Christmas Tree Safety - Choosing and Caring for a Live Christmas Tree
One of our favorite holiday traditions is taking an afternoon with family and choosing a live Christmas tree.
Connecticut has an abundance of "cut your own tree" farms as well as a number of retailers selling trees in parking lots throughout New Haven County. While live trees are part of the Christmas tradition, they also bring a potential hazard into your home.
Choosing the right kind of tree, and caring for it properly, will help reduce your risk of having a Christmas tree fire in your home this winter.
- Buy a tree that is fresh. If you cut your own tree, this isn’t an issue however if you purchase a tree from a retailer, be sure that your tree is fresh. Make sure the bottom of yours is sticky with resin. The needles should be green and supple and stay firmly attached to the branches if you tug on them or tap the tree gently on the ground. Tip: The earlier in the season you buy a tree from a lot, the fresher it will be.
- Hydrate! A dry tree is a fire hazard. A real one needs water at least once or twice daily during the first couple of weeks.
- Choose a safe location. Set your tree up in a safe place. Keep your tree away from fireplaces, radiators or electric heaters.
- Check your lights. Make sure your strands of light do not have any fraying wires, bare spots or broken bulbs. Follow manufacturers instructions on how many strands should be strung together and do not overload them.
- Dispose of your tree. Although you may not want the Christmas season to end, it is important to dispose of your Christmas tree shortly after the holiday. Despite watering, the tree will continue to die and grow dry and brittle as it ages.
Christmas tree fires are one of the most devastating restoration calls our office receives. Place your tree in the right location, keep it watered, use lights in good condition and dispose of it quickly after the holidays to help keep your holiday a celebration, not a disaster.
After Tornado Causes Water Damage in Oxford Homes, Mold Begins to Grow
If a home has been damaged by water, mold can grown within 24 hours.
It has been 6 months since tornadoes and microbursts damaged hundreds of houses in the Oxford area.
Storms of that magnitude are an unusual event in Connecticut and most of us were surprised by the level of damage. Many homeowners were forced to leave their homes that had been damaged by water and fallen trees.
Unfortunately, the damage from the storm is still affecting homeowners. Our office has recently been receiving an influx of phone calls from residents who are discovering mold growth in their vacant homes.
It doesn’t take much for mold to grow and with the amount of water present in many of these storm damaged houses, mold is easily growing.
The crew of SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford holds certifications in the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician and Mold Removal Specialists and are the area's experienced professionals in mold remediation.
We use various containment procedures, including advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to prevent the spread of mold. Our specialized filtration equipment, such as air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums, allows our technicians to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air.
We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
When the mold levels have been reduced to be normal levels, our building services team will rebuild any areas of your home that require it, leaving your home better than ever.
If you see signs of mold growing on your walls, ceilings or floors, call us at (203)301-0500 to schedule an inspection.
Emergency Storm Repair: We Board Up, Clean Up and Restore Homes After Wind and Water Damage
When storms have caused a tree to fall through your roof, you can't wait for help. Call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for emergency service.
If you have been hit hard by mother nature, call our office at 203) 301-0500 for immediate service.
If your property has been damaged by severe weather such as a snowstorm, high winds or flooding, it can be devastating to your family or business. To get the complex storm damage repair completed quickly and safely, you need a restoration service company that specializes in bringing your home back to its preloss condition.
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford provides specialized emergency cleanup and restoration services to bring your property back to normal with minimal interruption. We can handle any damage due to severe weather, including:
- Lightning strikes
- Tornadoes and high winds
- Hail and ice storms
- Freezing weather and ice dams
SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is available 24/7 to restore your home or business.
Whatever wind or water damage you have experienced, we are fully equipped to help. Contact us for:
- Water, wind and storm damage repair
- Emergency tarping and board up
- Emergency heat and generators during restoration
- Reconstruction services
- Insurance claim assistance
If your property has experienced damage from a storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.
Keep Your Thanksgiving Disaster Free With These Tips
Thanksgiving is the most common day of the year for kitchen fires - deep fryers being the number one culprit.
Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, parades, football and, of course, food! The kitchen is the heart of home, especially during the holidays when most of us in New Haven County are preparing a meal with many more recipes, in larger quantities and with more cooks in the kitchen than usual!
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day also has the highest number of home fires annually. In 2013, Thanksgiving Day had 1,550 reported kitchen fires, which is 230% above the average number of fires per day. Keep these kitchen safety reminders in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast!
"Be on time"
With so many things on your "to do" list, guests coming and going and multiple items cooking, be sure to set timers so that you don't remember to take something out of the oven too late! (nobody likes their stuffing THAT dry!)
“Stand by Your Pan”
Have a designated cook in the kitchen at all times so that food is not left unattended. This is the most common source of kitchen fires. It only takes a moment for a kitchen fire to start and with a vigilant cook in the kitchen, catching it immediately is the key to avoiding the fire spreading.
"If you fry, don't make it too high!"
The popularity of deep frying the turkey has soared (We at Milford-Orange-Stratford haven't gone this route because we are traditionalists but we hear it's quite delicious!). An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. Play it safe and fry your bird outside.
