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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Protect Your New Fairfield Area Business

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you are aware of the multitude of building codes that must be strictly adhered to in order to protect your building from fire damage. Yet, despite all of the precautions, fires still can, and do, occur at commercial properties. In fact, according to research done by the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015, there were 113,500 fires in non-residential structure fires, which resulted in 1,425 injuries, 80 fatalities, and $3.1 billion in damages.

Although our customers who own businesses in the New Fairfield area can’t eliminate all risk of a fire at their commercial property, there are some precautions that can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of extensive damage.

  1. Eliminate the hazards: We’re talking maintaining your machinery and electrical systems in your building. Storing flammable and combustible materials properly. If you have tenants, provide clear guidelines that address the “Big 3” - smoking, cooking and candle burning - in their apartments.
  2. Install and maintain current safety equipment: A small fire can turn into a big fire very quickly if it’s not quickly identified and then spreads. Well-maintained fire alarm and sprinkler systems can help to mitigate fire damage. Inspect them regularly to make sure they are up to date and functioning.
  3. Implement fire emergency procedures: A fire alarm can only do so much. You need quick thinking and knowledgeable people on site who know what actions to take first. Train your employees on how to respond to a fire. This should include escape routes, tenant accountability measures, an emergency responder plan, and a safety point person. Contact us to set up an Emergency Ready Plan free of charge.

When you take a look at our action items above, we are talking about a minimal time and financial investment that can save your building - and lives - if you do have a fire. 

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Business owners know that they are vulnerable to water damage from leaky roofs, burst pipes and malfunctioning sprinkler systems. Many, however, are not aware of how common an appliance failure can be and the damage that they can cause. Over the past few months, our office has cleaned up water damage in offices, restaurants and stores that was a result of refrigerator line leaks, toilet overflows, a broken commercial freezer and even a coffee maker line that burst.  

Maintenance and regular inspections can help business owners reduce their risk of water damage from an appliance line leak. Check for small leaks that might be indicative of a failing line and immediately address other signs of a problem such as water spots on the ceiling and slow draining toilets and sinks.   

Of course, sometimes there are not any warning signs and no way of predicting that your business is going to be hit with a water damage disaster. If you walk into your business to a flood, please take quick action to reduce the amount of damage to your home. Make 3 phone calls: to your plumber, to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County and to your insurance agency.  

The sooner restoration begins at your Newtown business, the less impact the water damage will have on the continuity of your business.  We understand that you can’t afford to have your doors closed while waiting for a restoration company to show up and begin work. Our teams are on call 24/7 and will show up at the job equipped and ready to start the clean up work.  

4 Reasons Why People Choose Us!

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Man and 2 women Owner Greg Geaski with our Business Development Team, Danielle and Roseann

So, you have water damage and do a Google search to see who can help. Your search will result in a long list of restoration companies who service the Newtown area. You might be wondering who to choose. After all, most companies claim to do the same work and have similar equipment. There are several factors that make SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County the team to call over the others.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Our reputation as a local company who will not consider the job complete until our customers are satisfied is what makes us stand out among the rest. What you will find sets us apart is that if a customer has a concern, we will work with them to make sure any problems are resolved. A look at our online reviews shows that we place customer satisfaction as our number one priority.

2. Locally Owned

We are locally owned by Greg Geaski, a Connecticut native who has lived here his entire life and is part of our community. Greg has owned several SERVPRO franchises for over a decade and has made his commitment to the community and customer satisfaction the cornerstone value of this franchise.

When a leader has a clear focus and commitment, the people he hires will also. Our property managers, office staff and technicians are all held to a high standard of accountability and reliability and are expected to give 100% on every job.

3. A Quick Response

We have teams on call 24/7/365 to respond to your emergency. When disaster happens, the last thing you want to do is wait. 

4. Experience

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team has specialized training and over 30 years of experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and duct cleaning services. There is no guesswork here - we know how to restore your home as efficiently as possible. 

Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you need restoration work done in your home or business.

What Happens When Water Damage is Caused by Somebody Else?

7/24/2021 (Permalink)

What happens if you have a new refrigerator installed in your home and the water line leaks, destroying your wood floors? Or your oil delivery company overfills your tank, causing a toxic spill in your basement? Or perhaps a plumber improperly installed a pipe, causing water damage to your New Milford home. Who pays for the damage- your insurance company, you or the third party? 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have team members that have been specially trained in "successful subrogation". Subrogation, by definition, is when an insurance company seeks payment or restitution from a third party that caused damage or injury to an insured person or property. Usually this means your insurance company will try to recover payments from the insurance company covering the party at-fault. 

If you have experienced water, fire or biohazard damage to your home that was caused by a third party, our staff can help you work with your homeowners insurance company in determining who is responsible for the damages. As a first responder to your disaster, we are trained to identify and save evidence that may assist your insurance company in recovering costs.  

If you have a dishwasher leak due to faulty installation at your Sandy Hook home, call us at (203) 743-5362. We will come to your home to start the restoration process and our office staff will help guide you through the insurance claims process. 

Heavy Rains Cause Water Damage to Newtown Homes and Businesses

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

It's been a wet summer in Litchfield County. Between the tropical storm last week and heavy rains all weekend, homes and businesses are flooded in Connecticut.

If you have been hit hard by mother nature, call our office at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.

If your property has been damaged by severe weather such as a high winds, heavy rain or flooding, it can be devastating to your family or business. To get the complex storm damage repair completed quickly and safely, you need a restoration service company that specializes in bringing your home back to its preloss condition. 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County provides specialized emergency cleanup and restoration services to bring your property back to normal with minimal interruption. Whether you need a roof tarped, windows boarded up or water pumped out of your basement, our teams are on call and ready to respond to your emergency. 

After the Fire: Board Ups and Pack-Outs

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

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. 

Wet Carpet? We Can Help.

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

When there is a flood, a building's carpet is usually affected. Whether a traditional cut pile or a commercial glue down, wet carpet always needs to be addressed. Our treatment of damaged carpet is not a one-size fits all application, but rather it varies depending on the category of water loss and current condition of carpet 

There are three categories that water flooding falls into.

Category 1 is clean water that may be found when a bathtub overflows or ice maker line leaks. If the restoration process begins within hours of occurring the likelihood of salvaging the carpet is extremely high. 

Category 2, also referred to asgray water, is water that has picked up some forms of contamination, such as water from the dishwasher or a washing machine flood. The soap, food particles and soil that are found in the water create a CAT 2 water loss.  Salvaging carpets under this condition is also possible however the emergency service of drying must begin quickly.

Category 3 water damage is defined by water that is contaminated and potentially hazardous. Think raw sewage or water damage that started as another category due to prolonged interaction with bacteria and other pathogens on the building materials that populate due to the increased moisture content. Toilet overflows, sewage backups and flooding from ground water are examples of a CAT 3. Carpeting hit by CAT 3 water is not salvageable. 

In the end, safety is our number one priority when determining whether your carpet will be restored or replaced. 

Our team is Hero Ready

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

When your home or business has been damaged by water or fire, we know you ware looking for a professional team to work on restoring it. Among your expectations might be a team who provides a qualified assessment, comprehensive plan of action, the correct equipment, adherence to safety, proper documentation and a knowledge of insurance paperwork and processes. As a national franchise organization, ensuring that the quality of workmanship across the country is uniform is important.  To achieve this, SERVPRO has created a comprehensive training program which all of our techs complete to become Hero Ready.

This program is an online training course that prepares production technicians and crew chiefs  for real world applications.  Through the program, they are taught the key principals of water and fire mitigation and how to do the work safely.  As the student progresses through the program, more advanced modules are available such as textile cleaning and how to best manage the contents of a home or business. 

Through this uniform and well considered training program, a foundation of practical knowledge is gained in order to make each team nationwide prepared to meet your expectations.

Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning for Commercial Properties

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Yippee! It's springtime and we have already had some warm days here in the Brookfield, CT area. We hope that you have had the chance to spend time in the sun and appreciate the flowers that are popping up.  Along with enjoying the beaches and parks, the warm weather means most of us will be turning on our air conditioning.  In this blog post, we bust some of the myths associated with air conditioning in the home. 

MYTHTurning the AC off during the day or when you are not home will lower your electric bill.  

FACT: Re-cooling a hot home uses more energy than running the AC consistently.  

MYTH: Ceiling Fans help cool the air and you should leave them running when you are not in the room.  


FACT: Fans don't cool air - they move the air and cool people. Use ceiling fans when you're in the room, but turn them off to save electricity when you leave. 

MYTH: You should turn the temperature down to a very low temperature to speed up cooling. 

FACT: It takes the same amount of time to reach a desired temperature regardless of how low you set it.  

MYTH: It's a waste of time and money to have your air conditioner serviced. 

FACT: Regular service can keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. When technicians come out to service your A/C unit, they’re doing a full checkup of the system – making sure coils and filters are clean, looking for leaks, and double checking that parts aren’t on the verge of wearing out.It also provides an opportunity to catch problems that might have developed over the winter, such as leaks or wear that can cause water or mold damage to your system.  

Get ready for the warm weather and call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have your ducts cleaned this spring.

Did Flooding Leave You With A Wet Couch?

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

living room flooded with water Not every wet couch can be saved, but in many cases of flooding , we can help!

When in a coastal area such as ours, flooding is a concern during storms. Not only does flooding impact the structure of your home or business  but also the contents such as furniture, carpeting and electronics. Mitigating the contamination quickly and correctly is key in keeping your home and family safe. It is essential to clean everything touched by floodwater to stop harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses from growing in your home.

When flooding occurs, upholstered furniture often requires additional sanitization. Rather than a traditional furniture cleaning,  agitating the surface and applying a shampoo solution is crucial to best cleaning the surface of soft furniture affected by floodwater.  SERVPRO’s Showcase Premier Cleaning is the most thorough cleaning method in the industry, employing the use of extraction equipment rather than towel drying the furniture surface to ensure a more thorough clean.

If your home or business has a wet couch due to flooding, the SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield team is here to bring it back to safe, clean and comfortable condition.

3 Reasons Why

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

1. 24 Hour / 365 Days a Year Emergency Response

The key to controlling water damage and recovery costs? Quick action. The rapid response and training of the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County helps limit damage and gets your facility back in operation quickly. We have teams on call around the clock in order to be available as soon as possible when you need us. 

2. Reduced Recovery Time

When storm,  fire, water or mold damage strikes a commercial facility, it affects everyone – the owner,  the management team, employees, tenants, and even customers. In a business, even what might seem like a small disaster, such as a stove fire or toilet overflow, can lead to a big inconvenience.

We know that every minute counts. Because we arrive quickly, and equipped ready to start the mitigation process immediately, the amount of time it takes to get your business back up and running is reduced. 

3. The SERVPRO Nationwide Large Loss Response Team

With SERVPRO, you get the best of both worlds - we are a locally owned and operated franchise that also has access to the SERVPRO system has a nationwide Large Loss Response Team in the event of a large scale loss. 

Each of SERVPRO’s over 1,900 nationwide franchises is independently owned and operated by trained professionals committed to providing the highest level of emergency cleanup and restoration services and customer satisfaction. What this means to you, the commercial property owner or manager, is if you experience a water damage event, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County professionals will provide quality service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How Much Does Water Damage Restoration Cost and Other Top Questions.

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

When we receive a call from a homeowner who has had flooding in their home, these are the most common questions that we are asked.

How much does will my water damage restoration cost? 
Unfortunately, we cannot give an estimate on water damage restoration over the phone. However, we do provide you with a professional estimate after inspecting your home. Some of the factors that affect the restoration estimate are the length of time that the restoration will take, the equipment needed, the man hours required, any barriers or containment that might be needed and whether any demolition or removal of wet materials is required.

Will my claim be covered under my insurance policy?

Although we see hundreds of claims and might have a good idea of whether your water damage will be covered, only your insurance agent can answer that question.  Our office staff is very experienced in interacting with insurance adjusters and will work directly with your provider including submitting documentation.

What products might you be spraying in my home? 
When necessary, we may use SERVPRO's proprietary decontamination products on affected areas. This reduces that likelihood of microbial growth and sanitizes your home.  The most common product that we use is SERVPRO Oxide, an EPA registered chlorine dioxide based disinfectant and stabilizer. Our homeowner's appreciate that this product is safe for use on all surfaces and is not harmful to people or their pets.

Can I remain at home during the drying process?
The majority of our customers are able to stay in the home during restoration. There are cases in which the home is deemed hazardous due to toxic conditions, a lack of heat or structural damage. In these cases, your insurance company might pay for you to be temporarily relocated. 

How quickly can you get here? 
On average, we can have a team equipped and ready to begin the recovery process on your home within 2 hours of your call. 

How quickly does mold begin to grow after a flood?
Mold can start to grow within 24 hours, which is why it is important to get the water damage restoration process started asap. 

Do you have any other questions about the water damage restoration process? Give our office a call at (203) 743-5362

Flooding in Your Basement? We Can Help!

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Spring showers bring May flowers. Sometimes these showers also bring floods that can cause water and mold damage to your home.  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.

With Spring Rain Comes Flooding at Newtown Commercial Properties

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

A look at the coming week's weather forecast for Fairfield County shows four straight days of rain. The team at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has seen many springs like this in our 22 years in business. We expect that we will be receiving an influx of calls from commercial property managers and business owners who have experienced flooding this week. Our trucks are stocked and crew members scheduled to respond to your call. Our technicians live locally and are able to respond to your call quickly.

We understand that the longer flood water and rain damage remain untreated at your commercial building, the more extensive the damage will be. When we receive your call, our first step will be to send a technician to your property to inspect and assess the damage.

If the inspection reveals that the water is from floodwater, such as groundwater seeping into a basement, we will create a restoration plan accordingly. Floodwater is considered to be black water because it can contain bacteria and pathogens that are harmful to humans. You will notice that our team will wear protective clothing and masks while removing the water from your property.

In the case of floodwater, any porous contents, such as carpeting and upholstered furniture in a waiting room, is likely to be discarded rather than cleaned to be safe. Our team has years of experience determining what can be salvaged after water damage and can assist you in this process. We offer our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

We have the technology to restore contents after water damage, including documents that might be important to your business. We are able to remove water from paper documents via dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze drying or vacuum thermal drying. 

We know that as a business owner in the Newtown area, you cannot afford to be closed for a lengthy period of time. Your business is our business and we are dedicated to removing the water from your building and sanitizing it as quickly and safely as possible so that you can keep your business running without disruption.

For more information about our commercial water restoration services, please see our brochure. If you have any questions about our water damage restoration services, please call the office at (203) 743-5362.

Spring is Coming! Think Clean.

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner!

One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning.  Everything has a way of becoming dusty, grimy and cluttered in the winter. It's the perfect time to give your Newtown area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   

Carpet  Cleaning: We offer commercial carpet cleaning that effectively removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting.  

Upholstery Cleaning: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? We can remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  

Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Bethel restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  

Get your Fairfield County business ready for spring with a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

We will come out and get you ready for another successful year!

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!

Dripping Water From Your Ceiling and Down the Wall? It Could Be an Ice Dam.

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Freezing temperatures and snow (and ice) will be upon us soon and with them, ice dams. 

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof.  Typically, this happens after a snow storm, when there is a pile of snow sitting on the roof above your attic. After the weather warms to above 32 degrees and melts the snow, it causes the top layer to form into a mound of ice. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home because when the ice dam reaches its capacity, it begins to make its way under the shingles. When the ice melts, it drips into your home.  The walls, insulation and ceilings of your home can become damaged. If left untreated, mold can also become an issue. 

If your Fairfield County home has an ice dam, there are some steps that you can take to remove it.

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small pieces by tapping it gently with a blunt mallet. Work slowly and carefully so that you do not damage your shingles.

2. Use calcium chloride ice melter to weaken the ice. This will melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to drain. Do NOT use rock salt, as it will damage paint and metal. 

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is trained and equipped to restore Fairfield County homes that have water damage from ice dams. Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have damage to your roof from snow and ice this winter.

With the Winter Chill Comes Furnace Puffbacks

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Many people have never heard of a furnace puff back until they experience one themselves. 

A puff back is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler. Puff backs can occur due to an oil burner malfunction in which the burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, causing an explosion when the furnace turns on. Puff backs can also be caused by a partially clogged or cracked nozzles, improper nozzle angle, cracked electrodes, poor adjustment of the air-fuel mixture, a defective spark transformer, shorted ignition cables or dirty or low-grade fuel. Regular maintenance can help Litchfield County homeowners reduce the risk of a furnace puffback. 

The aftermath of a puffback is the soot and streaks that the explosion blew throughout your home. Often every surface – including carpeting, furniture, walls and drapery - is covered with this black, sticky substance that includes a mixture of oil that is very difficult to remove from any surface. Cleaning up after a puffback is not a do it yourself job- it requires professional cleaning to remove the soot that is spread throughout your home. Do not attempt to clean the soot itself – household cleaners are not effective against soot and may make the problem worse. For example, attempts to wash soot off of a flat-painted wall or ceiling usually leave greasy smears.

At SERVPRO, we use proprietary tools and cleaners that absorb the soot without spreading it. Luckily, puffback's are usually covered under your homeowner's insurance.  

If you experience a furnace puffback, call your SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office at (203) 743-5362.  Our smoke and fire damage specialists have the equipment and training to quickly return your home to a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for you and your family. We're faster to any disaster and are dedicated to responding immediately so that you can recover quickly, with less disruption to your life.

IICRC Certified: Why it Matters.

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

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.

It's the Perfect Time to Get Ready for Winter Storms

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

I know that we are all basking in this beautiful autumn and don't want to think about winter yet,  but it's actually the perfect time to get your home and yard ready for winter. Put the following items on your to-do list for the next few weeks.

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. 

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.

Crime Scene Clean Up

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Part of our job is cleaning homes in which a homeowner may have experienced a crime, trauma and sometimes death. It is a vulnerable time for the family filled with confusion and emotion. We approach each family and home with empathy, care and respect. This is not "just a job" to us. We can't undo what has happened however we can do our part in restoring your space and your peace of mind. 

Our team is trained in cleaning up blood, bodily fluids, and crime scene residues that can endanger anyone who comes in contact with them. Even microscopic amounts of these pathogens can be a danger to health. We are experienced in working in cooperation with local police and health departments in properly cleaning, disinfecting and disposing of biohazardous materials.  

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences and we take our responsibility in doing such cleanups seriously. Our crew has been trained to safely remove biohazards according to OSHA and health department regulations.  

If a traumatic event has occurred at your home or business and you require discrete assistance with the cleanup, call our office at (203) 743-5362.

How is Your Commercial Property at Risk?

9/15/2020 (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.

How Long Will it Take?

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

How long will it take to dry out my house?

It's the question on everybody's mind when the SERVPRO team is called to your home after a water damage. And it seems like it should be an easy answer however there are a number of variables that can affect how quickly the restoration of your home will take. 

When our team arrives at your home, we begin to document the cause of water damage, the extent of damage, and all surfaces involved. We then formulate a water damage restoration plan using a software program that is designed determine the number of air movers, air scrubbers and dehumidifiers are required to begin the drying process.

Of course, our team knows that there is more to this work than technical specs and we don't completely rely on a computer system. Our property managers utilize their decades of experience restoring homes and businesses after water damage in determining a treatment plan. 

So, to answer the question - when will it be dry? On average, a typical house will be dry in about four days, depending on the extent of the damage. For example, vacant homes usually have more severe damage and mold may have begun to grow before the water damage was discovered, necessitating more extensive treatment. 

We all want the restoration work to be done quickly and efficiently. Our crew works as a team to do the job right and allow you to go back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Don't Be a Statistic

9/6/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody ever plans on being the statistic. While not all house fires can be prevented, these simple steps can reduce the chance of it happening to you.

When Your Bethel Business has a Flood

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

The plumbing system in your busy Newtown restaurant gets a lot of wear and tear. When many people are filtering in and out of bathrooms all the time and the kitchen never stops, it is essential that you keep up with plumbing repairs and maintenance. A plumbing problem such as a sewage backup or a broken pipe can cause water damage to your facility and potentially force you to close your doors while it is being repaired. Beyond inconvenient, this can result in a loss of income.

In addition to sewage backups and toilet overflows, busy restaurants might also experience water damage from clogged pipes and drains.  It doesn’t take long for an overflowing sink or dishwasher supply line leak to cause major damage. Water damage can occur in new and old restaurant kitchens alike – even a brand new appliance can be installed improperly or have a manufacturing defect.  


If you own a business in the Fairfield County area, having an established relationship with a local plumber that you trust is essential. Not only will regular inspections help you get ahead of disasters before they happen, you will also have someone ready to help if you do have a toilet overflow at your restaurant.  

If, despite the best precautions taken, you do have flooding at your Bethel commercial building, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is available around the clock to respond to your call.  We understand that time is of the essence when a restaurant has water damage and have an experienced crew ready to restore your building. 


SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County will help you get your restaurant open for business as quickly as possible, ensuring that the job is also done right so that you don't experience secondary damage such as mold. If you have flooding to your Brookfield restaurant, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.  

Why Choose SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County as Your Restoration Specialists?

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

What makes SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County different from the other guys?

We are locally owned by Greg Geaski, who also owns SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. Greg is a Connecticut native who has lived here his entire life and is part of our community. Greg has made his commitment to the community and customer satisfaction the cornerstone value of this franchise.

When a leader has a clear focus and commitment, the people he hires will also. Our property managers, office staff and technicians are all held to a high standard of accountability and reliability and are expected to give 100% on every job.

Our team meets (and often exceeds!) that expectation. Our customers often let us know how impressed they are with the level of service and attention to detail that they have received.

“I wanted to tell you that we are impressed with how our belongings were cleaned, packed, labeled and returned to us. Everything is so carefully packed. The men who delivered our things to us were very helpful and conscientious as well"

“Eric did an excellent job and we were very pleased. Wanted to thank him again!”

“I want to thank you and your team for coming to our rescue after our sewer pipe broke in the basement. You and your team have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Tim cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, never complaining using his sense of humor to help me through. The care he used cleaning and saving my Mom's ceramic Christmas decorations that are irreplaceable to me were as if they were his own Mom's treasures. Everyone on your staff has been helpful and caring right down to your secretaries.”

Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and we stand by that.

We know that Brookfield area home and business owners have a choice when they have a mold, fire or water disaster.  A Google search will reveal a dozen companies trying to sell their restoration services. Our reputation as a local company who will not consider the job complete until our customers are satisfied is what makes us stand out among the rest. What you will find sets us apart is that if a customer has a concern, we will work with them to make sure any problems are resolved.

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield team has specialized training and over 30 years of experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and duct cleaning services.

Call us at (203)743-5362 if you need restoration or cleaning work done in your Bethel area home.

Leaky Pipes Cause Water and Mold Damage to Homes

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

In our years in the water damage restoration industry, we have seen many causes of water damage - from toilet overflows to burst pipes to roof leaks.

Leaky pipes are the cause of many calls to our office. They are often hidden behind walls and cabinets and not discovered until the damage is widespread. Because of this, a pipe leak can cause a considerable amount of damage as the water becomes absorbed into walls, carpeting and ceilings. If allowed to leak long enough, a pipe can damage wood support beams and cause structural issues to a home.

There are some signs of a leaky pipe that you can be on the lookout for that will help you deal with the water damage before it becomes a major issue.  

  1. A musty smell. A home should not have a musty smell. If you notice an odd smell that doesn't go away after cleaning the area, it's possible that there is water or mold in your walls that are causing this. 
  2. Lifting or buckling of floors. If you notice your vinyl floors lifting at the corners or your wood floors or tiles buckling, it's possible that water is seeping in from the edge (particularly if it is in a kitchen or bathroom)
  3. Warping or discoloration of your cabinets. Check under the sink in your kitchen and bathroom. If there is any warping of the wood or staining from water, it's possible there is a leak that is allowing water to drip behind and can be causing mold to grow behind the cabinets.
  4. Peeling wall paint or  wallpaper. When your walls have absorbed too much water from a pipe leak and reached a saturation point, the wallpaper and paint will begin showing signs of damage. 
  5. Water stains on your ceiling. This is a telltale sign that there is leaking going on - whether from a toilet overflow or a bathroom sink pipe leaking. 

While it may be tempting to ignore a minor sign of water damage such as a small stain on a ceiling, keep in mind that the problem will not resolve itself. Allowed to continue, your leak go from a little problem to a big one. The moisture present will also allow mold to grow, which will require a secondary restoration treatment. 

If you see any of these signs of water damage in your home,  call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

Restore vs. Replace After Water Damage

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

As a SERVPRO franchise, we adhere to the SERVPRO rule of thumb that restoration is preferable to replacement if possible. Numerous insurance and restoration industry studies have concluded that restoring property after water damage is less expensive than replacing it. Restoration is also less time consuming and disruptive, meaning our customers can be in their homes and experiencing life as normal sooner after water or fire damage. Bethel area businesses will have their doors open sooner, meaning less revenue lost.

 SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County understands that a house is much more than just wood and sheetrock. It is devastating enough to see your antique wood floors water stained or your furniture covered with soot. We aim to restore these treasures, as well as family heirlooms and your children's toys, to make the experience a bit easier for Brookfield area homeowners.  

We use several methods in the restoration process including : 

Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. 

Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning. 

Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning,  

Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned with water 

Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.  

Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.  

After your home and possessions are thoroughly cleaned, we remove odors and sanitize them so that they are ready to be returned to your home. 

Of course, there are some instances when an item, such as wet carpeting or mattresses, cannot be restored. In these cases, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will remove these pieces from your home and discard them ourselves. We work with your insurance adjuster to make sure you are properly compensated for damages.  Our crew and office staff are committed to make your Fairfield County home "Like it never even happened." Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have questions about the home restoration process after you have experienced a refrigerator line leak in your Connecticut home. 

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
Daycares
Summer Camps
Restaurants
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.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

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.

Spring is (almost) Here! Call us to Get Rid of the Winter Grime at Your Commercial Property!

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

The birds are chirping, the thermometer is hitting the 50’s and the sun feels warm on my face. Does anybody else feel like perhaps spring is arriving early this year? 

Of course, we never know what the weather will bring and we can always have another snowstorm, however a look at the forecast shows warm temps for the next 2 weeks. If your commercial property is anything like ours, it's showing the wear that winter in CT always brings -  dirty carpets and flooring, grime covering door frames and upholstery looking dingy. One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning. 

It's the perfect time to give your Bethel area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   

Apartment Complexes: Property owners know that people will be looking for a new home in the coming months. Their first impression will be the foyer, stairway and gym and it’s vital that they are clean and show worthy. Have a tenant move out and leave the place with cigarette smoke and tar on the walls? We have the equipment and training to get rid of the stains and odors for you. 

Carpet  Cleaning: Our carpet cleaning service removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting. 

Waiting Rooms: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? Our technicians remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  

Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Newtown restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  

Have another commercial property cleaning need?

Chances are, we can take care of it for you. From animal feces to graffiti to broken glass, we’re here to help!

Why SERVPRO? Education and Experience.

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Logo of the IICRC SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is IICRC Certified

When you browse through our website, you might notice that our franchise specializes in more than water damage restoration.

We also restore homes and businesses of mold, graffiti, biohazard, fire, smoke and soot. We have customers who call us for the commercial cleaning of their carpets and ducts. In an effort to meet the needs of our community, we even have a certified construction crew available to rebuild damaged areas of your home after the restoration is complete. 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. 

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.   

Not all restoration companies have the level of training that SERVPRO provides for its crew. When our team arrives at your house or business in response to your call about a mold infestation or sewage backup, their recommendations are based on the knowledge that comes from extensive training and years of experience. A failure to properly remove sewage and mold can create an unhealthy environment in your home.   

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.

Whether your problem is a a septic backup or mold infestation in your home that requires remediation, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 

Under Carpets, On Ceiling Tiles, In Your HVAC System: The Surprising Places That Mold Grows

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores naturally exist in all interior and exterior environments and at normal levels, are not harmful.  Given the opportunity, however,  mold spores can grow quickly and reach dangerously high levels.   Most people are aware of the health concerns that are associated with mold in the home and know to keep an eye out for mold growth in their showers and basements. There are some surprising places that mold can grow in the home and business where it's appearance isn't quite as apparent.

