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What To Expect When a Large Storm Hits Your Home

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

A powerful storm can cause a lot of damage to your home. If you haven't experienced this before, it is a good idea to get a sense of what kind of damage can occur, and what are the strategies for coping with a personal disaster. It is also important to note that you will not be alone in this struggle. Many professional companies and agencies help people deal with emergency and difficult situations. Therefore, if you are in need of a tear out or some other method of restoring your home, you will be in good hands.

The Consequences of Water Damage
Most of the time, people think of water as a positive thing; however, when it enters your home in Woburn, MA, after a storm, it can be a disruptive force. In fact, it can ruin many elements of your house:

  • Roof
  • Insulation
  • Personal items
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Documents

A tear out is sometimes necessary if water gets into the drywall and insulation of a property. This is particularly true if the water is in anyway contaminated with sewage or other harmful substances. Technicians will remove the damaged materials by taking off the drywall, removing the insulation and replacing the damaged items. It is a helpful technique that replaces materials that no longer function as they should.

The Benefits of Storm Restoration
When a certified storm remediation team comes to your house, you should get workers who are trained in all elements of water mitigation principles. They will know what actions to take to minimize damages and reduce costs. They will know if a tear out is necessary, or if there are less invasive techniques that will accomplish the same goal. They will help you get your home back to normal, so you can resume your life. Though each storm presents different challenges, the goal is always the same: to restore a home efficiently, completely and affordably.

Preventative Measures You Can Take to Prevent Plumbing Issues

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage cleaning One of the most important things you should be doing is getting regular sewage cleaning done.

Preventative Measures You Can Take

If you own a home, taking care of your plumbing is essential. Your plumbing is responsible for keeping clean water flowing into your home and it is also responsible for clearing waste out. Most people don't ever think about their plumbing until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, by then, it is often too late and the small issue can turn into something much larger and much more costly. Luckily, there are some preventative measures you can take to help you get ahead of many plumbing problems.

Preventing Sewer Issues
One of the most important things you should be doing is getting regular sewage cleaning done. Sewage cleaning is vital and makes sure that all your waste is smoothly running from your home into the sewer mainlines. Over time, clogs can build up, tree roots can cause damage, and sewers can be damaged by shifting earth. Getting regular sewage cleaning and sewer inspections can help you get ahead of any issues before they become far more costly.

Preventing Toilet Clogs
Toilet clogging and subsequently, toilet overflow, is the most common plumbing issue in the world. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent this. You need to make sure that you aren't flushing anything you shouldn't. Some things to avoid include feminine products, paper towels, and cleaning wipes. The only things you should be flushing are waste and toilet paper. Even toilet paper should be used sparingly as much as possible.

Preventing Clogged Pipes
Another extremely common plumbing problem people run into is having a clogged pipe. Clogged pipes can be a major headache but like the other things in this article, are mostly preventable. The biggest cause of clogged pipes is putting the wrong things down your drains. Some things to avoid include:

  • Hair
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine products
  • Food
  • Coffee grounds

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and things to worry about. Taking some preventative measures with your plumbing can go a long way towards lightening your load.

What Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Commercial fire damage

What Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

After a blaze destroys your commercial property, you should contact fire restoration professionals in Woburn, MA. Yet once you make that call, you may feel helpless until the smoke cleaning experts arrive. Thankfully, there are some things you can do in the meantime to expedite the remediation process.

1. Stay Safe
Safety should be your top priority following the fire. Both the flames themselves and the water used to put out the fire could damage electronics. You should thus avoid turning on ceiling fixtures or cleaning any electrical appliances that may have been harmed during the blaze. Any packaged food or beverages that were stored near the fire should also be discarded.

2. Clean Plants and Chromes
You should leave most of the cleaning to the fire restoration pros. However, you can perform a bit of remediation yourself. If you have any office plants that have been damaged by soot, feel free to wash them on your own. You can also clean chrome items using oil or petroleum jelly. However, dirty carpets, upholstery, walls and other painted surfaces should be left to the experts.

