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Tips for preventing water losses!

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

With the New England weather changing faster than you can say “Wicked”, it can be hard to tell what season is coming next! Though through all of this, one thing remains constant here at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury. The bulk of losses we cover are caused by some form of water damage. So, how can we as homeowners prevent this? Take a look at the list we’ve pulled together below for some helpful tips on making sure your home is prepared when disaster strikes.

  1. Inspect your Roof & Gutters

Inspect your roof by walking around the outside perimeter of your home to look for signs of sagging, aging and damage such as buckled or missing shingles.  

  1. Examine the inside of your Home; like Leaky Windows & Doors

Keep an eye on windows and doors during heavy rain fall to make sure no water is seeping in. If you do come to find that water is making its way into your home, try resealing around the frame with caulking. If the water persists, contact a local professional to have your siding inspected.

  1. Test that your Sump Pump is in good working condition

This can be performed by simply unplugging and plugging the pump back in. If the pump does not immediately turn back on, it is in need of repair.

Another way of testing your sump pump’s ability is by running water through it. You will only need enough water to lift the float until the pump kicks on. The pump kicking on will confirm that the pump is working properly.

  1. Check for any leaks coming from your Hot Water Heater

Inspect the area around your hot water heater to make sure no puddles have formed. Water around your heater typically indicates the temperature and pressure release valve have failed. This can lead to major water damage.

  1. Know the location of your Main Water Shut Off Valve

Out of all of these guidelines, this one may be the most important. You should know where your main water shut off valve is located in the event that water flow to your home be immediately terminated. It is important to note that as long as the water is coming from your homes water supply, you can shut it down quickly

Nicotine Damage requires extra care!

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Acquiring a home through purchase or inheritance in Vermont can mean cleaning up the accumulation of dust, in many cases. Older homes can also hold thick films of smoke residue from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Painting over these often suffices in covering the discoloration nicotine can cause, but not in all cases.

When inspecting your home for its condition, finding nicotine stains might not seem as bad as most cases of fire damage in Vermont. However, the way smoke travels within a home can mean that nicotine became trapped in areas that you might not expect. SERVPRO's specialists look at nicotine stains on walls, ceilings, and other structural elements like smoke from a fire. While the fire might not exist in the traditional sense, every time someone lit a cigar or other nicotine-producer, a bit more staining occurred.

Depending on the severity of staining, we use different techniques. Dry sponges can remove residue, as can misting with a liquid agent that dissolves sticky substances, which is then wiped away, along with the nicotine and tar. Heaver staining might have become permanent, requiring us to apply primer before repainting those surfaces.

Nicotine can also affect vintage and older furnishings. Rugs, draperies, and upholstered furniture from years gone by can retain nicotine and other components from cigarettes. Not only does this dull the appearance of these textiles, but it can also produce a musty, unpleasant odor. We clean these items with gentle methods that do not damage older textiles but still provide effective results.

When heirloom items take on odors like this, we can deodorize them in specially made chambers where ozone, thermal fogging, or other methods can eliminate the substances that cause the offensive odors. We also use these methods on areas of the home, when needed, as these provide excellent results.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury works throughout Vermont. Call us when you need professionals with extensive experience in the elimination of fire damage from your property. Our 24-hour services number is (802) 497-1101, which we answer every day of the week, including all holidays.

Commercial Flooding

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Nobody is ever ready for a flood especially at work! Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting, and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines, and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number.

Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage; like the growth of toxic mold, may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.

Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:

  • Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
  • Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water.  Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
  • Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.

For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and secondary damage such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury at (802) 497-1101

Mold work in your business!

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

When water affects your life getting dry is our number one goal. After a flood and water damage getting dried out is a number one priority to minimize dangerous after effects. Did you know that there is a science behind the drying process?

Having the knowledge of physics metrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to run for the towels and grab a few fans. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards. If your business suffers from water damage, our beaches SERVPRO Professionals will:

Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.

Measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.

Speed up mother nature by using professional drying equipment. A wet building will always seek equilibrium an try to dry naturally. When materials are wet moisture will naturally move to drier air. The problem is nature takes too long and secondary damage, like mold can occur while you are waiting for your professional building to dry. We use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven drying process to speed up the drying time in your business.

In case of a fire:

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Household and Apartment fires can be different to handle. Residents in an apartment building may face two situations. Either the fire could be in your apartment. OR the fire could be in another apartment in the building.

  • CALL 9-1-1
  • Make sure everyone is out and safe, including pets.
  • Once you leave the fire do NOT go back in.
  • Alert others in the building.
  • Activate the fire alarm, if there is one.
  • Close doors behind you, this will slow the spread of the fire.
  • If you are in a multi-story building, do NOT use any elevators.
  • If you become trapped in a room, these steps are recommended:
  1. Keep door closed. Opening the door will decrease your chances of survival.
  2. Stay low.
  3. Wait by the window and identify your distress.
  4. Do NOT hide under beds or in closets
  5. Seal the bottom of the door with blankets or clothing to keep the smoke out
  • Exits should never be blocked.
  • Have and know a fire escape plan.

Types of smoke:

  • Wet SmokePlastics and Rubbers= Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
  • Dry SmokePaper and Wood= Fast burning, high temperatures,
  • Protein Fire ResidueProduced by evaporation of materials rather than from a fire. Discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

How should a fire damage be cleaned up? Call SERVPRO!

If a house sustains a fire, it is important that you get the proper clean up so the soot, ash and water do not wreak havoc on what is left. It is bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to put the fire out can cause secondary damage.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents from the store. This could cause more damage, as the chemical agents could react with the residue and cause more or even permanent damage and also toxic fumes.

Our crews are IICRC certified to handle these types of clean ups. 

