How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
As the temperatures drop in winter along the east coast, water becomes a threat to homes and businesses. Water expands as it freezes, placing tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. If you have leaking pipes or an inefficient heater, you can end up with a frozen mess—and serious repair costs.
Ways to Keep Pipes from Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect and prevent frozen pipes with these tips:
- Insulate any exposed pipes in your home, paying special attention to unheated ones that may be in your crawl space, basement, garage, and under kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
- Maintain the same temperature during daytime and the day and at night. If you raise the temperature when the sun sets, you risk frozen, bursting, and leaking pipes.
- Close indoor values that supply water outdoors and open the outside value to properly drain excess water that may be in the pipes.
- Consider the benefits of efficient heater By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can help prevent frozen pipes.
- In dangerously low temperatures, let your faucet trickle. While you may be concerned about wasting water, running water is more likely to keep pipes from freezing.
- Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses, and outside valves open so that any water.
- Going on vacation? Leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. This is another one of the benefits of efficient heater systems that allow for smart controls.
Want to prevent frozen pipes with the help of a professional? Contact SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel today.
Have You Thought About Professional Duct Cleaning?
Did you know that clogged or dirty air ducts and dryer vents can affect your HVAC system's performance? Professional duct cleaning and consistent dryer vent cleaning can remove that debris and improve air flow, which can actually increase the effectiveness of the system—and your safety.
SERVPRO Air Duct Services Can Help
If you’re interested in increasing indoor comfort as far as heating, cooling, and air conditioning is concerned, professional air duct cleaning can help. At SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel, our highly trained technicians follow a simple process that guarantees results.
- We remove and thoroughly clean vent covers and returns to remove any buildup that has accumulated.
- We attach a high-powered vacuum system to your air duct system to create a vacuum that pulls the collected debris to our HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97% of particles in the airstream.
- As part of our air duct services, we use professional tools to agitate and remove debris from each branch of the duct work, which may include dryer vent cleaning.
- Under vacuum pressure, we use an EPA-registered antimicrobial air duct cleaning agent into the duct work to help eliminate mold and bacteria.
- Finally, we apply duct sealer to create a mold- and mildew-resistant barrier between living and non-living spaces.
If you need professional duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, or you have replacement filters on site, SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel is more than happy to help. Contact us today.
Your Hurricane Safety Checklist
When it comes to hurricane preparedness, you can’t be too prepared. Hurricane season has become above-normal, with major hurricanes like Sandy and Michael proving wreaking havoc in many areas. To prepare for weather-related damage at home or your business, you need a hurricane safety checklist. This one should keep you covered.
10 Safety Tips to Prepare Home for Hurricane Season
- Be sure your insurance policy covers the total cost of rebuilding your home if it is destroyed during a hurricane.
- If your area is prone to flooding, buy flood insurance, which many homeowner policies do not include.
- Build a home emergency kit with things like flashlights, nonperishable foods, a portable generator, first aid equipment, and more.
- Take inventory of your property, so you know exactly what you need to replace and how much it’s worth.
- Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs surrounding your home
- Seal all windows and doors so that they are secure.
- Prepare home for hurricane season outdoors as well by retrofitting your roof and adding roof straps if you have access via an attic.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts for and clear any clogged areas to prevent water damage.
- Hurricane preparedness should include the removal of outdoor furniture that could be carried away by strong winds.
- Check the FEMA website for additional tips and advice.
SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel is here with storm damage services 24/7 in case of a hurricane. Contact us today to learn more tips to add to your hurricane safety checklist.
Mold Prevention Tips
No one wants to find mold in house areas. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, it’s dangerous to your home and health. Mold prevention starts with understanding how and why it grows.
What Causes Mold in House?
Mold spores thrive on moisture, oxygen, humidity, organic matter and warmth. When exposed to water, it can quickly grow into colonies producing allergens and irritants. Because many of these elements are found organically in nature, it may be hard to remove them from your home to discourage mold growth. However, you can control the moisture levels in your house with preventative measures and mold testing.
- Inspect Plumbing: A regular inspection of toilets, dishwashers, pipes and other sources of water can help you better understand where leaking water could be. When you are familiar with the state of your plumbing, you will be able to catch leaks and other issues quickly. This can help stop water damage from taking place.
- Respond to Leaking Water and Other Moisture Immediately: Whether you notice your bathroom getting especially steamy during bathing or you see a small drip in your bedroom ceiling, you need to act quickly when you notice water issues to prevent mold from growing.
