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Workplace Fire Prevention

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can happen anywhere and anytime. Every business MUST be prepared, for the safety of their employees.

Here are some tips on things we can do to help prevent a fire in the common workplace.

  1. Accessibility
    Always ensure accessibility to electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would hinder the shutdown of power in an emergency. Also, never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits and observe clearances when stacking materials.
  2. Good Housekeeping
    Clutter not only provides fuel for fires, but also prevents access to exits and emergency equipment. Keep your workplace as clutter-free as possible.
  3. Proper Waste Disposal
    Discard fire hazards like oily rags by placing them in a covered metal container and emptying it on a regular basis.
  4. Maintenance
    Make sure the machines in your workplace are properly maintained to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
  5. Report Electrical Hazards
    Unless you are qualified and authorized, you should never attempt electrical repairs. Faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment are key contributors to workplace fires.
  6. Safe Chemical Use & Storage
    Always read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to assess flammability and other fire hazards of a substance. When using and storing chemical materials, always do so in an area with adequate ventilation.
  7. Precautions In Explosive Atmospheres
    Follow all recommended and required precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres, such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. These precautions include non-sparking tools and proper static electricity control.
  8. Maximum Building Security
    To help prevent arson fires, always lock up as instructed, report suspicious persons or behavior and never leave combustible garbage outside near your building..
  9. Smoke Areas
    Always ensure that there is a smoke area available and that all workers who smoke on the job are using it. Proper extinguishing of smoking materials should always be enforced.
  10. Fully Charged Fire Extinguishers
    Check fire extinguishers often by looking at the gauges and making sure they're fully charged and ready for use. If they're not fully charged or if the attached tag indicates that the last inspection occurred more than a month ago, call for maintenance. Also, encourage all workers to learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
  11. Emergency Numbers
    Emergency phone numbers, as well as your company address, should be posted by the phone station for quick access.

11.5 OSHA Guidelines
Adherence to OSHA's fire safety guidelines is crucial for fire prevention. Read through these regulations and make sure your workplace is in compliance.

Making sure your workers return home safely is our mission and passion. Take these 11.5 tips to your workplace and practice true fire safety, which begins before the fire even ignites.

When fire or water damage strikes, you need professional help to get your property back to preloss condition.  SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster.  Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.??

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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Understanding Mold is the Basis to Prevent Mold

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.randrmagonline.com

Mold is not a plant and not an animal. Mold is a fungi with its own unique life-style, starting from a tiny microorganism called spore. Not all fungi are as unwanted as mold. Some are great decomposers, where decomposition is wanted. Antibiotics such as Penicillin are fungi, their development is a blessing for people. Even in our food we welcome the distinctive taste of yeast-fungi when brewing or baking.

Mold in buildings is un-welcome, it presents a danger for the building and for the people living in the building.

Mold starts from spores.  Spores have been around for centuries, our environment is contaminated with spores. That’s why mold can develop everywhere under the right conditions, even though nobody put “mold seeds” out.

Let’s take a look at how mold grows: A tiny spore is dormant somewhere, waiting sometimes for years for the right conditions. If the right conditions occur (see below), a spore will develop into a new organism.

The new organism develops into mold by penetrating through and under the surface into the substrate looking for food and growing an ever-extending web along the surface as far as favorable conditions exist. From this web tiny extensions grow vertically up. The ends swell and new spores are produced. When the spores are ready, they are air borne by the millions and dispersed into the surrounding air. The slightest drift can carry the spores far away in a short time, where they will, if conditions allow start a new colony.

Four ingredients have to be present for mold to grow: food, water, air and moderate temperatures.

First red flag:  Food: Contrary to green plants, the food source for mold is carbon, extracted from the material the mold lives on. As mold extracts carbon, it destroys carbon-containing substances: organic materials such as wood, wood-based products as well as plastics made from petroleum products, paint, etc. as well as building materials such as concrete and sheetrock. Mold infestations can have catastrophic consequences by weakening or destroying structural elements in buildings.

Second red flag:  The destruction of materials is not all. While digesting its food, mold releases toxics into the air, which can present a health hazard to humans.

