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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO Has All the Essential Gear for Mold Removal in Sparta

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

what to know about mold logo Trust the IICRC certified SERVPRO team for mold remediation in Sparta

In Sparta, We Have an Arsenal of Mold Remediation Tools

SERVPRO is somewhat unique in the small town of Sparta because of its vast array of high-tech mold remediation equipment. These professional-grade tools enable our expertly-trained technicians to find, clean up, and restore mold-damaged residences in far less time than other local services can.

Equipped with all of the most advanced equipment, SERVPRO’s mold removal technicians in Sparta are highly successful at restoring mold-impacted homes. Our mold remediation teams have expertly performed mold inspection work and efficiently dealt with attic mold, bathroom mold, basement mold, and even black mold. The specialized gear SERVPRO uses to complete these jobs includes:

  • Advanced mold inspection equipment, like infrared cameras that can locate hidden sources of moisture, moisture sensors, and meters that can determine which materials contain excess water and how much they contain, and Thermo hygrometers to measure temperature and relative humidity for the creation of a psychrometric chart
  • State-of-the-art airflow-assisting devices that enhance evaporation, including high-velocity box fans, air movers, and Injectidry systems to dry behind walls and other difficult-to-reach spaces
  • Powerful air-drying machines that further remove airborne moisture, like refrigerant dehumidifiers that condense water vapor from the air and desiccant dehumidifiers that absorb it with specialized materials
  • Cutting-edge foggers, like ultra-low volume (ULV) and thermal foggers, can create fine mists of antifungals or deodorants to kill mold and neutralize foul, fungal odors in interior spaces
  • Innovative injection devices that can be used to treat household materials with biocides

SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County prides itself in being one of the best mold removal services. Our company and professionals endeavor daily to do the best work that we can. Armed with everything needed to do your cleanup and restoration job right the first time, we are always ready to assist you at (973) 383-2024.

Deodorization Is Crucial to Fire Damage Restoration in Vernon

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

tech respirator, demolition Odor control begins with removing fire damaged debris from a Vernon house by our SERVPRO technicians

Deodorizers Aid Vernon Fire Damage Restoration

An essential part of the restoration process in Vernon is effectively deodorizing the impacted areas and contents of fire-damaged homes. This important task requires professional-grade odor-eliminating products. Fortunately, SERVPRO has all the necessary deodorizers and knows how to use them.

SERVPRO has been handling Vernon area fire damage restoration projects for several decades now and has earned a reputation for excellence. Our highly-trained fire and smoke damage experts, over this time, have performed everything from basic house fire clean up work to complicated smoke remediation and fire restoration jobs. With that said, SERVPRO has become well-known for its skilled deodorization of fire-damaged residences. Some of the products in our arsenal that have made this performance possible are:

  • Odor counteracting beads, including those with Cherry # 306 and Cinnamon #316 fragrances, which are materials with time-released, smell-masking agents that float throughout homes on air currents
  • Deodorant pellets or granules, are odor absorbers that continuously act to control lingering smoke-related smells in relatively inaccessible areas or entire structures
  • Water-based odor counteractants that readily mix with cleaning solutions to neutralize most fire-related scents at a wide range of temperatures and pH extremes
  • Water-based wet fog deodorizers that can be converted into a superfine mist and applied with ULV foggers to treat odorous smoke particles in crevices and cracks
  • Water-based thermal fog deodorizers, transformable into an extra-fine mist that can penetrate smoke-fouled cracks/crevices, which are not flammable and can be applied with thermal foggers
  • Solvent-based thermal fog deodorizers (containing odor counteractants, aromatic phenolics, and fragrances in a solvent base) that are applied to materials with thermal foggers and work to counteract their smoky scents

So, as you can see, SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County is a skilled fire damage restoration service. Call our helpful technicians at (973) 383-2024 whenever you need assistance.

SERVPRO Performs a Wide Range of Water Damage Services in Vernon

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

restoration sign on an easle, mag glass We're Faster To Any Size Disaster--we restore rather than replace water damaged Vernon building elements

In Vernon, We Do Complete Water Damage Remediation

Not all remediation companies in Vernon offer complete cleanup and restoration services for water-related issues. However, SERVPRO does and is among the most skillful remediators in this area. Our service offerings include numerous types of essential water damage cleanup, repair, and reinstallation work.

SERVPRO regularly completes water damage restoration in Vernon. Among other things, our emergency water damage services crews have quickly and expertly dealt with the effects of ceiling leaks, burst pipes, and basement flooding. Specifically, while attempting to fix these troublesome problems, SERVPRO technicians have:

  • Thoroughly inspected floorings, walls, ceilings, other structural elements, hidden and difficult-to-reach interior areas, electrical system components (like switches, outlets, and light fixtures), furnishings, and additional household contents
  • Cleaned or repaired and reinstalled impacted flooring (like carpets and carpet pads, resilient and non-resilient floors, and hardwood surfaces), repaired or replaced subflooring, installed tack strips, and expertly seamed carpeting
  • Restored or replaced structural materials like vapor barriers, framing, insulation, walls, baseboards and plates, ceilings, and related things
  • Fixed and cleaned household contents in all interior areas, including living spaces, crawl spaces, attics, basements, and other storage areas
  • Restored HVAC systems by cleaning, repairing, or replacing affected ductwork
  • Effectively deodorized or replaced moldy and otherwise water-impacted window coverings, furnishings, and other household possessions

Once all these corrective actions have been taken, properties affected by such unforeseen water events as ruptured pipes, leaky ceilings, and appliance malfunctions have generally been returned to their preloss state.

Always remember that your dedicated neighbors at SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County are always here and ready to help you remedy your home’s water damage. So, if you are ever unfortunate enough to suffer a water event, rest assured that our highly skilled technicians can assist you at (973) 383-2024 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Detailed Restoration After Fire Damage in Your Vernon Home

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO soot removal sign SERVPRO IICRC certified technicians use the latest technology and equipment for every job.

SERVPRO’s 24/7 Fire Restoration Team Helps Vernon Residents in Need!

Having an emergency such as a fire in your Vernon home already puts you through many emotions. The worst thing to do is exacerbate the issue by placing the weight of DIY house fire cleanup on your plate. SERVPRO is locally owned and operated, offering 24/7 restorations and smoke remediation for area residents. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster - so you can focus on getting back to everyday life without the added worry.

There are many working parts with any project involving fire restoration in Vernon. The good news is that SERVPRO’s technicians are disaster-ready, with crews ready to mobilize day or night should your family’s property suffer from a house fire. We are there within hours and get started as soon as the first responders on the scene tell our crew chief it is safe to enter the building.

Determining the soot soiling and damage level helps our team select the best equipment and processes to achieve our goals. When it comes to fire residues and odors, we look at:

  • The location of all deposits of soot and smoke residue
  • The various types of residues and the materials impacted
  • Spot testing to determine the feasibility of wet cleaning, dry cleaning and which cleaning solutions will work best

If necessary, our technicians formulate a plan for logging all contents and packing them up to move them out – either for detailed cleaning or safe off-site storage. This allows us to have more room within your home to work on the cleanup and reconstruction of various areas. Once we get done, all of your items get returned to their proper places.

Fire restoration with the help of SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County gets you results fast to return to your usual routine. Call us at (973) 383-2024 or request service online when you would like a team dispatched to your property.

Quickly Handle Flood Damage After a Sparta Storm Event

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

rain pouring in through the roof from a storm Flood damage restoration services by SERVPRO are top-notch. We are ready at a moment's notice to help you out. Call now!

SERVPRO’s Storm Flood Damage Response Team is Here 24/7 in Sparta

Storm damage may impact your Sparta home in countless ways, some of which someone without proper training may not realize until secondary damage sets in. With DIY storm flood cleanup, many home and business owners solely focus on the significant tasks such as water removal and cleaning some of the areas with heavy soiling. However, water mitigation efforts must also commence to locate hidden moisture and address possible structural damage. This is where our IICRC-certified water restoration technicians (WRT) at SERVPRO are here to get the job done!

SERVPRO follows our perfected protocols to handle flood damage after Sparta storms ravage the area. Whether you have a leaking roof from storms or floodwater infiltrating your interior, we formulate a plan to address every aspect and never leave anything unattended. This is detailed water removal services, odor control, drying, and reconstruction – all available 24-hours a day.

Floodwater coming in from the outside could have any number of contaminants. Therefore, we contain the flood loss zone, treat standing water with disinfectants, and ensure our crew wears personal protective equipment (PPE) for safety. We not only pull up standing water and clear out debris but we also:

  • Follow the path of water migration to ensure all impacted areas get addressed
  • Inspect subflooring and baseboards to handle hidden moisture, pulling up any unsalvageable materials
  • Handle contamination that may have traveled down into your HVAC system’s ductwork

Cleaning is Critical With All Floodwater Events

To get the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned seal of approval, our team ensures contents and surface cleaning get handled with precision. We address bacterial pathogens and other contaminants with the help of specialized, EPA-registered cleaning agents and biocides. All surfaces are cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized!

Call (973) 383-2024 or request help online when you need SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County for flood damage cleanup after a storm. Your property will be “Like it never even happened.”

Water Cleanup Requires the Right Tools in Vernon

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO here to help sign Water cleanup for your home is a job for SERVPRO. We are here to help 24/7 365 days a year.

Vernon Residents Deserve Professional Water Cleanup By SERVPRO

Professional water restoration is best if you had a plumbing accident where you found a significant leak or encountered burst pipes. Rather than leaving your Vernon property to chance with a shop vac or a mop and bucket, SERVPRO is there with all the right tools for the job, no matter how big or small. There is a reason why area residents and business owners trust us to handle their restorations – and We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster! This means you can have a crew at your door with the Green Fleet stocked with advanced equipment within hours of your call.

When called to handle water cleanup in Vernon, two areas that count are water migration and prolonged dampness. SERVPRO’s trained water restoration technicians (WRT) know how to follow the migration path as water moves to dry spaces. We bring various tools that also help us to determine areas with hidden moisture, such as:

  • Moisture meters, detectors, and sensors
  • Thermal imaging technology

The more prolonged moisture is allowed to sit before addressing it, the higher the chance of structural degradation and the breakdown of building materials. You also run the risk of developing mildew or black mold when given the right environment that includes humidity and organic materials to feed on, like carpeting, paper, drywall, etc. Due to the possible health effects on your family, it is better to trust SERVPRO to get the job done with our proven methods and industrial-grade tools.

Throughout the project, as we perform water removal services, you will see us utilizing equipment such as:

Depending on the project, we may use all or a combination of a few of the above tools in tandem with air movers, air scrubbers, and dehumidifiers to restore relative humidity and complete the drying process.

Water cleanup does not have to be a hassle! Call us at SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024 when you require assistance.

SERVPRO Provides Commercial Water Restoration Services in Vernon

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Owner under water with fish in his commercial building SERVPRO commercial water restoration services are second to none. Call now for fast and immediate help.

Fast Commercial Water Restoration and Drying Services in Vernon – Call SERVPRO

Whether your run a commercial factory, warehousing, retail or rental property in Vernon, water leaks mean downtime for your business until everything can be cleaned up and restored. You may have to turn away customers, employees may need to take time off, and suppliers cannot ship to you. A water leak can be a major disruption to your business.

SERVPRO understands the needs of our business community and partners in Vernon, and we provide emergency response services for commercial water restoration for all Vernon incidents. We are on call 24/7 and dispatch to your location in less than four hours from your call. We know how essential it is to respond quickly and focus on returning your business to normal operations.

Water always runs to the lowest point. For example, water dripping from the ceiling may be coming from a leaky pipe many feet away from where the water appears. Ceilings fill with water and come crashing down when the drywall or ceiling tiles can no longer support the weight. All of the contents in the room are exposed to the water. Soggy tiles and debris fall onto the floor, and there may also be an electrical hazard.

