Recent Posts

Blown-in Insulation Removal in Southbury Homes and Businesses

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Blown-in Insulation Removal in Southbury Homes and Businesses Blown in insulation can contain animal feces from bats, mice and other animals who are living in your attic.

Many homes in the Southbury area have blown-in insulation. It’s a popular choice as it provides full coverage, is easy to install and is very efficient method of insulating the home. On occasion, a homeowner will find themselves in a situation in which the blown-in insulation will need to be removed from their home.

There are a number of reasons why the removal of blown-in insulation might be necessary including:

Water Damage Events: 

When your home has a leak or flooding, the insulation will have water damage along with the rest of your home. Because wet insulation can promote mold growth, it can be a health hazard for those in the home. Wet insulation also loses its effectiveness because it has become compacted and no longer insulates your home as intended. 

Old Insulation:

Today’s standards of insulation are far greater than what a home would have been required to have 20 years ago. Older insulation is thinner and has a lower R-value. If this is the case in your home, having it removed and replaced will help in keeping your home better insulated. 

Animal Infestations:

Mice, bats, and birds  often make a nice home of your attic space. The feces from these animals spread contaminants and disease in your home.  Animal waste also causes the insulation to compact, creating a better environment for animals to build a nest, which will exacerbate the problem. 

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is experienced in blown in insulation removal.

We use commercial vacuums to safely and effectively remove the old insulation as well as any debris. Once the insulation has been removed, our team is able to assess any further damage to the structure, such as wet subfloors or walls, that will also require treatment or replacement. Once all of the damaged materials have been removed,  the affected area is decontaminated and sanitized prior to the new insulation being blown in. 

If you need the insulation in your home removed, call our office at  (203) 267-6262 for an inspection today.

Paper or Plastic? What Materials Burn in a Fire Will Determine How We Clean it Up.

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Paper or Plastic? What Materials Burn in a Fire Will Determine How We Clean it Up. Although this kitchen does not appear to be heavily damaged after a stove fire, the smoke damage was extensive.

In many of the properties that we treat after a fire, the amount of damage is not always visible.

In fact, when you look at photos of the home or building, things might look like they are fine. However, smoke and soot residues are the hidden damage that a fire causes and often require more extensive restoration than the damage caused by the flames themselves. 

There are different types of fire damage and each requires its own unique cleaning plan. The team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is trained in identifying the different types of smoke damage and how to properly treat your home accordingly. 

Dry Smoke

Dry smoke damage is caused when substances such as paper and wood are the fuel for the fire. These fires are fast burning, have high temperatures and the heat rises therefore the smoke rises. Because the residue is powdery and dry, it is often simpler to clean since it is easy to wipe off. However, it can fall into cracks and porous surfaces, and while the soot may be hidden from view, the smell will remain.

Wet Smoke

Wet smoke damage typically comes from fires in which plastic, rubber and other synthetic materials have burned. These fires are a lower temperature. They can be described as having a smoldering, pungent odor and they leave a sticky and thick residue that is more difficult to remove. 

Protein Residue

Protein residue is left behind after the evaporation of organic material such as food. The residue is produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. The residue is almost invisible however it discolors varnishes, paints, and finishes. It also gives off a strong, offensive odor that our techs know well and can easily identify. Because it is invisible to the eye, however, a homeowners might get frustrated with the pungent smell since they can’t see the source.

When we inspect your fire damaged structure, we will determine which method of cleaning is required. Depending on the type of smoke damage and the surface that is affected, we may utilize the following cleaning methods to remove smoke and soot damage.

  • Dry Sponging
  • Wet Cleaning
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air-filtration (HEPA) Vacuuming
  • Thermal Fogging

We don't expect our customers to become experts in fire damage restoration however we know that a little knowledge helps you understand why we are cleaning your house in a particular way.

If you have any further questions on the smoke and soot damage restoration process, please do not hesitate to ask your Project Manager or call our office at 203) 267-6262. We're happy to answer all of your questions. 

Meet The Team: Roseann Santamaria, Business Development

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet The Team: Roseann Santamaria, Business Development Roseann Santamaria is part of the Business Development Team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.

These days, most of us use online reviews as a factor in our decision of which product to buy or company to hire. Online reviews are especially helpful in our industry, as most homeowners have not researched water damage restoration companies until they find themselves in an emergency situation.

