Recent Posts

Don’t Let Your Guard Down…..It’s Still Hurricane Season!

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Some scientists predict more cyclone activity will occur in both the Atlantic and Pacific due to global climate change.  A recent report from NOAA predicts that we should expect at least 12 tropical storms with 6 becoming hurricanes at this half way point in the season.  Typically, we see more local storm activity from August through October.  Although we have not had any major storm threats this year – we are still located along the central east coast which generally means that we are in an area of risk. 

The greatest threats we face from a tropical storm or hurricane are storm surge and flooding from heavy rains.  Most of Sussex County is located at or below sea level which means any heavy rain or storm surge can cause damage to coastal properties.  If strong winds are present; this can be a threat to the coast and other areas.  Strong winds are especially dangerous for manufactured homes.

Torrential rains associated with a hurricane or tropical storm will typically affect homes that are located well inland as well.  Although strong winds will generally cause significant damage; the leading cause of deaths has historically come from storm surge and flooding.  There are many other bodies of water in Sussex County that compound the issue of storm surge; such as bays, rivers and estuaries.  Looking back at previous local storms; we have seen Rt. 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach become obstructed with flood water and in many cases has become impassable. 

SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to help in the event of any storm.  We have the personnel and resources to restore your property to its original state.  We advise that everyone pay close attention to the weather and always heed the warnings as they appear on your smart phone.  Stay safe!     

Unimaginable Loss

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County has offered our support to the majority of fire victims in our community.  We have helped with house fires as well as fires that have affected local businesses.  Fortunately, most have not involved a major loss of life and typically we have offered restoration services for the external and internal structure as well as its contents.  A recent fire occurred in Long Neck that caused a loss so great it is difficult to describe.  Three very young children perished.  They were each under six years of age.  Even if you are not a parent as am I; the sadness is so deep it sickens anyone with a soul.  A photo was posted online and these children appeared radiant and beautiful.  They looked so full of life and joy and with their whole lives ahead of them – and why wouldn’t they be?

The enemy is fire and we should all learn to respect the terrible power it has to consume life if not controlled.  If the fire itself does not cause harm the smoke will.  This double edged hazard shows no discrimination and can take the lives of both young and old.  Over 1450 lives are lost to fires each year and 2/3 of those deaths were due to missing or non-functioning smoke detectors.  Proper and functioning smoke detectors save thousands of lives each year; however these detectors require regular care to keep them functional and when you consider these three little children and what may have been saved – this is a no brainer.  Install and inspect your smoke detectors to keep you and your family safe and don’t ever assume that a fire won’t happen to you.  SERVPRO of Sussex County donates hundreds of smoke detectors every year and we support every fire department in our county.  Almost every local fire department offers fire safety seminars and sessions.  In light of this most terrible recent tragedy – it is critical that we all - Learn Not to Burn.      

If It's Thunder......Expect The Lightning!

8/3/2019 (Permalink)

The forecast warns there will be a chance of thunderstorms, but the weather is balmy and slightly cloudy.  As evening draws near, you hear the distant rumbling of thunder and catch a flash of lighting on the horizon.  Recently, a powerful lightning storm rattled the Sussex County region. It lasted several hours as it moved over the county.  Large storms bring added dangers to homeowners.  Strong winds can cause trees and branches to damage your property and home.  Lightning itself can pose a significant fire risk should it make contact with your home.

The morning after the storm, SERVPRO of Sussex County received multiple calls from homeowner’s who had become the victims of storm damage. We were quick to send two technicians out to investigate and assist the homeowners in determine the best course of action.  Upon arrival, we discovered that two homes had been struck by the same bolt of lightning.  It had diverged and started electrical fires in both homes.  The local fire department was quick to respond and put out the fire in the late hours of the night.  As we performed our inspection, it was clear that there was extensive smoke damage to the interior of one of the homes. This was caused by burning wiring, wood, and other building materials.  The remaining fumes and debris posed a serious health risk to the families living there, and we recommended they limit their time in the home until it could be properly restored.

While statistically unlikely to occur, home lightning strikes can cause significant damage to your home.  If you live in an area that regularly experiences strong storms, there are a few things you can do help protect your property. One of the most effective ways for homeowners to do this is by installing a home lightning protection system.  These are items such as:

?  lightning rods

?  main conductors

?  grounds

?  bonds

?  surge protectors

For an additional level of protection, unplug your electronics during electrical storms.  This will prevent any power surges from affecting them.  Lastly, consult with a representative from your homeowners or renter’s insurance company.  Make sure that you are covered and know how to handle a claim when the time comes.  If you have experienced fire damage and are looking for a trustworthy restoration partner to service your home or business, look no further than SERVPRO of Sussex County!

