Recent Posts

Outdoor Entertaining

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Summer outdoor parties are some of the best events of the year and once of the safest ways to enjoy summer in the midst of our ongoing pandemic.

The warm nights, food cooking on the grill, and friends and family spending quality time together in the backyard or around the pool create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. But, hosting outdoor events also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

Fortunately, following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe. Consider the following as you host your next outdoor event: 

  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames
  • Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.

Outdoor entertaining by the numbers

  • Outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires
  • Outdoor patio heater or fire pit injuries have grown each year
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle
  • An average of over 8,800 home fires involved grilling activities each year
  • Annually, sparklers, fountains and novelties account for up to 25% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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Document Restoration

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO® knows timely mitigation is the key to reducing severity and recovering damaged items. Water– or smoke–damaged paper can rapidly deteriorate. Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever. Let SERVPRO’s Document Restoration Team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.

SERVPRO’s technicians are trained to use the most advanced technology available for document recovery and drying; in fact, the Document Restoration Team uses the same technique the Library of Congress uses to dry water-damaged books.

Vacuum Freeze Drying?

Vacuum freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water-damaged documents. The Document Restoration Team uses
sublimation—turning a solid directly into a vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage to the documents. This process can recover even the most delicate items—from documents to photographs and x-rays, to entire business archives.

All employees of the Document Restoration Team are HIPAA Master certified and once your items arrive at the SERVPRO® facility, 24/7 video surveillance is guaranteed.

Digitizing

With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water or smoke and needs to be cleaned, dried or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.

Gamma Irradiation

Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods.

In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents you encounter will be contaminated.

If this is the case, decontamination is always a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photoninduced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.

Certified Destruction

Unfortunately, many businesses and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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COVID-19 - Still Here and Still Challenging The Norm

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Technician in PPE SERVPRO is trained and prepared to provide fully compliant COVID-19 / Coronavirus sanitizing and disinfecting services.

We first posted our COVID-19 Back To Business Plan blog last year.  At that time, we envisioned it would be a thing of the past.  A challenge we could look back at as bad times gone.  But, sadly, this is not the case, so we are re-posting our blog as businesses continue to re-open.

COVID-19 Back to Business Plan

With all the changes that a person or business encounters after any type of local, national, or global scale disaster we ALL need a plan to get back to business! Without it you will feel the impacts long after the event. We are here to help with some important steps and ideas for you to consider so that you can start off on the right path of getting back to your business normal confidently!

At SERVPRO we have over 50 years of proven experience working to make it "Like it never even happened."® A big part to achieving that has been by educating and empowering people and businesses in our local communities with tools they can use to recover or reopen or after a small or large disaster.

With re-opening dates for businesses coming up let us help you!

Pre-reopening and biological contamination prevention suggestions:

  • It is crucial to have an Employee Safety/Outbreak Response Plan in place if you don’t already.
  • Fogging and high touch cleaning recommended for businesses before reopening to give peace of mind to your employees and customers, so they feel secure coming back to work or shop. (Please be advised SERVPRO personnel adhere to protocols set forth by the CDC and we have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily).
  • Set up scheduled cleanings in the future to be proactive instead of reactive.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees such as face masks and gloves.
  • Temperature Checks as warranted.
  • Shift Management / Space Separation / One Way Aisles.
  • Regular Hand Sanitation and Hand Washing.

Educating Employees in the Workplace

It’s important to prepare a Healthy work environment and educate Employees on how to safely return to work. It gives peace of mind where there could be fear and educates all employees of new policies and procedures moving forward.

  • Practice Good Hygiene! Stop shaking hands – use other non-contact methods of greeting. Clean hands with sanitizer or wash hands frequently. Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, keyboards, phones/tablets, light switches and bathroom fixtures regularly. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  • If any employee is feeling sick, they should stay home.
  • Under the revised EEOC guidelines as of March 2020, if an employee arrives at work displaying symptoms of respiratory illness the employer may check employee temperature. As with all medical information, the fact that an employee had a fever or other symptoms would be subject to ADA confidentiality requirements.
  • Business owners cannot require employees to have a vaccine if it becomes available.
  • Limit food sharing in the workplace.

