South Jersey Waterproofing insurance cover costs

7 Actions You Can Take
To Minimize Your Water Damage Losses,
Get Your Insurance Company to Pay for Repairs,
Save Time, Grief, and Save Thousands Out-of-Pocket…

Having a workable Contingency Plan ready
To deal with unexpected water intrusion
Is a vitally important First Step…

When a crisis hits, it’s only natural to panic – since you’ll usually find yourself in unfamiliar territory.

But, as professinally-trained emergency response teams have proven, being prepared can make all the difference in the ultimate outcome. Knowing all of your resources, as well as being able to take the right actions – calmly and quickly – should always be part of your plan.

And, whether you’ve got serious water leakage or flooding issues right now ‒ or you’re attempting to be proactive in the hopes of preventing them, the following 7 Action Steps are priceless.

Action 1 – Safety should always come first…

Mixing water and electricity is always dangerous, since it can cause shock and even death. If you experience basement or crawl space flooding, make sure your electrical appliances, fixtures, receptacles, or cords are not in contact with the water before you enter. And, above all, don’t plug anything in while you’re standing in or near the water.

Being smart and taking the right actions can keep you safe and free from injury. So, if you’re unsure about anything associated with the flooding, be sure to call your local fire department or emergency response team.

Action 2 – Pump, vacuum or clean up the water right away

If you leave flood water standing for even just a few hours – it can irreparably damage building materials, your furniture, appliances, your heating/cooling systems, your personal effects, etc. – and especially your peace-of-mind.

So, if you have a water leakage or flooding issue, be sure to pump out  the water as soon as you possibly can (or vacuum, bucket, or whatever it takes to get it out). Getting things dried out quickly can help prevent much of the potential damage, as well as helping prevent mold from developing. Taking quick action can save you literally thousands of dollars.

And, if you don’t have the equipment or capacity to clean up or pump the water out, you can always…
•  Call your local fire department or emergency response team
•  Call your insurance agent
•  Call Fenwick Building, Renovation & Waterproofing RIGHT NOW!

We have a ‘prompt-response’ water damage restoration division.

Call us RIGHT NOW at these numbers…

856.753.1570  •  609.601.9400  •  215.627.2224 

Action 3 – Dry everything out as quickly as possible…

Unfortunately, cleaning up or pumping the water out isn’t enough. When flooded, your rugs, carpet, drywall, and insulation can stay wet for a long time, which quickly creates the ideal environment for mold and bacteria damage.

You can help reduce the residual water and moisture even more by using commercial-grade fans and air movers, and installing a dehumidifier. In many cases, you may also need to use commercial-grade heater units.

You’ll need to implement any or all of these different ways to dry those soaked areas within the first 24 hours after a flood… but preferably much sooner.

You may need to dispose of soaked building materials, like drywall, wooden wall panels, structural wood (studs, etc.), insulation, stored items, carpet, or anything else that can hold water or moisture. You may need to cut openings in your partition walls to allow wall cavities to dry out. Remember, taking quick action can save you thousands in repair dollars later.

Action 4 – Check your sump pump, gutters & drains…

Sump pumps are designed to pump water out of the ‘sump’ in your basement (usually a 2-3 foot diameter concrete well casing or drain pipe, 3- 6 feet deep), where, due to the hydro-static pressure, water from a high water table will collect. So, knowing if you have a sump pump, and where it’s located is a good idea.

With storms and flooding, the ground around your foundation walls can become saturated, and subsequent storms or rain can aggravate the condition, or cause secondary flooding.

Since sump pumps are notorious for failing without warning, if you have one, make sure yours is always in good working order. Consider having a professional inspect your current system, and then have it inspect periodically going forward.

Have a look at your gutters – make sure they’re clean and free of debris.

Inspect your drains – Look for any evidence of clogging or backing up. These inspections are a kind of preventive maintenance that can offer quick fixes, help prevent repeat floods, and save you lots of time, money, inconvenience, and frustration.

Action 5 – Be sure you document everything…

If you experience flooding or water damage, will your insurance cover the repair costs? Is flooding or seepage a covered peril? Most homeowners don’t know if they’re covered, or, if they do have coverage, they’re not sure what’s covered, how much is covered (or the dollar value of the coverage).

If your home or building is flooded right now, it’s too late to worry about the insurance or to review your policy – since nows the time you should be in the highest, ‘quick action’ mode.

After you’ve ensured everyone’s safety, called your insurance broker and the fire department – it’s time to take action by taking pictures. Can’t find your camera? Use yPrintour smart phone – most take reasonable pictures (more than good enough for your purposes) – and you can take all the pictures necessary in only a few minutes.

If you have insurance coverage, these pictures will provide good evidence to document your loss. The insurance adjuster will need them – and anything else you can provide – to better process your potential claim. Quick action and good documentation provides proof, helps defend your claims, and can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket losses.

Action 6 – Call your insurance agent right away…

Since they’re experienced in flooding & water damage claims and the restoration process, a quick call to your insurance agent should give you answers to all your questions.

They should be able to tell you if you have coverage, and the extent of your coverage. But, sometimes facts or details are uncovered or discovered later, so it’s important to make sure you follow Action 5just in case.

A good agent should be helpful and sincere in dealing with your loss, your fears, and your frustrations. If your agent seems evasive or seemingly uncaring ‒ it may be time to start shopping for a new agent.

Remember ‒ a quick action call to your agent should get you back on course and headed in the right direction.

