Recent Posts

Types of In-Home Water Sensors

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

If you’re looking for an affordable whole-home leak detection system, your best bet is to buy a few battery-powered leak alarms, which you can find at most hardware stores and home centers. These are very easy to use – you simply place the sensors on the ground near any pipes and plumbing fixtures, such as drains, heaters and, of course, washing machines, and leave them there to monitor the situation. As soon as even a small amount of water is detected by them, the water leak alarms will begin to admit an extremely loud and piercing sound that will undoubtedly attract your attention.

The next level up from the plain battery-operated leak alarms is the leak detector that can connect to the internet. These alarms can wirelessly send information to you via your home internet modem so that even if you aren’t home, you can be instantly alerted to any leaks and quickly act to get home and turn the water off before disaster strikes.

One step better than even internet-enabled leak detection systems are single-point shutoff systems. These kinds of systems are ideal for those of you who spend a lot of time away from home, and who may not be able to get back quickly when a leak happens.

These leak detectors are plugged into the main electrical, rather than running on batteries, so you never have to worry about them stopping working because they’re out of juice. Single-point shutoff systems use a sensor that is placed on the floor, but which is held inside an appliance pan, to detect water. When a leak is detected, a shutoff valve turns the supply off so that your appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, cannot keep pumping out water.

This kind of system is especially good for using large household appliances that are kept above the basement level, because things like washing machines can leak a large volume of water and if that is seeping through a ceiling or floor, it can cause a lot of water damage really quickly.

If you suffer any water damage; please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768!

Seasonal Property and Business Cleaning Services

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Sussex County has been known over the past years as a vacation or seasonal destination. In fact; Rehoboth Beach is known as the summer vacation capital of our nation. If you own a local business; you know the business ebb and flow of both the season and its shoulder weekends. Recently, increased development and population have made our county a year round destination. This will require that local business pay attention to the cleanliness of their properties year round.

Whether you are a business owner or you offer an AirBnb or a rental property; the need for curb appeal and cleanliness will enhance your profits as well as your prospects. If your approach to your business is seasonal; SERVPRO of Sussex County offers weekly and monthly cleaning and janitorial services to spruce up your property before and after the summer rush. Our cleaning division currently keeps some of our areas most notable and pristine places in beautiful conditions on an ongoing basis. We can also offer services in the spring and fall to get your place ready for the season or to help you recover from the additional traffic patronizing your business or property. SERVPRO of Sussex County offers a higher standard of clean and our staff are IICRC accredited and trained to tackle any me ss. Unlike most local cleaning companies; we do not offer “light” or “quick” cleanings – which typically lead to customer complaints and excessive management demand. When you see SERVPRO green - you know it's clean!

It does not matter if you own an ice cream shop, candy store or a 6 bedroom rental property; SERVPRO of Sussex County will help you keep it “truly” clean and a clean business or property is much more inviting to the public. Call us today at 302-856-9768 for an inspection and quote.

State Farm’s Steps to Take After a Home Fire

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

  1. Find a safe place to stay. No matter the amount of damage, you likely can't stay in your own home. If staying with friends or family isn't an option, talk to your local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. These organizations will help you find a safe place to stay temporarily.
  2. Contact your insurance agent. You'll need to start a claim and address your immediate needs. "Loss of use" funds from your insurance policy may cover living and other daily expenses. If you receive these funds or an advance on your claim, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all purchases. Your insurance agent should also be able to help you secure your property and offer recommendations for cleaning up or restoring salvageable items.
  3. Protect your home. Even though your home is damaged and you may not be able to stay there, as the owner you still need to protect it as much as possible from both weather and unlawful entry.
  4. Take care of your pets. Always have your pets checked by a veterinarian after a fire. Your pets’ lungs can be damaged by smoke and burns can hide under fur.
  5. Get a copy of the fire report. You can usually get fire reports from your local fire department. The report may be helpful in providing information for your insurance agency.
  6. Address your finances. You'll still need to make mortgage payments — even if your home is destroyed. You'll also need to continue any car payments and replace any credit or debit cards that may have been destroyed in the house fire.
  7. Recover your possessions. Items destroyed in a house fire are usually covered by insurance. Typically, the home owner’s policy is a replacement-cost policy. When that's the case, and a loss occurs, you will receive the actual cash value of your damaged items at the time of settlement and may recover the replacement cost once the items have been replaced. To help make sure everything is accounted for, keep a home inventory of your possessions. This inventory should include the date of purchase, cost at purchase and description of each item, wherever possible.
  8. Take care of your family’s mental health. Disasters can make it difficult to cope. This is particularly true of children. Be patient with yourself as you work through any stress caused by the fire. If you or others in your family are having difficulty coping, please seek professional help. 

