Recent Posts

Passing The Torch: SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Under New Ownership

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Community Passing The Torch: SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Under New Ownership Greg Geaski, the new owner of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

Many of our friends and customers know that we've had some big changes here at SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County over the past few months. After 22 years in business, Ted and Kristen White decided that it was time for a new chapter of their lives and made the decision to sell their franchise to Greg Geaski. Although moving on from the business that they had poured their hearts into for two decades wasn't easy, Ted and Kris felt that the time was right and that Greg was the ideal person to pass the torch to.  

Greg is the owner of two other SERVPRO franchises in Connecticut - SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington.  He has many years in the restoration business and knows firsthand the challenges that home and business owners face in Connecticut.  Over the years, Greg has assembled a fantastic team of talented and highly trained employees who are excited to join the SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County franchise.  Greg and his team are dedicated to giving our customers the highest level of service.

If you stop by or call the office, you may see some new faces but also some familiar ones. Ted continues to work for SERVPRO as a Production Manager and can be found doing what he does best -  helping customers.  Keri is still in the office, bringing her positive attitude to everything she does. Davi, Von, Junior and Tim continue to work out in the field, bringing over 30 years of restoration experience to homes and businesses in the Newtown area.  

We'd like to thank all of the people who have supported our business over the years- whether by sending us a card of thanks, leaving us a wonderful review online or recommending us to your friends and families. When a home or business has been damaged by water or fire, it can be an extremely difficult time for those affected. We are proud to have helped our community for so many years and are confident that we will continue to do so under our new leadership.

Appliance Fires are One of the Leading Causes of Fire Damage in Newtown homes

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Appliance Fires are One of the Leading Causes of Fire Damage in Newtown homes Dryers are a common cause of house fires in Brookfield. If you have fire damage, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203)743-5362

Statistics kept by theNational Fire Protection Agency(NFPA) reveal that there were 501,500 structure fires reported in the U.S. in 2015. These fires resulted in 2,685 deaths, 13,000 injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage; $7 billion in property losses were caused by home fires. Based on these statistics, a fire was reported every 63 seconds.

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment fires account for 9% of all fires in U.S. households. Knowing which appliances in your household are most likely to cause a fire can help you reduce the chance that it will happen to you.

Dishwashers. If you have ever opened your dishwasher up immediately after the dry cycle is done, you know how hot it gets in there. There are heating elements inside of your dishwasher that dry your dishes. They get a lot of wear and tear as they repeatedly heat up, get wet and cool down. If the element is faulty or has damaged wiring, a fire can easily start.

Many of us don't think to have our dishwashers inspected but it could be a good idea, especially if your house or your dishwasher is more than ten years old.

Dryers. Most of the people I know are aware that the lint trap can be a fire hazard if not cleaned out. The lint can also make its way into the vent and block it so be certain to clean it out fully, each time, including under the lint tray.

If clothing that is contaminated with combustibles like gasoline are put in the dryer, they can start a fire. The same goes for items that contain chemicals that are flammable such as rubber backed rugs or sneakers.

If the exhaust vent for your dryer is improperly installed, blocked or crushed, the inability for heat to escape can cause a fire as well.

Toasters.The toaster is a small appliance that can cause big damage. The cord can become crimped or caught under the element, which can cause it to melt. A failure to clean out the crumb tray is also a culprit in many toaster fires.

With the electricity running to each appliance every day, it's no surprise that fires can occur. In addition to the reasons discussed above, there is also the reality that sometimes a manufacturing fault causes an appliance fire. When it comes down to it, the best thing that you can do to protect your home from fire damage is to only run appliances when you are home. In particular, never run a dryer or dishwasher when you are out and unplug appliances such as the toaster, microwave and coffee maker when not in use. While not all house fires can be prevented, these simple steps can reduce the chance of it happening to you.

Avoid Sewage Backups in Your Newtown, CT Home

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Avoid Sewage Backups in Your Newtown, CT Home SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is IICRC Certified to clean up septic backups in your home.

