Recent Posts

Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning - What's the Difference?

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Connecticut doesn't have an abundance of tornadoes however they still do happen here. I know that the storm system that brought several tornadoes and microbursts to our area just two years ago is still fresh in our minds.

We welcome the advanced warning system our phones have brought us. I've received a tornado warning on my phone when I didn't expect one at all and am thankful such a system is now in place so we have a chance to get to safety.

What's the difference between a tornado watch and a warning? Watches are issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while warnings are issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.  If a warning has been issued, you must take immediate action in seeking safe shelter, especially if you are in the tornado’s path.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

We are hoping for calm weather for the remainder of spring here in Torrington however if high winds do cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is here for all of your restoration needs. 

Cleaning Up After the Storm - Roof Tarping and Rebuild After Wind Damage

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

When storms bring strong winds, they can wreak havoc on homes and businesses as well as the trees and landscape around them.

The roof of a structure is particularly vulnerable to wind damage. In addition to the risk of a tree or tree limb falling on the roof, shingles on the roof can be loosened, which allows rain to infiltrate the protective surface of the roof. This results in disintegration of the wood beneath, affecting the roofs integrity and performance as well as leaving the building vulnerable to water damage. Ceiling leaks and attic mold are common side effects of a roof that has been damaged.

When our office receives a call that you have water damage from a tree falling on your roof or due to roofing shingles being ripped off, we will quickly schedule an inspection appointment. Time is crucial when addressing water damage. Our property manager and crew chiefs will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them determine the level of the damage and give them the information they need to establish a renovation plan.

We understand that this is the first water damage experience  for many of our customers and you might be unversed in the terminology and equipment being used. Our property managers are known for their communication skills and will clearly explain the process and why certain steps need to be taken and are happy to answer all of your questions. 

Depending on what type of damage is present, the restoration work might begin immediately or we will schedule a return visit to begin the work. In the case of flooding, we will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas. Dehumidifiers and air movers will be used to reduce the moisture from the air and ensure that mold and mildew do not grow. After removing any unsalvageable insulation, flooring and wall material, our technicians will disinfect the hard surfaces and clean the remaining carpets.

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington franchise is unique in that we have on our team a licensed contractor and his crew who are available to repair your roof, replace damaged floors, walls and baseboards and even rebuild your kitchen after the water has been removed.

If you've recently suffered from storm damage and find yourself looking for a restoration company that you can trust, contact us at (203) 267-6262 to schedule an appointment. 

As Connecticut cautiously reopens, we are here to help!

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

As Connecticut cautiously reopens, we are here to help!

We are here and ready to aid you in your time of need, providing cleaning services so your facility can be cleaned and ready to resume business.

Our team is available to sanitize area businesses such as:

Nursing Homes
Hair Salons
Manufacturing Facilities
Apartment Complexes
Summer Camps
Retail Shops
Medical Offices

We know that one size does not fit all when it comes to cleaning a business. We offer one time sanitization services so that businesses can reopen with a clean slate as well as regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning to support efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 as customers flow through your building.

We also understand that as we move through this process of reopening, unforeseen situations may arise. Please know that we are here to help you navigate whatever lies ahead.

Spring Rain Brings Basement Flooding to Southbury Homes

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

The rain last week has caused flooding to a number of area homes and businesses. We've received many calls from home and business owners who need help drying out their homes. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is considered an essential business and we are open and cleaning homes throughout the closure. For their safety as well as our customers, our team is sticking to safety precautions while we work.

The reality is that flooding still happens and needs to be cleaned up quickly to prevent secondary damage. Quick action is the key to limiting damage if you have flooding. Here are some actions that can prevent mold from growing in your  home. 

  • Protect your belongings – remove light furniture and upholstered items as well as other items that are susceptible (cardboard boxes, carpets and other porous items) from the affected area. 
  • Remove as much water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum. 
  • Use fans to circulate the air and speed up the drying process. A good rule of thumb is to run the fans for an additional week after the area appears dry. 
  • A dehumidifier can be used as well to remove excess moisture and dry out the room. 

Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage. Although carpets can be steam cleaned, they are tough to treat and padding typically cannot be saved. 

