Recent Posts

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington Offers Post-Restoration Construction Services

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington Offers Post-Restoration Construction Services SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington offers full post restoration construction services- from renovating bathrooms to replacing your roof.

Most people know that SERVPRO is the nation's leader in water and fire damage restoration.

You've seen the commercials, our trucks out on the road and perhaps a friend has used our service.  However, many of our restoration customers are surprised to learn that our franchise, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, offers construction services as well.  

After the fire is put out, the water is extracted, the structure dried, the odor removed, the mold remediated, and the contents cleaned, there is often still the issue of returning the physical structure back to preloss condition. When our restoration crew has completed the restoration of water and fire damage in a structure, our building services team will take over for the rebuilding phase. 

Our expert contractors will meet with you to assess the damage and formulate a plan to rebuild your home or business. Whether you need a few walls in your home sheetrocked, a total replacement of your kitchen or a new roof, our team is trained and experienced to take do the job. We work with your home owner's insurance company estimator to ensure that the repair costs are in line with your policies coverage.  

Using our building services team for your construction needs streamlines the process for you, enabling you to get back into your home as soon as possible. If you've had a fire in your Milford home, we know that you have been through a traumatic experience. Our goal is to leave our customers a home that is better than before to return to after construction is complete.  

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

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

General Keep Your 4th of July Festivities Safe With These Fireworks Tips We all grew up playing with sparklers on the 4th of July however do they do cause injuries each year. Teach your children to use them with caution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signs of Mold Growth Behind the Walls of Your Southbury, CT Home

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Signs of Mold Growth Behind the Walls of Your Southbury, CT Home When we lifted the wallpaper in this MIlford, CT home that had water damage from a water heater that leaked, we found mold.

It's not always obvious when your home has hidden mold. Unlike water or fire damage, mold damage can occur slowly and behind the walls of your home or business.  

If your home has had water damage, it is likely that mold will start to grow in your walls or ceilings within 48 hours if the water wasn't removed.  Drywall in particular will absorb water like a sponge very quickly and is an ideal surface for mold to grow on. If water damage in your home has soaked into your drywall, removal of the drywall is necessary to stop the possibility of mold growth.  If your home has a slow leaking pipe, it could cause moist conditions behind your walls, allowing mold to grow.

There are some signs of mold that you you should be aware of.  

  • Damp or soft walls - Inspect your walls for any softness of the sheetrock, which could happen when it is deteriorating from the inside.  Also, if your walls for damp to the touch, the cause should be determined. 
  • Warped walls - If your walls are bulging or warped, that could indicate moisture. 
  • Discoloration – Yellow, brown or black stains or rings on your walls are a sign of water damage from behind them.  
  • Peeling, bubbling or cracking of paint or wallpaper. We recently restored a home that had water damage in Milford, CT. The home had a hot water heater burst in the basement and although the water damage was discovered within 2 days, mold had begun to grow behind the wallpaper.  
  • Musty Smell - If you don’t see signs of mold but you can smell it, it may be hidden in your walls. The best way to describe a mold smell is that it is very earthy, similar to rotting leaves. If you think you smell mold in your home, taking a sniff around your electrical outlets may give you an idea of whether there may be a problem behind your walls.  

If you suspect that you may have mold growing behind your walls, a consultation with a professional mold removal company is recommended. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is IICRC certified in mold remediation and our crew uses the highest level of tools and training to determine whether mold exists in your home and how best to treat it.  

Fire, Smoke and Water Damage Restoration After Southbury Area House Fires

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire, Smoke and Water Damage Restoration After Southbury Area House Fires House fires can be an emotional experience for the whole family. The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has the expertise to clean it all up.

House fires are an extremely devastating and terrifying experience. Once safely outside of your home, you and your family must wait outside and watch your home be further damaged while the fire department extinguishes the flames.  House fires leave a home with not only charred walls, soot and smoke damage. There will also be water damage from rescue efforts.  Depending on the severity of the fire, you may not be able to return to your home for some time.  

Structural Safety -  House fires can cause conditions in which your home is no longer structurally sound. Wall studs and other materials integral to the structure of your home may have been burned and compromised during the fire. If the roof was damaged, falling debris might be a hazard. Many homes also have damage to the electrical wiring that requires that the electricity be turned off until it can be repaired.  

Smoke Damage - House fires lead to thick, heavy smoke and soot because there is so much upholstered furniture, carpeting, curtains, clothing, and other household items that act as fuel. This soot and smoke can linger inside of the home for a very long time after the fire has been extinguished and can lead to serious health problems. Not only is soot very toxic, but it is also quite tiny in size at just 2.5 microns (compare that to a dust particle which is 40 microns in size!). Smoke odors are absorbed into many household items- carpeting, upholstered furniture and even wood – and are very difficult to remove. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Water Damage- The amount of water required to put out a house fire can be staggering – in many cases over 1000 gallons can be used by firefighters. All of that is left when the trucks leave. In many of the house fire damage restoration jobs that we work on, the water damage requires more of a clean up than the fire damage itself. The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Contents Damage Fire, water and smoke cause extensive damage to household contents. We understand that your belongings are not "just things" and use advanced restoration techniques to save and restore your treasured items. Not everything can be saved but our team will carefully go through and inventory your home with you to identify special items and family heirlooms.  