NOAA Warnings Concerning Storm Surge

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

  1. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It poses a significant threat for drowning. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles—including pickups and SUVs.
  2. Storm surge can cause water levels to rise quickly and flood large areas—sometimes in just minutes, and you could be left with no time to take action if you haven’t already evacuated as instructed.
  3. Storm surge values do not correspond well to the hurricane wind categories (of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) that range from 1 to 5. These categories are based only on winds and do not account for storm surge.
  4. Tropical storms, category 1 or 2 hurricanes, major (category 3 to 5) hurricanes, and post-tropical cyclones can all cause life-threatening storm surge.
  5. Storm surge can also occur with non-tropical storms like Nor’easters and other winter storms.
  6. Many U.S. Gulf and East Coast areas are vulnerable to storm surge, including areas up to several miles inland from the coastline. Find out today, well before a hurricane ever approaches, if you live in a storm surge evacuation zone.
  7. Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area. Storm surge can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area.
  8. During the peak of a storm surge event, it is unlikely that emergency responders will be able to reach you if you are in danger.
  9. Even if your community is not directly affected by storm surge, it could experience other hazards from the storm and face dangerous conditions such as impassable roads, water and sewage problems, and power outages. If power remains on, downed electrical wires can pose an electrocution risk.

If you have experienced water or storm damage – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768.  We offer prompt response and professional remediation, restoration and reconstruction services!

Causes of Home Water Damage

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Severe weather

Strong winds and heavy downpours could damage your roof, sending a certain amount of rainwater straight down into your house or business. Worse, severe weather can sometimes lead to flash flooding, especially when your property is in a flood-prone area.

Clogged gutters

Your home’s gutter system is supposed to draw rainwater away from your house. However, gutters often get blocked by leaves, branches, and other types of debris over time.

Leaking pipes

A loose-fitting pipe in the kitchen sink could leak enough water to damage the cabinet underneath it. A broken pipe inside walls could make things even more complicated. Worse yet would be a leaking plumbing supply line or a drainage pipe in the soil underneath your concrete slab. When this happens, you’ll likely face costly repairs.

Washing machines

Your washing machine is fed by water supply lines that are under constant pressure. If your lines are made from braided stainless steel, then you have nothing to worry about. The problem will be if your washing machine has rubber or PVC supply lines.

AC Condensation

Your air conditioning unit produces condensation, with the moisture dripping from the unit’s evaporator coil into a drain pan and out of your property through a condensate drain line. This drainage system works until the drain pan is damaged, or the condensate drain line is clogged with dust or dirt.

With the water unable to get out, it will leak from your AC straight into your home.

Blocked drains

The drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom floor, and your bathtub clog up for any number of reasons. When not dealt with immediately, clogged drains can easily back up and eventually cause flooding and water damage inside your property.

Sprinkler systems

Once activated during a fire, a sprinkler system will no doubt save your property and even your life. The problem is, there have been incidents where older sprinkler systems have turned themselves on even when there isn’t the slightest indication of a fire.

Water heaters

If you have an old water heater, then the likelihood that it’ll eventually spring a leak is high. When a water heater leaks, you can expect your basement, where it’s presumably located, to be flooded quickly.

ERP’s and the Business Confidence Provided!

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Every business hopes for the best – but some fail to plan for the worst. The worst being a flood or a fire. As a business owner or manager; if there were a way for you to be prepared for such unexpected catastrophes – you would probably find that effort to be both a solution to potential problems and a money saver.

SERVPRO offers a plan known as the Emergency Readiness Profile or ERP. As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

The SERVPRO ERP offers:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

To learn more about the SERVPRO ERP Program – please use this link: https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/gettingstarted

Or call 302-856-9768 and SERVPRO of Sussex County can offer the service to you directly.

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.