Recent General Posts
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!
This Thanksgiving, and every other day, we are grateful for our employees.
All of us at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County wish you the happiest Thanksgiving!
Parades. Pie. Getting together with family and friends for a lovingly prepared meal. The start of the holiday season and the goodwill that accompanies it. There are so many reasons that we love Thanksgiving. It's the perfect time to reflect on what we are thankful for. In keeping with that tradition, our owner Kristen White shares her gratitude for her employees.
"I am thankful for all my employees who work hard every day to help people. Sometimes the crew has to deal with a difficult situation such as a septic overflow or sewage damage. They clean it without complaints. That's dedication! Our office staff sometimes has to deal with difficult situations on the phone when a homeowner calls and their house is under water. The staff is cordial and helpful to these customers. Many of our employees have been with us a number of years and I am so grateful to them for their loyalty! I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!"
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
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.
Consider the Specific Needs of Your Household When Planning for National Preparedness Month
Review your preparedness plan to keep your family safe from water, storm and fire damage in the Sandy Hook area.
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to go over your family's emergency plan. When establishing an emergency plan, be sure to consider the specific needs of the members of your household. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
Also consider your elderly friends or neighbors in your plan. They often need help and do not always have local family.
SERVPRO of NEwtown and Southern Litchfield County is dedicated to helping our community when disaster happens. If you have a flood or fire emergency, call us at (203) 743-5362.
Employee Spotlight: Junior Delgado
Junior enjoying the park with his daughter.
Junior Delgado has been part of the SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County team for 2 years. Prior to joining us, Junior worked in the security sector as a security officer for CBS and BET as well as in loss prevention for a sporting goods warehouse. He also utilized his handyman skills during this time by doing small home improvement jobs as a side job.
Junior was raised in the Bronx and attended elementary and middle school there. He had the unique opportunity to attend high school at Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in the Dominican Republic, which is where his family is originally from. After high school, Junior returned to the Bronx and attended Hostos Community College of The City University of New York, where he studied criminal justice.
Junior's wife and kids are very lucky that he LOVES to cook – his favorite foods being pizza and Asian cuisine. He can often be found watching Anthony Bourdain cooking shows. Cars are another hobby of Junior's – with some of his favorite's being 1964 to 69 mustangs, the McLaren MP4-12c, the VW Phaeton and the AC Cobra. He's a fan of all of the NY sports teams as well as Las Aguilas Cibaeñas (Dominican baseball). Junior enjoys hiking and has visited many state and national parks throughout the Northeast. His favorite place in the world is a huge mango tree in the middle of a field behind his grandfather's house in the Dominican Republic.
In his work at SERVPRO, Junior appreciates being able to work in different locations and helping people get their houses closer to normal. He's taken advantage of the educational opportunities available and has earned his water restoration technician certificate and mold abatement license. His co-worker's and customer's appreciate the perpetual smile, easy going nature and positive attitude he brings wherever he goes.
Ways to lower your electric bill in Litchfield County, CT
Shading your home - with trees and other vegetation - can reduce the temperature indoors by as much as 20 degrees on a hot day
Lately, we've heard many Brookfield area residents lament that they are experiencing an increase in their electricity bills. There are ways to help your bank account and reduce that bill by making your home more energy efficient. As an added bonus, these steps protect the environment as well!
Based on national averages from the U.S. Department of Energy, utility bills are result of the following usages.
44% from heating and cooling a home
33% from lighting, cooking and other appliances
14% from water heating
9% from the refrigerator alone
Many utility companies conduct energy audits for free or for a nominal charge, so you can see where your heating or cooling systems may be costing you money. An audit might come with a recommendation for a new heating system or upgrade with energy efficient appliances, which will pay off in the long run.
There are some inexpensive actions that can be taken as well to reduce energy consumption.
- Have your ducts inspected. Many duct systems are not simulated properly and are not energy efficient. This is especially true within the attic or vented crawl spaces of the home, so sealing these ducts and insulating them is an easy repair. Also, closing vents and radiators in rooms that are not occupied can save up to 20% in heating and cooling costs. Keep in mind that you don’t want to keep the vents closed during extreme temperatures or you can risk your pipes freezing.
- Take advantage of the heat from the sun. In the winter, open window shades on the southern and eastern windows during the day and close them when the sun goes down to keep the heat from escaping. Doing the opposite during warm months will keep your home cool.
- Install a programmable thermostat to lower the heat when you are sleeping or the house is unoccupied. This can save up to 10% on your energy costs.
- Carefully choose the settings on your appliances. Switching the temperature setting on your washing machine from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half. Also, consider your appliance placement. Having your refrigerator adjacent to your stove will increase energy consumption.
