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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Winter + Bathroom Skylight + No Ventilation = Mold Problem

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

skylight with mold growing on the wood molding around it In the wintertime, the combination of cold air outside and warm, moist air inside this bathroom caused mold to grow around the skylight.

One of our Production Managers inspected a New Haven County home in which mold repeatedly grew around the skylight in the bathroom, despite the owner's efforts to remove it. 

The homeowner had expressed surprise that the mold was growing in the wintertime. Many of us might have the same reaction- as there is a misconception that mold is more prevalent in the summertime. However, mold growth occurs in the winter due to the amount of melting snow and ice combined with the warm temperatures inside of a heated home. Although heated homes do tend to make the indoor air drier, places such as the bathroom, especially one with a lack of ventilation, experience increased moisture. Warm condensation collected daily on the cold, snow covered skylight in this case and the mold had an ideal breeding ground.

The first step in a mold remediation job for us is always to identify and correct the source of the mold. At this home, the problem was clearly a lack of ventilation combined with a skylight in the bathroom. The owner was not in a position to remove the skylight nor did they have any control over the weather outside. However, a high quality exhaust fan could be installed to help remove the warm moist air out of the bathroom. By taking this measure, the moist air was circulated out of the bathroom and the mold no longer grew. The affected area was cleaned and damaged wood replaced and the air filtered until the mold spore count was at normal levels. All in all, it was a relatively easy and inexpensive solution which took care of the mold problem.

It's the 20's! As the Decade Comes to a Close, We Reflect on 2019.

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Group of people posing for a photo in a restaurant Will this decade be roaring? We think so!!

Many of us here in the office are having a hard time grasping that it is the end of another decade and that we are entering the 20’s!

Whereas 2018 was a year of expansion for our company with the acquisition of a new franchise, 2019 has been a year of focus. We’ve worked on the organizational structure of our company - putting the right people in positions in which their talents would best be utilized, filling our crews with experienced, hard working and likable people and hiring new office staff to help our amazing admins.

Our commitment to education has remained a focus- with training for our new employees as well as advanced mold and water damage courses being attended by our senior employees.  Looking at our team, it’s amazing how many extraordinary people we have working for us. We are truly grateful for the positive energy they bring. 

With over 700 jobs last year, we are proud to say that we’ve maintained a high customer satisfaction rate and this is something that our organization will always prioritize. From our owner to our technicians, we are all local folks who care about the relationships we have and our reputation in this community. 

I have a feeling that this decade ahead is going to be “roaring” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)

We wish all of the best to our friends, families and customers in the year to come!

Don't Let Your Holiday Go Up in Flames- Enjoy Your Live Christmas Tree Safely

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Choose a safe location. Set your tree up in a safe place. Keep your tree away from fireplaces, radiators or electric heaters.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

Heavy Snow Causes Water and Structural Damage to Commercial Properties

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

a warehouse with snow on top and the roof collapsed Heavy snow that is not properly removed can cause your commercial property's roof to collapse.

We’ve been hit with our first snowstorm in the Milford area and although the snowfall totals weren’t as high as some other areas in the Northeast, it got us thinking about how to protect the businesses in our area.

Commercial property owners know that protecting their investment and ensuring business continuity is vital to their success. One thing that is at times overlooked is the roof of a commercial building. When you think about it, the roof is the first line of defense against storms, wind, fire and all the elements outdoors

When it snows, commercial properties can be at risk of roof leaks, damage to the roof from snow removal techniques as well as collapse due to the heavy weight of the snow. Some elements to consider are the design of your roof and the weight it was designed to hold, it’s elevation and it’s age.

Keep in Mind:

  • Fresh snow: 10-12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
  • Packed snow generally is heavier than new snow: 3-5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, again about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
  • Ice is also heavier than snow. One inch equals about a foot of fresh snow.
  • The total amount of accumulated snow and ice is what matters in evaluating snow load risk. For example, the accumulated weight of two feet of old snow and two feet of new snow could be as high as 60 lbs per square foot of roof space, which may stress the limits of even the best-designed roof.

We recommend that in addition to regular maintenance on your roof, you carefully select a snow removal contractor.  Make sure that your contractor uses methods and equipment that removes the snow without damaging your roof. If you're unsure of where to begin, The Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) offers certification to snow removal professionals and has information on their website to assist commercial property owners.

Sewage Backups at New Haven County Commercial Properties

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Hallway of a school with green cleaning machines When a commercial property has sewage flooding, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is on call 24-7 to clean it up quickly and professionally.

As we work to clean up sewage damage at a number of New Haven area properties this week - including an elementary school, an apartment complex and a big box store, it's a good time to discuss sewage damage at commercial buildings with our readers. 

Even if you’ve never experienced sewage flooding firsthand, I’m sure the thought is unappealing to you. Not only are sewage backups filthy, they can also present a health hazard if not properly treated. It’s vital to get backups and overflows cleaned up quickly, professionally and completely.  Many of the commercial property sewage backups that we treat are caused by toilet overflows in public restrooms, a public water main break or clog, a pipe collapse and misaligned plumbing. Flooding can also result when the volume of water runoff from a storm is greater than a drainage system’s capacity.

While there will always be scenarios when sewage flooding is beyond your control (such as a water main break), there are some preventative measures that can reduce your risk of commercial property damage. 

  • Have your sewer and plumbing systems inspected at least annually.
  • Use a water pressure reducing valve to limit stress on your building's system.
  • Add pop-up sewer release valves if your plumbing system does not already have them.

If you do have a backup, call us for immediate service. Our team is scheduled 'round the clock to respond to your emergency quickly. 

Residential Electrical Fires are at Their Peak in the Wintertime

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

exterior of a house with burned siding and wood An electrical fire in this New Haven County home required the fire damage restoration services of SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford

We are currently restoring a home in which there was an electrical fire. These tend to be more numerous in the winter due to increased usage of  lights and heating appliances. Electrical fires most often start in the bedroom of residential structures that er one and two family dwellings.

In other words, many of us are at risk of an electrical fire his winter.

The most common cause of residential electrical fires is faulty electrical outlets and appliances (typically older and outdated ones). Although there is often no warning that an outlet is faulty or appliance a danger, there are some warning signals that should not be ignored. These include frayed cords, sparks visible when using and outlet or a finicky switch. 

Outdated wiring in older homes often lack the capacity to handle the electrical demands of today’s homes. Circuit breakers are designed to be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire.

Make sure that your lighting fixtures are always being used properly. For example, using a bulb that exceeds the wattage recommendations for a light fixture creates a fire hazard. Fabric or paper placed over a lampshade can easily ignite.  

In our work, we have seen several fires that are the result of the misuse of extension cords. Household appliances such as refrigerators and dryers should be plugged directly into the outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Additionally, removing the grounding prong from a three prong cord creates a fire hazard. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.

We’ve discussed safety concerns in regards to space heaters before however feel we cannot stress enough the importance of using them with caution. Due to their portability, space heaters are often placed way too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, bedding, laundry baskets full of clothing, rugs and upholstered chairs and couches. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface. However, even the newer infrared heaters pose a danger and should be used only by adults and placed in a safe space. 

For information on our Fire Damage Restoration Services, please call our office at (203) 301-0500.

When Your Home is Covered in a Layer of Soot.

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

a furnace in a basement covered in a layer of soot When a furnace malfunctions, a layer of soot can be sent throughout the home, leaving a sticky, difficult to remove 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 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 event 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, this 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.

Bessie. Finley. Kade. Sadie. The Winter Storms That are Headed Our Way.

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

snow covered road and trees Although their names are sweet, the snowstorms headed our way will not be!

Bessie. Finley. Kade. Sadie.

These are some of the storms that are coming our way this winter.  The Weather Channel, which has been naming snowstorms for a few years (having followed the practice of the NOAA's naming of hurricanes), has released the names of this years winter storms.

Snowstorms are followed closely by our team here at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford. A strong nor'easter can cause trees and their limbs to fall. When a tree limb falls on a home, it often causes damage to the roof and allows snow and water to enter the home. Our crew provides emergency board up services to prevent further water damage.  Our restoration team restores local homes and businesses from water damage that results as well.

High winds and the weight of snow and ice on the limbs can causes a tree to fall on a power line. This can cause a power outage that will result in the loss of heat for many homes as well. With oil burners and electrical heat sources not functioning, homes are at risk of pipes freezing and bursting. This can cause widespread water damage. A crack of only 1/8 of an inch will allow 250 gallons of water to flood out in just one day! Water from burst pipes can cause substantial damage including the collapse of ceilings and walls in a home.

It is extremely important that a qualified restoration service be called as soon as possible to clean up the water and damaged materials. Quick action can allow us to save more of your belongings and prevent secondary issues, such as mold.  

Be prepared for the coming snowstorms this winter! Have an emergency supply kit ready and keep our number - (203) 301-0500 - on hand in case you have storm damage to your New Haven County home. 

Thank You to a Top Notch Crew.

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

3 men standing side by side in servpro shirts Thank you Ericksen, Ricardo and Carlos for being part of our team!

We've been receiving quite a bit of feedback from our customers about one of our crews lately.

Ericksen, Ricardo and Carlos make up a team that has shown excellent workmanship, integrity and amazing customer service. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we have a set of values that are important to us - commitment to our customers, integrity in our work, teamwork and a drive for continuous learning. These three water and fire damage restoration technicians demonstrate these values every day. 

We appreciate this team and thank them for their outstanding work. They represent our company in a way that makes us proud.

When Mold is Present, the Type of Mold Matters.

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

wall with pink, black and gray mold spots on it When you have mold in your home, the type of mold affects the treatment plan.

When a homeowner finds mold in their home, they often call us in a panic - concerned that their families health is being compromised.

And, in some cases, that is true however there are many different variables that determine whether the mold in your home is dangerous to your health. An important factor in the treatment of mold is what kind of mold is in your home. In this blog post, we discuss the common types of mold found in Connecticut homes.  

Alternaria

Alternia is a commonly found mold which usually grows outdoors. That said, it can make its way into your home, where it grows in damp places such as the bathroom. The best way to keep this mold out of your home is to keep your windows and doors shut on the dry, windy days of summer, which is when it’s numbers are the most concentrated and likely to blow.

Aureobasidium

The aureobasidium mold grows indoors and is often found in the homes we treat. It grows on wooden furniture, surfaces, painted walls and wallpaper. You may also find it around windows and in caulk. If you notice a spotty substance that is pink and black in color in those areas, it’s most likely Aureobasidium

Chaetomium

When a home has mold due to water damage in which the drywall has gotten wet, the culprit is usually Chaetomium mold. A telltale sign is if you smell a musty or old odor in your home. 

Fusarium

Fusarium is a mold that tends to grow in cold, wet areas and loves fabrics and carpeting. In our experience, it is often present in basements. 

Penicillium

You know the name because of its use as an antibiotic. When airborne, though, Penicillium is a quick growing mold a mold that grows on insulation, furnishings, water damaged furniture, carpeting and more. Penicilium requires less moisture than other species of mold to survive, allowing it to be a fast growing and long surviving mold. 

Stachybotrys Chartarum

The most demonized mold in the media, stachysbotrys chartarum is also called black mold or toxic mold. This is due to the fact that this type of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins that can negatively affect the health of humans. This type of mold can be identified by its musty smell and is found in areas that stay damp, like air conditioning pipes and ducts.

Trichoderma

Trichoderma is another damp area mold. Homeowners often find the trichoderma mold within damp carpeting, wallpaper and similar surfaces. Similar to stachysbotrys chartarum, it also creates mycotoxins.

We get it. Mold can be a frightening discovery and everybody has heard of somebody who has lived a nightmare because of its presence in their home. With professional remediation, however, your home can be made safe again.

Life in the Country: SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford Cleans and Sanitizes After Animal Waste Removal

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

squirrel nesting in the attic of a house We love the Connecticut countryside but not when it moves into our homes!

Sometimes when I drive through our area, I am amazed at how many rural areas still exist in New Haven County.

In fact, much of Connecticut is connected by old country roads with farms and homes. We are truly lucky to live in an area that has all of the comforts of society yet is surrounded by nature. 

Of course, as a restoration company, we know that the country charm brings with it a unique set of problems. In particular, along with stone wall lined roads and open fields, county life is a perfect habitat for mice, squirrels, raccoons and bats, all of whom can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage when they enter a home.

It’s common for these creatures to find their way into garages, crawlspaces and attics and go unnoticed for weeks and sometimes months. Often, a homeowner doesn’t become aware that their home is infested until the rodent population has exploded and the scurrying becomes apparent through the ceiling. Other times, the smell of animal feces is a warning sign that there is a wild animal population living in your home. When it gets to this point, professional service is typically needed. You will most likely call an exterminator to come out and rid your home of the unwanted guests. Once they are gone, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford to clean up the mess that the animals have left behind.

You may wonder why you can’t just clean up the mess yourself, and in some cases, you can. However, there are a number of scenarios in which professional restoration is necessary because they might contain disease. For example, raccoon droppings contain parasites including roundworm. Rodent feces often contain the Hantavirus, which causes muscle aches, chills and lung damage when the disease fills them with fluid. Bird and bat droppings carry respiratory infections such as Histoplasmosis which has similar symptoms to the Hantavirus. These biohazardous droppings should be cleaned up and the affected areas disinfected.

Animals that move into your home often hide in the attic, behind walls and in corners. They chew drywall and make a cozy home in the insulation within your walls and ceilings. It doesn’t take long for the insulation and sheetrock to become saturated with urine. Any materials that have been exposed to animal urine and feces will need to be removed from your home and the area sanitized. 

Whether you have animal waste in your basement or attic, our team has years of experience cleaning it up.We remove all damaged insulation, wood building materials and nests that have been left behind in a damaged state. Next, we spray the affected areas with cleaners and anti-fungal agents to ensure a healthy environment. Our team finishes the job with the installation of new insulation, walls and trim as necessary.

Hey, like you, we love the Connecticut countryside and all of the animals it contains. But, when they enter your home, we are here to help repair the damage. 

Question From a Customer: Is Water Damage Covered Under My Homeowner's Insurance Policy?

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

piece of broken pipe in mans hands Broken pipe? Water damage from this is usually covered under most homeowners insurance policies.

Water damage is the most common insurance claim in Connecticut households.

One of the most common questions we receive when we answer a call from a homeowner who has water damage is whether their insurance policy will cover it. Although coverage differs from policy to policy, most standard home owner's policies have similar coverage terms.

One rule of thumb is that if the water damage occurs suddenly and is accidental, it is typically covered.  For example, if your hot water heater bursts and causes water damage or if your refrigerator line leaks, it will normally be covered. Other water damage scenarios that are usually covered are: 

  • Accidental overflows of the toilet, sink or bathtub 
  • Burst pipes 
  • Refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine supply line leak 
  • Roof leaks  
  • Ice dams 
  • Water damage from extinguishing a fire 
  • Rain damage (the usual rule of thumb is if it doesn't hit the ground first- this would fall under the "flooding" category) 
  • Mold caused by water damage 

A failure to properly maintain your plumbing and appliances may cause coverage to be denied. If you ignore that leaky sink to the point that it has rotted out your sub-floor, it may not be covered. So be careful to keep your home maintained. 

In our experience, flooding from groundwater is typically NOT included under standard home insurance policies. Flooding is considered to be water that comes from a natural source- such as the rain, a river or a lake. Ground seepage is also not covered. So, if your basement floods after a heavy rainstorm, your insurance will not cover it. If you live near a river that tends to flood or on the Long Island Sound, you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance for your home.  Flood insurance is offered through government  programs, usually the National Flood Insurance Program.  

Thankfully, most of the water damage cases that we see in the New Haven area are covered by insurance.

Kathy, our office manager, and Alexis and Theny, our admins,  have years of experience assisting customers with their homeowner's insurance claims. When they take your call, they will help guide you every step of the way.  Our staff works directly with your insurance company, submitting paperwork and photographs required. If the contents of your home are damaged, our crew will help you sort through the items, taking an inventory of belongings that can be restored, saved or discarded.

Water damage is never a welcome sight however our team strives to make your experience as streamlined and  hassle free as possible.  

Leading the Team: Our Production Managers Go Above and Beyond for our Customers

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

6 Men in SERVPRO shirts posing for a photo Matt Caulfield, Anthony DeJesus, Rob Fox, Mario Marcati and Junior Delgado

Every day, our office staff takes calls from home and business owners who have a big mess on their hands.

Whether its due to a burst pipe, toilet overflow or kitchen fire, we understand that you need help right away and will send a team out to your premises quickly. Upon our team's arrival, your Production Manager will inspect the damage, assess the situation and discuss his recommended restoration plan. The PM’s at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford oversee the work being done from start to finish. They are your contact should you have any questions about what to expect, the work being done and anything else that you might need assistance on. 

Our Production Managers are a hard working, conscientious group who have shown time and time again that they will go above and beyond for our customers.

