Recent Posts

Flooded Basement Tips

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Avoid a flooded basement

Avoid a Flooded Basement, This Year and Forever!

Normal spring thaws can cause a small trickle to become a bigger issue. Foundation cracks that weren’t a problem before have the potential to become a huge problem now.

This year’s sudden spring thaw could exacerbate any issues that were not taken care of in the past.

In late winter and early spring, the ground can’t absorb all of the rain and snow melt, so it flows along the foundation. A proper drain system, sump pump and sealed cracks will help you avoid problems this spring.

Here are a few simple tips:

  • Keep your gutters clean (this will keep rain water from flowing directly to your foundation)
  • Grade landscaping away from foundation (add mulch or soil at an angle, higher at the foundation, slanting away)
  • Check your sump pump or purchase a submersible pump and fans

Move valuables and expensive items you may have in your basement, or use pallets and shelves to keep them elevated.

When there is a natural disaster, often the emergency items you need are sold out, so plan ahead.

If you do have a flood

There are still things you can do to mitigate the damage.

  • If you can do it safely, turn off the electricity.

But don’t get electrocuted! If you can reach the breaker without standing in water turn it off.  

  • If you’ve got just a bit of water in spots consider yourself lucky. If you can clean it up with a wet vac and have fans to dry it afterward you might be all set.
  • If your basement has flooded more than an inch, it’s best to call us.

If you have a sump pump and fans, you may still wish to tackle the job by yourself.  Submersible water pumps work best when you place them in the deepest part of the flooded water. If dirt and debris builds up and clogs the screen around the pump, clean it out and consider using something like a small tool to prop it up a bit. This will increase the space for water to flow through the pump. Use the widest and shortest hose possible, this will enable the pump to work faster.

When all the water is up and it appears dry you may still want us simply to treat the previously flooded area in order to kill any mold before it’s an issue.

To avoid this problem next year you must identify where the water came in.

  • First, seal the cracks
  • Then, dig to avert water flow next time

Remember water will travel down the path of least resistance. It is strongly advised to dig outside near the foundation and repack the soil. Dig down to where the water came, and then dig out and to the sides a few feet. There is a channel that you may not see but you will disturb and avert if you do this. Next year, water will not flow in that same direction if done correctly.

Last but not least, our friends at Signature Page Real Estate in Woburn, suggest having a dehumidifier in any basement, old or new.

Recap:

  • Clean your gutters
  • Have a sump pump, wet vac and fans
  • Fix lawn grading
  • Seal the cracks
  • Dig to avert water flow next year
  • Have a dehumidifier

If water comes in and it’s too much to tackle yourself, call us. Mitigating water damage is one of our core competencies. We’ll tackle the job at hand, and be sure your water problem doesn’t become a mold problem later: "Like it never even happened."

How To Prevent and Handle Water Damage During Construction Projects

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Two wheeled plastic trash cans with with lids on a hall way with water Water damage in a commercial facility

How To Prevent and Handle Water Damage During Construction Projects

Contractors know that water damage can be devastating to a construction site. A flood or similar mishap can lead to extensive debris and lengthy delays. A water pipe repair, in particular, can be costly even for companies that have insurance.
If you own a construction or contracting company, you can take steps to prevent flooding. This requires being proactive during all phases of the process:

  • Pre-Construction
  • Construction
  • Testing
  • Post-Construction

Pre-Construction

Before the project begins, you should come up with a proper Quality Control plan. The program should be peer-reviewed to ensure it is sufficient.
You and your workers should also look for locations on the site that are susceptible to water infiltration and protect them accordingly. Make sure that any drainage pipes are pointed away from those locations.
To prevent the need for major water pipe repair, you should test and install the pipes as early as you can. This way, if the site is flooded, it won't impact the rest of your project.

Construction

Once the construction begins, you should assign a team of employees to keep the site safe from water damage. They should monitor any issues that arise and fix them immediately before they get worse. You may also want to consider hiring consultants who can inspect the area for any potential warning signs.

