Recent Posts

How is Your Commercial Property at Risk?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

The relationship with a restoration company for commercial property owners is an important one.

When water damage strikes a business, it’s vital for the owner to have a restoration company that they know is locally owned, reliable and trustworthy come mitigate the damage. Whether you manage an apartment complex or own a local store, you need a quick and professional clean up so that your business is minimally impacted.

You never know when water damage will occur. Yes, flooding after a storm or during the spring snow melt is common source of water damage however you would be surprised at some other causes of water damage in Connecticut businesses.

Malfunctioning sprinkler systems.

We frequently receive calls from owners of commercial properties- from warehouses to nursing homes- in which the sprinkler system has gone off and flooded the building. This can be caused by a faulty sensor, broken thermal element or sprinkler head and allow thousands of gallons of water to flood the structure and cause substantial damage.

Damaged appliances and equipment.

In particular, restaurants, hotels  and catering facilities are susceptible to water damage due to a broken appliance however this can pertain to any commercial property that has appliance. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.

Backed up sewer lines.

This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, the potential dangers of the contaminated, or "black", water. Black water can have negative health consequences to residents and employees as well as and damage the structure and contents of your building. 

Broken pipes.

Whether it’s a simple crack from the aging process or a frozen pipe that freezes, commercial properties are just as at risk of widespread damage from a broken pipe as residential properties are.

If you own a commercial property in Litchfield County and have water damage, call us as soon as possible at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.

Ways to Avoid a Sewage Backup in Your Newtown Home

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

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.  

We are Ready to Help After Snow Storms

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Although the winter has been a relatively mild one here in Connecticut,  the past two weeks have brought freezing temps and a snowstorm that reminded us that we do live in New England, after all. This past week, our team has received a high volume of calls from customers who had water damage to their homes and businesses due to frozen pipes bursting.  We've been kept busy drying out homes and providing emergency generators to heat homes that required it during restoration.  Heavy snow on roofs created ice dams, which caused even further water damage to structures from ceiling leaks in our area.  Heavy tree limbs break and cause damage to roofs.

We can only hope that the winter calms once again and we will soon be seeing signs of spring. However, if February turns out to be a beast, our team is on call and ready to help. 

Fire Hazards: Batteries, Microwaves, Laptops and Clutter

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Most people are aware of the common causes of house fires – including fireplaces, old electrical wires and candle. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have restored homes in which the fire was caused by other, less common but still equally as destructive, sources.  

  1. Battery Fires: You’d be surprised at how widespread a fire from household batteries can be. When the terminals touch each other, or a metal source such as a key, a fire can start.  Batteries should be stored in a battery storage case, if one is available. If you do not have one, store them standing up, rather than loose in a container or drawer. Shorts can be prevented by placing electrical tape over the ends when they are being stored as well as when disposing.   9 volt batteries are particularly risky due to the proximity of their terminals. Never throw batteries into your garbage can or even in a bag together as that could start a fire.  
  • Microwave Fires: Microwaves can catch fire for a number of reasons- from unnoticed metals on dinnerware or take out containers to overcooking food such as burnt popcorn. Microwaves can also malfunction and catch fire. If something in your microwave has caught fire, unplug it if it is safe to do. Do not open the microwave door, as this will fuel the fire with oxygen. With no air, the fire should suffocate itself.  
  • Dryer Lint: Make sure that everybody in your family knows to clean the dryer lint out of your dryer with every load. Because the lint trap only catches 25% of the lint, the exhaust and duct work should also be cleaned periodically.  
  • Light bulbs: The main cause of lightbulb fires is when a light bulb with too high of wattage for a given outlet is used. Be sure to check the label on your lamp and when in doubt, keep it under 60 watts.  Caution must also be taken when using  CFLs (compact fluorescents). The spiral shaped CFL’s should not be used in an enclosed fixture.  If your CFLs are burning out early and you notice they are brown at the base when you remove them, the bulbs are overheating and could result in fire. The newer LED lights are cooler and less prone to causes a fire and also have a much nicer glow to them.  
  • Laptops: We’ve all felt the heat of a laptop on our lap after its been used for a while. You may have even seen some photos of a laptop that burned somebody’s bedding.  
    Laptops can get pretty hot during normal operation. Never leave your laptop on a bed or couch, or any place where its cooling vents are blocked. This could result in fire. Store laptops securely on a desk or laptop stand. 
  • Clutter: Stacks of newspapers or magazines can ignite quickly if left too close to a heat source. If you must keep old newspapers or magazines, be certain to store them in a cool, dry place in short stacks. The same goes for any clutter – whether that be a pile of sweaters stacked in your closet next to a light bulb or stuffed animals that touch a nightlight.  
  • Old appliances: The wiring on older appliances often becomes worn and begin to disintegrate.  Check them regularly to ensure good working condition and the safety of cords and connections. Even if your unit is working properly, consider replacing it if the electrical wiring is not up to code.  

