Recent Posts

Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems Cause Damage to Southbury Area Businesses

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems Cause Damage to Southbury Area Businesses A water sprinkler that discharged caused water damage to this warehouse in New Haven County.

If you have a commercial business, you have a fire prevention sprinkler system in place. Commercial fire protection sprinklers are the best way to save your building (and the lives of those in it!) because of their ability to stop fires in their early stages from consuming more property and becoming costlier.

As much as we are grateful for these sprinkler systems and the lives they save, they can sometimes malfunction and trigger when there is no fire, causing water damage. There are some steps business owners can take to avoid a malfunctioning sprinkler system. 

Sprinkler systems have safeguards to stop them from deploying except during a fire. However, there are a few circumstances that can cause them to accidentally deploy:

1. Frozen pipes - When pipes freeze, the extra pressure causes pipes to break.
2. Structural Damage - Damage can be caused to the sprinkler mechanism by service work done in or around the ceiling by yourself or others.
3. Metal corrosion - from stagnant water in the pipes or sprinklers

The most important step for stopping sprinklers from flooding your business it to identify where your business’ water shutoff valve is located. You should familiarize yourself with its operation, so you can stop the sprinklers if there is no fire. In case you are absent, other trusted employees should also be informed of it.

Water damage can ultimately be prevented with occasional professional inspection of your fire sprinklers. Proper maintenance ensures the system will deploy only when you need it. It’s good practice to make sure the sprinklers are clear of obstructions and not used to hang decorations. 

If you do have a sprinkler malfunction, and once you have turned off the water source, call a professional water damage restoration company immediately so that the work can started quickly. Your actions impact the total cost of such services. With proper measures taken before and during a defective sprinkler incident, you can avoid the devastating damage a sprinkler system can cause.

Keep Your Southbury Business Safe From Fire Damage With These Tips

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Keep Your Southbury Business Safe From Fire Damage With These Tips If your Southbury area business is hit with fire damage, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has the training and resources to restore it.

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.  

By following these steps, if your Torrington, CT business does experience a fire, the damage to your building should be less extensive. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington can take care of the water and fire damage that results and get your business back up and running. 

Winter Storm Watch, Advisory and Warning- What's the Difference?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Watch, Advisory and Warning- What's the Difference? Know the difference between a Winter Storm Watch, Advisory and Warning to Keep Your Family Safe This Winter!

We have entered that time of year in Connecticut when the weather channels will start to warn us that there is a Winter Storm Watch, Warning or Advisory. Rarely will a week go by without one of these warnings in Connecticut. If you've wondered what the difference is between the three, here you go!

WINTER STORM WATCH is the first level of warning. It signifies that conditions are favorable to produce winter weather: snow, sleet, freezing rain, icy roads and the like. These conditions may or may not occur, but the weather service is alerting residents to the possibility. In Connecticut, heavy snow means 7 inches or more of accumulation in 24 hours or less. A winter storm watch is a long range prediction. They are issued at least 12 hours before the hazardous winter weather is expected to begin. When the storm becomes imminent, or has a high probability of occurring, the watch will be upgraded to a "WARNING".

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is the second level of warning - a middle man between the watch and warning. It is issued when winter weather is likely to create a hazard. Generally, the weather service is expecting snow, sleet, freezing rain, icy roads and other dangerous conditions. You may see a specific Wind Advisory or a Freezing Rain Advisory issued when these conditions are likely to be coming our way.  

WINTER STORM WARNING means that a winter storm is either expected soon or already taking place. Heavy snow, white-out blizzards, sleet, high winds and significant ice accumulations may be imminent, and residents should prepare immediately for deteriorating conditions. This is issued when a dangerous combination of heavy snow, with sleet and/or freezing rain, will occur or has a high probability of occurring within the next 12 hours. 

And in the Torrington area, we're bound to see a BLIZZARD WARNING a few times over the season.This is issued for a combination of strong winds averaging or frequently gusting to, or above, 35 miles an hour and very low visibility due to blowing or falling snow. These are the most dangerous winter storms and can be especially severe when combined with temperatures below 10 degrees.

Of course, as we all know in Litchfield County, the weather can change hour by hour so your best course of action is to check updates regularly and prepare for the worst!

Leaking Roofs Cause FIre, Water and Mold Damage in Torrington, CT

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Leaking Roofs Cause FIre, Water and Mold Damage in Torrington, CT Protecting your home from a roof leak will help you avoid water, fire and mold damage to your Southbury home,.