Back to Business Basics

As professionals and business owners alike, it is important to quickly adapt to our current business climate.

  • Consider implementing physical distancing policies and practices.
  • Schedule videoconferencing for meetings when possible, when it is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Business travel should be assessed case-by-case as to necessity.
  • Employers must maintain the confidentiality of any employee with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or other sickness. There should be a system and process in place to protect their identity. However, you should inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 or other sickness because employees have the right to know there is a risk in their workplace. Those employees then can do their own risk assessment of their potential exposure based on guidance from the CDC.
  • Introduce supportive and more flexible sick leave policies that are consistent with current health guidance.
  • Be mindful that not all employees and customers may display symptoms and it is important to follow set guidelines.

We, at SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County, are experienced in all verticals, and our experts can work with your risk management and/or operations teams to provide consulting and best practices!

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Mold and Humidity Threats in Vacation Residences

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

A closed-up vacation house can be a breeding ground for mold in the summer months. Moisture from a nearby lake or river, or the humidity in the air, can lead to that musty odor vacationers have come to expect upon arriving at their weekend getaway.

Mold is a particularly hidden foe. It exists nearly everywhere in an inactive state, and all it needs to grow is a food source (drywall will do nicely), and a source of moisture, such as high humidity.

To get rid of the damp odor, most homeowners will turn on the air conditioner and maybe a dehumidifier and wait for the smell to go away. While much of the odor may dissipate in a few hours, the mold is still there. And, when they leave for a week, it’s back again when they return.

That smell is more than just unpleasant; it’s an indication that mold is actively growing, potentially affecting health. Left untreated, mold will continue to grow and spread and can damage walls, ceilings, carpeting, and more. Every time the house is closed up and the a/c is turned off, the moisture creeps back in and the mold begins growing again.

MOISTURE SOLUTIONS

What can HVAC contractors do to help? First, it’s important to stress to customers that the key to preventing mold is to eliminate moisture. The first step is to address any leaks in roofing, chimneys, and foundations. Perhaps you can recommend someone who can do a thorough check and perform the repairs necessary to stop the leaks. If mold remediation is necessary, your customer should get bids from several companies that specialize in this, as it can be costly.

Reducing humidity through air conditioning is a key to controlling mold, but, of course, leaving the a/c on all summer long will run up utility bills. Fresh outside air is also critical, but vacation homeowners won’t want to leave windows open while they’re not using the property.

Some relatively new offerings in air conditioning systems can help manage mold problems. One example is a small-duct, high-velocity air handler, which has a unique cooling coil that removes 30 percent more humidity from the air than a traditional system. Eliminating moisture is critical in avoiding mold growth, so this feature is particularly important.

Another helpful technology is a continuously operating outdoor inverter unit that works so efficiently that homeowners can leave it on while they’re away without breaking the bank. It runs on various speeds — typically a very low speed — always striving for the most efficient operation by making small, incremental changes to keep a constant temperature. In a traditional system, every time the system cycles on it must ramp up to full operating power, requiring a tremendous amount of energy. You won’t have this issue with the inverter unit.

When cooling a summer home, the inverter technology is a great way for customers to keep air conditioning going when they’re gone, but at a lower cost.

Another great option is a ventilation system operated by a programmable control board. Based on the size of the home, the control board calculates how much fresh outside air to bring in at all times, opening and closing dampers as needed to maintain a healthy level of fresh air. Look for options that meet ASHRAE 62.2 standards for IAQ.

These newer technologies can go a long way toward reducing energy consumption while letting fresh air in and keeping mold problems at bay. More savings and fewer molds mean a healthier and happier vacation for everyone. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Prepare NOW For Storm Wind Damage

5/1/2021 (Permalink)

As we approach hurricane season, now is the time to begin to think about storm damage, even here in the northeast.  Preparing your business or home now can help prevent unnecessary damages to your building when that storm hits.

