ServiceMaster Metropolitan | News & Tips

How Fire Damage Cleanup Professionals Treat Wood in Hackensack, NJ Homes

December 10th, 2018 · No Comments

Fires leave behind destruction, smoke odor, soot residue, and more. You feel devastated, but help is available. The fire damage cleanup professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan are trained in a variety of fire damage scenarios so you can trust that your Hackensack, NJ home will be quickly restored to its pre-loss condition.


Today, we’re going to look at how our fire damage cleanup technicians restore the wood surfaces in your home that have been affected by fire.


Complexities of Fire Damage Cleanup


An electrical fire in a wood-built home creates a unique challenge for fire damage cleanup professionals. A few of the complexities we face include:

  • Removal of smoke odors while preserving the beautiful wood present in your home
  • If we find that other areas of the home were unaffected by the flames, we’ll only have to treat the smoke damage in those areas
  • If wood in the home gets too wet, it can result in mold growth and irregular staining. Additionally, if wood dries too fast, it can crack or split
  • We clean the smoke and dirt from all imperfections and cracks present in the wood
  • We’ll determine if smoke particles have seeped into the insulation and exterior walls. To do this, we’ll have to remove planks from each room to test for soot residues
  • Tests to check if smoke particles have traveled into wall cavities will be performed. For this, our experts remove the sheetrock in some areas to examine it


The Cleaning Procedure


If the fire damage is significant enough, our team performs soda blasting and replaces all HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.


Additionally, we use highly compressed air on different surfaces to dislodge smoke and dust particles. Our fire damage cleanup technicians also use air scrubbers to capture and remove smoke particles.


Next, our team uses water and specialized chemicals to clean the unfinished and seasoned wood. Our experts also create a catch basin to collect the residual chemicals and water to safely pump the waste from the home. This can result in elevated humidity in the home. To prevent this from warping the wood or causing other issues, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity.


Once we’ve completed the fire damage cleanup, we apply wood encapsulation to protect wooden surfaces.


Saving the wood in your home after a fire requires the expertise of fire damage cleanup technicians. The experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the training and tools to restore your home to its pre-loss condition, and we’re available 24/7/365. For quick assistance in Hackensack, NJ, and all of northern New Jersey, contact us immediately at (855) 560-7999!

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Top 5 Myths About Mold & Mold Removal in Fairfield, NJ, Busted!

November 16th, 2018 · No Comments

When it comes to mold, there’s no shortage of misinformation. Whether or not you’ve had a mold problem in your Fairfield, NJ, home, it’s important to know the truth about mold and mold removal. Today, the mold removal experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan are going to bust some of the most common mold myths!

  1. Your Home Can be Mold Free: While most of us think of mold as a destructive nuisance that ruins our food, it’s actually a natural part of the environment. Mold spores freely float through the air and aren’t usually an issue. The idea of removing every mold spore from your home would be nearly impossible and unnecessary.
  2. Mold isn’t Harmful: This may seem to contradict what we’ve just said, but like most things, when found in high quantities mold can be harmful and destructive. While mold spores float through the air all the time, when they take root and begin to grow into large, visible colonies, you have a problem. Mold can cause health issues and destroy the surfaces it grows on.
  3. You can Clean Mold with Bleach: While bleach does kill some types of mold, it doesn’t remove it. Bleach can also harm the surface your treating. When it comes to mold remediation, removal is also important. Just because the mold is dead doesn’t mean the allergens it produces are inactive. If you find mold in your home, it’s important to call the mold removal experts.
  4. Small Amounts of Mold are No Problem: Where there’s smoke there’s fire and if you find a small mold colony in your home, there’s probably more hiding where you can’t see. Mold can easily grow in your walls and ceilings, slowly destroying your home.
  5. You can Perform Mold Removal Yourself: Mold is resilient and will continue to come back if not properly treated. That’s why it’s important to call the mold removal professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan for all your mold removal needs. We’ll identify the areas where mold is growing and use our expertise and industrial grade equipment to remove the mold colonies and prevent them from returning.

Don’t waste time and energy trying to tackle mold in your Fairfield, NJ, home yourself. Trust the mold removal experts to get the job done right the first time. ServiceMaster Metropolitan has been helping home and businessowners of Fairfield and beyond recover from disaster for years and we can help you too. For immediate assistance, contact us at (855) 560-7999!

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Removing Smoke Odors from Your Edgewater, NJ Home with Deodorizing Solutions

November 9th, 2018 · No Comments

A fire is a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and whatever the cause may be, it can devastate your Edgewater, NJ home at any time. Recovery is possible with the help of the fire damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan. We can treat fire, smoke, and soot damage and rebuild the parts of your home which have been destroyed.

