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3 Methods of Preventing Mold Growth

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Old faucet (water tap) over sink in the bathroom. Dirt Bacteria. Hard water stain of soap and mold. Time to clean. Copy space Tiny drips from the faucet could lead to mold growth

Focus On These Three Steps

Fungus grows quickly, especially when placed in the right environment. The spores require three things: moisture, organic matter, and themselves. The reality is people cannot eliminate the organisms. They live everywhere--within the air and ground. Keeping them out is extremely hard. The key, then, to mold prevention is limiting water exposure. Without the liquid, the microbes are innocuous, leaving your place alone. Therefore, owners should prioritize maintaining a clean, dry space, free of dampness. Be proactive, focusing on these 3 steps.

1. Immediately Fix Plumbing Issues
Tiny drips from the faucet could lead to mold growth, especially if they go unnoticed or unattended. Be careful to inspect plumbing regularly, paying attention to water rings, buildup, and rust. If any of this is noticed, contact specialists to make repairs. Periodically, walk through your home, paying attention to the walls, floors and ceiling. Notice any changes in color, spotting or odor. In addition, you may want to have an annual inspection, ensuring that everything works properly.

2. Run the HVAC System
Another major component of your mold prevention is running the air conditioner. The unit works to pull out humidity, maintaining a cool environment. As it extracts the excess fluid, the spores have limited food, inhibiting their growth. Have the device tuned twice a year, and, if you suspect that one room is not receiving the same air quality, contact a mold remediation company in Winchester, MA, to inspect the premises. They can assess the air quality and dampness.

3. Evaluate the Roof
Loose shingles are easy access points for rain, allowing drops to enter through crevices and holes. Water damage occurs, then, within crawl spaces and attics, often hidden to the residence until it's too late. To avoid this situation, schedule roof maintenance after severe storms, especially when hail occurs.
Remain vigilant in water cleanup. Doing so is significant to your mold prevention plan.

The Importance of Flood Insurance

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

water damage from ground water coming through the foundation after a heavy rain storm Storm damage in Woburn, MA

Flooding at your Woburn, MA, home can cause serious damage. Fortunately, flood insurance can help you recover.

Flood Definition

Many homeowners think of flooding as any instance of water damage, whether from roof leaks, plumbing issues or malfunctioning appliances. Water damage from such events is usually covered under homeowners’ insurance. However, insurance companies define flooding as water inundation affecting two or more acres or properties and caused by one of the following:

  • Mudflow
  • Accumulation of surface water
  • Overflow of a body of water

When a water damage event meets the above conditions, it will not be covered under homeowners insurance. Only flood insurance covers flood damage. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have the right policy and coverage limits for your property.

Flood Restoration
Whether you are paying for the restoration process from an insurance payout, out of pocket or from another source of funding, it is important to begin cleaning up quickly. Standing water can lead to mold damage in as few as 24 hours. Be sure to take photo or video evidence of the flood damage before you begin cleaning up. This will help your insurance company properly assess the damage. Then dry out the property. Use buckets, pumps or specialized vacuums to extract the standing water. Run fans and dehumidifiers to dry out remaining moisture. Next, disinfect all affected items. There is a variety of cleaning products on the market. Choose one that is appropriate for the item you are cleaning. Do not keep any items that cannot be properly cleaned. When everything is clean and dry, repair and replace the damaged items. Some repairs you may be able to do yourself. However, more delicate items, such as antiques and electronics, may need to be professionally restored.
If your home suffers flood damage, you may feel overwhelmed by the cleanup process. Fortunately, adequate flood insurance and a qualified restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

What To Expect After a Partial Loss

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged apartment building. Fire loss in Wilmington, MA

How To Return Your Commercial Space To Its Pre-Fire Condition

If you have experienced fire loss in Wilmington, MA, you may be wondering what type of damage you have sustained. If only part of your building has been harmed and certain items are salvageable, you may have a partial loss. In this case, you may need either minor or substantial repairs, but you will not need to have your entire structure rebuilt. When dealing with a partial loss, there are a few things you should do to make the process smoother.

