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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration
Local: (302) 856-9768 - Toll Free: (888) 877-9771

Archived Blog Posts

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.

Following the Science at SERVPRO!

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

We all have become too familiar with the phrase “follow the science” and it has evolved into household phrase since we have all been dealing with COVID-19.  “Following the Science” is what hopefully brought about useful vaccines and proper techniques to ease and eradicate the spread of the virus. 

At SERVPRO of Sussex County; we FOLLOW THE SCIENCE every day.  Whether we are tackling a water loss from a broken pipe, an unfortunate fire event or the remediation of possible growth or mold in your home or business.  All of our managers and crew have had scientific training to give them the proper methods and techniques to deal with fluid and dangerous situations.  All of our accreditations have been offered through the IICRC – the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certifications and our technicians have gone offsite for days at a time to learn and be tested in order for them to be accredited.

When we arrive at any work scene – our vehicles and trucks are filled with equipment and products that have all been scientifically tested. They are tested for their usefulness as well as to ensure there are no negative health effects to the customers offered through their use. Our technicians have the proper PPE – Personal Protection Equipment to ensure both their safety and yours. Our equipment meets the highest standards of performance and safety to the home or business owner.  We even have instruments that can detect and measure how much moisture has made its way into your floors and walls – just by holding a meter up against the area. Everything we do is based on science and how to keep our community healthy.

If you have any issue with water, fire or mold; or if you simply need a general cleaning call us today at 302-856-9768 to set up a free inspection.

Well Equipped!

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

We have all heard the phrase; but what does “well equipped” really mean?  According to the dictionary it means that you or the entity has sufficient equipment, supplies and or abilities.  A person who is well equipped is reliable and professional and uses his resources to solve problems and help others.  The same is true for an organization.  If a company is well equipped; it is in a much better position to handle the challenges of day to day business and an ever changing customer base and their needs.  It is easy to distinguish “well equipped” companies from those who are not simply by their success.  An “ill equipped” company will struggle and typically encounter more problems than successes and their customers will face the disappointment that accompanies their lack of resources and abilities.  A great example of a “well equipped” company is SERVPRO of Sussex County.

SERVPRO of Sussex County has expanded and grown over the last several years and all you need to do is view our office complex to see our “well equipped” ideology.  Three years ago we had 6 vehicles in our fleet – we now have 16 and are looking to add to that total.  Our number of employees has almost doubled in this period as well and all have received the accredited training associated with the success of the SERVPRO brand.  We have also pioneered into new areas of expertise and have added new departments such as our cleaning and janitorial division and our air quality maintenance and services.  We reinvest our profits back into our company to stay “well equipped” since that is the best way to ensure future success.  Our community is growing all around us and we are proud to be considered the best remediation and restoration/reconstruction company in Sussex County and we will continue to offer the best services supported by the best equipment, supplies and most importantly PEOPLE!  SERVPRO of Sussex County is truly “well equipped” and ready to serve!  Call us today at 302-856-9768 for any of our services.

Stay Calm and Call SERVPRO of Sussex County!

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

As home or business owners, you know the stress and anxiety that comes with the responsibilities of maintaining both.  Monthly bills, customer care and labor issues are enough to keep you awake at night with worry.  Those are normal duties which are foreseen and obvious preparation is needed for their management and control. 

Let’s talk for a moment about those unforeseen problems than can change your home or business in an instant.  For instance: you own a boutique and the employee restroom just flooded or your ice maker at home failed and saturated your first floor!  Things like floods and fires are outside of our control and can affect anyone.  Storms are indiscriminate as to which properties they can damage or destroy, and are sometimes unpredictable.  Hoping for the best is not a solid plan for such events.  A better plan is to call a company who has served America for more than 50 years!  Call a company who exemplifies service and professionalism.  Have you ever wondered why we call our company SERVPRO?  Because that one word says it all!  We will be there for you and help with service and professionalism.  We don’t just practice this philosophy – it is our name!

SERVPRO of Sussex County has a trained and professional crew standing by 24/7 to take that emergency call for service when very few others will even answer the phone.  Our expertise in all the things that you can’t control will help you to get things back under control.  Fast, quality service that you can depend on anytime – SERVPRO of Sussex County! Call us today - 302-856-9768!

Weather Ready or Not? SERVPRO of Sussex County Can Help With Storm and Wind Damage!

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

The U.S. Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 until November 30 each year with more and more storms occurring over recent years.  This year appears to be no exception with the Pacific region seeing its first Tropical Storm – Andres almost two weeks earlier than the western severe weather season was to begin on 5/15.  That being said; at least 17 named storms are predicted – 5 more than anticipated in past years.  Although, the Delmarva region has luckily been spared from most Tropical Storm and Hurricane damage – we remain in the Eastern zone where past destruction has occurred.

Most Tropical Storms including hurricanes bring heavy rain, strong winds and possible tidal surge and flooding.  Obviously flooding will typically cause the worst damage and harm – but let’s not ignore the damaging effects of strong winds.  Falling trees can be deadly and winds over 25mph can rip the siding and shingles from your home and cause other “minor” damage.  In such cases; most people would reach out to a tree removal specialist as they are one of the only groups that will respond and typically only if a tree has been involved or needs to be altered or removed.  But what about the structural damage to your home?  In many cases it may only be shingles or a piece of siding or displaced gutter – who will assist with these issues?  SERVPRO has prided itself and built a great national reputation as a top storm remediation and restoration company.  SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to not only take your call – but to implement a plan of action to correct the issue and fix the damage.

You may feel that a job may be too small or aren’t certain who can help; this is why you should call the community’s trusted leader in storm clean-up for almost 30 years!  If you have any wind or storm damage concerns – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we will offer or find the resources you need to make it "Like it never even happened."      

“Tis An Ill Wind That Blows No One Any Good…”

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

This is an old proverb that means generally when the wind blows; some good may come of it. The “Ill” wind referred to, means that no good will come to anyone from some winds. An example would be a hurricane which typically packs ill winds that cause destruction. Wind should be everyone’s concern. If you have ever witnessed a tornado or the aftermath; you know that strong wind can not only destroy but it can kill. Unfortunately, recent events have brought this to fruition.

Although we rarely see tornadoes here in Sussex County; we do have several Nor-Easters per year. Let’s also not forget that we can get an occasional hurricane as well. But tornadoes, Nor-Easters and hurricanes are not the only types of winds that cause damage. A few weeks ago we had severe thunderstorms in our area and I suffered some minor damage to the siding on my home. A large piece of fascia had torn loose and was dangling precariously over my garage. It needs to be stated that I suffer from a bad back and when I say bad – I mean that a jellyfish has a stronger spine. So of course; I took to Google and found no one that would assist me because most were tree specialists and a handyman would not waste the thirty minutes to drive to my home for the ten minutes of work. This situation made me think of how many other home owners had the same issues and while driving the local roads I saw other homes with minor damage. What did I do? I did what you should do – I called SERVPRO of Sussex County and the fascia was fixed promptly and properly.

So if you find yourself needing someone to respond to what you and others may feel is a small job – call SERVPRO of Sussex County. We will help you with even minor wind damage and of course our team has all the know-how and equipment to help with the large jobs as well. No job is too small if it is of concern to any of our local patrons. Call us at 302-856-9768 to find out how we can help!

SERVPRO of Sussex County Thanks Local Commerce

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

It gives me great pleasure to share our recent success and growth with our local business community.  SERVPRO of Sussex County experienced dramatic prosperity in 2020 and it continues into 2021.  This has occurred during the most challenging times in our history.  There were many local businesses who made a healthy decision and used our CSC services.  This measure seemed to keep their staff and patrons safe from the COVID virus.  Some are still using the service.  However; the success was seen in every department – not just sanitation and cleaning.  We realize that our role with the business community is very important.  We service every type of business from convenience stores to hospitals.  Sussex County businesses know that we always stand ready to assist.  The concentrated efforts toward all local businesses and our support for the local chambers of commerce allow us to build strong relationships in the community.

Our recent growth would not be possible if it were not for the loyalty and trust of the business community of Sussex County.  So we say THANK YOU! THANK YOU for your business and your trust!  I believe that “trust” is the driving force behind the prosperity.  Every job that we fulfill is a way for us to build trust.  When you consider how every business struggled and is still struggling to find their footing; trust is everything.  SERVPRO has built a stellar national reputation through trust.  We are the company that hopefully most people will call during their worst times.  We will work to return you and your business to the best of times!

Hopefully, the world will soon return to normalcy.  Until it does we will support you. So again, to local businesses we say thanks for sticking with us and know that we will be there for you when you need us!  

Gimme Space!

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

We all need our space; sometimes we need a little more space than others.  As people we all typically accumulate stuff!  Valuables, belongings, clothing and things, all take up space and as we age and grow as families; we are all faced with the question of what to throw out and what to keep?  Most of us seldom think about all of these things until they are in the way of something that we want more.  For instance; if you want to remodel your home or a section of your home – you will need space to accommodate the process.  The same dilemma would occur if you are moving or planning to rent your home – you will need to address the issue of space, storage and how to create it.  SERVPRO of Sussex County has the solution!

   SERVPRO of Sussex County is happy to offer professional pack-out, inventory and storage space options.  We have a large climate controlled warehouse with staff on hand to help you.  Our process features the latest inventory control technology – iCat – which enables our team to inventory and locate any of your stored valuables almost instantly and we can offer reports on the status of your items.

   The SERVPRO team is also willing to do all of the heavy lifting and labor which we all know is the real challenge when moving anything.  We will pack it, pick it up and store it all in one convenient process.  This service is also very helpful when you are in transition from one home or location to another.  You will have the option of storing your valuables wherever is best for you or you may use our facility.  When you want those items back; we will be happy to deliver all of your belongings to you in their pristine original condition.  Call us today at 302-856-9768 to find out more details and request our services!

More Services...Less Worry!

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County is diversifying and offering our community new and helpful services.   Everyone knows that we are the leaders in water, fire and mold remediation; but did you know that we can help you to remove your valuables and contents when such disasters occur and safely store them for you? We are happy to announce our Pack-out and Storage service for Sussex County!

  Imagine the stress families endure after a flood or a house fire.  Many do not even consider what to do or how to handle all the contents of the home after a devastating event and the last thing that you and your family needs is more work and worry.  With SERVPRO of Sussex County – one call does it all!  We will be happy to assist you with the restoration and reconstruction of your property; and we can also offer technicians and vehicles to move your valuables and contents to our safe, climate controlled storage facility.  We can store them and monitor them; and even offer you reports on specific items and their whereabouts and condition.    We will help you pack the items and we will do all of the heavy lifting and make sure that no contents are exposed to possible secondary damage.     

  This service is not only practical for the worst case scenario but also for the convenience of shipping and storing items during renovations or seasonal moves.  If you want to offer your home at the beach for rent during the summer and need to store your valuables – we can do it!  If you are between moves and need help with moving and storing any items – we can do it!  When bad luck attacks…let us pack!  Call us today at 302-856-9768 and we will offer all the details!    

The Challenges of Unattended Death Cleanup

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Unattended death refers to a death in which the body is not discovered for days, weeks or even months. Unattended deaths are most common in the elderly; especially when they reside alone. When the body of an unattended death is discovered; it is of course a very difficult situation for the family and this can also be the case for the group offering the cleanup.

In such cases as unattended deaths – ALWAYS USE A PROFESSIONAL GROUP to remediate and restore the environment and the property. Decomposing bodies pose biological contamination threats that if not treated with professional care can lead to permanent property damage and even worse there is a possibility of harmful exposure to others. A decomposing body which emanates bodily fluids is the worst case scenario and obviously the drama created by such a scene is the least of the worry. These fluids create a serious health hazard to those around it and can even cause disease and infection that can be deadly. The abhorrent odor is a clue as to just how unsafe such a situation can be since the odor produced by decomposition can itself be a pathogen.

The longer a body deteriorates while undiscovered creates a potentially larger remediation cleanup and may affect items in the home which may absorb the odor and pathogens. This may not be a nice topic to discuss but think of how challenging this scenario would be without professional services such as SERVPRO of Sussex County.

SERVPRO of Sussex County has been handling this type of unenvious task for more than 25 years and we have the proper training to make sure the issue is taken care of quickly and professionally. Any family death is difficult and with services such as ours; there is no need to expose your family to such a horrific situation. Call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768 if you need these or any of the services we proudly offer.

14 Ways Winter Storms Can Damage Your Home

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

  • Snow and Ice strain the roof – the excess weight of even a minimal amount of snow can weaken your roof – it is always a good idea to have your roof inspected once a year – especially so if the roof is more than ten years of age
  • Ice dams weigh on your gutters – uh…gutters…mine are a mess and I don’t even want to think about how much damage freezing ice can do throughout the winter - *Clean your gutters every year!
  • Cold cracks caulk – most people don’t realize that ongoing cold weather causes caulk to pull away from windows and may lead to leaks
  • Winter remedies damage your driveway – salt and melt-away products are typically harsh and should be rinsed away as soon as possible – this is also true of your vehicle – GET THE SALT OFF!
  • Snow and Ice snap tree limbs – I have written about five blogs on the dangers of trees too close to your home – here is another reason to create a safe perimeter – if too much snow or ice weighs heavy on a tree or limb – look out below!
  • Freezing temperatures can affect your plumbing – if the temp is expected to drop below 25 degrees for several days – take precautions to keep your pipes from freezing
  • Wet conditions rot doorframes – not just rom snow and ice but from improper drainage issues as well – water can do more damage than you can imagine
  • Shoveling chips and cracks steps and driveways – a heavy plastic snow shovel will eliminate chips and damage from shoveling
  • Melting snow leaks into the basement – make sure your crawlspace is and the seal on your foundation is in-tact to prevent such an expensive calamity as water intrusion
  • Changing temperatures can crack the chimney – have your chimney swept and inspected annually
  • Intense weather changes damage your deck – you should properly stain and seal your deck with six months of installation and re-apply every year.
  • Cold weather can freeze your sump pump – keep your basement as warm as possible to prevent this issue
  • Freezing temps can damage your vinyl siding – check your siding after winter events to make sure a small repair does not become a large one
  • Ice and frost can damage your foundation – this is usually prevented with proper drain spout extensions directing water away from your foundation

Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County today for any winter weather concerns – 302-856-9768!        

STICK! With us!!

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

STICK! with us!! Image of Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield. Call us today to get the service and the sticker!

2020 was a challenging year; and 2021 is not showing much change with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its challenges. Businesses, schools, houses of worship, senior centers, medical centers and many other segments of our community are all trying to reach a point of safety and normalcy. Some are still awaiting a safe time to re-open. Our country as a whole has endured a great deal of adversity and suffering. Some of us have lost much more than others when you remember that nearly a half a million Americans have died due to this virus. Although the numbers are improving; we are now hearing of variant strains that may cause more worry. A Bio-hazard threat has brought the entire world to its knees.

It has been said that the best defense is a good offense. This holds true to almost every arena in life and not just athletics. SERVPRO of Sussex County has fulfilled the CSC (Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned) Service for literally hundreds of local businesses and residences since March of 2020. As you move throughout the community; you will see our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Stickers on store, restaurant and other businesses windows and entrances. All of these businesses share something else in common – they are all OPEN for business. The owners took steps almost immediately to fight the virus with the most respected Bio-hazard company in America – SERVPRO - and not one of these outlets have experienced any issues concerning infections or contamination. The CSC Service works!

When my family and I venture out for a meal – we patronize those restaurants who proudly display the CSC Sticker – not just because they are SERVPRO customers – but because we know that the business is safe and clean. Perception is reality and our service and our sticker create a perception of safety.

If you would like to use our CSC Service and have that symbol of cleanliness in your window – call us today at 302-856-9768 and schedule the best bio-hazard cleaning and viral deterrent available.

5 Issues That Cause 95% of Your Janitorial Services Problems

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Why is it so important to recognize where our commercial cleaning services go off the rails? Because if we can pinpoint where the major issues pop up, we can work with current cleaning companies to get them back on track or use the 5 issues to screen prospective janitorial companies. So what five things matter so much that in their absence they can predict smooth sailing with a commercial cleaning company?