  1. Ceiling tiles – Many businesses choose to have dropped ceiling tiles installed due to the ease of access to the plumbing, fixtures and ductwork above them. In residential homes, ceiling tiles are often found in a finished basement. The lack of light and moisture from pipes and ducts, along with the obscurity of being hidden behind the ceiling, makes the space above your dropped ceiling ideal for mold growth. If you notice staining on your ceiling tiles, take them out and investigate the source of water. Once the leak has been repaired, replace any affected tiles.  
  2. Under your area rugs and floor mats – Most homes and businesses have mats at the front entrance so that those entering can wipe their feet.  But the rain, snow and mud that is shaken off boots saturates the rugs, creating a breeding ground for mold. Be sure to pick lift rugs, clean them and allow them to dry out on a regular basis to deter mold from growing.  
  3. Behind the kitchen sink – We do several mold remediation jobs each year in which mold was discovered behind (or under) a kitchen sink. The culprit is typically a slow leaking pipe that goes unnoticed because of its location.  The water damage is eventually discovered – sometimes because the cabinetry is rotting, other times due to kitchen renovation – and substantial mold growth along with it.  If you notice any signs of leaking water under your sink such as discoloration of the cabinets or lifting of the flooring around the sink, call a plumber in to determine and repair the cause. 
  4. HVAC system – Mold grows in ductwork because of the condensation that can build up due to the moist air blowing through them. HVAC ducts also collect organic material such as dust, pollen, animal fur and dead skin cells. This material happens to be an excellent source of food for mold spores. Typically, a musty odor is the first sign people notice that there may be mold in their ducts. Having your HVAC system cleaned annually will reduce the risk of mold growth by removing these particles.  
  5. Your attic – Moisture in your attic can cause mold to grow. This can occur for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being a small, undetected roof leak. However, mold growth is also caused when an attic has inadequate or improperly installed venting. Additionally, air leaks in the attic allow warm, moist air to enter the space as well. Air leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons- the space around the chimney, the furnace vent and even cable and electrical lines entering the home.  

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team specializes in mold damage remediation.  Our mold specialists have over 30 years of experience identifying and treating homes and businesses that have mold infestations in the Bethel, CT area. If you see or smell signs of mold or a water leak in your home, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule professional mold inspection. 

When your Home Has Water Damage, Timing is Everything

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

If your New Milford home has experienced water damage, whether from a pipe burst, an appliance line leak or a flooded basement, calling a restoration company immediately will reduce the damage to your home and possessions.  The sayings "time is of the essence" and "there's no time to waste" are applicable here. The longer that your home is left untreated, the greater the effects of the water damage will be.  

What might appear as a water stain in the morning could progress to the ceiling having fallen on your couch by noon.  Once wet, sheetrock can quickly deteriorate and fall to pieces. As time passes after a water damage event, the flooding can cause your porous furnishings such as carpeting, mattresses and furniture to become water logged, rendering them unsalvageable. Home insulation and carpet padding also retain moisture.  Electronics are susceptible to internal degradation from the moisture in the air.  When treated quickly, wood and laminate flooring can often be saved using our floor mat system however if left to penetrate and go beneath the wood to the subfloor, this option is unlikely. 

Secondary water damage issues can also arise if restoration is delayed. What may have entered your home as clean water, such as an ice dam melting through your ceiling or water from a faucet leaking, may become contaminated and change to gray or black water, which can be a health concern and require a higher degree of handling. The growth of mold spores is also a concern when a home has had flooding that goes untreated.  

Upon arrival to your home after we receive your call, one of the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County estimators will assess the damage. If you have not yet determined the cause of the water damage, their first course of action will be to do so.  Our technicians use a variety of tools such as moisture readers and sensors, probes and infrared technology in their evaluation. This, coupled with decades of experience and the highest level of industry training, gives them an accurate picture of the situation.  

Typically, our first course of treatment is to remove any standing water from your home using water extractors, submersible pumps, dehumidifiers and air movers. If necessary, we will order dumpsters to be brought to your home for the disposal of unsalvageable personal items and structural materials such as flooring, carpeting and wallboard. Our crew may also move household belongings from your home to our storage facility while your home is being cleaned. They may also restore some items such as furniture, area rugs, and photos off site.  Throughout the process, our office staff will communicate with your insurance company to address any concerns and gain approval for planned restoration work.  

After we have removed the excess water from your home, we begin sanitizing it. We use both wet and dry cleaning methods to remove dirt and pollution from the carpets, walls, furniture, baseboards, appliances and pieces of furniture that were affected by the water.  Industrial air scrubbers, which clean the air by passing it through special filters, remove any contaminants from the air of the home.  Our crew uses antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments to sanitize and disinfect any contaminated items and deodorization to eliminate any odors

Once your home is dry, clean and restored, we are able to bring your household items back, have the dumpsters removed and move our equipment out.  Although each water damage restoration job we encounter is unique, our essential approach is consistent. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, our goal is to arrive at your home and begin the water damage process quickly after receiving your call, restore it professionally and thoroughly and help you get back to normalcy.  If you experience water damage in the Newtown area, call our office at (203) 743-5362. We are available 24 hours a day and have staff ready to respond to your call. 

471 Kitchen Fires a Day. Cooking Safety in Connecticut.

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Let's talk about kitchen fires. It's actually amazing, when you think about it, that there aren't MORE fires in the kitchen.

Every household is cooking on a daily basis and we are all bound at some time or another to forget about a pot left on the stove top ("I'll check back during the commercial") or neglect to clean up that grease spill in the oven from the last time you cooked (any busy moms out there?). Proportionally, for the number of us cooking each day, the number of fires that are caused by cooking is not too substantial.

However, according to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are 471 cooking fires PER DAY in the United States. This means that as  Connecticut's leading fire restoration company, we typically receive a few calls a month from homes in which there has been a kitchen fire.

Since you can't stop cooking, the best that you can do to avoid a visit from us is:

1. Never leave food unattended. Ok, but realistically, you have to go check the baby or you're just going to sit down for a few minutes. So, set a timer whenever you leave the kitchen. You don't think that you will forget that you are cooking but neither do those other 471 people every day. Get one of those cute little egg timers that you will love using if it helps to remember!

2. Practice Microwave Safety. Of course your family knows not to put metal in the microwave. You've told them a million times, right? Well, let's face it, sometimes they might not listen to you. And, sometimes, the metal is hidden, as in a twist tie or food wrapper. The best advice we can give is to never leave a microwave unattended. And leave a note on the microwave reminding kids (and those young at heart) to double check for metal.  If a fire does start in the microwave, unplug it and leave the door shut. 

3. Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Or, at least a big box of baking soda  - they cost about $2 and can safely extinguish a stove top fire. 

471 every day is a big number - try to avoid being part of that statistic. However, fires happen and if you have one, we are here to help.

It Takes Just a Few Hours to Protect Your Newtown Business From Fire Damage

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

burned ceiling falling down in a kitchen Apartment complex fires can cause massive damage to multiple units.

As a business owner, you are aware of the multitude of building codes that must be strictly adhered to in order to protect your building from fire damage. Yet, despite all of the precautions, fires still can, and do, occur at commercial properties. In fact, according to research done by the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015, there were 113,500 fires in non-residential structure fires, which resulted in 1,425 injuries, 80 fatalities, and $3.1 billion in damages.

Although our customers who own businesses in the New Fairfield area can’t eliminate all risk of a fire at their commercial property, there are some precautions that can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of extensive damage.

  1. Eliminate the hazards: We’re talking maintaining your machinery and electrical systems in your building. Storing flammable and combustible materials properly. If you have tenants, provide clear guidelines that address the “Big 3” - smoking, cooking and candle burning - in their apartments.
  2. Install and maintain current safety equipment: A small fire can turn into a big fire very quickly if it’s not quickly identified and then spreads. Well-maintained fire alarm and sprinkler systems can help to mitigate fire damage. Inspect them regularly to make sure they are up to date and functioning.
  3. Implement fire emergency procedures: A fire alarm can only do so much. You need quick thinking and knowledgeable people on site who know what actions to take first. Train your employees on how to respond to a fire. This should include escape routes, tenant accountability measures, an emergency responder plan, and a safety point person. Contact us to set up an Emergency Ready Plan free of charge.

When you take a look at our action items above, we are talking about a minimal time and financial investment that can save your building - and lives - if you do have a fire. 

SERVPRO Offers Home Construction Services in Fairfield County

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Man sitting on the couch with a dog with a Servpro hat on Chuck Lynch, our Construction and Repair Manager, has over 2 decades in this business and is a CT licensed contractor.

As our business has grown, we’ve expanded the services that we offer to our customers.

Most people know that SERVPRO cleans up water, fire and mold damage in homes and businesses. Many of our customers are surprised to discover, however, that our franchise also has a state licensed contractor and crew on board. 

After the fire is put out, the water is extracted, the structure dried, the odor removed, the mold remediated, and the contents cleaned, there is often still the issue of returning the physical structure back to preloss condition. When our restoration crew has completed the clean up of water and fire damage in a structure, our Building Services Manager, Chuck Lynch, and his team will take over for the rebuilding phase. Using SERVPRO for your construction needs streamlines the process for you, enabling you to get back into your home as soon as possible. 

Our professional and licensed contractors will meet with you to assess the damage and formulate a plan to rebuild your home or business.

Some of the services that we offer are:

  • Board Up
  • Carpet Repair and Installation
  • Document Drying
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Drywall Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical
  • Electronics Restoration
  • Fine Art Restoration
  • Furniture Restoration
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Linoleum Floor Repair
  • Marble Floor Repair
  • Move Out
  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Portable Power
  • Roof Tarp
  • Roofing Services
  • Scalable Resources
  • Temporary Fencing
  • Temporary Warehouse Space
  • Tile Floor Repair
  • Tree Removal

Our goal is to leave our customers a home that is even better than before their disaster happened.

OUR WORK

After a huge tree fell on this home, causing massive damage. Our team rebuilt the home, including installing new walls, flooring, a kitchen and bathroom, a new fireplace and roof.

High winds caused a tree to fall on this Brookfield home, damaging the roof, which we repaired.

After a water heater leaked in the finished basement of this Fairfield house, new walls, molding and carpeting were installed.

2019 By the Numbers

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Group of people posing for a photo in a restaurant We wish all of our friends, customers and families a Happy New Year!

As the year (and decade!) ends, we thought it would be fun to look at our year by the numbers.

Our Jobs in 2019:

81 Commercial Properties

618 Residential Properties

346 Water Damage Restoration

72 Fire Damage Restoration

36 Mold Remediation 

14 Smoke Damage Restoration 

43 General Cleaning 

47 Sewage Clean Ups

17 Packouts and Content Cleanings

11 Odor Removal

And 125 “Other” - which primarily consists of biohazard cleanups, tree removal, rodent waste cleanups, reconstruction work and duct cleanings.

Phew! It's been a busy year and looking back at our numbers, no wonder why! What we are most proud of is that with almost 700 jobs in the past year, we've managed to maintain the high standard of work and customer satisfaction that we committed to when this company was founded over a decade ago. 

We wish all of our friends, customers and families a wonderful 2020!

Furnaces Puffbacks: When Your Home is Covered With a Layer of Soot

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

ceililng of a basement with black spider webs A sure sign of a puffback is black "spiderwebs" that are caused by the explosion.

With the arrival of cold weather in the New Milford area, the calls coming to our office take a different tone.

Winter brings calls from homeowners who have had burst pipes and chimney fires as well as furnace puffbacks. A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. Puff backs happen when your oil burning furnace doesn't ignite when it should. This causes oil vapors to build up which results in an explosion when the igniter finally triggers. The result of this is soot and other debris is forced from the furnace's exhaust system. The soot then enters the homes heating system and gets blown throughout the home. 

If you see signs of a puffback in your home, call your oil company immediately for an inspection of your furnace. If a homeowner hasn't experienced a puff back before, they might mistake the soot on their surfaces for dust and attempt to wipe it away. However, soot cannot but easily wiped away- it requires specialized cleaning by your local SERVPRO franchise. 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the tools, training and experience to get your home back to properly remove soot in your home. Call us at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.

With Winter in Connecticut Comes Ice Storms

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

road with ice covered tree limbs and telephone wires Ice storms cause tree limbs and electrical wires to become heavy, causing a danger to homes in Fairfield County.

Most of us in Connecticut are quite adept at handling snowstorms. We know when to stay home and when we can safely drive. The majority of residents have an alternate heat source, whether that be a wood stove or kerosene heater and a generator to get us through the power outages that high winds might cause.  We own roof rakes and snow blowers and know how to use them. Quite a number of us also have a tarp and emergency supplies "just in case".  

It's inevitable that we will experience an ice storm or two during the winter here. The unpredictable nature of ice and sleet on roads can make it difficult to drive safely for even seasoned drivers.  Sidewalks, steps and your entire driveway may become so slippery that they are impassable.  The weight of the ice on tree limbs can cause them to break and fall, causing roof damage to homes. Ice might accumulate on your roof, and even make its way under shingles- dislodging and breaking them. This, combined with the warm weather that has followed the ice storms, puts homes at risk of water damage from roof leaks.  

There's no escaping the snow, ice and freezing temperatures when you live in the Northeast. Hopefully, your home won't be damaged by falling limbs or roof leaks. However, if you do have have a leak or hole in your roof, give us a call. Our team has the experience of several decades of Litchfield County winters and will come right out, assess the situation and restore your home from the damage. 

Don't Let a Kitchen Fire Ruin Your Holiday

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

turkey with a servpro air cleaner as a body Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends, family and customers!

Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, parades, football and, of course, food!

The kitchen is the heart of home, especially during the holidays when most of us in Litchfield County are preparing a meal with many more recipes, in larger quantities and with more cooks in the kitchen than usual!  

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day also has the highest number of  home fires annually.  In 2013, Thanksgiving Day had 1,550 reported kitchen fires, which is  230% above the average number of fires per day. Keep these kitchen safety reminders in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast! 

"Be on time"

With so many things on your "to do" list, guests coming and going and multiple items cooking, be sure to set timers so that you don't remember to take something out of the oven too late! (nobody likes their stuffing THAT dry!)

“Stand by Your Pan”

Have a designated cook in the kitchen at all times so that food is not left unattended. This is the most common source of kitchen fires. It only takes a moment for a kitchen fire to start and with a vigilant cook in the kitchen, catching it immediately is the key to avoiding the fire spreading. 

"If you fry, don't make it too high!"

The popularity of deep frying the turkey has soared (We at  SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County haven't gone this route because we are traditionalists but we hear it's quite delicious!). An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. Play it safe and fry your bird outside. 

"For grease fires, water makes it go higher!"

Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water or a wet towel. Water will cause the flames to flare up and spread quickly. Turn off the stove and cover the fire with a lid if it is safe to do so, thereby removing the oxygen from reaching the fire. Use a fire extinguisher, which should be stored in a convenient kitchen location (not hidden under the kitchen sink!) If you do not have a fire extinguisher, baking soda is also effective at putting out grease fires however you do need to use quite a bit of it. 

We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

House Fire Safety Precautions with Your Fur-Baby in Mind

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Pet Rescue Sticker with picture of a dog and cat on it Placing a Pet Rescue sticker on your window lets rescue personnel know that there is a loved one inside!

Not only are house fires devastating because of the damage they inflict to your home, but many people also lose their pets in such fires. There are safety precautions that can be taken to help protect your pets in the case of fire. 

If you leave your pet home unattended (whether for an extended period of time or daily while you are at work), consider installing a monitored smoke detector. If the alarm goes off while you are away, emergency services will be alerted.  

Also consider placing a pet rescue sticker on the door or window. Such stickers inform emergency responders information about the pets inside of your house, such as how many and what kind are inside.  

During your household fire drills, include your pets. Know where your pet may hide in the event that they are scared of the fire itself, the smoke alarms and fire trucks. Practice your drill with your smoke detectors ringing so that your pet will associate the noise with the evacuation routine.  

Have a plan in place. Designate a family member who is responsible for each pet as well as a backup. If your pet cannot be safely located because of smoke or flames, leave windows and doors open as an escape route.  Always have identification tags on your pet, as they sometimes run away out of fear. Tags will ensure their return if they are found.  

Nobody expects to experience a house fire, but having a safety plan in place will help keep your fur baby safe in the event that you do. If you have a house fire in the New Fairfield, CT area, give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362.

#firedamage #housefire #petsafety #petrescue #SERVPRO #emergencypreparedness #pets

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.

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. 

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

Hoarding Can Cause Homeowner's Insurance Claims to be Denied

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Piles of clothing, papers and other garbage in the home of a hoarder. Hoarding in a home can cause your homeowner's insurance company to deny claims and even cancel your policy.

A hoarding situation in your home or that of a loved one can be a sensitive and emotionally challenging experience.

Nobody plans on becoming a hoarder and, unfortunately, the situation is often severe before action is taken.  Not only does hoarding present a health risk due to the dangerous and unsanitary conditions created by clutter, it can also cause your homeowners insurance claims to be denied or your policy to be canceled. If a claim arises out of negligence or failure to maintain your home, your homeowner’s insurance company might determine that the damages are not covered.   

If you are concerned that hoarding might affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, consider whether your home might be susceptible to one of the following dangers. 

  • Water Damage – The homes of hoarders have a raised risk of water damage. Because of the lack of access, plumbing and roof maintenance is often limited. Also, water damage is often not discovered because it is hidden away behind all of the stuff.   Unnoticed structural issues such as rotted windowsills and roof leaks allow water damage to occur unnoticed.  
  • Fire – Much of the clutter in the home of a hoarder is flammable. Stacks of papers, boxes and other flammable materials create a dangerous fire risk. These objects are often stored next to heating vents, power outlets and in the kitchen, where they are likely to catch fire. Because a cluttered house is difficult to clean, the kitchen area also presents a fire risk with its greasy build up and accumulation of trash.  
  • Mold – Because of the likelihood of untreated water leaks as well as excessive trash, mold will often grow and spread in the homes of hoarders. Mold caused by a lack of maintenance is not covered under the majority of homeowner’s insurance policies.  
  • Pests – Along with the trash, unsanitary conditions and clutter, bugs and mice can live in the home of a hoarder unnoticed. This causes damage to walls, wiring and even the structure of the home.  
  • Blocked Exits – When contents pile up in a house, they make their way down hallways, in front of windows and even doorways. This causes a dangerous situation as emergency personnel cannot easily enter nor make their way through a home in order to treat an ill person or put out a fire.  

If there is a hoarding situation in your home, you know that it needs to be dealt with sooner than later. 

Our professional hoarding cleanup services include the removal of contents of your home, including the sanitization and temporary storage of items to be kept.  Our technicians will treat any water and mold damage that exists, as well as remove and replace damaged materials such as carpeting, walls and flooring.  

If you have concerns about the clutter in your home, call our office at  (203) 743-5362 for a confidential inspection and analysis of your situation.

Don't Be a Statistic: Ways to Avoid an Appliance Fire in Your Home

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer lint is one of the leading causes of appliance fires.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody ever plans on being the statistic. While not all house fires can be prevented, these simple steps can reduce the chance of it happening to you.

Why Do We Always Say "Call Us Immediately"?

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

We realize that, at times, we may sound like a broken record.   

“Call us immediately” 

“Act quickly” 

“Do not delay” 

We admit that we stress this point repeatedly however, because it is so important, we probably won’t stop talking about it. Why is getting help as quickly as possible such a consequential factor when you have a flood? In this blog post, we provide you with a water damage timeline to help you see how quickly a small flood can turn into a major problem.  

Water Damage Timeline 

In the First Hour:

  • Water will quickly move throughout the dwelling, saturating everything in it's path.
  • Stains or finishes that are on furniture that gets wet will be released. This can cause staining to the carpeting and flooring of your home. Additionally, any furniture that is moisture sensitive, such as antiques or unfinished materials, will be affected.
  • In particular, paper goods are vulnerable in the first hour. Due to their porosity, it doesn't take long for water to render books and documents unsalvageable.
  • Artwork that is hanging on your walls can be permanently damaged when water drips down the walls in that first hour. 

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. 

If you have a water leak in your home, give us a call as soon as it is discovered to minimize the damage to your home.  

Common Causes of Refrigerator Leaks in Newtown Homes

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

A leaking refrigerator can cause substantial water damage to your Brookfield area home.

Although refrigerator leaks are often caught quickly if they occur while you are home, if you happen to be away when your refrigerator develops he problem, the damage can be widespread. The flooding can cause damage to wood floors, walls, furniture and even through the ceiling to the floors below.  There are preventative steps homeowners can take to reduce their risk of an appliance leak.  

  1. Make sure your ice maker water supply line isn't kinked and is securely fashioned. Improperly installed water supply lines can also cause flooding. 
  2. Inspect to see that the defrost drain isn't blocked or partially clogged. If this is the case, you might notice ice build up inside your freezer. If you notice this happening, clear the drain with hot water and remove any debris or food with a stiff brush or wire hanger. 
  3. Check the connection between the water filter and the water supply. This can cause a leak in refrigerator models with a filtering system.

If you have flooding from a refrigerator leak in your Bethel, CT home, give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362. Our team has over twenty years of experience in water damage restoration in Connecticut.

#waterdamage #SERVPRO #flood #flooding

Crime Scene Clean Up and Restoration in Fairfield County

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County safely cleans up biohazardous substances such as blood, fecal matter and vomit.

Part of our job is cleaning homes in which a homeowner may have experienced a crime, trauma and sometimes death. It is a vulnerable time for the family filled with confusion and emotion. We approach each family and home with empathy, care and respect. This is not "just a job" to us. We can't undo what has happened however we can do our part in restoring your space and your peace of mind. 

Our team is trained in cleaning up blood, bodily fluids, and crime scene residues that can endanger anyone who comes in contact with them. Even microscopic amounts of these pathogens can be a danger to health. We are experienced in working in cooperation with local police and health departments in properly cleaning, disinfecting and disposing of biohazardous materials.  

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences and we take our responsibility in doing such cleanups seriously. Our crew has been trained to safely remove biohazards according to OSHA and health department regulations.  

If a traumatic event has occurred at your home or business and you require discrete assistance with the cleanup, call our office at (203) 743-5362.

Has Your Electric Bill Been High This Summer in Brookfield?

7/14/2019 (Permalink)

Choosing LED lightbulbs for your home can help lower your electric bill.

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. 

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.
  6. 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.  
  7. Turn off the lights! Yes we've all heard this our whole lives but it truly does save energy and you money! 
  8. 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

The Dog Days of Summer

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Vinegar and lemons frozen into ice cube trays are a fantastic way to clean your kitchen sink disposal.

Dog days; the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.(dictionary.com)

We are certainly in the midst of the "dog days of summer" here in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The thermometer has risen to the 90's and it seems that everybody's energy levels have taken a bit of a dip. Our crew members have been working hard through the heat, with several challenging attic mold jobs this past month. 

Yard work is assigned to the early mornings and evenings in weather like this. We prefer to use the "dog days" to stay indoors and accomplish some often neglected housekeeping tasks. 

Check your washing machine hoses.

We advise that you replace them if you find any cracks or bulges. Ideally, rubber hoses can be replaced with a steel-jacketed hose that can't split open Also check your filter screens to confirm that they are not clogged. If not discovered quickly, hundreds of gallons of water can flood out of a burst hose an hour. 

Sort and organize the pantry

How does the pantry always become so unorganized? Pull over your garbage can and a box for food to donate. Pull everything off of your pantry shelves and determine it's future. Those opened and half empty boxes of food that were lost in the back are probably destined for the garbage. Food that has been in your pantry for over a year might be better appreciated at a food pantry. Secure open items you plan to re-shelve in glass jars or ziploc bags to keep them fresh and bug free. Wipe down your shelves and reload.

Clean kitchen sink disposal.

We recommend using vinegar and lemon ice cubes to clean your disposal. Put some vinegar and cut up lemons into an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal.  Not only does the vinegar clean and freshen the disposal unit, but the ice also sharpens the blades!

Don't forget to take a cue from the dogs and take time to relax and cool down!

Meet the Team: Theny Hovey and Alexis Phouadara

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

This month, we’ve decided to spotlight two of our employees, our admins Theny Hovey and Alexis Phouadara, who have really kept our office running smoothly over the past few months. 

The work of an admin at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County requires the ability to multitask while still paying attention to each detail. Between calls from customers, contacting insurance agents, scheduling appointments as well as conveying information to the crew, our admins have their hands full. Theny and Alexis go through each day their cheerful, enthusiastic selves who are always eager to lend a hand. Whatever situation arises in the day to day business here, both of these ladies use their problem solving skills to help our customers and the team.

Theny was born and educated in the Philippines. She loves to travel and read.  When asked about her work here at SERVPRO, she wrote “I’m  glad to have the opportunity to work at SERVPRO on a team that is of a caring environment.  What I love most about working at SERVPRO is being able to value work-life balance.”

Alexis Phouadara has been in this industry for 4 years and is certified in Water Damage Restoration. She grew up and still currently resides in New Haven, CT.  She loves collecting, doing make-up and the Golden State Warriors. Her favorite food is almost everything from her culture, Laos and Thai. Last, but not least, her favorite person in the entire world? Her 6 year old daughter, Sophia!

Thank you to Alexis and Theny for your hard work and commitment to our team. You are the glue that keeps us all together and we appreciate all that you bring to our organization.

The Mold Remediation Process Shouldn't be a Nightmare!

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Because of the horror stories that you might see on the news regarding mold infestations, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the discovery of mold in your home.

The reality is that in most cases, mold remediation is a relatively straightforward process.

The first step in the mold remediation process is to locate the source of the mold. Whether it’s a leaking toilet or insufficient attic vent, the cause of the mold must be corrected first. Any damaged materials such as flooring, drywall or baseboards will be removed and disposed of as well. 

An important aspect of our mold remediation work is containing the mold spores. To do this, we create a quarantined area in the mold affected space using plastic containment barriers. The contained area can vary in size depending on the level of infestation. When setting up containment in a building with mold, we first turn off the heating and cooling systems to stop the flow of air throughout the structure.

In addition to the plastic containment we install between rooms and in doorways, our technicians also might create a negative air chamber to contain the mold spores within the barriers. 

Specialized air filtration equipment such as HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers are utilized to capture and filter the mold spores from the air.

Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments are applied to ensure that the problem does not recur.

Repairs to the damaged areas of your home is done by our Building Services team.

To complete the work, all of the surfaces are sanitized and mold spore counts are taken to ensure that the air is now at a safe level. 

We know that for you, mold can be a terrifying discovery. Having a professional, local team take care of the problem will take the worry out of the mold remediation process. 

Common Questions That Newtown Homeowners Have When They Experience Water Damage

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

When we receive a call from a homeowner who has had flooding in their home, these are the most common questions that we are asked.

How much does will my water damage restoration cost? 
Unfortunately, we cannot give an estimate on water damage restoration over the phone. However, we do provide you with a professional estimate after inspecting your home. Some of the factors that affect the restoration estimate are the length of time that the restoration will take, the equipment needed, the man hours required, any barriers or containment that might be needed and whether any demolition or removal of wet materials is required.

Will my claim be covered under my insurance policy?

Although we see hundreds of claims and might have a good idea of whether your water damage will be covered, only your insurance agent can answer that question.  Our office staff is very experienced in interacting with insurance adjusters and will work directly with your provider including submitting documentation.

What products might you be spraying in my home? 
When necessary, we may use SERVPRO's proprietary decontamination products on affected areas. This reduces that likelihood of microbial growth and sanitizes your home.  The most common product that we use is SERVPRO Oxide, an EPA registered chlorine dioxide based disinfectant and stabilizer. Our homeowner's appreciate that this product is safe for use on all surfaces and is not harmful to people or their pets.

Can I remain at home during the drying process?
The majority of our customers are able to stay in the home during restoration. There are cases in which the home is deemed hazardous due to toxic conditions, a lack of heat or structural damage. In these cases, your insurance company might pay for you to be temporarily relocated. 

