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Hidden Pipe Leaks Cause Water and Mold Damage to Bethel, CT Homes

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hidden Pipe Leaks Cause Water and Mold Damage to Bethel, CT Homes One sign of a leaky pipe is discoloration and warping of your kitchen cabinets. Leaky pipes cause water and mold damage to Newtown homes.

In our years in the water damage restoration industry, we have seen many causes of water damage - from toilet overflows to burst pipes to roof leaks.

Leaky pipes are the cause of many calls to our office. They are often hidden behind walls and cabinets and not discovered until the damage is widespread. Because of this, a pipe leak can cause a considerable amount of damage as the water becomes absorbed into walls, carpeting and ceilings. If allowed to leak long enough, a pipe can damage wood support beams and cause structural issues to a home.

There are some signs of a leaky pipe that you can be on the lookout for that will help you deal with the water damage before it becomes a major issue.  

  1. A musty smell. A home should not have a musty smell. If you notice an odd smell that doesn't go away after cleaning the area, it's possible that there is water or mold in your walls that are causing this. 
  2. Lifting or buckling of floors. If you notice your vinyl floors lifting at the corners or your wood floors or tiles buckling, it's possible that water is seeping in from the edge (particularly if it is in a kitchen or bathroom)
  3. Warping or discoloration of your cabinets. Check under the sink in your kitchen and bathroom. If there is any warping of the wood or staining from water, it's possible there is a leak that is allowing water to drip behind and can be causing mold to grow behind the cabinets.
  4. Peeling wall paint or  wallpaper. When your walls have absorbed too much water from a pipe leak and reached a saturation point, the wallpaper and paint will begin showing signs of damage. 
  5. Water stains on your ceiling. This is a telltale sign that there is leaking going on - whether from a toilet overflow or a bathroom sink pipe leaking. 

While it may be tempting to ignore a minor sign of water damage such as a small stain on a ceiling, keep in mind that the problem will not resolve itself. Allowed to continue, your leak go from a little problem to a big one. The moisture present will also allow mold to grow, which will require a secondary restoration treatment. 

If you see any of these signs of water damage in your home,  call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

We have the experience and training to make it "Like it never even happened."

Surprising Places That Black Mold Grows in Homes and Businesses

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Surprising Places That Black Mold Grows in Homes and Businesses Mold was found behind the kitchen cabinets in this Danbury, CT home. The cause of the water and mold was a leaky pipe that had gone undetected.

Mold spores naturally exist in all interior and exterior environments and at normal levels, are not harmful.  Given the opportunity, however,  mold spores can grow quickly and reach dangerously high levels.   Most people are aware of the health concerns that are associated with mold in the home and know to keep an eye out for mold growth in their showers and basements. There are some surprising places that mold can grow in the home and business where it's appearance isn't quite as apparent.

  1. Ceiling tiles – Many businesses choose to have dropped ceiling tiles installed due to the ease of access to the plumbing, fixtures and ductwork above them. In residential homes, ceiling tiles are often found in a finished basement. The lack of light and moisture from pipes and ducts, along with the obscurity of being hidden behind the ceiling, makes the space above your dropped ceiling ideal for mold growth. If you notice staining on your ceiling tiles, take them out and investigate the source of water. Once the leak has been repaired, replace any affected tiles.  
  2. Under your area rugs and floor mats – Most homes and businesses have mats at the front entrance so that those entering can wipe their feet.  But the rain, snow and mud that is shaken off boots saturates the rugs, creating a breeding ground for mold. Be sure to pick lift rugs, clean them and allow them to dry out on a regular basis to deter mold from growing.  
  3. Behind the kitchen sink – We do several mold remediation jobs each year in which mold was discovered behind (or under) a kitchen sink. The culprit is typically a slow leaking pipe that goes unnoticed because of its location.  The water damage is eventually discovered – sometimes because the cabinetry is rotting, other times due to kitchen renovation – and substantial mold growth along with it.  If you notice any signs of leaking water under your sink such as discoloration of the cabinets or lifting of the flooring around the sink, call a plumber in to determine and repair the cause. 
  4. HVAC system – Mold grows in ductwork because of the condensation that can build up due to the moist air blowing through them. HVAC ducts also collect organic material such as dust, pollen, animal fur and dead skin cells. This material happens to be an excellent source of food for mold spores. Typically, a musty odor is the first sign people notice that there may be mold in their ducts. Having your HVAC system cleaned annually will reduce the risk of mold growth by removing these particles.  
  5. Your attic – Moisture in your attic can cause mold to grow. This can occur for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being a small, undetected roof leak. However, mold growth is also caused when an attic has inadequate or improperly installed venting. Additionally, air leaks in the attic allow warm, moist air to enter the space as well. Air leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons- the space around the chimney, the furnace vent and even cable and electrical lines entering the home.  

