18 Things to Do Around Your Home Before Winter
You'll thank yourself if you complete these fall chores before winter hits.
What chores should you be doing around your home before the cold weather of winter hits? To make it simple, we’ve put together a list so you can completely prepare your home for the winter.
Pre-Winter Chores To Do This Fall
- Clean your heating source. Whether this is a gas stove, fire place, or your furnace - call your serviceman for their yearly inspection and cleaning. This will help prevent any furnace puffback, chimney fires, and keep your home safe and warm all winter.
- Clean up your garden. If you have any perennial plants, now is the time to cut them back for next year. Prune your plants and any weeds. Then, put down your mulch for the winter.
- Get the spring garden ready. If you like to plant perennials or tend to a vegetable garden, get going before the ground is too cold.
- Put away lawn furniture. When it’s clear you won’t be spending much time outside anymore, bring the lawn furniture into your garage or shed so it stays nice and preserved for next year.
- Setup or repair fences. You don’t want to wait until the ground is frozen solid to install or repair a fence.
- Put up stakes. If you have your driveway plowed, put up stakes at the entrance of the driveway and anywhere a plow may hit when it’s covered in snow. Most people don’t like when the plow demolishes their mailbox.
- Test outdoor lighting. Check if any bulbs are out and replace them.
- Clean out gutters. Make sure there’s no debris, leaves or branches blocking a clear flow of water.
- Seal windows and doors. Use weather-stripping tape to help prevent cold drafts and save on heating costs.
- Winterize your hose. Once you’re done with the hose, be sure to completely drain it, detach it from the source pipe, and shut off the valve from inside the home to prevent any freeing or bursting.
- Gather your firewood. You’ll want to have all your firewood stacked and ready before it’s cold out.
- Double check your generator. If a blizzard comes through and knocks out power - you want to be prepared. Make sure that it is working properly and that you have fuel safely stored away.
- Switch out for your winter tools. Rather than having the lawn mower at the front of your shed or garage, move snow shovels, sand, salt, or your snow blower to the front so you’re ready for the first snow.
- Get the car ready. Dig out your snow brush and extra shovel to keep in the car.
- Prep your front entryway or mudroom. You’ll want wet, muddy boots to have a place when winter weather comes around, along for a space for puffy winter jackets.
- Put down rugs and hang drapes. This can make your home feel cozier during the winter and will help keep heat inside your living space.
- Clean the oven. If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, it will likely smoke and stink when you turn it to self clean. Do this before it gets too cold so you can open up the windows when doing it.
- Make sure the attic is properly insulated. This ensures that heat stays in your living space and prevents a warm roof that leads to ice dams.
How Can Ice Dams Damage Your Home?
The above demonstrates how ice dams form and how they allow water into your home.
Ice dams form when the warmth of your roof causes snow to melt, refreeze, and forms a large block of ice at the edge of your roof. This cycle continues until the ice dam melts away in warmer weather - but we wouldn’t recommend waiting for that. Ice dams can cause major damage to your home when they aren’t prevented or removed.
How Ice Dams Cause Damage To Your Home
- Roof Damage - The weight of a mass of ice on your roof can be enough to cause it to slag or slope over time. This may be especially true if your home experiences ice dams every winter.
- Roof Leaks - As snow melts, it makes its way between the shingles of your roof and then refreezes and expands. This causes the shingles to lift and loosen. This exposes the roof felt of your home and allows water to freely flow into the interior of the roof and into the attic.
- Ceiling Water Damage - As roof leaks become worse over time from your ice dams, water will eventually make its way through the floor of your attic and through the ceiling of your living space. This may be gradual, with you only noticing when the water leak has begun to produce water stains or spots on ceilings.
- Bubbling or Peeling Paint - Water seeping down through the walls from the attic can cause paint to bubble or peel. This is usually a major indication of a water leak somewhere in your home.
- Buckling Ceilings or Floors - As water penetrates your home, it may compromise its structural integrity. When moisture reaches the subfloors in your home, it causes them to buckle, sag, or sink as the water causes the building materials to soften.
- Warped Walls - When drywall or sheetrock absorbs moisture from a water leak, walls may begin to visible bend or buckle. When pressing on the affected walls, they may feel soft, spongey, or bendy.
- Mold Growth - Excessive moisture creates the perfect breeding ground for mold in your home. Constant or unaddressed leaks from ice dams provide the environment mold needs to grow.
How Do You Get Rid of Ice Dams?
There are many DIY recommendations for removing ice dams across the web - but we wouldn’t recommend most of them. Many of these tactics can damage your roof even further or are not safe to do yourself (such as getting up on an icy roof and picking the ice off). So what should you do?
