Recent Posts

Your Business and Bio-Hazards

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of caution tape blocking an area Photo by Muukii via upsplash

When accidents happen at your business or commercial property, the effects can be severe. When the accident involves bio-hazards, you have to be extra cautious to make sure everything is cleaned up and restored properly.

A bio-hazard is defined as “a biological agent or condition that is a hazard to humans or the environment.” Some bio-hazards include pathogens, blood, bodily fluids, animal waste and sewage. You should never attempt to cleanup bio-hazards on your own, because of the health hazards involved.  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County instead!  

Our expert professionals have the specialized training and equipment that is necessary to properly cleanup bio-hazards and prevent the risk of further contamination.

While every situation is different, there are several steps that are common to most bio-hazard cleanups. So that you know what to expect if you’re in need of bio-hazard cleanup assistance at your business or commercial property, here’s a step-by-step guide:

Assessment and Establishing Safety Protocols

The process typically begins with an assessment in which we determine the extent of the risk and damage and decide on the appropriate cleanup response.

Before beginning any cleanup, you must establish proper safety protocols. Sometimes an area might need to be quarantined with bio-tape and plastic sheeting. It’s important to follow the right safety measures to prevent further contamination.

Discarding Contaminated Items

The next step is to remove any contaminated items or materials from the scene that can’t be salvaged. Items are typically secured in specialized bio-hazard bags before being removed from the premises.

Sanitization

Once the area has been cleared, it’s time to disinfect and deodorize the area, often done in multiple steps using several different commercial- or hospital-grade cleaners that have proven to be effective and safe for bio-hazard cleanup. Deodorizers are also used to keep odors from developing as time passes.

If you require help with bio-hazard cleanup and restoration for your business or commercial property, just call our team at SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447! 

Hurricane Season 2020 is Underway!

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Outer space view of hurricane Photo courtesy of NASA via Upsplash

Did you know that in Connecticut there $675 billion dollars worth of property insured on it's coastline?  Is your home and family ready?  Here are five things you can do now so your family is prepared later 

  • Review your insurance policies
    • Many standard plans do not cover damage from hurricanes and floods
    • Sump pump coverage is a common add-on for policies and not standard
    • Have you updated your home inventory to make sure you have enough coverage?
  • Maintain Outdoor Areas
    • Check gutters for build up and clear out to keep water flowing smoothly
    • Cut back weak trees and small branches that could come into contact with buildings
  • Prepare Basement
    • Raise up any valuables or furniture that could be damaged by flooding
    • Remove any electronics or extension cords from the floor
    • Prepare sandbags for use to prevent water from getting inside 
  • Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447
    • Our crews are experts in dealing with flooding and storm damage

Get Certified!!

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Opening back up after the pandemic shut-down is a daunting task for all business owners.  The requirements of social distancing can be time consuming on top of the required cleanings needed to stay within recommendations for a safe community. Customers feeling a sense of security when they patronize businesses will be a priority because without customers there would be no business.

SERVPRO has established a cleaning protocol to handle in depth and follow up cleanings to help your business follow a cleaning protocol and have your customers feel a sense of safety and security.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Call SERVPRO of Norwich-Windham County today at 860-887-0447 to discuss how we can help get your business back open for business.  

Preventing Freezing Pipes

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of thermometer outdoors Photo by Timo Muller via Upsplash

Having your pipes freeze and burst can cause big problems in your home. Typically your pipes are in danger of freezing when temperatures outside are below 20 degrees for six hours or more.  Water coming into your home is much colder and causes your pipes to contract, and in weaker parts, can cause the pipe to burst.   Here are some expert tips for ways to try to prevent it.  

Keep Water Faucets Running

If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets running slowly.  Water moving through the pipes should help prevent freezing

Leave Cabinet Doors Open

If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall, be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warmer air into the cabinet.

Disconnect Your Hose 

Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet.  If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will freeze and break the device

Seal Leaks 

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located.  Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes and seal them up.  With severe weather, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to make pipes freeze.  

Check Your Home's Temperature

Prevent temperature from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.  

Mold Prevention In Your Home

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Mold damage in bathroom You should always be vigilant when it comes to mold in your home. Don't let a small spot turn into a large issue!

Mold can be a serious problem in your home.  Routine cleaning and maintenance can prevent mold.  In this first installment of a two-part series on mold, we have some tips for ways to prevent mold in your home

  • Before painting, add mold inhibitors to your paint
  • Do not put carpets in areas that have a lot of moisture, such as basements
  • The ground around your home should slope away from the foundation to prevent water from entering your home or collecting around it.  
  • Keep the humidity in your home between 40 and 60 percent
  • Cold Surfaces, such as water pipes, can create condensation and mold.  Cover these surfaces with insulation 
  • Using air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and fans can help you remove excess moisture and condensation

Our next blog in this two-part installment will cover items every homeowner should add to their routine maintenance when it comes to mold.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate the problem.  If You See Signs of Mold, call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at (860)887-0447. 

