Mold vs. Mildew
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Mold vs. Mildew: What's the Difference?
Mold and mildew have a lot of similarities. They're both likely to grow in moist, warm areas and are adept at surviving on a wide variety of surfaces.
Additionally, they're both fungi that aren't welcome in your home. Their presence is an indicator that excess moisture is present. (We'll get to the three factors that help mold and mildew to thrive shortly.)
Technically, mildew is a type of mold. The difference? Mildew sticks to growing on surface areas and is simple to wipe clean whereas mold can grow undetected for months“ destroying the surfaces it thrives on.
Visually, there are some significant differences. Mildew is recognizable by its flat surface which stays relatively flush with whatever it's growing on. It can appear downy or powdery in texture, and, while it may start out white, generally ends up yellow, brown, or black.
Mold, on the other hand, can be any of a wider range of colors including green, yellow, brown, gray, or white. Instead of growing relatively flush with a surface, it's distinguished by a fluffy appearance.
And, depending on where it grows, spots may appear separately "as in not connected“ but in the same area.
Discerning whether a patch of fungi is mold or mildew is important since their differences are way more than skin deep.
Food, Warmth, and Moisture: The Three Musts for Mold and Mildew
Microscopic mold and mildew spores are everywhere” even in the air we breathe. However, the risks of mold and mildew increase come winter due to the difference in temperature between indoors and out.
That's because fungi like mold and mildew require three things to thrive in your home: food, warmth, and moisture.
The "food" that mold and mildew require is any organic material (meaning that it contains carbon atoms) which can give it the energy to grow. This can be anything from the old bread on your kitchen counter to the cupboards on the walls, or even the cotton rug on your floor.
Warmth occurs when you crank up that aforementioned thermometer. But some areas that suffer from poor insulation, such as single-pane windows and outer-facing walls, can stay cooler than your home's average temperature.
Moisture that travels into your home basement, bathrooms, or kitchen will condense when it comes in contact with a cold area. That's why you're most likely to find mold or mildew on windowsills, baseboards, tile grout, and even in the back of closets.
The good news is that if you deprive mold or mildew of moisture, warmth, and food, you will stop it from growing.
The bad news? While mildew might be easily defeated, depriving mold of its needs won't kill the spores that are already there.
Instead, deprived mold will just stay dormant and start growing again if they get moisture, warmth, and food- springing back to life within hours of a favorable shift in its environment.
Six Ways to Beat Mold and Mildew Before They Start
When all the right conditions are present, moisture, ample food, and a temperature between 41-100 degrees Fahrenheit, mold will begin growing within 24 to 48 hours.
However, it can often remain hidden until the spores have already affected large areas of your property and caused considerable structural damage.
That's why the easiest way to beat these fungal culprits in the winter months is with prevention. Here's how to limit moisture, remove tempting food sources, and keep an eye out for the first telltale signs of a winter mold problem.
1. Increase Air Circulation and Reduce Humidity
One cheap and simple step to reduce moisture is to use fans and open windows. By increasing the air circulation in rooms, cold air is less likely to condense in nooks and crannies.
If you live in a particularly cold climate, opening windows might not be an option. Instead, consider purchasing a dehumidifier to reduce the overall moisture inside your home.
Look for one that offers digital readings, which can help you to keep your indoor humidity level is below 40%.
2. Keep an Eye Out for Leaks That Can Let in Excess Moisture
Keep an eye out for leaks in common areas such as windows, exterior to interior doorways, and the surrounding areas by swamp coolers and skylights.
Not only should you be on high alert for leaks coming from the outdoors, but donâ€™t forget to check your indoor plumbing as a possible culprit for excess moisture. Check for hidden leaks in areas such as under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
3. Repair Any Leaky Area Immediately
Mold and mildew can grow at a rapid pace. The longer you leave a leak unattended, the more likely you are to experience mold and the damage that comes with it.
In short, the moment you suspect or see a leak, fix it--or you might be stuck with paying for more expensive remediation.
4. Limit the Possible Areas Where Mold and Mildew Can Grow
Since fungi thrive on quick-to-decompose items such as books, piles of loose papers, or boxes of clothing, be strategic when storing these items.
The best areas for long-term storage area away from external walls or windows that invite condensation. Instead, pick a storage area that enjoys circulation to prevent the possibility of built up moisture.
