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Water and Fire Damage Restoration After Kitchen Fires in Southbury

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Water and Fire Damage Restoration After Kitchen Fires in Southbury Kitchen fires are responsible for substantial damage to Southbury area homes.

October is National Fire Prevention Month.

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.

Protect Your Southbury Home From Soot and Fire Damage

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Southbury Home From Soot and Fire Damage Having your chimney cleaned professionally can reduce your risk of a house fire as by removing creosote and identifying cracks in your chimney.

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Litchfield 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 Torrington, 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 Sherman 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, 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.

Professional Oil Spill Clean Up Services in Litchfield County

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Professional Oil Spill Clean Up Services in Litchfield County An oil spill in the basement of your Southbury home requires professional remediation.

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington does more than fire,water and mold restoration and remediation. We often receive calls to Hartford County homes and businesses to clean up oil spills. Such spills occur when storage tanks develop a leak, are overfilled or if the heating system malfunctions. Since the typical oil tank in Connecticut is located in the basement of a home, a spill can contaminate the basement.  

Because oil is combustible, quick clean up is vital to safety. If there is an oil spill in your home, turn off all flame and spark sources. Ventilate the area by opening any windows and doors to the outside. Close all doors and seal any cracks between your basement and the rest of your house with towels to prevent vapors from entering the upper floors.  If you have forced hot air heating, shut off the system and close the grills.  

Protect the health of your family by avoiding the contaminated areas. Do not breathe the fumes and if in contact with oil, wear rubber gloves and boots as well as protective eye wear.  If the odor is strong, it may be necessary to relocate your family for a few days, especially if there are children and elderly in the home.  

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has the  training and equipment  to properly remove oil spills in the Litchfield County, CT area. Call us at (203) 267-6262 if you have an oil spill – big or small! 

We Clean the Soot and Dust that Covers Your Home After a Puffback

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage We Clean the Soot and Dust that Covers Your Home After a Puffback Puffbacks leave distinctive cobwebs of soot throughout the home.

Many people have never heard of a furnace puffback until they experience one themselves. 

A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler. Puff backs can occur due to an oil burner malfunction in which the burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, causing an explosion when the furnace turns on. Puff backs can also be caused by a partially clogged or cracked nozzles, improper nozzle angle, cracked electrodes, poor adjustment of the air-fuel mixture, a defective spark transformer, shorted ignition cables or dirty or low-grade fuel. Regular maintenance can help Hartford County homeowners reduce the risk of a furnace puffback. 

The aftermath of a puffback is the soot and streaks that the explosion blew throughout your home. Often every surface – including carpeting, furniture, walls and drapery - is covered with this black, sticky substance that includes a mixture of oil that is very difficult to remove from any surface. Debris from a puffback can also enter the ventilation system in your home as well as into the cavity behind your walls.

Cleaning up after a puffback is not a do it yourself job- it requires professional cleaning to remove the soot that is spread throughout your home. Do not attempt to clean the soot itself – household cleaners are not effective against soot and may make the problem worse. For example, attempts to wash soot off of a flat-painted wall or ceiling usually leave greasy smears rather than removing the soot. At SERVPRO, we use proprietary tools and cleaners that absorb the soot without spreading it. Fortunately, puffback's are usually covered under your homeowner's insurance.  

If you experience a furnace puffback, call the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington office at (203) 267-6262.

 Our smoke and fire damage specialists have the equipment and training to quickly return your home to a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for you and your family. We're faster to any disaster and are dedicated to responding immediately so that you can recover quickly, with less disruption to your life.

Meet The Team: Matt Caulfield, Production Manager

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet The Team: Matt Caulfield, Production Manager Matt Caulfield is a Production Manager at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.

Going above and beyond is the norm for our employees.

Every day, we see them give their all and then some to our customers. This month, we'd like to recognize Matt Caulfield for his dedication to his work at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.  

Matt has been at SERVPRO for five years, having come from the construction and mortgage industries. He is the kind of guy who throws himself whole-heartedly into whatever he does and has worked his way to a position of Production Manager at SERVPRO.  Matt is an extremely dedicated professional who is courteous, cares about his customers, is quick to return phone calls and sincerely wants the best outcome for his clients. In fact, clients often go out of their way to let us know how impressed they were with Matt's service.  

Matt lives in Milford, CT and is an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings and the Georgia Bulldogs. An athlete himself, Matt loves snowboarding, football and working out. He can't pass up a piece of pizza and loves country music. I was surprised to learn that his favorite tv show is "This is Us" - you never know who is watching that show! His dream is to spend time on a Caribbean Island someday.  

Matt's co-workers know that if they need a hand with anything, he is there to help- often without being asked. He is a pleasure to work with and brings a positive vibe to our office and the work site.  Matt finds it personally rewarding when he can take an overwhelming loss and turn it around for the very best outcome for the customer. In an industry like ours, where homeowners are dealing with stressful and often emotional situations, Matt's commitment to help, and not just "get the job done", truly makes a difference. 

If You Have a Unique Water or Fire Damage Situation, We Have a Unique Solution!

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial If You Have a Unique Water or Fire Damage Situation, We Have a Unique Solution! The SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team restoring a warehouse after a vehicle fire caused massive smoke and soot damage.

During our years as a water, fire and mold restoration company, we have been called to thousands of jobs. 

While most of the damage we see is due to typical sources such as frozen pipes, appliance leaks and furnace puffbacks, there are some disasters that cannot have been expected. We’ve been to homes in which electronic toys have caught fire, causing smoke damage throughout the home.  The mess that can be left by an exploding fire extinguisher is astonishing. We’ve also seen more than one commercial building with widespread water damage due to a coffee maker supply line leak. 

