Save Money - Prevent Water Damage!
Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and what holds your house together.
Preventing water damage is a lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Here’s how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit. Here are three easy prevention tips:
#1. Ensure Good Drainage
Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter your home.
Clean your gutters routinely. A clogged gutter will send cascades of water down the side of your house, damaging your siding and foundation.
Ensure your downspouts direct water 5 to 10 feet away from your house.
Make sure your yard is sloped at least 6 inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation. That slope keeps water from getting down right next to your foundation, where it could cause walls to lean, crack the masonry, and create leaks. (For crawl spaces, keeping water away makes sure excess water doesn’t pool underneath your floor, making for damp conditions that encourage mold, rot, and insects.)
#2. Test Your Sump Pump Regularly
Sump pumps come to life during storms. That’s not when you want to realize yours isn’t working properly. You should check it at least once a year, and ideally perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.
How to test your sump pump: Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch for the “float” (similar to the float in your toilet) to rise, which should turn on the pump. Then watch to make sure the water level falls.
Test your backup pump the same way, but unplug the main pump first. If you don’t have a backup pump — or a generator — and are on municipal water, get one that runs on water pressure. If you’re on well water, your only option is the battery kind.
#3. Check for Water Leaks and Fix Them
Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, rot, and even termites and carpenter ants (they like chewing soggy wood, since it’s soft). Yet if you fix a leak soon after it starts, there may be no long-term damage at all.
How to check for leaks: Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips.
At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.
So now you know how to prevent water damage — and add years (and lower maintenance costs to your home)! Of course, if water damage DOES affect your home, call a Franchise Professional to answer your questions and address your concerns: 609-624-0202 .
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties is Here to Help and Ready for Whatever Happens in Cape May County and Cumberland County. We serve communities in and around Cape May, Marmora, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, The Wildwoods, Bridgeton, Fairton, Millville, Vineland, and the Port Norris area. We're Here to Help 24/7.
Commercial Cleaning & Removal of Contaminants
Our Franchise Professionals Offer Commercial Cleaning Services Including the Removal of Biohazard Contaminants.
We have the specialized training and hospital-grade, EPA-registered products to remove biohazard contaminants. We'll get your property back to business and back to normal.
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bio-remediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize their properties. All of our cleanup practices are in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
If you are interested in inquiring about our services, we're Here to Help - 24/7/365 - while live gets back to normal in the communities we all call home..
We Offer Cleaning and Sanitizing Services Pertaining to:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Biohazard cleanup
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Ceilings, Floors and Walls
- Drapes and Blinds
- Odor Removal (Deodorization)
- Sewage backups
- Trauma and Crime Scene
The CDC also recommends regular cleaning of the following areas/items:
- Kitchen/Food areas
- Retail spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevators and Escalators
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can respond quickly and effectively to help minimize business interruption to your company.
Contact a SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties Franchise Professional today: 609-624-0202 or EMAIL us. #WeAreInThisTogether
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties serves all communities in Cape May and Cumberland counties including: Ocean City, Cape May, Marmora, the Wildwoods, Woodbine, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Fairton, and Port Norris.
CE Seminars for Insurance Professionals
Are You an Insurance Professional Licensed in Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania?
Join us for free CE Courses including complimentary dinner, plus networking!
Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry (4 Credits); Instructor: Barbara Jones
Registration & Dinner: 5 - 5:30 pm
CE Course: 5:30 - 9:30 pm
Due to government restrictions, our April CE Classes are cancelled and will be re-scheduled as soon as it is safe to do so. Stay tuned for more details. Be safe out there! For more info, contact Minerva via email.
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties is here to help with any commercial or residential disaster or precautionary cleaning and sanitization service you may need.
We serve all communities in Cape May County and Cumberland County and provide 24 hour emergency services. Call to speak to a Franchise Professional: 609-624-0202 or 856-692-0041.
A Clean Home Sells and Rents Faster!
Whether you're selling a home, preparing for the summer season, or would like a SPRING cleaning - SERVPRO is your answer!