Action 7 – Review your insurance policy…

When was the last time you looked at, much less carefully reviewed your current insurance policy? Do you know what the term ‘endorsement’ refers to? ‘Contents’ coverage? Sump pump? Drains? ‘Sewer back-up?’

Do you have adequate protection or coverage? How about any clause that limits mold and fungi coverage? And, if you do have coverage, what the perils are covered, and what’s excluded? What are your limits and deductibles?

If you’re not sure, or even confused, you’re in good company. Most folks rely on their insurance agents to make sure they have adequate protection and coverage. Unfortunately, insurance agents are only human, and many have been known to miss, overlook, or leave out little details that could end up costing you lots and lots of money.

In fact, they might not even realize you have coverage for your loss.

Did you know you can usually add a sump, drains, and sewer back-up endorsement to your existing policy, usually for under $100? Having this added endorsement – if your sump pump fails – could cover thousands in water-related damage.

Similarly, adding a mold and fungi endorsement could pay for damage caused by, and the necessary mold and fungi treatment resulting from water intrusion.

And, if unpredictable weather patterns continue, and disastrous storms increase wouldn’t it be nice to know you have an insurance ‘life jacket’ just in case? Take action now – take the time to read your insurance policy. If there’s anything in it you don’t understand, get answers from your agent. Add coverage you think is necessary.

As a property owner, this may be the best advice you’ll ever receive.

As always ‒ Dedicated to providing you healthier living…

And that’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?

Jim & Mike Allen, Owners
Fenwick & TermiGuard Services

Water structural damage

When you’ve had water leaks, seepage or flooding…
Here are the actions to take when dealing
With the potential structural defects or failures it can cause…

Learn how water can compromise your foundation,
How to identify the problems, fix them,
And restore the strength & integrity of your home or building…
Once and for all…

Water, water, water!

It’s the disease (cause) of most symptoms (defects & structural issues) requiring repair in any home or building.

Collectively, water causes more damage and more costs than any other home or building issue… and it plays a major roll in foundation and footing defects, too.

If you suspect you have footing or foundation issues, you’ll want to read on…

When there’s water in your home (where it shouldn’t be)…

Over time, chronic water seeping into and through your foundation walls can cause them to deteriorate. Cinder block-based foundation walls are most susceptible because they’re fabricated with a porous, open-cell structure.  As water seeps through the porous block material, it fills the voids, slowly breaking down the components. The first evidence of this decomposition is when you can see white and/or grayish chalky stains (efflorescence) on the block surface.

Water can weaken your walls…

As your home or building settles, your foundation walls can develop stress cracks. The waterproofing materials on the outside of your foundation wall can then fail or separate, leaving the wall surface open to water intrusion. This water freezes and thaws with the seasons, making the cracks larger. When heavy rains or melting snow raises the groundwater level temporarily, or if the ground slopes toward your home instead of away from it, water will accumulate around the foundation, and hydrostatic pressure builds up.

Water always seeks the path of least resistance, so the pressure pushes it through any cracks, joints, or larger pores in the concrete or concrete blocks, and into your basement.

The hydrostatic pressure also applies force to the wall structure that can slowly (though it can sometimes do so quite quickly) cause structural failure. When you can see horizontal cracks opening along the mortar joints, and/or an inward leaning of your foundation wall, you’ve got evidence of advanced structural failure

If you can see it with your own eyes

Waterproofing_South_Jersey_block_wall_stair_step_cTake a good look at your foundation wall, sighting from one end down the length of it (preferably at the top). Note any indication inward bowing. the obvious evidence may be subtle, so look closely at the wall where the mortar joints around each block meet. If there’s a crack in the joint of an 1/8 of an inch, or more, it suggests a potentially serious issue.

As you look at the block and mortar joints more closely, note if any of the cracks have worked into a stair-step pattern. If yes, it could mean the water has also been slowly weakening the soil under your footing. It’s possible the soil was soft or not sufficiently compacted before the footing was poured. Of course, if it’s not a water-related issue, you’ll want to know that too.

It all starts outside your home…

As you continue examining your foundation, take a peek outside. There’s a good chance you’ll have issues with your drainage system – that means your gutters, downspouts, grading, and the drainage tiles on your foundation footings around your home or building. Do you clean your gutters regularly? Do your downspouts discharge the roof run-off properly away from your foundation walls? Are your underground drain tiles (they allow water to escape the foundation footings) clogged and/or backing up?

Does the landscape immediately around your home or building slope towards it… or away from it, as it should? Does your landscape design make it impossible for water to drain away from your foundation?

But, wait… did we miss anything inside?

If you have an existing, interior floor drain system and sump pump, is it working properly, or has it failed? Do you have drain tiles with and weeping holes to draw water away from the foundation footings? Where does your sump pump discharge? If it’s draining just outside your foundation wall, that’s a problem. Better go back outside and take a look.

So, what’s the fix now?

First, you’ll need to treat and cure the water ‘disease,’ right? And, that means correcting the water issues. But, you’ll also want to fortify your wall or properly support your footing. Time-tested construction, coupled with a little technology will do the trick. Whether it’s re-construction, rod and grout technique, I-beams or angle iron bracing, helical piles or under pinning… rest assured we’ll prescribe the right unique solution to solve your problem… permanently.

And, what does the future hold?

Everything requires on-going maintenance, and your home or property is no exception. After we’ve fortified your foundation and warranted it against failure, our annual Water Intrusion Inspection will to help identify and prevent any new, potential threats.

