If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (860) 206-6141

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why You Need SERVPRO of West Hartford to Clean Your Commercial Building

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

A desk with computer monitor, phone, coffee cup, plants SERVPRO of West Hartford's routine commercial cleaning keeps your building regularly disinfected—protecting workers' and customers' health.

Why hire SERVPRO of West Hartford to do routine cleaning of your commercial building?

In a word: filth.

In several words: your office or other place of business is harboring plenty of germs, putting the health of your employees and customers at risk every single day.

Filth? Really? Afraid So

Just because you may not see the dirt and germs doesn’t mean they’re not there. Let’s take a look at one small area of a commercial facility: the desk. Here are some unsettling facts about the typical desk:

Are you feeling flush? Desks are more than 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat.

Eat it and weep. Desks contain 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table.

Can we talk? A desk phone is covered with 25,000 germs per square inch.

Gee, only the items you touch the most. The germ hotspots on a typical desk are the phone, keyboard and mouse.

Dude! C’mon. Men’s desks contain 20% more bacteria than women’s desks.

Get out your disinfectant wipes. 64% of workers clean their desks once a month or less.

Why SERVPRO? Don’t You Just Clean up Damage from Water and Fires?

Of course, you can always count on SERVPRO of West Hartford for commercial disaster cleanup after you’ve suffered a flood, fire, storm damage, mold, biohazard contamination and more. But we’re not just for emergencies. SERVPRO also keeps numerous West Hartford workplaces clean and safe all year long.

With our routine commercial cleaning services, our crews use the same skills, tools, reliability and attention to detail to make sure your office, manufacturing facility, restaurant, hotel, school, medical facility or retail store is not only looking its best, but is thoroughly clean and disinfected.

We tailor our cleaning services to your business’s needs, whether small or large. We also offer specialized cleaning services, such as biohazard/ sewage, air duct/HVAC and odor removal.

Among the many kinds of commercial facilities we clean are:

  • small and large office buildings
  • high- and low-rise residential buildings
  • small and large retail stores, including big box stores
  • medical offices and facilities
  • schools
  • restaurants
  • hotels and motels
  • manufacturing and industrial facilities
  • government and military workplaces

With SERVPRO of West Hartford handling your routine commercial cleaning, you’ll gain a superior level of cleanliness and a safer environment for your workers.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in commercial water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

SERVPRO Honored for Efforts to Hire Vets

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

U.S.Department of Labor HIRE Vets Gold and Silver Medallion Awards SERVPRO of West Hartford is proud to be part of a company that recently earned a HIRE Vets Medallion Award for our support of veterans.

On November 10, 2020 U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia awarded SERVPRO Industries, LLC as a Gold Award recipient of the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Labor. The federal HIRE Vets (Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans) Act Medallion Program recognizes job creators who successfully recruit, hire and retain veterans.

“We are proud to receive this award as symbol of our commitment to hiring the brave men and women who served our country,” said SERVPRO Veterans Programs Specialist Jamie Peters. “SERVPRO Industries, LLC prioritizes hiring veterans because we share like-minded values, dedication and selfless mentality to serving others. Veterans are a good fit for us, and we are committed to developing these veterans within the company. They make us a better organization, and we are thankful for their service."

We here at SERVPRO of West Hartford are honored to be a part of a company that supports our veterans by putting their unique talents to use and working with them to build productive and satisfying careers.

About the HIRE Vets Medallion Award

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is earned by leading businesses that demonstrate unparalleled commitment to attracting and retaining veterans. The Award is based on a number of criteria, ranging from veteran hiring and retention to providing veteran-specific resources, leadership programming, dedicated human resources, and compensation and tuition assistance programs.

SERVPRO Industries, LLC was honored with 674 other companies across the country that have shown a commitment not only to hiring veterans but to ensuring that these employees have a long-term career and growth plan that uses the diverse skills they acquired through their military service.

About SERVPRO

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,800 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in home and commercial disaster restoration, including fire restoration and cleanup, natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

3 Things to Know About Smoke Detectors

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

A hand reaches to test a smoke detector Avoid severe fire damage to your West Hartford home by buying, installing and maintaining your smoke detectors the right way!

You know how important it is to have working smoke detectors in your West Hartford home. They give you and your family a fighting chance to escape a house fire. Unfortunately, because our home furnishings have become more flammable over the years, you actually have very little time to escape a fire: only 3 to 5 minutes!

So, while every one of us has cursed a chirping smoke alarm in the middle of the night, that annoying little device may just save your life. There are a few things to know about smoke detectors that will make them more effective—and hopefully, less irritating.

The Right Kind

Start by buying the right kind of detector. You’ll have a few choices to make:

  • Battery or hardwired: The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends that your detectors are interconnected through wiring or a wireless signal. This way, if one alarm sounds, they will all sound, waking your family up throughout the house. In fact, new homes are required to have hardwired interconnected detectors with battery backup. The alternative is to buy battery-based detectors.
  • Ionization or photoelectric sensor: Photoelectric sensors better detect smoldering fires, and ionization sensors better detect flames. The ideal is a dual-sensor smoke detector, which alerts you promptly to both kinds of fires. Or, you could invest in both kinds of detectors and install them throughout your house.
  • With or without CO detector: You can buy dual-models that combine a smoke detector with a CO detector, or you can purchase each kind of detector.

The Right Place

Where you install your detectors makes a difference in their operation:

  • Install a detector inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area. There should be at least one detector on each floor of your home, including the basement.
  • The detector should be installed on the wall, 12 inches or less from the ceiling.
  • Keep detectors at least 10 feet from cooking appliances and 3 feet from bathrooms, to avoid false alarms from steam or cooking smoke.

The Right Upkeep

Maintaining your smoke detectors is essential to their effectiveness:

  • Replace the batteries once a year, ideally when you change your clocks forward or back.
  • A chirping detector is annoying, but it’s telling you to replace the battery or replace the entire unit. Don’t just unplug and ignore.
  • Test all your smoke detectors each month. In case of failure, replace the battery or the whole unit.
  • Replace all your detectors after 5–7 years for a combination smoke/CO detector or 10 years for a smoke-only model.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Fire Safety Throughout Your West Hartford House

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Flames shoot out of a toaster Knowing the dangerous spots in your West Hartford home—and taking simple safety measures—can help prevent fire damage from occurring.

Every year, there are upwards of 350,000 home fires in our country, and the results can range from inconvenient to disastrous. Avoid fire damage and destruction by knowing the areas of your home that pose the greatest risks—and following our tips to prevent a fire from starting.

Your Kitchen

About half of all house fires begin in the kitchen, so be especially careful when using your cooking and other appliances.

Oven and Stovetop

  • Most fires start here, so keep these appliances as clean as possible to prevent greasy residues from becoming fuel.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking and don’t leave pots and pans unattended on the stovetop.
  • Keep fabric, paper and other flammable items away from sources of heat.

Toaster or Toaster Oven

  • Stay in the room when you are toasting.
  • Regularly clean crumbs from your toaster.

Microwave

  • Never microwave flammable materials, including aluminum foil, certain plastic containers (check the bottom markings) and Styrofoam.

Dishwasher

  • Heating elements in an older dishwasher can overheat and spark a fire, so have yours inspected or replace it.

Your Living and Family Rooms

Living and family rooms contain many flammable objects, including furniture, curtains and drapes, lamps and electronics—and many of these newer items burn hotter and faster than those made 20 or 30 years ago.

Candles

  • Don’t leave the room when burning a candle.
  • Always fully extinguish the flame.
  • Keep children away from candles.
  • Keep candles away from flammable items.

Fireplace

  • Annual maintenance of your fireplace is essential. Call a certified chimney sweep to clean, inspect and repair any damage.
  • Use a metal or glass fireplace screen to keep sparks from flying out, and keep rugs away from the hearth area.
  • Fully extinguish the flames and properly dispose of the ashes.

Your Bedrooms

Your home’s bedrooms should be sanctuaries, but because they contain so many flammable objects—mattress, bedding, curtains, clothing—they can quickly become an inferno.

Smoke Detector and Escape Plan

Mattress

  • Mattresses made prior to 2007 may not be flame retardant, so consider replacing yours.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

SERVPRO Puts Safety First at Your Fire or Water Damage Restoration Job

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Employees in a classroom training session We focus on safety at SERVPRO of West Hartford so that we're always ready to respond to your fire or water damage emergency.

Responding to our customers’ emergencies—whether caused by fire, water, storm, biohazard or mold damage—poses risks for our own crews, both at the job site and in our central Connecticut warehouse and headquarters. To make sure that our professionals are always ready to respond to your emergency, we have instituted high standards for employee safety, and we back that up with training, equipment and a process for continuous improvement.

Our safety program begins with our safety coordinator, Rhonda, who has more than two decades of experience in construction and warehouse management. She knows that even small lapses at the worksite can cause real danger and injury, and she has worked to make our safety program better than ever.

Just in the last year, SERVPRO of West Hartford has seen these new safety initiatives:

General Safety Measures

  • All our training programs and videos are now offered in English and Spanish.
  • Rhonda meets with the crew chiefs every month to review the previous month’s safety stats and to make plans for improvement in training and policies.

Equipment and Product Safety

  • Each crew carries a binder that documents our cleaning products, with appropriate applications, required safety equipment and usage instructions. With this information right at the job site, our workers are prepared to answer customer questions.
  • Each truck is checked daily for its fire extinguisher, first aid kit and eyewash station. Each truck also carries duffel bags with hard hats, goggles, safety vests, shoulder dolly straps for lifting heavy objects and the cleaning products binder.
  • Crew members are trained to accurately fit-test and wear N-95 respirator masks.
  • Each worker is trained to safely lift heavy loads with shoulder dolly straps.

Vehicle Safety

  • Every crew is assigned its own truck, which improves their familiarity with and safe usage of the vehicle.
  • Workers are trained in the safe operation of forklifts.
  • All SERVPRO trucks and forklifts are inspected daily.

Fire Safety

  • Our crews are trained in the safe usage of fire extinguishers, generators and third plug adaptors.
  • Fire extinguishers are inspected and marked with the date, ensuring they are always ready to be used.
  • Each piece of equipment and each truck is equipped with a third plug adaptor so that our grounded equipment can be safely used in older homes.

Blood-Borne Pathogen Safety

  • Training in the safe handling and disposal of blood-borne pathogens has been updated and enhanced.
  • Each crew is issued a blood-borne pathogen duffel bag with hazmat suits, gloves, needle containers, tweezers and sealable bags for waste.
  • Secure metal containers are located outside of our facility where bagged blood-borne waste is deposited for final disposal by our vendor.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in home and commercial disaster restoration, including fire restoration and cleanup, natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Avoid a Chimney Fire in Your West Hartford Fireplace

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Flames shoot out of a house's chimney The fire damage caused by a chimney fire at your West Hartford home can be devastating. Avoid it by setting a cleaner fire in your fireplace.

It’s so comforting to enjoy a crackling wood fire in your fireplace, especially with beloved family and friends gathered around. But that fire you are enjoying could eventually contribute to the biggest risk of a chimney fire: built-up creosote on the walls of the chimney.

What is a Chimney Fire?

Chimney fires are frequent and costly: each year more than 25,000 of them result in upwards of $125 million in damage to American homes. In a chimney fire, built-up creosote inside the chimney can itself catch fire. When that happens, you may hear cracking and booming from your fireplace, and in the worst cases, flames can shoot through the walls of your chimney to light your home on fire! The fire damage can be expensive—and deadly.

The way to prevent a chimney fire is to keep your chimney clean. Creosote is produced every time you burn a fire and condenses onto the walls of your chimney. If it is allowed to build up to more than a ¼-inch thickness, you need to have your chimney professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep. The sweep will remove the creosote and any debris, and will also inspect your chimney for cracks or other dangerous defects. It’s a best practice to have your chimney cleaned annually before the heating season begins.

Build a Safer Fire

Another important way to avoid a chimney fire is to set a clean-burning fire. Follow the steps below for a clean, hot fire that won’t deposit a lot of creosote inside your chimney:

  • Open the damper so that air moves quickly, swiftly carrying smoke up and out of the chimney
  • Don’t use too much firewood
  • Use only seasoned (dried for six months or more) hardwood
  • Use twigs and small branches for kindling
  • Use torn, crumpled newspaper or pine cones for tinder

The best, hottest and cleanest fires are built according to the top-down method. It may seem counterintuitive, but start your fire by placing the largest logs at the bottom and work your way up to placing the smallest logs on top. Lay your kindling and tinder on top of that. When you light the fire, it will catch on top and burn its way down.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

A SERVPRO-Cleaned Home Is More Attractive to Buyers

11/21/2020 (Permalink)

A man and woman stand among moving boxes A proactive cleaning and sanitizing by SERVPRO can help your house sell faster.

Even in a hot real estate market, if you’re selling a house, you want to make sure your property stands out from the crowd. Now, in a time of pandemic, having the cleanest home possible is a clear advantage, one that you can gain by calling on the cleaning and sanitizing services of SERVPRO or West Hartford.

Having the cleanest possible home may offer these advantages to a seller:

  • Increased buyer peace of mind
  • Easier-to-pass home inspection
  • Potential increase in sale value
  • Potentially faster sale

What SERVPRO Cleans

When you hire SERVPRO of West Hartford to clean and sanitize your home before it goes on the market, we focus on high-touch areas, including:

In the Kitchen

  • Cabinets and pulls
  • Appliance handles
  • Countertops
  • Tabletops
  • Sink, faucet and soap dispenser

In the Bathroom

  • Cabinets and pulls
  • Vanity, sink and faucet
  • Toilet
  • Shower and tub

Throughout Your Home

  • Light switches
  • Doorknobs and window hardware
  • Hallway and stairwell hand rails
  • Carpets
  • Hard-surface and wood floors
  • Drapery and blinds
  • Ceilings and walls
  • HVAC system and ductwork

How SERVPRO Cleans

Our crew members are experts in pathogen and other biohazard cleanup. We have the training, gear, procedures and products to safely and completely clean and sanitize your home.

Our team arrives in personal protective suits with integrated hood and boots. Each worker wears an individually fit-tested N-95 respirator. We only use hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting agents that safely and effectively kill pathogens.

Once at your home, the crew will seal your house and fog it with disinfecting products that will penetrate deep into crevices. Next, our pros will spread out to do direct hands-on cleaning and disinfecting of the high-touch and flat surfaces throughout your home.

Got Mold?

While we’re on premises cleaning and disinfecting your home, SERVPRO can also perform a thorough check for any hidden mold. If we find any problem areas, we can immediately begin to eradicate the mold colony, preventing costly delays or losses in selling price—a likely result if a mold problem is discovered later in the selling process.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in home and commercial disaster restoration, including fire restoration and cleanup, natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Is There Mold in Your Commercial Building?

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

A technician works to remove mold from drywall Mold problems are tough to get rid of, so call SERVPRO of West Hartford to remove mold from your commercial building once and for all.

Forty-eight hours is all it takes.

Just that short amount of time, and moisture in your commercial building can create a stubborn mold problem that takes real effort to clean up. Unfortunately, you often don’t even know that water is accumulating and brewing a colony of mold spores that can take root in your property, infiltrating your structure and everything in it—including the air you breathe.

Here’s the problem: mold spores are everywhere. These microscopic particles float in the air, both inside and outside structures. They enter buildings in several ways: through windows and doors, through your HVAC system or by hitching a ride on clothing. Once inside your building, mold spores just need to be activated … by moisture.

Just Add Water

When mold spores come into contact with water (a lot or a little), they start to grow and if not caught quickly, can eventually form colonies and surge out of control.

The moisture may come from an obvious flood of water, but sometimes, the source is a small, barely noticeable leak, such as a damaged water fixture that’s dripping or a faulty roof that’s allowing water to seep in. And sometimes, the moisture is the result of condensation from a too-humid building—creating a perfect environment for mold.

In a way, not having an in-your-face leak puts you at a disadvantage as a business owner, since the mold can get a head start without you ever noticing. That’s why you need to know the signs to catch and stop a mold problem at your commercial facility.

What Are the Signs of Mold Growth?

For starters, don’t ignore a history of moisture problems in your building. Check trouble spots regularly for unseen moisture. Also check your ductwork and HVAC systems, which are common locations of mold buildup. Obviously, if you spot any wet areas, puddles or condensation, you need to act fast—the clock may have already started on that 48-hour mold incubation timeframe.

Perhaps the biggest clue to a mold problem is what your nose tells you. That musty, moldy odor is unmistakable. Even if you haven’t noticed it, pay attention if employees or customers mention an odor. Take it seriously, too, if anyone in your building develops headaches or trouble breathing, because that can be a sign of mold infestation.

What To Do If Mold is Present?

Because mold is tricky to remediate, you’re better off turning to an expert than trying to clean it all up yourself. It’s hard for a non-professional to know if all the mold is gone, and you could find yourself redoing the job. The experienced experts at SERVPRO of West Hartford will bring in the people, equipment and techniques to quickly and completely eradicate your mold problem.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in commercial water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Many Risks Lurk After a Flood

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

A house is surrounded by floodwater Once you've survived the flood after a big storm, you need to take precautions to survive the risks posed by floodwater.

Phew! You and your property survived a big storm. But now, your home or business is flooded. It’s time for the big cleanup job, or perhaps you and your family need to evacuate. In either case, you need to be extra cautious to avoid risks that follow a flood.

Dangers Inside Your Home

Post-flood, you’ll face several hazards, even if you can stay in your home. For instance, do you have a supply of food and water that can sustain your family for a few days? How about an emergency kit in case of injuries?

And then there’s the looming cleanup. The floodwater inside your home poses a threat in the form of debris, chemical and other types of contamination, snakes and wildlife, and the potential for mold growth.

Dangers Outside Your Home

If you do leave your home, you face several more risks from the floodwater. First of all, what’s in that water? It could be any or all of these:

  • Sharp debris
  • Live electrical wires
  • Sewage
  • Chemicals, oil and gasoline

Because of this, try not to walk through floodwater. If you must, put on protective gear, like rubber gloves and boots. And take it slow and steady: did you know that just 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock an adult over?

Dangers in Your Car

Likewise, if you attempt to drive through floodwater, be very careful. Floodwater can be deceptive, and only 12 inches of water can cause your vehicle to float, putting it at risk of being carried into a current. And if you drive or get pulled into water, you run the risk of stalling out and getting trapped inside your car. Even if you can navigate the floodwater, beneath the water can lurk debris that can damage your car or tires, downed electrical wires that can electrocute you and washed-out pavement that can make it impossible to drive.

So, stay safe after a flood by being aware of the many risks posed by floodwater. And make your recovery from the flood and the resulting damage easier, faster and safer by calling on an experienced water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Hartford. We’ll arrive promptly and handle the start-to-finish process of remediating the water damage to your home or business.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Get Your Home Ready for Winter Cold and Storms (Part 1: Inside)

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles hang from the eaves of a house in winter Winterizing your home will pay off in a reduced chance of damage from storms and cold weather. Here's what to do inside your house.

With winter just around the corner, now is an ideal time to prepare your house, both inside and out, to withstand the damage that cold weather and winter storms can cause. Let’s first look at the steps you can take inside your home to emerge damage-free from the winter storm season.

Inspect and Evaluate

Start by taking a good look at your current situation. That’ll tell you if you need to do repairs to any of your systems.

  • Furnace: No one wants to wake up to a cold-as-a-stone furnace that won’t start. Likewise, you want to avoid a malfunctioning furnace that can emit deadly carbon monoxide. Hire a pro to do an annual inspection before the heating season and make any indicated repairs. Every month, replace your HVAC filters.
  • Insulation: A poorly-insulated attic is a primary cause of damaging ice dams. Check the insulation in your attic and basement or crawlspace to keep the warm air where you want it: in your living space.
  • Fireplace: Have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year to check for damage or built-up debris that could start a fire.
  • Energy use: Consider asking your local utility company to do an energy assessment to find where your hot air is leaking out. The utility company may perform a number of fixes to give you immediate improvement, and they’ll recommend bigger improvements, too.

