Recent Posts

Family Emergency Plans

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Family Emergency Plans For Fires

Always Be Prepared And Have A Family Emergency Plan

Do you have a Family Emergency Plan for your Vermont home?

One of the most important parts of your family's emergency plan should include a Fire Escape Plan.

A Family Fire Escape Plan is crucial to have in place and for every member of the family to be familiar with, before a residential fire occurs.  According to experts, people have as little as 2 minutes to escape a burning building before it becomes impossible to get out.  Believe us… Every second counts!  In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.

In a survey conducted by the American Red Cross, only 26% of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.  Once a plan is developed, it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan.  The best way to familiarize all family members with the plan is to practice it at least twice per year, especially if you have children.

The following steps can assist in developing and implementing a plan:

  • Ensure that all smoke detectors work and have fresh batteries.
  • Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows.
  • Consider escape ladders for second floor bedrooms.
  • Choose an outside meeting place for when after you’ve all escaped.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own.  Have them do so, until they can do so unaided.
  • Practice the escape plan during both day and night hours.

SERVPRO of Burlington-Middlebury hopes that you and your family never have to experience the tragedy of a fire in your home.  In the event that it happens, we hope that an escape plan will help to keep your family safe.  If you do experience a fire please call your highly trained fire and water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Burlington-Middlebury to help make it “Like it never even happened.” (802)497-1101

Fire Prevention

6/9/2020 (Permalink)


"It’s always good to find out you’re going to be working from home…

Unless you’re a firefighter."

According to the National Fire Protection Association (, in 2015, there were 500,000+ structure fires causing $10+ billion in property damage! Structure fires were reported every 63 seconds!

Here are a few tips to prevent a fire at your Federal Way home or property, provided by the American Red Cross (

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Also, install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each separate sleeping area.
  • Check electrical wiring in your home.
  • Avoid overloading outlets or extension cords.
  • Make sure wiring is not under rugs, attached by nails, or in high traffic areas.

Have you checked your home or property for fire hazards recently? Have you had conversations with your family about what you would do in a fire emergency? What is your plan if a fire impacts your home?

SERVPRO of Federal Way specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire or smoke damage event and can help you get back on track after an incident.

If you have any questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage, call SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury (802) 497-1101

Water Damage Timeline

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Events

Flooding and water emergencies can happen at any time. Flooding and water damages don’t wait for business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury provides restoration and cleaning services 24 hours a day, including holidays.

Flooding and water damages can be invasive. Water can spread through your home causing damage to furniture, walls, floors, and personal belongings. Leaving water to long without being extracted can also cause mold to grow in your home. SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury arrives as quickly as possible to start the extraction process. This immediate response can help minimize the damage and loss inside your home.

 The water damage timeline

Within minutes of the water damage:

  • The water can start to spread throughout your home, and damage anything that is in its path.
  • The water can cause personal belongings to swell and warp such as books and photographs.

 1-24 hours after the water damage occurred:

  • The drywall can begin to break down and/or swell.
  • Furniture begins to swell.
  • An odor can start to occur in your home.

 1 week after the water damage has occurred:

  • Biohazard contamination can start to occur.
  • Mold and mildew to can start to grow and spread.
  • Wood flooring begin to swell and warp. Metal start to rust and corrode.

More than a week after the damage occurred:

  • biohazard contaminants can be a serious risk to the homeowners.
  • The mold growth can become more severe.

Need emergency services you can call us 24/7 at: 802-497-1101

Restoring your property

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Restores a Property After Water and Storm Damage

Despite everyone's best efforts, storm damage in Vermont can happen. Removing the flood water isn't the end; cleanup is just getting started. On top of the flooring and walls, every bit of furniture, clothing and other items exposed to the storm will have to dried, cleaned, deodorized and probably even sanitized.

SERVPRO utilizes a variety of cleaning equipment and chemicals to return your carpets and floors to a usable state. Depending on the size, material, and color-fastness, the options range from simple spray and wiping to immersion cleaning.

Storm damage can leave odors as well as a damp carpet. We use industrial grade air scrubbers and specialized equipment to remove the musty smell and rather than just covering it up. While removing the odor is important, getting rid of the mold which causes it is even more so. The application of a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial agents is necessary. Our personnel is trained to use the product that will not only restore your property but do so in a manner that is safe for your family and employees as well as the environment.

Once the mold has been remediated, each item should be either disinfected or sanitized depending on its function. Kitchen, break room, and bathroom equipment must be sanitized to ensure the health of anyone who may use them. Standard office spaces such as conference rooms would not need that level of cleaning unless the contaminated floodwaters wetted the flooring and walls. Our IICRC certified technicians can be relied upon to provided the highest level of professionalism and courtesy.

SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury does its best to help you restore your home or business to its pre-storm damage condition as quickly as possible. As a locally owned franchise, we value our customers as neighbors and not just a job to be completed. If you want to schedule an inspection or believe you may need our restoration services, please call us today at (802) 497-1101.

Cleanup after the storm...