Look for a professional for proper ice dam removal.
When you use a company that specializes in removing ice dams, you can expect them to get the job done without doing any damage to your roof or even getting on it. Most of these companies use steam machines that are high temperature and low pressure to melt ice off your roof without impact. This will help save your shingles and ensure no roof leaks.
What Happens If Your Neighbor’s Tree Falls On Your House?
Fallen trees can cause a headache - from figuring out who's responsible for the damages to repairing your home.
If you’re ever in the unfortunate situation of having your neighbor’s tree fall on your house, you may not be sure who is responsible to cover the damages. Who files an insurance claim? Who would pay? Here, we will run through the different scenarios of what happens if a tree falls on your house or your neighbor’s.
Who Covers the Damages From A Fallen Tree?
Scenario 1: Neighbor's tree (or your own) falls on your house
When a tree falls on your home, regardless of where it came from, you are responsible for filing an insurance claim or paying for any tree removal. The only thing that matters when dealing with the damage from a fallen tree is where it fell and why.
Scenario 2: Your tree falls on your neighbor's house
If a tree on your property falls on to your neighbors home, you can consider yourself 'lucky' because it will be up to your neighbor's homeowner insurance to cover the damages, just as if their tree came down on to your home.
Scenario 3: A neighbor's tree damages your house, but you suspect it was because it was old, damaged, or weak.
In these cases, insurance does not want to cover any damages or tree removal because there was a form of negligence or a maintenance related issue. If you feel like your neighbor has a tree that could damage your home, take steps to try and get them to remove the tree and document it. Then, if the dying tree does fall on your home, you can try and argue to have it covered by insurance due to your neighbors negligence.
Fallen trees are commonly only covered when caused by a 'named peril', such as high winds, lightning, vandalism, or a car crash.
What if the tree doesn't damage your home?
According to Allstate, if a tree falls on your house and causes no damages, insurance will not cover the cost of removing the tree (and in these cases it may not be worth it to file the claim anyways depending on your deductible).
What does tree removal cost without insurance?
The cost of tree removal is on average $500-$1,200, making it less than many homeowner's deductibles. If the tree that fell (and didn't damage your home) was your neighbors, you can always try and seek reimbursement afterwards, though this may put a strain your neighborly relationship.
How much do fallen tree insurance claims usually cost?
According to Consumer Reports, the average amount paid by insurance companies for fallen tree claims was $4,110, and was only 7 percent of all settled claims.
What if a neighbor's tree just falls in my yard, not even on my house?
As mentioned earlier, when a tree falls and causes no damages it will not be covered by your homeowner's policy. You will be responsible for all debris cleanup and removal yourself.
Need Help With Fallen Tree Damage & Cleanup? Call SERVPRO - 860-443-2222
COVID-19 Defensive Cleaning & Sanitizing Services
Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - A Defensive Cleaning Program
Let us help you get back to business.
As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Extensive training and specialized products
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.
3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
- Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Call today for a FREE Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation
We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.
Call SERVPRO of New London today at 860-443-2222 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.
* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience. Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.
New London Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO professionals are ready to help 24/7!
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning - 800-734-3213
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the specialists at SERVPRO of New London!
Flooded Basement Cleanup: Steps and Tips
All the water in this basement was removed by SERVPRO in less than three hours!
Basement flooding is a nightmare for any homeowner. Water in your basement can damage carpets, couches, family heirlooms, appliances and more, leaving anyone overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. But don’t worry - we’ll cover everything you need to know about your flooded basement cleanup here!
What To Do When Your Basement Floods
- Don’t enter a flooded basement or crawlspace. You should put safety first and make sure that it is okay to enter. If there is standing water throughout the basement, you should turn off the electricity and gas. If your circuit breaker is in the basement or you’re not sure how to turn it off, call an electrician.
- Find protective gear to wear if you enter your basement. Find rain boots or gloves if you’ll be touching anything. This is important because depending on the source, flood water can be dirty or contaminated, making you sick. If the water is high enough, you may also want to consider wearing chest waders. But if your basement has this much water in it, we wouldn’t recommend handling the cleanup or entering yourself. Rather, call a professional flooded basement cleanup company like SERVPRO of New London who have the resources and knowledge to handle the situation safely.
- Find the source of flooding. Once you find the source of the water, you’ll have a better idea on what to do next. If the flooding is due to heavy rains, wait until the storm passes and water stops entering your home. If the water is from a source like a burst pipe, sewer backup, broken water heater or furnace, or any other faulty appliance, turn off your water immediately to prevent further flooding.