How quickly can you get here? 
On average, we can have a team equipped and ready to begin the recovery process on your home within 2 hours of your call. 

How quickly does mold begin to grow after a flood?
Mold can start to grow within 24 hours, which is why it is important to get the water damage restoration process started asap. 

Do you have any other questions about the water damage restoration process? Give our office a call at (203) 743-5362

Dispelling the Myths About Your HVAC system

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is almost here and all of us at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County have been enjoying these warm days.

Along with enjoying the beaches of Candlewood Lake and the many festivals that Connecticut has to offer, the warm weather means most of us will be turning on our air conditioning.  

In this blog post, we bust some of the myths associated with air conditioning in your home. 

MYTH: Turning the AC off during the day or when you are not home will lower your electric bill.  

FACT: Re-cooling a hot home uses more energy than running the AC consistently.  

MYTH: Ceiling Fans help cool the air and you should leave them running when you are not in the room.  

FACT: Fans don't cool air - they move the air and cool people. Use ceiling fans when you're in the room, but turn them off to save electricity when you leave. 

MYTH: You should turn the temperature down to a very low temperature to speed up cooling. 

FACT: It takes the same amount of time to reach a desired temperature regardless of how low you set it.  

MYTH: It's a waste of time and money to have your air conditioner serviced. 

FACT: Regular service can keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. When technicians come out to service your A/C unit, they’re doing a full checkup of the system – making sure coils and filters are clean, looking for leaks, and double checking that parts aren’t on the verge of wearing out.It also provides an opportunity to catch problems that might have developed over the winter, such as leaks or wear that can cause water or mold damage to your system.  

Get ready for the warm weather and call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have your ducts cleaned this spring.

Post-Construction Cleaning Services Offered By SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

The summer is the perfect time for home construction.

Whether you are adding on an addition or replacing your wood floors, your home will be filled with sawdust and construction debris when the work is completed. Drywall dust and sawdust are very fine and get everywhere!

Cleaning up the debris can also be time consuming and the last thing you want to do at the end of a long household project.  At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we are happy to take that job off of your hands and clean your home after the construction work is done. 

Post-Construction Services that we provide include:

  • Removal of construction and drywall dust 
  • Cleaning of glass windows 
  • Cleaning in hard to reach places such as light fixtures, ceiling fans and rooms with high ceilings 
  • Air purifiers to remove construction particles from the air if needed 
  • Dusting and mopping of hardwoods, tile and linoleum floors 
  • Deep carpet cleaning 
  • Removal of dust, dirt, smudges and scuffs from walls 
  • Removal of manufacturer’s stickers and clean windows (including the glass, tracks and frames) 
  • Disposal of all trash

We are a full service restoration company and are available to discuss any other services that are unique to your situation.

Please call us at (203) 743-5362 to discuss your post construction cleaning and restoration needs.

New Milford Business Owners: How is Your Commercial Property at Risk?

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

When your business has experienced a fire or water damage, call us for reliable and professional service.

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.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County as Your Restoration Specialists?

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Greg Geaski, owner of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

What makes SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County different from the other guys?

We are locally owned by Greg Geaski, who also owns SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford and SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington. Greg is a Connecticut native who has lived here his entire life and is part of our community. Greg acquired SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County over a year ago and has made his commitment to the community and customer satisfaction the cornerstone value of this franchise.

When a leader has a clear focus and commitment, the people he hires will also. Our property managers, office staff and technicians are all held to a high standard of accountability and reliability and are expected to give 100% on every job.

Our team meets (and often exceeds!) that expectation. Our customers often let us know how impressed they are with the level of service and attention to detail that they have received.

“I wanted to tell you that we are impressed with how our belongings were cleaned, packed, labeled and returned to us. Everything is so carefully packed. The men who delivered our things to us were very helpful and conscientious as well"

“Eric did an excellent job and we were very pleased. Wanted to thank him again!”

“I want to thank you and your team for coming to our rescue after our sewer pipe broke in the basement. You and your team have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Tim cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, never complaining using his sense of humor to help me through. The care he used cleaning and saving my Mom's ceramic Christmas decorations that are irreplaceable to me were as if they were his own Mom's treasures. Everyone on your staff has been helpful and caring right down to your secretaries.”

Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction and we stand by that.

We know that Brookfield area home and business owners have a choice when they have a mold, fire or water disaster.  A Google search will reveal a dozen companies trying to sell their restoration services. Our reputation as a local company who will not consider the job complete until our customers are satisfied is what makes us stand out among the rest. What you will find sets us apart is that if a customer has a concern, we will work with them to make sure any problems are resolved.

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield team has specialized training and over 30 years of experience in storm damage restoration, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial services and duct cleaning services.

Call us at (203)743-5362 if you need restoration or cleaning work done in your Bethel area home.

Can Mold Grow Inside Your Home's Ventilation System?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in your home's HVAC system, causing it to be spread throughout the air in your home.

Did you know that mold can grow in the air vents of your home?

When your air conditioning is running and cool air flows through your duct work on hot days, the moisture in the air can condense inside the vent. Because there is moisture present, mold can begin to grow inside the vent.

Mold spores are naturally present and are found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, most often in an airborne state. Mold becomes a health issue when there are unnaturally high levels of spores in a building.

Spores can enter your duct work by simply blowing in from another area of the home or from the outside. Because warm, moist environments are ideal for growth, the conditions inside of the duct work are ideal for mold to spread.  The dust and animal hair typically present in air ducts act as a food source for the mold.

How do I know if there is mold in my HVAC system?

When mold is present, it can cause illness to those living in the home.  If your family members are having unexplained health symptoms and you haven’t found any physical signs of mold, it’s possible that it’s living hidden in your ductwork and the spores are being forcibly blasted throughout your home.


The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield Team has over 30 years of mold remediation training and experience.

If you are concerned that you have mold in your HVAC system, call our office at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection and a cleaning.

Heavy Rain Causes Water Damage to Brookfield Area Basements

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

When heavy rain floods a basement, the contents in the basement are often damaged as well as the structure.

When you hire SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to restore your home after water damage, our crew members will assist you and your insurance adjustor in determining which of your possessions are salvageable.  

There are a few factors which typically determine whether an item should be saved or replaced. 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. 

Sewage Backups are Never a "Do it Yourself" Clean Up

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

The last thing that a homeowner wants to wake up to is a sewage backup. Sewage backups are NEVER a "do-it-yourself" clean up. Sewage is considered black water because it can contain harmful pathogens. Exposure to these biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences to your family. 

Here are a few of the most common bacteria that are found in sewage and what they can do the human body: 

  • E. Coli – Causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea and occasionally death. 
  • Acanthomoeba – Causes eye, nose, throat and ear infections. 
  • Salmonella – Causes abdominal cramping and diarrhea 
  • Heliobacter Pylpri – Leads to increased chance of ulcers 
  • Hepatitis – Causes liver infection and liver failure 
  • Leptospirosis – Creates muscle aches and vomiting 

Don't take chances with your families health if you have a sewage backup in your home. Give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362 to have it cleaned up safely and professionally.

After the Fire: Contents Restoration and Protection

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

After taking inventory and packing your items, we securely store them until the restoration work is competed.

When you have a water or fire damage event in your home or business, not only is the your structure affected, but your belongings might be as well. The team at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County understands that your belongings are of sentimental as well as financial value. This is why we provide services to protect and restore your belongings while restoration work is being done.

Pack-Outs

There are times when in order for a structure to be properly restored and cleaned, it is necessary to remove the contents out of the home. This might occur in the case of a fire, puffback or widespread flooding. In these cases, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will conduct an efficient move-out of the affected area. Our team inventories, wraps and boxes your items prior to transporting them to our secure storage facility. Pack outs provide several benefits to you as a homeowner, including:

  • Protection of your belongings: If left in a wet or smokey environment, the contents of your home are vulnerable to further damage. Removing them from the structure until the work is completed keeps them safe.
  • A quicker restoration process: With just the bare bones in the rooms being restored, we are able to work quicker and more efficiently which gets you back to your normal life as quick as possible.
  • Off-site contents restoration: There are times when it is recommended that your contents be cleaned off-site such as in the case of wool rugs or documents.

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs.

Storage Services

We have in-house storage where we can keep your belongings safe from further damage  provide cleaning and restoration services for them.While your items are in storage, they are secure in their own storage containers.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County offers Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS). This provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We inventory your contents by going through your home and taking an inventory. This process includes taking digital photos which can be used in your homeowners insurance claim. This detailed and accurate report helps you settle your claims quicker and with less hassle.

We are proud to offer content restoration and protection services. Not all restoration companies do.

It’s another reason to choose SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County when your home has experienced fire or water damage.

Why Should You Have Your Ducts Cleaned?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

With winter finally over and summer just around the corner, Sherman area homeowners with central air conditioning will soon be turning that switch to "cool". Air conditioning is certainly one of our favorite inventions to help keep us comfortable in the humid summer air in Connecticut.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis. Dirt, debris and other air pollutants collect in duct work and can be spread throughout your home. In addition,  dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. Our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yes, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your New Fairfield home.  

It's not too late to give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an appointment to have the air ducts cleaned in your Brookfield, CT home or business cleaned. 

How Long Will it Take to Restore my Home After Water Damage?

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

The length of time that it takes to dry out a home after water damage depends on the circumstances.

How long will it take to dry out my house?

It's the question on everybody's mind when the SERVPRO team is called to your home after a water damage. And it seems like it should be an easy answer however there are a number of variables that can affect how quickly the restoration of your home will take. 

When our team arrives at your home, we begin to document the cause of water damage, the extent of damage, and all surfaces involved. We then formulate a water damage restoration plan using a software program that is designed determine the number of air movers, air scrubbers and dehumidifiers are required to begin the drying process.

Of course, our team knows that there is more to this work than technical specs and we don't completely rely on a computer system. Our property managers utilize their decades of experience restoring homes and businesses after water damage in determining a treatment plan. 

So, to answer the question - when will it be dry? On average, a typical house will be dry in about four days, depending on the extent of the damage. For example, vacant homes usually have more severe damage and mold may have begun to grow before the water damage was discovered, necessitating more extensive treatment. 

We all want the restoration work to be done quickly and efficiently. Our crew works as a team to do the job right and allow you to go back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers...and Flooding to Newtown Area Homes

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Spring showers bring flooding to Newtown area homes.

Spring showers bring May flowers. Sometimes these showers also bring floods that can cause water and mold damage to your home.  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.

Deciding Whether to Restore or Replace in Water Damage Restoration

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Part of our job is working with you and your insurance company on deciding whether to restore or replace the damaged items in your home.

As a SERVPRO franchise, we adhere to the SERVPRO rule of thumb that restoration is preferable to replacement if possible.

Numerous insurance and restoration industry studies have concluded that restoring property after water damage is less expensive than replacing it. Restoration is also less time consuming and disruptive, meaning our customers can be in their homes and experiencing life as normal sooner after water or fire damage. Bethel area businesses will have their doors open sooner, meaning less revenue lost.

 SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County understands that a house is much more than just wood and sheetrock. It is devastating enough to see your antique wood floors water stained or your furniture covered with soot. We aim to restore these treasures, as well as family heirlooms and your children's toys, to make the experience a bit easier for Brookfield area homeowners.  

We use several methods in the restoration process including : 

Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. 

Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning. 

Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning,  

Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned with water 

Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.  

Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.  

After your home and possessions are thoroughly cleaned, we remove odors and sanitize them so that they are ready to be returned to your home. 

Of course, there are some instances when an item, such as wet carpeting or mattresses, cannot be restored. In these cases, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will remove these pieces from your home and discard them ourselves. We work with your insurance adjuster to make sure you are properly compensated for damages.  

Our crew and office staff are committed to make your Fairfield County home "Like it never even happened."

Refrigerator Leaks Cause Water Damage to Newtown Homes

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Refrigerator leaks can cause substantial water damage to your kitchen.

Your refrigerator operates 24-7 and is one of the hardest working appliances in your home.

Because  most homeowners do not inspect their refrigerators and leaks are often hidden behind the large appliance, a breakdown or leak that causes water damage can come as a surprise.

Refrigerator leaks are most often a result of a faulty or broken ice maker or water line. While these can suddenly burst, they often present as a slow leak, causing water damage to the walls and floor over the course of time.

Preventative measures include inspection of the area behind your fridge and the hoses. Look for any signs of deterioration of the lines, hard water deposit buildup, water damage and mold on the walls and floor. You can also look at the flooring from below- your basement can often show evidence of a leak. Installing a braided stainless steel hose will reduce your risk of a water line break as well.

The crew at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has cleaned up water damage from brand new as well as old refrigerators.

A refrigerator water line leak can happen to anyone.

If you have a leak, call us at (203) 743-5362 for immediate water damage restoration service.

With Spring Around the Corner, Call Us to Clean Your Commercial Property

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is finally upon us!

One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning.  Everything has a way of becoming dusty, grimy and cluttered in the winter. It's the perfect time to give your Newtown area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   

Carpet  Cleaning: We offer commercial carpet cleaning that effectively removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting.  

Upholstery Cleaning: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? We can remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  

Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Bethel restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  

Get your Fairfield County business ready for spring with a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

We will come out and get you ready for another successful year!

The Best Part of Our Day is When We Hear From Our Customers!

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Davi and Von love hearing feedback from our customers!

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 opportunity to come into a home in need with the knowledge, equipment and skilled workers required to repair the damage is greatly rewarding to us. 

The best part of our jobs is when we get feedback from our customers letting us know how we have helped them.

We've recently heard from a few customers on Google and want to say a big thank you for their words!

"They were very prompt and professional. Working with Junior, Davi, Von was great." - Wayne

"Excellent team , Amado Delgado Junior and Davi de’oliveira. These gentlemen did a terrific job in mitigating damage, cleanup and prepare contents for storage." - Linda

"Daily Bread Food Pantry of Danbury is thrilled with our decision to hire SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County for a recent challenging project. The SERVPRO team was professional, experienced, thorough and wonderful to work with. Owner Ted White is very knowledgeable and clearly cares about his customers. We couldn’t have asked for a better result. We highly recommend, without hesitation, that you contact this company. You will find that their performance and customer service will exceed your expectations." - Daily Bread Food Pantry

Have you had a great experience with our team? Let us know on Google or Facebook!

It makes our day to hear your feedback!

Flooding From Appliance Line Leaks Causes Water Damage to Newtown Area Businesses

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

When Connecticut restaurants have water damage, they call us to restore their business.

Business owners know that they are vulnerable to water damage from leaky roofs, burst pipes and malfunctioning sprinkler systems. Many, however, are not aware of how common an appliance failure can be and the damage that they can cause. Over the past few months, our office has cleaned up water damage in offices, restaurants and stores that was a result of refrigerator line leaks, toilet overflows, a broken commercial freezer and even a coffee maker line that burst.  

Maintenance and regular inspections can help business owners reduce their risk of water damage from an appliance line leak. Check for small leaks that might be indicative of a failing line and immediately address other signs of a problem such as water spots on the ceiling and slow draining toilets and sinks.   

Of course, sometimes there are not any warning signs and no way of predicting that your business is going to be hit with a water damage disaster. If you walk into your business to a flood, please take quick action to reduce the amount of damage to your home. Make 3 phone calls: to your plumber, to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County and to your insurance agency.  

The sooner restoration begins at your Newtown business, the less impact the water damage will have on the continuity of your business.  We understand that you can’t afford to have your doors closed while waiting for a restoration company to show up and begin work. Our teams are on call 24/7 and will show up at the job equipped and ready to start the clean up work.  

Yes, Mold Does Grow in Fairfield County Homes During the Winter.

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can begin to grow in just 24 hours after a frozen pipe bursts.

Did you know that mold can grow in your home year-round? 

In fact, because Bethel, CT area homes are prone to water damage in the winter due to burst pipes, ice dams and flooding, mold can be a big problem to area homes.

When moisture gets into the walls of your home, mold can start growing unnoticed until it has become widespread.  The situation is often compounded by the use of humidifiers during the winter to combat the dry air produced by heating our homes. Humidifiers add moisture to the home that can at times become excessive, which also leads to old growth.  Although mold thrives in warm environments, it can easily survive inside of Connecticut homes throughout the winter. 

To reduce your risk of mold growth in the winter, it is imperative that any water damage to your home is professionally mitigated.

The extent of water damage is not always visible, especially in the case of ice dams, where the water might be hidden behind your walls and in your attic space.  Please call our office at (203) 743-5362 for a consultation if you suspect that you have mold in your home.  

Commercial Water, Fire and Mold Damage Restoration in Brookfield, CT

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

When your commercial space has flooding, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern LItchfield County for water damage restoration

When a water or mold emergency strikes your Bethel, CT area business, time is paramount in keeping your financial losses down and eliminating the need of having to close your doors for a lengthy period of time.

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has serviced many local businesses over the past twenty years. Our team has the experience to get the job done fully and efficiently so that disruption to your business is minimal.

Whether it be a Newtown plaza in which mold behind a shared wall affected two businesses,  a new big box store in New Milford with water damage due to a construction mishap or an apartment complex in Brookfield where a kitchen sink leak damaged 4 apartments, our team is trained and equipped to mitigate the damage. 

Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County immediately  if your business experiences a sewage leak, oil spill or burst pipes. Our crew will be on the job and working hard so that your business can keep its doors open. 

What is a Furnace Puffback, Anyway?

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

When fumes build up in a furnace due to a malfunction, a puffback can occur, which can leave a fine layer of soot throughout your Newtown home.

Many people have not heard of the term puffback until they have experienced one, as was the case with a recent job at a Bethel home that we restored.

The homeowner came home from shopping and noticed what appeared to be black grease on her countertops. It didn't take long for her to realize that there was a major problem in the home. There was a fine layer of black soot on her floors, cabinets and walls throughout several rooms of the house. A trip to the basement confirmed that the problem originated at the furnace. The homeowner called in her service professional, who informed her she had experienced a furnace puffback. 

What is a puffback and why does it happen?

A puffback occurs when the oil burner malfunctions. This can be because the burner doesn’t ignite immediately and a buildup of fumes causes an explosion similar to that of a car backfiring.  Puff backs can also happen when debris builds up and causes an explosion when the boiler turns on.   In either case, the explosion sends soot and debris through the furnace or boilers exhaust system and into your home. In our experience, the soot tends to be more widespread in forced hot air systems as the heating ducts spread the soot with same efficiency that they spread air throughout the home.

A puffback leaves a fine layer of oil based soot on all of the surfaces of a home. This includes hard surfaces such as floors, walls and furniture as well as soft furnishings such as curtains, bedding, clothing and carpeting. In fact, because it is literally blasted throughout your house, the soot manages to find its way into every nook and cranny.

What are the signs that you've had a puffback?

You may first notice a black sticky film on your countertops and then realize that it is widespread throughout your home. Some homeowners will see what appears to be black spiderwebs in the corners of your rooms - this is a common way the soot collects and settles.

How are puffbacks cleaned up?

Attempts to remove the soot will prove futile and possibly make the damage worse. Because of its oil based nature, the residue left after a puffback requires professional restoration. The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is experienced, trained and equipped to properly clean your home and it’s contents of oil and soot. The good news is that puffbacks are typically covered under your homeowners insurance policy. When you experience a puffback, call your oil burner specialist, your insurance agent and our office at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.

Freezing Temperatures are Forecast for Fairfield County This Weekend- What to do if Your Pipes Burst.

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

A small piece of broken pipe that burst due to freezing can cause substantial amount of water damage to Newtown homes.

It’s been a relatively mild winter in Litchfield County however this weekend the forecast is for snow and the thermometer dropping below zero.

Here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, our main concern on a weekend like this is that the freezing temperatures will cause pipes to freeze and burst in Sherman area homes.

When the outdoor temperatures drop to single digits, the water inside the pipes of a home can freeze. As it freezes, the water expands and creates pressure in the pipes, which can cause them to burst.  This will cause a loss of heat to that area of the house and, when the weather warms up, the melting water will cause flooding through the broken pipe.

You can avoid frozen pipes by:

  1. Insulating them - especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  2. Seal gaps and air leaks around pipes
  3. Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
  4. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  5. During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.

So, you’ve followed our advice and you still have frozen pipes? We recommend that you:

  1. Turn on your faucets to determine where the frozen ice is and relieve any pressure in the pipes.
  2. Once you have identified the room that the frozen pipes are located, place a space heater in the room.
  3. Turn your water off at the source to reduce your risk of flooding if your pipes do burst
  4. You can also attempt to warm the frozen pipes with heat tape of a hair dryer.
  5. Call a plumber if you cannot resolve the problem.

You’ve tried to avoid a pipe burst but it’s happened. Now what?

  1.  If you haven’t already done so, turn the main water valve to your home off and open all faucets.
  2. Make three phone calls:
  • Call your plumber,
  • Call your insurance agency 
  • Call your water damage restoration specialist (that’s us!)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County specializes in restoring homes after frozen and burst pipes have caused water damage.

Call us at (203) 743-5362 if the pipes in your Sandy Hook home burst this weekend.

Our water damage restoration technicians are on call 24/7 to help you when you need it most.

Space Heaters Cause Majority of Home Heating Fires in Litchfield County

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

How many space heater safety rules are being broken in this photo? Make sure that everyone in your house follows fire safety recommendations!

Like many Connecticut homeowners, we primarily heat our house with a wood stove in the winter.

It’s an economical way to heat the home and for the most part, does the job. However, there’s a room between the barn and the rest of our house that is cold no matter what we do. We've used window and door insulation and used fans to direct the heat from the stove towards it with little improvement. Our solution is to use an electric space heater in the room. It’s a new infrared heater and we have no reason to suspect that it will malfunction however I work in the restoration industry and am regularly reminded of the fire risks associated with using a space heater in the home.

Statistics show that between the years 2011 and 2015, space heaters accounted for 43% of U.S. home heating fires and 85% of home heating fire deaths.  Space heaters are the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. Precautions must be taken when using a space heater in your home.

We recommend that you follow these safety precautions and make sure that others in your home are also vigilant about them.

  1. Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory and read the instructions thoroughly.
  2. When you pull the electric heater out of storage at the beginning of the season, check it over for any frayed, worn, chewed or damaged cords as well as any other damage that may have occurred. Space heaters can be purchased for under $50 - there is no reason to take a risk and use an old worn out heater.
  3. Be sure to place your space heater in a safe location. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including upholstered furniture, bedding, drapes and rugs. This does mean that you may need to rearrange a room to safely use a space heater. I personally roll the rug in front of my space heater up whenever it is turned on to avoid a fire risk.
  4. Never leave a space heater unattended. This is the number one factor that causes deaths do to a space heater. If left on at night or when you leave the home, you will not be alerted to the fire before it has become widespread. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
  5. Be extra vigilant when using a space heater in the bedroom. It can be difficult to avoid bedding and laundry from coming too close to the heater.  Many bedrooms have wall to wall carpeting, which can also be a fire hazard. From personal experience, I can’t stress too much the importance of making sure your teenager doesn’t leave dirty laundry on top of an electric heater and allow his blankets to drape over it while it is turned on at the base of his bed all night.  
  6. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  7. Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

If your space heater does start a fire in your home, do not attempt to extinguish it using water.  We recommend that you turn off the power at the breaker box, use a Class C fire extinguisher to put out the fire and call 9-1-1 if necessary.

Even small home fires that may not leave a lot of structural damage can cause significant smoke and soot damage and require professional restoration.  SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has the training and tools to clean the fire damage in your home in your Brookfield area home.

Give our office a call at (203) 743-5362. if you have damage from an electrical fire.

After the Party: Post-Holiday Tips to Clean Up Stains, Broken Glass and Candle Wax

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

The party is over and your office or home may look like a good time was had by all.

Here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we've compiled a list of tricks that will assist you in cleaning up your space easily and so it looks like new. 
For Water Rings on Wooden Furniture

To remove a water mark, rub a little bit of paste (non-gel) toothpaste onto the water ring, and buff with a clean cloth.

For Broken Glass

A few broken glasses are inevitable at a party. After sweeping the large pieces up, vacuum the area. Then use a slice of bread to rub the area - this will pick up any of the little shards that are left. Be sure to dispose of all glass in a brown paper bag to avoid getting cut through the plastic garbage bag. 

For Carpet Stains

Well, here's the handiest trick of all! If you have a red wine carpet stain, you can use leftover beer to remove it! Rub a few drops of beer onto the stain and it should easily lift. Another solution that wont leave your carpet smelling like a bar is to blot (not rub) the wine with club soda and then follow with a sprinkle of baking soda and a vacuum.

For Melted Candle Wax

Whether candle was melted on your table or your carpet, place ice in a ziploc bag and set it on the wax. The wax will become brittle enough to break off easily. A spatula will help with removal if necessary.

For Lipstick Stains on Glass

If your dishwasher has failed to remove the lipstick from your glass, add some white household vinegar to soapy water to wash the glasses. The same goes for coffee and wine.

Of course, if your mess is substantial and you need a professional cleaning, call us and we will come out and make it "Like it never even happened."

Furnace Puffbacks Leave a Sticky Mess in Brookfield Homes

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Many people have never heard of a furnace puff back until they experience one themselves. 

A puff back is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler. Puff backs can occur due to an oil burner malfunction in which the burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, causing an explosion when the furnace turns on. Puff backs can also be caused by a partially clogged or cracked nozzles, improper nozzle angle, cracked electrodes, poor adjustment of the air-fuel mixture, a defective spark transformer, shorted ignition cables or dirty or low-grade fuel. Regular maintenance can help Litchfield County homeowners reduce the risk of a furnace puffback. 

The aftermath of a puffback is the soot and streaks that the explosion blew throughout your home. Often every surface – including carpeting, furniture, walls and drapery - is covered with this black, sticky substance that includes a mixture of oil that is very difficult to remove from any surface. Cleaning up after a puffback is not a do it yourself job- it requires professional cleaning to remove the soot that is spread throughout your home. Do not attempt to clean the soot itself – household cleaners are not effective against soot and may make the problem worse. For example, attempts to wash soot off of a flat-painted wall or ceiling usually leave greasy smears.

At SERVPRO, we use proprietary tools and cleaners that absorb the soot without spreading it. Luckily, puffback's are usually covered under your homeowner's insurance.  

If you experience a furnace puffback, call your SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office at (203) 743-5362.  Our smoke and fire damage specialists have the equipment and training to quickly return your home to a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for you and your family. We're faster to any disaster and are dedicated to responding immediately so that you can recover quickly, with less disruption to your life.

Choosing and Caring for a Christmas Tree to Avoid a Home Fire

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

A failure to water your live Christmas tree can result in a house fire.

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.

Mold Growth Found in Vacant Brookfield Area Homes After Storm Causes Water Damage

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

When water damaged is left unchecked, mold can quickly spread throughout a a vacant home.

It has been 6 months since tornadoes and microbursts damaged hundreds of houses in the Brookfield area.

Storms of that magnitude are an unusual event in Connecticut and most of us were surprised by the level of damage. Many homeowners were forced to leave their homes that had been damaged by water and fallen trees.

Unfortunately, the damage from the storm is still affecting homeowners. Our office has recently been receiving an influx of phone calls from residents who are discovering mold growth in their vacant homes.

It doesn’t take much for mold to grow and with the amount of water present in many of these storm damaged houses, mold is quickly spreading. 

The crew of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern holds certifications in the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician and Mold Removal Specialists and are the area's experienced professionals in mold remediation.

We use various containment procedures, including advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to prevent the spread of mold. Our specialized filtration equipment, such as air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums,  allows our technicians to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air.

We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

When the mold levels have been reduced to be normal levels, our building services team will rebuild any areas of your home that require it, leaving your home better than ever.

If you see signs of mold growing on your walls, ceilings or floors, call us at (203)743-5362 to schedule an inspection.



Cold Weather Mythbusters - Will Your tongue REALLY Stick to a Flagpole?

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Cold weather is here in Connecticut! Will your tongue REALLY stick to a flagpole?? Let's bust some of the urban legends about dropping temps without having to try them out ourselves! 

MYTH #1: We lose most of our body heat through our heads. 

