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Make Your Garage Fire-Safe

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Interior of a burned garage A garage is a common place for a fire to start. Take these precautions to prevent one at your home.

The second most common location of house fires (after the kitchen) is the garage. Why do these structures pose such a fire hazard? Mostly it’s because of what people store in garages, such as gas, oil and oily rags—as well as cars, trucks, mowers and other gas- and oil-powered vehicles. And there’s more:

  • Water heaters, boilers and car batteries, which can create sparks that may ignite fumes or fluids.
  • Oil and gasoline that has dripped from cars, which may eventually ignite or spread a fire.
  • Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, motor oil, brake fluid, paint, varnish, paint thinner and lighter fluid.
  • Flammable clutter, such as newspapers, cardboard boxes and paper waste.

You can reduce the risk of garage fire damage by taking these steps:

  • Store flammable liquids in small amounts and far away from sources of heat, like a space heater.
  • Store flammable materials, such as fuels, fluids or cleaners, away from other flammables and in clearly labeled, self-closing containers.
  • Clear out clutter, including loose papers, matches, oily rags and other potentially  flammable items.
  • Store propane tanks outside, not in your garage.
  • Don’t overload the circuit box when using drills and other electrical devices in your garage. Unplug every electrical device after use. Tape down all cords and wires so they are not twisted or accidentally yanked.
  • Use light bulbs with the proper wattage, and do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in the garage.

Because the garage is usually a small, enclosed space, if a fire does start it can engulf the entire area quickly—and then jump to the rest of your home. Help stop the spread of a garage fire by following this advice:

  • The garage’s walls and ceiling should be fire-rated (call a home inspector to be sure). 
  • The door between the garage and living space should be self-closing. If it has a window, it should be fire-rated. Do not install a pet door in the door.
  • Seal the joints and open spaces around the door to prevent fumes from entering the living area.
  • If the garage allows access to the attic, make sure a hatch covers this access.

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

We’re Here to Help

After a fire, the team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield uses specialized fire restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Source: The Allstate Insurance Company, InterNACHI

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Do You Have a Home Fire Extinguisher? Does It Work?

3 Key Things About Smoke Detectors

4 Tips for Fire Safety

10 Ways to Prevent and Survive House Fires

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Prevent Appliance Water Damage with Automatic Water Shutoff Valves

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

A basement with water heater and furnace is flooded Avoid costly water damage by automatically detecting and stopping leaks from your washing machine, water heater, toilet and other appliances.

Every water appliance, fixture supply tube and pipe in your home has the potential to leak. And because it is fed by water pressure from city supply line or well pump, once a leak starts, there's nothing to stop it. If you're home and catch the leak early, you can stop the water flow by using fixture shutoff valves or the house's main shutoff valve. But if you're away from home, sleeping or you don’t notice the leak, you’ll probably suffer costly water damage.

If only there was a device that could detect a leak and shut the water off for you!

Good news: an automatic water shutoff valve is a simple electric device that does exactly that. One of these devices can cost as little as $200—and can save your house from a flood that can easily cause upwards of $10,000 of damage in just a few hours.

Two Types of Water Shutoff Valves

The sole job of an automatic water shutoff valve is to sense a water leak and stop the water flow by closing an internal ball valve. That simple action is triggered by a water sensor that you place on the floor where a leak is likely to occur, usually adjacent to a water appliance, such as your refrigerator, washing machine, toilet, dishwasher or water heater. If the sensor detects water up on the floor, it sends a signal to the valve, which then shuts off the water flow—which stays off until you turn it back on or reset the system.

A typical automatic water shutoff device includes several sensors that connect wirelessly to the valve unit, which can shut off your home's main water supply or just one appliance or fixture water supply line.

Single-location shutoff valves are used to protect the pipes or hoses serving the appliances most likely to leak:

Other appliance supply lines that commonly leak include those for refrigerator/freezer water dispensers and ice makers, water filtration systems and humidifiers, as well as any sink faucet or other plumbing fixture.

To protect more than one appliance or fixture, install a whole-house shutoff valve. These devices are typically located near the existing main shutoff valve where the water supply pipe enters the house. The sensors can then be placed throughout the house to provide protection to all areas prone to leaks.

We’re all at the mercy of a sudden water leak in our homes. One way to minimize the damage and costs of a home flood is to install automatic water shutoff valves near your water appliances or fixtures.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Sources: The Spruce

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Keep Your Basement Dry!

Prevent Household Appliance Water Damage

Don’t Come Home to Water Damage

The Right Equipment for Water Damage Cleanup

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Staying Safe During a Storm Amid a Pandemic (Part 1: Sheltering at Home)

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Canned food, water bottles and flashlights Here's how to prepare to shelter at your home during a hurricane or other natural disaster that hits during a pandemic.