In their position, the PM’s are responsible for supervising the restoration work from start to finish. They perform the initial inspection, any pretesting that is needed, the scoping of services and provide job estimates. Our Production Managers schedule and supervise our technicians on the job as well. They are also responsible for working with our office staff in coordinating appointments with customers. Most importantly, our PM’s are the point of contact for our customers during the restoration process. They are available to you by phone when not on site if you have any concerns or questions. 

Between them, our Production Managers have over 95 years of experience in the restoration industry and dozens of industry certifications.

That experience is invaluable when it comes to their ability to come to your home or business and create a treatment plan. There is no guess work involved, as they have seen almost every fire, water and mold damage scenario possible. They always make sure that the job is done right and to our customer’s satisfaction and possess a work ethic that goes unparalleled in our industry. We have every confidence that if there is a problem on a job, our PM’s will do everything possible to resolve the issue and make sure the job is done right.

We don’t mean to brag, but our Production Managers are the best - and our customers think so, too!

“Mario was such a pleasure to work with from start to finish.  He always answered my questions and went above and beyond to make sure my needs were met.  He made a stressful situation less stressful with his helpful attitude. His cleaning crew was courteous and thorough. -Riann S. in Greenwich, CT

"I had never worked with SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and didn't know what to expect. Rob F. came in and said it would be ok, we can handle this, and he did. He created a plan, explained it and executed it. I was amazed at the efficiency and professionalism of the staff as well as the equipment. I am so appreciative of your company coming to the rescue in our time of need. Thank you!" — Cathy H.- Coastal Ctr at Milford Point in Milford, CT

“I just wanted to let you know that one of your employees, Anthony DeJesus, does a fantastic job. I am sure that he is pulled from one job to the other. Accidents and disasters don’t schedule themselves nicely but come in bunches and at the worst time. But Anthony was able to keep us in the loop and got to us right away when needed. And for other things, if he couldn’t get to us right away, he let us know when. So hat’s off to Anthony.” -Kristina J. in Southbury, CT

"Everyone I interacted with was professional and also very caring. Junior is very knowledgeable and very accessible when questions came up. Keep up the excellence!" - Brian O., Trumbull, CT

"Ted cares only about two things - helping his customer in any way that he can and making sure that the work of his crews is top quality. In both areas he shines. I had a very difficult problem situation, and Ted helped me every step of the way. I doubt that we would have come out of this successfully had it not been for Ted and his assistance. We could not have had a more caring, thoughtful and knowledgeable person helping us." - Susan H., Washington Depot, CT           

"Had mold and damage from a pipe leak inside a wall.  Matthew came out Sunday morning to assess damage. Everyone is very professional and knowledgeable and had great work done. Made this situation a lot less stressful. Would definitely recommend." -Kristin W., Milford, CT.

National Preparedness Month: "Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters"

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

children sitting at the table with mother looking at emergency planning brochure Include your kids in planning for emergency situations such as a house fire, flooding or power outage.

It’s the third week of National preparedness month and this weeks theme is “Teach youth to prepare for disasters”.

So, how do we make sure our kids are prepared and have the tools that they need to deal with an emergency situation without scaring them? 

Depending on your child’s age, they may have a cell phone that they can use in an emergency situation. Text messaging with you and other family members or trusted adults during an emergency will help them (and you as the worried parent!) immeasurably. Younger children may not have a device, however programming their teachers and coaches numbers into your phone will help you communicate with them easily if there is an emergency. 

Last week, we discussed creating an emergency kit that is portable and can be easily brought with you if evacuation is necessary. Be sure to pack your child’s medications in the kit. We also recommend packing a few things that can provide comfort for your child, such as a stuffed animal, music or playing cards. You can even get your child involved building their own kit, which makes it fun and gives them a sense of ownership in the process.

Most likely, your child will either be at home or at school during an emergency. To prepare for an emergency during school hours, ask your child’s school and teacher what the emergency protocol is for different scenarios, such as a surprise snowstorm, power outage or tornado. Don’t forget to ask the school about school bus emergencies. 

In the home, run through emergency situations and what actions might need to be taken during a house fire, flooding or an evacuation. Just like a fire drill at school, the repetition and hands on experience will teach your child what to do automatically in a real life dangerous scenario. Make it a fun event with the whole family and have a pizza afterwards!

National Preparedness Month: "Make a Plan"

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Rain on a window with lightning and storm clouds in the background Make a plan!

The theme for week 2 of National Preparedness Month is "Make a Plan".

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. An excellent guide to assist you in achieving this is available at ready.gov/kids.

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.  You can also download the FEMA app, which will give you weather alerts and necessary emergency updates. 

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! 

National Preparedness Month: "Save Early for Disaster Costs"

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

water flooding through a living room ceiling If you live in an area that is know to flood, check into obtaining flood insurance before disaster strikes.

This year's National Preparedness Month is themed “Prepared, not scared”.

The focus during week one is “Save Early for Disaster Costs” 

No matter what geographic area of the country that you live in, everybody should be preparing for a disaster. It’s inevitable that one will strike at some point. Here in Connecticut, we are not immune to catastrophic damage from hurricanes, as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy proved. And as tough as we are, a good Nor’Easter can shut things down and cause a significant amount of economic damage. 

To prepare for potential storm damage costs, we recommend that you: 

  • Take photos of important documents and personal belongings and keep them in a backed up computer file. This will help you in quickly filing an insurance claim after a weather disaster. 
  • Put aside enough money for at least 30 days of living expenses. This is the number of days it takes for most flood insurance policies to go into effect.  And although some people receive a paycheck if there is an emergency situation, others may go without one until their employer is back in business. 
  • If you have to evacuate your area, would you know which documents you should bring with you? Download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit from Ready.gov.
  • Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies, since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available.  
  • If you live in a flood zone, check and see if you have flood insurance and what it covers. Not all policies are the same and the worst time to find out that yours doesn’t offer adequate coverage is after the damage is done.  

When there is a disaster in the New Haven area, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford has the reputation of being THE restoration company to call. We have teams on call 24/7 as well as the manpower and resources to provide service to a high volume of customers. We work with your insurance company to help get your claim processed as expeditiously as possible so the process is as easy as possible for you.  

Question From A Customer:Can I Clean Up a Toilet Overflow Myself?

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Wet towels on a dirty, wet bathroom floor We recommend that you have your home professionally restored after a toilet overflow.

If you know us, you know we try not to be alarmists when it comes to water damage in homes and businesses.

We've seen what flooding as well as a failure to properly clean it up can do and we try to be as straightforward as possible with our customers about the treatments that we feel are necessary and unnecessary when they've had water damage. 

If you've had flooding from a toilet overflow, our Production Managers will usually recommend that you have the mess professionally cleaned up. One of the common problems that we encounter when we discuss an overflow with a homeowner is that they underestimate the damage. In their minds, the water has been mopped up and there is no visible evidence of the flood aside from maybe damp baseboard molding or wet carpeting where the water seeped off of the tile flooring. 

What our team knows from experience, however, is that the sewage damage is likely more widespread than it appears.  In many cases, the water will run up or down the walls, which ruins the drywall and can create a hazardous electrical situation. Water often seeps under the bathroom cabinets and gets trapped there. The same goes for laminate flooring, which is a practical solution in bathrooms but of which water can easily penetrate. In our decades in the water damage restoration industry, we have seen the damage that untreated moisture behind walls and under floors can cause. Most obvious is mold, which can grow and spread unchecked when hidden behind a wall.  

In addition to the structural problems that water from a toilet flood can cause, it might also contain pathogens that are harmful to human health. Without treatment from antimicrobial agents, bacteria and viruses are not removed from the surfaces although the water might be gone.

We know that it's tempting to take a few towels and mop up a toilet overflow however in this case, we do recommend that our customers give us a call and have us come and assess the situation. 

Air Conditioner Leaks Cause Water Damage to New Haven Area Homes

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Our floor mat system effectively removes moisture from wood floors, saving them after water damage from air conditioner leaks.

Has an air conditioner leak causing water damage to your home? 

Air conditioners are known to leak – whether from a dirty filter, a malfunctioning pump, a cracked drain pan or even a damaged evaporator coil.  We’ve seen this cause significant water damage to New Haven area homes.  It can soak  sheetrock walls and ceilings as well as insulation and carpeting. 

If you have flooding from an A/C leak, your first course of action is to shut the unit off and call your serviceman to identify and repair the problem. Then, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford to clean it up. When we receive your call, our office will send a team out to inspect the situation and immediately start the restoration work.  

To treat water damage caused by air conditioning units, our treatment plan will likely include water extractors to remove any standing water as well as water that has soaked into carpets and upholstery. We also treat water damage events with air movers and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture out of the air and expedite the drying process.  We use our floor mat extraction system to remove the moisture from wet wood and tile floors. This system utilizes a strong suction by use of mats, which are attached to a vacuum with hoses, allowing the vacuum to draw out moisture from underneath the floor. 

Our services include the removal of any damaged and unsalvageable materials such as wet sheetrock, flooring and damaged baseboards. Our building services team is CT licensed to rebuild the damaged portions of your home. This might include repairing and painting walls, installing new flooring or even a complete rebuild of your home if necessary.  

For more information on our water damage restoration services, please call our office at (203) 301-0500. 

Customer Satisfaction is Our Bottom Line

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

As a locally owned company, we know that our customers are our number one priority.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange Stratford is an independently owned franchise that is operated by Greg Geaski. While we follow the business model and high standards set out by the National SERVPRO Corporation, we run our business as any local business owner would - with a focus on creating an atmosphere of growth, customer satisfaction and building strong community ties.

Our leadership team understands that we must invest in training, equipment and hiring talented employees in order to have a successful business. Our employees are carefully selected to be part of our team. We know that whether it’s one of our admins answering the phone or a technician on the crew, the people on our team represent our company and our standards. We understand that when somebody is working in your home, it is important that you feel confident in their knowledge, that they are trustworthy and respectful. Our employees know that if a customer brings a concern to their attention, we want to know about it so we can make sure that their experience is 100% satisfactory. 

In our organization, we value a high standard of work. This means that not only do we take advantage of the training programs that the SERVPRO National Corporation provides, we also enroll our team in courses provided by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We know that it’s a simple equation - the more our team is taught, the better work they can do. We keep a full crew staffed throughout the year- not just in the busy winter months - so that we can always respond to the calls we receive quickly and with ample people and equipment.  Our warehouse manager, Marc D’Addio, makes certain that all of our equipment is in good working order so that our customers and crew aren’t inconvenienced with the hassle and delay of a broken piece of machinery. 

As a local business, we care about our community.  Our office staff and crew work closely with our customers and build relationships. We know that we might see one of our customers in the grocery store, at a game or at the beach. We want to be able to greet them with a friendly “hi” and know that they are truly happy to have run into us.

Our best advertising comes from satisfied customers who want to recommend SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford to their friends and family when they have a water or fire disaster in their home or business.

That's why customer satisfaction is our bottom line.

When Your Warehouse is Flooded, It's Our Business to Help Your Business

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

warehouse shelving loaded with boxes and water standing on floor When this commercial property in New Haven County was flooded, our team successfully made it "Like it never even happened".

When a Hartford County area warehouse has flooding, our office staff knows that our response needs to be immediate.

Not only is the structure of your warehouse at risk, the building also holds your valuable merchandise and equipment. Yes, your losses will be covered by your insurance policy. However, damaged inventory will cause a significant loss of business continuity for most companies and present a hassle that most business owners would rather avoid!

When we arrive on scene after a water damage call at a commercial property, we come equipped to start the clean up process.

One of our property managers will walk through the structure with you to assess the damage and discuss a restoration plan that will work around your needs.  For large warehouses, SERVPRO can mobilize truck-mounted water extractors capable of removing hundreds of gallons of water in one go. Where standing water reaches a level above two inches, we can deploy gas-powered pumps that transport excess liquid to an open sewer point. 

We work to restore your structure while also protecting your business assets, whether that is your inventory, important documents, machinery or vehicles.

If necessary, our Commercial Property Restoration team will package up and relocate any of contents of your warehouse that cannot safely remain there during clean up.  Should the administrative wing of your warehouse suffer damage, priority is placed on protecting your computers, servers and important paper documents that hold valuable company information.  

Whether your property has water damage due to a flooded basement, broken sprinkler system or HVAC leak, it’s our business to help your business. 

Sometimes, it's the Little Things

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

We often write about the high tech machinery, extensive training and proprietary cleaning agents that our franchises uses.

While it’s true that these things are a necessary and important component of our work here at SERVPRO,  it’s also the little things that we do that make our franchise special.

Sometimes, it’s cleaning and sanitizing a child’s favorite toy before any of the other household contents after a fire. It’s working around a business owner’s schedule as much as possible so that their business can keep running despite the damage. Or making sure that a customer understands the restoration process and what our crew will be doing each day while working in their home. It’s getting to your house quickly after a call and respecting your space while we are working there by being neat and courteous. It’s polishing each knickknack one by one and packing your special items with care. 

Yes, we are the team to call if you want highly trained technicians with expensive equipment cleaning up your water or fire damage. We are also the team that is committed to making your experience as easy as possible.  

Your Hotel Guests Are Your Top Priority; You Are Ours. Water Damage Restoration at Milford Area Hotels

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers complete water damage restoration services to New Haven County Hotels.

When water damage occurs at your hotel, your top priority is resuming operations as quickly as possible. Your guests need a safe, clean place to stay and are counting on you to provide that. 

The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team has been called to New Haven area hotels with water damage from a wide spectrum of sources. Whether the flooding is due to a coat hanger on a sprinkler head, an overflowing toilet or a sink inadvertently left on, our team specializes in restoring commercial properties with water damage professionally and efficiently. Because we are on call 24/7, our response to your emergency will be immediate, no matter what time of night. Our project manager will coordinate with your management and maintenance staff to prioritize spaces, isolate the damage, and restore the area to your complete satisfaction, while minimizing the inconvenience to you and your guests. In most cases, we are able to help you keep your facility open and basic operations functioning normal so that your guests are minimally impacted. 

Our Team is trained and experienced in:

  • Water Damage Restoration from pipe bursts, broken shower drains and water heater leaks
  • Category 3 (biohazardous) water clean up from sewer line clogs and toilet overflows
  • Biohazardous Residues Removal
  • Crime Scene Clean Ups
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Smoke and Soot Removal
  • Air Ducts and HVAC cleaning
  • Mold Remediation
  • Vandalism Cleanup
  • Document and Records Recovery

When you choose SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford as your hotel restoration company, you will receive the benefits of our complete project management services.

From start to finish, our project managers will coordinate the process with your team. Our office staff is well versed in commercial property restoration as well as the insurance claims process involved. When your hotel is clean and dry, our building services team will finish the job. Whether you require walls and flooring replaced, a bathroom rebuilt or simply a few pieces of molding installed, our contractors are CT licensed and make the restoration process as seamless as possible. 

Your Guests Are Your Top Priority; You Are Ours.

Avoid a Septic Backup in Your New Haven County Home with These Tips

7/14/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a septic backup in your New Haven County home, leave the cleanup to the professionals at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.

Sewage backups are not only smelly and unsightly, they can also be dangerous.

Because sewage water can contain pathogens such as the E.Coli bacteria, salmonella and hepatitis as well as other bacteria, professional restoration is necessary when there is flooding from a backup. 

There are some steps that homeowners can take in order to reduce their risk of a sewage backup. This will, in turn, save homeowners the nightmare of sewage throughout their home.

  1. Read Labels. Only use products that are safe for septic systems. Many products, such as household cleaners, are labeled that they are safe for septic systems. 
  2. Never pour grease down your sink. This can clog your pipes and cause a backup. Remember your moms coffee can under the sink? Give your system a break and have a container handy that you can pour hot grease into 
  3. Don’t plant trees or large shrubs directly above or near sewer lines as the roots can grow too large and break the pipes.  Old cast iron or clay septic pipes often break down and crack.  If possible, consider replacing your current sewer line with a new plastic pipe. This can prevent infiltration from tree and bush roots.
  4. Dispose of paper products properly. Not only might paper items such as paper towels,napkins and diapers clog your toilet, they often contain dyes which can be difficult for your system to break down. 
  5. Install a backwater prevention valve. This is a fixture that allows sewage to leave but prevents it from backing up into your home, giving you the peace of mind that if something goes wrong, your home will be protected. 

The time to take action and follow through with septic prevention steps is now. However, if you are reading this because there is already flooding in your home, give our Woodbridge office a call at (203) 301-0500 for immediate, professional service. 

How to Choose a Water Damage Restoration Company

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team is local, fully insured, professionally trained and available 24-7.

When you’ve had water or fire damage at your Woodbridge area home or business, your first step after the flooding has been stopped or fire is out will be to find a restoration company.

Unless you have a family member or friend who swears by a particular company that they’ve had experience with, you will find yourself typing in a internet search and trying to choose a company based on the results. 

