Recent Posts

When Your Home has Storm Damage, Call the Local Experts.

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

man standing in front of a servpro sign Greg Geaski, the owner of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, understands the unique needs of Connecticut home and business owners.

When storms hit the Ridgefield area, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County crew is ready to respond immediately. Our owner, Greg Geaski, has lived in the area his whole life and knows it well. With a firsthand knowledge of the area and the weather it brings, he knows how to respond and what resources are needed. Kathy, Alexis, Keri and Theny, our office staff, are available to answer your call and assess the situation and your needs immediately. Our crew is on call nights and weekends and able to respond to your call quickly.  

By responding quickly, we can lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce the cost of restoration.   Storms don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we.  Whether you have a tree down on your house, a broken window that requires boarding up or flooding in your basement, our team is ready help. 

Do you have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at (203) 743-5362.

With Freezing Temperatures Comes Frozen Pipes. Here's What to Do.

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Hood of a green van with servpro logo covered with snow If the pipes freeze and burst in your Sherman home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern LItchfield County to clean it up.

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!

What Does it Mean to be an IICRC Certified Restoration Firm?

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

green van with servpro of Newtown and southern litchfield county name and number on it with IICRC logo Not all restoration firms are IICRC certified. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is.

When seeking a fire, water or mold restoration company in the Fairfield County area, it's important to choose a reputable company whose employees have been highly trained. A poorly conducted restoration can cause a home or business to have secondary problems such as mold down the line. 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is an IICRC certified restoration firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

SERVPRO of  Newtown and Southern Litchfield County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Leaf Peeping Season is the Perfect Time to Prepare Your Home for Winter

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

an old barn with dirt driveway, trees with bright yellow and orange leaves and a blue sky Want an excuse to get outside and enjoy the peak foliage? It's the perfect time to do your "getting ready for winter" chores!

We're in the midst of peak fall foliage in Litchfield County and it's hard to imagine that we will soon be seeing snow fall.

 We're in that time when we start to switch gears from swimming and boating to settling in for the long, cozy New England winter.  Now is the time to take a few steps to ready your Bethlehem, CT home for the months to come.

Oil Burner Servicing

If you have not already done so, make an appointment to have your oil burner serviced. This is recommended on an annual basis. Having the burner tuned up and cleaned of dust and grime that has accumulated improves system efficiency, which means better heating performance and lower heating costs. It also minimizes the risk of your oil burner requiring a major emergency repair in the midst of freezing temperatures. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we respond to many homes each winter that have water damage due to frozen pipes caused by a malfunctioning oil burner.

Wood Stove and Fireplace Cleaning 

Many of our customers heat their homes with wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces throughout the Connecticut winter. These alternatives to oil heating provide what is often a more affordable source of heat. We recommend that you check your fireplace for any signs of excessive soot, cracks in the chimney and that your chimney cap is secure. Have your chimney swept annually to avoid soot buildup, or creosote. A blocked chimney can cause a  chimney fire, which is not always easily detected. These can spread quickly through the walls and roof of your home and result in massive damage to your home. A blocked chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can also  cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, putting those inside your home at risk. 

Prepare the outside of your home 

Trim trees with branches that are low laying and may be an issue when covered with snow and ice. Snow and ice causes them to be heavy and possibly cause damage to your home during winter storms. Also, check your gutters to make sure they are free of leaves and debris so that they can function properly. If ice dams on your roof have been an issue for your Sherman home in the past, consider installing roof heat cables that help snow and ice melt on your roof before causing water damage inside your home. And besides, it gives you an excuse to enjoy the beautiful weather!

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we are ready 24 hours a day to respond to your call.

If you do experience a frozen pipe that bursts or a chimney fire or puffback this winter, call us at (203) 743-5362.

What to Look for When Hiring a Mold Remediation Company

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Man with protective suit on and respirator cleaning the air in a home Ask prospective mold remediation companies if they will use safety equipment and protective clothing while in your home.

If you’ve discovered mold growing in your home, you know that the first step that you should take is to contact a mold remediation company and have an inspection of your property.

