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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Unpacking the Myth: Will Filing an Insurance Claim Always Raise Your Rates?

3/11/2023 (Permalink)

insurance claim Filing an insurance claim incase of an emergency to help restore your property back to pre loss conditions.

Insurance is a crucial financial safety net that provides protection against unexpected events such as accidents, theft, and damage to property. However, some people hesitate to file a claim, fearing that it might raise their insurance rates. This is a valid concern, and understanding how filing an insurance claim affects your rates can help you make an informed decision.

The short answer is yes, filing an insurance claim can raise your rates. Insurance companies use several factors to determine your premium, including your driving history, credit score, and claims history. If you file a claim, it signals to the insurance company that you are at a higher risk of making future claims. As a result, they may increase your premiums to offset that risk.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have a policy that includes accident forgiveness, your first accident may not raise your rates. Accident forgiveness is a feature that some insurance companies offer that allows policyholders to file a claim without their premiums increasing.

Another factor that can affect whether your rates will increase is the amount of the claim. If you file a small claim, such as a broken windshield or a minor fender-bender, your rates may not increase as much as they would for a larger claim, such as a totaled car or significant property damage.

Additionally, some insurance companies may not raise your rates if the accident was not your fault. If you were involved in an accident where the other driver was at fault, your insurance company may not penalize you for filing a claim.

Overall, whether your rates will increase after filing a claim depends on several factors, including the amount of the claim, your claims history, and the terms of your policy. To minimize the risk of a rate increase, it's essential to consider whether the claim is worth filing in the first place.

If the cost of the damage is less than your deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim. In this case, it may be better to pay for the damage out of pocket to avoid a rate increase.

In conclusion, filing an insurance claim can raise your rates, but it's not always the case. Insurance companies use several factors to determine your premiums, and filing a claim is one of them. To minimize the risk of a rate increase, it's essential to consider the amount of the claim, your claims history, and the terms of your policy before filing a claim.

Actions to take with a Gas Leak

2/12/2023 (Permalink)

old pipes When your property suffers a gas leak, prevent fires by calling the professionals immediately.

Identifying a gas leak can be tricky. If you suspect a gas leak turn off the source immediately. You may want to call the A gas leak can cause an explosion and fire to your property. . You should never light a match or turn on any electrical switches in the vicinity of a suspected gas leak.

Identify the source of the leak.

If you suspect a gas leak, the first step is to identify the source of the leak and avoid it. If you smell gas, get out of the building immediately. If you hear a hissing sound, it's likely that there is a natural gas leak in your home or business.

Do not light a match.

Do not light a match or turn on any electrical switches in the vicinity of the leak. The ignition of natural gas is extremely dangerous and can result in an explosion that could cause serious injury or death. If you suspect you have detected a gas leak, leave immediately and contact emergency services from outside your home or office building.

Basement and crawl spaces.

Because natural gas is heavier than air, it tends to settle in low spots like basements and crawl spaces where there are cracks in foundations, making these areas more likely places where leaks can occur. This means that if there's a leaking pipe underfoot while walking through those areas inside a house then this could cause serious injury if someone steps on it accidentally while going about their daily routine without knowing anything was wrong beforehand.

Never attempt to turn off gas by yourself if there's an odor in your home, follow the gas company's emergency procedures and wait for them to arrive before entering your home again.

Although natural gas is a safe and efficient fuel source for your home, it can be dangerous if not handled properly. If you suspect a gas leak in your home or business, act quickly by following these steps. If your in need of professional help give SERVPRO a call immediately.

When to Use Mold Remediation

1/20/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a corner. Mold remediation can be a big job, but it’s worth it to prevent the problems it can cause.

Mold is one of the most common household problems. According to many experts, mold is present in a little over half of all homes in the United States. Mold can be detrimental to the structure of your home and your belongings. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about when you might need mold remediation and how that process works. 

When to Remediate Mold

Mold remediation is necessary when mold growth is present in a building or on surfaces. Mold can cause problems and damage to the structure of a building, so it is important to address it as soon as it is discovered. Some common indicators of mold include musty odors and visible mold growth. If you suspect mold in your home or business, it is important to have a professional assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action for mold remediation. This may include cleaning, removing contaminated materials, and addressing the source of moisture that is allowing the mold to grow.

Act Quickly

Delaying mold remediation can lead to a number of problems including property damage. Mold often destroys the material it's growing on by breaking down its structure through enzymes and acids produced by the fungus itself; this makes wood rot faster than normal, which will eventually result in structural collapse if left untreated for too long—and that can cost thousands of dollars in repairs!

Time for Mold Remediation Process

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, not a simple one. There are many different factors that affect how long it takes to clean up the mold.

If you have a small problem with mold growth and you respond quickly to the problem, then it may take as little as a few days for your mold remediation contractor to remove all traces of contamination in your house. However, if you have a large amount of damage or infestation then it could take several weeks for everything to be cleaned up properly.

Use SERVPRO to combat mold.

If you suspect that mold is growing in your home or business, it's important to have it removed right away. You can rely on SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn to help with all of your mold remediation needs. SERVPRO's team of certified professionals is ready to assist you:

  • We'll survey the affected area and identify any potential sources of moisture.
  • We'll work with you on our plan for removing the mold, and then complete the job using safe and effective methods.
  • Our professionals will clean up any left-behind debris so that everything is back to normal (or better!).

Mold remediation can be a big job, but it’s worth it to prevent the problems it can cause. When you have SERVPRO professionals on your side, you can trust that they will be able to help you with all of your needs. So if you suspect there may be mold in your Woburn home or business, contact us today so we can come out and inspect!

Top 5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

wet ceiling tiles Water has ruined the ceiling tiles in this commercial building.

5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

Water damage is among the most common types of property damage in the United States. Water damage can happen at any time, and it’s a problem that requires an immediate response. If you don't act quickly, mold growth can occur on damp surfaces and cause serious damage to your commercial property. 

