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5 Tips to Help Maintain Your Sump Pump

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. A sump pump is extremely helpful when it comes to removing excess water and protecting your property

Tips To Keep Your Device Working At Peak

A sump pump is extremely helpful when it comes to removing excess water and protecting your property in Wilmington, MA, from flood damage. Much like any other household device, you need to make sure you're taking the proper steps to maintain your pump and keep it working properly for years to come. Check out the following tips to keep your device working at peak efficiency.

1. Remove Debris from the Discharge Pipe.
The discharge pipe works exactly the same as any other pipe in your home; it won't be able to properly pump water if there's debris inside. Regularly check the discharge pipe for obstructions and remove any that you find.

2. Remove Clogs from the Intake Screen.
Your sump pump tends to collect a lot of dirt, gravel and other obstructions as it works. Regularly inspecting the intake screen and removing debris can help keep it running at peak efficiency.

3. Check the Outlet and Cord.
The unit should be plugged into a working ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI). It's also important to regularly check to make sure that the cord the pump is plugged into is still in good shape.

4. Test the Pump Regularly.
Testing the pump is an important part of proper sump pump maintenance. You can easily do this by pouring a bucket of water in the basin of the device. Watch as the water level rises. The device's float should trigger the machine to activate and drain the excess water.

5. Replace the Pump's Battery.
Some pumps do operate on a backup battery, just in case, the electricity shuts off. Check with the pump's manufacturer to see how often the backup battery needs to be replaced. Most devices require battery changes every two to three years.
Sump Pump maintenance is extremely easy and can help keep your device running properly for years to come. Contact flood remediation experts for professional assistance if your sump pump isn't running properly.

How To Reduce Water Damage To Your Dining Room Table

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

When the plumbing in your home’s ceiling busts and water comes crashing down upon your dining room table, the most sentimental piece of wood-based family furniture you own could be ruined forever. Whether made of oak, maple, cherry, or walnut, any liquid causes distressing discoloration and cracking. Despite this, you can take steps to lessen the chance of swelling wood causing your table to suffer irreparable harm.

How To Reduce Leaks

Pipes become compromised as a result of:

  • Freezing
  • Old age
  • Unusual blockages

Have your system cleared of these complications before the need for an expensive water pipe repair arises. Remember that a broken supply line can also be the catalyst for a damp, destructive situation. Consider hiring professionals to perform periodic checks.
Should preventive measures fail, the destruction can be extensive. If more than just your table becomes compromised and structural concerns regarding flooring and drywall surface, hire a water damage restoration authority immediately.

How To Reduce Swelling Wood in Tables
Unlike in the above scenario, preserving soaked dining tables does not require vast expertise. Follow these recommendations.
Because wood is porous, it expands and contracts in response to moisture. Using a clean cloth, promptly wipe up any that has accumulated. Damp areas can be dried with heat, but limit this process to no more than two or three hours as continuous exposure initiates warping.
Once your piece has dried, move it away from direct sunlight and heating vents. Relocate the item to a different room if necessary.
Wherever you place your table, keep humidity levels as consistent as possible by using a humidifier or dehumidifier depending upon your situation. Your air’s saturation level should rest somewhere between 25 and 35 percent.
Prevent swelling wood from forever demolishing your favorite family gathering centerpiece by keeping it dry and avoiding excessive warmth. With any luck, you will be able to continue entertaining in Burlington, MA, exactly the way you always have.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Document of Homeowners Insurance Policy for background It is important to purchase this type of policy just to make sure your property is covered

Homeowners insurance can protect your residential property from a lot of different disasters and types of damage. Despite how common residential fungus growth is, many insurance policies still don't cover mold damage directly. Read on to see whether your home in Woburn, MA, is protected against mold damage.

