Recent Posts

Trust me - Your Pipes Don't Need a BREAK!

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

As we enter the late fall and winter seasons; everyone should consider what challenges colder weather can bring to both their businesses and homes. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety states that the most common cause of property damage during frigid weather is frozen pipes that burst. The average cost of such an event is estimated at $5,000.00 or more.  What can you do to prevent those pipes from freezing?

  Obviously, pipes that are poorly insulated, exposed and located in unheated areas are more at risk than those located in a temperature-controlled environment.  However, even interior pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk.

  There are efforts you can apply to hopefully minimize this risk. As you notice the seasons change and colder weather sets in, take a look around your property and locate areas of risk. The temperature “Alert Level” is at 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the outdoor temperature reaches this level you will want to take the following steps:

  • Keep your garage doors closed. Especially the water supply lines are located there.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Start a cold-water drip from your faucets. Maintaining water flow will prevent freezing. Even a trickle will do the trick.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. (Here is where you have to ask yourself: Is a slight increase in my electric bill worth possibly saving you up to or more than $5,000.00? – probably so.)
  • Leave your heat on – If you plan to be away during cold weather set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For a long-term solution – add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Applying pipe insulation is also a good preventive measure and since it is about 50 cents per linear foot – it is cheap as well.

If by chance you incur water damage from frozen broken pipes or another cause; the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 and we can offer remediation, restoration and reconstruction to get you and your home back to normal.  

Cleaning Our County!

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sussex County cleans some of the most beautiful and prestigious homes, condos, municipal buildings, offices and businesses in our area.  Did you know that we apply these cleaning services on a regular basis?  Daily, weekly and monthly cleaning and janitorial services are available and we pride ourselves on taking CLEAN to a new level.  From floors and carpets to windows and furniture; our services will keep your work or business environment clean and sanitized. It is more important than ever to keep your environment clean and your workers safe.  Our janitorial teams are working as I write in both Lewes and Rehoboth Beach as we are fortunate enough to have gained their trust along with their cleaning needs.  We clean all the town halls, municipal buildings, public bathrooms and the police station as well as other town properties.  We also offer cleaning services to hotels, restaurants, medical centers and assisted living centers on a regular basis.  Retail outlets ad banks love our carpet cleaning services since we take clean to another level and the results are clear.  Our cleaning team assists local builders; large and small with pre-occupancy cleanings and we help realtors get many homes ready to sell.  If you own a business or simply need your home cleaned; we will offer the best experience possible and we stand behind our work.  If you are looking for references; we are everywhere and we want to include you in our family of satisfied customers!  Call us today at 302-856-9768 to request a quote.

Dirt Happens!

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

Sometimes things just happen: spills on the carpet, pet accidents, and the general wear and tear of everyday life. These things take their toll on your carpets, upholstery and other items. Sometimes you need a deeper clean for your home or business than you can do yourself. You need a professional cleaning company that can provide heavy duty cleaning services. That’s when you can call the certified professionals at SERVPRO. Our experienced professionals are trained in a variety of cleaning methods for carpets, drapery, blinds, upholstery and hardwood floors. Our products are tested and safe for people and pets. We’re backed by more than 50 years of experience in the cleaning and restoration industry. We have been cleaning much of Sussex County for almost 30 years. You can find our janitorial staff in the towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach; where we clean daily to keep their municipal buildings welcoming and pristine for locals and visitors alike! Unlike some other floor care companies; we apply products and a technique that offers a lasting clean. With the Holidays approaching; there has never been a better time to apply our cleaning services to your home or business. We will make your home shine and your guests will feel fine! Give yourself a nice holiday gift and let us do the CLEANING! Call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit SERVPROsussexcounty.com for more details and estimates.

SERVPRO – we can handle the dirt and make it “Like it never even happened!”

Vacation Home Dry?

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

With the current scenes of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian; anyone who owns property on or near the water should be concerned when faced with severe weather and the secondary damage that is not readily realized.

The Delaware Beaches are a popular destination for many families seeking a getaway.  There is nothing quite like spending summers in a dream vacation home.  It’s a wonderful feeling to have a place to look forward to throughout the year.  With summer far behind us, numerous homes will rest unattended for many months.  Moisture intrusion can easily lead to problems which can spread throughout your home.   Wallpaper, fabric, carpets, drywall, and wood products are all easily affected by such scenarios.  What can you do, and who can you count on to restore your property?

SERVPRO technicians are frequently called out to problems where homeowners are far away from the point of disaster.  In cases such as these, we pride ourselves in showing great care for the homes we’ve been entrusted with.  In a recent case, SERVPRO of Sussex County was contacted to remediate growth from a gorgeous summer home which held great significance to a local family.  While the family was away, moisture within the HVAC system created a perfect environment for fungal growth.  As it expanded throughout the system, growth spread throughout the home, affecting walls, furniture, and ceilings.  SERVPRO of Sussex County was called in to remediate mold from all affected surfaces. Our technicians possess an eye for detail.  Each floor was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including ceilings, carpets, walls, and belongings.  While some items were unable to be saved, the home was restored to its original, livable state.

