Continuing Education Seminars - Save The Dates!
Save the 2019 Dates!
Continuing Education Seminars (free) for Insurance Professionals - SAVE THE DATES!
SERVPRO of Cumberland County will be offering continuing education seminars to insurance professionals in 2019. Seminars qualify for credits in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and are free for Insurance Professionals (complimentary dinner included).
(All dates are subject to change with notice). Stay tuned for venue information!
April 2: #0011444 - Restorative Drying for Loss Control - 3 credit hours (also offered in Cape May County on April 16)
July 9: #88894833 - Ethics - 3 credit hours (also offered in Cape May County on July 23)
October 1: #00505645 - Property Fire Damage Restoration - 4 credit hours (also offered in Cape May County on October 15)
For all classes:
5 pm to 5:30 pm - Registration and Dinner
5:30 pm - Class starts
For more information, please contact Minerva at 856-692-0041 or email at your convenience!
Why You Need to Consider Mold Remediation
Got mold? We make it, "Like it never even happened."
Exposure to moisture, whether it’s from storm damage or a plumbing failure in your home or business, can provide the right situation for mold to flourish. The growth process can begin in as little as 48 hours, which is why it’s extremely important to know what steps to take and who to call for help with mold remediation.
Proper Mold Remediation Is Key
We’re sure that you’ve probably seen ads for mold remediation and mold removal, but the truth is that the latter of these two is false. Removing all mold from a home or business simply cannot be accomplished.
Instead, a qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation, and will work to achieve the goal of getting mold levels back to normal and natural ranges.
Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. It is only when a minor mold problem is left untreated that the mold will become a major issue.
During a mold remediation, technicians will isolate the mold-contaminated areas. Depending on the size of the remediation job, it can be done by either closing all doors and windows or completely sealing all of the doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through misting.
Wet and mold-damaged materials are removed and discarded in plastic bags, and all areas that have been exposed to and affected by mold are then completely cleaned and dried. In some cases, a HEPA vacuum may be brought in to aid in the removal of the contamination and debris.
The area that is affected by the mold is treated with a biocide, and then left overnight to destroy and kill the mold spores. The mold remediation crew will return the following day and encapsulate the affected and surrounding areas.
When to Call the Professionals
If you suspect that your home or business may have a mold problem, you’ll need to act quickly. Take a look at the size of the problem area and, if the moldy area is larger than 10 square feet, it is time to contact your local Franchise Professionals.
Contact the SERVPRO of Cumberland County Franchise Professionals. We are highly trained and certified in areas like:
- Applied microbial remediation
- Water damage restoration
- Applied structural drying
While some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, the safest way to deal with mold is to talk to the professionals to quickly and efficiently resolve the problem.
At SERVPRO® of Cumberland County, our mold damage specialists are trained and certified in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.
SERVPRO of Cumberland County Offers Many Services!
We're Here To Help 24/7365
DID YOU KNOW? SERVPRO of Cumberland County provides 24 hour emergency response and additional services to help customers with Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration and Mold Remediation!
Board-ups/Roof Tarping/Property Securing - In some cases it may be important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders. SERVPRO of Cumberland County Franchise Professionals may perform the board-up and tarping themselves, or outside subcontractors may be utilized.
Move-Outs - If prolonged exposure to the loss event could cause additional damage to your contents, your contractor requests relocation of the contents, or the safety of your contents is a concern, a move-out may be recommended. In these situations, SERVPRO of Cumberland County Franchise Professionals are trained to properly inventory, move out and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration and deodorization process.
Reconstruction Services - Once the damaged materials are removed from your home or business other construction may be needed to restore your property to preloss condition. Your local SERVPRO of Cumberland County Professional is trained with the proper equipment to replace flooring, carpet, tile, hardwood floors, and doors (interior, exterior, steel and storefront). We can paint many surfaces, work on acoustic ceilings, trim, bathroom/kitchen remodels and home/office renovations.
Inventory - Utilizing Contents Claim Inventory Service technology, SERVPRO of Cumberland County Franchise Professionals can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable - allowing for easier contents settlement.
Electronics Cleaning and Restoration - Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces when moisture is also present. If the residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO of Cumberland County Franchise Professional can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor.
We also provide the following services:
- Temporary Power Rental
- Temporary Fencing
- Storage Services
- Packing Supplies
- Furniture & Fine Art Restoration
For all of your restoration and reconstruction needs, contact the Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO of Cumberland County today! Call 856-692-0041 or email us. We make it, "Like it never even happened."
5 Causes of Fire Damage & How To Avoid Them
Fire Damage? We're Here To Help!
