Recent Posts

3 Hidden Locations for Mold Growth

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

mold behind kitchen cabinets Mold damage in a Longport, NJ home.

Three Places Mold Can Hide

Mold growth is a nightmare for homeowners. You probably keep your Longport, NJ house dry to prevent the spores from spreading in the crawl space and basement.
Unfortunately, mold does not only appear in these obvious places. Since mold feeds on organic materials, you could easily end up with moldy drywall or mold on wood in your home. The fungus could spread before you notice it, necessitating emergency restoration services.
You thus need to check other areas of your house for potential signs of mold. You can then have a professional remove the fungus before it becomes a major problem. Here are three possible hiding places for mold.

1. Refrigerator Drip Pans
Refrigerators come with drip pans that collect condensation underneath the appliance. The wetness, lack of airflow and possible food spills make this pan a potential spot for mold growth. You should thus clean the pan using vinegar and water once or twice a year.

2. Chimneys
Snow and rain can easily your chimney during storms. Organic items such as leaves can get into the chimney, as well. The leaves and wetness combined with the porous mortar and bricks create a breeding ground for mold.

3. Washing Machines
Front-loading washing machines are more efficient than their counterparts are. However, front-loaders are also notorious for moldy smells. The gasket becomes wet when the machine is running, and it does not get a chance to dry when the appliance is closed and not in use. To prevent mold odors from taking over your clean clothes, you should wipe the gasket after each cycle. Alternatively, you can leave open the washing machine when you are done using it so the gasket can dry.
Do not just check your basement and attic when searching for potential signs of mold growth in your house. Mold can appear in the above locations, as well. Finding the spores early and having them removed as soon as possible should limit the damage this fungus causes.

Storm Damage and Your Taxes

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

workers wearing protective gear while cleaning after fabric Storm damage in commercial business in Scullville, NJ

If a powerful storm hits your company in Scullville, NJ, there may be many resources that can help you cope with such things as extra expenses, a temporary business shut down and damages. If your area is declared a disaster zone due to widespread storms, you could also see some extra relief. This could come in the form of delayed deadlines for filing taxes, as well as the ability to receive zero or low-interest loans to repair storm damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency often has helpful information on its website. Your company could also get some relief during tax time.

Qualifying for a Tax Write-Off?

Any time your company faces a business loss it is a good idea to investigate what items might be tax deductible. This should always be done in consultation with a tax professional, as tax laws can be hard to interpret and they change from year to year. Storm damage is available for a tax deduction in these broad circumstances:

  • It represents a true business loss
  • It is not covered by insurance
  • It was paid for by your company

When filing taxes, it is important to subtract reimbursements from your insurance company or other sources. IRS Publication 547 provides information on calculating and applying for disaster losses.

Recovering From a Storm Disaster
While costs and expenses are an important part of any storm relief, they are not the entire picture. Your company will also likely need the services of a certified storm remediation franchise. A professional restoration company will send a team of technicians to your facility to remove water, repair structures and clean and sanitize the premises. These workers will make sure your building is in good shape again. Members of the SERVPRO franchise are always Here to Help.
Storm damage presents many challenges for your company. It is important to seek help in all available areas.

What’s Covered Under My Commercial Insurance Policy?

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Burned creek This is the result of a fire in a golf club in Cardiff, NJ.

If you own a business in Cardiff, NJ, you probably need to have a commercial insurance policy. In fact, it’ll generally be required if you have:

  • A conventional bank loan
  • Any Investors
  • A landlord

A standard commercial policy from a major insurance company is usually all that’s required. However, different circumstances may require add-ons and riders, and it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered by your insurance portfolio.

What Is a Commercial Insurance Policy?

Commercial property insurance is designed for business properties and covers most of the common perils faced by property owners everywhere. This includes full coverage for fires, plumbing issues, natural disasters and thefts.

What Damage Does It Exclude?
Flood damage is virtually never covered by commercial property insurance. If the water is from your plumbing, that’s a covered peril, but floodwater from outside requires special flood insurance.
Vandalism and theft may be covered, but not if it’s done by or at the direction of you. The same applies to intentionally set fires – if you had knowledge of the event beforehand, you won’t be covered. If an employee causes it without authorization, that probably will be covered. Also, an act of war is often excluded from insurance coverage.