1. Leaking Plumbing

Leaking plumbing pipes are one of the most common causes of commercial water damage, so you'll want to be able to spot them in your building. Leaks can develop anywhere in a plumbing system—from faucets, toilets, and the water heater, to branches and drains. The first step in diagnosing a leak is determining where it's coming from by checking each fixture individually. If you find a small amount of water around one area more often than others such as near a sink, it could indicate that there's a problem with your plumbing system. 

2. Degraded Water Lines

Water lines can get old and degrade. As the water flows through your system, it picks up minerals from the soil in your pipes. These minerals build up over time and form scale, which can cause clogs to form inside your system. You might also see rust stains or notice that the water pressure has dropped significantly since you moved into your building.

If you have plastic piping instead of metal pipe in some areas of your building, this can increase the chances that mold will grow inside those pipes as well as on any wet surfaces near them. It's also possible that there's a crack somewhere along these pipes.

3. Blocked Drains

It’s important to note that blocked drains are a problem that can be caused by many things. For example, toilet paper, hair products and other household products can get stuck in the drain. However, there are also ways to prevent this from happening in the future.

If you notice that your drains are beginning to get clogged up regularly, consider using some drain cleaner every now and then so that you keep them clean and clear at all times. If you find yourself with an especially stubborn blockage in your sink or shower drain. then it might be time to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

4. Faulty Appliances

Faulty appliances can cause water damage, fires and electrical problems. If you have a faulty appliance, it may be time to replace it with a new one. 

Here are a few types of damage that can occur due to faulty appliances:

  • Water Damage: Faulty appliances can leak or burst due to wear and tear. This can lead to extensive water damage in your commercial space.
  • Fire Damage: A faulty appliance is more likely to catch fire for numerous reasons. If this happens, call the fire department immediately! SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn can assist with all the fire damage cleanup and restoration once the fire has been put out.
  • Mold Damage: If water damage event due to a faulty appliance occurs on your property, then mold can begin to grow almost immediately in the moist environment created by standing water. Calling a professional water cleanup crew as quickly as possible can prevent a mold infestation from breaking out.  

5. Malfunctioning Roofs

Leaking roofs are a common cause of commercial water damage. Roof leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor installation and maintenance, age, bad weather and more. If you notice signs that your roof is leaking (such as water stains on walls or ceilings), it's important to act quickly before the damage worsens.

Conclusion

Be sure to call SERVPRO for water damage restoration services if you need help with any of these issues. Our team is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help you get your business back up and running after a water damage event.

Is a Frozen Pipe Burst Covered by Insurance?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Person holding an insurance form with a pen to sign Frozen pipes and insurance coverage.

Do Insurance Policies Cover a Burst Frozen Pipe?

Freezing pipes are a common issue in homes during cold weather. Frozen pipes cause flooding and can lead to mold growth and secondary damage to your home if they aren't dealt with quickly. Fortunately, most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes (although coverage varies by company). Here's what you need to know about this type of claim so that you can act fast if your pipes freeze!

Frozen pipes are a common issue in the winter, and they can happen any time the temperature falls below zero.

The cold weather prevents water from flowing through your pipes as it normally would—which means that if you don't take care of them, the water will eventually solidify into ice and burst them apart. This is why it's so important to prevent frozen pipes in the first place.

To avoid this unfortunate scenario, we recommend checking on your plumbing regularly during freezing temperatures and taking steps to keep water flowing freely through your home's network of pipes. Below are some general tips for keeping your plumbing safe from freezing damage:

1. Use insulation around exposed parts like faucets or fixtures that might freeze up during cold spells (or wrap them in towels).

2. Place containers of hot water throughout your house; these act as heat traps by absorbing excess heat from appliances or rooms before releasing it into other parts of your home.

A frozen pipe can lead to flooding and all the associated home damage, including water damage and mold growth.

This is because when a pipe bursts it causes a sudden release of liquid that can cause secondary damage like leaks and cracks in your flooring, walls, or ceilings.

It's important to remember that you should never try to thaw out a burst water main on your own by using an open flame. In fact, this can make things much worse as it could cause further damage to your home or even start a fire!

Most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes.

If you have a separate water damage or flood insurance policy, then the damage is likely covered. But if you don't have a specific water-related coverage, a frozen pipe burst could be considered an excluded peril under your homeowners insurance policy and not be covered.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Some policies include language that specifically excludes damage caused by freezing temperatures. You can't just assume that a broken pipe will be covered; you'll need to check with your agent or company representative first. In fact, one of our readers wrote in asking whether their frozen pipe burst would be covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy—and it wasn't!
  • Keep in mind that even if freezing weather isn't an excluded peril under your specific policy—or if its exclusionary language doesn't apply—your insurer may still deny coverage for other reasons (like when there's been no proof of loss). Make sure to keep good records so that any claim can be processed quickly.

If you have a pipe burst due to freezing, you need to act fast to reduce secondary damage and your claim cost.

First, call an insured plumber. If it's an emergency, they'll come right away. Don't try DIY repairs. Your insurance company will penalize you for any self-repair attempts that cause damage or additional claims down the road.

Second, shut off water to the affected area and cover it with a tarp until a professional can arrive and make repairs (if possible). This will keep things dry while waiting for help from an insured plumber.

Most insurance companies will cover frozen pipes, so it's important to know what's covered by your policy.

If you wait too long to report the issue and get your pipes thawed out by a professional, your claim could be denied. If this happens and there was no coverage for damage caused by freezing in your policy, you'll have to pay for everything yourself—and that can add up quickly!

So, if you've got frozen plumbing problems on your hands and want to avoid the hassle of filing an insurance claim or paying full price for repairs yourself, here's how to handle the situation.

We hope that this article answered your questions about frozen pipes and insurance coverage. If you have any other questions, or if you need help filing a claim, we’re here to help!

Electronics Cleaning After a Fire

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

Woman cleaning laptop keyboard. Don't try to clean your electronics yourself.