1. Determine the Type Damage
After a fire, you could have heat, fire, or smoke damage. If your sprinkler system activated or water was used to put out the fire, you may also have water damage. Fire departments sometimes use fire suppression materials that can cause further damage to rugs, furniture, and other items.

2. Check for Problems in Hidden Areas
Upon entering your building, you may notice damage to obvious places such as floors, walls, and ceilings. You could also have fire loss in less visible areas like inside subfloors or behind walls. Some types of damage are harder to see than others. If water has been left to sit for more than 24 hours, mold can begin to form. You will need to have a thorough inspection to search for hidden damage like ash or mold.

3. Return To a Uniform Appearance
Your repairs must not only make your building safe, clean, and functional but should also return it to a consistent appearance. For example, if only part of your roof was damaged, the patching job must match the existing material, or else the whole roof will need to be replaced. It is generally unacceptable to only replace a portion of the roof if it cannot be made to match the rest of the roof.
A fire loss can be devastating for a business owner. However, with the help of a professional fire restoration company, you can quickly return your commercial space to its pre-fire condition.

SERVPRO Works Closely With Each Insurance Adjuster to Make Things Easier

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Infront of a house there is drying equipment, cleaning products, commercial generators SERVPRO is here to help

SERVPRO Works Closely With Each Insurance Adjuster to Make Things Easier

These days, each insurance adjuster faces a workload that was unthinkable as little as ten years ago. The number of claims and administrative tasks has significantly increased since then, creating a stressful environment and raising the chances of a costly mistake.
However, there is good news: by choosing a preferred vendor, you can eliminate a great deal of time per claim as well as be confident that your client receives quality service at an attractive price to the insurance company.

Insurance Claims Are Simplified Using the Preferred Vendor Program
When you use a trusted provider from the list of preferred vendors, it comes with some guarantees:

  • They stay within a set price range.
  • They stand by their work and react promptly to customer complaints.
  • They are vetted by major insurance companies.

In addition, their services are evaluated regularly to verify their commitment to providing good service. They also must maintain a well-scrutinized relationship with the insurance companies to remain on the list.

SERVPRO Is Here to Help
With a single call to SERVPRO’s Claims Information Center, they can help take the burden off a busy insurance adjuster. Their Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification means they have complied with the highest standards in the industry for water, smoke, and fire damage restoration. They also may be able to offer additional discounts to some adjusters.
Once you’ve evaluated and adjusted the insurance claim, SERVPRO is ready to come in immediately – often in hours – to tarp and board exposed areas and construct temporary fencing when necessary. They also follow a 21-point guideline at every disaster – the most comprehensive in the industry.
With over 50 years in the restoration field, no other damage mitigation company offers the same experience or assurance of customer satisfaction. Their 24-hour Customer Care Center connects you with an account representative as soon as you are ready, as well as answering questions and fixing any issues that arise. One call to them can decrease your workload and keep that part of your job less complicated.

What You Need To Know About Emergency Board Up Services

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Broken window in a home, window i s board up. Concept board up services Board up services in Burlington, MA

You might have heard your local fire restoration company discuss why board up services are vital. You may be wondering if emergency board up is actually necessary after a disaster.
Boarding up your home is actually an important part of the restoration process. Read on for more details.

The Definition of Boarding Up

Boarding up and tarping over are two related but different processes. Boarding up refers to covering doors and windows that are:

  • Broken
  • Cracked
  • Damaged by wind or debris

Tarping over, meanwhile, is the process of covering roofs that may be unstable following a disaster. Depending on how much fire damage occurs in your home, you may need both tarps over and board up services.

The Importance of Boarding Up
There are several benefits of boarding up and tarping over your home. Holes in the walls and roof of your property could cause further damage after the fire has been extinguished. Water from a rainstorm could come through the openings and flood your house. Vandals or thieves might also gain access to your house. They could steal your electronics or even your personal information.
Homeowners' insurance companies typically only reimburse customers who mitigate further harm to their after a fire. Boarding up your home thus increases the likelihood that your insurance claim will be accepted.
Because boarding up your Burlington, MA, house is so vital, you should not attempt to do it on your own. Even when the property appears secure, there could be hidden debris and dangerous air particles. Professionals will understand when it is safe to begin boarding up the premises.
The experts will also know exactly which materials and processes to use. If you attempt to board up your home alone, you could injure yourself or cause further harm to your property.
Boarding up and tarping over your home can protect it from additional damage. To ensure this important job is done properly, leave it to professionals.

