Recent Biohazard Posts

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.

A River of Muck Has Overflowed Out of Your Toilet. Our Advice? Don't Panic!

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom floor covered with excrement and a newspaper that says welcome home on the floor When a toilet overflows, everything in the water's path will be contaminated.

There's not too much worse than flushing a toilet and watching the water rise up, flow over the edge and create a river of muck throughout the bathroom and beyond.  Especially if you are a guest at somebody else's home or in a public place!

Panic can quickly ensue when you are dealing with a clogged, overflowing toilet and you may not be  sure of how to handle the situation or what to do next. (No, the solution is NOT to call 911, as some distraught homeowners have done!!) 

After shutting off the water valve at the base of the toilet, you'll need to determine if you require a professional clean up. In general, if you have a modern toilet and the spill was limited to a single flush (1.6 gallons), you may be able to mop it up yourself. This is usually the case if you have a non-porous flooring such as ceramic tile and the water did not reach the sheet rock walls or extend out of the bathroom to other areas of the house. If these conditions are true of your situation, you can likely clean the mess up with bleach and hot water, taking care to dispose of all wastewater and cleaning materials properly. 

However, if you were not able to immediately shut off the water valve (many people walk out of the bathroom and don't realize there is disaster happening behind them) or someone repeatedly flushed the toilet, you may have far greater quantity of water spilled. Also, older toilets tanks hold 3-5 gallons of water so the volume of spilled water would be much greater. If the water seeped out to the hallway, saturating carpet or getting under laminated flooring, professional clean up will be required. 

Calling in a specialist will not only save you from having to clean up the mess yourself (let's face it - probably not high on your list!), it's also necessary to keep you and your home safe. Toilet bowl overflows are considered Category 2 water, also known as “gray water”. The water may contain human waste matter and contain bacteria and pathogens, which are harmful to human health. The flooding can allow for mold growth later on, particularly if water seeps into sub-flooring or under molding into interior wall voids. 

It's not a fun scenario for any of us but fortunately, the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is up to the job. Our technicians are certified by the IICRC as Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians and wont skip any steps to endure your home is properly cleaned. 

Leave the clean up to us - call (203) 267-6262 if you have a toilet overflow that leaves a stinky mess. 

SERVPRO Cleans Up Thomaston Homes After Heating Oil Spills

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

It’s wintertime in Connecticut and the signs are all here -  snowy boots by the doorway, icicles hanging off of eaves and trucks driving down the road at all hours delivering oil to keep our homes warm.

Heating oil is used to heat the majority of homes in the Torrington area. Even those of us with wood stoves also use oil to keep warm. It’s an easy and relatively safe way of heating our homes. However, accidents happen and several times a year, our office receives calls from homes in which there has been a home heating oil spill inside of a home. Typically, these spills occur when a tank is accidentally overfilled or there is a leak in the oil tank.  

There are health risks associated with inhaling the vapors from home heating oil. Fortunately, these spills are usually discovered immediately by the oil delivery company and the occupants of the home are able to leave the premises without being harmed. Inspecting your tank and looking for signs of rust and drips around the tank is the best way to detect a slow leak. 

When you’ve had an oil spill, professional clean up is necessary. We’ve found that local oil companies are quick to assist homeowners when they have made an error and overfilled your tank or caused a spill. While you wait for our arrival, we advise against attempting to clean up the spill yourself. You should ventilate the area where the leak occurred (most likely the basement) by opening windows and doors. Turn off all sources of flames or sparks in the area, such as pilot lights in water heaters and furnaces. Try to contain the fumes out of the living space by closing vents and doors to the basement if possible.

If your oil company accidentally overfills your tank, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington for emergency clean up service. Our technicians are experienced in restoring homes after home heating oil spills and are here to help.

Question From Our Customers: Is Blood Considered a Biohazard?

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

graphic explains why blood is considered a biohazard. Because it contains dangerous pathogens, blood is considered a biohazard and requires professional cleanup when present at commercial properties,

At times, we receive calls from business owners who are concerned that there may be a biohazardous situation in their building that requires a professional clean up.

Most of our customers know that bodily fluids can contain dangerous pathogens and are considered biohazards. However, they are not quite certain whether blood is a biohazard that requires professional clean up or if it they can clean it up themselves.  

The definition of the word biohazard is “a substance that is a risk to human health or the environment arising from biological work, especially with microorganisms.” 

Biohazards include bacteria, microorganisms, biologically derived toxins and viruses.  Exposure to biohazards can be harmful and even fatal to humans and animals. Biohazards can also be toxic to the environment if not properly cleaned.  

Because blood contains pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B&C, it is categorized as a biohazard and requires professional removal when present at commercial properties.  Professionals who remediate biohazard situations must follow the protocol that has been established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.  In addition to proper training, this protocol includes the use of personal protective gear such as a face shield or mask, eye protection and gloves.  

The technicians at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington have been trained to effectively and safely clean and remove blood and other hazardous bodily fluids from commercial properties.

Please call us at (203) 267-6262 if you have a biohazard situation at your business that requires our professional and discrete services.

Professional Oil Spill Clean Up Services in Litchfield County

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

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! 

April Showers Can Bring Septic System Backups to Torrington Homes

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Whether from a full septic tank, a clogged filter or a blocked line, sewage floods from septic tank backups require professional restoration.

April showers bring May flowers however here in the Litchfield area, heavy rains can be rough on a home's septic system.  On days like today, when rain is falling onto already wet ground, septic problems can be common.

When there is great deal of rain, the drain field in your yard can become saturated and stop the water from flowing out of your septic system as designed. Because the water has no exit point, it can eventually make its way back into your home. The waste water can travel back through the pipes and through your drains and toilets, causing an overflow.  If you have sewage backup through one of your drains, that is a clear sign that your septic system is malfunctioning.  

Other signs of a failing septic tank are: 

  1. A Foul Odor: A clear sign that your septic tank needs inspection is the presence of odors in your house, outside near your septic tank or near the pipe ventilation system. We all know the smell of the methane gas escaping, similar to rotten eggs, so it's not hard to identify! 
  2. Soggy Ground: Saturated areas around your septic tank may also indicate a problem. Excess moisture can be a sign that your tank is full or the drainage pipes are damaged.  
  3. Slow Drainage: If you have a slow draining sink, tub or toilet, it is a warning sign that your septic system is  malfunctioning.  
  4. Gurgling Sounds: If you notice that there is a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet, that is a common sign of septic system failure.  
  5. Contaminated Well Water: Well water tests that show results of high levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria are of concern, as they indicate that untreated sewage is seeping into the ground.  

If you notice any of these signs in your home, we recommend that you call a septic system repair contractor to inspect your system and identify the cause. It could be a blocked line from tree roots, an improperly installed leach field, a clogged filter or a full septic tank that requires pumping. Having the problem repaired before it causes damage to your home is the goal! 

In the event that there is already a backup at your home, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at 203-267-6262. Sewage floodwaters contain harmful bacteria and pathogens that are dangerous and should be cleaned up by restoration professionals. The SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to clean up and sanitize your home and belongings and make it "Like it never even happened."