Recent Posts

How To File An Insurance Claim After Water Damage In 5 Easy Steps

3/18/2023 (Permalink)

insurance claim If your home or property suffers from a water loss, get the right help!

When a water damage event occurs in your home, it can be hard to know how to file an insurance claim, especially if you have never experienced a water loss before. Here are the steps you need to follow to make sure you're doing everything right.

Stop the water flow.

If your home has suffered from a water leak, the first thing you should do is stop the flow of water. To do this, locate the source of your leak or flood and turn off its main shut off valve. If there isn't one nearby--or if there is but it's inaccessible due to debris or other obstructions--shut down individual valves for individual rooms as well as any electrical outlets that may be affected.

Make a claim with your insurance company.

Next, it's time to call your insurance company and begin your claim. This is something that should be done as soon as possible. If you wait too long, they may not cover all of your losses or they may try to deny coverage.

Here's what you need:

  • Personal information
  • Your policy number
  • Details about what happened

Take pictures of the damage.

Next, you need to take pictures of the damage as soon as possible. This will help your adjuster determine what needs to be replaced and how much it will cost to fix. You'll want to take pictures from different angles so they can see everything that was damaged, including any damage done to the structure itself, property, and contents.

Get your home inspected.

After calling your insurance company and filing a claim, it is important to get your home inspected by an adjuster. Usually, the insurance company will provide this service to you. The adjuster will look for evidence of water damage and document the extent of the damage. They will also inspect other structural elements like baseboards and trim boards as well as electrical outlets and switches to locate all the damage.

Call a water mitigation company.

You've probably heard the term "water mitigation" before, but you may not know exactly what it means. A water mitigation company is a professional who specializes in cleaning up water damage.

After calling your insurance company, you need to call one of these professionals as soon as possible. Your insurance company should be able to recommend several local companies that can do this work for you--or if they don't have any recommendations, you can look online for some yourself. This is an important step in order to prevent any secondary damage, such as a mold infestation due to water sitting unattended for an extended period.

Knowing how to file an insurance claim will help you get what you need from your insurance policy.

When you have water damage to your home or business, knowing how to file an insurance claim after water damage will help you get what you need from your insurance policy. The sooner you file a claim, the better. Take pictures of the damage and send them to your insurance company right away so they can start processing it.

If you have water damage, getting the right help can be very important. Our SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange team is here to help with all your water damage cleanup and restoration needs. Our team will also assist you with the insurance claims process to ensure that you receive accurate compensation. 

5 Reasons to Hire a Mold Remediation Pro

2/16/2023 (Permalink)

Water stains and mold growth on wall and ceiling. When you have a mold problem, call in a professional mold removal service.

Mold remediation is a job for professionals. If you've found mold in your home and are trying to clean it up yourself, you may think that you're saving money by doing the work on your own. However, this could be one of the most costly mistakes you ever make! Here's why:

1. Mold Cleanup is Not Easy

Mold remediation is no easy task: It takes time and effort to safely remove mold from surfaces in your home or office space. The process can also be dangerous if proper precautions aren't taken.

Mold remediation is a specialized job, and it requires the right equipment and training to be done properly. If you're not sure about what you're doing, it's important to hire a professional. Even if you are an experienced DIYer, there are some things that should be left up to those who know better -- especially when it comes to your health and safety!

2. Specialists Will Prevent Mold from Spread

If you're not a professional, it can be difficult to know how to properly clean up mold in your home. Mold specialists will control and reduce the potential spread of mold by using proper equipment and techniques that avoid spreading spores throughout your house. They'll also be able to identify any hidden areas of contamination that may not be visible to the naked eye, so you don't have any lingering problems after they leave.

3. They Have the Knowledge, Training, Experience, and Equipment

Mold remediation is a specialized field. Mold removal professionals have knowledge, training, equipment, and experience in removing mold from your home or business. They know how to safely remove the mold with minimal disruption to you and your family's lives.

4. Can Save you Time and Money

The biggest benefit of hiring a professional for mold remediation is that you'll save time and money. A professional can complete the job in less than half the time it would take you, which means you'll have more free hours in your day to spend on other tasks.