We understand that it’s hard to pick a trustworthy company from the internet, especially when you may be in a state of distress and under a time constraint.  Internet ratings and reviews such as on Google and Facebook are a good way to see what kind of experience others in your community have had with a company. We also recommend that you make sure potential restoration company meets the following criteria:

  1. Choose Local. When your house has damage, it’s important that the company you hire is locally owned and operated. The last thing that you need during the restoration process is being out on hold by a customer service representative in another state. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is locally owned and our office staff and technicians live here too. They understand the unique situation that you are in first hand. 
  2. Check Credentials. Make sure that the restoration company that you hire is fully licensed to do restoration and contracting work in the state of Connecticut. A certified restoration professional demonstrates that the company has received extensive training and is in good standing. The technicians on our staff are IICRC certified and skilled in using high-tech restoration equipment and employing advanced restoration methodologies.
  3. Use only an Insured Restoration Company. Insurance protects the technicians working onsite as well as you, the property owner. Any injuries to the homeowner or workers that result from the restoration process are covered by general liability insurance. Damage to the property itself that occurs as a consequence to the restoration work performed is also covered under the company’s insurance. 
  4. Inquire About the Companies Availability. When water disasters strike, such as in weather related flooding or frozen pipes, the damage is often widespread throughout the community. A small restoration company may not have the resources to respond to the job quickly and complete the work in an expedient manner. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is available 24/7 and we have a large crew so when widespread damage occurs, we can meet ALL of our customers needs. 
  5. Ask for References. If you’d like to speak to a previous customer or two before hiring a restoration company, don’t be shy about asking for references. Choosing who to care for your home can be a big decision and having the assurance from somebody who has been in your situation can really help!

July is National Carpet Cleaning Month!

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

It’s July and that means it’s National Carpet Cleaning Month (NCCM)!!! 

What? You forgot all about this important event and haven’t put up your NCCM decorations yet or bought your carpet cleaning supplies yet? Well, no need to worry! We are here to help with some carpet cleaning tips to help your observation of NCCM go smoother! 

The first step in treating a carpet stain is to blot the spot working from the outside and going towards the center. Then rinse the spot thoroughly and blot again. Resist the urge to scrub the stain, as it could damage your carpet.  

If you have a water-soluble stain, such as alcoholic beverages, juice, berries, soda, food dyes, ice cream, jelly, wet or latex paint and excrement, use a cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of nonbleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water.  

There are some water-soluble stains, such as wine, blood, chocolate, coffee, tea and vomit, that are particularly difficult to treat.  In these cases, try using 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water (but not on wool or wool-blend carpet; instead use mild detergent and water).  

If you have fat, oil, or wax on your carpet, place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on warm setting. The wax, fat, or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel.  
 
Cigarette burns can be removed by gently rubbing the pile with the edge of a hard and flat surface, such as a dull knife.  
 
Glue can be removed by moistening a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean.  
 
Wax and Gum can be removed by using ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object, such as a spoon. Vacuum before the pieces soften, and blot the carpet with a white towel.  
 
Remove Nail Polish by blotting the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover.  
 
Urine should be blotted with white towels to absorb as much as possible. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild, nonbleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry. 

We hope you enjoy this month as much as we do. If you have a carpet stain that you just can't get out, give us a call for professional service.

Choosing a Locally Owned Restoration Company When Your Farm Property Has Fire Damage

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

When your farm property has fire or water damage restoration needs, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is with you every step of the way!

The drive around the Naugatuck area is a scenic one which passes by beautiful farms and bucolic New England towns. Although living in a rural area is beautiful, it can also present its own set of unique problems. 

When a local farm property recently experienced a fire in one of their outbuildings, they needed a company who knows “the lay of the land”. In addition to the need for business continuity and minimal disruption to the workflow of the farm while the clean up was ongoing, environmental concerns are also a high priority when it comes to restoring an agricultural property. 

Our project manager who was in charge of the job understood the special conditions of this property restoration. Having been trained by the IICRC, he was able to knowledgeably create a restoration plan that included a detailed step by step process that would ensure the business owners and their farm were impacted as minimally as possible. 

Not all restoration companies in Connecticut are locally owned and operated. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is. We understand the unique needs of business owners in the Waterbury area because we live here too. Doing good work for the people in our community is our number one priority.

Who Pays? When Damage to Your Home is Caused by a Third Party

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

There are times when water damage to your home is caused by a third party. We've been to homes in which a new refrigerator was incorrectly installed, causing the water line to leak. Or the oil company accidentally overfills your tank - causing a biohazardous mess in your basement.  Maybe a plumber made a mistake when working on your pipes. In many of these cases, the company responsible voluntarily offers to cover the restoration costs. However, there may be times when that offer doesn't come and you may wonder - who pays for the damage- your insurance company, you or the third party? 

At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we have team members that have been specially trained in "successful subrogation". Subrogation, by definition, is when an insurance company seeks payment or restitution from a third party that caused damage or injury to an insured person or property. Usually this means your insurance company will try to recover payments from the insurance company covering the party at-fault. 

If you have experienced water, fire or biohazard damage to your home that was caused by a third party, our staff can help you work with your homeowners insurance company in determining who is responsible for the damages. As a first responder to your disaster, we are trained to identify and save evidence that may assist your insurance company in recovering costs.  

If you have a dishwasher leak due to faulty installation at your New Haven County home, call us at (203) 301-0500. We will come to your home to start the restoration process and our office staff will help guide you through the insurance claims process. 

The Equipment that SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford Uses During Commercial Water Damage Restoration

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Your Milford area business has had water damage. Perhaps a pipe has broken, a toilet overflowed or your coffee maker line sprung a leak.

You’ve called SERVPRO of Milford-Orange Stratford and have been assured that the crew is on their way to clean up the mess. After our property manager has inspected your property, work will begin based on their assessment. The crew will start to unload the trucks and begin work. While the bright green equipment is getting set up throughout your facility, you will likely wonder what all of it does.

When water damage occurs, we typically use the following equipment.

Air Mover and/or Axial Fans: Professional grade air movers and axial fans produce more air movement than a standard household fan. The higher volume of air being moved increases the rate of evaporation, helping to dry the structure as quickly as possible.

Dehumidifiers: A dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air by condensing it out against refrigerated fins. The water is stored and then periodically purged from the machine by use of plastic tubing. The tubing will generally be run so that it dumps water down a drain, such as a bath tub or sink, or sometimes out a window or door. Professional dehumidifiers pull much more vapor from the air than a household dehumidifier. In this way they are generally more efficient.

Air Scrubbers: An air scrubber might be used if your loss is a result of water classified as grey or black, which means that it came from a contaminated source or through building materials. These machines remove airborne particulates by trapping them in HEPA filters. Air Scrubbers are also used in cases where a customer has a health condition that requires the air quality be monitored.

Specialty Drying Equipment: There are a variety of different tools available to our technicians for use in specialty circumstances. For instance, a floor drying mat system allows the technician to create a vacuum system for removing moisture from hardwood floors, in order to try to dry them in place. This helps the floor dry faster, and generally gives us a better chance of saving the hardwood flooring.

If you have any questions about the equipment being used during the restoration of your commercial property, our crew chiefs and technicians are always available to explain the process and what the function of each of those machines in your building is.

We understand that our customers are not experts in water damage restoration. When you have water damage, we are here to help restore your property quickly and efficiently.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford as Your Restoration Specialists?

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

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 or cleaning work done in your Oxford area home.

You Found Mold in Your Home. Is Professional Mold Remediation Necessary?

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

When you find mold in your home, you may wonder whether it is something that you can clean up yourself or whether professional remediation is necessary.

You probably know that mold spores are airborne and if mold is present in a home, some people could get sick from it. However, what about just a little mold in the corner of your bathtub or found on a basement wall where there was a leak? Does every sign of mold require professional remediation or is some mold growth a potential do it yourself clean up?

In our work as mold remediation specialists, we inspect homes with mold on a regular basis. There are occasions when we are able to recommend to a homeowner that the mold in their home does not require professional remediation. For example, if the mold is confined to a small area and is growing on non porous substances such as glass, ceramic tile or metal, our services may not be needed. 

However, if you discover mold in your home and it falls under one of the following situations, professional remediation is recommended.

  • The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
  • There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
  • You have moldy wood that cannot be easily removed and replaced. In this case, the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead, which significantly increases one’s exposure to mold.
  • You suspect that you have hidden mold because you can smell mold but can't find it. Mold can potentially be growing in your subfloors, behind kitchen or bathroom cabinetry, in the attic, inside walls, under carpets, or in your crawlspace.
  • You have a medical condition that might be made worse by increased exposure to mold, like asthma, environment allergies, or an immune system disorder.
  • You are already experiencing symptoms of mold-related illness.

We know that a mold infestation is never an enjoyable experience for homeowners. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford has IICRC trained mold specialists that will make the mold remediation process as smooth as possible.

If you are wondering whether the mold in your home requires professional remediation, please call us at (203) 301-0500 to schedule a consultation. 

Heavy Spring Rain causes Basement Flooding in the Milford Area

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

We've had a wet few weeks in Connecticut and have received quite a number of phone calls from local homeowners who have basement flooding. Quick action is the key to limiting damage if you have flooding. Here are some actions that can prevent mold from growing in your Oxford home. 

  • Protect your belongings – remove light furniture and upholstered items as well as other items that are susceptible (cardboard boxes, carpets and other porous items) from the affected area. 
  • Remove as much water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum. 
  • Use fans to circulate the air and speed up the drying process. A good rule of thumb is to run the fans for an additional week after the area appears dry. 
  • A dehumidifier can be used as well to remove excess moisture and dry out the room. 

Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage. Although carpets can be steam cleaned, they are tough to treat and padding typically cannot be saved. 

If you do have wall to wall carpeting in your basement that has gotten wet from flood water, give SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford a call at (203) 301-0500. We are an IICRC trained mold and water mitigation company and have the tools and expertise to treat your home for damage.

Does your Stratford Area Commercial Property Need Flood Insurance?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Even if your commercial property isn't in a flood plain, you can be at risk of flooding,as was the case during a rainstorm in Trumbull last year.

Do you need flood protection for your commercial property?

If you own a commercial property on the CT shoreline, you may be concerned about flooding and for good reason. The majority of general commercial insurance policy exclude damage caused by flooding. If your insurance policy does not cover ground flooding, consider whether you may need one.  There are a number of reasons why flood insurance for your commercial property is a good idea.

  1. Is your business located on a flood plain?  The Federal Emergency Management Agency maintains flood maps that can help business owners determine whether a commercial building is located in an area prone to flooding. Most insurance providers define a flood as water damage that originates from outside water sources such as rain or rising bodies of water
  2. Are you a “better safe than sorry” business owner?  Even if you are not in a flood plain, there may be a reasonable risk of flooding at your commercial building. According to FEMA, the average flood insurance claim is approximately $33,000 and total property damage due to flooding tops $6 billion every year. Because flooding can happen, you may choose to purchase insurance “just in case”.
  3. Is your mortgage federally regulated or insured? Owners of property located in a flood zone with mortgages regulated or insured by the federal government are required to purchase and maintain flood coverage. Contact an insurance agent that offers NFIP policies or add a flood endorsement or rider to a general commercial insurance policy.
  4. Mold and Other Secondary Damage In addition to excluding flooding, most standard commercial property policies also cut out coverage for any secondary damage that results from this uncovered peril. Without a flood policy, it may be more difficult or prohibitively expensive to pursue mitigation and restoration. As a result, a structure may be prone to mold growth.

Not only can flooding at your New Haven County business cause damage that requires what can be costly restoration, it can also force you to close your doors while the work is being done.

Considering if your business requires additional flood insurance coverage now will help you later.

Toilet Overflows Cause Flooding in Milford Area Restaurants

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

A toilet overflow at your New Haven County restaurant requires a quick and professional clean up.

The plumbing system in your busy New Haven County restaurant receives a lot of wear and tear.

Because of the number of people filtering in and out of the bathrooms all day long, it is essential that you keep up with plumbing repairs and maintenance. Plumbing problems like sewer backups and broken pipes can not only cause water damage to your building but can also present potential health hazards for your customers and employees.

We know that water disasters can still occur despite being vigilant about the upkeep of your facility. If you do have a flood in your public bathroom, the clean up and restoration must be handled quickly and professionally so that your business continuity is minimally affected.

The time to call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is immediately upon the discovery of a bathroom flood.

We understand time is of the essence in these situations and have crews ready to quickly respond to your call. Once we have removed any standing water, we examine the flooring. In a typical restaurant bathroom that has ceramic tile installed, the tiles and grout joints are water resistant when they are installed over plywood. However, any cracks make the tile and underlying subfloor vulnerable to water damage.

Oftentimes, the tile itself may not be damaged but the water will have penetrated the grouting, causing the subfloor to warp or expand. This can cause the tiles to break apart at the joints and come loose. To check for moisture under ceramic tiles, SERVPRO technicians use a non-penetrating meter.  It might be necessary to dry the floor from the bottom or to drill holes into the floor so we can adequately monitor the drying process.

In the case of a substantial flood, the backup might not be limited to the bathroom and make its way onto restaurant carpeting. Because the water from a toilet backup can contain bacteria and pathogens, affected carpet is typically removed and replaced as a safety precaution.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford wants to get your Bridgeport area eatery open for business as quickly as possible however our number one priority is doing the water damage restoration job right the first time so that you don’t experience any secondary problems, such as mold.

Start to Finish: Restoration and Construction Services Offered by SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

After this home was damaged by fire, our building services team rebuilt the interior- including installing new floors and walls.

Dealing with water or fire damage in your home is a stressful experience. Choosing who to trust in the restoration and reconstruction of your home shouldn’t be.

The job of a restoration company is to clean up the mess and to preserve and protect the home and its contents so that further damage will not occur. A water damage restoration company removes the water and damaged materials from your structure. We remove the excess moisture in the building so that there is no risk of mold or mildew growth.

When the structure is dried out, it is then ready for reconstruction.  After a flood or fire, your home may require the replacement of drywall, a new roof installed, new flooring or even a complete rebuild. The last thing you want to do after experiencing a disaster is deal with multiple contractors in your home and the additional coordination and organization that takes.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is unique in that in addition to being a restoration company, we also have a CT licensed building services crew as part of our team.

When your home is dried out, our construction crew will step in and finish the work. Instead of our customers having to juggle multiple contractors, our office coordinates the process from start to finish. Our staff acts as the ‘middle man’ in coordinating the work, filing insurance paperwork and communicating with you, our customer.

At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we offer full contractor services for all of your home repairs needs. For over a decade, we have been ready 24/7 to respond to the emergency fire and water restoration needs of Connecticut residents. Please take a look at our work to see how we have helped other home and business owners in New Haven County.

It’s our priority to provide the best restoration and remodeling services to our customers.

Call us at (203) 301-0500 to discuss your restoration and construction needs.

Is it Really Necessary to Clean Your Dryer Filter Before and After Each Load?

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning out your lint filter before and after you use your dryer reduces your chance of a house fire.

Have you ever wondered if it is really necessary to empty the dryer lint filter each time you run a load?

Sure, the label on the dryer explicitly states that you should do so but products have so many precautions these days that some seem a little exaggerated and not all of us follow every warning. However, consider that the dryer in your home depends on a 4 inch metal vent to safely exhaust that hot air outdoors. This vent can easily become blocked with dryer lint, which is highly flammable (remember the old boy scout trick of using dryer lint to quick start a fire?).

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The number one cause of home dryer fires is the failure to clean the dryer vent.

Safety experts advise that you clean your dryer lint filter before AND after each load. Clean any lint from inside the filter receptacle as well to remove any lint that might have passed through. In addition, use a brush to clean the vent pipe itself every 3 months. Don’t forget to vacuum behind your dryer - it’s a common place for lint build up. Inspect the exterior vent on a regular basis - broken vent flaps as well as insect and animal nests can block the exit of the hot air.

Switching the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer is an easy chore for kids to do however they are very likely to forget to empty the lint filter.  Make sure that this is stressed as an important part of the chore and double check after they've finished to make sure it's been properly done. 

If you notice that your clothes are taking longer to dry than usual, that is a sign that the flow of air is restricted in your dryer. If, after inspecting and cleaning out all of the accessible areas yourself, the problem is not resolved, we advise that you have a professional come out and find the source of the problem.

As fire damage restoration professionals, we see firsthand how devastating a house fire can be. Starting the habit of cleaning out your dryer filters and vents properly will reduce your risk of a home fire.

Ways to Tell if Your Hot Water Heater Might Burst

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

A hot water heater failure in this Trumbull home caused damage to the finished basement

No matter what the season, your hot water heater can give you a problem.

Although there are a number of reasons associated with a hot water heater failure, the most common cause that we see is due to old age.  Hot water heaters will typically last you between 10-15 years. A leak may occur when corrosion and mineral build up occurs to the internal components.  What may begin as a little leak can quickly lead to a flooded basement.

As a homeowner, knowing the signs that your hot water heater is on its last legs can help you avoid a water disaster.

