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Damage Control After a Sewage Backup

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor Sewer backup after a storm in Burlington, MA.

After a Sewage Backup, Damage Control

Have you had a sewer backup after a storm in Burlington, MA? You may want to take care of the problem on your own, but this type of water damage requires the knowledge of a storm damage cleanup expert. If the professionals can't get there right away, you may need to start on the damage control on your own.

1. Remove Contents

Sewage soaked flooring, furniture and other content items should be thrown out as soon as possible. However, you can even remove undamaged items from your home to ensure they remain in good condition. If you leave your belongings in the home, the flooding damage may spread throughout all of your possessions.

2. Stop the Water

You can't always stop a sewer backup because it may be caused by excess rain. In some cases, however, you may be able to turn off the water to your home to stop the contaminated water from spreading into your space.

3. Air Out the Space

A bathtub backup can introduce a bad smell to your home. You can help control this odor by opening windows throughout the residence. Not only will this allow fresh air into your home, but it can also slow down mold growth because it reduces humidity and lets in sunlight.

4. Turn Off the HVAC

Whenever possible, you should turn off your HVAC system. This helps stop the spread of bacteria and other contaminants throughout your house. If you leave the HVAC on, the moving air can carry the spores and pollutants to the far reaches of your home.

5. Call for Help

Most sewage backups need to be addressed by a trained professional who can properly clean up after the flooding. Calling in a cleanup crew as soon as possible can help you reduce the amount of damage done to your house.

A sewer backup may be caused by faulty plumbing or bad weather. No matter the cause of your backup, taking quick actions can help you tackle damage control.

Tips for Fixing a Leaky Toilet

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a bathroom due to pipe blockageLeakage of water from a bathroom due to pipe blockage A leaking toilet can alter the course of your day.

Tips for Fixing a Leaky Toilet

A leaking toilet can alter the course of your day. It seems like such a small problem until it happens in your home. The good news is that a toilet is a fairly simple apparatus, so there are only so many things that can cause the leak. Here are some tips on locating the source of the leak and fixing it.

Simple Solutions

Your toilet leak may be a simple fix. Many toilet repair jobs do not involve actually removing the toilet but rather fixing one of the following problems:

  • Leaky supply line
  • Loose closet bolts
  • Malfunctioning shutoff valve
  • Condensation on the bowl

If you cannot fix these problems yourself, it is best to call a plumber in Woburn, MA, to fix it. Tackling a problem you're not equipped to handle is a surefire way of making it bigger, and then you will need water restoration specialists to fix your water damage.

Replacement Solutions

If the water looks like it's coming from the base of the leaking toilet and tightening the closet bolts doesn't resolve the issue, you probably need to remove the old toilet. The first thing you do is drain all the water out by pressing the handle after shutting the water off. Loosen the closet bolts that hold the toilet to the floor, and then gently rock it back and forth to loosen it so you can lift it away. Once it is removed, scrape the wax gasket off the flange. Apply a new wax gasket and press the toilet into it using your whole body weight. Tighten the closet bolts, reconnect the supply lines and turn the water back on.

A leaking toilet can have many causes, and each has its own solution. Whether you are simply tightening a bolt or replacing your old toilet with a new one, it's a good feeling to fix a leak before it causes a lot of water damage.

How To Safely Salvage Your Business After a Flood

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flood damage to a building in Burlington, MA.

How To Safely Salvage Your Business After a Flood

When a business sustains water damage, the cleanup process becomes a top priority. But as you begin to restore your flooded company, it’s important to observe established cleaning guidelines designed to protect you and your staff. By following a few simple precautions, you’ll ensure that your business in Burlington, MA, is up and running again safely after a flood event.

1. Invest in protective equipment. Standing floodwater can develop deadly bacteria in a matter of hours. To reduce the risk of infection, insist that anyone working in or around the water-damaged area wear goggles, knee-high rubber boots, waterproof coveralls, gloves and a face mask.

2. Practice good hygiene. Frequent, thorough hand washing is the first line of defense against waterborne illnesses. Any personal items that come into contact with floodwaters must be disinfected, and contaminated clothing should be washed in hot water and then taken to a reputable dry cleaning service.