Add Barriers to Keep the Cold Out

Keeping your house warm in winter often means keeping the warm air inside your house. Before the cold weather really hits, do these tasks to keep the heat inside your home.

  • Seal leaks: Use insulating foam to seal areas around plumbing vents, windows, your attic hatch and the perimeter of recessed lights. Apply weather stripping around doors.
  • Seal windows: Apply plastic-film sheet kits to your windows to add an extra layer of insulation while sealing up gaps around the window frame.
  • Insulate pipes: Technically, warm air doesn’t leak from your pipes, but if your pipes aren’t insulated sufficiently, you may have an enormous problem during a cold snap: frozen and burst pipes. The idea is to keep your pipes warm enough to prevent them from freezing. During a cold spell, you may also need to run taps at a drip and keep cabinet doors open to prevent freezing.

Read part 2 of this article for information on how to prepare the exterior of your home to withstand damage from winter cold and storms.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Get Your Home Ready for Winter Cold and Storms (Part 2: Outside)

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

A snow-covered house Winterizing your home will pay off in a reduced chance of damage from storms and cold weather. Here's what to do outside your house.

Winter is coming, bringing with it the possibility of home damage from storms and cold weather. Part 1 of this article focused on what you need to do inside your home to protect against damage from winter storms and icy temperatures. Read on for what steps to take outside your house.

Prepare Your House

  • Storm windows and doors: Adding these to your home will not only keep the warm air inside, but will also help protect against intrusion by strong winds.
  • Faucets: Detach and store hoses inside your home, shed or garage. Drain any water still in the exterior spigot and turn the spigot off inside the house. If you have an irrigation system, have it blown out.
  • Roof: Inspect your roof (perhaps using binoculars) to spot missing or damaged shingles, and have repairs made before winter hits. Check that your gutters are cleaned out and firmly attached to your house.
  • Lights: Test your exterior lights to make sure all are working; replace bulbs if necessary, or have the fixture repaired.
  • Foundation: Check the perimeter of your home for cracks and small openings that may provide a way for mice and other animals to enter when they seek warmth and shelter. Seal any gaps.

Prepare Your Yard and Property

  • Debris: In a storm’s strong wind or under the weight of snow or ice, tree branches can fall onto or scrape against your home’s exterior. Pick up and dispose of dead or dangling branches around your roof, siding, HVAC unit, electric or gas meters, dryer exhaust vent and basement windows.
  • Furniture: Store your patio furniture and cushions in a shed, garage or basement.
  • Firewood: Stack your firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Snow removal: Get your snow and ice removal equipment ready for action. Check that your shovels are in good condition and perform an annual tune-up on your snow blower, if you have one. Keep a supply of de-icing product on hand, too.
  • Holiday decorations: Before you decorate outside your home, check wiring for fraying and good operation. Securely attach any decorations to the exterior of your home and use only extension cords rated for exterior use.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Call SERVPRO for Your Biohazard Clean-up Jobs

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

A worker in a hazmat suit cleans a warehouse No matter how tough the biohazard situation at your place of business, SERVPRO has the equipment and training to get you back to business fast.

When a biohazard situation suddenly occurs in your West Hartford commercial facility, you need help quick! It may be a chemical spill, a sewage backup or even a bloody accident or crime scene. Regardless, biohazards are among the most challenging clean-up jobs out there. The good news is that SERVPRO of West Hartford can quickly and thoroughly handle even the most overwhelming, nasty biohazard clean-up task.

It’s important to act fast if you have a biohazard event, because the short- and long-term safety and health of your employees and customers will be at risk. We advise following our Biohazard Emergency Tips—Until Help Arrives as soon as you discover the contamination to keep you, your employees, your customers and your building safe.

Among the biohazards that SERVPRO handles are:

  • Chemical spills
  • Blood and bloodborne pathogens
  • Viral and bacterial pathogens
  • Sewage backups
  • Crime and accident scenes, including deaths by suicide or homicide
  • Meth labs

SERVPRO of West Hartford removes and disposes of biohazards from your commercial building, always adhering to OSHA and local health regulations. Our crews have the training, procedures, products and equipment to thoroughly eradicate all traces of the biohazard contamination from your facility and restore it to like-before condition.

Biohazard Cleaning of Viral Pathogens

In 2020 SERVPRO introduced Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, a new defensive pathogen cleaning program that helps eradicate the risk of viral pathogens in your workplace. Much more than the typical janitorial cleaning services that SERVPRO has long provided, this unique program is built on more than 50 years of experience in remediating biohazards.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned includes:

  • Consulting: We review and tailor our services to your unique cleaning needs.
  • Cleaning: Our highly-trained crews use SERVPRO’s EPA-approved hospital grade cleaning solutions to clean all areas of your property while meeting or exceeding CDC-recommended standards for cleaning and decontaminating.
  • Certifying: Upon completion of the pathogen cleaning, we provide you with visual proof that you have done all you can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your employees and customers. This includes a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield to display at your place of business and digital icons to use on your website and digital marketing.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in commercial water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Reduce Your Risk of a Dryer Fire in Your West Hartford Home

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

A clothes dryer's lint trap is filled with lint Regular maintenance and an annual cleaning will help you stop a dryer fire before it starts in your home.

Each year, close to 35,000 Americans have an electrical fire in their homes, which account for one in every ten fire deaths. Of these electrical fires, the source in most of them is a home appliance.

With regular maintenance and cleaning, you can reduce the chance of an appliance fire in your home. When using any electric, gas or heat appliance, you should:

  • Clean, inspect and maintain them regularly, giving special attention to any appliance that’s more than 15 years old
  • Only use appliances that are certified by a reputable testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratory
  • Only use appliances when you’re home and awake

Now, let’s look at ways to reduce risk in one of the most common sources of home appliance fires.

Clothes Dryers

The big risk with clothes dryers is built-up lint, which is a ready-made fuel that can easily catch fire. Not only does lint collect in the lint trap, but it can build up inside the dryer cabinet and hose, too. If lint collects around the dryer’s heating element or burner, a fire can flare up quickly. Take these everyday steps to prevent that from happening:

  • After every dryer load, empty the lint trap
  • Keep clothing with combustible stains, such as gasoline or furniture polish, out of the dryer
  • If your dryer is adjacent to your furnace, do not hang clothing or drop dryer lint near it
  • Replace vinyl hoses with smooth metal ducts

Once a year, clean built-up lint from your dryer, hose and exhaust  (this task is easier if you have a dryer vent cleaning kit on hand):

  • Remove the lint screen, push a snorkel brush down into the trap and twirl it. You can also use a shop vac with a crevice tool.
  • Pull the dryer away from the wall and unhook the hose or duct from the dryer and the exterior vent. Clean the hose with a round brush and check to be sure you’ve gotten all the lint.
  • From inside, clean the exterior vent with the round brush as far as you can reach, then go outside and clean from that direction. While outside, clean the vent hood of any lint or debris. Reattach the hose once all the lint is removed.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

How SERVPRO Restores Your Important Documents

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

A stack of damaged documents Call SERVPRO of West Hartford to restore your important documents, records and photos after a fire, water or other disaster at your home or business.

When a disaster—water, fire, storm, mold, biohazard—strikes your West Hartford home or business, you have a big cleanup job ahead of you. You may have to rebuild your structure and clean or replace your possessions, like furniture and clothing.

Another category of damaged items to be restored is your important personal or business documents. In addition to remediating damage to your building and large items, SERVPRO or West Hartford is skilled at the delicate work of restoring important documents.

For a business, these documents may include:

  • Financial records and contracts
  • Technical documentation
  • Project and personnel files
  • Blueprints and maps

In a residence, documents can include:

  • Personal papers
  • Financial and medical records
  • Letters
  • Photographs
  • Books and magazines

SERVPRO Arrives Quickly and Gets to Work

Time is of the essence when it comes to restoring your possessions, especially irreplaceable ones like your personal or business documents. Your SERVPRO crew will arrive promptly to quickly evaluate the damage and outline your plan for restoration. With our high-level training, years of experience, professional equipment and supplies, and knowledge of the latest cleaning technology, you can be confident that we will expertly restore all your recoverable documents.

 Our services include:

  • Drying
  • Cleaning
  • Disinfecting
  • Deodorizing
  • Re-jacketing
  • Digitizing

We inventory, document and transport your possessions to our secure warehouse facility, which is under 24/7 surveillance. To maintain confidentiality, we conduct all work on your sensitive documents according to HIPAA standards.

We Use the Latest Technologies

Among the advanced technologies we use to restore your documents are:

  • Vacuum freeze-drying: this is the same method used by the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration to restore their own historical books, records and other documents.
  • Gamma irradiation: this technology is best for documents damaged by floods or sewage, allowing us to sterilize and eradicate traces of viral or bacterial pathogens, pesticides or other chemicals.

Consider a Digital Backup of Your Documents

After we restore your documents, consider having us digitize these important papers. The benefits are many:

  • Your digital backup will no longer be vulnerable to fire or water damage
  • You’ll require less space to store documents and photos
  • You can quickly and easily share documents, records and photos
  • You can access your records from any device at any time

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in home and commercial disaster restoration, including fire restoration and cleanup, natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Are You at Risk of a Flood?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

A house is surrounded by flood water You may think you're not at risk, but you don't have to be in a flood zone to suffer a water disaster from a sudden flood.

Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S.? Floods can be caused by large storms, such as hurricanes or heavy rainstorms, or by other events, usually weather-related. The problem with floods is they happen unpredictably and they take a big toll not only in property damage, but unfortunately, sometimes in loss of life, as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known causes of floods.

Not in a Flood Zone? Not So Fast

If you think you are immune to the risk of flooding because your home or business isn’t in a flood zone, think again. Each year, approximately one fifth of insurance claims for flood damage come from properties that are outside a designated flood zone. Remember, floods are unpredictable and stem from many sources, so don’t be too relaxed if you’re outside of a flood zone. Anything can happen.

Not Near a River or Stream? It May Not Matter

If you assume you have to be near a river or stream to experience a flood, you’d usually be right—but not always. Urban areas, such as cities and towns that are densely built up, are a frequent location of flash floods. When a large amount of rainwater or snowmelt starts coursing down streets or hills, it has very few places to go, because so much of the ground surface is paved over or covered by buildings, leaving little soil to absorb the runoff.

According to the Associated Press, the condition of almost 1,700 dams across the U.S. poses a risk of failure. A failed dam can release a wall of water that rushes downstream and may escape the channel to spread out over acres of surrounding land, causing water damage to properties that were thought to be safe from floods.

Not “Flood Season?” It’s Always Flood Season

If you think floods only happen in the spring, summer or fall, pay attention during the winter, too. When the temperature fluctuates in the winter, snow can melt rapidly, lots of rain can fall and ice jams can be created. Often, a warm snap will see a combination of snowmelt and heavy rain, creating ideal conditions for an unexpected flash flood.

Warm temperatures will also break up ice along rivers and streams, allowing large chunks to float downstream. The ice gets trapped near bridges and other structures, causing water to back up and flood upstream. Once the jam breaks up, the pent-up water can flow downstream so rapidly that more flooding is caused.

As you can see, floods can happen in many ways in many places, some quite unexpected. An experienced water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Hartford stands ready to help you recover from an unexpected flood disaster to your home or business.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Surviving a Storm During a Pandemic: Safe at Home

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

A satellite view of a hurricane off the eastern U.S. coast When a storm threatens during a pandemic, you need to take extra precautions to keep your family safe while sheltering at home.

In the midst of hurricane season, too many Americans will find themselves facing down a powerful wind storm that could damage their homes and cause flooding and widespread power outages—and potentially, injuries and death. Worse yet, this year Americans are facing a viral pandemic that makes just about every aspect of life more challenging—including preparation for a storm.

Just as you and your family have had to make different decisions about activities during the pandemic, you’ll also need to do some extra preparation in case of a hurricane or other damaging storm. But with a little planning, you can put yourself in a position to weather the storm and its aftermath, safe and sound in your own home.

Basic Shelter-at-Home Preparation

In the event you have to shelter at home, most likely without power, your basic preparations include building up and maintaining two-week supplies of these items:

Other important items you should stock up on in case you need to shelter at home include:

  • flashlights, lanterns, radios and plenty of batteries
  • fully-stocked first aid kit
  • important papers that will prove your identity and document your property ownership and insurance coverage
  • cash and gasoline (for your car and a generator, if you have one)

Additional Shelter-at-Home Preparation During a Pandemic

Beyond doing basic shelter-at-home preparation before a storm, you’ll need to take additional steps during a pandemic to remain safe from exposure to viral pathogens. Have these on hand before the storm hits:

  • A two-week supply of cleaning and disinfecting products
  • Several face masks for each family member—remember, you may not be able to wash your masks

One of the most important things to do if you might be sheltering at home during a viral pandemic? Don’t wait! Stock up on all your supplies well ahead of time. If you delay until shortly before the storm hits, you are likely to encounter both supply shortages and crowded stores—immediately putting you at greater risk of exposure to pathogens.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Surviving a Storm During a Pandemic: Evacuating your Home

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

An evacuation sign in front of a stormy sky When a storm hits and you need to evacuate your home during a pandemic, take these extra steps to keep your family safe from infection.

Just about every aspect of life changes when you’re in the midst of a pandemic. That includes keeping your family safe if you have to evacuate your home after a hurricane, tornado or other damaging storm. Beyond the planning you should do to prevent and survive storm damage during a typical year, you’ll have to take extra precautions to minimize exposure to a contagious viral pathogen.

Your two primary concerns are where to go and what to bring.

Where to Shelter

Finding a safe place to shelter during a pandemic will be more challenging than it normally would be. Check your local emergency management agency and local authorities for the latest guidelines on sheltering, which should be up to date with your state or local public health executive orders.

Going to a large community shelter, like a school gym, won’t be the ideal option in a pandemic, because of the need to distance from other evacuees—although it may be necessary in a mass evacuation situation. If you must go to a large group shelter, expect these pandemic-related requirements:

  • a health screening upon entry
  • regular wellness checks for symptoms and fever
  • face masks for all individuals
  • more distance between cots and other furniture
  • more frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting
  • an isolation area for individuals with symptoms of infection

You should try to locate a hotel, hostel or campground instead, which will allow you to keep your family separated from others. Start calling for a reservation when the storm is on the way.

You can also ask friends and family who are out of the storm’s path if you can shelter with them. You’ll need to take precautions, though, which may include quarantining in a separate room or area of the house if you or your hosts have symptoms of infection or have been recently exposed to the virus.

What to Bring

The American Red Cross advises homeowners to keep two emergency supply kits in your home when a storm threatens. Your stay-at-home kit will include enough nonperishable food, water, medications, hygiene items and cleaning supplies to supply you and your family for up to two weeks.

Your three-day evacuation kit is similar to your stay-at-home kit, but it must be portable and ready to go in an instant. Include these items:

  • nonperishable, easy-to-eat food
  • water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • all needed medications (bring a two-week supply of these)
  • personal hygiene supplies
  • cleaning and disinfecting products, including hand sanitizer, wipes and tissues
  • three or more face masks for each family member

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Are You Ready to Respond to a Fire at Your West Hartford Business? (Part 1: Prevention)

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

A commercial building burns at night A fire at your commercial building can be financially devastating and life-threatening. Help prevent one from occurring by following our tips.

As a small business owner, you have a legal responsibility to protect your employees and customers from the risk of a fire at your commercial building. And while no one plans to have a fire at their place of business, the truth is that it could happen to you:

  • One out of ten small business insurance claims are for fire-related damage
  • Upwards of 140,000 commercial structures suffer fires each year in the U.S.
  • The average cost of a commercial fire damage incident is $35,000

You need to have plans and policies in place to both prevent and safely handle a potential fire at your facility. The time to develop and put these into place is now, before a fire starts.

Know Your Risks

Start by understanding what your fire risks are. For most types of businesses, fires start when:

  • Electrical cords are damaged or extension cords are in use
  • Older electrical systems are overloaded
  • Space heaters are in use
  • Equipment that heats up is too close to combustible items

Office fires most commonly occur at lunchtime, and almost 70% of office fires start between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The greatest causes of fires in business offices are cooking and equipment.

Fires at manufacturing facilities are usually caused by heating equipment and malfunctioning mechanical equipment.

Fires at restaurants are typically due to a buildup of grease on cooking surfaces and in the ventilation system and ductwork.

Ways to Prevent a Commercial Fire

Once you understand what your greatest fire hazards are, you can take concrete steps to reduce your risk.

  • Consider asking your local fire department to inspect your facility and evaluate it for fire risk. This also gives the fire department a chance to become familiar with your building and its physical layout. The professionals at your fire department can also help you create a plan to prevent fires, as well as escape from one.
  • Have and maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout your facility.
  • Store and dispose of paper and other dry waste at a safe distance from electrical equipment.
  • Leave space around all machinery or electrical equipment that may heat up. Regularly inspect and maintain all your electrical equipment.
  • Inspect power cords and replace damaged ones. Never use extension cords or overload outlets.
  • If your building does not already have one, consider investing in a sprinkler system, which can quickly suppress a fire before it spreads.

Continue reading Part 2 of this article for ways to save lives and reduce property damage if a fire does break out at your facility.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Are You Ready to Respond to a Fire at Your West Hartford Business? (Part 2: Planning)

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

A burned-out interior of an office, stairwell and lobby Have a plan to handle a fire at your business and to get everyone out safely—and be sure all your employees know the plan, too.

The risk of suffering a fire at your commercial property is very real, with more than 140,000 of these blazes starting each year in the U.S., costing an average of $35,000. Part 1 of this article covered ways to prevent a fire from starting at your business facility. Now, read about steps you should take to minimize damage and prevent loss of life if a fire does start. This strategy is based on having and practicing plans to suppress the fire and evacuate your building’s occupants.

Make a Plan

Your primary responsibility as a business owner is to protect the lives of your employees and customers. Consulting with your local fire department will give you a head start on creating a plan to quickly put out a fire, if possible, and to safely get everyone out of your building. (Additionally, fire professionals may give you suggestions to improve your fire prevention efforts, and they can help you coordinate with neighboring businesses so that you all have improved prevention, suppression and evacuation plans.)

The foundations of your fire suppression and evacuation plan should include:

  • Working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers (and working sprinklers, if equipped).
  • A clear evacuation plan, with diagrams, alternative routes and a designated place to meet outside the building.
  • Appointing one employee to oversee your fire plan and identifying other employees to help guide people outside in an emergency.
  • Monitoring exits and stairwells to be sure they are always passable.
  • A tally of employees and visitors to your facility, as required by OSHA.
  • An emergency kit—with water, a flashlight and a mask or cloth to prevent smoke inhalation—for each employee to grab in case a fire breaks out.

Know the Plan

Your fire suppression and evacuation plan will only work if all employees are familiar with it and know how to carry it out in an often-chaotic fire situation.

  • Document the fire plan and provide it to all your employees.
  • Regularly review the plan with your employees, starting with new-hire orientation.
  • Post clear evacuation route diagrams throughout your facility.
  • Conduct fire drills at least twice a year—and don’t tell your employees in advance. The more they practice evacuating under pressure, the easier it will be to do so safely in a real emergency, when your building may be filled with smoke, flames, flashing lights and blaring alarms.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

What to Do After a House Fire in Your West Hartford Home

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

A woman holds her head in her hands in front of a burned-out house If your house catches fire, you need to get out in 3 minutes or less! Here's how to do it and what to do afterward to get your life back to normal.