Call SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 802-497-1101 with any questions. We are available 24 hours a day!

Facts about Fire!

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Learn About Fire

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill 
    a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than 
    flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire 
    deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Before a Fire

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan!

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan. Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

  • A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.

During a Fire

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your 
    hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother 
    the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry 
    cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

After a Fire

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT 
    attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.

You will need a Fire Damage and Restoration team. Contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 802-497-1101 - 24 hours a day.

Hurricane Prep!

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Roof During a Hurricane

Protect your roof. Consider hurricane straps to ensure your roof is bolted to the rest of your house. And inspect your roof tiles or shingles to make sure they are secure. Use roofing cement to fix any loose tiles to prevent them from becoming lethal projectiles during a storm and damaging the underlying roofing material. Seal any areas where wires enter the home, minimizing the chance of water damage during heavy wind and rain.

Trim your trees. Broken limbs could land on your (or your neighbor’s) roof/house or become missiles that can break windows during a storm. If your tree damages your house or a neighbor’s house, your insurance cover the damages, but it may pay only a portion.

If your home is damaged during a Vermont area storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 802-497-1101

Dealing with Flood Water

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Types of Contaminated Water after a Storm

Should you experience a flood in your home after a storm, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year @ 802-497-1101 for any emergency situations that arise. We are the trusted name in safely and properly restoring homes and businesses in Vermont. 

Safety after a flood!

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical Wires and Gas Lines

Before even approaching the scene of a flooded home that needs water removal in Vermont, be careful. If the water reaches outlets or damages electric wires and gas lines, then it could be dangerous to the touch. Therefore, the best way to do is to let professionals handle this kind of work. Otherwise, you may have to replace these wires and gas line later which can be much more expensive.

Grey and Black Water

Whereas fresh water is the cleanest and safest, grey water is dirty and black water is hazardous. Because water can be a bacteria breeding ground, fresh water can easily become grey or black water when it passes through structure. The nature of grey and black water is much more damaging than fresh water and requires special precautions. Therefore, dealing with a fresh water damage as soon as possible will seriously save you a headache.

Mold

If the water doesn't destroy your home and belongings, then the mold can. Did you know it only takes 24 hours for mold to appear? This is why it’s smart to anticipate the need for mold remediation in VermontIf you wait too long, the mold will multiply rapidly and become more and more stubborn. If it turns to black mold, then toxicity in the air will become a serious concern.

Building Structure and Foundation Damage

Water damage often finds its way into spaces that are out of view. Such examples might be crawl spaces, inside of walls or retained in the ceilings and floors. Not only will it cause damaging mold, it will warp and weaken these structures, eventually causing them to fall apart. Even worse, long term water damage can cause rot and put the rest of the building in jeopardy.

Valuables and Belongings

One of the most devastating things about water damage is how it can steal away prized possessions. Books, photos and important documents name just a few things that can get wrecked within a day. You’ll have even bigger problems if the water penetrates your furniture, electronics and appliances. If the water damage is handled immediately, then you may be able to save these items. If you wait then you are not only losing sentimentally valued items, you are also losing thousands of dollars in damages, replacements, and repairs.

For help, contact professionals @ SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 802-497-1101

Dealing with flooded Businesses

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do If Your House or Business Floods

The world is unpredictable! No one knows what can happen in the next few minutes of your life. Natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, storms, etc., are inevitable. People get confused and worried when their houses or businesses get flooded. The reason may be natural floods or even unrecognized water leakages. Most people panic when this happens, but it is nothing that cannot be handled. If not you, then with a professional water damage service in Vermont will be able to help you out. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury has factory trained, skilled restoration crews that will restore your property "Like it never even happened."

Here are a few things to consider if and when your house or business gets flooded:

Locate and Stop the Source

The first thing that should be done in case of leakages in the house or business is to locate the source. Find out whether it is a pipe, the basement, bathroom, etc. If you are unable to do that, shut off the water supply to the whole house. Secondly, turn off electricity to avoid electrical failure and hazards. If you  are unable to do it yourself, call an electrician to carry out this task. If you have insurance, then it is advised to take pictures of the affected area so that the damage can be evaluated and instantly shared with the insurance agent. If affected by a natural flood, stay calm and be patient to carry out all necessary steps.

Assessment of Flood Damage

In case of insurance coverage, after getting a go-ahead, use a pump to remove water, open your door and window for air to assist in drying. Be careful while walking to avoid fall or slip, place all valuable and important things in a dry place. If handling this situation is not your cup of tea, contact the SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury @ 802-497-1101

Calculate Additional Risks

If you are affected by a flood so much so that you have to evacuate your house or business, make sure you return back if and only if the official authorities give a green signal. Be careful when entering the house again and check for electrical supply. Check for any visible damages such as cracks, holes or weakened foundations. Contact utility companies to monitor your water, gas, electric and sewer lines to avoid additional risks.

Health is Always Wealth

Health comes first and you should take precautions to be safe. Even if the water has been cleared, your house or business may still be contaminated with sewage or household chemicals. It is better to use gloves, and wear rubber boots. Do not use food that has been contaminated even in the slightest by flood water. Also, boil the water for drinking use to avoid infection until concerned authorities declare it safe for use.

Mitigation for Mold Growth

Mold problem commonly develops after 48 to 72 hours after a flood. It is better to dry the things; removal of wet carpets and other textile and upholstery is necessary to avoid mold growth. Get in touch with SERVPRO operating from Williston for mold remediation in Vermont with expert and professional restoration technicians.

Remember to keep in contact with concerned authorities for updates, information, and help. Above all, be safe and secure through the calamity and keep your loved ones safe too.