Recent Posts

Water Damage Restoration at New Haven County Medical Facility

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

When water damage occurs at a medical facility, our team knows that the stakes are high.

When we arrive at the hospital or medical complex, our job will entail not only the typical scope of water damage restoration but also the protection of expensive medical equipment and documents.

For example, a common scenario that we encounter in our work is a water sprinkler setting off, either due to a damaged pipe or a malfunction in a hospital. Sprinkler systems in commercial buildings can release thousands of gallons of water over everything in the facility, causing massive water damage. When we arrive on the scene, we immediately implement a plan for protecting valuable equipment and documents. Not only is it vital to relocate equipment, but drying it out to make sure no further damage occurs is also a priority.

We have the training and the equipment to do our jobs efficiently and correctly. Our team is on call 24/7 so that we can respond to situations like flooding in medical facilities immediately.

You give your patients 100%. We will do the same for your facility.

SERVPRO Cleans Up Thomaston Homes After Heating Oil Spills

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

It’s wintertime in Connecticut and the signs are all here -  snowy boots by the doorway, icicles hanging off of eaves and trucks driving down the road at all hours delivering oil to keep our homes warm.

Heating oil is used to heat the majority of homes in the Torrington area. Even those of us with wood stoves also use oil to keep warm. It’s an easy and relatively safe way of heating our homes. However, accidents happen and several times a year, our office receives calls from homes in which there has been a home heating oil spill inside of a home. Typically, these spills occur when a tank is accidentally overfilled or there is a leak in the oil tank.  

There are health risks associated with inhaling the vapors from home heating oil. Fortunately, these spills are usually discovered immediately by the oil delivery company and the occupants of the home are able to leave the premises without being harmed. Inspecting your tank and looking for signs of rust and drips around the tank is the best way to detect a slow leak. 

When you’ve had an oil spill, professional clean up is necessary. We’ve found that local oil companies are quick to assist homeowners when they have made an error and overfilled your tank or caused a spill. While you wait for our arrival, we advise against attempting to clean up the spill yourself. You should ventilate the area where the leak occurred (most likely the basement) by opening windows and doors. Turn off all sources of flames or sparks in the area, such as pilot lights in water heaters and furnaces. Try to contain the fumes out of the living space by closing vents and doors to the basement if possible.

If your oil company accidentally overfills your tank, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington for emergency clean up service. Our technicians are experienced in restoring homes after home heating oil spills and are here to help.

Happy New Year From All of Us at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Group of people posing for a photo in a restaurant We are looking forward to what the Twenties have in store for us!

With the Twenty-Teens coming to an end, we are amazed at how much our company has accomplished in the last decade.

Most notably, we went from one SERVPRO franchise to three. Our crew and staff numbers grew exponentially, as did our "fleet" (those bright green vans that you see on the road!). With the acquisition of the new franchises also came two new facilities which allowed us to accommodate our customers in new areas of Connecticut.

Looking back, we could not have imagined such growth and success. We owe it all to the collaborative effort of our owner, Greg Geaski, our staff and our crew -  many of whom have been with us for much of the last decade. And, of course, we couldn't have done it without our customers.

We're excited to see how the next decade unfolds and discover what's in store for us in the 2020's!

We wish all of our customers, friends and families a Happy New Year!

Creosote Buildup is the Primary Cause of Chimney Fires in Harwinton Homes

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Nothing is more devastating in our work than arriving at home that has been destroyed by a fire - especially during the holiday season.

The primary cause of home fires is often a chimney fire. Every year in the United States, there are over 25,000 chimney fires, which incur $125 million-plus in property damage  Flames which have migrated up the chimney cause cracking, melting and warping to the masonry or metal chimney interior and eventually spread to the rest of the home. This is often caused by a buildup of creosote. 

How to Eliminate the Creosote in Your Chimney!

Creosote is a highly flammable by-product of a fire that coats chimney walls and condenses as it moves from the hot fireplace or wood stove into the cooler chimney. With a thick build up of creosote, it can catch fire in a hot chimney and move up the flue.

To reduce the amount of creosote in your chimney, pay attention to these factors:

1. Wood

Burn only seasoned hardwood that has dried for at least six months and contains a moisture content of no more than 20 percent. Unseasoned wood creates cooler smoke than seasoned wood, resulting in buildup. 

2. Air Supply

Keep the damper (a metal plate in the flue that regulates the draft) open during a fire to maintain adequate airflow. Also, refrain from overstuffing the wood box, which also restricts air flow. 