Cleaning Up Electronics After a Fire

If you've been through a fire, you know the stress that comes with it. But did you also know that cleaning up electronics after a fire can be one of the most dangerous parts of the process? If not done correctly, it's possible to damage your electronics—and even worse, expose yourself to harmful chemicals. That's why we recommend hiring SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn! We have experience working with fire damaged electronics, and we use state-of-the-art cleaning equipment and processes to ensure your devices are safe and clean before being returned to you (or resold).

Cleaning electronics after a fire.

  • Clean all components of the device.
  • Inspect all components such as keyboard, mouse, and monitor for damage.
  • If any of these are damaged, replace them before you proceed to the next step.
  • Take care not to touch anything with your bare hands. Use gloves or cloths instead.

Why SERVPRO of Woburn/Burlington?

SERVPRO of Woburn/Burlington is a local, family-owned business that has been serving the community for over 30 years. We have the experience and expertise to handle any size fire, and we’re always available 24/7. We are also certified by IICRC (International Institute of Certified Raters).

Electronics cleaning equipment.

If you have any electronics that have been damaged in a fire or flood, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Using the wrong cleaning supplies could damage or destroy your device. Here are some specialized electronics cleaning tools and equipment:

  • Water damage restoration equipment. This may include drying fans and dehumidifiers, which help remove moisture from the air.
  • Electronics cleaning tools. These can be used to gently wipe down surfaces without scratching them or using too much force, which could cause further damage to circuits inside of them.
  • Electronics cleaning agent. 

Electronics cleaning process.

  • If possible, turn off the device and unplug it.
  • Remove the battery if you can. If not, it's okay to leave the battery in place while you're cleaning.
  • Remove any memory cards or hard drives that were in use at the time of the fire.
  • If possible, remove all external casing from your devices (like a computer monitor). 
  • Use a vacuum to remove any dust/debris from inside these devices before cleaning them with water as well as gently wiping down their exteriors with a damp cloth

Don't try this at home!

Don't try to clean your electronics yourself. Not only will you likely damage the device, but you could end up hurting yourself in the process. Don't use water or a wet cloth to clean anything—the moisture can cause corrosion and can damage sensitive components inside your devices. Similarly, don't use a hairdryer or an iron as this can also lead to overheating and other malfunctions of your product that are difficult if not impossible for us repair technicians to fix at home.

If you have any questions about the process of cleaning electronics after a fire, please feel free to contact us at (781) 935-8222. We are happy to answer any questions and provide more information on this topic.

Things to Do After a House Fire

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Roof of a house on 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.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Homeowners insurance policy 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 Does Ozone Treatment Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor?

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Yes! Ozone treatment is relatively quick.

Even after quitting smoking, the odors from this noxious practice may linger. A professional air-purifying service can apply ozone home deodorization treatments to remove all traces of cigarette smoke from your home in Winchester, MA.

What Is Ozone?

When the two atoms comprising a standard oxygen molecule come in contact with ultraviolet sun rays, electrical lightning charges or other naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, they can be split apart. The separated oxygen atoms gravitate toward intact oxygen molecules and attach to them, forming ozone molecules with three oxygen atoms.

How Does Ozone Eliminate Odors?
Think of ozone's third oxygen atom as a wanderer seeking new opportunities. The same third atom that previously attached to a two-atom oxygen molecule will abandon it in favor of a nearby odor-producing molecule. It binds to the new molecule in a chemical reaction that neutralizes the odor while allowing the molecule it leaves behind to return to its original oxygen form.
Among the reasons for using ozone home deodorization to counter cigarette smoke odor are:

  • It reverts to breathable oxygen.
  • It does not leave behind any residue.
  • It does not involve harsh chemicals.
  • It can sterilize the air.

How Does an Ozone Generator Make Ozone?
Ozone generators instigate the oxygen atom-splitting process in one of two ways. The corona discharge method generates a high voltage that passes through a material resistant to electrical currents, resulting in a sustained electric arc that splits the oxygen molecules. The other method involves using wavelengths of ultraviolet light to split oxygen molecules.

Does Treatment Require Evacuation?
Yes! Ozone treatment is relatively quick, usually lasting about 12 hours, depending on your space's square footage. During treatment, and for a few hours following, you should plan to evacuate your home, taking your pets and plants with you. The air in your home will not be breathable until the oxygen molecules revert to their former structure after the treatment ends.
Whether you are dealing with odors from cigarette smoke or a fire, home deodorization can remove smells from your house.

Prepare Your Building Exterior From Storm Damage

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Clipboard with a form that says Building Inspection Report A regular building inspection is to check on the state of your exterior maintenance.

Conducting exterior maintenance has many benefits for your company and property. A building that looks nice appeals to customers and instills pride in employees. Regular maintenance can be a good way to manage costs, budget for larger expenditures and extend the lifespan of roofs and siding. An aggressive maintenance program also has the potential to prepare your properties against the ravages of powerful storms. A sturdy exterior structure holds up better in high winds, heavy rainfalls and ice and snow buildup. When a big storm heads for Wilmington, MA it's good to know your building is prepared.

The Importance of a Building Inspection

Keeping your building maintained at a high level takes effort and planning. One of the keys to this is a regular building inspection to check on the state of your exterior maintenance. An inspection can be handled in the following ways:

You can conduct the inspection yourself.
The inspection can be turned over to reliable employees in the maintenance department.
You can hire a professional storm damage team to perform the inspection.
You can schedule an inspection on a monthly, semi-annual, or yearly basis.
You can break down the inspection into several sections for roofs, walls, structures, and the grounds.

The building inspection can highlight flaws in your company's level of preparedness. Missing shingles in the roof, cracks in the foundation, and areas of poor drainage should be addressed immediately.

The Benefits of Being Prepared

This can limit your expenses, prevent insurance premiums from rising, and keep your business open. Your employees will benefit from the sense of personal security and the likelihood of job security. Eventually, a storm will hit Wilmington, MA. When it does, the quality of your exterior maintenance program is an important factor in determining the amount of storm damage your business property takes.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are three categories of water damage.

Here Are a Few Facts About Water Damage

If you own a home, then it is likely that you will be dealing with some form of water damage at some point. Whether from a pipe burst, a leak or a storm, this damage can be costly and extensive. The following are a few facts about water damage that you may find helpful if you experience it in your Burlington, MA home.


