Recent Posts

Keep Us Out of Your Kitchen This Thanksgiving

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking is one of the most common causes of household fires in Connecticut, responsible for 50% of home fires. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, two-thirds of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Ranges accounted for the largest share (62%) of home cooking fire incidents and ovens accounted for 16%.

It only takes a brief moment for a kitchen fire to start and quickly grow out of control. 

  • Be on alert! Don't use the stove or stove top if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.We have all walked away for a moment while cooking only to remember we were cooking by the smell of something burning.  If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. 
  • Use a timer to remind you of items that are cooking. If you have something cooking, check it regularly
  • Keep flammables at a safe distance. Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove top.
  • If you have a small grease fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • If the fire cannot be contained easily, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves. 
  • Call 9-1-1  from outside the home

It only takes a moment for a fire to start in your home that can cause substantial damage. In addition to the smoke and soot damage left behind, there will also be water damage from firefighting efforts. 

After fire emergency services have made your home safe, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262 for fire and water damage restoration. We offer professional services that include water damage clean up, smoke and soot removal, the removal of damaged items as well as the rebuilding of your home to complete the restoration.

Take advantage of the beautiful weather and clean out your gutters.

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

With Halloween in a few weeks and the leaves dropping from the trees, it's time to start thinking about getting ready for winter storms. 

With all of the pumpkiny, cinnamon-spicey, sweatery ads popping up in my Facebook feed, it comes at no surprise! And I have to admit that as much as I am sorry to see summer end, fall is my favorite season and I am looking forward to the crisp air and coziness that it brings. We are so lucky to live in New England and be surrounded by the fall colors that the changing of the leaves brings. Of course, those leaves fall and often land in our gutters, which can cause water damage to your home.

I’m sure that it goes without saying for most of you, however, I’m going to go ahead and remind you to clean out your gutters this fall.

I usually find myself doing this task twice- once at the beginning of the season to get all of the wet, decaying leaves and twigs that have accumulated all year out. Then, I go out a second time in November, after all of the leaves have fallen but before the snow falls, to do a clearing of all of the new leaves. I do want to caution our readers that cleaning gutters should be done with care. If it cannot be done safely, please reach out to one of the many wonderful specialists in our area to do it for you. 

A common cause of roof and water damage in residential properties is malfunctioning gutters.

When your gutters are clogged, the water collects and spills out of the top in both directions. When it falls away from your house, it pools and causes problems at your foundation level, causing damage to your foundation and often flooding your basement. When it flows out onto your roof, it can create a leaking problem in your attic. Roof leaks often go unnoticed because most of us don’t make frequent visits into our attic spaces. But, eventually, the water will make its way into the insulation, walls and ceilings of your home. Roof leaks are also a common reason why attic mold grows.

Cleaning out your gutters lowers your risk of basement flooding and roof leaks. 

However, if you do find yourself with a flood due to clogged gutters, don’t worry - we won’t judge! We understand that despite a homeowner’s best intentions, life gets busy and accidents happen! Give our office a call and schedule an appointment with our team to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”

Video on how to clean out your gutters

Contact us if you have water or mold damage.

We Not Only Restore Your Home, We Rebuild It!

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Most people know that SERVPRO is the nation's leader in water 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 professional and licensed 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 sheet-rocked, a total replacement of your kitchen or a new roof, our team is trained and experienced to do the job. We work with your homeowner's insurance company estimator to ensure that the repair costs are in line with your policy's 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 even better than before their disaster happened.

OUR WORK

kitchen that we rebuilt after it experienced extensive water damage from a pipe burst in Middlebury.

Flooring, walls and molding replaced after water damage in a Waterbury home. 

Kitchen rebuild in a Torrington home. 

New walls and ceilings after an ice dam caused mold in this New Haven County home.

Commercial Fire Damage Clean Up and Restoration

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Southbury businesses can not afford to have their doors closed for a lengthy period of time due to fire damage.