As always – Dedicated to providing you healthier living,

Jim & Mike Allen, Owners
TermiGuard Services & Fenwick

5 conditions essential for mold to grow

The top 5 indoor environmental conditions
Absolutely necessary for mold to grow & flourish
And what you can do about them…

With these easy remedies…
You can waterproof your home or building,
And leave the mold outdoors…
Where it belongs…

If you live in South Jersey, mold, treating mold,
and all the health issues associated with it, should be front-of-mind for you…

The thing is – mold is just about everywhere.

It’s all over your clothes, in and on your car, mold is on virtually everything at work and at home… and it’s mostly outdoors.

Mold plays an important role in nature ‒ and that’s to break down dead organic material, helping it decay – much the same role South Jersey Termites play.

When we keep mold outdoors, it’s relatively harmless. But, when mold grows or colonizes in a confined space ‒ like your home or building, to the point you can see and/or smell it – well, then it’s not so benign and harmless. Indoors, mold can cause allergic reactions, cold and flu-like symptoms, and it can lead to asthma, causing asthmatic attacks and other respiratory distress issues.

So how do we keep mold outdoors, and keep it from growing in our homes, our buildings or our workplaces?

If your answer for taming indoor mold involves controlling water…
You’re on the right track right!

Wherever you find ‘South Jersey mold’, there’s sure to be some kind of waterproofing issue that needs attention in your home or building. There’s more to controlling mold than just worrying about whether you might need a perimeter drain or a sump pump. In addition to sumps and drains, you might want to consider the challenges of controlling water or upgrading the waterproofing in your home or building from a few different perspectives.

Perspectives like ‒ dehumidification (a mechanical ventilation system to extract water vapor from the air and building materials, exhausting it from your home/building), or a vapor barrier (the plastic liner installed on the floors and walls in basements and crawl spaces to stop moisture being sucked from the earth, creating high-humidity conditions).

Just as water can cause serious damage to the foundation and footings of your home or buildings, the water vapor that comes from that water is detrimental to your indoor air quality and the structural building materials that make up your home or buildings.

So, just what are the Top 5 indoor environmental conditions
absolutely necessary for mold to grow and flourish?

Let’s take a look…

1 – Water – While it’s good for your body, water is awful for your home or building…

Every mold study identifies water (or moisture) as the prime requirement and causative agent for mold growth. Indeed, water is like a disease to any indoor environment.

Important fact – no water, no mold!  So, if you suspect you have a mold infestation, with absolute certainty, there’s a source of water ‘feeding’ it.

2 – Temperature – when it’s warm enough, mold will grow…

The magic temperature required for mold to grow is 50° Fahrenheit.

At 50° and up, mold spores can begin to grow and multiply on damp surfaces.

Admittedly, controlling the temperature isn’t the best way to prevent mold growth, but, if you suspect you have mold… it’s clear you’re providing the right temperature for it to grow, right now… or it’s occurred, along with water, along with the other three necessary conditions, of course.

3 – Moving Air – Since mold is a living, breathing organism, it needs air to survive and grow…

Much like our own bodies, mold needs air to live and grow. And moving, circulating air is almost everywhere. So, if you have mold, or suspect you do, remember to look for the source of moving air.

4 – Carbohydrates – Organic food is ‘gold’ for mold to grow…

Hopefully you’ve accepted that mold is a living, breathing organism, and that it has to have a source of water, the right temperature, and moving air to grow. But as a living organism, it also needs a source of food.

So if you think you may have mold… check to see if it’s growing on an some kind of organic surface (wood, cloth, paper, gypsum, glues, some silicones, etc.

5 – Seeing it and/or smelling it – the best detection tools – your eyes & nose…

This is perhaps the most obvious indicator, but it’s the one most people tend to forget or overlook. If you see anything that concerns you – or if you smell a musty, ‘mildewy’ odor – it’s a good sign you may have a mold issue

For a more in depth look at these conditions and to learn more about mold, visit our TermiGuard Mold Services website, dedicated to helping you eliminate your mold problems… once and for all.

Or, we invite you to read the complete, FREE Report

As always ‒ Dedicated to providing you healthier living,

Jim and Mike Allen, Owners
TermiGuard Services

How to eliminate water problems forever

Former Master Carpenter Reveals…
The Sensible, 5-Step Approach
To Eliminating Your Water Problems
And Create a Safe, Dry, “Water Free” Living Environment…

Read as a carpenter’s tale proves beneficial to
Philadelphia and South Jersey property owner’s
Who are experiencing water and flooding
In their basement or crawl space…

It was a hot and humid summer evening, and I was just home from a long, 12-hour day working in the sun. Don’t know if you’ve ever worked on a construction site, but it’s tough, physical, demanding work… and mentally exhausting, too.

And, like everyone, my job demands sometimes got the best of me.

As the skies darkened, thunderbolts roared, the rain literally came down in buckets… I was no mood for the unexpected. Water began pouring over my gutters like Niagara Falls, filling my garden beds and, most troubling, filling our outdoor basement storm entrance.

I couldn’t bail the water fast enough to keep up – and in no time – my basement was sloshing in water, lots of water. Turns out I didn’t have the right insurance coverage, so got nothing from insurance at all. And, as a young family, money was, to say the least… really tight.

I needed a waterproofing solution, and I needed it fast…

So, I searched the Internet, called in a few waterproofing contractors… and the rest, as they say, is history.

My search for a contractor was quite an experience. I heard it all… from contractors who…
   •  Didn’t bother to listen to my concerns – sure didn’t make me feel good about buying from or working with them.
  •  Never fully inspected or investigated my water issues – so, didn’t give me much confidence.
   •  Delivered a 3-hour, high-pressure, ‘won’t take no for an answer,’ sales pitch – which made me angry & defensive.
   •  Tried to sell me something I didn’t need – which made me question their motives and integrity.
   •  And every other trick in the book.