  • Inadequate Training - One of the best ways to sidestep service issues from your commercial cleaning company is to assure that they understand the importance of training their people. To provide you and your facility with consistent, effective, individualized service, your building services contractor must have a formalized training program for a systematized cleaning process. Very good service requires very good employees, and employees need effective training to be very good. Your janitorial services company must provide their teams with comprehensive training designed to help cleaners consistently deliver good service.
  • High Janitorial Turnover - Where does high turnover come from? It can stem from a myriad of issues like: inadequate training, minimal  pre-employment screening for fit legal workers, illegal hiring/sub-contracting, inadequate or ineffective management and a lack of competitive wages and benefits.
  • Absence of Effective Quality Assurance Programs - Effective, responsive service never happens by accident, it happened by design. Quality assurance systems assure reliability through accountability. The most effective practice for quality control in the janitorial industry is janitorial inspections.
  • Lack of Communication - Poor communication can be the number one factor in subpar cleaning, a strained relationship between you and your cleaning company and overall dissatisfaction. If a commercial cleaning company doesn’t effectively communicate with you the customer or their own people, they simply cannot deliver the level of service that makes them worth keeping. Or perhaps your janitorial services company lays low assuming that ‘no news is good news.’ Still the most effective janitorial services will never shrink from getting your regular feedback, both positive and negative.
  • Lack of Organization - Most cleaning companies want to deliver effective service but without a great deal of time and resources put into planning and systems, these good intentions are little more than a pipe dream. Effective janitorial service requires accountability and accountability is assured through systems that keep everyone on track.

SERVPRO of Sussex County has a new General Cleaning division and we are working to keep many businesses and municipalities clean. If you are not happy with your current janitorial service – call us today at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to offer the best cleaning services available.

We Mean CLEAN!

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County realizes that your business needs to make and keep a proper impression and image with your customers.  We have helped local business owners from Milford to Fenwick Island keep their hotels, restaurants, shops and countless other retail or service outlets sparkling clean and smelling fresh.  Our commercial cleaning team has the tools and experience to tackle any sized cleaning job.  Unlike many of our competitors who simply mask or temporarily take care of the dirt - we actually apply a deep lasting clean that will make your proud and your customers happy.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our commercial cleaning services include air ducts and HVAC, biohazard and sewage, trauma and crime scene cleanup, carpet and upholstery, drapes and blinds, ceilings, walls and hard floors, odor removal and deodorization, as well as acts of vandalism.

  We also offer the nation’s leading COVID sanitation services with our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Service. Since the pandemic began; we have fulfilled this service with literally hundreds of customers.  We have an entire cleaning division who are ready to meet whatever challenge is offered. Our technicians are fearless in their approach and no matter how big the problem or mess – we have the tools and the people to make it right!

  Please call us today at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to offer a free inspection and estimate for your commercial cleaning needs.  Let us help you make the mess “Like it never even happened.”  

Don’t Mask the Dirt – Clean it!

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Keeping your business consistently clean is important at any time.  In fact; studies show that consumers may stop shopping at a business that does not maintain cleanliness.  This fact is obviously a concern for our local businesses.  SERVPRO of Sussex County is keenly aware of the impression that can be lost with a dirty business or workplace.  This mindset is what inspired the creation of our new cleaning division in 2019.  As we traveled through our community; we noticed that other cleaning services just weren’t getting the job done.  We saw carpets that were supposed to have just been cleaned and instead the embarrassing stains returned a week later due to a service that simply masks the dirt and odor.  The same scenario applies to floors, windows, walls and entry ways.  Commercial outlets were looking for a better option. 

  SERVPRO of Sussex County offers a standard of clean that surpasses the competition.  The best example I can offer of this is found in the numerous carpet cleanings that we have applied in the last year and a half.  In almost every case the owners could not believe their eyes at the results.  The best part was that our service offered a lasting clean – not a mask.  Most displayed disbelief when we would visit well after the service was offered and they all remarked that they typically would have had the competition clean multiple times but they did not have to because their carpets were still clean.  I can personally offer my own testimonial as our team cleaned the carpets in my home over a year ago and they are still clean!  Trust me – there is a difference!

  If you are tired of dirt and the substandard cleaning services offered by our competition – call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768 or visit https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com to learn more.    

Business Fire Prevention Tips

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

   A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help:

Have fire protection equipment

  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.
  • Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Employees should be aware of the location of fire extinguishers on each floor.
  • Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

  Not only are your employees part of your team, they’re also essential assets to your business. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plan. Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
  • Have a Safety Officer. Designate a person as your office’s fire prevention officer. Their duties will include escape routes for employees, as well as keeping all of your safety plans, equipment, and information updated.
  • Install a Sprinkler System. Sprinkler systems are cost effective and the best way to fight the spread of a fire in a business with properly installed and maintained systems being 95% effective according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Leave Space for Appliances. Leave some room behind appliances that heat up, like coffee machines and computers, to allow them to cool down. Keep all of your business appliances away from combustible materials, like paper or cloth. If possible, unplug these appliances at the end of the day as most business fires occur after typical operating hours.
  • Regularly Replace Wiring. Check power cords regularly for fraying, broken connectors, or cracked insulation. These need to be replaced immediately. Only use one extension cord per outlet and follow manufacturer recommendations for maximum wattage when using power strips. Avoid “octopus wiring,” when wires and plugs clutter around one outlet, as it could lead to an overload.
  • Evacuation Plan. In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. Businesses with disabled employees should develop a detailed evacuation for those employees needing additional assistance in an emergency.
  • First Aid. In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most, such as in the kitchen.

If you suffer the misfortune of a fire at your business – call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768.

Winter Water Worries

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

  Many people own their second home in Sussex County, DE.  When the weather begins to turn cooler; most will leave and return in the late spring or early summer.  During this time is when most cold weather water issues occur.

  Frozen pipes—resulting in broken pipes—is the greatest cause of water damage in winter, on average costing $18,000 per homeowner claim, and leading to significant waste of water. Frozen ground increases the downward force on pipes from the outside.  The following are tips to help you avoid winter water worries.

How do I drain my home's water pipes for winter?

  1. Shut off themain water ...
  2. Drain pipesof water. ...
  3. Force the water ...
  4. Drain ...
  5. Extra Protection: Pour anti-freeze into all sink and bathtub drains. ...
  6. When you are ready to use the wateragain, turn on the main water valve and let each fixture run until the pipes are full.

What do you do when water freezes in your house?

How to fix frozen pipes:

  1. Keep your faucet open. ...
  2. Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. ...
  3. Know what not to do. ...
  4. Continue applying heat until waterflow returns to normal. ...
  5. Takeswift action if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall.

What should you do to winterize your home?

  1. Adjust your thermostat. ...
  2. Shutoff the water at the main shut off valve in your house. ...
  3. Turn offyour gas line to prevent a gas leak or other gas related incident.
  4. Bundle the houseup tight! ...
  5. Unplug everything. ...
  6. Tell your neighbors. ...
  7. Stop the mail. ...
  8. Check your sump pump.

SERVPRO of Sussex County is standing by 24/7/365 to assist with any residential or commercial water damage – call us today at 302-856-9768!

3 Most Common Causes of House Fires

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

3 Most Common Causes of House Fires

  The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are as many as 400,000 house fires every year in the United States. Take precautions to prevent the most common cause of house fires, and consider a home safe to protect your most valued possessions as your last line of defense, just in case.

Cooking Fires

The #1 cause of house fires, accounting for 42% of reported incidents, is cooking. Open flames from the stove and intense heat in the oven easily result in a fire when unsupervised. Most often food or cooking tools catch fire and quickly lose control. While giving up cooking all together may be a bit extreme, paying extra attention and never leaving the kitchen while preparing food is an easy way to reduce this risk.

Heating Equipment

Space Heaters should be used if only a small portion of your home needs heated.  Keep all space heaters away from anything that could easily catch fire; such as curtains, laundry, blankets and furniture.  For central heating systems; it is always a good idea to have them maintained manually by a professional.  Also – please be mindful of carbon monoxide danger when using any fuel burning device.

Faulty Wiring

Most of us never think about all of the wires in our home. Unfortunately, faulty wiring is the third leading cause of house fires in the U.S. Typical signs of wiring deficiencies include dimming lights, frequent blown fuses and the inability to use multiple electrical appliances at the same time.   

It should go without saying; but the minimal investment in a reliable smoke detector is always a proper step in deterring home fires.

If you should suffer the misfortune of any sized fire in your home; we at SERVPRO of Sussex County stand ready to offer the most professional remediation and re-build services available.

5 Holiday Fire Hazards

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

5 Holiday Fire Hazards

Check the Basics

Make sure your smoke detectors are up-to-date and have working batteries by testing each one. If you have a detector that keeps going off, fix the problem. Smoke-alarm malfunctions are typically caused by dust that has collected inside or nuisance triggers, such as cooking fumes or bathroom steam. First, clean the unit by removing the cover and vacuuming it out. Replace the cover and press the test button to ensure that it's working. If the problem persists, relocate the unit farther away from sources of steam or smoke.

Keep fire extinguishers on each floor, near exits, and where you can easily grab them. Learn how to choose and use fire extinguishers and how to create a fire plan with your family.

Heating Up the Room

As the temperature drops, boilers, fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters are cranked up. Heating equipment is the second-greatest cause of home fires each year, reports the NFPA. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet (but preferably in a different room) from items that might easily burn, including upholstery and the Christmas tree.

Before lighting the fireplace, make sure your damper is open. Use a protective screen or grate in front to keep sparks from escaping.

Kitchen Fires

The heart of the home can get chaotic when you're prepping a big family feast. It's easy to become distracted and forget about a simmering pot. Unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of kitchen fires, says the NFPA, and Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year.

The best line of defense is to stay present in the room while you are cooking. Next, be sure to keep clutter to a minimum, and store combustible items, such as towels, plastic or cardboard food containers, and cooking utensils, away from the stove.

The Christmas Tree

Each year, U.S. fire departments respond to more than 200 home fires involving Christmas trees, says the NFPA. The key to avoid joining that statistic is to keep your tree from becoming dehydrated. Choose the freshest tree possible, and set it up at least 3 feet from any heat source, such as a radiator, space heater, fireplace, or furnace. Be sure to cut the bottom inch or so of your tree's trunk, fill the stand with water as soon as the tree is upright, and refill it daily. You may be surprised to see just how much water the tree "drinks" every day.

Overpacked Outlets

Decorative lights give many homes and neighborhoods a festive glow during long winter nights. Just be careful not to overcrowd outlets. Electrical malfunctions, called shorts or arc faults, are the cause of half of all devastating residential fires. Install an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlet to detect and automatically shut down an arcing circuit.

Social Distance

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Social Distance

For more than the last twenty years; man has developed technology that has made him more self- sufficient. The computer and the smart phone have given us answers to everything from the weather to medical advice. As a society, we seem to have all the information we need at our fingertips and the ease and speed with which we solve our problems is amazing. We even use these devices to connect socially with our friends and family. The power of the individual to thrive outside of the social group has never been more apparent. Then, in mid-February we found out just how very little we really know.

A tiny micro-organism called the coronavirus or COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill. A virus that has infected millions of people worldwide and killed hundreds of thousands has left us all frightened and looking for answers. Answers we cannot find on our phones or computers. I am 57 years old and I thought that 9/11 would be the defining historical moment of my life – but I may have been wrong.

Each day I rise and seem surprised that the sun is still shining and birds are still singing as I rush to the TV to check the up-tick in the number of infections and deaths and any promise of the vaccine. We have been introduced to a new concept known as “social-distancing”. I would think we would be better at this practice since most of us have very little human contact since the devices took over our lives. But the truth is we are struggling with this and people are not listening, meanwhile the virus grows stronger.

In a world and in an era where some are booking flights to Mars – our greatest minds are struggling with this crisis. The world has become a much smaller place almost overnight as we see our brethren in other countries braving the same nightmare. We have been forced to lay aside our politics and differences and focus on one common interest – our lives and the lives of everyone we love. It is a shame that sometimes only fear and horror seem to motivate our unity. There is a lesson here and I know it will become very apparent to all once this plague ends. Hopefully, we will never be the same “distant” society.

Making Lemonade

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Making Lemonade

  There is an old saying that goes something like this “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  This is intended to be a blog about the new cleaning services offered by SERVPRO of Sussex County – so what exactly do I mean when I say that proverbial phrase.   It means that as of March of 2020; most of us were concerned about the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and it affected many individuals and business adversely.  In fact, sadly, many have still not reached recovery and may not until late 2021 or later.  Some might say that the entire world was dealing with a bunch of lemons.  The proverb was originally intended to encourage optimism in the face of challenges or “lemons” and to approach them with a can-do attitude.

  With many business closing and struggling; SERVPRO of Sussex County was offered a status of being an essential business so fortunately; we all kept our jobs and not only did we keep them but we added about 10 more employees to our staff by making lemonade.  The obvious role all SERVPRO franchises was to immediately offer bio-hazard clean-up to those who may have been or may be affected or infected.  As our efforts to fight the viral beast unfolded; we began to see a spike in our cleaning business and not just the CSC program.  We saw that the CSC program was actually yielding clients who not only wanted our efforts to fight Covid-19 – but to also assist in keeping their businesses and residences pristine and sanitized on a regular basis.

  I am not making light of Covid-19 – that is not my intention; and I have had family members who have suffered with the virus.  My point is that when it appears that life has dealt us a bad hand and there is no easy solution – we must think outside the box and created opportunities and not wait for them to come to us.  If you have any cleaning needs – please call us at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Winter / Water Safety Tips

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Winter Water Safety Tips

The seasons are changing and as the days get shorter, it’s time to ready your home for the coming winter season. These four winter safety tips will help you stay warm and safe.

  • Winterize Your Pipes
  • During the winter, outside water can freeze and burst exterior pipes. Take precautions to prevent frozen pipes by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining any water left in outdoor spigots. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, drain it as well.
  • If temperatures will drop below freezing overnight, leave exterior faucets trickling to avoid the pressure buildup that causes burst pipes. You can also avoid frozen and burst pipes inside your house by insulating your home and pipes.

Before the first snowfall, check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may leak when snow melts or during severe storms. Make sure seals around chimneys and vent stacks are intact as well. If they aren’t, you can make repairs yourself or hire a handyman.

Regularly clear your roof of snow this season. And remove all leaves, pine needles, and other roof debris as these can hold moisture and rot during winter weather if left unattended.

Icicles look enchanting, but they present risk of injury and ice dams—which damage the outside of your home and cause meltwater to get inside. Ice dams occur when there are air leaks in your home or inadequate insulation in your attic.  If you already have icicles on your home, there’s no need to be a hero. Hiring a professional to remove them is the safest route.

During winter weather conditions, remove snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways. Prepare for snow by stocking up on snow shovels and giving your snow blower or plow a tune-up. After it snows, immediately plow or shovel all trafficked areas. If you go the shoveling route, invest in an ergonomic handle, lift with your legs (not your back), and push snow rather than lift it. Take frequent breaks away from the wind chill to let your body warm up and your muscles relax.

If you have any concerns about water problems – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-976 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Pipe Dreams and Nightmares

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Pipe Dreams and Nightmares

  The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety states that the most common cause of property damage during frigid winter weather is frozen pipes that burst.  In fact, the average cost of such an event is estimated at $5.000.00 or more.  Over time; global warming may decrease this threat, however that make take many decades or centuries. What can you do now to prevent those pipes from freezing?

  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.

  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.

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. You may also visit our website at https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Business if Someone is Sick

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Business if Someone is Sick

As you can imagine; the ongoing pandemic is causing a great deal of stress in our business community.   Since the common goal is to open safely and remain sanitized; most businesses do not have the staff, products or experience to combat this invisible foe.  What we offer below is a description of what the EPA and CDC recommend is what we offer when you call SERVPRO of Sussex County and request the CSC Service.

  • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
    • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
    • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect. For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floors or rugs, clean the surface with detergents or cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces, according to the textile’s label. After cleaning, disinfect with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon.
    • Temporarily turn off in-room, window-mounted, or on-wall recirculation HVAC to avoid contamination of the HVAC units.
    • Do NOT deactivate central HVAC systems. These systems tend to provide better filtration capabilities and introduce outdoor air into the areas that they serve.
    • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
  • Once area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
    • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
  • If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.

SAFETY - Business Priority Number One

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Safety – Business Priority Number One

There is no doubt; 2020 has been a very challenging year for almost everyone.  Whether you, a family member or friend has contracted COVID-19 or not; our society will surely never be the same.  This is especially the case for businesses.  As retailers, restaurants and bars still struggle to re-open – they all share the same primary concern – SAFETY.  Safety for their staff as well as their patrons.

Locally, SERVPRO of Sussex County has responded to hundreds of calls from local businesses who are trying to deal with the virus and stay open for business.  Our CSC – Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Service has been extremely successful and we are seeing a great deal of satisfaction with those who have used this service.  We applaud those businesses who are following proper protocol and applying the rules set forth by our state.  Our CSC service has offered reassurance to those business owners who have had an employee or patron test positive; and has given them a plan to re-open quickly and with confidence.

Unlike our usual common adversaries such as water, fire and mold – this infectious, invisible threat can occur anywhere and cost businesses a great deal or revenue in down time and applying an ongoing defense against this enemy.  If your neighbor has a water or mold problem – that situation is typically contained to one area or location.  With COVID-19 – this is not the case – your neighbor, friends and family can be affected.

Typically, a strong defense is the best approach to a fluid situation such as the pandemic has created.  If you are a business owner and are concerned about public safety – call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or visit us at https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Faster Than a Flash Flood!