We can't stop a fire from damaging your Woodbury home but we can help get life back to normal as quickly as possible afterwards. The fire, smoke and water damage restoration services offered by SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington are based on over fifty years of experience. If you have any questions regarding our fire damage restoration process, give us a call at (203)267-6262. 

Meet The Team: Rob Fox, Operations Manager

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Community Meet The Team: Rob Fox, Operations Manager Rob Fox is the operations manager for all 3 of our SERVPRO franchises. He has 13 years in the emergency water, fire and mold restoration industries.

Many of our customers have had the opportunity to meet Robert Fox, the Operations Manager for all three of our SERVPRO franchises.  Rob has been in the emergency restoration field for 13 years.  Prior to working for SERVPRO of Southbury, Rob served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Ordnance 3rd Class Petty Officer and Restoration Specialist.  He also has experience as a Basic Life Support instructor and Emergency Medical Technician as well as an iron worker.  

A native of Milford, Rob attended Jonathan Law High School. Growing up, he played lacrosse, baseball and football. These days, Rob enjoys spending time with his family, camping and traveling. He can often be found playing and watching football, golfing and going to the range.  He is a coach for the Naugatuck Youth Soccer Club and a member of the CT Young Insurance Professionals organization.

Rob is a highly certified restoration specialist with a long list of certifications in water, fire and mold damage restoration from the IICRC as well as OSHA. These include Water Damage Restoration, Applied Microbial Remediation, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control,  Applied Structural Drying, Health & Safety, Exam Monitor, Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning, Journeyman Fire and smoke Restorer,  Journeyman Textile cleaner, Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, Osha 10 and Lead Certification.  

Rob says that working in the restoration industry has given him the ability to help people from the start to the finish of a job. He is able to play a part in making a disaster into something amazing.  When a job is complete, he takes pride in always giving back a home better than it was. Needless to say, with the years of training and experience he brings, we feel fortunate to have Rob as part of the SERVPRO of Southbury team.  

Does Bleach Kill Mold Found in Your Home?

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Bleach Kill Mold Found in Your Home? Many customers ask us about using bleach on mold found in their homes. Here's why SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington recommends against this practice.

When it comes to mold found inside of a home, there can be a lot of confusion.  A google search will provide you with many conflicting "facts" and it's not always easy to determine what action you should take if you find mold in your home.  In the next few weeks, we will be addressing some of the common misconceptions about mold to help you have a better understanding of it and its impact on your home and your health.  Today, we address one of the most common myths about mold which is that bleach kills mold.  

We understand how this myth originated. Bleach is an awesome disinfectant and was once recommended by both OSHA and the EPA as an effective mold remover. They have both since changed their recommendations and now advise against bleach for mold removal. 

Bleach Cleans Only the Surface 

To ensure survival, mold roots itself in porous materials like wood and sheetrock. Bleach does not penetrate deep into porous materials. Mold remediation requires a special cleaning process that reaches deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or "pull out" the roots. When bleach is applied, the mold might appear to be gone (since the surface was bleached white) however in a few weeks it reappears. 

Bleach can be effective at removing surface mold on some hard, non-porous materials, such as tile and glass. So, if you need to use bleach on your bathtub or toilet bowl, go for it! Otherwise, consider an alternative treatment.  

Bleach Feeds Mold, Adding to its Growth  

What further exacerbates the situation is the fact that bleach is comprised 90% of water, which is essential for the growth of mold. So, the application of bleach actually feeds the mold spores and can allow it to grow even faster. Although the surface may look bleached and clean, the remaining spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before. 

Bleach Damages Wood 

Chlorine bleach is caustic and causes a chemical reaction that erodes and degrades the wood it has been applied to. The fibers are broken down and the structural integrity of your home can be compromised.  You will be left with mold and damaged wood.  This is not the result you were hoping for.  

Mold Spores are in the Air 

Bleach is not effective in killing mold spores, which are airborne.  At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we use specialized filtration equipment, which allows our crew to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process. 

For tips on preventing mold growth in your home, visit this page.  If you have any questions about mold that you find in your Middlebury home, please feel free to call us at (203)267-6262. 

The Water Damage Restoration Process When You Call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Water Damage Restoration Process When You Call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington When you call us after having experienced water damage to your Torrington home, one of our administrative assistants will answer your call.

Quick action is crucial when you are dealing with water damage. The severity of the damage to your home can increase within just a few hours. This is the case no matter what has caused your water damage- whether it be from a broken refrigerator supply line, a leaking roof or a water heater burst.  

When they pick up your call, Theny and Alexis, our Torrington office staff, understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and a bit vulnerable. Our staff has experience of taking hundreds of calls like yours each year and can calmly guide you through the process. 

