Recent Posts

Cooking Fires

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Fires involving cooking are the number one cause of residential fires, and about 50% of these cooking fires involve grease. It is important to understand how to properly put these fires out, if possible, in order to help prevent further damage to your home.

  • Never Use Water
    • Putting water on a grease fire can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire to more areas of the home and cause serious harm to you as well.
  • Turn off the Heat Source
    • If the fire is small and you can do so without hurting yourself, turn off the stove, or if it is in the oven turn off the oven and leave the door closed.
  • Cover the Fire
    • Using a metal baking sheet or lid, cover the pan that is on fire. This will help reduce oxygen to the flames and hopefully help to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible. This is the same reason that you should not open the door to the oven if something catches fire in there.
  • Putting Out the Flames
    • If covering the fire with a pan or lid isn’t an option, you can use salt or baking soda to cover the fire and hopefully smother the flames. Be aware that it will take a lot of baking soda or salt to properly cover the fire and put it out.
  • Fire Extinguishers
    • If neither of the above methods works, you can use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Be sure to use a properly rated fire extinguisher. Class K extinguishers are meant specifically for putting out kitchen/grease fires and you should have one in your kitchen if you do not already in case of emergency. NEVER use a class A fire extinguisher on a grease fire as these are water-based and can make the fire worse.
  • Cleaning Up the Damage
    • Even small fires are capable of covering your kitchen in nasty smelling smoke and soot residue. Particles of soot from animal fats and other food products are sticky hard to clean, and often require professional help to clean up.

If your home experiences a kitchen fire, SERVPRO of Portsmouth is here to help! Our team of professionals is always training in the latest techniques and technologies to help ensure that cleaning up your home after a fire is done in the most efficient and effective way possible.

What To Do For Hurricane Season

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

It’s officially hurricane season and this year NOAA is predicting a higher than average east coast season. With hurricanes, the main way to stay safe is with early preparations. That’s why we at SERVPRO of Portsmouth wanted to give you a few tips for this year’s season.

Emergency Kits – Every home should have an emergency supply kit stocked with essential items in case of an evacuation or other emergency. Items to include are a few days of non-perishable foods and water for each person in the household, copies of essential documents, extra medications, flashlights, a first aid kit, blankets, spare clothes, a power bank to charge your phones, an emergency radio, and of course don’t forget to also include food, water, and important documentation for your pets too!

Stay Informed – Your local weather and news channels will have the most up-to-date information about the storms. Make sure you pay attention and be ready to act if your local government announces an evacuation. You should always listen to the recommendations of your local government during a storm.

Make a Plan – You and your family should have an emergency plan on what to do when things get nasty. This includes an evacuation route (and an alternate), a place to stay when you have to evacuate, where you should meet up should you become separated, and emergency contact information. Remember that a plan is only valuable if everyone knows it, make sure you take some time to go over your plan with your family and everyone knows what to do.

Understand Your Risk – Hurricanes can bring a multitude of problems not just limited to the wind and rain. Widespread flooding, tornadoes, and power outages are just some of the other potential risk factors when hurricanes are involved. Make sure you understand the risks your location is in and know when to evacuate to safety.

Every year hurricanes cause widespread destruction in the United States and the rest of the world. While you can’t stop them, being prepared is the best possible way to limit the dangers to you and your family. SERVPRO of Portsmouth is proud to be a part of a network of disaster response teams equipped to handle storms of any size. If a large storm hits your home, we’re here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Handles Biohazard Cleanup

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

In the unfortunate event that your property needs hazmat, trauma, or crime scene cleanup, SERVPRO of Portsmouth is here to help. We understand that these kinds of situations require expertise and an extra level of empathy and respect. Once the police have completed their investigation of a crime scene, cleanup and restoration can begin. This involves an assessment of your property to determine the proper equipment and cleaning products needed.

Events of this nature often involve biological and chemical contaminants, it’s important to make sure that safety regulations are being followed and that everything is up to government, environmental and health standards. Our team is highly trained and prepared to handle these cases with the upmost respect and professionalism, and we routinely receive recommendations from our local law enforcement.

Our technicians are trained in the safe cleaning and removal of biohazardous substances, and we ensure that they are disposed of in accordance with the EPA and OSHA protocols, and health regulations. Additionally, as a restoration company, we’re equipped to not only clean up the areas but to help restore the property and repair any damages that may have occurred. When you and your family or business has suffered from potentially traumatic events having a company that can handle all aspects of the cleanup and repairs can make a huge difference in your levels of stress. Please give us a call and let us know what we can do for you, our job file coordinators are here to help, and can walk you through the process so you know what to expect and help put your mind at ease in a trying situation.

SERVPRO Uses Soda Blasting

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

When you experience a fire in your home or business, the cleanup process can often be very lengthy and involved. From water damage, smoke and soot damage, charred items, and lingering smells of smoke particles in your structure and belongings, it’s easy to see why using a professional service for fire cleanup is important. Besides our IICRC restoration certifications, one of the main advantages of calling SERVPRO of Portsmouth for your cleanup needs is the equipment that we are trained to use. For example, when trying to remove soot damage we can utilize a method called soda blasting.

