ServiceMaster Metropolitan | News & Tips

Behind the Scenes of Biohazard Cleanup in Jersey City, NJ

September 28th, 2018 · No Comments

Biohazard cleanup is a challenging task and only gets more complex when there’s an unattended death in your Jersey City, NJ, home or vehicle. Let’s see how the experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan manage these complexities.


Biohazard Cleanup When There’s an Unattended Death at a Home

If there’s an unattended death and the body is discovered a few weeks after the death, it increases the complexity of the cleanup work. This includes decomposition of the body which results in biohazards and odors.



The first step our experts take after entering a house where an unattended death has occurred is to use serum indicator.

Serum indicator is sprayed in the room where the unattended death occurred to assess how far body fluids have traveled from the decomposing body and the severity of damage caused by biohazardous waste.

In addition, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) tests are performed to judge the issues present with respect to the cleanliness of the home.



After completing the assessment, we set up containment. Here, transition as well as clear zones are created for carrying out the cleanup work. Air movers, HEPA air scrubbers, and hydroxyl generators are used to get rid of the odors and the dust.


Trauma Cleanup

ServiceMaster Metropolitan technicians utilize enzyme cleaners to foam the affected areas and then industrial strength scour pads for cleaning the area.

During cleanup, any contaminated items such as bedding and carpets that cannot be cleaned are discarded.

Once cleanup is completed, the house is disinfected with the use of a foamer and then ATP tests are performed to check whether the required cleanliness level has been achieved.


Vehicle Biohazard Cleanup

If there’s an accident or suicide inside a vehicle, it increases the complexity of the biohazard remediation work that’s required to be performed.


The Cleanup Process

Similar to structural remediation, cleanup in vehicles is also a multistep process where several tasks are performed for complete remediation of affected surfaces.

Our technicians begin by performing ATP tests to check for cellular material on different surfaces within the vehicle.

If there are surfaces covered with porous cloth (like carpet floor mats or seat cushions), these surfaces cannot be effectively cleaned. As such, our experts take steps to discard these items before the sanitation and disinfection process is started.

After that a degreasing agent is used to wipe down all surfaces where biohazard material (like blood) is present. When this process is completed, our experts spray a disinfection solution to ensure complete removal of blood-borne pathogens.

The last step involves ATP tests to check if all affected surfaces have been cleaned properly and there are no biohazards remaining in the vehicle.

It’s imperative that you hire professionals for biohazard cleanup due to the high risk of contamination that exists in these situations. The experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the required training and certification to perform these tasks in the correct manner. All you have to do is call us at (855) 560-7999.

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Using Advanced Technology in Flood Damage Cleanup in West Milford, NJ

September 18th, 2018 · No Comments

Floods can result in significant damage to your West Milford, NJ property. To properly restore your property, you’ll need to contact the flood damage cleanup professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan. Our technicians will restore your home quickly and effectively, so your life can get back to normal as soon as possible. While our technicians are highly trained and receive continuing education, one of our biggest assets is the use of advanced technology. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the technology we use to restore your home quickly and effectively!


Automated Filing Procedure

Our team uses automated filing procedures that enable us to quickly access photographs, shorten the quote processing time, and create a well-organized and manageable photo archive.

Using modern technology helps us reduce turnaround times, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction.


3D Imaging and Measurements

An important part of flood damage cleanup work is identification and measurement of water damaged items. We use various advanced tools such as Bosch FloorPlan to capture image details and measurements quickly and accurately.


Data Capture

Inspection is extremely important in flood damage cleanup work where we have to locate building materials that have been damaged and keep a record of that information. This information is subsequently used during restoration work.

Comprehensive and thorough inspections are essential to avoid mistakes during work.

To improve this process, we use predesigned protocols and forms that help in improving our workflow as well as standardization of the inspection process. We also utilize advanced camera solutions like Ricoh 360, drones, and digital platforms for effectively capturing field data in flood damaged properties.


Digital Scoping


Scoping is where estimation and inspection data are used in conjunction to arrive at precise pricing details. By completing the scoping process within a short time we’re able to quickly start the restoration process.


We also use technology like Xactimate to ease the complexities involved in scoping and expedite the whole process.


We also utilize advanced equipment in the scoping process such as laser devices with Bluetooth connectivity that can quickly take measurements in a room and transfer that data to be mobile device or tablet.


This way we’re able to reduce the time it takes to create a floor sketch and offer you a professional bid. As such, use of advanced equipment and technology helps in reducing the overall time the food damage cleanup process takes.


Aerial Imagery and Artificial Intelligence


Our experienced technicians utilize artificial intelligence for extracting useful property-related data available in images and use the same in the restoration process.