"For grease fires, water makes it go higher!"
Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water or a wet towel. Water will cause the flames to flare up and spread quickly. Turn off the stove and cover the fire with a lid if it is safe to do so, thereby removing the oxygen from reaching the fire. Use a fire extinguisher, which should be stored in a convenient kitchen location (not hidden under the kitchen sink!) If you do not have a fire extinguisher, baking soda is also effective at putting out grease fires however you do need to use quite a bit of it.
We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Employee Spotlight: Junior Delgado
When we added the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County franchise to our business last year, we hit the jackpot when Crew Chief Junior Delgado chose to stay on with our team.
Junior has been working for SERVPRO as a Restoration Crew Chief for 4 years now. Prior to joining us, Junior worked in the security sector as a security officer for CBS and BET as well as in loss prevention for a sporting goods warehouse. He also utilized his handyman skills during this time by doing small home improvement jobs as a side job.
Junior was raised in the Bronx and attended elementary and middle school there. He had the unique opportunity to attend high school at Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in the Dominican Republic, which is where his family is originally from. After high school, Junior returned to the Bronx and attended Hostos Community College of The City University of New York, where he studied criminal justice.
Junior's wife and kids are very lucky that he LOVES to cook – his favorite foods being pizza and Asian cuisine. He can often be found watching Anthony Bourdain cooking shows. Cars are another hobby of Junior's – with some of his favorite's being 1964 to 69 mustangs, the McLaren MP4-12c, the VW Phaeton and the AC Cobra. He's a fan of all of the NY sports teams as well as Las Aguilas Cibaeñas (Dominican baseball). Junior enjoys hiking and has visited many state and national parks throughout the Northeast. His favorite place in the world is a huge mango tree in the middle of a field behind his grandfather's house in the Dominican Republic.
In his work at SERVPRO, Junior appreciates being able to work in different locations and helping people get their houses closer to normal. He's taken advantage of the educational opportunities available and has earned his water restoration technician certificate and mold abatement license. Those of us who have just begun working with Junior over the past year realize what an asset he is to our company. His co-worker's and customer's appreciate the perpetual smile, easy going nature and positive attitude he brings wherever he goes.
Water, Fire and Mold Damage Restoration in New Haven County Restaurants
Call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford if your restaurant has fire damage.
Restaurant owners know that it is an unpredictable business.
Anything can be thrown your way and an experienced owner is an expert at handling emergencies quickly and adeptly as they arise. Restaurants are particularly susceptible to water, fire and mold problems and our franchise receives calls on a regular basis from restaurant owners who require our restoration services.
With several cooks in the kitchen and hot stoves going all day long, kitchen fires occur frequently. Even a small fire in your commercial kitchen might necessitate a temporary shut down of your restaurant. The smoke odor quickly spreads throughout the restaurant, is absorbed into upholstered chairs, carpeting, walls and drapery. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Often in conjunction with fire damage in restaurants is water damage from rescue efforts. The water damage can originate from a sprinkler system setting off in response to detected smoke or from the fire department’s rescue efforts. Some of our clients have also had water damage in their restaurants due to a burst pipe, appliance malfunction or human error. Regardless of the cause, it is important to call us to restore your building immediately. A failure to properly address water damage in your restaurant can lead to additional problems such as mold growth.
Mold in restaurants can be particularly troubling as the environment (water and steam) has high humidity levels, creating prime real estate for mold growth. Any mold discovered in your restaurant requires professional remediation. Mold might grow behind walls or ceiling tiles, flooring or even under your restaurant carpeting (think of how many drinks are spilled every day).
If you own a restaurant in New Haven County, give us a call at (203) 301-0500. We will schedule an appointment to come out and discuss any current concerns that you have for your building as well as set up an Emergency Ready Profile, which will enable you to quickly act if your restaurant does have fire, water or mold damage in the future.
Avoid Water and Fire Damage by Preparing Your Milford Home For Winter
Taking these steps to prepare your home for winter can reduce your risk of pipes bursting, puffbacks and chimney fires.,
Most of the leaves are on the ground in New Haven County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle in for the long, cozy New England winter. Now is the time to take a few steps to ready your Ansonia home for the months to come.
Oil Burner Servicing - If you have not already done so, make an appointment to have your oil burner serviced. This is recommended on an annual basis. Having the burner tuned up and cleaned of dust and grime that has accumulated improves system efficiency, which means better heating performance and lower heating costs. It also minimizes the risk of your oil burner requiring a major emergency repair in the midst of freezing temperatures. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we respond to many homes each winter that have water damage due to frozen pipes caused by a malfunctioning oil burner.
Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleaning - Many of our customers heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces throughout the Connecticut winter. These alternatives to oil heating provide what is often a more affordable source of heat. We recommend that you check your fireplace for any signs of excessive soot, cracks in the chimney and that your chimney cap is secure. Have your chimney swept annually to avoid soot buildup, or creosote. A blocked chimney can cause a chimney fire, which is not always easily detected. These can spread quickly through the walls and roof of your home and result in massive damage to your home. A blocked chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can also cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, putting those inside your home at risk.
