Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fall Cleaning Matters


Fall is officially here!  The most colorful season of the year. Also, my personal favorite!  However, it can be one of the most daunting times of year for bi-annual heavy clean-up. Not only are you dealing with remnants from summer sand beach days, but you now must deal with falling leaves.   

An important part of being a responsible adult is recognizing that when the leaves either start to fall off trees, it is time to do fall cleaning all around.  Contrary to popular belief, fall cleaning is as important as spring cleaning. 

If you are in the know with social vernacular the term #cantadjulttoday is the common theme from 2020.  Well it is time to start adulting! Even as a respectable adult you are probably forgetting a few key places that have created colonies out of your neglect. You know how birds and bees will turn practically anything into nests and hives if they are certain to not be disturbed? Mold plays by those rules too, so you should probably start cleaning with a little more discipline.

Let us start with some basics….

Embarrassing facts about refrigerators.  Not only is my refrigerator a place that I store my weekly groceries, but It doubles as a shelf in times of need for non-discarded mail.  There is zero logic behind it other than you cannot throw away the no expiring 100th Bed Bath and Beyond coupon. I dare you to try not to cough when cleaning that dust pile up.

Now let us talk about air movement in the home.  Whether it is a ceiling fan, window a/c or a stationary fan eventually that dust will take a jolt of unfortunate physics and spread like a cloud of fresh snow across all your belongings.  Think about breathing that magic in!  Take the time to thoroughly clean all cooling devices in your home. 

So, say that it is too late, and the cloud has consumed your entire home.  Its not just surface cleaning that will suffice.  Get those moving buddies out because the next step is cleaning hard to reach spaces. Look behind your bed-frame, I can guarantee that you will find a layer of dust. Keep in mind having dust mites does not mean you are a dirty person.  Out of sight, out of mind!

These are just a few things to keep in mind.  Do not get overwhelmed, do a little at a time. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Clutter vs. Hoarding: When to Get Help


                                     Clutter vs. Hoarding: When to Get Help

Who here has gone into their basement and thought, “How in the world have I amassed all of these things”? Am I possibly considered a hoarder? Hanging onto every one of your children’s VHS tapes or all the birthdays cards you’ve ever been given doesn’t make you a hoarder: most people like to keep things that hold some sentimental significance, it’s completely normal. But if you are placing as much value on every newspaper dating back to 1999 as you do on your car, you may be getting into dubious territory.

As an adolescent you were taught to keep your room tidy, never eat outside of the kitchen, and always maintain a certain level of cleanliness overall.  This may not be an option for certain individuals. Compulsive hoarding can sometimes be affiliated with extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and may start during childhood or adolescence but does not usually become severe until later life. Hoarders are often perfectionists, and the fear of making wrong decisions about what to keep or throw away can leave them frozen with indecision. They simply choose to keep it all – in case. 

Because we are a restoration company and not psychologists, we are not going to go in-depth on why and how someone is a compulsive hoarder. 

Hoarding can range from enormous collections, recyclables, including paper and plastic, food, clothing, trash, human feces, animal hoarding, etc.  All of which have their different levels of clean-up.

Savage Restoration performed a clean-out for a clients’ hoarding deceased brother. This space was no bigger than 600 sf, all of which was floor-to-ceiling Styrofoam take-out containers, toilet paper/paper towels cardboard rolls and layers of potato chip bags heavily stapled to the walls.   To fully comprehend the number of aforementioned items removed, it took a 30-yard dumpster and 10 technicians to complete this job.  When the technicians we able to see the remaining furniture and walk around they found over 100 plastic bags of human feces hidden under the bed.  Situations like this can be extremely unpredictable upon first evaluation. 

You never know what is going to trigger someone to become a compulsive hoarder. Most known hoarders have an underlying issue from a certain tragedy in life. I just read a story about a woman in her mid-to-late 50’s who lived a really successful life working in the NY stock exchange.  Due to the recession, the company she worked for had major layoffs.  At 50 something, she could not even fathom what her next steps should be.  In a very short time, she went into a deep depression and started to amass dubious amounts of books to the point where she could not even walk with a clear path to the bathroom.  She had no local family for support. After months of default mortgage payments, the bank repossessed the home with the current hoarding situation.  This happens often with foreclosures.  

Most hoarding situations are inherited by bank foreclosures or a family member. 