We Are Family!

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Sussex County is where our family is.  Our family of customers.  Our family of co-workers.  Our family of friends and neighbors.  For more than 25 years we have served this family and they represent all that we are. We are invested in the future of our community and the needs of our customers. Throughout our 26 years of service to the residents and businesses of Sussex County, the SERVPRO mission has never changed. We serve the people, businesses, and organizations that make our community great. Whether you live in Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Georgetown, Seaford, Laurel, Millsboro, Bridgeville, Milford or Ocean View you can rely on us! Our staff of IICRC certified technicians is equipped with the latest technology and tools and have tackled all sorts of waterfiremold and storm challenges.  SERVPRO of Sussex County are the cleaning experts. We aid a variety of local organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics DE, Boys & Girls Club, Breast Cancer Awareness, and DE Little League. We are active participants of Western Sussex, Georgetown, Millsboro, Lewes, Rehoboth-Dewey, and Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce organizations. We are proud of our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  SERVPRO of Sussex County will help you as well when you need our services. Our community knows that we will be there for them fast and ready!

The Customer is King!

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

When SERVPRO of Sussex County responds to your restoration or cleaning needs, we make it a priority to deliver excellent customer service throughout your time with us.  The situations our customers need us for are often stressful and complicated. In many cases, our customers find out their property is in trouble while they are away.  In a situation such as this, choosing a resourceful restoration company is essential.  As a customer service representative, it is crucial to build a trusting, reliable relationship with our customers while we walk them through the restoration process. Your peace of mind is important to us.

How does SERVPRO of Sussex County establish a professional relationship with our customers?  It begins the first time we speak with you.  When you call our office, our staff will take the time to discuss the full scope of your problem and assign the most qualified technician to assess the situation.  Our technicians are professional and experienced.  When SERVPRO inspects your home or business, they will determine the appropriate solution and take into consideration any special requirements you may have.  As your job moves forward and service begins at your property, we will maintain contact with you.  Within 24hrs of initial service, we will call you to make sure any questions you have are addressed as soon as possible.  We will continue to provide updates as your job progresses, and ensure your needs are met throughout your time as our customer.

The SERVPRO team has experience accommodating customers through every step of the process.  We work closely with insurance providers, provide detailed information to help you pick the best reconstruction contractors, and maintain flexibility with your schedule.  If you are looking for a trustworthy restoration partner to service your home or business, look no further than SERVPRO of Sussex County!

For more information call us at 302-856-9768 today!

Dirty Birds

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Forrest Gump said “life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.” Life at SERVPRO of Sussex County is much like that chocolate box; we never know what the next call will bring. Typically, most customers need our assistance with water, fire or mold issues. Others will call for us to clean their carpets or ducts. Recently, we responded to a call regarding a pigeon infestation…….yes I said pigeons.

If Mr. Gump were an employee here he would probably say “If it makes a mess – we will clean it up.” That best describes our mindset. But, let’s talk about the pigeons. There are many animals who; although they exist in an outdoor habitat; look for any chance to share our living quarters. Rodents come to mind as do insects, as we generally encounter them on a regular basis and an in most cases an exterminator will remedy. When your attic becomes infested with birds and all that they bring and leave behind – an exterminator will be limited. They can probably remove the birds – but the mess is left for the homeowner.

In this particular case, the pigeons found an opening in the soffit and began to use the area for eating, nest building, egg laying and rest room facilities. Trust me feces, egg shells and foreign nest materials from an estimated 70 or more birds can create a mess that will surpass your worst nightmares (please see video). The smell alone is overwhelming. PPE is a must, since birds like many animals carry some nasty diseases and bacteria – as does their excrement. The affected area had to be contained and most of the flex ducts had to be replaced and extensive vacuuming and cleaning was applied. After we finished our remediation – there was not one feather of evidence left behind!

A word to the wise – inspect your home for any opening that may offer an entry point for unwanted guests and pests. If you suffer a similar misfortune – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 today!

Sniffing Out A Problem

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Sniffing Out A Problem

  When you consider that most of the jobs that SERVPRO of Sussex County tackles involve a clear cause; an exception would be issues involving odor.  A water intrusion from a storm or broken pipe usually can be traced to a failed critical control point or a structural weakness; leaving little or no doubt or mystery as to the cause of the damage.  The same can be asserted for fire damage as well.  It is easy to solve the riddle when tangible clues are present.

  Generally, when a complaint is received involving odor; the culprit can be obvious or not.  When you enter a home, office or business and encounter a musty, mildew smell – the cause is typically moisture or growth.  Once these causes are suspected we apply technology to make our suspicions accurate.  The smell of smoke or soot is also fairly easy to determine just by trusting your senses.  We also respond to odors occurring from dead animals in attics and crawlspaces – again these examples offer a definitive smell that most would recognize. 