These tips take little time and effort to follow and can save you from a house fire. 

It's our business to keep you in business.

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

When your business requires restoration services, the crew at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help.  Whether your commercial property has experienced a sewage overflow, requires mold remediation or an electrical fire, we have the experience, equipment and training to keep your business back up and running.  We understand that you can’t afford to have your doors closed for long and our restoration plan is modeled with that in mind.  

Water Damage Restoration 

When it comes to water damage at commercial properties, we’ve seen it all – from coffee maker lines bursting to basement flooding. We offer 24 hour service, 7 days a week because floods don’t wait for business hours.  No matter where your business is located and no matter if you are a small privately owned business or a big box store, we have the resources and training to fix your problem.  

Fire Damage Restoration 

If your company has experienced a fire, business continuity is your primary concern.  In addition to smoke, soot and structural damage from the fire itself, most businesses that have had a fire also have extensive water damage from firefighting efforts.  As a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County knows the ins and outs of fire damage and the extra damage that can come with it.  We have training and experience in fire and smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning as well as all aspects or water damage restoration.  

Mold Remediation 

Mold can be frightening to discover at your Fairfield County business. Mold, whether from a leak or plumbing, can cause serious problems to those who enter your business, give us a call to discuss how we can manage it as we work fast to address the mold. We know how to contain mold growth while reducing the number of mold spores in the air and on surfaces. Our crew members have training as Applied Microbial Remediation Specialists as well as Applied Structural Drying.  

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team has the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to keep your business running after a water, fire or mold disaster.  It’s our business to keep you in business.  

Saying Goodbye to 2020.

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

As the year comes to a close, most people we know are saying "good riddance" to 2020.

In Connecticut, and across the world, the past year has brought challenges that we'd never imagined we'd encounter when we all rang in "The roaring 20's" a year ago. We are proud to say that our company, thanks to our amazing staff and crew, has stayed open and continued to serve our community the entire year.  We continued to respond to homes that had water, fire and mold damage and also offered COVID-19 cleaning services to local businesses so that they could reopen and stay open. We recently received a letter from one our customers:

"During the Pandemic we had a water leak in our downstairs bedroom that needed immediate attention.  We called our insurance company and after their evaluation of the situation they recommended SERVPRO.  As seniors in the high risk group we could not go out to shop for the necessary items to repair the damage.  Between our Insurance Company and SERVPRO all of our fears and concerns were taken care of professionally and quickly.  From May 16th to June 19th the job was completed. They did mold remediation, opened up the walls, replaced the insulation, repaired the walls, painted the whole room and installed new carpet.  We did not have to leave our home.  The workers were professional, polite and respectful of the pandemic codes.  Brenda made sure that we were well taken care of and protected.  We felt like her grandparents.  She is an asset to the company.  Edgardo Torres was our painter with his helper -   They were the best.  Thank you SERVPRO"

Ed and Marie Sherman Ct.

We can only hope that 2021 is a bit quieter and perhaps not as exciting as 2020 however no matter what happens, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is Here to Help. 

Smell Gas in Your Home? Here's What to Do.

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

SUSPECT A GAS LEAK? USE YOUR SENSES

See

A white cloud, mist or fog, bubbles in still water, blowing dust, or dead or dying plants.

Smell

A distinct rotten egg-like odor.

Hear

Unusual hissing, roaring or whistling.

IF YOU SUSPECT A LEAK, DO ...

Leave
Immediately move to a safe location. Don't start your car, as a spark could ignite.

Call 911
Call 911. Don't assume someone else made the call. Report your location, including cross streets, and whether there's digging nearby.

IF YOU SUSPECT A LEAK, DON'T ...

  • Smoke.
  • Light a match.
  • Open doors or windows.
  • Use your landline or cell phone.
  • Switch on/off appliances.
  • Use a flashlight.
  • Start a car.
  • Attempt to make repairs.

In many cases, a gas leak will not result in a house fire. However, if one does occur in your home, please call us for immediate fire damage restoration service.

Picking the Right Christmas Tree Can Help Keep Your Home Safe

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

christmas tree with presents next to a fireplace While the picture might be classic, placing your tree this close to a fireplace is a fire hazard.