As a business owner, examining your risk and taking preventative measures as well as educating your employees on procedures can help reduce the damage to your facility. 

Assess the risk that fire hazards may pose to your business. The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses.  You can also call your local Connecticut fire department and ask the fire marshal if they are available to make a visit and identify any risks.  

Maintain your sprinkler system.  An  automatic sprinkler system will dramatically reduce the spread of a fire in your business as well as keep your employees and customers safe. Have your system properly maintained and inspected so that it works when you need it! 

Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics. 

Educate your employees. Make sure all employees are aware of your fire safety plan by conducting a yearly fire drill and educating new employees.  Training in how to use fire extinguishers should also be conducted.  

A fire at your Torrington, CT business can be devastating and even force the closure of your business.

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has your back - give us a call at (203) 267-6262 if you have a fire at your commercial property

Your Home has Water Damage and You've Called SERVPRO. What's Next?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

We know that when choosing a restoration company after you have experienced water, fire, mold, storm or biohazard damage, you may do an internet search and see ads from several restoration companies. Most of our customers have little knowledge of the restoration process and are in a stressed state due to the damage to their home or business. The decision of which restoration company to choose may be overwhelming.

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we strive to stand out from the rest by giving our customers the very best service from beginning to end. Our office staff has decades of combined experience and know the ins and outs of the restoration industry.When you call our office, you may have many questions about our restoration work or how to handle your insurance claim. Our staff helps guide customers through the process and is available to answer all of your questions.

Although SERVPRO is a national corporation, the owner of our franchise, Greg Geaski, and the rest of our team live locally and are part of the community.  We have teams on call and ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day. This is our community and we treat our customers as we would a neighbor. We know that having strangers in your home isn’t always easy on a homeowner. Our crew is a group of friendly and respectful men and women who our customers feel at ease with.  Every job is assigned a Production Manager who is available should you have any concerns or questions about the work being done.

You may be surprised to learn that there are no federal requirements for the restoration industry. At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we believe that training and education is an important factor in why we are so successful. As part of a national franchise system that has been the nation’s leader in the water and fire restoration industry for 50 years, all of the training that SERVPRO has to offer is available to us. We also send our team members to classes through the IICRC for advanced training. Whereas, in general, there is a high turnover in the restoration industry, most of our team members have been with us for years- several for over 10 years! Decades of restoration work has provided our restoration technicians with the experience and expertise not found in a classroom.

After the water has been cleaned up and the fire damaged walls removed from your home, our building services team will rebuild your home to make it “Like it never even happened,” (or better!). Our construction team is licensed by the State of Connecticut and does beautiful work. Whether you need your roof boarded up, your wood floors replaced or a new kitchen installed, we will repair your home and make it shine again.

Not only do we restore homes in Connecticut,  we are also the area’s first choice for commercial restoration work.  We understand that business owners have unique concerns when their building experiences water or smoke damage. With inventory at risk of becoming damaged, customer and employee safety concerns and the cost of having your doors closed for any length of time, your commercial business needs a quick, professional response. We have the equipment and team to handle large scale commercial property restoration including smoke and soot damage, flooding caused by a sprinkler malfunction, public toilet or sewage backups, apartment complex fires and roof leaks. Whatever your restoration needs, you can count on our team to get your business back in business quickly.

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we’ve assembled the best team of local folks who are highly trained and experienced in the water, fire and mold restoration industry. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we are here to make the restoration process on your home or business go a smoothly as possible. From your first call until the restoration is complete, we will be with you every step of the way.

National Preparedness Month: "Make a Plan"

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness month and this year's theme is "Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today."

Here's the thing, it’s just not a high priority to many people because we really don’t believe a disaster will happen to us. We are all guilty of this. However, in our work, we see the reality of what a fire or flooding disaster can inflict on a family.  

So, please take the time to make a plan – especially those with children, disabled and elderly family members in your home. 