Remember to also keep a close eye on the moisture in your bathroom and clean surfaces regularly as well. Because bathrooms can carry the most moisture in the home which naturally results in the most mildew.
5. Take Care to Keep Entryway Flooring Dry During Wet Weather
If possible, use area rugs or washable floor surfaces rather than wall-to-wall carpet in areas or rooms that have a moisture issue.
While it's not usually a great idea to have carpeting in your entryway, if you live in a cooler, wet climate, renters often don't have a choice.
In instances where you do have carpet up to the door, take care to vacuum the area regularly, inspecting the area for signs of any mold near the baseboards or where your carpet meets the wall.
6. Use Exhaust Fans in the Kitchen and Bathroom
Boiling water and taking steamy showers provide your home's environment with plenty of moisture. Make sure not to slack on turning on exhaust fans, including the one in your oven's hood, that can help reduce condensation from collecting.
It's also helpful to leave exhaust fans on for twenty to thirty minutes after steaming up a room and wiping down moisture on the walls with a dry rag.
You've Discovered Mold. What to Do Next?
Natural cleaning won't do the trick, always hire a professional to remove it. Call SERVPRO of Clifton ~ 973-928-3705 for professional mold remediation services.
Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather
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By preparing your home now, you can protect yourself and your family from a winter storm.
Follow these tips and suggestions on how best to prepare your home for winter:
- Listen to weather forecasts regularly and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted. Although periods of extreme cold cannot always be predicted far in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes provide you with several days notice.
- If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector or find one online.
- If you'll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside. Each winter season have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.
- If you are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently. Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age. Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. Check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors, and storm windows or thermal-pane windows.
- If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Insulate any water lines that run along outer walls. This will make water less likely to freeze.
- Service snow-removal equipment.
- Have chimney and flue inspected.
- Install easy-to-read outdoor thermometer.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
Is Your Family Safe From Fire During the Winter Months?
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home and ensure that you would be alerted to any emergency and able to escape.
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces
- Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected yearly. The inspection should be done by a professional chimney sweep.
- Burn only dry, well-seasoned hardwood t minimize chimney or flue buildups. Do not burn trash or plastic.
- Be sure to keep all combustibles, including furniture, curtains, papers, etc. at least 3 feet away from space heaters.
- Check all portable heater power cords to be sure they aren't frayed, cracked or get hot when plugged in. If so, do not use.
- NEVER use extension cords with portable heaters.
- Always turn portable heaters off when the family is out of the house or when everyone is sleeping.
- Make sure your portable electric heater is UL approved, has a temperature control and is equipped with tip-over shut off protection.
Electrical Outlets and Cords
- Overloaded outlets and extensions can cause fires.
- Only purchase UL approved extension cords.
- Select the proper extension cord of the correct length and gauge for the intended use.
- Never cut or splice extension for any reason.
- Electrical cords should never be run under rugs or be coiled up because they are too long. Doing it will cause the cord to overheat and potentially cause a fire.
- Use covers to protect children from possibility of getting shocked by unused outlets
- Have a licensed electrician install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in outside locations and any inside locations where water is present such as in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms
Never leave stovetop cooking unattended
- If you have a stovetop grease fire:
- Turn the burner off and cover the pan with a lid to cut off the oxygen to the fire. Let the pan cool before removing the lid.
- Never try to take a burning pan to the sink
- Never use water on a grease fire
- Use a fire extinguisher rated for grease fires only if you are trained. If you stand too close and use the fire extinguisher, you can spread the flaming grease all over the kitchen.
- If you have an oven fire:
- Turn the oven off
- Keep the door closed until the fire is out and the oven cools.
Never leave an oven door open to heat a room. The oven can overheat and catch fire.
- When there is a fire, seconds count. Working smoke detectors not only provide early warning of a fire, but they can more than double your chance of surviving. Smoke detectors can mean the difference between life and death.
- It is recommended that smoke detectors be installed on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
- Smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month.
- Change smoke detector batteries twice a year. A good way to remember to do this is to change your batteries in the fall and spring when you change the clocks for day-light savings.
- Smoke and CO detectors should be replaced with updated detectors every ten years.
Home Escape Plans
Why do I need an escape plan?