We recently received a recommendation on Facebook from an insurance professional who has worked with Roseann Santamaria, from our Business Development Department, over the years. Judith had received a call from a homeowner who had flooding and was not able to find a restoration company who could come out quickly. Judith knew exactly who to call. 

"I sell homeowners insurance and had an insured call in frantic to put in a claim for a busted pipe. The insured has severe allergies to mold and was very concerned about it. Before she called our office she called two remediation companies, both said they could be there in 1-2 days. She called our office and asked if I knew anyone who could come out. While I was on the phone with my insured I texted Roseann with SERVPRO, she immediately responded. I let my insured know Roseann would reach out to her, before I hung up with the insured Roseann was calling on her other line! Roseann got her crew out the same day and my insured was thrilled with Roseann’s service. Roseann’s quick response and great follow through with my insured made me shine in my clients eyes. I highly recommend Roseann with SERVPRO!"

Roseann grew up in Shelton, CT, and has lived in the area all of her life. She went to school and college locally and raised her family here.  She has been with SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington since 2017, having to come to us after a decade of running her own auto glass business. Roseann loves spending time with her family, visiting Port Jeff, boating, reading and golfing. She hopes to visit Aruba some day soon!

If you live in the area, it's likely that you've crossed paths with Roseann at some point. She is very active in our community and can be found volunteering to play Mrs. Claus at a local school, collecting food for the Sterling House Community Center, participating in a number of charity golf tournaments or attending a Chamber of Commerce event.

Life is not always easy and we are amazed at Roseann's ability to look past her own circumstances and always be on the lookout for a way that she can help others. A while back, I asked Roseann what she loves about her job here at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. She replied:

"When you get that phone call from your client with a "thank you" that you were able to help their client when they needed you the most.  You know that you have their trust in your team and in you."

Smoke and Soot Removal After Commercial Warehouse Experiences Vehicle Fire

7/14/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke and Soot Removal After Commercial Warehouse Experiences Vehicle Fire After this a vehicle caught fire at this commercial warehouse, the SERVPRO team restored the building of soot and smoke damage.

Our Torrington office is regularly called by business owners who have had a fire in their facility. Often, the structure of the building has not been severely damaged however the smoke and soot that remain are substantial and require professional clean up. 

Soot is comprised of miniscule carbon particles which have been created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels  such as wood, oil and coal. Soot contains a mixture of acids, chemicals and metals as well as soils, and dust.  When there has been a fire, soot spreads throughout the structure and sticks to the surfaces. 

In a commercial building, soot can cover not only the contents but also the walls, floors and ceilings. We recently had a job in which a vehicle fire occurred on the loading dock of a warehouse. Inside of the 100.000 square foot warehouse, the walls were covered with soot. Not only is soot messy and smelly, it can also pose a health risk to those in the building.

Professional clean up of soot is necessary after a fire at your commercial property. When you call our office for restoration, we understand that yours is an emergency situation. Our team, who is on call 24/7, will arrive onsite quickly after receiving your initial call. One of our project managers will conduct an inspection and assessment of the situation and advise you on their recommendations for restoration.

When your commercial property has had damage after a fire, we will be with you every step of the way to restore your facility and put you back in business.

What's That Smell? The Words No Homeowner Wants to Hear.

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning What's That Smell? The Words No Homeowner Wants to Hear. The hydroxyl generator is a new green technology, and the industry's most advanced solution for eliminating odors.

Let’s talk about stink.

There are some smells that make you want to leave your house. A dead animal behind a wall, cigarette smoke and musty odors can seem impossible to eliminate. The truth about odors is that they can linger despite how much you clean. Once they are embedded into or behind walls and floors, removing the smell can require professional help. 

The technicians at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside of a structure. You already know that masking with candles or room sprays don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. At SERVPRO, we utilize a number of techniques to remove odors from surfaces and the air including: 

Absorbents. We often use odor absorbers in hard to reach spaces such as air ducts and behind walls.

Neutralization. Using a neutralizing agent, we are able to change chemical properties of the odor molecules. Thermal fogging works in this manner.

Biocides. When an odor is caused by microorganism growth, biocides are used to stop their growth.