1. There Are a Variety of Causes
When it comes to water damage, there are several different potential sources. In some cases, it may be something unpredictable like a severe storm or flooding. Other times, it may be something like a clogged toilet or a frozen pipe. While you cannot control accidents or the weather, you should do what you can to prevent damage by performing regular maintenance on your home.


2. There are Three Categories of Water
You might think that all water damage is the same, but this is not the case. There are three categories of water contamination, and how you should proceed is largely determined by which one is involved. Something like a broken water line will usually involve category 1 or clean water, but water from overflowing plumbing or floods is usually category 3. This means that it is highly contaminated and should be handled carefully. Thorough sanitization of the area will be necessary.


3. It Can Cause a Lot of Secondary Damage
Even if it is from a clean source like a pipe burst, water can cause quite a bit of secondary damage. Mold grows easily in moist environments, so if the water is not removed quickly, you can end up with a lot of fungal growth. Water can also cause materials to rot or warp.


If you have damage from a pipe burst or other source of water, then you will need to have it taken care of quickly. They can perform any necessary cleanup and sanitization before making repairs.

How Long Do Commercial Generators Last?

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator To avoid generator problems, make sure to perform maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer.

A commercial generator is much like a residential one, except that they are usually more rugged, dependable and often have a far greater power output. They’re designed for critical systems where disruption of electricity would be disastrous. They often will have a heavy-duty automatic transfer switch that will react immediately when your business in Woburn, MA experiences a power outage. Here’s a quick description of how they work and how long you can expect them to last.

How Do Commercial Generators Work?

At its most basic, an engine is used to provide rotational mechanical energy to an alternator, much like it does on your automobile. Engines can use a variety of fuels, including

  • Gasoline
  • Diesel fuel
  • Natural gas
  • Propane

The amount of electricity produced is directly proportional to the amount of horsepower the engine puts out, so the larger the engine, the more amps you have. Large generators will also have a radiator to cool them, including water radiators and heat exchangers. Small ones will often use simple air cooling, but it’s less common with commercial systems.

How Long Will Your Generator Last?

Your results will vary based upon usage, maintenance, quality, and environmental conditions, but for general business planning, you should consider the life expectancy of each type of generator. Well-maintained diesel generators will typically last for up to 30,000 hours of usage. Gasoline engines provide usually around 1/10th of that.

This starts by inspecting it for any visible problems, such as worn wires, fuel leaks or damaged components. The manufacturer may recommend some kind of fuel maintenance, especially for diesel engines, and lubrication levels should be checked. They also usually need to be started and run regularly and their power output needs to be verified occasionally.

If you’ve experienced commercial storm damage in Woburn, MA you need a professional storm cleanup company to come in immediately so they can tarp and board the location to protect the remaining assets. They’ll remove any floodwater and excess moisture and quickly begin to restore your business to its normal state.

IICRC Certification for Restoration Professionals

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

technician extracting water with vacuum in an office building. Water cleanup in a commercial building in Winchester, MA.

IICRC Certification for Restoration Professionals

Extreme weather, equipment malfunctions and accidents can damage property and interrupt business. When these events happen, business owners seek help and want the best but may not know whom to call. Fortunately, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets the standards for excellence in the restoration industry and certifies cleanup professionals. Here is an example of the 3-step training progression SERVPRO restoration technicians and firms can complete.

1. Restoration Certificates
First, the IICRC aims to provide an industry-standard mitigation certificate for professional restoration companies. They offer twenty-six different certificates that cover the range of cleanup scenarios. Certificate holders receive thorough instruction and benefit from industry-wide recognition of their skills. This prestige attracts business and instills confidence in customers needing restoration services in Winchester, MA.

2. Specialty Masters
Second, restoration technicians certified for three consecutive years who want to further their education can enroll in one of three master’s designations. The three specializations are Textile Cleaner, Fire and Smoke Restorer and Water Restorer. Technicians earn these master’s designations when they complete bundles of certifications relevant to each area.

3. Trained Professionals
After receiving their master’s designation, cleanup professionals will have reached the apex of restoration training. There is no higher or more valued credential in the restoration industry; these professionals join a global directory, attract employees who want to improve their cleanup skills and raise the profile of their restoration company.
And not only individuals but also firms can gain certification. To become certified, a firm must have at least one accredited technician, insurance and a business license. In addition, accredited businesses receive Google verification and may advertise their status with a badge for their website and social media.
So, when companies need restoration services in Winchester, MA, they turn to SERVPRO, an IICRC-certified firm and approved training center. Simply put, SERVPRO’S restoration professionals get businesses back to work.

Preventing Secondary Mold Damage Following a Fire at Your Business

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire damage in Wilmington, MA.

Understanding the Relationship Between Fire, Water and Mold 

Following a fire at your business in Wilmington, MA, black mold can form due to the high humidity levels resulting from the accumulation of water that extinguishes the flames. Standing water often causes more significant secondary damage than fire when it leads to mold formation. However, you can prevent or minimize your losses by understanding the relationship between fire, water and mold.

Why You Should Dry Your Space Immediately
Firefighters' main goal is to extinguish flames as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, they may use powerful hoses that deposit large volumes of water throughout your business's interior.  However, after a fire is no longer a threat, you will need to take measures to dry out your space. Part of the drying process involves removing standing water within 48 hours when it becomes a breeding ground for mold that can contaminate:

  • Air and ventilation systems
  • Floorboards
  • Spaces behind walls
  • Furnishings

It is essential to contact a reputable disaster recovery company that uses industrial-grade water vacuums and dehumidifiers to remove water quickly. 

Why You Need Professional Help To Address Toxic Black Mold
Promptly drying your space can minimize but not necessarily prevent mold formation. Therefore, it is vital to remove mold spores quickly before they spread. SERVPRO professionals apply various technologies to detect and contain toxic mold spores in places where they are invisible. They also use negative air chambers to isolate and contain spores and prevent further contamination. In addition, they rely upon air filtration machines to remove toxic mold from the air. However, widespread mold infestations may require removing and replacing structural elements and furnishings.
Standing water after a fire at your business in Wilmington, MA, can lead to toxic black mold formation that can prevent you from resuming normal operations. Fortunately, you can count on SERVPRO to restore your space to pristine condition, "Like it never even happened."

