Recent Posts

Commercial mold remediation in New Milford

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial mold remediation in New Milford Part of our commercial mold remediation process is setting up containment to stop mold spores from spreading throughout the building.

If you have mold at your Bethel area commercial property, it can be a health risk for your employees and customers. You may also experience a disruption in your business because of mold. Mold is sometimes caused by a slow water leak or inadequate ventilation. Often it can go unnoticed until it creates a strong musty odor or visible signs of mold on the outside of walls.  

If you have concerns that there may be mold at your business, call us. When you first call us, we will go through our inspection process with you and ask you some questions about the property. We will set up an appointment for one of our mold specialists to come out and inspect the property. We may need to remove some sheetrock to take a peek behind the walls if we suspect that is where the source is. Often, the mold is not widespread and we are able to recommend some preventative measures (such as having a plumbing or ventilation repair performed) to our customer. 

In other cases, professional remediation is required. We will install contamination barriers in your business to stop airborne mold spores from spreading to other parts of the workplace. We will begin the remediation process and bring your building back to safe levels of mold spores.  

Our mold remediation process is done with your business in mind. We aim to perform the work needed with as little disruption to your business as possible.Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you suspect that you have mold at your Fairfield County business.

What can you do to avoid mold growth in your home?

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What can you do to avoid mold growth in your home? Mold in your attic can be caused by insufficient or improperly installed venting as well as a roof leak that has not been repaired.

Mold is everywhere in our environment.

It occurs naturally and at normal levels, it is not harmful in your home. However, if there are conditions in your home that are causing abnormal levels of mold spores to be present, professional remediation may be necessary. Sometimes, mold is hidden behind walls, in attics and under carpeting, making it hard to identify. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of toxic mold in your New Milford home. 

  1. Run air conditioners during the summer and dehumidifiers year round to lower the humidity in the air- under 50% is ideal.  
  2. Have an exhaust fan installed in bathrooms with showers 
  3. Regularly check under sinks for pipes leaking under your cabinets. This is a major cause of the mold jobs we receive. A slow drip over years can cause a big mold problem.
  4. Opt for hard flooring in basements and bathrooms rather than carpeting, which are an ideal breeding ground for mold.  
  5. Check your attic for signs of mold- make sure that your attic vents are not blocked and functioning properly.  
  6. Take preventative measures to avoid ice dams, which can result in mold growth in a home. 
  7. Repair any leaks immediately and thoroughly clean up any water from the leak.  
  8. Make sure your gutters are properly functioning and that they are not blocked with leaves. This will help reduce the water flowing towards your house and possibly into your basement.  
  9. Similarly, making sure that the landscaping around your house slopes away will reduce the water entering your foundation. 
  10. If you have an old Connecticut home with a crawlspace, there are vapor barriers that can be installed to stop mold spores from entering through those wood floor gaps.  

If you suspect you have mold in your home, whether it's because you notice a musty smell, have unexplained illness or see a black substance on your walls, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection with one of our IICRC mold specialists. 

We clean cigarette residue and odors in Bethel area homes

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning We clean cigarette residue and odors in Bethel area homes This photo shows the walls of a Brookfield home before and after our team cleaned the cigarette residue off of them. What a difference!

If you are selling a house that was the home of a long time smoker, or perhaps just bought one, you will probably notice that the walls are yellow and there is a cigarette odor present in the home. You may also notice that despite deodorizing the home and scrubbing the walls, the smell persists.  

Tobacco stains on walls cannot be wiped off or painted over. If you have ever touched it, you will notice that it is a sticky yellowish-brown substance that is the residue from the over 4,000 compounds that make up cigarette smoke. Painting over the walls will not remove the damage. The smoke has made its way into every nook and crevice of the home over the years and professional cleaning is required to thoroughly remove it.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the equipment and training to remove tobacco stains and smells. We are equipped with air filters to clean the smoke particles out of the air.  Our ozone generators are even able to get behind wall cavities to filter the air if necessary. With a mix of training, equipment and elbow grease, we can remove the tobacco residue off of walls and hard surfaces as well.  

You don't need to suffer with foul odors - cigarette stains and odors can be professionally removed from your home or apartment complex.

Call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection.