It is a fact: A clean, fresh smelling home sells faster and rents faster. Nearly everyone is faced, at some point, with a difficult home to sell or rent (or clean).
Experienced realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons:
- Increased Market Value
- Shortened list-to-sale conversion times
- Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales
The Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO® of Cape May & Cumberland Counties offer a variety of services to help revive homes to top condition:
- Carpet, Upholstery, Ceiling, Wall, and Hard Floor Cleaning and Deodorization.
- Duct and HVAC Cleaning (Dirty Ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout a home).
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation (Molds are found in every environment, and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present).
By following these simple steps, your home or rental property is sure to impress!
Call SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties - (609) 624-0202 for more information about our cleaning services!
What Can Turn Into a House Fire?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in the United States responded to a house fire every 86 seconds. Given this risk, it’s critical for homeowners to pinpoint potential triggers and take action to prevent fire damage.
As you review your home safety, here are a few common causes of house fires you should stay aware of.
What Can Turn Into a House Fire?
- Portable Heaters
When winter strikes, a portable heater may provide the little bit of extra warmth you need to stay comfortable. However, these devices can get extremely hot and ignite surrounding objects — such as curtains and furniture. If you must use a portable heater, never leave it unattended and make sure it’s not near any flammable items.
- Kitchen Accidents
It takes a lot of heat to cook food, so danger can arise quickly if it’s not properly controlled. Gas stoves, grease, and food left in the oven for too long are all potential sources of fire damage. Minimize these risks by supervising meal preparation activities, keeping curious kids away from active stoves, and maintaining a clean kitchen space.
- Faulty Wires
Since electrical wires remain hidden behind walls, it can be hard to detect potential risks caused by factors like old age or pets that chew through cables. Call an electrician for an inspection at the first sign of trouble, such as flickering lights, malfunctioning outlets, and mysterious burning smells. A professional survey is also a good idea if your wiring is over 20 years old.
When dropped into the trash or left unattended, cigarettes can quickly spark massive flames, especially if everyone in the house is asleep. The best way to prevent this problem is to smoke outdoors — or quit.
Open flames from candles can feel inviting and elegant, but they aren’t as contained as you might think. When flames get too big or candles are knocked over, they can trigger massive house fires. Always blow out lit candles before leaving a room or use battery-operated versions that do not use real flames.
Watching out for these risks can help prevent house fires, but there may be instances where the danger is simply out of your control. For these situations, turn to SERVPRO® of Cape May & Cumberland Counties for complete residential restoration services. Our trained experts use state-of-the-art tools to safely remove and restore fire damage, as well as water damage resulting from fire hoses. Call 609-624-0202 to request assistance.
Poor Air Quality? Allergies?
Reasons Why You Should Clean Air Ducts
When you use a traditional HVAC system, the air ducts are a vital part of circulating the air. However, when the duct work becomes dirty, your indoor air quality can suffer as a result. It can also lead to further problems like mold growth, which may impact your health. To avoid this, the Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO® of Cape May & Cumberland Counties recommends having your ducts cleaned regularly.
Why Your Air Ducts Should Be Cleaned
- Breathe Easier
As air circulates through the HVAC system and your home, it is easy for dust, dirt, and pet dander to become lodged in the ducts. As the amount of allergens in your ducts increases, those with allergies may experience an influx of symptoms, such as red and puffy eyes, sneezing, and a scratchy throat. Dust and dirt in your ducts may result in poor air quality.
- Remove Mold
When moisture from damp areas in the home makes it to the air ducts, they may encourage mold and mildew growth. This may lead to spores spreading throughout the structure and possibly lead to other health effects.
- Increase Energy Efficiency
When air ducts become impacted with dust and other debris, it causes the HVAC system to work harder. As a result, your monthly energy bill can start to go up. When you have it cleaned, the air can blow freely out of the vents. Additionally, your unit is less likely to require as many repairs when it is working efficiently.