If you’re unsure of what soda blasting is, think of sandblasting, except instead of using sand which is highly abrasive and can damage soft items like wood, we use baking soda. Using a system similar to a sandblaster, sodium bicarbonate is shot out against the surfaces that need to be cleaned. This is a non-destructive cleaning method that is not abrasive and quickly removes ash and soot from walls, stone, and other materials without harming underlying surfaces. As an added bonus, sodium bicarbonate is also a natural deodorizer, so as the surfaces are cleaned it will also help to eliminate the smells left behind from the smoke.

If you are in need of fire damage cleanup services our team is available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services. Please give us a call or fill out a form online and let us know how we can help.

SERVPRO Works with Your Insurance

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Dealing with fire or water damage in your home is never easy. Luckily when you call SERVPRO of Portsmouth to help things will get a little less difficult.

We can handle all aspects of your home’s restoration process from initial mitigation all the way through to the final repairs. Other than the actual cleanup and repairs, one of the more difficult parts of the process is dealing with insurance claims. We interact with agents and adjusters on a daily basis, hosting continuing education classes, association meetings, and other events to help get to know the agencies in our community.

In the restoration industry, it’s important to build healthy relationships with the people in the insurance industry, and we pride ourselves on our ability to work directly with your agents and adjusters to help streamline the process for you!

What To Do if you Find Water in Your Crawlspace

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

Crawl spaces are a common feature on many homes. Unfortunately, it’s also a common place to find water where it’s not supposed to be. If you find water in your crawlspace it’s important to deal with the issue quickly. If left alone it can lead to mold, musty odors, and rotting.

Water in your crawlspace can come from a number of different sources including plumbing leaks, heavy rainfall, faulty sump pumps, foundation damage, and others. In order to properly address the water in your crawlspace you first have to identify where it’s coming from. If the source isn’t addressed before remediation, then the problem could just reoccur. To help prevent future standing water you can install drainage or a sump pump in the crawl space to help keep it dry after you’ve fixed the issues in case of future problems.

Once you’ve figured out and taken care of what is causing the water to get into your crawlspace you can begin to fix the damage that has been caused. First the standing water needs to be removed, and a dehumidifier put in place to help reduce the moisture levels and prevent mold growth. Once the standing water is removed and everything is dried out, all of the affected areas should be inspected for water damage and mold growth to make sure they don’t need repaired, cleaned, or replaced. Depending on how long the water was in the affected area it could have started to rot wooden structures beneath your home that might need to be taken care of.

While these fixes can potentially be done yourself, water damage, especially in areas of your home where structural components are involved, it’s best to contact a professional to make sure that everything is done correctly, and everything is dried out properly. Otherwise, more damage may occur, or the problems may come back again. SERVPRO of Portsmouth is a leader in the restoration industry and our team is always training to help ensure that the water damage in your home is taken care of properly according to industry standards. Give us a call and let us make your crawlspace water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Places to Check After a Storm

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

As leaders in the restoration industry, we know firsthand the amount of damage that a storm can do to your home. Addressing the damage as quickly as possible is key to preventing further damage from occurring. We wanted to share with you some of the most important areas of your home that can be affected by storm damage, so you know where to check afterwards.

  1. Basement – Areas of your home that are underground are one of the spots that are the most prone to water damage following a storm. Check around the edges of your basement floor and walls for signs of moisture. Make sure that drain spouts are properly angled away from your home and that there are no areas where water can pool next to your house.
  2. Foundation – Similarly to basements, your home’s foundation is particularly threatened by water damage after storms. Water from the outside can seep into cracks in your foundation and weaken it over time. Double check there is no standing water or signs of moisture in your concrete, and make sure that your sump pump is functioning properly.
  3. Crawlspaces – Water can pool in areas underneath your home and cause significant damage to the structural components, like mold and rotting wood.
  4. Windows – Over time the seals on your windows can degrade and strong storms can crack windows and window frames, allowing water to get into your home.
  5. Roof – Probably the most prone to storm damage, wind can damage shingles and throw broken tree branches all over your home. As one of the main sources of protection from the outside elements. It is crucial to inspect your roof after a storm. Make sure there are no leaks and remove any debris that could further damage your home. Check for any signs of moisture in your attic as well as this could be a sign that there is a hole somewhere you might’ve missed.
  6. Gutters – Strong winds and falling branches can damage your gutters or even completely rip them off the side of your house. Your gutters are very important in preventing water from getting into your home and directing it away from your home’s foundation. Make sure that your gutters are in good condition and free from any debris that may clog them.

While storm damage may not always be 100% preventable, hopefully these tips can help you prevent any further damage from happening, and if you do happen to find any signs of damage to your home after a storm. Our technicians are here to help. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year, so don’t wait, and give us a call and let us know what we can do for you.

