage?
Here are a few warning signs that you have a water damage problem in your home.
Standing water – This may sound pretty obvious, but if you notice water pooling in your house you have a water problem that needs to be taken care of immediately.
Bad smells – While water doesn’t normally have much of a smell, the mold and bacteria that grow in damp environments can give off a distinct musty, wet odor. If you smell mold or mildew you might have a water issue.
Stains and spots – Stains on the ceilings or walls can be a sign of water damage. You might have a leaky pipe or roof. Call a professional to determine the cause of the problem and to clean up the damage before it becomes a serious mold problem.
Peeling paint – Paint damaged by water will start to peel, bubble, or flake off.
Uneven surfaces – Water damage can cause floors, ceilings, walls, and other surfaces to warp and feel uneven.
Cracks – Water is always seeking the path of least resistance out of your home. Water can enter through cracks and once water finds it’s way in, the crack will expand allowing even more to get into your home. Make sure you seal all visible cracks on your property.
If you notice your home has water damage call the experts at SERVPRO of East Windsor.