FALSE! Although this myth has been commonly accepted as a fact, even being written in the U.S. Army Survival Manual in 1970, modern science disagrees. You are no more likely to lose body heat from your head than from your arm. However, it is a place that often goes uncovered and thus, you may lose heat from your head because of that. So, follow Grandma's advice and wear a hat!  

MYTH #2: Your vehicle tires will go flat. 

TRUE! For every 10 degrees the air temperature changes, your tire pressure will drop 1 psi. So, keep an eye on your tires and be prepared to add some air to your tires if there is a sudden temperature drop! 

MYTH #3: Mice will move in to your house when it gets cold. 

TRUE! You may see signs of them all year round, however when the temps drop mice will go from visitor status to residents inside your home. Seal up cracks, especially where your electrical lines and pipes enter the home to make it a bit harder for mice to get in.  

MYTH #4. If you stick your tongue to a flagpole, it will freeze there. 

And the answer, according to livescience,  is TRUE! They've done an in depth study and you can read the science of why this is true on their webpage. So, the next time someone triple dog dares you, politely decline!  

Be Prepared: The Difference Between Winter Storm Watches, Advisories and Warnings in Connecticut

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Knowing the difference between a winter storm watch, advisory and warning can help you stay safe this winter.

We have entered that time of year in Connecticut when the weather channels will start to warn us that there is a Winter Storm Watch, Warning or Advisory. Rarely will a week go by without one of these warnings in Connecticut. If you've wondered what the difference is between the three, here you go!

WINTER STORM WATCH is the first level of warning. It signifies that conditions are favorable to produce winter weather: snow, sleet, freezing rain, icy roads and the like. These conditions may or may not occur, but the weather service is alerting residents to the possibility. In Connecticut, heavy snow means 7 inches or more of accumulation in 24 hours or less. A winter storm watch is a long range prediction. They are issued at least 12 hours before the hazardous winter weather is expected to begin. When the storm becomes imminent, or has a high probability of occurring, the watch will be upgraded to a "WARNING".

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is the second level of warning - a middle man between the watch and warning. It is issued when winter weather is likely to create a hazard. Generally, the weather service is expecting snow, sleet, freezing rain, icy roads and other dangerous conditions. You may see a specific Wind Advisory or a Freezing Rain Advisory issued when these conditions are likely to be coming our way.  

WINTER STORM WARNING means that a winter storm is either expected soon or already taking place. Heavy snow, white-out blizzards, sleet, high winds and significant ice accumulations may be imminent, and residents should prepare immediately for deteriorating conditions. This is issued when a dangerous combination of heavy snow, with sleet and/or freezing rain, will occur or has a high probability of occurring within the next 12 hours. 

And in the Bethel area, we're bound to see a BLIZZARD WARNING a few times over the season.This is issued for a combination of strong winds averaging or frequently gusting to, or above, 35 miles an hour and very low visibility due to blowing or falling snow. These are the most dangerous winter storms and can be especially severe when combined with temperatures below 10 degrees.

Of course, as we all know in Fairfield County, the weather can change hour by hour so your best course of action is to check updates regularly and prepare for the worst!

Simple Steps That Can Help You Prepare Your Brookfield Home For WInter

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Litchfield County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle 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. 

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.

After The Storm: What Can Be Saved?

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

When a home has experienced water damage after a storm, wet materials such as sheetrock and carpeting are typically not salvageable.

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. 

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Black Mold in Your Newtown Home

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Opting for hard flooring such as tile or laminate flooring in your basement will reduce your risk of mold growth.

Mold is everywhere in our environment.

It occurs naturally and at normal levels, it is not harmful in your home. However, if there are conditions in your home that are causing abnormal levels of mold spores to be present, professional remediation may be necessary. Sometimes, mold is hidden behind walls, in attics and under carpeting, making it hard to identify. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of toxic mold in your New Milford home. 

  1. Run air conditioners during the summer and dehumidifiers year round to lower the humidity in the air- under 50% is ideal.  
  2. Have an exhaust fan installed in bathrooms with showers 
  3. Regularly check under your bathroom and kitchen sinks for pipes that might be  leaking under your cabinets. This is a major cause of the mold jobs we receive. A slow drip over years can cause a big mold problem.
  4. Opt for hard flooring in basements and bathrooms rather than carpeting, which are an ideal breeding ground for mold due to moisture and condensation.  
  5. Check your attic for signs of mold- make sure that your attic vents are not blocked and functioning properly.  
  6. Take preventative measures to avoid ice dams, which can result in mold growth behind walls and ceilings in a home. 
  7. Repair any leaks immediately and thoroughly clean up any water from the leak.  
  8. Make sure your gutters are properly functioning and that they are not blocked with leaves. This will help reduce the water flowing towards your house and possibly into your basement.  
  9. Similarly, making sure that the landscaping around your house slopes away will reduce the amount of water entering your foundation. 
  10. If you have an old Connecticut home with a crawlspace, there are vapor barriers that can be installed to stop mold spores from entering through those wood floor gaps.  

If you suspect you have mold in your home, whether it's because you notice a musty smell, have unexplained illness or see a black substance on your walls, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection with one of our IICRC mold specialists. 

Meet The Team: Kirkland Hart

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

man smiling Kirk Hart is a restoration technician at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County.

Our crew works day after day, helping home and business owners during difficult times. They are on call throughout the night, on weekends, on holidays and in bad weather.  Their dedication to their jobs often goes without much recognition. This month, we’d like to recognize one of our crew members who shows up with a smile on his face no matter what the circumstances.

Kirkland Hart has worked in the restoration industry for seven years, the last five with our SERVPRO franchises. Originally from Clarendon, Jamaica, Kirk now lives in Bridgeport with his wife and four children. When not at work, you can find him playing soccer (futbol) or dominos or enjoying his favorite meal, chicken and rice. 

If we were to make a list of what attributes make a valuable employee, Kirk would be in mind. What stands out about Kirk is his can-do attitude and willingness to help our customers as well as others on the crew. If there is a job that needs to be done, Kirk will make it happen - even if that means coming into work early and staying late. He takes pride in his work and easily falls into a leadership role with our newer employees.  

We understand that our customers are dealing with a stressful situation and having a crew in their home can sometimes be difficult. Kirk’s smile and friendly nature enable him to connect with our customers and put them at ease. He is kind and helpful when people need it most. We are grateful to have such a guy as part of our team.  

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County Restores Homes After Puffback Disasters

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County cleans soot webs that are left throughout homes after an oil burner puffback.

With the arrival of cold weather in the New Milford area, the calls coming to our office take a different tone. Winter brings calls from homeowners who have had burst pipes and chimney fires as well as furnace puffbacks.

A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. Puff backs happen when your oil burning furnace doesn't ignite when it should. This causes oil vapors to build up which results in an explosion when the igniter finally triggers. The result of this is soot and other debris is forced from the furnace's exhaust system. The soot then enters the homes heating system and gets blown throughout the home. 

If you see signs of a puffback in your Newtown home, call your oil company immediately for an inspection of your furnace. If a homeowner hasn't experienced a puff back before, they might mistake the soot on their surfaces for dust and attempt to wipe it away. However, soot cannot but easily wiped away- it requires specialized cleaning by your local SERVPRO franchise. 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the tools, training and experience to get your Fairfield County home back to properly remove soot in your home. Call us at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.

Mold Remediation in Fairfield County Schools and Businesses

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County provides mold remediation in schools and businesses in the Brookfield, CT area.

Mold infestations in schools and commercial buildings are a common problem in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties.  As commercial buildings grow older, they become increasingly vulnerable to mold due to factors like leaky roofs, a tendency towards moisture retention and the erosion of waterproofing material.   

Mold Risks in Schools 

Unfortunately, the school setting often creates the right condition for the development of mold. This risk can increase as the school ages. Common areas for mold growth include storage closets, cafeterias, locker rooms, and bathrooms. The mold spores can then circulate throughout the school by way of the air ducts, one of the major factors contributing to "bad air." Clean ambient air quality provides a safer environment for our students. 
 
For the prevention of these fungi from spreading in school buildings, it is important for school officials to have regular maintenance work and inspections scheduled and completed. The EPA has a comprehehsive list of ways that schools can reduce the chance of mold spores growing. Since malfunctioning HVAC systems and leaky pipes are the most frequently reported causes of mold proliferation, having this equipment and plumbing checked can drastically decrease mold growth in schools, or hopefully, prevent its occurrence. 

Mold Risks in Commercial Buildings 
 
Just as school buildings are susceptible to mold infestations, commercial buildings can become a hotbed for the fungi. One of the common places for mold to grow within the commercial setting is the HVAC system. The systems that are not functioning optimally or are ill-equipped to handle the workload can generate moisture buildup. This can lead to mold growth as the spores within the air ducts will adhere to organic matter and develop into mold colonies. The mold can now spread throughout the office via the A/C network. SERVPRO can inspect and, if necessary, clean, sanitize and deodorize the HVAC system as part of a regular maintenance and cleaning program. 
 
If you haven't had your New Milford area school or business inspected for mold, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to schedule one. Our mold specialists have decades of experience in this business and know where to look and what to look for when inspecting for mold. They will give you an honest assessment of whether remediation is necessary and also recommendations on how to prevent an infestation in the future. 

Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Policy Cover Mold Growth?

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

If there is a leak under your kitchen sink that you fail to repair in a timely manner, mold may not be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy.

We are called to New Milford area homes on a weekly basis to inspect mold. With all of the attention on black mold and it's potential to be toxic to the health, many homeowner's don't want to take a chance when they spot mold. Luckily, not every home that we inspect requires professional remediation from the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team.  There are times where the mold found can be cleaned up safely by the homeowner themselves (such as when isolated on a hard, non porous surface such as bathroom tile).

However, there are also the cases in which there is a mold infestation in the home that requires our services. It can be surprising to some homeowners to discover that their insurance policy does not cover mold.

Typically, mold remediation will be covered if it is caused by water damage that has been properly addressed. For example, if a pipe bursts in your basement and you call in a water damage restoration team to clean up the water quickly, you should be covered if mold grows as a result of the humidity in the air. 

However, if you have a leaky pipe under your kitchen sink that you ignore for months and that results in mold growth that requires professional remediation, you most likely will not be covered. Your insurance company will consider the mold growth a result of your failure to maintain the property. 

Call your insurance agent if the language of the policy is confusing and you are unsure. Some policies contain clauses that exclude mold.  Some will cover mold removal only under certain circumstances.  Typically, if your policy does not include mold remediation it can be added onto the policy. It's a smart preventative measure that can save you thousands in the future. The best prevention that a homeowner can take, however, is to be vigilant about water leaks in their home and repair them as soon as they are discovered.  

If you see signs of mold in your Fairfield County home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. Our mold technicians will come out and give you an honest assessment of the situation. 

Common Causes of Mold and Tips to Avoiding it in Your Newtown Home

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Because they are often damp and dark, basements tend to be an ideal location for mold growth.

There has been a lot of press on mold in homes and the potential health hazards of black mold lately. At SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County, we talk with many homeowners who are concerned when they discover mold in their home.   

In order to grow, mold requires certain conditions to be met. Mold spores need to be present and have a food source (examples would be cotton, sheetrock, plywood, etc.). In addition, mold requires darkness, oxygen and warm temperatures. However, these are typical conditions in most homes. The factor that most determines whether mold will grow in your home is moisture. 

Some of the most common causes of residential mold damage are: 

1. Leaky Pipes -  A slow leak might not be obvious to a homeowner but over time can create an environment that is ideal for mold growth. We have responded to a number of jobs in Fairfield County in which a plumber has discovered mold behind the kitchen cabinets due to a leaking pipe. In these cases, the kitchen cabinetry as well as walls and flooring often requires removal.

The fix: Periodically check pipes, walls and cabinetry for any signs of leaking. 

2. Attic Mold – In order to keep moisture levels low in an attic, it must be ventilated properly.  A well-ventilated attic will allow warm air to escape through the peak of the roof via the ridge and soffit vents.  Another reason for moisture in an attic can be a roof leak. 

The fix: Have your ridge and soffit vents checked for blockages and inspect your roof and attic for leaks.  

3. Basement Mold – Due to low sunlight, condensation, high humidity, flooding and leaks, the basement is a common location for mold growth. In addition, people spend little time in their basement and are less likely to spot it early on.

The fix: If there is flooding, have your basement waterproofed. Keep humidity levels down with a dehumidifier. Repair any leaky pipes. If there is water at your house's foundation, it may be necessary for ditches and drains to be built to protect your New Fairfield home.  

The good news is, not all mold requires professional remediation. If you spot mold in your Bethel home, give us a call at  (203) 743-5362. Our mold specialists have over 20 years of experience inspecting mold and will give you an honest assessment of whether mold remediation is required.  

Heavy Rains Cause Flooded Basements in Fairfield County

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County restores flooded basements caused by heavy rains.

Fairfield County has seen more rain this summer than I can remember. Starting with the water and wind damage caused by the tornadoes and microbursts that hit New Fairfield and Brookfield last May, rain throughout the summer and now with a week of rainfall in September, it’s been wet!  

With the rain, we have received several calls from homeowners who have flooded basements.  Even one of our production managers discovered a lake in his Warren, CT basement this morning. The source of the rainwater can come from many different sources including: 

  • Water leaks in from the outside through a basement window   
  • Sump pump failure, which can cause water overflows from your sump pump crock   
  • Water seepage from cracks in your concrete floor or foundation   
  • A sewer system back up into your basement  

In many houses with flooded basements, contents of the basement such as storage, tools, boxes etc. may also have water damage.  When responding to water damage, quick action is key to minimizing the damage. 

If your Fairfield County basement is flooded from rainwater or a sewage leak, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. We are available 24/7 and ready to respond to your water damage emergency.

Tips to Keep Your Family Safe During National Preparedness Month

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month - is your home and family ready for an emergency situation? National Preparedness Month is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events. Here in Connecticut, we know all too well the impact a hurricane or winter storm can have on our daily lives. 

Here are some simple steps recommended by FEMA, who is the sponsor of the National Preparedness Month, on how to make sure your family is ready.

The first step is to Know your risk. It is important to understand the potential risks where you live. You can do this by doing the following:

  1. Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather.
  2. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
  3. Get practical tips on preparing for disaster at ready.gov.

The second step is to Take action. Make sure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency. Ensure that you can go for at least three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or other local services.

  1. Prepare a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water.
  2. Create a Family Emergency Plan, so that your family knows how to communicate during an emergency.
  3. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

For additional tips and kit information, including ways to involve your family in the planning, visit  ready.gov.

If the Brookfield, CT area does get hit with a hurricane this fall, and you experience a downed tree or flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for a 24 hour response to your emergency.

Microwaves, Batteries, Laptops and Old Appliances Cause House Fires

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Leaving a laptop on your bed can cause it to overheat and cause a house fire.

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, as this homeowner discovered when his home burned down due to 9 volt batteries.  
  • 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 After a Commercial Property Has Fire,Water or Mold Damage

8/23/2018 (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.  

The Best of Both Worlds - We Offer Restoration and Reconstruction Services

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team offers both water damage restoration and construction services

Should you use the same contractor for your water damage restoration and reconstruction? 

In a nutshell: Yes 

When you have experienced a flood in your home, the water damage restoration process has several stages. After the source of the flooding has been stopped, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will come in and dry out your home. We order a dumpster if needed and remove wet and damaged insulation, carpeting and walls. If your belongings have gotten wet or are in danger of getting wet or moldy from the water, we pack them up and move them to temporary storage. Any wet household items that can be salvaged are cleaned, usually at our off-site facility.  

After any standing water has been removed with extractors, our team uses a variety of tools to remove the excess moisture from your home. Industrial grade dehumidifiers and air movers dry things out. We take into consideration room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your home.  

When everything is dried out, it’s time to put your home back together.  Whether there was a small leak that damaged just a few walls and molding or a catastrophic flood that has left your home without walls and ceilings, most homes with water damage require some reconstruction by a contractor. Most Brookfield area water damage restoration companies do not offer construction services, leaving you searching google for a  contractor after their work is completed.  

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County offers full reconstruction services. Our licensed contractors will seamlessly pick up where our restoration team has left off without missing a beat. Our team understands the full scope of the work to be done.  When you have one contractor do the restoration and another do the reconstruction, an instant gap in communication exists. Dealing with two separate companies can create a situation where things slip through the cracks.  

Our office staff - Kathy, Theny and Alexis - understand your needs because they have been with you since the first phone call.  Rebuilding your home after a disaster, whether the job is big or small, can be both stressful and overwhelming.  We aim to make the entire process as streamlined and stress free as possible.  

The Facts About Mold in New Milford, CT Homes

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Not only is "black mold" toxic - all shades of mold -gray, black, purple, yellow, white- can be harmful to your health.

An internet search on household mold will result in a plethora of conflicting information on what mold is and how it can be removed from a home.  There are some facts about mold that are indisputable and good to know in case you find mold in your Newtown home.  

1. Bleach does not kill mold

This myth is so prevalent that we've been advised to use bleach against mold from everyone including our neighbors, plumber and numerous google sites.  While mold can be killed by bleach on hard surfaces such as bathroom tile, it does not kill mold on porous surfaces such as walls and wood. Mold spores present in the air are not affected by topical bleach use.  What’s more, because it is made up of 90% water, removing mold with bleach can actually make mold regrow even faster.  

2. Mold can start to grow in 24 to 48 hours 

If there has been water damage in your home or business, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours. We typically see this when a home has been vacant while the owners are away on vacation. We've even responded to jobs in which the water damage was in a basement and not discovered until the following day. To avoid mold growing after a water damage, do not delay in calling a water damage remediation company after a flood.   

3. There are over 100,000 different types of mold

The term usually used when referring to dangerous mold is "black mold" however mold can come in a variety of colors, including brown, green, yellow and white.  In fact, there are over 100,000 known species of mold, most of which exist outside the home. Some molds are helpful to the environment and others are harmful. The most common form of molds found in homes are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Stachybotrys and Alternaria. 

4. Mold is naturally everywhere 

Mold exists everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Mold helps decompose organic matter and plays a vital role in maintaining a balance in our environment. Healthy levels of mold are not harmful to your home or your health.  When you see mold growing on surfaces of your home, however, it is probable that conditions exist that are causing an accelerated rate of growth. Typically, this is due to high moisture levels in the home. 

When SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County performs mold remediation in a structure, our goal is to bring the level of mold spores to healthy levels. In fact, complete mold spore removal is not possible and if a restoration company claims that they will eradicate mold in your home, you might consider hiring a different company.  Look for a business who has an IICRC certification  to ensure that your mold restoration company is educated and equipped in identifying and treating household mold. 

Home Appliance Leaks Cause Water Damage in Newtown

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

A dishwasher overflow can cause flooding to your Brookfield home.

30% of the residential water damage claims that we respond to are caused by an appliance failure such as a dishwasher, washing machine or refrigerator line leak.


Of course, there are many water damage disasters that are just that – unpredictable and unavoidable events that could not have been prevented. We recently restored a Newtown home after the ice maker supply line leaked from a brand new, professionally installed refrigerator, causing damage to the kitchen and basement below. However, most appliance related water damage events are due to age or deterioration of the appliance.


There are some easy steps that homeowners can take to reduce their risk of water damage from supply line leaks in three appliances- the dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine.


Dishwasher
Dishwasher lines and hoses can spring a leak or blow out, often in the middle of the wash cycle, and flood your kitchen with hundreds of gallons of water.
A defective pump and/or pump seal may be the cause of a dishwasher leak. As your dishwasher ages, and because of the use of detergents, the rubber gasket that seals the pump housing could have broken down and become ineffective.
Another reason that your dishwasher may leak is because your kitchen sink pipes are clogged. The reason for the leak is that dishwasher discharge hose is connected to the sink drain. If you notice your sink or dishwasher draining slowly, clear the clog before it gets worse and causes an overflow.
A faulty seal on your dishwasher door can also cause your dishwasher to leak.


Washing machine
If you notice a puddle on the floor of your laundry room, don’t ignore it! Your washer may need a minor repair that can prevent a major catastrophe. There may be a loose connection on one of the hoses or a missing rubber washer. You may find that you have a washing machine hose that has a pinhole leak that could lead to an eruption and cause flooding throughout your home.
If you notice water on the floor in front of your front load washer, check your door seal. Soil, debris and soap buildup can cause the seal to fail and allow a leak. Also check to see if there is any deterioration of the seal or trapped items (like a pesky sock)
If there is a puddle under your washer, there could be a hole in your water pump and it should be replaced.
Also check to make certain that the door on your front load washing machine is opening and closing properly. A faulty hinge could allow water to leak out.


Refrigerator
The water damage that we usually see from refrigerators is generally caused by a failure of the ice maker supply line. Over the years, the supply line can weaken and become vulnerable to bursting. There may be a slow leak that can cause mold to grow throughout the years or there can be a sudden failure that causes flooding. Since most of us don't often look behind our refrigerators, a slow leak or deterioration of the line can go unnoticed. Periodically take a look behind your fridge at the supply line to make sure it is in sound condition.


Most homeowner's insurance policies do not cover water damage that could have been avoided with proper maintenance or what might be considered neglect. Making a habit of periodically checking your appliances for wear and addressing small water leaks or clogs when they first happen will save you from dealing with an uncovered water damage loss later on.

Meet the Team: Matt Caulfield

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Matt Caulfield is a production manager at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County.

Every day, we see them give their all and then some to our customers. This month, we'd like to recognize Matt Caulfield for his dedication to his work at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County.  

Matt has been at SERVPRO for five years, having come from the construction and mortgage industries. He is the kind of guy who throws himself whole-heartedly into whatever he does and has worked his way to a position of Production Manager at SERVPRO.  Matt is an extremely dedicated professional who is courteous, cares about his customers, is quick to return phone calls and sincerely wants the best outcome for his clients. In fact, clients often go out of their way to let us know how impressed they were with Matt's service.  

Matt lives in Milford, CT and is an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings and the Georgia Bulldogs. An athlete himself, Matt loves snowboarding, football and working out. He can't pass up a piece of pizza and loves country music. I was surprised to learn that his favorite tv show is "This is Us" - you never know who is watching that show! His dream is to spend time on a Caribbean Island someday.  

Matt's co-workers know that if they need a hand with anything, he is there to help- often without being asked. He is a pleasure to work with and brings a positive vibe to our office and the work site.  Matt finds it personally rewarding when he can take an overwhelming loss and turn it around for the very best outcome for the customer. In an industry like ours, where homeowners are dealing with stressful and often emotional situations, Matt's commitment to help, and not just "get the job done", truly makes a difference. 

Keep Your 4th of July Festivities Safe With These Fireworks Tips

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

The safest way to enjoy fireworks in Newtown this week is to go to a professional show. If you do choose to use fireworks at your home, use caution.

6/28/2018

With the 4th of July around the corner, we have already started hearing fireworks being set off in our Brookfield area neighborhoods.  Let's face it, it's hard to resist picking up a few things that go bang and some sparklers for the kids.  At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, we do want to remind our customers that fireworks, and even sparklers, cause quite a bit of damage and bodily injury each year. 

In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. This includes 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 16,900 outdoor fires. The NFPA recommends that you leave fireworks to the professionals however if you want to set a few off in your driveway, here are a few tips to keep it safer.  

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show. 
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. 
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. 
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. 
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. 
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers. 
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. 
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day. 

Adults should always handle fireworks. Although sparklers are fun, they account for roughly one quarter of fireworks injuries. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold. Kids are also drawn to investigate the used pieces of fireworks that lie on the ground after an event. Discourage this, as some may hot and even still be ignited and can cause burns.

Pet safety is also a concern on the 4th of July. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the noise that fills the day.  Don't bring your dog to the barbecue – they are happier and safer if left inside. Create a comfortable place inside your home for your pet. Finally, make sure your pet has accurate identification tags on them in case they run away because of the loud noises. 

Whether you choose to stay at home or go to a public fireworks show, stay safe and have a great time! 

Tips to Keep Your Campfire Safe This Summer

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Camping one of our favorite ways to spend with family and friends over the summertime.

One thing that we look forward to every summer is having a campfire in our backyard. There's something about the smell and sound of a fire that brings us close to nature. Add in some marshmallows and everybody is happy! Unfortunately, campfire accidents are common, resulting in thousands of ER visits a year.

Follow our safety tips to reduce your risk of injury.

Step 1: Check out the surroundings 

Carefully choose your location avoiding any low hanging branches or near brush or bushes. These can easily go up in flames if the fire gets bigger than anticipated.  You should also keep an 8 to 10 foot radius clear of anything such as brush, garbage as well as tents and chairs. 

Step 2: Prepare your campfire ring 

If an exisiting ring is not present, create one out of rocks. Make sure that the area surrounding the ring does not have any tripping hazards such as holes, roots or tree stumps. A child walking to get their next marshmallow can easily trip and get burned. 

Step 3: Have water, a shovel and dirt at hand 

It only takes a single gust of wind to cause your fire to grow out of control. In that case, you want to always have water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put it out completely if necessary.  

Step 4: Never leave the fire unattended 

Sometimes we get so comfortable with the fire that we walk away for "just a moment". Regardless of what is going on, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire. Especially keep an eye on pets and children that may be sitting or walking close by. 

Step 5: Put it out right 

Never leave a fire burning when you are going inside. Even hot embers can reignite and become a fire with a gust of wind. Smother the fire with dirt and make sure it is fully extinguished by stirring the embers around afterwards. 

Enjoy your summer and be safe if you have a backyard fire in Connecticut this summer!

If you have fire damage at your Brookfield area home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer in Newtown

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

School is out, the beaches are filling up and the smell of barbeque is filling the air. Summer is here, Newtown and Southern Litchfield County! There is so much to enjoy in the summer except for those high air conditioning bills!  Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take to lower your electric bill this summer.  
 
Exterior Inspection 

We recommend doing an inspection of the area around your air conditioning unit and clear the area of brush and weeds that have grown in or gathered there. This will ensure that your air conditioning unit will get enough air to cool the house and keep unwanted brush from entering the ac unit. 
 
Inspect Filters 

Inspect your filters to determine whether they need to be replaced. As a rule of thumb, filters should be replaced every season. Dirty filters will increase energy usage and affect air quality in the house. 
 
Check Freon Levels 

If your freon levels are low, it could indicate a leak, which can lower efficiency and decrease the lifespan of the air conditioner compressor.  

Make an upgrade 

If you haven't upgraded to a smart thermostat, it's time to make a change. Smart thermostats can regulate heating and cooling when you're not home to save money. Many of these work with your phone for convenience.  

Check your thermostat placement 

The location of your thermostat can play a big part in how well your air conditioner works. If you put it on a wall right next to a hot window, for instance, your air conditioner will kick on much more often than it needs to because it will think the room is hotter than it actually is. Pick a location that is representative to the whole of your home.  

Use a fan

Although a fan wont reduce the overall temperature of your home, it will make a room that you are in feel up to ten degrees cooler while using significantly less energy.
 
Have your air ducts inspected 

Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have your ducts inspected. Having your air ducts cleaned by our professionals will increase the efficiency of your system.  

We Provide Water Damage Restoration to Newtown, CT Area Restaurants

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

If you have water damage to your Brookfield area restaurant, SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is ready to respond.

The plumbing system in your busy Newtown restaurant gets a lot of wear and tear. When many people are filtering in and out of bathrooms all the time and the kitchen never stops,  it is essential that you keep up with plumbing repairs and maintenance. A plumbing problem such as a sewage backup or a broken pipe can cause water damage to your facility and potentially force you to close your doors while it is being repaired. Beyond inconvenient, this can result in a loss of income.

In addition to sewage backups and toilet overflows, busy restaurants might also experience water damage from clogged pipes and drains.  It doesn’t take long for an overflowing sink or dishwasher supply line leak to cause major damage. Water damage can occur in new and old restaurant kitchens alike – even a brand new appliance can be installed improperly or have a manufacturing defect.  


If you own a business in the Fairfield County area, having an established relationship with a local plumber that you trust is essential. Not only will regular inspections help you get ahead of disasters before they happen, you will also have someone ready to help if you do have a toilet overflow at your restaurant.  