How To Lessen the Impact of Damage to Your Roof After a Storm

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tarp on a roof. Find the best roof tarp to protect your home

How To Lessen the Impact of Damage to Your Roof After a Storm

After a hailstorm or other damaging weather event, it is important to mitigate the devastation as quickly as possible. If your roof has sustained damage, there are some important steps to follow.

1. Protect Your Home From Further Roof Damage
During a storm, the damage can quickly snowball if it is left unattended. It also greatly increases the likelihood that your indoor furnishings and structures will be ruined. Talk with a storm restoration company right away to find the best roof tarp to protect your home before renovations can begin.

2. Contact Your Insurance Agent
You must call your insurance provider right away. They will send out an adjuster who can estimate the damage and help you get the paperwork going. The faster you submit the claim, the quicker you will be reimbursed for the damages.

3. Discuss Restoration Options With a Roofing Expert
Roof damage must be dealt with quickly. Choose a professional who has the knowledge and experience to handle your unique situation in Burlington, MA.
The expert should look for the following issues when assessing the rain and wind damage to your roof.

Inspect the entire roof - Experts know how to look for problem areas that others may miss during an inspection. Using specialized equipment, the professional can also determine the amount of water that is trapped underneath the shingles. This helps when deciding whether or not a whole new roof is needed, which can save you a lot of money.
Search for other roof damage - If gutters and downspouts become dented or damaged, water will not be able to drain off the roof properly. This can cause additional water damage inside your home.
Check the siding and windows - A professional will also inspect other areas that can cause damage if left unattended, such as window seals and cracks and aluminum siding issues.

Mitigate the damage to your home after a storm with these helpful tips.

3 Tips for Preventing a Cigarette Fire

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

ashtray with cigarettes When you extinguish your cigarette, be sure to do so either in an ashtray

Three Ways to Avoid a Cigarette Fire

Did you know that, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, a cigarette fire is still in the top five leading causes of home fires? There are several ways to reduce the chance of this happening in your home. If you have suffered a home fire in Woburn, MA, already, it's best to contact a fire cleanup and restoration specialist.

1. Smoke Outdoors
The easiest way to prevent an ashtray fire is to smoke outdoors. Not only does this prevent smoke odor from soaking into your furniture and carpets, but it also ensures that a fire is much less likely. Ideally, if you're smoking outside, your surroundings are either concrete or gravel, not grass or brush. If a fire does start, it's easy to quickly stomp it out if the surroundings are fire-resistant. In the colder months, instead of moving back indoors, consider buying a small portable heater that plugs into a wall outlet or extension cord. This way, you stay warm and continue to keep your risk low.

2. Keep Flammable Objects Away
The main goal of fire prevention is to make sure that a fire has nothing to burn. Besides ensuring that you're not wearing extremely loose-fitting clothing, you should also not smoke near any rugs or other cloth. Additionally, when you extinguish your cigarette, be sure to do so either in an ashtray or thoroughly stop it out on the concrete. If you use an ashtray, be sure that it, too, is not around any flammable objects on the chance that your smoke wasn't put out all the way. This is one of the leading causes of a cigarette fire.

3. Ashtray Safety
In addition to ensuring that your ashtray is in an appropriate area, also be careful when you empty it. Check that it is cool and that all cigarettes are completely extinguished. Waste bin fires are extremely common, and you'd be surprised by how easily they start. There is a surprising amount of easily flammable or explosive materials in the trash: paper, leaves, batteries, and aerosol cans.
Be prepared. Take steps to prevent a cigarette fire.

How To File a Claim After a Fire

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form Filing a fire claim in Winchester, MA, is not as complicated as it sounds.

How to Make a Fire Insurance Claim

A fire can start in a matter of seconds. Irresponsible smokers, problems with electrical wiring, and lightning storms are just some of the ways that a fire can start on your commercial property. If you've fallen victim to flames, you need to make a fire claim in Winchester, MA, as soon as possible.

Make a List of Damaged and Lost Items
After the fire is put out, make a list of all the items that were damaged or lost in the fire. This includes furniture, inventory, your personal property, the personal property of any employees or clients, and anything else that you can think of. Document each item with as much information as possible for your insurance agency.

  • Item Name
  • Date of the Fire
  • Type of Loss or Damage
  • Location of the Damage
  • Condition of the Item
  • Description of the Damage or Loss

If necessary and possible, it also helps to include a list of any repairs you had to make and a police report.

Contact Your Insurance Company
After you create a list of everything you lost or that was damaged, contact your insurance agency about your fire claim. Tell your agent as much information as possible over the phone and follow his or her directions for filing a claim. Throughout the claims process, be sure to document every phone call, piece of mail, and face-to-face meeting that you have. Keep in mind that a claims adjuster will visit your property to confirm your reports about lost items or items that received fire damage.

Begin the Fire Restoration Process
Once you make your fire damage claim and receive approval from the insurance company, you'll need to hire professionals to help begin the fire restoration process. Get quotes from at least three different companies to ensure you're receiving a good rate. A good company will walk you through its process to help you understand what will happen and how your business may be affected.
Filing a fire claim in Winchester, MA, is not as complicated as it sounds. When you provide plenty of documentation, the process will go much more smoothly and you'll be on to the restoration process in no time.

4 Important Tips for Dealing With Water in a Home

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Flooring removed in a kitchen, technician using a vacuum extractor Water damage in a home in Wilmington, MA.

4 Important Water Management Tips for Your Home

Water in your home can strike at all different times. It could happen late at night when everyone is asleep, or it could occur when you are away for the day or even when you are on a vacation. There is no good time to have water damage in your home in Wilmington, MA. There are ways, however, to minimize potential issues. Following these tips can make a difficult situation better.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply
As soon as you realize water is spreading into your home, find the closest turn-off valve. By reducing the volume of liquid that gets released, you decrease the damage level to walls, furniture and personal items. Broken pipes can release many gallons of water into your home in a matter of minutes, so it is a good idea to become familiar with the location of turn-off valves in your home.

2. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
In addition to water damage that impacts property, unwanted water in your home poses a long list of risks. It can impact electrical systems and increase the chance of a shock hazard. If the water is contaminated, make sure pets and children stay away from the water spill.

3. Call for a Profesional Water Cleanup
A local water restoration company can arrive at your home within hours of being called. Trained technicians will quickly remove all standing water, dry out moist areas and come up with an efficient and safe restoration plan, returning your home to its original condition.

4. Keep a Lookout for Mold Growth
A water spill can lead to mold growth, especially if the area is not cleaned according to professional standards. Look for the tell-tale signs of mold growth after a spill.
Water damage is a serious concern. Make sure you take immediate action to reduce its impact on your home.

What Can Your Business Expect After Storm and Flood Damage?

4/30/2022 (Permalink)

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

After the floodwaters recede, businesses and commercial properties in Burlington, MA, are frequently left with a disaster. If the water is immediately removed, you can often save a fortune in damage repair. However, construction materials and many items that get soaked require a tear-out and replacement.

What Is a Flood?

A flood is defined by the NFIP as an excess of water that:

  • Covers land normally dry.
  • Partially or completely spreads across at least two acres.
  • Impacts at least two properties.

If a pipe bursts in your building and causes water damage, that’s covered by your standard commercial insurance policy. If it meets the insurance definition of a flood, that requires a separate flood policy.

What Happens Right After the Flood?

You need a local storm restoration expert to immediately respond with commercial water extraction equipment. Every hour the water sits inside, it’s soaking into absorbent construction material and other items, such as carpet and furniture. The restoration technicians will tear out wet materials that are beyond repair and expose any hidden areas that are impacted by the flood to prevent black mold growth.

What If It’s Insured?

You’re set! As soon as you call your Burlington, MA, storm damage experts, they’ll contact your insurance company and get pre-approval to squeeze the water out fast! Insurance companies are losing money while the water sits there, so they like to work with preferred vendors who have a proven track record of quality work and reasonable rates.

What About Uninsured Water Damage?

If you don’t have flood insurance, ask the restoration company if they have a “restore versus replace” policy, which can return a building to its original condition for a fraction of the price. If possible, they’ll use a flood cut to save considerable cost on replacing the wallboard. This exposes enough area between the walls to allow large air movers to do their job, along with removing impacted insulation.
It’s best to not even wait for the flood to end. Once everybody’s safe, call the experts and get the ball rolling. Fast service means reopening much sooner.

5 Ways to Prevent Mold Build Up at Your Business

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

Carpet with mold growth Carpets and rugs can provide ideal growing environments for mold.

Ways To Fight Mold- Build Up at Your Business

You are primarily responsible for cleaning and maintenance at your place of business in Woburn, MA. You have a comprehensive schedule to clean all high-traffic areas, the outdoor space, and a system maintenance schedule that keeps everything running smoothly. One battle that you are constantly fighting is against mold. Mold spores are omnipresent so preventing them from finding an ideal location to grow is a full-time job. Here are five ways to fight mold build-up at your business.

1. Carpets

Carpets and rugs can provide ideal growing environments for mold. Rugs at entryways should be kept dry so that mold doesn't grow on or under them. Regular carpet cleaning also prevents mold growth. Vacuum often and clean behind large furniture. Consider professional steam cleaning a couple of times per year.

2. Dust

Mold can grow on dusty shelves and in forgotten corners of closets and storage spaces. Have cleaning supplies readily available for all staff so that they can clean their desks.

3. Leaks

If someone makes you aware of a leak, make maintenance a priority. Once you have identified the leak and repaired it, check for secondary damage. If a ceiling was leaking over a carpeted area, plan to do some deep carpet cleaning ASAP. If you can't identify the source of the leak, call a commercial building restoration service that can use special tools to check for leaks behind walls.

4. Landscaping

It's important to check on landscaping and rain gutters to make sure that water isn't being directed toward the building. Basements tend to be humid environments so extra water leaking in nearly guarantees mold problems. Clean gutters and properly oriented down spouts help to prevent flooding.

5. HVAC

In large buildings, the HVAC system gets a lot of use and is susceptible to mold growth. Stay alert to new condensation, dust buildup, or a mildew smell that could indicate mold growth.
In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, deep dive projects such as carpet cleaning, closet clean outs, and HVAC inspections help to prevent mold growth at your business.

Do Landlords Bear Responsibility for Property Damage in the Event of a Natural Disaster?

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed from commercial, debris on the floor Commercial storm damage.

Who Is Responsible for These Expenses?

Hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other forms of nature's wrath often result in structural damage and loss. The Insurance Information Institute reports that $119 billion worth of economic losses occurred in 2020 as the result of such incidents, $74 billion of which was insured. In such situations, there is generally a need for repairs and/or the services of a professional restoration and cleanup company in Woburn, MA. When it comes to a rental property, though, who is responsible for these expenses? The instinctive answer may be, the landlord of course, or maybe the renter's insurance. The actual answer is, that both are responsible for a portion of the damages.

What Costs Does Insurance Not Cover?

Renter's insurance covers a lot, depending on the policy. However, it generally does not include everything. Kinds of damage that often do not fall under its umbrella are:

  • The harm caused by earthquakes and floods
  • Theft and damage caused in a robbery or break-in
  • Accident-related breakage

What Costs Is the Building's Owner Obligated To Cover?

In the wake of a storm or other severe event, tenants may look to their landlords to take care of any damage. The latter usually handle any harm sustained by the unit/structure itself, and they can still hold said tenants to their rent agreements in cases where there is damage. However, the occupants have the option of requesting deadline extensions, waivers, payment reductions and even lease termination.

What Costs Is the Building's Owner Not Obligated To Cover?