Third red flag: One mold colony can grow countless spores sent into the air and inhaled by people living in mold infested areas. Mold can be a health hazard, depending on the type of fungi very serious health problems have occurred. Plus, the smell is revolting.

As mentioned before, in addition to food, the fungus needs water, air and moderate temperature.

In order to absorb food and grow, mold needs a certain moisture in the materials it likes to eat. Not too much and not too little. The fungi will not grow, if submerged in water, the fungi also cannot grow on dry materials. The moisture has to be a moisture content equivalent of 80% relative humidity to 99%, but not standing water. Example, if the relative humidity is 80% and the temperature is at 700F, the equivalent wood moisture content is 16%, which is considered a threshold for mold concerning wood.

And last not least mold will not grow, when it is very hot or very cold.

Summary: Spores are everywhere, ready to develop into mold. Mold needs food which is a main substance of all building materials. Humidity in air and moisture content of the substrate the mold grows on, are critical and have to be in a range from 80%-99%  and Wood moisture equivalent of 16% and above. And, the climate has to be moderate. Considering all these factors individually, we can really only control the air humidity and the moisture content to reduce the danger of mold growth.

If all is well, we live in dry buildings, kept at a comfortable relative humidity and temperature. Mold cannot develop, because the building is dry, the food source is inaccessible for mold and its spores.

This all changes, when a pipe brakes, a roof leaks or a flood occurs. There is a time slot of 24 hours to a few days, when something can be done before the mold gets a foothold. Restoration specialists should be called to assess the problem, dry out or remove the materials, which have gotten too wet.

To assess the damage, the moisture content in the affected parts needs to be measured and the relative humidity needs to be kept under control. Lignomat is a company offering equipment for measuring moisture content and relative humidity. We have developed easy to use effective moisture meters with hand probes to assess water damage. The same equipment will tell you, when repairs are done and later if a leak exists. We also offer a very simple monitoring device for hard-to-reach areas.

The cable-probe system has been proven helpful to monitor inaccessible areas during drying and later-on for leak detection.

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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Crisis Communications – Engaging Stakeholders During an Incident

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Courtesy of The American Red Cross.

Trust is the foundation of relationships. When your organization faces an emergency, communications (or the lack thereof) to your employees, customers, and other stakeholders can support or erode that foundation. Protect your organization’s reputation and relationships by being prepared to communicate in a crisis.

In an event, you need to know who to communicate to and how and when to do so. This requires pre-planning. Make sure your emergency response plans have a communication component so you will know how to respond to each risk your organization faces. Essential components of a crisis communication plan include:

  • Stakeholders: Identify the individuals and public or private groups your organization interacts with. Internal stakeholders include employees, volunteers, members of the board of directors, etc. External stakeholders include customers, suppliers, service providers, vendors, public and regulatory authorities, and the media. Think about what information each group would need to know from you during a crisis and what you would need to know from them.
  • Spokesperson: Identify a single individual or small team that will handle dissemination and receipt of information from stakeholders.
  • Strategy: Transparency and timeliness of communications are critical during an incident. Plan in advance what and how you are going to communicate with internal and external stakeholders, including alternate ways of accessing and sharing information. General statements, also called holding statements, can be prepared in advance and are released to stakeholders during an incident before detailed facts come in. For example, an organization operating in an area affected by a hurricane would release: “Our thoughts are with those who are in harm’s way and those responding to the storm. We have implemented our crisis plan and will be supplying additional information as it becomes available.” Review and revise these statements on a regular basis to make sure they remain timely and appropriate.

In developing your communications strategy and holding statements, consider the unique environment your organization operates in. For example, is litigation a concern? If so, it is prudent to include your legal counsel.

Once you have your communications plan, make sure it is part of your emergency preparedness training. The spokesperson or communications team should practice drafting communications when plans are exercised.   

When the unexpected does occur, craft a message that is honest, clear, and concise. Foremost, assess the situation and collect facts. Your communications to stakeholders should be fact focused and not prospective. Explain what went wrong, commit to addressing the situation.

Be empathetic in your communications by including expressions of concern for those involved in the incident, your stakeholders, and the community. Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ but be willing to go find the answer where appropriate. Your concern and honesty will support the trusting relationship you want to preserve through the crisis.