Additionally, aerial imagery proves to be helpful in our estimation tasks. For instance, aerial imagery helps us in getting a list of all the windows in a home along with their sizes without having to use a tape measure.


The technology we use is essential to successful flood damage cleanup. ServiceMaster Metropolitan is a company that uses the latest technology to achieve the best results for you. For immediate assistance in West Milford, NJ, contact us at (855) 560-7999 and we’ll get to work right away!


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Fire Damage Mitigation for Different Areas of Your Mahwah, NJ Home

September 17th, 2018 · No Comments

After a fire it’s important to start fire damage mitigation immediately. This helps to minimize the damage caused by smoke and soot residues. These residues, along with damage from the flames, can affect different areas of your home and necessitate different mitigation techniques. Today, we’re going to look at how the fire damage mitigation experts of ServiceMaster Metropolitan treat different areas of your damaged Mahwah, NJ home.


Cleaning Windows

Before cleaning windows, we check for heat cracks or broken seals. If these issues are present, we will replace the windows rather than clean them.

When we clean windows, we use our experience to:

  • Select the mildest type of degreaser for cleaning the frame, runner, and sill. The last thing we want to do is create more damage by using a degreaser that’s too strong. We only use a more aggressive cleaner if the first type doesn’t do the job
  • Repair areas of wooden windows that have been heavily damaged using wood cream.

However, if there’s light contamination, our team avoids wet cleaning and instead utilizes chemical sponges for completing the cleaning and remediation work


Cleaning Oriental Rugs

Cleaning oriental rugs is complex, and the techniques used depends on the type of fire.

When natural substances such as paper and wood burn, dry vacuuming will effectively remove the powdery residue left behind.

However, in the case of a protein fire, it won’t be as easy to get rid of the odorous and sticky smoke residues. The same can be said for low oxygen fires which produce sticky residues when things like plastic burn. Fire damage from these types of fire require more involved fire damage mitigation techniques.

We avoid touching smoke damaged rugs directly as body oils can combine with smoke residues and make them more difficult to remove.  Instead, we use cotton work gloves while cleaning smoke damaged rugs.

If the oriental rug is dry, we make sure that pressure is not exerted during the initial vacuuming to ensure residues are not smeared into surface of the rug.

On the other hand, if the rug is wet, our technicians focus on removing the residues before performing water extraction. This way the likelihood of carbon stains being left by soot is reduced.

Our technicians’ experience and training are the most valuable asset they have. Fire damage mitigation isn’t cut and dry and many factors determine how best to restore your Mahwah, NJ home.

We’re available 24/7/365, so just call ServiceMaster Metropolitan at (855) 560-7999 and our technicians will get to work right away.

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Preventing the Spread of Smoke Odors After a Fire in Your Caldwell, NJ Commercial Building

September 10th, 2018 · No Comments

Experiencing a fire in your Caldwell, NJ commercial building can be devastating, but recovery is possible with fire damage mitigation and smoke odor removal services from ServiceMaster Metropolitan.


Smoke odors are an often-underestimated element of fire damage, but that doesn’t make it any less sinister. Without treatment, smoke odors can persist for years. However, our smoke odor removal technicians have the tools and expertise to treat smoke odors in your commercial building, especially when it comes to treating fireproofing material.


Our technicians are trained in treating porous spray-applied fireproofing present on deck assemblies, beams, and steel pillars in a building. If the fireproofing isn’t properly treated, it will continually release smoke odors long after the fire damage has been treated.


Choosing the Right Smoke Odor Removal Techniques


Normally, fire damage mitigation experts focus on contaminant removal to get rid of odors. When it comes to fireproofing materials, however, this isn’t the best technique as it would require the replacement of affected fireproofing and be cost prohibitive.


Options for Removing Smoke Odors


Our experts analyze various techniques to select the one that’ll be most effective. Different techniques include:


  • Dry Cleaning Techniques: One of the options is to use dry cleaning techniques like vacuuming, but our technicians avoid it since it proves to be only partially effective. Spray applied fireproofing is present in nooks and crannies where vacuuming cannot reach properly. As such, the material will continue to harbor and emit contaminants
  • Wet Cleaning: This method is avoided since wet cleaning can alter the thermal resistive properties of fireproofing. Additionally, if wetting permeates to the substrate level, it will compromise the bonding strength and necessitate replacement of the fireproofing
  • Sealer (Alcohol Based): Our fire damage remediation experts avoid using alcohol-based sealers such as shellac. The reason is that the solvents and alcohol present in these sealers can negatively affect fireproofing
  • Hydroxyl or Ozone Generators: Depending on the type of fire, we will use hydroxyl or ozone generators under a controlled environment to eliminate the smoke odors.