SERVPRO provides all of the services needed to help your business return to full service. We clean up the mess and dry and clean your business contents, floors, and walls. We can arrange for plumbers, electricians, flooring, and ceiling technicians to complete all of the restoration needed, saving time and expenses for your business. We can also install plastic barriers to isolate the area impacted by the water leak from other unaffected parts of the building.

Our services to our commercial business customers include:

  • Water removal services
  • Water damage restoration
  • Water clean up
  • Repairs to burst pipes and ceiling leaks

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County and nearby areas for commercial water restoration assistance. We can help 24/7. Call (973) 383-2024

Get Help with Sparta Living Facilities Fire Damage Restoration

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO commercial fire damage sign, we are here to help. Commercial fire damage restoration is a job for SERVPRO. We have the manpower and equipment for every size disaster. We are here to help!

SERVPRO’s Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Team is Here in Sparta

Whether you are in charge of an apartment complex or another living community, fire damage is never something you want to experience. However, it is beneficial to plan for emergencies, including fire and smoke damage. SERVPRO handles cleanup in fire-damaged homes and various commercial properties like condos, townhomes, high-rises, and more. All you have to do is give us a quick call, and we will send our Green Fleet and highly-trained technicians to your Sparta property to get started.

When you need fire damage restoration in Sparta at a large living complex, SERVPRO has protocols to safely address each area impacted by the blaze. We also take the time to remedy any pungent smoke odors that may have traveled into other zones, so there is no lingering reminder of the fire that took place.

Let Our Years of Experience Work for You!

Our team is fully IICRC-certified, which means we are up-to-date with best practices in the industry. Pairing that with our proven methods and commercial grade equipment, we can have your commercial housing building back to pre-fire condition as quickly as possible. We send the correct number of technicians to address each floor impacted to work in tandem to reach our restoration goals. This may involve what is known as a daisy chain of our advanced technology and equipment for maximum effectiveness. Some of the equipment we may use in such a fire restoration project include:

  • Extractors and dehumidifiers to address moisture left from water to extinguish the blaze
  • Air scrubbers with HEPA filtration
  • Thermal foggers for smoke remediation and deodorization
  • Sealants like scent-reducing primer paints

SERVPRO handles all charred debris while working on stubborn soot with cleaning agents. We also tackle reconstruction with new materials using controlled demolition measures.

One call to (973) 383-2024 mobilizes a team from SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County to your commercial housing property for fire damage restoration.

DIY Cleanup Fails in Highland Lakes – Call for Water Damage Restoration

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO water damage specialists SERVPRO water damage restoration specialists are here to help 24/7 365 days a year. DIY is not the way to go. Call now!

Highland Lakes - Trust SERVPRO for Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration

You might be surprised that tens of thousands of water-related emergencies happen in homes throughout the country every single year. Many homeowners are embarrassed to call for skilled restoration, so they take the chances of going the DIY route. Unfortunately, this can mean hidden water damage from leftover moisture, the onset of potentially harmful black mold, and more. SERVPRO wants area residents to know that we are always available for water damage services so that you can live and breathe easier in your home once again!

More often than not, failed DIY water cleanup leads to the need for professional water damage restoration in Highland Lakes. You may think that replacing that burst pipe under your bathroom sink seemed easy enough, but you forgot to look for areas where water migrated. This leaves you open to saturated structural materials, insulation, and bacterial growth.

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!

SERVPRO knows that accidents happen, which is why our response times are short, and we bring all the equipment necessary to mitigate damage, facilitate drying, and scope out all areas where moisture might be hiding.

  • Reaction time is critical, which is why we show up within hours of your call.
  • Shutting off the water until we arrive helps reduce water damage.
  • Prompt cleanup of standing water helps lessen the chance of mold and secondary damage.

Why is Moisture Detection Important?

Our IICRC-certified technicians use thermal imaging technology and moisture sensors to locate all hidden areas where water traveled. We may remove toe-kicks under cabinetry to set up drying equipment. Our crew also has access to EPA-registered antifungal cleaning products to help inhibit mold growth. Everything gets left “Like it never even happened,” once we get done, so you are back to life as usual.

We can send a team out for water damage restoration efforts with one call to SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024. You can also request help online!

Leave Your Flood Damage Issues to Pros in Vernon

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO storm damage sign SERVPRO flood damage remediation technicians have all the tools and training needed for your home. Call now for fast and immediate service.

SERVPRO is Here for Vernon Residents with Storm Flood Damage

Flooding to your property is overwhelming, devastating, and often leaves you not knowing where to begin with the cleanup. It is common to think all is lost, but there are ways to remove standing water and salvage belongings. All it takes is a highly-trained eye and careful techniques – which is where we come in at SERVPRO. We are here 24/7 when Vernon residents have flooding and storm damage to address on their properties. We follow detailed restoration and safety protocols to get you the results you need quickly and efficiently.

Flood damage in Vernon after recent storms often means contaminated water coming into your home riddled with debris and muck. Once you call SERVPRO, we mobilize a team to head to your property within hours of initial contact so that we can begin assessment and mitigation protocols.

Handling Debris (Muck) During Flood Restoration

Flooding and stormwater bring debris, silt, and other solid matter into your home that must get removed along with the standing water. SERVPRO’s water restoration technicians (WRT) target mud and debris using our muck-out protocols. This reduces any potential pathogenic threats and contaminants present within the workspace.

Contents Cleaning/Restoration

All items that come into contact with contaminated storm floodwater must get disposed of or cleaned. We determine salvageability through thorough assessment, often using our pack-out services to relocate items off-site for safe, effective cleaning. This also frees up space for our team to bring in equipment to facilitate water removal services, then dry and sanitize all surfaces. As our contents cleaning team works on your interior belongings, items go through the following steps:

  • Testing for color-fastness
  • Meticulous surface cleaning
  • Complete drying
  • Sanitizing
  • Odor control/deodorizing
  • Storage until the restoration project is complete

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster! Call us at (973) 383-2024, and our team from SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County can get started on your flood damage needs!

Why Do Vernon Property Owners Trust SERVPRO After Flood Damage?

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

stacks of dehumidifiers Vernon flood-damaged properties benefit from SERVPRO's extensive inventory of drying equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers

SERVPRO techs dry flood damaged Vernon homes efficiently

One of the most important things to limit the effect of flood damage to your Vernon home is to get it dry as soon as possible. Once the SERVPRO techs remove the standing water from the property, they use dehumidifiers and air movers to control the residual moisture in the structure.  

SERVPRO techs use dehumidifiers to restore flood damage to your Vernon home as they can reduce the humidity of the air and speed up the drying process. However, the choice and placement of a dehumidifier are equally crucial for effective drying. The SERVPRO crew chief decides the type of dehumidifier needed based on PPD (pints per day) value. PPD is the number of pints of water that a given dehumidifier can remove from the air.

How do SERVPRO techs increase the efficiency of dehumidifiers during water cleanup in Vernon?   

SERVPRO techs strategically place dehumidifiers to maximize their efficiency during water clean-up from your Vernon home. The exhaust of the dehumidifier is often directed towards an air mover so that the warm, dry air can be circulated throughout the structure.

SERVPRO restorers use ducting with dehumidifiers to direct hot, dry air from the dehumidifier to various areas. Techs use two types of ducting with dehumidifiers-

  • Flex ducting: Techs attach this ducting to the dehumidifier's intake with a zip-tie.
  • Lay-flat ducting: Such type of ducting is usually attached to the exhaust and allows the restorers to direct the airflow to specific areas.

How do techs keep an eye on the progress of restoration work?

Techs use moisture sensing instruments like moisture meters and IR cameras to determine whether the drying goal is met.

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024; our restorers are available 24/7 to answer your calls.  

Does SERVPRO Make Mold Remediation Safe and Effective in Vernon?

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

tech in white tyvek suit SERVPRO follows safe protocols during mold remediation in Vernon homes. We can use respirators and Tyvek suits to prevent contamination

SERVPRO techs categorize mold remediation services in Vernon homes

Mold remediation of your Vernon home involves multiple steps, and SERVPRO techs follow the IICRC S520 guidelines throughout the process. Material composition, condition, and value determine how SERVPRO techs process any piece of contaminated content. 

SERVPRO techs categorize each content item during mold remediation in your Vernon home into one of the following three categories-

  • Restorable: SERVPRO techs clean the item, remove the mold damage, and return it to preloss condition.
  • Non-restorable: If the damage is extensive and the restoration cost outweighs the cost of replacement, techs often dispose of the item.
  • Preservable with risk assignment: This category applies only to irreplaceable porous or semi-porous material.

Do SERVPRO techs use encapsulation during mold removal in Vernon homes?

According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines, encapsulation is not a cleaning method, and restorers should avoid it during the mold remediation process. However, the guidelines indicate the use of encapsulation in certain specific instances. SERVPRO techs work closely with the Indoor Environment Professionals (IEPs) in Vernon homes to decide whether encapsulation can be a viable option. Techs achieve encapsulation by-

  • Applying shellac, varnish, or lacquer on semi-porous surfaces from which mold can't be fully removed, such as unfinished wood, and
  • Lamination of irreplaceable or valuable documents between two sheets of plastic.
  • Coating surfaces should not be confused with crawlspace encapsulation.

How do SERVPRO techs dispose of contaminated material?

SERVPRO techs handle mold contaminated and unrestorable content with utmost care and precaution. Technicians don PPE personal protective equipment, sometimes Tyvek suits, to ensure safety. All the contaminated material is bagged in 6-mil or thicker plastic bags, and the surfaces are HEPA-vacuumed and damp -wiped before disposing of them.

If you need assistance with mold damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024.

Does Fire Damage Restoration in Sparta Happen Quickly with SERVPRO?

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

sandpaper, steel brush, and roll wire Removal of soot and smoke deposits often requires elbow grease and hand tools. SERVPRO techs work hard to restore Sparta fire-damaged homes

SERVPRO techs clean residues during fire damage restoration in Sparta? 

Accumulation of smoke and soot residue is one of the biggest problems that restorers must deal with during fire damage restoration of Sparta properties. While there are many cleaning methods available to the SERVPRO techs, it can be tricky to pick the most effective and safe one for the surfaces involved.   

The aim of any cleaning method that SERVPRO techs use during fire damage restoration of Sparta homes is to dislodge the soils in the quickest possible time. If the residue is light and dry, mechanical agitation is often sufficient with no need to use a liquid cleaning product. The ideal conditions for this are when the surface is non-porous, and the residue is not greasy or sticky.

How do SERVPRO techs achieve mechanical agitation during house fire cleanup in Sparta?

The intensity of agitation required depends on the amount of soot deposited after smoke damage to your Sparta home. SERVPRO techs categorize the mechanical actions into the following three categories-

  • Mild agitation: Feather dusters, brushes, vacuums, and compressed air produce a gentle agitation that works if the smoke particles are loose, dry and the surface involved is hard and non-porous.
  • Mild agitation: If the soils need a bit more aggressive agitation to dislodge, SERVPRO techs use cleaning sponges, dusting cloths, or cleaning towels to get the job done. A small amount of mineral oil is often added to attract light soot particles.
  • Heavy agitation: Abrasive media such as sandpaper, steel wool, or roto pads and brushes produce the heaviest agitation. These methods are useful if the soot is heavy, and surfaces don't get scratched easily.
  • Media blasting: Pressurized streams of CO2 pellets, bicarbonate of soda, sponge particles, or other media to mechanically remove surface residues.

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024 with any questions regarding fire restoration of your property.

Water Damage Restoration Happens Fast in Vernon Homes with SERVPRO

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo Water damage restoration services by SERVPRO are second to none. We will be on scene within 4 hours of the initial call.

Vernon homeowners can save time and money on water damage restoration with SERVPRO.

Sustained and unmitigated water damage can directly impact the structural integrity of building materials like wood and metal. When professionals from SERVPRO head the water damage restoration of your Vernon home, the focus is limiting the extent and scope of such an impact. 