Most fatal home fires happen between midnight and 8am, when people are asleep. When your smoke detector sounds, you may have less than 2 1/2 to get out. Every family needs an escape plan.
- Have a family meeting to make your plan and to be sure everyone knows it. A good plan includes knowing two ways out of every room and having a family meeting place outside your home.
- Drill your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Once you are safely out of your home, stay out.
- Call 911 from a neighbor's house or other location.
Indoor Safety During a Winter Storm
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Heat Your Home Safely
If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and remember these safety tips:
- Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
- Have your heating system serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
- Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater.
- Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use-don't substitute.
- Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding. Never cover your space heater.
- Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
- Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
- Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.
- Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.
- If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
- Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
- Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages, or near windows.
Light Your Home Safely
If there is a power failure:
- Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible.
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
Use Generators Safely
Generators should be located at least 20 feet from any window, door or vent -- preferably in a space where rain and snow does not reach them.
- Never use an electric generator indoors, in the basement, inside the garage, or near open windows or the air intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Plug in appliances to the generator using individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords.
- Do not use the generator or appliances if they are wet because of the risk of electrocution.
- Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.
- Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors. The fumes are deadly.
Some gas-fueled heaters, such as vent-less gas fireplaces, require some ventilation. Otherwise, if you don't need extra ventilation, keep as much heat as possible inside your home.
- Avoid unnecessarily opening doors or windows.
- Close off unneeded rooms.
- Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
- Close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.
Monitor Body Temperature
Infants less than one year old should never sleep in a cold room because they lose body heat more easily than adults. Follow these tips to keep your baby safe and warm during the extreme cold:
- Remove any pillows or other soft bedding. These can present a risk of smothering and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Dress infants in warmer clothing such as footed pajamas, one-piece wearable blankets, or sleep sacks.
- Try to maintain a warm indoor temperature. If not, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere.
- In an emergency, you can keep an infant warm using your own body heat. If you must sleep, take precautions to prevent rolling on the baby.
Older adults often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. If you are over 65 years of age:
- Check the temperature in your home often during extremely cold weather.
- Check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure their homes are adequately heated.
Keep a Water Supply
Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold freezing temperatures are expected:
- Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
- Keep the indoor temperature warm.
- Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.
If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Instead, thaw them slowly by directing the warm air from an electric hair dryer onto the pipes.
If you cannot thaw your pipes, or the pipes are ruptured, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor's home. As an emergency measure, if no other water is available, snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most microorganisms or parasites that may be present but won't remove chemical pollutants sometimes found in snow.
Eat and Drink Wisely
Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages because they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm, sweet beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, ask your doctor.
7 Methods To Prevent a House Fire
House fires kill and injure thousands yearly, and cost many more their valued possessions and memories. Here are some steps you can take to lessen the chance of your home becoming a part of this statistic.
Method 1: Checking the House
- Inspect your home. You may need to recruit, or even hire, someone experienced in home electrical wiring, plumbing (gas), heating, and air conditioning to ensure that it is thoroughly inspected. You can also do the checks outlined in the following steps.
- Check the condition of your home's electrical system
- Look for improperly grounded receptacles. Many modern appliances require a "three pronged" (grounded) receptacle, but people will sometimes use an adapter to bypass this safety feature, or even break a ground prong off an appliance cord. Changing existing circuits to provide grounding is a job that is best left to a professional electrician.
- Look in the attic and crawl spaces for wiring which has been damaged by pests or insects. Some old wiring is insulated with a material which insects eat or chew on, and squirrels or other rodents will often chew the thermoplastic insulation off of modern nonmetallic cable (Romex).
- Look for overloaded circuit breakers, panel boxes, or fuse boxes. Check for breakers or fuses which may have circuits "piggy-backed" on them. These are rated for single circuit protection, but sometimes in outdated or undersized panel boxes, people will put two or even more wires in the terminal of a single breaker or fuse.
- Notice flickering lights, or intermittent power surges. These conditions may be caused by outside influences, but if they occur often, they may indicate a bad connection or a short in the circuit.
- Note breakers which trip, or fuses that blow frequently. This is almost always a sign of an overloaded circuit or other wiring problem, usually of a most serious nature.
- Look at the individual breaker connections, especially in outdoor panel boxes, for corrosion, signs of thermal damage (smut or smokey residue near terminals) splices which are poorly taped or wire nutted, or abraded or damaged wire insulation.