Did you know that fires kill more people in America each year than all natural disasters put together? And a house fire in West Hartford can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. For example, it can cost  $50,000 or more to rebuild and restore a burned-out kitchen—and 44% of all home fires start as cooking fires.

The bad news is that while decades ago, house fires allowed residents around 15 minutes to escape, that timeframe has shrunk dramatically. Today, you need to get out of a burning home in around 3 minutes! Why this difference? Synthetic materials and furnishings in today’s homes are much more flammable, burn hotter and they produce more toxins when burned.

What Happens in a House Fire?

A timeline of a typical kitchen fire shows how quickly a fire can spread and destroy a home. Within just a few seconds, a stovetop boil-over can spill flammable oily contents onto the cooking flame or electric burner, causing flames to shoot up.

Within 30 seconds: Next, any grease or oil on the stovetop ignites, sending flames across the range and jumping to nearby combustibles, such as paper or dish towels. Smoke—composed of hot gases, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor and hydrogen sulfide, plus ash and soot—rises from the flames with the heated air. This may be your last chance at quickly putting the fire out. Don’t move the pot or pan, but cover it with a lid or cookie sheet to cut off its oxygen.

30–60 seconds: The fire gets bigger and hotter and ignites other objects in the kitchen, while smoke, which can burn your lungs and throat, spreads throughout the kitchen. Inhaling just a couple of breaths of the toxic gases in smoke can cause you to pass out.

1–3 minutes: The smoke thickens and spreads to other rooms and up the stairs, carrying deadly cyanide and carbon monoxide (which is the primary cause of fire deaths). The kitchen and its contents are being consumed and the temperature is now hot enough to kill humans. Thick smoke hovers just above the floor, filled with deadly toxic compounds. At this point, your family is rapidly running out of time to evacuate the house!

3–4 minutes: The heat soars to more than 1000 degrees F, and everything in the kitchen and other affected rooms bursts into flames in a flashover. Flames shoot out windows and doorways and the oxygen is sucked from the room. You can no longer navigate the stairwell. Synthetic furnishings, like sofas and carpets, burn and release huge amounts of heat. The flames begin to travel through interior walls to the second floor.

4–5 minutes: A passerby will see flames shooting out of windows and doors. The living room and other nearby spaces will flashover and your home is now at risk of floor or roof collapse. It is now almost impossible to rescue anyone on the second floor.

How to Escape a House Fire in 3 Minutes or Less

Your life and the lives of your family depend on creating and practicing an escape plan. Start by making a diagram of your house with windows and doors labeled. Map out two escape routes from each room, one of which is through a door. Identify an outside meeting place a safe distance from your house. At that point, you’ll call 911 from a neighbor’s house.

Next, make sure you have the right equipment to alert you to a fire and to allow you to escape. You should have smoke alarms on each floor and one near each sleeping area. Test your alarms each month, replace batteries once a year, and install new alarms every five years. Make sure all your windows open easily and doors can be opened from the inside without a key. If your family sleeps on the house's second floor, consider purchasing escape ladders to provide additional exit routes.

At least twice a year, practice your escape plan. Practice crawling and teach your children never to hide from a fire. Practice using escape ladders if you have them. And because most fires start at night, run one of your yearly drills after bedtime.

What Happens Immediately After a House Fire

After a house fire is extinguished, the structure and property may be gravely damaged. Do not enter the home until you have received permission from your local fire marshal. Between the flames, smoke and heat, what wasn’t destroyed outright may still be ruined. Appliances may have been melted inside, and synthetic materials will continue to emit toxins. Smoke and odor may have permeated every item in the house. You may even have a mold problem brewing caused by the water sprayed by firefighters. Structural weaknesses may cause your house to collapse.

At this point, you may want to call on the services of an experienced fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Hartford to handle the enormous job of returning your home to livable condition. SERVPRO will send a crew in promptly to evaluate the job and can handle everything from start to finish: removing destroyed property; identifying and cleaning salvageable items; remediating damage from smoke, soot and water; coordinating with your insurer; and fully restoring your home to pre-fire condition.

What You’ll Need to Do After a House Fire

There are few disasters as shocking and devastating as losing your home to a house fire. You’ll have to make many critical decisions in a short period of time while emotions surge. Taking it step by step, here’s a process that will help you start putting your life back together.

Find a Place to Stay

Everyone who lives in your home, including children and even pets, will be deeply shaken after a house fire. Make it a priority to find a safe and comfortable place to stay—even if it’s just for a night or two. Your family will be able to rest, regroup and begin planning your next steps. You may prefer to stay with friends or family or at a hotel, but if that’s not possible, disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army can often set you up with temporary shelter at no charge.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

Get in touch with your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Your insurer may help you find a reliable cleaning and restoration company and may be able to provide funds for upcoming out-of-pocket costs. And of course, the sooner you get the claims process going, the faster you can get started on repairs or home replacement.

Ensure the Safety of Your Home

House fires can damage your home’s structure, putting it at risk of collapse, so don’t enter your fire-damaged home without a fire marshal’s okay. An inspection to determine if your home is safe to enter can be done by the fire marshal or your insurance company, who will search for hidden damage to wiring, wall supports and foundations.

Once your home is declared safe to enter, the next step is to document the damage, ideally with your insurance adjuster. You’ll also want to recover personal items and salvage whatever can be saved. For your safety, wear close-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, safety glasses and work gloves. Use a camera to document the damage to your house and property.

The firefighters who responded to your fire may have turned off your gas, water and electric utilities to prevent more damage. Again, wait for a home safety inspection and an all-clear from your fire marshal before you turn these utilities on again. You can inadvertently cause another fire, a gas leak or water damage.

You don’t want your empty, fire-damaged home to become a refuge for squatters and looters, so be sure to report your fire disaster to the local police and ask them to keep an eye on your property while you are sheltering elsewhere. Consider boarding up your windows and doors for even more security.

Save Undamaged Possessions

Once you’re able to reenter your damaged-but-not-destroyed house, you’ll want to remove items that weren’t damaged by the fire, especially personal items such as clothing, toys, memorabilia, important papers, etc. If you hire a fire restoration company like SERVPRO of West Hartford, we can work with you to clean your important items so that you can quickly access them.

Catalog Your Damaged Items

Daunting as it is, you’ll need to create a full accounting of all your possessions and furnishings that were destroyed or damaged in the fire. This catalog will be crucial in receiving full compensation from your insurance company. Many insurers even require receipts, serial numbers and other details. It’s a huge challenge to do this when your home has just been damaged or ruined. Some homeowners have been able to assemble this information for certain items by searching their online bank statements for the cost and date of purchases.

SERVPRO of West Hartford makes creating this catalog much easier. Room by room, we evaluate the damaged and undamaged items in your home, take photos and document key information to create a digital record. Then, we wrap and pack up the undamaged objects that require storage and the damaged objects that require cleaning and restoration. We transport all your possessions to our warehouse where they are carefully stored, cleaned, restored and tracked. Once your home repairs are complete (or your new home is ready for move-in), we reverse the process and replace all your personal items and furnishings into your home.

Beyond your possessions, you’ll also need to list important documents that were lost in the fire. Certain critical items, like drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, passports, titles and deeds, medical records, tax information, etc., will need to be replaced immediately. 

You’ll need to get rid of these household items after the fire (while documenting items and their value for insurance purposes):

  • Perishable food: If your electricity has been off for more than four hours, toss your refrigerated food. A full freezer may keep food for up to eight hours.
  • Non-perishable food: Unfortunately, other foods, even those in cans, that have been exposed to heat, water and firefighting chemicals must be thrown out.
  • Cosmetics and medicines: High temperatures, water, smoke and firefighting chemicals can ruin these products, so out they go, too.
  • Electrical equipment: Check for water and heat damage before you use any electrical items, such as small appliances or entertainment devices. You’re better off throwing out any questionable items to eliminate the possibility of another fire.

Plan Your Finances

You may need to pay out-of-pocket for some or all of the costs of restoring your home before you are reimbursed by your home insurer. Be prepared to lay out as much as tens of thousands of dollars before your insurer cuts its check to you.

Your house fire may require you to replace lots of furnishings and personal possessions, such as clothing, electronic devices and more. As you purchase new items, keep your receipts so that you can submit them to your insurer for reimbursement. Again, expect to make a cash outlay before your insurance claim is settled and you receive compensation.

One thing that doesn’t stop after a fire disaster is bills. Your insurance policy may or may not cover your mortgage. You’ll still have other recurring costs to cover, though, such as car and credit card payments. While your home is being repaired, it may make sense to cancel cable and internet.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

What To Expect From A Water Damage Restoration Service

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

About 40 percent of American homeowners say they’ve experienced some loss due to water damage. Interestingly, most cases of water damage are easily preventable.

Water damage can prove costly. Dealing with the problem promptly, however, can help you minimize the losses. One way to handle cases of flooding and water damage is by contacting a water damage restoration service right away.

But what exactly should you expect from water damage restoration services? More importantly, what should you look for in a water damage company? These are some of the issues we discuss in this comprehensive guide. 

Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Water Damage Occur?

Before you seek help with water damage, it helps to know what exactly causes water damage. This way, it’s easier to prevent it from happening or to deal with it more effectively when it does happen. 

Water damage happens when there’s excess water in areas where it shouldn’t be. There are many causes for this. These include:

  • Burst or leaking pipes
  • Plumbing issues
  • Water pooling in attics, basements, or crawl spaces
  • Faulty household appliances, e.g. the fridge
  • Weather-related issues

The moment you spot any signs of water damage, you need to address the issue right away. Contact a reputable water damage company to help mitigate the problem.

Types of Water Damage

Water damage restoration professionals classify water damage in three categories. The type of water damage determines the scope of the mitigation. Let’s examine each of these categories closely:

Category 1

Category 1 water damage is also referred to as clean water. Sources of this type of water damage include water leaks from burst pipes, tub overflows, and the shower. Such water damage typically doesn’t pose health risks to residents. 

Category 2

This category of water damage is also known as grey water. Such water usually contains a considerable degree of biological and chemical contaminants. These contaminants can be harmful to people.

Sources of grey water include toilet overflows, sump pump failures, and leaks from the washing machine. 

Category 3

This category of water damage is also referred to as black water. The water contains bacteria, fungus, and unsanitary agents that can cause potentially serious illnesses. Sources of category 3 water damage include overflows from sewer lines, ground surface water, rising waters from rivers, storms, and so on.

When left untreated, category 2 water damage can quickly escalate to category 3.

Immediate Steps to Take After You Become Aware of Water Damage

As soon as it’s clear that you have water damage in your home, you need to assess the situation and take necessary steps. Generally, you’ll need to do three things. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Talk to a Plumber

In many situations, the cause of water damage is a plumbing issue. In such a situation, call your plumber to help identify the source of the water. Once they’ve identified the source, it’s easy to fix the problem.  

Talk to a Water Damage Restoration Service

Sometimes, you need to contact a water extraction company. Such a company will usually have the appropriate personnel and equipment to tackle water damage effectively. Your plumber may be able to assist in this step.

Call Your Homeowner’s Insurance Provider

One of the primary reasons you have homeowner’s insurance is to help recover losses after water damage. Notify your insurance provider the moment you become aware of water damage in your home.

Your insurance company may have a list of technicians, plumbers, and water damage restoration services they recommend, although it’s within your rights to work with whomever you feel comfortable with.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

As soon as you’ve contacted a water restoration service provider, they'll determine the scope of the damage and then create an action plan for structural dry-out. Where necessary, they'll also test for asbestos before beginning the dry-out process.  

Depending on the building materials, the restoration company may use different methods to fix the water damage. They may use air movers, dehumidifiers, and air movers.

During the drying process, contaminated items will first be removed from the house. All affected materials are then cleaned and dried to industry standards. The best companies will also offer thorough cleaning and sanitizing services, so your home is as fresh as possible.  

During the entire restoration process, the water damage company maintains photos and moisture logs to ensure nothing goes missing. The company will also maintain communication with you in case you have relocated to another house.

The best water damage restoration companies also communicate with the insurance on your behalf to make sure you receive full coverage.

Choosing the Best Water Damage Company

Now that you know what to expect from a water damage restoration company, it's time to talk about what you need to look for in one. The fact is that not all water damage companies are created equal. Here are three things a water damage company needs to have.

Certification

Water damage restoration is a tough job that should be handled by a qualified contractor. That’s why you should only work with certified technicians. If a contractor cannot prove that they have the necessary legal documents for the job, it’s a massive red flag.

A Stellar Reputation

Ask for references before working with a particular water damage restoration provider. Check out their website for customer reviews. If previous customers seem happy with a company’s services, chances are you will be too.

Availability

Incidences of water damage can happen without warning. You want to be sure that your prospective water damage restoration service provider is available 24/7. If a company cannot guarantee availability at any time of day or night, move on.

Find the Best Water Damage Company for You

Water damage can prove disastrous, so you need to act at the first sign of trouble. Identifying a reliable water damage restoration service provider is a great way to stay prepared.

Are you looking for cost-effective water damage restoration services? Please contact us today.

Water Damage In Home: How To Recover Your Home From Water Damage

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage in home Fungus in gypsum ceiling interior building damaged from water leaking

One storm could cause billions in property damages. In fact, storm-related flooding and hurricane winds cost $54 billion in annual costs alone. That doesn't include flooding caused by accidents, such as leaving a faucet running. 

If there's water damage in your home, you need to react quickly. Otherwise, letting the water linger could cause mold to develop. Leaving standing water in your home might even attract bugs. 

It's best to call a water restoration company right away. While you wait for them to arrive, use these five water damage recovery tips to minimize the damage. These water damage in home tips can help you clean up before problems stack up. 

Get started with these tips today!

1. Safety First

Before starting with these "water damage in home" recovery tips, take the time to prioritize your safety.

First, complete a walkthrough of your home. Do you notice any visible structural damage, such as a cracked foundation? Does anything look loose or about to fall?

Search for holes, cracks, or warping in the walls while you're at it.

If you notice any serious structural damage, don't head inside. Instead, prioritize your safety and call a professional team first. They have the experience and tools necessary to handle a dangerous environment. 

If your home's foundation looks safe, check your utilities next. Were any sewer, water, gas, or electric lines damaged? If you notice damages, call the proper utility company.

After all, you don't want to cause more damage to your home. 

Once you determine it's safe, pull on a pair of shock-resistant safety shoes or boots. You might not realize there's an electrical problem until it's too late. To minimize potential injuries, turn off your home's water and electrical sources right away.

Make sure to complete this step even if power isn't working. You never know when it might turn back on. You don't want to find yourself standing in a puddle of water, trying to clean up, when the power returns. 

Turn off your home's individual fuse connections and the main fuse. 

These safety precautions can help you avoid a potential accident during the water damage recovery process.

2. Photograph Everything

Before you start cleaning up, grab a camera or your phone. Take photos of every room. It's important to document the damages before you start cleaning up.

Video footage can help you keep track of the damages within your home as well. Consider completing a full walkthrough of your home before you begin the water damage recovery process. 

During your walkthrough, take photos for every room. Don't forget to focus on any possessions that sustained damages. Staying organized will help you reference and track your losses.  

After taking photos and recording video footage, make sure to save everything electronically. You want to have easy access to your files to send to your insurance company. If your camera or photo sustains damage, you can rely on your electronic copies. 

Making an official record of these damages before making repairs is essential for your insurance claim. Otherwise, you could impact the coverage you'll receive from your claim. 

3. Gather Equipment

Once you're done taking photos, you can start clearing out the water damage in your home. You'll need to gather the right equipment first. 

There's a chance the flooding caused sewage or chemicals to make their way into your home. You don't want to step inside and breathe in those chemicals. Instead, make sure to have your high-waisted, waterproof boots and a pair of rubber gloves ready.

It's also important to wear clothes you're okay with tossing out once you're done.

Once you're dressed, start removing any water-damaged items throughout your home. Remember, you don't want to leave anything wet sitting around. Otherwise, mold could grow

Don't forget to write down any possessions you'll need to toss out. If you think something is contaminated, throw it away. Remove anything that came into contact with floodwater before mold gets the chance to spread. 

4. File Your Claim

As you work through your "water damage in home" process, don't forget to contact your insurance company. Water damage caused $10,849 in homeowners' losses between 2014 and 2018.

Do you live in an area where flooding occurs regularly? Consider keeping your insurance company's information on your phone. That way, you don't have to dig around your flood-damaged home to find their number. 

If you live in an area that's prone to flooding, it could take time before someone processes your claim. Contact your insurance company's headquarters if you can't reach your agent.

Sometimes, your homeowner's insurance policy won't cover groundwater flood damage. You might need to work with your insurer throughout the water damage recovery process. 

Let your insurance company representative know which repairs you intend on making. While you're at it, don't forget to send them your photos and video footage. Your insurance company will let you know if you need to follow specific instructions before making repairs. 

As you clear the water damage in your home, track any repairs you make, along with the costs. 

Keep a record of your conversations, too. If you need to reference any notes or agreements, you'll have copies you can review. 

5. Remove Water

After contacting the insurance company, start removing any standing water. If you're not sure how to proceed, don't forget to contact a professional flood team. They can make sure all the water gets removed from your home.

Otherwise, leaving water damage in your home will attract flies, mosquitoes, and termites. 

Open your doors and windows as you start cleaning to improve airflow.

Is it still storming? In that case, keep the doors and windows closed. You'll want to prevent as much additional damage as possible. If there's damage to your roof, make sure to use a tarp to keep the water at bay.    

Water Damage in Home: 5 Tips for Minimizing the Damage

Dealing with water damage in home problems? Don't let the water linger. Otherwise, standing water can lead to additional damages like mold growth. 

Ready to clear the air? Call our water damage recovery team. Contact us today to get started! 

What to Expect From the Water Damage Cleanup Process

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Houses A flooded house—even just a couple of inches of water—requires complete water damage restoration to prevent mold infestation.

It's a homeowner's worst nightmare. You've gone on vacation and when you return, there are 2 inches of water flooding the house.

Those 2 inches of water can cost you up to $27,000 in repairs.

Water damage cleanup isn't a task to take lightly. If not done properly, the damage to your home will get worse. Not to mention it can expose your family to harmful bacteria and mold.

To ensure your family and home are protected, you need to act right away. Call in a professional water damage restoration crew as soon as possible.

Why do you need a restoration crew? Here is a look at the process to clean up after a flood.

Step One: Assessing the Water Damage

Before any work begins, the restoration team needs to know the type of flooding. There are two key factors that determine how they will approach the cleanup job.

The first factor is the type of water flooding your home or business. There are three categories:

  • Clean water flooding: Caused by rainwater or freshwater pipes
  • Graywater flooding: Water from a toilet or appliance with chemicals
  • Blackwater flooding: Water contaminated by sewage and toxins

Failure to identify the type of floodwater can lead to serious health issues. These issues include tetanus, skin rash, and gastrointestinal illness.

The second factor the restoration crew must consider is how much water is involved. The four categories are:

  • Class 1: Minor flooding on nonporous surfaces like sealed concrete and tile
  • Class 2: Minor flooding in contact with surfaces like wood floors and drywall
  • Class 3: Major flooding in contact with the carpet, furniture, etc. 
  • Class 4: Major flooding involving contaminated water on porous surfaces

The more water involved, the more effort it will take to clean up. This is why consulting a professional is important. An average homeowner won't be able to tell the full extent of the flooding.

Step Two: Removing All Standing Water

It is important to remove all standing floodwater as soon as possible. The longer it is allowed to sit, the more water absorbs into your flooring and walls.