For more information on stakeholder identification and crisis communication, refer to Guidance on Crisis Communications and Emergency Response Notification Procedures at ReadyRating.org.


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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October is Fire Prevention Month

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Home Escape Floor Plan Fire escape planning

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!"

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.

How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.* In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.

A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

  • Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.

KEEP FALL FIRE-FREE

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

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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Why Air Scrubbers Should be Used on Every Water Damage Job

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.randrmagonline.com

Any water loss poses a significant opportunity for particle contamination and for microscopic bio-pollutants such as fungi (molds) and bacteria that thrive in wet indoor environments to proliferate. Even smaller water leaks or overflows of sanitary water can ultimately trigger fungal growth if wet materials are not promptly identified and thoroughly dried. 

It is very important to note that the very activities undertaken to remediate the problem can increase the risks of air contamination. For example, as forced-air drying evaporates water from surfaces, carpet and other materials, contaminants such as fungal spores and ultra-fine dirt and dust particles are likely to be released into the air. Once aerosolized (suspended in air), workers exposed to these pollutants can inhale them. Particles stirred up during remediation also create housekeeping and cleanup issues that can increase the cost of the cleanup. 

Types Of Indoor Air Pollutants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) places air pollutants into three general categories: particulates, bio-aerosols, and volatile organic compounds (VOC), all of which may be released into the air during or following a water loss event. 

  • Particulates from building materials are primarily released into the indoor air after the event or during the remediation process as opposed to during the water loss event itself. These commonly include dirt, drywall, VCT and concrete dust, fiberglass, carpet and asbestos fibers, sawdust, smoke particles, and metal fumes.
  • Bioaerosols are particulate remains from living matter, including microbial pollutants such as bacteria, fungal spores (molds, mildews and yeasts), arthropods (dust mites), algae, insect remains, pet dander, and pollens. With the exception of plant spores and pollens, virtually all bio-aerosols fit into the 10-micron or smaller category, ranging from 0.01 microns (four one-millionths of an inch) up to one to 10 microns (four ten thousandths of an inch).
  • Volatile organic compounds are potentially harmful or irritating gas-phase derivatives released into the air when chemicals containing alcohols, ketones, hydrocarbons and aromatics vaporize. VOC are also ‘off­gassed’ from man-made materials such as carpeting and composite wood products, especially when new. Formaldehyde is one of the most frequently encountered VOC, commonly found in adhesive or bonding agents and in materials used in households or offices such as carpets, upholstery, particleboard, and plywood paneling. When released into the air it may cause health problems such as coughing, eye, nose and throat irritation, skin rashes, headaches and dizziness. 

    Using Portable Air Scrubbers to Meet IICRC S500

Air filtration devices (AFD) are one of the most versatile and important tools available for any remediation project, including water losses. They should be among the first pieces of equipment on the job and among the last to leave.


A more complete listing of the functions AFD may be required to fulfill during the water damage remediation process would include:

  1. Removing airborne particles including harmful tiny particles and bio-pollutants by continuously filtering the air in the affected environment six to eight times per hour. Six to eight air changes per hour (ACH) or more is essential to ensure proper air cleaning.
  2. Reducing job cleanup time and the potential for re-contamination of clean areas by capturing particulates that can eventually drop out of the air and settle onto surfaces.
  3. Protecting against more widespread facility air contamination by exhausting HEPA-filtered air from a contained work area at a rate sufficient to maintain negative (lower) pressure in the contained area than in adjacent areas, thus ensuring that any barrier leakage will be inward, not outward (negative pressure containment).
  4. Removing unpleasant odors and low concentrations of VOC and other gas-phase contaminants where necessary, using heavy-duty activated carbon filters and/or germicidal UV lamps.

Conclusions

Failure to properly clean the air can ultimately lead to higher facility remediation costs, worker health issues, lingering occupant health issues and complaints when the facility is reoccupied, lower job quality, and even legal actions. Any construction or restoration job inside of buildings or homes, including Category I “clean water” jobs, has the potential to release potentially harmful pollutants, allergens and toxins into the indoor environment. 