Refrigerator Water Damage

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

Fridges are a welcome necessity in every home; however, they are also unfortunately a potential source of water damage that can often go unnoticed before it has already caused damage to your home. Since typically your refrigerators are not moved around a lot seeing behind or underneath them is not easy, so it’s unlikely that you’ll notice a puddle forming until it is large enough to expend past the fridge. Continue reading for some common causes of leaky refrigerators so that you can keep a lookout and hopefully prevent damage from happening to your home.

Clogged Defrost Drain – Fridges typically will defrost regularly and drain the resulting water through to the back of the fridge into a drain pan. If the drain line running to the pan becomes clogged the excess water will build up inside your freezer and drip down the fridge to the floor instead of the drain pan.

Damaged Drain Pan – Like mentioned above, when fridges defrost the water is collected into a drain pan underneath the fridge. Typically, there is enough time between defrosts for the water in the pan to evaporate, but if the pan is damaged then the water won’t be collected at all and ends up in a puddle on the floor.

Water Dispenser Leak – Not all refrigerators have a water dispenser, but these are a pretty common source of leaking from them. Common issues are improper installation, incorrect water filters, and not replacing old/worn lines.

Ice Maker Leak – This is similar to the above water dispenser leaks, but ice makers are a little more common in most fridges. These lines can become detached or cracked causing leaks that can go unnoticed until large puddles have formed.

Excess Condensation – If your fridge is older or otherwise has damaged seals, it may have to work harder to keep the proper temperatures inside. This can cause condensation buildup on the coils behind the fridge that can drip down to the floor or even damage the wall behind the fridge.

While these kinds of water damage are not always preventable proper maintenance and regular inspection of the areas around and behind your fridge can help to mitigate the damage that is caused. With water damage, time is of the essence so the faster the damage is noticed and addressed the less likely secondary damage is going to occur. We here at SERVPRO of Portsmouth understand this importance and that’s why we’re available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services should you discover a leak in your fridge has damaged your home. So, don’t delay and give us a call and let us know how we can help.

Fire Safety Violations to Know for Your Business

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Fires can be absolutely devastating on commercial properties. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, non-residential structure fires accounted for almost $3.5 BILLION in property loss in 2020.

Are you prepared for a fire on your business’s property? Here’s a few common fire safety violations that can help keep your business, and more importantly your employees and customers safe.

Blocked Passageways and Exits – Hallways, doors, stairs, and any other paths to the outside of the building should never be obstructed. Even things like small packages left outside an office door in the hallway can become a life-threatening hazard should a fire evacuation take place.

Untested Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms – These systems must be tested annually by a licensed professional. Be sure that all pull stations for the fire alarms are unobstructed and that smoke detectors have fresh batteries. When it comes to fires every second counts, and if your fire alert systems are malfunctioning it can be the cause of even more severe damage to your property or harm to your employees.

Damaged or Too Few Fire Extinguishers – Inspection and maintenance on fire extinguishers is easily overlooked when large commercial buildings can have so many to keep track of. ALL fire extinguishers should be FULL, classified for each area they are in, and inspected regularly to ensure they will function properly if needed. Without a functional fire extinguisher, a small containable fire can easily turn into a catastrophic large loss fire because no one was able to put it out before it spread.

These are just a few of the common violations that can happen in your business, so be on the lookout and make sure that you keep fire safety at the front of your mind for your business to help prevent dangers and costly repairs.

As always, if your business does suffer from a fire, SERVPRO of Portsmouth has a team of highly trained technicians with the knowledge needed to help you recover your business. We’re equipped to handle losses of all sizes and can take care of all aspects of the project, from clean up to reconstruction. Give us a call so we can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tips for Dryer Safety

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

There are 2,900 dryer fires reported each year according to the U.S Fire Administration. These fires cause an average of $35 million every year. As leaders in the home restoration industry, we’re no stranger to the devastation that these fires can cause and would like to share some tips to help prevent more dryer fires from occurring.

  • Don’t use dryer without the lint filter in place. This filter prevents the mechanics of the dryer from accumulating lint.
  • Additionally, make sure that you clean your lint trap after every use of your dryer. Lint is the number one cause of dryer fires. Clean lint traps also help your dryer be more efficient.
  • Your dryer ducts should be inspected and cleaned regularly to prevent buildups and blockages but there are also some other signs that you can look out for that mean your dryer ducts may need to be serviced:
    • Air is barely coming out of the vent or not at all
    • Clothes are getting too hot in the dryer
    • Laundry is taking longer than it usually does to dry
  • Never leave the dryer unattended. The nature of dryer fires makes them start and grow quickly due to how flammable clothing, and especially lint is. You shouldn’t leave your house or go to bed with the dryer running as you won’t be able to respond to a potential fire in a quickly.

With proper maintenance you can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a dryer fire in your home and have the added bonus of helping your dryer to be more efficient.