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Faster than a Flash Flood!

  Recently, a friend, who is also a local contractor called to inform me that the office which he was leasing had experienced a water loss the day prior.  The Lewes area had experienced an extreme downpour and it forced groundwater through the foundation into the basement and ground floor. 

  Within an hour of his call, the SERVPRFO of Sussex County team delivered dehumidifiers and air movers to the location and the drying process began.  In hindsight, it was very lucky for this homeowner that someone was present at this location and was able to address the loss immediately.  If the flood water had been left unattended for days or weeks – growth and other additional loss may have occurred.  This absentee owner issue is a real concern for many homeowners in our area who also dwell outside of Sussex County.  SERVPRO of Sussex County recommends that if you do not have a neighbor or caretaker to offer periodic inspections of your property; you may want to consider a property management team to do the same.

  This story has a happy ending primarily due to the quick reaction by both my friends’ crew and our SERVPRO team in response to the loss.  After a several day drying process the moisture levels were reduced and the home smelled normal again.  I met my friend at the location and he showed me a video that he took of the flooding.  Many people are startled by how fast water travels.  Fast reaction and response time is what separates SERVPRO of Sussex County from our competitors.  If you need us – call us today – 302-856-9768 or visit us at https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Plug or Unplug - That is the Question?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Plug or Unplug – That is the question?

  We often hear of home or business fires starting from faulty or malfunctioning appliances – large and small.  Thousands of fires occur each year and you may be surprised which appliances caused the most risk.  Of over 10,000 such fires surveyed over a three year period – the results were as follows:

  • 14% washing machines (1,723)
  • 12% tumble dryers (1,456)
  • 11% dishwashers (1,324)
  • 9% cookers (1,080)
  • 7% fridges / freezers (861)
  • 5% central heating (606)
  • 4% toasters / grills (495)
  • 4% microwaves (427)
  • 3% TVs (372)
  • 2% washer dryers (225)
  • 1% irons (92)

  Most major appliance manufacturers advise that you register with them after purchase so that they may communicate any problems such as recalls; etc.  Also, if the appliance has a warranty – such a registration is mandated if a problem should occur and restitution is in order. Generally, if any appliance is found to be unsafe – the manufacturer is mandated by law to contact those who have purchased the faulty product.

  Probably; the issue most consumers worry about is their clothes dryer and the lint that collects in the pipes and the vent.  Rightfully so; since dryer lint removal has been increasing in demand over the last several years with specialized companies offering that specific service alone.  The bottom line is better safe than sorry and if you feel unsafe leaving a small appliance plugged in – unplug it!  SRVPRO of Sussex County has helped with such problems – please call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Post Flood Safety Tips

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

After the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure. Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1756-25045-8598/protecting_home_book_508compliant.pdf. Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:

  • Electrical hazards – Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
  • Structural Damage – If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately. A collapse could cause serious injury or even death. Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
  • Hazardous Materials – These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint. Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
  • Injuries - One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
  • Biological Hazards - These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure. Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites. Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health effects if not safely cleaned and remediated.

Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes. If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to inspect and offer remediation services.

Basic Fire Safety

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Basic Fire Safety

As we begin Autumn of 2020; much has changed in our country and much of the change has centered around safety. COVID-19 and its effects have taken over our lives and have been our primary concern as a people and a nation. However, the COVID pandemic should remind us that there are many other dangers in our lives that we may be able to control.  Basic Fire Prevention and Safety Tips are one such topic which over the years have proven to save lives and increase public safety. Below we offer some of the most basic tips and encourage all of you to learn more about fire safety.

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Radon and Carbon Monoxide detectors can also add safety to your home and are also very easy to install.
  2. Test smoke alarms every month. ... If you are like me – once that detector is changed – I rarely give it another thought. Take the time and check them every six months.
  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape planand practice the plan twice a year. This is not just for discussion – it should be in writing where all have access and should be updated.
  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP.
  5. Most fire deaths occur after someone re-enters a burning building.
  1. CALL SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or visit our site today for more safety tips: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Severe Storm Preparation

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Preparation 

   Whenever severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property.  It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it.  In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain.  There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.

  • Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.  
  • Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
  • Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
  • Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
  • If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.
  • Keep extra ice on hand to properly save and store your perishables.

NOTE: ACCORDING TO NOAA – IF YOU ARE AWARE OF WHAT WEATHER EVENT IS ABOUT TO IMPACT YOU – YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE SUCH AN EVENT.  NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR THEIR WEBSITE IS THE BEST SOURCE FOR ACCURATE WEATHER INFORMATION.

  If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life!  Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

More Hurricanes?

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

More Hurricanes?

  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted between 19 and 25 named storms for the 2020 Hurricane season.  To date – we have already had 16 named storm with four disturbances churning currently in the Caribbean and South Atlantic. So, does this mean we can expect more storms each year and why? In 2017 – there were 17 named storms and in 2018; we had 15.  Last year there were 18.  Overall, the number has not fluctuated a great deal; however the school of thought indicates that climate change may produce more catastrophic storms in the future.

  The rising of warm, moist air from the ocean helps to power the storms. Two other factors may also be contributing to the rising intensities of hurricanes. First, warm air holds more water vapor than cold air—and the rising air temperatures since the 1970s have caused the atmospheric water vapor content to rise as well – this would reinforce the theory that climate change may cause more storms.

  So why is there a “season” for hurricanes? Almost all hurricanes develop once the northern hemisphere approaches summer, with the hurricane season running from 1 June to 30 November. The season peaks between August and October.  This is because wind shear, which can disrupt hurricanes, dies down during summer, while the temperature of the oceans rise and the amount of moisture in the atmosphere increases. These conditions are ideal for spawning hurricanes.

  No matter the number of storms or their intensity; SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to assist with both the severe and minor damage that a hurricane or tropical storm may cause.  Be prepared, stay calm and call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any storm related concerns.

SERVPRO’S Professional Fire Restoration Process

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

A house or business fire can cause extensive damage from fire and smoke and also water damage from the firefighting efforts. The professionals at SERVPRO of Sussex County have the expertise and training to restore your home or business to pre-fire condition.

We have listed the steps below to illustrate our process for a fire emergency.

  1. Call SERVPRO– The SERVPRO National Call Center is available and staffed 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. Our professional representative will ask a series of specific questions regarding the fire and will dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional and they will arrive quickly to the scene with the appropriate equipment and resources.
  2. Inspection and Assessment– the SERVPRO of Sussex County professionals will carefully inspect your property and test adjoining rooms for fire, smoke and soot damage. The information gathered at this point is crucial to develop a plan of action.
  3. Roof Tarp and Board-Up Service– this is sometimes an immediate need after a fire since the event can compromise windows, walls and roofs. Our SERVPRO professionals will offer the service to properly board up missing windows and place tarps over damaged roofs. This will add security and hopefully prevent further damage.
  4. Water Removal and Drying– If water damage is present the water removal process begins almost immediately and the majority of the water is removed. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to complete then drying process.
  5. Smoke and Soot Removal– All surfaces which have been exposed to smoke and soot are cleaned with specialized equipment and techniques. This includes ceilings and walls and other surfaces.
  6. Cleaning and Sanitizing– The SERVPRO professionals will clean all restorable items and structures damaged in the fire to pre-fire condition. Odors are removed by air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  7. Restoration– The final step is restoration – which means getting your home back to its pre-fire condition. This may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting and new flooring installation or if the damage is extensive; full reconstruction measures may be required.

Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or go to:www.SERVPROsussexcounty.comfor more information and services.

Tropical Disturbance

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Any storm that causes damage or fear can also offer inconveniences.  I kept telling myself how fortunate we were to have had no real structural loss.  I have to admit that losing your power while the news sources are telling you where the tornadoes were was less than tolerable. It was off for most of the day and I acted quickly – since in the past it was out for 48 hours and we ended up in a hotel.  I made my way out bypassing two main roads which were blocked by fallen trees, and managed to get to a small convenience store and bought 30 pounds of ice.  This decision saved all of our perishables and I was rather happy that I still had some of those old coolers in my garage.  It is always a good idea to keep some extra ice on hand even if your fridge makes it for you.  You will need more to store dairy and meat overnight.

  Another small inconvenience related to the loss of power was of course – no air conditioning in 90+ degree heat.  This issue forced us to a hotel later that evening as there was no sleep to be had in a pool of sweat.  I know right now anyone who is reading this is saying – Buy a Generator!  We only have had a couple of these serious events annually and the cost simply does not justify the return so we make do.

  If you have a pet you must not forget about their needs as well.  Since the hotel was not pet friendly – we took our dog Zeik to my son’s for the evening as they had power but only one bedroom.

  But through each small irritation I kept reminding myself of the serious damage all around me and the loss of life in other states.  SERVPRO of Sussex County will be there for you during the major headaches – hopefully your fortitude and patience will get you through the minor ones.  If you have storm damage and need help call us at 302-856-9768 today!

How High is The Water?

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

It is always a good idea to keep water safety in mind in good times and during a crisis. The wrong decision can be costly if not deadly. We remind everyone of the following tips for safety during a water loss or challenge.

Once the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure. Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at:https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1756-25045-8598/protecting_home_book_508compliant.pdf. Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:

  • Electrical hazards– Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
  • Structural Damage– If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately. A collapse could cause serious injury or even death. Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
  • Hazardous Materials– These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint. Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
  • Injuries- One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
  • Biological Hazards- These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure. Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites. Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health effects if not safely cleaned and remediated.

Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes. If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Recommended Long List of Storm Emergency Kit Items

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

With the number of names storms twice the number they were at this time last year – we revisit the importance of preparedness.

  • Backpack or storage tub to hold your supplies
  • Bottled Water
    • 1 gallon per person is recommended
  • Non-Perishable food
    • If including canned foods, you must include a can opener
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Supplies
    • Bandages
    • Ointment
    • Disinfectant wipes
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper and bags with ties for personal sanitation
  • Paper and pen or pencil(to take notes, play games, etc)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket(recommend one for each person in your home)
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Personal hygiene items (travel size deodorant, cotton swabs, feminine items, etc)
  • Whistle to Signal for help
  • Important documents (identification, insurance information, banking information, wills, etc)
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Battery powered radio and a NOAA Weather radio
  • Formula and diapers (if there is an infant in the house)
  • Extra pet food (if there are pets in the house)
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Cups and utensils
  • A change of clothes for each person in your home (if you live in a cooler climate make sure the clothes are warm!)
    • Also include a jacket, hat, gloves and closed toe shoes for walking (boots or sturdy sneakers are best)
  • Rain gear
  • Cash
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cards or game (it is important to have something to do to take your mind off the situation for a few moments or alleviate stress if you will be in your shelter for an extended time)

 Call SERVPRO of Sussex County for any storm related damage at 302-856-9768 or visit our site at: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Helping Our Community – Our Vocation

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Many businesses are suffering dramatic impacts from the pandemic – both locally and nationally. Restaurants and hotels have been hit especially hard with almost 40 % still closed or only offering carry out or delivery. Small and large retailers are also feeling the stress with all the mandates and restrictions designed to keep both their staff and patrons safe and healthy. Most have to monitor the number of patrons and keep the social distancing in place. Since March we have received more than 300 inquiries from both commercial and residential customers who want to know how to open safely and maintain a safe environment through this time.

Some are being pro-active with the SERVPRO: Certified Cleaned Service and applying preventive applications on a regular basis while others are waiting until they have an actual case. We respond in either case with the best trained technicians and the certified products approved by the EPA and the CDC. As each day passes with no end in sight – most are hopeful to get to a Phase 3 – and re-open to almost all patrons. Given the differing results from locations across the nation – most are left with uncertainty due to the ever changing nature of this virus.

We see our responses during this time as a vocation and we liken our group to First responders who will risk personal health and safety to help the community.

If you are a business or a resident – we are happy to help with different applications of our service to give both you and your customer’s peace of mind. Please call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit: SERVPROsussexcounty.com for more details. Be smart and be safe!

Tropical Storm Isaias to Say – Harder to Forget – Hard

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

On early Tuesday morning, August 11, 2020; Tropical Storm Isaias passed near the Delmarva area.  Typically, a tropical system has winds and rain and can be rather fearsome; however this one added something special for all of us locally – TORNADOES!

Almost every Delmarva county was hit by some cyclonic activity – including several verified twisters.  One was too close for comfort.  It went through eastern Sussex County near Long Neck – Millsboro area and I was in awe by its strength – almost 4 miles away.  Power was lost by ten am and trees began to come down just afterwards.  My yard was so full of debris that it took over three hours of bending and about twenty full trash cans to restore it to the pre-bomb look.  But I was very lucky.

Maybe my vocational tie to SERVPRO makes me more aware – however I drove through sections around my home that had sixty foot oak trees fall on home and I saw one that had to be fifty feet tall miss a home by less than a foot.  Every yard looked worse than mine.

The tall oaks around my home are a daily worry as we progress through hurricane season.  I once spoke with an arborist and he stressed how important this issue is at the time of planning new construction.  The space between the home and any trees can be a crucial factor in the damage and destruction to homes and roofs by high winds.  If you have an option – consider the trees type, size and growth potential and create a safe distance.

SERVPRO responded to many calls last Tuesday and we offer a board up service and can even store your valuables if needed.  If you have any storm related damage – call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Storm Season - Are You Ready?

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Even though we are in the middle of a terrible pandemic, the hurricane season is upon us. The storms have been early and fast approaching with 7 named storms to date. The pandemic may disrupt everyone’s lives dramatically, but the weather patterns don’t follow or care about that and experts predict that this season may be harsh for some areas. Pretty much anywhere along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts are vulnerable.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause water and wind damage and lead to secondary issues, including mold. Obviously everyone should be prepared and with the challenges associated with the pandemic – it may be a good idea to add SERVPRO to the list of companies who WILL assist. Our teams stand ready through the pandemic to assist with these and any other residential or commercial property damage.

We offer the most professional and widely recognized and respected line of emergency response services available. SERVPRO of Sussex County is celebrating its 27th year as the number 1 storm response and remediation specialists in the area. We have seen everything from Nor-Easters to Hurricanes and we even sent a team of experts to assist with Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf area. When other companies are running away from a storm we are typically running into them and we take pride in this “first responder” mentality and that’s what sets us apart.

So add SERVPRO of Sussex County to your list of emergency contacts and services and whether it’s just a severe thunderstorm or an actual named hurricane – we will make it “Like it never even happened.” Reach us at 302-856-9768 or go to SERVPROsussexcounty.com.

Re-Opening Your Business Safely

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Re-Opening Your Business Safely

   As we enter the first week of July, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has continued to spread worldwide and especially in the U.S.  While doctors around the globe focus on treatments and vaccines, new cases are on the rise and businesses in some states are still closed.  Those that have re-opened face the possibility of another mandated shutdown if the situation does not improve.

  The primary concern for most business owners is, of course, the health and safety of their staff and patrons.  However, with such a fluid and ever changing situation as the virus has become – how can you have the confidence to re-open or maintain the safety of your business environment?  Some businesses are tackling the problem by putting their own employees at risk by transforming them from waiters or housekeepers into sanitation experts and applying products which lack the effectiveness necessary to combat this threat.  Seldom do they possess the proper PPE to equip these people and in many cases the lack of expertise and resources only makes the problem worse and can even increase the spread. 

  We have also witnessed basic cleaning services utilizing unsafe practices as well.  Although, we applaud their efforts to attempt to remediate the problem – we do not endorse any efforts applied by anyone or company which lacks the certification in bio-hazard treatments and the approved resources.  Why put your employees in harm’s way when there is a better and safer solution?

  The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Service was introduced just under three months ago and we are seeing many responsible business owners utilizing this service with great results.  Many are applying the service in a pre-emptive manner with regular weekly or bi-monthly cleanings; while others are applying the service once they have a suspected or confirmed case.  This CDC and EPA approved program will offer a higher standard of “CLEAN”. To learn more about this accredited service – please use this link: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/ and contact us today at 302-856-9768 to initiate the service.

Introducing: Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Introducing: Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

  COVID-19 has affected all of our lives.  Some of our neighbors have lost loved ones and have endured suffering from the illness.  Only during wartime in America; have we all had to mobilize against a common enemy – an invisible enemy with more destructive power than we ever imagined.  Although, some areas of our country have been hit worse than others – no one is exempt from the threat as it continues.  This pandemic has forced countries to take dramatic measures to attempt to save both their citizens and their ways of life.  As the situation hopefully is in decline; we are all left with a common question: How do we know if and when we are safe again?