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

How Do I Clean Contaminated Flood Water in My Home?

SERVPRO Has Vast Experience Handling Hazardous Water Cleanup in Homes

Category three groundwater is one of the worst types of water loss that can affect a home. The water ruins anything porous it touches, and the longer it remains in the house, the more damage that it does. This is particularly true for the flooring in a home. Fast action is needed to enable the best outcome for the home and contents. 

What is Potentially in Floodwater?

When groundwater is the cause of the flood damage in your home, there can be many types of problems present within the water. As the water travels, it picks up everything it comes in contact with and brings it along. SERVPRO technicians regularly perform restoration services on flood loss that contains one or more pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Additionally, all types of mud and debris may potentially be in the water in the home.

What Does Floodwater Do To Flooring?

The outcome of your flooring in your home after a floodwater disaster is dependent on how fast the cleanup efforts began. After groundwater enters a home, it migrates into any area that offers the least resistance. SERVPRO techs know from experience some of the most common places affected by floodwater are:

  • Under tile
  • Behind baseboards
  • Through floor joists into basements or crawlspaces
  • Within carpet 
  • Subfloor

Thorough Extraction of Floodwater is Critical

After a floodwater event in a home, the timer starts ticking on the level of damage. For example, if the water gets extracted quickly after the initial water loss event, there is a higher chance that the rapid response works to inhibit the level of damage to the structure. 

Because of the contaminated nature of this water, SERVPRO techs often apply treatments to lessen the contagions present before beginning mitigation. When handling this type of loss, the techs wear protective clothing, including eye protection and respirators. This is because harmful pathogenic elements can enter the body through the eyes or aspiration. 

It is not unusual for the original amount of water to have receded and migrated into the structure. The techs understand the movement of water within a home and use their moisture detection equipment to determine the true scope of the area that needs mitigation.  

Controlled Demolition is Part of the Restoration Process

When groundwater wicks into sheetrock, it rapidly deteriorates, and to save as much as possible of the structure, rather than remove the entire portion of the wall space, the techs measure several inches above the waterline and cut away the destroyed part. This action serves the dual purpose of removing damaged materials and opening up the wall cavities for complete drying. 

While ceramic tile with sealed grout tends to have the best outcome from flood loss, adhesive tiles tend to delaminate rapidly and may need removal. The techs inspect any removed materials for the potential for cleaning and reuse to save the homeowners the cost of replacement. 

When contaminated water saturates carpet, it is almost always a loss as it cannot get returned to a sanitized state for reuse. Due to the weight of wet carpet, the techs extract and sometimes dry the carpet before cutting it into strips for disposal as a biohazard. 

Any structure materials or contents that require disposal get documented, including photos to assist the homeowner in the filing of insurance claims.

Specialized Drying Methods Get Used 

When the tile of the carpet gets removed, SERVPRO techs concentrate on drying the subfloor to prep the area for the reinstallation of floorcoverings. Depending on the surface, getting dried may involve specific applications such as: 

  • Drying mats on hardwood floorboards and subfloor
  • Tenting plastic over wet areas and directing air into the space that needs drying
  • Using Injecti-Dry systems to force warm, dry air into small places

How Do Wet Items in a Home Get Restored After Flood Damage?

It depends on the materials that make up each object. Porous items tend to fare poorly after exposure to contaminated water and only rarely have restoration possibilities. Non-porous things that respond well to methods such as immersion cleaning tend to have the most potential for a positive outcome after this type of water loss. SERVPRO techs have access to a vast array of cleaning agents, including powerful biocides and antimicrobial solutions.

SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury at (802) 497-1101 stands ready 24/7 to handle any size flood damage in local properties. Through the use of their advanced equipment and knowledge, they can return the home to its preloss condition.

Let's get the soot out of here...

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Soot before and after Before and after of the soot on the stairs. Cleaning method is blasting!

Follow the Cleanup Guidelines Outlined by SERVPRO to Restore Your Home 

Seeing the damage from a fire can be a traumatic experience, and removing damaged or ruined items are often just the beginning of the restoration process. You should consider using a professional to clean soot and smoke residue and get your home back to normal. 

What is the first step in dealing with damage from soot and smoke residue? 

SERVPRO professionals have considerable training in identifying different kinds of residues and odor particles, which helps them pinpoint the ideal cleanup procedures for your fire damaged home.

What is soot, and what are the most common types of smoke residue? 

Soot is a smoke that has settled on surfaces as a residue. There are four different kinds of smoke residue: 

  • Dry smoke residues
  • Wet smoke residues
  • Protein smoke residues
  • Fuel oil smoke residues 

How does the type of residue determine the cleanup process? 

All fires burn differently, which means they leave behind different kinds of residues. Many variables determine what kinds of residues are left behind. Still, SERVPRO professionals have the experience to outline the best cleanup process, and they know which products are necessary to eliminate the specific residues. 

What is the best approach to remove residues? 

  • Find and identify the residues
  • Identify the surfaces on which residues are present
  • Capture and remove the residues
  • Properly dispose of the residues 

What are some of the cleaning techniques used on residues? 