- Have a sump pump or basement floor drain? Try and check them out. Both of these things can help drain standing water in your basement if they’re working. If they’re not, they may be contributing to your flooding problem. Double check if they’re clogged or broken and do your best to get them to work.
- Start the water removal process. For puddles or flooding in a small area of your basement, you can use a wet dry vacuum, towels, or even a mop and bucket. If the entire basement is flooding with more than a few inches of standing water, you should call a professional flood removal company instead. SERVPRO of New London specializes in flood extraction and removal. Our advanced equipment can rapidly extract all water from your basement - and time is an important factor in preventing mold and mildew growth during flooding.
- Begin drying EVERYTHING out as best as you can. Remove all wet and water damaged items so that they can dry out faster. Set up fans and dehumidifiers in your basement to dry out and remove as much moisture as possible. If there was a lot of standing water, especially for an extended amount of time, your household fans and dehumidifiers may not work. If you need help drying out a flooded basement, SERVPRO of New London can help. We use moisture meters to detect and measure moisture and use advanced drying equipment to ensure no moisture is left behind.
- Clean and sanitize everything. Wipe down basement walls and floors. The flood water may leave behind dirt, gunk, or worse depending on the source. This step will also help prevent any unwanted odors, mold, or mildew.
- Take steps to prevent future basement flooding. You don’t want to end up with inches of standing water in your basement again! But if your basement is naturally prone to being wet or minor flooding, you should take steps to raise all appliances on to blocks so that they are not affected by water.
What Causes Basement Flooding?
There’s many different reasons for flooded or wet basements, but here’s a few:
- Insufficient drainage around basement walls
- Heavy rains
- Failing sump pump
- Clogged or backed-up floor drains
- Groundwater coming through cracks in the foundation
- Burst pipes
- Appliances with broken water lines
There are solutions to many of these problems, such as fixing broken pipes or appliances, changing where water runs off from your home, or waterproofing your basement.
Should I Call A Professional To Help With Flooded Basement Cleanup?
A professional flooded basement cleanup company may not always be needed to remove water and dry out a basement. But, if the entire basement is flooded with a few inches of water, we would strongly recommend calling in professionals. SERVPRO of New London specializes in water damage restoration, and we have all the knowledge and resources needed to rapidly extract water, dry, and sanitize your basement.
A fast response and work time is extremely important when it comes to flooding and water damage, as mold and mildew can grow and spread around a home in as little as 48 hours after flooding. Calling professionals will help prevent mold growth, unwanted odors, and structural decay down the line!
SERVPRO of New London provides all customers:
Have Questions or Need Help? Call SERVPRO of New London Today! 800-734-3213
Burst Pipe Cleanup Guide For New London Homeowners
2 pipes burst in this attic, causing water to flood all the way to the basement. Ceilings, floors, and carpets were affected.
Coming home to a burst pipe is a disaster that no homeowner wants to deal with. How do you remove standing water? How do you dry up wet areas? Will the damages be covered by insurance? What should you do first? We can answer all your questions here.
What To Do When You Have a Pipe Burst:
- Turn off the main water supply. It may seem obvious, but this will prevent your home from sustaining any more damage. If there’s electrical appliances near standing water, also shut off your power. Safety first!
- Call your plumber. You’ll need to fix the broken pipe.
- Move any wet furniture, carpets, and other belongings. You don’t want them to sit in standing water. If needed, SERVPRO of New London provides contents restoration to dirty or water damaged belongings.
- Start to remove standing water as fast as possible. Grab towels, mops, or buckets to try and absorb water. If there’s a significant amount of standing water, you may need to consider buying a wet-dry shop vac to extract all water, or even call a professional water damage company to remove water for you.
- Begin to dry out the damaged areas. Bring fans in the rooms affected and turn them on high. Set up dehumidifiers in the dampest areas to remove as much moisture as possible. If there was a considerable amount of water or it was wet for an extended amount of time, household fans and dehumidifiers may not be able to completely dry out the room.
- If water has absorbed into the subfloor, drywall, carpets, it may be best to contact a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of New London. Restoration companies use professional grade drying equipment and use moisture meters to detect moisture in areas that may seem dry at first glance. These tools ensure that your home has been properly and completely dried to prevent mold growth and structural deterioration.
- If needed, restore and rebuild the water damaged area. You may need to install new floors, fix drywall, repaint, or sanitize affected areas.
Why Is It Important To Properly Dry Water Damaged Areas?
If you don’t correctly mitigate water damage, multiple problems may result. Check out our water damage timeline for more detailed information.
- Paint can bubble and blister.
- Wood flooring can swell, warp, or come up.
- Mold and mildew can grow and spread around your home in as little as 48 hours if moisture is not addressed.
