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Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Pipes Freezing

A water damage during a winter storm usually happens when your pipes freeze.  When water freezes, it turns into ice. As it turns into ice, the space that the water takes up in the pipe gets bigger.  The bigger the expansion, the more pressure that is created inside the pipe. Some pipes may just get bent out of shape, but others will eventually break.

The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed to the cold air.

Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

The best way to handle a water damage is to never let one happen.  Although we have seen some pipes still burst even after precautions were taken place, the damage that resulted was considerably less. You can’t always prevent things from happening, but you can always be prepared.

  • Before temperatures reach freezing, insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes.  You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
  • Close the garage door to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep your home heated above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast.  Are freezing temperatures coming your way? 

Still Need Water Damage Services?

If your pipes freeze and you have a water damage, give us a call immediately.  A water damage that is not taken care of within 48 hours has a high probability of causing mold damage.

  1. Don’t delay.  Call us as soon as you notice your water damage.  The longer water stands in a structure, the more it will soak into the floors and walls of your home.  As soon as you call, we will schedule a crew of technicians to travel to your home and begin remediation.  
  2. Cut off the water source, if possible. 
  3. Get contents off the floor.  Many homeowners rush to put down towels to stop the water flow, and that’s okay.  Towels can easily be cleaned at our cleaning facility if need be. What you want to look out for are small fragile textiles or objects on the floor that can be damaged by water.  Examples include rugs, shoes, and anything else that is light enough for you to carry.
  4. Begin documentation.  Take pictures where you see the water coming from.  Then, take pictures of all the affected areas. Make note of the time this is taking place.  While our technicians will also take the same documentation, it's important to start documenting as soon as possible to prove your loss to your insurance company.

Water Damage Remediation Process

24 Hour Emergency

As soon as you see the signs of a water damage, give us a call. You can reach us anytime of the day or night at 802-655-7797. 

Water Damage Certification

Trust a company with trained and experienced technicians.  Our employees begin their career with us by first passing the SERVPRO water mitigation training.  Then, they advance to earn their IICRC Water Damage Certification. The IICRC is an independent certification body for the restoration industry and a trusted leader in water damage training.  

Our technicians are trained and ready to help you now.  We are the water damage restoration experts you can trust.

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration in Colchester Vermont

SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company locally owned and operated in Vermont. Our current location opened its doors 11 years ago.  

Our crews are available 24 hour emergencies every day of the year. We can be reached 24/7 at 802-655-7797.  Call us anytime!

Emergency Ready Profile

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will help insure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens."

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your commercial facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe as your preferred SERVPRO franchise in the event of a disaster. Having a plan in place helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive following a disaster.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment that requires little time, and can same you a lot of time and money in the future.

Faster to Every Disaster

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit anywhere in Vermont we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,750 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 802-655-7797.

What You Need To Know About Mold

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

How do we know when we need to worry about mold ?

Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture for an extended period of time. The problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional.

Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing on the wall's opposite side. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the outside and could create a perfect haven for mold. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the backside will be worse than on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.

Certified professionals have the training and experience to:

  • Identify moisture sources
  • Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
  • Contain damage to the smallest area possible
  • Physically remove contamination
  • Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
  • Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to a preloss condition

SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe has professional technicians that are IICRC certified and trained in mold remediation.

Fire Damage? Give us a call, you will be happy you did!

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage? Give us a call, you will be happy you did! Taken at a recent fire loss in Chittenden County.

If your home or business is the victim of fire damage, we can help. Our thorough plan is designed to maximize productivity and minimize stress for you. Proper remediation by our experts here at SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe will save you time, money, and stress.

  • Inspection- Our goal is to satisfy the property owner from arrival to departure. We explain the entire process to you, and we walk you through every step to ensure you are completely comfortable before we begin.
  • Minimize Loss- Perform emergency services to limit secondary damage to property
  • Pretest- Identify what can be restored and what will need to be replaced. Our restoration experts are highly trained to restore valuables. 
  • Produce- Our final goal to provide the highest level of customer service and to produce the best results in the restoration industry.

If you have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage, call SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe at 802-655-7797 or 802-253-0008. 

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit anywhere in the 802, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 802-655-7797 or 802-253-0008

Preventing Water Damage to your Home

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preventing Water Damage to your Home Whether it be a small leak or a big disaster, we are always ready to help, 802-655-7797.

Water damage can be a disaster - to your home, and your health. We're sharing the steps you can take to prevent its havoc on your home. Get prepared here.

Water damage — also known as the last two words a homeowner wants to hear when it comes to their home. There's nothing worse than walking into a flooding or leaking house.

And, with 40% of homeowners saying they have experienced loss from water damage and billions of dollars in property losses recorded every year, water damage causes a significant amount of loss that could have had the chance to be prevented.

However, don't panic just yet! Did you know that 93% of water damage can be prevented?

There are many things homeowners you can do to prevent water damage. It's just a matter of knowing what to do.

By staying on top of leaks and taking the proper safety measures, we can defend ourselves from the stress and money loss caused by water damage to keep us happy and healthy.

Ready to take some notes? Here are the 5 precautionary measures you'll need to keep your home free from the dangers of water damage.

1. Stay on top of leaks

If you come across a leaking water source in your house, it should be tended to as soon as possible. Trust us when we say the effort it takes to fix a little leak outweighs the amount of money and loss you'll experience when the leak gets worse.

It's usually not a matter of how but when. Leaks don't just magically go away.

Nothing is worse than putting it off and experiencing the consequences of mold, mildew, rot and insect damage that could result.

Putting this off could also jeopardize your homeowner's insurance coverage. Did you know that most companies won't cover you if the leak could have been avoided and taken care of?