Business Revenue Loss Requires a Different Policy
Most commercial property policies won’t cover your loss of income while the business is closed. However, you can obtain business interruption insurance to help fill that gap.

What Does the Standard Policy Pay For?
Depending on the policy specifics, it should pay for the restoration of the property to its previous condition. This includes restoring what can be saved and replacing what can’t. Repaired areas must match the existing décor, or the entire area will have to be redone.
This usually requires expert restoration specialists used to a range of disasters, including wind and fire damage. They’ll tarp and board exposed areas and try to get you reopened as quickly as possible.
Maintaining commercial insurance is a great way to relieve your mind of worry so you can concentrate on growing your business. Even if it’s not actually required, you probably should still have it.

How To Prevent and Mitigate Fire Damage in Your Home

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

severe damage to the inside of a homee Residential fire damage in Somers Point, NJ.

Ways To Prevent And Mitigate Fire Damage

A home fire can quickly grow from a few flames to a massive blaze. It is thus important to practice fire safety in your Somers Point, NJ, house. You should also follow fire preparation strategies that can limit any harm caused by the heat and smoke. Here are some ways to prevent and mitigate fire damage.

Reduce Fire Risks
Wires are a common cause of home fires. Do not put wiring in high-traffic areas. You should avoid placing too many wires into one outlet or extension cord, as well. In addition, any of the below issues should be fixed immediately:

  • Exposed wires
  • Loose plugs
  • Frayed extension cords

Heating sources could be dangerous, as well. Have your furnace checked regularly and replace any rusted or cracked parts.
If you have any combustible items in your home, store them in an open place away from heat sources. Any rags that you use to apply these flammable chemicals should be stored in metal containers with tight lids.

Be Prepared
Installing smoke alarms in your home should be the first step of your fire preparation plan. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least one a year. You should also ensure everyone in your home knows the phone numbers for local first responders and fire cleanup experts.

Cook Safely
The combination of gas appliances and grease makes kitchens a common location for home fires. Keep any cooking surfaces clear of flammable items such as towels and pot holders. Make sure your pets stay away from the oven and stove, as well.
If you are grilling, broiling or frying food, stay in the kitchen so you can look for and extinguish any fires immediately. While you do not have to remain in the room when food is roasting or baking, you should not leave your home, either.
Using your wires and kitchen appliances safely can greatly reduce the chances of a fire destroying your home. Enacting fire preparation strategies, meanwhile, should lower the impact of any blazes that do occur.

4 Tips for Avoiding Winter Storm Damage

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

wet drywall caused by pipe inside drywall If you are unprepared, a winter storm can lead to costly repairs.

Avoid Damage During A Storm

The winter season brings joyous festivities such as company holiday parties, end of year celebrations and beautiful snowfalls in Pleasantville, NJ. However, along with the snowfalls comes the threat of a heavy winter storm, and if you are caught unprepared, these can wreak havoc on your business and can cause costly damage. Here are four tips for avoiding damage during a storm.

1. Plan Ahead
Preparing for a winter storm is much easier if you have planned ahead. To protect your business, you should create a disaster readiness plan that outlines what to do if a disaster occurs. This plan should include instructions for safe evacuations and a list of emergency contacts, including a storm restoration service.

2. Insulate Your Building
Good insulation is important for keeping your building and its plumbing system warm. The temperature should remain above 55° F to prevent a pipe break, which can lead to flooding and water damage. Show your staff how to control your utilities, such as shutting off the main water valve in case of a flood.

3. Inspect Your Roof
You should routinely inspect your building’s roof to ensure that all shingles are in good condition and firmly nailed down. Heavy snowstorms can cause snow and ice to collect on your roof, which can cause storm damage and leaks if your roof has any wear and tear.

4. Watch the Weather
Keep an eye on your local weather channel and stay abreast of incoming storms and severe weather alerts. If a major storm is looming, keep your employees safe by allowing them to leave work early or work remotely before the storm starts, or provide a place onsite or nearby to stay if driving conditions become treacherous.
A snowy winter can be fun and beautiful, but if you are unprepared, a winter storm can lead to costly repairs. Staying alert to the weather and planning ahead is important for keeping your employees safe and preventing damage.