Do not enter a flooded building to remove the water yourself. Floodwater can hide live electric lines, broken glass and dangerous bacteria. 

The restoration team will begin by pumping out any deep standing water. The submersible pump uses a long hose to move the water into your yard.

Any remaining water is removed by mopping, using a floor squeegee or running a wet vac. 

Step Three: The Drying Process

Drying out the building is the most important part of water damage cleanup. If you try to rush this process, it will lead to a mold infestation. 

The first step in the drying process is to open up the windows and doors. 

Next, the restoration team will use specialized equipment to circulate air in the affected rooms. These machines include:

  • Air scrubbers: Designed to filter odors and mold spores from the air after a flood
  • Air movers: Blow air through the affected rooms to speed drying time for porous surfaces
  • Dehumidifiers: Remove water particles from the air

How the restoration team uses these machines depends on the type of flooding involved.

For instance, using a dehumidifier in a warehouse flooded by blackwater isn't advisable. There is too much air space for the dehumidifier to work as intended.

Step Four: Time for Water Damage Cleanup

Once your home is dry, the hard part begins.

You need to document the damage to your personal belongings. Take pictures that are clear and well lit to provide your insurance company with an accurate record of what happened.

While you're taking pictures, make a list of items that you think can be cleaned. 

Keep in mind, if your home is flooded by blackwater, almost everything will have to go. Bacteria from raw sewage soaks into porous materials. It is virtually impossible to clean them fully.

The water restoration team will know for sure what items can be salvaged. Always take their expertise into account when deciding what items to keep.

Major flooding soaks into everything. The restoration crew may need to remove flooring, drywall, and other construction materials. This is necessary to prevent mold and bacteria from infesting your home.

Any items the team doesn't remove are cleaned and sanitized. Before they leave, they will make sure there are also no lingering odors from the flood.

Step Five: Restoring Your Home After Water Damage

There is one more step to water damage restoration before you return to normal life: bringing in a team to repair and replace any materials removed during the cleanup.

If possible, look for a water damage restoration company that covers repairs, as well. Using an all-in-one company reduces your overall costs and speeds up the recovery process.

During the restoration process, the company may need to:

  • Replace carpet or wood flooring
  • Repair tile or marble flooring
  • Install new drywall
  • Fix the plumbing problem that caused the flood
  • Repair a leaky roof
  • Restore water-damaged furniture and appliances
  • Apply fresh paint to the walls

Before you sign a contract, make sure the restoration company has a contractor license. Do not hire a company that won't show a license or proof of insurance. If they make a mistake, you will be forced to pay even more to fix it.

Don't Wait to Start Water Damage Restoration in Your Home

Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage cleanup. Even if the water is gone, the damage lingers. Your family may experience health issues until a restoration team gets rid of possible mold sources. 

To make recovery after a flood easier, SERVPRO deals directly with your insurance company. Our goal is to get you back to your normal life as soon as possible.

SERVPRO of West Hartford, CT has 50 years of experience in this field. Let our local experts tackle your restoration needs. In no time at all, it'll look "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency services. Contact us any time, day or night.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

7 Surefire Signs of Water Damage (And What You Need to Do ASAP)

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Ceiling Detecting water damage before the problem gets worse.

The main purpose of living indoors is to stay safe and keep away from outside elements like water. However, sometimes those elements still make their way inside and create issues.

If you're reading this article, it's probably because you're currently experiencing that scenario. Luckily, we're here to help. Take a look at the information below to learn how to check for signs of water damage.

The Primary Signs of Water Damage

Normally, the signs of water damage are pretty obvious. However, some signs are more noticeable than others. Here's how you can spot it:

1. Bad Odor

Chances are you'll most likely smell water damage before you see it. The odor is similar to wet paper or cardboard and smells worst as you go near the area where the water damage occurred. It may feel humid in that spot as well.

If you notice a bad stench in your home, don't ignore it. Take a bit of time to investigate and see where it's coming from. 

2. Stains and Discoloration

One of the main signs of water damage is discoloration or stains. Normally, the perimeter of the stain will have a brownish color that's different from the ceiling or paint color. Discoloration happens when the area gets wet and then dries.

Unfortunately, you may not notice a stain until days after the water damage occurs once the moisture has had a chance to dry.

3. Mold

Water damage mold is a serious issue that could be damaging to your health. Sometimes mold goes unnoticed because water damage may take place behind a wall or an area where it's not easily detected.

However, the moment you notice mold, it's vital to get a specialist in your home immediately.

4. Cracked Paint

Water damage causes drywall and the ceiling to swell. When that happens, the swelling pushes against the paint causing it to crack or peel. This scenario usually occurs when you have pipe leakage or plumbing issues.

5. Rotting Wood

Another one of the primary signs of water damage is deteriorating wood. When water gets onto wooden pieces, like the door or window frames, it can cause it to break down and rot.

It only takes a small amount of water to damage wood, and if this happens it has to be replaced. Otherwise, it could become a hazard depending on the location of the wood.

6.  Expensive Water Bill

Even when you don't notice any water damage signs within your home, a higher water bill could be an indicator that there's a problem. In that situation, it's best to look for leaks and plumbing issues throughout your house.

A small amount of water leakage could lead to a larger problem. The sooner you find the root cause of the leak, the better chance you have of preventing water damage cleanup.

7. Rigid Wood or Drywall

Water damage can cause wood and drywall to bulk. It may even create a hole in it. If there's a problem, the area will likely be difficult to walk on and have a difference in texture around the affected area.

Causes of Water Damage

There are several culprits that can lead to leakage in your home. Sometimes the source of water damage is noticeable and other times it's not. Here are some of the reasons why you might have a water leak:

Weather

Rain or snow could become a huge problem for your home if your house is not weatherproof. A bad thunderstorm could cause damage to your roof which inevitably causes water damage.

Make sure that your roof is in good condition and that your rain gutters are clean. Also, check to make sure that the windows and doors don't have cracks in them that can let water in.

The same thing goes for snow. Ice and snow on the roof can become detrimental once it begins to melt and drain down your roof, into your ceilings, and other areas of your home.

It's best to insulate your attic to ensure that there isn't any damage that happens as a result of ice dams.

Plumbing

One of the main causes of water damage is plumbing. It's a good idea to regularly check your plumbing systems in your house at least once a year. Also, be aware that plumbing pipes only have a certain lifespan.

Be sure to check how old the plumbing fixtures are and have them replaced once they reach a certain age.

Pipes

A pipe can burst for many different reasons. Cold weather may cause it to freeze, or there may be issues with the swimming pool or supply line. Whatever the reason, if you notice a pipe leaking, make sure you fix it as soon as possible.

Old Water Heater

Water heaters don't last forever and they should be replaced about every 10 years. To find the age of your water heater, can check the serial number on the manufacturer's sticker. 

If you notice decay, mold, or moisture build-up around the water heater that could be a sign that it's time to replace it.

Keep Your Home Dry and Safe

 Once you notice the signs of water damage, contact a professional immediately. Even if you only have a small amount of damage, it's best to get it taken care of before it leads to bigger issues.

With that said, if you need assistance with getting your home in order, we're here for you. SERVPRO West Hartford offers a variety of services from fire damage to mold remediation.

We're located in West Hartford, CT and we service the surrounding areas. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

Our Cleaning Services Combat Pathogen Contamination

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

A blood sample held by a gloved hand in front of a background of a virus image Protect your family, customers and employees with SERVPRO of West Hartford's proactive cleaning and disinfecting of homes and businesses.

Sometimes the smallest things cause the biggest problems. Pathogens—those microscopic particles such as viruses and bacteria—can lay low not only individual humans, but—left unchecked and with no available treatment—an entire society.

SERVPRO has a well-earned reputation for tackling the toughest, most urgent cleaning jobs, including biohazard cleanup of contamination such as sewage, chemicals and blood-borne pathogens. Now, as a new and devastating pathogen circulates the globe, we provide proactive cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of commercial and residential properties. SERVPRO of West Hartford offers homeowners and business owners cleaning services with extra reassurance that their homes and facilities are clean and disinfected, with the goal of minimizing the transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens.

As a corporation, SERVPRO was prepared for this time of urgent need, because we have long put a premium on having the expertise, training, equipment and personnel to respond to just about any disaster—even, today, a global health crisis. With a single phone call to SERVPRO of West Hartford, you can keep your family and friends, customers and employees safer from a new and uncertain threat with proactive cleaning of your home or business.

Proactive Cleaning of Pathogens Is a CDC Best Practice

Viruses, in particular, spread primarily through personal contact. Transmission occurs when an infected person coughs or sneezes, producing airborne respiratory droplets that carry the virus. These drops travel through the air and can infect others within the sneeze or cough zone (generally around six feet). Therefore, medical experts advise avoiding groups larger than ten people and keeping a six-foot distance from others.

Many viruses can survive on surfaces from a few hours to a few days, making it possible to catch the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. This is why experts advise washing your hands frequently and not touching your face.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of … viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.” (We at SERVPRO encourage you to check back with the CDC frequently for update on the current crisis and viral pathogens.)

SERVPRO of West Hartford is prepared—right now—to clean, sanitize and disinfect your home or business to eradicate traces of viral and bacterial pathogens. Whether you suspect your structure may have been contaminated or not, SERVPRO of West Hartford is ready to help avoid exposure within your building.

Understandably, while SERVPRO’s cleaning process can remove existing viral pathogens, structures we clean proactively are not protected from future contamination if an infected person subsequently enters the building.

Cleaning and Disinfecting for Homes and Businesses

Both homeowners and business owners hire SERVPRO of West Hartford for proactive cleaning. Whether you want reassurance that your building is free from contamination or you are coping with a suspected contamination situation, rely on SERVPRO to restore your peace of mind, health and safety.

Especially in a situation where a family member has been infected with a virus, you can be confident that you’ll reduce the risk of exposure for other residents of the home with our cleaning services for homeowners.

Business owners, too, can directly protect the health of their employees and customers with our proactive cleaning service. With a call to SERVPRO of West Hartford, you will be doing what you can to keep Americans—those you know and those you’ll never meet—safe.

In the midst of a viral threat, with so many unknowns, people seek reassurance. By having your facility proactively cleaned by SERVPRO, you reassure your customers that your business is a safe place to be, even as table service at restaurants and bars may be temporarily closed down and the hours of nonessential businesses are curtailed. Hiring SERVPRO to clean and sanitize your facility demonstrates that your business is doing all it can to protect the health of your customers and the public.

These and other types of businesses can benefit from SERVPRO’s proactive cleaning, which targets viral and bacterial pathogens:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores
  • Offices, especially medical offices
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes, senior centers and rehabilitation facilities
  • Gyms
  • Banks
  • Hotels, B&Bs and other hospitality sites
  • Libraries
  • Theaters and entertainment venues
  • Apartment buildings
  • Factories and warehouses

We Were Ready for This

SERVPRO’s business model is to be prepared at all times with the expertise, equipment and staffing to respond to just about any disaster. This foresight makes us uniquely ready to provide proactive cleaning of viral pathogens for these five reasons.

Our Crews

On a day-to-day basis, we are fully staffed and prepared for your most difficult job. Our employees are trained in the use of all our equipment and cleaning products, and we keep them protected by adhering to rigorous safety training and procedures.

SERVPRO of West Hartford is one of four top-performing local SERVPRO franchises—the other three are SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield and SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield—that are owned and operated by Ralph and Noemi DiCristofaro. This means we can get to your job faster, and we allocate staff and equipment—including thousands of different pieces of equipment and dozens of trucks and other vehicles—as needed to tackle the really big, urgent jobs.

Our Protective Gear

We are well-supplied with the appropriate personal protective gear for the job. Our crew will wear a mid-grade protective suit if there is no indication that your facility or home has been contaminated by a pathogen, but if contamination is suspected or confirmed, they will wear a top-grade suit, which is thicker and features integrated boots and hoods. Every crewmember wears an individually fit-tested N-95 respirator to ensure complete coverage and protection.

Our Cleaning Products

We use hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting products that are both safe to use and effective at killing germs. These products can be difficult, if not impossible, for other vendors to locate. But SERVPRO, with its foresight and purchasing network, has secured a substantial supply of pathogen-fighting cleaners and disinfectants.

Our Cleaning Process

We use two different stages of cleaning to attack viral and bacterial contamination. First, we seal off your home or place of business and fog it with cleaning and disinfecting agents. This delivery method, which uses electrostatic sprayers and misters, allows deep penetration into crevices that would otherwise remain untouched.

Next our crews perform hands-on cleaning and disinfecting of every flat surface in your structure, including furniture, fixtures and objects, leaving the disinfectant in place for the CDC-recommended amount of time necessary to kill disease-causing germs.

Our Coverage

You do not need to worry about any additional liability when you hire SERVPRO of West Hartford. As a professional damage restoration and cleaning company, one of more than 1,800 SERVPRO franchises across the United States, we are fully insured against any hazards we may encounter on a job.

What We Clean and Disinfect

Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens. SERVPRO meets or exceeds the CDC’s guidelines to clean high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards and tablets.

We clean these and other areas of the home or business:

Throughout

  • light switches
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • carpets, rugs and mats
  • hallway and stairwell handrails
  • water fountains

Kitchen/food areas

  • tables and chairs
  • countertops and tabletops
  • cabinets and pulls
  • food contact surfaces
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • push doors
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Bathrooms

  • bathroom stalls
  • countertops
  • cabinets/vanities and pulls
  • grab bars
  • paper towel/napkin dispenser
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • toilets
  • diaper-changing station

Classrooms

  • book covers and binders
  • chairs
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • small hard-surface items
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Offices

  • chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • lamps
  • shared office equipment

Retail space

  • shelving and racking
  • displays
  • mannequins
  • packaged inventory
  • fitting room stalls
  • tables and chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment and registers
  • sales counters

Other

  • fitness equipment
  • storage bins
  • lockers
  • playground equipment
  • elevator cars

Porous and Non-Porous Surfaces: Cleaning

Cleaning—using a detergent and water to physically remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects—can remove but not necessarily inactivate viruses on porous and non-porous surfaces. However, many viruses are encased in fatty envelopes, so it is likely that the same soaps that break down grease can puncture that outer envelope and inactivate a virus, too.

Removing contamination from smooth surfaces is easier than getting it out of upholstery or carpeting. Porous materials that are not water-sensitive, like carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies, can be wet-cleaned using a hot water extraction or preconditioner-and-rinse method. But cleaning methods typically used on water-sensitive materials, such as vacuuming or dry sponging, are not effective because they do not remove enough soil and residue.

We effectively wet-clean non-porous materials, like hard-surface floors, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs and plumbing fixtures, using a variety of SERVPRO hard-surface cleaners (general purpose) and cleaning methods.

Note: some materials, such as paper and paper products, cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged.

Non-Porous Surfaces: Disinfection

SERVPRO follows CDC recommendations that advise using a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant that kills germs and disinfects non-porous surfaces or objects. We spray or mist these disinfectants and let the disinfectant remain on the surface for ten minutes, sufficient to kill germs.

We adhere to the CDC’s recommendations to use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are frequently touched, such as phones and computers, and use additional wipes to keep the surface wet for the recommended length of contact time.

Note: not all porous surfaces (such as carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies) can be disinfected.

Safety is Our Priority

SERVPRO prioritizes the health and safety of our people—our most important asset. Our workers are thoroughly trained and equipped to handle potentially contaminated areas and materials. While working, our employees don personal protective equipment, including individually-fitted N-95 respirators, appropriate protective suit with integrated hood and boots, nitrile gloves and goggles.

As we work to rid your home or place of business of viral or bacterial contamination, we frequently clean and disinfect our own tools and equipment to avoid spreading any germs.

After cleaning your building, our crew bags, removes and disposes of its waste (such as used gloves, wipes and disposable respirators), and bags up and removes towels to the SERVPRO facility for laundering.

We’re Here for You in a Time of Crisis

In just about any disaster situation, the professional team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has the training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home or business. In this unique time of uncertainty and peril, we offer the expertise and preparation to reassure you, your family, customers and employees that your safety and health will be protected. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.216.2785) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

We Provide Coronavirus Cleaning Services

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic illustration of the coronavirus Call SERVPRO of West Hartford for proactive coronavirus cleaning. With our personnel, training, equipment and procedures, we are ready to help!

If you saw or read news coverage of a senior health care center in Kirkland, Washington at the epicenter of the early coronavirus outbreak, you may have noticed that among those performing coronavirus cleaning and disinfecting of the facility were crews from SERVPRO franchises in the Seattle area.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, SERVPRO offers proactive cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of commercial and residential properties with the goal of minimizing the transmission of emergent viral pathogens, including the coronavirus. As the novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease, circulates the globe, SERVPRO can offer homeowners and business owners extra reassurance that their homes and facilities are clean and disinfected.

As a corporation, SERVPRO was prepared for this time of urgent need, because we have long put a premium on having the expertise, training, equipment and personnel to respond to just about any disaster—even, today, a global pandemic. With a phone call to SERVPRO of West Hartford, you can keep your family and friends, customers and employees safer from this new and uncertain threat with proactive cleaning of your business or your home.

Facts About the Coronavirus and Covid-19

Declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus outbreak has changed almost every aspect of social and business life, almost overnight. With this new virus, there are so many unknowns that it can be difficult to know how to protect yourself and your family—and for business owners, how to protect your employees and your customers.

The coronavirus is believed to spread primarily through personal contact, between people who are within about six feet of one another. This occurs through airborne respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These drops travel through the air and can infect others within the sneeze or cough zone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that "transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented." However, available research suggests the coronavirus can live on surfaces from a few hours to a few days. Therefore, it may also be possible to catch the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Along with avoiding groups larger than ten people and keeping a six-foot distance from others, the most common advice from experts is to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

In this rapidly changing situation, Americans are experiencing unprecedented canceling of events and widespread closings of schools, restaurants and workplaces. “Social distancing” has become both our new word-of-the-day, and in the absence of a vaccine, the key to slowing the pandemic.

Visit the CDC’s website for the latest and most accurate information on the coronavirus and Covid-19. Because this outbreak is unfolding rapidly and unpredictably, we at SERVPRO encourage you to check back with the CDC frequently for updates.

Proactive Cleaning Is a CDC Best Practice

According to the CDC, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

SERVPRO of West Hartford is prepared—right now—to clean, sanitize and disinfect your home or business to eradicate traces of coronavirus or other pathogens. Whether you think your structure may have been contaminated with coronavirus or not, SERVPRO of West Hartford is ready to help avoid coronavirus exposure within your building.

Understandably, while SERVPRO’s cleaning process can remove existing viral pathogens, including the coronavirus, structures we clean proactively are not protected from future coronavirus contamination if an infected person subsequently enters the building.

Proactive Cleaning for Homes and Businesses

Both homeowners and business owners hire SERVPRO for coronavirus proactive cleaning. Whether you want reassurance that your building is free from contamination or you are coping with a suspected contamination situation, rely on SERVPRO to restore your peace of mind, health and safety.

Especially in a situation where a family member has tested positive for Covid-19, you can be confident that you’ll reduce the risk of exposure for other residents of the home with our cleaning services for homeowners.

Business owners, too, can directly protect the health of their employees and customers with our proactive cleaning service. With a call to SERVPRO of West Hartford, you will be doing what you can to keep Americans—those you know and those you’ll never meet—safe as you slow the spread of coronavirus.

In the midst of this viral threat, with so much news and so many unknowns, people seek reassurance. By having your facility proactively cleaned by SERVPRO, you reassure your customers that your business is a safe place to be, even as table service at restaurants and bars may be temporarily closed down and the hours of nonessential businesses are curtailed. Hiring SERVPRO to clean and sanitize your facility makes it clear that your business is doing all it can to protect the health of your customers and the public.