Upon answering your call, we will gather the necessary information in order to determine what equipment and resources will be needed as well as the size of the crew to send. 

Some of the questions we might ask are:

    • Your name and phone number as well as email address
    • If you are a renter or property manager, the homeowner's contact information
    • Your home insurance policy information 
    • The street address of the water-damaged home or business as well as the billing address
    • When the water damage occurred and what caused it
    • Whether there is electricity and heat available in the home

The following step will be for the office to schedule an appointment for one of our estimators to come to your home along with a crew to inspect the damages and formulate a restoration plan. The information that they have gotten from your call will help them determine how many technicians to send and what type of equipment is needed. Once we have inspected the damage, our crew will begin work.

We know that most of our clients have not experienced water damage before and may be unfamiliar with the terminology used and why certain actions need to be taken. Please know that if at any point you feel this way, our production managers and office staff are available to answer your questions.

The team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington are your Connecticut water restoration specialists. If you have a flood or leak, call us at (203) 267-6262.

Emergency Board Ups and Water Damage Restoration in Southbury, CT

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Emergency Board Ups and Water Damage Restoration in Southbury, CT High winds and hail the size of tennis balls hit the Southbury, CT area, causing damage to homes and businesses.

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

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

Restoring Household Contents After Water Damage in Your Watertown, CT Home

5/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoring Household Contents After Water Damage in Your Watertown, CT Home If your Southbury, CT home has extensive water damage, we may pack the contents of your home and store them safely at our facility during restoration.

When a home has water damage from a flooded basement or a pipe burst, the contents of the home can be damaged as well as the structure.

The task of sorting through a families belongings to determine what should be restored and what should be replaced can be an emotional one. The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington crew understands how difficult this can be and is available to help our customers in this process. 

When restoring a home after water damage, we typically order a dumpster to the home in which we place damaged materials such as wet sheetrock, insulation, wood floors and carpeting that cannot be saved. As we go through the contents, there will be some pieces of furniture that clearly cannot be saved. Typically, this would be porous items such as mattresses and furniture which is made out of particle board.

If we are uncertain whether we can save a particular item, we are able to pretest them to determine whether they can be brought back to their original condition.  We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following: 

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning. 
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. 
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning. 
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned. 
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.  
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.  

Our franchise offers a Contents Claim Inventory Service to our customers, which provides them a list of their belongings and their values.  This helps our customers provide the needed documentation to their homeowner's insurance company to be reimbursed for damages. 

As we walk through a home, a customer may identify certain items of sentimental value. We will make our best effort to restore these treasured items such as a favorite stuffed animal, a photo album or an important document. We have five options for the restoration of documents, which is dependent on the level of damage to the documents. 

  • Air Drying 
  • Dehumidification 
  • Freezer Drying 
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying 
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying 

Homes that have extensive damage may require the furnishings be removed during restoration. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington offers full content moving service. This includes the packing up of your belongings, transportation to our storage facility and the return of your items when restoration is complete. Not only does our pack out services help us restore your home quicker and with more ease, it also protects your belongings from further damage from moisture in the air, which can cause mold spores to grow.

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team understands that it can be difficult to part with sentimental belongings and we are diligent in our effort to restore them if possible. From our initial walk through, to the return of your belongings when the restoration is complete, our goal is to be respectful and helpful to families who are going through a difficult ordeal.  

Understanding Household Mold in Torrington, CT

4/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Understanding Household Mold in Torrington, CT Finding mold in your Torrington CT home, and understanding the mold remediation process, should not be stressful.

Finding mold in a home can bring concern and worry to a homeowner. We receive frequent calls at our office from people who have found mold. These callers are often filled with questions about our mold remediation process. The truth is, mold does not have to be complicated. There a few basic concepts about mold and how it is treated that are good for homeowners to know prior to contacting a mold remediation company.

1. You will hear many different terms used for the treatment of mold in the home including mold removal, mold abatement, mold remediation and mold mitigation. These terms are interchangeable. Because they naturally occur in both indoor and outdoor environments, mold spores are always present in a home. Any company that claims to eliminate mold from your home is probably one to stay clear of. The goal when servicing a home that has mold is the reduction of mold spores to healthy, natural levels.

2. Many internet sources warn of black mold and indicate that it is more harmful than other molds. Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, can cause a range of negative health symptoms on humans. However, not all mold that is colored black produces mycotoxins, which are a toxic substance produced by mold. And many of the 100,000 species of mold that are different colors do produce mycotoxins. So, don't let the color of the mold in your home affect your decision to have it inspected and treated. 

3. Mold does not always require professional remediation. We visit homes on a regular basis to inspect reports of mold. Quite often, we are able to locate the source of the moisture (typically a pipe leak under a sink or a roof leak) and suggest that the homeowner call a plumber to repair the leak.  When we inspect a home for mold, we always give an honest opinion as to whether our services are needed.

If you do require mold remediation, a highly trained mold specialist is required. The team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is IICRC trained for mold and has the experience and equipment needed to safely mitigate the mold in your home.