- Change out your lightbulbs with energy efficient bulbs. The Newer LED lightbulbs are dimmable and have a soft glow that is similar to incandescent bulbs. Ultra efficient LED technology can save up to $140 over bulb life.
- Check your electronics. Turn off computer monitors overnight- they use 50% of the system's energy. Unplug battery chargers when not in use- they consume energy even when they aren't charging a device.
- Turn off the lights! Yes we've all heard this our whole lives but it truly does save energy and you money!
- Plant a tree. Not only does this make your yard look beautiful and give us oxygen, the shade is a fantastic way to cool your home in the summer months. Trees to the east and west of the house provide summer shading, while the area to the south of the house should be left relatively clear in order to allow solar heating in winter
Employee Spotlight: Brendan Denny
Brendan has been with us for 6 years
Many of our customers have had the opportunity to meet Brendan Denny, who is an estimator here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. Brendan has been with us for 6 years and knows the ropes of our business well!
Prior to joining us, Brendan served in the U.S. Army and worked as an HVAC technician. He is originally from Danbury and now calls New Milford his home. Brendan is currently attending nursing school and plans to work in that field upon graduation. When he isn't working, he can be found outside – he loves fishing and hiking.
As his service in the military and pursuit of a nursing degree illustrate, Brendan seeks work in which he is helping others. He enjoys that his job as an estimator allows him the opportunity to work in a variety of environments, each which present new and unique challenges.
Brendan loves being able to help people in his own town through his work at SERVPRO. We know that our customers appreciate his genuine and caring nature as well because they request him to be on their job time and time again!
Happy New Year 2017!!
We wish our friends and customers a Happy New Year!
With the year 2016 coming to a close, we reflect upon the ways in which our company has changed and grown over the past year.
This past summer, we said goodbye to our office manager of 8 years, Michelle, when she left SERVPRO to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse. We also added several new faces to our team – Valerie and Bianca joined us in the office and Paulo, Corey and Jennifer on the crew this year.
2016 also brought a move for us. We relocated our production facility, which is where our crew operates out of, to a new and larger location which allows us to offer in house storage to our customers.
We hit a milestone anniversary this year as well! The owners of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, Ted and Kristen White, celebrated their 20th year as franchise owners. Owning a business over the past twenty years has not always been easy but through it all Ted and Kristen have stayed focused on learning from their experiences and building a franchise that their customers can trust to do the job quickly, honestly and thoroughly.
We wish all of our friends, families and customers a Happy New Year!
'Twas the night before Christmas
Happy Holidays to all of our friends and customers!
Twas the night before Christmas and all thru SERVPRO not a crew member was resting they were ready to go!
The hoses were hung by the truck mounts with care in hopes that a St. Nick soon would be there!
Marketing was nestled all snug in their beds - while visions of ERP’s danced in their heads.
With all the jobs uploaded and invoicing done, the girls in the office and were having some fun!
When out in the warehouse there arose such a clatter I sprang from my desk to see what was a matter!
Away to the warehouse I flew in hurry - the bay door was open - I was beginning to worry!
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear - but a large loss trailer and 9 crew chiefs in hero gear!
With a super hero driver, a real man among men - I knew in a moment it must be Saint Ted!!
More rapid than SERVICE MASTER his crew chiefs came - and he whistled and shouted and called them by name!
Now Tim, now Bianca, now Francisco, Jess and Davi!
On Brendan, on Junior, on Paulo, Von and Keri!
To the top of the ceiling, don't miss that spot on the wall - now clean away clean away clean away all!!
So up to the roof top his crew chiefs they flew with a van full of scrubbers and St. Kristen too!!
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof the stomping and smashing of each little boot.
As I ran to my desk and was turning around - down the duct work St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in green from his head to his foot and his uniform was covered with ashes and soot!
He was smiling and joking - a very jolly old elf
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself!
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work - he emptied all the truck mounts and turned with a jerk.
And laying a carpet wand beside of the hose - and giving a nod up the duct work he rose.
He sprung to his trailer, his crew on the ball
And away they flew like there was an all call!
And I heard him exclaim so that all could hear - Merry Christmas dear SERVPRO - it was a very good year!
Employee Spotlight: Keri Perna
I try to learn something new & laugh every day
When you call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, your call will very likely be answered by Keri Perna. Keri has been with our franchise for over 3 years and has worked as an administrative assistant for over 26 years. Keri has a talent for helping our often stressed out and overwhelmed customers navigate the process of water, fire and mold remediation and is able to give them a sense of comfort in a very difficult time.