3. Flue Liner

The flue liner is the layer between the flue and chimney walls. If it is uninsulated, we recommend that you insulate it by either wrapping a heat-resistant insulation blanket around the liner or pouring an insulation mix like vermiculite into the space between the flue liner and flue. An insulated flue liner will prevent flue temperatures from getting too cool—a condition that could encourage fire by-products to condense and form creosote.

4. Creosote Removal Products.

As a preventative measure, you can apply a creosote remover in your fire- they come in a powdered and liquid forms as well as logs and both are simply burned in your wood stove. 

Chimney fires can be prevented with regular maintenance and inspections, saving homes and lives. 

Every Winter, We Restore Homes with Water Damage From Ice Dams

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

After the snowfall and freezing temperatures we have experienced in the last week, it looks like we will have a brief respite from winter's wrath.

One concern that Connecticut homeowners may have after the storm is ice dams that may have formed on their roof.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof.  Typically, this happens after a snow storm, when there is a pile of snow sitting on the roof above your attic. After the weather warms to above 32 degrees and melts the snow, it causes the top layer to form into a mound of ice. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home because when the ice dam reaches its capacity, it begins to make its way under the shingles. When the ice melts, it drips into your home.  The walls, insulation and ceilings of your home can become damaged. If left untreated, mold can also become an issue. 

If your Harwinton home has an ice dam, there are some steps that you can take to remove it.

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small pieces by tapping it gently with a blunt mallet. Work slowly and carefully so that you do not damage your shingles.

2. Use calcium chloride ice melter to weaken the ice. This will melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to drain. Do NOT use rock salt, as it will damage paint and metal. 

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is trained and equipped to restore Litchfield County homes that have water damage from ice dams. Call us at (203) 267-6262 if you have damage to your roof from snow and ice this winter.

We are Open 24/7 - Even on Holidays - to Respond to Your Water and Fire Damage

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

graphic image of a turkey with servpro air cleaner as its body Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, which is filled with family, cooking and celebration for many of us.

In the Northeast, it also falls during this time when the weather changes drastically and can be somewhat unpredictable. In Torrington,  we've seen temps ranging from 17 to 60 degrees in the month November already.

The potential for freezing weather followed by warming temps and rain makes November a month in which we see a rise in water damage calls. Frozen pipes burst and basements flood. 

Home fires also begin to rise in November, due to the use of wood and electric heat sources as well as cooking fires. With company over and many things on the stove, the kitchen is often left unattended. Our office receives a number of calls each Thanksgiving from homeowners whose holiday was disrupted due to a kitchen fire. 

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving however if you do have water or fire damage, you can trust that SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington will be there to help. We have crew members on call to respond to your call 24/7 - even on holidays. 

Keeping our Seniors Safe at Nursing Homes in Litchfield County

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

When we put our loved ones into an assisted care facility, we trust that they will be well taken care of and kept safe.

From what we have seen in the Waterbury area, our local nursing homes take that responsibility very seriously. All structures are vulnerable to water leaks, fires and mold and nursing homes are no exception. In our experience, those who run these facilities are proactive in keeping their buildings safe for their residents. 

We’ve been called by a number of care facilities over the past year to treat water damage from burst pipes, smoke damage and mold concerns. With a quick response from both the administration and our team, we’ve been able to address and resolve these situations quickly and with as little disruption to the residents as possible. 

Because of our advanced training and decades of experience, we understand how important it is that the damage restoration be done fully and correctly. We are sincere when we say that when it comes to your family and clients, we approach our work as if they are our own loved ones.  

If you are a Southbury area administrator of a care facility, please feel free to call us to discuss how we can help you prepare for the worst.

We will set up an individualized Emergency Ready Profile for your center, giving you and your staff the tools required to respond efficiently to any emergency at your facility. 

Call (203) 267-6262 to schedule an appointment. 

With Winter Comes Chimney Fires and Puffbacks in Watertown Homes

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

exterior of a house with vinyl siding and wood structure burned Chimney fires pose a severe fire risk in homes. Have yours cleaned and inspected regularly.

The wintertime brings unique challenges to homeowners in Litchfield County. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington responds to calls in which homes have been damaged by chimney fires, oil burner puff backs, biohazardous oil spills and space heater fires as well as water damage from rescue efforts. Help your family keep it safe from a house fire while keeping warm this winter by following these recommendations this fall.  