3. Enlist professional help. It’s imperative to discover the source of damage to your flooded company so that future dangerous water events can be prevented. A reputable water damage expert can determine the best way to repair a broken pipe or leaking roof, allowing you to move forward knowing your business is secure.

4. Toss hazardous items. Anything inside your business that can’t be completely cleaned and dried within 48 hours is a potential breeding ground for mold and dangerous microorganisms. Remove high risk objects from the building and contact your insurance carrier for details on how to file a claim for the losses.

Cleaning up your flooded company after a catastrophic water event can feel overwhelming at first. But keeping a few basic safety guidelines in mind while you begin the restoration process will preserve the health of everyone who is working to rebuild your business. Take the cleaning process day by day, and soon you’ll be ready to reopen your doors to customers.

Can a Buildup of Lint Truly Cause a Dryer Fire?

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

hand removing lint from lint trap Pull the lint out with your hands in a matter of seconds to prevent a dryer fire.

It may seem like a myth, but a lint fire can occur if you’re not regularly cleaning out your dryer’s vent in Wilmington, MA. It’s a simple task that should only take a few extra minutes of your time, but it’s the kind of chore many homeowners forget about. If you’re concerned because you’re the owner of a dryer and you don’t want it to cause a fire that destroys your property, there are several steps you need to take.

Give Your Dryer the Attention It Needs

Once you use the dryer for a load of laundry, wait for the load to finish, take out your laundry, and then get in the habit of pulling the lint filter out to clean it. There are a few different ways to clean the filter to prevent a lint fire.

  • Pull off the lint with your hands.
  • Use a scrub brush to quickly scrub the filter clean.
  • Place the filter under cold water to wash away any dirt or debris.

Prevent Fires With Precautionary Measures

The easiest way to clean the filter to prevent a dryer fire is to simply pull the lint out with your hands in a matter of seconds. However, a more thorough cleaning may be needed when you’re washing certain items, such as heavy blankets and towels.

Although cleaning out the filter is the most important step, there are a few other things you’re going to need to do. You should check the vent pipe once a month. The pipe can and will get clogged if it’s not properly cleaned out. If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, hire help to ensure it gets done the right way.

When dealing with something as serious as a lint fire, it’s important to know what you need to do to avoid the fire altogether. Remember to clean out your dryer’s lint filter regularly and to clean the vent pipe each month in Wilmington, MA.

Flood Insurance and Your Basement FAQ

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Legs of a person standing o a wet carpet floor, couch, chairs and a white plastic trash bin. Concept of a wet basement Rainstorm damaged a basement in Winchester, MA

Flood Insurance and Your Basement FAQ

If you live in Winchester, MA, then you may be familiar with the worries cause by the possibility of a basement flood. There are a number of ways water can get into a basement but when it does many homeowners’ first question is “will my insurance cover this?” Insurance varies by plan and carrier, but here are some of the answers to many of the most common questions.

1. What is in Standard Coverage?

Most homeowners insurance coverage plans will cover the damage in a flooded area, but may not cover the source unless it was accidental damage that occurred suddenly. For example, they may help you replace your flooring if a washing machine hose breaks, but will not cover the replacement hose.

2. What is Not in My Coverage?

In some cases, damage caused by a basement flood may not fall under your homeowner's policy. This may occur when the water is from an outside source where the damage falls under a separate insurance plan, or in cases of negligence.

3. Will I Need a Separate Plan?

In some cases, you may want additional insurance coverage in addition to your homeowner's policy. These may include flood insurance to deal with water from acts of nature such as storms and water backup coverage from water that comes from outside water or sewage main.

4. What Can Be Done for My Flooded Basement?

In most cases, your insurance agent will be able to put you in contact with a professional service that deals with water damage and remediation. These professionals can help identify the source of the problem, and arrange proper cleanup procedures.

When dealing with a basement flood it’s important to know what is in your plan when contacting your insurance so you won’t be surprised. If you have questions your agent will be happy to help. They may also recommend a service to help with cleanup and remediation.

