Recent Posts

Proceed With Caution

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in need of service. It's always daunting when the storm hits, but SERVPRO Burlington/Middlebury will be there every step of the way.

At SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury, we always have safety in mind first and foremost. Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, be sure to assess that it is a safe environment. Make sure you check for electrical hazards and structural damage- always use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators.

Some crucial tips to keep in mind:

  • Act as quickly as possible.  The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building materials stay wet, so time is of the essence.  Mold can grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours- sooner is ALWAYS better than later.
  • Have professionals, like SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury, on hand to call and understand your insurance policy.
  • Assess damage to items and materials along with the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. This will help decide which items can be salvaged.
  • Conduct a thorough cleaning.  SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury has the equipment and proper cleaning chemicals to clean and sanitize your home as well as the drying equipment to properly dry your home.

Your home is there to protect you, and SERVPRO Burlington/Middlebury is here to protect your home!

Know Your Enemy: Stormwater Edition

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

It is always good to be prepared in case of an upcoming storm. Spring in Vermont.

When your Vermont home or business suffers stormwater damage, it is important to identify what type of damage you’re dealing with.  This will help you to determine what steps to take next.  The type of water will determine how affected areas could pose a threat to your overall health.

There are three types of water:

Clean Water

This is water from a source such as rainwater.  Water from a broken pipe can also considered a source of clean water damage.

Gray Water

This is slightly contaminated water.  When stormwater is left untreated, bacteria and other contaminants can begin to grow and cause various issues.  This can occur with water from a pipe leak or other plumbing issue as well.

Black Water

This is highly contaminated and dangerous water that is filled with fungi, bacteria, or even chemicals.  Sewage and floodwater are two common forms when it comes to this type of damage.

When you are faced with clean stormwater damage, be sure to turn off the circuit breakers in the damaged areas of the building, and do not enter those areas.  Remove excess water and move items that may be sensitive to moisture, especially electronics.  When the water damage is caused from a plumbing issue, shut off the water source or have a certified professional do so. 

When the stormwater is contaminated, stay clear of the areas and allow a biohazard professional to handle the cleanup properly.  Do not turn on the HVAC system or use fans to dry the affected areas, since the air can potentially spread the contaminants.  Discard any items that have been affected by the damage-better safe than sorry!

SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury can handle all forms of water and storm damage across Vermont.  We also specialize in biohazard events where contaminated water is present. It is often that advanced cleaning techniques are necessary to fully restore the affected areas when this type of damage is involved.

No matter the form of storm damage comes your way, SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury is here to help 24/7/365! We are always prepared to make your storm damage emergency “Like it never even happened.”

Wet crawlspaces and you

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wet foundational materials after heavy flooding This homeowner reached out to SERVPRO right after realizing she had an issue with her crawlspace,.

The crawl space of a home is often out of sight and mind, but it is a foundational element of your home, so it should be on your radar. While it might not seem like a big deal, a wet crawl space can have dire consequences for your home and family, primarily if it floods frequently. The crawl space contains the structural supports of the house and has direct access to its flooring beams. Consistent flooding can result in several issues, including:

  • Mold
  • Rot
  • Sinking
  • Foundation cracks
  • Structural integrity issues

A flooded crawl space needs to be taken seriously and you should contact  the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury as soon as possible to resolve the problem.

The Problems With a Wet Crawl Space

How often does your crawl space flood? A crawl space that experiences frequent floods can eventually lead to more significant concerns.

While water and moisture are not uncommon in crawl spaces, the maintenance of any water depth is problematic. See, under your house is the perfect environment for mold growth; it is dark, damp, and humid. While some people might not worry about mold under their house, it is concerning because mold can begin accessing other parts of the home through woodwork, gaps, vents, etc.

A musty odor is often the first sign of mold. When you can smell mold, it is a sign that it is reproducing and growing. You should contact a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible.

Water under your home can also lead to rot and soil displacement. Wood rot can lead to weak flooring and supports, threatening collapse. Soil displacement threatens the very foundation of the home, causing sinking and cracking.

Combatting Flooded Crawl Spaces

There are several steps a homeowner can take to prevent water from collecting under their house. First, you can install a sump pump to pump out excess water. Second, you can assess the slope of your yard. A yard should slope toward the street to prevent pooling against the foundation of your home. Third, you can examine the eaves and gutter, ensuring they are clean and working correctly. Finally, you can contact a remediation expert to look into the causes of your flooding problem.

When To Hire a Professional

The crawl space can become wet after heavy rains, but it shouldn’t flood. If you notice water sitting under the house and pooling, you should call for a property assessment. A remediation professional will assess things like a slope to determine the cause of the drainage problem.

