When Water Damage Strikes: Knowing what to Do
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage to your home or business. To help ensure a water damage is handled correctly complete the following steps:
Emergency Water Damage Tips:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
- Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water *this could cause electrical shock and/or damage to the vacuum.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. Watch for a possible Ceiling collapse.
After taking the first steps to limit the damage to your Bergen County home or business. The next step in the process is to:
Call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen
As a leader in the water damage restoration industry we will help you through the process of mitigating the damage. Here are the steps that will happen next:
Inspection: Our experienced SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen Service Technicians will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
In case of Emergency Service: Service Technicians will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damages by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step.
Monitoring: To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a technician will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently be communicated to you.
Restoration Services: Are available upon request. We will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you.
With our level of experience in water damage restoration our SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County team is prepared for nearly any type and size disaster that could affect your home. Give us a call today at (201) 236-2400.
Disasters Happen: Be READY and Prepare now
As a business owner you are a leader in your community, and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
This September or National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. "Disasters Happen" and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes.
As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your employees, company and its infrastructure. This will maximize your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. You can do this by taking three simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business-develop a Emergency READY Profile with SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County.
- Encourage your employees to become ready-Download the READY Plan APP
- Protect your investment-Plan Ahead
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
- No Cost Assessment of your facility.
- A concise Profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County as your restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authoring work to begin
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and critical contact information.
We must all work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, and neighborhoods are ready when disaster strikes.
At ready.gov/business companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing and addressing their unique needs during an emergency. Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County and speak to Art Holl to find out how to be ready when disaster strikes with the Emergency READY Profile program and APP.
After the Storm Watch For Mold Growth
Did you know there is a Water Damage Time Line?
Intrusion of water into your home from a storm can result in mold growth. When water damages are not addressed right away, the result is an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Mold may appear within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage intrusion event if the conditions are conducive to mold growth.
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County handles water damages every day, and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your home or business building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which help prevent the secondary damage like mold growth.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may begin to bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears. Mold spores grow if conditions are conducive to microbial growth.
Before risking further damage to you home, belongings don't try to clean a water damage incident on your own, instead call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County at (201) 236-2400 to handle the water damage cleanup and restoration.
September is National Preparedness Month: Why the Emergency Ready Profile?
September is National Preparedness Month, and it is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, employees and family.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens." In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority locations.
- The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download the SERVPRO free Ready Plan APP to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.
- Establishes SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. Knowing who to call in advance is key to a quick response and timely mitigation, helping to minimize the amount of time your business is inactive.
Preparation is the key to making it through any disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. No one plans on a disaster, but now you can have a plan in place when it happens. Call our office today and speak with Art Holl to start your Emergency READY Profile.
Water Damage Process and Cleanup for your Bergen County Home
Stats of water damage that affect you and your property
Water Damage can cause major problems to your Bergen County home. Whether you are dealing with broken pipes or a natural disaster, any number of things can cause flooding at your property. Besides the damage to any of your belongings and appliances, you have to find a way to get the water out of the home, and completely dry out the premises in order to avoid a problem that is compounded by unwanted mold growth. If you are dealing with water damage in Bergen County, the first step is to begin the water removal process. It is always best to call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen when the job is too big for you, and you don't have the equipment or manpower to properly complete the water removal process. Also, notify your insurance company and take pictures of everything before any work is done at your property. If you are going to get any kind of insurance payout, it will be necessary to have proof of the full extent of water damage at your property.
What you should do Before SERVPRO Arrives:
Think about electricity before you enter the property or space until you know it is safe.
Remove any contents you don’t want that have water damage.
Move contents to higher level if there is no water damage to them.
What WE do when we arrive to your property:
Once we are sure it is safe to actually go into the flooded area of the building, we dress in protective gear, because it is a possibility that the water is contaminated. At this time our SERVPRO Production Manager assess the damage, and will guide you through the process of insurance claims, give you an estimate and the best course of action to clean up the damage.
We will now be able to remove what needs to be replaced, from dry wall to flooring. Then the Service Technicians will arrive in our “SERVPRO Green Trucks” with the required equipment of portable water extraction units to remove any standing water. After the water is removed air movers, fans, and/or floor drying mats can be place to completely dry the area.
What WE do after the water and moisture is removed:
When the water has been removed, along with any damaged belongings, we will need to perform a thorough cleaning with a disinfectant. This ensures that secondary damage does not occur and your home is clean and dry. Now the rebuilding process can begin.
When your Bergen County home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and drying process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the entire process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.
Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen for all of your water damage needs we have 24 hour/7 days a week emergency service.
Call today (201) 236-2400!
After The Storm
After any water damage situation, like a storm your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Floods from heavy rains is one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along a city street, in the mountains, near a river or even in a desert--there is always a potential for flood damage.
Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County, even minor floods can lead to major damage when not treated quickly and properly. Cleanup is often an overwhelming task for the average homeowner without the right equipment. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County can handle any size disaster large or small.
Summer Grilling Safety
Grilling Safety and Home Fire Restoration
Every year, approximately 8,900 home fires are started by backyard BBQ grills. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County has responded to many home fire cleanups due to owner complacency or faulty equipment. Don't let this happen to you, pay attention to a few safety rules and your summer BBQ's should go off without a problem.
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
7. Do Not turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Never leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Never Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Never Use a grill indoors.People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County is a premier fire and water cleanup company that is locally owned and operated. We are Here To Help, with 24/7 emergency service and highly trained IIRC Certified Technicians.
Water Damage from Heavy Rains and Flooding
Flooding from a storm or heavy rains can happen fast. After the recent storms in Bergen County many homes have suffered water damage that never had any before. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency or evacuation due to flooding.
- Water-3+ day supply; one gallon per day per person
- Food-3+day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (all sizes)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes, canes)
- Multi-purpose tool, supplies to secure your home
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication lists, deed/lease to home, insurance policies, birth certificates)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies, pet supplies
- Extra car and house keys
- Extra clothing for both warm, cold and rainy weather-sturdy footwear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Be prepared and make sure your family is safe, then call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County to handle the water damage cleanup professionally and quickly before any secondary damage can take place such as mold.
Water Damage: The Water You Don't SEE
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County has the equipment, training and experience to test for and find unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.
We have a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our trained SERVPRO technicians.
- Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
- Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO to monitor the drying process.
- Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO staff can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
- Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.
The bottom line? At SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County we have the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Beat the Heat
As summer approaches it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat. Heat affects all people, but is particularly dangerous for the sick, elderly and young. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90° F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces often in more rural settings remain close to air temperatures."
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for an prevent extreme heat from affecting you and your family. If possible stay indoors I the air conditioning. Remember to bring your pets indoors, or have shade and water available for them at all times. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
If you must venture outdoors, wear light-colored, and loose-fitted clothing. It is also important to wear sunscreen when outdoors, and follow the instructions for application.
Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which include: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, and fainting according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Try to reduce the body temperature with cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give the person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency. (CDC)
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper ventilation
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes). Aluminum foil covered card board can be used to reflect heat back outside.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers, to reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
Extreme Heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit https://www.ready.gov/ or https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/index.html