Start the conversation over dinner. Discuss what kind of emergencies could possibly happen that would require a plan. What if a storm comes while your children are at school? What if there is a fire in your house? Or their school bus has an accident? It’s important to empower children with the knowledge of what your family's plan is without scaring them. An excellent guide to assist you in achieving this is available at ready.gov/kids.

Practice your fire escape plan by having a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home.  Don’t forget to include your pets in this exercise, as they will be a concern if an actual event happens. You can practice evacuating in your car as well. Many people have “bug out bags” with basic supplies ready in case of emergency.  

We love the technology that is available to help in disasters. There are group texting apps that can be downloaded that will keep your family and circle of friends easily in contact in case of an emergency.  You can also download the FEMA app, which will give you weather alerts and necessary emergency updates. 

If you have a person in your home who relies on electrical medical equipment, contact your power company to get on a “priority reconnection service” list.  

Look, it takes a few hours every year to work on your plan so set the time aside this week and practice! 

We Remove the Stink from Commercial Properties

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Nobody wants to live in a smelly home.

Unpleasant odors in your apartment building can permeate the walls, floors, carpeting and even make their way behind walls and into the ventilation shafts. Apartment complexes are often affected by cigarette smoke residue, animal smells from urine and spoiled meat odors. These odors can make their way out of the originating apartment and be smelled throughout the building, putting the management company in a difficult position. Or perhaps the apartment is vacant and you as the owner are trying to prepare it for a new tenant. Masking and other shortcuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.

A standard cleaning will not remove these odors however the odor removal experts at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington can.

We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor, and determining the conditions where it contacts surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give us a call and leave the restoration to us.

What Burned? An Important Factor in Fire Damage Restoration.

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most important things we need to know in order to properly treat fire damage is what materials burned. 

This information will help us determine what kind of smoke damage you have and establish the proper restoration plan. Not all smoke is equal  and each different type requires a different method of cleaning.  A quick breakdown of the types of smoke residue is:

  • Wet Smoke Residue -Wet smoke residue occurs from smoldering fires with low heat.  During these fires, synthetic materials such as plastics and rubbers, carpeting, furniture and electronics will have slowly smoldered. They tend to have a pungent odor and leave a sticky residue.  During cleaning, wet smoke residue can smear, making cleanup more difficult. 
  • Dry Smoke Residue – Dry smoke residue occurs during fast burning fires that burn at a high temperature. Natural materials such as paper, leather, natural rubber and wood are present in dry smoke fires.  Dry smoke residue is generally dry, powdery, gray in color and does not smear much. Homes that have experienced these fires are easier for our crew to restore. 
  • Protein Residue – Protein fires are most commonly caused when food burns in a kitchen. Protein residue is essentially invisible and a homeowner may be under a false impression that the damage is minor. However, there is actually soot covering the surfaces. If not properly removed, protein smoke will discolor paints, varnishes, and other finishes on your walls and cabinetry. One major indicator that there is an invisible residue after a kitchen fire is a very strong, obnoxious odor. 

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team treats each fire damage job individually and will determine which course of action to take after arriving at your home.  Call us at (203) 267-6262 for a quick response, an evaluation of your home's fire damage and a professional restoration plan. 

Vandalism Cleanup from SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

house with graffiti on it Graffiti on your home can feel like a violation. We can help remove it.

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we respond to calls other than water, mold and fire damage.

Did you know that we are able to restore homes and businesses that have experienced graffiti and vandalism? A broken window that goes unnoticed in a Southbury area business is not only a security issue, it also can allow rain in and cause water and mold damage. Graffiti removal can be a daunting task however our crew is up to the challenge and have successfully removed spray paint from concrete and brick walls. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, our team can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. We have also responded to calls from homeowners who have experienced biohazardous vandalism (including feces). Our crew has the training and equipment to safely remove biohazardous materials and any contaminants that might be present.

If your home or business is the victim of malicious vandalism, it can be a very upsetting experience. Call us to come clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."