And of course, not having enough money to pay for anything any of them proposed… well let’s just say, my frustration levels skyrocketed.

To make a long story short, because I was a construction trades professional with years of experience doing building inspections, combined with a strong understanding of building and design, I ended up doing the job myself.

Unwittingly, I’d gotten myself into the waterproofing business…

I wanted to really understand waterproofing and make sure I was doing the right thing for my home and my family, so I did a lot of research, nosing around, and asking questions. I got to see lots of different waterproofing systems, from the very complex (loaded with gadgetry), to the most simple (purpose-driven) systems.

With that experience (and experience sometimes is the best teacher), we developed our “Sensible, 5-Step Approach to Managing Your Water Problems Forever: W-A-T-E-R.” And here’s how it works…

Step 1 – Water Intrusion Inspection…

Having inspected well over 16,000 homes, we know all to well, that water represents the most negative potential issues to your home or building. We also know our Water Intrusion Inspection is the most vital, first step to getting your problem area dry and keeping it that way.

Because if you don’t have a professional who knows what they’re doing fully investigate and identify the source of the water, you could end up spending a ton of your hard-earned money on so-called ‘fixes’ that have nothing to do with the real problem.

Is water finding its way into your basement because of drainage issues? Is your gutter system poorly designed or inadequate? And if, for example,  you’re looking for a preventive system because you’re thinking of finishing your basement, is the contractor (to ensure the proper design) looking at all of the ways you could and should be managing the rain water on your property?

The way your home or building was built has a significant bearing on what you can and should do, so it should be considered during the Water Intrusion Inspection. For example, are your foundation footings poured concrete or a rubble (stone) foundation base? Are your foundation walls cinder block or poured concrete? Is the floor in your crawl space exposed dirt, or is it poured concrete?

All of these and more will make a difference in terms of possible waterproofing solutions…

Step 2 – Articulate the findings…

While you don’t need to know all the specifics of how your home or building was constructed, you should get accurate information on how and where the troublesome water is actually getting in, and the best way(s) to fix and/or manage it.

And that information should be presented to you in a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand report.

Good, well-presented information should also give you details on how water damage can cost you thousands in repair bills, and do so in ‘free-from-scare-tactics’ lnaguage – yet still be chock-full of tested and proven facts, tips and fixes.

When explained well, you should gain an appreciation for simple engineering principles – like the dynamics of water and its effect on building materials, and the role your landscape plays in managing water and keeping it away from your home or building. In other words, we’ll tell you what our inspection found, provide sensible solutions, and deliver them in a no-BS report format.

Step 3 – Treat and cure the ‘disease’…

It’s typically true that if you treat the disease the symptoms will go away. And lets face it water is the ‘disease’  that causes most of the symptoms, including damaged building materials, cracked or bowed foundation walls, poor indoor air quality (resulting from the bacteria and mold it causes), and more.

So, getting the water issues dealt with the right way, right away – the first time – using tested, proven engineered designs and approaches is absolutely critical. Properly designed and installed systems using the most appropriate building materials (not necessarily the cheapest) are the least likely to clog, fail, or mis-perform.

For example, by installing the right sump basin and sump pump, each sized for your unique requirements, will allow the pump to operate reliably, and at optimum levels.

Not treating your water issues in the optimum way the first time, would be kinda’ like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound… it’s just not going to work very well or very long, is it?

Step 4 – Expense it…

Agreed, band-aids are cheap. But, as the old saying goes,“don’t be pennywise and a pound foolish.”  Remember – quality design, materials, and professional workmanship may cost a bit more in the short-term, but they can save you a bundle in unecessary service calls and repairs over time.

Unexpected water damage repairs not only hurt emotionally,
But can be really tough on your wallet, too…

Because we’ve experienced it ourselves, we’ve listened to our clients. Now, instead of dishing out (potentially) thousands of dollars from your savings, retirement account, equity line, or credit union… you can expense the necessary repairs, instead.

Through our “same-as-cash” or “0% interest loan payment” options, you can turn the potentially large waterproofing or mold repair bills into a manageable, monthly expense item. Even if you can pay for the project outright, why not use someone else’s money instead, with our true, “same-as-cash” option.

With cash flow problem-solving programs like these, you won’t have to worry about fees or costs. And, because approvals can can be given in as quickly as 10 minutes, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing your project will be done without delay.

Step 5 – Renewable Warranty…

When any solution has been designed and installed, it’ll usually include a decent warranty on the performance of the drain lines themselves. But what about the mechanical components used in the solution? A quality sump pump should come with at least a one year, manufacturer’s warranty… but what happens if the float happens to stick, or an electrical storm causes mechanical damage? Are you prepared to check periodically to make sure all the mechanical ‘thingies’ are working as they’re supposed to? Will your warranty cover the components?

Let’s face it, soil will settle, landscapers can (and do) make grading mistakes, patios will settle, and gutter systems will age (and begin to fail). And since you’re not likely an expert in water management, or dealing with water intrusion issues, wouldn’t it make sense if you could have a professional inspect your system for those issues on an on-going basis? To become a little proactive?

Everything requires on-going maintenance, and your home (or building) is certainly no exception. After we’ve fortified your foundation and warranted it not to fail, our annual Water Intrusion Inspection will to help identify and prevent any new, potential threats.