3. Avoid Further Soiling
Fires leave behind lots of soot and smoke. The more you move around your property, the more these particles can spread. You should thus limit the number of people walking through the building. Anyone who does enter the premises must also keep their hands as clean as possible. If you cannot stop people from exiting and entering the property, put clean towels or linens on top of the carpets and rugs to prevent further harm.

4. Call Insurance
Finally, call your fire insurance provider before any major repairs occur. Depending on your policy, the insurer may cover some of all of the cleanup costs.
You do not have to just sit around and wait for the fire restoration experts to inspect and repair your property. There are several ways you can mitigate the harm to your building while keeping yourself and your employees safe.

The 3 Exceptions To Mold Exclusions in Commercial Insurance

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind wallpaper Mold isn't always visible

Finding mold within your commercial property in Woburn, MA, is an unpleasant experience. It can result in extreme mold damage, particularly if the issue went unnoticed for awhile. If damage occurs, your most pressing concern is likely funding for remediation experts. Most insurance companies widely exclude fungus-related issues. However, there are usually three exceptions to this rule. Here is each one.

Limited Fungus Coverage

This exception displays the importance of maintenance. If your mold didn't arise from neglect, you're more likely to be covered. Limited Fungus Coverage refers to fungus caused by specified causes of loss, or hazards named by your policy. These are some examples of such causes:

  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Sinkholes
  • Windstorms

Essentially, these are causes that you didn't create. This, combined with proof that you did your best to fix the problem, is likely to gain you insurance coverage.

Fire and Lightning
Similar to the first exclusion, but far more specific, fungal growth resulting from fire or lightning is generally covered. These disasters are almost certainly not your fault, so the issue doesn't stem from lacking maintenance. As long as you provide evidence of the cause, this reasoning will probably sway your commercial insurance provider.

Specified Resulting Damages
Mold isn't just an issue by itself. It can cause problems in turn. If a damage named in your insurance policy is triggered by mold, then the remediation process will likely be covered. However, it's important to make sure that the fungus wasn't caused by your neglect. This will make your argument for mold insurance coverage murky at best.
Learning what mold issues your insurance covers is essential. Most providers aren't known for assisting with mold, so making a compelling case is essential. Above all, be sure that you fix fungal issues immediately after discovery. Otherwise, you'll likely have to fend for yourself. Know your commercial insurance policy and keep your building safe.

Things to Do After a House Fire

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

House fire Fire damage in Burlington, MA

After a house fire, life can be extremely confusing. Your home and belongings may be gone, but there are some things that you can do to make you feel more in control.

Inspect Your Home

Once the fire department and other officials have cleared your home, you should walk through your home to see what is damaged. Believe it, or not house fires are not necessarily a total loss. Granted, you will have to throw away some things, but a lot of your home might remain undamaged or just damaged by smoke.

Decide What You Want to Toss Out
If your home is not completely damaged by fire, you will need to remove items from your home. Some items are unsalvageable due to high heat or smoke exposure. The things you have to throw out are:

  • Food both in the refrigerator and in the cabinets
  • Make-up
  • All types of prescription medicine
  • All types of over the counter medicine
  • Anything burned or melted

Due to the high heat that a fire creates, these items are actually dangerous to try and use after they have been in a fire, even if they were not burned or close to the blaze. They are much safer to throw away than they are to try and continue to use them.

Decide What You Want to Keep
This is a bit tricky. Some items will not recover even after being cleaned by a fire damage specialist in Burlington, MA. Many of these items will be touched by the fire or have extensive smoke damage. The company that does your fire remediation will help you decide which items are salvageable.
Inspecting your home and going through the items you need to throw away is the first step to recovering from a house fire. It might not be easy, but it can give you a sense of accomplishment while you are dealing with the emotional damage a fire can cause.

What Is Category 1 Water Damage?