If you are experiencing an increase in allergy symptoms or smelling a musty odor coming from the air vents, it’s time to have your duct work cleaned. The trusted team at SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties provides numerous residential and commercial restoration services, including air duct and HVAC cleaning, mold remediation, and odor removal and deodorization. For questions about our services, contact us at 609-624-0202 or EMAIL.
20 Bad Habits That Can Burn Down Your House!
20 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your House
House fires are more common than you may realize, with potential fire starters like light bulbs, laptops, and lint traps hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless, everyday necessities. Are you guilty of one of these bad habits that could burn your house down? Read on to find out.
Piling Up Dirty Rags/Oil Soaked Rags
A wood stain can bestow the perfect finishing touch on a DIY furniture project. But later on, that pile of oil-soaked rags you tossed in the corner could trigger the perfect storm: Left unattended, those rags are a very real fire hazard, as they could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a house fire. To dispose of oily rags properly, place them in a metal can that's been filled with water, and cover it with a tight-fitting lid, or lay them flat outside to dry.
Misusing Electric Blankets/Electric Blanket Fire
A warm and cozy electric blanket is a welcome comfort in the cold of winter, but it also poses a potential fire hazard if used improperly. Never allow pets to snuggle up on top, and don't pile extra covers over the electric blanket, because excessive heat buildup may lead to fire. Keep your electric blanket at its lowest setting, never bend the coils, and always turn it off in the morning.
Neglecting Appliance Recalls
During the last decade, home appliances caused an estimated 150,000 fires each year, and a significant number of these were caused by defective appliances. To keep on top of recalls and prevent disaster in your home, register your appliance with the manufacturer or go to www.recalls.gov to find out if any of your models are on the list.
Lingering Dryer Lint/Lint Trap Fire Safety
We all know that emptying the lint screen increases your dryer’s efficiency, but did you know that lint is also flammable? Mixing excessive heat with lint buildup is a recipe for disaster. Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly, as well as the interior of the dryer frame, to clear away lint and clogs, and reduce the risk of fire.
Letting Your Laptop Overheat/Laptop Fires
If you own a laptop, you know how hot it can get. When you leave your computer on your bed, couch, rug, or other soft, flammable surface, you run the risk of restricting airflow through the cooling vents, which can cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire. To prevent fires, keep your laptop on a desk or table instead.
Choosing the Wrong Wattage/Light Bulb Fire Safety
If you've ever thought to yourself, "It's probably OK to use this 60-watt bulb in a 40-watt socket," you're not alone. You are, however, putting your home at risk. Installing a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a lamp or light fixture is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the light fixture’s maximum wattage, and never go over the recommended rating.
Using Too Many Extension Cords/Extension Cord Fire
Extension cords are meant to be a temporary response to a lack of electrical outlets, not a permanent solution. This is why: Connecting a large number of cords for a significant amount of time can cause an overload that leads to a short circuit—which could ignite a fire. If you need additional outlets, hire a qualified electrician to install them, and you'll avoid this problem altogether.
Performing DIYs You're Not Qualified to Do/Electrical Fires
Americans will spend about $200 billion this year fixing up their homes, and nearly a fifth of this expense will go toward DIY projects. But jobs involving electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC units should never be completed without a qualified professional, because gas leaks and electrical sparks resulting from improper installation are a common cause of house fires. Don't put your home and your family at risk by attempting these dangerous DIYs on your own—hire a licensed professional instead.
Disregarding Dust/Dust Fires
Believe it or not, built-up dust can be a fire hazard if it collects in and around electronics, electrical sockets, and even floor heaters. By vacuuming on a regular basis, especially behind your electronics, you’ll significantly reduce the likelihood that particles of dust will catch fire due to prolonged exposure to heat sources.
Storing Batteries Improperly/ Battery Fires
If you store 9-volt batteries in your kitchen junk drawer, you may be putting your home at risk. When loose batteries roll around with other metals, such as screws or paper clips, the two terminals could short out and generate enough heat to ignite nearby flammables. Put a piece of electrical tape over the terminals, or store the batteries in their original packaging to prevent this possibility.