With our 1-year renewable warranty, you can rest-assured you’ll have a second set of eyes looking out for your property, on a regular basis… and if something should go wrong with the pump we’ve installed… we’ll replace it. Ask us for details.

So when flooding or chronic seepage threaten the health of your home or building, remember… “W-A-T-E-R: The Sensible, 5-Step Approach to Managing Your Water Problems Forever…”

And that’s worth thinking about, right?

As always – Dedicated to providing you healthier living,

Jim & Mike Allen, Owners
Fenwick & TermiGuard Services

Waterproofing Contractor You Can Trust

If you or someone you know are worried
About water leaks and the damage it can cause…

Don’t let high-pressure salespeople & scare tactics
Influence your waterproofing solution decision process…

Instead, look for someone with a common sense approach
To waterproofing solutions that will really work!
A professional who’ll listen to you and you can trust…
That’s who can solve your waterproofing problems

And save you time, money and grief, too – Guaranteed!

Dear Friend,

It’s early Monday morning, and the skies unleashed relentless wind and torrential rain in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas overnight. Going to the basement to dump dirty clothes into your washing machine, and what do you step into? Rainwater where you’d never expect to find it… your basement is flooded.

A heavy storm! A flooded basement! Now what are you going to do?

You know you’ll need professional help, so maybe you’ll fire up your computer and do a Google search for “Waterproofing Companies” hoping to find a quick and easy fix. Instead you find countless, look-alike websites, that bombard you with tons of questionable information and solutions.

Unfortunately, most of it is either way too technical, way too basic, way too sales-focused, totally misleading, way too conflicting… or just completely useless.

When faced with a flood crisis and water damage – it’s best to use some common sense…

You’ll certainly want to make good decisions, and you’ll certainly want to choose the right contractor. But even more importantly ‒ you’ll want to ensure you get what you need, instead getting what someone else wants to sell you.

I know when I’m shopping, I want clear, concise, easy-to-understand, useful information ‒ not fluff or a dumb sales pitch – and you probably feel the same way, too… right?

But, when it comes to flooding and water damage emergencies in your home or building…
How can you be sure you’ll get the help you really need?

We’ve designed the information you’ll find on this website to clear the clutter, cut to the chase, give you the tools you’ll need to make an informed decision, and provide you a sense of clarity ‒ all intended to let your common sense prevail over typical, knee-jerk, reactive, impulsive decisions.

The content here isn’t fancy, full of jargon, or overloaded with too much information. Rather, it’s net and to-the-point ‒ to help you solve your water problems…fast!

You’ll get what you want and deserve with Fenwick & TermiGuard Services… a reasonable solution.

It’s the least you should expect from any professional, isn’t it?

To deal effectively with your water leaks and flooding problems effectively…
Takes a different approach than the ‘other guys’…

With our initial inspection, we’ll determine whether all you really need are simple gutter and surface drainage improvements, or a complete, custom-designed drainage system to deal with your roof run-off issues.

Because you’ll want the problem fixed as soon as possible, finding out what’s causing your water leakage problems, and then giving you our recommendations to resolve them, along with an estimate for the work as quickly as possible… is a top priority.

And because emergencies like these ‒ and their repairs ‒ are almost always unexpected, catching you off-guard, we offer both ‘same-as-cash,’ and affordable, ‘0% interest, monthly loan payment solution,’ options too… just in case you need a bit of a life jacket.

What you can expect from us…

At Fenwick Building & Renovations, we’re homeowners, too ‒ and we’re embarrassed to admit ‒ we’ve had our fair share of ‘bad contractor horror stories,’ maybe just like yours. And, since we wanted to ensure we’d never, ever be guilty of being one of them, we developed our take-it-to-the-bank Customer Pledge.

With that in mind, here are the highlights of that pledge…

We Pledge to…
   •  Eliminate annoying contractor nightmares and frustrations
   •  Welcome and appreciate your business and provide a positive experience with realistic expectations
  •  Listen to you and ease your fears about your purchase decision and the solution we’ve proposed
   •  Provide genuine, down-to-earth, customer service, ‘holding your hand’ through each step of the process,
from our initial contact, through scheduling, building permits, final inspection, to follow-ups
   •  Respect you, your home (or building), and to treat it as if it were our own
   •  Behave professionally and courteously, and always dress as cleanly and neatly as the job allows
   •  Not to disrupt your daily activities any more than  the scope of our work with you requires.

Above all, we pledge to provide you with an effective, cost-effective, and permanent drainage/waterproofing solution.

That said, we hope to welcome you, your family, and your associates as Fenwick Building & Renovations and Waterproofing clients..

Dedicated to providing you healthier living,

Jim & Mike Allen, Owners
Fenwick & TermiGuard Services 

Burst water pipe, fallen trees, flooded basement – Are you covered?

If you had a burst water pipe, foundation cracks,
A flooded basement or any of a multitude of other
Water-based issues with your home or building…

Would you be covered?

If you’re like many home and property owners in South Jersey
The Jersey Shore, and even the Southeastern Pennsylvania & Philadelphia areas…
Memories of Hurricane Sandy, and the damage she left in her wake
Are still painfully present.

If Sandy – or other events beyond your control – victimized you, wouldn’t you want the damage repaired sooner rather than later, especially if the events were water-related?

Unfortunately, freak accidents, or other natural events do happen…

And damage caused by burst water pipes, roof damage from wind or falling trees
A fire, storms (or a hurricane) can be incredibly expensive to repair…
Especially if you don’t take care or them as soon as possible…

If any of these events were to happen to you, do you know if your current insurance would cover the the repair costs?