As we enter hurricane season, SERVPRO recommends having a plan in place for weathering a bad storm. Typically, this includes preparing your home to withstand the storm, laying in a supply of food, water and essentials, gathering medicines and other important items and having a bag of supplies, clothing and other items ready in case you have to evacuate.

That’s challenging enough in normal times, but with a pandemic still unfolding, preparing for a natural disaster is complicated by the added worry of potential exposure to infection. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has advised that homeowners keep the risk of viral pathogen in mind when making or revising plans.

The American Red Cross also recommends updating the emergency plans you made in previous years. The organization advises gathering your supplies ASAP, because they may become less available once a storm is approaching—and you want to avoid crowds in a pandemic. If you dipped into your emergency stash—nonperishable food, bottled water, etc.—during the quarantine, this is the time to replenish the supplies you used.

The Red Cross advises assembling two emergency supply kits—one for sheltering at home and a second for evacuating. In both cases, gather a one-month supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications you depend on. Keep your meds in a separate bag so that you can easily access them.

2-Week Stay-at-Home Kit

Gather everything you need to stay at home for at least two weeks, including:

Plan for Electricity

Even if you don’t have to evacuate, you may be without power for an extended time. If you have a portable generator, make sure it’s in good working order and that you have a supply of gas on hand.

Never run the generator inside your home—place it at least of 20 feet from your house, with the exhaust vent directed away from any windows or doors.

Now that you know how to prepare for sheltering at home, read Part 2 of this article for advice on how to prepare to evacuate during a pandemic.

Source: Consumer Reports

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Guard Against Virus Contamination at Your Home and Business

4 Things To Have Before the Storm

Power Outage Safety (Part 1): Before the Storm

Power Outage Safety (Part 2): During and After the Storm

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Staying Safe During a Storm Amid a Pandemic (Part 2: Evacuating Your Home)

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

A sign reads "Hurricane Evacuation" with sky in background You'll have to take pandemic safety into account this year if you need to evacuate your home during a hurricane or other natural disaster.

In any given year, an impending hurricane may force you to evacuate your home. But this year, having to evacuate will pack a double wallop, as you also need to consider how leaving your home puts you at risk of exposure to illness during a pandemic. Your preparation for this situation will be a variation on the way you would normally prepare to weather a storm.

Part 1 of this article covered how to prepare to stay at home safely during a storm and pandemic. If you have to evacuate your home, bear these additional considerations in mind.

The American Red Cross says to have two emergency supply kits, one for sheltering at home and another for evacuating. For both, you should set aside a one-month supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications you depend on. Store your meds separately so that you can easily grab them and go.

3-Day Evacuation Kit

This supply kit should be a lightweight, smaller version of your stay-at-home kit that you can take with you if you must leave your home quickly. Include everything you need to be on your own for three days, such as:

  • nonperishable food and snacks
  • water
  • personal hygiene items
  • cleaning and disinfectant supplies that you can use on the go (tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes)
  • face masks for everyone in your household

Where to Shelter

Before the storm, contact hotels, motels or campgrounds to see whether they've opened. Find out whether your local emergency management agency has altered its sheltering plans to reflect any stay-at-home orders.

The Red Cross advises that you first ask family and friends outside your area if you can stay with them in the event of an emergency. This presumes that you and your family or friends are taking appropriate precautions and are not at high risk of illness. (If you or the people you are staying with have been recently exposed to a virus or are showing symptoms, you should quarantine in a separate room upon arrival.)

Because of the need for social distancing, large congregant shelters like school gymnasiums are no longer the first option—although in the event of a large-scale evacuation they may become necessary. The Red Cross is prioritizing individual hotel rooms or dormitory-style rooms instead.

If a larger congregant shelter is the only option, expect these additional precautions, including:

  • health screening for anyone entering a shelter
  • an isolation care area for anyone who is sick
  • masks, tissues and plastic bags required
  • staggered meal times and extra spacing between cots, chairs, tables, etc.
  • additional hand-washing stations
  • wellness checks to identify potential illness, including self-monitoring and checking temperatures of both shelter residents and staff
  • increased cleaning and disinfecting practices

Source: Consumer Reports

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Guard Against Virus Contamination at Your Home and Business

4 Things To Have Before the Storm

Power Outage Safety (Part 1): Before the Storm

Power Outage Safety (Part 2): During and After the Storm

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Do You Have a Home Fire Extinguisher? Does It Work?

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher Regularly checking the condition of your home fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a manageable fire and a total fire disaster.

We at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield hope the answer to both questions is yes!

Owning and using a home fire extinguisher can be the difference between a minor fire that you put out quickly—and a devastating fire disaster that destroys your home and property and puts your family’s safety at risk. Even if you own a home fire extinguisher, if it’s not in good operating condition, it won’t help you out. 

