Recent Posts

Burning Down the House? Ways to Grill Safely in Fairfield County

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

side of a house with melted vinyl siding Even when several feet away, your grill can melt the siding of your house in a matter of minutes.

Friends, it is officially summertime and that means grilling season has hit Fairfield County! Before you grill, however, take caution. Nearly 9,000 Americans get injured due to the grill each year, the majority of which are caused by user error. Follow these tips to keep your gathering fun and incident free.

  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Keep the area clear. Keep your patio furniture, pillows, party lights and hanging baskets away from your grill, as they are highly combustible. 
  • 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!
  • 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! 
  • 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. 
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!

Bathtub Overflow? We Can Help.

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

It happens a few times a year - an overflowing bathtub causes flooding in a Newtown area home. It happens easily - you turn on the tub and then go to get your magazine or answer the phone. You get distracted and don't remember the tub was on until you notice water dripping through the ceiling. 
Although you might be shocked that you forgot the water running and have caused damage to your home, our restoration technicians will not be. We see this sort of accident frequently and will arrive with the necessary equipment we need in order to secure and restore the water damaged areas in your home.

This includes extracting the water in your home using pumps and vacuums. We will check the subflooring for moisture. Even if you have ceramic tiles, water can seep in and around grout lines or fixture seals however in some cases, our technicians might be dry the subfloor from underneath to preserve the tiles. And, of course, if you do have water seeping through your ceiling, we will remove the ceiling and dry the joists and beams out before replacing with new sheetrock. 

Accidents happen. It doesn't have to be the end of the world. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

As Connecticut Businesses Prepare to Reopen, SERVPRO is Here to Help

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

As Connecticut cautiously reopens, we are here to help!

We are here and ready to aid you in your time of need, providing cleaning services so your facility can be cleaned and ready to resume business.

Our team is available to sanitize area businesses such as:

Nursing Homes
Hair Salons
Manufacturing Facilities
Apartment Complexes
Summer Camps
Retail Shops
Medical Offices

We know that one size does not fit all when it comes to cleaning a business. We offer one time sanitization services so that businesses can reopen with a clean slate as well as regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning to support efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 as customers flow through your building.

We also understand that as we move through this process of reopening, unforeseen situations may arise. Please know that we are here to help you navigate whatever lies ahead.

After the Storm, What Can be Saved?

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Excess water, whether it be from a hurricane, frozen pipes after a snowstorm or seepage into a basement after heavy rains, causes more than structural damage.  Not only has a home been affected by flooding, often the contents of a home are damaged as well. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County crew members assist our customers in determining which of their possessions are salvageable, and which cannot be saved.  

We go through the contents of a home on a piece by piece basis and while each item is a unique case, we do use a few factors to determine whether it gets boxed, sent to our facility for cleaning or put in the dumpster. 

The type of water that has flooded the home is an important factor in determining what stays and what goes. Clean water does not pose as much of a health hazard as potentially contaminated water does. If there is concern that water is contaminated from sewage or chemicals, we are unlikely to suggest it be cleaned. It's not worth the risk.  

Typically, porous fabrics such as mattresses, pillows, carpeting and particle board cannot be salvaged. They absorb water quickly and are breeding grounds for mold spores to grow.  However, there are cases in which we are able to clean area rugs and wood if we are called to the job quickly and the piece has not become oversaturated.  

Our ability to be on the job quickly helps us minimize damage to personal possessions that have water damage. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a fit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them. 

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team has the experience in caring for the belongings of your Sandy Hook home. We understand that it can be difficult to part with treasured items, and do our best to help save them. If you experience a flood, calling us immediately at (203) 743-5362 will help minimize the damage. 

We are Here to Help

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Fairfield County has suffered greatly due to the coronavirus, with thousands of confirmed cases. Our owner, staff and crew live here too and are experiencing work and school closures and the illness of our fellow residents alongside our neighbors.  Our team has made a commitment to keep our operations going and remaining available to help our customers during this time. Not only do our customers continue to need restoration after water and fire damage, they now need the cleaning and sanitization of their homes and businesses.

We've considered ways in which we can keep our crew, as well as our customers, safe during this time. When on a job, our crew will be following social distancing guidelines, keeping 6 feet away from our customers. They now wear protective gear, including masks and gloves on all jobs. Additionally, our team is wiping down all surfaces that we touch with SERVPROXIDE™, a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Currently there are no disinfectants that have been tested specifically for this particular emerging viral pathogen. However, per the CDC, this product can be used against COVID-19.  In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more. Porous materials like carpet, rugs, upholstered items, and draperies that are not water sensitive can also be wet cleaned using SERVPROXIDE™.

We've had calls from our business and residential customers seeking coronavirus cleaning - both as a proactive measure as well as in cases where there has been a confirmed case. In response, we are offering an affordable service to disinfect structures. This consists of applying SERVPROXIDE™ via foggers to sanitize commercial and residential buildings. Please call our office at (203) 743-5362 for details and pricing on this service.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends and neighbors who have been affected by coronavirus.

The World Has Been Put on Hold, Water Damage Hasn't

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused most of our lives to halt to a stop. Despite this, home and business owners still face many of the same challenges that existed prior to this outbreak. Dishwashers malfunction, roofs leak and basements flood just like before.