Keri is from Danbury and has been married to her high school sweetheart for 22 years. They have two teenagers. She loves to travel and recently vacationed in Iceland. She has also been to India, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and throughout the United States. She loves antiquing, traveling, sci-fy and Nascar.
When asked what she loves about her job at SERVPRO, Keri replied "Being a calming factor at a customers most stressful moment and easing their confusion". She says that "I try to learn something new & laugh every day". That attitude is what makes her such a pleasure to work with for both our staff and our customers. Thank you, Keri!
Oh, the places you'll go!
“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
As she attended nursing school for the past few years, we knew the day would come that our office manager, Michelle Walsh, would be leaving us to pursue a new career. Michelle loves helping people in their time of need through her job at SERVPRO and felt that nursing would allow her to make a difference in a new way. While we are all going to miss her greatly, we are thrilled that she has accepted a position as a float nurse at Yale- New Haven hospital in New Haven, CT.
Although starting something new and leaving her comfort zone might be daunting, it is also a sign of bravery. Michelle, we are confident that you will dive into this new endeavor with the same enthusiasm and diligence you've displayed here in your 8 years at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County and quickly establish yourself as a valued nurse at Yale. We wish you all the best and thank you for your years of dedication, passion and friendship.
Crew Spotlight: Davi DeOliveira
Davi started working for SERVPRO in 2003.
Davi DeOliveira has been with SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County for thirteen years and is currently serving as one of our Crew Chiefs. He is a familiar face to our customers, who often comment on his admirable work ethic. Around the office, we all regard Davi as a cornerstone of the production team. Words his co-workers use to describe him are prompt, reliable, hard working, conscientious and very knowledgeable. Originally from Brazil, Davi now lives in Danbury with his wife of 25 years, Solange, and their two children Matheus and Mila. A former soccer player, he enjoys watching his favorite team, Barcelona, play on television. Davi's favorite vacation spot is relaxing on the beaches of Florida with Solange. What he appreciates most about working for SERVPRO is the people he works with and the office staff. We feel the same about him. Thanks for being such an important part of our company, Davi!
We're on Pinterest!
A Pinterest account for a cleanup and restoration company? Isn't Pinterest a site for wedding planning, home decor and fashion? Sure it is, and we have to admit that we might be caught pinning "how to make a pallet board clubhouse" or tips on "planning your 4th of July barbeque". And who could resist creating a Pinterest board dedicated entirely for mason jars (a favorite here in rural New England)?
But then we thought....why not a board with information on black mold? Wouldn't it be a great tool for the pinners out there to have information on avoiding, understanding and responding to home emergencies in the easy to use Pinterest format? We have boards on preparing your home for vacation, home fire preparedness, water damage, emergency preparedness, biohazard cleanup and more. The last thing you want to be doing in the midst of a home flood is frantically searching the internet for information. If you are facing an emergency, all of the information you need will be right there.
So find us on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/SERVPROofnewtow/) as SERVPRO Of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County. And don't forget to check our "Favorite Recipes" board for the Italian Lemon Pound Cake- it's a favorite around here!
Sometimes, we feel like superheroes!
SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County responds to hundreds of jobs each year. Whether it be a burst pipe, a kitchen fire or mold found in the basement, most of our customers are dealing with a stressful situation and trust us to be the experts who can help them out. For our customers, having their home and belongings destroyed is a traumatic experience. The opportunty to come into a home in need with the knowledge, equipment and skilled workers required to repair the damage is greatly rewarding to us.
We received the following testimonial from Linda C. on "Angie's List" that exemplifies why we love the work we do. Thank you, Linda. You made us feel like superheroes!
"We never realized before how important it is to clean air ducts. This fall, a family member with asthma experienced difficulties whenever the hot air furnace turned on. We kept the furnace off and contacted several NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) contractors and left messages; however no one returned our calls. After several days of waiting in the cold, a local (unnamed) service provider recommended SERVPRO. We were grateful to the local company for recommending a competitor, SERVPRO. SERVPRO's response was fast and professional. We are completely satisified with their work
Professional workers from SERVPRO responded after urgent call from homeowner. Arrived the very next morning and worked for several long hours in a cold house until the work was finished. We are completely satisfied with their work. Problem resolved. No more dust or contaminants in the air ducts, and family member with asthma experienced no further breathing difficulties after work was completed. We were able to use our furnace once again. There is a noticeable difference in the air quality throughout the house. Three individuals who provided service were excellent workers, left each room in perfect condition and communicated with us the steps involved, and gave us reports on the work progress and what to expect from the results. Excellent service professionals. We highly recommend this company."