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that home fire extinguishers be checked regularly to make sure they are in working condition. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises reading the extinguisher’s instructions so that you are familiar with its parts and how to operate it. According to the USFA, some extinguishers may need to be shaken monthly or pressure-tested every few years.

The lifespan of a fire extinguisher is from 5 to 15 years. Check the extinguisher’s label or inspection tag for the expiration or last maintenance date. If it’s 10 or more years old, consider buying a new fire extinguisher.

Several times a year, you should inspect your fire extinguisher using these four steps. Document each check on the extinguisher’s inspection tag so that you can track its maintenance history.

1. Check the Access

  • Make sure the extinguisher is in clear sight and easy to retrieve—and that all members of your household know where it is.

2. Check the Pressure

  • If your fire extinguisher has a pressure gauge, make sure that the gauge’s needle indicates proper pressure.
  • If your extinguisher has a test indicator, press it to make sure the pressure reading is within the correct range.

3. Check for Damage

  • Inspect the can, hoses and nozzles for visible signs of damage, such as dents or rust. If you see any damage, consider replacing the extinguisher.

4. Check for Dirt

  • Check the outside of your extinguisher for dust, oil or grease, and clean it as necessary.

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

We’re Here to Help

After a fire, the team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield uses specialized fire restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Source: The Allstate Insurance Company

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

3 Key Things About Smoke Detectors

4 Tips for Fire Safety

Your Appliances Can Be a Fire Hazard

10 Ways to Prevent and Survive House Fires

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a fire or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Floodwaters are Dangerous! Stay Safe by Knowing the Risks

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

A house surrounded by floodwater Beyond surviving the flood and managing the cleanup, you also need to avoid the hidden and sometimes deadly dangers of floodwaters.

Floods are among the most devastating natural disasters. They can destroy homes and property, leaving you with a challenging cleanup and an uncertain recovery. In addition to all that, floodwaters also pose less-obvious safety hazards to you and your family. You’ll be safer if you know what the often-hidden risks are after a flood.

Electrical Hazards

Because storms that cause flooding can bring strong winds, power lines often get knocked down, putting you at risk for electrocution if you walk or drive through flooded areas. If you see downed power lines near your home, don’t go near them. Instead, stay away from the water, get to a safe place and alert local authorities.

Your home’s electrical system may have been damaged in the flood, so don’t turn on light switches or use electrical appliances until you have your system checked for safety.

Chemicals and Waste

Floodwaters are often filthy and contaminated with chemicals and sewage. Stay out of the water as much as you can to avoid gastrointestinal issues, infections and rashes. Have your home’s water supply tested for safety before drinking, cooking or bathing.

Debris

Floodwater can hide sharp objects or other dangerous debris. If you must walk or drive through floodwater, protect yourself by wearing rubber boots, gloves and eye protection.

Insects and Animals

Keep a lookout for wild animals, such as snakes and rodents, in floodwaters. Mosquitos can also increase in flooded areas, so get rid of standing water in buckets, gutters, pools or other containers as soon as possible.

Be Safe During After-Flood Cleanup

When you return home to start cleanup, avoid illness or injury by following some additional safety tips.

Keep Clean

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water, especially before you eat or drink.
  • Each day, wash any clothing that has come in contact with floodwater separately from other clothing in hot water and laundry detergent.

Keep Healthy

  • If you have an existing wound, avoid exposing it to floodwater. Wear gloves and clean the wound frequently with clean water and soap, and change the wound dressing often.
  • If an existing wound develops redness or swelling, or you notice other signs of infection (such as a high fever or pain), seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • If you sustain a wound during cleanup, especially from a dirty object, seek medical attention ASAP.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Source: The Allstate Insurance Company

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Keep Your Basement Dry!

Prevent Household Appliance Water Damage

Don’t Come Home to Water Damage

The Right Equipment for Water Damage Cleanup

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Keep Your Basement Dry!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

A view down a set of stairs to a flooded basement Avoid a flooded basement by directing outside water away from your home and keeping your foundation in good condition.

Located below grade and surrounded by soil, your basement is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home, prone to flooding from seasonal storms, melt water, burst washing machine hoses, failed sump pumps and leaking water heaters. Among the problems caused by wet basements are mold contamination, building rot, peeling paint, foundation collapse and termite damage.  In fact, 98% of Americans’ basements will experience water damage at some point! That seems bleak, but there are many ways you can protect your basement from water damage.

First, see our comprehensive article on ways to prevent water damage from household appliance malfunctions. And read on for methods you can use to stop outside water from getting inside your basement and wreaking havoc.

The key to keeping water out is to keep it away from your home’s foundation and close up any potential cracks or leaks. The most common causes of wet basements are poor roof drainage and improper site grading. Soil releases water it has absorbed when it rains or when snow melts, and the water can end up in the basement through leaks or cracks.