Wind can come in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, microbursts or downdrafts. It can be valuable to understand the impact of high winds and how to best protect your business, home and property from wind damage. There are many ways to reinforce a building against wind damage — some are simple enough to DIY while others may require a pro.

First, inspect your building's roof, siding, windows and doors and even landscaping to identify vulnerable spots.  Replacing many of these items can be very expensive, so this may not be an option.  However, being prepared to install temporary protection, in the event of a storm that brings high winds and heavy rains, may be all you need to do.  No solution is perfect, mother nature knows that, but doing nothing to prepare is not the best option either.

Doors

When considering the role doors play in protecting buildings from high winds, it is normal to think about our exterior doors first. They are the doors that provide the first line of defense from high winds and blowing debris.

While wind-resistant doors and break-resistant glass play a large role in fighting winds, interior doors are important as well. In hurricane winds or when a tornado may be imminent, all doors and windows, including every interior door should be closed. This can prevent pressure build up inside of a building which can lead to losing a room. Closing interior doors will also help to compartmentalize damage from wind or rain if there is a breach in the exterior of a building.

Impact resistant doors are the best possible solution, but if these are not installed, then:

  • inspect doors for any cracks or missing or damaged hardware.
  • make sure there are no air leaks around the door and replace standard hinge screws with longer, stronger screws that will reach into the wall frame.
  • make sure the threshold seals the door bottom and is screwed deeply into the floor.
  • add a deadbolt to exterior doors that extend a minimum of one-inch.
  • if you have French-style double doors, make sure they are refitted with bolts that extend at least an inch into the floor.
  • finally, reinforce doors (and windows) with sheets of plywood when a hurricane approaches. This can be cost-effective and should be planned in advance.

Windows

Any number of items in a yard can quickly turn into projectiles during high winds. These items make a building’s windows vulnerable during high winds, especially when standard glass is used.

Even a small branch or piece of flying debris can start a landslide of damage once a window is cracked.  As winds continue to put force on the broken window, the break can become larger and even cause the complete failure of the window. Winds and rain now have even greater access to the building’s interior, creating further damage. Once winds enter a space, the entire structure, including the roof, is at risk.

There are really only two options when it comes to providing better window protection. One is to cover or reinforce windows and the other is to upgrade windows to high impact glass.

Roofing

The roof is one of the largest parts of a building. It is helpful to think of it as a combination of materials that protect your home from the elements and helps keep warmth and cool air in.

The roof is susceptible to damage in high winds for a variety of reasons. As a roof ages, shingles can become brittle and lose adhesion to the structure. Older roofs aren't reinforced as well as more modern structures and are more easily damaged. While a roof is both large and heavy, it can be no match for high winds as elements get peeled away or the entire roof structure may even be lifted away.  Of course, once the roof has been compromised, wind and water can enter the interior of the building and the entire building will be at risk. 

There is no additional protection you can provide for a roof except to repair damaged sections or replace the roof entirely.

Garage Door

A garage door is typically the largest moving part of an entire home. Generally speaking, garage doors are designed to move upward and downward. Under the stress of high winds, they can and do fail. This can cause a chain reaction of destruction and damage to a home, once wind and moisture are introduced to the area.

Check to see that all seals around the door are in good shape to prevent winds from entering.  Protecting a garage door can be done with special braces or simply installing plywood as you would with windows.

Home Siding

Another area of a home that should be of concern in high winds is the siding. Like the roof, windows, and doors, keeping a home's siding inspected and properly maintained will go a long way in maintaining its integrity in a windstorm. Like those other areas, the key is preventing the wind from getting a foothold behind the siding, giving it an opportunity to tear it off of the structure.

Preparing the siding of a building is simply to repair damages sections and gaps where wind could enter or complete replacement of the system.