Mold Prevention In Your Home (Part 2)

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Mold damage on ceiling Don't let a small spot become a big problem. Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County for an assessment today at (860) 887-0447

Mold can be a serious problem in your home.  Routine cleaning and maintenance can prevent mold.  In this second installment of a two-part series on mold, we have some tips for routine maintenance in your home to prevent mold 

  • Check under indoor plants to make sure water is not accumulating
  • Make sure your roof and gutters are cleaned frequently and are in good repair
  • Make sure the drip pans below any air conditioners are clean and all drain lines are flowing properly
  • Whenever there is a spill or leak, clean it up immediately
  • If your basement, or any other part of your home floods, thoroughly clean and dry everything and check for mold growth
  • Remove or replace wet carpets that cannot dry properly
  • When you shower, cook or run the dishwasher or clothes dryer, use an exhaust fan or open a window to let excess moisture escape

If you find mold spots in the home

  • clean immediately
  • Always use protective eye wear and gloves
  • Never mix bleach or cleaners with ammonia This combination could produce toxic fumes
  • remove mold with soap and water or a bleach solution
  • When cleaning with bleach, open windows and doors to increase air movement and get rid of fumes

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate the problem.  If You See Signs of Mold, call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at (860)887-0447. 

How To Turn Off The Water In Your Home

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of moving and splashing water Photo by Samara Doole via Upsplash

Don't wait until water is gushing into your home to figure out how to shut off the water supply in your home.  Take a few moments to have a "dry" run turning it off so you are prepared for an emergency.  

Main Shut Off Valve

In most cases, the main shut off valve will be near the perimeter of the house.  If you are in the basement, look at eye level or above.  If you are on the ground floor, look down.  If you still can't find it, go outside to the water meter utility box.  Imagine a straight line extending to the nearest point on your homes exterior.  Where that line meets your house is likely where the shut off valve is located.  

Streetside Shut Off Valve

Typically there is a valve located at the beginning of your water main, at the boundary line of your property.  Before turning it off call the water company's emergency line.  They will either tell you to shut it off or will dispatch an emergency crew.  

Shut Off Close To The Source

If you have a leak in your toilet, sink or washing machine, it is best to turn the water off close to the source first.  

  • Toilets: Look under the toilet, against the wall for the flexible metal tubing.  Turn the handle clockwise until it stops
  • Sinks:  Look under the sink cabinet.  You will see two sets of flexible metal tubes.  Turn the handles on both valves clockwise to shut off.  
  • Washing Machine: Some houses have the valves clearly exposed behind the washer.  Turn both clockwise to shut off the water.  If you don't see the valves, pull out the washer from the wall and they should be found easily.

Getting the water shut off quickly is always the first step for a water emergency in your home.  Your second step should be calling SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at (860)887-0447.  We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

Sump Pump 101

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of Sump Pump in a basement Sump pump failure? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at (860) 887-0447.

We’ve had several calls about sump pump failures over the last month here at SERVPRO of Norwich and Winhdam County.   What  are they and what do they do?

Sump pumps are submersible pumps that aid in removing water from basement and crawl spaces.  Ground water surrounding your foundation is channeled into a drain system in your foundation, then into a sump pit.  When the water in the pit reaches a set point, a sump pump automatically turns on to pump out the water into a storm drain, dry well or detention pond.

Test Your Sump Pump

Make testing your sump pump a regular part of your home maintenance. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit.  The pump should turn on immediately and the water should quickly start to drain and quickly shut itself off. 

Maintain Your Sump Pump

*Regularly remove any dirt, sand, gravel  or debris from your equipment

*Make sure to check that the incoming drainage line are free of debris and dirt

Sump pumps are the most effective and efficient way to drain water quickly from your home.  If you do have a sump pump failure, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is here for you 24/7.  Just call us at (860)887-0447.  

Deck The Halls Safely!

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of woman decorating Christmas Tree Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla via Unsplash

Deck the halls smartly and safely this holiday season when it comes to your families Christmas Tree.  A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly!

Picking The Tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do do fall off when touched

Placing The Tree

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fire places, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit
  • Water the tree daily to prevent drying out

Lighting The Tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing lab.  Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.  Read the manufacturer's instructions for the number of lights strands that can be connected  
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed

After Christmas

  • Discard the tree after Christmas or when it is dry.  Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home, garage or placed outside against the home
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer

All of us at SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  

Happy Holidays!

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

photo of holiday wreath Photo by Osman Rana via Unsplash

SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season.  Whether your celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Mawlid al-nabi or any important day this season please keep these tips in mind for a safe holiday season

Holiday Entertaining

  • Test smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside

Holiday Decorating

  • Be careful with holiday decorations.  Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged
  • Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.  Read manufacturer's instructions for the maximum number of light strands that can be connected.  
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed
  • 2 of every 5 decoration fires happen because decorations are place too close to a heat source