A leaking roof can cause not only damage the structural integrity of your Torrington 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 Woodbury 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 Torrington, CT home, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262.

Why Do Ice Dams Form and Cause Water Damage to Torrington Homes?

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why Do Ice Dams Form and Cause Water Damage to Torrington Homes? When ice dams form, they may cause water and mold damage in your home.

After the snowfall and freezing temperatures we have experienced in the last week, it looks like we will have a brief respite from winter's wrath. One concern that Connecticut homeowners may have after the storm is ice dams that may have formed on their roof.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof.  Typically, this happens after a snow storm, when there is a pile of snow sitting on the roof above your attic. After the weather warms to above 32 degrees and melts the snow, it causes the top layer to form into a mound of ice. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home because when the ice dam reaches its capacity, it begins to make its way under the shingles. When the ice melts, it drips into your home.  The walls, insulation and ceilings of your home can become damaged. If left untreated, mold can also become an issue. 

If your Harwinton home has an ice dam, there are some steps that you can take to remove it.

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small pieces by tapping it gently with a blunt mallet. Work slowly and carefully so that you do not damage your shingles.

2. Use calcium chloride ice melter to weaken the ice. This will melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to drain. Do NOT use rock salt, as it will damage paint and metal. 

The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is trained and equipped to restore Litchfield County homes that have water damage from ice dams. Call us at (203) 267-6262 if you have damage to your roof from snow and ice this winter.

What to do if the Pipes Burst in Your Southbury Home or Business

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do if the Pipes Burst in Your Southbury Home or Business When pipes freeze and then burst, knowing which steps to take can save your home from extreme damage.

The most common call we get in the winter here in the Southbury, CT area is from customers whose pipes have frozen and burst.  Often, a homeowner isn't aware that their pipes have frozen and they walk into their home after a thaw to a flood.  As devastating as this might experience can be, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage while you wait for help to arrive. 

Turn off your water and electricity. 

If you live in a house, turn off your water supply (and don't wait until a pipe bursts to locate it!) as well as the electricity  to the area of the house where the burst has occurred. If you live in an apartment building or condo, be sure to alert your building manager immediately as the water could also affect neighboring units. 

Place a catch bucket under the leak 

If water is coming through the ceiling, place a bucket or garbage can under the leak to catch the water. If the ceiling is bulging or the leaking is widespread, piercing a hole in the sheetrock will allow the water to flow through one spot.  

Drain your pipes 

Run all of the faucets throughout your house with cold water to clear as much water from the pipes as possible. Flush the toilets as well. Turn off your hot water heater and run the hot water from all faucets.  

Call a plumber 

Again, preparing ahead will work in your benefit. It can be difficult to find a plumber who is   immediately available to respond to your frozen pipe emergency.  Choosing and establishing a relationship with a local Litchfield County plumber ahead of time will go a long way in getting quicker service. 

Call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington

Our water mitigation team will respond quickly and begin the clean up process. The sooner we are called to dry the home out and remove wet sheetrock, carpets, flooring  and other materials, the less the damage can spread and cause additional problems. 

Call your Insurance Agency 

The sooner you submit a claim, the quicker you will be reimbursed for payments made to plumbers and contractors.  Our experienced office staff, Theny, Alexis and Kathy, will handle insurance negotiations and paperwork from our end so that you don't have to.  

Discovering that your home is flooded because of frozen pipes can be a stressful experience. We've been told by many customers throughout our twenty years as a franchise that having our team come out quickly and efficiently mitigate the damage has taken much of the stress out of the situation.  Give us a call  at (203) 267-6262 24/7 if your pipes freeze  this  winter in the Torrington area.

Fire, Water and Mold Damage Restoration in Torrington, CT Restaurants

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Restaurant owners know that it is an unpredictable business.

Anything can be thrown your way and an experienced owner is an expert at handling emergencies quickly and adeptly as they arise.  Restaurants are particularly susceptible to water, fire and mold problems and our franchise receives calls on a regular basis from restaurant owners who require our restoration services.  

With several cooks in the kitchen and hot stoves going all day long, kitchen fires occur frequently. Even a small fire in your commercial kitchen might necessitate a temporary shut down of your restaurant.  The smoke odor quickly spreads throughout the restaurant, is absorbed into upholstered chairs, carpeting, walls and drapery. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.  

