This Spring, Inspect Your Gutters to Avoid a Flooded Basement
Something as simple as a broken gutter can cause serious flooding to your Wallingford, CT business during a rainstorm.
With all of the rain our area is having, we are currently restoring several homes and businesses that have water damage from basement flooding. We recently received a call from a business owner in the Meridan, CT area who had flooding in the basement of their commercial property. The cause of the flooding in this case was a broken gutter.
Gutters and downspouts play a vital role in keeping rainwater and melting snow directed away from a buildings foundation. If a gutter is clogged with leaves, is broken or has been misaligned, water can collect around athe foundation and make its way down into the basement. After a winter of high winds and heavy snow, it wouldn't be surprising if your businesses roof or gutters might have suffered damage. Take a quick walk around your building and make an inspection.
Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and sticks. If blocked, the rain will fall over the edges and fall too close to the house. Also check to see if there are any breaks or damage to your gutters. Check that the downspouts have not been pulled away from the structure due to high winds this past winter. Keep the water flowing away from your house, which may require a gutter extension to direct the water even further away. It is recommended that your downspouts be ten feet away from your structure. A splashguard at the end of your downspout extension can also help the soil from eroding.
We also recommend that you inspect your foundation. Look for small holes or cracks through which water can enter. It doesn't take much water to cause substantial water damage.
The best time to conduct your inspection is directly after (or during) a rainstorm (if it is safe to do so!). You will be able to observe where water is puddling up and note any problem areas. If you see any water falling over the edge of your gutters while it is raining, there is a problem. If your gutters are in good working order and there are no blockages yet you see water collecting, it's possible that the area around your foundation requires grading to encourage the water to drain away from your building.
If you have concerns that you are at risk of flooding, check your insurance policy to see what it covers. Not all insurance policies cover flooding from groundwater. However, many insurance agencies offer optional coverage that offers protection from flooding caused by groundwater entering your home through the basement walls and foundation.
The longer water is allowed to remain in a flooded basement, the worse the secondary damage will be. If you have a flooded basement, contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and let our team of experts help you out!
Spring is the Perfect Time for an Air Duct Cleaning in your Milford Home
Over the winter, a collection of dust, debris, droppings and other pollutants can collect in your ducts, affecting the air quality of your home.
During the winter, we all do our best to keep the windows and doors sealed shut and air tight in order to keep the cold air out. While this is a great way to keep our houses warm and the energy bills down, it also eliminates any fresh air from entering our homes. This lack of circulation can cause pollutants to accumulate in the air duct system of the building. By the end of a long winter such as this one, the air quality in your home or office space can be dramatically reduced.
Materials, including volatile organic compounds, mold, dust, animal hair, rodent droppings, dander and mildew can build up in your ducts over the winter. If you have had a wood stove or fireplace burning all winter, it has probably generated a lot of dust throughout your home.
Mold can also grow inside of duct work in the winter and the organic matter (dust, animal droppings, hair etc.) that has accumulated inside of your ducts provides a perfect food for mold. If there is any moisture, whether because you have run a humidifier in your home or there is condensation in your ducts, mold can easily thrive. Whereas most New Haven County duct cleaning professionals are not trained in mold remediation, the SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team is certified by the IICRC for mold damage restoration. When we come to your home to clean your ducts, we will also inspect for any mold that might be present.
There is not one uniform recommendation for the frequency of air duct cleanings, as there are many factors that go into how dirty a duct might get. Homes with animals, fireplaces or inadequate ventilation may require a duct cleaning more often than others. If someone in the home suffers from allergies or sinus problems, they can benefit from more regular air duct cleanings.
Not only does having your ducts cleaned improve the air quality in your home or business, it also corrects the functionality of your duct system by removing any partial blockages. The crew at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford will professionally clean the debris, dust and any other particles that have gathered out of your air ducts to ensure that the quality of the air you are breathing is free from impurities.
If you live in the New Haven area and are concerned about how your air ducts might be affecting the quality of the air in your home, give us a call at 203-301-0500 to schedule a cleaning.