Protecting, repairing and waterproofing your basement will greatly reduce the risk of damage caused by moisture or water. 

Direct Water Away from Your Foundation

Your goal is to have water flow freely away from the foundation instead of toward it, and never have it pool near your home.

  • Gutters and downspouts should be properly installed and maintained so that they move rainwater and snow melt at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Your yard should be sloped away from your home for a distance of 10 to 15 feet, and low spots should be evened out to prevent water from pooling.
  • If any side of your home faces an unavoidable upward slope, direct water around to the downhill side by creating shallow ditches called swales.

Repair Your Foundation

Water and moisture will find a way into your basement through small cracks or holes in the foundation, due to poor workmanship during construction, water pressure from the outside or settling of your house. 

Check your entire basement for moisture, leaking or discoloration, which are signs that water may be entering through cracks or holes. Then, get to work repairing your foundation.

  • Fill small hairline cracks and holes with a mixture of epoxy and latex cement.
  • Fill cracks larger than 1/8-inch with a fairly stiff mortar made from one part cement, two parts fine sand and a little water. Press the mortar firmly into all parts of the cracks and holes to eliminate air bubbles. 

Seal Your Walls and Floor

Once you’ve diverted runoff away from the foundation and repaired any cracks and holes, a final step is to apply a waterproof sealant to your walls and floor. Experts recommend using sodium silicate, a water-based mixture that will penetrate the substrate by up to 4 inches. 

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Source: International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Prevent Household Appliance Water Damage

Don’t Come Home to Water Damage

The Right Equipment for Water Damage Cleanup

How to Dry Out a Basement

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Prevent Household Appliance Water Damage

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water covers a kitchen floor Prevent an appliance flood or stop one in its tracks with some regular maintenance in your kitchen, bathroom, basement and laundry area.

We rely on our household appliances to do so many tasks: washing our clothes and our dishes, providing hot water, keeping our food cold, flushing away waste. But a sudden plumbing problem can be a disaster, with water leaking (sometimes undetected) and causing severe damage to your home and possessions: basement water damage, a washing machine leak or a flood from your toilet or sink.

That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly check up on your appliances and plumbing fixtures, to identify and repair problems before they become costly water emergencies. You’ll want to focus your attention on the three major types of appliances and fixtures: the bathroom, the kitchen and the basement/laundry area.  

Start by understanding how long an average household appliance lasts:

    Washing machine            5–7 years
    Dishwasher                         7 years
    Refrigerator                         7 years
    Water heater                     15 years

First: In Case of a Leak

A sudden leak from a toilet, washing machine or other appliance can announce itself with a flood of water. But you may notice a more subtle sign of a looming water disaster: puddles around the bases of tubs, toilets and showers or beneath the water heater, dishwasher and washing machine.

Either way, your first step is to stop the water from leaking by shutting off the water supply to either the appliance, or if necessary, the whole house. Depending on where the leak is and how big it is, shut off the electricity to your home to prevent shocks.

Whole House Valves

  • If you have a well, look for the shutoff valve on the house side of the pressure tank (you should also cut power to the tank).
  • If you have metered water, look for the shutoff valve on either side of the water meter (located in the basement, on an exterior wall or even out by the street). This valve will normally be a gate-type valve, with a round knurled handle, requiring several full clockwise rotations to turn off. In newer homes, it could be a ball valve.
  • Whole house hot water shutoff: There should be a valve on the hot-water outlet of your water heater, which controls all the hot water to your house. (If there isn't a valve on your hot water heater, you or your plumber should install one.)

Appliance Valves

These supply stops usually have a small round or oval handle that you turn clockwise two to four full turns to shut off the flow of water.

  • Toilet: The shutoff valve, which typically has a ribbed oval handle, should be under the toilet tank.
  • Sink: These shutoffs usually sit just beneath the sink, within the cabinet or vanity if you have one. The hot water valve is usually on the left and the cold water valve on the right.
  • Dishwasher: Look first under the kitchen sink to locate a reducer coupling and shutoff valve on the 1/2-inch hot-water sink-supply line. If it’s not there, check your basement for it between the ceiling joists just below the dishwasher.
  • Washing machine: You’ll find the hot and cold shutoff valves where the house-supply lines meet the washer hoses. Make it a practice to always close the valves when leaving home for an extended period.

Repair Water Damage … For Good

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, clean up any standing water in your kitchen, bathroom, basement or laundry room. This will help prevent slips and falls, reduce the chances of water damage to home and furnishings, and minimize the odds of mold growth.

After you’ve done basic cleanup, you need to dry your home and repair any damage. It’s essential that your home be dried out within about 48 hours, because after that mold may grow on damp wood, paper and particle board.