The technicians at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the required expertise, tools, and training to perform smoke odor removal on your Caldwell, NJ commercial building and fireproofing. Contact us at (855) 560-7999 for immediate 24/7/365 assistance.


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Choosing the Right Equipment for Storm Damage Cleanup Work in Chatham, NJ

September 6th, 2018 · No Comments

Storms in Chatham, NJ can cause serious damage to homes, including water damage from heavy rainfalls. If your home has experienced storm damage, it’s time to call the storm damage cleanup professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan. Relying on professionals will ensure your home is properly restored and avoid issues such as mold growth or structural damage.


Today, we’re going to look at how our storm damage cleanup technicians choose the right equipment to restore your home.


Choosing the Right Equipment for Storm Damage Cleanup


We utilize a wide variety of equipment for drying during storm damage cleanup. However, the types we use depends on the individual scenario. Let’s explore the details of what factors we consider for choosing the right equipment:

  • Power: When selecting any air mover or dehumidifier, we choose one that has higher Feet per Minute (FPM) or Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) value. The more air that moves through the dehumidifier, the more moisture is extracted from the air.
  • Low Amps: The more pieces of equipment used, the more quickly we can achieve results. However, this can take a lot of power. We try to use equipment with low amp requirements, so we can work without renting a generator.
  • Safety: Our storm damage cleanup technicians make sure all of our equipment has been tested by UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) and other organizations such as ETL (Intertek’s ETL SEMKO division) to ensure it’s safe to use.


Using Direct Heat


Direct heat applications can expedite drying time. For example, if the temperature of wet materials reaches about 125°f, the drying time is reduced from four and a half days to two days. Direct heat applications also help in reducing the relative humidity by almost 50% within 24 hours.


We also monitor air and surface temperature as well as analyze the moisture content, adjusting the heat accordingly to achieve the best results.


Heat Drying or Refrigerant Dehumidification


We understand the differences between refrigerant dehumidification and heat drying so the best method is chosen for situation.


For example, if evaporation occurs too rapidly without proper reduction in humidity through dehumidification, it can result in secondary damage.


The experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the experience, training, and equipment to ensure your Chatham, NJ home is properly restored after a storm. Don’t hesitate – call the storm damage cleanup experts at (855) 560-7999 for immediate assistance.

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How the Professionals Ensure Successful Disaster Restoration for Your West Orange, NJ, Home

September 5th, 2018 · No Comments

Natural disasters such as storms and floods in West Orange, NJ can cause massive amounts of damage to homes. If your home has suffered damage, it’s time to call the professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan for disaster restoration so your home can be expertly restored as soon as possible. Today, we’ll look into how our disaster restoration technicians ensure your home is successfully restored.


The Right Support Team

During catastrophic (CAT) loss scenarios, we have the expertise to set up an operation base for handling the logistics necessary to coordinate and organize restoration.

We take the necessary steps to support our disaster restoration technicians working in the field. The operation base we set up is used for handling aspects such as:

  • Subcontractor coordination
  • Meet transportation needs
  • Supply inventory
  • Look into manpower issues

This way we’re able to easily manage backstage work without any hindrances and carry out all the tasks in a very professional and organized manner.


Extensive Training & Continuing Education

Disaster scenarios are complex and there are a variety of factors to consider. Our technicians have the necessary training to manage all involved tasks such as:

  • Collect required information from a disaster site
  • Prepare required paperwork
  • Quickly complete estimation
  • Perform restoration work for a variety of scenarios

Our technicians also receive continuing education to ensure we’re at the forefront of technology and techniques, so we never lose our edge.


Manage Manpower

In CAT loss situations, locating dependable manpower can become difficult. After a natural disaster, it’s important that restoration is performed quickly, and without the necessary manpower, that’s not possible.

When required we make use of temporary labor but ensure they’re constantly guided by our in-house trained supervisor.

These supervisors have the needed training in CAT loss restoration work and are capable of monitoring aspects like adherence to protocols, implementation of quality control, and other required details.


Access to Advanced Equipment

Another good thing about ServiceMaster Metropolitan is that we have access to advanced equipment that makes the process of disaster restoration easier, such as:

  • Digital Equipment for Diagramming: Diagramming plays an important role in identification and measurement of damaged materials. The use of digital equipment helps our team accurately collect required measurements as well as properly capture image details
  • Thorough Inspection: We utilize advanced equipment to identify damaged building materials. Such extensive inspection work helps in avoiding future reinspection and additional work

As you can see, hiring a firm with the right experience, training, and resources is essential to disaster restoration and the recovery of your home.