SERVPRO professionals use several pieces of equipment during the water damage restoration of your Vernon home to identify and eliminate any hidden moisture. The goal is to create conditions that favor the evaporation of water seeped into the structural components. SERVPRO techs manipulate various physical characteristics such as humidity ratio and temperature to speed up the drying process. 

How do SERVPRO techs dry the wall cavities from your Vernon home water cleanup? 

Some of the toughest spaces to dry in your Vernon home are structural cavities behind walls and under the cabinets. SERVPRO techs use various drying and ventilating systems to direct airflow in such cavities to replace the moist, cold air with drier and warmer air. 

The most commonly used systems consist of vents attached to air movers, while other systems utilize blowers attached to hoses. In some instances, the restorers also drill small holes in walls, ceilings, or under the cabinets to access the structural cavities.  

When is negative pressure applied while drying structural cavities? 

Negative pressure is achieved when air is pulled from a cavity. It is a method of choice to improve the drying rate if the materials need to be dried without removing contamination or when there is no visible or proven contamination, but the potential exists. 

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024 for any questions regarding water damage restoration of your property.

SERVPRO Gets Fire Damage Restoration of Sparta Homes Done Fast

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damaged ceiling and walls. SERVPRO IICRC certified fire damage restoration technicians have all the equipment needed for your property.

SERVPRO can handle any size residential fire damage restoration in Sparta

Walls and ceilings are perhaps the most heavily damaged surfaces after a fire incident. It takes professionals like SERVPRO to safely clean smoke and soot residue during fire damage restoration of your Sparta home.    

SERVPRO techs understand that they need to use a combination of cleaning techniques during fire damage restoration of your Sparta property. Various factors, including the type of soil and surface, play a crucial role in deciding which cleaning method is best for any given surface. For most ceilings and walls, SERVPRO techs use the following three ways-

  • Dry cleaning with a sponge
  • Wet cleaning with water and detergent
  • Peroxide active cleaning 

How do SERVPRO techs decide between the cleaning methods during house fire cleanup in Sparta? 

SERVPRO techs consider one factor while choosing the cleaning method in your Sparta home is whether the cleaned surface needs painting. If the smoke residues are light, dry, or wet, cleaning might be sufficient to remove the majority of the residues. Such an approach is commonly referred to as "cleaning for no paint." 

However, cleaning alone might not be sufficient if the walls and ceilings are impacted by heavy smoke damage. In such situations, additional sealing and repainting steps are required during the restoration process, and the approach is called "cleaning for paint."  

How are surfaces sealed before painting? 

It is important to remove all loose particles from walls and ceilings before repainting them. SERVPRO techs also neutralize all acids present in smoke residues and use a pigmented alcohol shellac as a sealer for preparing a smoke-stained surface for repainting.

If you need assistance with restoring fire and smoke damage to your property, call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024.

Dealing with Frozen Pipes and Ice Damming in Vernon? Call SERVPRO

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Call now! Winters cause havoc to homes' water systems. SERVPRO storm damage specialists have the training and equipment for every job. Call now!

Can SERVPRO help Vernon residences with water damage due to frozen pipes and ice dams? 

Harsh winters can bring with them nasty surprises in the form of ice damage to your home. Being conscious of issues like frozen pipes and ice damming at your Vernon home can help you be better prepared. 

While you can take steps to reduce water damage due to frozen pipes and ice damming at your Vernon home, you need professionals like SERVPRO if the situation worsens. Our IICRC certified professionals have years of training to provide emergency water restoration services to hundreds of homes in the area.  

What signs of water damage should you look out for in your Vernon home this winter?  

Water damage in your Vernon home due to frozen pipes and ice damming can be subtle and, at times, difficult to spot. However, you can spot the warning signs and call SERVPRO techs right away if you know where to look. Here are a few early indications of potential water damage-

  • Dislodged shingles: One of the earliest signs of ice damming is losing shingles on your roof. Water can slowly seep into your home through these gaps worsening the issue. 
  • Water stains on walls and ceiling: Water stains are never a good sign. If you spot stains on your roof or walls, call SERVPRO right away. 

How can SERVPRO help? 

SERVPRO can help you determine the extent of damage and prepare a restoration strategy. Our restorers use industry-leading technology to get your home dry as soon as possible to prevent any lasting damage. 

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024 if you have any questions for our restorers; we are available 24/7.

What Does Frozen Pipes and Ice Damming Damage in Sparta Homes Constitute?

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes with logo Frozen or burst pipes can be a real problem in your home, call SERVPRO for assistance right away.

SERVPRO Helps Identify All Structural Damage and Any Underlying Issues That Cause the Problem

Frozen pipes and ice dams pose many challenges in homes. Sudden freezing causes pipes to rapture, while the pressure from ice dams lifts shingles allowing water to leak into a structure. Blizzards and winter storms can readily expose you to such incidents, leaving significant water damage in your Sparta home.

When you notice frozen pipes and ice damming damage in your Sparta home, it is usually too late to prevent it from happening. However, there are other issues you can prevent, especially when assisted by a professional restoration company like SERVPRO. Early identification of all the damages likely to develop after such an incident helps with planning.

Some of the Damages to Expect Include: 

  • Physical pipe damage necessitating replacements
  • Damage to shingles and other roof sections
  • Wet structural materials like insulation, panels, and structural supports

The level of damage can vary, so any action taken should not be based on assumptions. For instance, if you suspect frozen pipes after an ice storm, you should confirm the situation or use a protective approach when instituting thawing procedures. Our SERVPRO technicians can help with evaluation and take preventive steps such as turning on faucets in the house and turning off the water supply at the mains. Such steps help with safe thawing and protect the house if any ruptured pipes are not identified.

Apart from damaging structural elements through water intrusion, the development of ice dams shows problems that need to be resolved around the house. Some of the most common issues are insufficient insulation to the attic, improper air exhaustion from areas such as the bathrooms or kitchen, and improper sealing or duct insulation. Therefore, apart from removing the ice dams, it is essential to address the underlying issues to prevent a recurrence. 

SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County can help you manage freezing and thawing trends in various sections of your home, preventing frozen pipes and ice damming damage. Call us at (973) 383-2024. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What Are Some Essential Considerations During Fire and Smoke Cleanup in Vernon Properties?

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Room with fire damage You can contact our professionals 24/7. Our fire damage experts are trained in fire & smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning.

SERVPRO Considers the Residue Types Left at a Fire Loss Site When Planning Cleaning Process to Improve the Outcomes

Cleaning up a property after a fire incident is essential in restoring it to its preloss state. The dark coloration of most residues left from the combustion process can fool you into thinking that a single cleaning approach is sufficient. However, residues have different physical and chemical properties, so one approach is not likely to clean your Vernon home satisfactorily.

Adapting fire and smoke cleanup in Vernon properties to match the type of soiling is the best approach. SERVPRO considers the types of residues present and the varying traits of each soil. For instance, even though soot is one type of residue, its properties vary greatly depending on how the fire burnt.

Some Common Factors that Distinguish Residues Include:

  • Whether residues are corrosive 
  • Whether smoke residues are wet
  • How fine the residues are
  • Whether there are oily or protein residues

Observation helps reveal most aspects of the residues. Our SERVPRO technicians also rely on their experiences to identify any hidden qualities. For example, if we observe that combustion involves plastics or protein, we can expect wet and invisible residues, respectively. We prepare a variety of resources to combat the different residues.

Useful Resources to Clean Fire Residues Include:

  • Vacuums to capture fine residues
  • Chemical sponges for non-wet surface cleaning
  • Specially formulated chemical agents
  • Deodorizers

Apart from the residues, the affected surfaces also matter. Factors such as age, porosity, and surface finish affect the cleaning process. Unfinished or aged materials tend to be more porous, thus absorbing most of the residues and necessitating aggressive cleaning. Highly polished finishes, on the other hand, are easier to clean since residue removal mostly requires wiping the surface. However, they are vulnerable to aggressive agitation or strong cleaning agents. 

SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County can handle fire and smoke cleanup after a fire, "Like it never even happened." Call us at (973) 383-2024 for expedited restoration of your property.

Why Does Mold Remediation and Water Damage in Vernon Go Hand-in-Hand?

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

mold on a white wall Count on SERVPRO when you find mold damage in your office.

SERVPRO handles mold remediation and removal so that your Vernon business gets the attention it deserves

Water damage is often typical with various commercial locations, especially when you have busy daily operations. You must address all water damage swiftly so that you do not get hit with mold and mildew growth in your Vernon business that can lead to potential health concerns. SERVPRO is here to handle remediation and mold removal so that you can have added peace of mind. 

When mold specialists are on the case, you can breathe easier in more ways than one. Calling SERVPRO for commercial mold remediation in Vernon gets you IICRC-certified technicians and detailed cleaning for incredible results. Water damage is a concern because:

  • Most all water events can bring mold damage depending on location
  • Mold only requires oxygen, moisture, and organic material to begin growing, thriving, and spreading
  • Even if you think that your commercial building is mold-free, there is no such thing as property without microscopic spores – it exists everywhere

Mold specialists are well-trained to detect mold, so having SERVPRO take a look will offer you complete service when you need it.

  • We have experience seeking out mold in residential and commercial properties.
  • We bring all the right equipment and proven techniques to find even the hardest to locate mold. 
  • We can make sure testing gets done to find non-visible mold if necessary.
  • We use EPA-registered antimicrobials to thoroughly clean and sanitize all impacted areas.

Mold remediation and black mold damage repairs are our specialties at SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County. Call us at (973) 383-2024 today!

Vernon Homes Need Fast Water Extraction to Prevent Secondary Damage

12/8/2021 (Permalink)

water covered floor with hardwood removed Excess water on your property? Contact our certified team here at SERVPRO right away. We are available 24/7.

Vernon Residents Rely on SERVPRO for Fast and Efficient Water Extraction After a Water Incident

Water extraction from your Vernon home is the first activity that SERVPRO technicians engage in during restoration. If water is not removed promptly, it can severely damage the structure and the contents alike. 

SERVPRO technicians use various methods and equipment for water extraction from our Vernon home. The type of equipment SERVPRO techs employ depends on the amount of water to be extracted and the location of the water damage. The efficiency of the restoration process directly depends on how fast SERVPRO technicians can remove the water from your Vernon property. Accumulated water can even cause ceiling leaks in lower floors if left unmitigated and can require extensive water damage repairs. 

Tools That SERVPRO uses to Remove Water During Water Cleanup of Your Vernon Home 

SERVPRO technicians have a wide variety of tools and equipment at their disposal to extract accumulated water. Some of them include:

  • Electric submersible pumps are ideal if water needs to be removed after a basement flooding as they provide an excellent suction lift. They can be operated almost continuously and are much quieter than other extraction pumps. 
  • Trash pumps are ideal when a high suction lift is not required during water damage remediation. The most significant benefit of these pumps is that they can pass solids up to 3 inches in size, making them ideal for water extraction during flood restoration. 
  • High-Pressure pumps offer even higher lifts than submersible pumps and are ideal for extracting water from underground structures, including basements. 

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County 24/7 at (973) 383-2024 for any assistance regarding water damage. 

What Factors Influence Water Damage Restoration in Vernon Business Establishments?

12/8/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment SERVPRO has the experienced technicians with the equipment and expertise your property needs after a water catastrophe. Give us a call right away.

SERVPRO Focuses on Providing Enough Resources to Handle Any Expected or Unexpected Challenge

Most commercial establishments have unique characteristics that set them apart from residential properties. The characteristics influence how water damage affects a Vernon establishment and the restoration processes necessary to restore normalcy.

One of the main factors influencing water damage restoration in Vernon establishments is the size of various features in the property. Many installations, whether windows or HVAC systems, are larger sizes, and therefore a simple malfunction can have notable implications. For instance, an improperly sealed window can allow significant rainwater inside the property, leaving massive damage. Alternatively, such a window can interfere with the drying process by allowing air to escape. SERVPRO provides the necessary resources to match the loss conditions in commercial establishments.