So, be sure to inspect the following things regularly to ensure you're not missing a leaking spot anywhere:

Washing machines
Ice makers
Anything connected to a water line
Look for any discolored or brown spots under or around these areas. These are indicators for leakage. Also look for any cracked walls or loose shingles on the roof. These should be fixed quickly and are usually grounds for leaks and water damage to follow.

Doing a routine checkup around these places that have leak potential will prevent any long-term damage. It might be a hassle but it'll pay off in the long-run.

2. Inspect water sources regularly

Making sure that your water sources are working properly is key to the prevention of water damage. When talking about "water sources," we mean your irrigation system, sump pump, hoses, etc.

If you use an irrigation system for your sprinklers, land and/or crops, you'll want to inspect it routinely to make sure it's in top-notch working condition. Experiencing damage with these systems can result in gallons of water loss and hefty prices.

A sump pump is usually located in the basement of your home and it's purpose is to remove any excess water that has built up due to a storm or flooding. Performing checkups on your pump every year and during storms will limit any water damage from building up.

If it's working properly, the water will float and then you will see the water level recede. Kind of like how a toilet works. The whole point of a sump pump is to do the job of getting rid of any water build-up.

If you're having problems with your pump working slowly or not working at all, it'll be a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier for your basement. These keep the flooding and humidity down to a minimum.

3. Keep the correct water pressure

Water pressure is the force at which water enters your pipes. I'm sure you've heard of people talking about the difference in water pressure when taking showers at different places. This is where you can notice the difference.

But, did you know that too high of a water pressure in your home could cause major water damage?

Household water pressure should flow between 35 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch) and you can check this number by purchasing a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store.

When using the water pressure gauge, turn off any appliances or machines that use the water supply and attach it to the outside faucet connected to your main water supply. This will give you a reading of where your pressure is at.

If the pressure put on your plumbing pipes is too high, it could result in leaks and even worse, pipe breakage. High water pressure puts a strain on your appliances, so it should be taken seriously.

And, good news — once you have this gauge setup, you will be able to check it regularly. Fluctuations in your water pressure aren't always obvious, so catching it before it can start to do damage can fix major problems!

4. Educate yourself on your water devices

Many homeowners don't take the time to educate themselves about water devices contained within their home until they experience water damage first-hand and have no other choice. Which is understandable, it's usually not the first thing we think about when buying a new home.

However, it's a great idea to learn about where your water main lives. Your water main is a pipe that usually lives underground that connects your household's main water supply to the source.

Knowing the location and the details around your water main is important because if it cracks, the water will continue to flow to the surface until it is fixed. Resulting in lots of flooding, and depending on where the pipe breaks, your house could be experiencing the side effects.

Water hoses are also something you should be knowledgeable about. Standing water left in hoses have the potential to turn into ice, leaving you with water blockage. In turn, this could create a pipe to burst if not taken care of.

Be sure to disconnect your water hoses when not in use. Especially during the winter time in a cold climate, where there is a greater chance for the water to freeze.

5. Clean gutters and downspouts consistently

The maintenance of your gutters and downspouts is crucial in taking control of water damage. These are the contraptions on the outside of your home that carry the rainwater from your roof to the ground.

You can imagine the problems that would arise when these aren't working properly — for example, spillage onto the siding of your house and the roof that could cause rotting.

Gutter maintenance: Make it a point to clean your gutters a couple times a year, especially if you are experiencing heavy rain and snow. Clean any loose debris that may cause blockage and that could prevent the flow of water to the ground.

Downspout maintenance: Make sure water is able to flow through your downspouts and they are pointed away from your home. The water should be going at least five-ten feet away from your house to keep the water flow as far away as possible.

Next time it rains or snows, you won't have to worry about water damage if your gutters and downspouts are routinely taken care of.

Don't let water damage get you down

As you can see, water damage comes in a variety of forms. And, it usually happens when you're least expecting it.

Actively monitoring your water pressure, ensuring proper water drainage, educating yourself on water supply systems, and checking and fixing water leaks are five easy ways to keep water damage from wreaking havoc on your homes.

With water damage being the second most popular insurance claim filed in the U.S., it's clearly something all homeowners struggle with. Let's bring this number down by pursuing prevention tactics to be happy and healthy in our homes.

If you are experiencing water damage issues in your household, contact SERVPRO of Winooski / Stowe. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property from water damage.

We can help water complications from interrupting your life with our 24-hour emergency service!

SERVPRO of Winooski/ Stowe 802-655-7797. 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home. 

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 802-655-7797 or 802-253-0008. 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe

SERVPRO of Winooski/ Stowe specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call our locally owned and operated office for immediate response, 802-655-7797.

Commercial & Residential Carpet Cleaning

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial & Residential Carpet Cleaning This photo was taken at a local restaurant during a recent carpet cleaning. You can clearly see the difference from before & after.

When is the last time your carpets have been cleaned? If your carpets are in need of a deep clean, give our office a call at 802-655-7797. Not all carpet cleaning companies are alike. We use state of the art equipment and get the job done right the first time!! Truck-mounted carpet cleaning machines are the most powerful extraction machines on the market and are all we use. They have higher water temperatures and higher PSI that allows the steam and cleaning solution to penetrate deeper into your carpets. They also have the greatest suction power which will allow less water and residue to be left in your carpets at the end of a job.

Our team members have decades of experience between them. SERVPRO of Winooski/Stowe has been serving Chittenden County and beyond since 2007. 

We are committed to setting an industry standard.

We know you will be thrilled with the results and customer care that are so important to our company. It is our guarantee!

Call us anytime, 802-655-7797 or 802-253-0008.