We use both air and fluids to remove residues, depending on the residue types and where they are present. SERVPRO professionals may use vacuuming to remove some residues, while others are captured and dissolved in different cleaning solutions. SERVPRO professionals also understand how to remove these residues after completing the cleanup process. 

Turn to SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury to remove soot and smoke residue after a house fire. Call us at (802) 497-1101 to schedule an assessment and get an effective cleanup. 

Cooking Nightmare? Let us help!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Burnt Stove Fire started on the stove top!

Making popcorn on the stove is a fast, easy way to prep snacks for movie night with the family. When your skillet suddenly catches fire during cooking and leaves soot and unpleasant odors from fire damage stuck to your walls and ceiling, however, it can put a damper on the evening before it even starts. 

When cooking mishaps leave damage to your home's walls, it can be difficult and time-consuming to clean on your own. Our team at SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury, however, can address the mess in hours with a restoration-focused approach to save you time and money. 

After calling SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury, our 24-hour emergency response team can survey the damage in your kitchen. Once evaluated, our technicians endeavor to clean your walls and ceiling thoroughly. Dry or wet cleaning methods may be used depending on the amount and type of soot on your surfaces. If nearby kitchen windows or objects affected by smoke, odors, or residue, our team takes care to clean those, as well. The casings on electronics such as kitchen appliances are also cleaned to ensure that fire damage does not lead to future electrical failures. 

Cooking fires, in particular, can leave residues and unpleasant odors in unexpected places that can linger for long periods. Deodorization after cleaning eliminates odors from smoke and burnt food particles. Factors that determine the method of deodorization include the type of smoke and soot affecting property and structures, the material that has burnt, and the amount of space that has been impacted by the fire. In confined spaces, the use of thermal foggers makes for effective odor removal via a dense fog filled with deodorizing solution. This solution binds to and eliminates particles that create odors.

SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury is ready to respond to your disaster cleanup needs. Call (802) 497-1101 to request our services today.

Flood Warnings!?!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Spring in Vermont comes with many challenges. We have the thaw of the snow, rivers and lakes flooding, and then those thunderstorms come in and the water just keeps rising!

Flash Flood Warning-- the alert that many of us dread. By calling SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury at (802)-497-1101, we can help make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Protect Your Property:

  • Keep insurance policies, important documents and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. Make sure you store them where it's least likely to be damaged by a flood.
  • Raise your furnace, water heater and electric panel to higher floors if there are areas in your home that are capable of being flooded. 
  • Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home. 
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing elements to avoid leakage through cracks. 

If you experience a flood damage, call SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury (802)497-1101

Hotel Water Loss

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Water Staining Water staining after a bathroom leak in a hotel

Did your business recently have some water damage? Did it get dried correctly? Do you have yellow staining on your ceilings or walls? Call SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury (802)497-1101!

Letting water damage go untreated can cause serious damage to a structure of a building. The wood framing can rot, the drywall will start to deteriorate and crumble, and bacterial growth can and will start forming. All of this can not only cause structural damage to your home, but this can also cause potential health hazards in the future. 

When we get a call from a business or homeowner saying that they have recently had a water intrusion and have water in areas of their home or business, we want to get to this quickly. Being prompt and getting the wet areas cleared out and start the drying process is incredibly important. Not only does it save you time, it can also save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Drying water damaged drywall and carpet its much less costly than later having to repair damage caused by bacterial growth. 

If you notice water, or wet areas in your business or home, please call SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury at (802)497-1101 and it will be "Like it never even happened."

Small business during a disaster

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

We love visiting our homegrown stores and restaurants, especially as a locally-owned franchise. SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury understands the appreciation for small business. We also understand the risk involved with opening the doors of your own business. It doesn’t take much to close those doors again.

According to FEMA 25% of small businesses that shut down operation due to a disaster never open them again. That’s a mind-boggling percentage! 

We may not be able to stop disasters from happening, but we can prepare ourselves so that they’re less disastrous.


Take time before a destructive event happens to think about what needs to be done if things go wrong. If the pipes burst, if a fire breaks out, or if a storm strikes, what steps need to be taken and who will take them? There are multiple tools available to guide you through these questions.


Talk to your insurance agent to learn the details of what is covered and what isn’t. Find out what information you will need to have on hand if you need to file a claim.

This is also the time to find out what companies are available in your area to restore your business after something goes wrong.

When an unexpected event forces your business to close, time is of the essence. FEMA statistics tell us that if a business is closed for more than 5 days, there is a 90% chance that it will fail within a year. It’s important to know who you can trust before you know you even know you need them.


Prepare your facilities as well through maintenance. Make a checklist of every element in your building that could compromise service—plumbing, electrical, structural—and routinely review your assets to make sure that they’re fully functioning.

Your time is valuable, but your business is worth the investment. Prepare now for a disaster later.

Call SERVPRO of Burlington/Middlebury (802)497-1101 and let us help you prepare, so you're not shutting your doors!