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.
Did you know?
Did you know? “The first 24 hours after a storm causing widespread flooding and water damage are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Many flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate, however, there are steps residents and business owners can take to help minimize damage until professional help arrives.
- First and foremost, do not operate any equipment that requires electrical power in areas that have standing water or moisture.
- If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream, or river, if it is seawater, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
- Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.
- Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Only open windows to promote drying if the air outside is less humid than the air inside.
- If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.
SERVPRO® of Cumberland County has responded to many large loss and storm events in the state of New Jersey and across the country. When Winter weather strikes, we make it, “Like it never even happened.®”
Restoring Your Cumberland County Commercial Property After Water Damage
Flooding and water damage events at Cumberland County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call at 856-692-0041, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need!
About SERVPRO® of Cumberland County
SERVPRO of Cumberland County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Call 856-692-0041 for assistance.
Cumberland County Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and Soot Facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke:
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO® of Cumberland County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.
Here is additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 856-692-0041
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Mold
- Mold is a fungus.
- Thousands of species of mold exist, some you may find yourself in contact more often than you think. Such as Penicillin, a frequently used antibiotic. Also Blue Cheese, a common addition to salads and sandwiches.
- Mold begins life as a tiny, microscopic spore. A single spore mass can consist of thousands and thousands of spores, that is carried through the air by wind and movement.
- Mold feeds on organic materials, such as Wood, Paper, Drywall, Insulation, Natural Fibers, Plants, Paints and Caulk. All materials commonly found in your home!
- Depending on the particular strain and percentage of mold in the air, exposure can affect your health. Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, sinusitis, hay fever, and more.
If you believe you are being exposed to mold in your home call SERVPRO® of Cumberland County at 856-692-0041 for a free estimate!
Hurricane Season is Here!
Living near the coast brings many benefits to those of us who reside in Cumberland County. But with all the pros, there are some cons, one of them being hurricane season.
Hurricane season is upon us! The season started on June 1st and the threat will continue until November 30th here in the Northeast. The strongest chance for hurricanes and storm activity begins in mid-August and lasts until about the end of October. Hurricanes can bring speeds up to 200 mph and the storms themselves have been known to stretch across up to 600 miles. Are you prepared for a storm of this size?
Important information everyone should know includes the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A watch means that threatening conditions are possible within the next 48 hours, while a warning means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Stay prepared and informed, that is the best way to get through any potential storm!
Concerned About Flooding Due to Storms?
Here in Cumberland County, it’s important to be prepared for water damage. Being prepared for flooding and water damage is your best defense. Be aware of the weather, be prepared to move cars to higher grounds and keep all pets inside when necessary. Be aware of how high off the ground your home is, do you have a basement that would be susceptible to water?
Finally, have a plan in place in the event water damage does occur in your home. SERVPRO® of Cumberland County is ready to go 24/7 to assist you. We can be reached at 856-692-0041, we will work to make your situation as stress-free as possible.