Being prepared well before you need to make a claim will save you time and money – but think of all the stress and grief you’ll avoid by dealing with issues like these in advance, instead of having to deal with them when you aren’t well prepared or covered…

Even though disasters typically happen when we least expect them, knowing what your insurance actually covers – and what actions you’ll need to take – will let you maintain control. That means you’ll still be in the driver’s seat.

Indeed, in most cases, turning to a professional you can trust to deal with the repairs will be solid first step in restoring your home to its original state, and in a complete and timely fashion.

It’s important you ask yourself these questions…

If I were to experience a burst water pipe over the weekend…
•  Could I get in touch with my insurance agent?
•  Would my insurance cover the damage repairs?
•  Do I know of a professional, reliable company that could take care of the problem and repairs?

Would my insurance coverage include things like…
  •  Sump & drain?
  •  Mold treatment & restoration?
  •  Contents coverage?
  •  A flood endorsement?

Would my service repair company…
  •  Have sufficient personnel to do the work right away?
  •  Know what claims insurance companies will or will not likely cover?
  •  Have the proper experience, expertise, systems, equipment, and procedures for getting
things done right – as well as quickly and completely?

•  Have the appropriate licenses/permits necessary to apply antimicrobial treatments and
understand how to handle & apply them safely?
  •  Know how to guide me through the claims process?

So… can you answer all these questions correctly?
If not, wouldn’t it be a good idea to start getting the answers?

All you’ll need to do is speak with the right people, including your…
  •  Insurance company
  •  Insurance agent
  •  Service & repair company (more specifically a waterproofing and damage restoration company), if you
already have one. If you don’t have one – maybe it’s time to start looking for a reliable one.

If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you get when you speak with them, it might be a good time to reconsider your options…

Because settling for just any coverage plan, or any service company could cost you big-time when it comes time for the fix up…

So, you wouldn’t want to settle for just ‘okay’ coverage when it comes to protecting one of your biggest investments, right?

You’d want to restore your home or building to its original state, wouldn’t you?

Recognize – Repairs (including the following) aren’t cheap, and they’re certainly not of the do-it-yourself variety. Repairs and/or clean up caused by…
  •  Fire damage
  •  Wind, storm & rain water damage
  •  Water & floodwater damage
  •  Hurricane/storm damage.

As well as the costs of ancillary services, including…
  •  Water damage rip-out/demolition
  •  Dry-out & dehumidification services
  •  Mold, bacteria & antimicrobial treatments (and return prevention programs).

Remember – Because it’s your property, your insurance policy, your claim, and your money – you can choose your insurance coverage, and the contractor to do the clean up and repairs…

So make sure you seek out a qualified, professional, and experienced contractor who will put your best interests (and those of your home or building) first.

Don’t wait for the unexpected to occur – take time to protect your investment, today.

Speak with the right folks, find the plan and the company that will best protect you.

Waterproofing & water intrusion prevention systems – How a sump pump works…

As home and property owners, we know you have plenty to deal with…
And understanding all the elements of a company’s waterproofing services
Probably isn’t at the top of your list…

However… No matter how busy you are, it’s still important to understand the basics of how the various systems installed in your home or building actually work.

You do want to understand how those systems are helping you protect your investment… don’t you?

For example – if you were thinking about installing a French drain system, in addition to choosing the right contractor to do the work, it would be important to…
  •  Understand how a French drain system works
  •  Be prepared for the scope of work, construction, and disruption involved to install one
  •  Know what maintenance you’ll be responsible for between planned contractor service visits.

Consider a sump pump…TermiGuard-Services-and-Fenwick-waterproofing-in-s

There may be instances where adding a sump pit and a sump pump may be all you need to control minor or seasonal water from getting into your basement or crawl space.

How the heck does a sump pump work, anyway?

Depending on the unique characteristics of your basement or crawl space, and the water table levels in your area, you’ll typically install your sump pump below the concrete floor or soil line.

You’ll install the basin in a sump pit or crock and surround it with clean gravel to let groundwater flow freely into it.

As water flows into the sump, the sump pump turns on. If you connect a perimeter, or French drain to the pit, the water from it will also flow into the basin. The sump pump then pumps the water up through the discharge pipe, to the outside of your home or building and away from the foundation.

Typically the discharge pipe will have a check valve (a one-way valve) located above the pump that keeps the water from flowing back into the pit.

There are two kinds of sump pumps, a pedestal sump pump (we don’t recommend these), and a submersible sump pump (we do recommend these)

Giving credit – TermiGuard Services and Fenwick recommend and use Zoeller® Submersible Sump Pumps. Manufactured in cast iron, they’re time-tested, reliable workhorses.


A sealed and waterproof submersible sump pump typically sits on a pump stand at the bottom of the basin, and includes a filter on the water intake valve to keep dirt and debris from getting inside.

A sump pump uses a float activator to turn it on/off. Think of it somewhat like the float inside the water tank on your toilet. Because the ball floats on the water, when you flush the toilet, the ball drops, opening the water valve to refill the tank.

It’s kinda the reverse with a sump pump in that as the sump pit fills, the water moves the float activator arm upwards – signaling the sump pump to turn on and start pumping water out of the sump pit.

While a submersible sump pump doesn’t require specialized wiring – and you can plug it into a standard household outlet – to prevent possible failure, you should always use a dedicated circuit.

You might want to consider adding a 12-hour battery back-up option to your sump pump set-up – especially if you lose power every now and then during our stormy season.

For better perspective, have a look at the sump pump diagram below…

So, what do you think? Easy as 1, 2, 3… right?