Today, we’re going to look at how our restoration technicians effectively remove smoke odors from your home using deodorizing solutions.


Removing Odors with Deodorizing Solutions

Smoke odors may not seem like a serious issue, but they can persist for years, even after a small fire. Our trained fire damage restoration technicians have access to industrial grade deodorizing solutions to safely and effectively remove smoke odors from your home. Deodorizing solutions which are too saturated can damage your furnishings. Using lighter and repetitive applications is much more effective.


Managing Air Currents

Proper distribution of deodorizing solutions can be impaired by air currents in the affected area. When air currents prevent even distribution, some areas won’t be treated, leaving pockets of persisting smoke odors.

To manage air currents, we close off air current paths such as vents, doors, and windows. This creates a static environment in which we can effectively use deodorizing sprays.


Choosing the Right Equipment

If smoke odors remain in any corner of your home, you’ll continue to smell them for years to come. That’s why we use cold fogging equipment. The deodorizing fog generated by this equipment can reach otherwise inaccessible areas, allowing us to completely eliminate any lingering smoke odors.


Removing Smoke Particles

Smoke is actually made up of tiny particles. They stack in layers, all of which need to be treated for effective smoke odor removal. To properly treat the lower layers, we need to expose the second layer of smoke particles after the first round of spraying. We use portable blowers to remove the top layer of smoke particles that’s generating odors.

These layers can also form on textiles. To help dislodge them, we agitate items such as drapes, upholstery, and pillows, then spray them a second time to effectively remove the smoke odors.


Cleaning Masonry Surfaces

Masonry surfaces such as brick, stone, marble, and granite require special attention for smoke odor removal. There isn’t a single solution for masonry solutions, rather, each type needs to be analyzed by our technicians to determine the most effective way to clean them and remove smoke odors.

We check things like whether or not the surface has been sealed and how porous the material is. This way we can choose the cleaning product which will have the best results.

For example, field stone contains minerals which react with chemicals in certain products, causing discoloration. Knowing this helps us prevent additional damage to your home.

Removing smoke odors from your home isn’t a DIY project. It takes access to industrial grade equipment and cleaning solutions along with training and expertise in how to use them. The smoke odor removal and fire damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan are available to help you 24/7/365 so you can quickly recover your Edgewater, NJ home after a fire. Don’t wait. For immediate assistance, contact us at (855

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Combining Technology & Experience for More Efficient Storm Damage Cleanup in Clifton, NJ

November 7th, 2018 · No Comments

Storms tearing through Clifton, NJ can do serious damage to your home. Whether it be from flying debris, heavy rains, or high winds, when your home is damaged by a storm, it’s time to call in the storm damage cleanup professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan. Our highly trained technicians are prepared for any storm damage scenario you may be facing and available 24/7/365 to help restore your home to its pre-loss condition quickly.


Today, we’re going to look into how our technicians utilize technology and their training to maximize efficiency when performing storm damage cleanup.


Increasing Storm Damage Cleanup Efficiency


We understand the importance of accuracy in increasing the efficiency of storm damage cleanup.


We also understand that an inaccurate scope of work creates estimate discrepancies which then negatively impacts the work.


To avoid these problems we utilize the latest technological solutions for creating a precise scope of work, but that’s only where our use of advanced technology begins.

Using Advanced Technology in Storm Damage Cleanup


Before beginning storm damage cleanup, we perform a thorough inspection to create an estimate and action plan to guide the work.


Digital tools assist our team in creating detailed inspections that help the cleanup process go smoothly. Our inspections include:


  • Roofs: Roofs are one of the most commonly affected parts of the home after a storm. We utilize tools such as Xactimate® and EagleView® to accurately capture details of the roof. This way we can identify any damage to the roof and include it in our action plan to ensure it’s treated
  • Elevation Measurements: Technological solutions, like Spike®, also help our technicians take proper elevation measurements. This means we can take measurements of otherwise inaccessible areas using highly accurate laser measurements
  • Floor Plan Data: Using tools like Bosch to capture floor plan data helps us measure the affected square footage and create an accurate estimate using our Xactimate tool


Experienced Estimators


Our advanced technology would be meaningless without our experienced estimators. They have an intimate knowledge of different types of damage, restoration work, and training in using the technology, so they can provide an accurate estimate. Our estimators will work with your claims adjuster to ensure they have everything they need to approve the work.


For example, if your home was flooded by heavy rains, we estimate the expenditure on the equipment and time needed to completely dry out the home.