My Home Has Flooded! What Now?

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Contents of a home damaged by water. Wet floor. Flood damage in a Burlington, MA home

Start By

When your home is flooding, it’s imperative that you first stop the water. Water damage will only continue to get worse as long as the water or excessive moisture is in the area, so the cleanup process should begin as soon as possible. Start by:

1. Being Safe
A flooded house presents many dangers that need to be addressed before going into the affected area. If you can safely reach the breaker box, shut off the main circuit breaker. If appliances, electronics, or exposed wires are sitting in or near the water, an electrical current is traveling through the water. It can also contain dangerous contaminants such as sewage, chemicals, and debris. Wear proper safety gear to protect yourself as you go through the house, such as a mask, gloves, safety goggles, and rubber boots.

2. Contacting the Insurance Company and Documenting Damage
Call your insurance company so that the restoration process can begin as soon as possible. The insurance adjuster will have to assess the damage before any work is done. Before the adjuster arrives, take pictures of all of the damage that you can safely access. It’s also good to have photos of your property before the damage occurs. 

3. Eliminating Water
Your insurance company will probably let you start the cleanup process before the adjuster arrives as long as you’ve documented the flooding well with photos. Begin by removing all standing water. A wet/dry vacuum is ideal for this job since it’s safe and removes water and small debris quickly.

4. Separating Unsalvageable From Salvageable
Determine what’s unsalvageable and discard it. Many porous items such as carpet, drywall, and some upholstered furniture probably won’t be salvageable. 

5. Drying
Open windows and doors to ventilate the area. Running fans and dehumidifiers and HVAC and/or portable heaters will help to dry the area. 
If your house has experienced water damage from any type of flooding in Burlington, MA, you can count on flood damage experts. They’ll return your home to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

Mitigation During a Water Disaster

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic trash can in the hallway of a commercial building, water on the floor. Water damage from a pipe break in a commercial building in Wilmington, MA

Any time a business in Wilmington, MA, experiences a water disaster, the business owner must act fast to mitigate further damage. If you experience a pipe burst cleanup or supply line leaking, know what steps you can take to ensure the least amount of damage and loss.

Moisture Associated Risks

The longer water is allowed to stand in your commercial structure, the more damage it will incur. More damage means more risk and more monetary loss from replacing those items. Acting fast is crucial.
Water can irreparably damage materials used for flooring, walls, ductwork, and electronics. The stability of these structures become warped and weakened from prolonged water exposure, but they can also develop mold and bacterial growth that will be difficult to remove. The EPA recommendation is for items and materials exposed to contaminated water over 48 hours to be discarded.

The Cleanup Process
If you have a water disaster such as a pipe burst cleanup, you'll want to hire a clean up and restoration company to assess the damage and then take the best approach to salvaging what can be saved, replacing what needs to be replaced, and ensuring no secondary damage occurs.

Your restoration company will use pumps and vacuums to make sure water is completely removed from every area of the room or rooms that incurred damage.
They will clean and sanitize all salvageable materials, equipment, and furniture.
The final step of the water cleanup is replacing lost items once the property is safe to once again inhabit.

Due to the hazardous nature of disasters such as pipe burst cleanup and restoration, your facility should never be completed by people who are not certified and trained in proper cleanup and drying techniques.
Time is crucial during a water disaster and knowing who you can call beforehand can save you time and money. You can't put a price on the health and safety of the workers and clients who regularly access your building.

Understanding Mold Remediation

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Removing mold from the wall in a building Mold removal in a Winchester, MA building

Finding mold in your commercial property can be a stressful situation. You'll undoubtedly have many questions about the remedial and restoration process, like when you can safely occupy the building again and how long cleanup will take. Understanding facts about mold and how the process works will help.