If, despite the best precautions taken, you do have flooding at your Bethel commercial building, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is available around the clock to respond to your call.  We understand that time is of the essence when a restaurant has water damage and have an experienced crew ready to restore your building. Some of our Crew Chiefs, such as Davi or Von, have been with us for over a decade and are experts at quickly assessing a water damage situation and identifying a course of action that will least impact your business continuity.  


SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County will help you get your restaurant open for business as quickly as possible, ensuring that the job is also done right so that you don't experience secondary damage such as mold. If you have flooding to your Brookfield restaurant, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.  

Out of sight: Mold Hidden in the HVAC Ductwork of your Newtown, CT Home

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold hides in dark, damp places-often the spots that you can't easily see or access in a home.We clean air ducts to remove the mold and keep your safe

An area of the home in which mold can grow without notice is inside of the HVAC system. The damp and dark conditions of  duct work, AC evaporator coils, and drip pans are the perfect environments for mold growth.  The outside particles that are pushed through the ducts contain organic particles such as pollen, which serve as a food source for the mold.  Hidden from view, mold can grow unseen and unnoticed, allowing the spores to be blown throughout your home and potentially cause health problems to your family.  

A few simple steps can help keep your HVAC system clear of mold spores.

1. Scheduling a yearly cleaning of your HVAC system with SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to keep it free of dirt, debris and other organic materials will reduce the risk of mold growth. 

2. Monitor the moisture levels in your HVAC unit to make sure there is no standing water and have a service company come and check for a possible leak if you see excessive condensation.  

3. Changing your HVAC filter once every three months to cut down on mold spores and other  allergens being spread throughout your New Milford, CT home. 

If you suspect that there may be mold in your HVAC system, call us at (203) 743-5362. We will come out and inspect your system for mold spores.  If mold is found, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Restoring Homes of Roof and Water Damage After Macroburst With 110 MPH Winds Hits Brookfield, CT

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

The macroburst that hit the Brookfield area last week had 110 mph winds and caused hundreds of trees to fall on homes.

There is nothing quite like the horrific damage a tornado, or as it turns out we experienced in last weeks storm in New Fairfield and Brookfield, a macroburst. Many of us had never heard of a macroburst, also know as a downburst, prior to several hitting our town. The destruction caused has left many of us stunned and wondering what exactly happened.  

According to The Weather Channel, "A downburst is an area of strong, downward moving air associated with a downdraft from a thunderstorm. As the downdraft impacts the ground, the air is forced outwards in all directions while it also curls backwards. This results in incredible wind damage close to the surface of the ground, as well as horizontal rotation midway up between the ground and the base of the thundercloud."

A macroburst, as we had in Brookfield, is a downburst that is larger than 2.5 miles in radius, can last nearly half an hour and produce wind speeds in excess of 130 mph. According to NOAA, macrobursts can produce wind damage comparable to an EF-3 tornado. We experienced wind speeds of 110 mph in the New Fairfield area.

What we have seen over the past week in homes across CT is devastation worse than any hurricane we can remember in Fairfield County. The wind caused trees to fall on homes, resulting in roof damage. Not only have these residents had a tree fall on their homes, they also had water damage due to the rain having gained entry into their homes.  Some homes that escaped an entire tree falling on them were damaged by the wind tearing off roofing shingles.  We've been busy boarding up broken windows, tarping roofs and restoring homes of water damage.  

Our hearts go out to the residents who have experienced loss due to the storm.  We urge everyone to take a moment to familiarize themselves with these tornado warning safety tips and review them with their families. We hope that our area is not hit again, but it's always good to be prepared for all emergency scenarios.  

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is proud to be an active member of this community. We are locally owned and operated, with offices in Brookfield, so we’re already nearby and ready to help residents and business owners with any size cleaning or restoration emergencies.   

Emergency Board Ups and Water Damage Restoration in Bethel, CT

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

On our admin Keri's street in Danbury, CT, a tree blocks the rode after falling on a pickup truck during yesterday's storm.

The storm that hit Connecticut last night has devastated our area. We never think that we can be hit by a tornado in the Brookfield area and this storm caught everybody off guard.  Roads are still closed throughout Fairfield County and trees are down on houses and businesses.

If there is a tree down on your house, or windows blown out from the wind, call us for emergency roofing and tarping. Closing up the roof and any broken windows is the first step to restoring your home. Once we have it secure, we can begin the process of cleaning up damaged materials and possessions, removing the water and restoring your home from water damage. 

When strong winds and falling trees cause damage your home by putting a hole in your roof or breaking your windows, quick action will reduce the amount of water damage your home sustains.

We Provide Our Employees With the Highest Level of Mold and Sewage Restoration Training

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Our manager, Mario, at the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician Training, furthering his knowledge of mold and sewage restoration.

When you browse through our website, you might notice that our franchise specializes in more than water damage restoration. We also restore homes and businesses of mold, graffiti, biohazard, fire, smoke and soot. We have customers who call us for the commercial cleaning of their carpets and ducts. In an effort to meet the needs of our community, we even have a certified construction crew available to rebuild damaged areas of your home after the restoration is complete. 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. 

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, spent this week at 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.

Not all restoration companies have the level of training that SERVPRO provides for its crew. When our team arrives at your house or business in response to your call about a mold infestation or sewage backup, their recommendations are based on the knowledge that comes from extensive training and years of experience. A failure to properly remove sewage and mold can create an unhealthy environment in your home.   

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 septic backup or mold infestation in your home that requires remediation, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 

Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Fairfield County, CT

4/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfied County restores commercial buildings after water damage from rain and flooding.

A look at the coming week's weather forecast for Fairfield County shows four straight days of rain. The team at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has seen many springs like this in our 22 years in business. We expect that we will be receiving an influx of calls from commercial property managers and business owners who have experienced flooding this week. Our trucks are stocked and crew members scheduled to respond to your call. Our technicians live locally and are able to respond to your call quickly.

We understand that the longer flood water and rain damage remain untreated at your commercial building, the more extensive the damage will be. When we receive your call, our first step will be to send a technician to your property to inspect and assess the damage.

If the inspection reveals that the water is from floodwater, such as groundwater seeping into a basement, we will create a restoration plan accordingly. Floodwater is considered to be black water because it can contain bacteria and pathogens that are harmful to humans. You will notice that our team will wear protective clothing and masks while removing the water from your property.

In the case of floodwater, any porous contents, such as carpeting and upholstered furniture in a waiting room, is likely to be discarded rather than cleaned to be safe. Our team has years of experience determining what can be salvaged after water damage and can assist you in this process. We offer our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

We have the technology to restore contents after water damage, including documents that might be important to your business. We are able to remove water from paper documents via dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze drying or vacuum thermal drying. 

We know that as a business owner in the Newtown area, you cannot afford to be closed for a lengthy period of time. Your business is our business and we are dedicated to removing the water from your building and sanitizing it as quickly and safely as possible so that you can keep your business running without disruption.

For more information about our commercial water restoration services, please see our brochure. If you have any questions about our water damage restoration services, please call the office at (203) 743-5362.

What Can Be Saved After Water Damage in Your New Milford, CT Home?

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Our floor mat drying system extracts moisture from hard flooring such as wood and tile, allowing the floors to be saved rather than demolished.

Excess water, whether it be from a dishwasher supply line leak, a toilet overflow or a broken pipe, can cause substantial water damage to your home. 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. 

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

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Greg Geaski, the new owner of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

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

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

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

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

Avoid Sewage Backups in Your Newtown, CT Home

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is IICRC Certified to clean up septic backups in your home.

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

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

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

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

Dishwasher Leaks Cause Water Damage to Newtown, CT Homes

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County restores homes with water damage after the dishwasher has leaked.

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

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

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

Leaky Door Seal  

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

Defective Water Valve  

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

Worn Pump Seals  

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

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

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

Hidden Pipe Leaks Cause Water and Mold Damage to Bethel, CT Homes

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

One sign of a leaky pipe is discoloration and warping of your kitchen cabinets. Leaky pipes cause water and mold damage to Newtown homes.

In our years in the water damage restoration industry, we have seen many causes of water damage - from toilet overflows to burst pipes to roof leaks.

Leaky pipes are the cause of many calls to our office. They are often hidden behind walls and cabinets and not discovered until the damage is widespread. Because of this, a pipe leak can cause a considerable amount of damage as the water becomes absorbed into walls, carpeting and ceilings. If allowed to leak long enough, a pipe can damage wood support beams and cause structural issues to a home.

There are some signs of a leaky pipe that you can be on the lookout for that will help you deal with the water damage before it becomes a major issue.  

  1. A musty smell. A home should not have a musty smell. If you notice an odd smell that doesn't go away after cleaning the area, it's possible that there is water or mold in your walls that are causing this. 
  2. Lifting or buckling of floors. If you notice your vinyl floors lifting at the corners or your wood floors or tiles buckling, it's possible that water is seeping in from the edge (particularly if it is in a kitchen or bathroom)
  3. Warping or discoloration of your cabinets. Check under the sink in your kitchen and bathroom. If there is any warping of the wood or staining from water, it's possible there is a leak that is allowing water to drip behind and can be causing mold to grow behind the cabinets.
  4. Peeling wall paint or  wallpaper. When your walls have absorbed too much water from a pipe leak and reached a saturation point, the wallpaper and paint will begin showing signs of damage. 
  5. Water stains on your ceiling. This is a telltale sign that there is leaking going on - whether from a toilet overflow or a bathroom sink pipe leaking. 

While it may be tempting to ignore a minor sign of water damage such as a small stain on a ceiling, keep in mind that the problem will not resolve itself. Allowed to continue, your leak go from a little problem to a big one. The moisture present will also allow mold to grow, which will require a secondary restoration treatment. 

If you see any of these signs of water damage in your home,  call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

We have the experience and training to make it "Like it never even happened."

Surprising Places That Black Mold Grows in Homes and Businesses

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold was found behind the kitchen cabinets in this Danbury, CT home. The cause of the water and mold was a leaky pipe that had gone undetected.

Mold spores naturally exist in all interior and exterior environments and at normal levels, are not harmful.  Given the opportunity, however,  mold spores can grow quickly and reach dangerously high levels.   Most people are aware of the health concerns that are associated with mold in the home and know to keep an eye out for mold growth in their showers and basements. There are some surprising places that mold can grow in the home and business where it's appearance isn't quite as apparent.

  1. Ceiling tiles – Many businesses choose to have dropped ceiling tiles installed due to the ease of access to the plumbing, fixtures and ductwork above them. In residential homes, ceiling tiles are often found in a finished basement. The lack of light and moisture from pipes and ducts, along with the obscurity of being hidden behind the ceiling, makes the space above your dropped ceiling ideal for mold growth. If you notice staining on your ceiling tiles, take them out and investigate the source of water. Once the leak has been repaired, replace any affected tiles.  
  2. Under your area rugs and floor mats – Most homes and businesses have mats at the front entrance so that those entering can wipe their feet.  But the rain, snow and mud that is shaken off boots saturates the rugs, creating a breeding ground for mold. Be sure to pick lift rugs, clean them and allow them to dry out on a regular basis to deter mold from growing.  
  3. Behind the kitchen sink – We do several mold remediation jobs each year in which mold was discovered behind (or under) a kitchen sink. The culprit is typically a slow leaking pipe that goes unnoticed because of its location.  The water damage is eventually discovered – sometimes because the cabinetry is rotting, other times due to kitchen renovation – and substantial mold growth along with it.  If you notice any signs of leaking water under your sink such as discoloration of the cabinets or lifting of the flooring around the sink, call a plumber in to determine and repair the cause. 
  4. HVAC system – Mold grows in ductwork because of the condensation that can build up due to the moist air blowing through them. HVAC ducts also collect organic material such as dust, pollen, animal fur and dead skin cells. This material happens to be an excellent source of food for mold spores. Typically, a musty odor is the first sign people notice that there may be mold in their ducts. Having your HVAC system cleaned annually will reduce the risk of mold growth by removing these particles.  
  5. Your attic – Moisture in your attic can cause mold to grow. This can occur for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being a small, undetected roof leak. However, mold growth is also caused when an attic has inadequate or improperly installed venting. Additionally, air leaks in the attic allow warm, moist air to enter the space as well. Air leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons- the space around the chimney, the furnace vent and even cable and electrical lines entering the home.  

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team specializes in mold damage remediation.  Our mold specialist, Ted White, has over 30 years of experience identifying and treating homes and businesses that have mold infestations in the Bethel, CT area. If you see or smell signs of mold or a water leak in your home, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule professional mold inspection. 

Call SERVPRO to Spring Clean Your Newtown, CT Commercial Property

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Although your kitchen staff cleans every day, leave the heavy duty cleaning such as degreasing and sanitizing ceilings, ranges and exhausts to us.

Spring is finally upon us! One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning.  Everything has a way of becoming dusty, grimy and cluttered in the winter. It's the perfect time to give your Newtown area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   

Carpet  Cleaning: We offer commercial carpet cleaning that effectively removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting.  

Upholstery Cleaning: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? We can remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  

Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Bethel restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  

Get your Fairfield County business ready for spring with a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. We will come out and get you ready for another successful year!

Water damage clean up after frozen pipes burst at Ridgefield CT school

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Freezing temperatures in Ridgefield, CT caused pipes to freeze and burst, causing water damage to the carpeting of this school.

When the temperature dropped to below zero for several days, our Brookfield, CT office received a high volume of calls from homes and businesses that had experienced frozen pipes that burst. 

This Ridgefield, CT school had water damage from burst pipes and it was a priority for our team to restore the building quickly so that school was not affected for the kids. We arrived at the school with vans full of air movers, which is a high static pressure fan ideal for the wet carpeting in the school. We used dehumidifiers specially designed for large spaces such as a school, used to accelerate the drying process in water damage restoration. Luckily, there was not a need for demolition and we were able to get the job done quickly. 

If you have water damage in your Ridgefield area school or business, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 as soon as the flooding is discovered. The sooner we are able to arrive at your building at begin cleaning up, the lower the likelihood that there will be secondary water damage and the need for demolition of floors and walls. 

Nobody wants their home to smell like cigarettes- SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County can help with tar and odor removal!

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

If you have cigarette smoke residue on the walls of your home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County to clean it up.

Smoking cigarettes inside of a home leaves behind an unsightly mess on the walls and furnishings as well as odors that are difficult to remove. Sticky, highly toxic particulates, like nicotine, can cling to walls and ceilings. The residual gases left behind from smoking can be absorbed into carpets, draperies, and upholstered items.

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, cigarette residue removal is a must. 

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County has the training to eliminate offensive odors and remove tar from walls. We have the equipment needed to penetrate surfaces such as carpeting, drapery, furniture and bedding.  We use a tool called an Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from pets, nicotine, mildew and more without the use of toxic chemicals. Our air scrubbers assist in removing odor particles from the air.   

If your Newtown home has cigarette residue in the air and on the walls, give us a call.  This photo shows a recent job that we had in which there was tar on the walls of a home due to over 50 years of smoking inside.  You can see how thick and yellow the wall and ceiling were before we cleaned it! We were able to remove the residue (as well as the odors) and make those walls white again.

What a crazy winter it has been in Litchfield County! Frozen pipes, Ice dams and Water Damage.

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

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!

Wet winter weather can cause mold growth to homes and businesses in the New Milford, CT area

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

Placing a moisture barrier in your crawlspace can reduce the risk of mold spores growing there, and spreading throughout your Newtown, CT home.

With all of the snow and ice, followed by torrential rains, that we are experiencing in Fairfield County, it has been a very wet winter. These conditions will lead to an increase in mold growth in homes and businesses. 

Water that has leaked behind walls or seeped into basements unnoticed are often the common culprits, as is the high humidity that rainstorms bring.  

There are some actions that our IICRC trained mold specialists suggest you take to reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home.  

  1. If you have one of the beautiful old Connecticut homes that has a dirt floor crawlspace, spread a moisture barrier down on the ground. Polyethylene or roofing paper will do the trick. This will help to reduce the moisture entering your crawlspace, and mold spores from entering your home.  
  2. If there are any leaks coming from your roof and you cannot have it repaired until spring, cover it with a tarp to stop any water from entering.  
  3. To stop any water from coming into your basement, grade the ground around your foundation to slope away. This will reduce  the amount of water that is standing around your foundation and it's chances of entering your home.  
  4. If you have a home that tends to get wet, be proactive after a rainstorm. Run dehumidifiers, heaters and fans in the vulnerable area if necessary. 
  5. Keep an eye on windows and pipes for condensation, which can be caused by a leak or another source of high humidity in the room.  

Mold spores can grow easily and spread fast in wet weather. If you see signs of mold after a flood or water damage this winter, give us a call to come out for an inspection. Catch it before it significantly spreads and the treatment process can be done with minimal impact to your life.  

Ice storms cause hazards to even seasoned Connecticut residents

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

Tree limbs that are covered with ice can become so heavy that they break and fall, damaging Sandy Hook homes. We can help with an emergency board up.

Most of us in Connecticut are quite adept at handling snowstorms. We know when to stay home and when we can safely drive. The majority of residents have an alternate heat source, whether that be a wood stove or kerosene heater and a generator to get us through the power outages that high winds might cause.  We own roof rakes and snow blowers and know how to use them. Quite a number of us also have a tarp and emergency supplies "just in case".  

We've had a few ice storms over the past few weeks and they present a unique set of challenges to New Milford homeowners.  The unpredictable nature of ice and sleet on roads can make it difficult to drive safely for even seasoned drivers.  Sidewalks, steps and your entire driveway may become so slippery that they are impassable.  The weight of the ice on tree limbs can cause them to break and fall, causing roof damage to homes. Ice might accumulate on your roof, and even make its way under shingles- dislodging and breaking them. This, combined with the warm weather that has followed the ice storms, puts homes at risk of water damage from roof leaks.  

There's no escaping the snow, ice and freezing temperatures when you live in the Northeast. Hopefully, your home won't be damaged by falling limbs or roof leaks. However, if you do have have a leak or hole in your roof, give us a call. Our team has the experience of several decades of Litchfield County winters and will come right out, assess the situation and restore your home from the damage. 

Restoring your New Milford home after wet, dry or protein smoke damage

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

What type of smoke damage is on the walls of your CT home? This will help the SERVPRO team determine a clean up plan.

When we receive a call from a homeowner who has had a fire, one of the first questions we ask is "What is the cause of the fire?"

This information will help us determine what kind of smoke damage you have and establish the proper restoration plan. Not all smoke is equal  and each different type requires a different method of cleaning.  A quick breakdown of the types of smoke residue is:

  • Wet Smoke Residue -Wet smoke residue occurs from smoldering fires with low heat.  During these fires, synthetic materials such as plastics and rubbers, carpeting, furniture and electronics will have slowly smoldered. They tend to have a pungent odor and leave a sticky residue.  During cleaning, wet smoke residue can smear, making cleanup more difficult. 
  • Dry Smoke Residue – Dry smoke residue occurs during fast burning fires that burn at a high temperature. Natural materials such as paper, leather, natural rubber and wood are present in dry smoke fires.  Dry smoke residue is generally dry, powdery, gray in color and does not smear much. Homes that have experienced these fires are easier for our crew to restore. 
  • Protein Residue – Protein fires are most commonly caused when food burns in a kitchen. Protein residue is essentially invisible and a homeowner may be under a false impression that the damage is minor. However, there is actually soot covering the surfaces. If not properly removed, protein smoke will discolor paints, varnishes, and other finishes on your walls and cabinetry. One major indicator that there is an invisible residue after a kitchen fire is a very strong, obnoxious odor. 

The SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County team treats each fire damage job individually and will determine which course of action to take after arriving at your home.  Call us at (203) 743-5362 for a quick response, an evaluation of your home's fire damage and a professional restoration plan. 

Frozen ice causes the Housatonic river to overflow in Kent, CT

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage to houses, schools and businesses in Kent, CT from the Housatonic River overflow should be cleaned up professionally by our team.

Northwest Connecticut doesn't experience flooding on a regular basis however this past weekend's flooding in Kent, CT shows that it can happen! After the warm temperatures and rainfall on Friday, the drop in temperature caused substantial ice dams to form on the Housatonic River.  This stopped the flow of the water and caused the river to overflow onto Route 7 and beyond. 

Several homes and businesses were flooded, even requiring a state of emergency to be declared and emergency evacuations conducted for several residents. Kent schools were closed closed for safety as well. We are so thankful for the emergency personnel who have helped the residents during this event. 

In addition to water damage, of concern is that the floodwater is dirty water, containing sewage and other contaminants. Bacteria and viruses are present in floodwaters and can cause unsanitary conditions and pose a health risk to residents. The water that is in your basement and may be covering your possessions should be cleaned professionally to ensure that it is cleaned and sanitized properly and you don't expose yourself to harmful water.  

The SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County team is trained and equipped to restore homes and commercial buildings from the water damage in basements that floods cause.  Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have flood damage so that we can begin the restoration process as soon as possible.

Ice dams cause water damage to Sandy Hook homes this winter

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Ice dams can allow water to leak into the walls and ceiling of your home, causing water damage to your sheet rock and insulation. SERVPRO can help.

After the snowfall and freezing temperatures we have experienced in the last week, it looks like we will have a brief respite from winter's wrath. One concern that Brookfield homeowners may have after the storm is ice dams that may have formed on their roof.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof.  Typically, this happens after a snow storm, when there is a pile of snow sitting on the roof above your attic. After the weather warms to above 32 degrees and melts the snow, it causes the top layer to form into a mound of ice. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home because when the ice dam reaches its capacity, it begins to make its way under the shingles. When the ice melts, it drips into your home.  The walls, insulation and ceilings of your home can become damaged. If left untreated, mold can also become an issue. 

If your Fairfield County home has an ice dam, there are some steps that you can take to remove it.

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small pieces by tapping it gently with a blunt mallet. Work slowly and carefully so that you do not damage your shingles.

2. Use calcium chloride ice melter to weaken the ice. This will melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to drain. Do NOT use rock salt, as it will damage paint and metal. 

The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is trained and equipped to restore Fairfield County homes that have water damage from ice dams. Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have damage to your roof from snow and ice this winter.

Fuel spills in Sherman homes and businesses are biohazardous

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Regular inspection of your oil tank and its lines for leaks, corrosion and wear will reduce your risk of a malfunction causing a spill in your home.

Home heating oil spills happen more often than you would think. They can occur from a variety of reasons, including damage to your New Fairfield home's oil tank or lines,  loose lines or even an accidental overfill from your delivery company. 

A heating oil spill can potentially cause environmental and structural damage to your home as well as cause health issues to those living there.  

The primary actions that a homeowner can take in reducing their risk of an oil spill is to have their oil tank inspected and follow some guidelines.  

  • Check all of your pipe connections to make sure they are clean and tight. 
  • Check the condition of the tank and lines. Any signs of spillage such as dark spots on the floor or drips on the tank, rust or wear should be followed up on.  
  • Confirm that the legs and the ground beneath your above-ground tank is stable. Tanks have tipped and spilled due to being unbalanced.  

If you do have an oil spill in your home or business that was due to an error by your oil delivery company, contact them immediately as they may take responsibility for the clean up. 

We recommend that you leave the building until it has been deemed safe to be in. You can call your local fire department to determine if there is an explosion hazard. 

Oil spills must be cleaned up by a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County has responded to several oil leaks a year for the past twenty years and has the experience and training to do it right. Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you experience an oil leak in your Fairfield County home.  

Oil burner malfunctions cause puffbacks in Bethel, CT homes

12/31/2017 (Permalink)

This photo shows the difference between cleaning with liquid after a puffback as compared to cleaning the SERVPRO way.

During the wintertime, we receive several calls a month from homeowners whose oil burner has caused a puffback. What in the world is a puffback, anyway? Most people have never even heard of this phenomenon until they experience one! 

A puffback occurs when an oil burner misfires or malfunctions, sending soot and debris throughout the home.  It can happen as a dramatic, one time event or over time as a result of repeated burner mis-firings. The debris from this explosion travels through the air duct system, spreading black, oily soot throughout the home.  

We're not talking about a fine, dust-like ash here. Soot from furnaces is a sticky substance that is very difficult to remove. It will most likely have covered walls, all surfaces, soft furnishings and even the inside of your walls and closets. 

Soot removal from a puffback is not a do it yourself project. Traditional methods of cleaning will simply smear and spread the oils, further damaging your home and possessions. 

If you have a puffback, there are three calls that you need to make: 

First, call your oil burner repairman and have them come repair the problem.  

Second, call your insurance company to report the event.  

Third, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to clean up the mess! We have the training, the experience and the equipment to clean it up right and make it "Like it never even happened."

Below zero temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst in New Fairfield

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

The pipes in this New Milford home burst due to inadequate insulation in the soffits. Both the garage and the bonus room were affected by water damage

With the thermometer dipping into negative degrees this week, pipes in Litchfield County homes are at risk of freezing, especially because many homes are vacant while families travel for the holidays. 

Although pipes can freeze anywhere in your home, there are some areas that are more susceptible than others.

1. Your Crawlspace - Many older homes in CT have a crawlspace rather than a full basement. These are typically not insulated and the pipes are exposed to the environment. Lining the sides of the space with foam board and the ground with plastic can help. You may also consider installing a heat cable that runs along the pipes and is turned on when the temps drop. 

2. Under the Kitchen Sink - In particular, sinks that are on an exterior wall tend to experience frozen pipes. An easy solution to this is leaving your cabinet doors open to allow the warm air in the home to circulate.

3. Bonus Rooms Above the Garage - Most bonus rooms are built above an unheated garage. They are exposed to the cold air (especially along the exterior walls). Keeping the temperature in your garage above freezing with the use of space heaters on frigid days can help. 

Frozen pipes can happen to anyone. We have responded to water damage from burst pipes in houses built in the 1700's as well as homes that are new construction. We've seen it all and have the experience to restore your home quickly and thoroughly. If you have a pipe burst, give us a call at (203) 743-5362

Choosing the right Christmas tree can reduce your risk of a house fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Failing to take safety precautions can cause your Christmas tree to catch fire

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.

Have a kitchen fire action plan when you are cooking this month!

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Can you easily find the fire extinguisher under this sink? Seconds count when you have a kitchen fire so keep your extinguisher in a handy place!

Fires that are started from cooking equipment are the number one cause of home fires in the United States. Cooking fires are the most common cause of injury from fire as well.  According to a recent study by the National Fire Protection Association, 47% of home fires were caused by cooking.  

It's December and with holiday baking and entertaining guests, most of us will be using our kitchens more often than usual. It only takes a moment of forgetfulness for a fire to start in your kitchen and your holidays interrupted.  We've discussed ways to avoid kitchen fires in the past. It is also important to know how to extinguish the different types of fire.  

Grease fires are the most common type of kitchen fire. Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water, as that can cause the fire to spread. The easiest way to smother a small grease fire is to cut off its oxygen source by covering the pot with a lid. If the fire is too large to safely do this, a Class B fire extinguisher should be used if available. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, baking soda can be used in a pinch. 

Don't let your Christmas cookies catch fire – keep your oven clean to avoid a grease fire inside and set a timer when baking. If you do have an oven fire, it should be extinguished with a fire extinguisher. 

If you have an electrical fire from your toaster or another appliance, unplug it if you can safely do so and smother the fire or use a fire extinguisher.  

The common thread to all of the advice in this article is that you should act quickly, avoid the use of water and know where your fire extinguisher is and how to use it! This alone can keep the damage a stove top fire causes contained, rather than your entire home being affected. 

Even if you are successful in quickly extinguishing a kitchen fire, there might be soot and smoke that requires professional removal. Call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield at (203) 743-5362 to come out and quickly make your kitchen "Like it never even happened". 

Fact or fiction? We bust some common cold weather myths!

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Yes! Your tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole on a cold New Milford day!

Cold weather is here in Connecticut! Will your tongue REALLY stick to a flagpole?? Let's bust some of the urban legends about dropping temps without having to try them out ourselves! 

MYTH #1: We lose most of our body heat through our heads. 

FALSE! Although this myth has been commonly accepted as a fact, even being written in the U.S. Army Survival Manual in 1970, modern science disagrees. You are no more likely to lose body heat from your head than from your arm. However, it is a place that often goes uncovered and thus, you may lose heat from your head because of that. So, follow Grandma's advice and wear a hat!  