These and other types of businesses can benefit from SERVPRO’s proactive cleaning, which targets the coronavirus and other pathogens:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores
  • Offices, especially medical offices
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes, senior centers and rehabilitation facilities
  • Gyms
  • Hotels, B&Bs and other hospitality sites
  • Libraries
  • Theaters and entertainment venues
  • Apartment buildings
  • Factories and warehouses

We Were Ready for This

SERVPRO’s business model is to be prepared at all times with the expertise, equipment and staffing to respond to just about any disaster. This foresight makes us uniquely ready to provide proactive cleaning of viral pathogens for these five reasons.

Our Crews

On a day-to-day basis, we are fully staffed and prepared for your most difficult job. Our employees are trained in the use of all our equipment and cleaning products, and we keep them protected by adhering to rigorous safety training and procedures.

SERVPRO of West Hartford is one of four top-performing local SERVPRO franchises—the other three are SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield, SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield and SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield—that are owned and operated by Ralph and Noemi DiCristofaro. This means we can get to your job faster, and we allocate staff and equipment—including thousands of different pieces of equipment and dozens of trucks and other vehicles—as needed to tackle the really big, urgent jobs.

Our Protective Gear

We are well-supplied with the appropriate personal protective gear for the job. Our crew will wear a mid-grade protective suit If there is no indication that your facility or home has been contaminated by coronavirus, but if contamination is suspected or confirmed, they will wear a top-grade suit, which is thicker and features integrated boots and hoods. Every crewmember wears an individually fit-tested N-95 respirator to ensure complete coverage and protection.

Our Cleaning Products

To fight the coronavirus, we use hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting products that are safe to use and effective at killing germs. In the midst of a pandemic, these products are difficult, if not impossible, for other vendors to locate. But SERVPRO, with its foresight and purchasing network, has secured a substantial supply of coronavirus-fighting cleaners and disinfectants.

Our Cleaning Process

We use two different stages of cleaning to attack coronavirus contamination. First, we seal off your home or place of business and fog it with cleaning and disinfecting agents. This delivery method, which uses electrostatic sprayers and misters, allows deep penetration into crevices that would otherwise remain untouched.

Next our crews perform hands-on cleaning and disinfecting of every flat surface in your structure, including furniture, fixtures and objects, leaving the disinfectant in place for the CDC-recommended amount of time necessary to kill disease-causing germs.

Our Coverage

You do not need to worry about any additional liability when you hire SERVPRO of West Hartford. As a professional damage restoration and cleaning company, one of more than 1,800 SERVPRO franchises across the United States, we are fully insured against coronavirus or any other hazards we may encounter on a job.

What We Clean and Disinfect

Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens. SERVPRO meets or exceeds the CDC’s guidelines to clean high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards and tablets.

We clean these and other areas of the home or business:

Throughout

  • light switches
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • carpets, rugs and mats
  • hallway and stairwell handrails
  • water fountains

Kitchen/food areas

  • tables and chairs
  • countertops and tabletops
  • cabinets and pulls
  • food contact surfaces
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • push doors
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Bathrooms

  • bathroom stalls
  • countertops
  • cabinets/vanities and pulls
  • grab bars
  • paper towel/napkin dispenser
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • toilets
  • diaper-changing station

Classrooms

  • book covers and binders
  • chairs
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • small hard-surface items
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Offices

  • chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • lamps
  • shared office equipment

Retail space

  • shelving and racking
  • displays
  • mannequins
  • packaged inventory
  • fitting room stalls
  • tables and chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment and registers
  • sales counters

Other

  • fitness equipment
  • storage bins
  • lockers
  • playground equipment
  • elevator cars

Porous and Non-Porous Surfaces: Cleaning

Cleaning—using a detergent and water to physically remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects—can remove but not necessarily inactivate viruses on porous and non-porous surfaces. But because all coronaviruses are encased in fatty envelopes, it is likely that the same soaps that break down grease can puncture that outer envelope and inactivate the coronavirus, too.

Removing coronavirus contamination from smooth surfaces is easier than getting it out of upholstery or carpeting. Porous materials that are not water-sensitive, like carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies, can be wet-cleaned using a hot water extraction or preconditioner-and-rinse method. But cleaning methods typically used on water-sensitive materials, such as vacuuming or dry sponging, are not effective because they do not remove enough soil and residue.

We effectively wet-clean non-porous materials, like hard-surface floors, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs and plumbing fixtures, using a variety of SERVPRO hard-surface cleaners (general purpose) and cleaning methods.

Note: some materials, such as paper and paper products, cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged.

Non-Porous Surfaces: Disinfection

While no disinfectants have yet been tested specifically for the coronavirus, SERVPRO follows CDC recommendations that advise using a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against viruses similar to SARS (CoV-2). Our hospital-grade chemicals kill germs and disinfect non-porous surfaces or objects. We spray or mist these disinfectants and let the disinfectant remain on the surface for ten minutes, sufficient to kill germs.

We adhere to the CDC’s recommendations to use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are frequently touched, such as phones and computers, and use additional wipes to keep the surface wet for the recommended length of contact time.

Note: not all porous surfaces (such as carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies) can be disinfected.

Safety is Our Priority

SERVPRO prioritizes the health and safety of our people—our most important asset. Our workers are thoroughly trained and equipped to handle potentially contaminated areas and materials. While working, our employees don personal protective equipment, including individually-fitted N-95 respirators, appropriate protective suit with integrated hood and boots, nitrile gloves and goggles.

As we work to rid your home or place of business of coronavirus or other contamination, we frequently clean and disinfect our own tools and equipment to avoid spreading any germs.

After cleaning your building, our crew bags, removes and disposes of its waste (such as used gloves, wipes and disposable respirators), and bags up and removes towels to the SERVPRO facility for laundering.

We’re Here for You in a Time of Crisis

In just about any disaster situation, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has the training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home or business. In this unique time of uncertainty and peril, we have the expertise and preparation to reassure you, your family, customers and employees that your safety and health will be protected. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.216.2785) any time.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford at 860.206.6141

Avoid Water Damage During Frozen Pipe Season

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Water bursts from a frozen and ruptured pipe A frozen pipe often means a burst pipe, and that means lots of water damage to your home or business. Prevent it by following our tips.

Wintertime, and the pipes are freezing! That’s not music to any homeowner’s ears: a frozen and burst pipe can do astounding amounts of damage—and quickly—to a home or business. This article gives you ways to avoid that kind of water disaster—and ways to recover fast if you do end up with a frozen and burst pipe.

The most common cause of a burst pipe is freezing. (Other causes of a ruptured pipe include rust, improper installation and physical damage to the pipe.) When water freezes, it expands in volume by about 9 percent, and the pressure inside pipes may shoot from 40 psi to 40,000 psi, causing the pipe to break open. The rupture usually occurs where water pressure finds a weak spot in the pipe, which may or may not be at the spot where it froze. And then the trouble starts: water seeps or even gushes out into your home or office. Sometimes this happens out in the open, but often it occurs behind walls or ceilings, or in an attic or basement.

Lots of damage can occur without you even knowing it. In fact, up to 250 gallons of water can flow from your ruptured pipe in just 24 hours. The second-most common insurance claim filed in the U.S., an average residential water damage claim is $10,000–15,000, and total cleanup costs can be $5,000–70,000.

The best way to avoid that kind of disaster is to keep your pipes from freezing. Logically, that means keeping your pipes too warm to freeze. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do before, during and after the temperature drops to prevent a frozen pipe in your home.

Before a Freeze

Start getting your pipes ready to handle the cold before the temperature drops. Start with an inventory of your pipes. Look for:

  • Exposed pipes in unheated areas of your house. Check your basement, attic, garage, crawl space and under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Pipes that show wear or damage.
  • Un-insulated areas of the house.

Once you’ve identified vulnerable pipes or chilly areas, get to work:

Protect your pipes

  • Wearing protective gear, install un-faced fiberglass insulation around poorly-protected pipes in the attic, crawl space or other out-of-the-way place. Don’t worry about being neat, just get those pipes wrapped.
  • Install a heat trace cable to keep cold pipes from freezing. Some heat tapes are wrapped around the pipe, while others run along the length of the pipe. Look for ready-to-use cable, with one end terminated and insulated and the other end equipped with an electrical plug.

Keep the cold out

  • To insulate a big area, use foam board. Faced or un-faced foam board will work, especially if this is temporary. Install it by scoring, snapping and screwing the foam board to your wood framing.
  • Using rigid foam insulation, close and seal all foundation vents that are near water pipes, and insulate foundation walls and the ends of the floor joists.
  • Caulk and seal around doors, windows, house faucets and outside outlets.
  • If you own an older house built over an un-insulated crawlspace, turn up your thermostat to warm up the crawlspace. (And put “insulate and air-seal crawlspace” on your to-do list!)
  • Turn off the water valves to outdoor faucets, keeping the outside valve open to let any remaining water escape

If you will be away from home

If you will be away from your home at all during a cold snap, take a few steps that could mean the difference between returning to a warm, dry house and returning to a water disaster.

  • Set your thermostat to 55° F to conserve energy while providing a margin of safety against frozen plumbing.
  • Close the valve to the house's main water supply.
  • Give a trusted neighbor a key to the house and your contact information. Request that he take a quick look inside once a week.
  • If your house is heated with propane or fuel oil, be sure that your fuel supplier has contact information for you and your neighbor.
  • Install or subscribe to a freeze-sensing system to monitor your home's internal temperature using a phone or the internet.

During a Freeze

Now that you know which pipes are at risk, take some or all of these steps when the temperature plunges.

  • Open the doors to cabinets, vanities, closets and pantries to allow room air to warm the pipes.
  • Turn faucets on to allow a trickle of water to flow through the pipes.
  • Set up fans to blow heat into cold rooms or your crawl space.
  • Keep the garage door closed if there are water supply lines there.
  • Place a lamp with a 60-watt bulb in a potential problem area to warm the walls and pipes. (Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.)
  • Heat the most vulnerable pipes (usually in basements and crawl spaces or near exterior walls) with a hair dryer. Leave the faucet on while you apply heat.
  • If your water pipes are freezing inside an exterior wall, cut an opening in the wall to expose the pipes to the home's warm air. Place fiberglass insulation around the pipes and against the exterior wall. (The hole in the wall can be covered later with a hinged door or panel that can be removed during future cold spells.)

After a Freeze

When the freeze is over, your work is still not done. Now is the time to do another survey of your vulnerable pipes to see if there has been any damage.

  • Visually inspect any exposed plumbing in your attic, basement, garage or crawl space.
  • Even if your pipes didn't noticeably freeze, or if they thawed out without bursting, they may have developed pinhole leaks. Run your fingers over the seams and joints to check for hard-to-spot leaks.
  • Do the same inspection of your pipes under sinks, too.

Throughout the rest of your home and property, pay attention to other clues that may indicate a leak:

  • Dripping, bubbling, whistling or sounds of water rushing in pipes or behind walls.
  • Odd or unpleasant odors from drains, sinks or other areas of your house.
  • Bulging and discoloration or water marks on walls and ceiling.
  • Discolored water coming from your faucets.
  • A decrease in water pressure when you wash your hands, fill your sink or take a shower.
  • No water at all coming out of a faucet or a toilet that doesn’t refill after flushing.
  • Drips, puddles or gushing water.
  • Unexplained water or sinkholes in your yard.

If you find a problem or notice a drop in water pressure, turn off the water and call a plumber for help.

If You Found a Frozen Pipe

You’ve done your detective work, and you discovered a frozen pipe. Because it’s still frozen, there’s no water leaking … yet. Fortunately, you can still take measures to prevent or minimize water damage.

  • Shut off the water at the main valve or the meter in case the pipe does burst. Then, open up all the taps in your house to relieve any pressure building up inside the lines.
  • Thaw the ice blockage by warming the connecting pipe. Using a hair dryer, start at the faucet or fixture and work your way back.

When the pipe is thawed, you’ll need to find out if it has burst somewhere along its length.

  • Turn the water on and recruit a friend or two to help spot any leaks. Station your friend in an unheated area of your home, like your attic or crawlspace, to look and listen for leaks as you turn the water back on.
  • If a pipe has burst, you'll immediately notice a rushing sound in the walls or a flood of water. Shut off the water to your house immediately.
  • If you identify no apparent leaks, check each of your faucets in turn. If you notice low water pressure at a particular fixture, you may have a slow leak in that line.

If You Found a Leak

You’ve located water leaking from a pipe, so now’s the time to act fast.

  • First, shut off the main water valve to your home. Open a faucet after you shut off the water main to relieve any remaining pressure in the pipes.
  • Depending on where the leak is and how substantial it is, shut off the electricity to your home, too, to prevent shocks.
  • Clean up any standing water to prevent slipping and falling, reduce the chances of water damage to your home and furnishings, and minimize the odds of mold growth.
  • If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching or drilling “weep” holes.

Immediately after a freeze, getting a plumber to your home can be challenging, so you’ll want to slow or stop that leak as soon as you can. (Or call an experienced water disaster recovery company, like SERVPRO of West Hartford, that has the resources and expertise to get to your home fast, stop the leak and begin cleanup.)

  • For a pinhole leak, wrap duct tape around the pipe; this will often provide enough pressure to seal the leak until help arrives.
  • If duct tape doesn’t stop the leak, make a patch out of a piece of flexible rubber (such as an old radiator or heater hose), place it over the leak, lay a small block of wood over the patch and clamp it in place using a C-clamp.
  • An even better option, especially for larger leaks, is a sleeve clamp, which consists of a circular clamp lined with rubbery material that makes a waterproof sleeve for the pipe. (Note: you’ll have to buy a clamp sized to your specific pipe.)

Dry Your House Out

Once you or your plumber has stopped the flow of water and you’ve done basic cleanup, you need to dry out your home. An experienced water disaster remediation company like SERVPRO of West Hartford can do all the work and restore your home and property to their before-disaster condition.

Your goal is to prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper and particle board, so it’s essential to dry everything out before you rebuild. IICRC-certified professionals, like SERVPRO, use a variety of precise instruments to measure when a building is dry.

If you choose to do the work yourself, follow these tips.

  • Remove pools and puddles of water with a wet/dry vacuum. For hard-to-reach places, use a mop to soak up the water.
  • Open windows and use several fans to circulate the air and send moisture out the windows.
  • If you have dehumidifiers, turn on one or several and close the windows.
  • Or if you have a HVAC system, use that to dehumidify your home. Start by setting the air conditioning to cool your house and pull out humidity. Then, when your home has cooled, turn the heat on until it reaches 80 degrees, which will saturate the air with moisture. Once 80 degrees has been reached, turn the air conditioner back on to remove the moisture from the house. Repeat this process until the house has dried.
  • Remove water from wet furniture by taking it outside to dry in the sun or placing it in a closed room and running a dehumidifier.
  • If your indoor carpeting is saturated (unless it’s a thin covering over a bare wood floor), you must remove and replace it, as well as its padding, to keep mold and mildew from forming.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Prevent a Chimney Fire!

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flames shoot out of the top of a chimney. A chimney fire can be a fast-moving disaster that destroys your home and puts your family at risk. Avoid a fire in your home by following this advice.

Each year in the U.S. there are 25,000-plus chimney fires, which cause more than $125 million in property damage. A poorly maintained chimney can lead to a fast, loud, terrifying and destructive chimney fire—or a slow, quiet and eventually, equally damaging one.

Either way, you will not be able to control a chimney fire. It’s a true emergency, so call 911 immediately! Because firefighters have to fight the flames from the top of the chimney, they will send water flooding through your house, causing water damage on top of the fire damage. Simply put: you can lose your home to a chimney fire. 

Fortunately, by performing regular maintenance and keeping watch for any signs of trouble, you can prevent most chimney fires. Read this article to understand what a chimney fire is, how it starts and how to stop one from occurring in your home.

Chimney Fires, Fast and Slow

With a fast chimney fire, you’ll first hear cracks and pops that could be as loud as gunshots, followed by a deep, rumbling sound. You’ll see black, flaming creosote falling into the firebox. And then, it’ll seem like an explosion. Flames will shoot out of the top of the chimney and back down into the firebox. Smoke will get pushed into your living space. Finally, the flue may crack, allowing flames to shoot into your walls.

Slow-burning chimney fires don’t get enough air or have enough fuel to burst into plain sight, but they can still be hazardous. You may not even know the fire took place until you get your chimney inspected. Still, the temperatures reached in a slow-burning fire are high enough to cause the same amount of damage to the chimney structure and nearby combustible parts of your home as their louder and more shocking siblings.

What Causes a Chimney Fire?

The job of chimneys that serve fireplaces and wood stoves is to expel the substances produced when wood burns. These by-products of combustion include smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles and more. These substances exit the fireplace or wood stove at high temperatures and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, resulting in condensation and the eventual buildup on the inner walls of the chimney of a black or brown residue called creosote. The longer the smoke stays in the flue, the more likely it is that creosote will form. Creosote can be crusty and flaky, or sticky and drippy, or shiny and hardened—and each form is highly combustible. When creosote builds up on the inside of your chimney and the internal flue temperature gets high enough, a chimney fire can start and burn at up to 2,000°F.  

Creosote is more likely to build up in your chimney if your fireplace or stove:

  • is burning unseasoned wood
  • isn’t pulling in enough air
  • has cooler than normal chimney temperatures

What to Do if You Have a Chimney Fire

If you discover a chimney fire, immediately:

  • Get everyone out of the house, including yourself
  • Call 911

If you can do so—only without putting yourself at risk—take these additional steps to help save your home:

  • Place a chimney fire extinguisher or fire suppressant into the fireplace or wood stove, which will consume oxygen and starve the fire
  • Pour sand or baking soda onto the fire in the firebox (keep a bucket of sand nearby for this purpose)
  • Close the glass doors on a fireplace or the air inlets on a wood stove

Once outside, use a garden hose to spray down your roof (not the chimney) to keep the fire from spreading while you wait for the fire department.

Once the chimney fire is completely out, call an expert fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Hartford, who will remove all traces of damage, smoke and soot from your home and possessions.

And before you light another fire, hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect for fire damage restoration to your chimney and fireplace, whether it’s masonry, prefabricated metal or a wood stove. 

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Regularly Clean and Inspect

Every chimney is vulnerable to a chimney fire. It’s how you maintain your fire-burning equipment that makes the difference and keeps you safe.

Once oily, black, sticky creosote has condensed on the inside of your chimney, it will lurk there, building up and growing into a real fire hazard, until it is removed.

Additionally, rain, wind or animals can carry flammable debris into the chimney, which can quickly fuel a chimney fire if touched by loose embers from a fire. If a chimney is not protected by a flue cap, wind can blow leaves and twigs inside, and birds, squirrels and other vermin can build nests.

The best way to ensure that you never have a chimney fire is by cleaning and inspecting it regularly. A chimney sweep will remove both creosote and any debris that’s in your chimney. In addition, the sweep will inspect your chimney to detect:

  • creosote built up to a honeycombed or puffy appearance
  • warped metal in the damper, smoke chamber or chimney
  • cracked, damaged or collapsed flue tiles
  • discolored and/or distorted chimney cap
  • creosote flakes and pieces on the roof or ground
  • roofing material damaged by hot creosote
  • cracks in exterior masonry
  • soot deposits around mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Try to have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year before fire burning season starts. (If you haven’t done it yet this season, call today before you light another fire!) 