We clean and restore Fairfield County homes that have been affected by hoarding

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning We clean and restore Fairfield County homes that have been affected by hoarding If you are concerned about the health and safety of a loved one because of a hoarding problem in the New Milford area, call us at (203) 743-5362.

We are sometimes called to a home to treat a water or mold damage in which the number of contents in the home make restoration difficult.  Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.  A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk.  

Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes. 

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding. Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized and deodorized.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.  

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween in Litchfield County!

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

General Have a Happy and Safe Halloween in Litchfield County! All of us at SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County wish you a Happy Halloween!

We love Halloween- the crisp air, friendly people and the excitement of the kids running from house to house (or trunk to trunk!). We end our National Fire Prevention Month campaign with a few Halloween safety tips.

  • When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
  • Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o'lanterns. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o'lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes. 
  • When walking, put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Whether you are trick or treating, having a party, trunk or treating or going to local businesses this year for Halloween in New Milford, we wish you a fun night!

Employee Spotlight: Valerie Mulverhill

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Spotlight: Valerie Mulverhill Val loves spending time outdoors with her family.

Valerie is a marketing support coordinator for SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County. She began working for the franchise in April 2016, having come to us after spending 7 years as a stay at home mom.  Prior to that, Val worked for 7 years at the Vassar College Library.   She has a paralegal degree from Dutchess Community College.  

Taking advantage of the resources and training programs that the national SERVPRO organization provides, Val learned the ins and outs of online networking.  She maintains our website by keeping it up to date with photos, videos and blog articles about the work we do. She also runs our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Google.  

When asked what she enjoys about this job, Val responded: "Prior to working at SERVPRO, I was not very involved with social media (other than a personal Facebook account). I've really enjoyed the networking opportunities and camaraderie with other local businesses that social media provides. It's a great way to let our customers know what work we are doing, what services we provide and how they can reach us. Writing blog and video posts full of helpful tips allows me to share information that is helpful to our local community.  I really appreciate that Ted and Kris, our franchise owners, encourage their employees to think for themselves and do our jobs in our own ways." 

When not working, Val loves to be outside. She likes to spend her time wild foraging in the woods, studying herbalism, taking walks with her husband and three sons and is currently building a stone wall at her home. She is guilty of binge watching shows such as Vikings, Sherlock, Peaky Blinders and Project Runway. She loves painting a room a new color (it's a total transformation in one day for $30!), the first snowfall of the year and spending a day making homemade soup.  

CAT 1? CAT 2? CAT 3? What kind of water damage do you have?

10/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage CAT 1? CAT 2? CAT 3? What kind of water damage do you have? If you have a pipe burst in your Litchfield home, you have clean water damage. Appliance leaks are gray. A sewage backup or flooding is black water.

Our approach to treating water damage in Washington, CT homes depends on which category it falls into.

CAT 1 or Clean Water

Clean water is just that- water that has come from a source that is not contaminated. Examples of this would be a pipe bursting or a refrigerator leak. Also, if you have a leak that allows rainwater in through your roof, it is considered clean. Although clean water can cause significant damage, it is not considered hazardous to human health as there are no microbes in the water.  The biggest hazard clean water presents is if the area that has been damaged is not properly cleaned and dried. This can result in mold and fungus growth. 

CAT 2 or Gray Water

Gray water is water that is slightly contaminated, either because of the nature of the source or because of neglect. For example, clean water can become “gray” water if it is left untreated for an extended period time. When a toilet or washing machine overflows, the resulting water would be considered gray because of its source. Toilet overflows containing urine only are considered gray.

CAT 3 or Black Water

CAT 3 water is highly dangerous to human health. Black water can include toxic materials such as bacterial diseases, chemicals, pesticides, microbes and more. Sewage based components such as bacteria, fungi, feces, viruses and parasites. Black 3 water situations are usually caused by sewage backups or overflows and flooding. 

Since the human eye cannot see bacteria, it is not always obvious whether the water in your home is a CAT 2 or CAT 3.  If you experience a flood from a heavy rain, the water may look “clean,” but if there is any ground water that has backed up into your home as a result, there may be invisible microbes lurking in the water. 