MYTH #2: Your vehicle tires will go flat. 

TRUE! For every 10 degrees the air temperature changes, your tire pressure will drop 1 psi. So, keep an eye on your tires and be prepared to add some air to your tires if there is a sudden temperature drop! 

MYTH #3: Mice will move in to your house when it gets cold. 

TRUE! You may see signs of them all year round, however when the temps drop mice will go from visitor status to residents inside your home. Seal up cracks, especially where your electrical lines and pipes enter the home to make it a bit harder for mice to get in.  

MYTH #4. If you stick your tongue to a flagpole, it will freeze there. 

And the answer, according to the  livescience webpage is TRUE! They've done an in depth study and you can read the science of why this is true on their webpage. So, the next time someone triple dog dares you, politely decline!  

Winter storms are on their way and may cause pipes to burst and power outages in Connecticut.

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Snowstorms, and the frozen pipes and damaged roofs they bring, can cause water damage to New Milford area homes.

Benji. Inga. Mateo. Wilbur.

These are some of the storms that are coming our way this winter in Brookfield.  The Weather Channel, which has been naming snowstorms for a few years (having followed the practice of the NOAA's naming of hurricanes), named all of this year's snowstorms after a 2016 list of popular baby names.  

Snowstorms are followed closely by our team here at SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County. 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. 

This Thanksgiving, and every other day, we are grateful for our employees.

11/23/2017 (Permalink)

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!

Icemaker supply line leak causes damage in New Milford home

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

We always try to save your flooring if it is possible. By using our floor mat system, we are able to remove moisture from hard wood floors.

We write quite often about frozen pipes, toilet overflows and flooded basements, all of which are common causes of water damage in Litchfield County homes. Another very common call that comes into our office is from home and business owners who have had a supply line leak. Supply lines are the water lines that connect to appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets.  

Built in ice maker supply lines are a big culprit when it comes to water damage. Who would ever think to inspect and maintain their ice maker line annually? Yet, usually due to a cracked hose or a loose compression nut, we receive a few calls every month due to these leaks.  

We recently received a call from a New Milford homeowner who had been away from their home for the weekend. When they returned, they noticed puddled water on the hardwood floors of their kitchen.  A closer inspection revealed that the water was coming from behind their fridge. 

Our crew arrived at the home shortly after the phone call and our crew chief Davi inspected the home. He found that the water had not only damaged the kitchen flooring, it had also made its way down to the basement below. Our restoration plan included the removal of the dropped ceiling in the basement as well as the insulation. We had to remove a small area of the wood flooring in the kitchen as well as some of the wallboard and baseboard molding. Using our drying mat system, we were able to remove the moisture from most of the wood flooring. Dehumidifiers and air movers were used to dry everything out. 

It was stressful to come home to water damage in their kitchen but by calling SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, these New Milford homeowners received fast and professional restoration of their home. 

Commercial mold remediation in New Milford

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Part of our commercial mold remediation process is setting up containment to stop mold spores from spreading throughout the building.

If you have mold at your Bethel area commercial property, it can be a health risk for your employees and customers. You may also experience a disruption in your business because of mold. Mold is sometimes caused by a slow water leak or inadequate ventilation. Often it can go unnoticed until it creates a strong musty odor or visible signs of mold on the outside of walls.  

If you have concerns that there may be mold at your business, call us. When you first call us, we will go through our inspection process with you and ask you some questions about the property. We will set up an appointment for one of our mold specialists to come out and inspect the property. We may need to remove some sheetrock to take a peek behind the walls if we suspect that is where the source is. Often, the mold is not widespread and we are able to recommend some preventative measures (such as having a plumbing or ventilation repair performed) to our customer. 

In other cases, professional remediation is required. We will install contamination barriers in your business to stop airborne mold spores from spreading to other parts of the workplace. We will begin the remediation process and bring your building back to safe levels of mold spores.  

Our mold remediation process is done with your business in mind. We aim to perform the work needed with as little disruption to your business as possible.Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you suspect that you have mold at your Fairfield County business.

What can you do to avoid mold growth in your home?

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in your attic can be caused by insufficient or improperly installed venting as well as a roof leak that has not been repaired.

Mold is everywhere in our environment.

It occurs naturally and at normal levels, it is not harmful in your home. However, if there are conditions in your home that are causing abnormal levels of mold spores to be present, professional remediation may be necessary. Sometimes, mold is hidden behind walls, in attics and under carpeting, making it hard to identify. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of toxic mold in your New Milford home. 

  1. Run air conditioners during the summer and dehumidifiers year round to lower the humidity in the air- under 50% is ideal.  
  2. Have an exhaust fan installed in bathrooms with showers 
  3. Regularly check under sinks for pipes leaking under your cabinets. This is a major cause of the mold jobs we receive. A slow drip over years can cause a big mold problem.
  4. Opt for hard flooring in basements and bathrooms rather than carpeting, which are an ideal breeding ground for mold.  
  5. Check your attic for signs of mold- make sure that your attic vents are not blocked and functioning properly.  
  6. Take preventative measures to avoid ice dams, which can result in mold growth in a home. 
  7. Repair any leaks immediately and thoroughly clean up any water from the leak.  
  8. Make sure your gutters are properly functioning and that they are not blocked with leaves. This will help reduce the water flowing towards your house and possibly into your basement.  
  9. Similarly, making sure that the landscaping around your house slopes away will reduce the water entering your foundation. 
  10. If you have an old Connecticut home with a crawlspace, there are vapor barriers that can be installed to stop mold spores from entering through those wood floor gaps.  

If you suspect you have mold in your home, whether it's because you notice a musty smell, have unexplained illness or see a black substance on your walls, call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection with one of our IICRC mold specialists. 

We clean cigarette residue and odors in Bethel area homes

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

This photo shows the walls of a Brookfield home before and after our team cleaned the cigarette residue off of them. What a difference!

If you are selling a house that was the home of a long time smoker, or perhaps just bought one, you will probably notice that the walls are yellow and there is a cigarette odor present in the home. You may also notice that despite deodorizing the home and scrubbing the walls, the smell persists.  

Tobacco stains on walls cannot be wiped off or painted over. If you have ever touched it, you will notice that it is a sticky yellowish-brown substance that is the residue from the over 4,000 compounds that make up cigarette smoke. Painting over the walls will not remove the damage. The smoke has made its way into every nook and crevice of the home over the years and professional cleaning is required to thoroughly remove it.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the equipment and training to remove tobacco stains and smells. We are equipped with air filters to clean the smoke particles out of the air.  Our ozone generators are even able to get behind wall cavities to filter the air if necessary. With a mix of training, equipment and elbow grease, we can remove the tobacco residue off of walls and hard surfaces as well.  

You don't need to suffer with foul odors - cigarette stains and odors can be professionally removed from your home or apartment complex.

Call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection.

We clean and restore Fairfield County homes that have been affected by hoarding

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

If you are concerned about the health and safety of a loved one because of a hoarding problem in the New Milford area, call us at (203) 743-5362.

We are sometimes called to a home to treat a water or mold damage in which the number of contents in the home make restoration difficult.  Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.  A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk.  

Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes. 

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding. Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized and deodorized.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.  

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween in Litchfield County!

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

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

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

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.  

CAT 1? CAT 2? CAT 3? What kind of water damage do you have?

10/29/2017 (Permalink)

If you have a pipe burst in your Litchfield home, you have clean water damage. Appliance leaks are gray. A sewage backup or flooding is black water.

Our approach to treating water damage in Washington, CT homes depends on which category it falls into.

CAT 1 or Clean Water

Clean water is just that- water that has come from a source that is not contaminated. Examples of this would be a pipe bursting or a refrigerator leak. Also, if you have a leak that allows rainwater in through your roof, it is considered clean. Although clean water can cause significant damage, it is not considered hazardous to human health as there are no microbes in the water.  The biggest hazard clean water presents is if the area that has been damaged is not properly cleaned and dried. This can result in mold and fungus growth. 

CAT 2 or Gray Water

Gray water is water that is slightly contaminated, either because of the nature of the source or because of neglect. For example, clean water can become “gray” water if it is left untreated for an extended period time. When a toilet or washing machine overflows, the resulting water would be considered gray because of its source. Toilet overflows containing urine only are considered gray.

CAT 3 or Black Water

CAT 3 water is highly dangerous to human health. Black water can include toxic materials such as bacterial diseases, chemicals, pesticides, microbes and more. Sewage based components such as bacteria, fungi, feces, viruses and parasites. Black 3 water situations are usually caused by sewage backups or overflows and flooding. 

Since the human eye cannot see bacteria, it is not always obvious whether the water in your home is a CAT 2 or CAT 3.  If you experience a flood from a heavy rain, the water may look “clean,” but if there is any ground water that has backed up into your home as a result, there may be invisible microbes lurking in the water. 

Any water damage that is not treated correctly will eventually elevate to the next category. Even a simple pipe burst can turn into a biohazard and mold issue if not treated. If you have any water damage in your Bethel area home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for service that you can count on. 

Take action now to prevent winter storm damage in your New Fairfield home

10/29/2017 (Permalink)

If strong winds from a rainstorm or snowstorm cause a tree to fall on your Bethel home, call us for roof repair and water damage restoration.

Most of the leaves are on the ground in Litchfield County and we've already seen some of that white stuff falling from the sky. It's time to switch gears and settle 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. 

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.

7 tips to keep the pipes in your Bethel home from freezing this winter!

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Follow these safety tips to keep the pipes in your Fairfield County home from freezing and bursting this winter!

The number one call we get in our Brookfield office during the winter is from homeowners whose pipes have frozen and burst. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of water damage during freezing weather.

1. Wrap your outside faucets with foam insulation or install a freezeproof faucet to protect from freezing.

2. To keep the wind out of your home, caulk around your pipes before they enter the house. 

3. Disconnect your garden hoses - you wont be needing them until April.

4. If the weather is forecast to drop in the single digits, leaving inside faucets at a slow drip will reduce the risk of pipes freezing. 

6. Open the cupboard doors in your kitchen and bathroom to allow the warm air to hit the pipes.

7. If your New Milford home is vacant over the winter, have it winterized by shutting off and draining all of the lines.

What happens if you follow all of these tips and still find your home flooded from a burst pipe? Call our Brookfield office at (203) 743-5362 and speak to Keri or Bianca. They will start off by gathering some information about your situation and then send a team over to start the restoration process. 

National Fire Prevention Month: Smoke detectors for the hard of hearing

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Detectors for the Hard of Hearing

Most Connecticut homes have several smoke detectors installed. The public safety campaigns and state regulations requiring smoke detectors in homes have been successful. 

People who are deaf or hard of hearing, however, may not be able to depend on the traditional smoke alarm to alert them to a fire. The elderly who may have diminishing hearing and live alone are at particularly at risk. If you have a difficult time hearing or have a loved one who does, there are a few options available that can help keep them safe. 

  • A strobe light alarm flashes when the home's smoke alarm sounds, warning those who may not hear the alarm of smoke.
  • When people who are deaf are asleep, a pillow or bed shaker can wake them so they can escape. The shaker is activated by the sound of a smoke alarm. 

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is here to help if you have a fire in your Bethel, CT area home. Call us at (203) 743-5362.

#smokedetectors #firesafety #nationalfirepreventionmonth #SERVPRO #likeitneverevenhappened

Household heating oil spills cause health hazards in Fairfield County homes

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

If you have an oil spill in your Bridgewater home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to immediately start the clean up process.

Heating oil is used to heat the majority of homes in Litchfield County, CT. Most of us have no problems with heating oil and it's a relatively safe way of heating our homes.  Yet, our Brookfield office received several calls from homeowners who had experienced home heating oil spills last year. Typically, these spills occur when a tank is accidentally overfilled or there is a leak in the oil tank.  

If a person inhales the vapors from a heating oil spill, it can cause negative health effects.  If your oil company is responsible for a spill, you will most likely be informed of it without harm to the people in your household. There are some signs you can look for if you are concerned about an undetected slow leak. Inspect your tank and look for signs of rust and drips around the tank.

While you wait for our arrival, we advise against attempting to clean up the spill yourself. You should ventilate the area where the leak occurred (most likely the basement) by opening windows and doors. Turn off all sources of flames or sparks in the area, such as pilot lights in water heaters and furnaces. Try to contain the fumes out of the living space by closing vents and doors to the basement if possible. If your oil company accidentally overfills your tank, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for emergency clean up service. 

It's Fire Prevention Week- we discuss the cow that may have started it all.

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that Fire Prevention Week is on record as the longest running public health observance?

It has been in existence since President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4-10, 1925. It is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began October 8,1871, and did most of its damage October 9.

The tragedy killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.

According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting the barn on fire. But is this true?

According to the National Fire Prevention Association:

"Like any good story, the 'case of the cow' has some truth to it. The great fire almost certainly started near the barn where Mrs. O'Leary kept her five milking cows. But there is no proof that O'Leary was in the barn when the fire broke out - or that a jumpy cow sparked the blaze. Mrs. O'Leary herself swore that she'd been in bed early that night, and that the cows were also tucked in for the evening.

After the Great Fire, Chicago Tribune reporter Michael Ahern published a report that the fire had started when a cow kicked over a lantern while it was being milked. The woman was not named, but Catherine O'Leary was identified. Illustrations and caricatures soon appeared depicting Mrs. O'Leary with the cow.

In 1893, however, Ahern admitted he had made the story up.

"Mrs. O'Leary's cow" has attracted the attention and imagination of generations as the cause of the fire. Numerous references, in a variety of media, have been made in American popular culture, including films, television, and popular music.

But if a cow wasn't to blame for the huge fire, what was? Over the years, journalists and historians have offered plenty of theories. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed that a neighbor of the O'Leary's may have started the fire. Some people have speculated that a fiery meteorite may have fallen to earth on October 8, starting several fires that day - in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Chicago."

What we do know is that the fire changed the way firefighters thought of fire safety and how to educate the public and that countless lives have been saved and damage avoided to these efforts over the last nine decades.

Fire Prevention Week - Kitchen Fire Prevention in Fairfield County, CT

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Our Fire Prevention Month tip today is:

Cook With Caution!

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. It only takes a brief moment for a kitchen fire to start and quickly grow out of control. 

  • Be on alert! Don't use the stove or stove top if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.We have all walked away for a moment while cooking only to remember we were cooking by the smell of something burning.  If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. 
  • Use a timer to remind you of items that are cooking. If you have something cooking, check it regularly
  • Keep flammables at a safe distance. Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove top.
  • If you have a small grease fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • If the fire cannot be contained easily, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1  from outside the home

After fire emergency services have made your home safe, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at(203) 743-5362 for fire and water damage restoration. 

What causes septic backups in Newtown area homes and how to avoid them

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Taking caution when driving vehicles on your Sherman lawn and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals helps you protect your septic system from backups

Connecticut homeowners are never happy when they call our office due to a septic back up! Having a smelly mess on the floors of your home is an upsetting experience. What causes septic backups and how can you avoid them?   

Blocked lines in your septic tank are the most common contributor to the backup of septic systems.  This can be caused by tree roots causing damage to the system. Never plant trees or large shrubs over any part of your system, their roots are too large and will likely break through the pipes or tank, disrupting the flow; if you want to plant something on top of your system, plant grasses to prevent erosion and assist with evaporation  

Your septic tank itself can also be damaged heavy equipment such as a car driving across the ground or even natural shifting of the earth. Never allow a vehicle to drive over the system – it only takes one time to cause damage.  

If the amount of water being used or lost is too high, the water in the system will influx and cause blocking issues within the system itself. If you have a garbage disposal, problems can arise because the debris from the disposal doesn’t break down properly resulting in a buildup of sludge in the bottom of your septic tank. Consider not using a garbage disposal if your home is on a septic system.  

If you apply harsh chemicals to your system, you will kill off the natural bacterium that consumes the waste that collects in your system. Do not use harsh chemicals in your home. Natural detergents and cleaners are readily available alternatives for most household needs.   

Limit the amount of wear and tear on your septic system by reducing the amount of water you use. Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes, take shorter showers and repair all water leaks as soon as possible. 

If you find yourself facing a sewage backup in your New Fairfield, CT home, call our office at (203) 743-5362 for our experienced restoration services.    

Get ahead of winter in Brookfield with these house fire safety tips

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Be sure to keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable to avoid a fire in your Southbury home.

The wintertime brings unique challenges to homeowners in Fairfield County. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County responds to calls in which homes have been damaged by chimney fires, oil burner puff backs, biohazardous oil spills and space heater fires as well as water damage from rescue efforts. Help your family keep it safe from a house fire while keeping warm this winter by following these recommendations this fall.  

  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced. This should be done by a qualified technician annually. 
  • Have your chimney and vents cleaned and inspected by a professional. They will check for creosote buildup as well as cracks in the lining. This is the easiest way to avoid chimney fires from creosote.  
  • Use dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood stove to avoid creosote build up.  
  • Be sure that your fireplace screen is metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.  
  • Have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)  
  • Instruct your children to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters. Place safety gates around heat sources if young children are in the home.  
  •  Make certain that portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off. They should also be plugged directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and placed at least three feet from anything that can burn such as bedding, curtains and walls.  
  • Test your smoke alarms and make sure they are working. Your home should have smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area.  
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms and made sure they are working.  

The fall is the perfect time to get ready for winter. Make sure that your Washington, CT home is ready and safe from fire and smoke damage. If you have a home fire this winter, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for a quick response and home restoration built on over 30 years of training and experience.

What are the symptoms of mold in your Litchfield County home?

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

The symptoms of mold exposure in your Bethel, CT home are headaches, respiratory problems, skin rashes and fatigue.

Toxic mold in the home is not always the first suspect when a person feels ill. We recently served a customer who had sudden onset asthma as well as a rash and itching on their legs within weeks of moving into a new home. Despite having multiple tests conducted by their physician to discover the cause, mold was never considered. There was no visible mold in the home nor any known defects that would cause mold. After a friend mentioned the possibility of mold in his new home, our customer had their Washington home tested for mold spores.  

There are several symptoms that indicate an exposure to mold, including: 

Headaches: Mold spores in the air can cause some people to have headaches. In particular, those who suffer migrane headaches are particularly sensitive to stimulants.  

Sore throat: When mold spores get lodged in the throat, they can irritate the membranes. 

Shortness of breath: Breathing in mold spores can cause respiratory difficulties in some people. They may even develop asthma or may have asthma and not realize that their asthma attacks are being trigged by the mold in their homes. 

Runny nose or sinuses: What may feel like a runny nose from a head cold or seasonal allergies could actually be a sign that you are reacting to mold spores.  

A skin rash: Topical exposure is not necessary for mold spores to cause a skin rash. Inhaling the spores can cause this reaction by the body. 

Feeling tired: Feeling exhausted despite getting adequate sleep is a sign that your body is being run down by something, and it can be mold.  

Sometimes there are no telltale signs that there is a mold infestation in your home however if you are inexplicably experiencing any of these symptoms, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County (203) 743-5362 for an inspection.

Protect your Bethel, CT business from water and wind damage caused by hurricanes

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Reduce your risk of disruption to business continuity by preparing your New Milford CT business for hurricanes and winter storms ahead of time.

We are deep into hurricane season and are facing Tropical Storm Jose this week in Fairfield County. If you own a business in the Newtown area, there is still time to prepare.  Having a carefully thought out emergency preparedness plan is the key to helping your business weather any storm.  

  1. Identify what risks your company faces. How will a hurricane or flooding affect your operations? Are you, or your employees, in a flood zone? Might there be difficulty passing roads to get to work?  Are there trees on your property that might fall due to high winds?After identifying your risks, come up with a detailed plan of action for each one. 
  2. Review your insurance coverage. Although your policy might protect your business from hurricane damage, make sure it protects from other secondary damages such as flooding, water damage, sewage backups and power outages.  You may choose to add business interruption insurance to your plan, as well, to cover potential loss. 
  1. Develop a communications plan. Having a solid communications plan is key to handling an emergency situation. All employees should know how information will be dispersed and via what channels – whether that be texting, email or a phone call. On site employees should have a clear chain of command. Emergency resources should be identified and their information readily available. 
  1. Back up your information Losing years or even decades worth of important company information would be devastating. Make sure your data backup is located in an alternate location (away from your computer) and preferably in a weatherproof safe. Cloud backups are another good option, but they rely on internet connection, which could be limited following a hurricane. 
  1. Establish a relationship with a local plumber,contractor and restoration company. Don't wait until after the damage has occurred to try to find a reliable business.  

Minimize the impact a hurricane or tropical storm has on your business ahead of time. And if you do experience water, mold or structural damage to your Brookfield area business, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 .

When your family heirlooms and important documents have mold damage in Brookfield, CT

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold on artwork doesn't mean that it can't be saved. SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County has a special process to kill mold spores.

On occasion, we are called to a home with mold infestation that  has damage that extends to the contents of the home. Upholstered furniture, photo frames, stuffed animals, bedding, important documents and even lampshades can become infested with mold spores. Although some household items may be disposable and not worth cleaning, there is the possibility that your families sentimental and valuable items can be saved.  

Our technicians use a specialized process called Gamma Irradiation to treat mold damaged items. This is used for cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (Colbalt 60) producing ionization(electron disruptions) throughout a product. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause death to the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products. 

If you are concerned that the mold remediation process will result in the loss of your favorite heirlooms, give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 for a consultation with one of our IICRC trained mold specialists. We have thirty years of experience in the Connecticut area and can accurately assess your situation.

Consider the Specific Needs of Your Household When Planning for National Preparedness Month

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

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.

Take early action to avoid storm damage in Brookfield, CT

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Sherman, CT basements often flood during storms. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can respond to your emergency quickly.

Hurricane season is upon us in Connecticut. Flooding caused by heavy rains and powerful winds can damage your roof and cause trees to fall on your home. After the storm, there can exist safety and health hazards as well, such as contaminated water from flooding and downed power lines. We recommend that you have a plan in place to deal with damage both at your home and business before and after the storm.  

Strong winds and heavy rain can cause hazards such as a damaged roof and shattered windows.  Board windows and stay away from them during the storm.  Trim tree branches around your house and consider removing dead trees that have a greater chance of falling.  

Flooding can cause standing water in the basement. Make sure any cracks are sealed and that your sump pump is properly functioning. If you know that your basement floods, remove any possessions or materials that will get wet such as carpeting and cardboard boxes.  These make the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Floodwater is often contaminated and may not be safe to walk through. 

Gas lines can fail - Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas.  

Physical hazards include broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Take caution when leaving your home after the storm and never enter an area that may not be safe.  

Power lines are often down after high winds and storms. Be sure to survey your area fully prior to allowing children and pets outside.  

Contact SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 if you have storm damage. We are Fairfield County experts at water restoration, mold remediation and biohazardous clean up. 

We Clean Up Sewage Backups in the Bethel, CT area!

9/3/2017 (Permalink)

Nothing says "Good Morning" in New Fairfield, CT like a sewage backup.  Falling into the "Black Water" category, sewage backups contain harmful microorganisms. These floods are NEVER a "do-it-yourself" clean up – they always require a professional clean up. The SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team removes sewage, contaminates and moisture, disinfecting as we clean. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences to your family. 

 Here are a few of the most common bacteria that are found in sewage and what they can do the human body: 

  • E. Coli – Causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea and occasionally death. 
  • Acanthomoeba – Causes eye, nose, throat and ear infections. 
  • Salmonella – Causes abdominal cramping and diarrhea 
  • Heliobacter Pylpri – Leads to increased chance of ulcers 
  • Hepatitis – Causes liver infection and liver failure 
  • Leptospirosis – Creates muscle aches and vomiting 

If you have a sewage backup in the Sandy Hook area, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have it cleaned up safely by professionals with over 20 years of experience. 

We Inspect Toxic Mold in Fairfield County Businesses and Schools

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold infestations in schools and commercial buildings are a common problem in Litchfield and Fairfield Counties.  As commercial buildings grow older, they become increasingly vulnerable to mold due to factors like leaky roofs, a tendency towards moisture retention and the erosion of waterproofing material.   

Mold Risks in Schools 

As reported by the Health Schools Network, children are at a greater risk of exposure to mold than their adult counterparts. This is the case because the organs of small children are still in the developmental stage. A child's lungs are disproportionately large in relation to total body mass. This means that inhaled mycotoxins can have a profound impact on the child's body. Unfortunately, the school setting often creates the right condition for the development of mold. This risk can increase as the school ages. Common areas for mold growth include storage closets, cafeterias, locker rooms, and bathrooms. The mold spores can then circulate throughout the school by way of the air ducts, one of the major factors contributing to "bad air." Clean ambient air quality provides a safer environment for our students. 
 
For the prevention of these fungi from spreading in school buildings, it is important for school officials to have regular maintenance work and inspections scheduled and completed. Since malfunctioning HVAC systems and leaky pipes are the most frequently reported causes of mold proliferation, having this equipment and plumbing checked can drastically decrease mold growth in schools, or hopefully, prevent its occurrence. 

Mold Risks in Commercial Buildings 
 
Just as school buildings are susceptible to mold infestations, commercial buildings can become a hotbed for the fungi. One of the common places for mold to grow within the commercial setting is the HVAC system. The systems that are not functioning optimally or are ill-equipped to handle the workload can generate moisture buildup. This can lead to mold growth as the spores within the air ducts will adhere to organic matter and develop into mold colonies. The mold can now spread throughout the office via the A/C network. SERVPRO can inspect and, if necessary, clean, sanitize and deodorize the HVAC system as part of a regular maintenance and cleaning program. 
 
If you haven't had your New Milford area school or business inspected for mold, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to schedule one. Our owner, Ted White, has 30 years of experience in this business and knows where to look and what to look for when inspecting for mold. He'll give you an honest assessment of whether remediation is necessary and also recommendations on how to prevent an infestation in the future. 

"Restore vs. Replace" after water damage in New Milford area homes

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring home contents after a flood is preferable to replacing them if possible. Call SERVPRO at (203) 743-5362 if you have water damage.

As a SERVPRO franchise, we adhere to the SERVPRO rule of thumb that restoration is preferable to replacement if possible. Numerous insurance and restoration industry studies have concluded that restoring property after water damage is less expensive than replacing it. Restoration is also less time consuming and disruptive, meaning our customers can be in their homes and experiencing life as normal sooner after water or fire damage. Bethel area businesses will have their doors open sooner, meaning less revenue lost.

 SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County understands that a house is much more than just wood and sheetrock. It is devastating enough to see your antique wood floors water stained or your furniture covered with soot. We aim to restore these treasures, as well as family heirlooms and your children's toys, to make the experience a bit easier for Brookfield area homeowners.  

We use several methods in the restoration process including : 

Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. 

Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning. 

Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning,  

Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned with water 

Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.  

Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.  

After your home and possessions are thoroughly cleaned, we remove odors and sanitize them so that they are ready to be returned to your home. 

Of course, there are some instances when an item, such as wet carpeting or mattresses, cannot be restored. In these cases, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will remove these pieces from your home and discard them ourselves. We work with your insurance adjuster to make sure you are properly compensated for damages.  Our crew and office staff are committed to make your Fairfield County home "Like it never even happened". Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have questions about the home restoration process after you have experienced a refrigerator line leak in your Connecticut home. 

Water damage from heavy rains in New Milford, CT

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

If you have a flood in the basement of your Connecticut home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County immediately to minimize the damage

Litchfield County has experienced a significant amount of rainfall this summer! With the rain, we have received several calls from Sherman area homeowners who have flooded basements.  In many houses with flooded basements, contents of the basement such as storage, tools, boxes etc. may also have water damage. 

The source of the rainwater can come from many different sources including:

  1. Water leaks in from the outside through a basement window  
  2. Sump pump failure, which can cause water overflows from your sump pump crock  
  3. Water seepage from cracks in your concrete floor or foundation  
  4. A sewer system back up into your basement 

When responding to water damage, quick action is key to minimizing the damage. If your Fairfield County basement is flooded from rainwater or a sewage leak, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. We are available 24/7 and ready to respond to your water damage emergency.

