Recent Posts

Trouble at a Home away from Home

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

The Delaware Beaches are a popular destination for many families seeking a getaway.  There is nothing quite like spending summers in a dream vacation home.  It’s a wonderful feeling to have a place to look forward to throughout the year.  With summer far behind us, many homes will rest unattended for many months.  Moisture intrusion can quickly lead to problems which can spread throughout your home.   Wallpaper, fabric, carpets, drywall, and wood products are all easily affected by such scenarios.  What can you do, and who can you count on to restore your property?

SERVPRO technicians are regularly called out to problems where homeowners are far away from the point of disaster.  We pride ourselves in showing great care for the homes we’ve been entrusted with.  Recently, SERVPRO of Sussex County was contacted to remediate growth from a gorgeous summer home which held great significance to a local family.  While the family was away, moisture within the HVAC system created a perfect environment for fungal growth.  As it expanded throughout the system, growth continued to spread throughout the home, affecting walls, furniture, and ceilings.  SERVPRO of Sussex County was called in to remediate mold from all affected surfaces. Our trained technicians possess an eye for detail. We inspected each floor thoroughly, cleaning and sanitizing the ceilings, carpets, walls, and belongings.  While some items were unable to be saved, the home was restored to its original, livable state.

No matter what happens while you’re far from home, SERVPRO is only a one call away.  We have the skills and experience to handle any disaster.  As members of the Sussex County community, we feel closely connected to our local customers and value their trust.  If find yourself in need of help, call.  SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to all types of unexpected property damage.  We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Burnt out of Business

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Did you ever stop to consider what happens to a commercial business after they have a major disaster?  Let’s just think about your favorite restaurant that you and your friends meet at for  your weekend get-together.  During the week, your favorite restaurant has suffered a fire.  The local fire department was called in to put out the fire. Afterwards the fire marshal came in to determine the cause.  The report in the local newspaper said it was due to an electrical short from the overhead lighting.  The photos were devastating and “your booth” is now covered in black soot along with everything else in the restaurant!  What happens next?

Your favorite restaurant will probably be out of business for many, many months if not a year or longer to clean and repair the damages – as well as a loss of income to them.  If they don’t own the building, they will likely continue to pay rent without any income to offset it.  For some small businesses in this situation, it may put them out of business without having the insurance to cover that loss.  What about you and your friends?  Will you wait that long for them to recover and be back in business?  By the time that happens you will probably have found a “new” favorite restaurant.

 By calling SERVPRO of Sussex County to help with the clean-up, your favorite restaurant could be back up and running in ‘short order’.  Our crews are ready to help 24-7 for all disasters, residential or commercial, big or small.  SERVPRO of Sussex County prides itself in helping to make the loss "Like it never even happened."  When disaster strikes call us the experts, SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768.

A View from the Frontlines

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

I had the privilege of working alongside the experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County during my first two weeks as a new member of the team. My personal experience with water damage placing life on hold left me eager to gain a new perspective from the professionals who restore homes on a daily basis. My role with SERVPRO is focused on social media and customer service. With this in mind, I embraced the opportunity to learn how SERVPRO provides industry leading solutions to their customers.

  While I am no stranger to working with my hands, I was shocked by the severity of damage my teammates are tasked to resolve. Our day started at a location with severe mold growth. A water pipe had burst under the home while the homeowner was away. With nobody around to report the water loss, flooding quickly gave way to a moist environment and extensive fungal growth within the home. Wearing respirators and personal protective equipment required before entering the work site, I couldn’t help but imagine how I would feel if this were my property. The extent of damage was incomprehensible.

  Fortunately, scenarios like this are where SERVPRO professionals shine. Wendy, our Crew Chief, was an excellent instructor. She provided great details on the mold remediation process from start to finish. We spent the day removing all damaged material, and preparing the structure for reconstruction. She explained that in a situation like this, all affected material must be removed from the structure. Walls, ceiling, and insulation that had been affected by the growth all had to be disposed. I developed great respect for the team I work with over the course of the day.

  Our technicians operate with a great sense of urgency and attention to detail. For more on SERVPRO of Sussex County’s water damage services please visit: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com or call 302-856-9768 for more information.

Vehicular Sabotage!

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

When you think of SERVPRO and the services that we offer; you typically envision a house or business that has been affected by a natural or man-made emergency. Did you know that we sometimes clean vehicles? A couple of months ago a local dealership in Georgetown called us out to inspect an SUV that was parked on their lot. The caller described the situation as an animal “infestation”. We would not rest until we found the pest!

