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Winter Storms Are on Their Way Again—Here’s How to Prepare | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

A close-up image of a car and tire moving through snow If winter weather should bring damage to your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen for fast, restorative solutions.

The promise of winter is beloved by some, derided by others. Whether you love the cold and the cheer of holiday and end-of-year festivities or you look forward to the new year when you can keep your head down and relax again, you probably don’t look forward to the inconvenience and potential hazards of winter weather.

Winters in Bergen County can bring all sorts of surprises and hazards, and the best way to keep yourself and your family safe is to start preparing now. You don’t want to be caught off-guard when Jack Frost comes at you with both barrels.

<h3your-family">Protect Your Family

In the event of a massive winter storm, you’ll want to have an emergency action plan upon which you and your family can fall back. Make sure everyone in the house knows what to do, where to meet and how to stay in contact during a crisis.

Your vehicles need to be ready as well. Make sure all your car batteries are in good working order, top off any necessary fluids, and have your brake pads changed and tires rotated or replaced as needed.

Your home and car both need emergency kits stocked with water, supplies and medical needs in the event of a shut-in situation or outage. Make sure to include a warm change of clothes and some sturdy shoes in your car kit.

<h3your-home">Protect Your Home

Frozen pipes send a chill down the spine at the mere thought, don’t they? Keep your faucets dripping when it’s bitter cold, and insulate pipes and spigots as necessary to keep them from bursting.

Speaking of insulation, take a peek in the attic and make sure your insulation situation up there is adequate. Poor insulation and window sealing waste energy and let cold air in to replace the warm air being provided by your heating unit.

Your heating unit or HVAC needs some love before winter drops. Let a pro examine it and perform any needed maintenance or upgrades. The cold of winter can really put your unit to the test, so you’ll want it to be in tip-top condition from the start.

<h3your-pets">Protect Your Pets

The bitter winter is uncomfortable and even dangerous for household pets. Make a comfortable place inside and invite them in during the cold.

If you have horses, livestock or special outdoor animals, make sure they have a good place to shelter and constant access to thawed water.

<h3for-melts-and-flooding">Watch for Melts and Flooding

Thaws on a large scale can create dangerous flooding, as local waterways become overrun when weather warms up. This same effect can cause your roof to leak as well, so be cognizant of ice dams, and let local news sources warn you about potential thaw flooding.

If winter weather should bring damage or flooding to your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County for fast, restorative solutions.

The Water You Don't See May Cause More Damage To Your Bergen County Property

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Image of water sensor tool being used to detect water in the wall. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County is dedicated to providing expert water damage cleanup in the Bergen County area.

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 of Northwest Bergen 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."

Holiday Safety Cooking Tips | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen County

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Image of kitchen stove with flames. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County is available 24/7 for restoration of fire damage emergencies.

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous. 

Here are some safety tips to ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Check food regularly, use a timer as a reminder.
  • Keep young kids away from the cooking area. 
  • Keep anything flammable away from the stove, oven or any other hot surface. 
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.
  • Clean cooking surfaces to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it properly.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home, to make sure all appliances are turned off. 
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

Here is a link with additional safety tips. http://www.nfpa.org/thanksgiving

The Most Likely Ways a Fire Could Start in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

a firefighter battling a fire with a water hose in hand Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen are here for you if your home is affected by fire.

We’ve heard fire safety messages all our lives. We ran fire drills in school, we listened to Smokey the Bear, and we see campaign after campaign on social media and in advertising preaching the virtues of fire safety.

And yet, a quarter of all reported fires in the U.S. start in the house, and a great many of them could be prevented.

Let’s take a deeper look, and see if we can figure out where we can tighten up our fire awareness and prevent some of these home fires.

Cooking. Virtually half of all house fires ignite in the kitchen. These blazes have causes that range—pun intended—but the top (and yet most easily preventable) cause is unattended cooking. To put it another way: The single most practical thing you could do in your home right now to prevent fires is to be more attentive when you’re over the stove. That’s really it.

Heating equipment. When it gets cold, we turn on the HVAC heat, but many people also reach for space heaters to add warmth in specific areas or save energy costs by only heating certain rooms. These little firestarters are prone to cause all sorts of danger, as they have been known to tip over, overheat or overload wall outlets, especially when left on for long periods. If you have to use one, get a new one with added safety features.