Portable Air Scrubbers are a valuable and essential tool for any water project, and very economical to use in comparison to the benefits derived by contractors, insurers building owners and occupants. They can improve safety and hygiene both during and after the remediation process, reduce job cleanup time, and help ensure that the facility can be safely reoccupied.

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 Prevention and Remediation in HVAC Systems

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.randrmagonline.com

Mold is a common issue in building interiors with poor humidity control, and the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends professional remediation when a mold patch exceeds 10 square feet. Mold is detrimental for indoor air quality, producing an unpleasant musty odor and causing allergic reactions. Mold can also damage porous objects such as carpets and furniture, forcing building owners to replace them.

When a you have a mold infestation, it is important to point out that humidity control is the only permanent solution, and ASHRAE recommends keeping relative humidity below 60 percent. Mold spores are extremely resilient and nearly impossible to eliminate completely, which means that mold will simply grow back if the humidity problem is not addressed.

Mold infestations that affect HVAC installations require urgent attention, since their spores can spread more easily through indoor spaces. Mold can spread very quickly if left unattended in a moist environment.

Importance of Adequate Mold Detection

Mold remediation can be a challenging task when it affects HVAC components such as ductwork and air handlers. Before proceeding, it is important to ensure that the client actually has mold issues, since dirt accumulation can sometimes seem like mold. The first step should be an adequate inspection and mold testing.

Once the presence of mold has been verified, it is important to determine which affected components can be cleaned and which must be discarded and replaced. Consider the case of mold in ductwork:

  • Porous components such as insulation and fiberglass ducts must normally be replaced when they are affected by mold.
  • Metallic ducts and other non-porous components are less susceptible to mold and can be reused with proper cleaning.

When professional mold remediation services are required, the scope of work must be clearly discussed. For instance, the contractor should explain the US EPA guidelines for containment: Limited containment for mold patches between 10 and 100 square feet, and full containment when the affected area exceeds 100 square feet.

Clients should also be made aware of the health risks associated with mold, which are often underestimated. Contractors must explain that the containment area can only be accessed by authorized personnel with adequate protection equipment, and that it will be kept under negative pressure to keep spores from spreading.

The Importance of Humidity Control

Even with the best professional remediation services, mold can become a recurrent issue if humidity is not controlled properly. Oversized air conditioning equipment is a common cause of high humidity: since there is excessive cooling capacity, the air conditioning system operates in short cycles that don’t remove moisture effectively. If humidity remains an issue with a properly sized HVAC system, additional dehumidification may be required.

Before carrying out mold remediation, you must be aware that mold regrowth does not mean that the service was deficient. As previously mentioned, mold spores are highly resilient and can spread easily through the air. While eliminating mold patches is possible, getting rid of all the spores in an affected building is unfeasible. However, spores can be killed with humidity control, preventing regrowth.

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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Hurricane Restoration

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Source: bnpmedia

Hurricanes often leave behind some major damage. High winds, storm surges and battering waves can result in the destruction of homes and buildings, road and bridge damage, the erosion of coastlines and major flooding.

Restoration after the storm is serious and important work that must be handled properly. And while we often think immediately about the physical damage left behind by hurricane-force winds, more lasting effects can result from flooding and improperly mitigated water damage that can occur in the impacted homes and structures. After the storm hits, water cleanup is critical, as floodwaters can contain any number of infectants. What’s more, if water is not cleaned and dried within a few weeks, mold growth should be expected, which can cause serious health risk within any structure if the mold continues unchecked.

Water and mold remediation work must be performed by following proper techniques, using the right disinfectants and sanitizers to ensure sanitization and that mold is eliminated completely. In recent years, this has only become more important, as the lasting effects of water damage and mold growth has been brought into sharper relief by numerous major storms where flooding has been a serious issue.

Water cleanup must be taken seriously. Here’s what restoration and remediation professionals need to perform to effectively combat the risks associated with floodwaters and mold growth in the wake of hurricane damage.

Impact of floodwaters and mold on structures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to floodwater is a serious health risk, mostly because we don’t know what it may contain at any given time. In a flood event, the number of potential contaminants is extensive—human and livestock waste, medical and industrial waste, and coal ash are just some of the possibilities.