    • Water color/quality: When running your faucet on hot, note it’s appearance. If it appears rusty, this is a s sign that there might be corrosion in your tank and signals an upcoming failure of your water heater.  
    • Look for signs of muddy water or increased sediment in the water tank: Muddy water or increased sediment signals a potential failure of your water heater. You can check this by attaching a hose to the drainage bib on the water heater, turn the unit off and drain it to examine its contents.  When flushing the water heater, remember that the water that comes out of the hose bib at the front of the water heater is going to be extremely hot, as it will not be mixed with cold water. Smell or taste the water. If the hot water has a metallic taste to it, this indicates that the water heater is close to breaking down.
    • Listen to the noises your water tank makes: Your heater will normally make sounds however any loud cracks or pops could indicate a problem.

If you notice your hot water heater has any of the symptoms of a failure, call your plumber for an inspection.

For floods caused by hot water tank leaks, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 for immediate service.

When Vandals Strike: Cleaning Up Graffiti and Broken Windows in Milford, CT

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

You've put your heart into your business so when it is struck by an act of vandalism, you might feel a range of emotions from disappointment to fear to anger.

At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we understand that when your building has broken windows or graffiti from vandals, you want to see the destruction cleaned up quickly. Our crew is known for it's ability to remove graffiti and glass quickly and professionally.   

Not only are broken windows a security issue, they also allow rain to enter the building and cause water and mold damage. After cleaning up the broken glass, our team will board up your windows to protect your property.

Graffiti removal can be a daunting task however our crew is up to the challenge and have successfully removed spray paint from concrete and brick walls.  In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, our team can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.  

We have also responded to calls from homeowner's who have experienced biohazardous vandalism (including feces). Our crew has the training and equipment to safely remove biohazardous materials and any contaminants that might be present.  

If your home or business is the victim of malicious vandalism, it can be a very upsetting experience. Call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 to come clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."

Team Spotlight: Theny Hovey and Alexis Phouadara 

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

This month, we’ve decided to spotlight two of our employees who have really kept our office running smoothly over the past few months. 

Theny and Alexis are the administrative assistants working out of our Woodbridge office.  When our office manager Kathy took a temporary medical absence this winter, Alexis and Theny rose to the occasion and held everything together.

The work of an admin at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford requires the ability to multitask while still paying attention to each detail. Between calls from customers, contacting insurance agents, scheduling appointments as well as conveying information to the crew, our admins have their hands full. Theny and Alexis go through each day their cheerful, enthusiastic selves who are always eager to lend a hand. Whatever situation arises in the day to day business here, both of these ladies use their problem solving skills to help our customers and the team.

Theny was born and educated in the Philippines. She loves to travel and read.  When asked about her work here at SERVPRO, she wrote “I’m  glad to have the opportunity to work at SERVPRO on a team that is of a caring environment.  What I love most about working at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is being able to value work-life balance.”

Alexis Phouadara has been in this industry for 4 years and is certified in Water Damage Restoration. She grew up and still currently resides in New Haven, CT.  She loves collecting, doing make-up and the Golden State Warriors. Her favorite food is almost everything from her culture, Laos and Thai. Last, but not least, her favorite person in the entire world? Her 6 year old daughter, Sophia!

Thank you to Alexis and Theny for your hard work and commitment to our team. You are the glue that keeps us all together and we appreciate all that you bring to our organization.

DIY: Inspect Your Sump Pump to Avoid Water Damage

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

It’s not uncommon for New Haven County homes to have a sump pump installed to keep a basement dry.

The function of a sump pump is to ensure that the water drains properly and reduce the risk of water damage. It’s important to make sure that your sump pump is in good working order with an annual inspection that can be done by most homeowners on their own.  

SUMP PUMP INSPECTION CHECKLIST 

  • 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.

Using Three Pronged Electrical Adaptors Can Put Your Home at Risk of Fire

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Many old homes lack 3 slotted grounding outlets. An easy solution is to use a cheater plug but are they safe?

We were once called to a home that had experienced a devastating fire. The rental home had been an older house that fortunately vacant at the time of the fire. After the investigation was concluded, it was determined that the fire had been started by an extra freezer that had been put in the garage. The problem? The garage did not have any three pronged outlets so the tenant had used a three-pronged adaptor plug to circumvent this obstacle.

Three pronged adaptors, also known as "cheater plugs", allow a three pronged plug to connect to a non-grounded, 2 slotted receptacle. They are often used for appliances in older homes and they solve the problem without any electrical work being necessary. However, as seen in the case above, they are not designed to be a safe solution. The reason appliances and electrical items have a third plug is to protect them from electrical surges, malfunctions and fire.   If something goes wrong with the appliance, the cord, or the outlet, the ground system provides a secondary path for the electricity, leading it back to your home's breaker box and safely into the earth.  Taking away that grounding function makes your home vulnerable to a fire.

It is safer choice to replace your outlets with a third prong outlet and while you are at it, make it a GCFI outlet. GCFI outlets shut the electricity to the appliance off at the outlet when a surge is detected, rather than the breaker as is the case of a 3 pronged outlet. This saves seconds, which could protect your appliance, your home and you from a shock!

In the New Haven County area, we have many beautiful old homes that are lacking updated electrical systems. We are also fortunate to live in an area with a plethora of talented electricians. Give one a call to inspect your older home for any potential issues and protect your property from an electrical fire.

Septic Backups in Commercial Properties Cause Damage to New Haven County Businesses

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

A toilet overflow at your commercial property puts your property and customers at risk.

Sewage backups are a literal mess and when you are a business owner, the call can come at any time.

Whether you own a restaurant and your public toilet has overflowed during the dinner rush or your retail business has a sewage flood that is quickly spreading on the carpeting, it’s a call that you don’t want to receive.

Toilet overflows and sewage backups are not an ordinary water damage event. Sewage is contaminated and the flooding caused can damage your commercial building and its contents as well as create a risk of disease. Knowing the causes, the preventative actions that can be taken and having a plan of action in place can help business owners reduce the extent of the damage to their building.

What causes a sewer backup?

Most often, sewage backups are caused by a blockage in the lateral line from your building to the main sewer. This can be caused by tree roots that damage pipes as well as debris that has clogged up the lines. Damage to your lines can also occur due to aging pipes that develop cracks. Even driving heavy equipment such as a moving truck across the lawn can damage the pipes buried there. 

Most sewage backups that occur due to blocked pipe occur over time, so there are some strategies that a business owner can take to reduce the chance of this happening.

You already know that a good plumber is essential to protecting your structure. Have your plumber conduct an annual inspection with the purpose of identifying potential problems before the pipes are completely blocked and flooding has occurred.

Follow your plumbers advice as to whether a water pressure reducing valve or a pop-up sewer release valve might protect your property in the case of a sewage backup.

Steps to Take if You Have a Sewage Backup

Our commercial property customers know to call us immediately upon the discovery of any water damage but this is even more important in the case of sewage flooding. Contaminated water poses a health risk and as it quickly makes it way into walls and flooring, the danger spreads.

It is essential that your employees do not clean up a sewage backup themselves. They can actually make the situation more dangerous and put themselves at risk. We recommend that the area is evacuated until the SERVPRO of Milford- Orange-Stratford restoration crew is on the scene to assess the damage and immediately begin the restoration process.

Our team is trained in how to execute a professional and efficient sewage damage restoration plan. We will remove not only the sewage, but also properly remove damaged materials and sanitize your structure and restore contents. One of the worst parts of a septic backup is the smell. Our team uses odor removal equipment to get rid of the stench left behind.

If you are not already familiar with the services that we offer commercial properties, give our office a call at (203) 301-0500 to see how we can help you protect your business from damage.

Does Your Insurance Policy Cover Mold Growing in Your Home?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold remediation is covered under most homeowner's insurance policies if caused by water damage.

One of the most common questions that we receive in our Woodbridge office is whether mold damage remediation will be covered by a standard homeowner's insurance policy. It can be surprising to some homeowners to discover that their insurance policy does not cover mold. 

While mold coverage varies from policy to policy, many insurance companies do not include damage caused by mold, fungi, and bacteria in their standard coverage. In particular, if the mold is a result of neglect such as the failure to address a leaking pipe, it is not typically covered. That said, when mold is caused by a sudden and unexpected event such as water damage from a burst pipe, the remediation is often covered. 

We recommend that you call your insurance agent if the language of your policy is unclear. Some policies contain clauses that exclude mold.  Some will cover mold removal only under certain circumstances. Typically, if your policy does not include mold remediation it can be added onto the policy. It's a smart preventative measure that can save you thousands in the future.  

If you see signs of mold in your New Haven  County home, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 to make an appointment for inspection. Our office staff has a wealth of experience with both homeowners and insurance companies and will help guide you through the mold remediation process.  

Spring is Just Around the Corner in New Haven County!

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

We are all looking forward to springtime in Connecticut but the warm temperatures can mean basement flooding to homes and businesses.

Trust us. Despite the snow that fell this week in the Woodbridge, CT area, spring really is just around the corner.

The shining sun outside today is giving us all a little hope and if you are like us, you are ready for this winter to end! Between the single digit temps, heavy snow, several thaws and heavy rain, we’ve worked for months mitigating water damage and flooding from frozen pipes and ice dams. As a water damage restoration company, we know that the coming of spring does not mean an end to water damage in area homes and businesses.

Warm temperatures thaw the ground, creating a soggy, uneven surface. When the snow melts, puddles form and the ground becomes so saturated that flooding occurs. In particular, we see quite a bit of basement flooding in March and April due to water seeping through leaks and cracks in the foundation. Basement damage can happen quick and can be unexpected - occurring even in a basement that has previously remained dry. Unless you keep your basement empty, the flooding will not only cause structural damage, but also cause damage to your belongings. In addition, basement flooding can create the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth.

So what’s a homeowner to do to avoid water damage during the spring thaw?

There are a few steps that you can take to reduce your risk of flooding.

Ice Damming

Ice dams are not only a concern during the winter months. Because ice dams are a problem when the weather warms and the ice melts, they are troublesome during the early spring. Careful removal of snow off of your roof with a roof rake after snow falls (and hopefully when it is still light and fluffy!) will prevent ice dams from forming and causing water damage inside your home.

Melting Snow

The best way to keep melting snow from making its way into your basement is to grade the ground closest to your foundation. Build up the soil in order to have at least a six-inch slope from the foundation to at least ten feet from the property to keep water from seeping into the foundation or basement.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause water to spill over the side, down the walls of your home and seep into the foundation. Make sure your gutters are free of debris to ensure proper water flow. Properly install downspouts and extenders to direct runoff away from your home.  Because your gutters are your first line of defense, houses without, or with clogged, gutters often have leakage problems caused by water splashing against the foundation. You can also dig a plastic lined trench to divert the runoff from the roofline. 

As we all look forward to the warmer months, keep in mind that we aren't in the clear yet from water damage!

If you do have flooding from melting snow, call our office at (203) 301-0500 for immediate water damage restoration services.

Thank You to Our Amazing Team on Employee Appreciation Day!

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

A look a the calendar shows that there are too many recognition and awareness days to count and we can't possible observe all of them. However, March 1st is Employee Appreciation Day and we couldn't let that pass without notice!

Really good people are hard to find, especially in the restoration business. Our crew works in what can sometimes be difficult conditions - cleaning homes after a fire, a sewage backup or mold infestation is not easy work. They are on call 24/7 - which is a commitment that not all potential employees are willing to make. Restoration work also requires a high level of training and the willingness and aptitude to learn. On top of all of this, our crew must also have excellent customer service and people skills. They are in our customers homes and businesses during a vulnerable time - right after water or fire damage has occurred. 

Our team is comprised of respectful and courteous individuals who put our customers at ease. Most have been with us for years although we have been fortunate to add a few new technicians in the past year who have made our team even better! Their level of expertise and commitment is unparalleled in the area.  They are irreplaceable in our minds and we are grateful each day to have such an amazing team. 

Our technicians are an incredible group of people who show up day after day ready to help. They couldn't do their jobs, however, without the support of our office staff. In our office, the phones are always ringing and when our staff answers a call, they know that on the other end are people who might be in the midst of a challenging time.

The employees in our office - Theny, Kathy, Keri and Alexis - are well versed in the in's and out's of the water, fire and mold damage restoration industry. They work hard every day to help our customers through the restoration process. They are the wheels that keep our machine turning- communicating with not only customers but also with insurance companies and our crew out on the road to make certain that the process runs smoothly for each and every customer. Without such a commitment from this group of ladies, we wouldn't know what to do!

Cheers to our team on this Employee Appreciation Day.

Thank you all for your dedication, hard work and for simply being a great group of people!

Congratulations, Junior.

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Junior Delgado has been promoted to the position of production manager at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Junior Delgado to the position of production manager.

Junior has been with SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for the past year as a crew chief. He began working for us after we acquired the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County franchise, for whom he had worked for three years. 

During the course of the past year, Junior has excelled in all of the aspects of his job of crew chief. It has become evident to us that he possesses the qualities that we look for in an employee who can fill a leadership role with our company.  

In the fast paced environment of the restoration industry, where each job that we show up on has its own unique challenges, Junior’s ability to absorb new information quickly and adapt to each particular situation makes him invaluable. He approaches each job with a determination to make sure it is done right and matches that enthusiasm with excellent customer service. Our customers tell us that with Junior on the job, the service is friendly, respectful and dependable and the communication thorough.  

We look forward to welcoming Junior to the position of production manager and have every confidence that he will thrive in his new position.  

Post Construction Cleaning Services Offered by SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

If construction from your home remodel has left a big mess, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for residential deep cleaning services.

Whether you are building a home from the ground up or renovating your kitchen, construction work can make a big mess. 

Between the dust and debris left by sheetrock, wood and other materials, you might find that your new home is not the sparkling vision that you had hoped for. With all of the work and expense that went into building your home, you deserve a professional deep cleaning before the dust settles. 

The cleaning crew at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford has the knowledge and tools to thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom after the contractors have left.

Beyond just cleaning the surfaces of your home, our technicians provide a detailed and deep cleaning that will really let your house shine. 

Our post-construction services include: 

  • Removal of construction and drywall dust 
  • Cleaning of glass windows 
  • Cleaning in hard to reach places such as light fixtures, ceiling fans and rooms with high ceilings 
  • Air purifiers to remove construction particles from the air if needed 
  • Dusting and mopping of hardwoods, tile and linoleum floors 
  • Deep carpet cleaning 
  • Removal of dust, dirt, smudges and scuffs from walls 
  • Removal of manufacturer’s stickers and clean windows (including the glass, tracks and frames) 
  • Disposal of all trash 

We are a full service restoration company and are available to discuss any other services that are unique to your situation.

Please call us at (203)301-0500 to discuss your post construction cleaning and restoration needs.

New Haven County Property Managers Call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford For Their Restoration Needs

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Property managers know to call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford when one of their apartment buildings is affected by a fire or water damage,

We know that when a property manager has damage to one of their buildings, they need professional help immediately. The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team is well-versed in mitigating water, mold, sewage and fire damage in commercial structures. We are available 24-7 and can arrive quickly to maintain the safety and security of your tenants and their homes.  

The damage to apartment and condominium complexes in the Milford area is typically a result of a kitchen fire, burst pipe, sewage back up or an appliance leak. One burned pot in an apartment can easily cause widespread smoke damage to multiple homes as well as the shared hallways. A refrigerator line leak or overflowing toilet will quickly affect the apartments below. And if gone unchecked, mold growth can become widespread – especially if its growth is due to a slow leak in a pipe behind shared walls.  

As a property manager, you maintain your buildings and try to get ahead of potential problems however there will always be an unexpected event that creates a need for restoration work. That’s where SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford comes in. We understand that you have a duty to your tenants and we work to keep them in their homes if possible and restore their lives back to normal in a professional and efficient manner. 

You have enough on your plate – you don’t need to have the burden of worrying whether your restoration work is being done correctly.  Property managers in New Haven County know that our team is fully trained, work professionally and respectfully and that we stand by our work. That’s why they call us time and time again for their water, fire and mold restoration needs.  

Just as your clients depend on you to keep them safe, you can depend on us to properly restore your building.

From 0 to 50 - Freezing Temperatures Give Way to Rain, Causing Flooding in Milford Homes and Businesses

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Freezing temps followed by a 50 degree increase and rain will lead to burst pipes and flooded basements in New Haven County.

Last week was quite a wild weather ride.

New Haven area thermometers were in the single digits over the weekend and then soared up to the 50's and an inch of rain just a few days later. These weather events caused water damage in homes and businesses to local Milford homes and businesses.

Our office received dozens of calls from residents who had flooding in their homes. There were two main causes of water damage that our crew responded to.

The low temperatures caused pipes to freeze and burst in vulnerable areas such as garages, exterior walls and poorly insulated rooms.  When the weather warmed up, massive amounts of water began to flow through the crack in the pipe, causing flooding to the home.

Once the heavy rains came on Thursday, we began receiving calls from homeowners who had flooding in their basements. With an inch of rain, and the ground still frozen and unable to absorb much water, groundwater quickly seeped into basements and caused flooding.