Testing

After you have placed the roof on the building, you should bring in a roof testing expert to ensure the structure is watertight. You should also perform hydrostatic and leak testing on the sprinkler systems.

Post-Construction

Water damage can still occur as you close the construction project. If an issue such as a broken pipe is discovered, try to fix it within 48 hours.
By taking some simple steps before, during and after your construction project, you can prevent water damage. However, if a leak or flood does occur, water pipe repair specialists can help limit the harm to the property.

Different Levels of COVID-19 Cleaning

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says professional cleaning services are only a call away We are available around the clock to meet your needs.

Much like water damage categories, there are different levels of COVID-19 cleanings, precautionary, suspected, and confirmed. These differentiations determine protocol when it comes to providing preventative measures as well as cleaning & disinfection after someone within the building has tested positive. 

Precautionary/Preventative - cleanings are a measure taken when there has been no confirmed or suspected cases. 

Suspected/Person Under Investigation - cleanings happen when there is reasonable suspicion that the virus is present, or one or more people that have been in the building have been tested and are waiting for results.

Confirmed - cleanings happen after there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 onsite.

It is very important that property owners and business stakeholders recognize their own abilities, comfort levels, resources, and risk factors. While all stages require proper precautionary & intentional steps, the CDC has issued the following protocol in regards to , Confirmed cleaning & disinfection:

  • Workers must be trained to follow OSHA regulations
  • Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) donning and doffing
  • Compliance with Bloodborne Pathogens and proper disposal of of regulated waste and PPE
  • Disinfectants used include - diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions, household cleaners followed by disinfectants, EPA registered household disinfectants

SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn understands the immediate need for all stages, which is why we have made ourselves available 24/7 to offer disinfection services. We are able to offer disinfection services to buildings of all sizes, including residences for those in need. Please don’t hesitate to call our office for more information on proper protocol, pricing, and the products we are using. (781) 935-8222

3 Reasons You Should Hire a Professional To Check For Mold

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear while removing water from a property and mold growth in property SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is certified to remove microbial growth

Three Reasons To Not Do It On Your Own

It's tempting to grab a spray bottle of diluted bleach solution, hoping to remove those unsightly fungus spots. That, though, is not appropriate mold cleaning, potentially allowing those microbes to continue to grow and creating even more of a problem. If homeowners in Winchester, MA, think they have concern, it's best to call in the professionals who have the credentials and knowledge to handle any trouble. Here are three reasons to not do it on your own.

1. DIY Testing Is Unreliable

Sometimes fungus isn't always visible; rather, homeowners get a sense that something is off. Perhaps it's an odd, musty odor or other health effects. Whatever the reason, it's tempting to purchase a kit and avoid hiring a mold remediation company. This could be problematic, though. Since microbial spores exist in nature, they will be in the home. That doesn't mean they are a hazard. In order to pose a threat, they must combine with organic material and water. Therefore, often an in-home test flags a false positive, leading residents to worry when they shouldn't.

2. Certification Provides Validity

Water restoration companies work with certified environmental hygienists to avoid guess work and false calls. These specialists have undergone classes and testing to ensure that they can identify issues within a building. In addition, they can perform more thorough evaluation, collecting air and wall specimens that could find what a DIY system may not. This information, then, assists the crew in determining the team's appropriate methods as well as the depth of mold cleaning that is needed.

3. Regulations Create Security

Once the hygienist has written the report, staff can develop mold damage cleanup plans, following appropriate standards and regulations. This includes removing contaminated porous items, particularly drywall, ceiling tiles and flooring. These should be replaced with the room then sprayed with sanitizing chemicals. Further assessment can be completed prior to restoring the area, providing reassurance that all is back to normal.
When you need mold cleaning, get results that you can trust. Seek a place that is certified and follows regulations.

What To Know About Storm Insurance and Your Business

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Are you covered? Are you covered?

What To Know About Storm Insurance and Your Business

When you have a business in Wilmington, MA, having storm insurance can be an important part of protecting the property. There are a number of things you should know about your coverage, including what it does and does not cover, and any additional plans you may need. Here’s some information you may find useful.

