Recent Cleaning Posts

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

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Pet Urine Stinks - But Your House Doesn't Have To!

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Sometimes, pets have accidents. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is here to help.

Animals stink.  

Don’t get us wrong, we love pets of all kinds - from dogs to cats to iguanas - here at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. But the smells that animals can leave behind in a home can be less than desirable, especially when accidents occur.

Whether it’s because you bought a new home that stinks of pet urine, your aging cat is having more frequent accidents or you have a puppy who isn’t quite able to hold it yet, the urine smell in your home needs to be removed as soon as possible.  The longer pet urine goes untreated, the more likely the urine odor is to permeate deeper into floors, walls and even the framework and foundation of the home. As the urine dries, the liquid evaporates but the urine crystals become even more concentrated and pungent. That’s why the smell might seem to worsen with time, rather than improve.

The team at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is trained and equipped to remove even the worst cases of pet urine and its odors. Whether it’s in carpeting, hardwood floors or sheetrock walls, we have the experience to identify and remove the odors with the least amount of disruption to your structure as possible. We use a range of tools to remove the stink from your home including air scrubbers that use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. These machines actually remove odorous particles from the air.  Some situations might call for thermal foggers, which neutralize odor, or an ozone generator, which produces an oxidizing agent, as well. Upholstered furniture is at times the victim of a pet accident. Our contents restoration services will leave your furniture smelling fresh again.

If you’ve got a big stink from pet urine, give us a call at (203) 267-6262 for a home to schedule an appointment.

Hoarding Situations Cause Water, Fire and Mold Risks to Connecticut Homes

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

When hoarding affects the safety of a home and those in it, SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington is here to help.

A few decades ago, when we first got into this business, hoarding existed however it seemed uncommon. The extent to which how many Americans are affected by this problem was not known to the average person. Thanks to reality TV shows and the internet, many people now understand why hoarding exists and how difficult it can be to manage.

Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.

A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk. Hoarding might also affect your ability to renew your homeowners insurance policy. If your insurance company becomes aware that a home is not being properly maintained when they do their traditional drive by at renewal time, they may cancel your policy. The potential for water, mold and fire damage as well as insect and rodent infestations in the home of a hoarder are too much of a risk. We have even seen homes in which the structural integrity is compromised (floors bowing in from the weight of the contents of the home) because of hoarding.

We are sometimes called to a home to treat a water or mold damage in which the number of contents in the home make restoration difficult. Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes.

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding.

Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized, deodorized and safe to live in.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington at (203) 267-6262 for a consultation.

Removing Sticky Cigarette Residue and Odor From Your Torrington, CT Home or Apartment

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

The removal of cigarette tar and odors can make a dramatic difference in your Southbury, CT home or apartment.

The residue and tar left on the walls of a home after years of smoking can be difficult to remove. If your home is being sold or apartment being released, the cigarette stains will need to be cleaned off of your walls and odors removed from the home.  

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds. Tobacco smoke clouds the air and sticks to every surface of the area. Sticky, highly toxic particulates, like nicotine, can cling to walls and ceilings. The residual gases left behind from smoking can be absorbed into carpets, draperies, and upholstered furniture. The visible signs of tobacco residue can be easily seen as a yellow or brown sticky substance that is left on all surfaces and furniture in areas where smoking has taken place. This residue, made up of very tiny particles of tobacco smoke, is difficult to remove.  Cigarette smoke is absorbed into every nook and cranny of the home- including furniture, carpets, and even behind the walls. If the building has an HVAC system, it can carry the smoke odor throughout the building. If you are an apartment complex manager, this can cause other residents to complain of the air quality in their apartments. 

If you have attempted home cleaning methods and they have not been successful, you may need to call in a professional restoration company.  The process to remove cigarette smoke residue is multi-tiered and requires a number of steps. SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has the training to eliminate offensive odors and remove tar from walls. We have the equipment needed to penetrate surfaces such as carpeting, drapery, furniture and bedding.  We use a tool called an Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from pets, nicotine, mildew and more without the use of toxic chemicals. Our air scrubbers assist in removing odor particles from the air.    

When the process is complete and your home is free of foul smells and the sticky tar removed from your walls, our team will seal your walls, ceilings and other surfaces and repaint them, leaving you with a fresh, clean surface.  

Spring is Finally Here! Spring Clean Your Kitchen With These Tips.

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Check all of your appliances for frayed or damaged wiring. Electrical malfunctions are a common cause of house fires in the Southbury, CT area.

Your 2018 Kitchen Spring Cleaning Cheat Sheet 

Spring is here and although it's still chilly and wet in the Southbury area, we will start having those "open up the windows and let the fresh air in" days soon! There's no better time to spring clean your home, getting rid of the dirt, grime and dust that has accumulated over the winter.  Your kitchen sees more cooking and baking in the wintertime than it does all year, and it probably shows!  The cleaning crew of SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington has compiled a spring cleaning checklist to help you out. 