  SERVPRO is the leading bio-hazard cleaning company in America.  We have over 50 years of experience with over 1800 franchises.  SERVPRO of Sussex County is proud to be a part of the SERVPRO nation and we are determined to keep our community safe.  SERVPRO has just announced a proactive plan to provide an ongoing defense against the virus and its spread.  The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is a defensive cleaning plan that goes way beyond standard cleaning practices.  This program will offer three steps to ensure that your property or business is safe: 1.) An initial consultation with a certified trained SERVPRO specialist will investigate and offer information and a plan specific to your needs. 2.) A trained and experienced SERVPRO bio-hazard team will apply anti-viral sanitizing techniques approved by the CDC, OSHA and other groups. This will decontaminate both porous and non-porous surfaces with EPA approved products. 3.) You will be offered written certification as well as a window shield sticker to place for the public to view; offering reassurance that the healthy environment has been professionally maintained to the highest standards.  

   Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned will offer a higher standard of clean for your residence or business and make you, your patrons and staff all feel safe and protected. Please contact SERVPRO of Sussex County today for a free estimate and description of the service. Call 302-856-9768 today!

SERVPRO of Sussex County - Helping to Protect Business and Workers

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County - Helping to Protect Business and Workers

   Since late February of this year, the lives of many workers and businesses changed dramatically.  COVID-19 shut down at least a third of the nation’s businesses and more than 7 million people have currently filed for unemployment.  The pandemic will have lasting effects on our economy long after it has passed.  The widespread fear of the disease has created distance between us all.  With every move we make, there is an underlying fear that we will contract the disease and put ourselves and our families at risk.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County has been deemed an essential business and we take this role very seriously.  We are currently applying pre-emptive cleaning services and are responding to calls for disinfecting possible areas of exposure.  There have also been an abundance of inquiries as to what we can do after the pandemic eases. 

  Our goal is to re-create the safe work environment that was present prior to this crisis.  We have the staff, training and products to sanitize your business so as to reassure your employees of their safety.  SERVPROXIDE is one such product which has demonstrated itself to be an effective anti-viral agent and is used against other infectious diseases.  SERVPRO of Sussex County also has the proper protective equipment to ensure against secondary contamination and help to contain the virus.

  We encourage everyone to continue to follow all of the local, state and federal guidelines as they are working and as of today’s date we are beginning to see some improvement in the number of new cases.

  Once it is safe for your employees to return to work; we will be happy to offer an estimate to sanitize your workplace and make your employees confident.  If you are a local business owner and you have any questions about the current crisis and how SERVPRO can help – please contact us today at 302-856-9768.    

It's Not Just a Job

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech A SERVPRO Technician in Washington State prepares to enter Life Care Center of Kirkland.

It’s Not Just a Job

I have worked in the business arena for more than 35 years.  I have sold everything from poultry to legal services. Although those endeavors were challenging and offered their own specific types of rewards; the work was not typically exciting and at times it was routine at best.  My time with SERVPRO has been exactly the opposite.

  Each day brings new challenges and most offer opportunities to make a real difference in people’s lives.  The critical nature of the events which truly require the SERVPRO expertise and service makes every job important.  When an individual or family is displaced due to a water or fire emergency; the work is inspired by a heightened sense of urgency and the vocation to help others takes over.  Getting that family back into their home becomes the goal and the team comes together to solve the problems. In a sense; it almost feels at times like we are “second” responders and although the situation may not be life or death; the rewards are genuinely fulfilling.

  In recent months, COVID-19 has drastically changed the way of life in Delaware. We suddenly find our biohazard services being used to support a national effort to slow the rate of infection.  Locally, our skilled technicians are being called upon to sanitize and disinfect many locations that have seen high levels of human contact. The images that we see on an ongoing basis inspire such compassion that the effort takes on a nature very different from the routine.  Scenes of overcrowded hospitals and shuttered businesses inspire not only emotion but intense energy as well. This emotion and energy become the true vocation that is SERVPRO – problem solving in a crisis.  

If you have questions about COVID-19 and our disinfectant measures, give us a call at 302-856-9768

SERVPRO is fighting COVID-19 in Delaware

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

As cities around the United States begin taking measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may find yourself wondering how to keep your home, business, or medical facility safe for your patrons. We are prepared to fight the spread of COVID-19 within Delaware. Our team is trained in a variety of preemptive cleaning protocols to assist your home, business, healthcare facility, education center, or government office.

Scope of Cleanup Protocol:
SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning:
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:

• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Bathrooms
• Schools/Classrooms
• Offices
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Shelving and Racks
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and Rugs
• Stair Handrails
• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment

Cleaning for Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19:
We are trained to handle cases where suspected or confirmed contact has been made. However, these cases will likely require further coordination with hygienists or other disease control agencies. Both cleaning and disinfecting must be a part of your scope of work and plan. The cleanup scope is dependent on the type of coronavirus situation.

1. High Touch Cleanup: Cleanup of high touch surfaces is required for a situation involving a person who is suspected to have COVID-19 or a Person Under Investigation (PUI); which is someone who is involved in a quarantine situation or has come in contact with someone who has been in a quarantine situation, or has come in contact with someone testing positive. This includes cleaning and disinfecting of high touch nonporous surfaces and cleaning and sanitizing of high touch porous surfaces.

2. Enhanced Cleanup: Enhanced cleanup is required for an area in which a person who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19 has inhabited. This includes cleaning and disinfecting of all nonporous surfaces and cleaning and sanitizing of all porous surfaces. This enhanced cleaning includes walls up to 8 feet but excludes ceilings. A combination of High Touch Cleanup and Enhanced Cleanup may be needed within a structure based on where the infected individual has directly traveled or occupied.

If you have questions, please feel free to send us a message or call us at (302) 856-9768.

How SERVPRO Can Help You Fight COVID-19

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Sussex County has hundreds of professional health care facilities as well as doctor’s offices. We are fortunate to also have Beebe, Nanticoke and Bayhealth Hospitals in our area. Healthcare is not only a major industry in Sussex County but also in our entire state. It is an industry that generates thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. SERVPRO of Sussex County has served many of these practices over the years and we are proud to play a part in keeping the health care industry clean and healthy.

Some of the issues we have addressed over the years include: water damage, growth and mold remediation, bio contaminants cleanup, duct work inspections and duct/vent cleaning as well as full scale cleaning services which cover carpets, floors and upholstery.Recently, there are major concerns about the spread of pathogens such as COVID-19. The goal of every medical practice is to maintain a location with a sanitary environment. SERVPRO of Sussex County has the resources to put you in contact with the right people to sanitize your healthcare facility and help prevent the spread of pathogens. The coming months will probably be difficult to many businesses and healthcare facilities.

Almost every health care office has experienced issues of bio-hazard safety.We take these types of jobs very seriously and want to make the goal to each situation satisfactory to all involved. Call us today at 302-856-9768 or visitwww.SERVPROsussexcounty.com.

A Lake in The Basement

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Storms can bring all kinds of chaos with them. From winds and falling trees, to lightning and fires, there is always a chance the dice will roll for disaster. In Sussex county, one of the most common situations we respond to is groundwater flooding. Heavy rain and improperly sealed basements are usually the culprit. One recent incident stands out. A crack in the foundation allowed rainwater to gradually creep into the furnished downstairs basement. This was not immediately noticed by the homeowner, as they had installed a floating, laminate floor in the home. By the time SERVPRO was called, the flooring was completely ruined. Our team removed the flooring to expose the bare foundation and placed the furniture out of harms way. Due to the surrounding soil and location of the basement, this leak repeated after heavy rains for some time.

SERVPRO met our drying requirements and moved our equipment off the property at the request of the customer. We highly recommend that homeowners take a proactive approach to groundwater issues by contacting SERVPRO at the first sign of potential disaster. We offer free inspections, and can put you in contact with the right people to permanently fix the issue and save your home.

If you have groundwater flooding, don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO a call 302-856-9768.

What’s In Your Ducts

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

A glimpse inside a duct line that has not been cleaned in over a year A glimpse inside a duct line that has not been cleaned in over a year.

At SERVPRO of Sussex county, we’re experienced with the dusty side of HVAC maintenance. If you run a commercial space such as a hotel, your air system sees heavy use throughout the year. You might be surprised to discover just how much dust can accumulate in an air system. These particles often contain allergens that will be passed on to the spaces your patrons occupy. Besides health issues, dusty registers can affect the impression customers have of your business and influence their future buying decisions. Luckily, we have a division of technicians trained in HVAC cleaning practices. SERVPRO of Sussex County services some of the most well-known hotels in Rehoboth. We also provide duct and carpet cleaning services for many apartment complexes. This experience makes us the leaders of commercial maintenance services in the region.

If you’re curious about indoor air quality, we can provide a quick inspection using cutting edge tools to see what is inside your air system. Cameras allow us to investigate the amount of dust, debris, and any potential sources of odor that may be contained within HVAC lines. We will work with you to find the right price for your needs.

Don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO a call 302-856-9768

Fun, Food, and Fungi

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

The restaurant business is tough enough under normal circumstances. Every customer must be satisfied in this digital age….or else they will start YELPING or worse! The challenges of labor, perishables and meeting standards of service can be overwhelming. We truly admire those who succeed in this arena. Like most of us; however, restaurants are not free from the everyday emergencies and disasters that are occur in daily life. Broken pipes, rain water intrusion and even fires can incapacitate a thriving eatery.

Recently, a popular local pizzeria called us with concerns about microbial growth which their HVAC service provider discovered in an area by the kitchen.Fungus and other microbes are can pose hazards to human health. Naturally concerned about the health of her patrons and staff, The owner wanted us to remediate the situation as soon as possible. She also wanted us to do the work without disruption or distress to her diners. Situations like these that test the flexibility of our efforts since she wanted us to take care of the issue during non-working hours. She also requested that our technicians stay out of sight if the work should spill over into lunch hour. We are professionals, and understood her reservations. We moved forward with a thorough and stealthy approach, containing and correcting the situation within only a couple of days. She was extremely pleased and bought our crew a pizza as a gesture of her appreciation and kindness. She exhaled a big sigh of relief upon completion of this job.

Our professional team here at SERVPRO of Sussex County genuinely makes a sincere effort to consider the concerns of the property or business owner. The crew worked quickly enough to satisfy the patron and stayed under the radar so as not to cause further worry to her and her customers. This was truly a scenario of……."Like it never even happened."

Grime After Crime

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is well known for responding to some of the most unsavory scenes you could be faced with. We help those who have been affected by the wrath of nature, man-made misfortune, or unintentional mishaps. It’s one thing to work in someone’s property, but cleaning up the scene of a crime is entirely different.

We all enjoy the mystery that accompanies tales of crime, and the dedicated people who solve them. What is often overlooked are the unfortunate people who must cleanup what is left over. Convenience store owners, roommates, friends, and family members can all find themselves in such an unpleasant situation after law enforcement moves on from the scene of a crime or criminal activity. Whether it is vandalism or trauma, SERVPRO technicians have years of experience cleaning up after severe situations.

We have experience cleaning:

  • Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Tear gas and pepper spray residues
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants
  • Chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs

Most of these events come with a sense of urgency to return the victims property to a preloss status. Some property can be restored; others must be replaced. We operate with a great sense of sensitivity and will help you through each step of the process. If you find yourself faced with cleaning up after one of these events, don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO a call 302-856-9768.

How can SERVPRO of Sussex County help your business?

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

There is never a convenient time to find your business at the mercy of fire or water damage.  The aftermath can be challenging, and in severe cases will be very expensive and time consuming.  Every hour spent cleaning or remediating can result in lost revenue and productivity. Knowing where to start the recovery process is often overwhelming and confusing. In extreme situations such as this, you need help.  The SERVPRO of Sussex County team has more than 25 years of experience aiding local business owners when the stakes are high.

Disasters can grow in scope very quickly.  Water loss can, and often will, lead to contamination and damaged electronics.  Fire can destroy structures and it can take days to sort through what’s left.  There’s no telling how long it may take to get back on your feet.  Fortunately, we are a 24-7 emergency service with professionals on-call to remediate any damage, regardless of the scale or cause.  We have a wide range of knowledge and services to offer for all types of commercial properties:

Since our company was founded, we have made it a constant priority to mitigate the effects of the unexpected by providing amazing service.  As members of the Sussex County community, we are heavily invested in the welfare of our fellow business owners, friends and neighbors.  Restoring your livelihood to its preloss condition is what we do.  If you find yourself in need of help, please call SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

Soggy Holidays

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Pretend you are a business owner. One week before Christmas the department store that you own is bustling with a crowd of shoppers.  Instead of the white snowy holiday that everyone dreams about; a torrential downpour begins.  Suddenly, streams of water begin to flow through the ceiling tiles. A flood soon envelops half of the store.  The stores’ roof may have withstood the last rain storm – but not this one. 

  The employees are overwhelmed by the speed and saturation of the water.  Numerous buckets and receptacles are placed to try to capture as much water as possible but soon they realize an immediate emergency response is needed.  A call to their insurance agent starts the clock for a SERVPRO response that has a full crew dispatched to their location very quickly.

  Safety is always our first priority when we respond to a scene where the public may be present.  First, we isolate the affected areas and restrict access so as to ensure no slips or falls.  We will also check for any electrical hazards and work to eliminate any threat.  Once the area is safely secured – extraction and drying can begin; as well as steps toward full remediation.

  Ceiling, carpets and flooring as well as merchandise are all effected. Immediately following the drying process, the SERVPRO team begins the demolition steps to remove damaged materials.  Our crew stayed on the scene daily for over two weeks until their efforts were complete.  The store was able to remain open during their work and holiday sales were saved with very little disruption to the shoppers.  

  A water leak or leaks can create a great deal of damage in a short period of time and without the skill of our professional team; the store may have faced closure and lost more revenue.  SERVPRO of Sussex County specializes in these types of emergencies and we have over 25 years of experience in solving these problems.  A visit to the store earlier this week, showed little evidence that such an event ever occurred and immediately the phrase came to mind….Like it never even happened!

When the Furnace Puffs Back

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Many Sussex County homeowners will find themselves eager to turn up heat as the weather grows colder. Precautions should be taken when firing up your heater for the first time. A puff back could result if your heating system has not been inspected or cleaned for over a year.

What is a Puff back? Puff backs are messy expulsions of soot and smoke caused by improper furnace ignition. When an oil burner doesn’t ignite immediately, excess oil builds up within the combustion chamber. The fuel can ignite explosively, similar to the backfiring of a car. Depending on how much fuel has built up in the chamber, the result can range from a small explosion to a cloud of oily smoke.

As a result, the mess of soot and debris will be mixed with oil. It can quickly spread throughout your home, covering cabinets, walls, furniture, and everything else you would never want covered in black, sticky grime. In addition to the mess, puffbacks contaminate the air and surfaces with unhealthy material. The consequences can be unpleasant, but SERVPRO of Sussex County can work with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home and belongings.

Should a puff back occur, here are some helpful tips to follow.

  • Assess the damage
  • Wash all affected clothing and throw out exposed food
  • Contact a technician to repair the malfunctioning furnace
  • Contact SERVPRO of Sussex County to restore your home

SERVPRO of Sussex County is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to quickly restore your home to its original state. If you need someone to help with any type of smoke, soot, or fire damage, our highly trained technicians will be there to start the restoration process. Call the professionals at – SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

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

Tips To Avoid Water Damage in Your Home

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Tips to Avoid Water Damage in Your Home

Although many of the water emergencies that SERVPRO of Sussex County responds to are caused by Mother Nature and are unforeseen and unpreventable; there are many that can be prevented.  The following checklist may help you be prepared in the face 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.
  • Install water detection devices. These are more readily available and can help with such emergencies but keep in mind they only alert you to an issue that may have been preventable.
  • Check your home water pressure and make sure it is not too high. High water pressure can strain pipes and cause wear.
  • Monitor your water bill. This may sound silly – but if your sprinkler system is leaking underground – the only way you will know is if your water consumption is rising.

October is National Fire Safety Month

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

  October is Fire Prevention Month and is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).  Fire Prevention Month actually started as National Fire Prevention Day as declared by President Woodrow Wilson in 1922 and has evolved into a week or month long observance of the issues associated with Fire Safety.

  The event which inspired the longest running public safety and health campaign on record was The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which started on October 8, 1871. The fire lasted for three days and killed more than 300 people and left more than 100,000 people homeless.  It burned more than 2,000 acres and destroyed about 17,400 structures and was reportedly started in a barn.  It caused an estimated $200 million in damages and legends of its cause range from a cow kicking over a lantern in a barn to human error and even a meteor. The worst destruction occurred on October 9 and this is why the national campaign always begins around this time.  An area a mile wide and four miles long were left in ruin in its aftermath.  Historically, it is still one of the worst American disasters on record.

  In 2000, the NFPA extended the Fire Prevention Week to include the entire month of October and most Fire Departments, schools, libraries and utility companies participate in spreading the word about Fire Safety and Prevention.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is happy to offer its ongoing support to all of the local Fire Departments and we will be participating in the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company 2018 Fire Safety and Awareness Program on Sunday October 6 at the bandstand just off the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.  This four hour event from noon until 4 pm will feature this year's Fire Safety Campaign "NOT EVERY HERO WEARS A CAPE – Plan and Practice Your Escape.”