When it comes to saving money, the cost of hiring an expert is often much less than what most homeowners would spend on DIY methods or products, especially if the mold problem isn't remediated properly. An experienced contractor will know exactly how much work needs to be done and won't waste any resources.

5. Will Prevent Future Mold Problems

If you want to prevent future mold problems, it's important to hire a professional. Mold can grow in places you don't expect and spread very quickly. It can also grow in small spaces, including those that are hidden or hard to reach. Mold spores are everywhere, so they will be present in your home whether you have a problem with them or not. They can cause serious damage if left untreated for long periods of time.

Call in a professional mold removal service

When you have a mold problem, call in a professional mold removal service. Mold remediation is not easy, and most homeowners lack the knowledge, equipment, and experience to properly handle it. A qualified company will control and reduce the potential spread of mold as well as save you time and money by preventing future mold problems from occurring. They may also be able to help with insurance claims if your home suffers structural damage due to water and mold damage. If you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange.

Common Causes for Basement Flooding

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

Flooded basement. If you have a wet basement, the root cause may be one of several things.

If you have a wet basement, the root cause may be one of several things. Before you buy new appliances or carpets, check out the possible causes of your basement flooding and learn how to fix them.

Faulty Sump Pumps

Foundations can be damaged by a variety of factors, such as erosion, shifting soil, and water damage. When a foundation is damaged, it may not be able to provide proper drainage for the home anymore. This will lead to water pooling in low-lying areas such as the basement or crawl space.

In addition to improper drainage systems, another common source of basement flooding is faulty sump pumps. A sump pump is a device that pumps water away from buildings through pipes leading to an area outside of your property. Sump pumps are used in basements or other low-lying areas where groundwater may accumulate

because they are often located below ground level with little natural drainage. They are also commonly used as part of a larger system designed for rainwater runoff removal from houses with flat roofs or when other sources of flooding occur within homes (e.g., broken-down appliances).

Foundation Leaks

One of the most common causes of basement flooding is foundation leaks. Foundation leaks can occur when there are cracks in your home's foundation, which means that water has access to your basement. This often results in wet carpeting, flooring, and wall insulation. You should look out for these signs:

  • Watermarks on walls
  • Water stains on ceilings
  • Wet carpeting or flooring

A professional inspection will help determine if you need a repair or replacement of any damaged areas of your home's foundation. If you have a small crack that you're able to seal yourself, make sure to use materials specifically made for waterproofing purposes; otherwise, the problem could get worse over time as moisture gets inside through other openings (like windows). 

Heavy Rain and Storms

Clogged runoff drains are one of the most common causes of basement flooding in homes across the country. To help prevent this, make sure your gutters are clear at all times! If they're not, water can back up into them during heavy rains causing damage to your foundation walls by seeping through cracks in the siding or through cracks in the foundation wall. If you don't know how often you should clean out these drain pipes then check with a professional before cleaning yourself out because sometimes rainwater can end up being too powerful for homeowners without proper training (or experience).

If you have a wet basement, it’s important to find the cause before it gets worse. Basement flooding can be caused by all sorts of things, from faulty sump pumps or foundation leaks to heavy rain or storms. If you suspect that your Montclair home is experiencing flooding due to one of these issues, contact a SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange.

Signs You Need Water Damage Restoration Services

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

wood flooring removed, wood flooring damaged by water Removing flooring to remove moisture

Signs That Water Damage Restoration Services Are Required

Water damage is a serious issue, and if you don't get it fixed as soon as possible, it could cause lasting damage to your Montclair, NJ home or business. Here are some signs that you need water damage restoration services:

Wet Spots on the Floor or Ceiling

Leaks are a common cause of water damage, so look for signs of them. If you have a leak, you may notice wet spots on the floor or ceiling. Check for watermarks on your ceiling and look for moisture under sinks and toilets. If you see any of these signs, it's time to call in an expert!

Significant Changes in Your Water Bill

If your water bill has increased, that can be a good sign that you have a leak. The increase will usually happen over time and not all at once. So if you notice an increase in your water usage and there are no changes to the number of people living in your home or anything like that, it could be because of a leak.