In addition to scheduling an annual chimney cleaning, you should pay attention to the condition of your chimney and fireplace. Schedule another cleaning when you notice creosote that: 

  • falls into the firebox during a fire
  • resembles a honeycomb on the inside of the chimney
  • is more than 1/4-inch thick

You’ll also want to do more frequent cleanings if you:

  • burn fires more than a couple of times a week
  • use a lot of artificial logs
  • burn green or unseasoned firewood

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Pay Attention

In addition to scheduling an annual chimney inspection, you should watch for these indications that you may be headed for a chimney fire. If you spot any of them, call a certified chimney inspector before you light your next fire.

Buckling brick or stone

Look for cracking or settling of masonry inside the firebox or anywhere on the surround or hearth. Just a small gap can provide a direct route for sparks and high heat to reach the flammable parts of your home’s structure.

Soot in your firebox

If you notice crumbly black soot accumulating in your firebox, that may mean that creosote is building up, so call for a chimney cleaning.

Debris in your firebox

Of even more concern is finding what appear to be broken tile or pot shards in your firebox. Older homes may have masonry fireplaces with terra-cotta chimney liners, so finding these pieces may mean the liner has already been damaged by a chimney fire. Do not use your fireplace until it’s been inspected by a certified chimney sweep.

Smoky odors

If you smell smoke beyond what you’re used to when you use your fireplace—or smell it outside the room the fireplace is in—extinguish the fire and call 911. Your local fire department will check for danger and damage to your chimney with heat-sensing guns or thermal imaging.

Changes in your walls

If heat has been escaping from cracked masonry, a damaged liner or an improperly installed prefab metal firebox, your home’s wood framing can become dry and charred and capable of igniting at a much lower temperature. Signs of excessive heat inside your walls include pictures falling off the wall or areas of bubbling or peeling paint. Call for an inspection if you see any of these changes.

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Prepare Your Fireplace

Beyond cleaning and inspecting your chimney and keeping an eye on potential trouble spots, you should always follow some best practices in preparing your chimney and fireplace or stove so that it burns efficiently and safely, every time.

Keep the damper open to maintain sufficient airflow during a fire (the damper is the metal plate in the flue that regulates the draft). This will allow enough air to quickly move heated smoke up the chimney. Likewise, when using a wood stove, avoid closing down the stove damper or air inlets too soon or too much. Overloading the firebox of a wood stove in an attempt to get a longer burn time also contributes to creosote buildup.

Insulate your chimney’s flue liner (the layer between the flue and chimney walls) to prevent flue temperatures from getting too cool, which can encourage fire by-products to condense and form creosote. Wrap a heat-resistant insulation blanket around the liner or pour an insulation mix such as vermiculite into the space between the liner and flue.

Install a chimney cap on the crown around the outside opening of the flue to keep debris and critters out of your chimney. A cap will also prevent acidic rainwater from entering and corroding the chimney. 

Prevent a Chimney Fire: Burn Fuel That’s Clean, Never Green

When you start a fire, you want it to burn hot, fast and clean to create far less smoke, vapor and unburned wood particles, allowing little to no creosote to form in the chimney. On the other hand, low-temperature, slow-burning fires, particularly those left to smolder overnight, produce more smoke and leave behind more unburned combustible material. When that hardens into creosote on the chimney walls, there’s an increased risk of chimney fires.

Use the right fuel and build your fire the right way by following these tips.

Always burn seasoned hardwood. That means the wood has dried for at least six months and has a moisture content of 20 percent or less (you can test this with a wood moisture meter). When you burn green or unseasoned wood, energy is used initially just to evaporate the water trapped in the logs’ cells. This, in turn, keeps the resulting smoke cooler and more likely to condense in the chimney and form creosote.

Use the best fire starters for fuel, kindling and tinder, such as well-seasoned hardwood or CSIA-approved logs. Never use gasoline and kerosene to start a fire—these flammable liquids can quickly create a conflagration. And burn coal only in a coal-burning wood stove, because it can significantly raise the temperature in the flue, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.

Build a clean fire by using the top-down burn method, in which the largest logs are at the bottom of the fire and the smallest pieces at the top. Start by placing the largest pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace or wood stove, with the ends at the front and back, which allows the air to mix well with the fuel. Next, stack four to five smaller levels of wood on top of the first layer, each layer perpendicular to the one below, until the stack is about half the height of the fireplace. Then place kindling (the smallest pieces of wood) in smaller and smaller pieces, adding wood shavings or crumpled newspaper on top. Light the material on the top and the fire will gradually burn its way down to the largest logs.

Use dried twigs or branches for kindling and torn or crumpled newspaper or pine cones for tinder. Cardboard or glossy magazine pages contain chemicals that can emit toxins when burned.

Enjoy a Happy Ending to Your Fire

Before retiring for the night or leaving your home, always extinguish your fire safely and thoroughly. Use a fireplace poker to spread out the wood and embers, then shovel ash from the bottom of the fireplace to cover them. Next, completely cover the cooled wood and embers with baking soda, which will extinguish any remaining embers. After the firebox cools (for a minimum of three hours, but preferably eight), shovel the ashes into a metal container. Fill the metal container with water and store it outside your home and away from other flammable materials until you’re ready to discard them.

Enjoy your clean and safe fireplace, avoid a chimney fire … and live happily ever after!

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Commercial Restoration by SERVPRO

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

The interior of a banquet hall with water and drying equipment on the floor. SERVPRO of West Hartford gets you back to work fast after your business suffers a water, fire, storm, mold or other disaster.

If your business has suffered a water, fire, smoke, mold, storm, biohazard or other disaster, one call to SERVPRO of West Hartford will get you back in operation as soon as possible. Regardless of your property type or size, SERVPRO of West Hartford will respond quickly to clean your property and manage your restoration project through to its completion.

We handle all aspects of your commercial disaster remediation job:

  • Inventory, pack out, clean and store all affected items and furniture in your facility
  • Remediate the damage to your facility and its contents
  • Repair and reconstruct the building as needed
  • Return items and restore your facility to its pre-disaster condition
  • Oversee the insurance claims process

We Minimize Downtime and Lost Revenue

SERVPRO of West Hartford has the training, experience and equipment to handle large commercial emergencies, and we are ready for your disaster. We know that the time spent cleaning up your commercial business site means lost revenue and productivity for you, so we act fast, bringing the right resources and staff to halt the damage and get you back in action as quickly as possible.

We start with an expert evaluation of the damage, based on which we determine the right mix of resources to assign to your disaster. Our skilled project manager then oversees a team that takes your facility through the entire remediation process quickly and thoroughly, and communicates with you all the way.

Our Emergency Building Services

We provide emergency building services to help prevent and reduce damage and get your property restored faster. Once the initial threat to your commercial facility has been halted, one of your first concerns may be temporary protection to prevent the existing damage from growing worse. SERVPRO will make temporary fixes, like placing tarps over a damaged roof or boarding up a broken window, while together, we plan the permanent repairs.

Speed, Reliability and Comprehensive Service

Commercial businesses depend on SERVPRO of West Hartford because:

  • We provide 24-hour emergency service.
  • We offer immediate, appropriately-scaled response to any size of commercial disaster.

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial water, fire, smoke, mold, storm or other disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Stay Warm—and Safe—With a Space Heater

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A space heater is plugged into an outlet. Space heaters are a great way to ward off the chill. But they do bring risks, so please follow these safety guidelines to prevent a fire in your home!

Space heaters cause about one-third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of all winter heating fire deaths, and more than half of those deaths are caused by having combustible materials too close to the heater. 

The good news is that space heaters are getting safer and more efficient. Many of today’s space heaters are not just better-looking but also safer. In the past 10 years manufacturers have improved technology and added built-in safety features like a tip-over shut-off switch.  

Be Safe

Follow these simple safety rules to greatly reduce or eliminate any space heater hazards.  

  • Use newer space heaters, not older models.
  • Always buy a new—never used—space heater.
  • Only buy a space heater that has a safety certification from the Underwriters Laboratories or Intertek’s ETL Mark.
  • Don’t leave your space heater on when you’re not in the room.
  • Plug your heater directly into an outlet, not an extension cord or power strip. Those devices could overheat and start a fire.
  • Keep a three-foot perimeter around the space heater clear of people, furnishings or objects.
  • Never store clothing around or on the heater. Don’t place it too close to curtains or a bed.
  • Keep children and pets away from the space heater. Either could knock it over.
  • Unplug the heater when you’re not using it.

Safety Features to Look For in a Space Heater

Certification. Make sure the heater you buy carries a safety certification label from an independent testing organization, such as the UL mark, the ETL label from Intertek or certification from CSA International.

Shutoff features. A smart sensor that automatically shuts off a heater when it overheats is a must. You’ll also want a tip-over switch that does the same if the heater is knocked over.

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug. Most space heaters don’t come equipped with a GFCI plug, which prevents electric shock. If yours does not, do not use it around water.

Sturdy cord. To prevent overheating, never use an extension cord or a power strip with an electric heater. Most space heaters come with a cord that’s 6 feet long.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Choosing and Maintaining a Sump Pump

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump in a pit. Halt basement flooding in its tracks by purchasing a quality sump pump and keeping it humming with annual maintenance.

During a storm, after heavy rain or if a pipe bursts in your home, you could get a flood of water in your basement, causing lots of damage to your structure and possessions. Having a well-operating sump pump can keep the flooding to a minimum.

A sump pump sits either beneath or above the floor of your basement and pumps out water that collects in the sump basin, discharging it to the outdoors.

Follow these guidelines when buying a sump pump:

  • If your sump basin has the space, choose a submersible pump over a pedestal pump. Submersible pumps allow the sump pit to be covered with a lid, which reduces pump noise and keeps the pit free of debris.
  • Buy a pump with a cast iron—not plastic—core. Cast iron helps to dissipate heat to the surrounding water, lengthening the life of the pump.
  • The pump should have a no-screen intake design coupled with an impellor that can handle solids up to ½-inch in diameter. This will minimize the chance of clogs.
  • The switch should be mechanical, not a pressure switch, and the float should be solid.
  • Consider a pump with an alarm that tells you when the water reaches a certain level.

You can install the pump yourself or hire a professional.

Annual Maintenance for Your Pump

Ensure your peace of mind by performing routine maintenance each spring. Do these tasks at least once a year to keep your sump pump humming:

  1. Clean and lubricate the pump. Unplug the pump, disconnect it from the discharge pipe and pull the pump out of the sump. If there is a screen at the pump’s base, hose away any debris and rinse off its housing. Lubricate the pump bearings, if required.
  2. Inspect the check valve. If the internal flap doesn’t swing freely, flush it out. If you see mineral deposits, soak the valve in vinegar.
  3. Test the float switch. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump to see if it comes on and pumps out the water. If it doesn’t, repair or replace the switch.
  4. Press the outlet’s test and reset buttons (per code, a sump pump has to be plugged in to a GFCI receptacle).
  5. Got a backup battery? Top off its cells with distilled water.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Why and How We Remediate—Not Remove—Mold (Part 2)

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

A worker wearing a protective mask and clothing cleans up mold. SERVPRO of West Hartford has the specialized training, technical expertise and advanced technology to remediate even the worst mold disaster.

You read in Part 1 of this series the reasons why SERVPRO doesn’t claim to remove mold—because it’s an impossibility. Now learn how we use our advanced knowledge, training and equipment to remediate mold disasters, whether they happen in a home or a commercial space.

Every incidence of mold damage requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Mold cleanup and restoration begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the right mix of equipment, resources and personnel. With that information, SERVPRO’s expert mold remediation team goes to work.

1. Inspect and Assess Mold Damage

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use advanced technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

2. Contain the Mold

We turn off all fans and heating/cooling systems, then our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. This may include negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers or negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

3. Filter the Air

Our specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. We use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the work is underway.

4. Remove Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

We use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. If necessary, we’ll remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

5. Clean Contents and Belongings

We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing and other restorable items affected by mold. Then we remove odors with fogging equipment.

6. Complete the Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. We will restore your home or business back to normal—“Like it never even happened.”

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Why and How We Remediate—Not Remove—Mold (Part 1)

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold colonies grow on a windowsill When you discover a mold infestation at your home or business, you need an expert mold remediation company like SERVPRO of West Hartford.

Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. However, since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is simply not possible.

At SERVPRO, we understand mold and we have the right approach, training and advanced equipment to remediate the mold in your home or business.

The Facts about Mold

  • Microscopic mold spores float in the air, and they may enter your home through windows, doors or AC/heating systems. They may even be carried into your home on your clothing or a pet.
  • Even a small leak, spill or humid area can lead to mold growth.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture and can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Mold can spread through your property in as little as 48 hours.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, tipping you off to its presence.
  • If you don’t eliminate sources of water or moisture before mold remediation begins, the mold may return.
  • Higher than normal indoor humidity can support mold growth, so keep indoor humidity below 45%.

We Have Specialized Training and Equipment

SERVPRO of West Hartford’s experts have advanced specialized training and certifications that make a difference when you have suffered a mold disaster at your home or commercial property:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying
  • Odor control
  • Upholstery and fabric cleaning

When we are called to your home or business for mold remediation, we have at our disposal the latest and most comprehensive arsenal of tools to resolve your disaster:

  • Moisture detection and measurement equipment: Our specialized equipment detects, measures and monitors a property’s moisture levels. We even use infrared cameras to help us identify water through a wall, ceiling or floor.
  • Water extraction equipment: Our powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.
  • Drying equipment: Our industrial-strength high-speed air movers and dehumidifiers remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls and floors.

SERVPRO also uses special products to disinfect and stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other harmful microorganisms.

Part 2 of this series details the rigorous steps SERVPRO of West Hartford follows to complete the mold remediation process at your home or business.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation and natural disaster prevention. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Avoid Water Damage by Maintaining Your Plumbing Ecosystem

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

A water heater in a basement Periodic maintenance of your plumbing system and the appliances connected to it will help prevent a water disaster at your home.

We often take our home plumbing systems and the appliances connected to them for granted, as they work efficiently through the years. But when something goes wrong, you can experience a major and costly water disaster. Tend to these four areas of your plumbing ecosystem periodically to help prevent that happening in your home.

1. Prevent plumbing system failures

  • Call a professional if you notice signs of a plumbing problem—an increased monthly water bill, banging pipes, rust stains, moisture in the walls or on the floor and signs of wet soil erosion near the foundation. If caught early, you can prevent many thousands of dollars of water damage.
  • If your home’s sewer system is connected to the city’s sewer system—a particular problem for older homes—or if you are located downhill or below street level, contact a plumbing professional to install a backflow prevention valve into your sewer system.
  • Never pour grease down the drain.

2. Inspect and maintain your water heater

  • Inspect your anode rod every two years (or every year once the warranty has expired) and replace it if needed.
  • Flush the water heater tank every six months to remove sediment by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base (first turn off the power and run hot water until it is cool).
  • Annually, hire a plumbing professional to inspect the water heater, including the shut-off valve and all piping. Broken valves, loose or wet joints and rust are signs of impending failure.

3. Maintain washing machine supply lines

  • Each month, inspect your hot and cold washing machine supply lines. Look for signs they may be ready to fail—blisters in the hose, worn tubing, stress cracks or loose connections.
  • Replace the supply hose with a reinforced steel braided hose if it shows any sign of wear.
  • Tighten the connection if it feels loose. The most common site of failure is near the connection where the hose bends.
  • Replace supply hoses with reinforced steel braided hoses every five years, even if there is no obvious deterioration or wear.

4. Prevent toilet failure

  • After you flush, wait for the valve to completely finish refilling the tank and bowl. If an overflow looks imminent, lift off the tank cover and lift the float to shut off water flow to the tank, then reach down and close the supply valve.
  • Twice a year, inspect a toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply and flush valves, and the supply line. Make sure you can turn off the supply. Replace older screw-type valves that are leaky or hard to turn with simpler ball valves that are easy to shut off quickly.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Two Essential Fire Prevention Products

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke detector is surrounded by smoke You vastly increase your chances of surviving a house fire when you install and maintain smoke detectors and a fire sprinkler system.

About 80% of the 4,000 annual fire deaths in the United States occur at home. Two key products that can help protect your home and family from a devastating fire are smoke alarms tied to a central alarm system and automatic fire sprinklers.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms provide crucial minutes to escape a fire safely, cutting your chance of fire death nearly in half. There should be at least one smoke alarm installed on every level of your home, including the basement, and one inside each bedroom.

Hard-wired smoke alarm systems can maximize the alarms’ effectiveness; when one alarm detects a fire, the others will sound automatically, too, alerting everyone to the fire. Consider having a hard-wired system connected to a central alarm network that will also signal the fire department.

Remember: smoke alarms that don't work can't protect you. All smoke alarms, including hard-wired ones, need batteries (which enable them to operate during power outages). Maintain your home’s smoke alarms with these timely tasks:

Automatic Fire Sprinkler System

An automatic home fire sprinkler system is the single most effective way to minimize a fire's impact on a home and its residents. It can contain and even extinguish a fire in less time than it takes firefighters to arrive on the scene. A sprinkler system can also be tied into the central alarm network, which will alert the fire department if a sprinkler goes off. Cities that require residential sprinklers, such as Scottsdale, Arizona, have seen a dramatic drop in fire deaths and property damage.

And, contrary to what many people think, home sprinklers are actually quite cost-effective, particularly when installed during new construction (they add, on average, only 1 to 1 ½% to the total cost of building a new home).

People often underestimate fire's power and speed and overestimate the time they have to escape. That’s why installing and maintaining these two essential products—hard-wired smoke alarms and a home fire sprinkler system—can make a life-saving difference for your family.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Fight Winter Water Damage

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles hang from the roof and gutter of a home A few basic steps, taken before and during winter, will really help you prevent costly winter water damage to your home.

Here comes another New England winter—and here comes the increased chance of damage to your home from water leaks. Burst pipes, storm damage, rooftop ice dams and other cold-weather hazards all put your home at risk. Withstand the challenges and stay water-tight by following these tips.

Prepare Your Home for Winter

Do these tasks to help prevent damage to your home from floods and leaks—and even from tree branches and too much snow on your roof. They are all winter hazards!

  • Clean out your gutters.
  • Disconnect and drain outside hoses. Close inside valves supplying water to outdoor faucets and hookups. Once the water supply is turned off, open the outdoor faucets to allow residual water to drain, and keep them open during the cold weather months.
  • Trim back tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house—or your neighbor's.
  • Hire a contractor to repair roof leaks and determine if it can sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.

Keep Your Pipes Too Warm to Freeze

Frozen water expands and puts pressure on pipes, which can cause them to burst. You may not even know right away that you have a burst pipe until it thaws out and the leaking and flooding start.

You can prevent a damaging leak from a burst pipe—and save money on your heating costs, too—when you do these common-sense tasks before the cold season.

  • Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves.
  • Insulate walls and attics, and caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Set your home’s temperature set to 55 degrees or higher. Make sure your furniture doesn't block your heating vents. Close your fireplace flue when you're not using it.

During cold spells, take some additional steps:

  • Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom so that warm air circulates around pipes.
  • Allow a slow trickle of water to flow through faucets connected to unheated or exposed pipes.
  • If you will be away from your home during cold periods, consider draining the water system.

Avoid Ice Dams

When water from melted snow refreezes above your eaves or in the gutters, it can seep in under the roof, soaking interior walls creating the need for water damage restoration. These are ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof:

  • Adequately ventilate and insulate your attic.
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris.
  • Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

How and Why SERVPRO Has Grown

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO truck is parked in front of an office building SERVPRO has the experience, trained workers and equipment to handle the toughest disaster remediation jobs.

When a natural disaster strikes your home or business, you want to rely on a cleanup and restoration company you can trust. You need the resources—the experience, personnel and equipment—of a real pro to do a high-quality job in a short timeframe. That’s SERVPRO of West Hartford.

