Recent Posts

When it Rains, it Pours.

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When it Rains, it Pours. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is prepared to meet the needs of our community even in the busiest of times.

When it rains, it pours. In the water damage restoration industry, this is true both literally and figuratively!

When it rains, as we have experienced over the past month in Torrington, it pours. And then...it floods. With the ground saturated, we are getting calls from homeowners with flooded basements on a daily basis. Whether due to a sump pump failure, a clogged drain or a leak in your foundation, you need to get your basement dry as soon as possible.

We know that you can’t wait to have the damage in your flooded basement restored. And often when your basement is flooding, so is your neighbor's! That’s why we do not operate on a skeleton crew or shoestring budget here at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. Our professional and highly trained crew is large enough to meet the needs of our community even during the busiest of times. We keep a fleet of well maintained vehicles that are stocked with everything that is required to meet your water damage restoration needs.

We know that our carefully chosen project managers are capable of making sure that the job is done right and are available to our customers on a daily basis. And if you ever have a question, our admins are available to help you through the process. Yes, our jobs are busy - especially in the rainy season -  but we have a system in place to make sure that we can do good work on each and every job.

If you have flooding due to heavy rains this week, give us a call at (203) 267-6262 for professional restoration services.

Employee Spotlight: Theny Hovey and Alexis Phouadara

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

This month, we’ve decided to spotlight two of our employees who have really kept our office running smoothly over the past few months. 

Theny and Alexis are the administrative assistants who answer the phone when you call our office.  When our office manager Kathy took a temporary medical absence this winter, Alexis and Theny rose to the occasion and held everything together.

The work of an admin at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington requires the ability to multitask while still paying attention to each detail. Between calls from customers, contacting insurance agents, scheduling appointments as well as conveying information to the crew, our admins have their hands full. Theny and Alexis go through each day their cheerful, enthusiastic selves who are always eager to lend a hand. Whatever situation arises in the day to day business here, both of these ladies use their problem solving skills to help our customers and the team.

Theny Hovey was born and educated in the Philippines. She loves to travel and read.  When asked about her work here at SERVPRO, she wrote “I’m glad to have the opportunity to work at SERVPRO on a team that is of a caring environment.  What I love most about working at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is being able to value work-life balance.”

Alexis Phouadara has been in this industry for 4 years and is certified in Water Damage Restoration. She grew up and still currently resides in New Haven, CT.  She loves collecting, doing make-up and the Golden State Warriors. Her favorite food is almost everything from her culture, Laos and Thai. Last, but not least, her favorite person in the entire world? Her 6 year old daughter, Sophia!

Thank you to Alexis and Theny for your hard work and commitment to our team. You are the glue that keeps us all together and we appreciate all that you bring to our organization.

Washing Machines, Dishwashers and Refrigerators and the Water Damage they can Cause

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Sometimes, water damage comes from an unlikely source such as an appliance in your home.

In the past month, the team at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has responded to water damage emergencies in homes that were caused by leaking washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator lines. The appliances failed without warning, leaving the homeowners dealing with an unexpected mess.

The problem with appliance leaks is that they often happen when the homeowner is away from the house. How many of us turn on the dishwasher prior to leaving our homes for the day? We expect to return to clean dishes but rather, find our homes flooded. Similarly, many of us run the washing machine while we are sleeping or not at home.In the case of a washing machine, failures can happen due to a leaky door seal, a loose hose or a shot pump. 

It doesn’t take long for the water from an appliance leak to flood a house, leak through the floor and cause widespread damage. Appliance leaks cause damage to the wood flooring, carpets and the walls and ceiling of homes. The good news is that most insurance companies will cover water damage that is a result of a sudden malfunction of an appliance.

Nobody plans on an appliance leak in their home but they happen more often that you would imagine. We’ve seen this in the case of new and old appliances. Your immediate response when you discover an appliance leak at your home will be to stop the flow of water. Turning the water off at the main shut off valve (typically found in the basement of Newtown area homes) will stop any further flooding.

After the water has been shut off, call our office at (203) 743-5362. We are open 24-7 and the sooner the water damage restoration process begins, the easier the and quicker the work will be.

Older Homes in the Torrington Area are at Risk for Water Damage

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Older Homes in the Torrington Area are at Risk for Water Damage Wood floors buckling and with dark stains are a sure sign of water damage

The Litchfield County area is known for its beautiful old houses in a picturesque setting. Hundreds of years old, these homes are reminders of how things used to be. We’ve seen homes in which the crawlspaces reveal rocks stacked on top of each other for the foundation. That these structures still stand is a testament to the craftsmanship of our ancestors.