Test Your Carpets

Carpets can be a good place to start because they are the most susceptible to water damage. To test your carpets and floors, you can use a moisture meter. This little device measures the amount of moisture in the flooring material and will tell you if it is wet or if it has been damaged. If your carpet does not pass this test, get some help from an expert who can remove as much of the water as possible before it causes permanent damage to your home.

Listen and Watch the Dishwasher

If you hear the dishwasher running longer than usual, check it for leaks. Look at any water on the floor around your sink or underneath it and see if there are any leaks that are causing this.

If a leak is suspected, turn off the water supply under your sink immediately to keep from causing even more damage by flooding the area further.

Check Under Your Sinks

Many of us take daily showers and are accustomed to seeing some discoloration on our bathtub liner. However, if you notice any rust or mold under your sinks, it could be a sign that there is more water damage than meets the eye. It's important not to touch anything that might be contaminated because this can spread bacteria throughout the home.

Call the Professionals

It’s important to know that the faster you call SERVPRO of Montclair/ West Orange to investigate, the faster we can get you back on track. We will help assess the damage and make recommendations for cleanup and restoration services to begin as soon as possible.

In short, water damage can be a disaster if left to go unchecked. If you have any of the signs above, call SERVPRO of Montclair/ West Orange immediately to investigate and get the problem taken care of before it becomes worse. Our trained professionals will help you assess the damage, formulate a plan for restoration, and get it done quickly!

Is It Necessary To Replace My Carpet?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Dirty carpet Carpet water damage

Do I Need to Replace My Water-Damaged Carpet?

If you’re like most people, you have dealt with flooding in some capacity before. You might’ve had to deal with it in your own Montclair, NJ home. If so, you might have asked yourself whether or not it's necessary to replace your carpet if it gets wet. 

We get this question all the time at SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange. In most cases, though, replacing your carpet is not necessary if your water was clean—that is, it hasn't been contaminated by sewage or chemicals or other contaminants that could damage it over time. The first step in determining whether or not replacing your carpet is necessary depends on how much water was involved and how long it stood there before being cleaned up or dried out completely.

Act Quickly

It is important to act quickly and get the standing water cleaned up. Once you've removed as much water as possible, it is time to prevent mold growth on your carpet. The first step for preventing mold growth is to use a wet vac or towel to extract any remaining water from your carpet. If you don't have a wet vac available, make sure that the room where you are cleaning has good ventilation so that any moisture in the air can evaporate quickly enough before releasing its moisture onto your carpet fibers.

Once all of the standing liquid has been extracted from your carpet, use an anti-fungal agent to cleanse and sanitize both sides of each fiber in order to kill off any potential microscopic organisms living there.

Extract Water

You will want to extract as much water as possible as well. If you have access to a professional steam cleaner, this is definitely your best option. But if you don't have that luxury, you can use a wet vac or shop vac, carpet cleaner and/or even professional services such as SERVPRO of Montclair/ West Orange.

If the liquid that made your carpet wet was dirty or harmful in any way—for example, an overflowing sewer system—you should replace it since these contaminants will cause permanent damage if they are not removed properly. Your best bet is to call the experts at SERVPRO. 

If your carpet is wet, you do not need to replace it as long as the water was clean. The key to this is acting quickly! If you are able to extract all of the standing water and get rid of any debris that may have gotten into the fibers, your carpet should be fine. It might take some time for the carpet to dry out completely, but once it does, you will be left with a soft and fluffy surface! 

Leave Puffback Soot Cleaning to the Professionals

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

two sponges on a table with soot Don't clean puffback soot yourself

When you are cleaning your home, you want to make sure that the job is done right. You want to make sure that you do not miss anything or do anything incorrectly. You may even consider doing some of the work yourself and saving some money in the process. However, there are times when it is better to leave a task up to someone else who has more experience than you do. Such is the case with puffback soot damage on walls: if left unaddressed, this damage could spread easily through your home and into other rooms and areas of your home over time.

What is Puffback?

Puffback occurs when the oil burner is not operating properly. It can cause damage to your walls and is potentially dangerous if you attempt to clean it yourself. Your best course of action if you are experiencing puffback is to contact your local HVAC professional, who will be able to inspect the system and make any necessary repairs.

