Recent Posts

5 Home Appliance Fire Hazards

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Cooking Ranges – Even after controlling for human error, stoves and ovens cause a lot of fires. In many situations, it’s difficult even for investigators to determine whether a fire began due to human error or an electrical/mechanical problem inside the stove. You also might be surprised to learn that electric ranges cause more fires than gas ranges. Regardless of the range, it is not recommend to use it for storing unused pots or pans and do not leave a range unattended while in use.

Clothes Washers and Dryers – It’s no secret that clogged lint traps cause dryer fires. Washers and dryers cause an estimated 16,000 fires each year and most dryer fires ignite when the lint trap isn’t cleaned frequently enough. That being said, the heating element in your dryer and the moving parts inside your washing machine’s drum can catch fire through no fault of your own. For this reason, we always recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions and do not overload either of these appliances.

Dishwashers – Dishwashers are the second most common source of a kitchen fire caused by non-cooking appliances. Dishwashers combine electronics and heating elements with water, which is the perfect environment for electric fires to begin. We suggest you avoid turning on your dishwasher before leaving your home to avoid the risk of faulty elements starting a fire.

Portable Cookers/Warmers – Small cooking appliances like chafing dishes and slow cookers are also a relatively common cause of cooking equipment-related fires. While newer models have safety features like automatic timers – older ones don’t.  Always unplug small appliances when they are not in use – but especially those with heating elements.

Refrigerators – You may be surprised to learn that –  refrigerators are the most common appliance for fire hazards in the United States. There is virtually no opportunity for human error when it comes to refrigerator operation. Refrigerators run day and night, automatically cycling on and off for many years. Over time, various parts can wear out, including relay switches and compressors which are the primary causes of refrigerators igniting.

If you have had the unfortunate event of an appliance fire - please call SERVPRO of Sussex County today and we will help with the clean-up - 303-856-9768.

No tornadoes in our area? THINK AGAIN!

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

The National Weather Service says a trained weather spotter has confirmed a tornado passed through the Hurlock area Wednesday afternoon Sept. 1. Police officers also spotted the tornado. Hurlock is only about ten miles west of Sussex County. Although damage was minor; this is the third such severe weather event in the last three years. The National Weather Service offers these tips as to what to do if and when another tornado hits our area:

Tornado safety preparation tips

  1. Designate a safe room. This area can either be a storm cellar, a basement or a room on the lowest level of your home or building like a closet. Goto the basement or an inside room without windowson the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway). If possible, avoid sheltering in a room with windows. For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress.
  2. Put essentials in your safe room. ...these include a battery powered radio, a first aid kit water and a flashlight.
  3. Remove outdoor items. ...outdoor furniture and other yard ornaments become projectiles and can increase damage and risk of injury.
  4. Reinforce your home. ...with advanced notice – this may be attainable but in most cases there is little time. You can remove dangerous trees so as to lower the risk of falling branches and limbs.
  5. Contact your insurance agent. If you have incurred damage – report the issues as soon as possible to assure a quick timeframe for appraisal, approval and repair.

If you suffer any type of storm related damage – please call the STORM professionals at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we will offer assistance!

“IDA” Rather NOT!!!

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane Ida was a deadly and destructive Category 4 Atlantic Hurricane that became the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to strike the state of Louisiana on record, behind Hurricane Katrina, and is tied for the strongest landfall in the state by maximum winds with Hurricane Laura a year before and the 1856 Long Island Hurricane. As is the case with many storms that make landfall along the coastal areas; the damage continued along its path toward the northeast.

As of September 4, a total of 91 deaths have been confirmed in relation to Ida, including 71 in the United States and 20 in Venezuela. In the United States, 27 deaths were in New Jersey, 18 in New York, 13 in Louisiana, 5 in Pennsylvania, 2 in Mississippi, 2 in Alabama, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Virginia, and 1 in Connecticut. The storm has caused 28 indirect deaths, including 20 deaths from flooding in Venezuela caused by Ida's precursor, and a Louisiana man mauled to death by an alligator after walking through Ida's floodwaters. Two electrical workers died while repairing power grid damage caused by the storm. Four people have died in New Orleans and Jefferson Parrish as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while using generators with inadequate ventilation. After the storm passed, nearly all of the oil production along the Gulf Coast was shut down. Thousands of crew members were deployed in Louisiana, and hundreds were rescued. Power outages were expected to last weeks, possibly up to a month. States of emergency were declared for Louisiana and portions of the Northeast. Several sporting events were also moved, delayed, or cancelled by the storm.

These numbers illustrate the fact that although our area may not be in the direct path of a hurricane’s landfall or anywhere near it; it can still lead to catastrophic damage and deaths. SERVPRO of Sussex County is the leading storm remediation company in Sussex County and if you suffered any damage from Ida or any storm; please call us at 302-856-9768 and we will be ready to help!