  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced. This should be done by a qualified technician annually. 
  • Have your chimney and vents cleaned and inspected by a professional. They will check for creosote buildup as well as cracks in the lining. This is the easiest way to avoid chimney fires from creosote.  
  • Use dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood stove to avoid creosote build up.  
  • Be sure that your fireplace screen is metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.  
  • Have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)  
  • Instruct your children to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters. Place safety gates around heat sources if young children are in the home.  
  •  Make certain that portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off. They should also be plugged directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and placed at least three feet from anything that can burn such as bedding, curtains and walls.  
  • Test your smoke alarms and make sure they are working. Your home should have smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area.  
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms and made sure they are working.  

The fall is the perfect time to get ready for winter. Make sure that your home is ready and safe from fire and smoke damage. If you have a home fire this winter, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262 for a quick response and home restoration built on over 30 years of training and experience.

Prepping Your House for Winter

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

drawing of a house with earmuffs on Ice dams can cause structural damage to your roof and water damage inside your house.

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Litchfield County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle in for the long, cozy New England winter.  Now is the time to take a few steps to ready your Bantam, CT home for the months to come.

Oil Burner Servicing - If you have not already done so, make an appointment to have your oil burner serviced. This is recommended on an annual basis. Having the burner tuned up and cleaned of dust and grime that has accumulated improves system efficiency, which means better heating performance and lower heating costs. It also minimizes the risk of your oil burner requiring a major emergency repair in the midst of freezing temperatures. At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we respond to many homes each winter that have water damage due to frozen pipes caused by a malfunctioning oil burner.

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleaning - Many of our customers heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces throughout the Connecticut winter. These alternatives to oil heating provide what is often a more affordable source of heat. We recommend that you check your fireplace for any signs of excessive soot, cracks in the chimney and that your chimney cap is secure. Have your chimney swept annually to avoid soot buildup, or creosote. A blocked chimney can cause a  chimney fire, which is not always easily detected. These can spread quickly through the walls and roof of your home and result in massive damage to your home. A blocked chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can also  cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, putting those inside your home at risk. 

Prepare the outside of your home - Trim trees with branches that are low laying and may be an issue when covered with snow and ice. Snow and ice causes them to be heavy and possibly cause damage to your home during winter storms. Also, check your gutters to make sure they are free of leaves and debris so that they can function properly. If ice dams on your roof have been an issue for your Sherman home in the past, consider installing roof heat cables that help snow and ice melt on your roof before causing water damage inside your home. 

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we are ready 24 hours a day to respond to your call. If you do experience a frozen pipe that bursts or a chimney fire or puffback this winter, call us at (203) 267-6262

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington Rebuilds Homes After Water and Fire Damage

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Phot with 2 fireplaces. One with broken crumbled stone and the other with new shiny brick After water and fire damage damaged this home, our team rebuilt it. The work included refinishing the fireplace.

If you home has experienced water or fire damage that has affected your roof, windows or exterior walls, protecting your home is our immediate concern. After receiving your call, our crew will come out to your home and tarp and board up damaged windows and roofs. This prevents additional damage from rain or debris as well as secures your structure and its contents. 

Once we've made certain that no further damage can occur, we begin the restoration process. We remove any remaining water and dry out the structure. Our office staff, Theny and Alexis, will order a dumpster for you and the crew will discard any materials such as flooring, insulation and wet sheetrock that are unsalvageable.  Our team sorts through and inventories your belongings, working with your insurance adjustor to determine which items are salvageable. Contents that can be saved are restored professionally, typically off site at our production facility. Your home will be sanitized and ready for reconstruction.  

The professionals at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low. Our Connecticut certified construction team can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality. 

The services that we provide includes:  

  • Carpet Repair and Installation 
  • Board Up 
  • Document Drying 
  • Dry Cleaning 
  • Drywall Installation 
  • Drywall Removal 
  • Electrical Services 
  • Furniture Restoration 
  • General Contracting 
  • Hardwood Floor Repair 
  • HVAC Services 
  • Linoleum Floor Repair 
  • Marble Floor Repair 
  • Move Out 
  • Painting 
  • Plumbing 
  • Portable Power 
  • Roof Tarp 
  • Roofing Services 
  • Scalable Resources 
  • Temporary Fencing 
  • Temporary Warehouse Space 
  • Tile Floor Repair 
  • Tree Removal 

Whether your home just needs a laminate flooring replaced or a full rebuild after fire damage, the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is qualified to do the job.

When you call our offices after fire or water damage in the Bantam area, you can count on us to be there from the beginning to the end.