- Check the ground cable. A failure in the building grounding system and bonding can be dangerous in regard to electrical shock, as well as fire. Look for loose split bolts, clamps, or other connecting devices, and corrosion.
- Be especially careful to notice any connections in wiring other than copper. Installed correctly, and with tight connections, aluminum wire is not excessively dangerous, but when connections are made to copper wires, an electrolytic reaction may occur, causing increased resistance in the connection which will generate excessive heat. If you are able to apply an antioxidant compound to aluminum connections, it will help decrease the risk of oxidation causing a short circuit at these locations.
3. Check the natural gas/LP gas system in your home. You will want to look for loose fittings, leaking valves, faulty pilot lights, and debris or improperly stored flammable materials in areas near these appliances.
- Check the vent stacks on gas water heaters, furnaces, and clothes dryers.
- Check the automatic ignition systems or pilot lights on these fixtures, as well, particularly for any guards which are not properly installed, and for lint or dust buildup in the immediate area around them.
- Have the gas plumbing (pipes), valves, and regulators inspected by a professional any time you smell gas or suspect a leak.
4. Check the air conditioning and heating unit in your home. These systems operate with electric motors and air moving equipment which requires periodic maintenance.
- Clean, or have your interior AC coils cleaned, and replace your return air filters regularly. This will prevent the fan motor from being overworked, and also save money on your energy bill. For window air conditioners, never use extension cords!
- Lubricate belt drive pulleys (where applicable), boss bearings on drive motors, and other equipment as needed.
- Have the resistance coils or furnace burners cleaned and serviced at the beginning of the heating season, since debris may accumulate there while the system is off during the summer.
- Listen to the system when it is operating. Squealing sounds, rumbling noises, or banging and tapping sounds may indicate loose parts or bearings which are seizing up.
- If you have access to a snap-on amp meter, you may check the amperage draw on the high amperage circuit to your heating coils to make sure they are in the normal operating range. Higher than normal amperage draw on a circuit indicates unusual resistance, and in an electrical circuit, resistance is what causes heat, and ultimately, fires.
Method 2: Checking and Safe Use of Household Items
1. Check your appliances
- Keep your stove and oven clean, especially watching for grease accumulation.
- Check stove vent hoods, clean the filter regularly, and make sure that if it is equipped with an exterior vent, insects or birds do not build nests or otherwise impede the air flow through it.
- Check the power cords for your appliances. Look for missing grounding prongs on the plugs and damaged insulation, and replace or repair them if defects are found.
- Keep the lint trap and outside vent clean in your clothes dryer. Some dryers have internal ductwork which may become clogged and require servicing, so if the dryer is operating poorly, have it checked. Lint or other material collecting near the heat coils in clothes dryers is extremely dangerous. Stay nearby while using the dryer. Have a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher nearby. If you must leave the area for a minute, turn off the dryer. After all, you are not going to be away long, and you can immediately turn the dryer on when you return.
2. Be very careful with space heaters.
- Keep flammable materials (curtains, the couch) a safe distance (usually 3 feet) from portable heaters.
- Set heaters where they are not in the traffic flow of the room.
- As a rule, extension cords are not recommended with space heaters. Small, low wattage heaters may be an exception, but check the manufacturer's recommendations prior to using an extension cord with one. Be safe, just don't use extension cords.
- Use space heaters only on solid, firm surfaces. They should never be placed on tables, chairs or other places where they may tip over. Replace old space heaters with ones that will automatically turn off if tipped over.
- Do not drape fabric over lamps to dim them. Either buy a lower wattage bulb, or turn the lamp off.
3. Avoid using extension cords for air conditioners. An overheated cord is like an out-of-control electric heater.
4. Maintain your fireplace correctly.
- Inspect the fire box (hearth) for cracks, damaged sheet metal (for inserts) and other hazards.
- Use glass fire doors or a wire mesh spark screen to prevent embers from popping out of the fireplace.
- Burn dry, seasoned wood to prevent creosote buildup in the chimney. Note that some woods, like cedar, pop excessively when burned, and should not be used in an open fireplace.
- Remove ash and unscorched wood only when there are no embers or sparks in the fire box. Place ash in a metal (not a plastic bucket) and place outside away from any buildings.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
5. Keep flammable liquids away from ignition sources.
- Keep gasoline, paint thinners, and other highly flammable liquids or materials in UL approved containers and out of the house.