Any water damage that is not treated correctly will eventually elevate to the next category. Even a simple pipe burst can turn into a biohazard and mold issue if not treated. If you have any water damage in your Bethel area home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for service that you can count on. 

Take action now to prevent winter storm damage in your New Fairfield home

10/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Take action now to prevent winter storm damage in your New Fairfield home If strong winds from a rainstorm or snowstorm cause a tree to fall on your Bethel home, call us for roof repair and water damage restoration.

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Litchfield County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle in for the long, cozy New England winter.  Now is the time to take a few steps to ready your Bethlehem, CT home for the months to come.

Oil Burner Servicing - If you have not already done so, make an appointment to have your oil burner serviced. This is recommended on an annual basis. Having the burner tuned up and cleaned of dust and grime that has accumulated improves system efficiency, which means better heating performance and lower heating costs. It also minimizes the risk of your oil burner requiring a major emergency repair in the midst of freezing temperatures. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we respond to many homes each winter that have water damage due to frozen pipes caused by a malfunctioning oil burner.

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleaning - Many of our customers heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces throughout the Connecticut winter. These alternatives to oil heating provide what is often a more affordable source of heat. We recommend that you check your fireplace for any signs of excessive soot, cracks in the chimney and that your chimney cap is secure. Have your chimney swept annually to avoid soot buildup, or creosote. A blocked chimney can cause a  chimney fire, which is not always easily detected. These can spread quickly through the walls and roof of your home and result in massive damage to your home. A blocked chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can also  cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, putting those inside your home at risk. 

Prepare the outside of your home - Trim trees with branches that are low laying and may be an issue when covered with snow and ice. Snow and ice causes them to be heavy and possibly cause damage to your home during winter storms. Also, check your gutters to make sure they are free of leaves and debris so that they can function properly. If ice dams on your roof have been an issue for your Sherman home in the past, consider installing roof heat cables that help snow and ice melt on your roof before causing water damage inside your home. 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we are ready 24 hours a day to respond to your call. If you do experience a frozen pipe that bursts or a chimney fire or puffback this winter, call us at (203) 743-5362.

7 tips to keep the pipes in your Bethel home from freezing this winter!

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 7 tips to keep the pipes in your Bethel home from freezing this winter! Follow these safety tips to keep the pipes in your Fairfield County home from freezing and bursting this winter!

The number one call we get in our Brookfield office during the winter is from homeowners whose pipes have frozen and burst. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of water damage during freezing weather.

1. Wrap your outside faucets with foam insulation or install a freezeproof faucet to protect from freezing.

2. To keep the wind out of your home, caulk around your pipes before they enter the house. 

3. Disconnect your garden hoses - you wont be needing them until April.

4. If the weather is forecast to drop in the single digits, leaving inside faucets at a slow drip will reduce the risk of pipes freezing. 

6. Open the cupboard doors in your kitchen and bathroom to allow the warm air to hit the pipes.

7. If your New Milford home is vacant over the winter, have it winterized by shutting off and draining all of the lines.

What happens if you follow all of these tips and still find your home flooded from a burst pipe? Call our Brookfield office at (203) 743-5362 and speak to Keri or Bianca. They will start off by gathering some information about your situation and then send a team over to start the restoration process. 

National Fire Prevention Month: Smoke detectors for the hard of hearing

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage National Fire Prevention Month: Smoke detectors for the hard of hearing Fairfield County residents who are hard of hearing can use a vibrating smoke detector, which will alert them of a fire.

Smoke Detectors for the Hard of Hearing

Most Connecticut homes have several smoke detectors installed. The public safety campaigns and state regulations requiring smoke detectors in homes have been successful. 

People who are deaf or hard of hearing, however, may not be able to depend on the traditional smoke alarm to alert them to a fire. The elderly who may have diminishing hearing and live alone are at particularly at risk. If you have a difficult time hearing or have a loved one who does, there are a few options available that can help keep them safe. 

  • A strobe light alarm flashes when the home's smoke alarm sounds, warning those who may not hear the alarm of smoke.
  • When people who are deaf are asleep, a pillow or bed shaker can wake them so they can escape. The shaker is activated by the sound of a smoke alarm. 

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is here to help if you have a fire in your Bethel, CT area home. Call us at (203) 743-5362.

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