For many families in Litchfield County, the start of the Christmas season is marked by picking out a live Christmas tree from one of the area’s wonderful tree farms. For some, the annual ritual of the family venturing out into the cold together to find that perfect tree for their home, cutting it themselves and tying it to the roof of the car cannot be replicated with an artificial tree.

We appreciate a live tree ourselves however have also seen in over twenty years in the fire and damage business the devastation caused by a tree that has caught fire. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination. If your holiday is not complete without a live tree, follow these safety precautions this month.

1. Choose your tree carefully: Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches.  The best trees that retain moisture the longest are Fraser fir, Noble fir and Douglas fir. Eastern red cedar and Atlantic white cedar rapidly lose moisture and should be used only for a week or two.

2. Location, location, location: Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.

3. Check your lights: Check old lights for any fraying of the wires. Do not overload light strands or electrical outlets. Also keep in mind that miniature and LED lights produce less heat than larger ones and will reduce the drying effect on trees.

4. Keep it watered: Choose a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water and be sure to keep it full at all times.

5. Unplug your lights every night and when you leave the home. This will reduce the drying effect of lights and reduce the risk of the tree igniting unnoticed.

6. Take down the tree before it dries completely. A tree that is totally dry has needles turned a greenish gray and all needles and twigs break with a crack or crunch when crushed. In some tree species, you will see a needle drop but always do the crush test to be certain.

Winter Weather Causes Frozen Pipes in Newtown

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

The weather is a very important factor in our work here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. Snowstorms are followed closely by our team here as we know that frozen pipes, heavy ice and strong winds will require our crews to be on call and ready to go.  A strong nor'easter can cause trees and their limbs to fall. When a tree limb falls on a home, it often causes damage to the roof and allows snow and water to enter the home. Our crew provides emergency board up services to prevent further water damage.  Our restoration team restores Fairfield County homes and businesses from water damage that results as well.

High winds and the weight of snow and ice on the limbs can causes a tree to fall on a power line. This can cause a power outage that will result in the loss of heat for many homes as well. With oil burners and electrical heat sources not functioning, homes are at risk of  pipes freezing and bursting. This can cause widespread water damage. A crack of only 1/8 of an inch will allow 250 gallons of water to flood out in just one day! Water from burst pipes can cause substantial damage including the collapse of ceilings and walls in a home.

It is extremely important that a qualified restoration service be called as soon as possible to clean up the water and damaged materials. Quick action can allow us to save more of your belongings and prevent secondary issues, such as mold.  

Be prepared for the coming snowstorms this winter! Have an emergency supply kit ready and keep our number - (203) 743-5362 - on hand in case you have storm damage to your Litchfield County home. 

Frozen Pipes Cause Water Damage? We're Here to Help!

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

The most common call we get in the winter here in the New Fairfield, CT area is from customers whose pipes have frozen and burst.  Often, a homeowner isn't aware that their pipes have frozen and they walk into their home after a thaw to a flood.  As devastating as this might experience can be, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage while you wait for help to arrive. 

Turn off your water and electricity. 

If you live in a house, turn off your water supply (and don't wait until a pipe bursts to locate it!) as well as the electricity  to the area of the house where the burst has occurred. If you live in an apartment building or condo, be sure to alert your building manager immediately as the water could also affect neighboring units. 

Place a catch bucket under the leak 

If water is coming through the ceiling, place a bucket or garbage can under the leak to catch the water. If the ceiling is bulging or the leaking is widespread, piercing a hole in the sheetrock will allow the water to flow through one spot.  

Drain your pipes 

Run all of the faucets throughout your house with cold water to clear as much water from the pipes as possible. Flush the toilets as well. Turn off your hot water heater and run the hot water from all faucets.  

Call a plumber 

Again, preparing ahead will work in your benefit. It can be difficult to find a plumber who is   immediately available to respond to your frozen pipe emergency.  Choosing and establishing a relationship with a local Litchfield County plumber ahead of time will go a long way in getting quicker service. 

Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County 

Our water mitigation team will respond quickly and begin the clean up process. The sooner we are called to dry the home out and remove wet sheetrock, carpets, flooring  and other materials, the less the damage can spread and cause additional problems. 

Call your Insurance Agency 

The sooner you submit a claim, the quicker you will be reimbursed for payments made to plumbers and contractors.  Our experienced office staff, Keri and Bianca, will handle insurance negotiations and paperwork from our end so that you don't have to.  

Discovering that your home is flooded because of frozen pipes can be a stressful experience. We've been told by many customers throughout our twenty years as a franchise that having our team come out quickly and efficiently mitigate the damage has taken much of the stress out of the situation.  Give us a call at (203) 743-5362 24/7 if your pipes freeze this winter in the Brookfield area!