When You Are Covered

The majority of insurance policies cover mold damage if, and only if, the damage was caused by a covered peril. A covered peril is essentially any type of disaster or damage that the insurance policy already covers. Here are a few examples:

  • Falling objects
  • Frozen pipes
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Vandalism or other types of malicious mischief
  • Lightning Strikes
  • Theft
  • Fire Damage

Because each insurance policy is different, it's important to check yours to see which types of accidents are actually covered. If the fungus growth is a direct result of any covered perils in your policy, then you're covered. However, if the mold is a result of your personal carelessness, or if you leave it unreported for too long, then you have to pay for the damage yourself.

When You Aren't Covered
There are a few loopholes you can employ if your specific policy doesn't cover mold damage. If you want to be absolutely safe, you always have the option to purchase a separate mold insurance policy. This is a separate policy endorsement that adds mold coverage to your existing homeowner's insurance policy. Depending on your home's specific mold risk -- this is determined by where you live, how often you typically deal with mold damage, and other various factors -- you may end up paying between $500 and $1,500 annually for separate mold coverage.
Fungus growth is a very common occurrence that the majority of homeowners do have to handle at some point. It may be beneficial to purchase a separate policy endorsement to make sure that your property is covered, just in case your existing policy is reluctant to protect you. If you do discover mold damage in your home, you should contact mold remediation experts immediately.

How To Remove Smoke Odors From Your Home

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Removing the odor’s source using professional cleaning equipment, such as ozone

If someone in your family smokes, the odors can seep into the carpeting, fabrics, and even the drywall. Scented sprays and candles can temporarily make the house smell better, but they only mask the odors. To successfully remove the unpleasantness, you need to call a home deodorization professional.

How Does a Professional Remove Odors?

Cigarette smoke and other stubborn smells can’t be removed using basic cleaning supplies. If you attempt to handle the problem yourself, you can cause even more damage to your home’s furnishings. Dirty materials and surfaces must be handled with care. A professional is trained to locate the source of the odor and remove it safely and completely without damaging the furnishings in your home.
Procedures involved in professional home deodorization include:

  • Removing the odor’s source using professional cleaning equipment, such as ozone
  • Applying special deodorizing treatments to all contaminated structures and furnishings
  • Discarding any furniture, flooring or drywall that can’t be salvaged
  • Cleaning the air with specialized filtration equipment, such as air cleaners and HEPA vacuums

Can I Use Home HEPA Filters Instead?
High-efficiency particulate air filters are specially designed to remove air particulates. The EPA has defined a HEPA filter as being able to trap 99.97% of all airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. These filters can remove most dust, smoke, and other pollutants from the air.
The concern with home air purifiers, however, is that while they can filter particles out of the air, they are not able to remove the odors that are embedded in the furniture, flooring, and other structures in your home. This prevents you from being able to fully solve the problem.
If you are concerned with unpleasant smells, don’t spend a lot of money on remedies you find at your local hardware store in Winchester, MA. Call an odor restoration professional instead to inspect your home and conduct a full home deodorization.

Why Speed is Critical When Restoring Storm Damage

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Wall covered with mold due to humidity Mold growth as secondary damage to a building in Wilmington, MA

When most people consider the possibility of damage to their property after heavy rain and winds, they imagine that the majority of cleanup costs will be related to repairing structural damage. While storms can certainly damage windows, roofing, and siding, or cause hazardous collapses of trees and power lines, secondary damage from mold growth can prove more costly in the long run. In the event of a severe storm, you should restore your commercial property as quickly as possible.

Where to Look

Mold can grow in as little as 24-48 hours after flooding caused by a storm. Bacteria, in addition, thrives under similar conditions. This is why it is important that you identify areas where moisture has seeped into your property's interior as soon as you can. Common places for wetness to accumulate include:

  • At the corners of ceilings
  • At the sides of the windows
  • Underneath carpets at doorways
  • Low areas at or below ground level

Although it might seem improbable that flooding has occurred, you should periodically check any basement areas that could conceivably allow standing water to accumulate.