Our inspection revealed an SUV model that was less than five years of age and had a foul odor, with a notable presence of scattered rodent feces throughout the interior. We also discovered that our rodent had made a meal of some of wiring under the hood. As you might expect, this caused problems which made driving the vehicle impossible.

The dealership towed the vehicle to our location and our team had the challenge of not only cleaning the vehicle, but also searching for the perpetrator. No rodent was found and we determined that it had escaped during transit and become free range.

There are more than a dozen harmful and potentially fatal diseases associated with rodent droppings. The dealership intended to resell the vehicle once it had been safely restored to a clean condition. Our techs donned proper PPE before entering the SUV and worked for a full day vacuuming and cleaning the interior until the only evidence of rat damage was the chewed wiring which we cannot fix. The dealership towed the vehicle back to their lot and they were extremely pleased with our work.

Don’t let pesky pests ruin your day or your vehicle – call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302- 856-9768 if you have a similar problem and we will send out our Rat Patrol!

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

According the National Fire Prevention Association; there are more than 200 fires per year that are caused by Christmas Trees. These fires cause an average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries and $14.8 million in property damage annually. There is a common myth that tree lights alone are the source of these accidents. In reality, the cause is often related to overloaded extension cords and electrical sockets. When overloaded with too many devices drawing power beyond the cord/power strip’s rating, they can fail and short circuit.

The following are measures which can be taken to diminish this risk:

  • Keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Purchase a freshly cut tree.
  • Water the tree every day.
  • Remove the tree soon after Christmas or once it dries out.
  • Check extension cords for damage before use.
  • Do not overload extension cords. Use only UL approved lights and cords.
  • Check for any shorts, or damaged bulbs in the strings of lights and discard the string if they are found.
  • Check extension cords for any exposed wire and make sure they art grounded.
  • NEVER PUT LIT CANDLES ON YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE!!
  • Make sure your lights are turned off before you turn in at night.
  • Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from rain gutters and off the ground.

Your Christmas tree is not the only item to exercise caution with. It is reported that candles start two out of every five decoration fires. Speaking from experience; this can happen in the blink on an eye; causing considerable damage. We had a small fire in our kitchen during Thanksgiving dinner one unfortunate year. A dish towel got too close to a lit candle and we had to replace the island that it sat on.All it takes is a temporary lapse in attention.

SERVPRO of Sussex County wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season! If you should have some bad luck during the holidays or at any time – call us at 302-856-9768 and we will help to restore the joy of the holidays.

Cold Nights & Frozen Pipes

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

A cracked pipe A cracked pipe caused by freezing temperatures.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety states that the most common cause of property damage during frigid weather is frozen pipes that burst. The average cost of such an event is estimated at $5,000.00 or more.  What can you do to prevent those pipes from freezing?

  Obviously, pipes that are poorly insulated, exposed and located in unheated areas are more at risk than those located in a temperature-controlled environment.  However, even interior pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk.

  There are efforts you can apply to hopefully minimize this risk. As you notice the seasons change and colder weather sets in, take a look around your property and locate areas of risk. The temperature “Alert Level” is at 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the outdoor temperature reaches this level you will want to take the following steps:

  • Keep your garage doors closed. Especially the water supply lines are located there.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Start a cold-water drip from your faucets. Maintaining water flow will prevent freezing. Even a trickle will do the trick.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. (Here is where you have to ask yourself: Is a slight increase in my electric bill worth possibly saving you up to or more than $5,000.00? – probably so.)
  • Leave your heat on – If you plan to be away during cold weather set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For a long-term solution – add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Applying pipe insulation is also a good preventive measure and since it is about 50 cents per linear foot – it is cheap as well.

If by chance you incur water damage from frozen broken pipes or another cause; the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we can offer remediation and get you and your home back to normal.        

The Leak Won’t Stop If You Ignore It

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Several months ago, SERVPRO of Sussex County responded to a call from a very smelly business.  After a thorough inspection our technicians found that the source was water intrusion which caused growth and mildew.  It was as if someone had opened a gym bag left to ferment for several weeks. The lobby smelled like the most intense “locker room / body odor” smell that we have ever encountered.  Obviously, the business owner was concerned that this would not be good for business. 

  The structure was over 25 years old and it was a surprise to no-one that there were structural problems. We found water leaking through windows and worse. Over time, this water saturated carpets and flooring. Because it was unnoticed for so long, proper drying never occurred; hence the intense odor.  The window sills and frames were also showing signs of water damage as well.