When crazy weather strikes, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is ready to clean it up and restore your home. Call us at (203) 301-0500 if you experience flooding in your home or business. 

Home Restoration After Oil Burner Puffback in New Haven County

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

The tell tale sign of a furnace puff back are the soot cobwebs found in the corners of a room.

We were called this week to a job at a home that had been hit by a puffback. In our conversation with the homeowner, they expressed surprise that they had never heard of a puffback before.

Although not an everyday occurrence, we receive several restoration calls a year from homeowners who have had a furnace puffback.  A puffback occurs when the oil burner malfunctions. This can be because the burner doesn’t ignite immediately and a buildup of fumes causes an explosion similar to that of a car backfiring.  Puff backs can also happen when debris builds up and causes an explosion when the boiler turns on.   In either case, the explosion sends soot and debris through the furnace or boilers exhaust system and into your home. In our experience, the soot tends to be more widespread in forced hot air systems as the heating ducts spread the soot with same efficiency that they spread air throughout the home.

A puffback leaves a fine layer of oil based soot on all of the surfaces of a home. This includes hard surfaces such as floors, walls and furniture as well as soft furnishings such as curtains, bedding, clothing and carpeting. In fact, because it is literally blasted throughout your house, the soot from a puffback manages to find its way into every nook and cranny.

When you’ve had a puffback, you will know it!

You may first notice a black sticky film on your countertops and then realize that it is widespread throughout your home. Some homeowners will see what appears to be black spiderwebs in the corners of your rooms - this is a common way the soot collects and settles.

Attempts to remove the soot will prove futile and possibly make the damage worse. Because of its oil based nature, the residue left after a puffback requires professional restoration. The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team is experienced, trained and equipped to properly clean your home and it’s contents of oil and soot. The good news is that puffbacks are typically covered under your homeowners insurance policy. When you experience a puffback, call your oil burner specialist, your insurance agent and SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for immediate service.

Happy New Year!

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

From all of us at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, Happy New Year!

2018 was a landmark year for our company.

It marked the milestone ten year anniversary of franchise ownership for Greg Geaski. The restoration business is not an easy one and with ten years under his belt, Greg has shown that with hard work and good leadership, running a locally owned small business successfully is possible.

In February of 2018, Greg added a third franchise to his business with the purchase of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. Expanding the business to include the geographic areas of Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties presented some new challenges and we experienced the usual growing pains but at the end of the year, we can look back at a relatively smooth transition.

The acquisition also brought new additions to our staff and crew. Ted, Davi, Von and Junior all stayed with the company through the acquisition and are a valued part of our crew. Keri and Val also came with the merger as part of the office staff. We are thrilled to have so many “new to us” people who have decades of experience with SERVPRO on board.

It was a busy year with the purchase of a new franchise as well as the unusual storm and tornado events that hit the area last May. The flooding the storms caused and damage to roofs  kept us working around the clock with water, storm and mold damage affecting thousands of homes and businesses in Connecticut.  Yet, it wasn’t all work for the folks here at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.

We were able to continue our commitment to the community by sponsoring and participating in several charity events such as the Sterling Hill Golf Classic and  Sterling House Community Food Drive, both of which raise funds for the Sterling House Community Center. We also had a blast at the Connecticut Young Insurance Professionals Golf Tournament at the Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield CT, which we sponsored.  Several of our employees and their families have been affected by a cancer diagnosis this year, which makes our sponsorship of TeamBrent's St. Baldrick's Foundation Fundraiser, hosted by the Weston Westport Family YMCA and participation in the  Discovery To Cure Beverly Levy Walk at Yale even more meaningful this year.

We look forward to 2019 and all it will bring and wish all of our employees, friends, families and customers a Happy New Year!

Mold Growth Concerns in New Haven County Commercial HVAC Systems

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in a commercial HVAC system is a serious concern.

Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings is a Serious Concern in New Haven County.

Currently, there are concerns of mold growth and its affect on the health of students and teachers in Stamford, CT schools. With a number of teachers and students reporting negative health conditions that are consistent with mold exposure, this situation is not being taken lightly.

Mold is not always easy to find in places such as an HVAC system, where the dark and moist conditions provide an ideal breeding ground. Mold growth often goes unnoticed when hidden behind the walls and in the ceilings of a commercial structure. In particular, older buildings such as schools may be more susceptible because as a building ages, the pipes and roof may become compromised and allow water leakage, which can lead to mold growth. 

If you suspect that there is mold in your school, office space or commercial building, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 for an assessment. 

Fire Sprinkler System Breaks, Causing Damage to New Haven County Commercial Property

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a commercial building, having a sprinkler system installed is not an option.

For the safety of your employees and customers, fire sprinkler systems are required. In general, fire sprinkler systems function as designed however, on occasion, they malfunction or break and inadvertently deploy. This can be caused by a variety of reasons - from frozen pipes to a break in a pipe to a faulty sensor. The result when a sprinkler system deploys can be disastrous- with thousands of gallons of water flooding the building and saturating everything in its path.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford recently responded to a call from a Woodbridge commercial property in which the dry sprinkler system malfunctioned. There was standing water throughout the facility and the walls, ceilings and contents were saturated.

Upon arrival, our team set up generators and trailer mounted desiccants to the facility. High powered truck mounted water extractors were utilized to remove the thousands of gallons of water.

When the standing water had been eliminated, our crew set up containment and used dehumidifiers and air movers, as well as desiccants to complete the drying process. We then removed affected walls, ceilings and floors that were not salvageable. Antimicrobials were applied to properly disinfect and ensure that no secondary damage, such as mold, would occur.

In just 24 hours our team was successful in professionally stabilizing the loss and establishing a protocol and timeline for this flooded facility, which enabled the business to move forward.

When it comes to commercial water damage restoration, time, equipment and training are essential.  The commercial restoration services offered by SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford meet the needs of New Haven County businesses. After inspecting your property, we will immediately begin the restoration process in a proficient and organized manner. With decades of experience, we have seen it all and will restore your property in a professional manner.


If you have any questions about our commercial water damage restoration services, please feel free to call our office at (203) 301-0500.

Our office staff can help guide you through the process and provide all of the information you require.

After Tornado Causes Water Damage in Oxford Homes, Mold Begins to Grow

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Flooding
  • Lightning strikes
  • Hurricanes
  • 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

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

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?

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

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.

The Truth About Mold in New Haven County Homes and Businesses

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

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. 

  1. 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.  
  2. 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. 
  3. Prior to beginning any mold remediation, the source of the water or moisture must be corrected. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  4. The strong, musty odor that mold often produces can lead you to problem areas.
  5. 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

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

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. 

EXTERNAL FACTORS 

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

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

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.  

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.  
  5. 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. 

  1. 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.  
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.  
  5. 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

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

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 Remediation  

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

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

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.  

  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.  
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

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. 

The Top Causes of Residential Water Damage

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

After the pipes froze and burst in this Bethany, CT home, the water flooded the basement.

As a homeowner, you are at risk of experiencing water damage in your house.

This is true regardless of whether your house is old or new, big or small, in the country or in the city.  From supply line leaks to bathtub overflows to frozen pipes, our water damage restoration team has seen it all here in New Haven County. 

These are the most common causes of residential water damage that SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford responds to. 

Water Heater Leaks 

Usually located in the basement, a water heater leak can be an especially damaging event because it is not always immediately discovered. Water heater failures occur for a variety of reasons. Often, the leak is caused by a loose or faulty drain valve. Inspecting your heater’s valves and tightening them if needed is an easy way to avoid disaster.  As water heaters age, they can corrode and rust, causing degradation to the tank. This can cause your water heater to leak and flood your basement. 

Clogged Pipes 

Clogged pipes can occur due to several reasons but the result is eventually the same- water damage. Keep a lookout for the signs of a clogged pipe such as reduced water pressure. Look for small leaks from your pipes as well as mildew, mold and water stains on walls.  If water drains slowly in your sinks or shower, that is a sign that your pipes are partially clogged.  If you hear gurgling sounds when there is no water running through your pipes, that may indicate a clogged sewer line.  Educate your family on what items should be disposed of in your toilet to avoid a toilet clog. If you have a septic system, the regular use of enzymes in your toilet and shower drains can help keep them clear.  

Household Appliance Malfunctions 

We have seen water damage from all household appliances-especially refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. This can occur from a supply line leak – although the line is often small, the water that runs through it is unlimited. Supply lines can deteriorate and fail with age but we’ve even seen new lines break, so keep an eye behind your appliances for potential issues. Replacing rubber hoses with braided stainless steel ones will reduce your risk of a supply line leak. Washing machines can leak due to a water pump failure and broken door seals, gaskets and latches. Regular maintenance of your washing machine is recommended.

Frozen Pipes 

In Connecticut, frozen pipes are a common event and keep our crews busy through the winter months. Pipes usually freeze because the home or area of a home such as a sunroom is inadequately heated. The pipes are forced to expand due to the frozen water, causing the pipe to crack. When the temperature warms up, the water flows freely through the cracks, causing massive damage.   If you lose heat to your home due to a power outage during a snowstorm, feel your pipes to make sure they aren't freezing and use an alternative heat source if available.

Wet Basements 

On the Connecticut shoreline, basements are inherently damp. They are prone to flooding, and are the home to pipes that may leak. If you have high levels of moisture in your basement, install a dehumidifier to dry it out. Make sure that the ground around your home is graded away to reduce flooding. Check your foundation for any cracks that may be allowing water in and seal them up. Broken gutters that are not properly directing the water away from the house can also contribute to basement flooding.  

Sump Pump Failure 

A sump pump can be a life saver if you have a wet basement but if it fails, you can have major water damage. If your sump pump fails to operate, whether due to a power failure, or malfunction, the groundwater level around the foundation can rise to the point that it flows up and out of the sump onto the basement floor. Take the time to inspect your sump part regularly and check your basement if you have a power outage.  

Prompt action is the number one thing a homeowner can do if they have water damage. The sooner the restoration process begins, the less work that will need to be done. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is New Haven County’s water restoration experts. Our team is highly trained and experienced. Call our Woodbridge office at (203) 301-0500 if your home is flooded with water.  

Hoarding Conditions Inside of Homes Contributes to Water, Fire and Mold Damage

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding can cause a home to be at risk of fire, water and mold damage.

Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions. 

A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk.  Hoarding creates conditions inside of a home that makes it vulnerable to water, fire and mold damage. 

Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes. 

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding. Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized and deodorized.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 for a clean up consultation.

What Causes Sewage Backups and How Avoid One in Your Milford Home

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

After a toilet overflowed due to a clogged pipe in Fairfield, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford cleaned up the job.

After a sewage backup at your home, your floors and the bottom of your walls may become saturated with sewage, as well as any household items such as bathroom cabinets that may have gotten caught up in the flood. Water from sewage is considered black water because it may contain bacteria and viruses.  It is pertinent that if you have a sewage backup, it is cleaned up quickly and by a professional restoration company to reduce the risk of contamination spreading. 

Knowing the causes of sewage backups can help you to avoid one. 

Causes of Sewage Backups 

  • Clogs – If your home's drain pipes get clogged, you might have a backup.Aside from objects that shouldn't be flushed down the toilet,hair, grease, or other solid materials that end up in the drains can also create a clog.   
  • Tree Roots – Trees can grow really long roots that intertwine with your sewer line. Roots can grow into a pipe and cause holes or crush the sewer line by growing around it. Even if the roots in your yard are not the problem, roots from nearby trees can reach your sewer line and damage it. 
  • Damaged Sewer Lines – Most susceptible to sewage line malfunctions are older pipes (pre-1950) which are made of cast iron or even clay. Aging sewage systems can break down and crack, which can cause sewage backups and flooded basements. Newer homes usually have plastic sewer pipes, which are easier to install and handle however are more susceptible to breaking. 
  • Heavy Rainfall – If you are on a public sewer system, a large amount of rain can overburden your city’s sewer lines. If the public sewer can’t handle excess rainfall, the water can make its way into connected sewer lines, including the ones in your home.  If you have a septic system at your home, it can be flooded by heavy rain as well and cause it to backup into your home. 

How to Prevent Sewage Backups 

  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. Cooking oil can harden within your pipes; it gradually stops debris from draining, creating a clog. To properly dispose of grease or fat, pour it into a heat-resistant container and throw it in the trash after it cools off. 
  • Add drain traps. Insert drain baskets or strainers to catch solid objects and foods that might not easily break down. 
  • Dispose of paper products properly. Flushing hygiene products such as paper towels, diapers, or feminine products down the toilet can easily clog your sewer line. Save yourself some trouble and discard paper products in the trash. 
  • Cut tree roots.If you discover that tree roots are growing dangerously close to your sewer lateral, take the preventative measure of cutting the tree roots. 
  • Install a backwater prevention valve. This fixture allows sewage to leave but prevents it from backing up into your home. Backwater valves are typically installed into a sewer line and sometimes into a drain line in the basement. 
  • Clean your drains. An easy way to keep those drains clear, use an enzyme treatment or flush with one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar and warm water on a monthly basis. 

Will My Insurance Company Cover Mold Growth in My Milford Home?

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

If not immediately treated, mold can quickly spread throughout a home, causing extensive mold damage that may not be covered by your insurance agency.

When a homeowner discovers that mold is growing behind their walls, in their attic or under their carpeting, one of their first questions is whether the mold will be covered under their insurance policy.

Although there is no universal answer to that question, as homeowner's insurance policies are unique from provider top provider, there are some general guidelines that most insurance companies adhere to.  

Typically, your homeowner's insurance policy will cover mold remediation if the mold is caused by "covered peril".  What this means is that the cause of the mold growth is already covered by your insurance policy. Since mold is caused by high moisture levels, covered cases are generally from water damage claims. In addition, most of the homes that we restore after fire damage also have secondary water damage as a result of firefighting efforts.  Because mold growth can happen within 24 hours, even water damage that is being properly addressed can lead to mold growth.   

If the mold found in your home is not from a sudden and accidental event, it mostly likely will not be covered. Mold damage that is caused by a water leak or high moisture levels that could have been prevented typically do not fall under a homeowner's insurance policy. Insurance companies expect that a home should be properly maintained and any defects that could lead to mold growth addressed.  

A scenario we frequently see is that of a pipe that bursts in the basement. If the homeowner discovers the damage later that evening and calls a restoration company to begin the cleanup, any mold growth caused by this event should be covered.  However, if the water and mold damage from a pipe burst isn't discovered for two months because a home has been left vacant with no caretaker while the owners are away on winter vacation, an insurance company may decide that the home was being neglected and deny coverage.  

A water leak from a washing machine that has been properly maintained would usually be covered.  However, if the machine has old hoses that have been slowly leaking for months, that would be considered neglect and may not be covered.  

Roof leaks are also a common cause of mold growth. Attics tend to be high moisture areas that aren't frequently visited.  If you find mold in your attic despite having a newer roof that is properly maintained, you may be covered. A roof that has 40 year old shingles is considered past it's life and mold growth at that home may not be covered.  

Most homeowner's insurance policies in Connecticut do not cover flood damage. If you have mold growth after heavy waters from a rainstorm leave a few inches of water in your basement, neither the water nor the mold damage will be covered. If you live in a high risk area for flooding you may consider purchasing separate flood insurance for your home. 

Prevention is the key to avoiding uncovered mold damage at your New Haven area home. If you notice high moisture, damp areas of carpeting, buckling of vinyl or wood flooring or water stains on your ceiling or walls, do not ignore it! All of these are signs that there is a leak or high levels of moisture that can cause mold growth. As tempting as it may be to turn a blind eye to potential issues, acting on them quickly can save you thousands of dollars in the end.  

If, despite proper home maintenance and vigilance, you still worry about mold in your home, a separate mold insurance rider can be purchased from most insurance companies.

If you see black, green or any shade of mold growing in your home, give us a call at (203) 301-0500. Our IICRC mold remediation professionals will inspect your home, find the source of the mold and advise you on a corrective course of action.  

Water Damage From Sprinkler System Malfunctions at Woodbridge, CT Commercial Properties

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Our crew restored this Shelton, CT commercial property after a sprinkler system malfunction caused water damage throughout the building.

Having a sprinkler system installed at your commercial property is an effective way to protect your business from fire damage. A sprinkler system that is properly working can make the difference between full recovery from a fire in your place of business or irreversible damage and loss of property.  On occasion, though, a sprinkler system malfunctions and causes water damage to a property even though no fire has occurred.  Our office receives numerous calls each year from businesses that have had water damage from their sprinkler systems. Our team has seen that this damage is caused by a few common reasons. 

Installation Errors 

If your sprinkler system was poorly installed or poorly maintained, your system is at risk of mechanical damage. Mechanical damages can include over-tightening fittings, improperly installed sprinkler heads, and a variety of other mistakes made during installation. 

Overheated Sprinkler Heads 

Sprinkler systems are activated by heat, so it is important that the temperature at their location be controlled. If installed near a skylight or heater, the temperature can become high enough to set them off.  If there are construction or heat source changes to your building, make sure that the sprinkler heads are not affected by a change in temperature. 