ServiceMaster Metropolitan has the training, experience, and equipment to successfully restore your West Orange, NJ home after a disaster. Don’t leave the fate of your home to chance; let us help you recover. For immediate assistance, contact us at (855) 560-7999.

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Debunking Mold Removal Myths and Finding Professional Help in Livingston, NJ

August 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

Mold is a serious issue that can result in a variety of problems. For instance, mold can damage the structural integrity of your Livingston, NJ home and cause your belongings to deteriorate. If you suspect mold in your home, contact the experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan for mold removal.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding mold and mold removal. Here, examine the two of the most prevalent mold removal myth and debunk them!

Debunking Mold Removal Myths

Myth #1Bleach Kills Mold Present on any Type of Surface

You may think that splashing some bleach on mold will be enough to remove it. Our trained and experienced technicians know better. A majority of the retail bleach products available on the market aren’t effective for removing mold from porous surfaces.

When it comes to semi-porous and porous materials like drywall, ceiling tile, carpet, and wood, the bleach may not come into contact with the mold’s roots. This means the mold can easily grow back later.


Myth #2Dead Mold Doesn’t Cause Problems

Mold remains dormant until conditions become favorable for its regrowth. Even in its dormant condition, mold can release spores so it can reproduce and start reappearing when the moisture problem resurfaces.

This is just one of the many reasons it’s so important to find professional help for mold removal.


Training to Deal with Asbestos

Some mold scenarios come with added complications, such as the presence of lead based pain or asbestos.

Let’s look at an example to understand what our experts do when this type of problem is faced.

Suppose, during a storm, the roof of a house gets damaged and water gets into the living areas and attic. If there’s a delay in water damage restoration work, the water damaged insulation will facilitate mold growth in the attic.

The complexity of the work can increase if water travels all the way to the basement. The solution involves removal of surface materials from walls and ceilings of the affected areas.

Things will be further complicated if plaster contains asbestos or is covered with lead-based paint. Our experts will utilize their experience and select the most appropriate option to remove the surface material by creating a tightly controlled environment in all the rooms where the problem exists.

Experience is essential to effective mold removal work, and the technicians at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the training, certification, and equipment to deal with it to ensure the mold is safely removed and the underlying problem that caused it is fixed.

If you have concerns that your home may have a mold problem or need additional information on our other services, please give us a call today at (855) 560-7999.

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Using Air Movers Effectively During Water Damage Restoration in Short Hills, NJ

August 13th, 2018 · No Comments

Natural calamities such as floods can result in serious water damage to your Short Hills, NJ home. If your home has suffered water damage, it’s time to call the water damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan to restore your home quickly and effectively. By hiring professionals, you can prevent structural damage and mold growth.


One of the tools we use for effective water damage restoration are air movers to help with the drying process. However, if not careful, mistakes can be made that hinder drying. Today, we’re going to look at how our technicians use air movers properly and effectively.


The Drying Process and the Use of Air Movers in Water Damage Restoration


Drying needs to begin as soon as the water extraction is finished. However, an overly-aggressive approach to drying can actually do more harm than good. To determine the best strategy for drying, our water damage restoration technicians first examine the affected area, looking for:

Sewage – Sewage contains dangerous contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. If sewage contamination exists and air movers are used before the area is thoroughly sanitized, the air movers will easily spread the contamination to unaffected parts of your home.

Mold Growth – If water damage has been left too long, mold can begin to grow. If we find mold growth we’ll have to contain the area before using air movers, otherwise mold spores could spread throughout your home. If mold is present in your home, we’re capable of performing mold remediation to remove the mold and ensure it doesn’t return.

Too Much Clutter – If the affected area is cluttered with furniture and other items, drying, even with air movers, can be slowed down. If items in your home have been affected by water damage, we’ll move them to a secure, offsite location to restore them. This clears out the affected area and allows for it to be dried more efficiently. Once we’ve made the area safe for drying, we utilize our industrial grade air movers to help dry the area as quickly as possible.


Relying on their expertise and training, our water damage restoration technicians can restore your Short Hills, NJ home quickly and effectively. We’re available 24/7/365, so help is always just a phone call away. For immediate assistance, contact ServiceMaster Metropolitan at (855) 560-7999.