Often in conjunction with fire damage in restaurants is water damage from rescue efforts. The water damage can originate from a sprinkler system setting off in response to detected smoke or from the fire department’s rescue efforts. Some of our clients have also had water damage in their restaurants due to a burst pipe, appliance malfunction or human error. Regardless of the cause, it is important to call us to restore your building immediately. A failure to properly address water damage in your restaurant can lead to additional problems such as mold growth. 

Mold in restaurants can be particularly troubling as the environment (water and steam) has high humidity levels, creating prime real estate for mold growth. Any mold discovered in your restaurant requires professional remediation. Mold might grow behind walls or ceiling tiles, flooring or even under your restaurant carpeting (think of how many drinks are spilled every day). 

If you own a restaurant in the Torrington area, give us a call at  (203) 267-6262We will schedule an appointment to come out and discuss any current concerns that you have for your building as well as set up an Emergency Ready Profile, which will enable you to quickly act if your restaurant does have fire, water or mold damage in the future. 

Keep Your Southbury Home Safe From Fire and Water Damage This Winter

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Keep Your Southbury Home Safe From Fire and Water Damage This Winter Burst pipes, ice dams and chimney fires can be avoided with some simple preparations.

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Hartford County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle in for the long, cozy New England winter.  Now is the time to take a few steps to ready your Woodbury, CT home for the months to come.

Oil Burner Servicing - If you have not already done so, make an appointment to have your oil burner serviced. This is recommended on an annual basis. Having the burner tuned up and cleaned of dust and grime that has accumulated improves system efficiency, which means better heating performance and lower heating costs. It also minimizes the risk of your oil burner requiring a major emergency repair in the midst of freezing temperatures. At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington, we respond to many homes each winter that have water damage due to frozen pipes caused by a malfunctioning oil burner.

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleaning - Many of our customers heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces throughout the Connecticut winter. These alternatives to oil heating provide what is often a more affordable source of heat. We recommend that you check your fireplace for any signs of excessive soot, cracks in the chimney and that your chimney cap is secure. Have your chimney swept annually to avoid soot buildup, or creosote. A blocked chimney can cause a  chimney fire, which is not always easily detected. These can spread quickly through the walls and roof of your home and result in massive damage to your home. A blocked chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can also  cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, putting those inside your home at risk. 

Prepare the outside of your home - Trim trees with branches that are low laying and may be an issue when covered with snow and ice. Snow and ice causes them to be heavy and possibly cause damage to your home during winter storms. Also, check your gutters to make sure they are free of leaves and debris so that they can function properly. If ice dams on your roof have been an issue for your Harwinton home in the past, consider installing roof heat cables that help snow and ice melt on your roof before causing water damage inside your home. 

At SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington County, we are ready 24 hours a day to respond to your call. If you do experience a frozen pipe that bursts or a chimney fire or puffback this winter, call us at (203) 267-6262.

Why Should You Choose SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington For Your Restoration Needs?

10/29/2018 (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.

Meet the Team: Kirk Hart, Restoration Technician

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet the Team: Kirk Hart, Restoration Technician Kirk Hart is a restoration technician at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.

Our crew works day after day, helping home and business owners during difficult times. They are on call throughout the night, on weekends, on holidays and in bad weather.  Their dedication to their jobs often goes without much recognition. This month, we’d like to recognize one of our crew members who shows up with a smile on his face no matter what the circumstances.

Kirkland Hart has worked in the restoration industry for seven years, the last five with our SERVPRO franchises. Originally from Clarendon, Jamaica, Kirk now lives in Bridgeport with his wife and four children. When not at work, you can find him playing soccer (futbol) or dominos or enjoying his favorite meal, chicken and rice. 

If we were to make a list of what attributes make a valuable employee, Kirk would be in mind. What stands out about Kirk is his can-do attitude and willingness to help our customers as well as others on the crew. If there is a job that needs to be done, Kirk will make it happen - even if that means coming into work early and staying late. He takes pride in his work and easily falls into a leadership role with our newer employees.  

We understand that our customers are dealing with a stressful situation and having a crew in their home can sometimes be difficult. Kirk’s smile and friendly nature enable him to connect with our customers and put them at ease. He is kind and helpful when people need it most. We are grateful to have such a guy as part of our team.