When you use the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury, you can have a rough assessment within eight hours of contacting the company. The best part is that our company is always open and we have teams monitoring the phones all the time. 

A wet crawl space is not normal, and if it is left alone, it can lead to several significant and potentially severe structural problems. Mold, rot, and sinking are only three of the threats water in a crawl space presents. The SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury has an excellent reputation for disaster response and can fix your crawl space concerns quickly. Contact us @ 802-497-1101

What to expect from SERVPRO

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

A water filled office at a retirement home in S. Burlington Our teams were onsite quickly after this sprinkler line gave way in one of our local retirement homes!

First and foremost, expect our 24-hour availability! Whether you are calling day or night, weekday or weekends, and even during the holidays, you can always expect to speak with a real person about the emergency you are experiencing. The SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury is the top choice for many insurance agencies in Chittenden and Addison and Washington Counties!

Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury: 

 Quick Response - When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. At SERVPRO we are always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted us about the emergency. Once you have provided us with the necessary information, we will begin preparing to address the needs of the mitigation and the coordination of teams to the job site.

Arrival Time - Our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make the difference if your home or commercial business has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up not only preventing the need for contractors to come in and rebuild the structure, but saving costs for you, our customers as well.

Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once our damage restoration specialists has arrived, they can inspect the home or business to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action to mitigate the issues moving forward. Our team has the ability to let you know in the emergency is claim worthy or not as well given that not all water damage is costly enough to hit a deductible. We will provide a verbal briefing to you and to an insurance carrier (if applicable) so that everyone involved is aware of what will happen next. Our team's quick 24-hour response will allow us to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.

If you've experienced water damage in your home or business, call the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury as soon as possible and we'll get a team out right away! Reach us 24/7/365 @ 802-497-1101. 

Ready for the Cold?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Soot webs after a fire in this home in Burlington This is what soot webs look like!

The cold has arrived here in Vermont and that means a lot of our furnaces will be in use regularly. If you haven't already done it; scheduling a maintenance checkup for your furnace is a great place to start.

Prevention is the first step to preventing Puff-back

Oil furnace puff back is a messy and potentially dangerous event in which smoke and soot are released into the furnace.

Puff backs often result in oily black "webs" of soot being distributed throughout the house, requiring extensive cleaning and sometimes professional restoration to clean up.


To better understand puff backs you should know what causes them and how they can be prevented.


Puff Backs

  • Puff backs occur when an oil-burning furnace doesn't ignite when it should.
  • Oil vapors build up in the ignition chamber, causing an explosion when the igniter finally triggers. The explosion blows soot and other debris through the furnace's exhaust system and into the heating system, which carries it into the house.
  • If the furnace is connected to a forced air heating system, the ducts can carry the puff back to every room of the house with an open vent.

Causes

  • The most common causes of the presence of this un-burned heating oil fuel are various sources of improper oil burner operation that leaves incompletely-burned heating oil at the end of one or more on-off cycles of the oil burner.
  • This can be caused by leaks in the oil system, bubbles in the oil line which expand and press oil out of the oil burner nozzle, the shutdown valve on the oil burner nozzle not working properly or a clog in the nozzle.
  • Each of these problems can result in oil leaking out of the nozzle and into the combustion chamber when it isn't in operation. Oil will accumulate in the chamber until it finally ignites with a puff back explosion.

Warning Signs

  • Most oil-burning furnaces in danger of having a puff back give off warning signs that should indicate a problem with the furnace.
  • Black soot on the furnace, walls or ceiling indicate that oil is burning improperly in the furnace and is leaking out of the unit.
  • Noises such as those made by the combustion chamber while it is burning may continue after the furnace has stopped, indicating that something is still burning within the furnace even though it shouldn't be.
  • Noises at the beginning of the burn cycle, such as a puff or bang, also indicate that unburned oil has pooled and ignited.

Preventing Puff Backs 

  • Preventing puff backs in oil-burning furnaces is largely a matter of performing regular maintenance on the furnace to keep it in proper operating condition.
  • Oil-burning appliances should be cleaned and serviced once per year, ensuring that the service person opens the unit and inspects it for signs of problems or damage.
  • Inspect the furnace periodically for signs of oil leaks, paying attention to any odd smells or soot in the furnace room.
  • You should also look for debris in the flue vent connector which could also be a sign of problems with the furnace.

Yearly maintenance by a professional can give you peace of mind and keep your oil furnace running smoothly and safely.