  The challenge with odor diagnosis usually begins with a difference of opinion.  Every nose has an opinion and since we generally arrive at an odor job after the smell has permeated the area – it is difficult to assume just what the location smelled like before the issue began.  Furthermore; an odor can change and may be stronger at certain times.  Recently, we had a customer who had an odor which was very similar to a chemical – musty blend – so our instincts led us to seek out moisture and or any saturation of cleaning or other chemicals in the area.  This case proved baffling since according to the owner – no chemical smell had ever been present before.  Ultimately, we had to demo some of the flooring and determined that the odor was due to a moisture problem and our deduction was reinforced by the presence of an abundance of water that our dehumidifiers removed from the air over several days.  Odor can be tricky and elusive.

  If you have a funny smell present at your home or business – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 800-856-9768 and we will investigate and eradicate!

A Note From Our Owner

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

A Note From Our Owner

My wife Jo Ann and I own SERVPRO of Sussex County. Our company performs fire, water, and mold restoration. These three occurrences, and more, often happen to commercial and residential structures.

One might think that we have a blue print or a step by step process and to a certain degree this may be true. Sometimes there are twists and turns that require us to change the process to an achievable end.

For example in drying a kitchen we discover that the water infiltrated the space beneath the base kitchen cabinets. What does this mean? In order for us to achieve the goal to dry what is wet, the countertop and base kitchen cabinets must be removed, dried and stored until repairs commence. We may find the drywall that is behind the cabinets is also wet. If the drywall is wet, there is a good chance the insulation is also wet.

As an owner training is crucial to do a great job. Another important attribute is the ability to be flexible. Some people do not like surprises, but in our daily work unexpected occurrences become common.

This is where we learn to be flexible. We teach and train our team to be “capable of bending easily without breaking.” What this means is that when something unexpected happens, we need to think how to solve the issue and not just react.

I am proud of everyone on the SERVPRO of Sussex County team as they flourish in an atmosphere where we help, learn and share.

Get Your Mind in the Gutter!

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Every time I drive into my driveway I look up at my clogged gutters and I start to worry. When it rains, most of my roof line looks like a waterfall – Yes, it’s that bad! All of this water is accumulating along the foundation and crawlspace of my home. Neither scenario is good for me emotionally, structurally or financially. I decided today to call and schedule a long overdue cleaning of my gutters. Below you will find some good reasons why you may want to do the same.

Your gutters can be a ticking time bomb above your head – filled with leaves, sticks, insects and critters. Gunked - up gutters can make nice homes for rodents, mold, bee and insect infestations. A debris clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to your home. Standing water around your foundation will also keep a higher level of humidity in those areas; making conditions perfect for mold and growth to begin and flourish.

Obviously, one of the best times to have your gutters cleaned would be early winter after the leaves have taken their fall. If your gutters have not been cleaned within a couple of years or never – anytime would be good to perform this maintenance so as to offer peace of mind and bring any structural issues to light. A wet environment near your home is not a good situation and typically your gutters play a vital role in the direction and flow of the water. Your downspouts should also be inspected and cleaned since if the gutters are filled with debris – it will pass into the downspouts.

If you look up at your gutters and see leaves, sticks and debris – make the decision to have them cleaned and save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the end.

In the event of a water damage at your home or business – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768.

Grilling Safety Tips

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

It’s finally summertime! If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll be getting out the grill, cleaning it up from winter’s storage and using it on a regular basis. Are you a charcoal griller or a propane griller? Either way, there’s nothing like the taste of a meal cooked on an outdoor open grill.

Let’s go over a few basics before you place that T-bone on the grill:

  1. Have you checked to make sure everything is clean from last year?
  2. Is everything in good working order? (better get it fixed before you try to use it)
  3. Are you using new charcoal? (old charcoal may be hard to light)
  4. Is the propane tank full? (you don’t want it to run out of propane in the middle of cooking)
  5. Make sure you have all your utensils and/or ingredients before you start grilling. (nothing worse than having to stop and run back to the kitchen for a missing ingredient)
  6. Make sure you are far enough away from the house and/or any structure before lighting the grill. (you don’t want to catch any other structure on fire in the event of a wind shift)
  7. Make sure your grill is always attended by an adult. (children can be curious but this can cause serious injury)

In the event that your grillin’ goes awry, things get out of hand, and a fire happens. Of course, your first call is to 911. The second call is to SERVPRO of Sussex County at (302) 856-9768. SERVPRO can help restore your property should an accident occur.

Have fun grillin’ this summer – but be a smart griller!