Freezing Pipes 

We've seen this a few times in the wintertime. Just like the pipes to your house can freeze, so can the water in your sprinkler system. Frozen sprinkler pipes can cause the water to expand and crack, causing the water to flow freely once the temperature warms up again. Frozen sprinkler pipes can be prevented by adding antifreeze or insulating pipes during the cold winter months.  

Corroded Pipes 

Like any water-based system, sprinkler system pipes are also subject to corrosion.  Corrosion can impact the functionality of the system and even lead to leaks or breaks. Because of the pressure in these systems, a pipe burst can cause significant water damage. To help prevent corrosion, it is important to have your sprinkler system pipes inspected annually. 

Misuse 

Sprinkler system pipes are often used for the wrong purposes and this can cause stress to the system. We've inspected properties in which the pipes have been used to hang something on like ropes or chains in order to lift heavy items. We've also seen sprinkler systems that have been painted over, which will cause them to malfunction.  

When we receive a call from a business owner who is dealing with water damage, we know that our response time is critical. The sooner we arrive at the job, the less the damage will be and the smaller impact it will have on the businesses continuity. That's why SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford has a local, professional crew on call 24-7 to respond to the water damage at your New Haven County business. 

Keep Your 4th of July Festivities Safe With These Fireworks Tips

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fireworks cause fire damage to homes and buildings and injuries to people each year. If you choose to use fireworks at home, follow these safety tips.

With the 4th of July around the corner, we have already started hearing fireworks being set off in our Stratford area neighborhoods.  Let's face it, it's hard to resist picking up a few things that go bang and some sparklers for the kids.  At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, we do want to remind our customers that fireworks, and even sparklers, cause quite a bit of damage and bodily injury each year. 

In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. This includes 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 16,900 outdoor fires. The NFPA recommends that you leave fireworks to the professionals however if you want to set a few off in your driveway, here are a few tips to keep it safer.  

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show. 
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. 
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. 
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. 
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. 
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers. 
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. 
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day. 

Adults should always handle fireworks. Although sparklers are fun, they account for roughly one quarter of fireworks injuries. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold. Kids are also drawn to investigate the used pieces of fireworks that lie on the ground after an event. Discourage this, as some may hot and even still be ignited and can cause burns.

Pet safety is also a concern on the 4th of July. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the noise that fills the day.  Don't bring your dog to the barbecue – they are happier and safer if left inside. Create a comfortable place inside your home for your pet. Finally, make sure your pet has accurate identification tags on them in case they run away because of the loud noises. 

Whether you choose to stay at home or go to a public fireworks show, stay safe and have a great time! 

Don't Let Water Damage Ruin Your Summer Vacation

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

With summer here, many families in New Haven County are getting ready for their summer vacations. Whether that means a camping trip or a tropical island, you will most likely be leaving your home vacant while you are off having fun. When a home is left empty, it is particularly vulnerable to extensive water damage since the water is not immediately discovered. We have restored homes in which water damage originated from a pipe leak, a refrigerator line burst or a toilet overflowed while the homeowner was away on vacation. Because the water was able to flow for several days, or weeks, the damage was spread throughout the home. Rather than localized damage to a kitchen floor, the water had also saturated through the sub floor and the lower home level as well. 

Before you leave for your summer vacation, we recommend that you take a few precautions to avoid water damage in your Milford home. 

1. Prior to your trip, turn off all of the water sources in your home. 

This only takes a few minutes and is the number one thing that you can do to minimize water damage if something does break while you are away.

Turn off your water at the main source, which is usually located in your basement. While you are down there, turn off the valves to your exterior faucets as well. Then, open your faucets and drain your water lines as well as your toilets. Turn off the valves at the sink, dishwasher and washing machine.

2. Inspect Your Hoses

Inspect any hoses that connect to major appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator ice-makers. Make sure there are no kinks; replace any old or damaged hoses. 

3. Keep the weather out:  

Check that all doors and windows are securely shut and locked. A rainstorm can do a lot of damage through a non-latched window. 

4. Check your gutters:  

Clear your gutters of any potential blockages and take the time to make sure that your downspouts are still moving water at least 10 ft. from the home.  

5. Inspect your sump pump:  

If you have a basement and if you have a sump pump make sure that it is in working order. The last thing you want to do is come home to find your basement flooded. 

6. Fire prevention:  

Unplug appliances and electronic devices.  

Thoroughly check wood stoves and fireplaces to ensure that they are out.  

7. Keep the temperature right:

Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture. 

It's always a good idea to have a friend check on your Orange, CT home while you are away.

Make sure someone has your contact info and our number (203) 301-0500 in case there is water or fire damage while you are away.  

Attic Mold Causes and Remediation in New Haven County Homes

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in the attic of your Milford area home can be caused by improper ventilation and insulation as well as leaking appliances and roof leaks.

Summertime has the phones ringing in our Woodbridge office from homeowners who have discovered mold in the attic of their home.  Mold in the attic can compromise the air quality in your home and, if left untreated, can spread to other areas as well.  Often hidden in a space few of us visit regularly, attic mold has a few common causes:  a leaking roof, inadequate attic ventilation, the wrong type of insulation and appliance leaks and failures. Attic mold is avoidable with some precautions taken and vigilance.  

A Leaking Roof 

Inspect your attic seasonally for signs of water damage such as wet insulation, stains on plywood and black spots that could be mold. Leaks are common around plumbing stacks as well as the area where two roofs join.  If you have recessed lighting, check the canisters for rust or corrosion. This is an indicator of high moisture levels.  

Attic Ventilation 

New Haven County homes typically have attics with soffit, ridge and gable-mounted vents. Having adequate ventilation is important because condensation can’t escape your attic without it. We have inspected several homes for mold in which there is not the proper number of vents in the attic, or in which they are improperly installed. Also check to make sure that your vents are not blocked by insulation or stored boxes.  

Dryer vents, plumbing vents, kitchen or bathroom fans that are vented into the attic can also create moist conditions. If yours are installed this way, contact a professional to re-route them outside.  

A Well-Insulated Attic 

If your insulation is installed incorrectly, or the wrong type of insulation has been used, moisture from the lower levels of your home can get trapped in the attic. This can feed mold growth.  If you’re layering insulation atop other insulation, don’t use the kind that has “kraft face” finish (i.e., paper or foil backing). It acts as a vapor barrier and can trap moisture in the insulation.  Check the condition of your insulation- it should be thick, soft and dry. 

Appliances Installed in the Attic 

In many newer homes, air conditioners, swamp coolers, and HVAC systems are installed in the attic space. There is the possibility that these may fail and cause water damage. A small, undetected leak in the attic can cause a mold disaster so have your system inspected regularly.  

If you find mold in your attic space, give our office a call at (203) 301-0500. We will come out and inspect your attic and advise you on a course of action.  

Fire Safety When Grilling This Summer in New Haven County

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Although this house is brick, it was still not safe to cook on the grill this close! The fire was able to reach the vinyl overhang and catch.

Finally! Summer is arriving and we are all excited for barbecues, the beach, camping and fireworks.  Nothing says summer like late nights around a fire pit with friends.  Summer brings fun activities but we should also be aware of the increased risk of fire during these months. Awareness of the risks and taking caution when participating in fire related activities will keep your summer safe.  

Grill Fires 

Grilling is our favorite way to cook in the summer. Barbecued food tastes delicious, grilling keeps the heat outside on a hot summer day and there are no pots to clean afterwards.  It's a win-win-win if it all goes right. However, 5,700 home related grill fires occur each year – the majority of which occur between May and August. 

Take preventative measures by: 

  • Inspecting your grill’s condition before the grilling season begins. Clean the grill, the drip pan, and anything that could have grease on it from previous barbecue dinners. Inspect each part of your barbecue to make sure everything is attached properly. 
  • Make sure that your grill is a safe distance from your house – 10 feet is recommended. I've personally experienced how quickly the vinyl siding on a home can melt from a barbecue. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire. 
  • Be prepared for a fire, as grease and fat are likely to catch on fire. Keep baking soda in a waterproof container near the grill in case a grease fire breaks out.  

Air Conditioning Fires 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, air conditioning, fans or related equipment were involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 29 civilian deaths, 249 civilian injuries and $207 million in direct property damage.  These fires usually begin with the ignition of a wire or cable insulation.  It’s not just the AC that catches on fire, if your AC heats up, flammable materials near your unit can catch on fire. Fires are most likely to occur when it’s hottest outside—between 2 and 8 p.m.

  • Inspect your air conditioner’s wiring systems each year to prevent these types of fires. Consider the safety concerns of purchasing an older or used air conditioning unit.  
  • Also, find ways to use the AC less during the day. Not only will you save money, you can save your home from a potential fire. Using fans, keeping windows open during the night, and closing blinds during the day are just some ways you can keep your house cool without AC. 

We're looking forward to seeing everyone out at the beach and grilling out in Milford this summer! Stay safe and have fun! 

We Restore Homes After Sewage Backups and Toilet Overflows in New Haven County, CT

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage water from septic tank backups and toilet overflows is considered black, or category 3, water.

Sewage damage is one of the worst types of water damage that can occur in your home or business.  

Whether it be from a municipal sewage backup, a clogged and overflowing toilet or a septic system failure that causes a backup, sewage water is considered to be Category 3, or black, water.  Category 3 water is contaminated, can cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact with it should be avoided.  Examples of black water includes water that originates beyond the toilet trap and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.  A sewage backup should always be taken seriously due to the potential viruses, bacteria and harmful microbes it may contain. 

If you have water damage from sewage in your home, a plumber should be called as well as a professional restoration company that specializes in restoring water damaged properties and has the training needed to clean up black water properly. When faced with a sewage damage disaster, never enter the damaged area without proper protective equipment, rubber boots, gloves, goggles and complete body cover. Do not try to clean up and repair area yourself.  

What Causes Sewage Damage in Milford Homes?  

There are many different causes of sewage damage in the home however at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we see a few causes repeatedly.  

Clogs in pipes leading to the toilet cause a back-up that can spread beyond the bathroom.  A good solution to help prevent this if you have a septic system is to make a regular habit of pouring a natural enzyme treatment into your toilet on a weekly basis.  Another common cause that we see is when the toilet itself malfunctions, causing an overflow. 

Septic system backups can be caused by damaged pipes that have been broken by tree roots or a heavy object, such as a car or truck, being driven over them.  Know where your septic system and leach field are located and use caution when doing yard work or home remodeling. Never drive over a vehicle or heavy machinery your septic system or leach field.  Thankfully, a ride on lawnmower will not damage your pipes.  Do not plant bushes or trees near your septic system and if there is a tree growing a little to close, consult a professional to see if the roots are a threat to your pipes.  

If you have a toilet overflow or septic backup, give us a call at (203) 301-0500 

After the Storm; What Can Be Saved?

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

When the storm is over, the SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford crew will help you go through the contents of your home to determine what can be saved

New Haven County is still is still in the recovery stage after last weeks devastating storm and tornadoes.  Our office has been responding to calls from homeowners who have damage from a tree falling on their house, high winds and water damage from rain and flooding.  Each of these homes has a unique restoration plan depending on the type and level of damage. Not only has the structure of the homes we are working on been damaged, but the home furnishings and belongings have been affected as well.  SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford crew members assist our customers in determining which of their possessions are salvageable, and which cannot be saved.  

We go through the contents of a home on a piece by piece basis and while each item is a unique case, we do use a few factors to determine whether it gets boxed, sent to our facility for cleaning or put in the dumpster. 

The type of water that has flooded the home is an important factor in determining what stays and what goes. Clean water does not pose as much of a health hazard as potentially contaminated water does. If there is concern that water is contaminated from sewage or chemicals, we are unlikely to suggest it be cleaned. It's not worth the risk.  

Typically, porous fabrics such as mattresses, pillows, carpeting and particle board cannot be salvaged. They absorb water quickly and are breeding grounds for mold spores to grow.  However, there are cases in which we are able to clean area rugs and wood if we are called to the job quickly and the piece has not become oversaturated.  

Our ability to be on the job quickly helps us minimize damage to personal possessions that have water damage. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a bit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them. 

The SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team has the experience in caring for the belongings of your Oxford area home. Experiencing damage to your home is an upsetting ordeal. We understand that it can be difficult to part with treasured items, and do our best to help save them. 

Employee Spotlight: Matt Caulfield, Production Manager

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Matt Caulfield is a production manager at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.

Going above and beyond is the norm for our employees.

Every day, we see them give their all and then some to our customers. This month, we'd like to recognize Matt Caulfield for his dedication to his work at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.  

Matt has been at SERVPRO for five years, having come from the construction and mortgage industries. He is the kind of guy who throws himself whole-heartedly into whatever he does and has worked his way to a position of Production Manager at SERVPRO.  Matt is an extremely dedicated professional who is courteous, cares about his customers, is quick to return phone calls and sincerely wants the best outcome for his clients. In fact, clients often go out of their way to let us know how impressed they were with Matt's service.  

Matt lives in Milford, CT and is an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings and the Georgia Bulldogs. An athlete himself, Matt loves snowboarding, football and working out. He can't pass up a piece of pizza and loves country music. I was surprised to learn that his favorite tv show is "This is Us" - you never know who is watching that show! His dream is to spend time on a Caribbean Island someday.  

Matt's co-workers know that if they need a hand with anything, he is there to help- often without being asked. He is a pleasure to work with and brings a positive vibe to our office and the work site.  Matt finds it personally rewarding when he can take an overwhelming loss and turn it around for the very best outcome for the customer. In an industry like ours, where homeowners are dealing with stressful and often emotional situations, Matt's commitment to help, and not just "get the job done", truly makes a difference. 

Call Us For Emergency Board Ups and Tarping in the Oxford, CT Area

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

If you have roof or window damage to your Oxford home, call us for an emergency board up and water damage restoration.

The storm that hit Connecticut last night has devastated our area. We never think that we can be hit by a tornado in the Bethany area and this storm caught everybody off guard.  Roads are still closed throughout New Haven County and trees are down on houses and businesses.

If there is a tree down on your house, or windows blown out from the wind, call us for emergency roofing and tarping. Closing up the roof and any broken windows is the first step to restoring your home. Once we have it secure, we can begin the process of cleaning up damaged materials and possessions, removing the water and restoring your home from water damage. 

When strong winds and falling trees cause damage your home by putting a hole in your roof or breaking your windows, quick action will reduce the amount of water damage your home sustains.

How to Manage Black Mold Growth in Your Stratford, CT Restaurant Kitchen

5/6/2018 (Permalink)

Not all black mold found in commercial restaurant kitchens is this obvious. It is often hidden behind baseboards, appliances and ceiling tiles.

Mold found in the kitchen of your restaurant can have serious implications for your business. 

Restaurant kitchens are some of the busiest work spaces. They function all day, every day, and require a smooth running operation to be successful. One malfunction, such as a freezer breaking down, a small grease fire on the range or a dishwasher not working, can throw everything off. Finding mold in your kitchen presents a host of challenges for restaurant owners.  Quarantining food and prep surfaces in a high-volume restaurant can be a difficult task yet closing your restaurant during treatment is not a viable option. 

Mold growth requires moisture, which is always found in commercial kitchens.

The number one ingredient that mold needs is moisture, which is always present in a commercial kitchen. The ever-running  dishwasher from which water is sprayed, leaked and steam created is a major source of moisture in restaurant kitchens.  Many kitchens have rubber floor mats, which effectively create a non-slip surface for kitchen workers, but also often trap water underneath and in the crevices. These mats are typically picked up when the floor is mopped at the end of the night but not always fully dry when they are replaced.  Many kitchens have ceiling tiles, which are great in that they can be replaced if damaged, however can also be a breeding ground for mold spores due to their porosity. Ceiling tiles also trap dirt, which is a food source for mold.  With multiple ice machines, refrigerators and freezers, commercial kitchens are also susceptible to supply line leaks, which can often go unnoticed until a mold infestation is discovered.  No matter how carefully your restaurant kitchen is cleaned each night, it is a challenge to keep it dry enough to deter mold. 

The best deterrent for mold growth in your kitchen is vigilance.  

Working a weekly mold check into the kitchen cleaning schedule will help catch mold before it is a problem.

  • Look behind each appliance for any leaks or puddles. Inspect that there isn't irregular condensation under or on the outside of freezers and coolers.
  • A common place mold starts is the area is behind the vinyl baseboard, which sometimes lifts after time. Have baseboards inspected for any damage or moisture.  
  • Inspect ceiling tiles for discoloration that can be caused by a leaking pipe or faulty exhaust fan.
  • Check the walls and floors around dishwashers and sinks for any signs of moisture- crumbling drywall, peeling linoleum or cracked tiles can all by caused by standing water.
  • Also inspect bathrooms, which often share walls with the kitchen for any signs of mold as mold spores can infiltrate walls and move through the air from room to room.  

Treating mold found in your restaurant kitchen. 