Stormy Outlook

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

While 2021 is expected to be another above-average hurricane season, it is unclear how it will unfold. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has updated its definition of the average hurricane season using 1991-2020 instead of 1981-2010. As a result, the “average” season now has 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of which will be major (Category 3+) hurricanes. The average number of named storms and the number of hurricanes increased with this change, while the number of major hurricanes remains unchanged. Therefore, the “above average” season prediction will be higher than previous predictions for an above-average season based on the changes of what is considered average.

It has become common practice for predictions for the upcoming hurricane season to be released as early as December 2020, with most organizations releasing their projections between April 8-15. Predictions from five different organizations: The Weather CompanyTropicalStormRisk.comColorado State University, the University of Arizona and North Carolina State University, are remarkably consistent. All expect 15-18 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

“So far, the 2021 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1996, 2001, 2008, 2011 and 2017. ‘All of our analog seasons had above-average Atlantic hurricane activity, with 1996 and 2017 being extremely active seasons,’ said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report.” – Colorado State University

For the first time, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began issuing tropical weather outlooks and forecasts on May 15 instead of June 1 as it recognized that severe tropical weather is forming earlier in the calendar year. And beginning in 2021, once this year’s list of storm names has been exhausted, NHC will use names from a pre-determined supplemental list instead of the Greek alphabet as was past practice.

What is considered storm damage to your roof?

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane-force winds, which are classified by meteorologists as 74 mph or greater, or gale-force winds, which are between 39-54 mph, can cause visible damage to your home's roof. High winds can remove or tear shingles, leaving the underlayment, roof deck, or waterproofing material exposed to the elements.

Signs of storm damage to your roof:

  1. Missing Shingles. 
  2. Visible Granule Loss. 
  3. Visible Water Infiltration. 
  4. Loose Debris. 
  5. Missing or Hail-Damaged Shingles. 
  6. Clogged or Broken Gutters and Downspouts. 
  7. Ice Dams. ...
  8. Damage to Roof Supports or Accents.

What is classed as storm damage?

 Buildings insurance policies usually cover financial loss caused by storm damage. We say that a storm generally involves violent winds, usually accompanied by rain, hail or snow.  Any extreme form of bad weather has the potential to cause damage to a property.

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Roof: 5 Steps to Take

  1. 1) Be careful and stay alert.
  2. 2) Assess the damage and take photos of the storm damage.
  3. 3) Call your insurance agent right away.
  4. 4) Stop further damage.
  5. 5) Stay organized and keep receipts.

Does homeowners insurance cover storm damage?

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Coverage also usually includes damage from hail, wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside the home when a roof or wall is damaged due to wind.

If you have been affected by storm damage – please call our experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768.

H2...Oh My!

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Once in a while, we all face catastrophic events in our lives, some larger than others. Catastrophes ranging from outdoor natural disasters, untimely death or major injury, or possibly an unexpected event that occurs within ones home.

In the business of mitigation and restoration, a major water loss would be considered a catastrophic event to many. Some water losses can be very minor in size and the extent of damage can be minimal. There are other scenarios in which a water loss can cause whole house damages, and if not taken care of properly or within a timely fashion, can lead to wide ranges of a microbial growth infestation. Complications from a water loss can range anywhere from being displaced from your home for extended periods of time, loss of personal contents and undo confusion and other complications. Not only to mention the frustration that their home has been almost destroyed or even partially damaged by such a common substance that we all deal with everyday, in some way shape or form...water.

In the restoration industry, there is no better service provider to restore your home to it's original preloss state than your local SERVPRO franchise. Our IICRC certified and skilled technicians have the resources, specialty equipment and knowledge to handle any form of water loss, large or small. Surely, there is nothing convenient about any form of water loss. Whether it’s a broken pipe, appliance leak, or even an intrusion from outside water sources that may bring in potential unknown amounts of contaminants. Always remember that the folks at SERVPRO of Sussex County will always be there for when you need us, and to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us to day to 302-856-9768 if you have any concerns about water damage.

How to Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

How to Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher

Hopefully, you have a properly inspected and maintained fire extinguisher in your home in the event of a house fire. The National Fire Protection Agency requires extinguishers be inspected when they are initially installed and once a month after that. You should inspect extinguishers more frequently if they are installed in locations where they are more prone to rust, impact or tampering.

  There are three critical check points to cover when inspecting your fire extinguisher:

  1. Confirm the extinguisher is visible, unobstructed, and in its designated location.
  2. Verify the locking pin is intact and the tamper seal is unbroken. ...
  3. Confirm the pressure gauge or indicator is in the operable range or position, and lift the extinguisher to ensure it is still full.

If you are a business owner the regulations also state: The regulations state that a minimum of two Class A fire extinguishers on every floor of a building are needed, unless the premises are very small, in which case one may be acceptable. ... If there is a sprinkler or automatic suppression system in place, fewer fire extinguishers may be required.  

What is the difference between Class A and B fire extinguishers?

Class A: freely burning, combustible solid materials such as wood or paper. Class B: flammable liquid or gas. Class C: energized electrical fire (energized electrical source serves as the ignitor of a class A or B fire – if electrical source is removed, it is no longer a class C fire. 