As impressive as old houses are, however, it is inevitable that they might be plagued by structural problems. Foundations crack and shift, creating a risk of water damage.  Old electrical wires that often do not meet code can fray as well as overload the system, causing an electrical fire. The plumbing systems that were added long after these homes were built are often not installed to today’s standards. Septic systems deteriorate and break with age. There are a host of problems that cause water damage to older homes.

If you have an older home in Connecticut, be vigilant about the warning signs of water damage.

Water stains. Water stains are the most common and obvious indication that you have a leak.You may see them on the ceilings or walls. Have all water stains inspected to see what the source is.

Deteriorating wood. In particular, keep your eye on door and window frames as well as baseboards and molding which are the first areas to show water damage because of a leaking window or door.

Buckling floors. If there is an appliance leak that goes unnoticed, a pipe leak under a sink or a gap around your shower door, you may end up with floors that absorb the water. Wood flooring absorbs the water, which makes it swell and buckle. Vinyl will curl up at the edges, which gives you a clue that there is a problem.

Pay attention to suspicious smells. If you notice a moldy or mildew smell, find the source even if there is nothing visible. Water damage can cause mold to grow behind walls and can cause serious damage if not mitigated.

Do you have water damage in your older home? Call Us Today (203) 267-6262.

Hoarding Situations Cause Water, Fire and Mold Risks to Connecticut Homes

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning Hoarding Situations Cause Water, Fire and Mold Risks to Connecticut Homes When hoarding affects the safety of a home and those in it, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is here to help.

A few decades ago, when we first got into this business, hoarding existed however it seemed uncommon. The extent to which how many Americans are affected by this problem was not known to the average person. Thanks to reality TV shows and the internet, many people now understand why hoarding exists and how difficult it can be to manage.

Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.

A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk. Hoarding might also affect your ability to renew your homeowners insurance policy. If your insurance company becomes aware that a home is not being properly maintained when they do their traditional drive by at renewal time, they may cancel your policy. The potential for water, mold and fire damage as well as insect and rodent infestations in the home of a hoarder are too much of a risk. We have even seen homes in which the structural integrity is compromised (floors bowing in from the weight of the contents of the home) because of hoarding.

We are sometimes called to a home to treat a water or mold damage in which the number of contents in the home make restoration difficult. Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes.

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding.

Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized, deodorized and safe to live in.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262 for a consultation.

The Causes of Mold in Southbury Area Commercial Properties

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial The Causes of Mold in Southbury Area Commercial Properties If you find mold growing at your commercial property, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington for professional and efficient mold remediation services.

When a business owner finds mold in their commercial property, they know it's something that can't be ignored. 

There has been quite a bit of attention on mold in businesses and the potential health hazards it poses to employees and customers lately.  Mold exists naturally in our environment and is not harmful at regular levels. It's when mold has the opportunity to grow at a rapid rate that it becomes of concern. 

In order to grow, mold requires certain conditions to be met. Mold spores need to be present and have a food source (examples would be cotton, sheetrock, plywood, etc.). In addition, mold requires darkness, oxygen and warm temperatures. However, these are typical conditions in most homes. The factor that most determines whether mold will grow in a commercial property is moisture.  

Some of the most common causes of commercial mold damage are:  

Leaky Pipes:  Whether you own a shopping center with public restrooms or an apartment complex, a slow leak might not be obvious to a homeowner but over time can create an environment that is ideal for mold growth. 

The fix: Periodically check pipes, walls and cabinetry for any signs of leaking.  Ask your tenants to report any signs of moisture such as water spots on the ceiling immediately so that the problem can be remedied before mold grows. 

Basement Mold: Many area businesses have a basement. This might be used for storage in the case of an apartment building. Due to low sunlight, condensation, high humidity, flooding and leaks, the basement is a common location for mold growth. In addition, people spend little time in their basement and are less likely to spot it early on.

The fix: If there is flooding, have your basement waterproofed. Keep humidity levels down with a dehumidifier. Again, your tenants and building maintenance crew are your eyes - ask them to report any signs of moisture or mold immediately. 