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team specializes in mold damage remediation.  Our mold specialist, Ted White, has over 30 years of experience identifying and treating homes and businesses that have mold infestations in the Bethel, CT area. If you see or smell signs of mold or a water leak in your home, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule professional mold inspection. 

Call SERVPRO to Spring Clean Your Newtown, CT Commercial Property

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Call SERVPRO to Spring Clean Your Newtown, CT Commercial Property  Although your kitchen staff cleans every day, leave the heavy duty cleaning such as degreasing and sanitizing ceilings, ranges and exhausts to us.

Spring is finally upon us! One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning.  Everything has a way of becoming dusty, grimy and cluttered in the winter. It's the perfect time to give your Newtown area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   

Carpet  Cleaning: We offer commercial carpet cleaning that effectively removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting.  

Upholstery Cleaning: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? We can remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  

Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Bethel restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  

Get your Fairfield County business ready for spring with a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. We will come out and get you ready for another successful year!

In home water damage restoration, timing is everything.

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage In home water damage restoration, timing is everything. When this Brookfield area house had pipes burst in the winter, the water damage was not discovered right away, causing the ceilings to collapse.

If your New Milford home has experienced water damage, whether from a pipe burst, an appliance line leak or a flooded basement, calling a restoration company immediately will reduce the damage to your home and possessions.  The sayings "time is of the essence" and "there's no time to waste" are applicable here. The longer that your home is left untreated, the greater the effects of the water damage will be.  

What might appear as a water stain in the morning could progress to the ceiling having fallen on your couch by noon.  Once wet, sheetrock can quickly deteriorate and fall to pieces. As time passes after a water damage event, the flooding can cause your porous furnishings such as carpeting, mattresses and furniture to become water logged, rendering them unsalvageable. Home insulation and carpet padding also retain moisture.  Electronics are susceptible to internal degradation from the moisture in the air.  When treated quickly, wood and laminate flooring can often be saved using our floor mat system however if left to penetrate and go beneath the wood to the subfloor, this option is unlikely. 

Secondary water damage issues can also arise if restoration is delayed. What may have entered your home as clean water, such as an ice dam melting through your ceiling or water from a faucet leaking, may become contaminated and change to gray or black water, which can be a health concern and require a higher degree of handling. The growth of mold spores is also a concern when a home has had flooding that goes untreated.  

Upon arrival to your home after we receive your call, one of the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County estimators will assess the damage. If you have not yet determined the cause of the water damage, their first course of action will be to do so.  Our technicians use a variety of tools such as moisture readers and sensors, probes and infrared technology in their evaluation. This, coupled with decades of experience and the highest level of industry training, gives them an accurate picture of the situation.  

Typically, our first course of treatment is to remove any standing water from your home using water extractors, submersible pumps, dehumidifiers and air movers. If necessary, we will order dumpsters to be brought to your home for the disposal of unsalvageable personal items and structural materials such as flooring, carpeting and wallboard. Our crew may also move household belongings from your home to our storage facility while your home is being cleaned. They may also restore some items such as furniture, area rugs, and photos off site.  Throughout the process, our office staff will communicate with your insurance company to address any concerns and gain approval for planned restoration work.  

After we have removed the excess water from your home, we begin sanitizing it. We use both wet and dry cleaning methods to remove dirt and pollution from the carpets, walls, furniture, baseboards, appliances and pieces of furniture that were affected by the water.  Industrial air scrubbers, which clean the air by passing it through special filters, remove any contaminants from the air of the home.  Our crew uses antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments to sanitize and disinfect any contaminated items and deodorization to eliminate any odors

Once your home is dry, clean and restored, we are able to bring your household items back, have the dumpsters removed and move our equipment out.  Although each water damage restoration job we encounter is unique, our essential approach is consistent. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, our goal is to arrive at your home and begin the water damage process quickly after receiving your call, restore it professionally and thoroughly and help you get back to normalcy.  If you experience water damage in the Newtown area, call our office at (203) 743-5362. We are available 24 hours a day and have staff ready to respond to your call. 

Water damage clean up after frozen pipes burst at Ridgefield CT school

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage clean up after frozen pipes burst at Ridgefield CT school Freezing temperatures in Ridgefield, CT caused pipes to freeze and burst, causing water damage to the carpeting of this school.

