Recent Posts

Common Homeowner's Insurance Mistakes

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

House with ivy covered chimney Photo by David Veksler via Upsplash

Your home is likely the biggest investment you will make.  Is it properly insured?  Making insurance mistakes can be costly.  Your claim could be denied, which can be a surprise if you think your covered and you’re not. 

Underinsuring your home

It is a common thought to purchase the least amount of coverage in order to save money.  Don’t just buy enough insure to cover your mortgage, buy enough to completely rebuild your home if necessary

 Overestimating the amount of insurance coverage you have

Insurance policies are complex documents, that we often don’t always read all the way through, resulting in not really knowing what is or isn’t covered.  Ask your agent to summarize your policy for you and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 Sticking with the basics

Generally speaking, most policies protect from tornadoes, lightning, fire and hail.  Typically, they won’t cover floods, earthquakes or hurricanes, sewage back-ups or mold.  Depending where you live, you may need to add on coverage

 Setting your deductible too high or too low

While we are trying to save money, setting your deductible too high or too low usually backfires.  With too low of a deductible, we pay more when something goes wrong.  Too high and end up with larger premium payments.  Experts suggest deductibles at $500 or $1000

Are you dealing with a water, wind, fire or mold issue in your home?  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447.  Our trained technicians will make it "Like it never even happened."

Common Hot Water Heater Problems

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of hot water Heater Water heater burst? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447

Over the past few months, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County has been called for a record amount of flooded basements due to issues with hot water heaters.  The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety puts faulty hot water heaters in the top five causes for water damages in the home, and report that 75% of hot water heaters fail before they are twelve years old.  There are three main reasons for your hot water heater to burst:

1) Sediment Build UP

Over time, sediment  settles at the bottom of your hot water heater.  This mineral layer insulates the water from the burner, forcing it to run longer to heat the water, causing it to overheat and deteriorate the tank

2) Rust Corroding the Tank

Inside your tank is a internal rust protection element, the anode rod.  This rod should be inspected for deterioration. It is recommended to inspect the rod every two years and expect to change it once every 4-5 years.  

3) Too Much Internal Pressure

Pressure builds in your tank when you set the temperature too high (over 140 degrees).  Its best to keep water temperature set to 120-125 degrees.  While your heater has a temperature and pressure relief valve, your extra pressure will still wear out your tank faster.  

Is your basement flooded due to a water heater issue?  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447.  Our experienced crews are available 24/7 to help!  

Mold or Mildew?

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Window still showing signs of Mildew Mold? Mildew? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County today at 860-887-0447

Mold and mildew are very similar microscopic organisms that thrive on organic matter in moist, warm, dark environments.  While they both can carry a strong, musty odor, there are some visible differences that will help you identify which you are seeing in your home. 

Mildew

Mildew is often found on damp surfaces, like basement or bathroom walls, but can also be found growing on plants, soil, or any surface that offers moisture, darkness and heat.  Mildew commonly presents itself with smaller, smooth surface growth that is white or gray in color.  Mildew is often easily treatable with store bought cleaners

 Mold

Mold is most commonly found on food.  It presents as black, blue, red or green with multi-cellular filaments which appear to have texture.  Mold spores spread through the air and will attach and grow on any organic surface in a moist area, such as damp clothing, floors and furniture.  When mold is visible, it is a sign of a much larger infestation.  Mold requires professional treatment in order to protect your home and health. 

Do you need help with mold issues in your home?  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447 to schedule an estimate with one of our trained experts. 

Common Plumbing Problems During Rain

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Raindrops Photo by Reza Shayestehpour via Upsplash

Homeowners need to be prepared for potential plumbing issues during heavy rainfall.  Below are the four most common issues during heavy rains

Flooding Due to Lack of Drainage

Heavy rain will cause water to accumulate in low points of a yard.  If your property does not correctly channel rainwater, your driveway, basement steps or walkways may flood.  This flooding can comprise the stability of your driveway, deck or foundation of your home. 

Clogged and Blocked Drains

Debris brought in by heavy rain, like leaves, soil, sticks and trash might get into your sewer system and cause your drains to clog, backing up your entire system.  When you notice water pooling in your sink, shower or bathtub this may be a blockage in your plumbing system. 

 Sewage Backing Up Due to Clogged Drains

When heavy rains fall, there can be an impact on your sewer line.  The sewer line carries wastewater from your home to the sewer line, but if it is backed up that dirty water could accumulate over your clogged drains or the build up might even cause pipes to crack or burst

Pipes Bursting and Cracking from Blockages

If you notice that your sink water is colored or carries a mildewy odor you might have a cracked or broken pipe.  When rainwater pools and has nowhere to go, it puts pressure on your pipes and cause they to break, especially if the pipes old or damaged. 

Water or Sewage back up in your home?  Don’t panic! Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447.  Our trained technicians are available 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Generators 101 (Part Two)

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Portable Generator Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447!

Part Two: What are the Pro's and Cons?  

Still not sure if your home would benefit from a generator?  Below are the pros and cons to consider before buying a generator

Pros

Maintaining essential equipment during a power outage, including medical equipment and communication devices

Keeping your home temperature comfortable, especially during the winter if you live in a lower temperature area

Keeping food refrigerated, potentially saving thousand of dollars in food loss

Cons

They need fuel

Portable generators are generally powered by gasoline, so you need to have a decent amount of gasoline in storage ready to use in the case of a power blackout.

But then you also need to consider that gasoline does not last forever. It goes bad (or stale) and needs to be changed over at regular intervals

They are noisy and give off fumes

Generators are not quiet, nor do they put out sweet smelling fresh air!

Keep this in mind when deciding where you might place your generator to power your house or essential equipment. Keep it away from open windows and away from sleeping areas.