Be Prepared for the Storm

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building totally flooded Flooded building in Somers Point, NJ

Businesses in Somers Point, NJ, know that a storm will eventually roll through that may be more devastating than others. While it’s impossible to know when floodwater may creep its way in and cause severe water damage, having a plan in place to deal with the aftermath is imperative to get business back up and running.

What Should a Plan Cover?

Every business needs to ask itself, “If faced with a flooded building, does everyone on-site know what to do?” While the everyday dealings of a business are imperative, ensuring everyone is safe should come first. Along with having a meeting place and verifying that everyone is accounted for, the following are a few items that are important to prepare ahead of time for personal and business safety.

Establish a meeting place and review steps to take with team members.
Store chemical and other potentially harmful products on higher ground to ensure they don’t get mixed in the flood water.
Establish who will take care of disaster steps, such as shut off the electricity, as well as having a backup for off-site monitoring.
Ensure the office is supplied with items necessary to keep people safe such as food, water, blankets, batteries, chargers and first-aid kits.
Stay up-to-date on the insurance policy. Check-in with an agent throughout the year to ensure coverage is fully understood.
Keep sandbags or other barriers available to reduce water infiltration.

Communication Is Key

Before, during and after an event, communication is imperative. Along with ensuring vendors, visitors, employees and others in the building know what to do in case of an emergency, it is also important to have a team in place to deal with the damage. A good relationship with a water damage expert, electrician and other professionals can help ensure your business gets back up and running.
While floodwater can temporarily keep a business out of operation, not planning can make the process even longer. Taking the time to be prepared can help things go more smoothly in trying times.

What To Do When You Suspect a Broken Pipe

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

wet drywall, broken pipe inside drywall Water damage due to broken pipe in Margate, NJ.

If you suspect a broken pipe, the first step is to locate the break. This can be easy to determine based on where you first noticed the signs. However, it could be located somewhere that you are not privy to as a residential home owner. Read on to find out what to look for and how to mitigate as much damage as possible.

Signs of a Pipe Break

There are telltale signs of a broken pipe. Some include:

  • Noises from walls
  • Water leaks or flooding
  • Musty smells
  • Stains
  • Water discoloration
  • Lower water pressure or no water
  • Increased water bill

Once you suspect that a pipe is indeed burst, you need to locate the break. It will either be in your home's plumbing system or in the public sewer system.

Breaks in the Sewer System
If the pipe break is in the sewer system rather than your residence, it can still affect you at home. Called a sanitary sewer overflow, this can contaminate:

  • Water in home
  • Lawns
  • Consumable fish
  • Air
  • Documents
  • Property

It can also cause flooding in the area. This likely isn't fixable directly by a home owner, but it is something to watch out for inside of your home. If you see raw sewage coming out in places such as your basement or faucets, it's best to contact your local sewage and water damage experts in Margate, NJ.

Breaks in Residential Pipes
The pipe break can alternatively be in your home's plumbing system, and this requires a bit more vigilance on your part. As a home owner, you are responsible for paying for any damages incurred on your property. If you don't locate the source of the break quickly and get it resolved, you could run into major issues. Some causes of residential pipe breaks include narrowed pipes, freezing temperatures, or appliances overworking.
The good news is that you can watch out for the signs of a pipe break listed above. Then, professionals can identify the source of the issue before any lasting damage occurs. It's crucial to fix a broken pipe before it causes you to, quite literally, flush money down the drain.

4 FAQs About IICRC Certified Professionals

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Background of a white brickwall with the phrase What is the IICRC? IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration.

4 FAQs About IICRC Certified Professionals

As a business manager, you can expect disaster restoration professionals with an IICRC certification to be experienced, skilled, and reliable. This organization holds industry professionals to the highest standards. Therefore, looking for professionals in Ventnor, NJ, with this certification should be important for any business manager. However, many people want to know about the benefits of this certification.

1. What Is That Certification?
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration. This is one of the most well-known organizations in the remediation industry. It is the leader in technological advancements and setting standards for professionals who work in restoration. Since this is a global organization, it is possible to find professionals almost anywhere who have this certification. For individuals to get an inspection, cleaning, restoration, or mitigation certificate, they must know the most advanced practices in the industry.