According to the National Fire Protection Association's estimates, fire departments in the United States responded to a house fire every 86 seconds. Given this risk, it’s critical for homeowners to pinpoint potential triggers and take action to prevent fire damage. As you review the safety of your property, here are a few common causes of fires you should be aware of:
What Can Turn Into a House Fire or Fire in Your Business?
- Portable Heaters
When winter strikes, a portable heater may provide the little bit of extra warmth you need to stay comfortable. However, these devices can get extremely hot and ignite surrounding objects — such as curtains and furniture. If you must use a portable heater, never leave it unattended and make sure it’s not near any flammable items, and never use it with an extension cord.
- Kitchen Accidents
It takes a lot of heat to cook food, so danger can arise quickly if it’s not properly controlled. Gas stoves, grease, and food left in the oven for too long are all potential sources of fire damage. Minimize these risks by supervising meal preparation activities in your home or commercial kitchen, keeping curious kids and pets away from active stoves, and maintaining a clean kitchen space.
- Faulty Wires
Since electrical wires remain hidden behind walls, it can be hard to detect potential risks caused by factors like old age or pets that chew through cables. Call an electrician for an inspection at the first sign of trouble, such as flickering lights, malfunctioning outlets, and mysterious burning smells. A professional survey is also a good idea if your wiring is over 20 years old.
When dropped into the trash or left unattended, cigarettes can quickly spark massive flames, especially if everyone in the house is asleep. The best way to prevent this problem is to smoke outdoors — or quit.
Open flames from candles can feel inviting and elegant, but they aren’t as contained as you might think. When flames get too big or candles are knocked over, they can trigger massive fires. Always blow out lit candles before leaving a room or use battery-operated versions that do not use real flames.
Watching out for these risks can help prevent house fires, but there may be instances where the danger is simply out of your control. For these situations, turn to SERVPRO of Cumberland Countyfor complete residential restoration services. Our trained franchise professionals use state-of-the-art equipment to safely remove and restore fire and water damage. To learn more about our 24/7 emergency services call 856-692-0041 or email us.
Winterize Your Cumberland County Home
Winterize Your Home!
It's Not Too Late To Winterize Your Cumberland County Home
- Have a professional inspect your heating system annually.
- Clean your fireplace or stove and have your flue checked for any buildup of creosote. Be sure other fuel burning equipment is properly vented to the outside.
- Insulate your home properly. If necessary, insulate walls and attics to conserve energy.
- Caulk doors and windows to keep cold air out.
- Install storm windows, or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation.
- Protect pipes from freezing:
- Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
- Turn both hot and cold faucets to continuously drip a little.
- Keep a wrench near the valves and know how to shut off your water valves if a pipe bursts.
- For more information: "Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes" from the American Red Cross
- Inspect and flush your water heater.
- Clean gutters. Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage.
- Cut away tree branches that can fall on the house during an ice storm or from heavy snow. Notify the utility company of branches that overhang power lines; do not attempt to trim by yourself.
- Replace batteries for smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. If you did not do this when you set the clocks back, do it now.
- Have a back-up power source in place if you are dependent upon electricity for medical or mobility needs.
- Know where your snow shovel is located and have a supply of sand or a sand substitute.
- Prepare a warm, safe place for your animals in severe winter weather. Make sure any outbuilding that houses or shelters animals can withstand wind, heavy snow and ice.
- Bring pets indoors. Horses and livestock should have a shelter protected from wind, snow, ice and rain. Grazing animals need access to a protected supply of food and non-frozen water.
- Make sure your animals have access to high ground in case you do not have time to relocate them during a flood.
- Be aware of the potential for flooding when snow and ice melt.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program if you are at risk.
If Power Goes Out
Follow these tips:
- Dress in warm, light layers and wear a cap for warmth.
- Close off unused rooms.
- Eat well-balanced meals for energy.
- Use only safe sources of alternate heat such as a fireplace, a small well-vented wood or coal stove, or portable space heaters. Always follow manufacturers' instructions and never substitute one type of fuel for another.
Clearing Your Roof
- Clearing your roof is a dangerous task. Always think about safety first. If possible, do not attempt to clear the roof alone.
- When possible use long-handled rakes or poles.
- If you must use a ladder, make sure the base is securely anchored. Ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb.
- Know where the snow is going to fall before clearing the area.
- Make sure you do not touch electrical wires.
- If the job is too big for you, HIRE HELP.
The information in this blog is from Ready.nj.gov (the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management). If you have water damage to your property, call the franchise professionals at SERVPRO of Cumberland County, 856-692-0041. We are trained in water removal, dehumidification, and mold mitigation/remediation. We make it, "Like it never even happened.®"
WHY PIPE FREEZING IS A PROBLEM!
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Information for this blog obtained by redcross.org - when you have a water emergency, call the franchise professionals at SERVPRO of Cumberland County, 856-692-0041.