Smoke Detector Safety Can Reduce Fire Damage in Stratford
Be sure to install your smoke detectors in the best place to insure that they are effective in detecting smoke in Milford house fires
Thanks to public safety awareness campaigns and building codes, most Connecticut households have a smoke detector in their homes. Unfortunately, many homes still have an inadequate number of detectors and some of those may be mounted incorrectly. An improperly placed smoke detector can affect the devices ability to sense smoke quickly and put your home at risk of a fire.
Because modern furnishings – from appliances to bedding to carpeting- are primarily made from synthetic materials, house fires spread faster than in the past, when furnishings were from natural materials. This creates a need for more detectors throughout the home in order to give everyone time to escape. The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires an alarm inside and outside of every sleeping room as well as on each floor of a home, including the basement.
Smoke detectors might also be installed in an ineffective place in a room. When placed on a wall, it should be between 4" and 12" from the ceiling. When on a ceiling, it should be 4" from the adjoining wall, to avoid the "dead space", as seen in our graphic to the right. If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches down from the peak). In a basement, the best place to install your alarm is at above the bottom step. Avoid installing near doors, air ducts and windows, as they might interfere with detection.
Most of the smoke detectors found on store shelving today have a permanent, non removable lithium battery that will last ten years. This removes the need to replace the battery when it starts beeping – or worse, the battery being removed and not replaced. Of course, the detector itself will require replacement after ten years. When the alarm starts chirping at the end of its lifespan, that is your signal to replace it.
In our work as fire damage restoration professionals, we have seen the devastation that a house fire can cause. It's heartbreaking to see a home and all the contents that were very sentimental to those who lived there destroyed. Take the time today to check your smoke detectors and make sure that they are properly placed, that there are enough of them and that they are in working order.
Employee Spotlight: Rob Fox, Operations Manager
Rob Fox, a Native of Milford, CT, has been working in the fire, water and mold restoration industry for over 13 years.
Many of our customers have had the opportunity to meet Robert Fox, the Operations Manager for all three of our SERVPRO franchises. Rob has been in the emergency restoration field for 13 years. Prior to working for SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, Rob served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Ordnance 3rd Class Petty Officer and Restoration Specialist. He also has experience as a Basic Life Support instructor and Emergency Medical Technician as well as an iron worker.
A native of Milford, Rob attended Jonathan Law High School. Growing up, he played lacrosse, baseball and football. These days, Rob enjoys spending time with his family, camping and traveling. He can often be found playing and watching football, golfing and going to the range. He is a coach for the Naugatuck Youth Soccer Club and a member of the CT Young Insurance Professionals organization.
Rob is a highly certified restoration specialist with a long list of certifications in water, fire and mold damage restoration from the IICRC as well as OSHA. These include Water Damage Restoration, Applied Microbial Remediation, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Applied Structural Drying, Health & Safety, Exam Monitor, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning, Journeyman Fire and smoke Restorer, Journeyman Textile cleaner, Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, Osha 10 and Lead Certification.
Rob says that working in the restoration industry has given him the ability to help people from the start to the finish of a job. He is able to play a part in making a disaster into something amazing. When a job is complete, he takes pride in always giving back a home better than it was. Needless to say, with the years of training and experience he brings, we feel fortunate to have Rob as part of the SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team.
"Rocking the Bald" to Raise Funds For Childhood Cancer Research at the YMCA in Westport
The son of our Business Development Director "Rocking the Bald" at the St. Baldrick's Foundation's Fundraiser in Westport, CT.
Hearing the word "cancer" strikes fear into all of our hearts. Unfortunately, there are very few people that we know who haven't been affected by a cancer diagnosis. Childhood cancer is especially heartbreaking, with only 4% of the National Cancer Institute's funding going towards childhood cancer research
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is proud to be a sponsor of TeamBrent's St. Baldrick's Foundation Fundraiser, hosted by the Weston Westport Family YMCA. TeamBrent has been raising money for children's cancer research for thirteen years. In their St. Baldrick's event, participants shave their heads in exchange for donations towards research. The celebration was a fun filled event with people in our community coming together to help others and we were excited to be a part of it!
TeamBrent believes that "Together we make a difference." and has raised over 8 million dollars to date. If you would like to make a donation to help fight childhood cancer or be part of a future fundraising event, please visit the following organizations.