Electrical fires. Old wiring can cause fires inside your walls, incorrect use of lighting fixtures and extension cords can cause short-circuits, and fires can even begin because your home is overpowering your older home’s capacity to provide electricity. You can’t predict all of these, but regular inspection and maintenance of your electrical system can give you a good chance of stopping many of them.

Smoking materials. Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire fatalities, though they only make up about 5% of total home fires. If smoking is part of your routine, always do it safely, and never smoke while drowsy or impaired.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact your local team today to see how we can help.

Freezing Temperatures May Lead to FreezingPpipes and Water Damage in Bergen County Properties

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes bursting with water SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen can help with water damage in your Bergen County home or business.

With temperatures getting colder in the Northern New Jersey area there is a potential for pipes to freeze and cause serious water damage both outside and inside your home. Here are some tips to avoid frozen pipes in your home or business property.

On the inside:

If you will be away from home for days at a time, make sure that all of your pipes are kept warm, especially in spaces that receive little or no heat. If any pipes will stay exposed to freezing temperatures, open up one faucet with a very small drip to keep water moving through the pipes.  Also, leave cabinet doors open to expose pipes to the air temperature within the room. 


On the outside:

Protect your pipes as you would protect your plants. Cover up your outside faucets with foam or towels to insulate them.  Make sure the water is turned off from the main valve. If you plan to be away from home this winter, remember to leave your contact information with a neighbor. You might consider giving them a key to your home, too, and leaving your preferred plumber's contact information behind should an emergency occur.

If your pipes burst and your home has water damage call your plumber and SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of homes and commercial properties after water damage disasters.

Commercial Cleaning for Every Business | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee in PPE prepping an area for cleaning Are you ready to have the cleanest business in town? Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen for all your cleaning needs.

Homeowners in Bergen County know that when mold, fire or water cause headaches at home, SERVPRO is the call to make for recovery, restoration and more.

Business owners, likewise, know that we’re the proper partner for businesses suffering from similar fates.

But there’s an additional service business owners can take advantage of at any time, not only when there’s a crisis: ultra-high-grade commercial cleaning services that go far beyond traditional sanitation service.

Commercial Services for Businesses of Any Size

More so than ever before, it’s important for business owners to present a shopping or commercial experience which makes it clear that the health of customers and employees is at the forefront. And that’s where we can help. We take care of businesses of every ilk, including:

Retailers and malls. Chains and local boutiques equally deserve sanitation and the clean feeling that promotes customer comfort.

Educational facilities and sporting venues. School wipedowns are only clearing half the bacteria from the most heavily used areas of the classroom. We can improve the standard of cleaning to provide a more hygienic learning or athletic environment.

Senior care facilities and hospitals. The environment of healthcare facilities has to be clean to an incredible degree to ensure a safe space for patient care, and nobody is more capable of making it happen than the experts at SERVPRO.

Resorts, hotels and casinos. Whether chips are flying or families are checking in, we’ve got the extra cleaning that high-traffic areas like hotels and convention centers require.

Foodservice facilities. Processing, distribution and service of food calls for a bacteria-free space. We can keep it spotless so you can focus on the vittles.

Managed residences and businesses. Landlords and property managers trust us to provide tenants with healthy spaces and spotless offices.

When you’re ready to have the cleanest business in town, we’re ready to help. Contact your local SERVPRO to get the pros working on the cleaning so you can work on the work.

Keep Fall Fire Free in Your Bergen County Community

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Phone with SERVPRO APP and house in the background on fire. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen has over 25 years of experience in the fire restoration industry.
The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the fire emergency preparedness plans for your home or business. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County is a leading provider for fire cleanup and restoration. We have years of knowledge, and highly trained Service Technicians to properly handle any size fire, smoke or soot disaster. We also have the cleaning products and equipment required to restore your property to preloss conditions.

Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

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

Along with these tips don’t forget to change your batteries in your Fire and Smoke Alarms. Once the alarm goes off you have less then 2 minutes to escape. Create, implement and practice a fire escape plan with your family and/or employees.

SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County wants you to stay safe, and informed for any type of disaster that comes your way. If your Bergen County area home does suffer damage from a fire, smoke or soot give us a call at: 201-236-2400 we can walk you through the necessary steps to get your home back to normal. Read our Fire clean up tips.

How You Can Tell Your Service Company Will Take Care of You | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

three green SERVPRO trucks lined up on a side street You can rest easy knowing you’ve got the trusted leader in the restoration industry on the other end of the line, SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen.

ome moments in life require you to make decisions that require both speed and trust. Having a home that sustains damage from a fire, flood or natural disaster is certainly one of those times.