Vehicles are also an unexpected but not so unusual source of fire and smoke damage. We’ve been to a home in which a ride-on lawn mower caught fire in the garage as well as cleaned up the glass and debris left when cars have accidently driven into homes and businesses.  We recently responded to a call from a corporation in which a vehicle caught fire on the loading dock of a warehouse, causing smoke and soot damage to the 200,000 square foot warehouse. 

No matter how unique the situation, our team has the experience, resources and training to meet the challenge. We are able to arrive on the scene 24/7 and assess the situation and establish a recovery plan.  As a franchise, we have access to all of the resources that the SERVPRO corporation has to offer.  If you find yourself in a water or fire damage situation that you would never have imagined, give us a call at (203) 267-6262.   

Is Your Southbury Household Prepared For a Disaster?

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

General Is Your Southbury Household Prepared For a Disaster? September is National Preparedness Month.

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to go over your family's emergency plan. 

When establishing an emergency plan, be sure to consider the specific needs of the members of your household.  Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan: 

  • Different ages of members within your household 
  • Responsibilities for assisting others 
  • Locations frequented 
  • Dietary needs 
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment 
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment 
  • Languages spoken 
  • Cultural and religious considerations 
  • Pets or service animals 
  • Households with school-aged children 

Also consider your elderly friends or neighbors in your plan. They often need help and do not always have local family.  

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is dedicated to helping our community when disaster happens. If you have a flood or fire emergency, call us at (203) 267-6262.

If You Suspect Mold in Your Torrington, CT Home, Take These Steps

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation If You Suspect Mold in Your Torrington, CT Home, Take These Steps Mold on your windowsill is typically a sign that your window has a leaky seal. Call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington if you find mold in your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington  specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Some restoration companies advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy because removing all mold from a house or business is impossible; microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

The sooner you address a potential mold problem at your home or business, the less invasive the clean up will be. If you see any suspicious growth or smell a musty, mildew scent in your kitchen or bathroom,  call our Torrington office to schedule an appointment.

Water Damage Restoration of Flooded Basements in Southbury, CT

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Restoration of Flooded Basements in Southbury, CT Basement floods can be caused by heavy rains, sewer backups, a broken pipe or a hot water heater tank failure.

The area in a home or business that is most at risk of being flooded is the basement. A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Torrington, CT basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

There are some precautions that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of your basement flooding. Many Connecticut residents have a sump pump installed in their home to keep their basement dry. Grading the land around your foundation away from your home or building a drainage ditch are also effective measures. If you don't have a flood but your basement has high humidity that might lead to a mold problem, running a dehumidifier in your basement will help. 

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (203)267-6262.

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded?

Call Us Today (203)267-6262 – We’re Ready To Help 

Ways That Commercial Property Owners Can Avoid Water Damage To Their Business

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Ways That Commercial Property Owners Can Avoid Water Damage To Their Business A coffee maker supply line leak at this office building caused an entire floor to flooded with water.

If you run a business in the Southbury area or own commercial property that you lease out, it is especially important that you are vigilant about water leaks. 

Whether water is leaking in your building due to a plumbing leak, an appliance malfunction or a leaky roof, even a small amount of excess water can lead to significant water damage repair costs. Here are some warning signs that action is needed to protect your property from water damage. 

  • Water Bill. Keep an eye on your water bill. An unusually high water bill can indicate a plumbing leak. 
  • Sinks for a leaking pipe joint or P-trap. 
  • Appliances. Check behind and under refrigerators and dishwashers for any moisture. Appliance leaks often show degradation do the floors they are on top of, such as peeling of vinyl, water stains on the concrete or warping of wood. 
  • Appliance Supply Lines. Check the supply lines to make sure they are sound and free of wear or corrosion. Don’t forget to check your pod style coffee maker, so popular in offices nowadays. We recently mitigated water damage at a commercial property in which the coffee maker supply line burst, causing a flood throughout the facility! 
  • Toilets – Check for broken toilet tank flappers. If a toilet is not flushing properly, is leaking or running have your plumber repair it as soon as possible.  
  • Smells. If your tenants notice an odd or foul smell, it could be a sign of a sewage issue and should not be ignored.  
  • Ceilings and Walls. Water stains on the walls and ceilings directly below bathrooms are an indication of a pipe leak and should be inspected.  
  • Roof. Because of their flat roofs and rooftop HVAC systems, commercial properties are at risk of water damage due to a leaky roof.  Keep an eye out for stains on the ceiling, a musty smell in the attic, peeling paint around your skylights as well as damaged shingles and flashing. 

One of your most important resources in avoiding water damage at your commercial property is your tenants and employees.  If you lease space to others, whether at a shopping center or office park, educate your tenants on the warning signs of a water leak. In our experience, most tenants are very cooperative in keeping an eye out for things such as moldy smells and stained walls. Their business depends on staying open and it’s in their best interest for potential problems to be addressed.  Let your tenants know that you are open to reports of problems at the facility, no matter how small they may seem.  If you own a business, let your employees know what to look out for. Assign somebody to inspect for potential issues on a weekly basis.  

Every commercial property owner should have a good relationship with a local plumber. When you have a problem, it will ensure that you have prompt and quality service.

If you have a water leak or flooding at your Torrington area business, call us at (203) 267-6262 for immediate service. We understand the importance of cleaning up water in commercial properties quickly and have a team on call 24-7 ready to respond to your call.