Recent Cleaning Posts

Hoarding Can Cause Homeowner's Insurance Claims to be Denied

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Piles of clothing, papers and other garbage in the home of a hoarder. Hoarding in a home can cause your homeowner's insurance company to deny claims and even cancel your policy.

A hoarding situation in your home or that of a loved one can be a sensitive and emotionally challenging experience.

Nobody plans on becoming a hoarder and, unfortunately, the situation is often severe before action is taken.  Not only does hoarding present a health risk due to the dangerous and unsanitary conditions created by clutter, it can also cause your homeowners insurance claims to be denied or your policy to be canceled. If a claim arises out of negligence or failure to maintain your home, your homeowner’s insurance company might determine that the damages are not covered.   

If you are concerned that hoarding might affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, consider whether your home might be susceptible to one of the following dangers. 

  • Water Damage – The homes of hoarders have a raised risk of water damage. Because of the lack of access, plumbing and roof maintenance is often limited. Also, water damage is often not discovered because it is hidden away behind all of the stuff.   Unnoticed structural issues such as rotted windowsills and roof leaks allow water damage to occur unnoticed.  
  • Fire – Much of the clutter in the home of a hoarder is flammable. Stacks of papers, boxes and other flammable materials create a dangerous fire risk. These objects are often stored next to heating vents, power outlets and in the kitchen, where they are likely to catch fire. Because a cluttered house is difficult to clean, the kitchen area also presents a fire risk with its greasy build up and accumulation of trash.  
  • Mold – Because of the likelihood of untreated water leaks as well as excessive trash, mold will often grow and spread in the homes of hoarders. Mold caused by a lack of maintenance is not covered under the majority of homeowner’s insurance policies.  
  • Pests – Along with the trash, unsanitary conditions and clutter, bugs and mice can live in the home of a hoarder unnoticed. This causes damage to walls, wiring and even the structure of the home.  
  • Blocked Exits – When contents pile up in a house, they make their way down hallways, in front of windows and even doorways. This causes a dangerous situation as emergency personnel cannot easily enter nor make their way through a home in order to treat an ill person or put out a fire.  

If there is a hoarding situation in your home, you know that it needs to be dealt with sooner than later. 

Our professional hoarding cleanup services include the removal of contents of your home, including the sanitization and temporary storage of items to be kept.  Our technicians will treat any water and mold damage that exists, as well as remove and replace damaged materials such as carpeting, walls and flooring.  

If you have concerns about the clutter in your home, call our office at  (203) 743-5362 for a confidential inspection and analysis of your situation.

The Dog Days of Summer

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Vinegar and lemons frozen into ice cube trays are a fantastic way to clean your kitchen sink disposal.

Dog days; the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.(

We are certainly in the midst of the "dog days of summer" here in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The thermometer has risen to the 90's and it seems that everybody's energy levels have taken a bit of a dip. Our crew members have been working hard through the heat, with several challenging attic mold jobs this past month. 

Yard work is assigned to the early mornings and evenings in weather like this. We prefer to use the "dog days" to stay indoors and accomplish some often neglected housekeeping tasks. 

Check your washing machine hoses.

We advise that you replace them if you find any cracks or bulges. Ideally, rubber hoses can be replaced with a steel-jacketed hose that can't split open Also check your filter screens to confirm that they are not clogged. If not discovered quickly, hundreds of gallons of water can flood out of a burst hose an hour. 

Sort and organize the pantry

How does the pantry always become so unorganized? Pull over your garbage can and a box for food to donate. Pull everything off of your pantry shelves and determine it's future. Those opened and half empty boxes of food that were lost in the back are probably destined for the garbage. Food that has been in your pantry for over a year might be better appreciated at a food pantry. Secure open items you plan to re-shelve in glass jars or ziploc bags to keep them fresh and bug free. Wipe down your shelves and reload.

Clean kitchen sink disposal.

We recommend using vinegar and lemon ice cubes to clean your disposal. Put some vinegar and cut up lemons into an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal.  Not only does the vinegar clean and freshen the disposal unit, but the ice also sharpens the blades!

Don't forget to take a cue from the dogs and take time to relax and cool down!

Post-Construction Cleaning Services Offered By SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

The summer is the perfect time for home construction.

Whether you are adding on an addition or replacing your wood floors, your home will be filled with sawdust and construction debris when the work is completed. Drywall dust and sawdust are very fine and get everywhere!

Cleaning up the debris can also be time consuming and the last thing you want to do at the end of a long household project.  At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we are happy to take that job off of your hands and clean your home after the construction work is done. 