Although mold found in a private home can be occasionally cleaned by the homeowners, mold found in commercial kitchens always requires professional remediation. At SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we don't like to use scare tactics in order to get business. However, mold in your restaurant kitchen can be a health hazard to your employees and your customers and if it is not contained and remediated properly, it can be seriously impact your business and your ability to keep your doors open. Our team is IICRC certified in mold damage remediation and experienced in commercial mold restoration in the New Haven County area. When we come to your commercial property, we will contain the area to stop the spread of mold spores and identify the sources of water that is causing the mold growth. Once moisture levels are down and the damaged material has been removed, we clean the air with air scrubbers to filter out the mold spores. When the mold remediation is complete, our construction team will replace wallboard, flooring, ceiling and any other material that required removal. We do all of this with the least disruption to your business continuity as possible. 

If you find mold in your kitchen, give us a call at 203-301-0500 for an inspection and treatment plan.  

This Spring, Inspect Your Gutters to Avoid a Flooded Basement

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

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

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

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.  

Employee Spotlight: Rob Fox, Operations Manager

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

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.

http://teambrent.com/

https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/62/2018

Commercial Carpet Cleaning Service in Stratford, CT

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

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 

Light Soil 

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.  

Moderate Soil 

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.  

Heavy Soil 

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

3/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

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!

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

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

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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!

Did You Know That Your Ventilation System Can Be the Culprit In Poor Indoor Air Quality?

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know, your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is inspecting the heating, ventilation and a/c unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money.  Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.  We will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the clean up process.  In these cases, we can often help restore HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the EPA recommends they be inspected for proper functioning, and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Our Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost efficient.  What sets us apart from other duct cleaning services is our portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system which examines ductwork and makes a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

If you have any questions concerning your duct work or would like a consultation please don't hesitate to call us at 203-301-0500!

Flood Safety & Recovery Tips

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.  Regardless of where your home may be located, there is always potential for flood damage.

Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future.  In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas.

On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United State.

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips:

Be Prepared:

  • Water – at least a 3 day supply, one gallon per person per day
  • Food – at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Radio – either battery powered or hand crank
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tools
  • First Aid Kit
  • Copies of personal document (Insurance policies, birth certificates and etc.)
  • Know what your homeowner’s insurance covers and/or doesn’t cover. 
  • Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at FloodSmart.gov.
  • Camera – to photograph damages

Responding Appropriately During a Flood:

  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice
  • Stay away from floodwaters which may contaminated
  • Keep children away from water. 

Flood Recovery Tips:

  • Return home only when officials declared the area as being safe.
  • Approach home carefully, look for loose power lines, cracked foundation, and other damages. 
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may come into your home through flood water.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear hissing, get out and call fire department
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated properly.  Cleanup can often be an overwhelming task.  SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is prepared to handle any size disaster, to make it like it never even happened!

Tips To Help Prevent Pipes From Freezing:

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is in full effect!  In an effort to help keep your pipes from freezing, consider the following tips:

Outdoor Care:

Disconnect all garden hoses and if there is water shut off valve, turn it off!   Also, consider installing covers on exterior water supplies.

Prevent the water meter from freezing during cold weather by keeping it securely covered.

Indoor Care:

Identify the location of the main and water heater shut-off(s).  Knowing the location of these valves can come in handy during an emergency and could help prevent further damages.

Be sure that your home’s thermostat is NOT below 60 degrees.

Leave cabinet doors below sinks open to allow heat from home to circulate.

Close all windows and seal any gaps open to the outside elements, especially those near water pipes. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze.

Insulate pipes that are near exterior walls or in unheated spaces of your home. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that may run along outside walls.

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home by weather strip, caulking or insulating.  Check air leaks around flue or chimney chase, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Also, consider insulating outside walls that are in unheated spaces of a home.

If away, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

Leave lukewarm water dripping slowly from faucets during extremely cold periods.  Water moving through the system should prevent lines from freezing.

If a Pipe Bursts:

Shut off water at the main valve.

If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of water heater should also be turned off.

Call a plumber immediately! Then call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford for immediate mitigation services.

Be Storm Weather Ready!

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Be Severe Weather Ready

Severe weather can happen anywhere and at anytime.  Each year, Americans can experience an average of the following intense storms:

·         10,000 severe thunderstorms

·         5,000  floods or flash floods

·         1,000 tornadoes

·         2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.  Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk.  The first step to being weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family.  Check the weather forecast regularly and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.  Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communication plan for your home and business.  Put together or purchase an emergency kit.  Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example.  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter.  Your preparedness may inspire others to do the same.

Microscopic Mold Spores

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from one’s residence or business.

Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level.

Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and 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.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you see signs of mold, please contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at 203-301-0500.  We are here to help and have specialized equipment and expertise to help remediate your mold infestation.

Does Insurance Cover Mold?

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

On a weekly basis we are called in to inspect mold. With much attention around black mold and its potential to be toxic to one’s health, many homeowners’ don't want to take a chance when they see mold. However, not every home that we inspect requires professional remediation.  Often enough, we recommend a safe method in which homeowner's can reduce their mold exposure and/or treat it themselves.

In the cases where there has been a mold infestation and our services were required, homeowners were surprised when their home-owner’s insurance did not cover mold remediation. 

Some policies will cover mold under certain circumstances, while other policies may exclude mold. Typically, if your policy does not include mold remediation it can be added.   However, we recommend that you call your insurance agent to learn more about mold coverage.  It can be a preventative measure that can save you thousands. 

If you see signs of mold please don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500.

With Colder Temperatures, Are Your Pipes at Risk?

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

As temperatures continue to drop, pipes are at risk of freezing, especially while families are traveling for the holidays.

Although pipes can freeze anywhere in your home, there are some areas that are more susceptible than others:

  1. Crawlspace- Many older homes in CT have a crawlspace rather than a full basement. They are typically not insulated and the pipes are exposed to the environment. Lining the sides of the space with foam board and the ground with plastic can help. You may also consider installing a heat cable that runs along the pipes and is turned on when the temperature drops. 
  2. Under the Kitchen SinkIn particular, sinks that are on an exterior wall tend to experience frozen pipes. An easy solution to this is leaving your cabinet doors open to allow the warm air in the home to circulate.
  3. Bonus Rooms Above the Garage- Most bonus rooms are built above an unheated garage. They are exposed to the cold air (especially along the exterior walls). Keeping the temperature in your garage above freezing with the use of forced air heater unit for those frigid days can help. 

When the unexpected happens, we can help restore your home quickly and thoroughly, call us at 203-301-0500. 

What are the Different Types of Smoke?

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

An example of soot webs from a puff back.

Some of the different types of smoke are:

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs

Wet Smoke – Plastics and rubbers low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and wood fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore the smoke rises.

Protein – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

As we enter into the colder months and turn up our thermostats, one of the common types of smoke is fuel oil soot released from your furnace, called a “puff back.”  

A puff back is a different type of smoke, a sudden dispersion of black smoke and soot throughout the house.  Another identifier can be the appearance of cobwebs, but are actually “soot webs” which are much darker and has an oil odor present.  The oil base soot disperses throughout one’s home affecting walls, ceilings, carpets and furniture to name a few.  It is extremely difficult to remove and there may be a foul odor in the affected rooms.

The cause for a puff back may vary from age of boiler, lack of maintenance, failure to make needed repairs and/or a malfunction.  All heating systems, especially oil-fired, should be inspected, cleaned and adjusted at least once a year by a qualified professional.

Should the unexpected happen, clean-up should be handled by a professional cleaning company like SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.

The Importance of Duct Cleaning:

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

The Importance of Duct Cleaning:

Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.  One of the so many services SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford offers is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). By keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.  But in some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, we can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition. If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.  We  uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.  The process begins by using our patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins. 

  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container. Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford today at 203-301-0500.

Safety Precautions When Dealing with Mold

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Gearing-up!

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford follows strict protocols when removing mold. We are a group of highly trained professional ready to restore your property back to pre-disaster conditions, if not better!   We are the experts in mold remediation and restoration for residential and commercial properties.

It is important that safety precautions are used when dealing with any size disaster, especially when dealing with mold. Water & Mold losses have the potential to cause major damage to structures if not handled properly.   Cleanup can be extremely overwhelming, so let us help you take back control of your property.  We are available, prepared and here to handle in any size disaster 24/7.

Should you suspect mold, please don’t hesitate to call us or for additional information visit us at www.SERVPROmilford.com.

10 Things to Know About Mold

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Black Mold

10 Things to Know About Mold:

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are 10 things you should know about mold:

  1. Potential health effects.
  2. No practical way to eliminate mold; the best way is through moisture control.
  3. If mold becomes a problem, you must clean up mold and eliminate the source of moisture.
  4. To prevent mold growth, find the source and fix the issue.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture sources outside. Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
  6. Clean and dry damp or wet materials quickly to prevent mold growth.
  7. Should mold be present, clean surfaces with detergent and dry completely. Materials like ceiling tiles, sheet rock and etc, should be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation.
  9. In areas where there is a moisture problem, do not install carpeting.
  10. Mold can be found almost anywhere and can grow on just about anything.

For more information on mold visit www.epa.gov.

Steps To Help Minimize Your Risk To Mold In Your Home

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Steps to help minimize your risk to mold in your home:

  • Caulk around water fixtures – this includes, sink, shower, toilet, and windows.
  • Use mold inhibiting paints in bathroom and other damp areas
  • Use a fan in the bathroom which exhausts outdoors
  • Vent clothes dryer outside
  • Clean refrigerator and air conditioner drip pans
  • Don’t for get to clean your gutters – standing water in your gutters can leak into the eaves and potentially exterior walls.
  • Roof – check the attic for roof leaks
  • Basement and crawl space – check for moisture or standing water. Consider using a dehumidifier in your basement.
  • Consider sealing dirt basement and crawl spaces.
  • Water damage - clean it up immediately.

Should you experience a water loss please contact experts who specializes in water & mold mitigation.  They will properly extract and dry out the affected areas.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated properly.  Cleanup can often be an overwhelming task, so call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, we are prepared to handle any size disaster.

Local Business Experiences Mold

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Mold behind sheet rock.

This is a picture from a local business that experienced mold growth behind a sheet rock wall which neighbors to another business. Overtime, the business owner noticed a strong musty odor and decided to further investigate.  After moving around large bulky furniture, they noticed a discoloration and bulge in the sheet rock wall and thereafter, called SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.  We arrived on scene and carefully inspected for any visible signs of mold.  Our workers set up containment procedures to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.  We also set up equipment like air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums which captured the microscopic mold spores from spreading while remediation was in process.

Also, we used an anti fungal and antimicrobial treatment to eliminate mold from forming and disposed of the heavy contaminated mold growth materials. Lastly, restoration begins; we replaced drywall, re-painted and gave them a fresh clean look.

Should you suspect mold, please contact us at 203-301-0500.  Minor losses have the potential to cause major damages when not treated properly.  Cleanup can often be an overwhelming task; however, we are prepared 24/7 to handle any size disaster.

Part I: Biohazard, Crime Scene & Vandalism Cleanup

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard job that was blocked off by the police dept.

Biohazard, Crime Scene and Vandalism Cleanup:

While we are recognized as the experts in fire, water cleanup and restoration provider by insurance companies, we also specializes in fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. 

Failure to properly handle and safely remove hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.  

We are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.  We are equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, to help turn an unsafe situation into a clean environment.  We can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation State and local regulations vary.

For more information on biohazard, crime scene and vandalism cleanup call or visit us at http://www.SERVPROmilford-orange-stratford.com/.

Flooding

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.”  NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States are:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge & Coastal
  • Inundation from Topical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused By Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by Heavy Rainfall in Dry Areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

If you never experienced a flood doesn’t mean you may never experience one in the future.  In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.  On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States.  When catastrophic water damage happens, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is here and ready to help.   For more information on the National Weather Service, visit them at http://www.weather.gov/.

The Importance of Dry Vent Cleaning:

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

The Importance of Dry Vent Cleaning:

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap stays open and that it  is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles. For more information on cleaning dryer vents, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at 203-301-0500 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROmilford-orange-stratford.com/.

Safety Precautions For This Heating Season

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Pellet Stove

Winter is upon us and with colder weather comes shorter days and lower temperatures!  Many people use alternative heating sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, pellet and wood burning stoves to help keep their homes toasty. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires account for $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce risk heating-related fires:

  • Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment like furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.
  • Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fi res and space heaters.
  • Be sure that your fireplace has a screen in front of it to help stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the metal container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or when going to bed.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly and change batteries annually.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Heating equipment and chimneys should be inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Should your property experience smoke or damage, SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is here to make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.  For more information on how smoke alarms save lives, visit http://www.nfpa.org/.

Preparing for a Flood

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Preparing for a Flood:

Flooding can happen fast in many environments.  The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding:

  • Water – 3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food – 3+ day supply non-perishable, easy to prepare food
  • Flashlight(s) – with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio)
  • First Aid Kit – including medications and medical items (hearing aids, with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes and cane.)
  • Multi-purpose toolS
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents – deed/lease to home, birth certificates & insurance policies
  • Camera for photos of damage
  • Cell Phone – with chargers
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps
  • Baby supplies if needed
  • Pet supplies
  • Tools & supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen

For more information on how to prepare for flooding visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/.

Did You Know that Floods Are the Most Common Natural Disasters?

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Road closed due to severe floodings.

One of the most common natural disasters here in the United States is floods.  Whether your home or business is by the coastline, in a city, near the mountains or even the desert – there is always a potential for flood damage.

On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the USA.  Commercial flood claims average more than $75k.

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster.

Some safety tips offered by the American Red Cross are:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come across a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.  As little as six inches of water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising, get out of the car immediately and move to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of flood water. They are curious and often lack, judgment about running water or contaminated water.  If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford or Southbury/Torrington immediately, to make it “Like it never even happened!”

Are Your Ducts Dirty?

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Technician inspecting duct/HVAC systems.

Did you know that your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality?  Inspecting ductwork should be a high priority.  In most cases, your HVAC System has been operating for some time without any attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants like mold, or dust particles which travel throughout your home.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford & Southbury/Torrington can help inspect your heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.  Proper cleaning of one’s HVAC system and ductwork can help prolong the life span of the equipment and possibly may help those who suffer from allergies.

In circumstances after a fire, smoke or mold, duct cleaning becomes essential, we can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to its pre-damage condition.  Also, if you have a fuel burning furnace, pellet or wood burning stove, or fire place, the EPA recommends inspection for proper functioning and services to help protect against carbon monoxide poisonings.    For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 203-301-0500.

Stuff A Van Food Drive...

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Stuff A Van Food Drive Flyer

It’s that time of year when we help the less fortunate during the holiday seasons. SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington are proud to be doing a food drive, “Stuff a Van”.  We are collecting non perishable food from November 1st to November 18th for the Sterling House Community Center Food Pantry located at 2283 Main Street, Stratford, CT. 

The food pantry provides food, Thanksgiving food baskets and other needs to families in Stratford and the Greater Bridgeport Area. They have been known to provide over 7,000 people with food not only for the holidays but throughout the year.

We have collections boxes placed in businesses around different locations that are helping collected food in their offices. On November the 18th, we have partnered with a located business, Curran Volkswagen, in Stratford, that we will doing a onsite food collection that day so that on November 20th, we can drive a vehicle full of food to Sterling House Community Center and deliver a van stuffed with food to the food pantry and help them provide meals for families in need.

Swinging Through the Stacks

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Our local Woodbridge Town Library is holding a “Swinging Through the Stacks” on  Nov. 3rd & 4th.

 We are sponsoring Hole 14 .

Parents and children can golf their way thru the library and see what interesting books, resources and programs are there for their learning and pleasure. Your community library can benefit all people. The American Library Association was formed in 1876. Public library services play a major role in fighting rising illiteracy rates among youths. Public libraries are protected and funded by the public they serve.

The “ stack” system  involves keeping a library's collection of books in a space separate from the reading room.  For more information visit http://www.woodbridge.lioninc.org/.

What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

ULTRASONIC CLEANING

What is ultrasonic Cleaning?!

Chances are, if you’ve ever had your jewelry or watches professionally cleaned, it was done in an ultrasonic cleaner! Ultrasonic cleaning is an efficient, effective, and detailed method to clean and disinfect a multitude of different items from kitchenware to electronics. As the name implies, these machines use ultrasonic sound waves passed through an aqueous solution consisting of water, a softener, and a mild detergent. This process, known as “cavitation”, is a result of the high frequency sound waves creating pressure in the solution making millions of tiny bubbles that form and implode agitating the surface of the objects being cleaned. Items are submerged and typically remain from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes depending of level of soiling. They are then removed and properly dried.

Why use ultrasonic cleaning?

This method of cleaning helps to ensure that every surface of the item, including difficult to clean areas, inaccessible areas, cracks, crevices, and areas that typically can’t be done manually are thoroughly cleaned. It also achieves better, faster results while substantially cutting down labor and eliminating the need for harsh chemicals.

What can ultrasonic cleaning be use on?

