Recent Posts

Freezing Pipes Burst in Southbury Homes

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

With the thermometer dipping last week, pipes in Litchfield County homes began freezing and, in may cases, burst. 

Although pipes can freeze anywhere in your home, there are some areas that are more susceptible than others.

1. Your Crawlspace - Many older homes in CT have a crawlspace rather than a full basement. These are typically not insulated and the pipes are exposed to the environment. Lining the sides of the space with foam board and the ground with plastic can help. You may also consider installing a heat cable that runs along the pipes and is turned on when the temps drop. 

2. Under the Kitchen Sink - In particular, sinks that are on an exterior wall tend to experience frozen pipes. An easy solution to this is leaving your cabinet doors open to allow the warm air in the home to circulate.

3. Bonus Rooms Above the Garage - Most bonus rooms are built above an unheated garage. They are exposed to the cold air (especially along the exterior walls). Keeping the temperature in your garage above freezing with the use of space heaters on frigid days can help. 

Frozen pipes can happen to anyone. We have responded to water damage from burst pipes in houses built in the 1700's as well as homes that are new construction. We've seen it all and have the experience to restore your home quickly and thoroughly

There are Many Restoration Companies Out There. Here's Why We're Different.

1/27/2021 (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, Kathy, Theny, Alexis and Keri, have all been with us for years and have extensive knowledge of the restoration process. 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 Hartford and Litchfield Counties, 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.

Fire at Apartment Complex Causes Soot and Smoke Damage

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

When we have a job in which there was a fire at an apartment complex, the soot, smoke and water damage usually extends well beyond the area in which the fire originated. 

In situations where there are multiple units in a structure, the shared walls, hallways and ventilation system allow for the smoke and soot to spread quickly. Soot is comprised of miniscule carbon particles which are created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (such as the wood, oil, coal, and more). Containing acids, chemicals and dust, soot leaves a sticky mess as well as a nasty odor behind when it travels through the air. Breathing in soot, or even if it enters a person’s body through their eyes, can cause serious health effects. While we are working in homes and apartments that have been layered with soot, it’s often necessary for those living there to vacate the premises until it is clean. 

While smoke damage is usually not evident by sight, it can be a difficult beast to remove. Along with polluting the air, smoke can be absorbed into both hard and soft furnishings and structural components, such as walls, carpeting and furniture Typically, mattresses and carpeting need to be removed and discarded. Because smoke makes its way into cracks and crevices, part of our restoration process includes cleaning behind the walls.

One thing thing that doesn't always come to mind when people think about a home fire is the water damage that will occur. Apartment complexes in Connecticut all have sprinkler systems, which work wonders to keep tenants safe. However, when one apartment has a fire, the sprinkler system will trigger and soak the whole floor or building. Often, the water damage clean up is more extensive than the damage caused by the fire. 

With proper ventilation, air filtration, the removal of debris and the neutralization of odors, our crew helps you get back into your apartment as quickly as possible. 

Commercial Duct Cleaning in Southbury Area Businesses

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know, your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality?  Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is inspecting the heating, ventilation and a/c unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money.  Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.  We will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the clean up process.  In these cases, we can often help restore HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the EPA recommends they be inspected for proper functioning, and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Our Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost efficient.  What sets us apart from other duct cleaning services is our portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system which examines ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

If you have any questions concerning your duct work or would like a consultation please don’t hesitate to call us at 203-267-6262!

Smell Gas in Your Home? Here's What to Do.

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

SUSPECT A GAS LEAK? USE YOUR SENSES

See

A white cloud, mist or fog, bubbles in still water, blowing dust, or dead or dying plants.

Smell

A distinct rotten egg-like odor.

Hear

Unusual hissing, roaring or whistling.

IF YOU SUSPECT A LEAK, DO ...

Leave
Immediately move to a safe location. Don't start your car, as a spark could ignite.

Call 911
Call 911. Don't assume someone else made the call. Report your location, including cross streets, and whether there's digging nearby.

IF YOU SUSPECT A LEAK, DON'T ...

  • Smoke.
  • Light a match.
  • Open doors or windows.
  • Use your landline or cell phone.
  • Switch on/off appliances.
  • Use a flashlight.
  • Start a car.
  • Attempt to make repairs.

In many cases, a gas leak will not result in a house fire. However, if one does occur in your home, please call us for immediate fire damage restoration service.

The Real Reason Frozen Pipes Burst in Southbury Homes

12/5/2020 (Permalink)

What Causes Frozen Pipes to Burst?

Most people think that frozen pipes burst because water expands when it freezes. And it is true that water molecules take up more volume than liquid form because they take on a hexagonal form during freezing, However, when water in a pipe expands due to freezing, it expands to the sides, not directly outward.

The real reason why frozen pipes burst is because of the increase in pressure on the side of the pipe where the frozen section is. As there is less space available between the ice and the closed tap that is “upstream,” the pressure spikes—which causes the bursting to happen. 

Thawing of the ice increases the risk of pipes bursting, as it raises the pressure further. This is why most of the calls that we receive occur AFTER the freezing temperatures have subsided and the ice in the pipes has started to melt. 

What Can You Do?

One way to prevent pipes from freezing is by adding insulation on the exposed piping (usually the pipes around the water heater). This will prevent the pipes from losing too much heat to the cold air around them, that they freeze.

If you do encounter frozen pipes at some point this winter, call your local plumber to repair the pipe and call us for immediate water damage restoration

Mold Causes and Treatment at Southbury Commercial Properties

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

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. 

What Makes Us Shine

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

We are sometimes asked what makes SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington stand out against other restoration companies.

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, Kathy, Theny, Alexis and Keri, have all been with us for years and have extensive knowledge of the restoration process. 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 Hartford and Litchfield Counties, 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.

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.