If you do have wall to wall carpeting in your basement that has gotten wet from flood water, give us a call. We are an IICRC trained mold and water mitigation company and have the tools and expertise to treat your New Haven County home for damage.

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington's Response to Coronavirus in Connecticut

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit us all hard here in Connecticut. Our owner, staff and crew live here too and are experiencing work and school closures as well as the illness of our fellow residents alongside our neighbors.  Our team has made a commitment to keep our operations going and remain available to help our customers during this time. Not only do our customers continue to need restoration after water and fire damage, they now need the cleaning and sanitization of their homes and businesses.

We've considered ways in which we can keep our crew, as well as our customers, safe during this time. When on a job, our crew will be following social distancing guidelines, keeping 6 feet away from our customers. They now wear protective gear, including masks and gloves on all jobs. Additionally, our team is wiping down all surfaces that we touch with SERVPROXIDE™, a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Currently there are no disinfectants that have been tested specifically for this particular emerging viral pathogen. However, per the CDC, this product can be used against COVID-19.  In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more. Porous materials like carpet, rugs, upholstered items, and draperies that are not water sensitive can also be wet cleaned using SERVPROXIDE™.

We've had calls from our business and residential customers seeking coronavirus cleaning - both as a proactive measure as well as in cases where there has been a confirmed case. In response, we are offering an affordable service to disinfect structures. This consists of applying SERVPROXIDE™ via foggers to sanitize  commercial and residential buildings. Please call our office at (203) 267-6262 for details and pricing on this service.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends and neighbors who have been affected by coronavirus.

Appliance Leaks Cause Water Damage to Southbury Homes

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

With everyone spending more time within their homes during the pandemic, we are experiencing an increase in calls from homeowners with water damage with an appliance leak. 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. 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 will stop any further flooding.

After the water has been shut off, call our office at (203)  (203) 267-6262. We are open 24-7 and the sooner the water damage restoration process begins, the easier the and quicker the work will be. Our team is practicing safety precautions such as social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves and sanitizing surfaces to protect them and you from any Covid-19 exposure. 

Despite COVID-19, Water Damage is Still Hitting Homes and Businesses in Southbury

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused most of our lives to halt to a stop. Despite this, home and business owners still face many of the same challenges that existed prior to this outbreak. Dishwashers malfunction, roofs leak and basements flood just like before.

We are all concerned about spreading the coronavirus and some of our friends and customers have expressed concern over having people in their homes and businesses. Yet, water damage must be addressed quickly. Please be assured that our crew is practicing the highest level of safety as they work, for their own protection as well as yours. Some of the practices our franchise is adhering to strictly are:

  • Personal Protection Equipment: Our crew is wearing gloves and masks on every job
  • Social Distancing: We are following social distancing guidelines and maintaining a safe distance from each other as well as those who must remain in the building as we work
  • Disinfecting: We are wiping down surfaces that we touch - such as doorknobs and light switches -  with SERVPROxide, a hospital grade disinfectant. When deemed necessary, we are also applying the same disinfectant with a fogger in order to further sanitize. 

Why can't you just wait for a few weeks until things go back to normal?

Unfortunately, the more time that goes by with untreated damage, the worse the situation gets. 

The First 24 Hours:

  • Drywall, which is found on the walls and ceilings of most Connecticut homes, gets saturated and begins to disintegrate. Many people discover their water leak only after the ceiling is already on the floor. That's how quickly this can happen. 
  • You will notice a musty smell and normal household odors grow stronger. 
  • Any uncoated metal surfaces, which are vulnerable to moisture in the air, will begin to tarnish.
  • Your furniture may begin to show signs of damage. In particular, laminated furniture and flooring will begin to swell and crack due to the moisture. 
  • Free-floating laminated flooring may also begin to pop out of place due to swelling.