2. How Do Courses Improve Technicians’ Skill Levels?
Technicians with an IICRC certification must take multiple classes to develop and maintain their skills. For instance, a certified commercial drying specialist must take courses on administration and drying commercial structures, equipment, and fixtures. Additionally, many courses require pre-requisites to ensure the technicians understand a type of restoration before they can further their knowledge. Those who wish for many of the certifications related to moisture must first become certified water damage technicians.

3. What Do Certified Technicians Add to a Project?
Certified technicians provide the highest quality of service available. Those who have proper training understand the potential damage to your building from a disaster and the health hazards they need to handle while working. For instance, they know different microorganisms that could grow after water damage and which chemicals kill them. They also can differentiate between sanitary and contaminated water. This means you will get the proper remediation for your situation.
Business managers must ensure they hire restoration workers who are properly trained and certified. By looking for a team with this type of certification, you can ensure that your workers will be skilled and perform the job well.

Protecting Your Commercial Building: What Is Mold?

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold Mold can grow anywhere all it needs is some moisture and the right temperature.

What Is Mold?

When you own a Linwood, NJ, commercial building, there are many factors that go into protecting it from damage. One problem that can cause serious problems, no matter the nature of your business, is mold. From fast-spreading black mold to Acremonium, which lurks in and around air conditioning drip pans, fungi can crop up seemingly out of nowhere. However, learning about what mold really is and where it comes from can help you shield your building from damage.

How Mold Grows

While it seems like mold might appear without warning, most types grow and spread out of sight and only become apparent when the growth becomes large enough to create an odor. Mold spores exist both indoors and out, and when they find a warm, humid spot, they attach to affected building materials, including:

  • Drywall

  • Behind wallpaper

  • Interior insulation

Once these growths are discovered, you may require professional mold cleanup services to eradicate them.

Mold and Moisture

Mold does not require sunlight to grow, which can make it difficult to find. If your building has a moisture problem, the risk of mold may be higher because fungi thrive in moist environments like restrooms, basements and air conditioning ducts. Black mold can be especially prolific and grow as soon as 24 hours after a water event. Ensuring proper cleanup after a flood can help prevent it from forming.

Cleanup Procedures

If you discover a fungi problem inside your commercial building, calling in a mold remediation and restoration service can ensure that the cleanup process is completed properly. From emergency protection of your property after a flood to cleaning up hidden mold under carpeting or behind wallpaper, your remediation technicians can offer you several different cleanup services and aftercare as well to ensure the source of the mold is eliminated.
Protecting your Linwood, NJ, commercial building from black mold and other types of fungi can be a puzzling experience. However, when you understand how and why they appear, the more efficiently you can safeguard against them.

Cleaning Water From a Wood Floor Helps Prevent Major Damage

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged wooden floor Water and wooden floors in your Linwood, NJ, building don't mix well.

Avoid Replacing Wooden Floors In Your Facility

Water and wooden floors in your Linwood, NJ, building don't mix well. After a leak, pipe burst, or flooding in your facility, it doesn't take long for damage to set in on your hardwood flooring. It's critical to clean up the water as soon as possible to avoid replacing the wood.

Cleanup Equipment

To get started cleaning up a wet floor, you'll need:

  • Shop vacuum
  • Brush with stiff bristles
  • Squeegee
  • Absorbent cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Mild detergent

Removing the Water
Time is of the essence when cleaning up a wood floor. Fibers in the wood will begin to absorb moisture quickly but release it slowly. Begin by using the shop vacuum and squeegee to draw out as much water as possible. Scrub the floor with detergent and a stiff brush to remove as much dirt and mud as you can. This process will help prevent mold growth, as mold thrives in moisture and feeds on organic material in the dirt. If the flood or pipe burst has already caused mold growth, a restoration company can mitigate damage.

Drying the Floor
Begin the drying process by increasing airflow. Open doors and windows and use fans to move fresh air throughout the space. Try putting a fan in a window or open door, then opening doors or windows on the opposite side of the room. This creates cross-ventilation to move moisture out of the area.
It's essential to dry the wet floor slowly and avoid applying heat. Wood that dries too quickly or is exposed to a heater can crack or split.

Refinishing the Floor
If your wood floor has minor warped or cupped areas, you can use a drum sander to repair them. Boards with heavy damage will need replacing. If floorboards are lifted at the ends, you can face-nail them back in place.
Cleaning up quickly after a pipe burst or flood in your Linwood, NJ, facility can help you avoid major issues down the road.