  Children of all ages are welcome. Come see the firetrucks, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and many more of the public servants that work hard every day to help keep you and your families safe. 

Be Ready with ERP!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

More than 50% of businesses close down following a disaster; and many never reopen. This 50% or more suffer from the same symptoms; lack of planning and preparation. They also have failed to learn the lesson learned by every other business who either weathered an emergency or lost some assets or everything. Of the businesses that typically do survive; the majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Think of the pre=planning as an insurance policy. Just as having auto insurance gives us peace of mind when we drive; an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) gives a business peace of mind when facing the challenges of nature and everyday life.

An ERP will speak trust to your employees and your customers and instill a sense that your company is ready for whatever happens.

SERVPRO offers an ERP that will minimize downtime and replace business interruption with an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do, when to do it and who to call is essential in the critical time prior to an emergency. The ERP is a start-up approach that offers critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery. It provides a quick reference to important building and contact information. SERVPRO applies more than 40 years of experience in dealing with both natural and man- made disasters to each ERP.

The SERVPRO ERP provides the following:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. This requires minimal effort to complete and offers maximum time savings in an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • It establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • It identifies the line or chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Call SERVPRO at 302-856-9768 Today and Let’s get your business READY!

Be Prepared for Severe Weather!

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Tips 

   When severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property.  It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it.  In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain.  There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.

  • Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.  
  • Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
  • Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
  • Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
  • If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.

NOTE: ACCORDING TO NOAA – IF YOU ARE AWARE OF WHAT WEATHER EVENT IS ABOUT TO IMPACT YOU – YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE SUCH AN EVENT.  NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR THEIR WEBSITE IS THE BEST SOURCE FOR ACCURATE WEATHER INFORMATION.

  If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life!  Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Hurricane Facts for Delaware

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

As Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida, residents of Delaware may wonder just how much of a threat any storm may pose to our state. Although tropical storms and hurricanes can bring devastation, death and destruction – historically Delaware is a very fortunate. In fact, if you research as far back as 1785 – there have only been two named storms which actually brought hurricane force winds to the state. Those two storms were Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012. Storms in 1878 and 1903 also caused hurricane force winds; however we did not begin naming hurricanes until 1953 when only female names were used. This changed in 1979 again when we began offering both male and female names for hurricanes.

Most catastrophic storms can bring a high death toll as well and we tend to remember the storms that caused the most loss of life. Another interesting fact is that the state o f Delaware has only incurred around only 270 deaths from storms since 1785. During the same period in the state of Florida – there were well over 10,000 deaths! Hurricane Andrew alone killed 65 people in FL.

Perhaps we are fortunate or just plain lucky. With science predicting many more storms each season; it may just be a matter of time until Delaware has major storm damage. One thing is certain – we should learn the lesson on how these storms have affected others and always be prepared and vigilant. It is easy to say” Delaware is rarely in the eye of the storm.” Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Is Water Damage Hiding In Your Home?

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

The top 5 places water damage may be hiding in your home
Here at SERVPRO, we know the dangers of undetected water damage. Building materials such as
insulation, wood, drywall, and subflooring can quickly develop fungal growth and rot when
saturated with water. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not know that water is causing
damage until it is too late.
1. Windows
a. Windows are a common spot to find water leaks. Typically, rainwater seeps into
the home between the window sash and jamb. Water can then trickle down
behind the walls, potentially saturating the framing, studs, and drywall. If left for a
long period of time, rot can begin to form on wood materials. Repairing structural
damage such as this can be expensive.
2. Beneath the dishwasher or behind tubs and showers
a. Anywhere water lines run through your walls is a prime spot for leaks to develop.
We commonly receive calls from customers who notice stains or mold forming
around their showers or tubs. In some cases, water will pool beside a fixture, or
you may notice the floor becoming spongy due to continual water leaks. The best
way to avoid this type of damage is to make sure your fixtures are properly
installed and sealed to prevent water from flowing into the wall behind them.
3. Under poorly sealed toilet
a. You’ve probably been to a home with a wobbly toilet before. Any time a toilet
shifts away from its point of installation, the seal on the wax ring surrounding the
base can become compromised. If there is a problem with the wax seal, you may
notice water pooling near the base. Addiotionally, you may notice that the toilet is
wobbly because the floor itself is becoming spongy due to rot. This is sign of
advanced water damage that should be addressed quickly.
4. Behind drywall after flooding
a. We work in Sussex County and know that flooding can cause severe damage to
your home. Flooding after heavy rain brings groundwater with a high
concentration of organic material into your home. These contaminants greatly
increase the risk of fungal growth and other health problems. Even water from a
supply line will carry whatever has been sitting on your floors into contact with
newly damp, porous drywall. Anytime waters rise above floor level
you should replace all the drywall along the lower portion of the wall and
consider treating the framing that remains.
5. Inside of an HVAC unit
This is a very common source of water damage during summer months when AC use it
high. Indoor HVAC units use a shallow drip pan to collect condensed water which forms while
the AC is in use. The water is then funneled into a condensation line to drain out of the home. If
there is any sort of obstruction to the line, water will accumulation in the pan until it overflows.
This is a very common cause of residential water damage, and can lead to mold forming in the
AC, as well as damage to other materials in the case of an overflow. You should check your AC
drip pan occasionally to ensure that water is draining as it should.
If you discover water damage and need help restoring your home or property, SERVPRO of
Sussex County is one call away. We will work with you to restore your home to its preloss
condition. Call SERVPRO of Sussex County today for a free inspection.

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!

HVAC System Maintenance Saves Dollars and Makes Sense!

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Sussex County, we respond to water losses at both residential and commercial properties on an ongoing basis.  We find that many of the cases share a common denominator – a faulty HVAC system.  Typically, when we find out the details, we find that the system has not been inspected recently or not at all.  Generally, the cost of an annual HVAC system inspection is about $200 - $300.  The cost of a recent water loss at a local popular hotel was over $40,000.00.  A hose had broken and water flooded three floors.  We have also responded to local homes where the system shut down during the winter and the pipes froze and burst.

   The small investment of $300 or less can offer many benefits in addition to saving money.  These include cleaner air quality, a healthy environment, increased safety and overall peace of mind.  A clean HVAC system prevents the build-up of potentially harmful indoor airborne contaminants; therefore making the indoor environment of your home safer and healthier.  If your home or business is not comfortable due to changing temperatures; this may also be a symptom of a faulty HVAC system.  A compromised system may not maintain the expected thermostat temperatures causing the occupants discomfort. If rooms are too hot during the summer or too cold during the winter – it may be time to have the system checked. 

   Regular inspections and maintenance will also make your home safer since a faulty system can lead to water losses, mold and dirty air quality.  A faulty HVAC system may also create carbon monoxide exposure from a failed heat exchanger.  A healthy HVAC system consumes less fuel and minimizes our carbon footprint; so the environment benefits as well from good maintenance as well.

  A preventive maintenance plan may remove most of these worries and provide peace of mind from unwanted and costly damage and repairs.  If you need a reference for a good HVAC company – please reach out to us at SERVPRO of Sussex County and we will be happy to offer a reputable source.      

Mold....Truth be Told

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County is a leading local mold restoration provider. Our office receives many calls throughout the year regarding this concern. We also find that there is much misinformation that feeds into a general fear and misperception about growth suspected as mold. Hopefully, some factual information will give some new perspective on this issue.

Growth suspected as mold can grow in warm, damp and humid conditions. Mold reproduces and spreads by making spores. Mold can be good – such as penicillin and it can also be harmful. Typically, if you control moisture – you will control growth suspected as mold. Moisture control can be achieved through the following protocol:

  • Identify potential problem areas in your home that could provide the wet environment which mold needs to start and thrive. Areas such as your basement, windows and entry points may leak and these areas should be corrected.
  • Dry problem areas immediately. Generally, it takes mold 24 to 48 hours to form; so a quick drying effort will deter such a problem. Also – do not leave wet items lying around your house.
  • Proper Ventilation is the key to moisture control. High moisture areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms should have adequate ventilation and air flow to maintain dry conditions.
  • Equip your home with mold resistant products. Mold resistant drywall and paint are valuable toward mold prevention.
  • Monitor indoor humidity. You can purchase a moisture meter to measure from your local hardware store.
  • Maintain a water free perimeter around your home. Keep gutters clean and flowing properly away from the structure. Also, make sure your roof is structurally sound.
  • Allow and improve air flow inside your home.
  • Check indoor plants for mold and clean them if found. Mold loves plants – moist soil is a breeding ground for mold.

Another important tip is to educate yourself about your local climate and be aware of peak times and conditions for high humidity. If you feel that you have a mold problem; please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768.

The Tornado Myth

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

The Tornado Myth

There is no doubt that Delmarva has its share of storms. We encounter occasional Nor’Easters, severe thunder storms and snow storms. There have also been several hurricanes that have affected our area over the years; some were severe – most fortunately were not. The most recent storm event occurred on 4/15/2019 and spawned something extremely rare to our area – a tornado.

I would say that there have been maybe three tornadoes or suspected tornadoes over the last thirty or so years on the Eastern Shore. Typically, our location being between two or three large bodies of water seems to offer respite from such severe weather events. Strong fronts are usually weakened by the presence of warmer air which those water bodies seem to produce. The event that occurred this past Monday morning proves that we are not immune to the power and destruction that a tornado can cause. The images from Laurel and Seaford are almost unimaginable – some families last everything. When you see a huge tree broken or uprooted or an entire roof torn off a structure you can finally understand just how powerful and deadly a tornado can be. I toured the most severe areas the following day and short of hurricane damage it was the worst I had ever seen firsthand.

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood.TheSERVPROSystem has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, we are prepared for the unpredictable.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big.Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

If you have suffered any storm related damage and need assistance – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768.

The Value of SERVPRO

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

The Value of SERVPRO

Full disclosure, I have worked for multiple SERVPRO franchises for over 15 years and my family has been involved with SERVPRO for almost 25 years.  It’s easy for me to talk about the value of SERVPRO, especially to me personally.  SERVPRO has provided me and my family food on the table, a roof over our heads and many opportunities that we consider ourselves lucky to have.  I’ve gained lifelong friends and had experiences that has enriched my life.  For most of you, you may not have had the same experiences I have had.  In fact, you may not have wanted to call SERVPRO at all…. (don’t worry, we get it). That is why I wanted to share a difference experience I recently had that made me realize even more the value of SERVPRO.

A few weeks ago, we experienced a large rain storm.  I believe we had about an inch of rain fall in about an hour.  My gutters couldn’t handle it (and yes, they needed to be cleaned as well) and the basement door area was submerged in water.  Admittedly, we do get some water in a corner of the basement from time to time, but never more than a small amount.  This time the entire basement was affected, including my music studio area (carpets, equipment, soundproofing, instruments, etc. all got wet).

I began (after many choice words yelled into a pillow) by moving contents, extracting water with a shop vac and trying to get mitigate the best I could.  Now, at this point I am already appreciating the hard work our crew does every day.  I’m tired from doing all this work by myself (and to be honest, I have not done the field work in a while and not as conditioned as I once was) and my shop vac is not nearly as strong as our extractors and needs to be emptied every 2 minutes.  After about 4 hours of work, that our crew would do in less than a ½ an hour…, I had taken the necessary steps and was ready to continue drying.  So, I set up my Dehumidifier (standard basement one from hardware store) and couple of box fans throughout.  Immediately I knew this was going to cut it.  The fans were not powerful enough to lift the area rugs, let alone force air into affected walls, etc.  and the dehumidifier was not big enough to capture all of the moisture in the air and required emptying constantly.

Over the next few days I moved the fans around and repositioned area rugs, etc. to help them continue drying.  Within 36 hours my basement (and now whole house) smelled like a wet dog and water stains were now setting in with more permanence.  Eventually things dried out (about 7 days), but not before damage was done.  I ended up throwing away 4 area rugs, removing/replacing the bottom 2 feet of all soundproofing/insulation and lost about $400 worth of equipment (not necessarily because they got wet, but because they didn’t dry fast enough).  All told, it cost me about $1000 dollars in damages and about 8 hours of my time.

Because this water damage was not covered under my homeowner’s policy, I did/could not file a claim and I felt that the amount of work/damage (especially since I am experienced at the process) was also not worth hiring SERVPRO myself.  I would definitely not take make that decision should this happen again.  In the grand scheme of things, my basement water damage was relatively small in comparison to what we deal with on daily basis.  SERVPRO would have charged me approximately $500-$750 to complete the work I did and install the proper amount and type of drying equipment.  The area rugs and bottom of the soundproofing would have dried out faster (before bacteria growth and staining) and most likely could have been salvaged.  

I’ve always valued SERVPRO, but I have a new appreciation for the value of the work we do every day and I am proud to part of it! 

Humanity in Action

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Humanity in Action

  SERVPRO is known for helping those who have been affected by the wrath of nature or by a man - made misfortune or mishap.  Most of these events come with a sense of urgency to return the victims property to a preloss status. Some property can be restored; others must be replaced.  Working with someone’s property is one thing; working at a scene where someone has died is entirely another.

  Many people are unaware that SERVPRO offers services to remediate areas affected by death, murder or suicide.  We call these Bio Cleanups and when they occur we are reminded of not only our own mortality – but of our role in the community to offer support and sensitivity during such times.  Unfortunately, death is a part of life; and although it is difficult to accept – it is something that we all share.  When a family is faced with the death of a loved one; a great deal of sensitivity is needed when offering assistance.  It is truly a time when one must put themselves in the other person or person’s place to try to understand the severity of the situation.

  I am sorry to say that in less than one year; SERVPRO of Sussex County has responded to and assisted with over a dozen fatality scenes.  Some involve an elderly person who died in their bed; while others may involve a young person who has chosen to end their own life.  I believe that suicides may be the most difficult situations that our company will face due to the intense emotional effect on everyone.  That fact paired with the nature by which they ended their lives can be dramatic and hard to imagine.  We do not take any pride in these details but we realize that we are serving a real need by helping those affected to move on. 

  SERVPRO of Sussex County was recently honored by The Joseph Patrick Fabber Foundation for our support toward assisting those affected by the death of a loved one by suicide.  If you or a loved one are struggling with this issue – we encourage you to call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.    

Gas Can Hazards

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

As we enter the warmer months of the year; many of us will begin our outdoor chores which will probably include lawn and property maintenance. Since most of the tools used for such endeavors are powered by gasoline; this might be a good time to talk about gas can and fuel safety.

The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association estimates that there are approximately between 120 and 150 million plastic gas cans in circulation across the US. Statistics show that about a dozen people have lost their lives and thousands have been injured in the last twenty years. Scientists have found that under certain limited conditions lab tests show that gasoline vapor mixtures inside portable gas cans can ignite with explosive force. They stress that in most cases the following issues contribute to such danger:

  • A very low volume of gasoline in the container.
  • Low Temperatures.
  • Aged gasoline or gas that has been in storage.
  • Holding the can at a 42 degree pouring angle with the cap off and the spout open.

For an explosion to occur, gas vapor escaping the can must come in contact with a source of ignition such as a flame or spark and ignite, and the flame from the ignited vapor must travel back into the can through the spout, and the gas/air vapor mixture inside the can has to be in a concentration that falls within a defined flammability range.

Expertssay you should not leave small amounts of gasoline in a gas can, or fill the gas can more than 95 percent full. Use a tight-fitting cap and store the gasoline at room temperature, not in heat or cold. Do not store gas in unapproved, untested containers like milk or soda bottles. Remember not to refill a gas can close to a hot engine, or pour gas into a lawnmower or other small machine when it is still warm from use. Be aware of any possible sources of ignition nearby – flame or spark, including static electricity – when you are using a gas can.

SERVPRO of Sussex County encourages everyone to use caution when handling or transporting fuel. In the event of a spill or fire – please call us and we will be happy to help!

Please Don't Ignore Tornado Warnings!

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Last Sunday night my wife and I were watching television and saw weather alerts on our local channels advising the threat of severe weather including possible tornadoes. The warnings are not atypical – however fortunately Delmarva does not experience many tornadoes. I have lived here for more than thirty years and have heard of maybe two or three. Needless to say, my mind was filled with more thoughts about the Game of Thrones episode I had just watched than thoughts of tornadoes.

At about three am we heard our cell phones blast a tornado warning advising that everyone in the area seek shelter. My wife got up and began to poke and prompt me to get out of bed and seek a safer place to shelter. I still did not take it or her seriously and simply rolled over and tried to get back to sleep. My wife gave me hell for being so lackadaisical and we laid in bed and heard the storm. It was very intense; but fortunately we were not in any danger zones and faired with no damage or injury. However, when I got up the next morning and turned on the local television channel I saw that there had indeed been a tornado.