The Essential Resources That Help Resolve Water Damage Include: 

  • Sufficient power to extract intruding water 
  • Controlled demolition and rehabilitation of the structure
  • Establishment of protective barriers

The source of damage influences the restoration processes needed. Source variations can include the location of the leak or its intensity, among other things. Slow leaks from supply pipes or sprinkler systems may go unnoticed for some time, thus deeply soaking wall or ceiling materials. Sudden water release from burst pipes or driving rain involve significant amounts of water. Demolition might be necessary in both cases to reach trapped water or to remove deteriorated materials.

Protective Barriers Might be Necessary for Reasons Like:

  • Protecting contents from further water exposure
  • To separate affected property sections from the rest of the structure
  • To create chambers to facilitate drying

Plastic sheets help create barriers easily. Our SERVPRO technicians provide the skills for a speedy and convenient barrier setup. For instance, when we use spring tension metal rods to create a frame supporting the protective barrier, we can separate wet areas from the rest of the facility within minutes. We can also establish positive or negative air pressure within the contained area for faster drying. 

SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County is fully prepared to address any level of water damage restoration, allowing you to resume operations. Call us at (973) 383-2024.

Can SERVPRO Handle Storm Damage Cleanup in Vernon?

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow storm damage sign in front of a damaged roof If your home experiences storm damage, contact SERVPRO. We are Here to Help.

Quick Response and Efficient Technique During Storm Damage Cleanup Makes SERVPRO the First Choice of Vernon Homeowners

Water damage after a storm can cause widespread mayhem on your property that warrants professional restoration. Restorers like SERVPRO have the experience, training, and equipment to safely carry out storm damage cleanup of your Vernon home and get the situation under control. One of the most common effects of a storm is broken pipes that can potentially cause flooding on your property.  

SERVPRO technicians prioritize water removal and drying during storm damage cleanup of your Vernon home to prevent any long-lasting issues. The first step in the water mitigation process is to remove any standing water, if present, from the property. SERVPRO techs accomplish this by using state-of-the-art water removing pumps. Once restorers remove the water, the next step is to ensure that the structure is dried quickly to minimize the chance of any long-term issue. 

How do SERVPRO Techs Dry Structural Cavities During Water Cleanup of Your Vernon Home After a Storm?  

It can be challenging to remove residual moisture from structural cavities in your Vernon home. SERVPRO techs use various ventilating and drying systems to direct airflow into wall cavities. The goal is to replace the moist, cold air with warmer, drier air to speed up the drying process.  

Drying systems used to remove water from structural cavities can be different. Some of the drying systems that SERVPRO techs use during water damage restoration include vents attached to air movers. The techs direct air into the structural cavities by drilling small holes in walls, ceilings, or under the cabinets. 

Technicians apply either negative pressure or positive air pressure into the cavities, depending on the situation. Positive pressure is achieved when air is pushed into a cavity, while negative pressure is achieved when air is pulled away from a cavity. 

Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at (973) 383-2024; We are available round-the-clock to help and assist you.  

How to Salvage Water Damaged Business Documents in Vernon

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Stack of wet paper Contact SERVPRO if your business experiences water damage.

Approaches that Enhance Results during Water Removal 

Every incident of water damage in a Vernon business premise is unique. However, each case presents several challenges, and if not properly managed, it can hurt the business long after the initial occurrence. Such impacts might include damaged documents, the accumulated cost of follow-up restoration processes because of deteriorating materials, and even minor inconveniences such as unpleasant smells. 

Water removal in Vernon has to be fast and thorough to be deemed successful. Quick response prevents secondary problems like microbial growth. It can also help save materials and documents from further deterioration after the initial damage. Our SERVPRO technicians take different approaches that help satisfy the urgency aspect. One option is to remove free items such as books and other valuable documents. Freezing the wet documents helps stop deterioration. 

Water Removal Services

Since some items are immovable, removing any standing water from the premises is crucial in reducing damages. Having the right resources can help improve speed. Our SERVPRO technicians use advanced equipment such as dry-wet vacs and truck-mounted water extractors. Apart from a faster rate when using an extractor, the 60-100 gallon storage tank ensures that the removed water cannot find its way back, which is more efficient than mops or buckets. 

After removing the liquid water, there is a need to dry moisture from materials and lower the relative humidity in the air. Relative humidity exceeding 60% can cause mold development all over the structure, while excess moisture traces in materials leads to rot, rust, warping, and other forms of deterioration. Our SERVPRO technicians combine advanced equipment like dehumidifiers and air movers with specialized skills. For example, using plastic sheets, we can create exclusion zones known as drying chambers whose smaller area helps make drying manageable. 

Working with a professional restorer in Vernon helps improve the outcome of water removal. Call SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County to help in case of a spill. You can reach us at (973) 383-2024 any time. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Can Professional Restoration Help Secure Fire Damage Claims?

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

man holding a small house with his other hand covering the house. Protect your home after fire damage by calling SERVPRO.

Our SERVPRO professionals work with most major insurance companies and local outfits to provide your Sparta home with thorough restoration services. 

One of the most upsetting things about fire damage in your Sparta home is the realization that there is a substantial amount of work involved in returning your property to preloss condition. This recovery is not work that you can do on your own. Relying on even accredited professionals like our SERVPRO team can feel like relinquishing control, especially when securing damage claims with your insurance provider after the disaster gets extinguished. 

Because we are a preferred vendor for fire damage in Sparta homes, according to local insurance providers and major companies, we are a trusted name in the area for restoration. Our relationships with insurance providers in our service area ensure that we go into restoration tasks to understand what insurance adjusters need to approve a damage claim even before it gets made. This experience in recovery can save time and money for our customers. Ultimately, securing your damage claim through your insurance company involves a pre mitigation evaluation of the property. 

What Does the Initial Job Scoping Phase Do? 

Job scoping is a critical task completed by competent professionals overseeing field technicians, such as our project manager and crew chief. These experienced leaders on our roster can walk through your property with you to catalog data related to what tasks are necessary for returning your property to its original state. This process focuses on several key points to ensure that the appropriate personnel, equipment, and products reach the job site when mitigation begins.

  • Catalog Damages 
  • Inspect Contents 
  • Identify Pre-Existing Conditions 
  • Generate Cost Estimations 

Fire damage might initially seem devastating to your home, but professional restoration technicians like our SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County team can help. You can reach us 24/7 at (973) 383-2024.

What Processes Remove Floodwater from Damaged Vernon Homes? 

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

poly barricade, hole in ceiling, equipment Storm damage from the roof to the interior calls for SERVPRO's talented experts to mitigate the damage as shown in this Photo

Fast extraction and drying are vital to recovering Vernon properties after flooding.

Flooding can be a rapidly forming and highly destructive event for homes and businesses throughout Sussex County. Our professionals have a rapid response for storm and flood restoration, making us the ideal choice to help when these disasters strike.

Stopping the Intrusion of Water

Before much water can get removed and flood damage in Vernon homes appropriately addressed, the penetration point allowing water intrusion must be identified. From basement vulnerabilities in the foundation walls to holes in the roof, flooding can happen quickly with physical openings in the exterior of a residence.

Clearing Standing Water

One of the largest undertakings after flooding exists in your home is to remove standing water from the flooring throughout the property. Flood water can be a challenge to remove, especially when it includes solids and debris. Responding technicians must be selective in the water removal tools necessary for this process, as not all extractors in our inventory can discharge waste. Ultimately, extraction comes down to a combination of several units, including:

  • Submersible pumps
  • Wet vacuums
  • Weighted extractors
  • Carpet wands
  • Squeegee wands
  • Trash pumps

Preventing Trapped Moisture from Causing Greater Harm

Beyond standing water, trapped moisture inside structural cavities and porous materials can also prove destructive to the household. We have special equipment designed specifically to promote evaporation in wall cavities and water removal devices like weighted extractors or carpet wands to pull trapped water from sensitive materials.

Flooding is one of the most rapidly developing and potentially destructive events that homes are likely to face in their existence. Our SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County team understands how fast these disasters can spread through an affected house, making direct objectives to remove water critical to restoring a property to preloss condition. Give us a call today at (973) 383-2024.

Advanced Drying Techniques for Vernon Homes 

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

water heater leak in basement Air scrubbers and dehumidifiers positioned by our SERVPRO techs can mitigate water damage in Vernon homes

Regulating specific drying principles and natural processes speeds up thorough drying in Vernon properties.

Drying is a difficult phase of water restoration that employs several devices like our high-velocity air movers and desiccant or low-grain refrigerant dehumidifiers. When considerations get made to other drying principles and conditions, this portion of the overall recovery process can happen faster and with fewer obstacles.

A Blend of Variables for Efficient Drying

Properly addressing water damage in Vernon homes requires a balance of specific drying principles. Certain variables play a significant role in how fast or simple evaporative drying becomes. For example, warmer temperatures can help promote the faster molecular movement of chemical and physical processes and ultimately remove surface water more quickly.

Natural Drying Processes in the House

Understanding the natural drying processes can aid water restoration professionals in choosing the best approach to prevent greater loss and promote faster evaporation. Much of these principles focus on the property is creating an equilibrium from contrasting conditions in one area or another. Some of these processes include:

  • Wet goes to dry
  • High pressure goes to low pressure
  • Warm goes to cold

Moisture Monitoring for Successful Water Removal

Tracking the movement of moisture and water throughout the house makes for more efficient and thorough drying. Without an active knowledge of where water is and the damage it has done, moisture pockets can get overlooked and ultimately lead to threats like microbial growth or content deterioration.

The more that customers understand what is needed after a water damage incident in their home, the more that people entrust this work to the skilled hands of our SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County team. Give us a call today at (973) 383-2024.

Removing Soot and Smoke Residues After Vernon Housefires

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

smoke billowing black and sooty SERVPRO removes sooty residues and smoke odors from fire damaged Vernon homes, "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO professionals have multiple cleaning approaches for damaged building materials in Vernon homes.

There are many obstacles between a damaged and restored home, one of the most challenging being the removal and management of soot and smoke soils. Our SERVPRO professionals offer fast mitigation services to allow for efficient and productive cleaning and restoration services to come. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Removing Airborne Soot Particles

Even before much of the fire damage in Vernon homes can be addressed and removed, careful consideration must be made about the house's condition, and how directly impacted by this loss it has become. Often, some degree of air filtration and clearing is required to protect a property, its contents, and its occupants. We have HEPA air scrubbers and vacuums to begin regulating the removal of airborne soot particles and microbial threats.

Surface Cleaning with Products

The efforts used to clean up damaged surface materials can often get implemented along with effective mitigating products. Mechanical actions play a vital role in soot management, and some of these categories:

  • Mild Agitation – Dusters, soft-bristled brushes, compressed air, and vacuums can all be used in light damage situations. 
  • Medium Agitation – More concentrated damages require more aggressive cleaning tactics, including dusting cloths, cleaning towels, and a dry cleaning sponge.
  • Heavy Agitation – Heavy concentrations of soot damage require aggressive cleaning approaches like media blasting, sanding, and roto pads.

Our SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County team works fast when cleaning up after a fire loss incident. Mitigation and restoration services provided promptly prevent avoidable harm from befalling structural elements and contents of the house. Our professionals are ready to help 24/7 at (973) 383-2024.


10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals also offer 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. A
failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals 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.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals help turn unsafe environments into
clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation


SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO® Franchise Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.


From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering
chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can clean and
restore your property and contents.


Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response.  Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area.  In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Be Ready This Winter - Winter Water Damages

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Cold weather will soon be upon us in the northeast.  With that comes to snow, ice, and freezing temperatures which are all jeopardies to your home or business.

It is essential that you are aware of the hazards and can prepare, prevent or act quickly on each situation.


A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your
property if not addressed quickly.


Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.
They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas.


  • If you own a home that is unoccupied during a cold period, ensure you have ample heating fuel and that the indoor thermostat, in all areas of the home, is minimally kept at 55 degrees and ensure that you have a trusted person check the home periodically during your absence.
  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off .”
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.