Post-Construction Services that we provide include:

  • Removal of construction and drywall dust 
  • Cleaning of glass windows 
  • Cleaning in hard to reach places such as light fixtures, ceiling fans and rooms with high ceilings 
  • Air purifiers to remove construction particles from the air if needed 
  • Dusting and mopping of hardwoods, tile and linoleum floors 
  • Deep carpet cleaning 
  • Removal of dust, dirt, smudges and scuffs from walls 
  • Removal of manufacturer’s stickers and clean windows (including the glass, tracks and frames) 
  • Disposal of all trash

We are a full service restoration company and are available to discuss any other services that are unique to your situation.

Please call us at (203) 743-5362 to discuss your post construction cleaning and restoration needs.

Why Should You Have Your Ducts Cleaned?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

With winter finally over and summer just around the corner, Sherman area homeowners with central air conditioning will soon be turning that switch to "cool". Air conditioning is certainly one of our favorite inventions to help keep us comfortable in the humid summer air in Connecticut.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis. Dirt, debris and other air pollutants collect in duct work and can be spread throughout your home. In addition,  dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. Our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yes, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your New Fairfield home.  

It's not too late to give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an appointment to have the air ducts cleaned in your Brookfield, CT home or business cleaned. 

After the Party: Post-Holiday Tips to Clean Up Stains, Broken Glass and Candle Wax

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

The party is over and your office or home may look like a good time was had by all.

Here at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we've compiled a list of tricks that will assist you in cleaning up your space easily and so it looks like new. 
For Water Rings on Wooden Furniture

To remove a water mark, rub a little bit of paste (non-gel) toothpaste onto the water ring, and buff with a clean cloth.

For Broken Glass

A few broken glasses are inevitable at a party. After sweeping the large pieces up, vacuum the area. Then use a slice of bread to rub the area - this will pick up any of the little shards that are left. Be sure to dispose of all glass in a brown paper bag to avoid getting cut through the plastic garbage bag. 

For Carpet Stains

Well, here's the handiest trick of all! If you have a red wine carpet stain, you can use leftover beer to remove it! Rub a few drops of beer onto the stain and it should easily lift. Another solution that wont leave your carpet smelling like a bar is to blot (not rub) the wine with club soda and then follow with a sprinkle of baking soda and a vacuum.

For Melted Candle Wax

Whether candle was melted on your table or your carpet, place ice in a ziploc bag and set it on the wax. The wax will become brittle enough to break off easily. A spatula will help with removal if necessary.

For Lipstick Stains on Glass

If your dishwasher has failed to remove the lipstick from your glass, add some white household vinegar to soapy water to wash the glasses. The same goes for coffee and wine.

Of course, if your mess is substantial and you need a professional cleaning, call us and we will come out and make it "Like it never even happened."

Nobody wants their home to smell like cigarettes- SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County can help with tar and odor removal!

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

If you have cigarette smoke residue on the walls of your home, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County to clean it up.

Smoking cigarettes inside of a home leaves behind an unsightly mess on the walls and furnishings as well as odors that are difficult to remove. Sticky, highly toxic particulates, like nicotine, can cling to walls and ceilings. The residual gases left behind from smoking can be absorbed into carpets, draperies, and upholstered items.

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, cigarette residue removal is a must. 

SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County has the training to eliminate offensive odors and remove tar from walls. We have the equipment needed to penetrate surfaces such as carpeting, drapery, furniture and bedding.  We use a tool called an Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from pets, nicotine, mildew and more without the use of toxic chemicals. Our air scrubbers assist in removing odor particles from the air.   

If your Newtown home has cigarette residue in the air and on the walls, give us a call.  This photo shows a recent job that we had in which there was tar on the walls of a home due to over 50 years of smoking inside.  You can see how thick and yellow the wall and ceiling were before we cleaned it! We were able to remove the residue (as well as the odors) and make those walls white again.

We clean cigarette residue and odors in Bethel area homes

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

This photo shows the walls of a Brookfield home before and after our team cleaned the cigarette residue off of them. What a difference!

If you are selling a house that was the home of a long time smoker, or perhaps just bought one, you will probably notice that the walls are yellow and there is a cigarette odor present in the home. You may also notice that despite deodorizing the home and scrubbing the walls, the smell persists.  

Tobacco stains on walls cannot be wiped off or painted over. If you have ever touched it, you will notice that it is a sticky yellowish-brown substance that is the residue from the over 4,000 compounds that make up cigarette smoke. Painting over the walls will not remove the damage. The smoke has made its way into every nook and crevice of the home over the years and professional cleaning is required to thoroughly remove it.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the equipment and training to remove tobacco stains and smells. We are equipped with air filters to clean the smoke particles out of the air.  Our ozone generators are even able to get behind wall cavities to filter the air if necessary. With a mix of training, equipment and elbow grease, we can remove the tobacco residue off of walls and hard surfaces as well.  