- If water damage is left unmitigated and stays wet, it can cause serious structural safety issues in your home as well as drive up restoration and reconstruction costs.
Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?
Luckily, burst pipes are usually covered by insurance as they’re a sudden and unforeseen loss!
You will have to show the damage in your home came from the burst pipe and that you weren’t responsible for the pipe bursting in the first place.
You may be thinking, “But, how could I be responsible for a burst pipe in my home?” If you neglected to repair clearly old or corroded pipes or did not turn heat on during the winter which froze the pipe and caused it to burst, you may be seen as responsible for the burst pipe. This is because there were steps that could have been taken to prevent the pipe from bursting.
If you’re unsure about your insurance coverage, SERVPRO of New London can help guide you through the insurance process. One of our first responders can come onsite, inspect damages, review your policy, and tell you whether or not it should be covered and the best way to file your claim to ensure it is not denied.
Have Questions or Need Help? Call SERVPRO of New London 800-734-3213
We are highly trained water removal and cleanup specialists and are ready to service your New London area home when flooding or water leaks cause water damage.
SERVPRO of New London provides:
Don’t Wait For Water Damage To Get Worse. Call 800-734-3213 to speak with our on-call technicians now!
Commercial Floor Cleaning in New London
Satisfying! The floor in this before and after is almost unrecognizable.
Let's be real. Offices and businesses don't have time to deep clean every inch of their buildings all the time. And sometimes that means that dirt, grime, and dust can build up under cabinets or rugs, in air vents, ceiling beams, and ceiling tiles. When you need a cleaning that goes further than the abilities of your regular janitorial staff or cleaners, SERVPRO of New London can help.
Our Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services Include:
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
- Drapes and Blinds
- Air Duct & HVAC Cleaning
- Odor Removal
- Sewage & Biohazard Cleanup
- Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Vandalism Cleanup
A local business called us in to clean the grime off of laminate floors in a large room, which was also covered in a film of aerosol spray from a contractor. To be able to clean the dirt from the floor, we first had to get through the residue covering the entire floor! But, as you can see in the photo, our crews had no trouble completely cleaning the floor of all residues beyond the owner's expectations. They'll be sure to call us again for any commercial cleaning needs!
We have the expertise and resources to make any dirt, dust, graffiti or grime "Like it never even happened." Call for a free estimate today!
What Are The Causes of Water Damage?
Take these tips to lessen the chance of water damage in your home.
What are the causes of water damage?
Water damage comes in many shapes and sizes; some that are easy to identify and others that are not. Knowing the common causes of water damage can help prevent damage to your home. The earlier you can identify water damage, the less work will have to be done by a water damage restoration company to restore your home.
Causes of Water Damage Include:
Leaking or Burst Pipes
Leaking or burst pipes are common causes of water damage. These issues can come from changes in water pressure, temperature changes, or the deterioration of old pipes. In the winter, uninsulated pipes can also freeze and burst.
These kind of water damage issues can be hard to detect until there is clear water damage on your walls or ceilings since pipes and hoses are usually hidden within walls. Keep an eye out on your water bill and periodically check for leaks under sinks, toilets, and around showers to find possible plumbing issues that can cause water damage.
Old or Worn Household Appliances
Did you know the average washing machine supply hose fails after just 8.7 years, and 75% of water heaters fail within 12 years? The hoses on these appliances should be changed when you can see any sort of wear to prevent them cracking and leaking everywhere in your home. Look out for all of your other appliances which have water hookups as well, like refrigerators with ice makers.
HVAC units are also a common cause of water damage. When not maintained, moisture can build up creating not only water damage, but space for mold and mildew to grow and spread around your home.
Clogs in drain lines or heavy rains can cause sewage to backup into your home through floor drains, toilets, and sinks. This type of water damage should absolutely be handled by water damage specialists to correctly decontaminate, sanitize, and restore rooms affected by sewage water.
Now that you know several major causes of water damage in home and businesses, you can prevent unmitigated damages to your home. But, if disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of New London with any water damage issues.
We’re open 24/7 and waiting for your call. 800-734-3213
Fire Damage Restoration Process in New London
Call SERVPRO of New London with any fire damage restoration needs.
A fire event can be devastating for a home or business. Even after the flames are out, you may be overwhelmed by the damages. The fire may have compromised the structure of your building, soot and smoke damage can cover your walls and furniture, and you may even face water damage from the fire-fighting efforts.
So, where do you start once the flames are out? Well, the answer isn't always straightforward as every fire damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution. But, the general process remains the same. The steps below outline our process for the 'typical' fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Call SERVPRO of New London to restore your property back to pre-fire condition. We're open 24/7, 365 days a year to respond to your call.