If you have any puff-back questions or this sounds like something you've experienced, give us a call today @ 802-497-1101

Fire Restoration in Vermont

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Bathroom Ceiling This homeowner called us right in after a fire broke out above her Bathroom when the exhaust fan malfunctioned.

SERVPRO Provides Expert Advice and Mitigation of Fire & Smoke Damaged Properties

Fire damage restoration can be a stressful time for any homeowner in Vermont. You have just experienced a harrowing incident, and it is understandable if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. However, if you know what to expect during this time, it can be a bit easier to stay on top of things.

Here at SERVPRO, our team of experts strives hard to help you get through fire damage restoration in Vermont as smoothly as we possibly can. Fire recovery is a multi-step process that takes time and patience. Here are a few things that you should expect from the process.

Assessment of the Damage

Assessing the damage is one of the first steps in restoration. The SERVPRO team of experts assesses the damage by visual inspection and determines the areas that need urgent attention. The team also determines the items that are restorable and the items that are not. Once they have gathered all the information, they provide you with a summary of the findings and also explain the best plan of action. You, and your insurance adjuster, if applicable, have the final say on salvaging or tossing building materials and belongings.

Extent of Cleaning

The SERVPRO team reviews the full extent of smoke, soot, and other fire damage. Our team has the skill set and experience to guide you through every step of the cleaning process. However, you have the final say regarding the extent of the cleaning. We help you to reach an informed decision by providing all the necessary information.

Deodorizing and Ductwork

Deodorizing is a huge part of fire damage restoration. We use ultra low volume and heat foggers that can tackle even the toughest of odors. In case you have a forced air heating system, our experts also examine the ducts for smoke and soot damage and provide you with options to deal with it.

Once you agree to the terms, our skilled professionals get to work and start the process of restoration. The time required for a complete restoration depends on the extent of damage and scope of cleaning.


Call the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury today to schedule an inspection @ 802-497-1101. Our experts are committed to helping you get your house to pre-fire conditions as soon as possible.

Is your business ready for whatever happens?

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Water gloss Water glosses a retirement home recreation room floor

Have you stopped to consider whether or not your business is truly ready for whatever happens?

Sure, you may have your shelves stocked and your labels printed with restock orders on the way. But do you have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens and you’re stuck with picking up the pieces?

Disasters are a natural part of life here in Vermont. When you take into account the year, or better yet, the decade, we’ve had so far, it would be wise to consider how your business may be affected when these disasters strike. Whether it’s an unprecedented pandemic, a historic freeze or your average thunder, lightning and hail storms. In New England, we get it all. We even managed a hurricane once!

You may know SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury as your go-to disaster restoration company, which we are,  but do you also know that we specialize in helping your business get disaster ready as well? One of the ways we enjoy serving our community partners is by creating Emergency Ready Profiles, or ERPs, for their commercial properties. 

When our dedicated, local SERVPRO Representatives meet with local business owners and facility managers, we gather important materials such as building information, utility shut off locations, and key contacts. Not only is this information important as it pertains to the daily tasks of a facility manager, but it’s also pertinent in the event of an emergency or disaster when time is of the essence. 

One of the key benefits in setting up an ERP with our team is having all of your essential property information in one place. In addition to keeping such relevant information organized, your local SERVPRO representative will contact you periodically to update any changes to your profile. 

Becoming disaster-ready is a process and our team is eager to help you get started! To set up your free Emergency Ready Profile, call our office today to speak to one of our representatives and ensure that your business is "Ready for whatever happens", just like SERVPRO. 

Who we serve

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Devastates a building A hole in the ceiling was opened up in this loss from the fire below.

Customer satisfaction is key to our operations here at the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury. Our customers rely on our quick response and the assurance that our service professionals will take the appropriate and necessary measures to remediate any damage. If your home or business has suffered a significant amount of damage, our 1- 4- 8 service response policy can make all the difference in potentially saving hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars.  

We proudly serve:

Insurance professionals: Agents and adjusters are responsible for assisting with claims and providing customer care to their clients. Our partnership with these professionals is based on the rule of “restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary.” As a homeowner or business owner, trust that we will work closely with your insurance company to ensure a smooth process. 

Homeowners: Home is your place of peace, and the slightest disruption can throw everything out of sync. In the event of an emergency, we work with you to foster a smooth transition to make your house feel like home again. Within one hour of the initial notice of loss, a SERVPRO Professional will contact you to arrange service. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services, if necessary. Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate parties. Additionally, we also offer general residential cleaning services such as air duct cleaning, odor removal, and sanitation to ease the burden of maintenance while creating a place of comfort for you and your family. 

