The Truth About Mold in New Haven County Homes and Businesses
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford remediates the mold problem in your home, bringing mold spores down to safe levels.
You might notice that some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee that they will remove all mold, which is a fallacy.
It is impossible to remove all mold from an environment. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, our technicians remediate mold, bringing the levels to natural and safe levels.
The truth is that microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove every single mold spore from the air. In mold remediation, our aim is to reduce the mold spore count back to its natural level.
Consider the following facts about mold.
- Mold spores are microscopic and present naturally both indoors and out. They may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even enter on you or your pet.
- Moisture is essential to the existence of mold spores. When exposed to water, spores quickly form into colonies. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Prior to beginning any mold remediation, the source of the water or moisture must be corrected. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- The strong, musty odor that mold often produces can lead you to problem areas.
- Standing water isn't necessary for mold to grow. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If you have signs of mold, Milford-Orange-Stratford can inspect and assess your structure. We have the specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation and bring your mold spore count to safe, natural levels.
While you are waiting for our mold technician to arrive, turn off the HVAC system and any fans in your home as these can cause the mold spores to spread. We also advise that you do not disturb the mold. This includes any attempts to clean the mold yourself. Household cleaners and even bleach are comprised mainly of water, which can actually encourage mold growth on porous surfaces.
Not all levels of mold are going to create toxic conditions in your Woodbridge area home. If you see or smell signs of mold, give us a call for an inspection at (203) 743-5362.
Repair or Replace? Water and Fire Damage Restoration Services in Milford Area Commercial Properties
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford provides water and fire damage restoration in New Haven County businesses.
If your business has experienced water or fire damage, your goal as a business owner is to get your building back to pre-disaster status.
The first step after the flames are out and water flow stopped is to hire a restoration contractor. You know that SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford are the restoration experts on the Connecticut coastline. What you may not know is that our franchise also offers reconstruction services, allowing you to move through the process of getting your building re-opened seamlessly. Our construction crew offers top to bottom services to repair your commercial building after water and fire damage.
When our team is restoring your business, decisions will need to be made as to whether damaged property should be repaired or replaced. There are several factors our restoration professionals will take into consideration when advising you on which action to take.
THE HISTORY AND AGE OF THE PROPERTY
If your building was constructed decades ago, there is a chance that it was built with materials that are not commonly available anymore. In this case, it may be more cost-effective to replace these with newer and less expensive materials. There are times when purchasing a newer model of an older type of equipment can be extremely cost-effective.
THE LONG-TERM COST OF REPAIRING OR REPLACING
The cost difference between repairing and replacing can widely vary from property to property. For example, it may be in your short-term benefit to simply repair a 50-year-old electrical system, but it may be time to completely replace the whole system to avoid risk or more monetary loss.
Depending on your property insurance company, you may have to discuss your repair/replace plan with your insurance provider. Typically, insurance companies will choose the less expensive option. Local laws and building codes must also be adhered to protect the health and safety of those occupying the building.
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers water and fire damage assessments that can help you determine whether to repair or replace.
If your New Haven County commercial building has been damaged, call our office at (203) 301-0500 for complete restoration service.
How to Use the Fire Extinguisher in Your New Haven County Home
Knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher can save your home or business property from extensive fire damage.
Most of us have at least one fire extinguisher in our Connecticut homes as well as in our schools and workplace. According to FEMA, the majority of Americans don’t know how to use an extinguisher. This is a dangerous statistic given that fires can double in size every 60 seconds. You don’t want to be frantically reading a manual while the a stove top fire spreads throughout your kitchen. While operating one is not difficult, there are a few key rules that you should know.
Fire extinguishers are categorized by a variety of classes based on the type of fire they are formulated to extinguish. Most fire extinguishers for homes and public spaces are classified as Class ABC extinguishers, meaning they’re suitable for putting out wood and paper fires, flammable liquid fires, and electrical fires. If you work in a commercial kitchen, your extinguisher is most likely a Class K.
Class A – Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth, and paper products.
Class B – Flammable liquids and gases.
Class C – Electrical fires. (Do not use water to put out this kind of fire – you could get electrocuted!)
Class D – Flammable metals.
Class K – Oils and grease fires. (Never use water on a grease fire – it will cause the flames to explode and spread.)
If you have a fire in your home, a good rule of thumb in determining whether a fire extinguisher will be effective on it is the height of the fire. If the fire is taller than you, your extinguisher most likely will not be able to extinguish the fire and it is recommended that you vacate the premises and dial 9-1-1.
If you are taller than the fire, position yourself in a location where you can make an exit if necessary and confirm that you have the right type of extinguisher for your fire.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the best way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is by remembering the acronym "PASS".
Pull the pin.
Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flame with the extinguisher won’t be effective.
Squeeze the trigger. In a controlled manner, squeeze the trigger to release the agent.
Sweep from side to side. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is put out. Keep aiming at the base while you do so. Most extinguishers will give you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time.
Slowly back away. Even if the fire appears to be extinguished, don’t turn your back on it. There might be unseen hot spots or hidden fires that can ignite into a large flame at any moment.
Once you’ve used a fire extinguisher, even if you didn’t deplete all the pressure, you must get it recharged.
If your Woodbridge, CT home has a fire, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford has the experience to clean up fire extinguisher residue as well as water and fire damage. Call us at (203) 301-0500 for a quick response and professional service.
It's Time to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage From Frozen Pipes and Ice Dams
Take measures to prevent the pipes from freezing in your Milford home now.
Today was a cold one and although we may have a week or two before the temperatures dip down to fireplace weather, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your home.
The winter is our busiest time of year for a reason- it’s when pipe’s burst, ice dams cause water damage and the risk of house fires goes up with the use of wood stoves and portable heaters. Take a few hours to inspect your home and repair problems that can potentially cause water or fire damage.
- Insulate your pipes: Pipes close to exterior walls and in unheated spaces such as the garage and basement are vulnerable to freezing. Insulating them goes a long way in reducing your risk of frozen pipes.
- Winterize your outside faucets: Drain outside sprinkler systems and hose bibs. Shut off the water supply (usually located in your basement) and detach your hoses.
- Check your gutters: By removing leaves and debris from gutters, melting snow and ice can flow freely. This will prevent “ice damming” – a condition where water is unable to properly drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned: The chimney should be swept annually and checked for cracks and creosote buildup, both of which can cause house fires.
- Check for drafts: Close off crawl spaces, vents and doors that might cause drafts. Repair broken or cracked windows, and check insulation and caulking around doors and windows.
If you experience water damage in your home from a burst pipe, basement flooding or an ice dam, take the following steps while waiting for a professional restoration company to arrive.
- Stop the source of the water. Cleanup and restoration cannot begin until the origin is 100% addressed. In the case of a burst pipe, call your plumber to repair the pipe.
- Turn off circuit breakers. The water presents a risk of shock. Turn off the circuit breakers that supply electricity to wet areas. If it safe to do, unplug and remove electrical devices located on wet floors and surfaces. This probably goes without saying but avoid using electrical devices or equipment while standing on any wet surface.
- Turn off the HVAC system. If it has been in contact with any water or sewage, there is the possibility of biohazardous materials being spread via the ducts.
- Remove small household contents. Small furniture, electronics, area rugs, artwork and valuables can be removed to a dry area to reduce the level of damage. Remember to check under beds and in closets.
- Larger furniture can be protected by placing aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture. Not only does this protect the furniture from the water damage that standing water can cause, it will also protect your carpet and flooring from staining.
Hiring trained water damage mitigation and structural drying professionals is safer, easier and less expensive than the cost of repair and replacement of property damaged during improper water mitigation efforts. Most cases of water damage from burst pipes and ice dams are covered by insurance. If you fail to have your home properly cleaned and dried out, any secondary problem that might arise, such as mold growth, may not be covered. Quick action and hiring the right, professionally trained restoration company to clean your home after water damage is crucial in protecting your home.
Employee Spotlight: Kirk Hart, Restoration Technician
Kirk Hart is a Water, Fire and Mold Restoration Technician with SERVPRO of MIlford-Orange-Stratford.
Our crew works day after day, helping home and business owners during difficult times. They are on call throughout the night, on weekends, on holidays and in bad weather. Their dedication to their jobs often goes without much recognition. This month, we’d like to recognize one of our crew members who shows up with a smile on his face no matter what the circumstances.
Kirkland Hart has worked in the restoration industry for seven years, the last five with our SERVPRO franchises. Originally from Clarendon, Jamaica, Kirk now lives in Bridgeport with his wife and four children. When not at work, you can find him playing soccer (futbol) or dominos or enjoying his favorite meal, chicken and rice.
If we were to make a list of what attributes make a valuable employee, Kirk would be in mind. What stands out about Kirk is his can-do attitude and willingness to help our customers as well as others on the crew. If there is a job that needs to be done, Kirk will make it happen - even if that means coming into work early and staying late. He takes pride in his work and easily falls into a leadership role with our newer employees.
We understand that our customers are dealing with a stressful situation and having a crew in their home can sometimes be difficult. Kirk’s smile and friendly nature enable him to connect with our customers and put them at ease. He is kind and helpful when people need it most. We are grateful to have such a guy as part of our team.