Many of our satisfied customers choose SERVPRO because of our history of successful restorations and outstanding service. It’s no surprise that Entrepreneur Magazine has ranked SERVPRO the #1 franchise opportunity in the restoration services category for the past ten years!

SERVPRO was formed by Ted and Doris Isaacson in 1967 as a painting business in Sacramento, California. They grew the company and become a franchisor of cleanup and restoration specialists. Within twenty years, they had grown to almost 650 franchises, and by 2000, they had 1,000 franchises. Today there are more than 1,800 SERVPRO franchises across the country, helping residential and commercial customers recover from water, fire, storm, biohazard and other disasters.

Growth like that doesn’t happen by accident. It’s because SERVPRO:

  • Trainings and equips employees to handle any disaster and keeps them current with the latest techniques and technologies.
  • Empowers employees to put the customer first and get the job done right.
  • Works closely with insurance companies, property managers and local fire/police to make our clients’ lives better fast.

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Light Bulbs Can Pose Overlooked Fire Hazards

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

An unshielded light bulb in a pantry Be safe! Choose the correct wattage when replacing light bulbs in a fixture and never use bare incandescent bulbs in a closet.

Do you have exposed (unshielded or “bare”) incandescent bulbs lighting your closets? If so, you must switch them out immediately.

While under normal circumstances a 60-watt light bulb will get no hotter than 175 degrees Fahrenheit, under some conditions it could reach up to 500 degrees, hot enough to ignite nearby objects. It’s easy enough to imagine forgetting to turn off the light in your pantry or closet, allowing that light to heat up over many hours in close proximity to flammable items.

Previously, unshielded incandescent bulbs were permitted in closets as long as the bulb was at least 18″ away from the closet shelf. But today, exposed incandescent lights are no longer allowed in closets—period. The 2014 National Electric Code (NEC) prohibits all unshielded incandescent bulbs from use in closets.

Replace uncovered incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs, which operate at much cooler temperatures. It’s one of the quickest, easiest and least expensive fixes you can make—and it sure can make a difference in keeping you, your family and your home safe from fire.

Use the Correct Wattage

Using a bulb that has wattage too high for a fixture can cause a fire. Lamps come with a sticker or tag detailing what wattage bulb can be used. But often, after a lamp is purchased, the sticker is removed for appearance’s sake, and the wrong wattage bulb is used.

  • Keep the sticker or tag to your lamp in a safe place, or do not remove it from the lamp.
  • When replacing the bulb, reference your sticker or tag, or get the same wattage bulb that was in the lamp originally.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Does Your Business Have a Cold Weather Plan? (Part 2)

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Snow and ice are piled up on a commercial building If a storm or deep freeze is on the way, having a cold weather plan will help you avoid damage to your commercial property.

Part 1 of this article walked you through developing your winter weather plan to protect your commercial property up to the point when the temperature drops and a storm is pending.

Now, it’s time to detail how you and your employees will address the challenges of a deep freeze, a loss of power or water damage from a burst pipe, ice dam or other cold weather water disaster.

When a winter storm and/or deep freeze is predicted

  • Monitor weather reports for information to gauge the chances of power outages or potential damage.
  • Monitor temperatures in areas of your facility that are susceptible to freezing or significant temperature fluctuations.
  • Prepare for action with sufficient staff and resources. If needed, activate your emergency response team.
  • Prepare for a possible power outage.
  • Clear snow from outside sprinkler control valves and hydrants to keep them accessible.
  • Remove ice dams.

After the storm

  • Walk through and around your facility and property to evaluate any damage.
  • If power was lost, execute your plan to bring electrical loads back on line to prevent power surges that could damage equipment.
  • Monitor snow loads of roofs, especially in areas subject to drifts, and remove snow as needed.
  • Hire a disaster recovery company, like SERVPRO of West Hartford, that can handle winter weather-related damage quickly and completely.

As with most other forces that could threaten the livelihood of your business, winter weather hazards can be made more manageable with preparation and planning. The time you spend before the cold season to handle the challenges posed by snow, ice and freezing temperatures will pay off when a winter disaster threatens your business.

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

In addition to offering commercial cleaning services, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Does Your Business Have a Cold Weather Plan? (Part 1)

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Snow lies on the roof of a large commercial facility A cold weather plan will help prevent winter storms and freezing temps from damaging your building and interrupting your business operation.

Cold weather poses extreme risks to your commercial property: power outages, roof damage, burst pipes and other water damage. Survive and recover from winter weather damage by making a cold weather plan for your facility and equipment. (The plan will also help your business respond to and manage any emergency event.)

Create the Plan

Develop a written plan to include actions to take:

  • Before the onset of winter
  • When a winter storm is imminent and/or damaging cold temperatures are expected
  • After a winter storm and/or prolonged cold weather

Start by considering some “what ifs,” such as:

  • What if you lose heat?
  • What if the facility is closed (weather, holidays, etc.) and extreme weather is expected?
  • What if a fire protection sprinkler pipe (or other pipe) freezes and bursts?
  • What if there are facility areas that could be susceptible to freezing?

Don’t forget to consider who will do what tasks.

  • Assign roles and responsibilities for all tasks.
  • Plan for initial and annual training.
  • Include an annual review and evaluation of the plan.

Before Winter Begins

Inspect the building

Develop a checklist to ensure:

  • Openings around exterior walls such as windows, doors, or other openings are sealed
  • Equipment penthouses are protected from cold air infiltration
  • Louvers are closed or sealed
  • Dampers on ducts leading to the outside are closed (if possible)
  • Attics and other areas susceptible to the cold are properly insulated
  • Air flow is adequate to maintain heat in all areas of the building (at least 40ºF)

Pay special attention to your building’s roof and make repairs now if needed. Check to be sure that:

  • Drains, drain pipes and gutters are free of debris
  • Roof cover is free of cracks or blisters
  • Decking is free of rust or other signs of deterioration
  • Flashing is secured
  • There are no cracked or bent roof supports (beams, columns, joists)

Check utilities and process equipment

  • Check and repair heating systems
  • Inspect process, water, condensate and steam lines subject to freezing for proper insulation or heat tracing
  • Drain, blow out or flush lines for seasonal or idle equipment
  • Check alternate fuel supplies for operation and sufficient supply

Identify and align resources

The time to line up needed resources is before the winter season starts. You may need human and other resources, such as:

  • Emergency generator
  • Fuel supplies for fire protection equipment, processes or on-site generators
  • Snow removal services to ensure access to the property
  • Contractor to remove snow and ice from the roof
  • Disaster recovery and remediation company, like SERVPRO of West Hartford

Read part 2 of this article to continue developing and implementing a cold weather plan for your business.

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

In addition to offering commercial cleaning services, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Your Winter Storm Preparation Checklist

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Two people shovel snow in a storm Take some time before a big winter storm hits to gather the supplies you'll need to get through the aftermath.

A severe winter storm can damage your home and property with ice, snow and water damage—but if it knocks power out for a week or more, it can put your life and health at risk, too (not to mention the comfort of you and your family)!

Prepare for a winter storm and power outage by following this checklist.

Food and Water

  • Water (at least a three-day supply of one gallon per person, per day)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, high-energy, easy-to-prepare foods)
  • Baby formula and food, if needed
  • Pet food, if needed

Heating and Lighting

  • Flashlights, lanterns and extra batteries
  • Candles
  • Extra blankets
  • Generator and gas to run for 24+ hours (never use inside your home!)
  • Alternate supplies for heating methods, such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
  • Fire extinguisher

Venturing Out

  • Fully fueled vehicles
  • Extra cash

Electronics

  • Fully charged cell phones, tablets, etc.
  • Phone chargers to use in your car
  • Fully charged power bank for your phone
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries

Shovels and Tools

  • Shovels and tools for clearing snow and ice
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
  • Fully fueled snow blower

Medical and Personal Hygiene

  • Medications (at least a seven-day supply)
  • First aid kit
  • Medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, etc.)
  • Medical information and medical insurance card
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Baby diapers and wipes, if needed

Important information

  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Copies of personal documents, such as passports and Social Security cards
  • Phone numbers of your insurance company and agent

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

4 Kinds of Floodwater Hazards

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A home's interior staircase flooded with brown storm water After a flood, be aware of the serious risks to your health and safety that remain in the waters.

When many people think of floods, they think of damage to their home or property. But, floodwaters can also pose serious health and safety risks to you and your family. Beware these four kinds of hazards after a flood.

Electrical Hazards

Strong winds that accompany storms can knock down power lines. If downed lines are present, you may be at risk for electrocution when walking or driving through flooded areas. If you see downed power lines near your home, do not walk near or through floodwater. Instead, get to a safe place and call local authorities to report the situation.

If your electrical system has sustained damage, don’t turn on light switches or use electrical appliances or items in your home. If you’re uncertain whether it’s safe to use, call a professional to inspect your home’s electrical system.

Chemicals and Waste

Chemicals and sewage can contaminate floodwaters and cause gastrointestinal issues, infections, rashes and other illnesses, according to the CDC. After a flood, do not bathe, drink or cook with your home’s water supply until it’s been tested or determined that it’s safe for use.

Sharp Debris

Floodwater can carry sharp objects or other dangerous debris that may be hard to spot, so avoid walking or driving through floodwater. Protect yourself when entering your home by wearing rubber boots, gloves and eye protection during cleanup.

Insects and Animals

Floodwaters can contain or attract wild animals, such as snakes and rodents, so be cautious when walking through the water and keep an eye out for wild animals.

Flooded areas are a literal breeding ground for mosquitoes, so eliminate standing water as soon as possible by draining or emptying water that may have collected in buckets, gutters, pools or other containers.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Stay Safe During Post-Flood Cleanup

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded basement You'll be eager to get back into your home and tackle the cleanup after a flood, but you must take precautions to stay safe and healthy.

After a flood and once the floodwater has receded enough to return to your home to start cleanup, you are at risk of injury and infection from contaminants, such as chemicals and waste, in the water.

Take these precautions as you clean up after a flood.

  • Wait: Don’t return home after a flood until local authorities say it is safe to do so. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to return home or have concerns during post-flood cleanup, contact local authorities and professionals for advice or an inspection.
  • Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water—especially before you eat or drink—to minimize the risk of contracting an infection or illnesses.
  • Wash your clothes: Clean and disinfect clothing by washing any items that have come in contact with floodwater in hot water and laundry detergent. Wash the clothes you wore during cleanup separately from other items that weren’t exposed to floodwater.
  • Care for wounds: Take care of any wounds, even minor ones, during flood cleanup. If you have an existing wound, avoid exposing the cut to floodwater. Wear gloves and clean all wounds frequently with fresh, clean water and soap. Change wound dressings often.
  • Prevent infection: Keep an eye on existing wounds. If you spot any redness or swelling, or if you experience any other signs of an infection (such as a high fever or pain), seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you sustain a wound during cleanup, especially from a dirty object, seek medical attention.

Naturally, you will be relieved to be back in your home and restore your home after a flood, but be aware of the hazards lurking in the floodwater. Consider calling an experienced and highly trained disaster remediation company like SERVPRO of West Hartford to handle your home cleanup and restoration.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Prevent Sewer Backups at Your Home

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A shower floor stained with sewage Nobody wants a sewer to back up in their home! Take steps now to prevent that challenging water disaster from happening to you.

A sewer backup in your house fits the definition of a homeowner’s nightmare. Learn what causes a sewer backup and what you can do to help prevent one in your home.

What Are the Warning Signs?

If you notice any of these issues at your home, you may be experiencing a sewer backup. You’ll need to call a sewage disaster remediator, like SERVPRO of West Hartford, as soon as you can.

  • Floor, shower or bathtub drains making gurgling sounds or backing up with water
  • Water rising from your home’s sewer cleanout pipe

What Causes a Sewer Backup?

When one of the following problems occurs, sewer water can get forced up through your home’s sewer pipes and emerge through toilets, floor drains and shower or bathtub drains. Common causes of sewer backups into a home include:

  • Tree roots that block sewage pipes
  • Aging home and city sewer systems that need repair
  • Blocked city sewage mains
  • City pipelines carrying both rain and sewage water that become overwhelmed with water after heavy rainfall

Ways to Prevent a Sewer Backup

Fortunately, there are measures you can take that will greatly reduce the chances of experiencing a sewer backup.

  • Install a backup water valve: A licensed plumber can install a water valve in sewer or drain lines to let sewage water flow out of the pipes, but not back in.
  • Properly dispose of household waste: Items like paper towels do not decompose quickly and can clog sewer lines if they are flushed down a toilet. Properly dispose of cooking grease—if you pour it down the sink, it can solidify in the pipes.
  • Inspect and trim tree roots: If you have noticeable tree roots throughout your yard, you may need to have a professional trim them back to lessen the risk of them growing into a sewer line.

Consider Insurance Coverage

Sewer backups aren’t typically covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, so you may want to consider adding water backup coverage to your homeowners insurance policy to help pay for repairs after a sewer backup.

If you do suffer damage to your home from a water disaster, call on an experienced disaster recovery company like SERVPRO of West Hartford, which has specialized training, expert staff and the latest equipment to help you restore your home and possessions.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Will You Know How to Escape a House Fire?

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A hand-drawn floorplan of a house showing escape routes Having and practicing a plan to escape from a house fire can mean the difference between life and death.

If a fire starts in your home, it’s critical that you and your family get out of the house fast, ideally in less than two minutes! Yet, you may be struggling to breathe in sheer darkness—while you attempt to keep yourself and your family members calm. Develop and rehearse an escape plan before a fire starts, and you’ll have a much better chance of escaping safely.

Make an Escape Plan

  • If you have young children (under 6) who cannot get outside by themselves, assign an adult to help each child get out safely.
  • Determine two ways out of every room in your home, in case one exit (typically a door) is blocked or dangerous to use.
  • Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home.

Practice the Plan

Fires can start anywhere and at any time, so practice the plan at different times of the day and night using different ways out. Do this at least twice a year.

  • For night-time drills, your children should start the drill in their bedrooms and wait for the alarm.
  • One adult should sound the smoke alarm and start the timer. Everyone should move swiftly to the safe meeting spot.
  • In a real fire, you may need to get low and stay below smoke. Practice this, too.
  • Once everyone arrives at the meeting place, stop the timer. Did everyone get there in less than two minutes? If not, run the drill again.

Other Important Tips

  • Test your smoke alarms each month. Make sure your kids recognize the sound. There should be a smoke alarm on every level of your home, and one in each bedroom.
  • Teach children to never hide from firefighters and never go back inside a burning building. Once you’re out, stay out!
  • Teach everyone to check doors for heat with the back of a hand before opening and, if the door is hot, to use a different way out.
  • If you need to use an escape ladder, show everyone where you keep it and practice how to use it.

In a real fire, once your family is gathered at the safe meeting place, call 911 and keep everyone close until firefighters arrive!

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We Make Your Insurance Claims Easier

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A tablet is used to document information at the site of a fire When you've experienced a disaster at your home or business, the experts at SERVPRO can streamline your insurance claims process.

A water, fire, storm, mold, biohazard or other disaster can severely disrupt your everyday life or business operations, but SERVPRO of West Hartford makes recovery easier by handling as many of the details of the remediation process as possible. Consider us your one-stop disaster cleanup experts. With our experience, capabilities, quality staffing and all the right equipment, we do it all, from beginning to end.

You can rely on SERVPRO of West Hartford to:

  • send a team to your home or business A.S.A.P. to evaluate your damage and create a recovery plan
  • act fast to stop the damage in its tracks
  • detail, photograph and pack your possessions for cleaning or storage
  • thoroughly clean each item and store it in our clean, organized and secure facility in clearly-labeled QR-coded containers
  • remove the damaged material from your home or business
  • clean up water, mold, soot, odor and other hazards
  • perform repairs or reconstruction
  • return your possessions and restore your home or business back to the point before the disaster occurred

Easier and Faster Insurance Claims

SERVPRO of West Hartford makes your disaster recovery process easier by streamlining your insurance claim. We thoroughly document the damage to your home or business, as well as the condition of each item we remove for cleaning or storage on a spreadsheet with photos. This helps us instantly track the location and status of all your possessions—and provides documentation for your insurance claim. Working directly with your insurer, our expert staff also communicates closely with you. We can even handle the paperwork to make sure the processing and payment of your claim is as smooth and swift as possible.

We stay current with the latest insurance trends, rules and technologies, and we maintain affiliations with the New England Claims Executive Association and the Risk & Insurance Management Society. Many insurance companies have found us to be so professional to work with that they recommend us to their clients—we make their job easier, too!

If you’ve suffered a disaster in your home, the last thing you need is to struggle with an intricate insurance claims process. With our stress-free management of your claims, SERVPRO of West Hartford will get your life back to normal as soon as possible!

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Is Your Small Business Ready for a Natural Disaster? (Part 2)

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A parking lot is filled with debris from a wind storm Having and executing a plan to survive and thrive after a natural disaster can keep your small business going when others fail.

If you’re not prepared, natural disasters—like storms, floods, earthquakes or wildfires—can cripple your small business. But with preparation and planning, you can return to normal operations sooner rather than later.

If you have followed steps 1–3 in Part 1 of this series, you’ll be ready to create a series of plans to follow when disaster strikes so that you and your employees survive the disaster, communicate effectively to your customers, retain your data and minimize costly downtime.

4. Create Your Emergency Response Plan

If a natural disaster strikes, your emergency response plan will help you spring into action without delay. In this plan, you’ll detail how you will protect employees and customers during the disaster, how to evacuate and where you will rendezvous. Decide how you will manage business operations and communications in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Identify trusted outside resources, like SERVPRO of West Hartford, that can help you quickly and thoroughly repair damage to your building and property.

Once you have a plan, communicate it to your employees and practice it.

5. Know How You Will Communicate

Create a crisis communications plan for how you will stay in contact with employees and customers. Select a spokesperson (and a backup) for each group. You may want to draft boilerplate messages ahead of time to speed up the process after a natural disaster, when every minute counts.

6. Protect Your Data

It’s wise to back up your data—financial information and other essentials such as customer records —regularly. Using two methods—internally on a physical drive and externally in the cloud—offers the best protection against data loss.

(Consider adding data compromise coverage to your business insurance policy. This can help you with the financial or legal burden if information is lost, stolen or accidentally released.)

7. Plan for a Return to Normal Operations

Write a continuity plan to detail how your business will continue to operate after a natural disaster. Consider how you’ll recover lost data, communicate with customers and suppliers and fulfill your orders and service contracts.

You should have sufficient insurance coverage in place before a natural disaster. Business property insurance may help protect your company from substantial losses, while business interruption coverage may help reimburse you if you’re temporarily unable to operate your business.

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

In addition to offering commercial cleaning services, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Is Your Small Business Ready for a Natural Disaster? (Part 1)

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

An office building is surrounded by flood water Protect your small business by having a plan to survive and thrive after a natural disaster, such as a flood, fire, earthquake or storm.

All the hard work you’ve put into building your business could be at risk if a natural disaster—flood, windstorm, fire or blizzard—damages your property, endangers your employees and forces your business to close for days or weeks.

Making a plan for your small business to survive a disaster will take time, thought and effort—but it will be well worth it. Start your emergency response planning by evaluating the potential for commercial damage.

1. Evaluate the Risks

Which natural disasters are most likely to hit your area: tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods? What’s the greatest risk? Identify the most imminent weather threat and start planning for that, then work your way down the list.

2. Do Your Research

Visit reputable sources such as Ready.gov, FEMA and the American Red Cross. For example, the Red Cross’s Ready Rating program offers free online disaster preparedness planning. (Also good to know: your local Red Cross chapter may provide free CPR and first-aid training for small businesses.)