Not all homeowner's insurance policies cover mold in Litchfield County

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Not every Roxbury area home we inspect requires professional mold remediation however many do. Check your insurance policy to see if it covers mold.

We are called to New Milford area homes on a weekly basis to inspect mold. With all of the attention on black mold and it's potential to be toxic to the health, many homeowner's don't want to take a chance when they spot mold. Luckily, not every home that we inspect requires professional remediation from the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team. We are often able to recommend a safe method in which homeowner's can reduce their mold risk or treat it themselves.

There are also the cases in which there is a mold infestation in the home that requires our services. It can be surprising to some homeowners to discover that their insurance policy does not cover mold. 

Call your insurance agent if the language of the policy is confusing and you are unsure. Some policies contain clauses that exclude mold.  Some will cover mold removal only under certain circumstances.  Typically, if your policy does not include mold remediation it can be added onto the policy. It's a smart preventative measure that can save you thousands in the future.  

If you see signs of mold in your Fairfield County home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. Our IICRC certified mold technicians will come out and give you an honest assessment of the situation. 

Washing machine leaks cause water damage to Newtown, CT homes

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

A leaking washing machine can cause substantial water damage to your Sherman, CT home.  When a leak occurs, the water will flow out of your machine or it's hose until you discover the mess. The flooding can cause damage to wood floors, walls, furniture and even through the ceiling to the floors below.  There are preventative steps homeowners can take to reduce their risk of an appliance leak.  

  1. Make sure your hoses aren't kinked. There should be at least 4 inches between the wall and your washing machine.  
  2. Check your detergent. Too much of it or the wrong kind (in high efficiency machines) can clog the overflow tube and cause a leak. 
  3. Inspect to see that the drain hose is properly inserted into the drain line - it can become loose during machine use.  
  4. Check your supply line hoses to make sure they aren't brittle or cracked. We recommend using stainless steel braided hoses to avoid deterioration. 
  5. If your washing machine is in a high risk area (adjacent to living areas or on a second floor) consider installing a  washing machine leak detector with an alarm that alerts you if it detects water on the floor. It will also close the valves so that flooding doesn’t continue.  
  6. Turn off your washing machine water supply at the lever whenever you leave home for an extended period. 

If you have flooding from a washing machine leak in your Bethel, CT home, give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362. Our team has over twenty years of experience in water damage restoration in Connecticut.

#waterdamage #washingmachineleak #SERVPRO #flood #flooding

Avoid sump pump failures with this inspection checklist in Brookfield, CT

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Check your sump pump on an annual basis to avoid water damage in Fairfield County, Connecticut!

Many of our customers have a sump pump installed in the basement of their  Litchfield County home to keep it dry. Sump pumps ensure that the water drains properly and does not collect in your home, causing water damage. If you maintain your sump pump, it should perform it's job and you will forget that it is there. However, If you neglect your sump pump, a failure can happen, resulting in water damage and a big mess. Inspecting a sump pump is a task that a homeowner can do on their own. We recommend doing an annual inspection.  

  1. Check the power source for the pump. It should connect to a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI) for maximum safety. Inspect the cord to the pump, looking for evidence of wear and tear. 
  1. Find the outlet pipe that allows the water to drain outside of your home.  Make sure that there aren't any clogs or damages done to the drain making it impossible for water to exit the home and flow away from the foundation. 
  2. Make sure the pump is level and upright. When it runs, the vibrations from the motor or the force of the water can cause it to tilt, which will let the float shift out of place. 
  3. Locate the sump pump in the lower level of your home and check the inside of it to ensure that the pump is not clogged with debris.  
  4. Take the pump out of the basin. At the bottom, there should be a grate, which needs cleaned of any debris that could cause a malfunction. 
  5. Slowly pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the pump to simulate if a storm were to hit.  As you pour, watch for it to turn on and start pumping the water out of your home.  If should start pumping when the water reaches about 8-12 inches below the basement floor.  This task simply assures you that the pump will run when it needs to and that nothing has malfunctioned. 
  6. If your sump pump contains a float in the basin, make sure that it is also functioning properly and not caught on anything while running the test.  This float is what lets the sump pump know when the water reaches a certain height and activates the pump. 

Most sump pumps work with no issues however we do receive calls from those unlucky homeowners that experience a failure and have a flooded basement. If your sump pump fails, give SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362.

Safely enjoy a camp fire in Litchfield County with these tips

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

One thing that we look forward to every summer is having a campfire in our backyard. There's something about the smell and sound of a fire that brings us close to nature. Add in some marshmallows and everybody is happy! Unfortunately, campfire accidents are common, resulting in thousands of ER visits a year.

Follow our safety tips to reduce your risk of injury.

Step 1: Check out the surroundings 

Carefully choose your location avoiding any low hanging branches or near brush or bushes. These can easily go up in flames if the fire gets bigger than anticipated.  You should also keep an 8 to 10 foot radius clear of anything such as brush, garbage as well as tents and chairs. 

Step 2: Prepare your campfire ring 

If an exisiting ring is not present, create one out of rocks. Make sure that the area surrounding the ring does not have any tripping hazards such as holes, roots or tree stumps. A child walking to get their next marshmallow can easily trip and get burned. 

Step 3: Have water, a shovel and dirt at hand 

It only takes a single gust of wind to cause your fire to grow out of control. In that case, you want to always have water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put it out completely if necessary.  

Step 4: Never leave the fire unattended 

Sometimes we get so comfortable with the fire that we walk away for "just a moment". Regardless of what is going on, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire. Especially keep an eye on pets and children that may be sitting or walking close by. 

Step 5: Put it out right 

Never leave a fire burning when you are going inside. Even hot embers can reignite and become a fire with a gust of wind. Smother the fire with dirt and make sure it is fully extinguished by stirring the embers around afterwards. 

Enjoy your summer and be safe if you have a backyard fire in Connecticut this summer!

If you have fire damage at your Brookfield area home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Cleans Contaminated Air in Connecticut Homes

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Silica dust from concrete can be hazardous and even deadly. Call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County if you have air contaminants.

"We had a severe situation with silica dust all over our basement caused by ignorant workers cutting a groove in the concrete floor for a new oil feed line. Dangerous stuff to breathe. The SERVPRO folks had to clean it all up while dealing with our 35 years of accumulated furniture/junk. They handled it all with great patience and professionalism. Thank you Bianca, Junior, et al....!!"  - Tom C., Southbury  

Our office yields calls from homeowner's who would never dream that their home would be damaged by something like a concrete drilling mishap. Who prepares for that sort of accident?  

Silica, often referred to as quartz, is a very common mineral.  It is found in many materials common on construction sites, including soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock, granite, and landscaping materials. The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain crystalline silica particles. 

These dust particles are very small. You cannot see them.  It only takes a very small amount of airborne silica dust to create a health hazard. Inhaled dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease. 

Clearly, this was a dangerous substance that required thorough removal. Our team responded to this call with protective gear, including masks for the residents of the home. We moved the contents of the basement and protected them with plastic. We used air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to clean the air, as well as the surfaces. Our team then finished up by steam cleaning the floor.  

It wasn't a big job for our crew, but an important one. Making sure that the home was safe for this family was our number one priority. If there is an accident that causes air contamination in your Southbury home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to make sure the job is done right!

What if you have water damage caused by a third party in Fairfield County?

7/9/2017 (Permalink)

The home owner of this Sandy Hook home noticed water on the wood floors. When we pulled the refrigerator out, we discovered a supply line leak.

What happens if you have a new refrigerator installed in your home and the water line leaks, destroying your wood floors? Or your oil delivery company overfills your tank, causing a toxic spill in your basement? Or perhaps a plumber improperly installed a pipe, causing water damage to your New Milford home. Who pays for the damage- your insurance company, you or the third party? 

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have team members that have been specially trained in "successful subrogation". Subrogation, by definition, is when an insurance company seeks payment or restitution from a third party that caused damage or injury to an insured person or property. Usually this means your insurance company will try to recover payments from the insurance company covering the party at-fault. 

If you have experienced water, fire or biohazard damage to your home that was caused by a third party, our staff can help you work with your homeowners insurance company in determining who is responsible for the damages. As a first responder to your disaster, we are trained to identify and save evidence that may assist your insurance company in recovering costs.  

If you have a dishwasher leak due to faulty installation at your Sandy Hook home, call us at (203) 743-5362. We will come to your home to start the restoration process and our office staff will help guide you through the insurance claims process. 

What is the cost of water damage restoration in Fairfield County?

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Using the Xactimate program, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team is able to provide our customers with an accurate quote

When faced with water, mold or fire damage, the question most people have is "How much is this going to cost?"  

After Brendan, Ted or one of our other estimators come out to your home to assess the damage, they use a program called Xactimate to determine the cost of the restoration.  Xactimate is the industry's leading claims estimating solution. The software uses pricing from a variety of industry professionals, including contractors, insurance companies and adjusters, to determine the cost of each item individually. Our team draws the floor plan of the home using Sketch and click on items that we want to add.   We are able to go room by room of your home and get an accurate quote for materials and labor.  Providing our customers and their insurance adjuster with a quick and accurate restoration costs analysis, allows us to begin the process of restoring their water or fire damaged home quickly.  

If your home has water damage from a toilet overflow or soot from a furnace puffback, give us a call at (203) 743-5362 and our estimator will come out and provide you with a reliable estimate of what the restoration will cost. 

Don't ruin your 4th of July Barbecue, Litchfield County!

7/2/2017 (Permalink)

How many of our barbecue safety tips been broken in this image?

Friends, it is officially summertime and that means grilling season has hit Fairfield County! Before you grill, however, take caution. Over 7,000 Americans get injured on the grill each year, the majority of which are caused by user error. Follow these tips to keep your gathering fun and incident free.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Keep the area clear. Keep your patio furniture, pillows, party lights and hanging baskets away from your grill, as they are highly combustible. 
  5. 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!
  6. 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! 
  1. 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. 
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Schedule an appointment to have your ducts cleaned in Litchfield County!

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

If you need your air DUCTS cleaned in the Newtown, CT area, give us a call at (203) 743-5362!

It's officially summertime and with that, Sherman area homeowners with central air conditioning will soon be turning that switch to "cool". Air conditioning is certainly one of our favorite inventions to help keep us comfortable in the humid summer air in Connecticut.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis . Dirt , debris and other air pollutants collect in ductwork and can be spread throughout your home. In addition,  dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. Our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yep, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your New Fairfield home.  

It's not too late to give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an appointment to have the air ducts cleaned in your Brookfield, CT home or business cleaned. 

We clean up water, sewage and mold caused by toilet overflows in Fairfield County

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Toilet floods can be caused by a sewage backup or clogged pipe. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County if your toilet overflows.

We are frequently called after Brookfield area homeowners experience an overflowing toilet in their home. An overflow can occur from a septic tank not draining properly or a clog in the line. Fortunately, most homeowners are alerted to an overflow immediately when  they flush the toilet and water comes out instead of down the pipe.  


If your toilet overflows, there are a few critical components that can determine the extent of the damage. If the water contains sewage, the situation calls for a dramatically different response. Sewage can contain bacteria and other contaminants that are harmful to the health of humans. If you have reason to suspect you have sewage backup coming from your toilet, we advise that you do not enter the area or attempt any clean up yourself.  Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County for immediate biohazard clean up service.


If the bathroom is upstairs, it's likely that water has permeated through the floor into the ceiling and you may notice water leaking through the downstairs ceiling. However even if there aren't visible spots or leaks there is still a possibility that there is water damage beneath your floor that can cause mold to grow.  Floods in the bathroom can also cause water damage in places that you cannot see such as under the bathroom flooring as well as the cabinets and walls. 


While it may be tempting to mop the bathroom up and hope there are no issues, we have seen many cases of mold  in our years serving the Bethel area that were the results of a bathroom  flood that was not properly restored. If your toilet overflows, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern at (203) 743-5362.  We have the training and experience to accurately assess the damage and determine the  course to be taken. 

We clean up vandalism and graffiti in Bethel area homes and businesses

6/18/2017 (Permalink)

If your New Milford area home has been vandalized, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to clean it up!

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we respond to calls other than water, mold and fire damage.  Did you know that we are able to restore homes and businesses that have experienced graffiti and vandalism?

A broken window that goes unnoticed in a Sandy Hook area business is not only a security issue, it also can allow rain in and cause water and mold damage. Graffiti removal can be a daunting task however our crew is up to the challenge and have successfully removed spray paint from concrete and brick walls.  In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, our team can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.  

We have also responded to calls from homeowner's who have experienced biohazardous vandalism (including feces). Our crew has the training and equipment to safely remove biohazardous materials and any contaminants that might be present.  

If your home or business is the victim of malicious vandalism, it can be a very upsetting experience. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at  (203) 743-5362 to come clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."

#vandalism #graffiti 

After the storm: We're ready to restore your Fairfield County home

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

If your Roxbury, CT home is damaged from a fallen tree or flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

On hot, dry summer days, the afternoon rain that rolls in over the Litchfield Hills can be a respite from the heat. We love keep the windows of our Marbledale home open, hear the rain  and feel the breeze during such storms. Of course, we always keep it safe and are mindful of the hazards that thunderstorms can bring.


Although the odds of being struck by lightning are slim (1/ 1,100,000 in a single year), that's because most people follow safety precautions. 


Outside the home: 



  • If you are on a hike in a forest: Seek shelter in a low area under dense trees 

  • If you are in a parking lot: Get inside a building or hard topped car if access to a building isn't possible 

  • If you are in an open outdoor area, such as a golf course, and there are no buildings around, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley and lay down flat.  Be alert for flash floods. 

  • Avoid hilltops, anything metal such as farm machinery and water. 

  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.Lightning can strike from 10 miles away. 


Inside the home: 



  • Do not use a corded telephone 

  • Because plumbing fixtures are a conduit for electricity, avoid bathing and dish washing 

  • Unplug appliances and electrical items to protect them from power surges which can cause damage. 


 


Protect your home from storm damage by: 



  • Inspect trees near your house and remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on your home. Fallen branches can break windows or damage your roof, causing water damage.  

  • Check your yard for outdoor furniture and toys that can blow away or cause damage. Make sure you tie that trampoline to a tree in case of high winds!

  • Check your basement to make sure there isn't flooding due to heavy rains- the sooner you catch it, the quicker restoration can start! 


If you have damage from a tree falling on your Sherman area home or basement flooding, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for a professional clean up and restoration!

Taking inventory of damaged belongings after New Milford area house fires

6/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County goes through Fairfield County homes room by room to take inventory after house fires.

A house fire is a very traumatic and emotional experience for homeowner's. Not only has the structure of your Sandy Hook home been damaged, but the fire, smoke and soot also affects your belongings. At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County we understand that your clothing, photographs, furniture and other belongings hold special meaning and memories. 

When we are called to home after a fire loss, we use a system called the Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS). With CCIS, we go through the home room by room and create a detailed accounting of all of your belongings.  With this list, we are able to assist homeowners when making a claim for damaged belongings with their home insurance company and help our customers settle insurance claims quicker.  

Many items can be saved and restored after a fire however some are not salvageable. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County assists homeowners in creating an inventory of damaged items, helping the recovery process go a little bit easier in a challenging time. 

#housefire #firerestoration #litchfieldcounty #fairfieldcounty

Post construction clean up in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

You worked hard to make your home beautiful. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to come in and make it shine!

You've dreamed of doing that home renovation for many years and it is finally complete! However all of the dust and debris leftover from construction has left it grimy and dull. Get your home sparkling and ready to show off with a post construction cleaning from the crew at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. Our crew takes pride in giving your home that finishing touch and making it shine from top to bottom. 

After you've added an addition or remodeled the kitchen of your Sandy Hook home, you will be left with dust, dirt and grime covering most of the surfaces of your home. We remove dust throughout the home including the walls, windows, appliances, ceilings and fixtures. Carpets are deep cleaned to remove all dust and debris. Walls, hardwood and tile floors  and other hard services are washed thoroughly. Upholstered furniture can also be deep cleaned on or off site. Our post construction services also include removing construction debris if necessary. 

Our crew has the deep cleaning equipment and expertise to really get the dust out of every nook and cranny after your home renovation. You worked hard to make your home beautiful. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to come in and make it shine like new!

Water Damage in Fairfield County - Your Initial Call

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Although water damage in your Bethel area home may have you feeling overwhelmed, Keri will calmly guide you through the process

Quick action is crucial when you are dealing with water damage. The severity of the damage to your home can increase within just a few hours. 


When they pick up your call, Keri and Bianca (our Brookfield, CT office staff) understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and a bit vulnerable. Our staff has the experience of taking hundreds of calls like yours each year and can calmly guide you through the process. 


Upon answering your call, we will gather the necessary information in order to determine what equipment and resources will be needed as well as the size of the crew to send. 


Some of the questions Keri and Bianca might ask are:



  • Your name and phone number as well as email address

  • If you are a renter or property manager, the homeowner's contact information

  • Your home insurance policy information 

  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business as well as the billing address

  • When the water damage occurred and what caused it

  • Whether there is electricity and heat available in the home


The following step will be for the office to schedule an appointment for one of our estimators to come to your home along with a crew to inspect the damages and formulate a restoration plan. They typically begin work immediately in order to minimize the water damage. 


The team at SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County are your Connecticut water restoration specialists. If you have a flood or leak, call us at (203) 743-5362

The Truth About Mold in Fairfield County, Connecticut

5/20/2017 (Permalink)

Not all levels of mold are toxic. If you discover mold in your Sherman, CT home,call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362

You might notice that we do not advertise that we perform mold removal. Rather, we are experts at mold remediation. Other restoration businesses advertise “mold removal”. They may even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. 


The truth is that microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove every single mold spore from the air.  In mold remediation, our aim is to reduce the mold spore count back to its natural  level. Consider the following facts about mold. 


Mold spores are microscopic and present naturally both indoors and out. They  may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even  enter on you or your pet.  


Moisture is essential to the existence of mold spores. When exposed to water, spores quickly form into colonies. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants. 


Prior to beginning any mold remediation, the source of the water or moisture must be corrected. Otherwise, the mold may return.  


The strong, musty odor that mold often produces can lead you to problem areas.


Standing water isn't necessary for mold to grow. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent. 


If you have signs of mold, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can inspect and assess your property. We have the  specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation and bring your mold spore count to safe, natural levels.  


Not all levels of mold are going to create toxic conditions in your New Fairfield area home. If you see or smell signs of mold, give us a call for an inspection at (203) 743-5362.

Airing out myths about your air conditioning in Litchfield County

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Yippee! It's springtime and we have already had some warm days here in the Brookfield, CT area. We hope that you have had the chance to spend time in the sun and appreciate the flowers that are popping up.  Along with enjoying the beaches of Candlewood Lake and the many festivals that Connecticut has to offer, the warm weather means most of us will be turning on our air conditioning.  In this blog post, we bust some of the myths associated with air conditioning in the home. 


MYTHTurning the AC off during the day or when you are not home will lower your electric bill.  


FACT: Re-cooling a hot home uses more energy than running the AC consistently.  


MYTH: Ceiling Fans help cool the air and you should leave them running when you are not in the room.  



FACT: Fans don't cool air - they move the air and cool people. Use ceiling fans when you're in the room, but turn them off to save electricity when you leave. 


MYTH: You should turn the temperature down to a very low temperature to speed up cooling. 


FACT: It takes the same amount of time to reach a desired temperature regardless of how low you set it.  


MYTH: It's a waste of time and money to have your air conditioner serviced. 


FACT: Regular service can keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. When technicians come out to service your A/C unit, they’re doing a full checkup of the system – making sure coils and filters are clean, looking for leaks, and double checking that parts aren’t on the verge of wearing out.It also provides an opportunity to catch problems that might have developed over the winter, such as leaks or wear that can cause water or mold damage to your system.  


Get ready for the warm weather and call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have your ducts cleaned this spring.

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County Cleans up New Milford Oil Spills

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

If oil spills in the basement of your New Fairfield, CT home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County does more than fire,water and mold restoration and remediation. We often receive calls to Fairfield County homes and businesses to clean up oil spills. Such spills occur when storage tanks develop a leak, are overfilled or if the heating system malfunctions. Since the typical oil tank in Connecticut is located in the basement of a home, a spill can contaminate the basement.  


Because oil is combustible, quick clean up is vital to safety. If there is an oil spill in your home, turn off all flame and spark sources. Ventilate the area by opening any windows and doors to the outside. Close all doors and seal any cracks between your basement and the rest of your house with towels to prevent vapors from entering the upper floors.  If you have forced hot air heating, shut off the system and close the grills.  


Protect the health of your family by avoiding the contaminated areas. Do not breathe the fumes and if in contact with oil, wear rubber gloves and boots as well as protective eyewear.  If the odor is strong, it may be necessary to relocate your family for a few days, especially if there are children and elderly in the home.  


SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has the  training and equipment  to properly remove oil spills in the Bethel, CT area. Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you have an oil spill – big or small! 

Mold in Your Connecticut HVAC System

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in your New Fairfield, CT ducts can spread throughout your home, causing health problems.

 An area of the home in which mold can grow without notice is inside of the HVAC system. The damp and dark conditions of  duct work, AC evaporator coils, and drip pans are the perfect environments for mold growth.  The outside particles that are pushed through the ducts contain organic particles such as pollen, which serve as a food source for the mold.  Hidden from view, mold can grow unseen and unnoticed, allowing the spores to be blown throughout your home and potentially cause health problems to your family.  

In addition to visibly spotting mold, signs  that mold may be in your HVAC unit can be a musty or mildew smell in your Fairfield County home as well as family members experiencing unexplained respiratory illness, headaches, and rashes. 

A few simple steps can help keep your HVAC system clear of mold spores.

1. Scheduling a yearly cleaning of your HVAC system with SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to keep it free of dirt, debris and other organic materials will reduce the risk of mold growth. It will also remove other allergens that can affect the health of your family. 

2. Monitor the moisture levels in your HVAC unit to make sure there is no standing water and have a service company come and check for a possible leak if you see excessive condensation.  

3. Changing your HVAC filter once every three months to cut down on mold spores and other  allergens being spread throughout your New Milford, CT home. 

If you suspect that there may be mold in your HVAC system, call us at (203) 743-5362. We will come out and inspect your system for mold spores.  If mold is found, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Employee Spotlight: Junior Delgado

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

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. 

Spring showers can bring basement flooding and mold to Fairfield County

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Some basement floods require professional attention!

Spring showers bring May flowers. Sometimes these showers also bring floods that can cause water and mold damage to your home.  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.

How to use a fire extinguisher to protect your Sherman, CT home from damage

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the best way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is by remembering the acronym "PASS".

Most of us have at least one fire extinguisher in our Connecticut homes as well as in our schools and workplace. According to FEMA, the majority of Americans don’t know how to use an extinguisher. This is a dangerous statistic given that fires can double in size every 60 seconds. You don’t want to be frantically reading a manual while the a stovetop fire spreads throughout your kitchen.  While operating one is not difficult, there are a few key rules that you should know.  


Fire extinguishers are categorized by a variety of classes based on the type of fire they are formulated to extinguish. Most fire extinguishers for homes and public spaces are classified as Class ABC extinguishers, meaning they’re suitable for putting out wood and paper fires, flammable liquid fires, and electrical fires.  If you work in a commercial kitchen, your extinguisher is most likely a Class K.  


Class A – Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth, and paper products. 


Class B – Flammable liquids and gases. 


Class C – Electrical fires. (Do not use water to put out this kind of fire – you could get electrocuted!) 


Class D – Flammable metals. 


Class K – Oils and grease fires. (Never use water on a grease fire – it will cause the flames to explode and spread.) 


If you have a fire in your home, a good rule of thumb in determining whether a fire extinguisher will be effective on it is the height of the fire. If the fire is taller than you, your extinguisher most likely will not be able to extinguish the fire and it is recommended that you vacate the premises and dial 9-1-1.  


If you are taller than the fire, position yourself in a location where you can make an exit if necessary and confirm that you have the right type of extinguisher for your fire.  


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the best way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is by remembering the acronym "PASS". 


Pull the pin. 


Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Hitting the tops of the flame with the extinguisher won’t be effective. 


Squeeze the trigger. In a controlled manner, squeeze the trigger to release the agent. 


Sweep from side to side. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is put out. Keep aiming at the base while you do so. Most extinguishers will give you about 10-20 seconds of discharge time. 


Slowly back away. Even if the fire appears to be extinguished, don’t turn your back on it. There might be unseen hot spots or hidden fires that can ignite into a large flame at any moment. 


Once you’ve used a fire extinguisher, even if you didn’t deplete all the pressure, you must get it recharged. 


If your Washington, CT home has a fire, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has the experience to clean up fire extinguisher residue as well as water and fire damage. Call us at (203) 743-5362

Removing tough stains from carpeting in New Milford

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

In a busy Connecticut household, carpet stains are inevitable. Between spilled drinks, muddy shoes and pets having accidents, your carpets take a beating. Luckily, most carpet stains can be removed if treated properly.  


The first step in treating a carpet stain is to blot the spot working from the outside and going towards the center. Then rinse the spot thoroughly and blot again. Resist the urge to scrub the stain, as it could damage your carpet. 


If you have a water-soluble stain, such as alcoholic beverages, juice, berries, soda, food dyes, ice cream, jelly, wet or latex paint and excrement, use a cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of nonbleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water.  


There are some water-soluble stains, such as wine, blood, chocolate, coffee, tea and vomit, that are particularly difficult to treat.  In these cases, try using 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water (but not on wool or wool-blend carpet; instead use mild detergent and water). 


If you have fat, oil, or wax on your carpet, place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on warm setting. The wax, fat, or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel. 
 
Cigarette burns can be removed by gently rubbing the pile with the edge of a hard and flat surface, such as a dull knife. 
 
Glue can be removed by moistening a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean. 
 
Wax and Gum can be removed by using ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object, such as a spoon. Vacuum before the pieces soften, and blot the carpet with a white towel. 
 
Remove Nail Polish by blotting the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover. 
 
Urine should be blotted with white towels to absorb as much as possible. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild, nonbleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry.

Stop roof leaks before they cause water and mold damage to your Fairfield County home

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO team removes attic mold caused by a leaking roof at your New Fairfield home.

A leaking roof can cause not only damage the structural integrity of your Sherman home but can be a health and fire hazard as well.  Leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons such as a roof that was incorrectly installed or damage from a storm or high winds.  Here are some of the ways a roof leak can affect your home and family. 


 Compromised structure 


A leaking roof can cause damaged rafters, ceiling joists and wall studs, as well as rotting to the interior and exterior trim.  The water causes the wood to warp, weaken and deteriorate. Repairs to the infrastructure of your home can be costly.  


Attic and ceiling damage 


The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and the items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is really big, it will damage the interior ceiling. You will notice water spots and perhaps bubbling or peeling on the affected ceiling and walls  The dripping water can also damage ceiling fans and light fixtures. 


Fire hazard from water damage 


If electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it. 


Interior mold 


One of the more serious issues that occur from a roof leak is mold growth. The consequences of letting the water settle without repairing the leak immediately can be harmful to your health. Mold damage can spread throughout the home’s structure, HVAC system and into personal belongings. Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County can remediate mold found in your Sandy Hook home.  


High utility bills/wasted energy 


Water leaking through the roof causes damage to the insulation in the attic, which becomes saturated and takes a long time to dry out. If a roof leak repair is put off,  your home will lose hot and cool air, resulting in higher utility bills.


If you discover that a roof leak has caused water or mold damage in your Roxbury, CT home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362

We clean up after mouse infestations in Sherman, CT

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

We occasionally receive calls from New Milford area home or business owners who have discovered a mouse, bat, squirrel or raccoon  infestation in their building.  Rodent droppings can carry up 35 diseases and cleaning them up can pose a health risk. Once a licensed Litchfield or Fairfield County pest control company has treated your home and removed the unwelcome critters, call us to clean up the mess left behind.  


At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we are trained and equipped to clean up biohazardous materials and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. We are trained and equipped with the required safety gear and specialized cleaning products and can help restore your home or business into a safe environment.