  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause
    personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

The Public Adjuster

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

If you have ever filed an insurance claim, whether it be for your home, auto or health, you know it can be a very stressful process fraught with uncertainty and questions.  Will I be covered?  How much will I be covered for?  How will it impact my premiums?

Because of this confusion and uncertainty, many turn towards a Public Adjuster to get them through their ordeal.  But, before engaging a Public Adjuster, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

What happens first?

After you’ve taken care of your loved ones, you will need to get your home back in order.  When you have a damaging event to your home, for which you wish to submit a claim, one of the first things you should do is to contact your agent or your insurance company directly.

Your insurance company will record your loss and issue you a claim number.  They will also assign an internal or independent adjuster to review your claim.   This adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company.  This adjuster will schedule a visit to your home to inspect and assess the loss to determine coverage.  This is a benefit to you as a policyholder and does not cost you anything. 

Once coverage is determined, the insurance company’s adjuster will then discuss actions that need to be taken immediately, such as getting the home dried out or possibly boarded up if needed.  They’ll then provide you with their assessed value of the loss.

So now comes the question of whether or not to use a Public Adjuster.  Let’s go through this.

Exactly what is a public adjuster?

A public adjuster is someone that you pay to help you with your insurance claim.  They are an insurance claims specialist who interprets the homeowner's policy, assesses the damage and how much it will cost to repair, and negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner until the claim is settled.

The Public Adjuster does not represent your insurance company nor is he/she assigned by your insurance company.  Public Adjusters are sought and hired by you to be your representative and deal with your insurance company.   For their services, they will charge you a fee, typically a percentage of the total award amount that they negotiate with your insurance company.

Remember, a Public Adjuster can assist with the claims process, but cannot get you more money than you are entitled to under your insurance policy and will not be able to get your claim settled any faster. You are simply paying them for a service.

OK, so when should I use a Public Adjuster?

Many will hire a Public Adjuster simply because they don’t have the time to deal with the claim.  Remember, though, you are paying a fee for this convenience. 

Typically, the Public Adjuster will charge a fee of 10%-15% of the final claim awarded.  This can be a sizable fee, so be sure before you sign any paperwork.  It’s also important to know that this fee can be negotiated depending on the size of the loss.

If you chose to deal with the claim personally, there are steps you can take before bringing a Public Adjuster in.  Your insurance company is a reputable business and they want you to continue to be a policyholder.

If you feel you can justify additional damages, speak with your insurance company’s assigned adjuster and present your case.  If you are not getting anywhere, ask to speak with a more senior representative.  You may find that these steps yield good results.

If you still feel that you need more representation, this is when you may consider working with a Public Adjuster.  It’s really a judgment call as to whether or not you believe your loss, and the associated damages you claim, are fairly reflected in your insurance company’s assessment.

Before you proceed, do some simple math. 

Let’s say you had a fire loss, for which your insurance company has assessed a $200,000 payment to cover the loss, but you feel you are entitled to $20,000 more and you have not been successful with your discussions with your adjuster.  So, you hire a Public Adjuster with a fee of 10%.  At the end of it, he argues and wins $10,000 more from your insurance company for a total payment of $210,000. The fee will be $21,000 to the Public Adjuster, netting you $189,000.  You would have been better off accepting the initial payment offered by the insurance company.

How can I find a good Public Adjuster?

As with anything else, a Public Adjuster can be found by doing some internet searches.  Another place to start would be going to the NAPIA website.  They have a vetting process and require their members to be licensed and to have been in business for at least 2 years.

Some steps you should think about:

  • Always avoid any Public Adjuster who tries to pressure you into signing a contract. Remember this is a business transaction.
  • Interview several.
  • Get reference lists and check with their prior clients.
  • Check their company websites.
  • You can also ask friends and colleagues who they might recommend.
  • Avoid single practitioners or small firms unless they demonstrate a good track record.

Before signing anything, make sure your rights are protected:

  • Determine how long you have to cancel any contract you sign. New Jersey protects consumers with a 72-hour cancellation provision under the Consumer Fraud Act.
  • Verify that the Public Adjuster will remove any lien once the contract is terminated.
  • Limit the contract to no more than six months.

Once you’ve identified your Public Adjuster, you will sign a contract between you and them, which obligates your relationship with them until the claim is settled.  The Public Adjuster will likely place a lien on your insurance claim, naming them as an additional payee on all payments from your insurance company.

What role with the Public Adjuster play in the process?

So now you’ve hired a Public Adjuster.  Here’s what you can count on him doing and what you should not expect.

You will still be very involved in helping the Public Adjuster document the loss.  He will need details of the event and information about content damage and their value.

A public adjuster will assess your losses and help you get every penny you deserve, but don't expect miracles.  Understand the insurance company may not agree to everything you want just because you hired a public adjuster.

The Public Adjuster will be your representative and negotiate every aspect of the loss with your insurance company until a final agreement is made.  Once the negotiations are completed, your Public Adjuster’s job is done.  They do not perform or manage the restoration portion of this project.

The next and final step is to begin the restoration process by hiring the various contractors needed to perform the cleaning and repairing of your home.  This could start during negotiations between your Public Adjuster and your insurance company, depending on the urgency and what may have been agreed to. 

Remember, the Public Adjuster may provide you contractor referrals to do the work, however, you are under no obligation to use them, after all, this is your home and you have every right to decide who performs the work. 

Always consider using SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County for your cleaning and restoration needs, regardless of any contractors your Public Adjuster may insist on using. SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County is a full-service restoration company, providing everything from board-up and drying, to cleaning and rebuilding.


I hope this has helped you in understanding the role and costs surrounding using a Public Adjuster.  There is always risk in any decision.  Minimize your risk by doing your research first by working with your insurance company.  It will be well worth it to go down this path first.

Always feel free to contact SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County at 973-383-2024 to discuss this before making your decision.  We’re always glad to help.

Real Quotes from Real Customers

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Here are some real quotes from our customers:

Google, From Melissa

  • SERVPRO has been the most reliable and professional company I have ever used for my home. When a pipe burst on a Sunday in the middle of winter they had a team at my house in a couple hours cleaning everything up when no other company was open or available. They had powerful fans and other powerful tools that dried out the whole house. The team was incredibly efficient and came back every few days to check and make sure no water was left in the walls or under any floors....

Google, From Dan

  • Carri and her team of heroes really came through when we needed them the most. What should have been a relatively quick job was complicated by external circumstances and ended up dragging on for 39 days. SERVPRO were professional, courteous, and really advocated for us to the multiple insurance companies that were involved. They never once complained about how long our job ended up taking, and they never made us feel like we were to blame. I'm confident that had the external circumstances not been there, this would have been an extremely fast cleanup....

Google, From Jim

  • 5 Star Rating

Website, From Rex

  • Brian Tucci came to my property on time bringing a wealth of knowledge while providing excellent counsel and next steps. SERVPRO is definitely a company to use when needed.

Website, From Dennis

  • Service was quick and professional.

Website, From Kevin

  • SERVPRO responded very quickly. And did a great job to extract all of the water. I highly Recommend.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

What Happens After a Flood: Mold Remediation

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever wondered what happens when a mold removal specialist gets called to a mold-damaged facility? The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) shares five steps a mold removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation.

“Many people aren’t aware of the dangers, nor the difficulty level of removing mold from a facility,” said IICRC Chairman Tony Wheelwright. “Mold remediation is a potentially hazardous process that should only be undertaken by a certified professional.”

Five steps that each mold-removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation includes:

  1. Determine the degree of contamination.  The first step for a mold remediation specialist may be to bring in an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) to determine the extent of the mold damage and test for contamination within the facility. Because mold spores and other microscopic contaminants can travel easily throughout a building, the IEP/CIH may collect and analyze samples from affected as well as unaffected areas of the building. Once the IEP/CIH has finished the inspection they will develop a remediation plan for the mold removal specialist, such as SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County, with steps to return the home to its preloss condition (Condition 1).  Learn more about our Mold Remediation process by visiting our website here.
  2. Set up and verify containment. To make sure mold contamination does not spread to other areas of a facility, the SERVPRO will set up containment by creating isolation barriers. Once the barriers are set up, SERVPRO will need to verify the containment with a lower partial pressure differential (negative pressure) to ensure there is no air leakage between containment zones. Exit chambers would then be used to serve as a transition between the containment and the unaffected area of the building. Once the containment is verified and the correct amount of pressure is achieved, the removal process can begin.
  3. Remove unsalvageable materials. Porous materials and items that cannot be restored or cleaned effectively must be carefully discarded. Unsalvageable items include but are not limited to drywall, insulation, and other items with visible mold growth. It is important for the SERVPROspecialist to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include a full-face respirator equipped with a P100/OV cartridge, disposable coveralls, and nitrile gloves.
  4. Clean surfaces with a high attention to detail. SERVPRO will likely begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. We will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  5. Verify remediation. Once cleaning is complete, the IEP/CIH will return to verify the remediation was successful. The area must be returned to the dry standard and should be visually dust-free with no malodors. In addition, an IEP/CIH may perform surface or air sampling as part of the verification that the area is back to normal fungal ecology (Condition 1).

“Mold remediation requires mold removal specialists to perform techniques that promote source removal rather than relying on chemicals, paints, and coatings as a replacement,” said Rachel Adams, President of Indoor Environmental Management, Inc. “Understanding and managing airflow is also critical to the success of a mold remediation project. Working with qualified IEP can also help to reduce the liability for the technician as well as provide a final determination if the remediation was successful.”

For more information on mold remediation or the latest in mold remediation standards, visit the IICRC

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems

8/3/2021 (Permalink)

During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present secondary mold growth problems. Standing water and wet materials are breeding grounds for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can continue to damage materials long after the flood.

This fact sheet discusses problems caused by microbial growth, as well as other potential effects of flooding, on long-term indoor air quality and the steps you can take to lessen these effects. Although the information contained here emphasizes residential flood cleanup, it is also applicable to other types of buildings.

Prepare for Cleanup

Read Repairing Your Flooded Home prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross. The booklet discusses flood safety issues. The booklet also contains detailed information on proper methods for cleaning up your home. You should also consult the wealth of information on the FEMA, CDC, and The American Lung Association sites on the subject.

Avoid Problems from Microbial Growth

Remove Standing Water

Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and be inhaled. Floodwater may also contain sewage or decaying animal carcasses. Even when flooding is due to rainwater, the growth of microorganisms can is always a risk. For these reasons, all standing water should be removed as quickly as possible.

Dry Out Your Home

Excess moisture in the home is an indoor air quality concern for three reasons:

  • Microorganisms brought into the home during flooding may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate deep into soaked, porous materials and later be released into air or water. 
  • High humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the excessive growth of microorganisms that are always present in the home. 
  • Long-term increases in humidity in the home can also foster the growth of dust mites. 

Be patient. The drying out process could take several weeks, and the growth of microorganisms will continue as long as humidity is high. If the house is not dried out properly, a musty odor, signifying the growth of microorganisms can remain long after the flood.

Remove Wet Materials

It can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items that were soaked by water may be unhealthy. Some materials tend to absorb and keep water more than others. In general, materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded, as they can remain a source of microbial growth.

You may be able to dry out and save certain building materials (for example, wallboard, fiberglass insulation, and wall-to-wall carpeting that were soaked only with clean rainwater). You may, however, want to consider removing and replacing them to avoid indoor air quality problems. Because they take a long time to dry, they may be a source of microbial growth.

In addition, fiberboard, fibrous insulation, and disposable filters should be replaced, if they are present in your heating and air conditioning system and have contacted water. (If a filter was designed to be cleaned with water and was in contact with clean rainwater only, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned before reinstalling.)

Avoid Problems from the Use of Cleaners and Disinfectants

The cleanup process involves thorough washing and disinfecting of the walls, floors, closets, shelves, and contents of the house. 

Be careful about the use of household cleaners and disinfectants together. Check labels for cautions on this. Mixing certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury and even death.  