Landscaping and Outdoor Items

An important component of protecting a building in high winds is minimizing the potential projectiles that can become airborne. These projectiles can result from trees and limbs and from an assortment of yard items.

Depending on how much warning you have prior to a wind event, these items should be safely stored.  Larger items which cannot be stored should be disassembled and stored, or at the very least turned upside down and secured to the ground.  You should consider every item not secured in their outdoor spaces as a potential projectile.

Taking Shelter Indoors

The safest place in a building during a high wind event is generally the same; an interior room on the lowest level of a structure, away from windows and exterior doors. In some cases, this may be a basement or a first-floor interior closet or bathroom.

Be sure to take a battery operated radio or weather radio with you along with a flashlight. Blankets may offer additional protection and in severe cases, mattresses can be used to provide cover. If an interior bathroom is used, the tub can provide additional protection.

When disaster strikes your home or business, choose the #1 ranked in Restoration Services.  Choose SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

Like Us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or Instagram and follow the tips, tricks and advice we share with our community.

Stopping Ice Dams

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

roof with ice ice dam, water damage

Seems a little late in the season to be talking about Ice Dams, but now is the time to correct some issues which may have caused them.

Ice Dams are thick ridges of solid ice that build up on the lower part of your roof line, preventing melting snow from reaching your gutters.

First we need to understand how an Ice Dam forms:

  1. Heavy snow fall and sustained cold weather prevents roof bound snow from gradually melting away.  This leaves an enormous amount of snow on your roof.
  2. Heat then collects in your attic and warms the roof, except the eaves.
  3. Snow then melts on the warm roof and then freezes as the melted water approaches the cold eaves.
  4. This water them re-freezes.  Ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam.  Once this ice dam forms, it blocks ongoing melting snow from escaping into your gutters.
  5. Melted snow water has nowhere to go except back up the roof line, under the shingles and finally into your home.

Preventing Ice Dams

Following are some steps you can take now to prevent Ice Dams in the future.  Speak with a contractor for each, if you're not handy.

  1. Use Heated Cables: heated cables, placed along your roof edge, will help keep snow melting before it freezes
  2. Ventilate Eaves And Ridge: Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
  3. Cap the Hatch: Cover unsealed attic hatches with weather stripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
  4. Exhaust to the Outside: Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls.
  5. Add Insulation: Make sure attic insulation is not missing in any area.  This will keep heat from entering the attic space from your home.  The attic should not be a heated space.
  6. Flash Around Chimneys
  7. Seal and Insulate Ducts
  8. Caulk All Penetrations

If you do experience an Ice Dam situation, here are some quick fixes to prevent further damage until the ice and snow can be removed from the roof.

  1. Rake the Snow before it can accumulate and freeze.  There are long handle snow rakes you can purchase.
  2. Blow Cold Air at the source.  This will help to re-freeze the ice dam and prevent water from entering the home until the roof can be cleared.
  3. De-ice the problem area by filling an old panty hose with calcium chloride and place it where the ice dam has occurred.  This will cause a gradual melting of the ice.

Finally, DON'T:

  • Throw rock salt on the problem.  This could damage the roof shingles and shrubs.
  • Hack away at the ice.  You could damage your roof and this is a dangerous fall hazard.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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We're Back! Entrepreneur Ranks Us #1 In Our Industry

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries is proud to boast our re-entry into the Top 10 on the Franchise 500 list of Entrepreneur Magazine, landing in the #10 spot out of 500 franchisors listed.  Further to that accolade, we are #1 in our Industry Sector.  

Why?

Because SERVPRO never stops improving, inventing, seizing opportunity for growth.

SERVPRO specializes in fire and flood cleanup, but that's the simplest of explanations of what SERVPRO is.  SERVPRO is a national presence, a first responder when regional disaster hits, a collaboration of local, regional and national franchise owners who go into the teeth of disaster while others run from it.

