Recent Posts

The Importance of Duct Cleaning:

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington today at 203-267-6262.

When Fire and Water Take Control of Your Life, We Help You Take it Back!

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results—including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to help ensure that fire damages are handled by utilizing the following services.

  • Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.
  • Contents Cleaning - All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery.  Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to pre loss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.
  • Deodorization - We provide specialized services that rid your residence or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. We seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

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

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

If you have any questions concerning your duct work or would like a consultation please don’t hesitate to call us at 203-267-6262!

Safety Tips - Candles

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safety Tips - Candles Keep Candles At Least A Foot Away From Anything That Can Burn.

Holiday Safety Tips: 

Candles, pretty lights  and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season, however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly. 

Below are safety tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home this holiday season. 

  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles.  Keep candles at least three feet away from anything that burns.

  • Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces.

  • Never leave candles unattended.

  • Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.

  • Make sure you have the correct type of light for your desired décor.  Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

  • Carefully inspect light strands before placing them.  Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.  Connect no more than three strands of light sets.

  • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry.  Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage.  Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

  • Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.

  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

  • Smoke alarms save lives!  Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, near kitchen and sleeping areas.  Don’t forget to replace all batteries at least once a year. 

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Did You Know that There Are Different Types of Smoke?

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Did You Know that There Are Different Types of Smoke? An example of Soot Webs.

Some of the different types of smoke are:

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should the unexpected happen, clean-up should be handled by a professional cleaning company like SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.

Flood Safety & Recovery Tips

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

Be Prepared:

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

Responding Appropriately During a Flood:

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

Flood Recovery Tips:

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

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated properly.  Cleanup can often be an overwhelming task.  We are prepared to handle any size disaster!

Tips To Help Prevent Pipes From Freezing:

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

Outdoor Care:

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

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

Indoor Care:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If a Pipe Bursts:

Shut off water at the main valve.

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

Call a plumber immediately! Then call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington to make it, “Like it never even happened.” 

Be Storm Weather Ready!

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Be Severe Weather Ready

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

·         10,000 severe thunderstorms

·         5,000  floods or flash floods

·         1,000 tornadoes

·         2 land falling deadly hurricanes

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

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

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

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

Microscopic Mold Spores

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you see signs of mold, please contact SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at 203-267-6262.  We are here to help and have specialized equipment and expertise to help remediate your mold infestation.

Does Insurance Cover Mold?

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

If you see signs of mold please don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262.