About twenty miles west of our home in Lewes an EF2 tornado touched down near Laurel and tore a path of destruction about 100 yards wide and over ten miles long. It was not until I drove from my office over to Laurel to see the damage first hand that I began to scold myself for my stubbornness and my stupidity. Homes were obliterated, trees uprooted, roofs missing and debris was everywhere. Small and large structures shared the same misfortune and many families lost almost everything. I kept thinking over and over – THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO US! My laziness and ignorance could have placed the life of my wife and our beloved dog in harm’s way. What made my guilt even worse was the thought that there is no excuse – I was given plenty of warning. The fact that there were no deaths or injuries from the storm told me that others had in fact heeded the timely alerts. Fortunately, I may have been the exception and not the rule.

The moral of this story is rather obvious – Pay Attention and Heed Warnings of Danger! If you suffered any storm damage – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County and we will be happy to assist with the clean up.

Don’t Mess With The Mess of A Sewage Spill!

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage spills can be caused by a number of issues at your home including broken pipes, blocked plumbing and damaged septic systems, or by intrusion of contaminated flood waters. Sewage contains harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Direct contact with sewage or surfaces contaminated by sewage can result in illnesses such as gastroenteritis, infection and other diarrheal concerns. These types of illness may be violent and extremely unpleasant; but other pathogens can lead to death.

If you have had such misfortune occur in your home – First – Call SERVPRO of Sussex County! Next take steps to minimize any exposure to people or pets from the sewage. Our team of professionals will arrive quickly and offer a plan of remediation that will ensure the safety of all involved. They will remove the sewage and contaminated soil form under the house. This is the first step in the decontamination process. Any and all surfaces or items which have been in contact with any sewage must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Once the area has been decontaminated; typically a vapor barrier will be applied.

Another unpleasant result of such a spill or leak can of course be the smell. It is crucial to remove all of the sewage and affected soil – this should reduce the smell but there may still be a need for odor remediation. Proper ventilation and air flow in the affected area will also assist with the odor issue and get things back to a normal smell. Our technicians will advise and apply all measure necessary to take the mess and worry out of a home sewage event. Call us at 302-856-9768 if you have a sewage concern and we can make the issue “Like it never even happened!”

Pepperoni and Extra Cheese.....No Mold...Please!

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Pepperoni and Extra Cheese……Hold the MOLD….Please!

  The restaurant business is tough enough under normal circumstances.  Every customer must be satisfied in this digital age….or else they will start YELPING or worse!  The challenges of labor, perishables and meeting standards of service can be overwhelming.  I truly admire those who succeed in this arena.  Like most of us; however, restaurants are not spared the everyday emergencies and disasters that are common in daily life.  Broken pipes, rain water intrusion and even fires can incapacitate a thriving eatery.

  Recently, a popular local pizzeria called us with concerns about growth which their HVAC service provider discovered in an area by the kitchen.  The proprietor was naturally concerned about the health of her patrons and staff and wanted us to remediate the situation as soon as possible.  She also wanted us to do the work without disruption or distress to her dining public.  It is situations like these that test the flexibility of our efforts since she wanted us to take care of the issue during non-working hours.  She also requested that our technicians stay out of sight if the work should spill over into lunch hour.  We understood her reservations and obliged with a thorough and rather stealthy approach and we had the situation contained and corrected within only a couple of days.  She was extremely pleased and bought our crew a pizza as a gesture of her appreciation and kindness.  She exhaled a big sigh of relief upon completion of this job. 

  Our professional team here at SERVPRO of Sussex County genuinely makes a sincere effort to consider the concerns of the property or business owner.  The crew worked quickly enough to satisfy the patron and stayed under the radar so as not to cause further worry to her and her customers.  This was truly a scenario of……."Like it never even happened."

Respect and Inspect Your Ducts!

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Respect and Inspect Your Ducts!

In your home or business, ductwork is a major part of your HVAC system. Ductwork delivers conditioned air to your rooms and returns the air back to the unit to be reconditioned. After years of use, cracks or openings may appear in or on the ducts. Sealed ducts are vital for comfort for several reasons:

  • Prevent dirt and dust from entering the rooms
  • Maintain a constant conditioned air temperature
  • Keep moisture from entering the ducts, raising humidity levels
  • Discourage growth (mold or mildew) from growing inside the ducts
  • Prevent unwanted pests from entering the ducts, causing unpleasant odors
  • Reduce heating or cooling costs from wasted energy

A duct inspection is important for quality indoor air, lowering energy costs and locating possible problems before they become costly ones. Consider performing a duct inspection with SERVPRO of Sussex County in the spring and fall when you change over from heating to cooling your home.

As a home or business owner, you can perform a visual ductwork inspection, looking for these common signs of damaged ducts:

  • Lack of cooling or heating: Check for worn or torn insulation in unconditioned areas, such as attics, crawl spaces or basements.
  • Rattling noise: Possible loose joints in the ducts.
  • Air volume low: Possible presence of cracks or holes.
  • Sagging ducts: Hangers holding up the ducts may be loose.
  • Foul smell coming from ducts: Possible moisture, mold or mildew presence.

Although you can do small repairs like replacing insulation it is best to contact SERVPRO of Sussex County to perform an extensive ductwork inspection and evaluate the condition of your ductwork. We will determine if your ducts are damaged or if replacement is necessary. SERVPRO of Sussex County has the most advanced equipment to inspect and clean ducts.  Call us today!

SERVPRO of Sussex County…….Not just a Job – It’s an Adventure!

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

I have worked in the business arena for more than 35 years.  I have sold everything from poultry to legal services.  Although those endeavors were challenging and offered their own specific types of rewards; the work was not typically exciting and at times it was routine at best.  My time with SERVPRO has been exactly the opposite.

  Each day brings new challenges and most offer opportunities to make a real difference in people’s lives.  The critical nature of the events which truly require the SERVPRO expertise and service makes every job important.  When an individual or family is displaced due to a water or fire emergency; the work is inspired by a heightened sense of urgency and the vocation to help others takes over.  Getting that family back into their home becomes the goal and the team comes together to solve the problems. In a sense; it almost feels at times like we are “second” responders and although the situation may not be life or death; the rewards are genuinely fulfilling.

  The dramatic times may not be appealing in any job.  In most cases the everyday mundane theme of the workplace can be affected.  Real human drama is very different.  The images that we see on an ongoing basis inspire such compassion that the effort takes on a nature very different from the routine.  The scene at a burned out or flooded home and the sight of a pile of charred or saturated possessions can inspire not only emotion but intense energy as well.  This emotion and energy become the true vocation that is SERVPRO – problem solving in a crisis.  Another example would be when a natural disaster effects our area or another and we mobilize simply out of the desire to help!

   If your job is becoming “boring” and less than challenging – stop by our shop and complete your application today!

Wet, Winter Weekend Worries!

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Wet, Winter Weekend Worries!

  One of the principles of Murphy’s Law is timing.  The common phrase is:  “If something can go wrong it will; and usually at the worst time.” A commercial water loss can be catastrophic enough at any time; however when it happens during a very busy time – a great deal of worry and anxiety will usually come with it.  Under this scenario; the situation can be further exacerbated when the business affected is a hotel with a sold –out weekend upon them.

  Recently, SERVPRO of Sussex County responded to this exact event which occurred over the President’s Day Weekend.  It must be stated that the beach area in Sussex County has become a year round destination and when travelers have a three day weekend to enjoy here; they make the most of it.  Hotels usually sell out weeks in advance and visitors take advantage of local shopping and dining.

  The call came around two am on a Friday night and we dispatched our crew to the scene within two hours.  We found that an HVAC unit on the third floor had a broken hose and water flowed for several hours into the walls, floors and ceilings on three levels affecting about twenty rooms.  Our crew acted quickly to extract as much water as possible and begin the drying process. They were on the scene for more than twelve hours on the first call.  We found a very worried manager who naturally was overwhelmed with not only the damage to the hotel but with the thought of those twenty to forty guests arriving with the possibility of no accommodations.  In this case, any reputable hotel will do exactly as this one did – re-locate the guests with a complimentary stay at another hotel.  Hospitality should be extended even through the challenging times.  Although, some guests may have some disappointment; at least the entire weekend was not lost.

  When an emergency strikes at the most inopportune time – call SERVPRO of Sussex County and we will offer prompt response and make order out of chaos – "Like it never even happened."

Is Your Health Care Facility Healthy?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Is Your Health Care Facility Healthy?

  Sussex County has hundreds of professional health care facilities as well as doctor’s offices.  We are fortunate to also have Beebe, Nanticoke and Bayhealth Hospitals in our area.  Healthcare is not only a major industry in Sussex County but also in our entire state.  It is an industry that generates thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.  SERVPRO of Sussex County has served many of these practices over the years and we are proud to play a part in keeping the health care industry clean and healthy.

  Some of the issues we have addressed over the years include: water damage, growth and mold remediation, bio contaminants cleanup, duct work inspections and duct/vent cleaning as well as full scale cleaning services which cover carpets, floors and upholstery.  The goal of every practice is to maintain a location that not only has a healthy appearance; but exudes cleanliness and a sanitary environment.  One of the first things that most people notice about any office is the smell.  SERVPRO of Sussex County can locate the smelly source and return the office to a non-offensive state.  Whether it is a dead rodent in your wall or mildew smell from a water or moisture issue – we have the skill, products and tools to correct the problem.  Even a minor water issue can create a lasting stench and we tackle the smell at its source – we don’t just cover it up.  

  Almost every health care office has experienced issues of biological “spills”.  Whether it is urine or blood; we can clean and sanitize so no contaminants will worry the future patrons.  We take these types of jobs very seriously and want to make the goal to each situation “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com.

Almost as Fast as a Flash Flood!

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

This photo shows the area in the basement where the ground water entered through the foundation.

Recently, a friend, who is also a local contractor called to inform me that the office which he was leasing had experienced a water loss the day prior. The Lewes area had experienced an extreme downpour and it forced groundwater through the foundation into the basement and ground floor. It just so happens that his small office is located in the ground floor of a landmark home located on the Lewes canal and he was concerned about the effect the flooding would have on the entire home. Obviously, this home is worth over a million dollars and his concern was valid.

Within an hour of his call, the SERVPRO of Sussex County team delivered dehumidifiers and air movers to the location and the drying process began. In hindsight, it was very lucky for this homeowner that someone was present at this location and was able to address the loss immediately. If the flood water had been left unattended for days or weeks – growth and other additional loss may have occurred. This absentee owner issue is a real concern for many homeowners in our area who also dwell outside of Sussex County. SERVPRO of Sussex County recommends that if you do not have a neighbor or caretaker to offer periodic inspections of your property; you may want to consider a property management team to do the same.

This story has a happy ending primarily due to the quick reaction by both my friends’ crew and our SERVPRO team in response to the loss. After a several day drying process the moisture levels were reduced and the home smelled normal again. I met my friend at the location and he showed me a video that he took of the flooding. Many people are startled by how fast water travels. Fast reaction and response time is what separates SERVPRO of Sussex County from our competitors. If you need us – call us today!

For SERVPRO of Sussex County – It’s Community First!

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

For SERVPRO of Sussex County – It’s Community First!

  SERVPRO of Sussex County takes a great deal of pride in the community we serve.  For more than 25 years we have offered restoration and remediation services to the local public and we have offered response and support to some of the area’s most challenging events.  This is our role and we take it very seriously.  But when it comes to caring for our community – fulfilling our role is simply not good enough.       

  We have all heard sayings like “pay it forward” or “do the right thing”.  In a sense these words express a higher call for duty in our community to give and go beyond what is simply expected.  SERVPRO of Sussex County embraces this role and we make good on our ongoing promise to give back to those in need.

  Our charitable efforts in 2018 included donating time and or resources to the most worthy causes in our local area.  We are happy to have offered our support to such groups as Habitat for Humanity, Breast Cancer Awareness, Substance Abuse Awareness, Fire Prevention, Special Olympics and CHEER.  We also support the local Boys and Girls Clubs and our areas police, EMS and fire departments.  SERVPRO also donated to several local food drives.  As a community we must not ignore the needs of the community.  We encourage all local businesses to take strides to effect more than just their bottom lines and put their neighbors first.  At SERVPRO of Sussex County we always ask ourselves – Can We Do More?  Fulfilling our role is important; yes – but becoming a Role Model is more so.

SERVPRO of Sussex County - Go With What You Know!

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County - Go With What You Know!

   Sussex County Delaware is currently experiencing growth at a more rapid rate than at any time in its history.  The Cape Gazette recently ran a story on this boom and offered some staggering statistics.  There are over 11,000 lots or units under projects or plans for construction.  More than 350,000 square feet of new commercial space has been approved or under review.  Schools are expanding, new hospitals are being built and new large medical centers are planned or under construction.  There are plans for 5 new hotels offering an additional 430 rooms.  It has been said that 5 out of every 6 people moving to Delaware are relocating in Sussex County; with an estimated population increase of more than 15% within the next five years. 

  SERVPRO of Sussex County has been a steady fixture in our community for more than 25 years and we view this growth with optimism.  However, with all of the new construction, we are seeing new service companies in our area that are attempting to profit from this growth.  Almost every day, we encounter a different or new “specialist” offering similar services to our community.  We have heard and witnessed accounts of poor service and workmanship and we are concerned that these “bandwagon” companies will leave local patrons feeling less than satisfied as they focus on quantity of work instead of quality.  Where we offer free inspections – we are seeing many competitors charging for the same services.  We encounter efforts to discount and or buy business away from us; or companies which tout abilities and experience that is simply false.  Most of these predatory competitors are not even located in Sussex County and none offer the expertise or experience that SERVPRO is known for throughout our nation.  We encourage our local patrons to go with what they know and most know that SERVPRO is the most respected and trusted remediation / restoration provider in our area.  So we say – Let the buyer beware.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County has a true commitment to excellence in our community because this is where we work and live.  Trust local business to serve local business and residents.

How Can SERVPRO of Sussex County Assist Your Business?

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

How can SERVPRO of Sussex County assist your business?

There is never a convenient time to find your business at the mercy of fire or water damage.  The destruction can be challenging at the least, and in severe cases may be very expensive and time consuming.  Every hour spent cleaning or remediating can result in lost revenue and productivity; compounding your loss.  Knowing where to start the recovery process can be overwhelming and confusing. In extreme situations, you need help.  The SERVPRO of Sussex County team has more than 25 years of experience aiding local business owners when the stakes are high.

Disasters can grow in scope very quickly.  Water loss can lead to contamination and damaged electronics.  Fire can destroy structures and it can take days to sort through what’s left.  There’s no telling how long it may take to get back on your feet.  Fortunately, we are a 24-7 emergency service with professionals on-call to remediate any damage, regardless of the scale or cause.  We have a wide range of knowledge and services to offer for all types of commercial properties:

Since our company was founded, we have made it a constant priority to mitigate the effects of the unexpected by providing amazing service.  As members of the Sussex County community, we are heavily invested in the welfare of our fellow business owners, friends and neighbors.  Restoring your livelihood to its preloss condition is what we do.  If you find yourself in need of help, please call SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

Falling Prices and Water in Milford

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged ceiling at a Milford Dept. Store.

Falling Prices and Water in Milford

  Imagine that you own a department store that is bustling with a crowd of shoppers; one week before Christmas.  Instead of the white snowy holiday that everyone dreams about; a torrential downpour begins.  Within moments, streams of water begin to flow through the hung ceiling tiles; resulting in a flood that envelops half of the store.  The stores’ roof may have withstood the last rain storm – but not this one. 

  The stores crew are overwhelmed by the speed and saturation of the water.  They place numerous buckets and receptacles to try to capture as much water as possible but soon they realize an immediate emergency response is needed.  A call to their insurance agent starts the clock for a SERVPRO response that has a full crew dispatched to their location very quickly.

  Safety is always our first priority when we respond to a scene where the public may be present.  The first steps taken are to isolate the affected areas and restrict access so as to ensure no slips or falls.  We will also check for any electrical hazards and work to eliminate any threat.  Once the area is safely secured – extraction and drying can begin; as well as steps toward full remediation.

  Ceiling, carpets and flooring as well as merchandise are all effected and immediately following the drying process the SERVPRO team begins the demolition steps to remove damaged materials.  Our crew stayed on the scene daily for over two weeks until their efforts were complete.  The store was able to remain open during their work and holiday sales were saved with very little disruption to the shoppers.  

  A water leak or leaks can create a great deal of damage in a short period of time and without the skill of our professional team; the store may have faced closure and lost more revenue.  SERVPRO of Sussex County specializes in these types of emergencies and we have over 25 years of experience in solving these problems.  A visit to the store earlier this week, showed little evidence that such an event ever occurred and immediately the phrase came to mind….Like it never even happened!

Puff Back Attack

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Puff Back Attack

  As the winter days grow colder, many Sussex County homeowners will find themselves eager to turn up the heat in their residences.  Precautions should be taken when firing up your heater for the first time.  If your heating system has not been inspected or cleaned for over a year, this could result in a puffback.