As the pandemic impacted the US, SERVPRO created solutions.  “We have a really loud voice, and I never understood the power of that until COVID hit,” says Rick Isaacson, SERVPRO’s CEO. When stadiums, strip malls, and small-business owners started calling on SERVPRO to kill a virus, the company moved quickly to launch a new program. It developed a COVID-19 cleaning protocol with input from industry groups and disseminated disinfecting chemicals and PPE. Within a few weeks, businesses began posting “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” badges in their windows and on their websites. “The whole thing happened faster than anything we’ve ever done,” says Isaacson.  Read more.

When disaster strikes your home or business, choose the #1 ranked in Restoration Services.  Choose SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Helping Homeowners Recover

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

2 male Servpro technicians cleaning SERVPRO crew cleaning smoke from a fire damage

A back-draft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of the property can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.

So after the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County help you restore it. With the industry approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting-edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer’s peace of mind, as well.

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County provides the following restoration services:

  • Board-ups-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® may perform the board-up 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® is trained to properly inventory, move out and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration and deodorization process.
  • Electronics Cleaning - 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. SERVPRO® can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor.
  • Artwork - Artwork ranges from inexpensive framed pictures to extremely valuable fine art. Restoration of valuable art requires the use of a trained art restorer (known as a conservator), while less expensive art may not warrant these costly specialized services. SERVPRO® will usually subcontract fine art restoration to a conservator. If desired, SERVPRO® may attempt to remove smoke residues and odors, after qualifying with the customer that such cleaning procedures may affect the visible appearance of the item.
  • Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO® will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your structure. Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO® may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, SERVPRO® will clean to “prepare for painting”. This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.
  • Contents Cleaning–All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.  This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO® begins by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items,clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more. Finally,SERVPRO® can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested.
  • Deodorization–SERVPRO® provides specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 
  • Repair / Rebuild-In most cases, SERVPRO® can provide full scope repair and rebuild services, including structural repairs, painting and flooring.

So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Business Interruption Insurance

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

It's common practice to maintain commercial property insurance policies to repair and replace your assets in the event of a covered peril.  In fact, for its cost, it's extremely risky to even consider not carrying this insurance.  Commercial Property Insurance can pay your repair or replacement costs if your business property gets damaged or destroyed from a fire, theft or other covered loss.

However, when your business is impacted by an event which forces closure, the impact of lost revenue and the burden of ongoing costs can be crippling.  Few consider adding Business Income (interruption) coverage.

Business Income Coverage (BI) can help with operating expenses during the restoration period, until the business can resume normal operations.  This coverage can include:

  • Lost Net Income
  • Mortgage and Lease Payments
  • Employee Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Loan Payments

As with any coverage policy, you need to consider reasonable terms when establishing the policy.  After a major disaster, it can take more time than many people realize to get “back in business.” Business income coverage likely has a "restoration period.” This is the length of time that a policy will help pay for lost income and extra expenses while the business is being restored.

So, this then begs the question of "how much BI insurance coverage is needed?".  The general rule is to use gross earnings and projections to help determine future profits.  This will assist in determining the right amount of coverage.

What is NOT covered by BI Insurance?  Typically, the following is not covered:

  • Broken items resulting from a covered event or loss (such as glass)
  • Flood or earthquake damage, which are covered by a separate policy
  • Undocumented income that’s not listed on your business’ financial records
  • Utilities
  • Pandemics, viruses, or communicable diseases (such as COVID-19)

BI Insurance may also include extra expenses which will cover anything beyond the normal day-to-day expenses, while the business recovers.  This includes:

  • Renting a temporary place of business while the original place of business is being restored
  • Replacement of hardware, technology and furniture
  • Paying overtime for employees or hiring more employees
  • Leasing equipment

Speak with your Commercial Insurance Agent to discuss BI insurance and other policies which could protect the business during unplanned outages of all types.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services.

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Is It Mold or Is It Rust?

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Can you easily tell the difference between mold and rust? Many people look at a reddish colored stain and assume its rust, although that’s not always the case. Before you break out your heavy-duty cleaning solutions, it pays to understand what you’re up against: mold, rust, or even another stain. 