1. What Insurance Can Cover

The exact nature of what the plan covers will depend on the policy. It’s important as the policy holder to know exactly what plan you have. However, in most cases damaged listed by name and the associated repair costs will be included in the plan, such as flood, wind and hail, or all-peril.. Your provider may also cover hiring a licensed damage restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs.

2. What Insurance May Not Cover

Commercial storm insurance is often a separate policy to your commercial building insurance unless otherwise stated. This means that it is designed to cover damages caused by a storm or flooding and may not apply to other situations such as theft, fire, hail, and liability. It’s important to talk to your provider about what may not be covered so you can purchase additional plans if needed.

3. What Additional Plans You May Need

When looking at insurance coverage for your business you may need to consider several plans bundled together. Some companies offer all-peril plans which can cover multiple scenarios. However, even with this type of plan you may still need to purchase other business coverage, such as liability, under a different policy.

Having storm insurance is an important part of protecting your business property. The policy you have should clearly state what damage and other provisions it covers. These can include flood, wind and hail, or even all peril coverage. Remember, it’s your responsibility to know what is and is not included in your coverage. If you have any questions your insurance provider should be able to help.

Proactive Cleaning Services in Burlington, MA

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says highly trained technicians Our highly trained technicians are available around the clock to perform proactive cleaning.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your commercial space in Burlington/Woburn needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today. SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn is working around the clock to ensure our local community is taken care of.

How to Clean and Maintain a Gas Stove

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

cleaning glass ceramic hob, gas stove. Household chores. Just like everything else, your gas range needs proper care and maintenance

Things You Will Need For A DIY Range Cleaning

Cleaning your gas range might not be as enjoyable as fixing a flavorsome meal, but it brings a sense of accomplishment and reduces the risk of kitchen fires. On top of that, it will also keep your stove in good working condition for years to come.
Here is a list of things you’ll need for a DIY range cleaning in Burlington, MA:

  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing agent
  • Scrub brush
  • Rugs and paper towels

Step 1
Remove the grates and put them in warm soapy water. That will loosen the grease, making them easier to clean. While those continue to soak, wipe the crumbs from the stovetop and spray it with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a cloth. At this point, you’ve gotten rid of most of the smoke smell, and you are ready to proceed.

Step 2
Next, use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to remove grossness from the grates and burner tops. This step will be time-consuming, and the trick is to be patient. When you encounter tough stains such as baked-in grease, spray some warm soapy water and continue scrubbing. Also, you can use a pin to remove debris in the hard-to-reach spaces of the burner heads.

Step 3
Pop the stovetop so you can vacuum the internal parts of the gas range. Most stoves have a system similar to the hood of a car. Others have a slightly different setup where you have to use a putty knife to release the fittings on the L and R marks. Once it’s open, vacuum the interior to remove dirt, debris and crumbs then reassemble everything for testing.
Just like everything else, your gas range needs proper care and maintenance. It’s the only way to get rid of harmful bacteria in your kitchen and prevent a possible kitchen fire disaster.

How To Replace a Toilet

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber replacing broken toilet in a washroom If you have a leaking toilet, in Woburn, MA, you will need to remove it and replace it

5 Steps to Replacing a Toilet

If you have a leaking toilet, in Woburn, MA, you will need to remove it and replace it to stop the leak. You can replace it with a newer model, or if you prefer, you may be able to reuse your old toilet. Either way, the process of replacing your toilet is the same. Here are five steps you will need to follow when replacing your toilet.

1. Turn Off the Water The shut-off valve is usually located on the wall behind the toilet. Occasionally, it may be found in the crawl space or basement.

2. Dry the Water To allow the maximum amount of water to drain out of the bowl, flush the toilet while holding down the handle. Next, use a sponge to remove any remaining water from the tank of your leaking toilet. You can use a small cup to scoop out any water remaining in the bowl.

3. Remove the Toilet After disconnecting the water supply tube and removing the nuts, gently rock the toilet back and forth. Once the wax seal breaks, lift the old toilet off the floor and set it aside.