  We immediately placed air movers and air scrubbers. We also recommended an Industrial Hygienist be contacted in order to inspect and provide a protocol for mitigation. The Industrial Hygienist recommended that all of the affected windows be removed and replaced immediately. We agreed with this protocol, and advised out customer accordingly. SERVPRO of Sussex County knows many trustworthy local contractors who perform these services. We put our customer in touch with a local window contractor and proceeded to remove the smell and the growth.

 In early October, we got another call from the same business after a weekend of heavy rain. This time they had suffered flooding damage with standing water and saturated carpets. Drywall and flooring throughout the basement and first and second floors had been thoroughly affected. We soon came to learn that the business chose to ignore our advice and keep their failing windows.

  Once again, our team responded and applied extraction, placement of drying equipment, air scrubbers and deep cleaning.  Between the two losses the business incurred thousands of dollars in remediation expense.

  There is an old saying that goes “You can pay me once or pay me twice.” Which implies that if a lesson is not learned initially – more expense will occur.  If the business had acted on the advice given by the Hygienists and our recommendations – the second loss would never have happened. These types of problems do not fix themselves and when a business or a resident is offered sage advice to prevent future issues time and money will be saved by taking action.

Where There's Fire There's Smoke

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Sussex County can help you eliminate the smell of smoke after a fire in your home or business.  If you have had a fire in your home; you may notice the smell of pungent, lingering smoke odors which at times can become overwhelming.  Post fire soot, ash and debris may also be present and in such cases it is in your best interest to call in professionals who can restore and prevent further damage to the property and belongings.

   SERVPRO offers the most professional fire damage restoration process. Our crew will apply proven methods to remove fire and smoke residues from furniture, walls, floors and ceilings and other surfaces in your home. If valuables are in need of removal and cleaning; we offer these services as well and sanitize salvageable items off site. We also discard any items deemed unsalvageable by the homeowner.

  The use of air movers, air scrubbers and foggers can also be utilized to push odors from the atmosphere to reduce smoke odors and improve overall air quality.

  Surfaces are also cleaned to remove soot and smoke residue.  Walls, floors and ceilings are all cleaned and checked for odor penetration.  In some cases the entire structure may need cleaning.

  Whether a small kitchen fire or a serious house fire; the odors associated with such a loss can be lasting and overwhelming. Call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 as soon as the fire is out and we can begin the process of restoring your home to its pre-fire condition.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(302) 856-9768 or visit: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com

Keep Your Pipes Warm

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety states that the most common cause of property damage during frigid weather is frozen pipes that burst.

Once the temperature begins to drop, there are efforts you can apply to hopefully minimize this risk. The temperature “Alert Level” is at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When the outdoor temperature reaches this level you will want to take the following steps:

  • Keep your garage doors closed. Especially is water supply lines are located there.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Let the cold water drip from your faucets served from exposed pipes. Even a trickle will do the trick.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. (Here is where you have to ask yourself: Is a slight increase in my electric bill worth possibly saving you up to or more than $5,000.00? – probably so.)
  • If you plan to be away during cold weather – leave your heat on – set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For a more long term solution – add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Applying pipe insulation is also a good preventive measure and since it is about 50 cents per linear foot – it is cheap as well.

Obviously, the pipes that are most exposed and located in unheated areas are more at risk than those located in a temperature controlled environment. But even pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk.

If by chance you incur water damage from frozen broken pipes or another cause; the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we can offer remediation and get you and your home back to normal.

Home Expo - Our Local Connections

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County is one of the premier restoration companies in the region. When you contact our team to assist you with an emergency, you are placing your property in good hands. We have spent over twenty years building close relationships with many businesses within the community. No matter what you need, we can get the right people for the job.

Restoring a home or business is a multi-step process. SERVPRO specializes in mitigation, remediation, specialty cleaning, and drying water damaged materials. While reconstruction is not something we often perform, our years of experience has created lasting relationships with reliable professionals. We can offer you referrals to the best contractors in the area, saving you time and confusion. There is a good chance we may know your insurance agent too! The process of filing a claim and making sure your adjuster has all the relevant information can be intimidating. Thankfully, we have a great track record of providing our customers with a stress free claims process. Our team has plenty of experience assisting our customers in the claims process, and will directly communicate with your insurance company to provide all necessary documents related to our services. Because of the sensitive and stressful circumstances we are called to repair, the comfort of our customers is always a priority.

Keep an eye out for us on the road and around your community. We serve Lewes, Rehoboth, Millsboro, Seaford, Georgetown, Milford, and many other locations in and around Sussex County. We are always happy to answer questions and assist our customers in any way we can. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Sussex County