  No matter what happens while you’re far from home, SERVPRO is only a one call away.  We have the skills and experience to handle any disaster.  As members of the Sussex County community, we feel closely connected to our local customers and value their trust.  If find yourself in need of help, call.  SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any questions or issues relating to all types of unexpected property damage.  We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

WHAT IS APUFF BACK?

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

As the autumn days grow colder, many Sussex County homeowners will find themselves eager to turn up the heat in their residences.  Precautions should be taken when firing up your heater for the first time.  If your heating system has not been inspected or cleaned for over a year, this could result in a puff back.

  Puff backs are messy expulsions of soot and smoke caused by improper furnace ignition.  When an oil burner doesn’t ignite immediately, excess oil builds up within the combustion chamber.  This fuel can ignite explosively, similar to the backfiring of a car.  Depending on how much fuel has built up in the chamber, the result can range from a small explosion to a cloud of oily smoke.

  The resulting mess of soot and debris will be mixed with oil. It can quickly spread throughout your home, covering cabinets, walls, furniture, and everything else you would never want covered in something black and sticky.  In addition to the mess, puff backs contaminate the air and surfaces with unhealthy material. The consequences can be unpleasant, but SERVPRO of Sussex County can work with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home and belongings.

  Should a puff back occur, here are some helpful tips to follow.

  • Assess the damage
  • Wash all affected clothing and throw out exposed food
  • Contact a technician to repair the malfunctioning furnace
  • Contact SERVPRO of Sussex County to restore your home

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to quickly restore your home to its original state.  If you need someone to help with any type of smoke, soot, or fire damage, our highly trained technicians will be there to start the restoration process.  Call the professionals at – SERVPRO of Sussex County 302-856-9768.

Water??? What Water?

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we know the dangers of undetected water damage. Building materials such as

insulation, wood, drywall, and subflooring can quickly develop fungal growth and rot when
saturated with water. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not know that water is causing
damage until it is too late.
1. Windows
a. Windows are a common spot to find water leaks. Typically, rainwater seeps into
the home between the window sash and jamb. Water can then trickle down
behind the walls, potentially saturating the framing, studs, and drywall. If left for a
long period of time, rot can begin to form on wood materials. Repairing structural
damage such as this can be expensive.
2. Beneath the dishwasher or behind tubs and showers
a. Anywhere water lines run through your walls is a prime spot for leaks to develop.
We commonly receive calls from customers who notice stains or mold forming
around their showers or tubs. In some cases, water will pool beside a fixture, or
you may notice the floor becoming spongy due to continual water leaks. The best
way to avoid this type of damage is to make sure your fixtures are properly
installed and sealed to prevent water from flowing into the wall behind them.
3. Under poorly sealed toilet
a. You’ve probably been to a home with a wobbly toilet before. Any time a toilet
shifts away from its point of installation, the seal on the wax ring surrounding the
base can become compromised. If there is a problem with the wax seal, you may
notice water pooling near the base. Additionally, you may notice that the toilet is
wobbly because the floor itself is becoming spongy due to rot. This is sign of
advanced water damage that should be addressed quickly.
4. Behind drywall after flooding
a. We work in Sussex County and know that flooding can cause severe damage to
your home. Flooding after heavy rain brings groundwater with a high
concentration of organic material into your home. These contaminants greatly
increase the risk of fungal growth and other health problems. Even water from a
supply line will carry whatever has been sitting on your floors into contact with
newly damp, porous drywall. Anytime waters rise above floor level
you should replace all the drywall along the lower portion of the wall and
consider treating the framing that remains.
5. Inside of an HVAC unit
This is a very common source of water damage during summer months when AC use it
high. Indoor HVAC units use a shallow drip pan to collect condensed water which forms while
the AC is in use. The water is then funneled into a condensation line to drain out of the home. If
there is any sort of obstruction to the line, water will accumulation in the pan until it overflows.
This is a very common cause of residential water damage, and can lead to mold forming in the
AC, as well as damage to other materials in the case of an overflow. You should check your AC
drip pan occasionally to ensure that water is draining as it should.
If you discover water damage and need help restoring your home or property, SERVPRO of
Sussex County is one call away. We will work with you to restore your home to its pre loss
condition. Call SERVPRO of Sussex County today for a free inspection.

Kitchen Fire Facts

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

Cooking was the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in 2015-2019 and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Cooking caused 49 percent of reported home fires, 20 percent of reported home fire deaths, and 42 percent of home fire injuries.