An experienced water disaster remediation company like SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has the resources and expertise to get to your home fast, stop the leak and completely clean up the damage, restoring your home to its before-disaster condition.

Preventing Leaks with Monitoring

The best way to deal with a leak or flood is to prevent one in the first place. And one way you can do that is to use a detector or alarm to monitor for and catch leaks as they start. Some devices even shut off water to your appliance if they detect a leak.

Electronic leak detectors use wireless water sensors to detect water leaking from an appliance onto your floor. They either sound an alarm (battery-operated models) or can be wired to an automatic shutoff valve (on your main water line or at individual shutoffs). Some versions can be wired into a centrally monitored alarm system or automatically call you by phone when the alarm sounds.

With a battery-powered water leak alarm, you place the sensor on the floor next to plumbing fixtures and appliances, like washing machines and water heaters. You can also set a sensor on your basement floor to detect and warn you if water is seeping in from outside or if your sump pump has stopped working. Water leak detectors are effective only if you hear the alarm and turn off the water.

Another option is a single-point leak detection and automatic shutoff system. Plug this type of water leak detector into an electrical outlet and place its sensor on the floor. An electric shutoff valve turns off the water to your appliance or entire home when leaks are detected.

Finally, a water flow sensor can be installed on a home's main water line and programmed to allow normal water flow. If water flow exceeds a specified amount, a valve will close to stop the flow of water.

Preventing Leaks in the Kitchen

Garbage Disposal

Check the drain connections where the dishwasher discharge connects to the disposal, or where the disposal discharge runs to the sink drain. Inspect and tighten the connections or replace the gaskets if they show signs of leaking. A garbage disposer that has a foul smell should be cleaned.

Dishwasher

Watch and listen to the dishwasher in action. A dishwasher that fills slowly may have a problem with the water supply hose or the shutoff valve that controls it. If the dishwasher is slow to drain, or if water remains in the bottom of the dishwasher after the cycle is over, inspect the water discharge hose for clogs or pinching.

If the drain hose cracks or tears or connections become loose, the dishwasher may lose water onto the floor before it exits through the end of the line. Remove the kickplate below the dishwasher door, run the dishwasher and look under the machine for water leaks at the hose clamps or along the hose. Tighten any loose fittings or install a replacement hose.

Refrigerator

Check the water supply hose for signs of wear and replace it if you see any damage.

Replace the filter on a refrigerator that has a water dispenser and ice maker twice each year. A clogged filter can block water flow and lead to a leak.

Sink Drains

A kitchen sink strainer is a common place for leaks to start. Observe the strainer area and the P-trap as water in the sink drains out. You may see that you need to tighten the P-trap fittings, or replace the strainer basket if it begins to leak or is corroded. A sink that drains too slowly may have a clog building in the P-trap or branch drain, in which case you should disassemble and clean these fittings.

Periodically, you should clean the kitchen sink drain by running a mild homemade drain cleaner through it to break up the usual buildup in the drain and keep the water flowing.

Faucets

A leaky kitchen faucet is the single most common plumbing repair. It may seem minor and just an annoyance, but a dripping faucet can quietly cost you hundreds of gallons of water each year. Watch your faucet carefully as you operate the lever, and repair the faucet if it requires it.

Preventing Leaks in the Bathroom

Bathroom Faucets

Check your sink, tub and shower faucets regularly for leaks, and if you spot any drips, replace worn washers or cartridges.

If you notice weak water pressure or an irregular spray pattern as you run the faucets, there may be a calcium buildup on the aerator. Remove the aerator and soak it in vinegar or clean it manually.

Act fast and call a plumbing expert if you notice signs of water damage in the room below the tub and shower supply lines. Hidden behind walls, a leak here can cause major damage without you knowing it.

Bathroom Drains

Periodically, you should disassemble traps in the tub, shower and sink drains and remove hair and debris clogs rather than waiting for these to become full blockages. At the same time, you can also snake out the branch drains to remove clogs.

Toilets

Start by removing the tank lid on the toilet and watch what happens as you flush it. A toilet that continues to run rather than shutting off at the end of the flush cycle is wasting a lot of water. Fixing a running toilet is often easy—it may be as simple as replacing an old, brittle flapper.

If your toilet rocks slightly when you sit on it, or if you notice water seeping around its base, the wax ring that seals the toilet base to the drain opening may need to be replaced before it leaks.

Caulking Around Bathroom Fixtures

The caulk around tubs and showers can allow water to get behind walls and under floors when it dries and cracks. Check the caulk beads along floors and walls and seal any gaps with fresh caulk. It’s a good idea to remove the old caulk every few years and apply a new bead of high-quality silicone tub-and-shower caulk.