We Restore New Haven County Apartment Buildings After Fire,Mold and Water Damage
If your Milford area apartment complex has a fire, water or mold disaster, call us at (203) 301-0500. We have the resources to restore your property.
When you own or manage an apartment building in New Haven County there are many factors that can cause disaster in your complex.
Home to many families, all it takes is one tenant being forgetful and leaving a pot of boiling water on the stove to cause widespread smoke damage. A toilet overflow can cause water and sewage damage to multiple residences. Often, tenants don’t report problems inside their apartments such as a water spots on the ceiling or a musty smell and by the time you discover it, the damage is a big problem.
The tenants in your apartment building count on you to prevent water, fire and mold damage in the building and address them as they arise. As the owner of the building, the maintenance and upkeep of the facility falls to you directly.
The services offered by SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford can assist commercial property owners. We provide preventative maintenance, such as commercial cleaning of carpets and upholstered furniture in common areas as well as air duct cleaning. We are also your local professionals for water, fire, mold, sewage and vandalism clean up.
There are many ways in which your apartment building can be damaged by water. For example, heavy snow can cause roof leaks or even a collapse due to the weight of the snow. Our franchise provides emergency tarping and boarding up 24 hours a day/7 days a week in the event that there is damage to your roof or windows.
Appliance leaks are commonplace in apartment buildings. Supply lines to refrigerators and ice makers, dishwashers and washing machines fail, causing water damage to not only the apartment itself but also to the floors below. We also see restore a number of commercial buildings each year after the pipes freeze and burst.
Quick cleanup is essential in commercial water damage situations-the longer water sits, the less salvageable items such as hardwood flooring, carpets and personal belongings become. As an apartment complex owner, the more you can save, rather than replace, the better. Mold can begin to grown in as little as 24 hours and spread throughout the building if the water removal process is not addressed immediately.
Even the smallest apartment fires can cause tremendous smoke and soot damage in your building. Because of the shared walls and ventilation systems, smoke and soot can easily travel throughout the building, filling the apartments with smoke. Our franchise has the crew and equipment to respond to widespread fire damage and begin the restoration process quickly and efficiently. We have the technology to not only clean the building itself but also restore the contents of the apartments, removing soot and smoke odors.
With so many families and tenants that trust you to keep them safe and take care of any problems that may arise, you need to have a restoration company that you can trust to be on the job and taking care of you if you have a water or fire emergency. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers an Emergency Preparedness Plan that helps you have all of the pieces in place to best respond to an emergency in your commercial building. Give us a call today at (203) 301-0500 to discuss how we can help you keep your building safe.
Commercial Water, Mold and Fire Damage Restoration Services
The commercial restoration team at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford cleans a warehouse after a fire caused damage.
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers full commercial cleaning services. Whether your business has experienced a flood or a fire and requires restoration and clean up or you discover mold in your offices, we help New Haven County businesses get back to conducting business as usual, as fast as possible. You can’t afford to have your business doors shut and we have the team, equipment and resources to professionally restore the damage quickly and correctly.
Water Damage Restoration
When it comes to water damage at commercial properties, we’ve seen it all – from coffee maker lines bursting to basement flooding. We offer 24 hour service, 7 days a week because floods don’t wait for business hours. No matter where your business is located and no matter if you are a small privately owned business or a big box store, we have the resources and training to fix your problem.
Fire Damage Restoration
If your company has experienced a fire, business continuity is your primary concern. In addition to smoke, soot and structural damage from the fire itself, most businesses that have had a fire also have extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. As a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford knows the ins and outs of fire damage and the extra damage that can come with it. We have training and experience in fire and smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning as well as all aspects or water damage restoration.
Mold can be frightening to discover at your Fairfield County business. Mold, whether from a leak or plumbing, can cause serious problems to those who enter your business, give us a call to discuss how we can manage it as we work fast to address the mold. We know how to contain mold growth while reducing the number of mold spores in the air and on surfaces. Our crew members have training as Applied Microbial Remediation Specialists as well as Applied Structural Drying.
Our team, based out of Woodbridge, CT has the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to keep your business running after a water, fire or mold disaster. It’s our business to keep you in business.
Avoid Basement Floods With Proper Sump Pump Maintenance
Properly maintaining our sump pump can help you avoid flooding in the basement of your Milford, CT home or business
Many of our customers have a sump pump installed in the basement of their New Haven County home to keep it dry. Sump pumps ensure that the water drains properly and does not collect in your home, causing water damage. If you maintain your sump pump, it should perform it's job and you will forget that it is there. However, If you neglect your sump pump, a failure can happen, resulting in water damage and a big mess. Inspecting a sump pump is a task that a homeowner can do on their own. We recommend doing an annual inspection.