Category 3, or “black” water, considered grossly unsanitary and typically the kind of water damage being dealt with during hurricane relief and remediation efforts. It includes water from sewage sources, seawater, or standing water, and is assumed to contain harmful bacteria and fungi that can cause serious threats to humans—things like West Nile virus, E.coli, Salmonella, tetanus and more can all be found in floodwaters.

In order to effectively combat the potential harm caused by black water and resulting mold on structure interiors, the right cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants must be selected. There are a variety of options available on the market, but at minimum, professionals should seek products that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Registered products have been proven as effective against biological contaminants, and can reliably disinfect and sanitize surfaces subject to microbial contamination.

Following the proper method: Clean, Kill, Coat

A water remediation project must follow the right steps to ensure a job well done. Since mold formation is typical after hurricane-related flood damage, a three step process should be followed in order to completely eliminate mold and to protect the home from future damage.

  • Clean. In an interior that has experienced flood damage, drywall or ceiling panels can sometimes be salvaged by using the right disinfectant product that is applicable to porous surfaces if completed within 72 hours. Most post-hurricane work isn’t completed within that window of time, however, so it’s usually necessary to tear out the damaged drywall and start from scratch.  After removing the drywall, beams and studs should be cleaned with a mold and mildew stain remover product. Surfaces should then be dried before moving on to the next step.
  • Eliminate. Importantly, cleaning removes stains from the surface, but it doesn’t remediate any lingering mold or mildew spores. Step two involves treating the affected areas with the appropriate disinfectant sanitizer to eliminate microbial contamination. This is the most important step. Lingering mold and mildew spores can cause health risks later down the line, even if surfaces appeared free of stains after cleaning. For restoration and remediation professionals, it’s important to educate customers here. Many available disinfectant products that can be bought off the shelf at big-box home stores aren’t up to the challenge of major disinfectant jobs like those seen after significant hurricane-related flooding— professional products are recommended.
  • Coat. Finally, after potential microbial threats have been eliminated, surfaces should be treated with a final antimicrobial coating that inhibits any future growth and spread of mold and mildew. This final coating acts as a final layer of protection that offers homeowners and building occupants peace of mind long after the remediation job has been completed.

The aftermath of a hurricane is a trying time for the affected communities. It can be a time of confusion and chaos as families and building owners attempt to reconstruct and rebuild from the damage left behind. That’s why it’s so important that communities have access to the right products and technologies that can safely and effectively help toward those goals.

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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Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable items in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.

Ask your SERVPRO® Professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact  SERVPRO®. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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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BE FLOOD SMART

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert-there is always potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO®. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO®.

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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Flood Insurance

7/20/2019 (Permalink)

Source:https://www.randrmagonline.com

The next disaster is imminent. It always is. That might be a Debbie Downer attitude, but it’s the truth, especially when you think about disaster on a more local scale. While a hurricane can impact a dozen states and trigger an emergency declaration by the president, there are a lot of small communities that face their own disasters much more frequently, like northern New Jersey.

It doesn't need to be a hurricane condition to cause community level flooding.  As in years past, our local rivers have crested and move to flood stage when constant heavy rains hit the area.

In some cases, that meant flooding homes in its path. Localized flooding like this is relatively commonplace around the U.S. While it might not earn a federal disaster declaration, it sure feels like a disaster to the local community that is impacted. It can take weeks for the water to recede, and even longer to clean up and restore properties.

Flood Stages & Flood Insurance

You can easily track the rise and fall of local rivers on water.weather.gov. It will give you an idea of flood season in your region and what specific areas will flood depending on river levels. 

It is data like this that plays a role in whether or not property owners in that area qualify for flood insurance. In some high-risk areas, people with federally-backed mortgages can be required to carry flood insurance.

However, according to FEMA, about 20 percent of all the National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims come from people outside mapped high-risk areas. Plus, about a third of the people filing claims end up receiving Federal Disaster Assistance during the cleanup process. Don’t be fooled by that phrase, however. Federal Disaster Assistance usually comes in the form of a loan from the government that must be paid back, with interest. Some homeowners who call you for help may be unaware that their homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood damage.

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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