- Do not store any flammable liquid in a garage or utility room with that has a pilot light equipped appliance in use in it. Be safe, keep these items outdoors, or in a separate outbuilding.
6. Be very careful in any situation where you use an extension cord for extended periods of time. Often, foot traffic, moving furniture, and other hazards damage these cords, causing a potential for a fire. Holiday decorations are often lit for weeks with these cords, and if you are using them, use a high quality cord with a sufficient rating for the intended purpose.
Method 3: Kitchen Safety
1. Stay in the kitchen when using the range for cooking. If you are leaving for just a minute, turn off all the burners on the range. Going to the basement for a can of tomatoes, or running out to check the mail, going to the bathroom, answering the phone in another part of the house? Simply turn off all the burners. After all, you are just leaving for a minute. You can immediately turn the pot or frying pan back on when you return. Taking this simple step will prevent one of the most common situations that cause house fires: unattended cooking.
- When cooking with oil, keep a lid or flat cookie sheet close by. If flames appear, simply suffocate the fire with the lid and immediately turn off the stove or fryer to let it cool down. Do not try to move the pan. Do not use water. The super-heated water will explode into steam, and can cause severe burns, and oil can splash and spread the fire.
2. Don't cook when drinking alcohol, using drugs, or very tired. Eat something already prepared, make a cold sandwich, and go to sleep. Cook your meal later, when you are fully conscious
3. Ensure tea cloths, tea towels dish rags etc are never left on the hob or burner. Never hang towels etc where they may fail onto a flame or hot surface.
Method 4: Taking Care in Daily Activities
1. Don't sit or lie down when smoking. Standing up will usually prevent you from falling asleep while smoking. Getting too tired? Put out the cigarette thoroughly in an ashtray or water-damp sink and go to bed. Do not smoke in bed - when you're in bed it's easy to fall asleep and drop your cigarette on the floor allowing it to set fire to the carpet. Cleaning out the ashtray? Place the ashes in the sink and dampen them, then scoop them up and place them in the trash can away from the house.
2. Take care when drying laundry on airers or dryers by the fire. Try not to do this unless totally unavoidable. Dry clothes by radiators, or outdoors if possible.
3. Be careful with candles, oil lamps, and other open flame illumination or decorations. Cover the flame with a wire cage to prevent something from falling or blowing onto the flame, and to prevent children and pets from coming in contact with the flame. Extinguish any naked flames when leaving the room, if even for a minute. After all, you'll be right back, and you can immediately relight the candle or lamp.
4. Use caution with holiday decorations, particularly Christmas trees. Natural Christmas trees are highly combustible when they become dry, and old, damaged, or low quality tree lights cause many fires when combined with an under watered or otherwise dry tree. Watch a video of a Christmas tree fire. It is amazing how fast it can destroy a room, and a home.
5. After using matches, quickly place in or run under water to extinguish any invisible flame or heat source that could cause a fire in the trash can.
6. Take care using chargers for devices such as mobile phones. Unplug chargers when not in use.
7. Unplug hair straighteners, curling irons and other similar appliances after use. Don't just turn them off at the socket or switch the device itself off, unplug it.
Method 5: Outdoor Safety
1. Do not pile up lawn clippings near a building. Fermenting lawn clippings can create heat, and catch on fire. Barn fires start this way from bales of hay with no electricity; house fires have been started from a pile of lawn clippings.
2. Be careful using a grill on a deck. Decks are flammable. Place non-flammable pads under your grill. Have a fire extinguisher readily available. Stay with your grill while cooking. Turn off propane if leaving, if even for a minute. After all, you'll be right back and can turn on the propane again.
Method 6: Pet Safety
1. Crate train dogs. Use the crates when you are not home and when you're not awake, to prevent new dogs or puppies from chewing on electrical cords. This will also prevent pets from urinating on electrical objects and starting a fire.
2. Confine new cats to a safe room, a small room with no places for the cat to crawl into to hide (such as into the refrigerator motor), and no electrical cords. Use the safe room until the cat is calm and no longer hiding. Provide cats with edible oat or wheat grass, to prevent them from chewing on electrical cords.
- Confine rabbits, chinchillas, and other pets when not supervising them, to prevent them from chewing on electrical cords, causing burns or electrical fires.