Three Tips for Dealing with Drain Clogs

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Clogged sink pipe Prevent a clogged drain in your home.

Tips for Dealing With Drain Clogs

Dealing with a clogged drain can happen to anyone. Food down the kitchen disposal, hair in the bath drain, or even just toothpaste buildup can lead to blockage in the pipes. If left untreated these clogs can lead to worse problems than just backed up water. Leakage or a pipe break could be the eventual result. Whether you’re in Wilmington, MA, and need help with a stopped pipe, or are looking for ways to help prevent clogs in the first place, these tips may be able to help.

1. Avoid the Drain Clog if Possible

There are a few things you can do to help avoid a stopped up pipe in the first place. Running water when you use your disposal can help flush and carry away the diced up food. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what gets flushed down your drains. Materials like grease or plaster can harden in the pipes and lead to clogging problems. A sink strainer can also be used to catch large items before they fall into the drain.

2. Use the Proper Tools

Once your drain is clogged the next step is to use the proper tools for the problem. In many cases, you can clean the trap or use a plunger. Many plumbers recommend drain cleaners for small clogs as well. However, for hard-to-reach or stubborn clogs, a drain snake may be your best option.

3. When in Doubt Call a Professional

If you’re not sure what the problem is or how to unclog it, your best bet is contacting a professional. They can assess your clog and take care of the situation before a pipe break occurs. If you do have leaking or broken pipes a water damage professional may be able to help.

If possible taking steps to prevent a clogged drain is preferable. However, knowing what tools to use for which type of clog can be just as important. Remember, when in doubt call a professional.

"Create a Water-Tight Building Envelope"

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Construction details - framing installing the roof truss system What is a building envelope?

Maintaining a healthy building is much easier when you've created a watertight building envelope. This means that your commercial building is safe from rain damage and the black mold that could result from water seeping into the walls and frame of the building. In fact, one of the top causes of premature structural weakness is the presence of moisture. Fortunately, you can keep water out of the envelope, even during a significant storm.

Begin by Understanding the Envelope

What is a building envelope? This line of defense plays many roles, including

• Defending against rain, hail, snow, ice, and other sources of moisture
• Diverting water to appropriate drainage areas
• Providing resistance to the exchange of heat and cold
• Supporting critical interior equipment and systems

Protect the Envelope From Water Infiltration

Three things have to happen for water to get past the exterior walls. These include the presence of water, some type of pressure forcing the water inward, and openings in the wall, such as cracks around windows or gaps between doors and the walls. If you can eliminate any of these factors, you'll prevent a lot of potential rain damage.

Overcome Common Problems

Leakage usually happens when mistakes are made during installation or because of a lack of appropriate maintenance. Eventually, bricks may become porous, mortar joints may crack, coping caps may lose their seals, and tiny openings may appear around doors and windows. It is a big task to reduce these areas of risk, but it is necessary to prevent significant rain damage when storms occur.

Take Protective Steps

In addition to regular inspections and ongoing repairs, you can protect your building from rain damage by adding water barriers such as sealants, installing sloping gutters, and improving drainage and ventilation around the property. You can also add secondary systems, such as through-wall flashing and damp-proofing treatments. If you're not sure where to start, schedule a professional inspection with water damage experts in Burlington, MA.

How Often Should I Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with the phrase REPLACE IT Replace your smoke alarm every ten years.

How Often Should You Replace a Smoke Alarm

There are many different types of smoke alarms installed in houses. For a long time, these were unchanging but now there are some new alarm units on the market. It’s time to evaluate your situation in Woburn, MA, for the proper alarm maintenance practices that are necessary to keep your family safe. How often should you replace a smoke alarm battery? It depends what you have, so here is a quick guide:

1. If you have a newer alarm, your battery may be good for ten years thanks to the use of newer lithium batteries.

2. If you have a of the classic smoke detector, make sure to change the battery every year.

3. For any smoke alarm, make sure you replace the whole unit every ten years.

Did you catch that? That’s right: change out the whole alarm unit every ten years, not just the batteries. Check the manufacturing date on the back of your existing smoke detector to see when it’s time to trade in for a newer model. No matter which type of unit you have, test it monthly.