Preventing Leaks in the Basement and Laundry Area

Water Heater

Look for leaks around the base of the water heater, which may be caused by a faulty temperature and pressure (T and P) relief valve, or a bad drain valve. Check for signs of water leaking in the cold water inlet pipe and hot water exit pipe above the water heater.

Every few years, the water heater tank should be flushed to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank, which can lead to clogs and potential leaking. You can do this yourself or hire a professional.

Washing Machine

Periodically, turn off the water supply and pull the washing machine away from the wall to do an inspection.

Check the fill hoses for signs of wear. If you see any rubber hoses that are beginning to bulge, replace them immediately—a burst hose (especially if you are away from home) can cause an expensive washing machine flood. Replace worn or even slightly damaged hoses as soon as possible.

Check for loose connections between the hoses and the valves that control them. If loose, tighten the connection of the drain hose, the water hose to the washer valves and the connections of the water hoses to the inlets. Also, test the valves themselves and replace them if they do not completely stop the flow of water when shut off.

An unbalanced machine can make the entire appliance shake while it spins and agitates, causing water to spill out onto your laundry room floor. Adjust your washing machine pedestal, level the floor or re-level the machine itself to restore balance.

If you see water escaping during the spin cycle, but the machine is level, inspect the hoses for other signs of clogs, loose connectors or other damage. A clogged drain hose will send water overflowing onto your laundry room floor. Clear the clog by softening it with hot water and fishing it out with a straightened wire hanger.

Sump Pump

If your home has a basement with a sump pit and pump, check periodically to make sure it is operating properly. Do this by filling the sump pit with water manually and making sure the pump activates and pumps out the water.

Consider investing in an emergency backup battery system for your sump pump so that it will still operate during power failures, and will sound an alarm when maintenance is needed or a battery problem is detected.

We’re Here to Help

If you do suffer damage from a toilet leak, sink overflow, washing machine flood or water heater leak, you’ll need to act fast. Step one is to call an experienced water damage remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. We’re here to help when you have property and structure damage from a water disaster—and we’ll get the job done quickly and completely!

Sources: Allstate.com, Family Handyman, BobVila.com, The Spruce

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Guard Against Virus Contamination at Your Home and Business

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

An illustration of coronavirus against a world map background. SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield is the experienced, reliable resource for virus disinfection at your home or business.

The threat posed by viruses, bacteria and other pathogens can range from mild to deadly. While effective treatments and vaccines are available for many familiar diseases, a previously unknown pathogen has the capability to rapidly sweep the globe, leaving us all vulnerable to infection and lacking any reliable treatment.

Many viral pathogens spread mainly through personal contact, especially between people who are within about six feet of one another. Transmission occurs when an infected person coughs or sneezes and produces airborne respiratory droplets. These drops travel through the air and can be inhaled by others, infecting them. To prevent transmission, medical experts advise not gathering in large groups and keeping at least a six-foot distance from others.

It may also be possible to catch a virus by touching a surface or object that has virus cells on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Research indicates that viral pathogens can live on surfaces from a few hours to a few days. For this reason, experts strongly recommend washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face. Obviously, disinfecting the surfaces of objects, furniture and fixtures can play a key role in reducing viral or bacterial contamination.

The CDC Recommends Proactive Cleaning

According to the CDC, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of … viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.” Visit the CDC’s website for the latest and most accurate information on the current crisis and viral pathogens.

To protect your family—or if you own a business, your customers and employees—call on SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield to provide professional proactive cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of commercial and residential properties to minimize the transmission of emergent viral pathogens. At a time of peril, SERVPRO can offer homeowners and business owners extra reassurance that their homes and facilities are clean, disinfected—and safe.

The SERVPRO corporation has always emphasized having the expertise, training, equipment and personnel to respond to just about any disaster, even the most unexpected. Do what you can to keep your family and friends, customers and employees safer now with proactive cleaning of your home or business—just call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today.

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield will clean, sanitize and disinfect your home or business to eradicate traces of viral and bacterial pathogens. Whether you think your structure may have been contaminated or not, SERVPRO is ready to help prevent future exposure within your building.

Reminder: Although SERVPRO’s cleaning process can remove existing viral pathogens, understand that structures we clean proactively are not protected from future contamination if an infected person subsequently enters the building.

Virus Protection for Your Home and Business

Whether you want to make sure that your home or commercial building is free from contamination or you have a suspected contamination, rely on SERVPRO to restore your peace of mind, health and safety.

When a family member has been infected by a virus, proactive cleaning by SERVPRO can reduce the risk of exposure for other residents of the home and relieve their worries over becoming infected.

Business owners, likewise, can protect the health of their employees and customers with our proactive cleaning service. With a call to SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield, you will make it clear that your business is doing all it can to protect the health of your customers and the public. Not only that, but you will be helping to keep Americans—those you know and those you’ll never meet—safer.