If you spot mold in your Torrington area business, give us a call at  203-267-6262. Our mold specialists are IICRC certified and have over 30 years of experience inspecting mold. We know exactly how to mitigate the mold at your commercial property with the least amount of disruption to your business continuity. 

Cigarette and Animal Odors in Southbury Area Apartment Complexes can Cause a Big Stink

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Cigarette and Animal Odors in Southbury Area Apartment Complexes can Cause a Big Stink Cigarette residue, animal urine and smells and food odors can all leave your apartment building with a big stink. Call us for odor removal services.

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.

CAT 1. CAT 2. CAT 3. Know the Different Types of Water Damage.

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage CAT 1. CAT 2. CAT 3. Know the Different Types of Water Damage. The cause of your water damage determines that type of restoration clean up that it requires.

Our approach to treating water damage in Connecticut homes depends on which category it falls into.

CAT 1 or Clean Water

Clean water is just that- water that has come from a source that is not contaminated. Examples of this would be a pipe bursting or a refrigerator leak. Also, if you have a leak that allows rainwater in through your roof, it is considered clean. Although clean water can cause significant damage, it is not considered hazardous to human health as there are no microbes in the water.  The biggest hazard clean water presents is if the area that has been damaged is not properly cleaned and dried. This can result in mold and fungus growth. 

CAT 2 or Gray Water

Gray water is water that is slightly contaminated, either because of the nature of the source or because of neglect. For example, clean water can become “gray” water if it is left untreated for an extended period time. When a toilet or washing machine overflows, the resulting water would be considered gray because of its source. Toilet overflows containing urine only are considered gray.

CAT 3 or Black Water

CAT 3 water is highly dangerous to human health. Black water can include toxic materials such as bacterial diseases, chemicals, pesticides, microbes and more. Sewage based components such as bacteria, fungi, feces, viruses and parasites. Black 3 water situations are usually caused by sewage backups or overflows and flooding. 

Since the human eye cannot see bacteria, it is not always obvious whether the water in your home is a CAT 2 or CAT 3.  If you experience a flood from a heavy rain, the water may look “clean,” but if there is any ground water that has backed up into your home as a result, there may be invisible microbes lurking in the water. 

Any water damage that is not treated correctly will eventually elevate to the next category. Even a simple pipe burst can turn into a biohazard and mold issue if not treated.

If you have any water damage in your home, call Southbury/Torrington at (203) 743-5362 for service that you can count on. 

Smoke and Soot Removal After the Fire is Out

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Removal After the Fire is Out Call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262 to restore your home after damage from smoke and soot.

Not only can the flames of a fire cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue create a noxious environment in the home.

Both smoke and soot can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over. 

Even a small home fire can cause a great amount of damage due to soot and smoke damage. We have arrived at jobs where a small kitchen fire may have caused minimal structural damage, yet smoke has managed to permeate items throughout the home and soot has covered every surface of the home.  If you were to look at photos of a home with smoke damage, the damage doesn't appear substantial yet the clean up job is a big one.  

SERPVRO of Southbury/Torrington is IICRC Certified to restore your home after a fire. When called to a job in the Woodbury, CT area, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington crew members have the expertise and equipment to properly treat all surfaces of ash and soot. Because ash can reactive negatively to certain cleaning agents, possibly causing permanent damage and toxic fumes, this is not a job that can be done with store bought cleaning agents. We have a large production facility in which we clean and store personal belongings off site while the home restoration is ongoing.  

Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you need help bringing your Southbury home back to pre-fire condition.

We are Grateful for Our Team on Employee Appreciation Day

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO We are Grateful for Our Team on Employee Appreciation Day Thank you to our team on this Employee Appreciation day!

March 1st is National Employee Appreciation Day and we couldn't let that pass without a shout out to our staff and crew for all of the hard work that they do.

We know that the job that they do isn't always easy. Our crew often works in less than optimal conditions - cleaning up sewage backups, household heating oil spills and mold infestations in residences and businesses throughout the Torrington area. They are on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week to respond to water and fire damage emergencies. They bring a positive attitude to each job that they arrive at and help our customers through a difficult time with respect and courtesy.

Our fantastic crew is supported by an office staff who are unparalleled in their ability to keep us all organized and on task while at the same time serving our customers 110%. We are amazed at their ability to juggle so many tasks with calm and ease.

We are grateful to have found this amazing group of people who make up our team and want to send them a BIG THANK YOU on this Employee Appreciation Day!