You may call a number of companies to your home (we hope we are one of them!) to give you their professional opinion of your situation. When choosing a mold remediation company, there are several key factors that we recommend you consider.

Whoever you choose to work in your home should be able to explain the remediation process to you in layman’s terms.

We know that we have been educated in mold and it’s removal from homes but do not expect that our customers have been! Mold remediation does require training and equipment but the process can be explained easily to our customers. If a company uses only technical terms and the process seems overly complicated, take them off your list! 

Look for signs that your mold remediation specialist uses safety precautions.

Proper safety gear should be worn when dealing with mold. Are their technicians using personal safety equipment such as high quality, high filtration face mask and gloves? If they aren't safe about their own health, you shouldn't trust that they will be about yours!

Ask your prospective mold remediation company the following questions:

Will your chosen company use containment materials to seal off the work area so that mold spores do not become dispersed throughout the home? 

What kind of equipment does the company use? Mold professionals use HEPA air scrubbers and vacuums, commercial-strength dehumidifiers and proprietary cleaners. 

Will the company be using an air scrubbers and an air exchange through ventilation to remove the airborne mold spores after the mold is physically removed?

Will moldy porous building materials such as drywall, insulation and baseboards  be removed and discarded? These materials are relatively inexpensive to replace and difficult to impossible to restore to their previous uncontaminated condition.

What antimicrobial chemicals will be used to clean any remaining mold and mold stains after the demolition has been completed? 

Will the area be treated with a sealer or encapsulant to make the treated areas more resistant to water damage and mold?

How much experience and training does the company have in mold remediation and are they certified by the IICRC? A company that has been in the business for at least 10 years will be prepared for any situation and will know how to best handle your job.

Does the company have experience and training cleaning HVAC ductwork in structures that have had a mold infestation?

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will answer yes to all of these questions.

We are the areas number one mold remediation company for a reason. If you have mold in your home, give us a call for a straightforward discussion about how we can help! 

Fire Damage Restoration: Board-Ups, Packouts, Inventory and Contents Cleaning

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Man climbing down a ladder of a house with melted siding and wood over the window When your home has had a fire, it's important that we board up the windows and doors. This protects your home from any further damage.

When your business or home has had a fire, the restoration process involves more than the structural restoration of your home.

In addition to cleaning the smoke from the air in your home and the soot off of the surfaces, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County offers the following services: 

Board-ups 

In many cases in which there has been a fire, it is necessary to secure the openings of your home, such as the windows, doors and the roof. The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team uses sturdy, durable materials designed to protect homes from both the outside elements such as rain and snow as well as intrusion by outsiders. This is often one of the first actions we will take when we arrive at the job - even if it’s in the middle of the night. 

Move-Outs

After a fire, it may be necessary to move some or all of your personal belongings and furniture out of your home. This may be to protect your contents, to make the restoration and rebuild of your home easier and also in order to clean your things off site. Our franchise offers a pack out service and also has a dedicated storage facility in which we can store your items. Items such as carpeting, electronics, artwork and furniture might be restored off site by our technicians.

Inventory

When your home or business has experienced a fire, it is important to take an inventory of the contents inside prior to anything being discarded or packed up. At SERVPRO, we use a system called the Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which allows us to generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. As we go through the items , we will categorize the contents as  salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable. This allows for easier contents settlement with your insurance company.

Home fires are devastating. Even if the structural damage is minimal, the process of cleaning the smoke out of the air and your belongings can be extensive.

SERVPRO Of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is here to help you step by step through the process. 

Fairfield County Business Owners Take Advantage of Free Emergency Ready Plan App

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

cell phone with the servpro emergency ready app on the screen Call our office today to have an Emergency Ready Profile and Plan created for your Fairfield County business.

Our company really makes an effort to be part of our community and get to know local business owners.

Not only are we active in local events and community based organizations, but we also have two amazing women, Roseann Santamaria and Danielle DeLibro, on our business development team who are out in the community on a daily basis. 