What you should know about home cooking safety
  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire
  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Cooking fire facts

Based on 2014-2018 annual averages:

  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Clothing is the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions caused 8% of the home cooking fire deaths.
  • Ranges or cooktops account for three-fifths of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Unattended equipment is a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires and over half of the associated deaths.
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem. Never apply water to extinguish a grease or cooking oil fire.

If you suffer any fire or smoke damage at your home or place of business – be safe and call SERVPRO of Sussex County and we will offer the best remediation and restoration process attainable.  You can reach us at 302-856-9768.

Flash Floods - #1 weather-related killer in the US!

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

How do flash floods occur?

 Several factors contribute to flash flooding. The two key elements are rainfall intensity and duration. Intensity is the rate of rainfall, and duration is how long the rain lasts. Topography, soil conditions, and ground cover also play an important role.

 Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam. Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. Furthermore, flash flood-producing rains can also trigger catastrophic mud slides. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. Most flood deaths are due to FLASH FLOODS.

 Most flash flooding is caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area, or heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

 Occasionally, floating debris or ice can accumulate at a natural or man-made obstruction and restrict the flow of water. Water held back by the ice jam or debris dam can cause flooding upstream. Subsequent flash flooding can occur downstream if the obstruction should suddenly release.

PLAN AHEAD:

 Identify where to go if told to evacuate. Choose several places...a friend's home or a motel in another town, or a shelter.

Know your area's flood risk. For information, call your local National Weather Service office, Red Cross chapter, or local emergency management agency. Check your homeowner's or renter's insurance. Homeowners' policies do not cover flooding. Contact your insurance agent to find out how to get flood insurance.

Even 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet, and a depth of 2 feet will float your car! NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. If you come upon flood waters, STOP! TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY.

Hurricane Thoughts? Keep Your Fingers Crossed…

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane Thoughts? Keep Your Fingers Crossed…

With two months of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season already over with, it might seem like that activity in the tropics has been pretty quiet. Butis it unusual?

By this time in the year, there are typically about four named storms, according to the National Hurricane Center. So far, there have been only three named storms (Alex, Bonnie and Colin), so activity is only slightlybelow average

 Meteorologists say there are a variety of reasons why the past two months have been a bit sluggish.

Here’s what’s causing slower activity in the tropics:

1.) The high pressure system normally found over Bermuda this time of year is farther north. This clockwise circulation, near the Azores west of Europe, is dragging dry air down from Europe.

2.) Saharan dust. While there’s less than there was a month ago, the dry and windy air it causes is also inhibiting storm formation.

3.) High winds across the Atlantic basin.

 The peak of the season comes around September 10. There’s another reason why this season may seem slower — recent hurricane seasons have been so much more active than average.

Below are the definitions of tropical weather systems:

  • Tropical depression: Weaker systems with winds of 38 miles per hour or less
  • Tropical storm: Winds reach 39 mph or higher, at which point the storm is officially named
  • Hurricane: Winds reach 74 mph or higher. Hurricanes keep the same names they earned when they reached “tropical storm” status

As the leading storm remediation and restoration company in Sussex County; SERVPRO stands ready to assist should this slow pattern take a fast turn toward more severity.  Call us with any needs or questions at 302-856-9768.

Hurricane Thoughts? Keep Your Fingers Crossed…

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane Thoughts? Keep Your Fingers Crossed…

With two months of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season already over with, it might seem like that activity in the tropics has been pretty quiet. Butis it unusual?

By this time in the year, there are typically about four named storms, according to the National Hurricane Center. So far, there have been only three named storms (Alex, Bonnie and Colin), so activity is only slightlybelow average

 Meteorologists say there are a variety of reasons why the past two months have been a bit sluggish.

Here’s what’s causing slower activity in the tropics:

1.) The high pressure system normally found over Bermuda this time of year is farther north. This clockwise circulation, near the Azores west of Europe, is dragging dry air down from Europe.

2.) Saharan dust. While there’s less than there was a month ago, the dry and windy air it causes is also inhibiting storm formation.

3.) High winds across the Atlantic basin.

 The peak of the season comes around September 10. There’s another reason why this season may seem slower — recent hurricane seasons have been so much more active than average.

Below are the definitions of tropical weather systems:

  • Tropical depression: Weaker systems with winds of 38 miles per hour or less
  • Tropical storm: Winds reach 39 mph or higher, at which point the storm is officially named
  • Hurricane: Winds reach 74 mph or higher. Hurricanes keep the same names they earned when they reached “tropical storm” status

As the leading storm remediation and restoration company in Sussex County; SERVPRO stands ready to assist should this slow pattern take a fast turn toward more severity.  Call us with any needs or questions at 302-856-9768.