For businesses that have had to curtail operations: once you prepare to open your doors again, hiring SERVPRO to thoroughly clean and sanitize your facility before you allow workers, customers and the public inside will demonstrate that your business is a safe place to be.

Many types of businesses will benefit from SERVPRO’s proactive cleaning, which targets contamination from viral and bacterial pathogens:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail stores
  • Offices, especially medical offices
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes, senior centers and rehabilitation facilities
  • Gyms
  • Hotels, B&Bs and other hospitality sites
  • Libraries
  • Theaters and entertainment venues
  • Apartment buildings
  • Factories and warehouses

Five Ways We Were Ready for a Crisis

SERVPRO has built its business on being prepared for disasters with the right know-how, equipment and staffing. We are uniquely ready to provide proactive cleaning of viral pathogens for several reasons.

Our Crews

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield is one of four top-performing local SERVPRO franchises—the others are SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield, SERVPRO of West Hartford and SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield—that are owned and operated by Ralph and Noemi DiCristofaro. With the resources of four franchises, we can get to your job faster, and we allocate staff and equipment—thousands of pieces of equipment and dozens of trucks and other vehicles—as needed to tackle the really big, urgent jobs.

At all times, we are fully staffed and prepared for your most challenging job. Our employees are trained in the use of all our equipment and cleaning products, and we adhere to rigorous safety training and procedures for their protection. Further, commercial and residential customers have counted on SERVPRO for specialized cleanup of biohazards. We know how to handle dangerous chemical and blood-borne pathogen contamination safely, and we know how to clean up after ourselves and dispose of all waste properly.

Our Protective Gear

We are well-supplied with the appropriate personal protective gear for the job. If there is no indication that your facility or home has been contaminated by viral or other pathogens, our crew will wear mid-grade protective suits, but if contamination is suspected or confirmed, they will wear thicker top-grade suits with integrated boots and hoods. Every crewmember wears an individually fit-tested N-95 mask to ensure total protection.

Our Cleaning Products

We use hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting products, which are safe to use and effective at killing germs, to eradicate viral and bacterial pathogens. At times of crisis, these products can be difficult, if not impossible, for other vendors to locate, but SERVPRO, thanks to its early planning and strong purchasing network, possesses a substantial supply of pathogen-fighting cleaners and disinfectants.

Our Cleaning Process

We attack viral and bacterial contamination with a two-stage approach. First, we seal off your home or business and fog it with cleaning and disinfecting agents. Using electrostatic sprayers and misters, this delivery method allows the agents to penetrate deeply into hard-to-clean crevices.

Our staff then performs hands-on cleaning and disinfecting of every flat surface, including furniture, fixtures and objects, leaving the disinfectant in place for the CDC-recommended amount of time necessary to kill disease-causing germs.

Our Coverage

Don’t worry about additional liability when you hire SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. We are one of more than 1,800 SERVPRO damage restoration and cleaning franchises across the United States, and we are fully insured against contamination or any other hazards we may encounter.

We Clean and Disinfect Thoroughly, Throughout Your Home or Business

Meeting or exceeding the CDC’s guidelines, SERVPRO cleans and disinfects high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards and tablets. (Cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens.)

We treat these and other areas of the home or business:

Throughout

  • light switches
  • doorknobs
  • floors: hard surfaces/wood
  • carpets, rugs and mats
  • hallway and stairwell handrails
  • water fountains

Kitchen/food areas

  • tables and chairs
  • countertops and tabletops
  • cabinets and pulls
  • food contact surfaces
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • push doors
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Bathrooms

  • bathroom stalls
  • countertops
  • cabinets/vanities and pulls
  • grab bars
  • paper towel/napkin dispenser
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers
  • toilets
  • diaper-changing station

Classrooms

  • book covers and binders
  • chairs
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • small hard-surface items
  • paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • sinks and sink hardware
  • soap dispensers

Offices

  • chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment
  • countertops, tabletops and desktops
  • lamps
  • shared office equipment

Retail space

  • shelving and racking
  • displays
  • mannequins
  • packaged inventory
  • fitting room stalls
  • tables and chairs
  • telephones
  • computer equipment and registers
  • sales counters

Other

  • fitness equipment
  • storage bins
  • lockers
  • playground equipment
  • elevator cars

Cleaning (Porous and Non-Porous Surfaces)

Cleaning—using a detergent and water to physically remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects—can remove but doesn’t necessarily destroy viruses on porous and non-porous surfaces. Because many viruses are encased in fatty envelopes, however, it is likely that the same soaps that break down grease can pierce that outer envelope and inactivate a viral pathogen, too. It’s easier to remove contamination from smooth, non-porous surfaces than from porous surfaces, such as upholstery or carpeting.