The sump pit fills with water, the sump pump turns on and pumps the water out – and you, my friend, have just added a critical waterproofing component to your basement or crawl space.

A final thought – You’ll need to maintain your sump pump system with regular checks (inspections) to make sure everything is working as it should – or you can choose to have a professional like TermiGuard Services & Fenwick take care of it for you.

By giving your sump pump set-up regular preventive maintenance attention, it’ll give you long and reliable service… but even with that attention, as with anything mechanical – it will eventually wear out and you’ll need to replace it.



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TermiGuard to announce new service – Crawl Space Encapsulation…

TermiGuard Services is happy to announce our new Crawl Space Encapsulation and Services division – Crawl-Space Rx

Crawl Space Rx will be up and running in the weeks to come, serving the South Jersey, Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania areas.

Says owner Jim Allen, “Crawl space encapsulation and related crawl space work fits nicely with our family of home improvement services and reinforces our commitment to providing home and building owners healthier living.

“A significant number of South Jersey and Shore homes are built over crawl spaces… and we’ve been getting calls from homeowners looking to preserve their investment, save money, and protect the health of their family members.

“Needless to say, we’re excited about Crawl-Space Rx” Allen enthused.

Keep your eyes peeled for our official opening announcement.

But until then… here’s a little information about crawl spaces…

Chances are, you’re among the estimated 82 million people who have a crawl space in your home? And if you are, here’s something to consider…

The majority of crawl spaces are, or have been constructed with built-in vents – which are meant to allow the outside air to move into the crawl space.

This is a typical building code practice – and for the longest time, builders and contractors thought these vents were necessary to help ventilate inside air and keep it circulating – almost as if that ventilation was going to keep the air inside your crawl space… ‘fresh’ let’s say.

What they didn’t know…

In our area, the last thing crawl space vents do is keep the inside air fresh. In fact, enclosing a crawl space provides a wide range of benefits to you, your health, and your home!

Depending on the service that works best for your home – we’ll enclose the entire area of your crawl space, creating a controllable environment for both air and moisture.

Whether it’s sealing vents, sealing your foundation or floor joist cracks, insulating walls or pipes, or even laying down a durable a vapor barrier, we’re sure we’ll have a solution for the unique needs of your crawl space.

Not all crawl spaces are created equal… so why’s this necessary?

Truth be told – an open-vented crawl space system can cause many problems to the structural elements of your crawl space – and ultimately your home – because vented crawl spaces allow moisture to come in, whether or not it’s needed.

And even if you don’t have vents in your crawl space – if it isn’t controlled or conditioned – moisture will still find its way in, and with it can come a slew of other, unwanted problems, like…
  •  Mold growth
  •  Wood rot
  Insect & pest damage
  •  Damp, even moisture-laden insulation (making it ineffective, possibly causing it to sag or even fall out).

With excess moisture in your crawl space, your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems have to work overtime to balance temperature and humidity levels – meaning increased energy costs.

So moisture seems to be the problem… but where does it come from?

Moisture in your crawl space will typically come from one or more of these sources…
  •  The outside air – that’s why we’re not fans of vented crawl spaces
•  The ground – even if you don’t have a vented crawl space, the ground can still be a main source of
  •  Your foundation – maybe you’ve noticed moist cinder blocks or concrete foundation walls?

Just the facts, ma’am…

As you can see – there’s something to be said for enclosing, or encapsulating your crawl space. Doing so can not only help you reduce your energy costs, it can also reduce structural damage repairs in the future, and even personal health issues as well.

Not only will our Crawl-Space Rx professionals turn your crawl space into a controlled environment by preventing future moisture problems, but they’ll will examine and resolve your water intrusion or moisture issues before they even start the encapsulation process.

Remember – At TermiGuard Service & Fenwick we won’t just treat the symptoms – we’ll identify their causes and resolve them.

And by doing that up front, we’re heading off future problems for you… and that’ll save you money and grief now, and in the long run…

When was the last time you took a good look at your crawl space?

Now might be the time!

We’re ready and standing by…

So… be sure to watch for our official announcement as we launch our new Crawl-Space Rx service in the weeks to come.

Questions about Crawl-Space Rx?

Give us a call at one of the numbers below – TODAY! 

Water in your basement or crawl space? Do you need a “French” drain?

It goes without saying, we’ve got no control of the weather – but, we can control how we deal with it.

You might notice water in your basement after rain storms. Maybe you’re flooding from water intrusion, or maybe you notice the less obvious – seepage or water stains at the base of your basement or crawl space foundation walls.

After noticing it, you probably asked yourself, ‘How’s the water getting in’?

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

The bad news – if water found its way in once… it’ll find its way in again!

The good news – there’s a solution for your problem and it’ll help prevent future water intrusion and damage, too!

It’s called a “French” drain…

Vous ne parlez pas français? Pas de problème!

Translation – Don’t speak French? No problem!

You don’t need to speak French to understand how this drainage system works… it didn’t even originate in France! Phe-e-e-w!

(It was actually after a farmer in Massachusetts – his name? Henry French – now there’s a knee slapper for ya’!)

So sit back and let us do all the explaining…

Check for signs of surface water problems…

Give the outside areas of your home a quick inspection – preferably during, or just after a rain storm.

Here are a few things you’ll want to look for while walking around your South Jersey home…
  •  A ‘negative grade’ in the ground around the foundation of your home – This means the ground slopes
toward your basement or crawl space foundation wall, rather than away – and a negative grade
will guide water directly toward your foundation
  •  Spongy ground or even standing water close to your home or foundation – areas where
the ground
is overly saturated or there are visible puddles of water
  •  Clogged drain spouts and/or gutters.