One service that we offer to local businesses that Roseann and Danielle are trying to get the word out about is our Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) plan. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County offers this service free of charge to any local business who is interested! The ERP is an app that organizes all of the information that your company will need during a water or fire emergency in one place.

The process of getting an ERP set up is simple.

Call our office and schedule an appointment for one of our specially trained assessors to meet with you. When we come to your property, we will scope out your facility to gain an understanding of how your business runs and how your physical production areas appear. We map out the locations of equipment, utilities, shut down controls and employee positioning. Utilizing our decades of experience in commercial water and fire damage,  an emergency response plan is created tailored to your business’s unique situation. 

All of the necessary data will be uploaded easily through our mobile app.

The app asks targeted questions and prompts you to add accurate information as well as share photos and diagrams. Take the time to identify personnel within your organization whom you authorize to contact us and make decisions about fire damage restoration if you are unavailable. The app provides your business with a specialized plan of what actions need to be taken (i.e. main water supply or propane shut off valves) and the contact information for who should be called in the case of an emergency such as your plumber, security company or emergency services. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will be able to respond to your water or fire disaster quickly and with a plan in place to get your business back online as soon as possible.

If you are a local Litchfield or Fairfield County business owner, take advantage of this free service and give us a call at (203) 743-5362 to set up an individualized Emergency Plan for your company.

Restore or Replace? Determining What Can Be Kept After Water Damage in Your Home.

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Part of our jobs when we are working in a home that has water damage is helping the homeowner and insurance adjuster determine what items in the home can be saved and restored and which need to be discarded.  Our team assists 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. 

Reduce the Risk of Fire at Your Commercial property

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher with its parts labeled Check your businesses fire extinguisher to reduce your risk of fire damage.

Brookfield businesses can not afford to have their doors closed for a lengthy period of time due to fire damage.

As a business owner, examining your risk and taking preventative measures as well as educating your employees on procedures can help reduce the damage to your facility. 

Assess the risk that fire hazards may pose to your business. The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses.  You can also call your local Connecticut fire department and ask the fire marshal if they are available to make a visit and identify any risks.  

Maintain your sprinkler system.  An  automatic sprinkler system will dramatically reduce the spread of a fire in your business as well as keep your employees and customers safe. Have your system properly maintained and inspected so that it works when you need it! 

Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics. 

Educate your employees. Make sure all employees are aware of your fire safety plan by conducting a yearly fire drill and educating new employees.  Training in how to use fire extinguishers should also be conducted.  

With caution, you can reduce the risk of fire at your commercial property. 

SERVPRO Technicians Have Advanced Training in Mold Damage Remediation

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

man in Servpro shirt sitting at a desk in a training class Production Manager Mario has been trained by the IICRC in Applied Microbial Remediation

One of the most common searches on the internet that is combined with the word "SERVPRO" is the word "mold". Home and business owners in the Fairfield County area are concerned about the mold that they see or suspect might be in their home or office. Consumers are aware that mold can cause negative health risks and are searching on the internet for a company who can help them assess their situation. 

An important factor in the growth of our company and giving our customers the highest level of service is providing our technicians with the necessary training.  The reality is that not all restoration companies have provided their employees with top tier levels of specialized training like ours does. 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we believe that an investment in education for employees is money well spent. Our team participates in IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) training courses throughout the year. The IICRC sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. The mission of the IICRC is to promote high standards and ethics within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries and to advance communication and technical proficiency.   

Two of our production technicians, Mario and Anthony, recently attended an IICRC training course called The Applied Microbial Remediation Technician training. In this course, the guys received specific training in mold and sewage remediation.  The course covered topics such as containment planning and strategies, microbiology basics, respiratory protection, bird and bat droppings, biocide uses, how to safely work in confined spaces, sampling and more.  It may not sound like fun to most people, but they came back from the course excited about the new information they learned.

Above all else, trust is the most important factor in our business. When you have experienced damage to your home, it's important to know that your restoration company is fully capable and working in your best interest. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we value doing the job right. We make the investment and take the time to provide continuing education to our employees so that they can best serve you.

If you have a mold infestation in your home that requires remediation, give us a call at (203) 743-5362