Recent Posts

What is Ice Damming?

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snow pack reaching the eave and freezing there. Freezing at the eave impedes the drainage of meltwater, which adds to the ice dam and causes backup of the meltwater in a manner, which may cause water leakage into the roof and consequent damage to the building and its contents if the water leaks through the roof.

Ice dams are a common sight in the Northeast. We've handled several claims this past month stemming from ice damming. What we've found is the flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll tell you how to prevent these dangerous ice dams.

Ice Dam Prevention

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

PREVENTING ICE DAMS

You can scrape snow from the roof whenever it falls, using a snow rake from below or a broom or plastic shovel from above. BE CAREFUL: The first method can bury you in snow, while the second can send you slipping off the roof. Hire someone who knows how to use a safety line.

You can replace your shingle roof with standing seam or other metal roof. Or you can replace the bottom three feet or so of your shingle roof with a wide metal drip edge. Whatever you do, install a water-repellent membrane under any new roofing.

NOTE: If your roof is not very steep, an ice dam can still form on metal roofing and drip edges.

DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.

3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.

A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.

WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot.

That's where we come into play. We can't prevent the ice damming from happening, but we can help you take care of the damages that it can cause. 

Frozen Pipe Water Damage In Stamford

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Temperatures have fluctuated between cold and bone-chillingly cold.  When it gets very cold, homes and businesses are at higher risk of pipes freezing and ultimately bursting.

Here are a few tips to remember:

• Check around your home or business for areas where water supply lines are in unheated areas. Wrap exposed pipes with foam, insulated materials or pipe heating cables. Watch these locations on a daily basis when temperatures is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

• If you are going out of town, and you suspect that temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all the taps to drain the water system. Set your temperature no lower than 55° F.

• Unhook the water hoses from the exterior of the home and bring them inside, to maintain their life.

• Drip your faucets, to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes during an arctic blast weather advisory.

• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

• Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much costlier repair job if pipes freeze and burst

• Open cabinet doors when temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm air can circulate around the pipes and prevent the water from freezing.

Popular Locations of Frozen Pipes:

• Outside wall

• Under a sink

• Unheated crawlspace or basement

• Outside water spigot

• Swimming pool supply lines

• Water sprinkler lines

• Attics

• Garages

Tips on Thawing Frozen Pipes:

• If a pipe bursts before it is thawed, immediately shut off the water at the water main to prevent further damage!

• Frozen but not ruptured? If you turn on the faucet and the water doesn’t come out or comes out in a trickle, your pipes are probably frozen. You need to act quickly to thaw the frozen pipe before it bursts.

• Identify the frozen water supply pipe.

• Open a faucet supplied by the frozen line, even if you have not found the frozen spot.

• To find the blockage, follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.

• Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.

Frozen Pipe Behind a Wall:

• Leave the main water valve near your water meter open when thawing the pipe.

• If the frozen pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. You have three choices:

• Turn up the heat in the house and wait.

• Use an infrared lamp or lamps to heat the wall where you think the frozen area is located. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because the heat passes through the air without heating it, directing more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.

• Tear out part of the wall or ceiling to get at the frozen section of pipe. Then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe.

If Your Pipes Burst…

• Turn off the water supply. Locate your water shut off valve and turn off the main water shut-off valve. You should find this in the basement or where the service pipe enters your home. Drain the system by turning on all your cold-water valves.

What You Can Do to Manage the Damage (until we get there):

• Water Buckets. If you notice the leak quickly you can catch dripping water in buckets.

• Make a hole in the ceiling to let water out.

• Turn off electronics/appliances

• Open Drawers, closets and cabinet doors to in enhance drying.

Water Damage Restoration in Stamford

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Restoration in Stamford Cleaned and dried floor after a water loss.

This elementary school in Stamford, CT had a pipe burst on an upper floor.  Water poured onto the floor and eventually started to flow onto the floors below, causing multiple layers of water damage in the process.  SERVPRO of Greenwich responded quickly and effectively.  As you can see in the photo, the floor was restored to its previous state, and school was resumed in a timely fashion.

There's never a convenient time for fire, water, or any other damage to strike your Stamford commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation

Fire Extinguisher Importance For Your Home or Business

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Office buildings need specific fire safety equipment to keep both employees and clients safe. This includes smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms, and extinguishers.  

The first step in fire damage restoration is to put out the fire using the proper tools.  A first responder may use an approved portable fire extinguisher to prevent a small fire from growing and causing further damage.  

The National Fire Protection Agency publishes a series of standards and requirements for portable fire extinguishers called NFPA 10, available here.