How to Prevent Furnace Puff Backs
When furnace burners don't ignite properly, they can cause excess oil to explode, creating what's known as a puff back. This small, but dangerous combustion can release soot and smoke throughout the house, damaging the structure and contaminating the air. Puff backs can also harm your heating equipment, making it more susceptible to failure or dysfunction in the future. If you want to avoid expensive furnace repairs - and having to call a residential restoration service to clean up the soot - here are a few strategies for puff back prevention that you should follow.
How to Reduce the Risk of Furnace Puff Back
Service Your Furnace
Puff backs are typically caused by a variety of furnace complications that often occur after the equipment has been turned off for some time. Common causes include oil leaks, clogs, cracked heat exchangers, and burner shutdown. The best way to prevent these problems from causing a puff back is to have your furnace professionally serviced at least once a year - preferably before you turn it on for the winter season.
Watch for Soot
In addition to annual maintenance, it's important to keep an eye on your furnace and look for warning signs that a puff back may occur. If you spot soot or smoke damage on the equipment, in the air ducts, or in the room where it is stored, your furnace may be experiencing ignition problems that could eventually cause a puff back. To reduce the chances of damage, call a technician for repairs and have a residential restoration service clean the soot and smoke.
Listen for Problems
If your furnace is making unusual sounds, a mechanical problem may be to blame. For example, a small bang could indicate that unused oil is being ignited. Low, rumbling noises, on the other hand, often suggests a problem with the oil burner shutdown. Upon hearing the sounds, you should turn off the equipment and call a professional for immediate inspection and repairs.
Address Leaks and Debris
Even if your furnace seems to be operating fine, less visible issues may be present that increase the risk of puff back. Oil leaks, for instance, may prevent proper flow of fuel and eventually cause unused oil to build-up and combust upon ignition. Flue vent connectors should also be inspected for clogs, as smoke and soot debris can collect and impair furnace operation. If you notice these issues, have your equipment professionally serviced and cleaned.
If you do experience a puff back, calling SERVPRO of Cumberland County immediately can help prevent structural problems, foul odors, and smoke damage from taking over your home. If you're a homeowner in Bridgeton, Millville, Vineland, or the surrounding areas in Cumberland County, you can rely on us for comprehensive cleaning and restoration services. Backed by heavy equipment, our professionals are able to thoroughly remove smoke, soot, and fire damage. To learn more about SERVPRO of Cumberland County’s residential restoration services, visit us online. To request emergency cleaning services any hour of any day,(24 hours, 7 days a week), call 856-692-0041.
Prevent Water Damage in your Cumberland County Home.
How to Prevent Water Damage In Your Home.
Preventing water damage is a lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Here are three easy prevention tips.
Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and what holds your house together.
Here’s how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit.
#1. Ensure Good Drainage
Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter your home.
Clean your gutters routinely. A clogged gutter will send cascades of water down the side of your house, damaging your siding and foundation.
Ensure your downspouts direct water 5 to 10 feet away from your house.
Make sure your yard is sloped at least 6 inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation. That slope keeps water from getting down right next to your foundation, where it could cause walls to lean, crack the masonry, and create leaks. (For crawl spaces, keeping water away makes sure excess water doesn’t pool underneath your floor, making for damp conditions that encourage mold, rot, and insects.)
#2. Test Your Sump Pump Regularly
Sump pumps come to life during storms. That’s not when you want to realize yours isn’t working properly. You should check it at least once a year, and ideally perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.
How to test your sump pump: Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch for the “float” (similar to the float in your toilet) to rise, which should turn on the pump. Then watch to make sure the water level falls.
Test your backup pump the same way, but unplug the main pump first. If you don’t have a backup pump — or a generator — and are on municipal water, get one that runs on water pressure. If you’re on well water, your only option is the battery kind.
#3. Check for Water Leaks and Fix Them
Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, rot, and even termites and carpenter ants (they like chewing soggy wood, since it’s soft). Yet if you fix a leak soon after it starts, there may be no long-term damage at all.
How to check for leaks: Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips.
At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.
So now you know how to prevent water damage — and add years (and lower maintenance costs to your home!). If you do suffer from water damage, be sure to call us at 856-692-0041.
September is National Preparedness Month.
September is National Preparedness Month. Your friends at SERVPRO® of Cumberland County want to be sure you are prepared for any disaster and will be sharing information all through September to help you and your family.
Make A Plan.
First thing’s first. Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. 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
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.
Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF)
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
*Information obtained from ready.gov website.
Managing Mold in your Cumberland County Home.
We can help you manage mold.
From the Ordinary...
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.
To the Unhealthy.
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply.
SERVPRO® of Cumberland County handles water damage every day and knows prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.
SERVPRO of Cumberland County cares about proper restoration of your structure and, in most water damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss conditions.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 856-692-0041.