We are all concerned about spreading the coronavirus and some of our friends and customers have expressed concern over having people in their homes and businesses. Yet, water damage must be addressed quickly. Please be assured that our crew is practicing the highest level of safety as they work, for their own protection as well as yours. Some of the practices our franchise is adhering to strictly are:

  • Personal Protection Equipment: Our crew is wearing gloves and masks on every job
  • Social Distancing: We are following social distancing guidelines and maintaining a safe distance from each other as well as those who must remain in the building as we work
  • Disinfecting: We are wiping down surfaces that we touch - such as doorknobs and light switches -  with SERVPROxide, a hospital grade disinfectant. When deemed necessary, we are also applying the same disinfectant with a fogger in order to further sanitize. 

Why can't you just wait for a few weeks until things go back to normal?

Unfortunately, the more time that goes by with untreated damage, the worse the situation gets. 

The First 24 Hours:

  • Drywall, which is found on the walls and ceilings of most Connecticut homes, gets saturated and begins to disintegrate. Many people discover their water leak only after the ceiling is already on the floor. That's how quickly this can happen. 
  • You will notice a musty smell and normal household odors grow stronger. 
  • Any uncoated metal surfaces, which are vulnerable to moisture in the air, will begin to tarnish.
  • Your furniture may begin to show signs of damage. In particular, laminated furniture and flooring will begin to swell and crack due to the moisture. 
  • Free-floating laminated flooring may also begin to pop out of place due to swelling.

48 Hours to 1 Week: 

  • The 'clean water' situation will have been upgraded to a 'gray water' intrusion.
  • You will notice an earthy smell in the home, which is caused by standing water as well as building materials and contents that have begun to decay.
  • Because of the high moisture levels, fungi, mold and mildew will begin to grow at this time, especially on porous materials such as sheetrock and carpeting. 
  • Wood building materials begin to show signs of damage as they swell, warp and split. You will notice this on window frames, wall moldings, the interior doors in your home and even studs and joists at this time. 
  • Rust and corrosion will begin to occur on metal items. 
  • Electronics in the home will begin to malfunction. 
  • Wood flooring and furniture begin to swell from the saturation. 
  • The Indoor Air Quality in the structure is compromised and health hazards can become an issue. Occupants of the home who are at risk due to health issues may begin to experience negative health effects.

More Than 1 Week: 

  • A 'black water' situation is most likely the case at this time due to the growth of bacteria and other harmful contaminates in the home. 
  • Mold spores will spread quickly and begin to break down natural materials, wallpaper, wood paneling, and other building materials
  • The structural safety of the home is in question as wood building materials are compromised.
  • The air quality in the home can pose a danger to all inhabitants.
  • The costs associated with your insurance claim exponentially rises.  The demolition and replacement of, rather than the restoration of, damaged materials becomes necessary. 
  • Our water damage restoration crews will be required to wear personal protection equipment in order to work in your home. 

Spring Rains Bring Basement Flooding to CT

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Despite our world having changed so much over the past few weeks, and our lives having halted in many ways, the weather doesn't know that! Spring showers will still coming and with them, basement flooding. We want you to know that we are still open and working to respond to your water damage calls. 

If you have basement flooding, quick action is the key to limiting damage if you have flooding. Here are some actions that can prevent mold from growing in your Bethel home. 

  1. Protect your belongings – remove light furniture and upholstered items as well as other items that are susceptible (cardboard boxes, carpets and other porous items) from the affected area. 
  2. Remove as much water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum. 
  3. Use fans to circulate the air and speed up the drying process. A good rule of thumb is to run the fans for an additional week after the area appears dry. 
  4. A dehumidifier can be used as well to remove excess moisture and dry out the room. 

Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage. Although carpets can be steam cleaned, they are tough to treat and padding typically cannot be saved. 

If you do have wall to wall carpeting in your basement that has gotten wet from flood water, give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362. We are an IICRC trained mold and water mitigation company and have the tools and expertise to treat your Brookfield home for damage.

SERVPRO is Here to Help During This Time of Need

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.


Concerned About Coronavirus Affecting Your Business? We Can Help.

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

With the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spreading through the Northeast and Governor Lamont declaring a Public Health Emergency over the Coronavirus, we have started to receive calls from business owners who seek to keep their business clean.

Here's how we can help.

SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford first cleans, then disinfects (with a hospital grade disinfectant) when cleaning a commercial space.  Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors the infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens.

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19.

SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more.

The CDC encourages the cleaning of high touch surfaces. In a commercial setting, this list includes:

  • Shelves and Racks
  • Displays and Mannequins
  • Packaged Inventory
  • Fitting Room Stalls, Chairs and Walls
  • Doorknobs, Light Switches and Lamps
  • Carpets and Hard Flooring
  • Computers, Telephones and Registers
  • Bathrooms, Toilets and Changing Tables
  • Sales Counters
  • Elevator Cars. Handrails and Escalators
  • Playground and Fitness Equipment
  • Lockers and Water Fountains

The list could go on but you get the idea. When you think about it, almost every surface in a retail setting is touched by many people each day. For more information, see the website that the CDC has created, Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities, which addresses homes, childcare and K-12 schools, colleges and universities, work environments, healthcare settings, and large community events and mass gatherings.   

It's clear from the efforts of others countries that we can't stop the spread of the virus entirely however we can take what others have learned and apply it to the situation in Connecticut. Governor Lamont said he’s talked to other governors, including the governor of Washington State, and what they have told him is that the only thing they regret is that they didn’t do more sooner.

It is important to note that while proactive cleaning can help remove existing contamination, it will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building. 

Call us at 203-301-0500 to discuss how we can help your business.