3. Consider the Potential Damage

Start with a business impact analysis (BIA) to help you develop plans for emergency response, crisis communications and business continuity. Taking into account your existing customer communication, inventory management and record-keeping practices, you’ll explore the potential effect a disaster could have on your business, such as increased expenses from repairs or lost or delayed sales and income.

Read More: Developing the Disaster Recovery Plan

Once you have finished this research and analysis process, you are prepared to develop a specific set of plans to put into place if a natural disaster hits your business. Read Part 2 of this series for tips on creating and implementing these essential plans that cover these areas:

  • Emergency response
  • Communications
  • Data management
  • Business continuity

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

In addition to offering commercial cleaning services, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

A golden retriever holds a first aid kit in its mouth Is your beloved pet ready for a disaster? If you have to evacuate your home, be prepared to take your pet with you ... safely and comfortably.

Having to evacuate in the face of a hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster is disorienting enough for people. If you own a pet (or pets), you know they are an important part of your family. You need to plan for their safe evacuation, too.

Even if you expect to evacuate for only one day, plan for the worst-case scenario. In unpredictable circumstances, pets can be trapped, escape, be exposed to life-threatening hazards or even starve.

Determine Where Your Pets Can Stay

Once you know evacuation is a possibility, identify a place where you can stay with your dog or cat.

  • Check with hotels to see which ones allow animals.
  • Ask family and friends whether they’re willing to host you and your pets.
  • Contact your local emergency-response agencies to learn which shelters allow animals and what their requirements are (such as medical records).
  • Consider boarding and kennel facilities and veterinary offices for emergency housing.

If you’re away from home, make a plan with a trusted neighbor or friend who can evacuate your pets if necessary. Make sure they know where to find your pet and its supplies.

Pack a Pet Go-Bag

The ASPCA Disaster Preparedness recommends you stock these items in a pet go-bag.

  • Collar with ID tag, contact number and rabies tag
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • 3 to 7 days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (replace every two months)
  • Bottled water, at least seven days worth for each person and pet
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra harness and leash (harnesses are recommended for safety)
  • Copies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (replace every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter and paper towels
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for cleanup
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for comforting an anxious pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you need to make a lost poster)
  • A photo of you and your pet together to document ownership
  • Your pet’s favorite toy, treats and bedding
  • If your pet has been microchipped, make sure your contact info is up to date

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Fire Hazards in Pre-1980 Homes

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

An older home is engulfed in fire If your home is 40 or more years old, it may contain deadly fire hazards, such as an aging electrical system and no fire breaks. Get inspected now!

Almost 50,000 electrical house fires occur each year in the U.S., and if your house is more than 40 years old, you could be at risk of a fire largely because of your home’s age. The key to preventing many of these tragedies is a routine home inspection, especially if your house was built before 1980.

How is Your Wiring?

Unseen fire risks may by lurking in outdated wiring. Pay attention to these warning signs of a failing electrical system:

  • flickering or dim lights
  • sparks or smoke
  • burning smells or unusual sounds like sizzles
  • any kind of electrical shock
  • damaged insulation
  • frequent power outages
  • warm or hot outlets or switches
  • a shrinking television picture
  • a need to use extension cords for everyday use

If you see any of these warning signs—or you can't remember the last time your electrical system was inspected—don’t delay! Many homes built before 1980 haven’t been inspected since they were built. Hire a licensed and insured electrician or electrical inspector to prevent a fire disaster in your home.

If Your House Was Built Before 1940

Many pre-1940 homes were built with balloon framing: a continuous wood stud wall that stretches from the foundation to the attic, with no fire breaks. This means a fire can spread from the floor to the roof in mere seconds!

If balloon framing is a possibility in your home, you definitely need to have it inspected! Unfortunately, a major remodel may be necessary to install fire breaks in your walls and ceilings. Still, costly home fire restorations are better than a devastating fire.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from fire, water, mold, sewage, storm, natural disaster and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Your Possessions: Stored and Restored Securely by SERVPRO

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden storage containers stacked neatly in a warehouse SERVPRO of West Hartford guarantees an unbroken chain of custody while we are caring for your possessions in our storage facility.

When you’ve suffered damage from a fire, smoke, water, sewage or storm disaster, nothing is more important than restoring your home and possessions “Like it never even happened.” That’s why SERVPRO of West Hartford’s new inventory system shows at a glance exactly where your items are and what work has been performed. This computerized tracking system ensures that your furniture and personal possessions are securely tracked while we clean and store them and repair your home.

Caring for All Your Household Possessions

SERVPRO cares for 100% of the items in your home, whether they need cleaning or only storage. At your home, our project manager determines what needs to be done to restore each item. One by one, we label each item with your name, then QR-code and photograph it. Then we securely wrap the objects: furniture in blankets and plastic wrap, glass in bubble wrap and plastic wrap, and so forth. We box your smaller personal items, and then photograph, seal and label each box.

After you have witnessed the entire process, you review and sign off on a form that lists all the items with the before-wrap photos. (This list also provides essential information for your insurance claim.) 

An Unbroken Chain of Custody

After everything’s wrapped, we load your possessions into storage containers (or vaults), which are also labeled and QR-coded. With a simple scan, SERVPRO staff can immediately tell where an item is in the cleaning process, and its exact location in our facility, conveniently located in Bloomfield (built in 2015 and one of the largest SERVPRO warehouses in the U.S.).

If you need to retrieve items early—documents required for insurance claims, say, or the contents of a room that can be set up before your home is fully restored—we quickly locate the items in our system and determine exactly where they are stored. Certain items, like smoke-damaged clothing, or unique possessions, like pianos or pool tables, are entrusted to specialty cleaners that SERVPRO contracts with.

Finally, after we restore your home and return all items, you again review and sign off on the original tracking form to ensure that all your items are present, clean and in good condition.

With SERVPRO on your damage restoration team, you are guaranteed an unbroken chain of custody the entire time your possessions are in our care. When you are recovering from a wind, water or fire disaster in your home, rely on SERVPRO of West Hartford to clean, store and restore your possessions professionally, securely and respectfully!

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

SERVPRO Handled This Tough West Hartford Job

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

A street and homes are flooded with water from a burst sewer line This large water and biohazard disaster was successfully remediated by SERVPRO, after several competitors were unable to handle the scope of the work.

Many West Hartford-area residents remember the scene one year ago: an overwhelming flood of sewage that inundated a residential street and almost two dozen homes! 

On October 3, 2018 the region’s water authority was replacing aging water and sewer lines in West Hartford, Connecticut, when a 60-foot-long section of newly-installed pipe liner collapsed after a rainstorm. The resulting blockage sent waste water surging into the street. The basements of more than 20 houses up and down the road were flooded by up to five feet of water, and four families were displaced from their homes.

Access to Resources

SERVPRO of West Hartford’s management team used all the resources at its disposal to clean up a water disaster that several of our competitors were called to but didn’t have the capacity to handle. Crews and equipment from three SERVPRO franchises owned by Ralph and Noemi DiCristofaro joined forces to tackle this extraordinary and rapidly-worsening disaster: SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield, SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield and SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield.

Because we possess resources of equipment and manpower from multiple franchises, we can respond quickly to disasters of just about any size and type. We can swiftly marshal thousands of pieces of equipment, scores of vehicles and well over a hundred highly-trained professionals.

A Biohazard Challenge

When the SERVPRO team was called to the scene, they discovered a street filled with brown water and homes inundated with the foul-smelling biohazard. Our workers got to work pumping out basements, drying out structures and property and removing damaged items. A key to our successful effort on the West Hartford sewage disaster was our expertise in biohazard cleanup: our crews are trained in and adhere to all OSHA and state health regulations.

In the end, only SERVPRO was able to remediate a disaster this big. Although several other disaster remediation companies were called to the scene and began performing initial work, one by one they dropped out of the project.

When the emergency was finally over, it was SERVPRO that cleaned the majority of the affected houses. We dried and disinfected structures and property, but more importantly, we safely and promptly restored homes, property and lives.

When you need disaster remediation—big or small—call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time, night or day.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

When you need disaster remediation—big or small—call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We Offer Commercial Cleaning Services

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial cleaning equipment in an office building From retail to hospitality to office to industrial, your business will look its best when you use SERVPRO's commercial cleaning services.

You know you can rely on SERVPRO of West Hartford for disaster recovery services resulting from floods, fire and smoke, storms, mold, biohazard contamination and more. But did you know SERVPRO can also keep your workplace clean and safe on a year-round basis? We’re not just for emergencies!

In addition to providing restoration services for damage suffered at your home or business, SERVPRO of West Hartford also offers commercial cleaning services. We bring our trademark reliability and attention to detail to the task of keeping your office, restaurant, retail store or manufacturing facility clean, safe and looking its best.

We clean these workplaces and more:

  • small and large office buildings
  • high- and low-rise residential buildings
  • small and large retail stores and big box stores
  • restaurants
  • hotels and motels
  • manufacturing and industrial facilities
  • government and military workplaces

Contracting with SERVPRO for commercial cleaning services guarantees:

  • a superior level of cleanliness
  • a safer environment for your workers
  • skilled personnel using industry-best equipment, products and procedures

SERVPRO will match our cleaning services to your needs—from small to large, from retail to hospitality to office to industrial. Ask about our specialized cleaning services, which include biohazard/ sewage, air duct/HVAC and odor removal.

SERVPRO of West Hartford is here to help you keep your workplace clean, safe and productive for your employees. Your business is going to shine!

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Help Is Here

In addition to offering commercial cleaning services, the team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

For commercial cleaning and disaster restoration needs, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Replace Your Washing Machine Hoses to Avoid a Flood

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

A washer and dryer sit side by side in a laundry room Replace the most vulnerable parts of your washing machine—the rubber hoses—with steel-jacketed ones, which won't burst and flood your laundry room.

The most vulnerable parts of your washing machine are the hoses. Washers are typically sold with rubber hoses—but these hoses can burst with no warning, spewing hundreds of gallons of water in only one hour! Luckily, there’s a quick, easy and affordable way to prevent a flooding disaster from happening in your home.

Avoid a laundry room water disaster by replacing your washer's old rubber hoses with steel-jacketed ones that won’t split open. Buy hoses that are at least 60" long—that length will make it easier to move and service your washer.

  • Remove the old hoses: Turn off your hot and cold water valves, unplug the washer’s electric cord and remove the drain hose from the drain. Lay a towel down and use a stillson (pipe) wrench to remove the hot and cold hoses from the back of the washer and from the water supply.
  • Clean the filter screens on the back of the washer with a brush.
  • Install the new steel braided hoses: screw them on to the back of the washer with your fingers, then tighten with the wrench.
  • Connect the new hoses to the water supply, matching hot and cold. Open the valves, check for leaks, reconnect the drain hose and plug the washer back in.

Tag the new hoses with the date you installed them. Then, check your hoses every six months and replace them once they are five years old.

Add Another Layer of Protection

Installing a plastic drip pan is another fairly simple way to avoid costly damage from a laundry room flood—in fact it’s required in second-floor laundry rooms. The pan sits under your washer and catches small leaks. Select a pan with a drain so that any water that collects can be diverted to a floor drain. You'll need a helper and perhaps a dolly to set the washer gently onto the pan so you don’t crack it.

Once the pan is in place, check it for accumulated water after each load of laundry.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Where Are Your Home’s Shutoff Valves?

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Close-up of a red whole-house water shutoff valve You can stop a flood in your home or business by turning off the water at its source, but you have to know where the shutoff valves are.

It’s a well-known fact of the homeowner’s life: pipes burst, fixtures leak and appliances flood. Costly water damage happens fast, but if you know how, you can quickly stop the deluge by shutting off the flow of water at its source.

Take a few minutes today to locate all of the shutoff valves in your home and you’ll be better prepared to respond to a water disaster emergency.

Whole house shutoff

If you have a well, look for the shutoff valve on the house side of the pressure tank. (You should also cut power to the tank so it doesn't detect a phantom pressure loss and burn out trying to compensate.)

If your home has metered water, look for the shutoff valve on either side of the water meter. (Your meter could be located in the basement, mounted on an exterior wall or even out by the street in a concrete "meter pit" where the household feed line meets the utility main.)

Whole house hot water shutoff

There should be a valve on the hot-water outlet of your water heater, which controls all the hot water to your house. (If there isn't a valve on your hot water heater, you or your plumber should install one.)

Toilet shutoff

The shutoff valve, which typically has a ribbed oval handle, should be under the toilet tank.

Sink shutoff

These shutoffs usually sit just beneath the sink, within the cabinet or vanity if you have one. The hot water valve is usually on the left and the cold water valve on the right.

Dishwasher shutoff

Look first under the kitchen sink to locate a reducer coupling and shutoff valve leading to the dishwasher on the 1/2-inch hot-water sink-supply line. If it’s not there, go to your basement and check for it between the ceiling joists just below the dishwasher.

Washing machine shutoff

You’ll find the hot and cold shutoff valves where the house-supply lines meet the washer hoses. Make it a practice to always close the valves when leaving home for an extended period.

If you do suffer damage to your home from a water disaster, call on an experienced disaster recovery company like SERVPRO of West Hartford, which has specialized training, expert staff and the latest equipment to help you restore your home and possessions.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with water, sewage, storm, mold, fire and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

Prepare Your Pool for a Storm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

An in-ground swimming pool. Minimize storm damage to your swimming pool by knowing what precautions to take and what to do after the storm ends.

Your in- or above-ground swimming pool is not just a place of fun and relaxation, it’s also a big investment. Here are ways to protect your pool from storm damage cleanup from a hurricane or other powerful storm.

Keep the Water In Your Pool

Draining your swimming pool or spa before a storm hits will not keep it from overflowing and flooding your property. Properly built or installed pools should be equipped with overflows that will drain excess water. Additionally, the water in your pool will protect your pool's finish from the effects of flying debris.

You may want to lower the water level slightly, no more than 1 to 2 feet. Otherwise, the hydrostatic pressure can cause the pool to "float" or "pop" out of the ground, according to the Official Broward (Florida) County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Prepare Your Pool Equipment

The most significant storm damage to your pool can occur to its pump and motor.

  • Turn off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment (pump, motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc.).
  • If possible, remove the motor and move it inside, away from water and flooding.
  • If you can’t remove the motor, tightly wrap it with plastic and secure it with strapping tape or rope.

If you have time, remove all loose items from the pool area, including filter housings, filter lid, etc.

What to Do After the Storm

Once the storm has passed, do a few essential tasks—basic clean-up and water conditioning—to get the recovery started. You'll want to:

  • Resist draining the pool.
  • Clean debris from the pool to keep it from staining.
  • Balance water pH and super chlorinate (or shock your pool). Run the filter until the water becomes clear.
  • Don't allow anyone to use your pool right before or after super chlorination.
  • Inspect your pool pump and motor for damage. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours.
  • If you couldn't remove your equipment before the storm and it was underwater, have a professional check it.
  • When electricity has returned, call a licensed, insured pool repair company to inspect your pool and equipment thoroughly.

If your home or business suffers damage from a natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Avoid Electrical Hazards After a Storm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Downed electrical wires lie on a road. Downed power lines pose a silent, deadly threat after a storm. Take extreme caution during post-storm cleanup or evacuation.

The winds and rains of hurricanes and other powerful storms can do vast damage to property: flooding, tearing off roofs, breaking windows, tossing cars. Once the storm has passed, though, the danger remains, because of another kind of storm damage: downed power lines. Take this hazard seriously, because an energized power line is a silent threat that can take your life!

If you see downed power lines, stay away and never try to move them. Even if the power is out, don’t assume it’s safe to touch a downed line, because power lines can become re-energized at any time. Always assume that the line is live and that electrocution dangers exist.

Because power poles may be shared by utility, cable, and telephone companies, downed electrical lines can energize these other lines as well. In fact, when everything around the downed lines is wet from the storm, even normally non-conductive materials can become a path for electricity, including:

  • metal security fences
  • metal buildings, poles and mail boxes
  • standing water
  • trees, branches and pieces of wood

Cleanup Risks

After a strong windstorm, your yard and neighborhood will likely be covered with tree branches and litter. Power lines often get tangled in branches, posing a serious hazard for anyone trimming branches with a chainsaw.

Piles of debris can also be hidden dangers. A lawn chair, piece of metal siding or ladder could be touching a fence or tree limb that is energized.

Be careful and take a good look around your surroundings before attempting any storm cleanup. And have someone with you who can call for help if you come in contact with energized lines.

Driving After a Storm

If you need to drive during or immediately after a storm (to evacuate, for example), be extremely cautious. Watch for downed power lines, tree limbs and obstructions in the road. Never drive over a downed line with your car!

If your car does make contact with a downed wire, the vehicle could become energized. Stay in your car and roll your window down to shout for help or use a cell phone to dial 911.

But if your car has made contact with an energized wire and catches on fire, you must get out of the car. Take extreme caution: the way you exit the car will determine whether you live to tell about it. Your car’s rubber tires insulate it from the ground, but if you step out while touching part of the vehicle, you will complete the circuit and be electrocuted.

  • Remove loose clothing items. Open the car’s door and stand on the floorboard.
  • Don’t hang on to any part of the car as you prepare to jump, including the door handle.
  • Jump away from the vehicle as far as possible, keeping both feet together. Shuffle away from the car without picking up your feet.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Where Do House Fires Usually Start?

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

A house burns and flames shoot out windows. A devastating house fire can be prevented by paying attention to safety at 5 key areas in your home.

Every year, 350,000 American families experience a house fire. While a fire can start almost anywhere in your home, some areas catch fire much more often than others. Fires start for many reasons—faulty electrical wiring, overheated appliances, unattended candles and fireplaces—but you can take simple precautions at these five locations to help prevent a fire at your home.

Kitchen

Half of all residential fires start in the kitchen, with its many appliances that use heat and electricity. Never leave food cooking on a stovetop unattended. Keep fabric and material, like potholders or dishcloths, away from heat and flame. Don’t let grease and residue build up on your oven or stovetop.

Appliances

Your electric, gas or heat-generating appliances are potential fire hazards, and appliances 15 years or older are particularly prone to fire damage. Only run appliances when you’re home, and regularly clean, inspect and maintain all your appliances.

Dryers: Keep vents and filters clean by removing lint after each use, and at least once a year, clean the lint from the exhaust hose at the back of the dryer.

Dishwashers: Don’t run these unattended—dishwasher heating elements, especially in older models, can overheat and catch fire.

Microwaves: Don’t heat materials that are flammable, such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam or certain plastic containers.

Toasters/Toaster Ovens: Never use these appliances unattended. Clean your toaster or oven regularly, because crumbs can accumulate and become stuck at the bottom, creating a fire hazard. Be aware that the electrical elements inside an older toaster can become faulty and may not turn off, which could start a fire.

Bedroom

Bedrooms are filled with potential fire hazards: bedding, mattresses, curtains and plush items. If your mattress was made before 2007, when flame-retardant safety standards were put into place, think about replacing it. Install smoke alarms in each bedroom and make a fire escape plan that includes two ways to exit the room (usually through the door and a window).

Chimneys and Fireplaces

As they age, chimneys and fireplaces can develop structural problems, leading them to burn too hot. Chimney liners can loosen or detach, allowing burning embers and ash to travel to walls, attics and roofs. Regularly clean and maintain your chimneys and fireplaces. At least once per year (or when creosote or soot builds up to a quarter inch), have a professional inspect and clean them. Keep rugs and other fabrics away from the fireplace, and always place a screen in front of the fireplace.

Living Room

Like bedrooms, living rooms contain many potentially flammable items: electronics, curtains and furniture. If you burn candles, place them away from combustible objects and materials and never leave a burning candle unattended.

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in fire restoration and cleanup, as well as natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage and mold remediation, and chemical and biohazard cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a fire, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Categories

Archived Posts