Cleaning Puffback Damage

If you’re dealing with a puffback soot stain in your home, there are several steps you can take to clean up and remove the mess. First, use a damp cloth to wipe away any loose particles of soot that may be hanging around on your walls. Then, vacuum the area thoroughly with a vacuum hose attachment to get rid of any remaining particles and dust.

Next, wash the walls with a mild detergent diluted in water—this will not only clean off any remaining soot but also restore their original color! To dry them off after cleaning: wring out excess moisture from a soft cloth then use this cloth to gently pat down each wall until it’s dry (or nearly dry). Finally, if it seems like there are still remnants left behind after washing or drying—even after vacuuming—you might want to call in professionals for an inspection.

Of course, the better option is to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange to handle the entire process from start to finish. 

Cleaning Puffback Smoke is Dangerous

Not only is it dangerous and unhealthy to clean puffback soot yourself, but it can also be bad for your home. When you do the work yourself, you risk damaging your walls and other surfaces. In addition, if you don't have experience cleaning soot from the ductwork of your furnace or fireplace, then there's a chance that you'll accidentally damage the unit itself. For example: Some models of furnaces require a certain type of filter called an electrostatic filter or electronic filter in order to operate properly or at all. If this filter is damaged during dusting or vacuuming (for example), then it won't function correctly anymore. That means that this part needs replacing—and that costs money!

As you can see, puffback soot is not something to play around with. You do not want to risk your health and safety by cleaning the walls yourself. It is best to hire an expert who will know how to handle this dangerous substance properly, so they can ensure your family’s safety and property remain undamaged during cleanup.

5 Guidelines for Avoiding Cigarette Fires at Home

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Ma holding a cigarette Those who use medical oxygen or those who store it should keep lit cigarettes away from them.

5 Tips For Preventing Home Cigarette Fires

Smoking poses a threat to your home in Verona, NJ when you have improper habits. Following these five guidelines will protect you from any potential cigarette fire.

1. Use an Appropriate Container

An ashtray with a wide base or bucket full of sand should be around in areas where you typically smoke. When using an ashtray, it should be stable on a surface to prevent accidental knockdowns. Keeping it stable prevents it from spilling and starting an ashtray fire from a still-smoldering cigarette.

If possible, the container should also be kept away from any building to add distance between the flame remnant and all flammable structures.

2. Completely Put Out Cigarettes

When you are finished smoking, it’s advised to add water to the ashes and cigarette butt to completely remove the fire and its risks. If you ever have to step away or need to stop smoking, you should put out your cigarette to avoid leaving a lit one unattended.

3. Smoke Only When Fully Awake

If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy or sleep deprived, it is best to avoid smoking. If you pass out while smoking, you will likely drop your cigarette. Since you are asleep, you will also have a harder time escaping or stopping any growing cigarette fire. Smoking while sleepy puts your home at risk.

4. Only Smoke Outside Your Home

There is a sizable difference in the number of flammable objects when comparing a typical indoor and outdoor environment. Your furniture, curtains, trash bin, mattress, and bedding can all be ignited by a loose cigarette. It is much safer to smoke outside and remain there until you are finished.

5. Avoid Smoking Around Oxygen Tanks

Oxygen is very sensitive to fire. Lit cigarettes should be kept away from anyone using medical oxygen or places where it’s stored.

4 Tips for Removing Standing Water From Your Building

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Clean basement after clean up Basement flood cleanup.

How Do I Remove Standing Water From My Property?

Storms in Llewellyn Park, NJ, can bring a lot of water with them. With so much excess water, it's not all that surprising when your commercial building ends up with standing water in its lower levels. Even though it is not a shock, it can still be a challenge to deal with. Working with a team that has the specialized equipment needed to remove standing water can make this entire process a little easier. Keep these four tips in mind as you try to tackle this remediation.

1. Call in the experts. Your first step should be to call in a commercial storm damage repair team. This crew of professionals can help you remove standing water, repair damage, and prevent the same flooding from happening again. The teams can also make sure the project is done quickly.