Sewage backups are caused by a variety of reasons – from heavy rainstorms to clogs or blockages in the sewer lines. When the sewage system becomes overloaded, the waste can get forced back up through the pipes and into you house, typically though a basement drain or your toilet bowl.  We have even responded to calls from homeowners in which the backup had forced its way through the shower head! Not only does a sewage backup cause your home and belongings to be flooded with smelly waste, it also creates dangerous conditions in your home due to the pathogens and microorganisms present in the water.  

Although not all septic back ups are avoidable, homeowners can take some preventative steps to reduce their risk.   

  1. Properly discard cooking oil and grease - Never wash cooking oil or grease down the drain. Even if rinsed with hot water, grease solidifies once it cools and will accumulate in your drains, drain lines, or the main sewer lines, eventually causing a clog. The same goes with small food scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, old contact lenses, rocks, hair, or similar items. An old coffee can makes the perfect receptacle for hot grease.  
  2. Flush toilet paper only. The only items you should flush down your toilet are human waste and toilet paper, which is designed to disintegrate quickly. Even items such as paper towels, medicine, wet wipes and feminine products should never be flushed. 
  3. Replace your line with plastic pipes. One of the causes of sewage blockages are tree roots that have snaked their way through the joints and into the line.  Plastic piping, as opposed to clay or cast iron piping (used in older homes) has impervious joints that tree roots cannot penetrate. 
  4. Keep an eye on large trees growing near your sewage lines. Tree roots can cause movement and damage your lines, causing a backup.  

Septic tank waste is considered black water and contains pathogens that are harmful to your health and always requires professional mitigation.  SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County crew is available 24/7 to help. Our IICRC certified specialists will inspect your home, contain the affected area and place it under controlled air flow. Once we have those steps established, we will extract the contaminated floodwater and sanitize your home in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. Our goal throughout the process is to do the job right and make your home safe once again for your family.  

Dishwasher Leaks Cause Water Damage to Newtown, CT Homes

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Dishwasher Leaks Cause Water Damage to Newtown, CT Homes SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County restores homes with water damage after the dishwasher has leaked.

Most busy New Fairfield area families wouldn't get by without their dishwasher. It saves time and thoroughly cleans our dishes, leaving us the time to enjoy life!  

The downside of dishwashers is that they contribute to a significant amount of water damage due to appliance failure in homes.  Dishwasher leaks can cause water damage that often goes unnoticed for long periods of time. Water seeping out of the dishwasher door is obvious however chronic leaks may occur beneath the unit. These leaks slowly rot the wooden subfloor and create the perfect environment for the growth of toxic mold.    

There are a few primary causes of dishwasher leaks that you should be aware of.   

Leaky Door Seal  

The seal around the dishwasher door may eventually fail due to wear and tear or accumulation of soap residue or food particles. This is an obvious leak as you’ll notice water pooling on the kitchen floor in front of the unit after every dishwasher cycle. Cleaning  the door seal and corresponding surface on the unit with white vinegar is worth a try however if excess wear or other physical damage is present, seal replacement will be necessary.  

Defective Water Valve  

If you remove the kick plate of the dishwasher and look underneath the unit, you will see where the water hose connects. Usually, leaks will be seen as a slow drip. You will often be able to see rust or mineral residue encrusting the valve. Valve replacement is the only option.  

Worn Pump Seals  

The drain pump that removes water from the dishwasher incorporates rubber seals around a metal shaft. As these seals wear over time, water may begin to drip from the pump housing. Often times, leakage only occurs while the drain pump is running, so looking under the dishwasher when the unit is off or not running in drain cycle may fail to pinpoint the drain pump as the source of water leakage. Rebuilding or replacing the pump is required to stop leakage.  

Doing an annual check of your dishwasher for signs of deterioration or leaks will help avoid water damage in your home.

Call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 if you spot water or mold damage in your kitchen. 

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.