4. Clean off Wax Gasket You can use a putty knife to remove the old wax gasket from the flange and bottom of the toilet. If the flange is cracked or bent, it will need to be replaced too.

5. Install the New Toilet Position the toilet over the wax gasket. Use the closet bolts to guide you into the correct location. Sit or push down on the toilet to compress the gasket, and then install and tighten the bolts.

Many homeowners do not realize that toilets require maintenance and certain parts can wear out over time. If you find you have a leaking toilet or need toilet repair, you can call a professional water restoration company to find the source of the leak, replace the toilet, disinfect, and clean up any water damage.

Count on Fast Service with a Competitive Edge

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO semi truck As a trusted leader in restoration services, SERVPRO has professionals ready 24/7

When a claim comes in about a Winchester, MA, commercial property that needs restoration or remediation services, an insurance adjuster quickly begins the balanced process of serving the client in the best possible way while ensuring cost-effectiveness. As a trusted leader in restoration services, SERVPRO has professionals ready 24/7 to help you meet those dual demands.

Fast Response and Documentation

The minute an insurance claim comes in, our cleanup and restoration professionals are ready to tackle the disaster, whether it is water, fire or storm damage. While the top priority is to get your client’s property back to “Like it never even happened,” which means arriving onsite within four hours, making the claims process easier is a close second. Agents and adjusters who work with us can expect:

  • Immediate response to the disaster by professionals trained and certified on IICRC standards who adhere to best practices.
  • Local franchises backed by a robust national entity with established relationships within the insurance industry.
  • Pretesting property to verify optimal restorability.

To best handle, a claim, in insurance adjuster requires quick and accurate information. Within hours, our team will provide you an electronic job file with everything you need to ensure the best decisions are made for your client and within the policy specifications. The file includes all related forms and paperwork, a detailed estimate photos of losses and other pertinent information to make your job easier.

Boosting Your Competitive Edge

Keeping the communication lines open 24/7, we will work with you throughout the restoration process to ensure repairs or replacements are done right and with regard to everyone’s best interest. Noting all the small details and providing measurable performance ensures you, the client and insurer are getting the best possible service keep everyone satisfied.
An insurance adjuster is an important role that can be complex and delicate. A reliable, immediate response from a trusted leader can ease the complexity and get your client’s property back to normal quickly.

What is the Mold Remediation Process?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Technician setting mold containment For a serious mold problem, you’ll need to contain the affected area

Follow These Steps

Discovering black mold in your building in Wilmington, MA, means that action needs to be taken immediately. If you decide to handle the mold cleanup yourself, you’ll want to follow these steps:

1. Resolve

First, find the source of the mold. It could be a roof leak or pipe leak or just high humidity. Resolve the problem before the mold cleanup begins.

2. Contain

For a serious mold problem, you’ll need to contain the affected area until the mold remediation process is complete. Completely close off the area from the rest of the building; cross-contamination is a real threat otherwise. Airtight containment will include sealing all doors and openings to the area with polyethylene sheeting and duct tape. Air duct vents will all need to be sealed in the same fashion. The HVAC system and fans should be turned off and windows closed.

3. Remove

All contaminated materials should be placed in trash bags and taken outside. This could include everything from paper materials to flooring to drywall. Unfortunately, there’s not much that’s immune to black mold.

4. Discard

Porous items are usually the most vulnerable victims when it comes to mold. Depending on the material of the affected items, some things will probably be salvageable if properly cleaned. However, a lot of items will likely have to be discarded.

5. Clean

Everything that’s left needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Make sure to get small spaces and the inconspicuous areas that might be forgotten. Borax is best for most surfaces as it’s naturally an inhibitor of mold, yet it isn’t harsh like bleach. Don’t use a vacuum, as the mold spores can be spread next time the vacuum is used.

6. Dry

Once the area and contents have been cleaned, the area will need to be dried. This can be done by using fans, opening windows and doors, using dehumidifiers and turning on heaters.
Black mold is a silent invader and it can be difficult to eliminate. Call mold cleanup specialists to help get your building back up to code.