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal at high levels. Carbon monoxide levels can build up rapidly if certain types of combustion devices (for example, gasoline-powered generators, camp stoves, and lanterns, or charcoal-burning devices) are used indoors. Do not use combustion devices designed for outdoor use indoors.

Avoid Problems from Airborne Asbestos and Lead Dust

Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur if asbestos-containing materials present in the home are disturbed. If you know or suspect that your home contains asbestos, contact the EPA TSCA Assistance Information Service at (202) 554-1404 for information on steps you should take to avoid exposure.

Lead is a highly toxic metal. Disturbance or removal of materials containing lead-based paint may result in an elevated concentration of lead dust in the air. If you know or suspect that your home contains lead-based paint, contact the National Lead Information Center to receive a general information packet, to order other documents, or for detailed information or questions. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially started on June 1, but the "heart" of the Atlantic Hurricane season runs from August to early October.  According to AccuWeather meteorologists, the 2021 hurricane season will once again be above normal, albeit less severe than last year.

They still urge businesses and residents in hurricane-prone areas to prepare now.

In 2020, of the 30 named storms, the US experienced 12 direct strikes, surpassing the previous record of 9 in 1916.  They are predicting that 2021 will produce 16-20 named storms, including up to 10 hurricanes, with 3-5 being major hurricanes and having an impact on the US.

To understand the changes that have occurred, looking at 30-year averages, from 1961 to the current"

  • 1961 - 1999
    • 10 Named Storms
    • 5.7 Hurricanes
    • 1.9 Major Hurricanes
  • 1991 - 2020
    • 14.4 Names Storms
    • 7.2 Hurricanes
    • 3.2 Major Hurricanes

Noteworthy is that water temperatures in the Atlantic are already above normal, which is a strong predictor of an elevated hurricane season.

Because of the consistent upward trending of these predictors, the National Hurricane Center is seriously considering moving the official start date to May 15 in future years.

What does this mean?

It means to begin preparing in the spring so that you are ready when and if a hurricane does strike.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Outdoor Entertaining

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Summer outdoor parties are some of the best events of the year and one of the safest ways to enjoy summer in the midst of our ongoing pandemic.

The warm nights, food cooking on the grill, and friends and family spending quality time together in the backyard or around the pool create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. But, hosting outdoor events also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

Fortunately, following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe. Consider the following as you host your next outdoor event: 

  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames
  • Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.

Outdoor entertaining by the numbers

  • Outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires
  • Outdoor patio heater or fire pit injuries have grown each year
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle
  • An average of over 8,800 home fires involved grilling activities each year
  • Annually, sparklers, fountains, and novelties account for up to 25% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

Document Restoration

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO® knows timely mitigation is the key to reducing the severity and recovering damaged items. Water– or smoke–damaged paper can rapidly deteriorate. Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever. Let SERVPRO’s Document Restoration Team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.

SERVPRO’s technicians are trained to use the most advanced technology available for document recovery and drying; in fact, the Document Restoration Team uses the same technique the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books.

Vacuum Freeze Drying?

Vacuum freeze-drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water-damaged documents. The Document Restoration Team uses
sublimation—turning a solid directly into a vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage to the documents. This process can recover even the most delicate items—from documents to photographs and x-rays, to entire business archives.

All employees of the Document Restoration Team are HIPAA Master certified and once your items arrive at the SERVPRO® facility, 24/7 video surveillance is guaranteed.


With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water or smoke and needs to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.

Gamma Irradiation

Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods.

In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents you encounter will be contaminated.

If this is the case, decontamination is always a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

Certified Destruction

Unfortunately, many businesses and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

COVID-19 - Still Here and Still Challenging The Norm

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

person in PPE cleaning SERVPRO is trained and prepared to provide fully compliant COVID-19 / Coronavirus sanitizing and disinfecting services.

We first posted our COVID-19 Back To Business Plan blog last year.  At that time, we envisioned it would be a thing of the past.  A challenge we could look back at as bad times gone.  But, sadly, this is not the case, so we are re-posting our blog as businesses continue to re-open.

COVID-19 Back to Business Plan

With all the changes that a person or business encounters after any type of local, national, or global scale disaster we ALL need a plan to get back to business! Without it you will feel the impacts long after the event. We are here to help with some important steps and ideas for you to consider so that you can start off on the right path of getting back to your business normal confidently!

At SERVPRO we have over 50 years of proven experience working to make it "Like it never even happened." A big part to achieving that has been by educating and empowering people and businesses in our local communities with tools they can use to recover or reopen or after a small or large disaster.

With re-opening dates for businesses coming up let us help you!

Pre-reopening and biological contamination prevention suggestions:

  • It is crucial to have an Employee Safety/Outbreak Response Plan in place if you don’t already.
  • Fogging and high touch cleaning are recommended for businesses before reopening to give peace of mind to your employees and customers, so they feel secure coming back to work or shop. (Please be advised SERVPRO personnel adhere to protocols set forth by the CDC and we have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs daily).
  • Set up scheduled cleanings in the future to be proactive instead of reactive.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees such as face masks and gloves.
  • Temperature Checks as warranted.
  • Shift Management / Space Separation / One Way Aisles.
  • Regular Hand Sanitation and Hand Washing.

Educating Employees in the Workplace

It’s important to prepare a Healthy work environment and educate Employees on how to safely return to work. It gives peace of mind where there could be fear and educates all employees of new policies and procedures moving forward.

  • Practice Good Hygiene! Stop shaking hands – use other non-contact methods of greeting. Clean hands with sanitizer or wash hands frequently. Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, keyboards, phones/tablets, light switches, and bathroom fixtures regularly. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  • If any employee is feeling sick, they should stay home.
  • Under the revised EEOC guidelines as of March 2020, if an employee arrives at work displaying symptoms of an illness the employer may check the employee temperature. As with all medical information, the fact that an employee had a fever or other symptoms would be subject to ADA confidentiality requirements.
  • Business owners cannot require employees to have a vaccine if it becomes available.
  • Limit food sharing in the workplace.

Back to Business Basics

As professionals and business owners alike, it is important to quickly adapt to our current business climate.

  • Consider implementing physical distancing policies and practices.
  • Schedule videoconferencing for meetings when possible, when it is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Business travel should be assessed case-by-case as to necessity.
  • Employers must maintain the confidentiality of any employee with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or other sicknesses. There should be a system and process in place to protect their identity. However, you should inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 or other sicknesses because employees have the right to know there is a risk in their workplace. Those employees then can do their own risk assessment of their potential exposure based on guidance from the CDC.
  • Introduce supportive and more flexible sick leave policies that are consistent with current health guidance.
  • Be mindful that not all employees and customers may display symptoms and it is important to follow set guidelines.

We, at SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County, are experienced in all verticals, and our experts can work with your risk management and/or operations teams to provide consulting and best practices!

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Mold and Humidity Threats in Vacation Residences

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

A closed-up vacation house can be a breeding ground for mold in the summer months. Moisture from a nearby lake or river, or the humidity in the air, can lead to that musty odor vacationers have come to expect upon arriving at their weekend getaway.

Mold is a particularly hidden foe. It exists nearly everywhere in an inactive state, and all it needs to grow is a food source (drywall will do nicely) and a source of moisture, such as high humidity.

To get rid of the damp odor, most homeowners will turn on the air conditioner and maybe a dehumidifier and wait for the smell to go away. While much of the odor may dissipate in a few hours, the mold is still there. And, when they leave for a week, it's back again when they return.

That smell is more than just unpleasant; it's an indication that mold is actively growing, potentially affecting health. Left untreated, mold will continue to grow and spread and can damage walls, ceilings, carpeting, and more. Every time the house is closed up and the a/c is turned off, the moisture creeps back in, and the mold begins growing again.


What can HVAC contractors do to help? First, it's important to stress that the key to preventing mold is eliminating moisture. The first step is to address any leaks in roofing, chimneys, and foundations. Perhaps you can recommend someone who can do a thorough check and perform the repairs necessary to stop the leaks. If mold remediation is needed, your customer should get bids from several companies specializing in this, as it can be costly.

Reducing humidity through air conditioning is a key to controlling mold, but, of course, leaving the a/c on all summer long will run up utility bills. Fresh outside air is also critical, but vacation homeowners won't want to leave windows open while not using the property.

Some relatively new offerings in air conditioning systems can help manage mold problems. One example is a small-duct, high-velocity air handler, which has a unique cooling coil that removes 30 percent more humidity from the air than a traditional system. Eliminating moisture is critical in avoiding mold growth, so this feature is essential.

Another helpful technology is a continuously operating outdoor inverter unit that works so efficiently that homeowners can leave it on while they're away without breaking the bank. It runs on various speeds — typically a very low speed — always striving for the most efficient operation by making small, incremental changes to keep a constant temperature. A traditional system must ramp-up to full operating power every time it cycles on, requiring a tremendous amount of energy. You won't have this issue with the inverter unit.

When cooling a summer home, the inverter technology is an excellent way for customers to keep the air conditioning going when they're gone, but at a lower cost.

Another great option is a ventilation system operated by a programmable control board. Based on the size of the home, the control board calculates how much fresh outside air to bring in at all times, opening and closing dampers as needed to maintain a healthy level of fresh air. Look for options that meet ASHRAE 62.2 standards for IAQ.

These newer technologies can go a long way toward reducing energy consumption while letting fresh air in and keeping mold problems at bay. More savings and fewer molds mean a healthier and happier vacation for everyone. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need, or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Prepare NOW For Storm Wind Damage

5/1/2021 (Permalink)

As we approach hurricane season, now is the time to begin to think about storm damage, even here in the northeast.  Preparing your business or home now can help prevent unnecessary damages to your building when that storm hits.

Wind can come in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, microbursts, or downdrafts. It can be valuable to understand the impact of high winds and how to best protect your business, home, and property from wind damage. There are many ways to reinforce a building against wind damage — some are simple enough to DIY while others may require a pro.

First, inspect your building's roof, siding, windows and doors, and even landscaping to identify vulnerable spots.  Replacing many of these items can be very expensive, so this may not be an option.  However, being prepared to install temporary protection in the event of a storm that brings high winds and heavy rains may be all you need to do.  No solution is perfect; mother nature knows that, but doing nothing to prepare is not the best option either.


When considering the role doors play in protecting buildings from high winds, it is customary to think about our exterior doors first. They are the doors that provide the first line of defense from high winds and blowing debris.

While wind-resistant doors and break-resistant glass play a significant role in fighting winds, interior doors are also essential. In hurricane winds or when a tornado may be imminent, all doors and windows, including every interior door, should be closed. This can prevent pressure build-up inside a building, leading to losing a room. Closing interior doors will also help compartmentalize damage from wind or rain if there is a breach in the exterior of a building.

Impact-resistant doors are the best possible solution, but if these are not installed, then:

  • inspect doors for any cracks or missing or damaged hardware.
  • Ensure no air leaks around the door and replace standard hinge screws with longer, stronger screws that will reach into the wall frame.
  • Ensure the threshold seals the door bottom and is screwed deeply into the floor.
  • Add a deadbolt to exterior doors that extend a minimum of one inch.
  • If you have French-style double doors, make sure they are refitted with bolts that extend at least an inch into the floor.
  • Finally, reinforce doors (and windows) with sheets of plywood when a hurricane approaches. This can be cost-effective and should be planned.


Many items in a yard can quickly turn into projectiles during high winds. These items make a building's windows vulnerable during high winds, especially when standard glass is used.

Even a small branch or piece of flying debris can start a landslide of damage once a window is cracked.  As winds continue to put force on the broken window, the break can become more extensive and even cause the complete failure of the window. Winds and rain now have even greater access to the building's interior, creating further damage. Once winds enter a space, the entire structure, including the roof, is at risk.

There are only two options when it comes to providing better window protection. One is to cover or reinforce windows, and the other is to upgrade windows to high-impact glass.


The roof is one of the most significant parts of a building. It is helpful to think of it as a combination of materials that protect your home from the elements and help keep warmth and cool air inside.