When the temperature dropped to below zero for several days, our Brookfield, CT office received a high volume of calls from homes and businesses that had experienced frozen pipes that burst. 

This Ridgefield, CT school had water damage from burst pipes and it was a priority for our team to restore the building quickly so that school was not affected for the kids. We arrived at the school with vans full of air movers, which is a high static pressure fan ideal for the wet carpeting in the school. We used dehumidifiers specially designed for large spaces such as a school, used to accelerate the drying process in water damage restoration. Luckily, there was not a need for demolition and we were able to get the job done quickly. 

If you have water damage in your Ridgefield area school or business, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 as soon as the flooding is discovered. The sooner we are able to arrive at your building at begin cleaning up, the lower the likelihood that there will be secondary water damage and the need for demolition of floors and walls. 

Nobody wants their home to smell like cigarettes- SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County can help with tar and odor removal!

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Nobody wants their home to smell like cigarettes- SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County can help with tar and odor removal! If you have cigarette smoke residue on the walls of your home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County to clean it up.

Smoking cigarettes inside of a home leaves behind an unsightly mess on the walls and furnishings as well as odors that are difficult to remove. Sticky, highly toxic particulates, like nicotine, can cling to walls and ceilings. The residual gases left behind from smoking can be absorbed into carpets, draperies, and upholstered items.

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, cigarette residue removal is a must. 

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County has the training to eliminate offensive odors and remove tar from walls. We have the equipment needed to penetrate surfaces such as carpeting, drapery, furniture and bedding.  We use a tool called an Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from pets, nicotine, mildew and more without the use of toxic chemicals. Our air scrubbers assist in removing odor particles from the air.   

If your Newtown home has cigarette residue in the air and on the walls, give us a call.  This photo shows a recent job that we had in which there was tar on the walls of a home due to over 50 years of smoking inside.  You can see how thick and yellow the wall and ceiling were before we cleaned it! We were able to remove the residue (as well as the odors) and make those walls white again.

What a crazy winter it has been in Litchfield County! Frozen pipes, Ice dams and Water Damage.

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

General What a crazy winter it has been in Litchfield County! Frozen pipes, Ice dams and Water Damage. 2018 has brought the Sherman area snowstorms, below zero temperatures, flooding from rain, frozen pipes and icy roads.

Wow, 2018 started out with a bang!

January was full of weather extremes for those of us in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties. The month began with unusually frigid temperatures -the thermometer dropped below zero many times and the average temperature for the first week of January was 5 degrees (without the wind chill)! During this week, our team received a high volume of calls from customers who had water damage to their homes and businesses due to frozen pipes bursting.  We were kept busy drying out homes and providing emergency generators to heat homes that required it during restoration.   

We also had over a foot of snow fall during the month, which added to the foot already on the ground from December. Heavy snow on roofs created ice dams, which caused even further water damage to structures from ceiling leaks in our area. 

Then, on January 13th the weather turned and the thermometer hit 61 degrees. In January. In Connecticut. The sudden warm weather, combined with rain, caused all of that snow and ice to melt faster than nature could handle. Ice dams on the Housatonic River in Kent prevented the rushing water from flowing and caused historic flooding to the town. A local state of emergency was declared, several residents were evacuated, the schools were shut down and Route 7 was closed. The following day brought freezing temperatures again (a low of 10 degrees) and all of that water froze, creating a sheet of ice on roads, roofs and driveways. That week brought more water damage calls with basements flooding throughout the area. 

The crazy weather continued its course for the rest of the month – with temperatures rising and dropping, snow falling, rain falling, snow melting and ice forming. Our crew worked hard all month under these conditions. They drove in snowstorms and on icy roads. They slid around on driveways that were sheets of ice while trying to bring heavy extraction equipment, heaters and fans into homes.  They worked nights and weekends. We are so appreciative of our team - Davi, Von, Junior, Brendan, Tim, Bill, Jen, Bianca and Keri – for their dedication to a job that isn't always pretty! We wouldn't have gotten through the month without such amazing employees. 

As I write, snow is falling again but hopefully February will be a bit milder and give Connecticut residents a respite from this wild winter!

Wet winter weather can cause mold growth to homes and businesses in the New Milford, CT area

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Wet winter weather can cause mold growth to homes and businesses in the New Milford, CT area Placing a moisture barrier in your crawlspace can reduce the risk of mold spores growing there, and spreading throughout your Newtown, CT home.