2. Consider the water. If your basement is full of plain water, you may be able to use a simple pump to suck the floods out of the space. However, if there's any sludge mixed in with the liquid, you may need to turn to a trash pump instead.

3. Remove all humidity. Once you have the standing water out of your building, the project isn't quite over. You still need to make sure all of the excess moisture is sucked from your space. Using special equipment, such as a dehumidifier, can help with this task.

4. Install a new pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may need a new one after dealing with a two-foot flood. If you didn't have a pump, installing one may help you avoid more flooding in the future.

You can never predict what type of damage a storm is going to do to your commercial building. You can, however, make sure you work with a trained team that has access to a wide range of equipment if your property is affected by a storm.

Reduce Mold in Your Commercial Building's Bathroom

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Keep the humidity as low as possible

The bathrooms in your commercial building are one of the most common places for mold to grow. Mold spores are everywhere, but the moisture and humidity in bathrooms are an invitation for these spores to grow into a large-scale mold problem. To discourage mold growth, reduce the moisture, and conduct thorough mildew clean frequently.

How To Reduce Moisture in Bathrooms

Follow some simple steps to eliminate the accumulation of moisture in your bathrooms.

Inspect for leaks frequently. The pipes and seals attached to the sinks and toilets must be secure. If you spot a leak and your maintenance staff isn't capable of fixing the problem, contact a plumber right away.

Seal the bathroom tile's grout lines each year. After thorough mildew clean, apply a sealant to the grout lines to keep them waterproof. If the grout isn't cleaned properly beforehand, the sealant won't adhere effectively.

Keep the humidity as low as possible. Because of the humid weather in Montclair, NJ, installing a dehumidifier reduces the moisture in the air. A dehumidifier increases ventilation which discourages mold growth as well. Your air conditioner will also cool the air and remove moisture.

How To Conduct a Thorough Cleaning

Conduct proper cleaning each week to prevent bathroom mold. Dust is a food source for mold because mold spores like to settle on surfaces. Lightly dampen a cloth and wipe the counters, faucets, and door handles. After dusting, use an all-purpose cleaner to thoroughly clean each surface, including sinks, toilets, and flooring.

Clean bathroom mirrors with a glass cleaner each week as well. Spray the cleaner on a cloth and wipe the entire mirror. If any streaks remain, buff them out with a dry cloth.

Maintaining your bathrooms with thorough mildew clean and reducing excess moisture will discourage mold growth. If you are concerned about mold, contact a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible.

How Hail Can compromise Your Roof

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Hail falling on roof Hail storm in Llewellyn Park, NJ.

A healthy roof can protect your commercial property from storm damage in Llewellyn Park, NJ. Roof damage from a severe storm requires you to act quickly to avoid costly consequences.

How Can Hail Affect Your Roof?

Hail storms are typically not long-lasting, but they can severely compromise your roof depending upon various factors, including:

  • Stone size
  • Stone weight
  • Stone shape
  • Speed at Impact
  • Roof material

Hailstones can have diameters up to three inches and weigh as much as a pound. They can form with jagged edges and travel over 100 miles per hour from thousands of feet above the ground. Damage occurs if these large stones land on your roof and puncture a hole through it.

How Can You Identify Hail Damage?
Roof damage following a hail storm is not always easy to recognize if it doesn't leave a gaping hole. Following a hail storm, it is necessary to conduct a roof inspection and look for the more subtle damage signs. Your roof may have damage if your gutters are out of place or dented or if they are not draining properly due to clogging from trapped hail particles. Dents in your building's siding following a hail storm are another good indication that your roof also has damage.

What Are the Consequences of Ignoring Roof Repairs?

Delaying roof inspections or hail damage repairs can lead to other issues affecting your building's interior. For example, a small hole in your roof can grow bigger if it remains unrepaired. As a result, water from the next rain or snowstorm could make its way inside. The result could be an obvious flood, water-soaked insulation or an accumulation of water within your building's interior walls. These scenarios can lead to secondary mold damage that would require immediate attention from a mold remediation service to decontaminate your premises.

If roof damage causes flooding at your building in Llewellyn Park, NJ, a disaster recovery service can undertake proper cleanup and sanitization.