Ozone machines are used by the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team to remove odor They work by attacking ozone molecules and pollutants at their source to oxidize the air.

You deserve to love the way your house smells! If you have found it impossible to remove that stink yourself, give us a call at (203) 267-6262.

Is it Important to Have Your HVAC Ducts Cleaned?

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

If you have an HVAC system in your home, you've probably wondered whether or not it needs to be cleaned.

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis. Dirt , debris and other air pollutants collect in ductwork and can be spread throughout your home. In addition, dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. When you call us for a cleaning, our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yep, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your Waterbury home.  

Scheduling a duct cleaning is easy. Just give our office a call at (203) 267-6262 and we will schedule an appointment time that works for you.

Fireworks Safety Tips For Your 4th of July Celebration

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

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! 

Yes, We Can! SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington Restores Your Family Heirlooms of Mold Damage

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Often when a home is infested with mold, the contents of the home are affected by the mold as well as the structure. Many homeowners are concerned that their special things might not be salvageable. In particular, porous items such as upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, bedding, important documents and even lampshades can become infested with mold spores. Although some household items may be disposable and not worth cleaning, there is the possibility that your families sentimental and valuable items can be saved.  

Our technicians use a specialized process called Gamma Irradiation to treat mold damaged items. This is used for cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (Colbalt 60) producing ionization(electron disruptions) throughout a product. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause death to the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products. 

If you are concerned that the mold remediation process will result in the loss of your favorite heirlooms, give the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington County office a call at (203) 267-6262 to schedule a consultation with one of our mold remediation specialists. Our specialists are IICRC trained and have decades of experience restoring homes and their contents of mold. 

Keep Your Summer Fire-Free by Following These Barbecue Safety Tips

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Keep Your Summer Fire-Free by Following These Barbecue Safety Tips Grill fires can cause massive damage if used too close to the vinyl siding on a home.

It’s the summer season in Connecticut and we’ve all been cleaning out our grills and enjoying the barbecue weather.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires per year. With 64% of households owning gas grills, they are the cause of the majority of home fires.

Grill fires are often avoidable when you take a few precautionary steps.

Check for propane leaks on your gas grill.

Sometimes, propane leaks are evident by the smell of gas but not always. To check for leaks, you can try a soap and water solution on the hose to check for leaks when the gas is on (it will bubble where the leak is).

Grill away from any structures.

25% of home fires start on a balcony or open porch because the grill is located too close to the structure. The grill can stay hot for up to an hour after it’s turned off so don’t relocate the grill closer to the home after turning it off.

If you use a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid.

Be careful to control the spray of the fluid prior to starting the fire. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

Avoid an unstable grill.

Keep your grill on a stable, flat surface and make sure it can’t be tipped over. 

Keep your grill clean.

Remove grease or fat build-up often. Be certain to clean under the grill grates as well.

Leaking Roofs Causes Water and Mold Damage to Hartford County Homes

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

A leaking roof can cause not only damage the structural integrity of your Southbury home but can be a health and fire hazard as well.  Leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons such as a roof that was incorrectly installed or damage from a storm or high winds.  Here are some of the ways a roof leak can affect your home and family. 

Compromised structure 

A leaking roof can cause damaged rafters, ceiling joists and wall studs, as well as rotting to the interior and exterior trim.  The water causes the wood to warp, weaken and deteriorate. Repairs to the infrastructure of your home can be costly.  

Attic and ceiling damage 

The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and the items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is really big, it will damage the interior ceiling. You will notice water spots and perhaps bubbling or peeling on the affected ceiling and walls  The dripping water can also damage ceiling fans and light fixtures. 

Fire hazard from water damage 

If electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it. 

Interior mold 

One of the more serious issues that occur from a roof leak is mold growth. The consequences of letting the water settle without repairing the leak immediately can be harmful to your health. Mold damage can spread throughout the home’s structure, HVAC system and into personal belongings. Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington can remediate mold found in your Harwinton home.  

High utility bills/wasted energy 

Water leaking through the roof causes damage to the insulation in the attic, which becomes saturated and takes a long time to dry out. If a roof leak repair is put off,  your home will lose hot and cool air, resulting in higher utility bills.

If you discover that a roof leak has caused water or mold damage in your home, call us at (203) 267-6262.