48 Hours to 1 Week: 

  • The 'clean water' situation will have been upgraded to a 'gray water' intrusion.
  • You will notice an earthy smell in the home, which is caused by standing water as well as building materials and contents that have begun to decay.
  • Because of the high moisture levels, fungi, mold and mildew will begin to grow at this time, especially on porous materials such as sheetrock and carpeting. 
  • Wood building materials begin to show signs of damage as they swell, warp and split. You will notice this on window frames, wall moldings, the interior doors in your home and even studs and joists at this time. 
  • Rust and corrosion will begin to occur on metal items. 
  • Electronics in the home will begin to malfunction. 
  • Wood flooring and furniture begin to swell from the saturation. 
  • The Indoor Air Quality in the structure is compromised and health hazards can become an issue. Occupants of the home who are at risk due to health issues may begin to experience negative health effects.

More Than 1 Week: 

  • A 'black water' situation is most likely the case at this time due to the growth of bacteria and other harmful contaminates in the home. 
  • Mold spores will spread quickly and begin to break down natural materials, wallpaper, wood paneling, and other building materials
  • The structural safety of the home is in question as wood building materials are compromised.
  • The air quality in the home can pose a danger to all inhabitants.
  • The costs associated with your insurance claim exponentially rises.  The demolition and replacement of, rather than the restoration of, damaged materials becomes necessary. 
  • Our water damage restoration crews will be required to wear personal protection equipment in order to work in your home. 

SERVPRO is Here to Help During This Time of Need

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262.

Concerned About Coronavirus Affecting Your Business? We Can Help.

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

With the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spreading through the Northeast and Governor Lamont declaring a Public Health Emergency over the Coronavirus, we have started to receive calls from business owners who seek to keep their business clean.

Here's how we can help.

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington first cleans, then disinfects (with a hospital grade disinfectant) when cleaning a commercial space.  Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors the infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens.

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19.

SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more.

The CDC encourages the cleaning of high touch surfaces. In a commercial setting, this list includes:

  • Shelves and Racks
  • Displays and Mannequins
  • Packaged Inventory
  • Fitting Room Stalls, Chairs and Walls
  • Doorknobs, Light Switches and Lamps
  • Carpets and Hard Flooring
  • Computers, Telephones and Registers
  • Bathrooms, Toilets and Changing Tables
  • Sales Counters
  • Elevator Cars. Handrails and Escalators
  • Playground and Fitness Equipment
  • Lockers and Water Fountains

The list could go on but you get the idea. When you think about it, almost every surface in a retail setting is touched by many people each day. For more information, see the website that the CDC has created, Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities, which addresses homes, childcare and K-12 schools, colleges and universities, work environments, healthcare settings, and large community events and mass gatherings.   

It's clear from the efforts of others countries that we can't stop the spread of the virus entirely however we can take what others have learned and apply it to the situation in Connecticut. Governor Lamont said he’s talked to other governors, including the governor of Washington State, and what they have told him is that the only thing they regret is that they didn’t do more sooner.

It is important to note that while proactive cleaning can help remove existing contamination, it will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building. 

Call us at (203) 267-6262 to discuss how we can help your business.

Pet Urine Stinks - But Your House Doesn't Have To!

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Animals stink.  

Don’t get us wrong, we love pets of all kinds - from dogs to cats to iguanas - here at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. But the smells that animals can leave behind in a home can be less than desirable, especially when accidents occur.

Whether it’s because you bought a new home that stinks of pet urine, your aging cat is having more frequent accidents or you have a puppy who isn’t quite able to hold it yet, the urine smell in your home needs to be removed as soon as possible.  The longer pet urine goes untreated, the more likely the urine odor is to permeate deeper into floors, walls and even the framework and foundation of the home. As the urine dries, the liquid evaporates but the urine crystals become even more concentrated and pungent. That’s why the smell might seem to worsen with time, rather than improve.

The team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is trained and equipped to remove even the worst cases of pet urine and its odors. Whether it’s in carpeting, hardwood floors or sheetrock walls, we have the experience to identify and remove the odors with the least amount of disruption to your structure as possible. We use a range of tools to remove the stink from your home including air scrubbers that use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. These machines actually remove odorous particles from the air.  Some situations might call for thermal foggers, which neutralize odor, or an ozone generator, which produces an oxidizing agent, as well. Upholstered furniture is at times the victim of a pet accident. Our contents restoration services will leave your furniture smelling fresh again.