Landlords typically do not deal with any damage done to renters' belongings. Instead, such items fall under the domain of insurance coverage. This includes clothes, jewelry, electronics, furniture and other personal effects.
Individuals renting space to others are only responsible for expenses associated with the actual building itself, such as a leaking roof or shattered window, not its contents. Renter's insurance exists to indemnify personal possessions. However, it does not cover every incident, so it is important for lodgers to carefully go over their policies and see what is and is not included.

5 Things You Should Do Following A Fire

3/26/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board up building after fire damage in Winchester, MA.

There are many things that could start a fire at your business in Winchester, MA; electrical or machinery malfunctions, space heaters placed too close to flammable materials or plugged into an extension cord, even an overcrowded outlet or a glitch in a break room microwave. Lightening during an intense thunderstorm can also cause a hazardous fire but is much less likely than things that can go wrong during an everyday work situation.
Encouraging employees to be careful, replacing defective appliances and machinery, and having your electrical system inspected regularly can all help prevent a fire disaster. Sometimes, however, prevention is not enough and the unexpected can happen.

5 Steps To Take Immediately After a Fire

There are several things that need to happen right immediately following a blaze before fire restoration can begin. There are also some big don’ts. Here is a helpful list to keep in mind.

  1. Call 911, then get everyone out and to safety, if possible
  2. Call your fire insurance company for instructions
  3. Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
  4. Do not let anyone go back into the building prior to an inspection and an OK that it is safe.
  5. Do not touch anything or try to do anything about the damage yourself – it is possible to get injured or to void your insurance company’s requirements of coverage.

Getting Professional Help can Make it Easier

The best thing you can do next is to get help from a professional fire restoration service in Winchester, MA. They can perform a thorough assessment of the damage and help you file the report for fire insurance. They can also direct the cleanup and removal of destroyed materials, smoke cleaning and help with the restoration of your building.
Although a blaze can be a serious setback for your business, you can take some comfort in knowing that your local fire restoration service can help. As always, prevention is the best route, but if an unforeseen fire happens, following these steps can help get you back on track.

Protecting Your Commercial Building: What Is Mold?

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

mold growth in the corner of a wall and on baseboards Mold usually indicates water damage.

When you own a Wilmington, MA, commercial building, there are many factors that go into protecting it from damage. One problem that can cause serious problems, no matter the nature of your business, is mold. From fast-spreading black mold to Acremonium, which lurks in and around air conditioning drip pans, fungi can crop up seemingly out of nowhere. However, learning about what mold really is and where it comes from can help you shield your building from damage.

How Mold Grows

While it seems like mold might appear without warning, most types grow and spread out of sight and only become apparent when the growth becomes large enough to create an odor. Mold spores exist both indoors and out, and when they find a warm, humid spot, they attach to affected building materials, including:

  • Drywall
  • Behind wallpaper
  • Interior insulation

Once these growths are discovered, you may require professional mold cleanup services to eradicate them.

Mold and Moisture

Mold does not require sunlight to grow, which can make it difficult to find. If your building has a moisture problem, the risk of mold may be higher because fungi thrive in moist environments like restrooms, basements and air conditioning ducts. Black mold can be especially prolific and grow as soon as 24 hours after a water event. Ensuring proper cleanup after a flood can help prevent it from forming.

Cleanup Procedures

If you discover a fungi problem inside your commercial building, calling in a mold remediation and restoration service can ensure that the cleanup process is completed properly. From emergency protection of your property after a flood to cleaning up hidden mold under carpeting or behind wallpaper, your remediation technicians can offer you several different cleanup services and aftercare as well to ensure the source of the mold is eliminated.
Protecting your Wilmington, MA, commercial building from black mold and other types of fungi can be a puzzling experience. However, when you understand how and why they appear, the more efficiently you can safeguard against them.

5 Steps to Water Restoration

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Technician using a vacuum extractor on a soaked carpet floor. Water extraction in a commercial building in Wilmington, MA.

Pipe Burst Cleanup

When you are a business owner, you already have a million things to worry about. Having a situation that requires a pipe burst cleanup is one concern you do not want to add to your list. If you own a business in Wilmington, MA, and you are facing this kind of problem, you will need to seek out the help of a water cleanup professional to assist you. When you call an expert, you can expect them to talk about "water damage restoration." This is what that entails.

1. Inspecting the Property

In the first part of the restoration process, a professional will come out to assess the damage. Was the pipe burst caused by supply line leaking or another reason? Is damage limited to one area or is it extensive?

2. Removing the Water

Next, you can expect the company you hire to remove standing water via extraction. Depending on the situation, they may use submersible pumps or various versions of professional grade vacuums.

3. Drying and Dehumidifying the Interior

After water removal, the next step of a pipe burst cleanup is drying everything out. By using special dehumidifiers and monitoring moisture levels, professionals can ensure the damaged area is ready for restoration.

4. Cleaning and Sanitizing the Property

Before making repairs, the next things to address are cleaning and sanitization. During this phase, remediation experts will also remove any debris as part of the cleaning procedure.

5. Restoring the Business

After a thorough inspection and cleaning, your building will finally be ready for the actual restoration to begin. In this final stage, you can expect the professionals you hire to restore your business to its previous condition. Sometimes, this work can be extensive and may even include carpet and drywall replacement.
If your commercial property is in need of a pipe burst cleanup, it can be beneficial to understand the restoration process. You can prepare for the work ahead by learning more about what to expect.

How SERVPRO Makes the Insurance Process Easier

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water in a basement, personal items wet When you have the appropriate people on the job, storm restoration can be a lot easier and faster.

How SERVPRO Simplifies the Insurance Process

In the event of a serious storm, flooding and other damage to your home can occur. In the most serious circumstances, you’ll need to hire the right company to provide storm restoration. SERVPRO is your top choice for a trusted, competent group of professionals. In addition, you need to work closely with your insurance company to make a claim and ensure that you don’t have to shoulder the financial burden of the disaster. SERVPRO will provide the support you need in this process as well.