Ultrasonic cleaning has been used in a wide array of different industries, and with good reason! Almost any item can be successfully and safely cleaned using these processes. These can range from dishware, glasses, and golf clubs to medical equipment, circuit boards, and chandeliers. Most contents usually only require a quick bath, however, some more complex items like television and microwaves require some form of disassembly to assure not only every surface is in contact with the solution, but that once removed they can be properly dried and inspected. Ultrasonic cleaning can be used to removed all forms of soot, dust, rust, bacteria, mold, biological contamination and more! The only items that ultrasonic machines are not helpful with are items that any water has the potential to ruin, such as particle board or wood furniture which can absorb too much water and take too long to dry damaging finishes and integrity. They also aren’t the best choice for laundry, that’s best left to the washer and dryer!

Where can I have my contents Ultrasonic Cleaned?

Here at SERVPRO OF MILFORD – ORANGE – STRATFORD we’re proud to have our very own extra large ultrasonic cleaner! We utilize this machine to restore contents from water, fire, and general cleaning jobs where contents have been brought to our in house storage facility! Our machine is located in our contents cleaning wing of our facility and has the capacity to handle jobs of any size! We also have our very own drying chamber to assist in properly removing moisture from any contents we clean! During our open house we held this October, we held live demonstrations of our Ultrasonic Cleaner in action. Anyone who requested to have their personal belongings, keys, jewelry, etc cleaned, walked away very happy and impressed with this machines capabilities! Our ultrasonic cleaner is just one more step in making it "Like it never even happened."

Breast Cancer Awareness

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

WAIP Breast Cancer Striders

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford was proud to be a sponsor to the Waterbury Association Insurance Professional, the WAIP Striders who recently walked in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  Our own team member, Roseann Santamaria, walked with this awesome group who raised  $4,205 towards an event total of $57,000. Alongside Roseann and her team of 15 striders in her team was over 500 people who collaborated together to support this event.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer brings about awareness of breast cancer along with the efforts the American Cancer Society is doing to help save lives from this disease and the services it provides to patients and their caregivers.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford,  offers a big congratulations to WAIP Striders on a great accomplishment to a wonderful cause. Please visit this link for more info about the cause http://www.waiwctnaiw.org/

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington recognize the importance of giving back to the local communities and charities that support these types of events.

Wind Driven Rain

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Wind Driven Rain

On Tuesday evening October 24 2017 at 11:07 PM EST, the national weather service has issued a wind and flooding advisory for New Haven County. http://wtnh.com/weather-alerts/ Heavy rain bands accompanied with driving winds can cause water damage to your home or business property’s through your roofing shingles and/or siding.

If the holding strength of roofing shingles and siding is compromised due to wind gusts and building material lifting begins, then rain water can effectively be driven into the building materials and water damage can set in. Sometimes this can start in a mild fashion and minimal signs of water impact can occur. This can be a potential scenario for mold damage to appear with 72 hours if this type of damage occurs and it is not recognized and dealt with properly. It is very common for a wall cavity or attic area that contains insulation to become impacted on a minimal basis, but just enough for insulation to soak up the wind driven rain and not show signs in the finished living space, until mold forms in these areas.

The staff at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is properly trained in how to inspect, investigate, and detect these potential problems after a wind driven rainstorm event occurs. Please visit our site to learn more about this type of water damage concern at www.SERVPROofmilford.com. We are available anytime to help with these concerns.

High Humidity Effects

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

During a water damage to your home or business while some of your contents might not have been directly affected by the water, however the moisture in the air could have devastating and long lasting effects.


Clothing items, soft fabrics, and upholstered items exposed to high humidity are more likely to be ruined by mold and secondary damages. Besides microbial growth that can occur, high humidity from water damage can deflect, bend, or reshape these soft good items. High humidity will not distinguish between designer suits or an old pair of sweatpants, so realizing the problem and resolving it quickly is the best prevention to protect your content items.


Furniture covered with fabric has a lot of area for potential mold growth. When mold forms on upholstered furniture exposed to high humidity, repair can be very difficult or impossible. And who wants a smelly sofa?


While all of the conditions described above sound upsetting, they’re easily avoided. With Proper Water Mitigation and Drying. Here are SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford we are trained in how to respond when this type of damage occurs. Please check out our website for additional info about water damage and high humidity secondary damages. www.SERVPROofmilford.com

Open House Education

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Ice Luge

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington recently had their second annual educational seminar and open house night for our local Woodbridge community, customers, and clients located at our headquarters at 232 Amity Rd in Woodbridge, CT. 

The night kicked off with numerous tours of our  facility including the front office, meeting rooms, climate controlled storage facility, content cleaning assembly line, Ozone room and Drying chamber.  One amazing piece of equipment within our content cleaning assembly line is our Ultrasonics machine. This machine is amazing at removing soot particles from nooks and crannies found on small intricate content items. Some guests were even treated during a live demonstration to have their jewelry cleaned in our state of the art ultrasonic machine! 

Once the tour was concluded all guests were invited to our vehicle and equipment storage area which was converted for the night to dining/dancing area. Amazing snacks and horsdeuvres were provided and even their own personalized pizza pies were provided. 

Cold beverages and refreshments were provided and some even took the exciting challenge to cool off their own drinks down our custom designed Ice Luge that was a mock up of our company logo.

The night ended as an exciting and informative night of explaining and demonstrating our multiple fire and water damage restoration services.

Ground Water Flooding due to recent storms

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Flowing Groundwater with Unknown Contaminants

The fast moving rain and thunder storms that are running across CT on 10/24/17 from west to east are causing flash flooding to many homes and businesses in a widespread fashion. It is crucial for homeowners and business owners to deal with ground water entering their properties in an immediate fashion.

Groundwater can carry unknown contaminants that can travel with the rain water that passes through the soil and pickup potential pesticides and other unknown contaminants and deposit them in your affected areas. For example, Beryllium, naturally occurs in soil and groundwater. To learn more about the effects of Beryllium from water damage, please follow this link for more information https://water.usgs.gov/edu/groundwater-contaminants.html

If you happen to experience water damage to your home or business, we are available to assist in the proper removal and water restoration 24/7 and 365 days a year to your property. For additional tips and info and contact information please click on our website at www.SERVPROofmilford.com

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is an IICRC certified firm that specializes in water damage restoration.

Clean your Gutters!

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

To help minimize potential exterior/interior, water issues be sure to clean your gutters and drains to ensure that water is properly draining from your home or building. 

Our office is commonly flooded with phone calls during the fall due to backed up gutters and drains that enter a home or business and cause water damage. The backing up of gutters is very common due to the simple fact that leaves, acorns, and other debris build up in the gutters and rain water has no where to go but into your home.

This same type of debris indicated above can cover up drains along foundations and patios which will lead to water damage to basements and lower levels of your home. Not only can water damage occur to your interior living space, but the even more costly damage can take place such as foundation damage, peeling paint, rot to sill plates, and other costly items.

Simply put an ounce of prevention will lead to pounds of protection by just maintaining the water drainage system designed to protect your house or building.

If water damage does occur to your home it is imperative to address it immediately. We are available to help 24/7 at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford. www.SERVPROofmilford.com

Video: SERVPRO® Races to Restore Houston

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® Helps Restore Houston.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/06/work-crews-race-to-rebuild-harvey-hit-homes.html

Thank you, CNBC for highlighting all the work SERVPRO® crews are doing in Texas to quickly and efficiently restore homes impacted by #Harvey before mold and additional damage sets in. #HeretoHelp

A few helpful tips for flood recovery:

  • Return home only when officials declared the area as being safe.
  • Approach home carefully, look for loose power lines, cracked foundation, and other damages. 
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may come into your home through flood water.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear hissing, get out and call fire department
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots.

Also remember to:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come across a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.  As little as six inches of water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising, get out of the car immediately and move to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of flood water.  They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

Heading to Texas with Relief & Supplies...

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford team members delivering relief items to Beacon Hose Company #1.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury / Torrington would like to extend a big thank you to Beacon Hose Company #1 for taking the initiative and collecting relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Beacon Hose Co. 1 will be heading to the Houston suburb of Galina Park, Texas around midnight tonight in their personal vehicles and trailer with donations collected from generous donors to help the victims. 

Our team at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, are proud to have participated by donating items to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

Let's keep the volunteers of Beacon Hose Company #1 in our thoughts and prayers as they travel to Galina Park, Texas to help bring relief to those in need from this devastating storm.

Signs That Your Hot Water Tank Could be Failing You!

7/9/2017 (Permalink)

Hot water storage tank

Signs That Your Hot Water Tank Could Be Failing You!

The average hot water heater lasts approximately 10 years before it needs to be replaced. Internal parts of the heater can corrode or over time, develop mineral buildup.  Mineral buildup can compromise the efficiency of the heater.  Regular flushing and professional annual maintenance can help prolong the life span of the unit. To avoid any disruption or damage of a failing water heater.  Below are indicators that your water heater may be in need of repair and/or replacement.

Common signs to look for:

  • Insufficient water
  • Noisy water heater
  • Cloudy or hot water that may have an odor
  • Metallic water taste
  • Rust or leaks around connections
  • Leaking tank

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, have it serviced immediately! 

The Importance of Carpet Cleaning....

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Milford Bank Area Rug.

The Importance of Carpet Cleaning…

Carpets act as a filter for trapping particles like dirt, dust, dander and other contaminates.  Regular carpet cleaning can help reduce or eliminate pollutants.   While vacuuming is a key component for proper care and maintenance, it does not remove all trapped particulates.  To maximize your cleaning efforts and to reduce dirt, allergens, dust mites and other microscopic pollutants, it is recommended by the Institute of Inspection on Cleaning & Restoration (IICRC) to professionally steam clean and sanitize your carpet on an annual basis. 

Also, as for Oriental rug, upholstery, and other specialty soft good cleanings, we are happy to offer our customers a service whereby we are available to either pick-up, or clean on site. To learn more about carpet cleaning we invite you to visit us at www.SERVPROmilford-orange-stratford.com or call us at 203-301-0500. 

Did You Know That There Are 3 Categories and Classes of Water Contamination?

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Category 3 - Ground Water

With all the recent rain fall, did you know that there are different categories and classes which describe contaminated water?  According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes around water destruction.  From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, they are as follows:

Category 1. This is water from a clean and sanitary source, such as broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.  The cleanliness of Category 1 water can deteriorate quickly due to contact with building and other materials.

Category 2. This category, once referred to as grey water, contains level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3. This is the worst classification, once referred to as black water, is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. If ingested it can cause severe illness or death. Sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and ground surface water or standing water that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Next are the classes of water damage which determine the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded.

Class 1. Slow rate of evaporation and easiest to deal with.  Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet materials, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.

Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.

Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated.

Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough water and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, concrete, stone, crawlspaces and plaster.

Should the unexpected happen and you are faced with a water loss, please call us at 203-301-0500.  We make it “Like it never even happened.®”

A Winter Tip For Your Ceiling Fans

2/13/2017 (Permalink)

A Winter Tip For Your Ceiling Fans

During cold winter months, consider reversing your ceiling blade fans.  In normal mode, ceiling fans spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Their blades are positioned to push air down, resulting in a cool breeze. But did you know by switching your ceiling fan to reverse (low speed), the fan now spins in the opposite direction which pulls air up towards the ceiling, driving the warm air that has risen naturally back down and redistributing warm air back to the edges of the room.

As for the warmer months, you will want the fan to move air straight down, so your ceiling fan will now need to run in a counter clockwise direction. As the temperature rises, increase the speed setting to cool the room.

Did You Know That There Are Different Types Of Smoke?

12/28/2016 (Permalink)

An example of soot webs (aka cobwebs).

Some of the different types of smoke are:

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs

Wet Smoke – Plastics and rubbers low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and wood fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore the smoke rises.

Protein – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

As we enter into the colder months and turn up our thermostats, one of the common types of smoke is fuel oil soot released from your furnace, called a “puff back.”  

A puff back is a different type of smoke, a sudden dispersion of black smoke and soot throughout the house.  Another identifier can be the appearance of cobwebs, but are actually “soot webs” which are much darker and has an oil odor present.  The oil base soot disperses throughout one’s home affecting walls, ceilings, carpets and furniture to name a few.  It is extremely difficult to remove and there may be a foul odor in the affected rooms.

The cause for a puff back may vary from age of boiler, lack of maintenance, failure to make needed repairs and/or a malfunction.  All heating systems, especially oil-fired, should be inspected, cleaned and adjusted at least once a year by a qualified professional.

Should the unexpected happen, clean-up should be handled by a professional cleaning company like SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, to make it "Like it never even happened."

Flooding Safety Tips

8/24/2016 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.  Regardless of where your home may be located, there is always potential for flood damage.

Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future.  In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas.

On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United State.

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips:

Be Prepared:

  • Water – at least a 3 day supply, one gallon per person per day
  • Food – at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Radio – either battery powered or hand crank
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tools
  • First Aid Kit
  • Copies of personal document (Insurance policies, birth certificates and etc.)
  • Know what your homeowner’s insurance covers and/or doesn’t cover. 
  • Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at FloodSmart.gov.
  • Camera – to photograph damages

Responding Appropriately During a Flood:

  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice
  • Stay away from floodwaters which may contaminated
  • Keep children away from water. 

Flood Recovery Tips:

  • Return home only when officials declared the area as being safe.
  • Approach home carefully, look for loose power lines, cracked foundation, and other damages. 
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may come into your home through flood water.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear hissing, get out and call fire department
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated properly.  Cleanup can often be an overwhelming task.  SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is prepared to handle any size disaster, to make it like it never even happened!

Be Severe Weather Ready

8/8/2016 (Permalink)

Be Severe Weather Ready

Severe weather can happen anywhere and at anytime.  Each year, Americans can experience an average of the following intense storms:

·         10,000 severe thunderstorms

·         5,000  floods or flash floods

·         1,000 tornadoes

·         2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.  Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk.  The first step to being weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family.  Check the weather forecast regularly and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.  Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communication plan for your home and business.  Put together or purchase an emergency kit.  Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example.  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter.  Your preparedness may inspire others to do the same.

Grilling Safety Tips:

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Hamburgers - photo by Carlos Lopez https://www.flickr.com/people/7632976@N02

Grilling Tips:

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know July is the peak month for grill fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous if safety precautions aren’t considered. 

·         Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors

·         The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railing and out from under leaves and overhanging branches

·         Keep children and pets away from grill

·         Keep your grill clean by removing grease buildup form the grills and in trays below the grill

·         Never leave grill unattended

·         When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container

We at SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford wish you a Happy and Safe Grilling Season!

4th of July Safety Tips:

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

4th of July Safety Tips:

Summer is in full swing with barbecues, parades and firework displays; but along with all the festivities are visits to emergency rooms, especially during the month of July.

Each year, an average of 23 people are injured due to fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Also, fireworks are responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damages.

Consider the following tips to ensure your 4th of July celebrations are disaster-free!

·         Light fireworks outdoors on a driveway or other paved surface(s) at least 50 feet away

·        Avoid lighting fireworks near home and away from flammable materials (dry grass or mulch)

·         Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear

·         Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

·         Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire

·         Never pick up left over fireworks as they may still be active

·         The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford wishes you a Happy 4th of July and a Safe Summer!

When was the last time your HVAC & Duct system was checked?

3/28/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know, your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford is inspecting the heating, ventilation and a/c unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money.  Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.  We will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the clean up process.  In these cases, we can often help restore HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the EPA recommends they be inspected for proper functioning, and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Our Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost efficient.  What sets us apart from other duct cleaning services is our portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system which examines ductwork and makes a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

If you have any questions concerning your duct work or would like a consultation please don't hesitate to call us at 203-301-0500!

Tips to Help Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing:

1/6/2016 (Permalink)

Winter is in full effect!  In an effort to help keep your pipes from freezing, consider the following tips:

Outdoor Care:

Disconnect all garden hoses and if there is water shut off valve, turn it off!   Also, consider installing covers on exterior water supplies.

Prevent the water meter from freezing during cold weather by keeping it securely covered.

Indoor Care:

Identify the location of the main and water heater shut-off(s).  Knowing the location of these valves can come in handy during an emergency and could help prevent further damages.

Be sure that your home’s thermostat is NOT below 60 degrees.

Leave cabinet doors below sinks open to allow heat from home to circulate.

Close all windows and seal any gaps open to the outside elements, especially those near water pipes. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze.

Insulate pipes that are near exterior walls or in unheated spaces of your home. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that may run along outside walls.

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home by weather strip, caulking or insulating.  Check air leaks around flue or chimney chase, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Also, consider insulating outside walls that are in unheated spaces of a home.

If away, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

Leave lukewarm water dripping slowly from faucets during extremely cold periods.  Water moving through the system should prevent lines from freezing.

If a Pipe Bursts:

Shut off water at the main valve.

If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of water heater should also be turned off.

Call a plumber immediately! Then call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford to make it like it never even happened!

Holiday Safety Tips:

11/24/2015 (Permalink)

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!

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