Prepare the outside of your home - Trim trees with branches that are low laying and may be an issue when covered with snow and ice. Snow and ice causes them to be heavy and possibly cause damage to your home during winter storms. Also, check your gutters to make sure they are free of leaves and debris so that they can function properly. If ice dams on your roof have been an issue for your Woodbridge home in the past, consider installing roof heat cables that help snow and ice melt on your roof before causing water damage inside your home.
At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we are ready 24 hours a day to respond to your call. If you do experience a frozen pipe that bursts or a chimney fire or puffback this winter, call us at (203) 301-0500.
Why Should You Choose SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for Your Restoration Needs?
We are sometimes asked what makes SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford stand out against the other restoration companies out there.
We know that when choosing a restoration company after you have experienced water, fire, mold, storm or biohazard damage, you may do an internet search and see ads from several restoration companies. Most of our customers have little knowledge of the restoration process and are in a stressed state due to the damage to their home or business. The decision of which restoration company to choose may be overwhelming.
At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we strive to stand out from the rest by giving our customers the very best service from beginning to end. Our office staff, Kathy, Theny, Alexis and Keri, have all been with us for years and have extensive knowledge of the restoration process. When you call our office, you may have many questions about our restoration work or how to handle your insurance claim. Our staff helps guide customers through the process and is available to answer all of your questions.
Although SERVPRO is a national corporation, the owner of our franchise, Greg Geaski, and the rest of our team live locally and are part of the community. We have teams on call and ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day. This is our community and we treat our customers as we would a neighbor. We know that having strangers in your home isn’t always easy on a homeowner. Our crew is a group of friendly and respectful men and women who our customers feel at ease with. Every job is assigned a Production Manager who is available should you have any concerns or questions about the work being done.
You may be surprised to learn that there are no federal requirements for the restoration industry. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we believe that training and education is an important factor in why we are so successful. As part of a national franchise system that has been the nation’s leader in the water and fire restoration industry for 50 years, all of the training that SERVPRO has to offer is available to us. We also send our team members to classes through the IICRC for advanced training. Whereas, in general, there is a high turnover in the restoration industry, most of our team members have been with us for years- several for over 10 years! Decades of restoration work has provided our restoration technicians with the experience and expertise not found in a classroom.
After the water has been cleaned up and the fire damaged walls removed from your home, our building services team will rebuild your home to make it “Like it never even happened” (or better!). Our construction team is licensed by the State of Connecticut and does beautiful work. Whether you need your roof boarded up, your wood floors replaced or a new kitchen installed, we will repair your home and make it shine again.
Not only do we restore homes in New Haven County, we are also the area’s first choice for commercial restoration work. We understand that business owners have unique concerns when their building experiences water or smoke damage. With inventory at risk of becoming damaged, customer and employee safety concerns and the cost of having your doors closed for any length of time, your commercial business needs a quick, professional response. We have the equipment and team to handle large scale commercial property restoration including smoke and soot damage, flooding caused by a sprinkler malfunction, public toilet or sewage backups, apartment complex fires and roof leaks. Whatever your restoration needs, you can count on our team to get your business back in business quickly.
At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we’ve assembled the best team of local folks who are highly trained and experienced in the water,fire and mold restoration industry. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we are here to make the restoration process on your home or business go a smoothly as possible. From your first call until the restoration is complete, we will be with you every step of the way.
Furnace Puffbacks Cause Soot Damage in New Haven County Homes
Furnace puffbacks leave soot cobwebs throughout your home in addition to a fine layer of oily soot on every surface of your home.
With the arrival of cold weather in the Milford area, the calls coming to our office take a different tone.
Winter brings calls from homeowners who have had burst pipes and chimney fires as well as furnace puff backs. A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. Puff backs happen when your oil burning furnace doesn't ignite when it should. This causes oil vapors to build up which results in an explosion when the igniter finally triggers. The result of this is soot and other debris is forced from the furnace's exhaust system. The soot then enters the homes heating system and gets blown throughout the home.
After a puffback, the contents of your home will be covered with a fine film of soot and soot cobwebs. Our crew observes that the damage is greater in homes with forced air heating or HVAC systems as they provide a pathway for the particles to disperse through the house.
If you see signs of a puffback in your Ansonia home, call your oil company immediately for an inspection of your furnace. The mechanical failure that caused the puffback will require repair. If a homeowner hasn't experienced a puff back before, they might mistake the soot on their surfaces for dust and attempt to wipe it away. However, soot cannot but easily wiped away- it requires specialized cleaning by your local SERVPRO franchise. Puffback residue cannot be cleaned up using traditional methods. Professional cleaning utilizes a treatment that is waterless and absorbs the soot in order to removes it. Draperies and carpeting requires chemical cleaning to remove the sticky soot.
Fortunately, puffback damage is covered under most homeowner's insurance policies. Our franchise also provides emergency heating while your furnace is being repaired or replaced. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we have the tools, training and experience to get your New Haven County home back to normal and properly remove soot in your home. Call us at (203) 301-0500 for immediate service after a puffback.
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.