Why Call the Professionals

After a major storm, even moderate flood damage requires immediate attention. SERVPRO should be your first choice when you have cleanup and repair needs in your Burlington, MA, home. Here’s why:

  • They have experience.
  • They have the skill.
  • They use the best equipment and employ industry-leading techniques.

Working Hand in Hand With the Insurance Company

After you get in touch with SERVPRO for storm response help, you’ll contact your insurance agent. The two professionals will exchange information to help ensure you get full coverage. SERVPRO is accustomed to partnering with insurance companies at the beginning of storm restoration all the way to the end. SERVPRO will respond quickly to your needs, which will in turn speed up the claims process so you don’t have to wonder and wait for what type of service your agent will provide.

Peace of Mind

There’s a lot to worry about in the storm restoration process. Not only do you have concerns about what the company can repair and salvage, but you need the confidence that your insurance provider will cover damages and approve your claim in a timely manner. The team at SERVPRO will do its part and won’t bog down these important matters.

Storm restoration can be easier and faster when you get the right team on the job. SERVPRO also knows how to make things go smoothly with the insurance company.

Furnace Maintenance 101: Prevent a Home Fire With These 5 Steps

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

furnace air filter replacement Your furnace filter needs to be replaced every one to three months.

Prevent a Furnace Fire In Your Home

Heating is one of the main causes of home fires. Fire departments and fire cleaning companies deal with the most heating-related fires in the cooler months of the year, so it is important to take extra precautions to protect your home in Woburn, MA, by regularly maintaining your furnace. Before the cold weather arrives, follow these five important steps to prevent a furnace fire this winter.

1. Regularly Clean Your Furnace

Make sure to regularly clean your furnace by removing any dirt and dust that makes its way into the interior of your furnace. Gently use a soft-tipped paintbrush and vacuum to do the job!

2. Visual Inspect Your Furnace

Looking over your furnace for any broken or worn-down parts is a good way to determine if your unit needs any repairs or part replacements. Check wires, tubes, the drive belt, bearings, and other components that get worn down easily or pose a hazard.

3. Perform an Odor Check

If at any point you can identify the lingering smell of rotten eggs or smoke in your home, leave the house immediately because that means you have a gas leak. Do not light a cigarette, use your phone inside, touch any electronics, or re-enter the building for any reason. An inspection and possibly even a smoke cleaning will be required.

4. Replace Filters Periodically

Your furnace filter needs to be replaced every one to three months. A good way to remember replacing your filter is to do so every first of the month.

5. Get Your Furnace Professionally Serviced

While regularly cleaning, inspecting, and replacing filters on your furnace is fine to do on your own, make sure to have a professional service your furnace at least once a year!

Avoid a fire cleaning by instead opting for a furnace cleaning! By keeping up on your furnace maintenance, you can avoid a heating home fire all year long.

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

2/11/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor Sewage backup in a residential property.

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?

Water damage can be classified into three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

The Three Types of Contaminated Water

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or a leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on the length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • It May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

3 Common Causes of Mold Growth

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Black mold can be caused by broken pipes, high levels of humidity, flooding and other factors.

Mold Growth: 3 Common Causes

Black mold can take a great deal of time and effort to remove from a home in Winchester, MA. However, knowing what issues are associated with mold growth can help you prevent mold growth in your home.

1. Broken Pipes

Even minor issues in a home can cause mold to grow. Though a broken or leaking pipe may seem like a small problem, it can turn into a major issue if it is not fixed in a timely manner. Since mold needs some amount of moisture to grow, mold is likely to grow around a broken or leaking pipe and on areas where water has dripped. Generally, fixing the damaged pipe swiftly can keep mold from growing.

2. High Levels of Humidity

In areas that experience high levels of humidity, such as kitchens or bathrooms, mold is more likely to occur. An environment that is damp and has a moisture problem will allow mold to grow within days. If mold is not noticed quickly or is left alone, black mold, which can be hazardous and more difficult to remove, can grow in as soon as a week. Keeping areas in your home as dry as possible can assist in mold prevention.

3. Flooding

When major water damage occurs, mold commonly follows. Whether a flood is caused by a natural disaster or by a broken appliance, floodwater inside the home can create the perfect environment for mold to grow. The longer water stays in a home, the more likely mold will be present. Often, it is wise to have your home aired out after a flood occurs in order to decrease the likelihood of mold growth.

Black mold can be caused by broken pipes, high levels of humidity, flooding and other factors. Taking preventative steps to keep your home from experiencing mold growth can save you time, money and frustration. However, homeowners whose homes are affected by mold may find it helpful to work with mold cleanup and remediation experts.

How to Handle Water Cleanup After a Fire

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire damage in Wilmington, MA.

How to Deal with Water Damage After a Fire

After the event of a fire, you may think that the fire cleanup is all you need to worry about. However, firefighters must battle the flames with water, so although they are extinguishing the fire, they are also creating the need for water cleanup.


Professionals in Wilmington, MA, should be contacted quickly to help deal with both types of damage. Here are three things you can do to help:

1. Appraise the Damage

A fire in a company’s building can be devastating because of the destruction of the workspace and equipment. It’s important for you to contact your insurance company so that you can recover as much of the cost as possible. Assess the situation and determine the damage that was done. The fire may have destroyed many things, but anything such as equipment, floors, and walls could merely be soggy. Make sure to document anything that was damaged so that you can recover most of the cost.

2. Ventilate the Building

After assessing the damage, it’s wise to get started on the restoration process. Be sure to check with officials before reentering the building, because there might be some safety issues. Once you have been given the all clear, go ahead and start creating some airflow. This can help with smoke cleanup, as the ventilation will clear the air.

3. Thoroughly Clean Salvageable Items

Although drying out items is an important part of water cleanup, it’s also vital to thoroughly clean everything you can to prevent mold and other issues. Fire restorers can bring in specialized equipment to help with the process. Help the professionals by offering any information or aid needed.

Once most of the ventilation and cleaning has begun, the restoration company may focus on renovating walls and floors that have become unsafe from all the damage. Once this is complete, you can look forward to opening your business once more.

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.

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