- Make a Plan: While not quite part of a mold prevention plan, know who you’re going to call should you find leaking water or mold in your home. The faster you get a mold testing and remediation team into your house the sooner your living space will be free of the unwanted growth.
When you call SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel to assist with your mold prevention and problems, we will ask several questions to determine what equipment and resources are required, including how many trained experts from our crew will be needed. Prepare for the call with these tips!
Home fire safety is essential, and even more so if you own a fireplace. Who doesn’t love curling up in front of a warm fire during fall and winter seasons? It’s important to know that any type of fireplace, whether wood-burning, gas, or electric, poses a potential danger to your home and loved ones. Use these fireplace safety tips to keep your family safe.
Fire Prevention Tips for Homes with a Fireplace
- Crack open a window while the fire is burning.
- Be sure the damper or flue is open before lighting or starting a fire, and until embers have completely stopped burning, to draw smoke out of the house.
- Check the damper by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror.
- Use smaller pieces of dry and well-aged wood for home fire safety, avoiding wet or green wood, which cause more smoke and soot buildup in the chimney.
- Have a professional check the chimney annually.
- When cleaning a fireplace, remove ashes from previous fires, keeping levels of the to 1 inch or less for less smoke
- Check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended and be sure it’s completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Home fireplace safety should include keeping a fire extinguisher on hand.
Fire damage can be especially devastating, but you can avoid it with these fire prevention tips. SERVPRO of Aberdeen / Holmdel can help you with home fire safety and be there for you in a crisis with has the specialized fire and water damage equipment and expertise. Contact us to learn more.
When Was Your Last Basement Inspection?
Whether you have a finished basement, or one that you rarely go down to, you need to know how to keep your basement dry and safe. There are many threats that are easy to miss, including mold, pipe damage, and fire hazards in the home – and the basement can be the prime culprit.
How to Avoid Mold, Water Damage and Fire Hazards in the Home Basement
A professional basement inspection on a yearly or biannual basis can help you prevent a wide variety of dangers and damage. Here are a few things to keep an eye on in your basement.
Be sure gutters are in their proper positions and downspouts are properly connected and turned away from your foundation. Water should be diverted at least 5 feet away from your foundation, so it doesn’t pool against your home.
Moisture and Mold
You may not be a mold specialist, but you can to watch carefully for any signs of dampness or mold in your basement. The sooner you catch these problems, the sooner you can catch and fix their causes, before they become much larger major expenses.
Consider adding insulation to ductwork and basement pipes and be sure to prevent burst and frozen pipes.
If you have air conditioning or heating ducts running through your basement, seal any leaks with duct tape. Also, be sure to have professional air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning, which can become fire hazards in the home.
Look for signs of animals or pests, which may include droppings along the top of your basement walls where the framing of your home sits.
If you need a mold specialist or a professional to perform a basement inspection, the experts at SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel are ready and willing to serve your needs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.
Foreclosures Cleanouts: It's Not A Pretty Job
If you're buying a house that was in a foreclosure or you're an investor or realtor trying to get rid of a foreclosed property, you are most likely staring into the eyes of a complete mess. Foreclosure cleanouts are not pretty, but necessary in order to get the property sold or moved into for numerous reasons. And if a home is vacant to begin with, this can become a huge problem for the community itself, with a vacant home being ripe for vandalism, squatters, fire hazards, gang activity and other safety hazards. Not to mention, the deep cleaning services you'll need to get that vacant house into shape will be massive. Thankfully though, there are restoration companies that are willing to take on the job and do it right.
House Clean Out: Issues You Face With Foreclosed Homes
A house clean out isn't fun; people who are faced with losing their homes are not exactly worried about tidiness, but instead, getting out and grieving such a major loss. And unfortunately, home foreclosures don't seem to be decreasing, which means that many realtors and buyers are faced with foreclosed properties that need a ton of work. Here are some of the common cleanups that need to happen with foreclosed and vacant homes:
- Overgrown lawns and landscaping issues: This means that someone will have to care for the lawns and weed regularly enough so that way the place looks good and can be sold.
- Trash collection: Is there junk inside or out that needs to go? Look in the home, garage, shed, basement, etc. You're bound to find plenty of stuff that simply needs to be hauled.
- Pools and hot tub issues—from malfunctions to mosquito collections
- Interior issues: From broken windows to mold or what have you, the inside of a house will need deep cleaning services and beyond.
Restoration Services Near Me: You Need Experts
In addition to the formerly mentioned problems, be prepared to face other interior issues—
-Stained & shredded rugs and carpets
-Odor issues (smokers' lingering cigarette smell; cat urine, etc.)