  1. Clean the Grease –  Wipe down all surfaces – from your cabinets to your appliances – with white vinegar, which is amazing at removing grease!  Spray vinegar on all surfaces, let it sit for ten minutes and then wipe off with a kitchen rag. Don't forget to get under cabinets, your cabinet door knobs and on top of your refrigerator. If you have a particularly difficult grease spot to remove, wiping it with a little vegetable oil will remove it. Follow up with a rinse with a damp cloth.  
  2. Refrigerator – Take everything out and remove the shelving and drawers to clean. Check the expiration date on items, toss the forgotten leftovers and wipe down condiment jars. One trick that we have for keeping a fridge clean is to place rubber shelf liners on your shelves and in your fruit and vegetable drawers. It comes in a roll and can be cut to size. If something spills, it's much easier to remove the liner than the whole shelf!  
  3. Oven – Remove the racks from your oven and clean them. If you prefer not to use the self cleaning option on your oven, use this trick to get it clean with vinegar and baking soda – we've tried it and it works! Don't forget to pull out the storage drawer under your oven, remove all of the pans and clean that too.
  4. Sink – A toothbrush is the perfect tool to clean around the edge of a sink and behind it. If you have a garbage disposal, put ice in your disposal, followed by vinegar. Then, run the disposal. The ice does a great job of scraping the sides of the hard to reach places and removing the debris. The vinegar finishes the job with a cleaning. 
  5. Cabinets - If you're really ambitious, remove all of the items out of your cabinets and wipe down the interior.  This is a great time to get rid of those dishes that are never used or that glass that no longer has a match.  
  6. Pantry – Take all items off of the shelves, discard those open boxes of stale cereal that got shoved to the back a few months ago, wipe down your shelves and replace everything in nice neat lines. Most likely, it won't stay like that but it looks good for now!  
  7. Microwave - Here's a new trick we just tried. Place water and a few lemon wedges in a small microwave safe container. Run the microwave until the water starts to boil. Turn off the oven and let sit, and steam, for a few minutes. When you remove the cup, you will be able to simply wipe everything off without scrubbing. 
  8. Filters –Check your fridge to see if the water filter is due for replacement. If there is a filter in your exhaust vent, it's most likely due for a change as well.  If you have a water filter on your sink, swap it out for a new one.

While you are cleaning your kitchen, take the time to do a safety check. 

Take a look behind your fridge and under your sink and take note of any signs of dripping from the refrigerator supply line or the pipes under your sink. These are two of the most common places that water damage occurs in a kitchen. Also look for any frayed wires on your appliances, as these can be a fire hazard. If you have noticed an electrical outlet shorting out or your light fixtures flickering, have them checked out by an electrician. We've restored many homes that have had kitchen fires and often it's a small problem that causes significant fire damage.  

If you've finished reading this post and thought "A sparkling clean house sounds wonderful, but who has the time?", give us a call at 203-267-6262. We'll come out and make your kitchen sparkle like it never has before!

What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

ULTRASONIC CLEANING

What is ultrasonic Cleaning?!

Chances are, if you’ve ever had your jewelry or watches professionally cleaned, it was done in an ultrasonic cleaner! Ultrasonic cleaning is an efficient, effective, and detailed method to clean and disinfect a multitude of different items from kitchenware to electronics. As the name implies, these machines use ultrasonic sound waves passed through an aqueous solution consisting of water, a softener, and a mild detergent. This process, known as “cavitation”, is a result of the high frequency sound waves creating pressure in the solution making millions of tiny bubbles that form and implode agitating the surface of the objects being cleaned. Items are submerged and typically remain from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes depending of level of soiling. They are then removed and properly dried.

Why use ultrasonic cleaning?

This method of cleaning helps to ensure that every surface of the item, including difficult to clean areas, inaccessible areas, cracks, crevices, and areas that typically can’t be done manually are thoroughly cleaned. It also achieves better, faster results while substantially cutting down labor and eliminating the need for harsh chemicals.

What can ultrasonic cleaning be use on?

Ultrasonic cleaning has been used in a wide array of different industries, and with good reason! Almost any item can be successfully and safely cleaned using these processes. These can range from dishware, glasses, and golf clubs to medical equipment, circuit boards, and chandeliers. Most contents usually only require a quick bath, however, some more complex items like television and microwaves require some form of disassembly to assure not only every surface is in contact with the solution, but that once removed they can be properly dried and inspected. Ultrasonic cleaning can be used to removed all forms of soot, dust, rust, bacteria, mold, biological contamination and more! The only items that ultrasonic machines are not helpful with are items that any water has the potential to ruin, such as particle board or wood furniture which can absorb too much water and take too long to dry damaging finishes and integrity. They also aren’t the best choice for laundry, that’s best left to the washer and dryer!

Where can I have my contents Ultrasonic Cleaned?

Here at SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington we’re proud to have our very own extra large ultrasonic cleaner! We utilize this machine to restore contents from water, fire, and general cleaning jobs where contents have been brought to our in house storage facility! Our machine is located in our contents cleaning wing of our facility and has the capacity to handle jobs of any size! We also have our very own drying chamber to assist in properly removing moisture from any contents we clean! During our open house we held this October, we held live demonstrations of our Ultrasonic Cleaner in action. Anyone who requested to have their personal belongings, keys, jewelry, etc cleaned, walked away very happy and impressed with this machines capabilities! Our ultrasonic cleaner is just one more step in making it "Like it never even happened."