The Facts on Mold

Mold is everywhere. One of the most common types of mold found in buildings is black mold, but there are thousands of other types of mold found in the environment.
While you may not have mold growth in your building, mold spores come in through doors, windows, and ducts. Mold spores must have moisture to thrive, which is why it is important to repair any sources of water damage.

The Remediation Process
When mold growth is found in your facility in Winchester, MA, remediation specialists act quickly to contain the growth, perform the mold removal, sanitize the area, and restore any damage that may have occurred. Your remediation specialists will work through several steps to achieve a safe environment for you and your employees.

Once the mold has been located, containment procedures will be utilized to ensure the mold doesn't spread. This may include the use of negative area chambers and physical barriers with negative air pressure. Any central air will be shut off during the cleanup phase.
Filtration equipment will remove mold spores from the air while HEPA vacuums prevent the spores from spreading.
Special treatments will eliminate the mold as well as ensure it doesn't return. Damaged materials will have to be removed. Anything that can be saved will be thoroughly cleaned.
The last step will be restoration to replace any damaged materials that had to be discarded during the cleanup.

During the mold removal process, employees should not have access to the contaminated and enclosed rooms. The time it takes to complete the entire process can be anywhere from one to several days, depending on the amount of mold and damage that is present.

4 Steps To Take if There Is Water in a Light Fixture

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Water leaking from a light fixture Water in a light fixture in Woburn, MA, can cause ceiling damage and could be dangerous

4 Steps To Take if There Is Water in a Light Fixture

Water in a light fixture in Woburn, MA, can cause ceiling damage and could be dangerous. Follow these four steps to find out what you need to do to prevent more problems from happening.

1. Shut Off the Electricity
The first thing you will want to do is turn off the electrical supply. This will stop more damage from happening to the fixture and wiring. You can do this by shutting the electricity off at the main breaker box.

2. Turn Off the Water
When there is water in a light, you do not want more to seep into it. The water should be shut off at the main water supply in your home.

3. Test for Electricity
To be completely certain that there is no electrical current going through your home, use a non-contact voltage tester on another electronic in your house that does not have water in it. You can test your television, microwave, computer, or any other electronic.

4. Call for Help
Now that the electricity and water are off, you will need to call several professionals for help. You will need to contact a plumber to see where the water leakage is coming from so it can be repaired. An electrician will be needed to remove and replace the fixture, and also to make sure there is no damage to the electrical wires. If there is damage, this will be fixed as well. A water damage restoration company will be needed to clean up issues that the water caused, including ceiling flaws.
When there is water in a light, it can be dangerous. To resolve the issue quickly, turn off the water and electricity, use a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that the power is completely off, call a plumber and electrician for help as well as a cleanup company for restoration and to repair ceiling damage.

3 Situations Where You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flood insurance can be useful for your Woburn, MA, establishment

3 Situations Where You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

If you own a commercial location, you are likely aware of the inherent damage risks. Since extreme weather is one of those hazards, you will need insurance plans that incorporate emergency damage restoration. Some coverages are not included in commercial insurance, so you may need additional products such as flood insurance, especially in certain situations:

1. Federal Law Requires It
While flood-specific insurance tends to be optional, there are circumstances where you must obtain it. You will need a coverage plan if your business is in a location known as a flood zone or an area that is prone to flooding. These regions are either coastal locations or near bodies of water. Additionally, the building must be mortgaged by a lender that is regulated or insured by the federal government.

2. Your Business Resides in a High-Risk Area
Even if you have no mortgage with a federally regulated lender, it is still a solid strategy to purchase a specialized insurance plan to deal with potential floods whether you are in a flood zone or in a low-to-moderate risk area. Flood insurance is not provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which focuses mostly on residential properties instead of businesses. However, the federal government's national program can help you obtain a viable plan in case the unthinkable occurs.

3. Your Flood Zone May Shift
The safety established by a flood map's designation is not permanent. Factors such as climate change alter these flood zones. Your business may be in a high-risk zone even if your published map does not show it. The proper insurance covers your property in case your situation changes. In addition, if you buy a plan before the location becomes a flood zone, the premium is based on the previous classification, which is comparatively low.
When it comes to business ownership, it is better to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Flood insurance can be useful for your Woburn, MA, establishment during most situations, especially when flood risks are high.