The roof is susceptible to damage in high winds for various reasons. As a roof ages, shingles can become brittle and lose adhesion to the structure. Older roofs aren't reinforced as well as more modern structures and are more easily damaged. While a roof is large and heavy, it can be no match for high winds as elements get peeled away, or the entire roof structure may even be lifted away.  Of course, once the roof has been compromised, wind and water can enter the interior of the building, and the entire building will be at risk. 

There is no additional protection you can provide for a roof except repairing damaged sections or replacing the roof entirely.

Garage Door

A garage door is typically the most significant moving part of an entire home. Generally speaking, garage doors are designed to move upward and downward. Under the stress of high winds, they can and do fail. This can cause a chain reaction of destruction and damage to a home once wind and moisture are introduced to the area.

Check to see that all seals around the door are good enough to prevent winds from entering.  Protecting a garage door can be done with special braces or installing plywood as you would with windows.

Home Siding

Another area of a home that should be of concern in high winds is the siding. Like the roof, windows, and doors, keeping a home's siding inspected and properly maintained will go a long way in maintaining its integrity in a windstorm. Like those other areas, the key is preventing the wind from getting a foothold behind the siding, allowing it to tear it off of the structure.

Preparing the siding of a building is to repair damages sections and gaps where wind could enter or complete replacement of the system.

Landscaping and Outdoor Items

An important component of protecting a building in high winds is minimizing the potential projectiles that can become airborne. These projectiles can result from trees and limbs and from an assortment of yard items.

Depending on how much warning you have prior to a wind event, these items should be safely stored.  Larger items which cannot be stored should be disassembled and stored, or at the very least turned upside down and secured to the ground.  You should consider every item not secured in their outdoor spaces as a potential projectile.

Taking Shelter Indoors

The safest place in a building during a high wind event is generally the same; an interior room on the lowest level of a structure, away from windows and exterior doors. In some cases, this may be a basement or a first-floor interior closet or bathroom.

Be sure to take a battery operated radio or weather radio with you along with a flashlight. Blankets may offer additional protection and in severe cases, mattresses can be used to provide cover. If an interior bathroom is used, the tub can provide additional protection.

When disaster strikes your home or business, choose the #1 ranked in Restoration Services.  Choose SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Stopping Ice Dams

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Window with ice on it ice dam, water damage

Seems a little late in the season to be talking about Ice Dams, but now is the time to correct some issues which may have caused them.

Ice Dams are thick ridges of solid ice that build up on the lower part of your roofline, preventing melting snow from reaching your gutters.

First, we need to understand how an Ice Dam forms:

  1. Heavy snowfall and sustained cold weather prevents roof-bound snow from gradually melting away.  This leaves an enormous amount of snow on your roof.
  2. Heat then collects in your attic and warms the roof, except the eaves.
  3. Snow then melts on the warm roof and then freezes as the melted water approaches the cold eaves.
  4. This water then re-freezes.  Ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam.  Once this ice dam forms, it blocks ongoing melting snow from escaping into your gutters.
  5. Melted snow water has nowhere to go except back up the roofline, under the shingles, and finally into your home.

Preventing Ice Dams

Following are some steps you can take now to prevent Ice Dams in the future.  Speak with a contractor for each, if you're not handy.

  1. Use Heated Cables: heated cables, placed along your roof edge, will help keep snow melting before it freezes
  2. Ventilate Eaves And Ridge: Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
  3. Cap the Hatch: Cover unsealed attic hatches with weather-stripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
  4. Exhaust to the Outside: Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls.
  5. Add Insulation: Make sure attic insulation is not missing in any area.  This will keep heat from entering the attic space from your home.  The attic should not be a heated space.
  6. Flash Around Chimneys
  7. Seal and Insulate Ducts
  8. Caulk All Penetrations

If you do experience an Ice Dam situation, here are some quick fixes to prevent further damage until the ice and snow can be removed from the roof.

  1. Rake the Snow before it can accumulate and freeze.  There are long handle snow rakes you can purchase.
  2. Blow Cold Air at the source.  This will help to re-freeze the ice dam and prevent water from entering the home until the roof can be cleared.
  3. De-ice the problem area by filling an old pantyhose with calcium chloride and placing it where the ice dam has occurred.  This will cause a gradual melting of the ice.

Finally, DON'T:

  • Throw rock salt on the problem.  This could damage the roof shingles and shrubs.
  • Hack away at the ice.  You could damage your roof and this is a dangerous fall hazard.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

We're Back! Entrepreneur Ranks Us #1 In Our Industry

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries is proud to boast our re-entry into the Top 10 on the Franchise 500 list of Entrepreneur Magazine, landing in the #10 spot out of 500 franchisors listed.  Further to that accolade, we are #1 in our Industry Sector.  


Because SERVPRO never stops improving, inventing, seizing opportunities for growth.

SERVPRO specializes in fire and flood cleanup, but that's the simplest of explanations of what SERVPRO is.  SERVPRO is a national presence, a first responder when regional disaster hits, a collaboration of local, regional, and national franchise owners who go into the teeth of disaster while others run from it.

As the pandemic impacted the US, SERVPRO created solutions.  “We have a really loud voice, and I never understood the power of that until COVID hit,” says Rick Isaacson, SERVPRO’s CEO. When stadiums, strip malls, and small-business owners started calling on SERVPRO to kill a virus, the company moved quickly to launch a new program. It developed a COVID-19 cleaning protocol with input from industry groups and disseminated disinfecting chemicals and PPE. Within a few weeks, businesses began posting “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” badges in their windows and on their websites. “The whole thing happened faster than anything we’ve ever done,” says Isaacson.  Read more.

When disaster strikes your home or business, choose the #1 ranked in Restoration Services.  Choose SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Helping Homeowners Recover

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

employees cleaning fire damage SERVPRO crew cleaning smoke from a fire damage

A back-draft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of the property can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.

So after the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO® of Greater Sussex County help you restore it. With the industry-approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting-edge technology, and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home but the customer’s peace of mind, as well.

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

SERVPRO® of Greater Sussex County provides the following restoration services:

  • Board-ups - In some cases, it may be important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders. SERVPRO® may perform the board-up themselves, or outside subcontractors may be utilized.
  • Move-Outs - If prolonged exposure to the loss event could cause additional damage to your contents, your contractor requests relocation of the contents or the safety of your contents is a concern, a move-out may be recommended. In these situations, SERVPRO® is trained to properly inventory, move out and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration, and deodorization process.
  • Electronics Cleaning - Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces when moisture is also present. If the residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device. SERVPRO® can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor.
  • Artwork - Artwork ranges from inexpensive framed pictures to extremely valuable fine art. Restoration of valuable art requires the use of a trained art restorer (known as a conservator), while less expensive art may not warrant these costly specialized services. SERVPRO® will usually subcontract fine art restoration to a conservator. If desired, SERVPRO® may attempt to remove smoke residues and odors, after qualifying with the customer that such cleaning procedures may affect the visible appearance of the item.
  • Structural Cleaning - After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO® will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your structure. Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO® may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, SERVPRO® will clean to “prepare for painting”. This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.
  • Contents Cleaning–All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.  This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® begins by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested.
  • Deodorization–SERVPRO® provides specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 
  • Repair / Rebuild - In most cases, SERVPRO® can provide full-scope repair and rebuild services, including structural repairs, painting, and flooring.

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Business Interruption Insurance

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

It's common practice to maintain commercial property insurance policies to repair and replace your assets in the event of a covered peril.  In fact, for its cost, it's extremely risky to even consider not carrying this insurance.  Commercial Property Insurance can pay your repair or replacement costs if your business property gets damaged or destroyed from a fire, theft, or other covered loss.

However, when your business is impacted by an event that forces closure, the impact of lost revenue and the burden of ongoing costs can be crippling.  Few consider adding Business Income (interruption) coverage.

Business Income Coverage (BI) can help with operating expenses during the restoration period until the business can resume normal operations.  This coverage can include:

  • Lost Net Income
  • Mortgage and Lease Payments
  • Employee Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Loan Payments

As with any coverage policy, you need to consider reasonable terms when establishing the policy.  After a major disaster, it can take more time than many people realize to get “back in business.” Business income coverage likely has a "restoration period.” This is the length of time that a policy will help pay for lost income and extra expenses while the business is being restored.

So, this then begs the question of "how much BI insurance coverage is needed?".  The general rule is to use gross earnings and projections to help determine future profits.  This will assist in determining the right amount of coverage.

What is NOT covered by BI Insurance?  Typically, the following is not covered:

  • Broken items resulting from a covered event or loss (such as glass)
  • Flood or earthquake damage, which is covered by a separate policy
  • Undocumented income that’s not listed on your business's financial records
  • Utilities
  • Pandemics, viruses, or communicable diseases (such as COVID-19)

BI Insurance may also include extra expenses which will cover anything beyond the normal day-to-day expenses, while the business recovers.  This includes:

  • Renting a temporary place of business while the original place of business is being restored
  • Replacement of hardware, technology, and furniture
  • Paying overtime for employees or hiring more employees
  • Leasing equipment

Speak with your Commercial Insurance Agent to discuss BI insurance and other policies which could protect the business during unplanned outages of all types.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Is It Mold or Is It Rust?

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Can you easily tell the difference between mold and rust? Many people look at a reddish colored stain and assume its rust, although that’s not always the case. Before you break out your heavy-duty cleaning solutions, it pays to understand what you’re up against: mold, rust, or even another stain. 

What’s Normal for Your Home?

If you’re seeing new stains on walls, floors, or countertops, you’ll want to make sure they’re not the result of water infiltration or excess humidity in your home. Try to pinpoint a reason for the stain, based on what room it’s in and the common daily activity. Mold tends to be found in damp, humid areas, while rust forms when metallic surfaces start to corrode. Recognizing the differences between mold and rust helps you determine the best way to take care of an issue before it becomes more pervasive.

What’s that Stain? Mold vs Rust

Areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and basements, can easily foster the growth of mold or mildew. If you see a stain that looks like mold or rust in your shower, sink area, or basement, you’ll want to clean them as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. However, different cleaning solutions are used to treat different stains. Rust, hard water marks, grease, and mold may all look similar, but if you use the wrong cleaner, you may not be able to fully remove them.

Identifying Rust

Rust is the result of iron, or a metal alloy containing iron, such as steel, corroding. Rust is most often observed as a red, yellow or reddish-brown surface stain. Rust is caused by water or damp air touching the surface or a metal prone to rusting. Some common areas where rust is spotted in the home, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), include the following:

  • Water Pipes
  • Metal Roofs and Chimneys
  • Oil tanks for home with oil heat
  • Electrical Panel Boxes
  • Nails

Preventing Rust

Rust can be prevented by keeping metals out of damp and humid areas. Protective coatings, such as varnish may also be applied to surfaces prone to rusting. Ensuring that metal fixtures in your home are kept dry can also help to prevent rust. Wipe up spills immediately and check your basement after heavy storms to spot signs of flooding as soon as possible.

Removing Rust

Removing rust can be a tough job, but with the right cleaners, you should be successful. For lighter rust stains, some household products, such as baking soda or vinegar might work. Mild abrasives like steel wool pads may also remove surface rust, but they may also leave behind scratch marks. There are also many specialized rust removal products sold that you can try for smaller stains. One product you should never use on rust is bleach, which could react negatively with the rust and actually worsen it. 

If you do attempt to clean rust, always follow the instructions on any commercial cleaning product. Be sure to don safety gear, including gloves, safety glasses and a face mask. Always work in a well-ventilated area. If you’re not comfortable with the task, find a handyman or painter that is.

Mold Stains

Mold can resemble other stains like rust or mildew in appearance, but there are actually over 300 types of mold. The colors of mold can range from black to brown, white or gray, or even pink, blue or green. Mold also presents in a range of textures from downy to fuzzy. Some mold is powdery and some has a more slimy texture. 