Mold Restoration
Once an area has been exposed to moisture, mold growth is often difficult to prevent. Since mold exists in the form of spores in almost every environment, it is just a matter of time before spores colonize areas that have been allowed to remain wet for a long period. Removing existing mold can be very difficult, requiring specialized attire, fungicide, and humidity controls. You should never attempt an extensive cleanup on your own. A mold remediation professional can test your property for the presence of harmful molds, and, if necessary, perform cleanup work.
If your Wilmington, MA, business is in the path of a major storm event, you should familiarize yourself with ways to protect you and your employees, as well as your property. Once personnel and belongings are secure, the next priority should be preventing secondary damage caused by mold growth so that you can get back to business promptly.

5 Ways to Prevent Mold in Business Properties

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

Woman watching TV and using remote controller Knowing the weather of your area can actually help with mitigation

Five Ways To Help With Mold Prevention On Your Business

Whether you own a series of rental properties or an office space mold prevention can be important for a Woburn, MA, business. Here are five things many professionals say you can do to help mitigate potential mold problems.

1. Know the Weather

Since mold growth has a tendency to occur in areas of water damage, knowing the weather of your area can actually help with mitigation. This will allow you to prepare for any storms and take the steps needed to prevent damage that could lead to mold problems.

2. Regular Maintenance Inspections

Keeping a regular maintenance schedule will allow you to know when damages occur and give you the chance to act quickly before mold has a chance to grow. Having a maintenance schedule will also allow you to keep an eye on possible problem areas.

3. Make Repairs Quickly

Another important step for mold prevention is to make any repairs that may be needed quickly. This is especially important for areas with water damage as mold grows best in damp environments.

4. Contact a Professional

If you think there’s a chance mold may be growing on your business property it’s recommended that you contact a local mold remediation service. These professionals can help test the area for mold, and make any repairs that might be needed. They can also recommend further mitigation tips for the space.

5. Keep Things Clean

Last but not least keeping the property clean can help prevent mold. Cleaning solutions and soaps may help make the environment inhospitable to mold. This step can also help remove the water before mold has a chance to grow.

These five steps may help with mold prevention on your business property. Know what the weather is in your area, keep a regular maintenance schedule, fix the damage quickly, and contact a professional for help. Keeping the space clean may also help. A remediation professional should be able to answer any questions you may have.

How Do I Maintain the Fire Sprinklers in My Building?

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

Sprinkler head. The device provides protection against fire in a room. Maintain the fire sprinkers in your building

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an automatic sprinkler system can reduce property damage from a fire. It also keeps the heat and flames from spreading so you and your employees can safely get out of the building. It’s crucial to perform sprinkler maintenance to make sure the system works when you need it most.
You may forget about your sprinkler system because it doesn’t go off that frequently. You may not realize the sprinkler heads are coated in dirt and grease or that you’ve stacked boxes and blocked fire sprinklers.

Regular Maintenance

You should take a look at your system between annual inspections.

Weekly. Ensure nonelectric control valves have no leaks and are locked, sealed, and open. If you have a dry, pre-action system, check that gauges show normal water and air pressure.
Monthly. Check water flow alarms. If you have a wet pipe system, check the gauges.
Quarterly. Inspect the alarm devices, control valves, and hydraulic nameplates.

Annual Inspections
Have a licensed technician come in once a year for sprinkler maintenance to ensure the system is functioning and up to code. They will inspect and repair the parts of the system, including:

  • Control valves
  • Gauges
  • Fittings and pipes
  • Sprinkler heads
  • Hangers
  • Backflow prevention parts
  • Drains
  • Alarms
  • Antifreeze solution
  • Water pressure

Replacing Components
Have a sprinkler technician replace the gauges every five years and verify their calibration. Change out fast-response sprinkler heads every 20 years; standard sprinkler heads can go for 50 years. If your building has extremely high temperatures or is exposed to a harsh environment, replace your fire sprinklers every five years.
The National Fire Sprinkler Association has guidelines for fire sprinklers in commercial buildings.
If you go too long between sprinkler maintenance, your system may accidentally activate and flood your building. If this happens, talk to a water cleanup specialist in Burlington, MA, who can help with the cleanup.

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.