-Junk left behind. Junk beyond junk beyond junk!
There's no wonder that anyone dealing with a foreclosed home will be googling "restoration services near me" as fast as lighting.
But here is the good news: cleaning and restoration services can bring that once dump of a home back to life in no time without you lifting a sweaty finger or hand!
The reality is this is a big job and not for a novice. Expert restoration companies are skilled at managing everything from trauma scenes to vacant homes. They see a big project such as a foreclosed home and have a plan to get everything in order within no time.
When searching for this type of company, look for:
- Company reviews & references
-Companies with a reasonable and strict turn-around time
-Companies that are able to start the job within a short amount of time
At the end of the day, using a restoration company will be an investment, but it will be a worthy one. You can rest assured that with a reputable company, you can get the house into great shape again with the peace of mind you get by hiring someone to do the job professionally and efficiently.
Flooding & Fire Restoration: Reasons To Hire A Company
A lot of people may be stressed about home restoration after flooding or a fire, but even if you are faced with a bad insurance policy or don't know who to hire, don't do this job yourself! Fire restoration and handling water in basement or other areas of the home is not a job for the everyday person for a variety of reasons.
- You're not a professional and most likely, don't quite know what you're looking for…and Dr. Google can't give you that expertise in a few Google searches
- You won't have the right equipment and could expose yourself to more toxins and smoke that you don't need to because of that fact
- The difference between the amount of time it will take you to restore your house vs. how long it will take a restoration company is huge
- You won't remove everything you need to, simply put
Let's dive into some of the issues that a home restoration company can manage and spot that you can't do on your own, when dealing with water and fire damaged homes:
Here's How Restoration Companies Help With Water & Fire Damaged Homes
Water in basement? Mold all over? Intense fire damage? Restoration companies are a worthwhile investment for your own health and the value of your home. Here's why:
- Water Problems
You probably can't even see the real water damage.
You can remove floodwater, but all the mold, fungus and microbes in the floodwater can grow in wet and moist locations. You may not see it happening right away, but they cause severe illnesses. Over time, you and your family could start to get sick. There is no price too high for your health. A restoration company has the experience and equipment to get rid of these invisible invaders that cause so much havoc on your home and health. And trust us: many individuals have spent countless hours researching mold inspection near me because of health symptoms like allergies and breathing issues. Don't let this happen to you and your loved ones.
- Fire Damage
While fire will create clearly marked areas of damage, fire also can create more "invisible issues" that the everyday person won't be able to discern. Usually, this is damage from the smoke. You may have areas of your house that look fine but have intense smoke damage. Only a professional would be able to tell.
And, let's not forget the smell of fire. Smoke is not an easy smell to remove, which is why you should step back and let the professionals handle it.
So, hopefully you realize how valuable a restoration company can be for you. And before you start to look into fire damage or mold inspection near me, consider the following factors when picking a company to entrust with your home:
- A restoration business should get back to you within an hour of your call, no matter when you call. Their business is helping people with emergencies and disasters.
- Research their services ahead of time to be sure they can do everything you need first. Plus, a reputable company will offer everything from clean up to restoration.
- Are they insured? Make sure they have liability insurance just in case something happens while the company is on the job.
- Read reviews—see what others have had to say about them.
Going through a flood or fire is stressful, but things will get better. The first step is finding a great restoration company that will put your home back together so you can be secure again, and avoid unwanted health hazards like mold and smoke.
Flooded House: Does Your Home Have Mold?
If you're dealing with a flooded house, a burst pipe or water in basement or another room, you may be understandably concerned about mold. Mold is a health hazard: it can produce allergies and other health problems. And unfortunately, mold is a fast little bugger—it can grow in just 48 hours. Of course, mold spores exist everywhere you go…indoors and outdoors, so getting rid of every single spore from your home is simply impossible. A smart home restoration company will tell you that.
So, if you have water in basement or anywhere, and mold is on your mind, consider these facts about mold and then, we'll share what to do if you believe your house has a mold issue:
- So tiny! Mold spores are microscopic and can enter your house in many ways, like: windows, doors, AC or heating systems, your family pet, etc.
- Mold loves moisture! Mold spores will grow like wildfire in a moist environment and the mold will then produce allergens and irritants.
- Watch your humidity! Keep your home (indoors) humidity under 45%.
- What's that smell? Mold produces a nasty, musty smell, so trust your nose!