Mold can grow as the result of a single event, such as a broken pipe or indoor water infiltration due to floods or leaks. It’s important to catch the signs of indoor mold growth as early as possible and have them taken care of before they lead to greater damage. Mold can also cause health effects. Mold sometimes can leave a stain, but that’s not always the case. A damp, musty odor can also be a sign of mold growth. 

If you notice mold growth in damp areas of your home, you can clean affected surfaces with a specialized mold removal product. Common, everyday household cleaning solutions may not be effective against mold. Typically, mold cannot be totally eradicated from porous surfaces, like shower curtains, drywall, or insulation; these items should be disposed of and replaced.

When cleaning mold, you should always wear protective gear, such as a face mask, and ensure that you’re working in an adequately ventilated area. You can read more about the protective gear recommended for mold removal. SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County can help you determine the best way to remove the mold. Once the mold is removed, it’s a good idea to have the area tested by a professional. If mold has continued to grow in your home, you may have a more pervasive problem that requires additional professional remediation from SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County.

Evaluating Mold Issues

Because so many of the stains we see around the house look similar, it may be difficult to determine what is causing the discoloration and damage. If you notice stains on your walls, countertops, or floors that look like mold or rust, contact SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County and request a free home inspection to help diagnose your problem. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

SERVPRO Cares About Your Safety - Generator Safety

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Winter season is upon us and power outages may follow.  If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below provided by the American Red Cross.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use it in wet conditions.  Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
  • Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

SERVPRO Cares About Your Safety - Carbon Monoxide

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

person holding a battery and carbon monoxide detector Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Your safety is always top of mind with SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County.

Winter months present a particular concern with accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.  Every year, hundreds of people in the US die from accidental CO poisoning, and 50,000 visit the emergency room.

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and invisible fume generated by furnaces, kerosene heaters, portable generators, and similar fuel-burning appliances.  Carbon Monoxide can build up in enclosed spaces and you can be poisoned and die from breathing these fumes.

Common symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.  Most people are poisoned while they sleep.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk and prevent CO poisoning:

  • Make sure you install a CO detector in different parts of the home and frequently check that the batteries are working.
  • Never operate your car in a closed garage.
  • Keep vents and flues clean of debris and blockages.
  • Make sure your home heating system is inspected annually.
  • Never operate a generator or other gasoline-powered equipment within 20 feet of an open window or door and never inside the home.

Remember, CO poisoning is preventable.  If you suspect CO poisoning, do not wait, call 911.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Home Mold Testing - DIY Kit - Use With Caution

12/27/2020 (Permalink)

You can expect mold and mildew outside your home because of the damp natural conditions of the outdoors. Mold and mildew inside the house is a different problem because the inside of your home shouldn't remain damp.

The presence of moisture is the most significant contributor to mold growth. To fight the infestation, you should conduct a room-by-room assessment of the house to identify problem areas. The moisture can come from condensation due to poor ventilation (attic), from a water leak (around bathrooms), or outdoor intrusion (foundation walls).


Mold and mildew in a home are not always easy to detect if it exists within attics or is hidden within walls. If you suspect your indoor air quality is hindered by hidden mold, the best course of action is to contact an Industrial Hygienist (IH). 

The IH will take both surface and air samples to detect the presence of mold on the structure.  These two tests are essential to take in concert with each other as they will help detect the presence of mold in areas that cannot be seen or reached, such as in wall cavities.  They will also help determine the severity and types of mold in a specific area of the home.

If you choose to take your own surface sample as a first step, mold detection kits can be purchased in most home improvement stores and are easy to use.  Swab the surface in the area you're concerned about.  Test results show in as little as 5 minutes, and much like a pregnancy test, you'll either see one line (negative results) or two lines (positive).

Use caution as these tests are not necessarily conclusive, given the absence of air samples and misinterpretation by the user.  Only a trained professional should perform mold testing using the proper methods.

Even if your home test is positive, it does not necessarily mean you have a serious problem but that you should consider consulting a professional indoor air quality inspector or contact SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County. You can also have an optional laboratory analysis of your test results conducted for an additional fee.  

Click here to go to our website and learn a bit more about Mold Remediation. 

Fighting the Mold you Find

If you discover mold on the home's interior, the first step in solving the problem is to eliminate the source of moisture—whatever that may be. Otherwise, any mold or mildew you clean is likely to return.

For minor problems, you may be able to clean the surface of the materials with an antimicrobial cleaner. For major problems, remove materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned of mold-like insulation, carpeting, or drywall. Use your antimicrobial cleaner to clean the surrounding area as well as the places where you actually see mold and mildew, so make sure you remove all traces of the substances.

Finally, replace the removed building materials with new, mold-free materials.

Mold can be a serious issue with challenging aspects in remediating it properly.  We highly recommend calling in a professional, like SERVPRO, to help you evaluate the proper steps before proceeding on your own.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

Places To Find Cash After A Disaster

12/26/2020 (Permalink)

It happens when you least expect it, and you certainly don't plan for it.  The natural disaster, like a flood, fire or any other type of personal catastrophe that leaves you in dire need of liquid funds. 

Self preservation requires cash.  If you’re hit with an emergency and need to find cash fast, of course, the first place to look are your bank accounts. If these funds are not sufficient, then look to these resources.

1. Family and Close Friends

If you need to find cash fast, ask your family and friends. If they can help, remember to always treat this as a loan and never treat it casually.

If you need to, attach an interest rate and a payment time frame, as you would any official loan from a financial institution.  This is important because your family or friend have to charge you something for the transaction to be considered a loan and not a gift that could have tax and estate planning implications.

2. The Government

FEMA is able to provide disaster assistance for such needs as temporary housing, home repair, disaster-related medical expenses, vehicle damage and cleanup costs.  Another source, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers federally subsidized loans for renters, private nonprofit organizations and home and business owners.

Here's the catch...to qualify for either a FEMA or SBA loan, you must live in a federally declared disaster zone and file a claim with their insurance company first.

3. Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance policies are great resources because they’re readily accessible funds.  The can be borrowed against without having to qualify for a loan, and you can pay a policy loan back on your own schedule.

However, rules will vary with insurance providers. Many require policyholders to own their policies for a few years before they can qualify to borrow. You’ll also be charged interest for taking out a policy loan. 

4. CDs, Savings Bonds and Mutual Funds / Stocks

CD's: You can take your money out of a CD, but you’ll likely pay a penalty. Sacrificing some earnings is a relatively insignificant compared to paying interest rates on a life insurance loan.

Savings bondsSavings bonds are another quick cash resource.  You might need to pay a three-month interest penalty if a bond is redeemed too early though. In both cases, of course you’ll pay income tax on any interest earned.

Mutual Funds: You can sell stocks as well as mutual funds and annuities. If you take this route, consult your financial adviser about likely tax issues and penalties.

5. College 529 Savings

You may need to borrow from your future to pay present obligations.  You 529 College Savings Account is a good resource for this.  However, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, those who withdraw funds out of a 529 plan for non-qualified education expenses will pay income tax and a 10 percent penalty on any earnings.

6. Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts can be used to fund personal financial needs.  It's important to understand the long term personal retirement planning impact.  So plan accordingly and know the difference between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA.

Roth IRA holders may withdraw their own contributions — not earnings — without tax or penalty.

Traditional IRA holders may start taking penalty-free distributions on their accounts if they begin taking regular distributions, but specific rules apply. You’ll pay income taxes and a 10 percent penalty on the taxable amount if you’re under age 59½.

7. A 401(k) Loan

A 401(k) loan is usually a better option than using a 529 or IRA loan.

401(k) holders can borrow up to half of their account balance, up to $50,000, tax-free, but, in most cases, funds must be repaid within five years.

The shortcoming is that you have to stay with your current employer for the duration of the loan period.  If you leave your job, you’ll have 30 to 60 days to repay the loan or face penalties.

Before pulling funds from any long-term investment, read the fine print and always consult your tax adviser.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage, and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until SERVPRO® of Greater Sussex County professionals arrive.

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® does not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

Ask SERVPRO® of Greater Sussex County professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which one will work best for you.

If you or one of your customers suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of Greater Sussex County immediately. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.


12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Have you accounted for Fido or Lucy when emergency planning?

After The Storm

After Hurricane Katrina, "It’s estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued. Of the 15,500 animals rescued, only 15%-20% were ever reunited with their owners.”

Source: Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, la-spca.org

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency.

Pet Emergency Kit

Ready.gov/pets lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit.

  • Food. At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
  • Medicines and medical records.
  • Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers, and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
  • First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
  • Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
  • Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys, and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.


While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don’t leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.


Micro-chipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet’s owners.

Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/pets for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured’s families’ pets, or your tenant's pets’ during a disaster.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Be Proactive and Reduce Covid-19 Business Liability

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

You likely have workplace safety policies in place.  But you probably never contemplated the Covid-19 pandemic and the fluid, constantly changing landscape of NJ state-wide employer requirements.

Governor Murphy recently implemented Executive Order 192 to "Protect New Jersey's Workforce During the Covid Pandemic".  In short, this order requires New Jersey businesses to document the health conditions of all workers on a daily basis and to restrict access of those workers if they show symptoms.

Taken from an article found in New Jersey Business, "Being Proactive Can Reduce COVID-19 Liability", written by Joe Cavaluzzi, it takes a lot of thought to come up with workplace safety policies that address COVID-19’s threat to workers and protect a company against liability claims. 

Additionally, this article states, a change in New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation law, which is retroactive to March 9, created the presumption that coronavirus contracted by those whose jobs expose them to COVID-19 is work-related and fully compensable. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) has suggested that the law puts an added burden on companies already struggling with lost business, although labor attorneys say the new law provides protection from increased insurance premiums. 

Joe states, the best protection, however, comes from being proactive with comprehensive policies that address the safety of workers – even those working from home – and vigilance to make sure they are understood and followed. 

The key points raised by the article are:

  • Setting Policies that Protect Workers and Employers - Recommending 4 Policies

    • Telecommuting Policy
    • Containment Policy
    • Health Screening Policy
    • Travel Policy
  • Liability When Employees Get Sick 

    • Although state policies are fluid and change frequently, act promptly when a worker comes down with the virus. 
    • Ask workers to sign an acknowledgment form confirming compliance with COVID-19 workplace practices.
    • Document contact tracing with other employees when an employee becomes ill.
  • Changes to Workers’ Comp Law 

    • Will raise concerns for workers and employers

One final note: Gov. Murphy signed S-2380 into law which creates a presumption that COVID-19 infections occurred at the workplace for certain essential employees.  This law leaves it up to the employer to prove that it didn’t.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.

Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season

Local SERVPRO fire restoration specialist says use common sense and caution to help control the risk of holiday season home fires

In a year when large holiday gatherings may not be possible, fire damage restoration specialist SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County says a focus on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on extra significance.  It’s as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party.  We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or menorahs and candlelight, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster. 

  • The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve.
  • More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death.

In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives.  To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines.

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights. 

In a year when so many of the things we take for granted have changed, we know people will still come together – in person or virtually – to celebrate family and holiday traditions. "Stay safe" has become a common expression in the context of public health, but this holiday season, we urge all Sussex County-area home and business owners to think about "staying safe" in their homes as they prepare for and enjoy the holiday season. 

SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit our website.

For more information on SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County, please contact us at 973-383-2024.  If you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services. 

What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in recontamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning.

Just as you wouldn’t clean only half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your HVAC system. NADCA recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:

  • air ducts
  • coils
  • drain pan
  • registers
  • grills
  • air plenum
  • blower motor and assembly
  • heat exchanger
  • air filter
  • air cleaner

There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.

Breaking Contaminants Loose

Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with the use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include: brushes, air whips and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.

Collection of Contaminants

During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (a vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning. This negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.

System Access

HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the duct work in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. Creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skills.

Equipment Requirements

There is a wide variety of equipment available to HVAC cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.

Antimicrobial Chemicals

Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers that can be applied to nonporous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only chemicals registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products should only be considered after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such treatment has been deemed necessary. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Greater Sussex County's System Services.


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