While you are testing units and replacing batteries, it’s a good time to make sure you have alarms located in the right places. Did you realize current safety recommendations include having a smoke alarm inside every bedroom, one outside each sleeping area, and one on every floor of your house? It really is not excessive because you only have minutes to exit your home in the case of a fire, and those alarms can give you the early warning time you need, especially when you are sleeping.

Getting out of your house early can save lives, but you still may have some smoke or fire damage to contend with. When looking for someone to help with fire recovery, you need a professional team with the training and experience to handle all aspects of recovery, from mitigation to restoration.

Five Tips To Protect Your Property After a Fire

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Doors and windows of a building boarded Board your building to reduce the likelihood of looting or vandalism.

Five Ways to Keep Your Property Safe After a Fire

Even though the financial impact of commercial fires is not too steep, fire damage can still cause major disruption to Winchester, MA, businesses. Insurance coverage is designed to help you recover losses from the fire, but you bear the responsibility of preventing additional damage and loss after the fire. Consider taking these steps to protect your property.

1. Cover openings. The process of putting out a fire can involve creating openings in a roof and breaking windows to ensure that nothing is missed. Roofs can be covered temporarily with tarps, and broken windows can be boarded to reduce the likelihood of looting, vandalism or additional water damage. A professional fire remediation and restoration company can help you with these tasks.

2. Secure doors. If doors are intact and the locks work, use them. You can also install the type of lockbox that realtors use. If you do, be sure to choose the code yourself since reusing a code may allow entry by unauthorized persons. If there are any windows that weren’t damaged by the fire, make sure that they are locked.

3. Restrict access. Consider installing a temporary fence around the property, especially if the property will be unoccupied. If a garage is part of the structure, you can add clamps that prevent the door from opening.

4. Reduce signs of vacancy. Stop or redirect delivery of newspapers and packages. You can also easily change your mailing address by going online.

5. Be vigilant. Make observing your surroundings a part of your routine and take note of anything out of the ordinary. If the premises will be unoccupied, make sure that local authorities are aware so that they can increase their presence in the area.

You can reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for fire cleanup by taking these steps to prevent additional damage or loss after the fire. The services of a Winchester, MA, fire remediation and restoration company can help you accomplish this without incurring extra costs.

When Laundry Becomes a Fiery Nightmare

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard. Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent a fire hazard.

One of the worst nightmares for homeowners is a fire. Almost everyone knows to clean the lint trap after a load of laundry, but how many people know to clean the dryer exhaust vent, let alone know that accumulated lint in the exhaust vent can lead to a lint fire? According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number one reason for a dryer fire is when routine cleaning is neglected. In the case of fire damage, just remember there are professionals with specialized training who can help restore your home in Burlington, MA. Nevertheless, routine cleaning will minimize the chances of a fire.

5 Easy Steps for Cleaning the Clothes Dryer Exhaust Vent

Following the dryer manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines is a good place to start in keeping a lint fire from becoming a reality. If you have misplaced or lost the manufacturer’s book, these steps will assist you:

1. Unplug the clothes dryer from the outlet.

2. Disconnect the exhaust hose from both the clothes dryer and the wall. You may need to move the dryer from the wall for easy access.

3. Using a clean cloth, wipe any lint residue from the outside of the hose. With your vacuum attachment, clean the inside of the exhaust hose.

4. Use a vacuum or dryer lint kit to clean inside the wall vent.

5. After a thorough cleaning, reattach the exhaust hose to both the dryer and the wall – be sure to firmly secure the hose clamps.

6. Clean the exterior vent by first removing the cover. Ensure the cover and interior are free of lint buildup, and then replace the cover.

An added reminder when cleaning your lint traps (after every load of laundry) is to check the interior for lint that escaped the trap. This can be accomplished easily with a lint brush. The concerns of a lint fire are real, but sticking to a routine cleaning regime will lessen your chances of fire damage and help you to sleep without nightmares.