Ignoring Uninvited Guests/ Rodents Cause House Fires
Mice and other rodents like to gnaw on electrical wires to control the length of their teeth. Over time, they can remove the sheathing, leaving the wires exposed. Unfortunately, the electric current that travels through the wire generates heat, and in the absence of sheathing this could lead to sparks caused by short circuits, which in turn could ignite the surrounding surfaces. If you suspect a rodent infestation, call a professional exterminator immediately.
Forgetting the Chimney Sweep/Chimney Fires
Dead birds, raccoon nests, cracked mortar, and built-up creosote are all common causes of chimney fires. The National Fire Protection Association recommends scheduling a professional chimney sweep at least once a year to ensure the safe operation of the chimney. And when you're building a fire in your fireplace, always light it with an approved fire starter—never kerosene. The consequences could be disastrous.
Overlooking the Range Hood/Range hood fire
While ovens and cook tops are the most common sources of kitchen fires, range hoods also pose a potential threat. Over time, grease that has built up on the vent hood filter can drip down onto the cook top, possibly igniting a fire. From there, the flames could easily reach your cabinets, and before you know it, your kitchen could be consumed by fire. Don't let this happen to you! Regularly clean and maintain your range hood to keep your kitchen out of harm's way.
Arranging Furniture Unwisely/Furniture fire hazard
If your furniture is too close to your wood stove, it could spontaneously ignite. Pyrolysis, a chemical decomposition of a combustible item, occurs when an object (say, a sofa) is continually exposed to a heat source (a wood stove) and eventually dries out. This leading yet seldom-considered cause of structural fires does not require a direct flame; all it takes is heat and time for ignition to occur.
Leaving Candles Unattended/Candles fire hazard
Candles add ambiance and aroma to any interior, but their soft glow can grow into a blaze far bigger than you planned for if left to burn unsupervised. While you’re away, Fido could knock the votive over, or a draft could cause the flame to flare up and ignite nearby flammable items. Always keep lit candles in sight and out of reach of pets, children, or flammables like drapes. Before leaving the room, use a snuffer to completely extinguish candles.
Cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking materials sparked around 17,200 home fires in 2014; careless smoking practices indoors are all too often to blame. The embers of an improperly extinguished cigarette can interact with newspapers or other nearby flammable items and start a fire. While smoking in bed can cause nearby bedding to go up in flames, especially if the smoker accidentally dozes off while puffing. To avoid a visit from the fire department, only smoke outside, and be sure to pour water on cigarette ashes and butts before tossing them in the trash.
Stepping Away from the Stove/Kitchen fire
You may think you have enough time to get the laundry out before the onions on the stove brown, but resist the urge to leave the kitchen with the stove still on. A small flame can turn into a conflagration in less than 30 seconds, so keep your feet in the kitchen and your eyes on the stove whether you’re sautéing vegetables or searing meat. If you must step away, turn off the stove before doing so; it won’t take as long as you think to reheat!
Ignoring Loose-Fitting Plugs/Outlet fire
If no plug seems to stay put in one of your electrical outlets, it’s likely because the metal contact points in the receptacle have deteriorated and no longer allow for a secure connection. Continue plugging into the shoddy outlet and the missed connection could ignite a spark and cause a house fire as the current moves across air gaps, a phenomenon known as “arcing.” For peace of mind when plugging in, call an electrician to replace the at-risk receptacle right away.
Not Giving Space Heaters Space/Space heater fire
The same space heaters that keep you toasty when the duvet alone doesn’t cut it are the culprit in 43 percent of home heating fires and 85 percent of home heating fatalities. When placed too close to other combustible items, those items can get too hot to handle—so hot in fact, that they can catch fire. Only use heaters that automatically shut off when knocked over, and park them no less than three feet from any item that can burn, be it clothing or bedding.