  Puff backs are messy expulsions of soot and smoke caused by improper furnace ignition.  When an oil burner doesn’t ignite immediately, excess oil builds up within the combustion chamber.  This fuel can ignite explosively, similar to the backfiring of a car.  Depending on how much fuel has built up in the chamber, the result can range from a small explosion to a cloud of oily smoke.

  The resulting mess of soot and debris will be mixed with oil. It can quickly spread throughout your home, covering cabinets, walls, furniture, and everything else you would never want covered in something black and sticky.  In addition to the mess, puffbacks contaminate the air and surfaces with unhealthy material. The consequences can be unpleasant, but SERVPRO of Sussex County can work with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home and belongings.

  Should a puff back occur, here are some helpful tips to follow.

  • Assess the damage
  • Wash all affected clothing and throw out exposed food
  • Contact a technician to repair the malfunctioning furnace
  • Contact SERVPRO of Sussex County to restore your home

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to quickly restore your home to its original state.  If you need someone to help with any type of smoke, soot, or fire damage, our highly trained technicians will be there to start the restoration process.  Call the professionals at – SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

A Concern for a Home Away From Home

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

A Concern for a Home away from Home

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, numerous homes will rest unattended for many months.  Moisture intrusion can easily 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 frequently called out to problems where homeowners are far away from the point of disaster.  In cases such as these, we pride ourselves in showing great care for the homes we’ve been entrusted with.  In a recent case, 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 spread throughout the home, affecting walls, furniture, and ceilings.  SERVPRO of Sussex County was called in to remediate mold from all affected surfaces. Our technicians possess an eye for detail.  Each floor was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including 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

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Burnt Out

Did you ever stop to consider the after effects of what happens to a commercial business when they have a major disaster?  Let’s just think about your favorite restaurant that you and your friends have a standing every other Saturday night get-together.  Suddenly your favorite restaurant has a fire.  Of course, the local fire department was called in to put out the fire and then 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 and only rent, they must continue to pay rent without any income to offset it.  For some 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?  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.

After the Dust Settles

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

After The Dust Settles

  Remodeling projects are a common part of improving your home. Sometimes, the work that needs to be accomplished has unforeseen consequences. Perhaps a dust barrier fell down during demolition, or you discover the baseboard was nailed directly into a water line.  Accidents happen, and SERVPRO prides itself in getting the home you care for back to normal.

  My second week in the field focused on restoring a living space under construction. During the course of remodeling a basement apartment, a section of concrete floor was cut into. The dust barrier failed, resulting in substantial layer of fine dust cover on all surfaces. This material also made its way into the vents and the rest of the home.  As you can imagine, an environment covered in an irritant such as concrete dust is far from pleasant.  Silica, which is contained in concrete, can be a health hazard.

  In a case like this, our goal as SERVPRO technicians is to clean, sanitize, and restore your living space to its original state. We began by using a HEPA vac to remove the dust on fabric and hard surfaces. As surfaces were vacuumed, team members followed behind to sanitize. CD cases, shelving, picture frames, clothing, and any other object in the home affect by the construction dust was cleaned by our technicians. Lastly, we conducted a thorough vent and duct cleaning to remove silica dust that had made its way into the HVAC system. By the end of the week, our customer’s home had been fully restored.

  We all look forward to a clean and safe place to come home to every day. A post-construction cleanup can take away days of your time. The amount of work to get your home back to normal can feel overwhelming.  SERVPRO of Sussex County has the expertise to provide a deep and thorough clean that is a step above what others offer. Our residential cleaning services ease the burden of the constant maintenance, and unexpected disasters. We go the extra mile to create a safe, clean and comfortable living environment for you and your family. If you need help restoring you home after any type of accident, call – SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768. We’re here to help.

Rat Racer

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Rat Racer!

  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? This was the case a couple of months ago when a local dealership in Georgetown called us to inspect an SUV that was parked on their lot.  The caller described the situation as an 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 bad odor and the presence of rodent feces throughout the interior.  We also saw that the rodent had made a meal of some of the wiring under the hood which made driving the vehicle impossible since it would start and then immediately shut down.

  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 during transit it had escaped and became 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!

A New Perspective

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

A New Perspective

  I recently 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. Having personal experience with water damage placing life on hold, I was eager to gain a new perspective from the professionals who restore homes on a daily basis. My role with SERVPRO is focused on customer service. With this in mind, I embraced the opportunity to learn how SERVPRO provides excellent solutions to their customers.

  While I am no stranger to working with my hands, I was shocked by the severity of damage my teammates frequently resolve. My first day was spent 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. After donning protective equipment and 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, my team leader, 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.

Oh!!!! Christmas Tree!!!!

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

                OH!!! Christmas Tree!!!

  According to U.S. Fire Departments; 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.  A myth is that the tree lights alone are the problem but in reality the cause is also overloaded extension cords and electrical sockets which were faulty and short circuited.

  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 two out of every five decoration fires is started by candles.  Speaking from experience; this can happen in the blink on an eye and can cause considerable damage.  We had a small fire in our kitchen during Thanksgiving dinner one year after a dish towel got too close to a lit candle and we had to replace the island that it sat on.  A temporary lapse in attention is all it takes.

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.

Bad Pipe Dreams

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

An example of exposed pipes under a sink that may freeze if the internal temperature of the home is not controlled.

Bad Pipe Dreams

  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.  In fact, the average cost of such an event is estimated at $5.000.00 or more.  Over time; global warming may decrease this threat, however that make take many decades or centuries. What can you do now to prevent those pipes from freezing?

  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.

  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.

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.        

Time For A New Roof?

12/3/2018 (Permalink)


Time for a New Roof?

Obviously, most homeowners will consider roof replacement after a leak is spotted on their ceiling.  This leak could be due to more than one roofing problem. Deciding to repair or replace the roof can be a costly decision. A new roof for a 2500 square foot home will average between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00. Here are some factors to consider before repairing or replacing your existing roof.

  • Roof Age – if your asphalt shingle roof is 20 to 25 years of age; it is typically at the point where it should be inspected for damage. Most experts agree that the average life for this type of roof is about 20 years.  It also depends on whether the roof has been previously repaired or a new roof was placed over the old roof.
  • Buckling or Curling Shingles – there is no vaccine for this – this is a sign that your roof is at the end of its life expectancy. This will be very apparent in the areas which receive direct sunlight. If a new roof is starting to show these symptoms – contact your roofing contractor – your roof may be defective and you may be entitled to reimbursement.
  • Check your Roof Valleys – if you have missing or deteriorated shingles in this area; it’s a definite sign that you need a new roof. The valleys channel the water and snow and if compromised can cause leaks.
  • Missing Shingles – Shingle tabs that are not intact are signs of a failing roof.
  • Flashing – chimney flashing made of roof cement or tar may need to be replaced with a long term water tight metal flashing system.
  • Shingle Granules in your gutters – check your gutters and if they are filling up with granules – this is a sign that the roof is deteriorating. Changes in the color of your roof may indicate this issue as well.
  • Light coming through the roof boards – if you can see light – you need a new roof. If light is coming through so will rain and moisture which could lead to more problems.

If you are unable or uncertain about these issues it is always best to have a roofing professional inspect your roof and offer advice for any issues or remedies.  SERVPRO of Sussex County is happy to provide a list of reputable roofing specialists who are available in our area.  Please call us today at 302-856-9768 if you have any roof leaks or questions. 

Water Tight Advice

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Tight Advice!

  SERVPRO of Sussex County responded to a call from a very smelly business about four months ago.  After a thorough inspection we found that the source was water intrusion which caused growth and mildew.  The lobby smelled like the most intense “locker room / body odor” smell that I have ever encountered.  Obviously, the business owner was concerned that this would not be good for business. 

  The water was coming in through leaking windows and since the structure was over 25 years old; this was not surprising. Over time, the water saturated carpets and flooring and proper drying never occurred; hence the intense odor.  The window sills and frames were also showing signs of water damage as well.

  We placed air movers and air scrubbers and recommended an Industrial Hygienist to inspect and offer protocol. The protocol offered by the Industrial Hygienist recommended that all of the affected windows be removed immediately and replaced. We offered the contact for a local window contractor and of course our agreement with the plan offered by the Hygienist.  We removed the smell and the growth; however they did not replace the windows.

  Let’s fast forward to two weeks ago – early October. We got another call from the same business after an intense weekend of rain and this time they had a water damage with standing water and saturated carpets, drywall and flooring throughout the basement and first and second floors.

  Again, our team responded and this time applied extraction and more drying, air scrubbing and 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 heeded both the Hygienists and our recommendations – the second loss would not have happened.  The moral of the story is that these types of problems do not fix themselves and when a business or a resident is offered sage advice to prevent future issues – that advice should be heeded.

How do I answer the question: What does SERVPRO do?

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Wendy at her BEST! Her enthusiasm and love of her work and her coworkers makes her one of our most valuable employees and leaders.

My name is Wendy and I am a crew chief for SERVPRO of Sussex County. When I tell someone that I work for SERVPRO; they usually get a little confused and ask me what that is exactly. My response is typically - "Just about anything!" or (my personal favorite) "We tear up houses all day!" Then I giggle at their initial reaction of shock before explaining further that when we repair a damaged home; we sometimes have to demolish and or remove the affected or damaged materials before a rebuild can begin.

We clean up after all types of pipe breaks or leaks; water and sewage related. Some are from water intake lines for a sink, toilet, shower or bathtub. Others are actual raw sewage lines, or a pipe that wasn't connected properly to a toilet. Our crews clean up mold that has been caused by a water intrusion or high humidity. Mold related jobs can range from being a small closet to a whole house.

SERVPRO also cleans areas that are considered biohazard. Some of these jobs are also either very involved or somewhat simple. Some of our work may seem unpleasant; especially when we respond to a health challenge or death. It’s at these times that one must consider what our community would be faced with if we did not do these types of jobs.

We offer remediation services after a fire has occurred or a puff back of smoke from a furnace or fireplace. A severe fire can create a great deal of damage and become a life changing event. Empathy is part of all we do. All of these jobs can be as dangerous as they are challenging. So, of course we have plenty of protective gear to wear and safety is always a primary concern for both our customers and our coworkers.

Overall I enjoy the variety of my work the most. No two jobs will ever be the same experience with all that we are capable of here at SERVPRO.

If you have questions or a need for our services please reach us at 302-856-9768 - SERVPRO of Sussex County.

A Recipe For Disaster

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

A Recipe for Disaster

  Thanksgiving is a popular time for family and friends to come together for food and company. Unfortunately, it is the leading day for home cooking fires in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association; between 2011 and 2015, it is estimated cooking fires contributed to $1.2 billion in property damage annually. There is an average of 455 daily cooking fires in the US. Their evidence has stated that in 2015, on Thanksgiving Day, there were four times as many cooking fires as any other day of the year.

  Unattended cooking equipment continues to be the primary cause of holiday fires. Some equipment presents a greater risk than people have prepared for. Turkey fryers have become a popular and easy way to prepare your holiday feast. Despite the ease and delicious results, these fryers come with their own unique set of safety precautions. According to the NFPA, deep-frying turkey has led to an exponential increase in holiday fires.

  Nobody wants a disaster to ruin a perfect Thanksgiving with the people we love. Below are some essential tips to keep yourself and family safe while cooking this year.

In your home:

  • Do not leave food unsupervised, especially when cooking with oil
  • Keep flammable material like wooden utensils, oven mitts, towels, and food packaging away from stovetops
  • Use a timer to keep track of cooking times, and monitor meals that take a long time to cook.

If you are using a fryer:

  • Fully thaw and dry your turkey. Excess water will cause the oil to boil over, potentially burning anyone nearby. If cooking oil spills onto the burner, it can easily start a fire.
  • Set your fryer up outdoors, on flat ground, and away from your home
  • Keep track of the oil temperature, and use protection when touching the lid and handle.
  • Be prepared for a fire. Have a multi-purpose dry powder fire extinguisher ready at all times.

 We encourage everyone to practice safety this holiday season. Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to fire damage and remember it is always best to use an expert in such cases to lessen cost and severity of damage. You may also visit our website at: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com

Is Your Washer on Auto Pilot?

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Washer on Auto Pilot?

Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  There’s always so-o much to do and not enough time to do it in one day!  If you’re like me, you’ve not only got lunches to pack, breakfast for everyone (most of the time it’s on the run), making sure the kids are dressed and have their book bags in order, husband trying to remember where he left the keys to his car, and the dog barking – don’t forget to feed him!  And what about that pile of laundry?  You’ve got your in-laws coming over tonight and they won’t be happy to see that stack of smelly socks and who knows what else is in there.  Why not just put the laundry in the washer right now?  After all, you have a hair appointment that won’t wait and the laundry will be done by the time you’re back – right?

Wrong thing to do!  Do you realize that IF your washer makes the decision to keep filling with water as the fill switch may just suddenly break while you’re away, your entire house will be flooded with water by the time you return home?  Depending on how long you’re gone, you may have furniture and carpet floating in many, many rooms.  If your laundry room is on the second floor, you could also have a cascading waterfall down your staircase.  YIKES!!

While SERVPRO of Sussex County realizes that a water damage may also occur even through no fault of your own, they are there to help get your home back to a preloss condition or “Like it never even happened”.  If you need someone to help with your water loss, call the experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.  The highly trained IICRC technicians will be there to start the drying process.  If you have a water damage, call the professionals – call SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

Mold Remediation at a Furniture Store in Sussex County

11/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation at a Furniture Store in Sussex County

  SERVPRO of Sussex County recently responded to a water damage call from a local furniture store.  There was damage to both the show room and the warehouse and some pieces of furniture were also affected.  We found that separate issues contributed to this loss and we recommended a remediation protocol.  

  Improper use of the HVAC system in a home or business can cause and contribute to water damage.  The furniture store only operated their HVAC during weekdays and did not during weekends or nights.  This fluctuation in temperature can cause humidity and condensation to increase inside of the structure; as was the case in this example.

  The open air warehouse was the other culprit. We found that there was no temperature control or airflow and the concrete flooring was dirty and growth was forming in areas and spreading to the actual pieces of furniture being stored.  The rain gutters outside the warehouse were draining right next to the building and water was pooling up around the direct exterior. The warehouse was also extremely humid and there was evidence of condensation as well.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County recommended the HVAC system be set to auto so as to adjust itself to changes in temperature and a dehumidifier was placed inside the store.  We also recommended the installation of downspouts to redirect the water away from the building; as well as power-washing, sealing and painting the warehouse floor.  This step had to be completed in two stages since the inventory had to be moved from one side of the warehouse to the other to allow for the floor to be cleaned and repaired.  Some of these remedies may seem like simple common sense; however when you are busy running a business; it can become easy to overlook such issues until a problem forces attention.  For more on SERVPRO of Sussex County’s water damage services please visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/water-damage-restoration or call us at 302-856-9768 for questions or service.

Tips for Post Flood Safety

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for Post Flood Safety

  Once the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure.  Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself. 

  FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1756-25045-8598/protecting_home_book_508compliant.pdf.  Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:

  • Electrical hazards – Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
  • Structural Damage – If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately.  A collapse could cause serious injury or even death.  Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
  • Hazardous Materials – These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint.  Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
  • Injuries - One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
  • Biological Hazards - These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure.  Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites.  Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health risks if not safely cleaned and remediated.

  Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes.  If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to inspect and offer remediation services.

Murphy's Law

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Murphy’s Law

   It’s Murphy’s Law that if you own a house, something will go wrong – you may even have a catastrophe – right?  OK – who is this Murphy and why is he in charge of the law in the first place? 

   If you “Googled” it, you will find many different versions on the subject, but it’s actually Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. who was born in 1918.  Murphy was the eldest of five children.  He attended West Point and immediately commissioned into the Army Air Corps and saw action against the Japanese in China and Burma.  He was a successful pilot and aerospace test engineer.  Murphy decided after the war to involve himself in the technological aspects of aircraft design, and went to work as a research and development officer for the Air Force.  It was during this period of his life that Murphy became involved in the experiments that would give rise to the naming of his Law, “If anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst most possible moment.”

  No matter whether you have a brand-new home with new plumbing, new shingles on the roof, and new appliances or you have an older home, you’re bound to have a leaky pipe, loose shingle, or one of those appliances, such as a washer, dishwasher, or refrigerator hose fail.  And, of course, with Murphy’s Law you’re never home when it happens!

  We may not be able to stop all of those catastrophic losses to your home, but when they do happen – remember to call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 to help with the clean-up.  SERVPRO will respond to your home within a few hours, extract any standing water, set drying equipment in place and make sure all your clean-up needs have been met.  All of our technicians have met the IICRC training requirements.  SERVPRO of Sussex has a 24-7 answering service for all your cleaning needs.  Whether it be water, fire, odor, mold mitigation, crime scene clean-up, interior duct cleaning, carpet and/or upholstery cleaning – call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768.

