Cleaning the Contents of Your Home After a Fire
Some of the toughest jobs we respond to are house fires. It can be devastating, both physically and emotionally, for the family who has experienced such a loss. Not only is there damage from the fire itself, the smoke and soot can render many possessions unsalvageable. On top of that, water damage from fire fighting efforts adds another layer of damage. Our team knows how important it is to save whatever we can of your belongings. We have technicians trained and experienced in the art of content cleaning, which can take different forms depending on the item.
Dry-Cleaning: In order to remove smoke and soot from porous items such as clothing, furniture and drapery, we use the dry cleaning method. The soot has to be removed from the textiles before they are washed with water.
Ultrasonic: Non-porous items can go through a more vigorous cleaning than materials that soak up water. The ultrasonic treatment incorporates ultrasound and a cleaning solvent to rid your belongings of soot.
High-Pressure Water: In some circumstances, such as for larger items, our technicians opt to use high-pressure water treatment on non-porous household items.
Odor Removal: Smoke isn't the only thing that can cling to your possessions. The smell can linger after all visible signs of fire damage has disappeared. Our team may use thermal fogging or ozone treatments to make your home smelling good again.
With decades in the business, our team has helped hundreds of families back into their homes after house fires. If you are faced with such a loss, please know that we are available to help.
Water Damage Clean Up at Commercial Properties
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.
Puffbacks Cause a Sticky Mess!
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 puffbacks. 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.
If you see signs of a puffback in your home, call your oil company immediately for an inspection of your furnace. 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.
At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we have the tools, training and experience to get your home back to properly remove soot in your home. Call us at (203) 301-0500 for immediate service.
Don't Let a Turkey Fryer Cause a House Fire this Thanksgiving
To be honest, I’ve never fried my Thanksgiving turkey. My family has always gone the traditional route and roasted our bird in the oven. I am tempted, however, to give it a try this year because so many people swear by how amazing and flavorful a fried turkey is.
Working in the fire damage restoration business, however, I’ve seen the damage a turkey fryer can do to a home. Turkey fryer fires are more common than you’d imagine and are devastating because everything surrounding the fire is engulfed in the flames.
So, why does frying a turkey carry the risk of fire?
I know. It’s cold in Connecticut by the last Thursday of November and you may not want to be standing outside while the rest of the meal is cooking in the kitchen. But turkeys should ALWAYS be fried outside. Just because you’ve been doing it in your garage for 10 years and never had a problem doesn’t mean it can't happen to you. Because the hot oil will spray everywhere when cooking, a 10’ radius around the fryer is necessary. It quickly starts a fire when making contact with combustible materials, such as wood or fabric. If the oil touches bare skin, it can also cause severe burns.
One common mistake people make is using a frozen turkey. This is because when a frozen turkey is submerged into a pot of oil, the oil doesn’t mix with the frozen water on the turkey. Instead, heavy pockets of water will sink to the bottom of the fryer while the oil surrounding them quickly heats it beyond its boiling point. The water then evaporates, expands, and splatters the oil everywhere, including the burner. Upon hitting the burner, the beads of oil ignite into flames that spread out in all directions. If you have marinated your turkey in a brine, make sure it is fully dry prior to putting in the oil.
Measure your oil carefully, making certain that it is 4-6” below rim after the turkey is palced in it. . When you lower the turkey in, be sure to be wearing oven mitts, long sleeves, pants, and close-toed shoes. Hot oil will stick to bare skin, causing severe burns that can result in an emergency trip to the hospital.
Even a seasoned turkey fryer can have an accident that causes disaster. The turkey can slip from your hands when lowering it into the fryer or your rope-and-pulley system could break, spilling the oil everywhere and igniting a fire. The point is that something can always go wrong when frying a turkey; therefore, you should always be prepared and have a fire extinguisher by your side at all times.
We hate to see someone's holiday ruined by a house fire due to a cooking accident. But if you do have a Thanksgiving disaster, we have teams on call 24/7 - even on the holidays and are Here to Help.
Board and Tarping Services Available
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.
Why Professional Remediation is Needed for Mold Infestations.
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.