Commercial Carpet Cleaning Service in Stratford, CT
Schedule an appointment to have SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford spring clean your commercial carpeting today! Call us at (203) 301-0500.
This winter, the Milford area saw an endless cycle of snow, sleet, rain, slush and mud and if you have a commercial property, your carpets are showing the wear! The carpeting are one of the first thing customers notice when entering your office space and if they are filthy, it won't be a good impression. Commercial carpeting is a big investment and can last for years if cleaned and maintained properly. Avoid having to replace your investment with the comprehensive, professional carpet cleaning services that SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers.
Dirt builds up in layers. The visible soil that you see on a carpet is just the top layer. Beneath that, debris has built up and gotten lodged in the crevices of the carpeting. While vacuuming is somewhat effective at removing dry soil, the mud and snow that has been dragged in throughout the winter will have made its way to the bottom layers and be more difficult to remove with vacuuming alone. SERVPRO offers a range of carpet cleaning solutions and our treatment plan will be specifically tailored for the needs of your business.
SERVPRO Carpet Care Treatment Options
If your facility has low pile carpeting and doesn't require extraction cleaning, yet you would like to freshen it up without the dry time of wet cleaning, we offer bonnet cleaning services. While this method will not remove deep down dirt, it can be an effective cleaning tool for glued down commercial carpeting or very low pile carpets. With the bonnet cleaning method, the carpet is sprayed with a cleaning solution. We then use a rotary extractor that has a carpet pad on it to agitate and absorb the dirt from the surface of the carpeting. The benefit of bonnet cleaning is its quick drying time.
For carpeting with dirt and debris from regular use, we recommend hot water extraction. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers both truck mounted and portable hot water extraction commercial carpet cleaning. This method is effective in removing embedded debris with the least amount of wear to your carpet. In fact, having your commercial carpets cleaned via hot water extraction on a regular basis can substantially prolong the life of your carpet. Our recommendations for frequency are determined by the traffic and condition of your carpeting. High traffic public areas such as apartment complex hallways and common areas and mall and retail entrances might benefit from quarterly cleanings. Doctor's offices and business complexes may only require an annual cleaning.
At the end of the winter, in which your carpeting has been subjected to 4 months (or 5 months, as this snow season is turning out to be!) of snow and slush, we recommend our Showcase Premier Cleaning method. This is the commercial carpet cleaning industries most thorough cleaning method. The SERVPRO crew restores your carpeting by shampooing and spot treating your carpeting, followed by hot water extraction. We have seen the Showcase Premier Cleaning method restore carpeting beautifully, even when other methods have failed.
Now is the time to schedule a carpet cleaning with SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford. And if you'd like a full spring cleaning to your commercial property, including degreasing your kitchen, upholstery cleaning and air duct cleaning, schedule that as well!
Call us at (203) 301-0500 to schedule your commercial spring cleaning now!
We Restore and Rebuild Your Home After Fire and Water Damage in the Milford, CT Area
Nobody is prepared to deal with water damage in their home. Flooding comes as a surprise and trying to manage the restoration and construction contractors can be overwhelming. Most homeowners aren't sure what companies will handle each portion of the restoration effort and how to go about coordinating the effort. To make the process easier for our customers, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers post-mitigation construction services. With SERVPRO, there is no need to find a separate contractor to rebuild your home after it has been flooded.
Our crew, led by Chuck Lynch, performs full service construction, including rebuilding your entire home if need be. Our crew is currently working on a job in which the fire damage was so extensive that the house had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Chuck has over 20 years of experience as a construction contractor in the Fairfield County area and is fully licensed. He and his team come in after our water damage restoration crew completes their job and rebuild your home to look "Like it never even happened." (or better!).
Our construction crew will replace kitchen cabinetry, ceilings, walls and floors. We install carpets, can repair your wood and tile flooring and even paint your walls. If the damage to your home is extensive and you need to leave while restoration and rebuilding work is being done, we provide moving services and will pack up, move and store your belongings. We also provide tree removal, emergency tarping and roof repair in the event that high winds cause damage to your roof. Whater
When you are dealing with your home flooded and special belongings soaked after a pipe burst, the last thing you want to worry about is handling an insurance claim on your own. Our office staff will handle the correspondence with your home owner's insurance company. We submit the necessary documentation and photographs to your insurance company and keep the process as smooth as possible for you. With years of experience, we know what adjustors will be looking for and have the information ready for them quickly.