You don't need to suffer with foul odors - cigarette stains and odors can be professionally removed from your home or apartment complex.

Call us at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an inspection.

We clean and restore Fairfield County homes that have been affected by hoarding

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

If you are concerned about the health and safety of a loved one because of a hoarding problem in the New Milford area, call us at (203) 743-5362.

We are sometimes called to a home to treat a water or mold damage in which the number of contents in the home make restoration difficult.  Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.  A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk.  

Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.  

Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes. 

Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.  

There is no simple solution to hoarding. Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized and deodorized.  

If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Newtown & Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362.  

Schedule an appointment to have your ducts cleaned in Litchfield County!

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

If you need your air DUCTS cleaned in the Newtown, CT area, give us a call at (203) 743-5362!

It's officially summertime and with that, Sherman area homeowners with central air conditioning will soon be turning that switch to "cool". Air conditioning is certainly one of our favorite inventions to help keep us comfortable in the humid summer air in Connecticut.  

At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we recommend having your HVAC ducts cleaned on an annual basis . Dirt , debris and other air pollutants collect in ductwork and can be spread throughout your home. In addition,  dirty ducts can decrease the efficiency of your system and cost you money. Our crew will also inspect your ducts for more hazardous substances such as mouse droppings (yep, it's a favorite spot for mice), mold and mildew.  Cleaning these from your system will eliminate any potential health hazards that can result from the spores being part of the air circulation in your New Fairfield home.  

It's not too late to give the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County office a call at (203) 743-5362 to schedule an appointment to have the air ducts cleaned in your Brookfield, CT home or business cleaned. 

Post construction clean up in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

You worked hard to make your home beautiful. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to come in and make it shine!

You've dreamed of doing that home renovation for many years and it is finally complete! However all of the dust and debris leftover from construction has left it grimy and dull. Get your home sparkling and ready to show off with a post construction cleaning from the crew at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. Our crew takes pride in giving your home that finishing touch and making it shine from top to bottom. 

After you've added an addition or remodeled the kitchen of your Sandy Hook home, you will be left with dust, dirt and grime covering most of the surfaces of your home. We remove dust throughout the home including the walls, windows, appliances, ceilings and fixtures. Carpets are deep cleaned to remove all dust and debris. Walls, hardwood and tile floors  and other hard services are washed thoroughly. Upholstered furniture can also be deep cleaned on or off site. Our post construction services also include removing construction debris if necessary. 

Our crew has the deep cleaning equipment and expertise to really get the dust out of every nook and cranny after your home renovation. You worked hard to make your home beautiful. Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at (203) 743-5362 to come in and make it shine like new!

Removing tough stains from carpeting in New Milford

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

In a busy Connecticut household, carpet stains are inevitable. Between spilled drinks, muddy shoes and pets having accidents, your carpets take a beating. Luckily, most carpet stains can be removed if treated properly.  

The first step in treating a carpet stain is to blot the spot working from the outside and going towards the center. Then rinse the spot thoroughly and blot again. Resist the urge to scrub the stain, as it could damage your carpet. 

If you have a water-soluble stain, such as alcoholic beverages, juice, berries, soda, food dyes, ice cream, jelly, wet or latex paint and excrement, use a cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of nonbleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water.  

There are some water-soluble stains, such as wine, blood, chocolate, coffee, tea and vomit, that are particularly difficult to treat.  In these cases, try using 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water (but not on wool or wool-blend carpet; instead use mild detergent and water). 

If you have fat, oil, or wax on your carpet, place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on warm setting. The wax, fat, or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel. 
Cigarette burns can be removed by gently rubbing the pile with the edge of a hard and flat surface, such as a dull knife. 
Glue can be removed by moistening a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean. 
Wax and Gum can be removed by using ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object, such as a spoon. Vacuum before the pieces soften, and blot the carpet with a white towel. 
Remove Nail Polish by blotting the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover. 
Urine should be blotted with white towels to absorb as much as possible. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild, nonbleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry.

Summer is Coming, Connecticut!

6/3/2016 (Permalink)

The difference a duct cleaning can make! Which would you want in your home?

It's time to have your HVAC systems inspected!

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates. 

SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) in residential homes and commercial businesses. Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.  When dirt and debris are removed from ductwork, the fans and motors that power a furnace no longer need to work as hard to distribute air.  Not only does this properly maintain a home, but it keeps the quality of indoor air as pure as possible.  

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth
  • Less contaminants, including pet dander, in the air can help reduce the risk of allergies
  • Reduce the amount of dust circulating in the home

Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County  at (203) 743-5362 to have your HVAC system inspected by one of our highly trained technicians.