With all of the snow and ice, followed by torrential rains, that we are experiencing in Fairfield County, it has been a very wet winter. These conditions will lead to an increase in mold growth in homes and businesses. 

Water that has leaked behind walls or seeped into basements unnoticed are often the common culprits, as is the high humidity that rainstorms bring.  

There are some actions that our IICRC trained mold specialists suggest you take to reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home.  

  1. If you have one of the beautiful old Connecticut homes that has a dirt floor crawlspace, spread a moisture barrier down on the ground. Polyethylene or roofing paper will do the trick. This will help to reduce the moisture entering your crawlspace, and mold spores from entering your home.  
  2. If there are any leaks coming from your roof and you cannot have it repaired until spring, cover it with a tarp to stop any water from entering.  
  3. To stop any water from coming into your basement, grade the ground around your foundation to slope away. This will reduce  the amount of water that is standing around your foundation and it's chances of entering your home.  
  4. If you have a home that tends to get wet, be proactive after a rainstorm. Run dehumidifiers, heaters and fans in the vulnerable area if necessary. 
  5. Keep an eye on windows and pipes for condensation, which can be caused by a leak or another source of high humidity in the room.  

Mold spores can grow easily and spread fast in wet weather. If you see signs of mold after a flood or water damage this winter, give us a call to come out for an inspection. Catch it before it significantly spreads and the treatment process can be done with minimal impact to your life.  

Ice storms cause hazards to even seasoned Connecticut residents

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Ice storms cause hazards to even seasoned Connecticut residents Tree limbs that are covered with ice can become so heavy that they break and fall, damaging Sandy Hook homes. We can help with an emergency board up.

Most of us in Connecticut are quite adept at handling snowstorms. We know when to stay home and when we can safely drive. The majority of residents have an alternate heat source, whether that be a wood stove or kerosene heater and a generator to get us through the power outages that high winds might cause.  We own roof rakes and snow blowers and know how to use them. Quite a number of us also have a tarp and emergency supplies "just in case".  

We've had a few ice storms over the past few weeks and they present a unique set of challenges to New Milford homeowners.  The unpredictable nature of ice and sleet on roads can make it difficult to drive safely for even seasoned drivers.  Sidewalks, steps and your entire driveway may become so slippery that they are impassable.  The weight of the ice on tree limbs can cause them to break and fall, causing roof damage to homes. Ice might accumulate on your roof, and even make its way under shingles- dislodging and breaking them. This, combined with the warm weather that has followed the ice storms, puts homes at risk of water damage from roof leaks.  

There's no escaping the snow, ice and freezing temperatures when you live in the Northeast. Hopefully, your home won't be damaged by falling limbs or roof leaks. However, if you do have have a leak or hole in your roof, give us a call. Our team has the experience of several decades of Litchfield County winters and will come right out, assess the situation and restore your home from the damage. 

Restoring your New Milford home after wet, dry or protein smoke damage

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoring your New Milford home after wet, dry or protein smoke damage What type of smoke damage is on the walls of your CT home? This will help the SERVPRO team determine a clean up plan.

When we receive a call from a homeowner who has had a fire, one of the first questions we ask is "What is the cause of the fire?"

This information will help us determine what kind of smoke damage you have and establish the proper restoration plan. Not all smoke is equal  and each different type requires a different method of cleaning.  A quick breakdown of the types of smoke residue is:

  • Wet Smoke Residue -Wet smoke residue occurs from smoldering fires with low heat.  During these fires, synthetic materials such as plastics and rubbers, carpeting, furniture and electronics will have slowly smoldered. They tend to have a pungent odor and leave a sticky residue.  During cleaning, wet smoke residue can smear, making cleanup more difficult. 
  • Dry Smoke Residue – Dry smoke residue occurs during fast burning fires that burn at a high temperature. Natural materials such as paper, leather, natural rubber and wood are present in dry smoke fires.  Dry smoke residue is generally dry, powdery, gray in color and does not smear much. Homes that have experienced these fires are easier for our crew to restore. 
  • Protein Residue – Protein fires are most commonly caused when food burns in a kitchen. Protein residue is essentially invisible and a homeowner may be under a false impression that the damage is minor. However, there is actually soot covering the surfaces. If not properly removed, protein smoke will discolor paints, varnishes, and other finishes on your walls and cabinetry. One major indicator that there is an invisible residue after a kitchen fire is a very strong, obnoxious odor. 

The SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County team treats each fire damage job individually and will determine which course of action to take after arriving at your home.  Call us at (203) 743-5362 for a quick response, an evaluation of your home's fire damage and a professional restoration plan.