SERVPRO of Sussex County Hunts for Dirty Ducts!

10/14/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County Hunts for Dirty Ducts!

Did you ever want to know what’s in your duct lines?  Yes, those things that are attached to the registers either on the floor or up in the ceiling.  There are also larger registers – called returns – that are also duct lines feeding into your HVAC system – either your heating and/or your cooling system.  Most of us always assume that they can’t get dirty.  If you have pets, chances are those duct lines are filled with a lot of hair or pet dander.  Does anyone in the household have any allergies?  If so, it’s a good time to check out those duct lines to see what’s lurking in them to get rid of any allergens so you can breathe easier.  Does your furniture seem to get dusty right after you clean it?  Perhaps your duct lines could use a good cleaning!

SERVPRO of Sussex County will clean your interior duct lines and gets rid of 99.97% of the dust and allergens in those lines.  Our production manager will come to your home to give a free in-house estimate going over the cleaning process with you.  SERVPRO of Sussex County also has the capability of looking at the interior of your duct lines with a high-powered camera if necessary.  On the day of the cleaning, our highly trained technician will make sure that all the dirt and debris from your duct lines captured by our equipment will not escape into your home and all registers will be left clean as well.  Any residual dust in those cracks or crevices will be sealed with a duct sealer.

Call SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768 to set up an appointment to have someone come out to look at your interior duct lines.  Take the first step to breathing easier and having cleaner ducts.  Who knows we might also just find that missing diamond ring for you! 

Garage Storage Safety Tips

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Garage Storage Safety Tips

  If you are like my wife and I you tend to use your garage as a STORE-ALL area.  Simplified; if it doesn’t belong in the house – it must belong in the garage – RIGHT? Wrong – here are some tips for what items are to be safely stored in your garage.  Some are obvious; some less so.

 Garage Safe Items – these will include lawn care tools and equipment, gardening supplies, plastic bins for storage. Hoses (after draining), sports equipment and of course your cars or vehicle.

 Items Unsafe for the Garage – Extra fuel – this is best stored in an outside shed due to the possibilities of spills, leaks or combustion. 

 Paint or home improvement chemicals should also be kept outside of the home and in some cases they are sensitive to varying temperatures and may become combustible as well.

 Unused Furniture can be subject to humidity and moisture which can warp wood and damage fabric.  Rodents and unwanted pests welcome such objects as homes or nesting places.  Donating old furniture to those less fortunate is a great gesture and can also offer a tax credit.

 Store your old clothing in the house in a sealed container. Typically, the attic or the back of a closet is the best place for such items. Any such items left in the garage will tend to absorb fumes, dust and tend to attract pests.

 Perishable items such as FOOD for human consumption or pets should never be left in an uncontrolled climate or area. Temperature swings will increase the rate of spoilage and such items will attract rodents or vermin.

 Keep your fragile and valuable items such as photographs, artwork and electronics in a climate controlled area.  If it is us personal value – it should not be in the garage.  

 If unsafely stored items have caused a harmful or potentially harmful situation in any area of your home – please call us at SERVPRO of Sussex County today at 302-856-9768 and we will be happy to inspect the area for you and offer proper advice on remediation.

The Origins of National Fire Prevention Month

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

The Origins of National Fire Prevention Month

  October is Fire Prevention Month and is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).  Fire Prevention Month actually started as National Fire Prevention Day as declared by President Woodrow Wilson in 1922 and has evolved into a week or month long observance of the issues associated with Fire Safety.

  The event which inspired the longest running public safety and health campaign on record was The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which started on October 8, 1871. The fire lasted for three days and killed more than 300 people and left more than 100,000 people homeless.  It burned more than 2,000 acres and destroyed about 17,400 structures and was reportedly started in a barn.  It caused an estimated $200 million in damages and legends of its cause range from a cow kicking over a lantern in a barn to human error and even a meteor. The worst destruction occurred on October 9 and this is why the national campaign always begins around this time.  An area a mile wide and four miles long were left in ruin in its aftermath.  Historically, it is still one of the worst American disasters on record.

  In 2000, the NFPA extended the Fire Prevention Week to include the entire month of October and most Fire Departments, schools, libraries and utility companies participate in spreading the word about Fire Safety and Prevention.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is happy to offer its ongoing support to all of the local Fire Departments and we will be participating in the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company 2018 Fire Safety and Awareness Program on Sunday October 7 at the bandstand just off the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.  This four hour event from noon until 4 pm will feature this year's Fire Safety Campaign "LOOK, LISTEN, LEARN - Be Aware, Fire can Happen Anywhere."

   Children of all ages are welcome. Come see the firetrucks, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and many more of the public servants that work hard every day to help keep you and your families safe. 

Water Damage is best left to our Experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage is best left to our Experts at SERVPRO of Sussex County

   I recently had the privilege of attending and participating in an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) Water Damage Restoration class in Toughkenamon, PA for SERVPRO of Sussex County.  Although my role with our company is more of a sales and marketing nature – I embraced this opportunity to educate myself further in order to better address customer concerns and questions in the field.  I also wanted to develop a better understanding of this process since it is a major part of our regular work schedule. 

  The class was offered over three days with a test required on the third day. We received a book and the instructor – Ron Valega was awesome.  He was very informative and almost immediately created a comfortable rapport with the class participants with colorful anecdotes and humor. We viewed many videos which highlighted safety tips and proper workmanship.

  I had no pre conception about the intensity of the subject matter and found it both interesting and challenging.  After about the first three hours of information; I began to develop a deeper respect and appreciation for my workmates who have not only earned their certification through this class; but apply their expertise on an almost daily basis.  Parts of the class addressed Psychrometrics – which is the understanding of the relationships between temperature, humidity and air flow and how they all play a part in the drying out process for structures and materials.  It was during this time that I began to envision a lower test score for myself since I found this somewhat confusing and after you pass the age of 50 – nothing new comes easy!

  I learned that water restoration is very complex and if not applied correctly can do more harm than good in some cases.  To make a long story short – I did receive a passing grade but more importantly I obtained the knowledge that our technicians are skilled and trained experts who are ready to offer a plan of action when they arrive to the scene of such damage.

  Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to water damage and remember it is always best to use an expert in such cases to lessen cost and severity of damage. You may also visit our website at: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com

Strong Smell of Smoke in your Sussex County Home or Business?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County Can Eliminate Strong Smoke Odors.  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

SERVPRO is a Proud Sponsor of the First Responder’s Bowl

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a Proud Sponsor of the First Responder’s Bowl

  I consider myself an avid college football fan and even with the season just underway; I am especially excited about a game to be played the day after Christmas 2018. The First Responder’s Bowl will replace the Heart of Dallas Bowl. This inaugural game is to honor all of our nation’s First Responders and is sponsored by SERVPRO. The game will take place in Dallas, Texas on December 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm. (Either ESPN or ESPN 2 will air the game). The teams are yet to be determined.

  SERVPRO has always had a very special relationship with America’s First Responders and we have a deep and strong appreciation for their efforts. Many times we follow them as “second responders” after fires, storms and other emergencies. It is a tremendous privilege to honor these brave men and women and spotlight their service and sacrifices made for us all. It’s hard to think of a more appropriate cause or a more appropriate sponsor for this game. 

  America loves football and we love our First Responders and hopefully this will become an annual event for us to enjoy each holiday season. SERVPRO of Sussex County is proud to serve alongside these everyday heroes and promote their recognition and honor. We will happily offer further details of the game as they become available.  For more information – please use this link: http://espnevents.com/blog/press/new-SERVPRO-first-responder-bowl-played-cotton-bowl-stadium/

  SERVPRO of Sussex County offers fire and water restoration as well as many other cleaning services for both residential and commercial customers. Please contact us today at 302-856-9768 or visit our newly upgraded website at: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com.

Tips for Proper Pet Care during a Disaster

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for Proper Pet Care during a Disaster

   Whether it be an extreme Nor’easter or a Category 5 hurricane; we should all have a plan for our families and our own personal safety.  Many of us think of our pets as important family members and we should consider their safety as well.  We have all seen the heart wrenching images of lost pets from past storm events. If you have any uncertainty about proper protection for your pet during such an event; the Humane Society of the U.S. offers the following tips and guidance for such an event:

  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Apply a securely fastened identification tag to your pets’ collar and carry a current photo of your pet with you. Also include on the tag your name and phone number and the same information for a family member or friend who knows you and your pet. This will help to ensure that whoever finds your pet will be able to reach someone who knows you.
  • Transport your pets in secure carriers and keep them on proper leashes and harnesses.
  • Contact hotels in the safe location and ask if you may bring your pets. Ask the hotel manager to waive the no-pet policy in accordance with the disaster response and remember that most public shelters do not admit pets.  There are certain hotels who allow pets and a little google search may offer this information prior to the emergency.
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in the safe zone to arrange foster care for your pets if needed.
  • Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medications and cat litter.
  • Do not wait till the last moment to evacuate – most responders will not take your pets during emergency rescues.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers. (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters and the number for the Red Cross)  

SERVPRO of Sussex County shares in the public hope that we all stay free from threats and disasters; but we respect the reality of their occurrence.  If you have any post storm questions or issues please call us at 302-856-9768 or visit our website: www.SERVPROsussecounty.com for more information.  

What is an Emergency Ready Profile and why every Business should have one?

9/1/2018 (Permalink)

What is an Emergency Ready Profile and why every Business should have one?

   Ben Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  Winston Churchill said “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Obviously most of us view both of these historical figures as being wise and charismatic.  It is the wisdom that we want to extract from each of these quotes when giving thought to emergency preparedness. 

   More than 50% of businesses close down following a disaster; and many never reopen.  This 50% or more suffer from the same symptoms; lack of planning and preparation.  They also have failed to learn the lesson learned by every other business who either weathered an emergency or lost some assets or everything.  Of the businesses that typically do survive; the majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Think of the pre-planning as an insurance policy.  Just as having auto insurance gives us peace of mind when we drive; an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) gives a business peace of mind when facing the challenges of nature and everyday life.

  An ERP will speak trust to your employees and your customers and instill a sense that your company is ready for whatever happens.

  SERVPRO offers an ERP that will minimize downtime and replace business interruption with an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do, when to do it and who to call is essential in the critical time prior to an emergency.  The ERP is a start-up approach that offers critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery.  It provides a quick reference to important building and contact information.  SERVPRO applies more than 40 years of experience in dealing with both natural and man- made disasters to each ERP.

  The SERVPRO ERP provides the following:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. This requires minimal effort to complete and offers maximum time savings in an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • It establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • It identifies the line or chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Call SERVPRO at 302-856-9768 Today and Let’s get your business READY!

Stormy Misconceptions

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy Misconceptions

  The National Weather Service keeps record of the most severe storms to affect the state and the coast of Delaware. As a young boy growing up in this area, I remember people referring to the Storm of ’62 as the worst on record. They told stories of destruction that impacted almost the entire state and especially the coastal communities. Most would assume that such a storm would have been classified as a hurricane and more than likely had made impact between June and November. It was in fact a Nor’easter that occurred in March between the 5th and the 7th and became known as the” Ash Wednesday Storm 1962”. It was also referred to as the “Five High Storm” because it lingered off the coast for five high tides – but most of the damage occurred on Wednesday March 7, 1962 – Ash Wednesday.

 Merging low pressure systems and a strong surface high stalled the storm in the Mid-Atlantic and pounded the coast of Delaware for almost three days. The storm also occurred during the equinox. This created even higher tides along with continuous rain and strong winds. Wind gusts reached more than 70 mph and the storm surge was 3 to 5 feet above normal. Wave heights of more than 40 feet were measured off Rehoboth Beach and ranged between 20 and 30 feet in the surf zone. The entire boardwalk and many beachfront homes were destroyed.

  Bethany Beach was hit hard with wind gusts exceeding 80 mph and flood waters penetrated as far inland as Ocean View. The boardwalk and many businesses and homes were also destroyed.

  Beach erosion forced so much sand inland that many homes had their first floors filled with it and sand covered and closed many roads as well. The erosion also created another inlet; just north of Fenwick Island. Bayside to ocean side; virtually every coastal town had historical storm damage and 8 people were killed. It is estimated that the storm did more than $500 million dollars in damage based on our current dollar value.  It is amazing that there weren’t more lives lost.

  A storm of this magnitude had not hit Delaware since 1878. Nearly one hundred years had passed since the last killer storm. The infrequency of such events makes them more dangerous because most people doubt the likelihood of such a storm ever taking place in their lifetime.

  We are fortunate to have advanced technology to forewarn the public well in advance of such an event. Yet with each new storm we read about people who ignored warnings and paid with their lives. Assumptions that hurricanes are the most severe of storms are not always correct. Delaware has experienced many more Nor’easters than hurricanes and we should learn to heed the warnings and plan for such events.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready to serve our community in the likelihood of any storm event – large or small. We offer Emergency Readiness Programs to ensure a safe and proper plan of action and we will be there to assist with the clean-up. For more information – please call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit our website at: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com

The Basic Emergency Kit and First Aid Kit

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies can occur without a great deal of notice. Although we can use radar and technology to track tornadoes and hurricanes; history still teaches us that this is not always an exact science and that we should prepare for unexpected changes. The very basic kit that everyone should have is the Basic Emergency Kit. It’s as basic as basic can be with only 4 items.

  1. Water – one gallon per person per day for up to three days.
  2. Food – at least a three day supply of non-perishable food.
  3. Battery powered or hand crank radio and a weather alert radio from NOAA (Amazon or Walmart)
  4. Flashlight

Thankfully most disasters are short term and the Basic Kit will typically provide for short term survival for you and your family. The food and water are life essentials and the radio and flashlight will keep you informed and brighten your environment and can help you find safety. Put your kit together today and you will feel “basically” more secure!

First aid is the immediate treatment or care given to someone suffering from an injury or illness until more advanced care is accessed or they recover. Your home First Aid Kit is not so basic and can include twenty or more items. A portable kit which can be kept in your car or home is more basic and may include:

  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Safety Pins
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Antiseptic and Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile Gloves

The Aims of First Aid are to: preserve life and to prevent injury or illness from becoming worse. When you think of First Aid; think of the three “P”s – Preserve Life, Prevent Further Injury and Promote Recovery. Plan to be safe and have a safe plan!

Always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready and able to serve you in the event of a pipe leak or severe storm damage. Please call 302-856-9768 or visit our website at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/ for more details.

SERVPRO of Sussex County and the Fire Restoration Process

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County and the Fire Restoration Process

   A house fire can cause extensive damage from fire and smoke and also water damage from the firefighting efforts.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Sussex County have the expertise and training to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

  Although every fire event is different and the damage may vary; a unique solution is required but the general process is the same.  We have listed the steps below to illustrate our process for a fire emergency.

  1. Call SERVPRO – The SERVPRO National Call Center is available and staffed 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. Our professional representative will ask a series of specific questions regarding the fire and will dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional and they will arrive quickly to the scene with the appropriate equipment and resources.
  2. Inspection and Assessment – the SERVPRO of Sussex County professionals will carefully inspect your property and test adjoining rooms for fire, smoke and soot damage. The information gathered at this point is crucial to develop a plan of action.
  3. Roof Tarp and Board-Up Service – this is sometimes an immediate need after a fire since the event can compromise windows, walls and roofs. Our SERVPRO professionals will offer the service to properly board up missing windows and place tarps over damaged roofs.  This will add security and hopefully prevent further damage.
  4. Water Removal and Drying – If water damage is present the water removal process begins almost immediately and the majority of the water is removed. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to complete then drying process.
  5. Smoke and Soot Removal – All surfaces which have been exposed to smoke and soot are cleaned with specialized equipment and techniques. This includes ceilings and walls and other surfaces.
  6. Cleaning and Sanitizing – The SERVPRO professionals will clean all restorable items and structures damaged in the fire to pre-fire condition. Odors are removed by air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  7. Restoration – The final step is restoration – which means getting your home back to its pre-fire condition. This may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting and new flooring installation or if the damage is extensive; full reconstruction measures may be required.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property. 

Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or go to: www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com for more information and services.

Severe Weather Tips

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Tips

  We hope you are enjoying your summer and thankfully the weather has been fairly good for most of our summertime fun!  As most of us realize; however, our weather can change from dreamy to dreary very quickly.  We are now in the heart of hurricane season and everyone should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. 

   When severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property.  It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it.  In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain.  There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.

  • Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.  
  • Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
  • Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
  • Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
  • If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.

NOTE: ACCORDING TO NOAA – IF YOU ARE AWARE OF WHAT WEATHER EVENT IS ABOUT TO IMPACT YOU – YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE SUCH AN EVENT.  NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR THEIR WEBSITE IS THE BEST SOURCE FOR ACCURATE WEATHER INFORMATION.

If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life!  Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

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