If you notice any of these symptoms, along with water intrusion in your basement, it may be time to do something about it.

So, just what does the French drain do?

If water collects next to the foundation of your home or building, it needs to go somewhere – and so, down, down, down it goes!

Water will find its way into foundation cracks, leaving you with a flooded basement, water-stained walls, or other water-seepage issues. Since there’s no changing the fact that water flows downward, you’ll need a solution installed and ready when that water starts seepin’ on down.

The main goal of the French drain (aka – perimeter drain) is to drain the seeping water, pump it out of your basement and keep things nice and dry – the way they should be!

What’s involved with the installation process?

We can install the drainage system around the foundation of your home in 2 ways…
  •  We can excavate a trench around the exterior perimeter (positive side) of your basement or
crawl space foundation wall
down to the footing, install the French or perimeter drain around
the exposed foundation wall just above the footing – then we’d carefully backfill the trench to
its original level.

  •  We can remove a section of the concrete slab floor around the interior perimeter (negative side) of
your basement or crawl space foundation wall, excavate the rubble underneath down to the
footing, install the French or perimeter drain just to the inside edge/face of  the footing – then
we’d backfill the excavation to its original level,and repair the floor with new concrete.

We like to call it our ‘sandwich method…’

For both options above we use a special system of fabric layering. Think of it as kinda like your good ole’ Jersey hoagie! Just as a hoagie roll protects all the goodies inside, our filtration fabric protects those French drain goodies, keeps ‘em in place and ensures the drains will function as they should for years to come.

Whether it’s in an interior and exterior perimeter drain solution, as water collects in the drain over time – your sump pump will pull the water out of the drain – pumping it up, out, and away from the foundation of your home.

‘Experience’ is life’s way of educating you…

If you read our last blog (about the problems Gram had with her basement flooding) you know in these kinds of situations ‘getting around to it later’ isn’t a great option. Take it from the South Jersey water intrusion professionals – we’ve seen too many people put off dealing with water intrusion issues – especially in the basement – for way too long!

You don’t want to have the same problems Gram had… right?!

If you suspect you’ve got a problem – get it taken care of sooner than later.

Check out our hand-drawn basement diagrams (below) to see how these drains work…





Click on either of these images for full-sized, printable versions
(because these files are a bit large, it could take 30-45 seconds for them to appear)




Remember Grandmas Basement?

I remember my younger, innocent years (nostalgic sigh goes here)…

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents back then – and if your grandparents were anything like mine – they were always telling stories, chock-full of life lessons. There were even books like that… “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “Little Red Riding Hood” each featuring a moral, or lessons to be learned.

My Gram always told stories like those, too (still does, actually).

But now it’s my turn to offer one with a moral

In those days, I was always playing in Gram’s basement with my sister and our cousins. Gram had so much neat ‘stuff’ down there for us to get into.

Old clothes for dress-up, old hockey sticks to slap around, a rickety, old ping pong table, strange books, stacks of old magazines, and other collected ‘thingies’ long-retired – which we could bring to life and dream up new uses for.

I remember there was always an odd, sorta funny smell down there, too. But, I thought it was just how all old basements smelled.

In fact, it was a musty, damp, disgusting, and totally unnatural smell – because what I’d actually been smelling all those years – was mold.

We get a lot of rain in the South Jersey area, and Gram’s basement would flood with every storm. She’d spread newspapers on the floor to sop it up. Since there weren’t many effective waterproofing solutions in those days, she’d repeat this routine with every rain storm.

Gram must have known she had a mold problem… right?

How could she not?
  •  Maybe she just didn’t want to face the issue
  •  Maybe she just didn’t know that water getting into her home where it wasn’t supposed to be was causing the mold
  •  Maybe she didn’t wanna ‘foot the bill’ to hire a water intrusion professional?

Or maybe she really didn’t know she had a problem

Gram’s home had contracted a disease and mold growth was a symptom of it.

What disease? WATER!

Years of water intrusion (in her case, it was basement flooding), had started with improperly designed gutters & downspouts, clogged underground gutter drains, and a negative grade on the ground around her home (it had pitched back and settled, sloping toward her home, guiding rainwater directly to her foundation and into her basement).

Through our home services company, we’d even offered to deal with it for her, but the ‘fish weren’t biting…’

That is, until the storm of the century hit!

All of that ‘stuff we’d played with as kids was ruined, family memorabilia destroyed and lost… and the mold had taken over more than ever before.

It was only then she realized how bad her problem had become, and she finally took action and called us for help (Note – she hasn’t had flooding or mold issues since – and yes, she got the family discount)

Ever seen the Direct TV commercials where things spiral out of control, because the poor guy (or gal) hadn’t gotten around to switching to Direct TV? Some of them are actually quite hysterical…

Anyhoo, along those lines, here’s something to consider…

When you’re feeling lazy, you may just sit on your couch, eating chips all day

And if you do, you might put-off, or forget about cleaning your roof gutters & spouts

When you don’t clean your roof gutters & spouts, your basement might flood

When your basement floods, mold may begin to grow

When mold grows, your house will begin to smell

When the smell becomes unpleasant, nobody will want to come to dinner

And when nobody wants to come to dinner, you’ll end up eating alone!

The Moral?

You don’t have to eat alone! Have your problems taken care of – call the TermiGuard Services & Fenwick professionals at one of the numbers below TODAY!



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