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Avoid sump pump failures with this inspection checklist in Brookfield, CT

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Avoid sump pump failures with this inspection checklist in Brookfield, CT Check your sump pump on an annual basis to avoid water damage in Fairfield County, Connecticut!

Many of our customers have a sump pump installed in the basement of their  Litchfield County home to keep it dry. Sump pumps ensure that the water drains properly and does not collect in your home, causing water damage. If you maintain your sump pump, it should perform it's job and you will forget that it is there. However, If you neglect your sump pump, a failure can happen, resulting in water damage and a big mess. Inspecting a sump pump is a task that a homeowner can do on their own. We recommend doing an annual inspection.  

  1. Check the power source for the pump. It should connect to a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI) for maximum safety. Inspect the cord to the pump, looking for evidence of wear and tear. 
  1. Find the outlet pipe that allows the water to drain outside of your home.  Make sure that there aren't any clogs or damages done to the drain making it impossible for water to exit the home and flow away from the foundation. 
  2. Make sure the pump is level and upright. When it runs, the vibrations from the motor or the force of the water can cause it to tilt, which will let the float shift out of place. 
  3. Locate the sump pump in the lower level of your home and check the inside of it to ensure that the pump is not clogged with debris.  
  4. Take the pump out of the basin. At the bottom, there should be a grate, which needs cleaned of any debris that could cause a malfunction. 
  5. Slowly pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the pump to simulate if a storm were to hit.  As you pour, watch for it to turn on and start pumping the water out of your home.  If should start pumping when the water reaches about 8-12 inches below the basement floor.  This task simply assures you that the pump will run when it needs to and that nothing has malfunctioned. 
  6. If your sump pump contains a float in the basin, make sure that it is also functioning properly and not caught on anything while running the test.  This float is what lets the sump pump know when the water reaches a certain height and activates the pump. 

Most sump pumps work with no issues however we do receive calls from those unlucky homeowners that experience a failure and have a flooded basement. If your sump pump fails, give SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362.

Safely enjoy a camp fire in Litchfield County with these tips

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safely enjoy a camp fire in Litchfield County with these tips Having a family campfire is a New Milford favorite! Always surround your campfire with rocks and make sure the location is clear of any hazards.

One thing that we look forward to every summer is having a campfire in our backyard. There's something about the smell and sound of a fire that brings us close to nature. Add in some marshmallows and everybody is happy! Unfortunately, campfire accidents are common, resulting in thousands of ER visits a year.

Follow our safety tips to reduce your risk of injury.

Step 1: Check out the surroundings 

Carefully choose your location avoiding any low hanging branches or near brush or bushes. These can easily go up in flames if the fire gets bigger than anticipated.  You should also keep an 8 to 10 foot radius clear of anything such as brush, garbage as well as tents and chairs. 

Step 2: Prepare your campfire ring 

If an exisiting ring is not present, create one out of rocks. Make sure that the area surrounding the ring does not have any tripping hazards such as holes, roots or tree stumps. A child walking to get their next marshmallow can easily trip and get burned. 

Step 3: Have water, a shovel and dirt at hand 

It only takes a single gust of wind to cause your fire to grow out of control. In that case, you want to always have water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put it out completely if necessary.  

Step 4: Never leave the fire unattended 

Sometimes we get so comfortable with the fire that we walk away for "just a moment". Regardless of what is going on, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire. Especially keep an eye on pets and children that may be sitting or walking close by. 

Step 5: Put it out right 

Never leave a fire burning when you are going inside. Even hot embers can reignite and become a fire with a gust of wind. Smother the fire with dirt and make sure it is fully extinguished by stirring the embers around afterwards. 

Enjoy your summer and be safe if you have a backyard fire in Connecticut this summer!

If you have fire damage at your Brookfield area home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Cleans Contaminated Air in Connecticut Homes

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Cleans Contaminated Air in Connecticut Homes Silica dust from concrete can be hazardous and even deadly. Call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County if you have air contaminants.

"We had a severe situation with silica dust all over our basement caused by ignorant workers cutting a groove in the concrete floor for a new oil feed line. Dangerous stuff to breathe. The SERVPRO folks had to clean it all up while dealing with our 35 years of accumulated furniture/junk. They handled it all with great patience and professionalism. Thank you Bianca, Junior, et al....!!"  - Tom C., Southbury  

Our office yields calls from homeowner's who would never dream that their home would be damaged by something like a concrete drilling mishap. Who prepares for that sort of accident?  

Silica, often referred to as quartz, is a very common mineral.  It is found in many materials common on construction sites, including soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock, granite, and landscaping materials. The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain crystalline silica particles. 

These dust particles are very small. You cannot see them.  It only takes a very small amount of airborne silica dust to create a health hazard. Inhaled dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease. 