Fires can be classified in five different ways depending on the agent that fuels them: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K. Each type of fire involves different flammable materials and requires a special approach. In fact, trying to fight a blaze with the wrong method might make the situation worse.

  In the unfortunate event of a house or business fire; SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to assist with the best remediation and restoration service attainable.  Please call us at 302-856-9768.

10 Tips to Avoid Home Storm Damage

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

  1. REPLACE MISSING OR DAMAGED SHINGLES - If a shingle is damaged, it’s more likely to break free. If it’s missing, well then you’ve got a gap for wind to get under and do even more damage.
  2. REPAIR LOOSE SIDING - The same rules as roofing apply to siding: it’s important to ensure your siding isn’t damaged.
  3. KEEP YOUR GUTTERS CLEAR - Make sure your gutters are free-flowing and your downspouts flow away from your foundation. Water damage or flooding is one of the quickest ways to devalue your home. So ensuring your gutters are clear is the first line of defense in helping water to flow away from your home.
  4. ENSURE WATER CAN FLOW AWAY FROM YOUR HOME - The grade of your lot should keep water flowing away from your home and into a ditch, drain, or some other proper retention area.
  5. KEEP YOUR SUMP PUMP IN WORKING ORDER - Before the rainy season starts up, we suggest checking whether your sump pump is in working order. If you want to feel extra-secure, having a backup sump pump is a sure-fire way to prevent basement flooding.
  6. ENSURE PROPER SEALING OF DOORS AND WINDOWS - Wind only needs a small opening to get underneath something like a shingle or siding and rip it off.
  7. CHECK FOR LOOSE FENCE POSTS - Wind will surprise you. Anything that’s not nailed down is a liability, and that includes fence posts, which are often forgotten or ignored in homeowner’s storm-prep.
  8. REGULARLY TRIM YOUR TREES - Problem tree limbs can damage your home, a vehicle, or even your neighbor’s property. Regularly trimming the trees on your property is an excellent way to protect your roof and windows.
  9. WALK AROUND YOUR PROPERTY - If you know a storm is coming, there are some very basic steps you can take to minimize its impact. Like identifying the items around your property that could become projectiles.That means lawn furniture, tools, flower pots, or other yard debris. Do yourself a favor and move those items to a garage, a shed, or indoors.
  10. KEEP A GENERATOR ON HAND - A bad storm could potentially knock out power to your home for a couple of hours — or days. Having a generator on standby could go a long way towards ensuring you don’t lose your food, or the livability of your home until power is restored.

FAST, FRIENDLY AND FEARLESS!

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

When you experience the need for assistance at or in your home after an unexpected emergency; you want reassurance in knowing that the company you choose will live up to your expectations or exceed them.

Since 1993, SERVPRO of Sussex County has served its community with the highest level of customer service. We react to each issue with speed, courtesy and courage. In fact our average reaction time to any emergency call is typically under two hours. Each technician on staff has all the technology to receive and react to the calls in a timely fashion which will decrease the potential for initial and secondary damage. When you have unforeseen damage from water, fire, storm or other sources; we will arrive quickly to begin the remediation and restoration services.

Each month we receive numerous testimonials from both our residential and commercial customers. Our friendly staff will show empathy and compassion to whatever troubles you are facing and their calm demeanor and professional actions will create a sense of trust that is exuded in the testimonials we receive.

During these trying times of COVID-19; many local cleaning companies would not even risk the health of their employees or the status of their company by responding to sanitation and disinfecting needs throughout our community. Our crew responded to well over 500 calls for COVID related cleanings and this has solidified our presence as a fearless partner to help address any problem – BIG or small. Our technicians are equipped with all the proper PPE to keep both you and your family safe in light of such responses and remediation.

If you’ve dealt with the rest and want the best – call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768!

Avoiding Home Water Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Many of the water emergencies that SERVPRO of Sussex County responds to are caused naturally, and are unforeseen and unpreventable; but there are many that can be prevented. The following are examples of such man made water troubles.

  • Disconnect hoses. Standing water in a hose may freeze and create blockage that can lead to bursting pipes.
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts. Clean your gutters at least twice a year to prevent clogging and possible ice formations in the gutters. Clogged gutter will cause water to drain close to your house which can lead to an intrusion of ground or drain water.
  • Maintain trees and vegetation. Make sure there are no root systems which may interfere with your pipes. Always minimize landscaping near utility pipes.
  • Know where your water main is. In any home water emergency the first remedy is to typically turn the water off at the main. Time is precious during such an event so familiarize yourself with this issue.
  • Check your appliances regularly. An old failing dishwasher, hot water heater, ice maker or washer can be the culprit in many home water losses – so check them regularly.
  • Investigate and fix any leaks as soon as they occur. Ongoing water leaks can lead to mold and other secondary damage.
  • Upgrade washing machine hoses. This is another major area of concern so check them regularly.
  • Check your home water pressure and make sure it is not too high.
  • Monitor your water bill. If your sprinkler system is leaking underground – the only way you will know is if your water consumption is rising.

Call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 today if you have questions about water damage or if you need an inspection and or estimate.