Method 7: Installing Fire Prevention Tools and Teaching Fire Safety
1. Install and maintain smoke detectors. Rental properties in many countries must have smoke detectors. If you have them in your home, keep them in good working order and if you don't have any, get some, or ask your landlord to install some.
2. Look into the possibility of installing a lightning protection system in your home if you live in an area where lightning is a frequent problem. The savings from reduced damages to appliances may offset the cost of this upgrade.
3. Consider having a home sprinkler system installed. This can be used to extinguish fires both when you are away and at home.
4. Teach your children not to play with lighters or matches. Children are often both the cause and victims of fires, and should not be allowed access to matches or cigarette lighters. Consider getting a lockable box, and keeping matches and lighters locked up.
Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives
Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.
Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call SERVPRO of Clifton at 973-928-3705.
Recovering After a Fire
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4 Steps to Take Immediately After a Home Fire
- Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
- Let friends and family know you're safe.
- People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
- Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.
Returning Home After Fire
Stay safe when returning to your home after a fire:
Do not cut or walk past colored tape that was placed over doors or windows to mark damaged areas unless local authorities advise that it is safe to do so. If a building inspector has placed a color-coded sign on the home, do not enter it until you get more information, advice and instructions about what the sign means and whether it is safe to enter your home.
If you have children, leave them with a relative or friend while you conduct your first inspection of your home after the fire. The site may be unsafe for children, and seeing the damage firsthand may upset them and cause long-term effects, including nightmares.
Cleaning up and removing smoke odor after a home fire
To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, structure, etc. call the professionals at SERVPRO of Clifton. We are always available to get you back-to-new.
SERVPRO of Clifton - 973-928-3705
Protect Your Home For Hurrican Season
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Hurricane season officially starts in June and runs through November. These tropical storms can wreak havoc on anything in their path.
Review coverage with your insurer
Sit down with your insurance agent to find out if you have adequate insurance for your home, car and any boats or recreational vehicles. Does your policy provide temporary housing in case your residence is uninhabitable following a storm? Do you know your deductible and any policy limits? Tropical storms can impact inland areas, too, so these questions aren't just for those living on the coast.
Your homeowners policy may cover damage caused by hurricane winds (sometimes subject to a separate deductible). However, a standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding, which is the most common type of damage from tropical storms. Ask about purchasing a separate rider for flood coverage if needed, but understand that any changes or additions to your insurance policy may take 30 days to take effect.
Inspect your home
To prepare for possible storm damage, walk around your home's interior and take an inventory of personal belongings with a short video. Anything stored in a garage or basement could get water-damaged in a flood, so consider raising items on blocks or moving them to other parts of your home. Secure outdoor furniture to prevent exterior damage.
Create an emergency evacuation plan, write it down and share it with all family members. Note where you're storing insurance documents and other important paperwork. Consider scanning these documents and uploading them to secure cloud storage online, or be sure to take hard copies with you in the event of an evacuation.
Build an emergency safety kit
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends preparing an emergency safety kit in case you need to evacuate or you get trapped in your home. You may not be home when you're ordered to evacuate, so consider preparing kits for your car and workplace, too.
DHS suggests that your kit include enough water and non-perishable food for each person in your family for at least three days. If you have pets, don't forget to include extra water and pet food. Other useful supplies: a manual can opener for food, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit and wrench or pliers to shut off utilities.
Hopefully you'll never need to use your flood insurance or an emergency safety kit, but if you do have that unfortunate experience, you'll be glad to have them. Planning for a natural disaster and making sure you have the proper insurance coverage can also help give you and your family greater peace of mind.
Water Damage Repar and Restoration
SERVPRO of Clifton 973-928-3705
When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.
SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals
Have Questions? Call Today 973-928-3705
Why Choose a SERVPRO of Clifton?
We're Faster to Any Size Disaster
SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.
SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. They have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
We Use Advanced Water Restoration Equipment and Techniques
Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. They finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
Commercial Cleaning Services
SERVPRO of Clifton will make your workspace look its very best.
Your commercial property's appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Commercial Building Cleaning Services
You don't have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call the SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals. Whether it's removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring and carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of Clifton Professionals will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:
- Award-winning training
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SERVPRO of Clifton - 973-928-3705