An event that necessitates restoration at home requires some quick but critical thinking on your part, as you consider your options as to who will make the necessary repairs.

Anything you can determine before a moment of crisis will be helpful, so ask yourself these questions when it comes time for you to consider a service company.

Are They Legit?

Rough times can reveal both the best and worst in humanity, and disaster scenarios are no different. There’s nothing like a hurricane or flood to bring out a few scammers who over-promise, underdeliver (or don’t deliver at all), then disappear with the money of under-researched homeowners. Here’s a helpful tip: If a contractor doesn’t have a local reputation or a client base who can vouch for their work, they may not be trustworthy.

When you call SERVPRO, you’re calling on an established, respected leader in the restoration industry. We’ve worked tirelessly for over 50 years to develop and maintain a stellar reputation.

Will They Be There When I Need Help?

You’re never left waiting when you call SERVPRO. Weekends, holidays—we’ll even respond on our birthday.

We’ve got a team at the ready 24 hours a day, so you can be sure you’ve got somebody who will take action when you need it most.

Where’s a Fleet When You Need One?

SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen is a local small business, based right here in Waldwick, which is how we provide you such speedy, expert service.

But the ace in the hole for SERVPRO is that if an area event causes a surge of activity or a need for extra help, we can call upon the mighty SERVPRO network of nationwide teams, tools and resources.

When you call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the trusted leader in the restoration industry on the other end of the line. When disaster hits home, contact us to get our local experts and nationwide network on your side.

October if Fire Prevention Month: Know What to do Until Help Arrives

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Service Technicians Cleaning Fire Damage. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen to clean and restore your property after a fire.

First Have an Evacuation Plan and make sure your family or employees are safe.

WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES TO CLEAN THE DAMAGE

A fire can leave behind soot damage, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning.

If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet. 
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don't:

  • Don't attempt to wash walls, painted surfaces, furniture or carpets. Instead call SERVPRO.
  • Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances before consulting authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as it may be contaminated. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
  • Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. 

It is important for you to work with professionals trained in fire damage restoration to clean your home or business properly. Our Service Team and Production Managers are IICRC Certified and fully trained to clean fire damaged properties. We also have professional grade equipment and cleaning supplies to successfully clean soot and smoke damage. We make it "Like it never even happened."

Plan for Fire Safety This Fall | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

a small campfire burning bright in the dark night Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.

You could tell without a calendar that fall has arrived: The temperature is perfectly mild in a way that only happens for a brief period each year, the j-e-t-s are back on the field and there’s a pumpkin flavor of everything available.

Whatever your fall plans are this year, keep in mind a few basic fire safety tips to ensure safe enjoyment of Bergen’s most enjoyable season.

Campfire Safety

Fall is a perfect time for camping, and it can be a great activity this time of year. Just make sure you’re extra careful when building and putting out your campfire.

Your fire needs a 25-foot clearance from any tents or other structures. Ignite your fire only with old-school tools like matches or a lighter— kerosene or lighter fluid may get things going quickly but can get out of control just as quickly.

Make sure an adult is attending to the fire at all times, and be sure to completely put the fire out before you leave. Any warm ash or live embers you leave behind create a wildfire hazard, so make sure everything is cool to the touch and drowned in water.

Space Heaters

For the crisp mornings while you sip your pumpkin-spice coffee at your home office (or really anytime for the cold-natured among us), portable space heaters are a great solution to save energy but still provide some extra warmth. However, they’re one of the most frequent causes of home fire incidents, so take extra care with them.

Use only newer models, which will shut off if they tip over or overheat. Always keep your heater on a flat surface, away from anywhere children might play. Keep it at least three feet from anything—curtains, clothes, couches—that could ignite under intense heat.

Plug your heater directly into a power outlet, as opposed to an extension cord. And finally, make sure you turn it off anytime you leave the room, and certainly when you go to bed; never let it run overnight.

Halloween

When you’re decorating for Halloween, or for fall in general, it’s important to be aware of the presence of candles and their proximity to any decorations, particularly things like cobweb decor or paper items.

And if you’re planning outdoor parties and hanging lights, be sure to plug them in directly to outlets and unplug them when they’re not in use. A short circuit can spark a fire inside your walls, and strands of lights plugged into extensions are just the right recipe to cause one.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the fire cleanup and recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.