We are able to properly vent the contaminated area and filter any contaminants out of the air with our "air scrubbers". We remove any soiled material, including insulation, as well as the droppings urine and nest material left behind by the unwelcome critters. Part of our restoration process is to disinfect the area with antimicrobial and antibacterial cleaning solutions.  


If your New Fairfield, CT home has been invaded by mice, bats or squirrels, give us a call at (203) 743-5362.

Preparing your New Fairfield home for vacation

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Leaving your cabinet doors open can help keep pipes warm while you are on vacation.

March can be an unpredictable month for weather here in Litchfield County – temperature's in the 60's one day, a snowstorm the next. With spring break coming, many Newtown area homeowners will be going on a much needed vacation. Here are some tips to prepare your home to avoid an unexpected  disaster upon returning. 


1. Turn off all water sources:  


Turn off your water at the main source.  


Open up all of your faucets and drain the water lines. 


Drain your toilets as well.  


Turn off the valves for your exterior faucets  


Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks  


2. Keep your pipes warm:  


Open the cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens where your pipes are located to avoid their freezing and bursting.   


Insulate any exposed pipes with foam or rubber sleeves.  


3.  Inspect your hoses: 


Inspect any that hoses that connect to major appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator ice-makers. Make sure there are no kinks; replace any old or damaged hoses. 


4. Keep the weather out:  


Check that all doors and windows are securely shut and locked. A rainstorm can do a lot of damage through a non-latched window. 


5. Check your gutters:  


Clear your gutters of any potential blockages and take the time to make sure that your downspouts are still moving water at least 10 ft. from the home.  


6. Inspect your sump pump:  


If you have a basement and if you have a sump pump make sure that it is in working order. The last thing you want to do is come home to find your basement flooded. 


7. Fire prevention:  


Unplug appliances and electronic devices.  


Thoroughly check wood stoves and fireplaces to ensure that they are out.  


8. Keep the temperature right:


 Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture. 


It's always a good idea to have a friend check on your Roxbury, CT home while you are away. Make sure someone has your contact info and our number (203) 743-5362  in case there is water or fire damage while you are away.  


If you have a vacation planned this month, we at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County hope that you enjoy the sun and relaxation! 

Keeping mold from growing in your Fairfield County basement

3/11/2017 (Permalink)

Hidden behind the clutter, black mold was able to grow on the walls in the basement of this home.

The most common area in a home for mold to grow is in the basement. The combination of  high humidity levels, condensation, water seepage and floods as well as clutter in basements create the ideal conditions for mold growth. There are some actions you can take to prevent toxic mold from growing in your Bethel, CT basement.  


 



  1. Keep humidity levels down: You can check humidity levels using a hydrometer. Most experts agree that levels under 60% humidity are safe against mold growth, with 30% being optimal. Check the levels seasonally, as humidity levels often rise in warmer weather. If your levels are above 60%, using a dehumidifier can help reduce moisture in the air. A 30 pint dehumidifier is sufficient for the average 1500 square foot basement here in Brookfield, CT. Having a floor drain works best however if your basement lacks one, consider a dehumidifier that is capable of draining the water vertically into a sink.  

  2. Stop water from seeping in and flooding: Mold needs moisture to grow. Even a small water leak is enough to allow mold to grow. If you notice water puddling up against the exterior of your house, you can slope the land away from your home in order to redirect it. Make sure that your gutters are clear and downspouts directed away from the house. You can also have your Newtown basement sealed to keep water out.  

  3. Organize and declutter: The basement is the place that many people store their unused items and we all know that it can fill up quickly.  Along with the lack of ventilation caused by an overcrowded environment, porous materials such as clothing, carpeting, books and cardboard boxes can dampen easily and be a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. Additionally, if the area is not visited often, mold growth can go unnoticed for too long. Discard items that are no longer needed and store others in plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes.  


A minor mold problem can quickly become a major infestation if left untreated. We can start the remediation process immediately after you contact us.  If you notice mold in your Sherman basement, call the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office at (203) 743-5362.

Let us spring clean your Litchfield County business!

3/8/2017 (Permalink)

Have the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County team come out to spring clean your Washington, CT restaurant!

Spring is finally upon us! One of the best ways to start off the new season, other than stepping outside and feeling the warmth, is spring cleaning.  Everything has a way of becoming dusty, grimy and cluttered in the winter. It's the perfect time to give your Newtown area business a good cleaning and SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County can help!   


Carpet  Cleaning: We offer commercial carpet cleaning that effectively removes all of the salt, snow and dirt that has been tracked in over the winter months. Experts recommend that having them professionally cleaned every 12 months extends the life of your carpeting.  


Upholstery Cleaning: We can also clean the upholstery in your New Milford office. Have the chairs in your waiting room been sat on for years without being cleaned? Is the office looking a bit dingy? We can remove soil and stains from upholstered furniture and give it new life this spring! If your business has drapery, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has an exclusive process of dry cleaning draperies so that there is no shrinkage or damage to the material. 


HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning: Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected and cleaned prior to turning on the air conditioning for the summer. Our crew cleans your system to remove dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris as well as other contaminants. Cleaning extends the life of your equipment and gives you, your employees and your customers cleaner air to breathe.  


Industrial Kitchen Cleaning: Your Bethel restaurant has worked hard over the winter! While your kitchen staff does a fantastic job cleaning on a day to day basis, we have the training and equipment to degrease and sanitize your industrial kitchen. Have our crew come in and give the kitchen the cleaning it deserves with a top to bottom scrub down. We clean and sanitize freezers, refrigerators, ovens and ranges. Our team can clean your hard to reach places, such as high ceilings and light fixtures.  


Get your Fairfield County business ready for spring with a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362. We will come out and get you ready for another successful year!

Furnace puffback's and their sticky aftermath in Fairfield County

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Soot on a wall after a furnace puffback in Bethel, CT

Many people have never heard of a furnace puffback until they experience one themselves. A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace or boiler. Puff backs can occur due to an oil burner malfunction in which the burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, causing an explosion when the furnace turns on. Puff backs can also be caused by a partially clogged or cracked nozzles, improper nozzle angle, cracked electrodes, poor adjustment of the air-fuel mixture, a defective spark transformer, shorted ignition cables or dirty or low-grade fuel.  Regular maintenance can help Litchfield County homeowners reduce the risk of a furnace puffback. 


The aftermath of a puffback is the soot and streaks that the explosion blew throughout your home. Often every surface – including carpeting, furniture, walls and drapery - is covered with this black, sticky substance that includes a mixture of oil that is very difficult to remove from any surface. Cleaning up after a puffback is not a do it yourself job- it requires professional cleaning to remove the soot that is spread throughout your home. Do not attempt to clean the soot itself – household cleaners are not effective against soot and may make the problem worse. For example, attempts to wash soot off of a flat-painted wall or ceiling usually leave greasy smears. At SERVPRO, we use proprietary tools and cleaners that absorb the soot without spreading it. Luckily, puffback's are usually covered under your homeowner's insurance.  


If you experience a furnace puffback, call your SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office at (203) 743-5362.  Our smoke and fire damage specialists have the equipment and training to quickly return your home to a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for you and your family. We're faster to any disaster and are dedicated to responding immediately so that you can recover quickly, with less disruption to your life.

After the fire is out-smoke and soot removal in Litchfield County

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fires can cause smoke and soot throughout the house

Not only can the flames of a fire cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over. 

Even a small home fire can cause a great amount of damage due to soot and smoke damage. We have arrived at jobs where a small kitchen fire may have caused minimal structural damage, yet smoke has managed to permeate items throughout the home and soot has covered every surface of the home.  In the pictures, the home doesn't show much damage, yet the clean up job is a big one.  

When called to a job in the New Milford, Ct area, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County crew members have the expertise and equipment to properly treat all surfaces of ash and soot. Because ash can reactive negatively to certain cleaning agents, possibly causing permanent damage and toxic fumes, this is not a job that can be done with store bought cleaning agents. We have a large production facility in which we clean and store personal belongings off site while the home restoration is ongoing.  

Smoke odors are extremely hard to remove and can’t be done with standard equipment. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we keep thermal foggers and other sophisticated odor removal equipment on hand to counter noxious smoke odors. We can reach into all parts of your Fairfield County home, including inside floors and walls. 

SERPVRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is IICRC Certified to restore your home after a fire. Call us at (203) 743-5362 if you need help bringing your Sandy Hook home back to pre-fire condition.

Employee Spotlight: Brendan Denny

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

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!

Winter storms and the damage they can cause in Brookfield, CT

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

While winter can grow a bit old in the Washington, CT area, we never get tired of it's beauty!

Like it or not, winter storms are weaved into the fabric of our lives here in Northwestern Connecticut. We love the first few – the big snowflakes, dropping temperatures and cozy feeling of sitting in front of the fire looking at the winter wonderland outside.  By February, however, most of us in the New Milford area are tired of slipping around on the ice and have declared ourselves done with snow and are threatening to move down south! 

Winter can be a hard time for your Litchfield County home, as well. Ice dams can harm roofs and cause water damage to the ceilings and walls of a home. Frozen pipes that burst are often disastrous to homes – damaging floors, ceilings, cabinetry and personal belongings. Tree limbs that can no longer bear the weight of snow and ice sometimes break, damaging the roof of a house and allowing water to enter the home.  

The use of fireplaces and wood stoves raises the risk of home fires.  Furnace puffback's can send soot throughout your home -  covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls, and everything in between. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has even answered a few calls for oil spills at Bethel area homes this winter, a job that requires us to clean up the hazardous substance. 

Hang on, friends. We're more than halfway through the winter and will be seeing the green pop and birds chirping in Connecticut before we know it. In the meantime, stay warm and keep safe! 

Mold in your Roxbury, CT home - the causes and solutions

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

A damp, carpeted basement in Ridgefield, CT was the ideal environment for mold to grow

There has been a lot of press on mold in homes and the potential health hazards of black mold lately. At SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County, we talk with many homeowners who are concerned when they discover mold in their home.   

In order to grow, mold requires certain conditions to be met. Mold spores need to be present and have a food source (examples would be cotton, sheetrock, plywood, etc.). In addition, mold requires darkness, oxygen and warm temperatures. However, these are typical conditions in most homes. The factor that most determines whether mold will grow in your home is moisture. 

Some of the most common causes of residential mold damage are: 

1. Leaky Pipes -  A slow leak might not be obvious to a homeowner but over time can create an environment that is ideal for mold growth. We have responded to a number of jobs in Fairfield County in which a plumber has discovered mold behind the kitchen cabinets due to a leaking pipe. In these cases, the kitchen cabinetry as well as walls and flooring often requires removal.

The fix: Periodically check pipes, walls and cabinetry for any signs of leaking. 

2. Attic Mold – In order to keep moisture levels low in an attic, it must be ventilated properly.  A well-ventilated attic will allow warm air to escape through the peak of the roof via the ridge and soffit vents.  Another reason for moisture in an attic can be a roof leak. 

The fix: Have your ridge and soffit vents checked for blockages and inspect your roof and attic for leaks.  

3. Basement Mold – Due to low sunlight, condensation, high humidity, flooding and leaks, the basement is a common location for mold growth. In addition, people spend little time in their basement and are less likely to spot it early on.

The fix: If there is flooding, have your basement waterproofed. Keep humidity levels down with a dehumidifier. Repair any leaky pipes. If there is water at your house's foundation, it may be necessary for ditches and drains to be built to protect your New Fairfield home.  

The good news is, not all mold requires professional remediation. If you spot mold in your Bethel home, give us a call at  (203) 743-5362. Our owner and mold specialist, Ted White,  is IICRC certified and has over 20 years of experience inspecting mold and will give you an honest assessment of whether mold remediation is required.  

Keeping your Newtown business up and running when disaster strikes.

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Don't let your New Fairfield business be under water - call SERVPRO to save your damaged carpeting!

When a water or mold emergency stirkes your Bethel, CT area business, time is paramount in keeping your financial losses down and eliminating the need of having to close your doors for a lengthy period of time.


SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has serviced many local businesses over the past twenty years and we know how to get the job done fully and efficiently so that disruption to your business is minimal.


Whether it be a Newtown plaza in which mold behind a shared wall affected two businesses,  a new big box store in New Milford with water damage due to a construction mishap or an apartment complex in Brookfield where a kitchen sink leak damaged 4 apartments, our team is trained and equipped to mitigate the damage. 


Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County immediately  if your business experiences a sewage leak, oil spill or burst pipes. Our crew will be on the job and working hard so that your business can keep it's doors open. 


Ice dams can cause water and mold damage to your New Milford home

1/21/2017 (Permalink)

A melting ice dam can cause water and mold damage even where you cant see it.

Winter weather is the source of many of the calls we receive at our office in Brookfield, CT. In our last blog post, we discussed the actions that homeowners should take if the pipes in their home freeze and burst due to low temperatures.  Another common call we get in the winter is water damage in homes due to ice dams on the roof. 

After a snowfall,  the roof over the attic of a home can get warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. This water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends in the unheated area beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, eventually becoming a mound of ice. As the water accumulates, it backs up under the shingles of your roof. In time, it will drip through your insulation and into the ceilings and walls of your home. 

Prevention of ice dams can be achieved by insulating your home properly and using heated cables, as well as other methods. If an ice dam has already formed on your roof, you can rake your roof with a special tool to remove the snow as well as deice it as described in the link above.

If the ice has already started to melt into your home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County! The leaking water will cause wet insulation, wall studs and sheetrock, not only damaging your home but also creating an environment perfect for mold and mildew growth. 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County's team is IICRC certified for water and mold damage and has the training required to mitigate the devastating effects water and mold can cause.  Call us any time at (203) 743-5362 if you discover water damage in your home.

What to do if your pipes burst in Fairfield County this winter!

1/7/2017 (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 & 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!

Happy New Year 2017!!

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

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

12/12/2016 (Permalink)

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

12/3/2016 (Permalink)

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!

Choosing and Caring for a Christmas Tree in Connecticut

11/30/2016 (Permalink)

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.

 

 

 

 

New Milford Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

This New Fairfield, CT home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

 

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Bethel, CT basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (203) 743-5362

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded?

Call Us Today (203) 743-5362– We’re Ready To Help 

Tips to keep us out of your kitchen this Thanksgiving!

11/16/2016 (Permalink)

Never pour water on a grease fire!

Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, parades, football and, of course, food! The kitchen is the heart of home, especially during the holidays when most of us in Litchfield County are preparing a meal with many more recipes, in larger quantities and with more cooks in the kitchen than usual!  

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day also has the highest number of  home fires annually.  In 2013, Thanksgiving Day had 1,550 reported kitchen fires, which is  230% above the average number of fires per day. Keep these kitchen safety reminders in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast! 

 

"Be on time"

With so many things on your "to do" list, guests coming and going and multiple items cooking, be sure to set timers so that you don't remember to take something out of the oven too late! (nobody likes their stuffing THAT dry!)

“Stand by Your Pan”

Have a designated cook in the kitchen at all times so that food is not left unattended. This is the most common source of kitchen fires. It only takes a moment for a kitchen fire to start and with a vigilant cook in the kitchen, catching it immediately is the key to avoiding the fire spreading. 

 

"If you fry, don't make it too high!"

The popularity of deep frying the turkey has soared (We at  SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County haven't gone this route because we are traditionalists but we hear it's quite delicious!). An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. Play it safe and fry your bird outside. 

"For grease fires, water makes it go higher!"

Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water or a wet towel. Water will cause the flames to flare up and spread quickly. Turn off the stove and cover the fire with a lid if it is safe to do so, thereby removing the oxygen from reaching the fire. Use a fire extinguisher, which should be stored in a convenient kitchen location (not hidden under the kitchen sink!) If you do not have a fire extinguisher, baking soda is also effective at putting out grease fires however you do need to use quite a bit of it. 

We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

For Immediate Service in Washington, CT, Call SERVPRO

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

LItchfield County Residents: We provide immediate service day or night! 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Brookfield. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.



  • 24-Hour Emergency Service

  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster

  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians

  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry

  • Locally Owned and Operated

  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 


Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 –(203) 743-5362


Residential Services


Whether your New Fairfield home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:



  • Water Damage Restoration

  • Fire Damage Restoration

  • Mold Remediation

  • Storm Damage Restoration

  • Cleaning Services

  • Building/Reconstruction Services


Commercial Services


There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your New Milford commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services.

Sandy Hook Residents:  Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

10/15/2016 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (203) 743-5362

Faster to your Brookfield, CT Water Damage Event

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Bethel Body:

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (203) 743-5362

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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. 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.

It's National Fire Prevention Week

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week- a time to make sure that your home has fire safety measures in place. In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. Every 86 seconds, one home structure fire was reported and every day, 7 people lost their lives to residential fires.  At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have seen firsthand the devastation a home fire can cause.  

Many home fires are preventable with some forethought and care to minimize the risks. Among the common causes of home fires are leaving candles unattended, smoking and leaving unattended food cooking on the stove top.  Make it a habit to double check that the flame is out and properly extinguished when smoking or using candles. 

Electrical fires can start from overloaded outlets, equipment malfunction or overheated appliances. Clothes washers and dryers account for over 16,000 home fires each year.  We recommend that you check your dryer vent to make sure there aren't any blockages and clean your lint screen regularly.  

While lightning fires are not preventable, personal injury  from lightning can be. Unplug electrical appliances, avoid using plumbing fixtures  and do not use corded devices during thunderstorms.

Tragically, Christmas trees are one of the main causes of home fires. Take care to always keep trees well watered, do not use faulty Christmas tree lights and always turn off your tree at night. Try to avoid using a live tree in a room with a wood stove or near heat sources that will dry them out.

Here in Connecticut, many of us use alternative heat sources such as wood burning stoves and portable heaters. Take care to be sure that wood stoves are used properly and that wood is stored away from the stove and furniture and other combustible items are at least 3 feet from the stove. Portable electric heaters should also be kept 3 feet from flammable items such as curtains and bedding.  Additionally, do not leave a space heater on overnight or while sleeping. 

Despite taking preventative measures, home fires will still occur.  Be prepared with ways to minimize the damage and protect your family from injury. Smoke detectors should be on each floor of your home and in each bedroom. Test all smoke detectors regularly and replace detectors over 10 years old. Keep fire extinguishers on each floor of your home and make sure you know how to use it. Many newer homes are equipped with a fire sprinkler system. If you are building a home, having a system installed may be included in your mortgage.  Having rope or fire ladders on the second floor of the home can help family members escape. Make a family escape plan and rehearse it with your family.  

Taking these measures can help minimize the damage of a home fire and protect your loved ones. If you do experience a home fire in your New Milford  home, please call us at (203) 743-5362. We specialize in fire damage restoration – from  cleaning soot, removing smoke smells and residue from personal items and cleaning up the secondary water damage rescue efforts leave behind.

Preparing your Newtown business for storm damage

9/20/2016 (Permalink)

Plan now to protect your Bethel business

It has been one month since we watched from across the country and saw the toll that the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana took on homes and businesses.   There was an estimated  $8.7 billion in damage and over 7,300 businesses were unable to keep their doors open.  The impact of this – from lost revenue, employees going without work and the cost and effort involved in recovering from flooding is staggering. Business owners can't always prepare for every unexpected natural disaster but there are some precautions that can be taken to minimize the impact.  

The first step a business owner in Connecticut should take is to determine whether you are in a high or medium flood area using a flood map.  Many Connecticut businesses are in a high risk area. Keep in mind, however, that even if you are in a low flood risk area, you are not immune to storm damage. After recent hurricanes Irene and Sandy, even towns as far north as Sherman and Washington experienced flooding and were without power for up to a week.  

It is essential for businesses to create an emergency contingency plan as well. This includes the protocol employees should follow during a storm and how to protect and shut down equipment safely. Remember to have a plan for how to secure your building as well, in case you are not able to go there for a few days due to blocked roads or power outages. An emergency preparedness kit on site is necessary in case employees cannot leave the business. It should include enough food, water, medical supplies and flashlights for several days as well as other essential items.

We also recommend having all of your emergency contacts in order so that you aren't scrambling to find help in the midst of a disaster. To assist you with this, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County has a phone app called the Emergency Ready Profile that provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in the experts when disaster strikes.  

The application allows both residential and commercial property managers and owners to create an ERP that contains critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs. In addition to property details, the application tracks prior loss history, utility shut off locations, and key contacts; stores photos of the damage; and integrates local weather forecasts and more.  

Take steps to minimize potential storm damage to your Litchfield County business now. To discuss setting up an ERP for your business, call us at (203) 743-5362

Responding to sewage backup in your Connecticut home.

9/18/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is ready to respond to your sewage backup

It's happened to many of us. A simple flush of the toilet and suddenly your Bethel home is flooded with sewage. Biohazardous contamination from toilet overflow is a common call we get here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County.  

A sewage backup can be caused by several different reasons- from a clogged main sewer line to tree roots that have caused damage to your lines, causing holes and damage. Usually, homeowners are not aware of such problems until it's too late.  

Because pathogens found in sewage water can lead to unhealthy and dangerous consequences if left untreated in a home or business, we recommend that you contact us for an inspection as soon as possible. When we arrive at a your home or business to mitigate a sewage situation, we first determine which of the three types of contaminated water we are dealing with in order to create an action plan. We have the protective clothing, equipment and expertise to mitigate the situation and make getting your home a clean and safe environment once again. 

September is National Preparedness Month - are you ready?

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

Make your emergency plan today!

September is National Preparedness Month - is your home and family ready for an emergency situation? National Preparedness Month is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events. Here in Connecticut, we know all too well the impact a hurricane or winter storm can have on our daily lives. 

Here are some simple steps recommended by FEMA, who is the sponsor of the National Preparedness Month, on how to make sure your family is ready.

The first step is to Know your risk. It is important to understand the potential risks where you live. You can do this by doing the following:

  1. Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather.
  2. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
  3. Get practical tips on preparing for disaster at ready.gov.

The second step is to Take action. Make sure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency. Ensure that you can go for at least three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or other local services.

  1. Prepare a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water.
  2. Create a Family Emergency Plan, so that your family knows how to communicate during an emergency.
  3. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

For additional tips and kit information, including ways to involve your family in the planning, visit  ready.gov.

If the Brookfield, CT area does get hit with a hurricane this fall, and you experience a downed tree or flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 for a 24 hour response to your emergency.

Welcome, Bianca!

9/2/2016 (Permalink)

Our new Administrative Assistant, Bianca Reyes

Wow! Our business has been very busy this summer with the crews  working extra long days and staff answering many calls on the weekends! In light of that, we are so thankful to have added a new administrative assistant to our office staff.

Bianca Reyes is new to the area and comes to us from the Mohegan Sun resort, where she worked as a facility coordinator.  We are all amazed at how Bianca has hit the ground running in her role here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. She answers customer phone calls and  responds to their questions like a pro.  While learning the jargon of a new field might be intimidating to some, Bianca has jumped right in and is becoming well versed in the language of the water, fire and mold restoration industry.

Bianca has recently made Brookfield her home. She loves spending time outdoors, going for hikes, running, painting and cooking. Please join us in welcoming Bianca to our team!

Black Mold in Connecticut - not a DIY project

8/21/2016 (Permalink)

Black Mold isn't always this obvious!

With all of the attention and media coverage about household  mold, and it's associated health risks, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County often fields phone calls from concerned homeowners who have discovered mold in their home. 

Unfortunately, the internet is full of misinformation on what is effective and safe mold removal - such as the misconception that bleach kills mold (it does not). While there are some cases where a small area of mold can be effectively cleaned by a homeowner themselves, we recommend  having a SERVPRO IICRC trained professional come and inspect your home.

Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet. A homeowner may have cleaned all visible evidence of mold from a hard surface yet not know the level of mold spores in the air and how it is affecting their home and their health.

Give us a call at (203) 743-5362 if you spot mold in your Brookfield, CT home. Ted White, our owner and mold specialist, will come out to your house, survey the situation and give you an honest opinion of what action needs to be taken. 

Oh, the places you'll go!

8/5/2016 (Permalink)

Congratulations, Michelle!

“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

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

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!

Tips for Air Conditioning Efficiency

6/28/2016 (Permalink)

Call us at (203) 743-5362 to have the ducts inspected in your New Milford home.

School is out, the beaches are filling up and the smell of barbeque is filling the air. Summer is here, Newtown and Southern Litchfield County! There is so much to enjoy in the summer except for those high air conditioning bills!  Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take to lower your electric bill this summer. 

Exterior Inspection: We recommend doing an inspection of the area around your air conditioning unit and clear the area of brush and weeds that have grown in or gathered there. This will ensure that your air conditioning unit will get enough air to cool the house and keep unwanted brush from entering the ac unit.

Inspect Filters: Inspect your filters to determine whether they need to be replaced. As a rule of thumb, filters should be replaced every season. Dirty filters will increase energy usage and affect air quality in the house.

Check Freon Levels: If your freon levels are low, it could indicate a leak, which can lower efficiency and decrease the lifespan of the air conditioner compressor. 

Have your Ducts Inspected: Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to have your ducts inspected. Having your air ducts cleaned by our professionals will increase the efficiency of your system. 

We hope these tips help you stay cool and save money this summer!

When Storms or Floods hit Newtown and Southern Litchfield, SERVPRO is ready!

6/12/2016 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in New Milford.

SERVPRO ofNewtown and Southern LItchfield Countyspecializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.  A fast response is crucial to flooding and storm damage, because it reduces secondary damage and restoration costs. Storms don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Our technicians will respond immediately, day or night, to help Brookfield business owners and residents.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Southern Litchfield County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams  that are strategically located throughout the United States.

http://www.SERVPROnewtownandsouthernlitchfieldcounty.com/storm-flooding-restoration

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (203) 743-5362

Restoring Your Newtown Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/8/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Southern Litchfield County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

We're on Pinterest!

6/6/2016 (Permalink)

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!

Summer is Coming, Connecticut!

6/3/2016 (Permalink)

The difference a duct cleaning can make! Which would you want in your home?

It's time to have your HVAC systems inspected!

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates. 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) in residential homes and commercial businesses. Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.  When dirt and debris are removed from ductwork, the fans and motors that power a furnace no longer need to work as hard to distribute air.  Not only does this properly maintain a home, but it keeps the quality of indoor air as pure as possible.  

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth
  • Less contaminants, including pet dander, in the air can help reduce the risk of allergies
  • Reduce the amount of dust circulating in the home

Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County  at (203) 743-5362 to have your HVAC system inspected by one of our highly trained technicians.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Newtown Home

6/3/2016 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is an IICRC 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.

Litchfield County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Litchfield County Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(203) 743-5362

Sometimes, we feel like superheroes!

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

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."

Does your Newtown home have a mold problem?

5/14/2016 (Permalink)

In Litchfield County, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today (203) 743-5362

SERVPRO deploys Disaster Recovery Team in response to Widespread Flooding in the Houston Area

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

Crews ready to restore flood-damaged homes and businesses

Gallatin, Tennessee April 19, 2016 - Heavy rainfall continues to cause widespread flooding in and around the Houston area. With more rain in the forecast, additional flooding is expected. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has been activated to assist residents and business owners in flood affected areas.

The days immediately following a flood event are critical to prevent secondary damages, like mold. SERVPRO suggests the following steps to help minimize additional damage to your property.

  • If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
  • Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas.
  • Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
  • Throw away all foods – even canned goods – that have come into contact with flood waters.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Place fans at 45-degree angles to walls and move large furniture away from walls to create the best air circulation.
  • If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.

The first 24 hours after a water damage or flood are so crucial to keeping final costs of the damage down, said Don Turner, Director of SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team. A lot of flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate. By taking these steps, property owners can help minimize damage until the professionals arrive.

SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes from across the country, as needed, to support large storm events. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country, including: 2015 Siberian Express, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2013 Colorado Floods, 2013 Alberta, Canada Floods, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Hurricane Isaac, 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, 2011 North Dakota Floods, 2010 Tennessee Floods, 2010 New England Floods, 2009 California Wildfires and 2008 Hurricane Ike.

About SERVPRO

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

24 Hour Water Damage Service

4/25/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County  has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it’s the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County

SERVPRO of Newtown & 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. 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.

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