If you have inherited or are struggling with a hoarding situation, help is available. Savage Restoration is always willing to help you and help your insured’s get their properties back to a pre-loss condition. Whether it be WATER, FIRE, MOLD or BIOHAZARD property damage we are “There When You Need Us”

Monday, June 1, 2020

Mold, Moisture, and your Home

Mold, Moisture, and your Home

With the unending pandemic, everyday we are learning that small businesses are struggling to keep their ‘lights on’.  With the state of New Jersey slowly opening in phases, customers are more receptive to allowing essential workers in their homes to help with emergency services. 

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day.  With the social distancing/working from home approach, we must consider that ½ of these losses were caught much faster, leaving little to no damage.  However, the other ½ tried mitigating the affected areas on their own.   Depending on the insureds’ policy there could be a very big problem if the damages were not addressed properly. 

How does one move forward? 

The microorganisms that turn into mold colonies are always in the air around us, so mold growth will start quickly—within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. Mold will continue to grow if the moisture level is high. In buildings, mold is most fond of organic porous surfaces. 

So, here is the issue.  Will insurance carriers pay for mold remediation caused by not mitigating properly?  The answer is - it is too soon to tell.  However, think about the health risks you are exposing everyone to. 

Having a professional come and remediate is always preferable, but under the circumstances it was understandable that people were frightened.  But fear not of Savage Restoration!

Savage Restoration is working hard following CDC protocols mitigating customers homes.  Do not let the mold damage get worse.  Call us today! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

These unprecedented times have changed life as we know it for the foreseeable future.

Media coverage, which is supposed to be Fact based and Unbiased is riddled with Opinion, Speculation and Fear has caused mass hysteria in the world trying to keep COVID-19 out of their homes and work spaces. It is hard to separate fact from fiction. That same mass hysteria has made a vast impact for restoration COVID-19 (Biohazard) cleaning services. 
Can these services rid your home/business of the virus?

Using the correct SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19 resources is critical for success. The resources used for this article are as follows: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), NYC Department of Health and prominent science professors is pertinent moving forward. You need to know the FACTS! Savage Restoration has done this research for you.    

Environmental Cleaning and Decontamination

When people touch a surface or object contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and then touch their own eyes, noses, or mouths, they may expose themselves to the virus.

Early information from the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and other study partners suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can survive on certain types of surfaces, such as plastic and stainless steel, for 2-3 days. However, because the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 from contaminated environmental surfaces and objects is still not fully understood, everyone should carefully evaluate whether or not areas occupied by people suspected to have the virus may have been potentially contaminated and whether or not they need to be decontaminated in response.

The only recommended method of disinfection, according to the CDC is cleaning with an EPA registered disinfectant following the guidelines and instructions printed on the label of the product. Some products get diluted, and some products are packaged ready to use (RTU). It is important to pay attention to the instructions which may also include recommended dwell times. It is also important to understand the MSDS (manufacturers safety date sheets).

This type of cleaning, because of the detail involved can be a costly process, because it is detail oriented and time consuming.

Disinfectant Fogging

Using a ULV (ultra-low volume) fogger will atomize a disinfectant to create a "fog" of disinfectant. This is common in mold remediation to help reduce airborne particulate. This may also assist with helping to kill airborne viruses, but is not very effective in disinfecting surfaces because it simply does not apply enough disinfectant to the surface, and may miss vertical surfaces and surfaces such as those under desks etc. Some products are high percentage hydrogen peroxide based. Although these products can be effective, they should only be used by trained personnel in certain conditions. Hydrogen Peroxide is an oxidizer, with means there is a strong possibility of "bleaching" organic materials such as wood, leather, wicker, cotton, silk, your hair etc. (anything organic). It will also accelerate oxidation of iron, steel, and aluminum. Other products commonly used have quaternary ammonium germicides or biocides, which in some cases can posed health risks and leave a heavy white residue behind.

The following comes directly from the NYC Department of Health:
The use of gaseous, vapor-phase, or aerosolized biocides for remedial purposes is not recommended. The use of biocides in this manner can pose health concerns for people in occupied spaces of the building and for people returning to the treated space if used improperly. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these treatments is unproven and does not address the possible health concerns.
Lee-Ann Jaykus (Professor) who specializes in food microbiology and virology, at North Carolina State University stated:
"Because COVID-19 is so new, there hasn't been any academic research on the effectiveness of disinfectant sprayers and foggers in killing the coronavirus," published in the Wall Street Journal.