Leaving Traces in the Toaster/Toaster fire
Every time you brown bread or a bagel in the toaster, they shed crumbs that fall into the bottom of the appliance. During the next toasting cycle, these same crumbs can heat up and catch fire, and your toaster, along with the kitchen, could, well, be toast. If your toaster has a removable crumb tray, regularly unplug and cool down the toaster, take out and empty the tray, and wash it with warm soapy water to prevent crumb build-up. If the unit doesn’t have a crumb tray, unplug it and then gently tip over and shake it to get rid of most of the crumbs.
Adjust these bad habits now to avoid a dangerous situation in the future.If you have a fire in your home or business and need the help of a specialist trained in fire cleanup and restoration, contact a Franchise Professional today: 609-624-0202 or EMAIL.
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties - we're Here To Help and are Faster to Any Size Disaster!
Information obtained by: Jill Lawrence O'Hara and Manasa Reddigari - BobVila.com
Storm Damage? Call us for Board-Ups!
Storm Damage To Your Cape May or Cumberland County Home or Business?
Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties.
Whether the damage was caused by fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through - especially if it is your property that has been damaged!
Boarding up damaged property the wrong way could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse than before you tried to board up. The process of boarding up after a storm can be as dangerous as the damage itself.
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties can board up the damaged property quickly and efficiently and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping to make it, "Like it never even happened."
We serve Ocean City and The Wildwoods and surrounding communities in Cape May County. We also serve Vineland and Millville and surrounding communities in Cumberland County. Call 609-624-0202 when you need emergency board up services. We're Here to Help 24/7!
SERVPRO Named "Business of the Week"
SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties Named "Business of the Week" by Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
We are honored to have been selected as "Business of the Week" and are proud to be a member of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Cape May County. Click here to learn more!
The next time you find yourself stuck in a messy situation, be sure to call SERVPRO of Cape May and Cumberland Counties! We serve Ocean City, Wildwood, and surround communities in Cape May County as well as Vineland, Millville, and surrounding communities in Cumberland County.
We're here to meet your residential and commercial cleaning and restoration needs and can make it, "Like it never even happened." We're here 24/7 - call 609-624-0202 or email us today!
How to Protect Your Home in Severe Weather
We urge Cape May and Cumberland County residents to prepare for severe weather by following these winter safety tips.
How to Protect Your Home in Severe Weather
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says to be sure you have these things:
- Snow shovels – more than one because they can break, and four hands are better than two, if you have them
- De-icers, preferably the pet-safe type*
- Extra fuel such as firewood, a full propane tank, or a generator
- Clean blankets, pillows, warm clothing, etc., because you might not be able to do laundry for awhile
- Food and water that doesn’t require refrigeration
- Transistor radio with new batteries — and backup batteries
*When it comes to de-icers, some of the more environmentally-safe types include calcium magnesium acetate and sand to improve traction. Be sure to stock up early in the season, as they become scarce before a well-publicized storm.
How to Winterize Your Home
High winds, ice, and moisture from winter storms can easily strip off roof tiles and gutters, exposing your home to serious damage. Make sure no roof tiles are loose or missing. Do the same with your gutters and siding.
- Check roof tiles, shutters, siding, and other exterior materials to ensure they’re secure
- Seal air leaks around the home to keep it warmer (and save energy costs)
- Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes to prevent burst pipes
- Trim tree branches away from your roof to prevent roof damage
Clean Your Gutters.
If you don’t, you risk an ice dam. What’s an ice dam? Ice dams occur when ice melts off the roof during the day and then re-freezes as it drips into a clogged gutter. This can force water back under the roofline and cause serious leaks, often thousands of dollars in damage!
Overgrown tree branches are a risk to your home, vehicles, and loved ones. But trimming and removal can be dangerous, too, so don’t attempt it on your own. Best to hire a professional!
Insulate Your Pipes.
Buy foam insulation to cover your pipes. Invest in a temporary patch kit in case you need it later in the season. While you’re insulating your pipes, remind yourself where all water shut-off valves are so you can turn off the water supply in case of any leaks.
NOW you’re ready for a snow day, but if you find yourself with winter storm or severe weather damage, read more HERE for important tips to help. We're here 24/7, 365 days a year to make it, "Like it never even happened."®