We wet-clean non-porous materials, such as hard-surface floors, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs and plumbing fixtures, with a variety of SERVPRO hard-surface cleaners (general purpose) and cleaning methods.

We wet-clean porous, nonwater-sensitive materials, such as carpet, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies, using a hot water extraction or preconditioner-and-rinse method.

Note: Cleaning methods typically used on water-sensitive materials, such as vacuuming or dry sponging, are generally not effective because they do not remove enough soil and residue. Some materials, such as paper and paper products, cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged.

Disinfection (Non-Porous Surfaces)

SERVPRO follows CDC guidelines to disinfect with a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant, which are known to kill germs and disinfect non-porous surfaces or objects. We spray or mist these chemicals and let the disinfectant remain on the surface for ten minutes, sufficient to kill germs.

According to the CDC’s recommendations, we use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are frequently touched, such as phones and computers, repeating with additional wipes to keep the surface wet for the recommended length of contact time.

Note: Many porous surfaces, such as carpets, area rugs, upholstered items and draperies, cannot be disinfected.

Safety is First

SERVPRO prioritizes the health and safety of our professionals. We thoroughly train and equip our crews to handle potentially contaminated areas and materials.

On the job, our employees don personal protective equipment, including individually-fitted N-95 masks, appropriate protective suit with integrated hood and boots, nitrile gloves and goggles. As we work to rid your home or place of business of viral or bacterial contamination, we routinely clean and disinfect our own tools and equipment to avoid spreading any germs.

Once we have finished cleaning your home or business, our crew bags and returns towels to the SERVPRO facility for laundering, and bags, removes and disposes of its waste products (such as used gloves, wipes and disposable masks)—leaving nothing behind but a clean and disinfected building.

We’re Here for You in a Time of Crisis

In just about any disaster situation, the team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has the training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home or business. In a time of uncertainty and peril, we have the expertise and preparation to reassure you, your family, customers and employees that your safety and health will be protected. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, SERVPRO

When you have suffered a water, mold, storm, fire or biohazard disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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Call SERVPRO for Commercial Biohazard Cleanup

Our Unique DNA

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water, mold, storm, fire or biohazard disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Keep Rainwater Out of Your Building

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

A roof and gutter Keeping your gutters clear of debris is just one way to stop rainwater from entering your commercial property and causing a water or mold disaster.

Whether it’s a small seepage that you may not notice until you have a stubborn mold problem, or a gusher that runs down your walls and across your floors, you want to keep rainwater out of your commercial property.

Preventing a rainwater disaster starts at the top: your roof. Its drainage system is designed to route water off your roof and direct it safely to the ground and away from your structure. Stay dry by knowing the condition of your roof and drainage system, and making any necessary repairs without delay.

Care for Your Roof Drainage System

Inspect and clean the roof and its drainage system, including gutters, interior drains and scuppers, at least twice a year, ideally during the spring and fall, and after any severe weather.

  • Remove loose objects and debris that could end up in the drainage system. Check under and around roof-mounted equipment, satellite dishes, antennas and solar panels.
  • Check slope of roof cover system. Standing water can indicate that your roof is not sloped properly.
  • Clear the gutters of roofing granules and gravel. If these materials accumulate, they can alter the slope of the gutter and obstruct the flow of water.
  • Check gutters for standing water and clear any blockages. If you find standing water but no blockage, make sure that the gutter is properly sloped to the downspout.
  • Check downspouts to be sure they funnel water away from the building.
  • Inspect for cracks around roof drains and repair if necessary.
  • After severe weather, check the roof and drainage systems for leaks and damage, and repair if necessary.

When you repair or replace the roof and/or gutters:

  • When re-roofing, be sure that all drains, scuppers and gutters are returned to their original operating conditions.
  • When replacing gutters, consider installing larger gutters to carry more water from your roof.

Check Air Conditioners and Drains

If you have a roof-mounted air conditioning system:

  • Check the drain lines to make sure they direct rainwater off the roof and away from the building.

If you have wall or window air conditioners:

  • Make sure the internal drain pipe is big enough and water flows freely.
  • Be sure the unit sleeve is tilted slightly toward the exterior wall.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping for gaps, cracks and other damage, and repair if necessary.

Keep Trees Trimmed

  • Trim back trees near your building to keep leaves out of the drainage system.

If your business suffers a water disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. We’ll handle everything: water removal, mold eradication, pack-out and restoration of your furniture and items, and structure repair and reconstruction.

Source: Disaster Safety

If your business suffers a water disaster from a rainstorm, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

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Pay Attention to Your Commercial HVAC System

A Better Insurance Claims Process with SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

If your business suffers a water disaster from a rainstorm, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791