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic garbage can in a hallway with standing water Water damage in Winchester, MA due to a pipe break

If you have a broken supply line or a burst pipe within your commercial business in Winchester, MA, you may be wondering what the next steps are to mitigate damages and restore your building. Your first step should be to identify the category of water damage. From there, you can proceed to clean-up and restoration, based on the severity of damages.
Category 1, or clean water, water damage is the least severe of the three types. This type of water damage does not contain any contaminants. There is also category 2 damage, which is gray water. Gray water is mixed with chemicals or may have other contaminants. The most severe type of water damage, category 3, can contain bacteria and viruses and is known as black water.

What Can Cause Category 1 Damage?

Category 1 water damage can come from many sources, but is always from a sanitary source. It may come from:

  • A broken pipe
  • Any melting snow or ice
  • An overflowing sink
  • A malfunctioning appliance

Even though this category is the least severe, the clean-up process is still important for clean water damage.

What Is the Clean-Up Process For Category 1 Damage? 

No matter where the category 1 damage came from, the clean-up process is relatively easy and quick. You should contact a water restoration company as soon as possible to mitigate any damages. The company will remove any excess water from your commercial building and inspect and remove any carpets or building materials, if necessary. Afterward, they will use commercial-grade dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the space as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Thankfully, clean-up and restoration from category 1 damage is the least intrusive and poses the least risk to your building. Clean water from category 1 damage can be dealt with by a restoration company promptly, meaning it shouldn't be long until you and your employees can get back to work in your building.

The Safest Ways To Locate Mold

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Scientist show molds in agar culture. Lab testing mold

The Safest Ways To Locate Mold

A search for mold growing in a house may lead to exposure to high concentrations of spores, microbial volatile organic compounds and other potentially harmful substances. If signs of a mold infestation are not readily visible at a house in Wilmington, MA, homeowners should arrange for an indoor environmental specialist to inspect the premises and take samples for analysis in a laboratory.

Contactless Visual Inspection
The most important rule for finding a mold at a residence is looking without touching. Making contact with fungus prior to obtaining the results of a mold test may pose several risks:

  • Allergen exposure
  • Exposure to toxigenic mold
  • Spreading spores

Even if mold is not toxic, close proximity or direct contact with an infestation may still provoke a strong allergic response. Wearing personal protective equipment is advisable while searching for mold growing in a house. Contact is also the primary mechanism by which spores spread.

Professional Inspection
A professional inspection performed by an indoor environmental specialist can minimize a homeowner’s risk of mold exposure. These trained experts can take samples to submit for analysis in a laboratory or use advanced imaging equipment to locate mold that is obscured by walls.

Lab Testing
Only scientists who have access to precise lab equipment can positively identify the type of mold in a particular infestation out of hundreds of thousands of species. Testing can cost hundreds of dollars and may be scheduled prior to the start or at the finish of remediation to confirm that mold has been removed.
As soon as the musty smell associated with mold growth becomes evident at a home in Wilmington, MA, the property owner can reduce his or her risk of exposure by immediately contacting an indoor environmental specialist. If you look for mold, wear appropriate personal protective equipment and do not spread spores by touching or otherwise making contact with fungal growth.

4 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Dealing With Wet Carpet

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet Wet carpet in Woburn, MA

4 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Dealing With Wet Carpet

Water from a pipe break or leaky roof can flood your home and soak your floors and carpeting. Only professional restoration specialists have the equipment and training to completely remove mold and moisture from your floors. Call the professionals right away and avoid these common mistakes homeowners make when dealing with wet carpeting.

1. They Don’t Pull Up the Carpet and Padding
A shop vacuum can extract some moisture from wet carpeting, but it’s not strong enough to pull all moisture from the underlying layers, and moisture and mold can remain in the padding and subfloor. Restoration crews remove carpeting and padding and ensure that the subfloor is thoroughly dried out and disinfected.

2. They Rely On Homemade Solutions or Household Cleaners
Household carpet cleaners and homemade vinegar or baking soda solutions are fine for an occasional spill, but they aren’t sufficient when the entire floor has been wet. Likewise, household deodorizers tend to mask odors rather than eliminating them and aren’t effective for a flood situation. Professional cleanup crews use commercial-grade biocides to eradicate mold.