What’s Normal for Your Home?

If you’re seeing new stains on walls, floors, or countertops, you’ll want to make sure they’re not the result of water infiltration or excess humidity in your home. Try to pinpoint a reason for the stain, based on what room it’s in and the common daily activity. Mold tends to be found in damp, humid areas, while rust forms when metallic surfaces start to corrode. Recognizing the differences between mold and rust helps you determine the best way to take care of an issue before it becomes more pervasive.

What’s that Stain? Mold vs Rust

Areas prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and basements, can easily foster the growth of mold or mildew. If you see a stain that looks like mold or rust in your shower, sink area, or basement, you’ll want to clean them as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. However, different cleaning solutions are used to treat different stains. Rust, hard water marks, grease, and mold may all look similar, but if you use the wrong cleaner, you may not be able to fully remove them.

Identifying Rust

Rust is the result of iron, or a metal alloy containing iron, such as steel, corroding. Rust is most often observed as a red, yellow or reddish-brown surface stain. Rust is caused by water or damp air touching the surface or a metal prone to rusting. Some common areas where rust is spotted in the home, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), include the following:

  • Water Pipes
  • Metal Roofs and Chimneys
  • Oil tanks for home with oil heat
  • Electrical Panel Boxes
  • Nails

Preventing Rust

Rust can be prevented by keeping metals out of damp and humid areas. Protective coatings, such as varnish may also be applied to surfaces prone to rusting. Ensuring that metal fixtures in your home are kept dry can also help to prevent rust. Wipe up spills immediately and check your basement after heavy storms to spot signs of flooding as soon as possible.

Removing Rust

Removing rust can be a tough job, but with the right cleaners, you should be successful. For lighter rust stains, some household products, such as baking soda or vinegar might work. Mild abrasives like steel wool pads may also remove surface rust, but they may also leave behind scratch marks. There are also many specialized rust removal products sold that you can try for smaller stains. One product you should never use on rust is bleach, which could react negatively with the rust and actually worsen it. 

If you do attempt to clean rust, always follow the instructions on any commercial cleaning product. Be sure to don safety gear, including gloves, safety glasses and a face mask. Always work in a well-ventilated area. If you’re not comfortable with the task, find a handyman or painter that is.

Mold Stains

Mold can resemble other stains like rust or mildew in appearance, but there are actually over 300 types of mold. The colors of mold can range from black to brown, white or gray, or even pink, blue or green. Mold also presents in a range of textures from downy to fuzzy. Some mold is powdery and some has a more slimy texture. 

Mold can grow as the result of a single event, such as a broken pipe or indoor water infiltration due to floods or leaks. It’s important to catch the signs of indoor mold growth as early as possible and have them taken care of before they lead to greater damage. Mold can also affect the health of certain susceptible individuals, including those with a suppressed immune system or an allergy to mold. Mold sometimes can leave a stain, but that’s not always the case. A damp, musty odor can also be a sign of mold growth. 

If you notice mold growth in damp areas of your home, you can clean affected surfaces with a specialized mold removal product. Common, everyday household cleaning solutions may not be effective against mold. Typically, mold cannot be totally eradicated from porous surfaces, like shower curtains, drywall or insulation; these items should be disposed of and replaced.

When cleaning mold, you should always wear protective gear, such as a face mask and ensure that you’re working in an adequately ventilated area. You can read more about the protective gear recommended for mold removal. If you suffer from mold allergies or asthma, it is not recommended that you try to clean the mold yourself. SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County can help you determine the best way to remove the mold. Once the mold is removed, it’s a good idea to have the area tested by a professional. If mold has continued to grow in your home, you may have a more pervasive problem that requires additional professional remediation from SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County.

Evaluating Mold Issues

Because so many of the stains we see around the house look similar, it may be difficult to determine what is causing the discoloration and damage. If you notice stains on your walls, countertops, or floors that look like mold or rust, contact SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County and request a free home inspection to help diagnose your problem. 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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