Clearly, this was a dangerous substance that required thorough removal. Our team responded to this call with protective gear, including masks for the residents of the home. We moved the contents of the basement and protected them with plastic. We used air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to clean the air, as well as the surfaces. Our team then finished up by steam cleaning the floor.  

It wasn't a big job for our crew, but an important one. Making sure that the home was safe for this family was our number one priority. If there is an accident that causes air contamination in your Southbury home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to make sure the job is done right!

What if you have water damage caused by a third party in Fairfield County?

7/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What if you have water damage caused by a third party in Fairfield County? The home owner of this Sandy Hook home noticed water on the wood floors. When we pulled the refrigerator out, we discovered a supply line leak.

What happens if you have a new refrigerator installed in your home and the water line leaks, destroying your wood floors? Or your oil delivery company overfills your tank, causing a toxic spill in your basement? Or perhaps a plumber improperly installed a pipe, causing water damage to your New Milford home. Who pays for the damage- your insurance company, you or the third party? 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have team members that have been specially trained in "successful subrogation". Subrogation, by definition, is when an insurance company seeks payment or restitution from a third party that caused damage or injury to an insured person or property. Usually this means your insurance company will try to recover payments from the insurance company covering the party at-fault. 

If you have experienced water, fire or biohazard damage to your home that was caused by a third party, our staff can help you work with your homeowners insurance company in determining who is responsible for the damages. As a first responder to your disaster, we are trained to identify and save evidence that may assist your insurance company in recovering costs.  

If you have a dishwasher leak due to faulty installation at your Sandy Hook home, call us at (203) 743-5362. We will come to your home to start the restoration process and our office staff will help guide you through the insurance claims process. 

What is the cost of water damage restoration in Fairfield County?

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is the cost of water damage restoration in Fairfield County? Using the Xactimate program, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is able to provide our customers with an accurate quote

When faced with water, mold or fire damage, the question most people have is "How much is this going to cost?"  

After Brendan, Ted or one of our other estimators come out to your home to assess the damage, they use a program called Xactimate to determine the cost of the restoration.  Xactimate is the industry's leading claims estimating solution. The software uses pricing from a variety of industry professionals, including contractors, insurance companies and adjusters, to determine the cost of each item individually. Our team draws the floor plan of the home using Sketch and click on items that we want to add.   We are able to go room by room of your home and get an accurate quote for materials and labor.  Providing our customers and their insurance adjuster with a quick and accurate restoration costs analysis, allows us to begin the process of restoring their water or fire damaged home quickly.  

If your home has water damage from a toilet overflow or soot from a furnace puffback, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 and our estimator will come out and provide you with a reliable estimate of what the restoration will cost. 

Don't ruin your 4th of July Barbecue, Litchfield County!

7/2/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't ruin your 4th of July Barbecue, Litchfield County! How many of our barbecue safety tips been broken in this image?

Friends, it is officially summertime and that means grilling season has hit Fairfield County! Before you grill, however, take caution. Over 7,000 Americans get injured on the grill each year, the majority of which are caused by user error. Follow these tips to keep your gathering fun and incident free.

  1. Keep your grill AT LEAST 10 feet away from your house. This includes areas with overhangs such as porches. A 'certain somebody' in our office learned the hard way that vinyl siding near a barbecue melts quite easily. Save your siding and move that grill far away!
  2. Clean your grill each time. Open up that fancy grill cleaning set that you received at last year's 'white elephant' and have some fun! Scrub that grill clean each time that it is used and remove the grease that can be a major cause of flare ups.
  3. Check for gas leaks. Here's a cool trick on how to check.Make 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 the area clear. Keep your patio furniture, pillows, party lights and hanging baskets away from your grill, as they are highly combustible. 
  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. And, as a bonus, you can still eat your burger even after you've sprayed the flames out!
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. Quickly extinguishing the fire will save your home and safety. Here's the catch, though - make sure that you know how to use it! 
  1. Don't turn on the gas unless your grill lid is open! Keeping the lid closed causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.  And a fireball in the face almost always ruins the barbecue. 
  2. Don't leave a grill unattended. Grilling is serious business. Fires double in size every minute. You cannot just put the steaks on the grill and walk away to watch the game. Man your post at all times and keep an eye on that grill!
  3. Don't overload your grill with fatty meats. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
  4. Don't use a grill indoors.I'm sure this goes without saying. Even a small little propane grill inside can cause a big fire as well as produce enough carbon monoxide to threaten the health of your family and kids. Keep grills outdoors where they can vent in the fresh air.

Keep it safe! Although it may make a good story someday, having a visit from the Fire Department is never a fun way to end you holiday!

Schedule an appointment to have your ducts cleaned in Litchfield County!

