Winter Storm Frozen Pipes : Prevention and Treatment
With the colder weather officially upon us, now is an excellent time to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes, and the subsequent water damage that can occur if those pipes expand and burst. Though frozen pipes are a common occurrence, they are highly preventable.
SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township offers the following tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating potential damage that they can cause.
- Insulate all the exposed pipes in your home. Especially where they may be unheated, such as the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Keep the temperature the same during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower temperatures in the evening, you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- Close any inside values that supply water outdoors and open the outside value to properly drain excess water that may be in the pipes.
- In drastically cold temperatures, let your faucet trickle. While you may be concerned about wasting water, running water is less likely to freeze.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Keep outside valves open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing it to break.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Found a Frozen Pipe? Thaw It Out:
- If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips come out, suspect a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Make sure the faucet remains on while treating the pipes, as the flowing water will help to melt the ice within the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
Should you experience a loss resulting from water damage, turn off the water supply as soon as possible, and call SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800 immediately. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects that water damage can have.
Space Heater Safety Tip
Make sure to use space heaters safely.
In the colder months of the year, homeowners look for ways to make chilly areas warm and comfortable. While space heaters can be useful to keep small areas warm, it’s very important to use them with caution. Using a space heater can be safe if you follow these simple recommendations.
First, before purchasing a space heater, check out the specifications and make sure that it's UL approved. When using the heater, make sure that you create a three-foot safety zone around the space heater. Do not place the heater on or near any carpets, throw rugs, papers, or clothing. The space heater must be placed on a flat surface and not elevated on any cabinets, shelves, or other furniture.
Place the space heater in an area where it will not be in the way and where no one will trip on it. It’s a great idea to shop for a space heater with an automatic shut-off so that the heater will shut off if it tips over. Make sure that kids and pets are kept away from the heater for their own safety; space heaters can be quite warm to the touch. Also, pets may chew on the cords, so keep an eye on them around the space heater.
It’s a good idea to inspect the heater before every use. Don’t use the heater if there is any damage.
Never leave a space heater unattended. It’s tempting to leave it on while you’re sleeping to keep your bedroom warm. It is too risky to let these appliances run overnight when no one is nearby to make sure there are no problems.
You should never use a power strip or extension cord with a space heater. This cords could overheat due to the higher electrical demands and cause fire damage. Finally, ensure that your home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and test them monthly.
If you do have fire damage to your home and need professional cleaning services, contact us at SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township 856-227-7800. We will work with you to make sure your home or business returns to normal as quickly as possible.
Flooding in a Commercial Building
Hotels are just one examples of business which cannot close even during an emergency
Trust SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township to Get Your Business Open After Flooding
A water loss in a commercial building cannot wait for clean up. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township has the equipment, training and experience to eliminate the effects of any plumbing failure and keep the doors open.
Commercial carpets are typically much easier to dry that residential carpet as they do not have a pad underneath and rest on a concrete floor. Also the service areas tend to be larger and more accessible. These factors make drying less complicated than a residential water loss. Although each case is unique, the typical process is as follows...
SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township technicians use extraction wands to remove water from the floor. Depending on the size of the area, we use either hand-held wands, similar to wet/dry vacuum found in most home workshops or a much larger device a team member stands on to drive across the room. We can extract several large rooms in just a matter of hours.
Technicians then set up dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air. They also strategically place units to draw out water absorbed into the walls.
To aid the dehumidifiers, we set up fans to draw in warm, dry air replacing the cold, damp air. To dry the structure, technicians install air movers which blow heated air into walls and ceilings to expedite drying.
Flooding does not mean shutting down a business for weeks or even days. SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township can help you reopen your doors quickly. If you need our services, call today at 856-227-7800.
Clean Your Dryer Vents to Prevent Fire in Blackwood
Clothes dryer vents can build up lint over time, restricting air flow and posing a threat of fire. This type of fire is totally preventable.
One of the most common causes of fires is also perhaps the most preventable.
Dryer vents connect from your clothes dryer, and can build up lint. If not cleaned out properly, the air cannot flow properly, and a fire can result. This type of fire happens most frequently in homes, posing dangers to adults and children.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These fires cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The U.S. Fire Administration also reports that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
Apart from cleaning your dryer vent, the U.S. Fire Administration has suggestions to enhance safety when using your clothes dryer:
- Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
- Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
- Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
- Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Top Hidden Places Where Mold May Grow In Your Home
Top Places Where Mold May Grow
While there are common places where most people find mold, like around showers and tubs, there are many places in a home or business where mold be hidden. It’s these hidden areas that can lead to further damage from mold which is why it’s important to check them on a regular basis for any signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places where mold can grow in a home:
- Crawl Spaces
Most homeowners never look into their crawl spaces but they might want to. Crawl spaces can easily collect moisture from water seeping through the foundation to moisture rising from the ground. A crawl space should have a vapor barrier on the ground to keep moisture from rising up. A crawl space also need adequate ventilation to allow any moisture that may collect to flow out. Failure to keep the moisture out from your crawl space can result in mold growth on the exposed framing of your home. The mold can eventually lead to excessive damage to all wood surfaces and make its way into the home.
Basements are similar to crawl spaces but the fact that they are open and exposed to the rest of the house, can result in mold spreading quickly throughout your home via the air ducts and open doors. If your basement smells musty, then you either have mold growth already happening or the high possibility of it occurring. Due to the fact that many basements are furnished and carpeted, there are more areas in a basement that are perceptible to mold growth when compared to a crawl space.