Businesses/Commercial Properties: Commercial emergencies cause interruptions in your business. We understand that this could result in a decrease in revenue and productivity. We work efficiently to ensure you are “back to business” as soon as possible. Like our residential services, we also offer duct cleaning and routine cleaning services to take one more thing off your plate.  

How do we achieve customer satisfaction? Part of our franchise mission is to “build a team of quality people....” This starts day one, instilling practical training methods in our employees to ensure customers receive the best service possible. Our professionals follow the IICRC (Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration, as well as seek educational opportunities both inside and outside of the workplace.  

If you have a disaster in your home or business and need the professionals that always have your back, call the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 8092-497-1101

SERVPRO of Burlington ready for Commercial

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Soot Damage Soot lurking near lights after a heavy fire in a machine shop in downtown Burlington.

SERVPRO Provides Smoke and Fire Damage Cleanup for Commercial Buildings in Vermont

In many situations, fires can be extinguished relatively quickly in a Vermont commercial building. However, the fire department must ensure that the fire is extinguished and not lurking in recesses or ceilings. They may demolish or open up areas to check, leaving a lot of secondary damage. In addition, there are smoke residues on everything in the place. Building managers need to begin cleanup and restoration as soon as possible to return the commercial space to normal operations.

SERVPRO Burlington/ Middlebury provides fire damage restoration services for Burlington and surrounding areas. Once the fire department leaves, it is time for our professionals to take over and restore your building to its preloss condition. Damaged drywall and insulation are bagged and removed. We inventory commercial contents as they are either cleaned or removed for disposal. Items that can be cleaned of smoke residues and restored are moved to a staging area for later use.

Our building services team can assist with fully restoring your building after cleaning, drying, and odor removal is completed. We coordinate and handle the entire process saving your company time and expenses to return your commercial building to normal operations as fast as possible.

Our SERVPRO team is dedicated to providing the help you need after a fire:

  • We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.
  • Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Cleanup
  • Full range of building restoration services to save you time and money

We also provide emergency protective measures such as boarding up damaged windows and doors and placing tarps on the roof to prevent further damage from weather and animals.

Call the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury for commercial fire damage restoration in Burlington and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call us @ (802)497-7436

Kitchen Safety Tips!

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Suppression System This Company knew that one of their top priorities was fire safety in their commercial Kitchen so they installed a high tech fire suppression system!

Restaurant kitchens are filled with open flames, electrical equipment, and fast-moving employees, which unfortunately can all serve as fire hazards. In fact, the National Fire Data Center reports that the United States suffers from approximately $165 million in damages every year, with the cost of each fire ranging from an average of $1,000 to $60,000, depending on the severity. More than just property damage, fires threaten the safety of your employees, customers, and profitability of your business as a whole.

Even though accidents happen, you want to make sure that you and your team are best suited to prevent a disaster before it occurs and minimize any possibility of harm.  

Here are some of the top fire safety tips for restaurant owners:

Know The Risks of Your Facility

You should take time to inspect any unique risks or hazards in your facility. This includes taking note of potentially flammable liquids, electrical equipment, or combustible materials. When inspecting your property, make sure that all fire safety equipment, like fire extinguishers, are up to date and in the correct place.

Regularly Inspect Fire Extinguishers and Equipment

For fire extinguishers, you should check their functionality at least once a month and up to fire code standards. It is important to test fire alarms and make sure they are functioning properly to alert your staff and customers in case of an emergency. This also includes inspecting your exit signs and emergency lights to ensure they work if the power is cut off. Making sure all of these measures are functioning properly can ensure the safety of everyone.

Conduct Staff Training

Around 75% of Americans have never actually operated a fire extinguisher. For fire safety, all of your staff should go through hands-on training, so they know what to do in an emergency. In some cases, local fire departments may be willing to conduct fire safety training with your team. Your staff should also be aware of basic kitchen fire safety tips such as never throw water on a grease fire, clean up grease regularly, and the proper storage of flammable liquids.

Install a Fire Suppression System in the Kitchen

Due to the fact that over half of restaurant fires occur as a result of mishandling of equipment, a fire suppression system is necessary to control these accidents. A fire suppression system is used to control or extinguish fires and release clean gases to put out a fire when a hazard is detected. Your fire suppression systems should be inspected and maintained by a professional at least twice a year. These automatic systems can be a literal life saver during an emergency.

At the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury, we have decades of experience in fire damage repair and restoration. When disaster strikes, we are the local company that you can count on to make things right. If you experience a fire in your Commercial Kitchen make sure SERVPRO of Burlington is your first call @ (802)497-7436.