No matter what the size of the fire, your first priority should be to get everyone out safely and call 911.  Once the fire has been put out, you can call SERVPRO of Greenwich at (203) 324-1642 to assist.

Whether your Fairfield County home has emergency flood damage or you need your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best.  Learn more about our residential services:

• Water Damage Restoration

• Fire Damage Restoration

• Mold Remediation

• Storm Damage Restoration

• Cleaning Services

• Building/Reconstruction Services

Coping With A Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

When we talk about a fire, or any other disruptive disaster to strike your home, we always refer to SERVPRO’s amazing service and expertise making it like it never happened.  We talk about drying and repairing, dehumidification and reconstruction.  What often gets looked over is the mental aspect of these events.

During and after a disaster it is natural to experience different and strong emotions.  Emotional reactions can often be strong, with young children at an increased risk of experiencing trauma from a disaster at home.

Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.  You can also look for help from professionals who deal with post-disaster stress.

Whether your Fairfield County home has emergency flood damage or you need your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best.  Learn more about our residential services:

• Water Damage Restoration

• Fire Damage Restoration

• Mold Remediation

• Storm Damage Restoration

• Cleaning Services

• Building/Reconstruction Services

Fire Investigation Assistance

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

After a large fire loss many questions need to be answered such as:

• What was the source of the fire?

• Were there any fire accelerants present?

• Was there negligence or arson activity?

• Was it a mechanical/structural issue or human error?

Local fire departments, private insurance companies, gas and power company representatives and many others are called upon to investigate the scene of the fire and do their best to answer these and many other questions. This process can take from a few days to several weeks.

SERVPRO will set up a containment fence around the perimeter of the property and install any needed wind and/or erosion control barriers. We will bring on site portable restrooms and any heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes and skid steers that are requested by the investigation team.  We provide the investigators with a mobile office, generators for power, lights and computers, hard hats, gloves, respirators, eye protection, water, coffee and miscellaneous office supplies.

Providing the fire investigation team with all the resources necessary to accurately and quickly determine the cause of the fire, helps streamline the entire insurance claims process, ensuring the reconstruction is started sooner for the property owners, so they can get back to living Like It Never Even Happened.

SERVPRO of Greenwich is here to help with all fire damage and remediation issues. 

Avoiding a Dryer Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

The fear of a dryer fire is one that is not commonly heard of, however, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting.

Here are some small steps to take to Avoid a Dryer Fire:

1. Dryer's produce large amounts of lint. Be sure to clean the lint trap after EVERY use of the dryer.

2. Dryer Vents should ONLY be made of metal and be short and straight. Bends and curves result in lint buildup increasing the risk of a fire. 

3. Do not run the dryer when you are away from home or sleeping. 

Be Smart About Garage Storage

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

With spring coming in the coming months, most of us try to accomplish new goals, get a new fresh start. Getting healthy, organizing our homes, bettering our lives' always seem to be at the top of the list. One space to start cleaning and organizing is the garage! That extra storage area that easily becomes a catchall for excess items.  We have compiled a list of items that should not be stored in your garage. Get them out and reclaim your space.

Paint - Because the garage is prone to extreme temperature changes, paint should not be stored in the garage.  Recycle paint or donate it.

Electronics- If you are putting electronics out in the garage, you must not be using them.  Donate these items because they can’t withstand the temperature fluctuations and will easily break.

Propane and Hazardous Chemicals- Proper ventilation is key for storage of propane and hazardous chemicals.  For safety reasons, these items need to be stored outside.  

Food- Keeping food in the garage is an open invitation to rodents and insects.  Although shopping in bulk can save money, storing extra food in the garage will cause problems. The moisture and humidity will spoil the food. Find room in the house for food storage.

Cardboard boxes- Insects, mice and other rodents love cardboard.  Invest in waterproof plastic bins to store your items.

Mold After A Disaster

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Picture this: Your home or business is affected by a storm, whether the roof suffered a structural issue, or you had flooding from excess water coming in.  You fix the hole in the roof and dry the water yourself, and life continues as normal.  A couple months down the road, you find mold where the storm had previously had damaged your building. 

Make sure this doesn’t happen.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has some great info about how to prevent mold after a storm hits your home or business.

After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes and other buildings. When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.

Clean up and dry out the building quickly (within 24 to 48 hours - SERVPRO of Greenwich can help with this). Open doors and windows. Use fans to dry out the building. Position fans to blow air out doors or windows.

 Remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the home. Porous, noncleanable items include carpeting and carpet padding, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, some clothing, leather, paper, wood, and food. Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold may cause allergic reactions in some people.

To prevent mold growth, clean wet items and surfaces with detergent and water.