A good ventilation fan is important in a bathroom not for the odor issues but the moisture issues. This is especially true with bathrooms where there are showers in them. While everybody loves a hot shower, a hot shower also creates a large amount of moisture that can lead to mold growth. Another area where mold may grow is behind toilets and under sinks with cabinets. Moisture can condensate on the toilet tank and wall causing mold to form on the wall.
- Under the Refrigerator
Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris get into the drip pan, mold can start to grow. Water can also leak from the water line or drip from the cooling coils. It’s a good idea to check every few months as well as keep it clean by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis.
- Around the Washing Machine
The washing machine and the dryer are both susceptible to mold growth. If the dryer vent hose does not properly vent out the steam from the drying clothes, it can accumulate in the hose or around the back of the dryer causing mold to grow. Washing machines can also leak and drip down under the machine where dust can gather creating the perfect home for mold growth. Just like the refrigerator, it’s important to keep the areas clean and check underneath them often.
At SERVPRO, our priority is returning damaged property and items to preloss condition.
Whether natural or man-made, a disaster at one of your client's facilities needs to be handled by experienced professionals who understand the importance of your tenants' safety. At SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township, our teams are experienced in helping manage both commercial and multi-family properties during the recovery process while maintaining the security and safety of the facility and tenants. Our professionals work hard and fast to minimize the interruption for your tenant's daily operations. SERVPRO is a reliable resource when an emergency occurs at your properties. SERVPRO responds fast and works with the property owner/property manager to get tenants back to their lives.
Call SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800 for more information.
Bleach Does Not Kill Mold
Local Gloucester Township home with Mold
A well-known expert when interviewed on a New Orleans radio station, recently said, “When you have a mold problem, simply wash down the affected area with diluted bleach.” We have seen FEMA handing out gallons of Clorox to flood-victims. Lowe’s and Home Depot stock up pallets of the stuff whenever the impending doom of a threatening hurricane is close. This is one of the most widely publicized “urban legends”. Bleach is a powerful oxidizer and can, in many instances, sanitize surfaces of certain types of bacteria but when you are faced with a wall or beams etc. covered in mold, Bleach is NOT the product to use. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township.
Eyebrows raise in disbelief every time I say the phrase “bleach doesn’t kill mold.” Some look at me as if I’m speaking another language and they are right. I am speaking the TRUTH. Bleach (active ingredient is Sodium Hypochlorite) is very effective in removing the discoloration but may leave the microflora that will enable the mold to return in exactly the same spot when conditions are right. So, “how do you know this,” I’m asked. Basically, the bleach is providing food for the mold to grow.
This is a reason for the same spot of mold on the bathroom tile month after month. The mold has never been killed – it simply goes clear and then returns. Bleach will not kill the mold but a good biocide, or anti-microbial will.
In our Sanitization Protocol we recommend using GREEN technologies to remove surface mold. When you use the right kind of anti-microbial, the mold will be destroyed and the underlying bio-slime will be annihilated.
SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township provides free estimates for mold remediation. We can recommend an Industrial Hygienist if needed for testing and protocol. We don't recommend using the same company for testing AND remediation as this presents a coflict of interest.
Contact SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township at 856-227-7800
After a Hurricane
Flooding after recent Hurricane Irma in Miami
With Hurricane Season upon us, here are a few tips to help keep you safe should you be affected by a storm.
- Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
- If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Caring For Yourself & Loved Ones
- Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
- Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Help people who require extra assistance —infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Returning Home Safely
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
- Follow these tips for inspecting your properties structure and utilities after a hurricane.
- Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.
Cleaning and Repairing Your Home
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
- Learn more about how to clean up after a hurricane, including the supplies you’ll need, how to deal with contaminated food and water, and how to repair water damage.
- Don’t just repair your home, build in hurricane-resistant features to help protect against future storms:
- Secure double entry doors at the top and bottom.
- Strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
- Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace any damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
- If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consider building a safe room.
Ask a Professional to
- Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
- Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
- Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
- Elevate your home if it’s near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.
Clementon 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
We provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Gloucester Township NJ
SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township 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 Answer the Phone Ready to Help.
Call Today - (856) 227-7800
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 Blackwood / Gloucester Township 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 Blackwood / Gloucester Township
SERVPRO of Blackwood / Gloucester Township 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.
Meet Our Team - Click Here
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- OCT - Odor Control Technician
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
- IICRC Certified Firm
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
Extreme Heat- How it can Affect you
We all know New Jersey summers can bring extreme heat! Extreme heat is caused by higher than normal temperature and humidity. Children, ages infant to four are at higher risk for heat related illnesses and need extra fluids compared to adults. Symptoms of heat related illness include faintness, exhaustion, nausea, muscle spasms, and fever. In the United States more than 600 people die every year due to extreme heat. During these heat waves it’s better to stay inside and stay cool if possible. Air conditioning is the highest protective measure against extreme heat illnesses. HYDRATION is also extremely important! Drink plenty of water and if you’re in prolonged heat it’s good to utilize sports drinks to replenish your body with electrolytes. If you must be outdoors you should also avoid strenuous activities, wear lightweight light colored clothing, and take breaks in the shade or a cool environment