In our estimate we include other aspects of the storm damage cleanup costs, including:

  • Replacing damaged insulation and drywall
  • Removing carpets and replacing them


Our combination of experience and advanced technology helps us perform storm damage cleanup effectively and efficiently. If your Clifton, NJ, home has suffered storm damage, contact ServiceMaster Metropolitan at (855) 560-7999 for immediate assistance. We’re available 24/7/365 so we can be on site quickly to give you the excellent care and service you deserve.

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Mold Removal in Wayne, NJ That Keeps Mold from Returning

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments

Mold in your Wayne, NJ home is a serious problem that takes more than a splash of bleach to deal with. If you find mold infesting your home, it’s time to contact the mold removal professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan. Today, we’re going to take a look at how our technicians tackle mold removal correctly to ensure mold is removed and won’t come back.


Determining the Cause


Mold doesn’t occur for no reason, and if the cause isn’t addressed, it will return. Before beginning mold removal our experts identify the root cause of the problem, by asking:


  1. Why is there excess moisture in a certain area?
  2. Why isn’t the excess moisture being removed?
  3. Was there any water damage present before?
  4. What environmental factors are contributing to the mold growth?


We’ll also be on the lookout for common issues that can result in mold growth, including:


  • Moisture trapped between the vapor barrier and home’s outer layer
  • Improperly set supply air that’s causing moisture or negative pressure issues
  • Problems with the HVAC system


Once we identify the cause of the mold growth we can resolve it and prevent the mold from returning.


Thorough Mold Removal with You in Mind


Mold removal is only effective if the mold colonies are completely eradicated. To ensure the work is effective and as easy on you as possible, we create an action plan that outlines every part of the process. The action plan includes:


  1. Scheduling: We want to make sure we’re working with your schedule to ensure the mold removal can be completed as quickly as possible.
  2. Products: We let you know what chemicals we’re using in case any residents have allergies and so you’re aware. All of our cleaners and disinfectants adhere to EPA standards to have a lower environmental impact.
  3. After Care: We’ll provide you with any information we feel is important to help you prevent mold growth from reoccurring. For example, if the cause was an undetected leak, we’ll give you tips on detecting or preventing leaks in the future.


The mold removal professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan are here to help you not only remove mold from your home but also prevent it from coming back. For immediate assistance, please contact us at (855) 560-7999.

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4 Fire Damage Mitigation Steps Experts in the Upper East Side, NYC Take to Ensure Success

October 26th, 2018 · No Comments

Fire damage mitigation is essential after a fire to reduce further damage to your Upper East Side, NYC home. Today, we’re going to look at the steps the professionals at ServiceMaster Metropolitan take to ensure successful fire damage mitigation!



Step #1: The First Call – Evaluate Severity of Damage

When we receive your call, we respond right away. First, we try to collect as much information as possible to determine the type of fire damage scenario we’re dealing with.

Normally, our experts ask a few questions during their initial call to get a better idea of the severity of the damage. These questions include:

  • What caused the fire and when did it occurred?
  • Is there extensive soot in your home?
  • Has the fire penetrated throughout your home?
  • Has anyone already attempted cleanup?

By getting answers to these questions we’re able to develop a plan of action for proper fire damage mitigation.



Step #2: House Visit and Pretest

The next step is visiting your home and inspecting the fire damage and conducting a pretest.

After the inspection we’ll provide the paperwork you’ll have to fill out. These documents include:


  • Client information form
  • Authorization form so we can perform fire damage mitigation work at your home
  • Fire damage information form. This form will outline when the fire damage remediation work begins, the procedure we’ll be following, and the cleaning agents we’ll utilize


The fire damage information form will also detail items including important documents, jewelry, firearms, and heirlooms. This way our team will have record of specialty items that require special care during the mitigation process.



Step #3: Scoping and Estimation


Next, our technicians will be scoping the property to clearly outline what services we’ll be providing as part of the mitigation process.


The scoping will be used to develop an estimate and workorder.


Once you sign all the necessary documents, the fire damage mitigation work can begin.



Step #4: Fire Damage Mitigation Work


Finally, our experts will start and finish the restoration within the set time frame.


Once the fire damage mitigation is completed we’ll conduct a final walk through and inspection with you to ensure the work has been performed as specified. You will then sign a certificate of satisfaction if work has been performed as required.


The experts at ServiceMaster Metropolitan have the required expertise and training to conduct all processes and procedures required for thorough fire damage mitigation on your home in the Upper East Side. Just give us a call at (855) 560-7999 for immediate assistance!

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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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