Please click on the following link to see the CDC's recommendation for cleaning during the COVID-19 crisis:

Nowhere on the CDC website does it say that fogging will help sanitize spaces for COVID-19.

HEPA Air Scrubbers

The use of HEPA Air Scrubbers is ideal for handling indoor air quality needs on MOST restoration losses. The best way to explain what a HEPA Air Scrubber does is as follows; Air scrubbers draw in air and then use a series of filters to clean the air before pushing it back out, so it recirculates throughout a space. Thus, offering an effective way to improve air quality.

According to the CDC and OSHA, the virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.125 micron (125 nanometers) in diameter. It falls squarely within the particle-size range that HEPA filters capture with extraordinary efficiency: 0.01 micron (10 nanometers) and above. Many media outlets have incorrectly stated that HEPA filters don't filter below 0.3 micron and therefore could not capture airborne coronaviruses.
But that doesn't mean an air scrubber will protect you, because it's not certain that the virus can survive and remain infectious in the air. The position taken both by the CDC and by other global health agencies is that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted by person-to-person contact and by contact with virus-laden droplets expelled through coughing and sneezing.

Also important to consider, the Air Scrubber has no effect when it comes to disinfecting surfaces. Remember it can only filter air. Consider a vehicle, for example. If you want clean air in a vehicle, open the windows. A slight breeze will move contaminated air out, and clean air in. You will still need to clean the interior of the vehicle in order to disinfect. Clean, not fog.

Again, there is still so much unknown about the COVID-19 virus, that any source of disinfecting may not be effective.

Savage Restoration should be #1 on your referral list to assist your clients in cleaning and sanitizing building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants.
You will receive superior service from Savage Restoration.

Savage Restoration is always willing to help you help your insured's get their properties back to a pre-loss condition. Whether it be WATER, FIRE, MOLD or BIOHAZARD property damage we are "There When You Need Us".

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Spring Cleaning: More Important than Ever

April and May have always been the go-to months where Spring Cleaning would take place. A year’s worth of food, bad Christmas gifts, clearance rack clothing, and junk items are no match for a motivated individual who wants to de-clutter. Giving your home a good, thorough cleaning is more important than ever this year. Most of the country is currently under quarantine as a reactive measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. If an excuse was ever needed to give your home a deep-clean; this is it.

What will getting rid of junk and wiping down my tables and counters do?

Researchers have found that a cluttered, dirty home contributes to stress and anxiety. In a time when we are forced to remain in our homes, we cannot afford to live amongst dirt and clutter. Aside from the mental benefits that come with a clean and tidy home, you are also reducing your risk of coming in contact with a surface that has been contaminated with a very infectious disease, such as COVID-19.

Ok, that sounds great. Where do I start?

When it comes to decluttering your home, you are going to want to follow a few simple steps:

1.     Set Goals – create a plan that will help you reduce frustrations as you go.
2.     Create a Sorting System – create three separate piles: Keeping, Tossing, and Storing.
3.     Disposal – properly dispose of the clutter from your “Tossing” pile.

I am ready to do this! Any other tips that I should know?
Here are a few good tips to follow when Spring Cleaning:
1.     We generally only use 20 percent of the items we own 80 percent of the time. Try to focus on getting rid of anything that you don’t use 80 percent of the time.
2.     Don’t spend time worrying about the cost of something when you purchased it. The money has already been spent and is non-recoverable. Instead, think of the value you will add to your daily life while living in a clutter-free home.
3.     Ask yourself if you truly love it. If you don’t, chances are you don’t need it.
4.     Organizing your new clutter-free space will help fight future clutter.

This sounds great but may be too much for me to handle. What do I do?

Sometimes it’s warranted to hire a professional to come declutter and sanitize your home. 
Savage Restoration should be #1 on your referral list to assist your clients in cleaning and sanitizing building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants.
You will receive superior service from Savage Restoration. 
Savage Restoration is always willing to help you help your insured’s get their properties back to a pre-loss condition. Whether it be WATER, FIRE, MOLD or BIOHAZARD property damage we are “There When You Need Us”.