- Remediation, the right way! Before mold removal companies can properly handle mold remediation and cleanup in your home, the company must find the source of water or moisture that's growing mold…otherwise, the mold will most certainly come back again.
- Signs you've got a mold issue! If you or your loved ones are dealing with symptoms like: allergies, sore throat, fatigue, headaches, sinus issues, itchy eyes, etc., see a doctor and mention you may have a mold problem.
Mold Cleanup & Ways To Manage Your Mold Issues
So, you think you have a mold issue…now what?
Here are steps to take to manage your mold problem:
- Test Your Home:
Don't clean up a drop of mold until a company has tested to determine what type of mold you have and how bad the issue is. The test must be expansive and thoroughly done by professional that will then manage the mold cleanup and of course, remediation process.
- Identify The Cause:
It's very important as we mentioned earlier, to figure out what is causing the mold to grow. Otherwise, you can hire a company to remove the mold, but it will just grow right back! So whether it's a water leak in a wall, the humidity levels in your home, a busted pipe or what have you, that issue needs to be tackled first.
- Got Coverage? Or Not?:
Check if your insurance policy covers mold removal…this way you know how much the cleanup is going to cost you.
- Hire A Professional:
Research mold removal companies in your area. Look for companies with good references and reviews, who respond quickly to your call, who come with liability insurance and are properly certified and praised in the community.
Keep in mind that mold removal isn't an easy process and is rather complex. The good news is that with a reputable mold remediation company, the job will be done the right way, preventing further health issues and damage to your home.
What To Do Before & After A Storm: Storm Damage 101
With hurricane season here, it's very smart to prepare your home and yourself and loved ones ahead of time in order to minimize any damage that you might incur. From gathering the correct hurricane supplies, to evaluating your home insurance policies so you know how they cover storm damage, we've got a guide here to help you navigate what to do both before a storm hits…and after the storm has gone and went.
While it's never good to obsessively worry about the absolute worst happening, it's always good to be prepared ahead of time so if your area is hit by a hurricane, you know that you already have a plan in place.
Make Sure You Have The Correct Hurricane Supplies
As you're preparing for a hurricane, keep this list of supplies handy that way you have everything you need before the first weatherman even breaks the bad news that a storm is headed your way. This is especially helpful just in case you need to evacuate. Waiting until the last minute may only have you waiting in long lines with other panicked neighbors…only to find out that the store is sold out of what you need.
- Have hurricane kits full of your supplies and make sure they're in a suitcase or even a plastic tub.
- These kits should have:
- First aid kit
- 3- day supply of non-perishable food
- Batteries & flashlights
- Plenty of water gallons for each person
- Maps of your area
- Can opener (manual) for food
- Dust mask
- Sleeping bags
You may also want additional items, like contact lens solutions, extra contacts, glasses, prescription medications or formula or baby food, as well as sanitary items like tampons, etc.
Being prepared is never foolish or over-the top: it's smart.
Preparing For A Hurricane: Preventative Measures
First things, first: do you live in a hurricane evacuation area?
If you don't know the answer to that question, you need to find out. Your local government will be able to tell you if you are and also, what their evacuation plans are. Knowing this ahead of time will prevent you from panicking when and if you need to actually evacuate.
Bonus tip: if you are in a high rise or mobile home, have a plan to evacuate even if you're not in an area that is defined as an evacuation zone.
The next big one? Check your insurance coverage so you know how they handle hurricane damage to homes.
What should you look for or have?
- Whether you're renting or you own, be sure that your home or rental insurance covers for flooding
- Know your policy inside and out, so you know what to expect in case your home ends up very damaged or destroyed
- Do a review of your home: is your roof in good shape? What about your home's structure? Do you have anything in your yard that could be a hazard in a storm?
After The Storm: Hurricane Damage To Homes
If your home is damaged by a hurricane, here are some tips to handling this stressful event:
- Check your home before entering with caution and wear protective gear from goggles to work gloves and a mask in case there are any issues with mold, asbestos, etc.
- If you smell gas or there is a downed powerline near your house, don't enter!
- Call your insurance company once your home is safe to enter so an adjuster can evaluate the situation.
- Do call a reputable storm damage cleanup company to help you get through this tragedy. Do not try to manage this on your own. The reality is you are not an expert and by trying to take a project on like that by yourself, you will end up frustrated. Research ahead of time to discover a company you can trust.
The bottom line is Mother Nature is not predictable, and while hurricanes and storms are very stressful, with common sense, a plan and the help of a reputable storm damage cleanup company, you can make it through the aftermath.