There are some models of generator that are quieter than others, so if this is a factor for you be sure to do your research.

Generators Need Maintenance

For most people, generators are devices that are rarely used – which means for extended periods of time without being started up. It is recommended that you start your generator every 3 months and let it run for about 20 minutes.

Generators also require the same maintenance that any motor does, and it is recommended that this is done by a qualified professional.

Merry Christmas!

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Santa in SERVPRO van Santa making a special delivery!

To all our customers, colleagues, friends and crew:

 It’s been quite a year!  We’ve all come to appreciate some of the smaller things in life, like spending time with our families and friends, haircuts and quick runs to the grocery store.  We have found heroes in our medical workers, front line employees and teachers.  We’ve found new hobbies, adopted pets and learned to enjoy the outdoors.  As this unprecedented year comes to an end, we’d like to thank all our customers for entrusting their homes and businesses to our care, our crews for all their hard work, dedication and sacrifice and to our associates and vendors for their support and friendship throughout this year. 

SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is looking forward to 2021, in which we will be celebrating our 20th year of business!  

Generators 101

12/19/2020 (Permalink)

Different sizes of generators Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County today at 860-887-0447!

Part One-  Do You Need One? 

Here in Connecticut, power outages can be a regular and unavoidable occurrence.   Storms from hurricanes to blizzards often have homeowner wondering if now is the time to invest in a generator for their home.   Generators can be an expensive investment for your home that some might consider a luxury, however to some households they can be a necessity. 

 Medical Equipment On Site

If you have life saving medical equipment on site that requires power to operate and it may be needed in an emergency, then it goes without saying that you need some sort of backup power.

Some of these medical devices may include:

  • Home dialysis machine
  • Suction devices
  • Breathing machines

It is possible that such equipment has battery backup, but how long does it last?

If your average power blackout last for longer than the batteries on your emergency medical devices (or they don’t have backup at all) then you probably need a backup power source.

Essential Equipment

It’s possible that you have other non-lifesaving equipment in your home that is almost as important to keep running.

One example that spring to mind is a sump pump. Many houses rely on these devices to ensure they aren’t flooded and moisture levels are kept to a minimum.

Emergency Communications

For some of people, being able to communicate with the outside world is essential. Not just to be able to check Facebook or Instagram, but to be able to contact emergency services in the event of an emergency.

If you rely on power to keep your communications up and running (charging phones, CB radios, internet) and you simply MUST have the ability to contact the outside world at all times then you might need to look into a generator.

Large Amounts Of Frozen/Refrigerated Food

Most food is not cheapo, and If you keep large amounts of frozen or refrigerated food (meats especially) then it might be worth investing in a generator.

According to foodsafety.gov A full freezer will keep food frozen at a safe temperature for around 48 hours during a power outage (assuming you don’t open the door). After this time you will need to defrost it and consume it or dispose of it.

Maintaining Your Chimney

12/19/2020 (Permalink)

Chimney at Night Photo by Anthony Intravera via Upsplash

Nothing is better than sitting by your fireplace on a snowy day, keeping toasty warm.  Below are some tips on keeping your chimney and fireplace in tip top shape to run safely during the winter months

  • Get Your Chimney Inspected
    • Ideally an inspection should be done during the spring and summer.  A chimney professional will check your chimney inside and out looking for deterioration or damage
  • Chimney Cleaning
    • The Nation Fire Protection Association suggests that an annual cleaning of your chimney is best.  The cleaning will remove creosote build up which can lead to dangerous conditions for your home. 
  • Have a Chimney Cap Installed
    • Chimney caps keep rain, snow, sleet and debris from falling directly into your chimney.  If critters are a concern add a mesh covering.  
  • Waterproofing
    • Water is your chimney's number one enemy.  Waterproofing adds extra protection.  If the masonry of your chimney is compromised the chimney could begin leaning or could collapse altogether.  

Fire Damage?  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447.  Our skilled technicians are available 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened"

My Tank Runneth Over

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Green hued bathroom Call us today at 860-887-0447

We all know the dreaded feeling... the water is going to high and not flushing properly.  Panic sets that a large mess is going to be on your bathroom floor.  What do you do?

  • Shut off the Water Supply
    • This will prevent more water coming in
  • Remove the Tank Lid
    • Carefully set it aside to avoid breakage
  • Adjust the Flapper
    • The rubber flapper is at the bottom of the tank.  Press down on the flapper valve to secure it.  This will prevent more water from entering the bowl
  • Lift the Float
    • Raise the tank fill valve float ball.  The water in the bowl should start going down
  • Shut off the Toilet Supply Valve
    • If the water level is still high, hold up the float as you shut off the water supply at the toilet valve.
  • Use a Plunger
    • Use a plunger to break up clogs in the drain

If you do have a water damage in your home, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is here to help.  Call us at 860-887-0447 and our skilled technician will make it "Like it never even happened."

Vandalism Clean Up

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Colorful heart shaped graffiti Photo by Renee Fisher via Upsplash

Vandalism Clean Up

You take pride in your businesses' appearance, which make vandalism frustrating and upsetting.  From minor pranks to mischievous destruction of property, vandalism should be taken care of in a timely fashion.  SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County can help with boarding up of broken windows, spray-painted graffiti from walls, driveways, sidewalks, asphalt, metals, plastic, wood, glass and masonry.  We also offer the following commercial services

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Debris Removal
  • General Cleaning
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Smoke Restoration
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Mold Remediation
  • Bio-Hazard Clean Up
  • Pathogen Cleaning

Our trained technicians are available 24/7 for all your commercial business needs.  Call us at 860-887-0447 and SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County will make it "Like it never even happened."