Getting Ready for a Hurricane
One of the 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.
How Can You Prepare for Disaster?
September is National Preparedness month and this years theme is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love."
Here's the thing, it’s just not a high priority to many people because we really don’t believe a disaster will happen to us. We are all guilty of this. However, in our work, we see the reality of what a fire or flooding disaster can inflict on a family.
So, please take the time to make a plan – especially those with children, disabled and elderly family members in your home.
Start the conversation over dinner. Discuss what kind of emergencies could possibly happen that would require a plan. What if a storm comes while your children are at school? What if there is a fire in your house? Or their school bus has an accident? It’s important to empower children with the knowledge of what your families plan is without scaring them.
Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home. Don’t forget to include your pets in this exercise, as they will be a concern if an actual event happens. You can practice evacuating in your car as well. Many people have “bug out bags” with basic supplies ready in case of emergency.
We love the technology that is available to help in disasters. There are group texting apps that can be downloaded that will keep your family and circle of friends easily in contact in case of an emergency.
If you have a person in your home who relies on electrical medical equipment, contact your power company to get on a “priority reconnection service” list.
Look, it takes a few hours every year to work on your plan so set the time aside this week and practice!
Water Damage Checklist: Protecting Your Home BEFORE Disaster Strikes
Even a small stain on your ceiling can be an indicator of a big problem.
Life is busy and we all go about our days without a thought of potential water damage to our homes. And usually, there is nothing of concern going on however an occasional check of your home can prevent water and mold damage from becoming a big problem.
Here are some things to look out for:
Check your floors.
If you have wood floors, look for any warping, discoloration or buckling. Tiles might crack or have mildew on the caulk. Look for buckling or cracked linoleum, which can allow water to seep to the sub-floor. Carpets with water damage are easy to identify- they will be wet and have a musty smell.
2. Look for Stains
Water stains are a big clue that there is a leaking pipe. Stains on ceilings and walls are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Also look for cracks and peeling paint in drywall. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.
3. Take a walk around the outside
In particular, focus on your gutters and drainage. Do you see any pools of water or areas of erosion? Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Also check your roof for any broken shingles or distorted flashing.
By discovering any potential water damage problems sooner than later, you can avoid costly damage to your home.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford?
When you've experienced flooding or a fire in your home or business, you may do a Google search and see a long list of restoration companies advertising their services.
You might find yourself wondering how to choose a restoration specialist.
We know that New Haven area home and business owners have a choice when they have a mold, fire or water disaster. Our reputation as a local company who will not consider the job complete until our customers are satisfied is what makes us stand out among the rest. What you will find sets us apart is that if a customer has a concern, we will work with them to make sure any problems are resolved.
We are locally owned by Greg Geaski, who also owns SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. Greg is a Connecticut native who has lived here his entire life and is part of our community. Greg has owned SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for over a decade and has made his commitment to the community and customer satisfaction the cornerstone value of this franchise.
When a leader has a clear focus and commitment, the people he hires will also. Our property managers, office staff and technicians are all held to a high standard of accountability and reliability and are expected to give 100% on every job.
Our team meets (and often exceeds!) that expectation. Our customers often let us know how impressed they are with the level of service and attention to detail that they have received.
“We received excellent service from SERVPRO when our basement flooded, starting with the initial call to the onsite services. They were very informative on the phone with the services that would be provided and communicated with us throughout the entire process to not only set expectations appropriately but to make sure we knew when the team would be arriving. Can’t say enough good things about our experience!"
“Had mold and damage from pipe leak inside a wall. Matthew came out Sunday morning to assess damage and Edwin was here Monday morning to start remediation. Everyone is very professional and knowledgeable and great work done. Made this situation a lot less stressful. Would definitely recommend.”
“I will happily recommend Mario Marcati. My parents are Senior Citizens and had a big mold problem in their basement. I called SERVPRO and Mario came right out and found the problem. As this was the first time that I had ever had to deal with a problem of this magnitude Mario's guidance was invaluable.”
Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and we stand by that.
The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team has specialized training and over 30 years of experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and duct cleaning services.
Call us at (203) 301-0500 if you need restoration work done in your home or business.