- Check the power source for the pump. It should connect to a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI) for maximum safety. Inspect the cord to the pump, looking for evidence of wear and tear.
- Find the outlet pipe that allows the water to drain outside of your home. Make sure that there aren't any clogs or damages done to the drain making it impossible for water to exit the home and flow away from the foundation.
- Make sure the pump is level and upright. When it runs, the vibrations from the motor or the force of the water can cause it to tilt, which will let the float shift out of place.
- Locate the sump pump in the lower level of your home and check the inside of it to ensure that the pump is not clogged with debris.
- Take the pump out of the basin. At the bottom, there should be a grate, which needs cleaned of any debris that could cause a malfunction.
- Slowly pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the pump to simulate if a storm were to hit. As you pour, watch for it to turn on and start pumping the water out of your home. If should start pumping when the water reaches about 8-12 inches below the basement floor. This task simply assures you that the pump will run when it needs to and that nothing has malfunctioned.
- If your sump pump contains a float in the basin, make sure that it is also functioning properly and not caught on anything while running the test. This float is what lets the sump pump know when the water reaches a certain height and activates the pump.
Most sump pumps work with no issues however we do receive calls from those unlucky homeowners that experience a failure and have a flooded basement. If your sump pump fails, give SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford a call at (203) 301-0500.
Having an Inventory of Your Household Contents Will Help in the Case of Disaster
Taking an inventory of the items in your home will help make the reimbursement process go smoothly in the event of a theft or water damage.
One of the best pieces of advice that we can give homeowners is to take a full inventory of their household contents. Most of us have a house full of belongings that we have accumulated over a lifetime which have both sentimental and monetary value. If you experience a theft or home disaster due to a storm, it may be difficult to recall every item in your home that may be missing.
By taking an inventory of your home, you will simplify your life in a number of ways. If there is a theft in your home or a water or fire loss, having an accurate accounting of your belongings will make your insurance claim much easier. Not only is keeping track of your things difficult under normal circumstances, if you have had a tragic event, your emotional state might make the ability to recall things even harder. An accurate list, with photos and values included, will help both you and your insurance company streamline the process of reimbursement of your losses.
Having a detailed list will also assist you in determining how much insurance coverage is needed to adequately protect you. If your home has been affected by a weather-related disaster such as a tornado or a hurricane and are eligible for assistance or a tax break, keeping an inventory can be beneficial.
When making a household contents inventory list, include both new and inherited items. Don’t forget to include items found in your shed or garage – the value of lawn tools can add up! We recommend going room by room as you add items to the list. Take photos of each item and include these in your document. If you have a receipt for valuable items, scan it as well and include the copy on your list. The same should be done with any items that you have had appraised.
Make sure that you will have access to your list in the event that your computer is damaged or not accessible after the water damage. Although a hard drive or memory card could be used as a backup, they are also at risk of being destroyed. The best option is to keep your inventory list on the cloud or other external storage site.
Taking an inventory of your household items will give you peace of mind. It can be done in a day and then simply added to if you purchase or are gifted new items. Preparedness is the key step for recovering from a disaster smoothly. And while you have done your part, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford will do ours. Whether you have a flooded basement due to storm water, broken glass from a theft or water damage because your roof was damaged when a tree fell on your home, our team will clean it up and help you get back to your normal life.
Why Professional Restoration is Necessary When Mold is Found in Your Home
Whether it's just a small patch of mold in your attic or your basement walls are covered with it, call us for a professional recommendation.
With all of the attention and media coverage about household mold, and it's associated health risks, the office staff at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford often field phone calls from concerned homeowners who have discovered mold in their home.
Unfortunately, the internet is full of misinformation on what is effective and safe mold removal - such as the misconception that bleach kills mold (it does not). While there are some cases where a small area of mold on a non-porous surface can be effectively cleaned by a homeowner themselves, we recommend having a SERVPRO IICRC trained professional come and inspect your home. Our team has decades of experience and training that they use to identify your mold situation and advise you on a course of action.
Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet. A homeowner may have cleaned all visible evidence of mold from a hard surface yet not know the level of mold spores in the air and how it is affecting their home and their health. Mold spores also root into porous surfaces such as carpeting, wood and sheet rock walls and ceilings. So if you scrub down black mold on your windowsill, the mold might appear to have been removed but actually is still present inside of the wood and will reappear.
Mold is a sign that there is a problem in your home. Whether it's a leaky pipe behind a wall that you can't see, water behind some boxes in your basement or inadequate venting in your attic that is causing high humidity, the cause of the mold in your home is something that needs to be addressed.
Give us a call at (203) 301-0500 if you spot mold in your New Haven County CT home. We will schedule an appointment for one of our mold specialists to come out to your house, survey the situation and give you an honest opinion of what action needs to be taken.