3. They Don’t Replace the Padding
Carpet padding that has been wet, even from clean water such as a pipe break, should always be replaced. It’s nearly impossible, even for professionals, to extract all moisture and mold from padding. Even if it seems dry, putting this padding back down will lead to a mold problem later.

4. They Vacuum Damp Carpeting
Your home vacuum cleaner isn’t strong enough to remove all moisture and mold spores from carpeting. Using a vacuum on damp carpeting can push dirt and mold further down into the fibers and also results in moisture inside the vacuum. This can lead to mildew and mold growth inside your vacuum cleaner, and this mold can spread to your carpeting each subsequent time you vacuum.
Don’t attempt to restore wet carpeting yourself. Calling a Woburn, MA, restoration company as soon as possible after a pipe break or other flooding event is your best bet for salvaging your carpeting and other belongings.

4 Steps To Create a Business Continuity Plan

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Business impact analysis (BIA) on a office desk. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

Here Are Four Key Steps To Developing A Plan

It is important to protect your business from disruption in the event of a natural disaster. Hurricanes, fires, and other related events can impact your business beyond the cost of physical repairs in Burlington, MA. Your business could shut down if proper precautions are not taken. A business continuity plan is crucial for helping your business continue during these catastrophic moments.

1. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
Determine the critical functions of your business and the supporting resources that could be impacted by major disasters and other unforeseen events, such as fires or flooding. You should identify any potential threats and risks associated with them. The BIA is typically conducted using questionnaires and follow-up interviews.

2. Identify and Record Recovery Strategies
Document the necessary processes, procedures, and requirements to recover and continue essential business operations. Identify all resources required and perform a gap analysis of the current state and the recovery requirements. These strategies should include restoring physical damage to the business. Be sure to include the contact information for commercial storm damage restoration services and other required vendors and contractors.

3. Create the Plan Document
Form a business continuity team to create the continuity plan. All details gathered during the prior steps should be compiled into a single document containing all pertinent information for recovery. Items such as team members, plan scope, BIA findings, and recovery strategies should be listed in this document.

4. Train, Test, and Practice
Train employees and prepare them for unexpected events. In an emergency, they should already be familiar with safety protocols and aware of the locations of safety equipment, including AEDs and first aid kits. Exercises, such as fire drills, practice evacuations, and lockdowns, should be performed to increase familiarity and to test the effectiveness of the procedures.
Natural disasters and catastrophic events can often be unpredictable. Being well-equipped with a continuity plan helps minimize the impact of such disruptions and keep business functions operating as smoothly as possible.

Avoid Lingering Smoke Odors After a Fire

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone generator

Any size of fire in your Burlington, MA, commercial building will require some form of fire damage and restoration. When the loss is small, it may seem like any easy and straightforward task to clean the charred items and simply air out the area. Unfortunately, smoke damage is much trickier than one might expect. To ensure your business has no lingering effects from the fire, smoke cleaning will be necessary.

Factors to Consider

Smoke odor itself is quite complex. A number of factors contribute to the time an effort that will be needed to eradicate the smell. These include:

Soot Type – The two main types are dry and oily. Dry can easily be wiped away, but oily will smear and requires specialized techniques for proper removal.
Size of Damaged Area – The bigger the fire, the smoke that can waft to other areas of the building.
Time – Waiting to take action will increase the levels of damage.
Materials Burned – A building is filled with various materials, all of which burn differently. Porous surfaces, such as drywall and paper, can become stained while metallic surfaces may begin to corrode.

Cleaning Processes
Along with techniques to clean belongings, a professional smoke cleaning provider will be able to eradicate the odors trapped in the structure and air. These methods include:

Air Filtration Devices – These scrubbers often have HEPA filters, carbon filters or treated filters that target smoke molecules. They suck the air through the filters and release fresh air.
Ozone Machines – Unlike filtration devices, these pump ozone into the area to neutralize odors.
Thermal Foggers – These release heated droplets into the air, which are also absorbed into porous materials, to deodorize and clean odors. This and the above method both require that no people are on the premises.

After the fire, be sure to have all the damage assessed. If smoke cleaning is left off the list, it may mean long-term odors.