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is always looking for ways to make the recovery after water and fire damage easier for our customers. With the option of post-water damage construction services, we provide our customers with a quicker, less expensive and seamless way to a get back to their normal lives. For more information about our construction services, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford County at (203) 301-0500.
Ways to Prevent Water Damage From Washing Machine Leaks In Your Woodbridge Home
Whether from a burst hose or a failed pump valve, when washing machines malfunction they cause widespread water damage to Stratford area homes.
Most Connecticut households have a load of laundry going on a daily basis. The average life expectancy of a washing machine is 11 years and during that time, it endures 5,000 wash cycles. We put these appliances "through the wringer" - subjecting them to years of use without much thought about maintenance. It's no surprise that flooding from washing machines is a common cause of water damage to Milford homes.
Not only do washing machines malfunction often, the flooding that they cause tends to be very damaging due to the amount of water allowed to enter a home. A small crack in a hose can allow up to 250 gallons of water to enter your home in just a day. That's a lot of water working it's way through your home - in particular if you start a load and then leave for work, as many of us are apt to do. This can be especially damaging if you have a second floor laundry room.
There's no convincing any of us to give up our washing machines and go back to old fashioned washboards, so what can be done to protect a home from flooding? Having responded to dozens of homes with water damage from washer leaks over the years, the SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team has identified a list of preventative measures that homeowners can take to reduce their risk of home flooding from washing machine malfunction.
- Check that your connectors have not loosened and are secured tightly – look for moisture, rust or dripping around the connections.
- Get rid of those old rubber hoses! If you have a rubber hose on your washing machine, replace it with a stainless steel hose – they cost under 20 dollars and will not crack, burst or wear out like rubber ones can.
- Give your washer a little breathing room. Keeping it 6" away from the wall can prevent your hose from kinking.
- Look for machine movement. Keep an eye on your machine's location- if it seems to drift to one side or forward, it may be imbalanced. This can also stress connections and hoses.
- Turn the water off. Get in the habit of turning off the water supply valve (usually located behind the machine) when you are leaving your home for an extended time.. It's a good idea to turn off your main water supply as well if going on vacation.
- Don't overload your washing machine as this can cause stress on the machine and connections.
- Inspect the pump valve to your washing machine to make sure there is no debris or blockages to the valve or it's filter. If blocked, the water cannot drain properly and will end up leaking out and onto (and through) your floors.
- If you really love having that upstairs laundry room because of the convenience, install a flood stopper in your laundry room. This device, which is placed on the floor near your washing machine, has a sensor that detects moisture. If it is triggered, it will automatically shut off the water supply! For about $150, you can have the peace of mind that if something does malfunction, your damage will be minimal.
Water damage of this type requires a clean up from a professional restoration company. The water may have seeped under the linoleum or carpeting and saturated the subfloor. Walls and ceilings of the lower levels may be wet from the floodwater and require removal. Proper water damage restoration will ensure that mold does not grow due to the home not being dried and sanitized properly. Fortunately, most homeowner's insurance policies cover water damage from appliance leaks. If your washing machine floods your home, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at 203-301-0500. Our IICRC trained team will restore your home from start to finish, from the initial water extraction until the last piece of new baseboard is nailed down.
When Fire and Water Take Control of Your Life, We Help You Take it Back!
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results—including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to help ensure that fire damages are handled by utilizing the following services.
- Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.
- Contents Cleaning - All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to pre loss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.
- Deodorization - We provide specialized services that rid your residence or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. We seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
Safety Tips - Candles
Keep Candles At Least a Foot Away From Anything That Can Burn.
Holiday Safety Tips:
Candles, pretty lights and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season, however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly.
Below are safety tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home this holiday season.
Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least three feet away from anything that burns.
Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces.
Never leave candles unattended.
Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.
Make sure you have the correct type of light for your desired décor. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets.
Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Smoke alarms save lives! Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, near kitchen and sleeping areas. Don’t forget to replace all batteries at least once a year.
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!