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Using the Latest Technology for Smoke Odor Removal in Paramus, NJ

August 13th, 2018 · No Comments

When a fire devastates a home in Paramus, NJ, we often think of the damage caused by the flames. However, smoke odor is also a persistent and destructive element of fire damage. However, with help from professional fire damage and smoke odor removal professionals, your home can be restored and free of smoke odor once again. The professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan not only have the training and expertise to perform effective smoke odor removal, but also the latest technology. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the equipment we use for smoke odor removal!



Various chemical compounds like hydrogen peroxide can be used as oxidizers to break down odor molecules. We often use these oxidizers which can penetrate deep into materials, such as wood, to break apart the smoke odor molecules, effectively removing the smoke odor.


Hydroxyl Generators

While oxidizers can present some safety concerns, hydroxyl generators are safe to use in occupied areas and quickly eliminates odors. This means you’re able to stay in your home while smoke odor removal is performed.


Odor Counteractants

Odor counteractants change, mask, or cover smoke odors. They can be mixed with cleaning solutions, applied directly over a surface, or fogged. These counteractants either break apart or bind with odor molecules to neutralize their effect.



Fogging is exactly what it sounds like. We use a specialized fog that’s able to permeate throughout the home into otherwise inaccessible areas such as behind walls and under flooring. Depending on the odor in the home, we use either thermal fogging (hot) or ULV fogging (cold).



For permanent odor control, we use sealants. This keeps the smoke odor molecules from traveling onto another surface after work is completed.


Chlorine Dioxide

Our team stays at the forefront of technological advancements, including chlorine dioxide for complete smoke odor removal. Chlorine dioxide physically alters the chemical structure of an odor-causing compound’s molecules and provides effective odor control.


Also, exposure to daylight results in natural dissipation of chlorine dioxide. This means there are no harmful residues left over!


Chlorine dioxide in gaseous and liquid form means it can be used in different circumstances. For example, liquid chlorine dioxide can be sprayed over affected areas and, when in gas form, it can flow into hard-to-reach and hidden locations like HVAC systems and crawl spaces to eliminate odor molecules.


While our expertise and training are both essential to effective smoke odor removal, using advanced technology is also a priceless addition to our arsenal.


The professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the tools, training, and expertise to successfully restore your Paramus, NJ home and remove smoke odors after a fire. We’re available 24/7/365 to help. Just give us a call at (855) 560-7999 for immediate assistance.

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How We Tackle Storm Damage Cleanup in Mendham, NJ

July 20th, 2018 · No Comments

Storms can result in serious damage to your Mendham, NJ home. The best way to recover is to contact the storm damage cleanup professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan to ensure the cleanup and restoration is performed quickly and properly.

Our professionals are highly trained and experienced so we’re ready to tackle any storm damage cleanup scenario. No cleanup is the same and we often run into situations that test our abilities. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the complex scenarios we run into and how we resolve them!

 Floor Tiles and Asbestos

If our team finds that tack strips have been used for setting carpeting in place, they’ll continue the water extraction and drying process. Our experts understand this means there’s little risk of exposure should floor tiles under the carpet contain asbestos. In older homes it’s not uncommon to find tiles or laminate that contains asbestos.

However, if the carpet is glued down and hasn’t separated completely from the floor tiles beneath, it’s likely the tiles will lift up with the carpet when it’s removed.

For our technicians to remain safe, they’ll avoid lifting the carpet until they can confirm whether or not the tiles beneath contain asbestos and continue the water extraction and drying on a temporary basis to prevent the problem of mold growth on other surfaces.

Walls, Trim, and Lead Paint

Normally, dehumidifiers and floor fans won’t disturb surfaces containing lead paint, making them safe to use.

However, if the painted surfaces show signs of visible deterioration or flaking, to decrease the chance of exposure we won’t direct any air flow towards it.

Advanced Equipment and Bonded Surface Protectors

Access to Advanced Equipment

Our technicians use advanced equipment such as thermal imagers (also known as infrared cameras) to detect hidden water damage in your home. Thermal imagers are able to detect the temperature differences between dry and moist areas and reveal moisture behind walls, in the ceiling, or other hard to reach places. This helps us to identify problem areas and treat them.

This also helps homeowners, as they can see the storm damage cleanup progress for themselves.

Using Bonded Surface Protectors

Microbial growth can return to pre-treatment levels in just a few hours after a surface has been disinfected.

To prevent this, we apply a bonded surface protector (such as Biostat) after cleaning and disinfection. Bonded surface protectors create conditions that inhibit microbial growth to preventing them from recolonizing.

The professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan are here to help you recover with storm damage cleanup. We’re ready for any scenario and will return your Mendham, NJ home to its pre-loss condition quickly so you can get back to business as usual. For immediate assistance, 24/7/365, contact us at (855) 560-7999.

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