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Schedule an appointment to have your ducts cleaned in Litchfield County! If you need your air DUCTS cleaned in the Newtown, CT area, give us a call at (203) 743-5362!

It's officially summertime and with that, Sherman area homeowners with central air conditioning will soon be turning that switch to "cool". Air conditioning is certainly one of our favorite inventions to help keep us comfortable in the humid summer air in Connecticut.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis . Dirt , debris and other air pollutants collect in ductwork and can be spread throughout your home. In addition,  dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. Our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yep, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your New Fairfield home.  

It's not too late to give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an appointment to have the air ducts cleaned in your Brookfield, CT home or business cleaned. 

We clean up water, sewage and mold caused by toilet overflows in Fairfield County

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard We clean up water, sewage and mold caused by toilet overflows in Fairfield County Toilet floods can be caused by a sewage backup or clogged pipe. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County if your toilet overflows.

We are frequently called after Brookfield area homeowners experience an overflowing toilet in their home. An overflow can occur from a septic tank not draining properly or a clog in the line. Fortunately, most homeowners are alerted to an overflow immediately when  they flush the toilet and water comes out instead of down the pipe.  

If your toilet overflows, there are a few critical components that can determine the extent of the damage. If the water contains sewage, the situation calls for a dramatically different response. Sewage can contain bacteria and other contaminants that are harmful to the health of humans. If you have reason to suspect you have sewage backup coming from your toilet, we advise that you do not enter the area or attempt any clean up yourself.  Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County for immediate biohazard clean up service.

If the bathroom is upstairs, it's likely that water has permeated through the floor into the ceiling and you may notice water leaking through the downstairs ceiling. However even if there aren't visible spots or leaks there is still a possibility that there is water damage beneath your floor that can cause mold to grow.  Floods in the bathroom can also cause water damage in places that you cannot see such as under the bathroom flooring as well as the cabinets and walls. 

While it may be tempting to mop the bathroom up and hope there are no issues, we have seen many cases of mold  in our years serving the Bethel area that were the results of a bathroom  flood that was not properly restored. If your toilet overflows, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern at (203) 743-5362.  We have the training and experience to accurately assess the damage and determine the  course to be taken. 

We clean up vandalism and graffiti in Bethel area homes and businesses

6/18/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard We clean up vandalism and graffiti in Bethel area homes and businesses If your New Milford area home has been vandalized, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to clean it up!

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we respond to calls other than water, mold and fire damage.  Did you know that we are able to restore homes and businesses that have experienced graffiti and vandalism?

A broken window that goes unnoticed in a Sandy Hook area business is not only a security issue, it also can allow rain in and cause water and mold damage. Graffiti removal can be a daunting task however our crew is up to the challenge and have successfully removed spray paint from concrete and brick walls.  In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, our team can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.  

We have also responded to calls from homeowner's who have experienced biohazardous vandalism (including feces). Our crew has the training and equipment to safely remove biohazardous materials and any contaminants that might be present.  

If your home or business is the victim of malicious vandalism, it can be a very upsetting experience. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at  (203) 743-5362 to come clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."

#vandalism #graffiti 

After the storm: We're ready to restore your Fairfield County home

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage After the storm: We're ready to restore your Fairfield County home If your Roxbury, CT home is damaged from a fallen tree or flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

On hot, dry summer days, the afternoon rain that rolls in over the Litchfield Hills can be a respite from the heat. We love keep the windows of our Marbledale home open, hear the rain  and feel the breeze during such storms. Of course, we always keep it safe and are mindful of the hazards that thunderstorms can bring.

Although the odds of being struck by lightning are slim (1/ 1,100,000 in a single year), that's because most people follow safety precautions. 

Outside the home: 

  • If you are on a hike in a forest: Seek shelter in a low area under dense trees 

  • If you are in a parking lot: Get inside a building or hard topped car if access to a building isn't possible 

  • If you are in an open outdoor area, such as a golf course, and there are no buildings around, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley and lay down flat.  Be alert for flash floods. 

  • Avoid hilltops, anything metal such as farm machinery and water. 

  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.Lightning can strike from 10 miles away. 

Inside the home: 

  • Do not use a corded telephone 

  • Because plumbing fixtures are a conduit for electricity, avoid bathing and dish washing 

  • Unplug appliances and electrical items to protect them from power surges which can cause damage. 


Protect your home from storm damage by: 

  • Inspect trees near your house and remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on your home. Fallen branches can break windows or damage your roof, causing water damage.  

  • Check your yard for outdoor furniture and toys that can blow away or cause damage. Make sure you tie that trampoline to a tree in case of high winds!

  • Check your basement to make sure there isn't flooding due to heavy rains- the sooner you catch it, the quicker restoration can start! 

If you have damage from a tree falling on your Sherman area home or basement flooding, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for a professional clean up and restoration!